7 Questions

Sarah Dahl is the author steamy historical romances, known for their gritty

realism and authenticity to the period in which they are set.  She is not afraid to shy away from difficult issues, and if you enjoy the occasional Viking (and you know who you are) then you’ll probably like these.  We are catching up with her to chat about her latest release: The Current – A Battle of Seduction

1. Your work seems to focus on unusual things that perhaps you wouldn’t find in other stories, can you tell us a bit more about this?

In my historical fiction I look at ‘normal’ people (as opposed to the often over-used elite and their power plays in other works of historical fiction) and show them in slightly unusual situations, which in my sensual works often turn into something sensual, steamy even. I’m interested in this often overlooked side of human lives: their passions, dreams, the force of seduction, this game between man and woman (and sometimes other constellations, as you will see in the upcoming “Monk” ;-)). So what makes my stories different is not the Viking-ness as such, but that I ignore the elite and their power plays; I’m not interested in politics and intrigues, but simpler people’s lives. I zoom in on the more common encounters, and what these characters yearn for. So that is the difference to many Viking historical fiction books, which often focus on intrigue and battle. I’m interested in the smaller worlds, not the rulers and their big worlds 😉
The other thing that I hope is different genre-wise in my stories is that I try to steer clear of a language that screams “erotica”. I don’t see my stories as pure erotica, because they are plot-focused and historically authentic, tasteful, and just happen to be sensual, often (not always).

2. What would you say was the common theme in your work?

The common theme in this collection of short stories (of which “The Current” is the first story) is that love and lust can lead to a change of life. There is so much more attached to these moments of carnal desire or sweet seduction. Men and women reveal their desires, their cores, become vulnerable. In the course of the stories, my people change, their perceptions and outlook on life change. They find love, or break free, or feel a more internal change. As J.D. Lexx put it: “Ms. Dahl has a way of making scars sexy and luring out the vulnerability in the invulnerable.”

3. New book? S’that about then?

Every one of my short stories explores one life-changing theme: In “The Current – A Battle of Seduction” it is: The right fight (a sexy one!) can be healing. My warriors use their sexy banter and physical power play to let off steam and recover, to restore the sanity of their minds after the frenzy and madness of real battle:
Marked from the latest battle, Aldaith wants to recover by a stream. But instead of finding solitude, he stumbles on the fearless shield maiden Nyssa. The fierce beauty invites Aldaith into the water to engage in a very different kind of battle — one for which his training leaves him unprepared.

4. Where do you stand on the topic of pet couture?

The Vikings had pets: dogs and cats roamed around their grounds and were vital support troops to fight the common mice and rats and other intruders. When women married, they were often given a cat as pet and to keep the houses free from unwanted little mammals. Dogs were often used for hunting and herding, and they protected the rural farms. So yes, Vikings loved their pets, but I’m not sure the term “couture” is quite accurate if you needed your animals to perform the tasks they were assigned. 😉 But then: We know that the Vikings were the best-groomed people of the era, famous for their washing and combing and general cleanliness…so maybe, maybe their pets received the same degree of grooming at least? It sure wouldn’t surprise me.

5. Describe your ideal sandwich.

My ideal sandwich would be: wedged between two well-groomed, handsome warriors … But seriously: I want my bread to have a crust that crunches. Same goes for men. As long as both aren’t limp and pale, all is good. Add some cheese, cucumber, bacon, and lots of sauce…and I’m happy 😉

6. What is it about Vikings that appeal?

It’s hard to pinpoint what makes the Vikings so appealing to me and so many other people these days…For me it’s that there is so much more behind what we remember today. They were NOT filthy, ruthless warriors. They were well-groomed farmers, or young men seeking honour in battle and by raids. They were NOT interesting in rape and harming people without reason, for that wasn’t honourable and didn’t add to their reputation at home. There are accounts of women running TO the Vikings instead of fleeing them, as they could expect better treatment from these men than most medieval men of the time (stemming from a general respect for the female sex that made even throwing a snowball at a woman a serious offence!). There was no honour gained in violating weaker humans. Plus, they were taller, more muscular and cleaner than the average early medieval guy, as far as I can tell (all that fighting training and rowing!). And their wives had their respect – and power: they controlled the farmstead, could choose exotic professions, and could get a divorce quite easily if the man didn’t perform as expected. So what’s not to like? 🙂

7. Would you grow a beard if you could?

I can totally see myself in a shield wall, so for that purpose a good, thick beard would mean acceptance. And it could help to just once live with a beard to know what I’m talking about when I write about bearded men on a daily basis. But for my everyday female life: Not so much. I’d rather ogle the bearded 😉

Additional note from Sarah:

The first in the collection “Tales of Freya” is “The Current – A Battle of Seduction”. It releases April 24th.
Available as ebook at all major retailers: https://sarah-dahl.com/book/the-current/
It is perma-FREE, and kicking off the series of sensual short stories set in the Viking age.
There’ll be a new story every two months, and I recommend hopping aboard my dragonboat here: https://mailing.sarah-dahl.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=2 – be the first to hear about new stories and take part in awesome Viking giveaways!
My blog (not only about Vikings and/or writing!): https://sarah-dahl.com/blog-posts/

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Monday Mystery Mime

Days are just labels, and we don’t need no damn labels, right? So, in case this is your first visit to Newsnibbles, the Monday Mystery Mime is a weekly slot where our friends Feathers and Toast perform a mystery mime. All you have to do is guess the mime, and you win the chance to have the mime of your choice performed by Tallulah herself.

And congratulations to last week’s winner, Michele Morrison, who correctly guessed ‘egg rolling down a hill’.  Your mime will be performed shortly.

The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries. Any obscene entries or suggestions will be disqualified and the user blocked. Newsnibbles and Feathers and Toast reserve the right to disqualify any entry they deem unsuitable, without explanation. The closing date for entries is Friday 28th April 2017, 00:00 EST

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Why Diversity Matters

Quite a while ago I decided the best thing I could do to make a difference as a writer, not only to people’s perceptions, but to the way literature is perceived is to lead by example.  I feel that my early work pandered somewhat to canonical expectations.  I tried to subtly include diversity, as side characters or sometimes even leaving it entirely open to interpretation.

More recently I decided that to celebrate diversity I would have main characters that are diverse, but that the story is not about their diversity, it’s just a part of what makes them, well, them.  My first attempt at this was with The Crew Chronicles series, which touches on gender perception and domestic violence, amongst other things, whilst still managing to be “a good deal of fun” (Altered Instinct).

The most obvious way I have diversified my characters, however, is in my most recent work, I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse.

Described by Sabotage Reviews as “an elegant blend of humour and horror”, Heels is a satire, not only of apocalyptic fiction, but of our current political climate.  I diversified it by making almost all of the characters bisexual.  Anyone who has watched an apocalypse movie knows that one of the major tropes is that the characters find time to pair off, no matter what level of danger they’re in, there’s always time for sex!

I did not label the book as LGBT, anyone who knows me, knows that I hate having to label my work anyway, and choosing this label defeated the object, I felt, which was to diversify mainstream fiction, not put it in a subgenre.  I felt incredibly nervous letting this out for people to read.  It was the first time I had written anything like this and I was terrified that it would be badly received.  It was a huge relief, that not only did my fantastic team of beta readers love it, but I was also offered a publishing contract with micro publisher Wight Orchid Publishing.

It has received a couple of negative reviews from people claiming it was utter nonsense (or words to that effect), which is fair, it is. It’s a nod the the absurdist theatre movement of Beckett and friends, why else would there be a random talking badger, to add a touch of realism?  However, the vast majority of feedback has been incredibly positive, and made me feel confident enough to write a sequel.  I also submitted it to a number of review blogs, and have been delighted with the response.

However, the response of one review site gave me pause.  Not because it was a bad review, because it wasn’t, it was a very good review.  At least the first part was:

“I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse by C H Clepitt is an entertaining short story. I picked this book as I was attracted by its cover and genre. I am glad that I selected it because there were many dialogues/scenes that made me laugh. Kerry’s character is extremely relatable. Her need to prove her worth at a time of disaster is quite impressive. The side characters, Sam, Peter, Tyrone, and Petal, are also well written. Each of them has something special about them. The plot moved without any hiccups. It was quite easy to follow and entertaining — for the most part. Kerry’s trouble with the heels lasted for very less time than I would have liked. However, the author managed to make the most of those few moments, which is a relief, considering the title of the book has “heels” in it.

Despite this praise the reviewer only gave the book three stars, meaning that they did not have to post the review on Amazon, or Goodreads, or anywhere else, as it is the site’s policy to only publish reviews of four stars or above.  Basically the review is only visible to me, the reviewer has managed to keep it in the closet.

So, where did my two stars go?

The disconnect, for me, started when a lot of attention was on sexuality. I believe many lines were wasted on people talking about their sexualities and doubts regarding the same. This is a shame because the book was doing really good until then. There were hilarious moments and enough twists to keep me turning the pages. Even the discussion of the sexuality was fine until it kept coming again and again. I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse is perfect in every other sense and has a potential to be one of the best in the humor genres. Of couse, this is my subjective opinion and others might disagree with my point of view, but I believe that all the sexuality talks distracted and overwhelmed me. Hence, I could not enjoy the book as much as I know I would have.”

So, perfect apart from the sexuality thing? Having gays in my book basically lost me an entire two stars?  I felt like the victim of a hate crime!  It was horrible!  But then, maybe I was being over sensitive.  After all, my book is my baby.  So I posted on Facebook, so see what everyone else thought.

My sister, also a professional writer (playwright and dramaturge) made me laugh out loud with her succinct, satirical translation of what she felt the review was trying to say:

I liked the book. However, I am homophobic and expected a book with red patent heels on the cover to not be at all gay.  I also lack imagination and take book titles literally. Don’t get me started on The Turn of the Screw.

There were similarly supportive comments, a lot of people just saying it says more about the reviewer than the book, but what upset me more than the review, was those people who commented things like “it’s just her opinion, she’s allowed to share it”.  So, why did this upset me?  Because they are fellow authors who just don’t get it.  They live in a little bubble of privilege that they have never had a need to emerge from.  They have never been discriminated against, so they don’t need to write about it, because it doesn’t actually happen.  Discrimination is a thing made up by minorities to explain why they are held back.  They failed to see the distinction.  Had the reviewer said: “the disconnect for me was the focus on character relationships, I would have preferred more focus on the adventure and less time on the interpersonal”, then yes, this would have been an opinion, and it would have been a fair criticism, maybe.  But what she said was “sexuality”, not sex, not relationships, “sexuality”.  Let’s face it, there are very few lines spent actually discussing sexuality in any real sense, the rest is Tyrone using inappropriate language, which is funny. No, really, it’s funny, honestly.  My favourite line is when he calls Kerry a “kick ass lesbo”.

What the review, and the reaction to it demonstrates, is that it is still very important to write diverse characters; but what is equally important is to normalise them.  Not to label your book, or essentially warn people.  No-one warns you that a book contains straight people, do they?  If we continue to pander to people’s biases, and remain afraid to call them out on their prejudice then we’ll never progress.  It’s not the same as having an opinion.  Prejudice is not the same as opinion.  If we remain terrified of offending bigots, then we stand in the way of progress.  I’m sure A Taste of Honey offended racists, does that mean it wasn’t a good play?  Perhaps it would have been a good play if they hadn’t spent so much time on race?  Am I making my point yet, or am I still being too subtle?  Just to be clear, I am not saying that anyone involved here is a bigot, I am simply observing that, in a general sense, prejudice exists, and we should be standing up to it, not ignoring it.

I can almost guarantee, that had the book been labelled as LGBT, the reviewer would not have picked it up, but as it was, she enjoyed it, apart from the whole focus on sexuality, thing.  Maybe she’ll go on to read some more of my stuff.  Maybe, she’ll think it through and rethink her opinions.  Maybe she won’t, who knows?  The point is that I managed to reach someone who perhaps would not have picked up the book otherwise.

I’ve never been very good at conclusions, it’s why my books are always quite open ended. That, and ‘always leave room for a sequel’. So, I’ll just finish up by saying thank you to everyone who took the time to read any of my books.  Your support means a lot to me.  I am delighted that most of you really enjoyed them, and don’t worry, there’ll be more of the same in the next one, I haven’t been deterred.

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Monday Mystery Mime

The Monday Mystery Mime is a weekly section where our friend Feathers and Toast perform a mysterious mime for you to guess.  Just post your answer in the comments.  If you get if right then you could win the mime of your choice being performed.

And congratulations to last weeks’ winners, Michele Morrison and Melissa Spors Hubbard, with balloon popping.  Just tell Tallulah what you would like mimed.

So, without further a do, here’s this week’s mystery mime.

The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries. Any obscene entries or suggestions will be disqualified and the user blocked. Newsnibbles and Feathers and Toast reserve the right to disqualify any entry they deem unsuitable, without explanation. The closing date for entries is Friday 21st April 2017, 00:00 EST

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7 Questions

Today’s 7 Questions is with scifi author and sparkly badger, Claire Buss.  When she’s not co-hosting Twitter hours (Mondays, 9pm, #sparklybadgersunite), vlogging or taking care of her family, Claire is writing.  Her debut novel, The Gaia Effect is out now.

1. What is the Gaia Effect, and is it contagious?

The Gaia Effect is the name for a hypothesis developed by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis which states that despite what mankind does to the planet, Earth will re-balance itself over time.  We’re probably talking millions of years and quite possibly a mass extinction event of some kind. Gaia relates to the Greek goddess of the planet. Sadly it’s not contagious, imagine what the world would be like if it was.

2. What inspired you to first start writing?

I was inspired to start writing in 2014 after I saw a poster for creative writing workshops at the library and a writing competition. Prior to that I wrote a lot when I was young but growing up got in the way.

3. Do you have a favourite badger?

My favourite literary badger would be Badger from The Animals of Farthing Wood because I have fond reading memories.

4. How do you feel about pet couture?

I currently don’t have any pets so pet couture is a bit of a mystery to me but if I am brutally honest I don’t think animals should be dressed up in little outfits solely for the pleasure of their owners. I don’t get it. And I’m fairly sure the animals don’t either.

5. Describe your ideal sandwich.

My ideal sandwich would be….. no butter, no salad, no mayo or salad cream or weird ass dressing of any kind, no mustard, no marge, no soft cheese, no blue cheese, no prawns, no fat on bacon or cold meats, no pineapple, no pickle or relish or salsa.  I particularly enjoy, when the mood takes me, a peanut butter, Nutella & banana sandwich but never a PB&J. Jam – honey – marmalade on their own are all acceptable. Cheese & Marmite. Meat. Egg. Crisp.

6. If you could command any space ship, what type would it be?

A 03-K64-Firefly class because ‘love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down. Tells ya she’s hurtin’ ‘fore she keens. Makes her home.’

7. If you had to kill off one of your characters, which would you choose?

I’ve already killed several of my characters and I’m still recovering from the emotional backlash. There will be more trauma in the sequel.

And you can find Claire Buss all over the internet, on:

Amazon – http://amzn.eu/fKCQSBF

Facebook – www.facebook.com/busswriter

Twitter – www.twitter.com/grasshopper2407

Website – www.cbvisions.weebly.com

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16197976.Claire_Buss

Pinterest – https://uk.pinterest.com/grasshopper2407/

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWrKBeiBMQg_subFM9ot2vw

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/claire-buss-329757134/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+ClaireBuss2407

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Monday Mystery Mime

Yes, we know it’s Tuesday. OK, so we’re not perfect, jeez, lay off!

So, anyway. The Monday Mystery Mime is once more brought to you by our friends Feathers and Toast. All you need to do to win is to post your guess in the comments before Friday.  The correct answer will get the mime of their choosing performed.  The boring terms bit is below.  Last week’s mime was a fly being confused, so if you guessed that, well done. Tell us next time and you might win…

The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries. Any obscene entries or suggestions will be disqualified and the user blocked. Newsnibbles and Feathers and Toast reserve the right to disqualify any entry they deem unsuitable, without explanation. The closing date for entries is Friday 14th April 2017, 00:00 EST

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Monday Mystery Mime

We’ve been a bit lackadaisical posting the Mystery Mime for the past couple of weeks, but hopefully you’ve all subscribed to Feathers and Toast‘s Youtube channel, and haven’t missed a thing.  Anyway, we’re back on the ball this week, and below is your mystery mime.

For those of you with the memory span of a goldfish, here’s the drill.  Every week, life saving chef, sandwich aficionado and classically trained mime, Tallulah Grace performs a mysterious mime.  Your job is to guess what she is performing.  If you guess correctly then Tallulah will perform the mime of your choosing, how exciting is that?  In an attempt to get you engaged we will accept your guess anywhere!  You can comment here, on our Facebook page, you can tweet Badger or Tallulah directly, or even send an email.  We’ll take it as it comes.  The boring terms bit is below.  So go on, have a guess.

The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries. Any obscene entries or suggestions will be disqualified and the user blocked. Newsnibbles and Feathers and Toast reserve the right to disqualify any entry they deem unsuitable, without explanation. The closing date for entries is Friday 7th April 2017, 00:00 EST

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Holiday Reading to Sink Your Teeth Into!

OK, so only one of my reads had actual teeth sinking, (OK, two if you count monsters taking a chunk out of someone’s shoulder, or three if you include demons from Hades, OK, so actually only one didn’t…) but it was a cool headline, nonetheless.

I love reading, and have not had much chance lately, with annoying life stuff getting in the way, so feels great to have devoured 4 books in a week!  I will obviously be posting my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads too, because that’s what you do to help authors out.  As these sites require a star rating I will also be including it here, but ideally I would like to be able to star out of 10, because I don’t think 5 stars is enough to reflect the difference in feeling you can have for different books.  So, I’ll tell you my mark out of ten, then let you know how I translated this to Amazon and Goodreads.  Now, without further a do, the reviews!

Jade by Rose Montague

I bought this book because I saw it advertised on Twitter and thought it looked quite good, and it did not disappoint.  If you like Lost Girl then you’ll like this.  Jade mixes run of the mill US cop fiction with urban fantasy.

It is set in a world where “supes” are integrated with humans, but obviously face discrimination, as humans discriminate against anything that’s different, don’t they?  Jade is living proof that you don’t need to conform to anyone’s expectations of what you should be, and with a kickass team by her side she battles to thwart a conspiracy and save her friends.

I could not put this book down, and read it in a day and a half.  It is non-stop action, with just the right amount of comedy and romance to balance it out.  The characters are deftly drawn and you feel by the end that you kinda want to be their friend, only the whole constantly running from danger would put me off, I’d probably need a nap or something.

So, to the scores.  Out of 10, I’d give it 9.  This is because there were a few typos, and whilst this did not affect my enjoyment, and we all have typos (I am certainly not immune), in my way of thinking, 10 means perfection, so I doubt any book will ever get a full 10 from me.  That said, the Amazon score is 5/5, because it’s really good.  Really!

Read a sample below.

Affinity by Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters makes me want to be a better writer.  Reading this swept me straight into Victorian England, and a story of intrigue and ghosts.  What I think I liked most was that it was written in the style of canonical Victorian literature, but from a perspective you would not get to read in traditional Victorian literature, and actually rarely in modern literature.  It is so superbly done that you forget you are reading a modern novel, or even reading at all, it’s like you’re there.  Although I predicted the ending quite early on (my brain has that annoying knack of spotting twists) I still spent the entire book hoping I was wrong, willing all the way to the last page that it would turn back around on itself and somehow find its way to a happy ending.  Of course, it couldn’t do that, there was no other way it could have ended.  It was utterly compelling and I found myself a little bit sad and at a loss when it was over, so of course I bought The Night Watch, review will follow!

So, this is another 9/10 job for me.  Again, it wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty darn close.  The only reason it dropped a mark was because I was so disappointed by the ending (even though I predicted it!) that I felt quite sad and empty when it was finished, as though I’d just lost a friend.  That said, it made me want to read it all over again, almost immediately, and that’s why the ‘zon score is an impeccable  5/5.

Read a sample below:

Wonder Woman: The True Amazon by Jill Thompson

This is a graphic novel (I’ve read quite a few, it’s just a different media as far as I’m concerned), and it is one take on the origin of Wonder Woman, and focuses on her story before she became Wonder Woman.  The concept is good, focusing on Diana as a spoiled, over indulged child and teenager, whose selfish actions cause harm to her friends, and send her down the path to becoming the hero we all know.

The concept is good, and as one would expect from Jill Thompson, so is the artwork.  However, there was a bit too much tell, and not enough show for me.  I would not have thought that possible in a graphic novel, but I would have liked more conversation, more interaction between the characters, getting to know them and develop them, rather than captions and image montages.

It is for this reason that for me it gets 6/10.  Good artwork and a solid story, but too much tell and not enough show. On the ‘zon this equates to 3/5.

Unfortunately I can’t embed a sample, so if you want to read one you’ll have to click here.

Aeon Infinitum: Run for Your Life by E. Rachael Hardcastle

I enjoyed this book as a sort of Hunger Games meets Blade Runner. Hardcastle paints a dark and gloomy post apocalyptic Earth, and throughout the story the sense of hopelessness from the characters is quite palpable.
I found the present tense quite jarring to read, and whilst I kept hoping I’d get used to it, I never quite did. The first person narrative which switched between characters also made it quite difficult to care strongly about any of them, and I feel I would rather have had one person’s perspective, or have the story told in third person, but this is just my preference.
If you like gritty scifi that isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty, with strong, well developed characters, then give this one a go.

As for star rating, I think it has to be another 6/10 for me.  There were grammar issues, and some typos, and whilst I appreciate it is first person, I feel quite strongly that grammar is something we need to maintain, or the world will fall about around us and books will start being written in text speak!  Because of the switching between character perspectives so frequently I didn’t really care about any of the characters enough to even particularly want to finish the book. (I did finish it, I hasten to add!).  It was very exciting, and the world was incredibly well developed, and it is for this reason that on the ‘zon it gets a solid 3/5.

Read a sample below:

 

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7 Questions

This week’s 7 Questions is with a visitor to Earth Lex Kepler, who is currently in America studying human interactions.  We can only assume that she did not come in via any airport, and didn’t come the the UK because of impending “issues” with freedom of movement.  No aliens for us.  Thanks Nige.

1. So, erm, not only did you choose to study humans, but you chose to study Americans???  How’s that going?

We didn’t choose our assigned locations. The captain chose them for us. Different teams cover different countries. I think the captain chose America for us because she wanted someone to study Neil deGrasse Tyson. She wanted Beeblebop to infiltrate the Google headquarters as a programmer. Plus Xalax wanted to get a job as a zombie extra on the set of The Walking Dead. Xalax is made from the admiral’s genetic material, so he usually gets his way, but of course, in this incident, the captain assigned him to something more serious. Nepotism is the only reason he’s on this mission. I thought the captain was going to send me to study the United State’s NASA program, but she gave that assignment to Xalax instead. But I’m not bitter.
My study of Americans is going quite well. The captain has me infiltrating a college in Los Angeles called UCLA. It’s basically my cover in case anyone gets nosy. Strangely enough, the captain wants me to study human relationships. At first, I found it perplexing because I’m a physicist and cosmologist. Xalax is the anthropologist/sociologist of our team. But then the captain explained to me that my mission wasn’t your typical sociological study of the planet’s inhabitants. In fact, I could find out information that is extremely important to the survival of my race.
Americans are fascinating. They are in many ways highly optimistic, but they do have many inexplicable behaviors, as well. I am very much looking forward to learning more about them.

2. Do you have pets on your home world, and if so, do you dress them in nicely coordinated outfits?

That is quite a human thing. Kreyatons pride themselves on being a logical, efficient, productive, and work oriented people. We pride ourselves on our scientific knowledge and technological advancements. We like to study other life forms because we learn something new from doing so. We put so much focus on our work and accomplishments that we don’t put much emphasis on relationships, including relationships with animals. I am intrigued how humans find these things important. It is quite fascinating. The humans I am currently studying have viewed my interactions with them as a friendship. At first I found it kind of odd and unnerving, but now I’m strangely enjoying this thing called friendship. I’m not sure if it will lead me to having animal friends. I am still getting used to friendships with humans. Many humans want me to have a pet, and I’ve been told it is a human custom, and if I want the true human experience, I should try it. We’ll see. I make no promises.

3. Can you digest the same sort of food as humans?  How you coping with coffee?

Yes, Kreyatons are biologically similar to humans which is why we didn’t really need to drastically alter our appearances, just our ears a bit. I had them surgically altered before arriving to Earth. Otherwise, I don’t think I look that much different. I do enjoy coffee, and I love to mix mine with ketchup. People seem to find this odd. I don’t really know why. I also have an affinity for chocolate sprinkles. I find they taste best in sandwiches.

4. Have you encountered a badger yet?

I have not encountered a badger. But I have heard from multiple humans that some species of badger, and I quote, “Don’t give a s***.”

5. What do you hope to achieve from your study?

My assignment is to study human relationships, and if there is any connection between those relationships and the fact that the human population has no problem repopulating itself. Such information is critical to the continuation of my species, whose population is rapidly declining due to a low success rate in the reproduction of the next generation of Kreyatons.

6. What do you think of social media?

It is very curious. I have enjoyed connecting with other human beings on various social media platforms, because it has assisted me with my studies. At the same time, there is an alarming rate of irrational thought that occurs via social media, and I am not so certain this is beneficial for humanity.

7. If Earth could improve on one thing, what would it be?

I would say that human beings have an enormous capacity for compassion, but I wish it were applied more thoroughly. Speaking of social media, there was a quote from a fictional Star Trek character named Captain Picard that I thought sent a good message about what to strive for in the future. He stated, “The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.”
And if you want to hear more from Lex, including insights, and hopefully cookery tips you can follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook
 and read more about her by clicking here.
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Monday Mystery Mime

Yup, as you know we like to start the week with a mystery, and our friends Feathers and Toast are happy to oblige. All you need to do is guess what it is, and post your answer in the comments.  If you win, Tallulah will perform the mime of your choosing.*

And congratulations to last week’s winners, with Daffodil Blooming were Michele Morrison and Linda Henderson Eubanks.  Your mime of choice will be performed shortly.

*To enter go to the Youtube page where the mime originated and post your answer in the comments section. If commenting on Youtube is too complicated you can post a comment here, but Youtube comments will get priority. The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries. Any obscene entries or suggestions will be disqualified and the user blocked. Newsnibbles and Feathers and Toast reserve the right to disqualify any entry they deem unsuitable, without explanation. The closing date for entries is Friday 17th March 2017, 00:00 EST

 

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