First Draft of Catalyst – Work in Progress

I completed the first draft of my next novel titled Catalyst! Now on to revisions. But I’m going to savor this moment for a little while. More adventures with Marcie and Eric Horton. This time they are fighting Fracking in southern Indiana and much, much more!

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Excerpt from THE FIELD – Eric connects with the Universal Energy Field, but can he believe it?

Eric’s class is on a field trip to the coal gasification plant in this scene.

Finally, we’re back outside at the side of the plant where the trucks tip their loads of coal into the processing area. Our chirpy guide is saying, “There’s a picnic area along the shore of the Eagle River where you will have your bag lunches, and Mr. Asplunth, the plant foreman, will come out while you’re eating and answer any of your questions.”

Shit. I look over at Will, whose face has hardened again. The prickly feeling intensifies and, instinctively, my muscles tense, ready. Miss Chirpy continues now with an even bigger smile on her face. “I understand that one of you is Will Asplunth, the foremen’s son? Will, would you like to come inside and visit with your dad?” She looks at us happily, searching for Will.

All the students turn to look for Will as well. Standing beside me, he says through clenched teeth, “No, thanks. I’m going to eat on the bus.” He turns abruptly and starts jogging across the unloading area toward the parking lot.

No! Stop! It explodes into my brain and before I can think I’m lunging towards Will and grabbing him by the arm; yanking him back towards me. I sense more than see out of the corner of my eye, the dump truck coming fast around the corner barreling towards us.  I’ve pulled him so hard that his momentum brings him crashing into me and we hit the ground, scraping and bruising ourselves on the asphalt and landing in a tangle of arms and legs. The dump truck, going much slower now, makes a wide turn around our group and passes harmlessly by where Will and I lay on the ground.

“What the hell? Will says, angrily, shoving me away from him and clambering to his feet. “What was that for? I can’t believe you actually threw me to the ground.”

“That dump truck, I though it was going to hit you,” I stammer out. I knew it was going to hit him and I just reacted. But it didn’t even come close.

“What are you, like Superman or something?” he says sarcastically. “It was nowhere near me.”

“I’m sorry. I though it was. I guess i was wrong.” I can’t believe this. I was trying to save him from getting hit by a truck and I’m apologizing.  I feel like a complete idiot. The entire class is staring at Will and me. He’s glaring down at me, and I’m still on the ground, blood dripping onto the asphalt from where the skin is scraped off my arm.

Will takes a deep breath and lets out a whoosh of air. “It’s cool man. Sorry for yelling at you.” He extends his hand towards me to help me up. “Just don’t pull that shit on me again, okay?” He gives a half-hearted laugh.

Mr. Ogle comes over to see if we’re okay and find out what’s going on. Then our guide takes the class over to the grassy area by the river for lunch and goes off in search of a first aid kit. I sit down in the shade under a tree, and Renee comes over to sit beside me. She puts her hand on my wrist below a spot on my arm where most of the skin is scraped off.

“Are you okay?” she asks, her eyes wide with concern. “What happened?” What did just happen? My goalkeeper instincts kicked in when I though Will was in danger, but how did I know that? The truck didn’t come anywhere near him. I had an uneasy feeling all day, and then the sudden flash of danger! Had I been wrong?

“I don’t know. I guess I thought the dump truck was going to hit Will and I pulled him out of the way. I didn’t think, I just reacted.” I lean my head back against the tree.

“Why did you think it was going to hit him?” It’s a reasonable question, but do I have a reasonable answer? If anyone would believe me, it would be Renee, so I decide to tell her the truth.

“It just flashed into my head when he started to jog across the parking lot. I didn’t even see the truck at first. I just knew he was in danger.” I shake my head and shrug. “But I guess I was wrong.”

“Maybe,” she says. “Or maybe you really did save him.”

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“It’s like knowing without thinking.” ~ Eric Horton from THE FIELD

I thought I would share some quotes from my novel The Field about connecting with the Unified Field and ‘All That Is’. I hope you enjoy them and perhaps they will make you ponder.

This one is when Eric is describing what it feels like when he’s in the soccer goal and he simply knows where the ball is going.

“I don’t want to make too big a deal about it with Will, but sometimes I just get a feeling of knowing. It just flashes into my head. Maybe it’s from years of playing, but when it happens it feels different then reacting on instinct without thinking. It’s like knowing without thinking.” ~ Eric Horton, The Field

Do you have this kind of intuitive knowing or connection? I’d love to hear what it is like for you.

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Work in Progress – Aliens and Earth in Crisis

I’m about a quarter of the way through with the very rough draft of my next untitled novel. Titles are really hard and I’m hoping for some inspiration to strike somewhere in the writing process!

As in my other books there is an environmental theme. I’m very concerned about what humans are doing to our planet with pollution, nuclear radiation, fracking, and burning fossil fuels. There is a lot of evidence that what we do harms the planet and I believe that there is a limit to what the Earth can absorb of our throw-away culture. There are better, healthier alternatives to plastic waste, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and fossil fuels. Don’t even get me started on antibacterial soap! Antibiotics are turning up in mountain stream water! We just have to show a commitment on a personal level. What you do does matter. Corporations and governments won’t change of their own volition. They change in response to economic pressures – buying habits of consumers – and public pressure – how we vote. My way of showing my commitment is to include these issues in my books interwoven with stories of normal teens.

In THE FIELD the characters learn about and interact with The Universal Energy Field and the Collective Consciousness. This book will have aliens. Or star-beings, or extra-terrestrials – whatever you want to call them. If you think about the vastness of the Universe – billions of galaxies, billions of stars with billions of planets – I think it is naive, and really arrogant, as well,  to assume that we are the only form of intelligent life out there. Or that we are the most advanced form of life. These other life forms could be so advanced that they could already be here without our knowledge. At least the knowledge of the general population. There are certainly enough UFO sightings by credible sources such as airline pilots and military personnel to make one wonder about it.

A lot of books and movies about aliens have them attacking Earth. Then there are movies such as Interstellar, ET, Contact, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. What if that is the truth? What if star-beings don’t mean to harm us, but want to help us? Are we ready to accept their help?

Here are some sites with more information.

Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute – SETI – Carl Sagan Center

Institute of Noetic Sciences – IONS Founded by Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell – Science and Consciousness

Goodreads ARC Giveaway

My Goodreads Advance Review Copy giveaway for THE FIELD is open! It will run from Tuesday, June 18th until Tuesday, July 9th. I’m giving away 20 copies (yes, you read that right, 20 copies) in exchange for a review posted on Goodreads. SIGN UP TO WIN! One of my friends always says “Free is Good” and so is getting a copy of THE FIELD before everyone else!

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This is a picture of deep space taken by the Hubble telescope. Scientists pointed it at a place in space the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length that they thought was EMPTY and left it to gather light for a week to see what they would find. What they found was over 10,000 galaxies. These points of light aren’t just stars, they are GALAXIES each composed of billions of stars. In a point the size of a grain of sand. Mind Blown.

In THE FIELD I explore the idea that there is much more out there in the Universe than we can see or even fully understand.

Here’s a little excerpt teaser from THE FIELD:

To set up the scene – Eric is over at Renee’s house for a ‘homework date.’ She’s not ready yet, so he has to hang out in the kitchen with her father, Dr. Auberge, a prominent physicist who’s running thought experiments that Eric has participated in. 

“Ah, hello. It’s Eric, correct?” Dr. Auberge says. “You must be here to see Renee.”

“Yes, sir. We’re doing homework together.”

“Well, come in, then.” He holds open the door for me. “Renee!” He calls up the stairs, “You have a visitor!”

“Okay, I need to clean up my paint and brushes. I’ll be down in a minute.” She replies from somewhere on the second floor.

“Come back to the kitchen. No telling how long a minute could be.” Great. One-on-one time with dad. You’d think that I’d jump at the chance to get in good with him because of the internship, but I’m pretty sure that dating his daughter isn’t one of the selection criteria. Might even count against me. “Would you like something to drink? Water, soda?” asks Dr. Auberge.

“No, thanks, I’m good.” I find a spot to stand by the kitchen table and try not to look too uncomfortable.

“Please, sit down,” he gestures to the table and pulls out a chair for himself. I sit on the edge of the chair nearest me, nervous because I’m wondering if I’m going to get the ‘potential boyfriend’ grilling. I want to be ready to jump up and leave as soon as Renee comes down, but he says, “Stephen told me about your results on the remote viewing study. Impressive for your first session without any training. Also, the fact that you and your friend are not a ‘couple’ in the strictest sense. One or both of you has a very well developed enhanced consciousness.”

Here’s the enhanced consciousness again. “Uh, what do you mean?” I stumble out. Not the direction I expected the conversation to go.

“Well, usually for subjects who have a high score initially, we find that it’s not the first time they’ve experienced enhanced consciousness. It might be that they have premonitions or maybe coincidences occur frequently for them. Or it could be more like feelings of deja-vu or dreams or that they are more perceptive of the feelings of people around them. Most likely other things, too, that they aren’t even fully aware of.” I just stare at him for a minute. I think my mouth might even be hanging open.

“Is that true for you?” He looks at me inquiringly. It’s as if he knows something about me that I didn’t even fully recognize myself. I’m a little apprehensive, but also curious.

Cautiously I say, “Yeah, I guess I’ve had some of those things happen, but I’ve never thought much about it,” I try to shrug it off.

“What sort of things do you experience?” He’s leaning back in his chair, apparently having a casual conversation, but the way he’s focused on me makes me think that he’s intently listening. I figure I might as well tell him about the soccer stuff.

“Sometimes when I’m in the goal, it’s almost like a thought pops into my head, and I suddenly know where the shot will be going or which way I should dive. I’ve always thought it was athletic instinct or something like that. I’ve tried out some sports psychology stuff about visualizing the outcome you want, so I figured maybe it had something to do with that.”

“It could be instinctive athleticism or that you are subconsciously reading the behavior of the other players, or,” he pauses for emphasis. “You could be tapping into the Collective Consciousness.”

“What’s that?” I feel like The Twilight Zone theme song should be playing in the background.

“It’s called many things; the Akashic Record, the Universal Stream of Consciousness, and by some, God. Many eastern religions believe that we are all connected to each other and to what you could call God or higher consciousness by our thoughts and that thoughts have power, or even energy. Science is just now recognizing the power of thought. As you said, visualization is used frequently in sports, but there is much more to it than that.” I’m thinking that I am in store for a really out-there conversation with Dr. Auberge, but I’m saved when Renee comes into the kitchen and puts her hand lightly on my shoulder. I didn’t hear her come in so it startles me a little. The conversation with Dr. Auberge was getting pretty intense. At some deep level it resonates with me, but at the same time, thinking that there’s a Universal Stream of Consciousness seems straight out of a science fiction novel. It’s hard to believe that it could actually be real.

The Field Advance Review Copies are here!

It’s official! The Field (October, 2013 Luminis Books) is up on the Luminis website and on Amazon and the Midpoint Trade Book site!

Advance Review Copies are here and going out to reviewers. Over the weekend I was signing books at BookExpo America (BEA)and I will be at ALA (American Library Association) in Chicago on June 29th and 30th. Here’s the cover ~designed by my son, Alex Katsaropoulos. Excited doesn’t even describe how I feel!

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At BEA signing books!

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Is Eric Horton’s skill in the soccer goal due to his athletic ability, or something much, much more?

THE FIELD delves into metaphysical topics of The Universal Energy Field and The Collective Consciousness. Is THE FIELD science fiction? Paranormal? I’m not really sure. Here’s what one author had to say about it:

“The idea behind THE FIELD is a brilliant blend of soccer, science and fiction. True-to-life characters, contemporaty environmental issues, and engaging metaphysical principals skirt the edges of science fiction and magical realism in this modern coming-of-age novel.” Laurie Gray, author of MAYBE I WILL and SUMMER SANCTUARY