Author: Jen Talty (page 1 of 4)

Techno Thursday: Beam Me Up Scotty!

Right now I’m thinking a transporter that can take me from Rochester, NY to Madagascar would be pretty cool considering I hate flying and the trip to Madagascar is pretty long. 3 Planes to be exact. Two of them over 8 hours long. Me not a happy camper. Then again, do I really want all my whatever’s split apart then put back together on the other end? What would happen if a tiny little piece of me got left behind? Would I still be me? Maybe Cool Gus’ Science Advisor can help out with the idea of a transporter and quantum teleportation because that is out my league!

I’m going to stick with the “communicator”, which Captain Kirk never left home…I mean his ship…without one. If he needed some quick info while on some strange faraway planet, all he had to do was take out his trusty communicator and call the Starship Enterprise.

Star Trek aired in 1966. We landed on the moon in 1969. That was broadcasted on televisions across the nation. In 1973 a senior engineer at Motorola made the first mobile phone call.

So was Star Trek really ahead of its time.

Oh yeah, baby.

First, the transmission from the moon: NASA had to have stations on three continents. They had to have a 200 foot in diameter radio dish. Ha. I had Dish TV a very long time ago, and I thought 5 feet was huge!

As far as the first mobile phone call? The battery had to charge for 10 hours and it only lasted 30 minutes. Motorola didn’t come out with its first commercial mobile phone until 1983 at the tune of 4,000.00. I shudder to think the roaming charges on that sucker.

While we did have the technology to communicate without telephone wires long before it happened, it always takes a while for the technology to get to the point where the masses can afford them. Or see a need for them. Then can’t live without them.

We think technology moves fast and changes fast. It does, once it gets to the point where everyone is getting one. Cell phones really didn’t become popular (out side of wealthy people) until Nokia and Motorola started making small devices or flip phones at affordable prices, and the cost to use them went down, in the late 90’s. I think today we call them dumb phones. Remember texting on those suckers? The first Blackberry in 1999 was more like a small PDA with a keyboard.

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Have to admit the flip phone looks an awful lot like the communicator!

So the question really is, how much of technology comes from shows like Star Trek?

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And just for fun. Short clip from the original series. Notice the use of the communicator!

Time Travel Thursday: 999 A.D.

On maps of old, those blank spaces beyond the known world were marked: Here There Be Monsters.

Every Thursday, I’m going to present a snippet of fiction mixed with history, based on the series I’m focusing on now, Time Patrol. The core of this the motto of the Time Patrol from George Orwell’s 1984: “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”

Off the East Coast of England, 999 A.D. 29 October

Roland was ready for battle, a sword in his hand rather than a machinegun, but the general concept was the same: Fell deeds awakening against the forces of darkness.

And here be the monster as a thick, ropy tentacle lunged up out of the water. At the tip was a mouth fringed with sharp teeth, snapping, searching for flesh. It hit one of the Vikings directly into the chest, the teeth boring deep. The man slashed at the creature with his sword even as he died.

The Viking leader was fast to the defense with Roland at his side, almost as fast. They battled desperately as more tentacles came out of the water. Roland sliced through one, stomping down with his leather boot on the snapping end, crushing the teeth. To his right, another Viking was lifted into the air, tentacle wrapped around his chest. The unfortunate warrior was pulled down into the black water, disappearing. The man never cried out in terror or for help, swinging his sword even as he was taken into darkness. It was the way a Viking should be taken, weapon in hand, guaranteeing a place in the hall of Valhalla.

If such a place exists.

But warriors need to believe in something beyond themselves, whether it be country, flag, unit, comrades or Valhalla.

kraken5Neeley had told Roland of these creatures, the kraken.

He was elated to finally meet one.

Roland jabbed the point of his sword directly into the mouth end of a tentacle, right between the teeth as it came straight for him. The sword went in and then further in, the teeth snapping down on the steel, getting closer and closer to his hand, finally stopping at the cross-shaped haft before the tentacle pulled back, dripping gore.

It is 999 A.D. The last year before the turn of the first millennium Anno Domini. In another part of the world, the Samanid Dynasty, encompassing parts of Iraq and Afghanistan, ceases to exist after crumbling under an invasion from the north. Not for the first time and not for the last time, that region of the world is convulsed in conflict. Across the sea to the west of England, Christianity is being officially adopted in Iceland. Gerbert of Aurillac becomes Pope Silvester II, succeeding Pope Gregory V. He is the first French Pope and introduces the western world to the decimal system using Arabic numbers. He would thus be accused of studying magical arts and astrology in Islamic cities, with charges that he was a sorcerer in league with the devil.

Black Tuesday CoverSome things change; some don’t.

And here, on a Viking longship, Roland was facing creatures of legend while on a mission whose objective he wasn’t exactly certain of. But he had a shield and a sword and he was in the company of fierce warriors in the midst of a battle.

Roland was at home.

Time Patrol: Black Tuesday

Love burns hotter in the Hamptons! Come Play…

Please welcome Jennifer Probst to house!

**********

I recently read a blog regarding the sale of Girls Scout Cookies.

It seemed there was a stagnancy in sales and it was becoming harder and harder to reach new cookie eaters. Every girl scout troop was bunked in front of Walmart or grocery stores, fighting for the same customers.

Until one troop thought outside the proverbial box. They set up shop in front of a marijuana shop in Colorado. And they sold a hell of a lot of cookies.

This got me to thinking of new ways to reach readers. I counsel writers to be authentic in connecting with their audience. Same thing my mom used to advise when trying to meet a nice boy. Do the things you love and he’ll show up eventually.

One of the things I love doing is online shopping. I find it actually relaxing—a way to experience the thrill of the mall and the hunt for clearance without every leaving my house. I also like to imagine how fabulous I’d look in outfits, or the heroines I’m currently writing. This led me over to Poshmark.com – a really cool place where women sell items in their closets for discount prices. I became not only hooked on the site, but the women who are involved. It is a friendly, supportive, fun community with strong minded, clever women—just the type of heroines I write about.

When I was re-issuing Summer Sins in a boxed set, I thought it would be fun to incorporate my love for shopping at Posh within the book. My heroine, Storme, is a fashion designer, and loves great clothes and fun accessories. She shops at the site for her upcoming wedding, and adds to her designer closet.  

Tweet this! I thought it would be fun to share some closets I’ve found and shopped with Poshmark — and I’ve also included a folder on my Pinterest page called Posh Picks. You can check out outfits and accessories Storme wears in the book! Look for the hashtag #jensposhpicks on all my social media sites to see my pick of the day!

The best part? You can buy the boxed set of Hot in the Hamptons for only .99—which includes Summer Sins! Three books together for under a buck — it doesn’t get any better than that. This is a very special sale and limited, so snatch it up in the next few days before it’s gone.

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Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Here are some of the closets I love at Posh!

 

If you get hooked like me, you can sign up for Poshmark and use my code JAGEU so you get a ten dollar discount on your first purchase. You can find me at Poshmark under @authorjenniferprobst at poshmark.com.

 I hope you all enjoy reading the boxed set, shopping for some great deals, and basking in the spring sun!

— Jen

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