Jonathan Emrys's Blog

May 25, 2013

Lucy to Winston. Lucy to Winston. Come in, Winston. Ah, there you are Winston. I thought I'd lost you. Are you ready? Then let's get started, shall we?

I was scared. Really scared. Roscoe took me to a club called "The First Decade" last night. My first time there. I was having a pretty good time . . . at first. Then I met a couple of guys, and well . . . it just went downhill from there. I don't know how I made it through the night, but someone was watching over me.

Well, today I was given a second chance, so I took it. I decided to give a second chance to Roscoe, who lost the one thing most valuable to him in the world, just to protect me. So I went down the street a ways, and found that big store everyone was talking about. No, Winston, it wasn't a tattoo parlor. I've had enough of that already. No, this was that big name, high-end, expensive store. Still not a tattoo parlor, Winston. While I was in there, I was introduced to a really nice man. Really cute too, for a 39 year old. He doesn't look that old either. Still looks like a boy to me. I was surprised when he said he was almost 40. You would think that his job would've aged him more. He told me that he was a Company Commander in the Army. As it turns out, he knew Jane. Small world. Only I couldn't tell him I knew her as well. How could someone looking like me explain to someone like him that I knew Jane? That would give her away.

Commander Cody . . . that's what his Company calls him. As it turns out, he flew the KHARON-451 "Shock Copter" that saved Jane's life. But he wasn't a Commander at that time. Apparently he risked his career by stealing the Copter from the impound yard as it was awaiting destruction. Luckily the Pentagon forgave the stunt and didn't bring him up on insubordination charges for it. They actually saw it as "heroic". But they couldn't say that publicly. He's shipping back out to Egypt next week. He gave me his number. Maybe I'll get to see him again. Don't give me that look, Winston. I'm not cheating on anyone.

I ran into Patti in Little Tokyo. She told me where to find Roland, so I stopped by his office in the Prometheus Building next to TDD. Small world again, huh? I asked him what kind of work he was doing, and do you know what he told me? He said he was resurrecting the future. I sincerely hope he can. I can hardly wait to see it. Considering I completely missed it the first time.

Well, one more month until my Birthday. Commander Cody just had his, back in May, on the 25th. He said his men gave him a big party at the barracks. I'm sorry I missed it. Apparently someone had made Paprikas Csirke. I would like to have given that a try. Probably not as good as mine anyway.

Oh, well. Commander Cody, I wish you a safe journey, and Happy Belated Birthday! This is Lucy signing off!
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Published on May 25, 2013 23:30 • 60 views • Tags: jonathan-emrys, scarecrows

September 16, 2012

Scarecrows [A DANDY World] combines the whimsy of Mr. Data with one of the most insightful investigations of the mechanical mind since Asimov’s series. Jonathan Emrys creates some of the best SF imagery since his hero, Ray Bradbury.” -- Dan Nieuwsma, Laser Physicist and SF fan
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Published on September 16, 2012 13:57 • 132 views • Tags: asimov, mr-data, ray-bradbury, scarecrows

August 24, 2012

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Published on August 24, 2012 21:47 • 73 views • Tags: kindle, scarecrows

August 15, 2012

"Tolerance is . . ." by Lucy Barnes. Thursday, July 5, 2035.

by SCARECROWS: A DANDY World on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 11:29pm ·.

**********

Frederick left me a gift tonight. I found it in front of my door when I got home. When I first met him at TDD last week, I was afraid of him. He scared me. Not because of what he said to me, or about me. And not because of how he felt about me -- he said he hated me because of what I am, but not for who I am. He didn't know who I was, because he didn't want to know me. He wanted to hate me. He needed to hate me . . . to take away the pain.

I knew I shouldn't be afraid of him. But I was afraid of what he was going to do to me. Not because he hated me, but because he's paid to do those things to me. But it's the law, and there's no escaping the law. But he didn't scare me anymore -- after I knew his pain, what was behind his pain. It could've ended badly, but it didn't, and the gift he left me tonight is proof of it. He just had to see me for who I am, whoever that may be. When he could finally look past what I am, he saw me. He stared directly into my soul and discovered me for the first time. And then he wasn't afraid of me any longer, just as I was no longer afraid of him. He embraced me, surprising even himself. He's a lovely boy, once you get to know him, and I'm pleased it ended well.

Winston, I want you to write down my poem now. It's a poem about my experience with Frederick.


Tolerance is accepting someone for who they are, not what they are.
Tolerance is accepting that you may never agree on some things.

Tolerance is allowing discourse to work out your differences.
Tolerance is allowing someone to speak their mind, freely.

Tolerance is not a force to bend free will.
Tolerance is not a vacuum to silence a free voice.

Tolerance is never accusatory.
Tolerance is never the extreme.

Tolerance is a two-way street, where neither side collides.
Tolerance is a six-sided die, that falls where it lands.

Tolerance is seeing into each other's eyes, and listening through each other's ears.
Tolerance is seeing opinion for what it is, and having your own.

Tolerance is always a disagreement, but never an argument.
Tolerance is always a state of mind over matter, never a matter of states over minds.

Tolerance is sometimes difficult to maintain, but maintainable.
Tolerance is sometimes easy, when both sides agree to disagree.

Tolerance is everyone's wish, not just yours.
Tolerance is everyone's responsibility, not just theirs.

Tolerance is easy to say, but hard to do.
Tolerance is easy to do, but only if you want to.


This is Lucy Barnes, signing off. Until next time.
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Published on August 15, 2012 19:31 • 246 views
"HORSE and Bugged Me" by Lucy Barnes. Wednesday, July 4, 2035..

by SCARECROWS: A DANDY World on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 10:53pm.

******************

Winston, I want you to sit this one out tonight. Sam will be taking your place. Just this once. You’re not offended are you? You understand, right? Sam is still new and he needs to feel like one of the family. Thank you, Winston. You’ll do the next one again, okay? Good.

Sam, pencil at the ready. And . . . write!

I’m a little perturbed with a couple of men tonight. One of whom was Doctor Pratt, who accused me of something I never did. But would’ve if I wasn’t stopped. And he accused me of lying! Okay, I did, but who’s to say I didn’t? It was none of his darned business anyway, and he knew it. Luckily he didn’t have anything to pin on me, so I slid out of that one free and clear. And this is the land of the free, and the home of the brave, right? It’s very apropos, as today is the Fourth of July. And that’s how Sam and I met – in Doctor Pratt’s office. How’s everything working out for you now, Sam? Nice to have a home, isn’t it? Yes, I like you to. But stripes? Really. Not flattering, just not flattering.

That jackass Brosnan also peeved me a lot tonight. Acted all nice and jackassy like normal, then he threw me to the wolves. He may not know everything I’ve been through, but that doesn’t give him the right to put me in a room where I can’t even defend myself, because I didn’t even know it was my fault. That effing jackass! It’s not like I intentionally made it happen. I never even suspected that it was me who caused all that trouble. Maybe if someone had told me 6 years ago, I would understand it better, but no one said a word.

No, Sam, you’re doing just fine. Wow. You’re doing better than Winston. Don’t tell Winston I said that. Thank you.

But on the bright side . . . Sorry, I found that funny. Bright side. Hah. Bright side, because I watched fireworks in the park. They made the most beautiful displays. Pop, crackle, and boom! All those pretty bright lights. Too bad about Terry, though. I really like Terry. He taught me a new game, called "HORSE". I so kicked his butt! Not literally. Now, he’s not the kind of man I’d normally fancy (though he is built like the kind of man I'd like to fancy), but since jackass Brosnan acted like such a golden jackass tonight, Terry’s looking a whole heck of a lot more like a viable alternative. I have to get up early, so I’ll skip dinner tonight and get some sleep. I hope I don’t dream about him. That would be annoying. Oh, great, I’d probably dream about the Doctor and Brosnan, both wagging their fingers at me and accusing me of all sorts of naughty things. And if I wasn’t stopped, I might’ve gone through with some of them. But there’s still time for me to be naughty. But, Sam, I’m not apologizing to him. It wasn’t my fault, and he can just sit and stew about it all night, as far as I’m concerned. Oh, crap. I forgot my crock pot. This is Lucy Barnes, signing off! Until next time!

By-the-way, Sam . . . you did an excellent job. Thumbs up to you. Winston better watch his back.
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Published on August 15, 2012 19:27 • 83 views
"Death and Taxes" by Lucy Barnes. Wednesday, June 27, 2035..

by SCARECROWS: A DANDY World on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 6:44pm.

*************

Okay, Winston, here we go again. Don’t look at me, it was your idea. Yes, you’re cute. And cuddly, I might add. Now get crack’n, young man! Write!


I’m trying keep my smile today. Yesterday morning, a young man was killed on a bus. Well outside of the bus technically. He and another man. I saw it on the news. He saved everybody’s life, the young man did. I was surprised that he was recognized as being a hero. I was surprised because his type usually aren’t recognized at all, for anything. I can relate to him. I would like to have known him. He looked sweet. But he’s dead now. I didn’t even know him, and I feel so much for him. No, Winston, I’m not going to cry. I’m not allowed. How can he be dead? How could he be alive? It hurt me when I saw the footage. So many things went racing through my mind, and all that I could focus on was his face, his smile. He had one, for a short while. You could tell that he smiled a lot. He had one of those faces. But the explosion destroyed his smile. But I think he still smiles. I wonder where he went. Could he go anywhere? Would he be allowed? Would God accept him? Would God keep him from Heaven, just because he’s, you know, different? That wouldn’t be fair. I lit a candle for him on the way home from my appointment today. I’d like to think he can see it, from wherever he is now.


Don’t worry, Winston, I’m going to be okay. No, I said I’m not going to cry. After all, I don’t see you crying. So who are you to speak? Just put pencil to paper, young man, and keep your comments to yourself. I am not eavesdropping. Do you want me to stop now? Okay then, let’s just keep going.


Saw Doctor Pratt again yesterday. He seemed to think I was going to forget about my appointment today. He had to mention it a couple of times, like I’m a complete doofus or something. I may not have a degree like him, but I’m not stupid. I make a good living with the brain I was given. I bet he couldn’t sort invoices or supervise staff like I can. He should be so lucky. But I did get him to laugh. He was agitated about a peer of his. I could tell he didn’t like the guy, even though he didn’t say who it was. But whoever it was, I don’t like him either, just out of principle.


Okay, Winston, I’m getting to that. Don’t rush me. What Winston wanted me to say was that I kept my appointment today. It was nerve-wracking to say the least. But I met a very sweet young woman who works the front desk. She makes her own clothes, can you believe that? Even I don’t make my own clothes. But I really don’t have to, do I? I get mine at wholesale, or less. No, I don’t want you to put in a *wink* thingy. No, I don’t have to be that obvious, it’s not that difficult to get.


Anyway, it was nice to know I didn’t have to get a probe shoved up anywhere. That didn’t sound very polite, Winston. Change that to “didn’t have to get probed”. No, that also didn’t sound right. How about, “didn’t get an extensive exam”. That sounds better, doesn’t it? Don’t care. It’s how I want it to read. But the young man was very gentle with me, and I learned more about death today. It comes in many forms, and it touches so many people in so many ways. And sometimes it’s not as quick as with the boy on the bus. It hurts . . . everyone.


Okay, now remember that thing I was going to do, that I knew I shouldn’t do? I did it. And I’m already regretting it. I just know it’s going to get me into trouble. I just know it. I was a little scared at one point. Winston, replace “scared” with . . . no, not “frightened”, replace it with “concerned”. Thank you. Just a little concerned that I was going to get hurt. Okay, I was scared. But it worked out okay. And I learned something. It’s not just me. I’m not the only one who feels the same way about the government, that they’re too overbearing and controlling. Bruno felt that I am amongst the privileged, and therefore he didn’t think that I have to pay for anything, and that everything is just handed to me, and that I have it better than him. But it’s not true. I pay my own rent, and I have to work for a living, and I have to pay taxes just like everyone else. Just because I wasn’t born like everyone else in this country, doesn’t mean I don’t have to follow the same rules, or laws. I’m stuck paying all my bills just like him, and I also hate the government. Winston, change that to “hate the bureaucracy”. You don’t know who might be reading this.


About an hour ago, I di see . . . Winston, it’s “did” not “di”. You forgot a “d”. Yes you did! Just add it, or it won’t make sense. Thank you. Now, anyway, as I was sailing before I was so rudely misspelled . . . You did it again. Not “did”, change “sailing” to “saying”. No, it doesn’t make sense that I was “sailing”. Again, I was SAYING I did see that young man down the hall again today. Guess what? I spoke with him. I did too. You were there, you saw me talk to him. Oh, that’s write your eyes were covered. Sorry. So, his name is Roscoe Evans. He’s even cuter up close. Wait. Winston, fix “write” to “right” please? Thanks. So, he’s really cute, but he’s a real jackass. Not all the time. At least I don’t want to believe so. A couple times I think I saw something that he was hiding, just behind his eyes. Why not, Winston? It’s not like I’m dating anyone. Who cares if they don’t approve! They don’t have to know . . . yet. At least not until it’s serious. And with him, I’m not too sure if he takes anything serious. We’ll just have to wait and see.


Well, I guess it’s time to sign off again. Oooh, wait! I almost forgot. Pasadena City College Flea Market is this weekend. I’m so jazzed! I’m going to check to see if there are any folk art pieces around there. I have a theory . . . and it’s not a demon, dancing or otherwise. It’s just something I suspect, but won’t know for sure until I have a good look around, at all the tables. No, you silly little boy, I don’t need sunscreen. You keep that up, young man, and you’ll be left at home. Do you really want that? No? Good. I’m thinking Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches tonight. What do you think? I know it’s not glamorous, but it’ll be fun. This is Lucy Barnes, signing off! Until next time!
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Published on August 15, 2012 19:26 • 86 views
"My New Therapist" by Lucy Barnes. Wednesday, June 13, 2035..

by SCARECROWS: A DANDY World on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 6:14pm ·

**********************

Okay, Winston, I'm ready. Of course I trust you. When I first saw you an hour ago, I couldn't resist your frizzy hair, your goofy smile, and your pert cheeks. The way you looked at me melted my heart and I was instantly in love with you. I just had to take you home with me! Don't be silly, Winston, not like that. It's more of a sisterly love. Besides, you have a reputation to uphold. So do we start now? Okay . . . start writing.


I had my first visit with my new therapist yesterday. His name is Doctor Joseph Pratt. He's younger than Doctor Foster. I'm still amazed that Doctor Foster had a baby at the age of 62. I heard that health care, and in particular fertility techniques, has come a long way since the early oughts. Apparently, the DANDY was extremely instrumental in helping to discover certain chemicals to help stave off menopause and revitalize fertility in older patients. That's amazing, I think. Not that I'd know very much about it, other than what I read in the Doctor's waiting room.


Anyway, now that Doctor Foster has retired, they brought in a new OGL therapist named Doctor Pratt. Winston, did I already say that? I did? Okay, then leave that out and re-word the first part of it better, okay? Thanks.


Anyway, Doctor Pratt was very nice, but I could feel him wanting to scold me for what I did. I know what I did was wrong, and he knows it too. But luckily he didn't scold me, though he had that look like he was going to. Although, I really didn't see "scold" anywhere on his face. He actually looked like he felt bad for me, and understood what I did. No, that's not right. He can’t be that nice. It must be an act. Maybe not. He did smile at the right things, and he did seem to have some problems controlling his smiles. But he had a cute smile. I like his teeth. They have these little imperfections on the canines that make him kind of cute. No, leave that part out, okay Winston? Thanks.


I’ve decided to do something. Something I shouldn’t do. But I can’t talk about it, or I might get in trouble. I have an appointment I have to keep in 2 weeks that Doctor Pratt is making for me, because of what I already did, and I’m really not looking forward to it. Do you ever get that feeling in your gut that screams, “Don’t do it!” That’s what’s going on in my proverbial gut right now, and also right after he first told me I had to go. It goes against everything I believe in. I don’t believe I should have to keep that appointment. I believe it’s wrong. They should just leave me alone, and be who I am, and let me do what I want. That, and there’s something about that place that scares me. Winston, change it from “scares me” to “makes me nervous”. Thanks. I don’t want to sound like I’m a frightened little girl. I am not! I’m 25 years old. Yes, I am! I am! Don’t argue with me, young man. You know I am. At least for another couple of months, anyway, then I have another birthday. No, you don’t get one. You’re still new. Now, where was I?


Okay, well, anyway . . . I saw that young man down the hall again today. I’m still trying to get up the never . . . Winston, did you just write “never”. “Nerve”. It’s “Nerve”, not “never”. May I continue please? Thank you. As I was saying . . . I’m still trying to get up the nerve to talk to him. I think under all that stuff he wears on him, he’s covering up something special. And I think he’s a cutie. Well, if I could see his face clearly, he probably would be. He has a facial bone structure under all that stuff that really makes him kind of . . . handsome. Clean him up and he’s a catch, I think. I wonder if he likes cotton candy? Winston, I’m hungry. And I’m tired of doing this. Let’s stop now, and I’ll make us a Tuna Casserole. You like that idea do you? Good. This is Lucy Barnes, shining off! That’s supposed to be “signing” off. Thank you. Until next time!
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Published on August 15, 2012 19:23 • 66 views

May 31, 2012

Well, first off our earlier forays into conventional publishing had not gone well. Years ago, I had contacted a very reputable publisher in the UK about a book idea that I had. I sent in the obligatory query letter, and they asked for a sample chapter and a book proposal. I sent these in, they declined, and then about a year later I find that they had taken a writer from their stable [who had NO previous expertise in the field], and had them do MY book, even using the same title. Strike one, conventional publishing. . .

Secondly, the Catch22 type of sitz to get an agent. You have to have had a book published, or a script sold to get an agent, but in order to get said book published or script sold you have to have an agent. Catcha22, strike two, conventional publishing. . .

Thirdly, all the trees that are cut down to make copy after copy of books that may never end up being sold. Strike three, conventional publishing. . .

So, we decided to self-publish with Amazon.com’s CreateSpace publishing program, and that way all of the above ‘strikes’ were avoided. We are willing to do all of our own leg work for the marketing, design, etc. and ONLY books that are ordered are printed – a far Greener option to conventional publishing. Our little bit to help save the forests, and the water table. Also, it would be harder for someone to steal our idea, as everything is controlled by us from the get go, and then we push the publish button when we are ready. No sending query letters, no sample chapters, etc, and giving folks the chance to run off with your idea. Sure, we do not have the huge advertizing budget that the big publishing houses do, but in the Internet age, there are other ways to get your book out there and seen. Also, there is a Kindle conversion option available via CreateSpace.

All of this said, it is not an easy task. You have to be confident in your editing, design, and writing skills. You have to be willing to work your bottom off making sure you have legal clearances if you need them, and to do all of self-promoting and marketing of your product. It is a gamble, but one we are willing to take, for another reason – ALL RIGHTS are retained by ourselves – no one can sell them out from under us.

We even learned how to write a Press Release using prlog.org a free press release website -- http://prlog.org/11879918. It is all a learning curve, but we are slowly getting the feel for it. CreateSpace does offer marketing and design services, but we could not afford them, and frankly we rather like doing everything ourselves. Thus far, we highly recommend CreateSpace for people who want to self-publish and who are not afraid to do the work. The market will control if our book is a success or not, we are now just waiting to see if people like it and what their reactions are to it. [This blog entry by Wendilyn Emrys, editor/co-publisher of Jonathan's books]
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Published on May 31, 2012 09:46 • 137 views • Tags: createspace, jonathan-emrys, prlog-org, scarecrows-a-dandy-world, self-publish, wendilyn-emrys

May 30, 2012

"Hello, world!" Those are the words computer programmers have used since the early days, to test the output of their applications. It was the first thing I was taught in 1980 when taking my very first "Data Processing" class, where I first learned Basic programming. I've since written in Fortran, Postscript, Javascript, Actionscript, HTML and Perl.

Most recently, I've written my first full-length novel, "SCARECROWS: A DANDY World". "What the heck does that have to do with computer programming?" you may well ask. The answer is simple: The story is about the marriage of machines and an algorithm, a complex formula which creates the "spark of life" itself in electronic devices, and brings to life Artificial Humans known as "Humes".

The year is 2035, and the world becomes reliant on this new algorithm dubbed the "DANDY", and when a glitch is discovered in the DANDY, the world is immediately reactionary and wants to destroy every electronic device carrying that algorithm. This, unfortunately, results in the destruction of tens of thousands of living beings never considered alive until too late. This is a critical path that we face in our own future now. The story depicts a new race of beings who have to face all the same hurdles that have plagued Humans throughout the ages, including bigotry and ostrasizm. This book is filled with stereotypes, which in time are all shattered. Tolerance, kindness, respect, and common courtesy are all themes that are tackled by my lead character, Lucy, who finds that these kinds of behavior exist far too little in her world; the world of the future. But it's not so different than the world we live in now.

Lucy's natural ability to bring out the best in people, and to shed a glimmer of light on the hidden gold within the harshest of Humans, is her gift. But can she convince others to see below the gruff exteriors, or frightening looks of those you would rather avoid than to approach? Can any of us do the same? Okay, I know, I'm getting all [insert whatever word you want to use here]. Possibly. But it's what I've had to face my whole life, from both sides, at one time or another. So, I say again, "Hello, world!" and welcome to my future.

SCARECROWS  A DANDY World (Vol 1) by Jonathan Emrys
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Published on May 30, 2012 18:51 • 110 views • Tags: androids, artificial-intelligence, robots, scarecrows