"I laughed, cried, felt the urgency . . . the story will take you to another dimension of 'ahhh' moments of reflection and insight that will 'gotcha.' I could read this book again and again and get something more. I enjoyed i from the second I began to read."

"A thick slice of MaryAnn Easley pie. Oozing UFOs, sweet on science, and warm with fantasy. This veteran children's writer's many young fans should be satiated.....for now!"

Friday, February 12, 2016


Portal to Other Dimensions

When Jack came through my forest, I asked him, “Why do you look so unhappy?”
He scowled. “My life isn’t easy, you know.”
Neither is mine, I wanted to say, but my heart squeezed. I’m a sucker when it comes to Jack. The tiresome game never ends, but I closed my book and tried to be gentle. “I guess Abeyance is nothing like Alon.”
“Not in the least,” he said with a look that implied it’s my fault he’s stuck in a holding place. I wish I could say I’m innocent, but I’m not.
Showing off, he raised his hand and moved his ngers in a way that caused light to illuminate the trees in my forest. He managed to create a musical broadcast minus a radio with visible sounds in whirling colors and arching rainbows that seemed to spell out my name: Allana Odette Blair. I felt as if I’d stepped inside a 3-D movie, dreamlike and magical. 
Of course, seeing how much I loved the show, he took it all away by flicking a nger. Sweet revenge. 
“Gotcha,” he said.
Sweet Revenge

Disappointed and angry, I lashed out at him, “Why should I care?” I said. “You’re nothing to me. You don’t even exist.”
He smiled that crooked smile that always broke my heart.
I reached for him, but he moved out of reach and vanished into thin air.
That’s how it is with Jack, how it has been ever since our sixth birthday, and for years, I’ve had to tell myself that he’s dead. Dead!
We thought we’d rule the Land of Alon as Oliver and Odette.
The news of his death spread like ash along Oak Street, oating throughout the neighborhood and all over Los Angeles. It ltered out over telephone lines and drifted in gossip above backyard fences.
Soon everyone knew how Jack had died. As the years passed, my classmates became messengers who carried the story into junior high and high school. There’s Allana Odette Blair, the girl who killed her own twin brother.
It’s the truth.
Jack’s dead and buried in the rose garden behind Oak Street Church. He lies in a box under dirt with my Teddy bear, his name carved into a block of stone - John Oliver Blair, December 7, 1935 - December 7, 1941.
He’s dead, and yet, he lives!
 Even though he’s stuck in Abeyance, I’ve seen him a few times, not as a ghost but as a real boy grown tall and handsome and dressed in sky blue, a silver belt, and matching boots. He’s been at the oak tree dozens of times, and I’ve seen him walking the hallways at City High. Mostly, however, he comes at night through the redwood forest I painted on the walls of my room.
Mom refuses to speak of him and insists what I see is only a dream, so before I try to sleep, I pray to God for a dreamless night. Please, please, dear God, let me forget the awful thing I did.
It’s been years, however, and I’ll never forget. I can’t help Jack escape Abeyance either, because I don’t know how to let him go. My prayer is like a defective eraser. No matter how many times I erase, the details of that day remain as vivid as ever.
December 7, 1941 was our sixth birthday. As she started mixing batter for our cake, Mom turned on the radio. Sunday afternoon music was interrupted with news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Hawaii was a territory of the United States and that was too close to home. In Washington DC, President Franklin Roosevelt announced war, and war was exactly what Jack and I needed.
December 7, 1941 - Pearl Harbor

At six, our good-guy, bad-guy games had grown dull. Gun ghts at the Blair corral left me too quickly dead. I despised being an Injun to Jack’s cowboy, a black knight to his white. We played using our middle names, Oliver and Odette, but no matter the weapon—wooden pistols or cap guns, daggers or swords—he always caught me unaware, stepping on my shadow to steal my soul. Odette, the better warrior, was inevitably slain, my promise to Mom and my sacri ce for being born bigger and stronger and a girl.
In a panic, Mom and Dad grabbed us and rushed back to Oak Street Church. We found neighbors praying, listening to the radio, and wringing their hands. War was no joke; it was real. Dad joined the men as they constructed courage in the sanctuary. Mom helped the women prepare coffee in the kitchen. Jack and I made swords out of Reverend Macabee’s yardsticks from Ole’s and National Lumber. We whittled the ends with Dad’s pocketknife and used silver and gold paint meant for the Christmas pageant to cover the inch marks. Then we hid our weapons under bushes at the park.
My blood boiled for revenge. I relished the taste of patriotism in my mouth. I wanted to strike out and kill an enemy. Pearl Harbor, after all, was practically a part of the United States of America.
When church deacons decided that war was no discussion for women and children, Jack and I raced back to the park to retrieve our weapons.
It was time for a duel. In spite of Mom’s renewed warning to let Jack win—you may be bigger and stronger, Allana, but he’s the boy, after all—I pleaded to be Odette, the mighty all-American girl warrior, and I assigned him the lesser role of dirty-rotten yellow-bellied no-good bomb- dropping Japanese coward.
We quarreled. “I don’t wanna be a dirty Jap,” he bellowed. He was Oliver, he insisted, and destined to be King of Alon, a paradise much like Hawaii from all that Great-Aunt Grace had told us.
Heavy with the weight of war, I revealed that Alon was only a made-up story. “Everyone knows that there’s no such place,” I said.
Red in the face, Jack sneered as he raised his sword over his head. With a brutal cry, he brought it down hard on an unlucky lizard, cutting it in half.
Mom was standing a short distance away, shielding her eyes as she watched the sky for enemy planes. Even so, she overheard. “Leave him be, Allana. Let Jack have his way. He’s the boy and the rightful heir to the throne.”
I despised being second, always the girl, giving in, and always the loser. Sagging with her betrayal, I lowered my sword. My enemy attacked, stomping on my shadow to steal my soul. “Gotcha!”
That’s how the game is played. Thinking he’d won, he dropped his guard, and I saw my chance, moved in fast, and lunged, striking him hard. Gotcha back!
Killing a brother is killing yourself.

To my surprise, he lost his footing, slipped on long wet grass sheltering rock, and fell backward. Dreamlike, down, down, down. The sound—CRAAACK! —of his skull striking stone depleted oxygen from the air, and I couldn’t breathe.
Yes, I recall every detail of that day. We’d dueled many times as Oliver and Odette, but on that day I expected to step, at last, over my mortally wounded and vanquished brother and climb the rock-strewn mountain to the top. I could see myself raising my sword skyward and relishing victory as I smiled at the gathering crowd.
But the crowd that gathered that day was only Mom.
With a mournful sound, she dropped like a dove downed by an arrow to cradle my twin in her arms. “Go! Get help,” she gasped through her tears.
When I didn’t budge, she rose to catch me in a claw-like grip. She shook me so hard my brain rattled; she screamed until her face turned red and cords in her neck stood out. I seemed to oat outside of myself, watching from a distance.
In my dreams ever since, she pummels me with her sts, sobbing, “Allana, what have you done? Oh my God, Allana Odette, what did you do?”
Even though I protested—I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean it—no words came out of my mouth, Struck mute, I couldn’t explain how it was my turn to win or that I was defending the United States of America, or almost, and Alon, so much like Hawaii, and all good things on Oak Street, Earth, and beyond.
There would be no celebration of my victory, no warm warrior’s welcome, and no birthday cake.
Dad came running to the park with men from the church. People listening to the RCA already had their teeth set for war. Boys playing kickball in streets beyond the park stopped their game; girls in corduroy dresses sang in a shrill chorus.
Alerted, hordes and hordes in muf ers and tweed swarmed to bear witness to this unspeakable horror—a more personal and singular tragedy—that had befallen the Blair family at Oak Street Park.
As everyone stared, I held my breath and drifted far, far away, to a place where I really amounted to something, and the very fact I existed made a difference in the whole scheme of things, and even though I was only a girl with a play sword, I was the hero, after all.
Everything changed that day. And yet, everything stayed the same.
And even though time stopped for me, it really didn’t in the scheme of things because now I’m sixteen and so is Jack. There’s a war in Korea, and life and death goes on and on and on.
As feral cats quarrel outside my window tonight, I lie awake dreading my brother. The game will last as long as he’s held in Abeyance, and the rules keep changing. It isn’t fair. With his otherworldly powers, he’s capable of anything.

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Friday, January 1, 2016



Life-death, time-space, reality-dreams are only a few of the themes that exist in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and CHANGED IN THE NIGHT.

What is time and space? If the past is only a dream and the future does not yet exist, then is the present moment the only reality we have?

Are UFOS real? Is there more than one Universe? Who are we and where do we come from?

In this modern day Alice in Wonderland story, Allana Odette Blair is plunged into similar philosophical and scientific themes. For example, when Alice falls down the rabbit hole, she experiences abandonment and extreme loneliness; Allana in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT suffers abandonment and loneliness after being visited and marked by aliens. Both girls are cast into an alien world that's beyond reality and both are lost psychologically, trapped in solitude and misunderstood.

Growing up is the death of childhood; therefore, death is closely connected to the protagonists in both the Wonderland story and CHANGED IN THE NIGHT. Death permeates Alice's enchanted garden in Wonderland where the Queen of Hearts appears to be the Goddess of Death, and death hovers in Allana's painted forest where her dead brother taunts her and leads her into more complicated puzzles.

In the Alice in Wonderland story, there's much to decipher, and this is also true in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT. The theme of Time and Space exist in both stories. Alice has the Mad Hatter; Allana has Mr. Zee, and we learn about time and space through these characters. We think of time in hours, minutes, and seconds or days, weeks, months, and years. The Mad Hatter's watch shows the date, not the time; at one point, the Mickey Mouse clock in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT is missing an hour; the cuckoo in the clock over the kitchen table is permanently stuck half in and half out of the little door.

Unlike us, a clock can repeat its measure of duration. We live in the conscious knowledge that we can never go back to a given point in the past even though we can turn the hands of a clock back or move them forward. Because of psychological time, however characters in both Alice in Wonderland and CHANGED INTHE NIGHT can leave and return to the same place. Allana can hear Great-Aunt Grace give advice and she can see her brother Jack, now grown.

There's nothing straightforward or simple in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT. Everything is cause and effect. One door leads to another. After Allana accidentally kills her twin brother, Jack, nothing is the same again. I deliberately chose the death date as December 7, 1941—the day Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor—because it led to America dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a few years later. And this began the never-ending arms race so that today countries all over the globe have in their possession nuclear power, a capability that can destroy planet Earth.

War is constant, death inevitable, and grief a given. Our science has created destructive power that is greater than our ability to contain it. We have become instruments of our own destruction.

Symbolism and metaphor prevail in both stories.
At sixteen, Allana cannot bear the burden of her grief but she also cannot let it go. Her grief is all she has of her slain brother. We are all connected; when we kill our brother, we kill ourselves.

Like Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Allana in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT is stuck in a limbo of sorts where nothing is quite as it seems. In both the classic story and the new release,   symbolism sprinkled throughout in doors, riddles, puzzles and time; therefore the protagonists must deal with a lot of metaphoric "smoke and mirrors" in story, dreams, and reality.

After Allana's abduction by aliens, her psychological world unravels even further. UFOs, however, might be the ultimate reality or wake-up call, the government's long kept secret, the reason for the arms buildup, as well as, the men in black, and the sudden early retirement of Uncle Gordon from the Air Force.

Through Mr. Zee, her not-so-human tutor, Allana learns about Occam's Razor, Einstein's E = mc2, and Schrödinger's Cat; 
she discovers that science is a double-edged sword; there's good and evil in all, and reality is not what it seems.

She also discovers that anything is possible—even loving the enemy—and that letting go might be the bravest act of all.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


What if you had the power to change reality?

The truth is . . . you do have that power.

As the sixteen-year-old protagonist in my novel CHANGED IN THE NIGHT discovers, reality is not what it seems. What we believe about ourselves becomes our truth, and that truth becomes our story buried deep in our consciousness. Allana's story prevents her from moving on with her life ten years after accidentally killing her twin brother. Her beliefs about herself warp her view of reality.

As Howard Falco says in his book I AM, "If I'm accepted, I'm loved. If I'm loved, I matter. If I matter, I exist." He tells us that our beliefs about who we are form our script and consciously or unconsciously define uu. Our beliefs determine how we make decisions in life and, therefore, help form our reality.

Our story is buried deep in our consciousness. A belief is a statement about reality that we feel is true.  As long as we feel it is true, it is true for us.

Life is like driving a car. Sixteen-year-old Allana Blair learns to drive a 1947 Buick Roadmaster convertible sedan in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT. Her Great-Aunt Grace instructs her on how to use the clutch and brake—look out, swerve, turn the wheel, slow down, bra-a-a-ake—and while driving, Allana must makes lots of decisions and risks. Eventually, however, we don't think very much about the risks or decisions as we drive. We're on automatic pilot.

Our story is the automatic pilot in life and reflects our positive and negative beliefs about ourselves. There are times we dislike something in others that are actually a reflection of our own characteristics we're in denial about and can't seem to change. We have all sorts of excuses why we can't or won't change our beliefs, and we rigidly stay within our self-destructive negative truths rather than risk venturing out of that reality.

Becoming self-aware is the first step to change. Once we make the decision to change our beliefs that cause so much emotional or physical or mental disharmony, then our perception also changes. What if we decided to no longer be unhappy or unwell? That very decision will then allow us to create happiness or wellness and our own reality.

There's a definite connection between what we feel, think, and believe. Over and over, we've heard that "whatever you believe to be true is true." And we've also been told, "what you think will happen will happen."

Positive thinking is important, but it begins with self-compassion. We have to care about the "self" in the same way we'd care about a dear friend.  

Thoughts create and feelings bring alive our reality. We design our reality with our thoughts and our feelings put the plan into action.

The reality Allana creates in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT is that she's not good enough since she's responsible for her family's misery. She cannot let go; she cannot forgive herself or others. Therefore, she's stuck in a dimension that prevents her from living the life she must live. It's a complicated and difficult process to find a new and more acceptable reality.

Nothing is as it seems. Anything is possible.

As Howard Falco says, "Your life is based entirely on who you believe that you are."

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Time does not exist.

Let's talk about time. Time is an important part of my upcoming novel CHANGED IN THE NIGHT and a topic of great interest to me.

The truth is time doesn't exist. Time only exists in our minds. All we really have is NOW. We think that time goes forward like an arrow, but it really doesn't. 

Yes, it goes forward, but it also goes backward, and all around. In other words, time is the past, the present, and the future at the same time, simultaneously, and that is something we can never quite get our heads around.

What you intend and give attention to is what becomes

We're so trained to measure time, to set our clocks forward or back an hour, to set the alarm to get up at the right time, to check our watches and cell phones to see how our time is running out or if we're keeping on schedule. 

We dwell in the past or long for the future and the truth is that the only moment we have is NOW.

Time exists only in our minds.

Sixteen-year-old Allana in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT dwells in the past, still consumed with guilt a decade after accidentally killing her twin brother. In the meantime, all sorts of things are happening in the present moment, things she's unaware of  because she's too busy with her regrets. Her state of being is negative; her actions, thoughts, and words prevent her from improving her situation. Always unhappy, down on herself, and filled with remorse, nothing ever changes. Her outer world mirrors her inner world, and her outer world is the bombing of Hiroshima, nuclear destruction, devastation, and misery.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. No wonder Allana winds up in a psych ward. No wonder no one believes when she's visited by aliens and marked. And no wonder she struggles so much during her journey to become whole. 

Dreams, thoughts, and visions create your world.

We are creators of our present moment. We designed it by our earlier thoughts, deeds, and words. All that we resist persists. What we do today in the NOW determines what tomorrow will be like. What's amazing is that we create our lives, moment by moment as we become aware of answers that are already there. 

Even Michelangelo knew this. He discovered that the very act of creation is realizing that something has been there all along. He said, "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."

And that is our task as well. 

Friday, October 9, 2015


Everything is energy. Te universe is energy. We are energy.

Life can be puzzling. 

Do you recall the first time you realized you were alive, that "Aha" moment of awareness of being a living, breathing human being?  It's something we put out of our minds, this miracle that we're part of an ever-evolving and creative universe with vibrant life all around. 

It's almost too much to consider,  so we focus on mundane ordinary things in order to avoid the reality that we are nothing more than energy, all interconnected, and impermanent beings.

In the YA novel CHANGED IN THE NIGHT, sixteen-year-old Allana Odette Blair deals with this awareness as she struggles with separating her dreams from reality. As humans, we're flawed, and Allana is definitely flawed with eyes of two different colors, wild red hair, and a terrible guilty conscience. 

Allana thinks she's chosen to be a warrior.

But we're flawed in other ways too. We reject rather than accept. We cannot see clearly and cannot even see ourselves. We hold onto ancient beliefs and the status quo because we feel more comfortable that way. We remain self-critical and non-compassionate. We compete, slay our own kind, and condemn. It's the way it's always been, so we think it's the way it should always be. We fear change. After all, scientific discoveries might bring to light the awesome truth that the moon and stars weren't made simply for our benefit? 

Allana in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT has her own set ideas. She thinks she's chosen and meant to be a warrior. She assumes that hanging on with all her might is being brave, but sometimes courage is in the letting go. 

Change is inevitable. Anything is possible. Nothing is as it seems.