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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happiness and goals: gifts we give ourselves

The 'Wake up in the morning with a smile' virus 

It’s been four years now and I’m still smitten with the happiness virus. Mine is fed by giving in to my love of writing. Such happiness is not to be cured, but should be spread. Fortunate is she who has found her love and followed it. My advice to others: if you have something—a talent or maybe just a strong desire—that causes you to awaken with a grin, embrace it, cultivate it, and share it. It might be good for others, too. 

Writing is my happiness. Sharing is my privilege. As of December 2012, I have composed four and a half novels (and published two of them), penned numerous novellas, spent a week in and about Greensboro, North Carolina for the sole purpose of research (it’s the home zone of most of my stories), purchased and/or downloaded dozens of research books, and cut and pasted countless rows into my Excel database of storylines for THE FAIRIES SAGA. I compulsively jot random plots, quotes, and themes into notebooks or tap them onto my smart phone, saving them for (possible) inclusion in future works. Writing is still my happiness.

Goals are gifts we give ourselves and my next one is to travel to Australia in January 2014. Part of FAIRIES DOWN UNDER, the fifth in my series, transpires in January 1788 with the arrival of The First Fleet, the ships laden with prisoners transported from England to Australia. I want to endure the climate at the same time of year as did those hardy men and women, touch and smell the exotic flora, tread those historic sites, investigate the museums, and barefoot those seashores.  It’s also a great time and place for research since I’ll be leaving Alaska in the icy gloom of winter to spend a couple of weeks in sunny, summertime Sydney.

Give yourself a gift, a small goal, not one of monetary gain, but of seeking happiness. Singing, sewing, serving others: do what truly makes you happy. A song written for the church choir, a cap crocheted for a new baby, a book of poems for your mother, mowing the lawn for the old couple next door. These are simple gifts; gifts to yourself, and also for others.

Happiness is ours to create, culture, and ultimately, to share.

Dani Haviland, author
The Fairies Saga

Roses from 2011. A lousy summer, but still there was beauty.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Found: Proof that time travel exists!

I saw it in today’s (November 9, 2012) Anchorage Daily News. If it was published in an accredited periodical, it has to be true, right?

Of course, one had to read between the lines to see what Ken Bensinger of the Los Angeles Times was really saying. The headline read: ‘Number crunchers were right despite what pundits said’ and was meant to reveal that mathematicians “called the presidential race and a slew of smaller contests with stunning accuracy.” Mr. Bensinger believes mathematicians gathered data from Gallup, Rasmussen, and other polls taken throughout the election campaign and then used computers to, well, I’m not sure how they did it, but supposedly, these math wizards accurately called all the Electoral College votes and dozens of smaller, local elections.

I say they simply jumped forward in time a month, maybe only a week, and read the November 7th newspaper.

After all, if a time machine were built, wouldn’t super brainiac mathematicians be involved somewhere? Don’t those guys have a club or secret gang or something they belong to, Mensa maybe?  True, time travel to the past would be easier, but finding a focal point a mere week into the future wouldn’t be too risky. I’m sure the math brigade could find a volunteer brave enough to risk jumping forward a few days to gather information so they could ‘verify’ their results. If they had goofed up on a prediction or two, they could tweak the data to make sure their credibility was secure.

Now, put on your super-geek suit, master mathematician, and leap forward far enough to find the cure to cancer and world hunger. I don’t think anyone could go forward far enough to find the cure for meanness or stupidity; they’ll probably be around forever.

Dani Haviland, author
The Fairies Saga

(picture above snapped last week in Greensboro, NC while on a fact finding mission).

Monday, October 29, 2012

Feeding fact to fiction

I'm here in beautiful High Point, just outside of Greensboro, NC proper, to research the local 'feel' and visit a few of the museums and parks in the area. I wanted to make sure I wasn't goofing up on, well, I had no idea where I needed help, so came to make sure I wasn't misrepresenting anything or anyone, living or dead.

I left the gate at Ted Stevens International Airport in the wee hours on Sunday October 28, 2012 with all the monitors providing news updates about the impending tsunami approaching the Sitka area and arrived twelve hours later (finally) at Greensboro Airport with their bright boxes warning about Hurricane Sandy and her cousins, the winter storms from Canada, who would be arriving in a couple of days. Coast to coast chaos: what a time to travel!

For right now, the power is still on, a cool, wet wind is blowing outside, and I am snuggled under a deep comforter here at The Inn at Greensboro Airport, blogging after fine tuning my itinerary for my fact checking tour. I had to switch the order of a few investigative sites because I didn't want to travel west to the mountains on Tuesday. Snow is expected and, although I have lots of experience with driving on that cold and slippery 'stuff,' I'm not too sure about everyone else. I'll spend Tuesday inside the many museums in the area, safe, warm, and dry.

Feeding fact to fiction: My first book, NAKED IN THE WINTER WIND, starts on October 30, 2012. I wrote the story four years ago and postdated it. I needed at least two of my characters to have solar-powered cell phones. They didn't have them (that I could find) in 2008. Guess what? They have them now. Although they aren't common in the US, they are available elsewhere and are in the hands of two of my lovely ladies of fiction. So, since it has already taken so long to get this story into digital readers, I decided to wait a couple more months and make everything factual. The weather reports: they'll be in there. Anything else that happens here in Greensboro, up until Halloween night, will be, too.

Oh, and the picture below is totally random. I'm not using my own computer, but did have a picture of a couple of wild and crazy teenagers (my daughter is the one who can't decide on a hair color) getting ready for Zombie Fest.

I'm hoping the next book will be out in a month or so. I just have to get my editor to make his suggestions and then it's out there on Amazon (e-book version will come first)

Dani Haviland, author
The Fairies Saga

Friday, October 19, 2012

Time travel: We'll figure it out eventually

So, just how does one travel through time?
In my opinion, time travel must involve, or be associated with, magnetism (think Bermuda Triangle and other places on earth). Mysterious 'stuff' happens in those areas which also happen to be hot spots for magnetic activity.
Are the disappearances (Philadelphia Experiment) random? I don't know and last I heard, those who disappear are shy, shun the limelight, and haven't been too chatty about their experiences. Or maybe they just have decided not to come forward for fear of ridicule. It is still a touchy subject and those who have spoken out have been threatened, labeled as insane, or simply disappeared.
So, how is the time destination directed? Is there some sort of Jules Verne Time Machine with a mechanical counter, or maybe a vintage DeLorean  with an LED display that races to 88 MPH, that the traveler uses to dial in a date and time for transport? In the Haviland Theory of Time Travel (still under investigation),  the human mind, of which we only use a fraction, should (must?) be an integral element, a 'super-processor' used to direct the traveler to a precise time destination. 
{Physical transportation is an entirely different topic and has nothing to do with my theory. There is no hole through the middle of the earth blasting the traveler from Arizona to Australia in a single flicker. He or she must use traditional methods of transportation to change his or her physical venue. Physical transportation ala Star Trek transporters is for someone else to investigate.}
Whether or not we figure out the method(s) to bend, twist, or fold time in our lifetime, I consider it a future science, like aviation was to Leonardo da Vinci. It simply needs to be discovered when the time is right. In the meantime, creative minds of the world will prepare the human race for its discovery by making it familiar, comfortable, and acceptable in our lives, by means of books and movies of fiction. The proof will come soon enough, I'm sure; maybe even in my lifetime.
Dani Haviland, author

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The bliss of writing

"You discover you have wings when you open a book."

 I'm not sure who penned those impressive words, but they're found on posts, blogs, and posters in libraries and bookstores worldwide.

So, as someone who writes these books, who do I feel? The same? Oh, no, even better still:

"If YOU have wings when you open a book, can you imagine how an author feels? She carefully creates people then disposes of them at a whim, sets up scenarios where her characters are challenged, letting them succeed or fail, suffer indignities or revel in uninhibited bliss. Time travel is no hindrance, age reversal a few keystrokes away. Each trial or passion to endure or suffer occurs according to HER direction

Ah, when I write, I feel as if I have wings that never tire, territories I can cover without restrictions of time, range, or fatigue. I'm immune to harsh criticism because these are MY friends and family; I have only exposed as much of them as I desire to the world. They are untouchable, unalterable, by others. I am satisfied with myself because I made the effort to bring forth my world and its people, ignoring those despicable words, 'You can't do that!'" 

Dani Haviland

below: Basye's Purple, a tough, hardy, and unusually colored rose


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Alaska: 21 years and counting

September 19 was the 21st anniversary of my arrival in Alaska from Mesa, Arizona via the Alcan highway. The long drive was even longer since I was alone, didn't have a cassette player (before CDs or iPods) and there were few radio stations in the Canadian wilderness. I entertained myself with my own singing. I did get rather tired of Happy Birthday and Christmas carols in short order though.
I'll make the drive again, but not solo, and with tunes or audiobooks this time. I'll also make sure I take extra fuel. Gas stations were about as rare as radio stations. Hmm, that may have changed over the years, but I'll still take a gas can, just to be sure.

Lots of rain in southcentral Alaska this week. I was in danger of being washed out so dug out a drainage ditch, with the help of a few brawly males. Still, determination and a 3" pump won the day and we weren't flooded out. Thanks for the dam help, Skup and Robbie.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bit by bit, slowly it came...

NAKED IN THE WINTER WIND, the first novel in the FAIRIES SAGA, will be released 'bit by bit.' Rather than wait the months (six at least) it would take to do my part of the editing then wait for my editor to make his suggestions (corrections? nah, I couldn't need them, eh?), and then make my one last read through before releasing to others, I've decided to take a new approach: release it in thirds.

I've split the book into its natural breaks and have tentatively subtitled them AMNESIA, ABANDONED, and ADOPTIONS. After all three have been released, I will offer the group of novellas under the original title, NAKED IN THE WINTER WIND, as both an e-book and in print format.

I'm a fan of other authors of long sagas, such as Diana Gabaldon, and wish they would do the same thing. Maybe I can set a precedent? All in favor, say 'aye.'

Roses from this year's garden, surrounded by the ever present chickweed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


In an effort to boost the number of reviews for two of my books, I’m giving them away free as ebooks on Amazon this week. DANCES NAKED is free to download August 27-31, 2012. Here’s the link: Labor Day weekend, September 1-3, 2012, you can get THE GREAT BIG FAIRY for the same, incredibly low price (free). Here’s that link: Even if you don’t take the time for a full review, I’d appreciate five stars. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

'Lost' and 'Outlander': Huh?

Is LOST, the fictional story in THE FAIRIES SAGA, really just OUTLANDER in another guise? Yes, Virginia, ‘Outlander’ really was the inspiration for ‘Lost’ although Diana Gabaldon, the author of the great saga, has nothing in common with Lisa Sinclaire, the author of ‘Lost.’ There’ll be more on that subject in FAIRIES DOWN UNDER, book five in the series. That volume is about a year out but, if I get enough interest, I’ll blog excerpts from it and the first two books weekly. Drop me a note if you’re interested. Summer days are long in Alaska: daylight never truly dies from mid-May to mid-July. There are no stars at night for those two months and watching fireworks at midnight on Independence Day leaves much to be desired. Long days also means lots of gardening, and if lucky, fishing. Alas, it’s finally so nice outside that I don’t want to stay in and write! I would script outside but we have too many mosquitos for that. There are still two books ready for editing and then, Amazon (ebooks) and printer, here we come!