Surprises About Zero

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Courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain by matthewwafflecat

Why write a book about nothing, nada, zilch? Well if you thought zero meant just nothing then you need to rethink. The power of Zero became explained in laymen’s terms in Charles Seife book Zero: A Dangerous Idea.  He states zero is infinity’s twin. So in a zero you have the secular and the mystical rolled up into one. A Cartesian coordinate system visibly shows that. The power of zero threatens to undermine physics if you do not manage the equations carefully. Zero breaks law every time because it can shatter logic. Waywardly divide by zero and you destroy the number line and logic. It will not follow the rules ( chaos). Zero has no value but it holds a place just like in my book Ways to Say Zero Zero is a digit but not a number it has no quantity but it becomes classified as an even number. The riddle me this number…an imp from the beginning of time. Do you see how even talking or discussing the digit zero starts shaking the foundation of mathematics. It points out all the inconsistency.  Children always question teachers about zero and the questions are quickly dismissed because no one has a definitive answer about zero except God.

Mystical

In religion the nothing to something battle became Genesis In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. … And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.  God won  or 1. In the prior century we have created a cyber world based on 0 and 1. It took us that long to follow what God did. So in every computer program its origin is the conflict of which digit will win 0 or 1. The Big Bang all over again, and again, and again. Have you ever noticed the symbol used to let you know that the Internet browser is searching is a zero with a spinning rim. Most of the time you receive your web page just like God gives you grace. So we witness the first event in our universe the moment we turn on our computers. God wins over and over and over again and even gives us free stuff. The man who made the code that made the Internet possible Tim Berners Lee in 1989 gave it away and we all won globally.

Excerpt from the World Wide Web Consortium

On 4 April 2017, Sir Tim was awarded the ACM A.M. Turing Prize for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale. The Turing Prize, called the “Nobel Prize of Computing” is considered one of the most prestigious awards in Computer Science.

Others

Bill Gates played with 0 and 1 so much he made strings of it. He put the strings in an order instead of trying to make an individual 0 do order. From that we got Microsoft, web browsers, and software.

Chaos

You cannot make zero behave. You cannot make zero make order all it will ever do is hold a place. Zero remains forever a paradox that people just have to accept and deal with. It is part of the universe and no progress becomes made till you do. As my electrical engineer son tells me a little chaos is to be expected. If it is not there a lie exists. It must be there. Engineers know how to handle chaos.

Children

How do you get the idea of zero over to children? You have to use language. You have to use pictures. Zero has a personality unlike other digits. It has to be part of their world. Children know all about chaos. It is one of their friends they play with.  They never understand why the adults are afraid of chaos. In their worlds it is friendly because it has no contempt. What they do not know is when you become an adult you acquire contempt and chaos destroys civilizations. Adults do that not children.

 

Ways to Say Zero by Mary Page

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Publishing By Mainstream

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Via https://www.pexels.com/photo/keyboard-desk-wristwatch-watch-8264/ CC0 License

Most of my writing involves digital venues. You research a subject, find a slant, and write it within the parameters the group or client has given if possible. I published a children’s book and novel on a digital media venue. It lists as a delightful experience that costed a fee. I view it as apprentice school that teaches you paths and opportunities in writing and getting paid for it. More business like the experience played out like a college course. You had mentors who guided you, gave you choices on how to proceed, explained how they sold books, and made assignments. You have to do the marketing outside of book fairs. Indie and digital platforms use international and nation book fairs to sell books and make deals. They use the Internet platforms such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and country platforms such as Flipkart India and even a few city digital platforms. The email exchanges makes you meet lots of people who love books and love publishing. No one guarantees you a profit. You build a portfolio of work, you get experience, and you meet people on social media and talk about your book. That leads to lots of conversations about other things such as politics, religion, and current events.

Via https://www.flickr.come/photos/joeybones/6622086429 CC 2.0

Mainstream Publishing

I took the course by the Institute of Writers. It polished my writing and gave information on the ways and means of more traditional publishing. You learn about the lists that tell you how to submit a manuscript. You buy a large box of manila envelopes and you mail your story. Sometimes they have a website drop box to do that, and some take your manuscript by email. It works like a leap of faith. You send your creation to a place unknown for a person unknown to possibly look at. You are waiting for feedback.

Sending it Forth

Some places do not answer you back and they state that, “If you do not hear from us in x number of months you are not getting published.”  The infamous “Do not send to any other publisher till the time has passed or you hear from us” or “Please write if we are the  only publisher or you have sent to others.”  Each publishing house does things differently so you have to prep the manuscript for each of them.

What You Get Back

Many send a letter acknowledging that they received your creation. Some send a letter telling you that your creation is lovely but it does not fit their theme or style. They do take the time write some things on your manuscript to let you know what you did you write and what they believe needs to be improved. You get many letters that tell you the publisher is out right rejecting your creation. The fun letters are the ones where one publisher loves your creation but cannot use it, and the other publisher wonders what you were thinking when you created it. It is subjective in the sense that editors and publishers have opinions on what meets the standard of their publication. It is their publication.  It is never personal, and it is about the work. You learn that you have to decide if it is a good piece, and what needs to be improved or not. You develop your own standards. You agree to disagree when they reject it. You send it somewhere else or put it away for a while. When you get to that point their opinion does not matter as much and your opinion matters more. You decide what you can live with as a writer. Did it really need polishing? Can I improve it? Do I need another source for it?

What happens is you will get another opportunity to write on that subject. You will take some portion of it and expand it or paraphrase it. You will get your slant out into the world on it. Pieces of that rejected work will cross your mind and you place it in other pieces. That has a satisfaction in it especially when you get paid for it.

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http://guardianangelpublishing.com/zero.htm

Contract

At some point you get a contract. It rarely happens on the piece you think it will. Someone validates your work. Joy. As you read the contract you realize you are giving that creation away partially. It is like adoption. The publisher has a different agenda than you and a different process. You no longer have control of your creation. They have control of formatting it and presenting it to the public. They use their marketing venue. It is more personal in the sense you will exchange letters or emails as to the progress of the creation. It is not just about marketing. You will have periods of time where you will work together. With this venue it becomes about the book not you. The book takes on a life of its own. As an author you only come back in it if it reaches a certain level of success where you give interviews or book talks.

Smiles

If you did digital process book publishing first you go and start checking Google where you put your book to see its ranking. You personally helped with that . With mainstream publishing you have to word play with the title and publisher and your author name to have it appear on Google or another search engine. You get little surprises. So you query and there is your author page, your blog, your twitter, and suddenly pops up your book is at KMart.  A real live physical building location. It is online but you wonder if I walk into the store will I see my book. It is like when you send a teenager off to college. You know about where they are but not exactly. It gives you the same feeling. Like should I do something… should I go make sure the book is okay…should I ask… do I really want to know what they do???  You do not know how all that works or how all that is going to play out.

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Via Mary Page Nexus 6P Phone Camera

Reviews

Books sell with reviews and without reviews. Sometimes it makes a difference and sometimes it does not. What you have to understand is if the person does not buy your book from a store then they cannot put a review there. You can give it to the publisher to put on your author site. You can sign up for free reviews but you never know if that will happen. Places exist that you pay a fee to get a review but you are not supposed to do that. It is suppose to be unfettered.  Freely done by a person who just likes your book.

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                          Via Mary Page by Nexus P6 Camera Phone

Do Both Ways

Getting published and getting paid for it takes a creative approach in that you have to use  many paths to get some chances. What is successful in one venue may not be in another and visa versa.  It is not vanity that you publish. It is sharing a part of yourself. You create basically alone. It is an extension and an expression of you. Instead of talking about your hair, or how many salads you eat it is an open invitation to a conversation about color, ideas, choice of words, pieces of you as an artist and author you are willing to discuss with others. A writer would rather hear what you think, where did you learn that, what does my creation mean to you, how would you end it, would you have used a different color???

Conclusion

At the end of my life I will be able to say I did not talk about being a writer. I did it. I had the experience. I did not talk about being an artist I learned how. I did it. I did not talk about singing on stage but went to Carnegie Hall and had the experience. Then I ventured out on my own and combined the essence of my music abilities and created a guitar greeting for a beautiful foyer. I did it. I had the experiences.

Until Next Time,

 

Mary

 

Why are Almond Branches Important to God

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Bohdi Tree courtesy of Nagytibi  with Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Bohdi Tree is a sacred fig with heart shaped leaves. Three religions claim it Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Many meditate around the tree to get in touch with their spirituality.  Themes of this run in my novel “The Grand New Delhi Escapade” and my second novel set in Hyderabad. As humans we need symbols to reach our spiritual self. The caution becomes not to make the symbol the GOD or gods (as India says). As stated in the first blog on trees Christians harp on the tree in the Garden of Eden. We seem stuck there. Maybe because as women we repeatedly each generation repeat the sin of Eve over and over again. I catch my self doing that and I hate myself for it every time since it started the process of humans to be out casts from paradise. That sin has never gone away or been solved. it plays out in our relationships  and our self images. More trees of spiritual significance exist besides those two trees named. Since we can not go back and undo Eve’s sin just maybe we can move forward to some of the other trees. We may find the beginning path of redemption there.

Jeremiah and Almonds

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Via Wikimedia by Daniel Schwen

Jeremiah became known as the weeping prophet. He asked questions and then he lamented. Jeremiah lamented a lot since people sinned a lot. Born in a priestly family he gets chosen for prophet hood and the trouble began. He goes around pointing out the truth. People rarely want the truth. They often want the lie like Eve did. Eventually the lie lines up with other lies and builds an infrastructure of destruction that tumbles nearly everything good into chaos. The worse thing it does is burns out and uses up good people who care. During Jeremiah’s time and prophecy that is what happened. The lies all caught up to the institutions and everything fell apart. You cannot fix a lie. You get rid of it.

In the first chapter of Jeremiah, he and God known as the Eternal have a chat. Jermiah 1:11-13

The Word of the Eternal came to me.

Eternal:What do you see, Jeremiah?

Jeremiah: I see the branch of an almond tree.

Eternal: That’s right. From this know that I am watching over My Word until it is accomplished.

Why are Almond Branches so Important to God

Rose_ringed_Parakeet_in_bitter_Almond

Via Wikipedia by Jonathan Cardy

First off in the original language of Hebrew this set of verses has a word play going on. The word “almond” and “watching” are similar in Hebrew. Here the almond becomes a symbol for watching. Aaron’s rod in Numbers 17:8 had almond blossoms and it resurrected the priest of God. Parts of the candlestick for the ark of the covenant were made of almond by Moses. Almond trees symbolize awakening and spring. The Lord is letting Jeremiah know that He has spoken and will be the one guiding the application and accomplishment of what HE has spoken.

 

Jewish Symbolism

This is before Christianity so put your Jewish mind on. Almonds are eaten on Tu B’shevat which is the holiday that marks the new year for trees. The trees represent tithes. Later in Deuteronomy 20:19 trees represent a man in the field.

Conclusion

almond joy

Via Wikipedia  by Evan Amos

No specific New Testament verse says almond tree or almonds. You could speculate that the fruit on the tree in Revelation may be almonds. Almonds have spiritual significance and are associated with priests. Meditation under an almond tree is acceptable.  The next time you eat the candy “Almond Joy” know you are participating in a Jewish tradition.

 

 

Trees

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In my second novel draft  religion plays a more distinct role.  Sharlene and Sajiv begin to discuss more in depth his atheism and her Methodism. Sharlene fills the need to go back to church. Sajiv agrees to take her. In America an atheist would not be likely to do that but in India it is common. An atheist can explain scripture and religion to you as well even if it is the Christian faith. Then tell you what part they agree with and what part they do not agree with.

Along the way it lead to the subject of trees. In India the bodhi tree is sacred. It is in the family of fig trees. Buddha became enlightened there and so did Vishnu. I started thinking where are the trees of Christianity. Much of Sharlene and Sajiv’s discussion center around commonalities. Does Christianity have a sacred tree? The one that comes to most people’s minds is the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden where Eve gives in to temptation and then leads the husband Adam down that path. Since they sin together ( in marriage it shows what a grand bond they have giving literal visual “for better or for worse”) become banned from the Garden of Eden.

More Trees

The tree theme does not end there. Take a drive through scripture not only do we begin with the tree as in fallen sinful humans, in Revelation 22:1 -3 the curse of Eden ends by a crystal river with the tree of life ( the other tree nearby in the Garden of Eden) with its every month of fruit and leaves that heal the nations. It was the other choice Eve could of made. You see she did have a choice, an alternative to take right in front of her.

THE Tree

In between the Genesis Tree and the Revelation tree a host of extremely important trees exist tied to important concepts and themes of the bible. One of the most important of which is Jesus hung on a tree. The cross was made of wood. Everything about the crucifixion is important and had spiritual meaning.  Though most all agree that the cross was made of wood, endless arguments exist on what kinds of wood. Wood comes from a tree. Why would God allow wood to help murder His Son? Everything negative about the cross became a positive grace invitation so how do trees fit in all that schema. Hanging from wood (tree) how does that translate to grace? Jesus was a carpenter, made his living from wood and He is murdered on wood.

You Study and Decide

This is what I discovered. The Hebrew word for a tree is עץ (eyts, Strong’s #6086).The word עץ is a parent root (a two letter root) from which a couple of other words are derived. The verb עצם (Ah.Ts.M, Strong’s #6105) means strong and mighty, as is a tree. Derived from this verb is the noun עצם (etsem, Strong’s #6106), meaing bones, the “strong tree” of the body. Also, the verb יעץ (Y.Ah.Ts, Strong’s #3289) means counsel, to give support to another as the tree trunk supports the branches and leaves. Courtesy of Jeff Benner at http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/  Strong’s is a recognized resource for deciphering Hebrew at many bible study sites.

This site shows the use of the tree in the New Testament

https://www.gci.org/jesus/risen3

Was Jesus hung on a tree?

The New Testament uses the word tree five times to refer to Christ’s crucifixion on a cross (Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29, Galatians 3:13 and 1 Peter 2:24). Most of the time, the noun stauros(stake) and the verb stauroo (crucify) are used in connection with Jesus’ death. These two words appear 74 times in the New Testament.

One of the five appearances of tree occurs in Galatians. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us,” wrote Paul, “for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree’” (Galatians 3:13). Paul was quoting a phrase found in Deuteronomy 21:23.

Paul was referring to the Torah’s prescribed form of execution by stoning for blasphemy and idolatry. After being stoned to death, the person’s body was hung on a tree to show that the individual was under God’s curse. To the Jews, hanging on a tree had become a metaphor for an apostate, a blasphemer or a person under God’s curse. That’s how the Jews viewed Jesus (John 5:18; 10:33; Matthew 26:63-65).

Me again.

God transformed hanging on piece of wood being a curse to hanging on a piece of wood becomes the act that saves humankind’s soul. We are protected and prosper with trees. Science confirms that environmentally. Every day when you see trees you are seeing living grace at application level given to us by a living organism found in the Garden of Eden ordained by God Himself. It facilitated the murdering of His Son and yet the tree of death rotted and turned to compost to become life for some other plant. Christ does not die but resurrects and you could say the cross did too in a different form in the ecosystem. Some plant some where has the basic essential chemical components of the cross since the planet reuses that.

Assignment

 

I took a course in the Methodist Church for using Social Media for church. I have to do blogs on it. The blog here will take a research tangent for a short time on Trees and Scripture which will give me the knowledge for a good debate between Sajiv and Sharlene about Bodhi tree and about all the other trees God uses to give us grace, our daily bread with the very air we breath, and keep our planet cool with the trees taking care of carbon dioxide.

 

 

Whirlwind

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You never know what direction writing will take you. This year the muse insists on articles. Hundreds of articles and being part of a writers group. Sharlene nightly tells her tales while I type about technology, medicine, dogs, clouds, and even stories. Art calls constantly so I sketch in between writing gigs. The guitar sits at my feet getting strummed while a project manager ferries another article to me. While chatting with them I write fiction dungeon and dragon stories with Elvira the cleric wizard chaotic neutral and naughty as they come.

I know for a fact the muse wants the second novel finished. It is all in my head and Sharlene and Sajiv are way into book three contemplating to kiss or not kiss. He paws her hand. Sajiv grasps her hand with both of his one on top and one on bottom, firmly cuffing it and gently pulling it toward him simulating you know what. While she stands and trembles not knowing to run or cuddle. Sharlene stands and explains all this. Part of her wishes to thrust forward and hug so intensely there can be no doubt about intentions. After she does that then what?

That is the scary part. Can it be completed? I cannot see them in bed together yet. It goes blank but when I ask Sharlene she gives some romantic third person tall and about the time it gets good as in causing an arousal reaction she take off on a wild tangent that leaves sexual behind and brings in funny. Everything else I have about 10 scenarios for except that. Is it that India young adults wait till 26 year old to do that. Is it I do not want to ruin the friendship between Sharlene and Sajiv. Making love will change that.

In the other time, the business world of writing marches on. Equally satisfying and gives a stream of payment it is hard to leave and do novel writing which is love and sacrifice most of the time. A host of children’s books left not illustrated. IHave been forming in my head for a while.

Increased the art and now it is appearing on the Internet. Exploring artists and museums in between writing gigs. Oil painting is back. It heals me and that is where it remains.

Yes Sharlene. I understand.  I have to eat and pay bills. Perhaps you can facilitate sales….

Here take a look at M F Hussain. Lovely art.

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http://www.slideshare.net/theano7203/slideshelf

The Villian is Not Always a Person

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In life for the most part, people are not all good or all bad. Depending on what situation has enveloped them at the time often determines where they are in their values. A few people never waver, but most oscillate. We put rituals and friends in our life to help center us. How do you write that in a novel?

What Was

The first novel “The Grand New Delhi Escapade” I used the idea of action events. The training at the Long Ridge Writers Group showed how to create a story around an event using sensory details. In talking with a friend from India nightly we shared our shadows. He had lost a brother and I had lost a daughter. Mix in a bit of Irish family history with the name McGowan, and an answer to the nearly endless complaining I heard while teaching that it was hard to find a clean book, and you get a novel. By the way the endless complaining is unfounded. Here comes the truth. Indie authors ( off mainstream but equally talented)create plenty of clean books. Their marketing machine comes smaller so books are available but not the usual routes. Traditional methods produce fewer books that make more sales. Constraints happen along the way and taking a risk on an author becomes well calculated. The Big 6 know what sells in masses. Unfortunately except for children’s genre it may not be clean as defined by the general public. Who by the way is the fuel for the traditional publishers. They buy the not so clean books. They buy the Indie author books as well but not in the same numbers as the traditional methods. Yes the public’s mouth says one thing but their pocketbook says another. In marketing money spent speaks loudly.

What Is

As an author you can write that which suits your inner artist or you can write that which sells. We do both after all we have to eat. Writers are not alone in this. Singers often sing songs that they are not particularly fond of because the audience or service needs it. Painters often pick a theme and create a series of portraits for marketing. Which brings me back to the central theme of my second novel set in Hyderabad. No villian but plenty of people solving a problem and trying to make a living. The villian is corruption and will be tied to a person’s action. The action itself will be trying to make a living not an intentional act to commit a crime. It results in many people becoming permanently ill for a lifetime.

It’s much harder to write and develop.

I have had to learn ways to create the flow psychologically rather than with action events to build to a climax. It caused the characters in the book to do introspection. The good news is you learn more about the characters. Despite the struggle of writing it, it has made me a better writer. The first novel was pure pleasure to create. The second one leaves me feeling uncomfortable at times. Nearly unsettled. More of a call to “think and let think.” The novel does not have all the answers. Everything does not wrap up neatly in a package like life.

What Is To Come

I am reluctant to write the climax in this novel. The one caught in the corruption essentially was a good man who became greedy for more money. In an act that on personal level seems harmless once distributed destroys the life of many. The fact is we all do small acts that result in corruption. Some of us get put in prison for it and others live freely. Like buying a product created by child labor because you want items cheaply. Child labor as the child has no choice. The whole novel has small struggles throughout it on several levels. At the end Sharlene will have her family and friends. More aware but less innocent.

In the middle of putting food on the table with my other writings, the outline of a third novel has come. Bangalore. positive muslim character, and high tech hijinks. It keeps interrupting. I have to write the climax. I HAVE to write the climax. I must write the climax to novel 2. But not tonight. I have to eat and set up for a client.

Angst, redemption, and then renewal.

Until next time may your life be Love, Joy and ever positive,

Mary

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