Sunday, April 13, 2014

Do Animals Know When Disaster is going to Happen?

Researchers are divided on this topic; some believe animals know when a natural disaster is going to happen and try to get to safety and others do not believe animals have any special powers.  We've all seen our pets and other animals act differently when the weather is going to change, but what about earthquakes, hurricanes and other disasters?

I'm going to try to give some specifics about this, but even these are disagreed upon by those doing the research.  For instance, in Florida, researchers studying tagged sharks say they flee to deeper water just before a big hurricane arrives. They also may be sensing the air and water pressure changes caused by the big storm. 

Michelle Heupel, a scientist at the Mote Marine Laboratory who worked on the shark study, has told reporters. “When things change, they may not understand why it’s happening, but the change itself may trigger some instinct to move to an area that is safer for them.”

Many believe animals know when there is going to be an earthquake.  Researchers like Liz Von Muggenthaler — who appears in NATURE’s, Can Animals Predict Disaster? — believe animals can pick up the “infrasonic” sound pulses created by storms and earthquakes, and get a head start on fleeing to safety. It would make sense, she says, that the animals learn to associate such signals with danger.

An elephant trumpets wildly, breaks a chain holding it to a tree, and flees to higher ground — just before a massive tsunami crashes ashore, drowning hundreds of thousands of people. Did the elephant know the deadly wave was coming?

Could it be some creatures may be able to “hear” infrasound, — sounds produced by natural phenomena, including earthquakes, volcanoes, and storms, that are inaudible to the human ear. This ability may give elephants and other animals enough time to react and flee to safety.

Another explanation may lie in animals’ sensitivities to electromagnetic field variations. Quantum geophysicist Motoji Ikeya has found that certain animals react to changes in electrical currents. He now regularly monitors a catfish, the most sensitive of the creatures he has tested, to aid him in warning others of coming disaster.

 

It is thought seagulls will return to land if there is a barometric change. 
Seagull

What happens to animals before storms roll in or at the onset of winter? Infrasonic sounds could still be the culprit because hurricanes and thunder produce sound waves at those frequencies. But there's also the matter of changes in barometric (air) and hydrostatic (water) pressure.

Birds and bees also appear to sense this drop in barometric pressure and will instinctively seek the cover of their nests or hives. Birds also use their ability to sense air pressure to determine when it's safe to migrate.

There have been interesting proposals about the validity of some animal folklore. Some Native Americans believe black bears choose different sleeping spots in their caves depending on how cold the winter will be, or the fur on a hare's feet will grow fluffier if heavy snows approach. While there's a chance these are simply coincidences, some have pointed out that science is based on observation, and folklore is based on centuries of observation -- although the observations haven't been conducted in controlled circumstances.

So far, science hasn't found a surefire way to answer many of the questions we have about animals' behaviors, perceptions and motivations. Until that time, it's hard to prove once and for all what's going on in their heads.

It's highly unlikely animals can predict weather in an ESP-sort of way, but they very well may be able to sense environmental signals that humans miss. Reaction is another key component: A human might sense a drop in barometric pressure, for example, but not feel compelled by that sensation to seek shelter before a storm hits, as an animal might.

Another potential reason animals might react to impending weather events and natural disasters differently than humans is because at least some of their five senses almost always surpass our own. Many weather occurrences generate noises in the infrasonic range, too low for people to usually hear, for example, but well within the hearing range of many animal species.

There are many ways the conditions of an environment may alter to give animals a heads-up that something rough is on the way. Apart from barometric pressure and sound waves, there can also be changes in hydrostatic, or water, pressure.

How animals pick up on and react to fluctuations in environmental signals likely varies from species to species, as well as among the individuals of those species.


Some day science may learn the answers to the question of:  Can animals predict the weather and other natural disasters?  Right now, there is no definitive answer. 

Thank you for reading.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tone of Voice

Your tone of voice can convey so much; for instance a soft voice can show sweetness or even timidity, a strong confident voice can show strength, a loud voice may show anger and a deep voice can sound gruff.

Author's need to use all kinds of voices for their characters, or they'll sound alike.  We have to differentiate our characters from one another and this requires giving each one of them personality traits.  Their tone of voice is just one portion of developing our character, but a very important part. 

Many of us know or have met someone with a deep voice who sounds gruff.  They can be abrupt to the point of rudeness, but the ones I've known have had hearts of gold.  You probably know people who talk so softly you have to ask them to repeat (sometimes people talk fast, and you have to ask them to repeat) themselves.  I have them in my family, and one of them thinks you should listen so you can hear her.  lol

People who have a strong even tone are confident; they enunciate clearly and no one has a problem hearing and understanding them.  There are people who speak loud, and it can be because they are angry, but it can be they are hard of hearing, or just their natural tone of voice. 

All of these things are great to use for your characters and should be worked into their personalities when you develop their profiles. 

Thank you for reading.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author @
Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Success of Playwright Mary Chase

Last week, I went to the New Dinner Theatre to see Harvey.  Some of you may have seen the movie version of Harvey with James Stewart, but I hadn't.  I'm not going to write about the play, Harvey, but about the playwright. 


I want to tell you about Mary Chase and what inspired her to write this screenplay, which she won a Pulitzer Prize in 1945.  Mary Coyle Chase was born on February 25, 1906 in Denver, Colorado.  Her childhood revolved around the fairies, pookas, and spirits of Irish folktales told by her mother and uncles.  Celtic legend also influenced Chase's understanding of mental illness.  She quoted her mother, Mary McDonough, as saying, "Never be unkind or indifferent to a person others say is crazy.  Often they have deep wisdom.  We pay them great respect in the old country, and we call them fairy people, and it could be they are sometimes."

 

Chase graduated high school at the early age of fifteen in 1921, and attended the University of Colorado for a time.  She spent much of the next decade as a newspaper reporter. Mary Coyle married Robert Chase in 1928.  She left the newspaper world to focus on her family and her personal writing projects.

During WWII, she was inspired to write Harvey.  Every morning when Mary left home at 8:15 with her boys; a woman would emerge from the door of the apartment house and go in the opposite direction, to the bus to go downtown to work...she didn't know the woman, but she heard the woman was a widow with a son who was a bombardier in the Pacific.  One day, Mary heard the son was lost.  

A week or so went by and Mary saw the woman.  She moved slower now, and Mary was haunted by her.  A question began to haunt her: Could she ever think of anything to make that woman laugh again?  Harvey opened on Broadway November 1, 1944.  It was an instant sensation.  War-weary audiences, many of whom had lost someone on the front, laughed with abandon again. 

Most of this information can be found in the booklet presented to people at the theatre. 

Now, for my take on this play is that it is truly a drama and not a comedy in any way, although there are funny moments.  It made me think of my favorite uncle, Uncle Ray, when he came home from WWII.  He just wanted to be happy, and he never wanted to talk about the war.  I'm sure Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome had been a term back then; he had it.  Elwood P. Dowd reminded me of Uncle Ray, and I loved Elwood for reminding me of my favorite uncle. 

To me, Harvey, demands you to think about the seriousness of this play.  It's not just about an invisible rabbit.  It's is about deciding to be happy. 

Everyone have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall
http://www.skaymarshall.com
http://goodreads.com/author/show/344821.Sandra_K_Marshall
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Writers and Depression

Depression is a serious topic and effects many people, but for the purpose of this article I'm targeting writers.  The reason, I'm talking about this problem is because I'm an author, and this past week I had a serious bout of dejection because of my books.

Here's what happened, I blogged at a St. Patrick's party sponsored by The Romance Studio from March 13 to 17th.  By the end of the party I had received very few comments even though I post blogs every day and multiple times.  I did get three or four comments over the five day period, but it wasn't enough to keep me from feeling discouraged about my work.  There were others, who didn't receive any comments, or there might have been one or two for those authors, but I didn't see them. 

I know for a fact from talking with many authors that this business can beat you down.  First of all, I want to tell you I have always been a very social outgoing person, so I'm not entirely isolated like some authors (hubby steps in here and drags me out of the house). Some of the things that can cause depression in authors are medical, but for many of us; it's introspection, lack of exercise, irregular hours, imperfect diet and for me the lack of face to face communication with others.  Also, the financial and professional insecurity can add to depression.  In my case, the fibromyalgia doesn't help.  Pain can harm you mentally, too. 

There are authors who add alcohol or drugs, which contribute to depression even more.  Hemmingway was one of those authors.  I believe you could sit a normally happy and optimistic person in front of a keyboard for hours a day without outside contact, no exercise and junk food, and that person will become depressed.

Here are pictures of author's who have suffered depression in their lives and there are many more.

Hemmingway
J.K. Rowlings
Leo Tolstoy


Dickinson
There are many famous people who have suffered from depression.  I would like to add more pictures, but I don't have the space.

There are ways to combat this problem.  Among them are medications, but for me the best thing in the world is to get out of the house and away from the computer.  When my writing starts to make me feel worthless and I think my books are nothing but shit; I go see friends and talk about anything but writing.  I know author friends that I can talk to about writing, so when I go to lunch with old friends I want to learn about what's going on in their lives, and I want to laugh and have fun. 

 Exercise and eating properly is important, too, for the welfare of your mind, and it is definitely something I need to work on, especially, as I have always loved junk food. 

Just to let you know today, I'm at the New Dinner Theatre, so I won't be on-line until later this afternoon.  Tuesday, I'm having lunch with two long-time friends.  Next week, I'll be refreshed and working again until the next time I fall into depression.  Smile!

Have a great week and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, author at Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Some Facts about St Patrick's Day


Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Okay, so I'm a day early, but tomorrow everyone will be celebrating.  In North Kansas City, the celebration started Saturday with the Snake Saturday parade.  For those of you not familiar with this city it's a suburb of Kansas City, MO.  My hubby and I weren't there for the parade, but I'm sure it was packed because when we came through there after church there were still people in green roaming the sidewalks. 

Saturday was a wonderful day for a parade, but the official Kansas City parade, which is Monday, will not be so sunny.  It will cool (very cool) and windy.  Yep, we can't get away from those March winds.  March madness is going on in our city and big 12 basketball tournament has been going on.  That's not all, Comicon is here, too.  You bet our city is packed with people.  lol

Everyone knows St. Patrick's Day is celebrated each year on March 17, the traditional religious feast day of St. Patrick.

I think most people know corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick's Day dish, but did you know in 2009 roughly 26.1 billion pounds of beef and 2.3 billion pounds of cabbage were produced in the United States.

Did you know?  There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry.  This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself. 

The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.  

More than 100 St. Patrick's Day parades are held across the United States.  New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.  At the annual New York City St. Patrick's Day parade, participants march up 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street.  Each year, between 150,000 and 250,000 marchers take part in the parade, which does not allow automobiles or floats.

Facts about Irish Americans:  There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry.  This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.  Irish is the nations second most frequently reported ancestry, ranking behind German.

Across the country, 11 percent of residents lay claim to Irish ancestry.  That number more than doubles to 23 percent in the state of Massachusetts.  Irish is the most common ancestry in 54 U.S. counties of which 44 are in the Northeast.  Middlesex County in Massachusetts tops the list with 348, 978 Irish Americans, followed by Norfolk County, MA, which has 203,285.

Irish ranks among the top five ancestries in every state except Hawaii and New Mexico.  It is the leading ancestry group in Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

There are approximately 144,588 current U.S. residents who were born in Ireland. 

This information came from the history channel.  For more information go to http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day-facts/ 

Have a fun St. Patrick's Day!  Stay safe!

Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, March 9, 2014

TWA Hangar Dance in Kansas City at TWA Museum

 1940’s Hangar Dance
http://twamuseumat10richardsroad.org

For all of those in the Kansas City area, or anyone coming to the Kansas City area, here is an event that will interest you. 

 
To benefit the TWA Museum
10 Richards Road
Kansas City, Missouri

(The dance will be held in Signature’s Hangar at the museum.)

Saturday, April 26th

5:30-7:00 Check in & Museum Tour     

6:15 –6:45 Free Swing Dance Lesson

7:00-10:00 Dance to the Music of the

Moonlight Serenade Orchestra
www.moonlightserenaders.com

Vintage WWII, other military uniforms and TWA uniforms welcomed or come as you are!!!

If you have a photo and/or story about your history with TWA or the military, please bring it with you to share!

Cash Bar

Hot Dogs & Chips will be available for purchase or bring your own snack!

$25.00 per person before

April 12th

$30.00 per person after April 12th or at the door!

(Tables seat 10)
Ticket Information:

Call the TWA Museum at 816-234-1011 for more information or email twamuseum@gmail.com or nlsitzmann@kc.rr.com.

Fill out the form below, attach your payment and we will confirm your reservation via e-mail or by phone.

Please include names of attendees on the back of this form.

________________________________

Name

________________________________

Phone Number

________________________________

Address

________________________________

City

________________________________

State Zip

________________________________

Email address

Method of Payment:

Check Visa Mastercard

____________________________

Name on Credit Card

____________________________

Credit Card Number

____________________________

Expiration Date CCV #

Mail or drop off this form with payment to:

TWA Museum

Attn: Karen Holden Young, Nancy Sitzmann

10 Richards Road

Kansas City, MO 64116

This sounds like a really good time, and also rides in the afternoon.  If you would like to go to the museum site, here is the URL - http://twamuseumat10richardsroad.org
The Heart of America CAF Wing will offer warbird rides to the public the afternoon of April 26 prior to the dance. Ride reservations made in advance of April 26 will be discounted. To make reservations call Bob Robinson at 913-206-8027. Visit the HOA CAF website at www.kcghostsquadron.org and click on Airplane Rides for complete in-formation.

I hope all of you come and enjoy the fun. Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall
http://www.skaymarshall.com
 
http://twamuseumat10richardsroad.org

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Meet Best Selling Erotic Romance Author, Tina Donahue, for Contest


SEVEN SENSUOUS DAYS

BOOK FOUR – APPOINTMENT WITH PLEASURE SERIES

 

EROTIC CONTEMPORARY

 

Suggested tweet: SEVEN SENSUOUS DAYS - Erotic Contemporary - RELEASE CONTEST - WIN one of 13 erotic romances!!!!

 
Blurb:

 At an erotic auction, she’s his to bid on…to take…to command.


The night’s sultry, filled with carnal promise as Tessa participates in an agency event to raise money for charity. She’s chained and bared—as women were once displayed for a sultan’s harem—her sweet looks and full figure offered to the wealthy and powerful men.

Among them is Logan. To him, Tessa is so different from his late wife, the seemingly perfect female who cruelly stole his hope and future. Wanting only to forget and have a good time, he wins Tessa, demanding she be his in every way possible, engaging in all wanton acts, though not only for an evening…for seven sensuous days at his secluded Virginia estate.

A provocative proposal with such a dangerously virile man.

A week that changes everything, with Tessa’s exquisite vulnerability and Logan’s suddenly unquenchable desire more than either bargained for.
 

Excerpt:

 

Music swelled, drums drowning out what had sounded like flutes and a female voice trilling something. Blood pounded in Tessa’s ears, muting it all. With her face lowered, all she could see was the purplish sheen of her cape. She sensed the panels in front of her parting, the stage displayed. Beyond it were a series of steps descending to a stone walkway flanked with splashing fountains, which eventually led to the crowd…the one man who was supposed to win her for an evening.

A full day was reserved for goddesses like Felicity. With her participation in this event, Ronnie would probably have enough funds to build a community college for young women.

The microphone screeched with brief feedback. Tessa made a face. Ronnie said something Tessa didn’t quite catch.

She bit her bottom lip, and decided to hell with it. She was going to take Felicity’s advice and fantasize.

“He’s dark and dangerous,” Felicity had said.

His features would be masculine, strong, slightly rough, his face shadowed with his coming beard. No, wait. He’d have a mustache and a closely cropped goatee, that hair as dark as his eyebrows. His eyes would be black, piercing, his skin a deep bronze, his lips satiny, his mouth full and rich.

He’d move into her with a right given him by birth, as a ruler. As a male. Looking down at her, he’d smile, shameless lust transforming his features, making him seem even more dangerous. Sex would be on his terms. He’d take her in any manner he chose. Orally, vaginally, anally, his strength precluding escape, his stiffened cock demanding its due, all that she could—

Tessa’s cunt stopped aching with need as her hood fell away. Or rather, Brian had pulled it back. Instinctively, she lifted her head, her attention darting everywhere, much as she suspected a real captive would have behaved, not knowing what to expect. A part of her mind recorded water spraying from the fountains, the again-subdued music, rich and seductive. Ronnie’s voice. The muted conversations of the ladies with their so-called masters.

Those men who hadn’t yet made their selections were quiet. Tessa regarded each. Some were listening to Ronnie. Others glanced at Tessa’s cloak, no doubt wanting it off.

With a flourish, Brian complied and pulled the thing from her, then lifted her arms above her head, securing her shackled wrists to the column.

Tessa stiffened at being exposed in every way possible. There was no hiding her nudity or expression up here, not with the lights trained on her. They weren’t fully intrusive, just enough illumination to exhibit, making her the brightest spot among all the shadows and the torches’ flickering flames. The toasty breeze skimmed the faint moisture on her cunt and licked her nipples, puckering them even more so that the tips appeared that much longer. Areas Felicity’s makeup had accentuated.

Perspiration prickled Tessa’s neck. Her heart beat out of time, the pose she struck both daunting and oddly arousing. There was absolutely nothing to compare to this…being chained and displayed. A sensation of delicious helplessness. Intense vulnerability.

Especially as no one spoke up.

Oh no.

Embarrassment drove heat to Tessa’s throat and cheeks. The music played on and on. Each second crawled by while her mind raced. Would her part in the auction stop when the piece ended even though no one had offered a price? Would Ronnie call for an intermission then, or would she want to continue with the rest of the event as quickly as—

Someone called out a bid.

Tessa’s heart paused. She hadn’t hear the amount. It didn’t matter. One man, at least, craved her.

Who? She studied the audience. A guy, forty or so, smiled with kindness, rather than lust, no doubt sensing and seeing her uncertainty. She offered her own smile in return, liking his sympathetic manner, wondering if he was the one who’d bid on her.

No. He’d already turned to the server and was now pointing at his drink as though he wanted a new one more than anything else.

So who had made the offer?

Another client kept looking from her to Ronnie. Others took a moment to study the program, see who was coming up next.

That would be Felicity. For her, the men would shout over each other, demanding to be heard, letting the money flow freely.

Another bid rang out.

Completely surprised, Tessa continued to regard the crowd, her attention drawn finally, almost irresistibly, to Logan Kincaid.

She forgot to breathe.

Someone had relit the torch nearest his table. Its bobbing light bathed him in a warm golden glow.

Tessa’s body softened.

Young—thirties or so, just as she’d thought—he wore his dark brown hair longish on the top and sides, combed away from his face. His features were rugged, deliciously masculine, especially his shadow of beard. Tessa had no doubt those short bristles would be rough to the touch, a wonderful contradiction to the silkiness of his lips, his generous mouth. A man’s mouth.

Warmth sluiced through her again, the heat soothing this time. Arousing.

He wore a beige blazer that went well with his tan complexion, his white shirt opened at the collar. Decidedly relaxed. The same as his demeanor. He lowered his drink…whiskey or bourbon…from here it was impossible for her to tell. He glanced at his watch, then surveyed the crowd, not her.

Ronnie took another bid.

With a neutral expression, Logan regarded the man who’d made it.

Tessa didn’t bother to look. She focused on Logan.

Another bid followed the last. As if to determine why, Logan finally glanced at the stage.

Tessa’s pulse pounded. Her legs felt watery.

His attention swept upward from the ridiculous shoes she wore to her naked calves and thighs. He studied her exposed cunt and glittering body jewelry for a moment, then continued to her bared breasts, viewing them briefly before he at last reached her eyes.

There, he stopped, as though he hadn’t meant to. There, he lingered.

 

Available at: Ellora’s Cave  

Release: March 5


Other books in the Appointment with Pleasure series:

 

Claiming Magique – Book One  


Losing Control – Book Two


Illicit Intent – Book Three

 

 



 

 
 
 
 
 
a:
 istorical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic ry). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and ke Me Away and Adored both won second e NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern nand worked in Story for a Hollywood production company.

Website: http://www.tinadonahue.com/
Blog: http://www.tinadonahue.com/blog/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tinadonahue
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tina.donahue.75
FB Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/TinaDonahueBooks
Triberr: http://triberr.com/tinadonahue
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/authortina/my-books/
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/tinadonahue
My page at TRR: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/mypageprofile.php?location=tinadonahue

CONTEST DETAILS:

Tina will choose one commenter as her winner. Winner gets her choice of one of Tina’s award-winning, bestselling ebooks from this list:

1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
6. The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
7. Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
8. Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
9. SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
10. Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book
11.  Claiming Magique – Top Pick – NOR
12. Illicit Desire – Four Stars Romantic Times
13. Come Fill Me – Five Stars – Guilty Pleasures

Thank you for visiting my blog today, Tina.  I'm in the middle of reading Deep, Dark, Delicious, and it's a great story with an interesting plot.  Seven Sensuous Days sounds exciting and the cover is beautiful. 

 
See you next Sunday folks.  Have a great week.  
 
Sandy