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Every writer has a debut book, right?  You’re supposed to get a blog, go on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc, and do a press release and some serious promoting leading up to your publish date so folk will hear about your brand new baby way in advance.

*SIGH* Well, I did none of that.  As far as I know, nobody knows, even now, that my debut novel was Boucher’s World: Emergent, a science fiction novel set on a world circling the star, Epsilon Eridani.

My reason for doing none of that?  Simple: I didn’t have a clue.  I didn’t know I was supposed to do all that.  I just wanted to get my book published before I died.

I’m an independent writer, one who never tried traditional publishing.  I checked into it but determined that if I went that route, since I was sixty-five years old at the time, by the time I got a book published, I’d be at least in my seventies – assuming I ever got one published.

So I checked on publishing a book on my own and discovered there were several ways of going about it.  I decided it was best to steer clear of vanity publishers – mainly because I was broke and they all wanted a bunch of bucks – and went with doing it as an ebook at Smashwords which was FREE.

I liked free.  I had my book ready to go, so I read the free guide on how to format an ebook and get it distributed to the major ebook sites (the Smashwords Style Guide), uploaded the thing, and off she went.

I have to admit that it’s a good guide, especially for a rank beginner – as I was – and after going through it and following the instructions, I had no problems getting my book through what Smashwords calls their “meat-grinder”.

What I didn’t do, though, was read the other free Smashwords guides:  the Smashwords Book Publishing Guide, and Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success.  Something I should’ve done before publishing, I suppose, but, who knew?  Had I read those first, I probably wouldn’t have published when I did.  I think I would at least have signed up for Twitter, first.  Heck, I didn’t do that ‘til months later, after I’d already e-published several other books.  Too late, I believed, to holler about my debut novel.

So, I didn’t.  I just kept writing and publishing, mainly because I realized early on that I got a large amount of pleasure out of just writing the stories.  I wish I was good at promoting, though, because I also get a kick out somebody, somewhere, reading one of my books, too.  Not good at that, so I just keep writing.

Anyway, what I’m trying to do (in a round-about way) is holler about my debut book.  I know, I know, it’s a bit past time for that, and at this late date it’s probably useless to even bring it up, but I spent a good deal of enjoyable time writing that book, and I feel it deserves to be acknowledged as the very first book I ever published.

The first in what eventually became a trilogy in a series of nine (so far), that I call the Boucher’s World series, this  book is free on all ebook sites, the others can be had for a negligible sum.

So, here’s an introduction to my debut novel, Boucher’s World: Emergent


The people of Boucher’s World have been trapped inside a Dome that has covered nearly their entire continent since shortly after the Earthlings arrived on the world a little over two millennia ago.  For ages, they’ve sought a way out.
One day, a Human predult, a young woman named Jade, and her Cat partner, Tally, make a remarkable discovery: a door to the outside.

This book chronicles what happens when the people – which includes sentient cats and dogs, and an alien race called the Elvwists – finally emerge from what has been a cage for them for so long.  Will they be able to contact their home worlds? And what happens to Jade when she’s kidnapped by a man who “collects” young women?  Will she be rescued in time?


Find a couple of reviews, here, and here.

Book 3 of Spaceships and Magic coming 12/3/15

Available for pre-order at:


Apple iBooks


Barnes and Noble


(No preorder but 20% excerpt available at Smashwords for download or online reading.)





Juri Turner, the human-born dragon, has ensured that Mur, the magical world next door to Earth, will never again be endangered by its unstable core.

She has also managed to avoid an unwanted marriage to an utter creep of a dragon, but then, she finds herself in a battle, alongside her dragon guardian, Prince Tetharia, and his sister, Princess Terinia, against a powerful demon who threatens not only the dragon kingdom of Tausarae but also the entire world of Mur.

Meanwhile, two large spaceships of the aliens who invaded Earth over two decades ago, are en route to that planet, chasing runaway human slaves from Alpha Centauri, and behind them are even more of the big ugly creatures called scorbs, with an even larger fleet that if not stopped will scour the planet clean of every human.

Duty-bound, Juri will have to help vanquish the demon and save Mur from falling under its rule, and she is, once again, obligated to help defeat the alien invaders who are hell-bent on destroying the humans of Earth.

Again, the fate of two worlds rests on the small, golden shoulders of one young dragon who never asked for anything more than to be left alone to live out her less than fortunate life in peace.

She will do her best to stand up to all the difficulties involved in performing her duty, but will she be able to handle the unexpected changes these events bring about?


Why I Don’t Like Math

I don’t like math.  Yeah, I know.  A lot of people don’t like math.  I don’t know why other people don’t like it, but I know why I don’t.

It’s not because it’s hard, or confusing – though it certainly can be – but I lay the blame at the feet of my fourth-grade teacher.

Before I go any further, let me just say that I have nothing but respect for teachers.  They have a hard job to do and I don’t want to take away from that.  Heck, my sister, who’s retired now, was a teacher.  She was, in fact, a math teacher, and a very good one, not to mention that some of my classmates from high school became teachers.  Those brave souls all get a bow of veneration from me.

But sometimes, I think there are folk who aren’t as cut out for it as others, and the following is why I blame my fourth-grade teacher for my dislike of math.

I don’t know the order in which kids are taught things in elementary school now, but when I was there (back in the ancient days, as my daughter would say, just after they invented water) long division was learned in the fourth grade.

Now, up until the fourth grade, I pretty much liked math, or rather arithmetic, as that what it is at that stage.  There was no public kindergarten in our school system at that time, and my family was much too poor to pay for a private one, so my mother, along with teaching me my ABC’s and to read, long before I ever started first grade, also taught me to count to a hundred and how to write my numbers, and to do simple additions and subtractions, so I had no problems with arithmetic.  Until fourth grade.  And I didn’t really have a problem with it then, however, apparently my fourth-grade teacher thought I did, which subsequently made me think I did.

She went over the long division method, showed the class how to work such problems, and gave us a sheet with four problems to take home, to be turned in the next day.  I remember being excited about learning something new, and that night, I eagerly worked my problems the way I’d been taught in class.  I showed my work to my mother, and she went over it and gave me a big hug for having all four problems correct.  I was happy.

The next day, we turned in our homework, and the teacher said she would go over our papers and give them back to us after lunch.  I looked forward to that big “A” I knew was going to be on my paper.

I got an “F”.

I saw some of the other kids’ papers, and nobody had an “A” but I was the only one with an “F”.

Well.  It was all I could do to keep from crying, and I was ashamed to take it home to my mother because what that “F” meant to me was, not only did I not understand how to work long division, neither did my mother, and that was something I just couldn’t fathom because I’d thought my mother was the smartest person in the world.  How could she have been so wrong?  Getting an “F” in something that she’d declared to be correct skewed my view of her intellect, and I never again showed her any of my homework.

When my mother asked about it, I lied and told her I got an “A”.  She, of course wanted to see it, so I told another lie and said I dropped the paper and it went down a sewer opening (see – I was already on my way to being a fiction writer!  I actually tore the paper to shreds and tossed it into a trashcan).  Bless her heart, she believed me.  Sigh.

It never occurred to me to ask the teacher why she’d given me the bad grade because back then (it was the nineteen-fifties – right after dirt came into being) you didn’t question your teacher when she gave you an “F”.  Normally, the teacher would tell you why, but for whatever reason, in this case, she never did (and I was so hurt that I never mentioned to to anybody.  Hey, I was eight years old – it just never occurred to me that I should).  By the time I figured it out, it was much too late – by then, I didn’t like arithmetic.  Which, in later years, had segued into disliking math.

In fact, I never got a decent grade in arithmetic the whole fourth grade year because there was always at least one long division problem included in any classroom work or homework, and I refused to work any of those, not even in class.  My reasoning was that since I’d gotten all those wrong at the beginning, and the teacher kept showing us how to do them the same way, then I must not be very smart in arithmetic.

The only reason I passed fourth grade was because I did well in everything else.  Fourth grade was also when we began doing simple fractions, and oddly enough, I didn’t have a problem with those, and the teacher, for some reason, never questioned why I could do those but not long division problems.

By the next year, I finally began to work the long division problems but by then I didn’t like arithmetic, and always rushed through any of it as fast as I could.  I never regained the confidence I’d had in myself for being able to do arithmetic prior to being introduced to long division, so I never knew if what I was doing was correct, and I never had the courage to ask.  My arithmetic grades ranged from so-so to pretty good, depending on how much time I took to work the problems.  I had a preference for reading and writing and I did very well in Language Arts – I could diagram the mess out of a sentence, and conjugate any verb in existence.  And in later grades I did great in History, Civics, English, Literature, etc.  Math?  Nope.

I have to admit: getting all those long division problems wrong really bugged me, and I never forgot the incident.  But it was a long time before I finally figured out why my teacher gave me an “F” on that first homework paper.  It was simple: I was the only one who’d gotten every problem correct, so she’d assumed someone had worked them for me and that I’d simply copied them over to my paper (I remember thinking: sorry Mom, you really were smart!)

The only reason I made that leap to understanding was because one day, years later in high school, I was sitting in a geometry class, wishing I was anywhere else, and noticed a classmate was copying off someone’s paper (Heh, no, not mine, somebody a whole better at it than I was), and it was as if a circuit closed in my brain, and I knew what had happened all those years ago.  No, it didn’t make me suddenly fall in love with math, but I knew with certainty why I didn’t like it (and, I still don’t).

Not liking it doesn’t mean I didn’t learn.  What it meant was that I never learned any more of it than what I had to in order to pass a class, and promptly forgot it as soon as I didn’t need it anymore.

And, who knows, if it hadn’t been for my fourth grade teacher, I might’ve been a great mathematician, or scientist, or…nah.  Who am I kidding?…I like to write science fiction and fantasy too much for that.  Besides, after seventh grade, I hated school.

But that’s another story.

A Good Man Named Brodie

My brother died on December 18th, 2014, nearly nine months ago.  You’d think I would’ve written something specific about him then, but at the time, I found myself only capable of generalizing words about him without having a meltdown, so I didn’t.  You might think I’d wait until the anniversary of his death, and perhaps I should.  However, now is when words have come – so here it is.

Brodie was a good man.

A good man…Exactly what does that phrase mean?

Well, he was a son, a husband, a father, an uncle, a grandfather, and a brother.  He loved his mother a great deal and was good to her, and he loved his brothers and sisters.  At his death, he had a significant other, a woman he’d lived with for years, about whom he cared an enormous amount.

For most of his working life he was a truck driver and a professional mover; but he also had other talents, some of which were perhaps not well known to others, such as the fact that in high school, he was quite a good athlete (he was quite popular, I wasn’t.  Heh, in fact, I was known around school as “Brodie’s sister” – which I didn’t mind).  He could draw and paint, and he loved to dance.  And, he sang: he was a fine baritone and tenor (these were things we had in common, except, of course, I didn’t sing baritone or tenor.  I sang second soprano and alto).

He was sometimes found to be not exactly angelic – to put it gently.  He drank too much, which, of course, often got him into trouble.  He was frequently stubborn, sometimes grumpy, and he often didn’t behave the way you’d have thought he would.  He made mistakes, and in general, bumbled along as we all do.  And that was all right; humans aren’t perfect and Brodie was very much a product of the human condition.

He was the proverbial gentle giant of a man at six and a half feet tall, and children were crazy about him.  He was a “people person” and as such got along well with everybody; folk tended to like him – even when they were mad at him.   That was because he was a warm, loving, caring, sensitive man, one who’d go out of his way to help others, and it showed.  It showed in his eyes, in his demeanor, in the way he carried himself, in the way he interacted with people, and, it showed in the way people responded to him.

He lived his life the way he wanted, with a sense of humor leavened with great compassion, and in the end, his life was complete.  He was a good man.

He was my brother, and my friend, and I miss him.


Spaceships and Magic blurb2

Turner: Bitter Change – coupon DN58J

Turner: World Change – coupon ED77N

Originally posted on Marcia's Book Talk:

In today’s guest post, I have the immense pleasure of welcoming author Bea Cannon to Marcia’s Book Talk. Bea, author of the BOUCHER’S WORLD series of science fiction books, the CADY AND SAM paranormal series, and SPACESHIPS AND MAGIC fantasy series, discusses six ways which provided inspiration in writing her books, and how these can be helpful for writers to explore. Now, over to Bea for more about this compelling topic…

Bea Cannon, author photograph Bea Cannon, author photograph


Six Ways of Sparking Ideas by Bea Cannon

I write science fiction and fantasy – sometimes a combination of both in the form of scifantasy – and the occasional short horror story. The first time I was asked from where I got ideas, I’d never really thought about it. I would just get one and off I’d go writing.

I guess I kind of figured I was pulling them out of thin air. Until I stopped to think…

View original 809 more words

Good Friend – a short story

It hung on a string from the rack in the yarn shop, its red beanie button eyes staring out at the world.  It was constructed of black yarn twisted and wound into the general shape of a person; a boy, I thought.  It’s nose and mouth, such as it was, consisted of red yarn stitched loosely down the face between the eyes.  It was an art project gone wrong.

I knew immediately that I wanted it.

“Mama, may I have the doll?” I asked.

She looked down at me and frowned.  “Why would you want such an ugly thing?”


Her face softened as I knew it would. “Well, let me get my yarn and I’ll see how much it costs.”

The proprietor laughed when Mama asked, and patted my cheek.  She gave it to me for free.  We left the shop with me happily carrying the doll in my hand.

I sat the little figure on the small chair in my bedroom, turning it so that it faced the room door.

“What are you going to name your doll?” asked Mama when she came to tuck me into my bed that night.

“I don’t know, but I’ll think of something.”

She smiled and gave me a kiss, turning out the light as she left.

Later, I awakened to hear the noises that came more often lately; the sound of a raised voice as Papa shouted at Mama, then the terrible sound of him striking her and her quietly crying.  The house grew still for a while after that but my stomach clenched because I knew what came next.

I watched fearfully as my door quietly opened and Papa, outlined in the hall light, edged into my darkened room.

He came and sat on the side of my bed and leaned over me as usual but this time was different.

I looked past him to see a large dark figure looming over his shoulder and before he could do the things he usually did, he made a muffled noise as a pair of black arms wrapped around his head and snatched him away from me.

I sat up and watched as he became entirely covered by the huge figure, his struggles getting him nowhere, his voice unheard.

I knew that he would never hit Mama or slip silently into my room again, and I smiled.

The next morning when Mama called me to breakfast, I picked my small yarn doll up from the otherwise empty floor and carried it to the kitchen with me.

Mama’s eyes were red and swollen and her face was bruised but she smiled at me as she placed my breakfast before me.  “Did you think of a name for your doll, yet?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” I told her.  “His name is “Good Friend”.

I was five years old when Papa disappeared, never to be seen again, and life was much better for us afterward.  I’m well-grown, now, but Good Friend protects me still.



Writing Tip(s)?

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come with some clever writing tips, and…*sigh*… I guess I’m simply not that clever.  I could only come up with one.  Wanna hear it?  Here it is:


Not trying to be facetious but that’s all I have.


If you want to do so…


Thinking about it, reading everything you can about it, waiting ’til you’ve got all your ducks in a row…none of that is writing.  Writing is.

I suppose I should add that reading is certainly a good idea, especially reading books and stories in the genre in which you wish to write.   In fact, all the writers I know are also readers.  The thing is, though, that if you want to write, you have to – at some point – put the books down for a while, and actually…


What I’m saying is, all the writing tips in world – and there’s some truly good ones out there by some real clever people  – won’t help you at all if you don’t grab your dictionary and thesaurus, park yourself at your desk, or wherever you choose to do it, put your fingers to your keyboard or take pen in hand (whichever suits you best), and commence to putting that great idea you’ve come up with, into written form.

In the final analysis – and I know I’m sounding a bit repetitive here – the only way to write is to get on with it, and…


Once Upon a Spider – a drabble

The large black and yellow orb weaver sat in its web.  It had built it in the sidelight window on the front porch of a house.

The occupant of the home opened the door to leave for work.  She brushed a thread attached to the door causing the spider to jitter toward her.  She spotted it, and letting loose a loud shriek, dropped her tote and retreated into the house.

Reemerging with a can, she liberally sprayed the hapless spider and it fell dead.  She retrieved her tote and left for work.

She didn’t notice she’d also sprayed her lunch.

Why I Write, and What I Write

Okay, I was tired of seeing that outdated post of free books when I zipped past my blog, so I took a few minutes to try and think of something interesting to blog about but my mind kept going back to my current writing project(s).

I couldn’t think of a darned ‘nother thing.

Then I thought, “Why don’t I just do a repost from a while back?”  Yeah, but what to repost?  Then I remembered one from a couple of years ago, when I did a guest post, and was asked the question of why I write and exactly what it is that I write.  I went looking for it, but, I couldn’t find the blog on which I’d made the post.

Now, I don’t know if that means that blog no longer exists, or if I’m just mis-remembering the site but I still have a copy of the post in Word, so, with a few updates, here it is.


Why I Write, and What I Write

The first time I was asked why I write, I had no idea how to answer.  I sputtered, hemmed and hawed, and finally said something like, “Gee, I dunno, I just like to”.

Dumb, huh?  Shouldn’t a writer know why she writes?  Shouldn’t she (or he) have at least an inkling, a clue maybe, as to exactly why she sits down and puts pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard, nowadays – and lets all those words loose on the world?  Well, shouldn’t she?

I thought I should, so I sat down one day to think about it.  I wanted to have a good, pat answer if I was ever asked that question again.  And sure enough, someone did, and that time – hurray! – I had an answer.

“I write because, ever since I was a child, I’ve loved to read, and I’d always wanted to write, too, so one day I finally got around to doing it,” I said, smiling triumphantly because, now, I had a bona fide response, one that I knew to be true.

And I was satisfied.  Until one day someone asked me, again, “Why do you write?” and I opened my mouth to give that great reply I’d thought up, but as my mouth went open to speak the words, it occurred to me that they weren’t precisely correct.  Oh, they weren’t wrong, mind you; that was a reason why I write, just not the reason.

So, I sat back down to think about it some more.  And it finally struck me that, no matter what I came up with, and I came up  with a lot of reasons – all true to a certain extent – for me it boiled down to one final truth: I write because I have no choice.  That’s it.  The whole enchilada, the final explanation.  Simple, huh?

What brought me to that particular understanding of why I write, was the realization that, not only had I always wanted to write, I always did write.  When I was a child, I would write stories based mostly on the fairy tales I read, and I would write little stories for my mother, or my siblings.

Someone gave me a diary one year when I was around eleven or twelve, and instead of recording my thoughts and feelings as most pre-teen or teenaged girls would, I wrote stories in it.  And I was a letter writer.  I loved to write those.  Still do, though I mostly send emails now, which, somehow is not quite the same.  Anyway, I just loved to write.

As to what I write, well, that would be, mostly, science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal stories (I’ve written three dealing with werewolves, and no, they’re not romances.  Just some unconventional paranormals).  I also write in a genre that’s called “scifantasy”, which is what it sounds like: a blend of science fiction and fantasy.

The tales I write come from all those fairy tales I read as a kid, I think, and I graduated from those to science fiction at an early age.  I’ve also written a few short horror stories, though I haven’t formally published any of those as yet, just on Wattpad with copies on my blog.

Of course, I have reasons for writing a particular story, such as the one for writing the “Boucher’s World” trilogy.  I like science fiction.  It’s one of my favorite genres, and I’ve always especially liked the kind that deals with the encounters between humans and aliens.  I wanted to see if I could create such a meeting, and resolve the inevitable conflicts that would occur.  The idea came from a dream I had.  Ideas can come from anywhere and I never turn my nose up at one, so I went with it and it turned into a trilogy.

I started this story a number of years ago but had to put it aside because it was during a period when I didn’t have much time for writing.  After I retired, I pulled it out and began working on it again.  As I wrote, I saw after a while, that the story was going to be much too long for just one book so it became a trilogy, the first book of which I called “Boucher’s World: Emergent”.  It’s a science fiction/fantasy set two thousand years in the future, about a society composed of humans from Earth, and an alien race called Elvwists, who have spent the last two millennia trapped inside a dome on a planet in the Epsilon Eridani star system, and they all have a wide range of psychic abilities.  So do the dogs and cats.

The first two books of the series deal with how they finally get out of the dome, and what happens after they do.  The third book addresses what happens when people from their respective home worlds show up.

I decided to publish, so three years ago I self-published the first book in the trilogy as an ebook.  (Just so you know, the reason I self-published is because after doing some research, I decided that since I was already old enough to retire, it was the best way for me to go if I ever wanted to get anything into print before I died.)

Since then, I’ve published more stories, about half of them shorts or novellas set in the  Boucher’s World universe.  These include the second and third books in the trilogy, “Boucher’s World: Transformation” and “Boucher’s World: Encounters”.

I have also published two books in a new series that I call Spaceships and Magic: “Turner: Bitter Change” and “Turner: World Change”, a scifantasy set in a future closer to the present day than the one of my first series.  It’s more of a dystopian/alien invasion/alternate worlds type story, that involve not only aliens and spaceships, but also dragons and magic (thus the Spaceships and Magic designation).

Altogether, I have sixteen publications out, and currently, in addition to working on book three of the Spaceships and Magic series, I’m also writing several others as I can’t seem to write just one story at a time.  I keep coming up with ideas that I just have to write down, so I do.

Harking back to my first answer to the question of why I write, I do like to write – most of the time.  There are times when I don’t especially like it, such as when I have to edit or re-write, but on the whole, I enjoy it.  I love creating new worlds and putting characters into different situations they have to work their way through.  I really do.  But I don’t write because I love to.  I write because I have to.

A question I’ve never been able to answer is: why do I have to write?  Maybe one day I’ll sit down and think about that.  Maybe I’ll come up with an answer, too.  If not, I won’t worry about it.  I’ll just keep writing.

I don’t have a choice.


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