The Importance of Cyber Manners – Ten Rules of Internet Polite Society In 2020

Note to humanity: cyberspace isn’t your own personal diary. Nor is it supposed to be like Regina George’s Burn Book. Forgive the Mean Girls Reference. It’s apt, though, isn’t it?

Ten rules…

After the last number of weeks and being hit with a number of attacks, as well as seeing a number of my friends suffering with them as well, I need to break my silence. The unsettling part is the vast majority of the attacks and insults didn’t come from idiots and trolls floating around on the internet. They came from career driven people in esteemed industries, hence prompting this article. Even the most quaffed and distinguished of people seem to be forgetting their P’s and Q’s on the internet.

So hence forth here are my ten rules for internet behavior:

1) Gossip is never the way to make anyone’s heart grow fonder of you… that is, unless they like to gossip, too. Then it’s entirely possible they will gossip about you to everyone else they know as well and behind your back.

2) If you don’t want people remembering it at your funeral, then it’s best not to say or post whatever you’re thinking of. We as humans have a tendency to focus on the negative. If you say something that sticks, it will rattle around in people’s brains forever.

3) If word of your choice verbiage or behavior gets back to your peers, will it damage your career? If so, then why do it? Learn to hold your tongue. Unless you intend to commit career suicide, just don’t.

4) If a nasty comment or post is aimed at someone you work with or you consider a colleague, perhaps remember that your words could backfire completely. For example, if that person has been helping to promote you as a freelancer, if you offend them their promotion of your business will immeditately stop.

5) If you express sexual interest in a person and it is not returned (or if, gasp, they’re already married and you knew that fact to begin with), move on. Go hit a punching bag in the quiet of your home or in the gym corner over your rejection. Don’t post it on social media or lash out. All it does is make you look bad. Sad. Pathetic even.

6) If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. That’s just common sense.

7) When it comes to politics or religious beliefs, it’s a free country. Unless someone’s beliefs are harmful on some level to someone else or are attacking people in general, think twice before commenting. Think it over a third time if you decide to respond, remembering Mark Twain’s phrase, “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

8) If someone makes an achievement that makes you jealous, refusing to congratulate them only makes you look bad. No one else. Likewise, if they’re asking for support and you won’t give it because of said jealousy, perhaps think of the next time you need a favor. They’ll be far less likely to assist you in return. For example, the LIKE button on Facebook or elsewhere is not your own personal passive-aggressive tool to express your feelings. At minimum, what harm does liking something do? The answer is simple. Nothing, unless you’re letting your own ego get in the way.

Example: If they’re in need of a vote for a contest or are trying to get a petition to go viral and ask you to share it, who the hell does it hurt by sharing? If you don’t just because of your own begrudging envy, again, in future, you may need that friend’s help. You may not get it.

9) If it includes profuse four letter words, labeling, or name calling of any kind, the onus is on you for outing your own stupidity. The people who support you for it have just outed their own personal desire to revel in strife and/or their own idiocy. It never ends well for anyone’s reputation.

10) And finally, getting behind a computer, phone, or tablet does not give you the right to do anything. As a wise woman once told me, “Getting behind the wheel of a car does not give you permission to commence in road rage behavior.” While you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should.

Basically summed up, if something quacks like a duck, usually it is. If someone puts something stupid on social media, it only reflects on their own mindset. Don’t stoop to their level. Think of the quote by Mark Twain above and rise above it. Rise above them. If half the politicians in the world actually lived by these rules online or in the real world, they’d spend far more time doing the jobs they swore to do.

We aren’t in Kindergarten anymore. Behave like you aren’t. You’ll rise above sixty percent of the internet’s drivel.

Another of my favorite quotes about people to remember: “Always separate the trash from the recycling .”

Peg Heron Heidel

– Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel 2020

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Missing History: Seneca Village – The Lost Neighborhood Under New York City’s Central Park

Did you know about Seneca Village?

Having spent a great deal of time in New York’s Central Park, I felt it important to share this piece of history with all of my readers. It is especially interesting to me considering one of my series, Destiny in the Shadows, sits on the ruins of New York. Few people seem to know that much of New York itself sits on former communities forcibly turned to ruin… and that’s not including the Native American history of the island. Few people realize that the name Manhattan itself is thought to be of native origin.

Remembering stories of my grandparents travels and careers in New York in the 1900’s, their families being immigrants to New York before them, I doubt very much that they knew of Seneca village either. Before viewing this, had you ever heard of Seneca Village? Comment and let me know.

Before you go, make sure to pick up a free copy of STILL DEATH, my best selling Ebook!

Video courtesy of Vox

Could dragons be real? – The Historical Evidence

Herewith goes a touchy topic. Could the makings of legends and myths be real? Some people insist vehemently and unequivocally yes. Others shake their heads and look down upon the believers. Considering no one in living memory has seen a dragon, why do the questions still persist?

Questions can always be brought to new light as history is dug up from archaeology. Even I was left questioning today as I came across an article from National Geographic. Ten new, very rare stone reliefs were dug up in Iraq depicting the Assyrian King Sargon II that date back from the eighth century BC. The last time such stone reliefs were found in their original locations was 1845. Along with their false deities, the depictions include horned lions and, hence the nature of this article, a dragon.

Could they exist?

The interesting part is that these reliefs are by no means in a category of their own when it comes to dragons themselves. In all ancient cultures, from the Americas to Europe, to India and China, all the cultures seemed to agree that dragons existed. Even the bible refers to dragons as a symbol of Satan. Some of the earliest known evidence of the creature is the Epic of Gilgamesh, in the 18th century BC. Mentions themselves in myths can be traced back as far as 4000 BC. The ancient Greeks and Sumerians included lore of such creatures as well.

One could argue that the discovery of dinosaur bones by ancient cultures could’ve given rise to such rumors, but then why did legends abound across all borders of the globe? That being, why not make the tales of the creatures reflect them as extinct and from a past age if all that aroused the stories were the remains found?

All in all, it is worth mentioning that they could be living amongst us, hidden in the far corners of the earth. While humans have spread out, we still haven’t explored everywhere. As much as 95% of the ocean and 99% of the ocean floor haven’t been explored. That leaves approximately 65% of the earth unknown. The Loch Ness monster could theoretically have deep sea cousins that we know nothing about. The words of Leviathan from ancient Jewish texts certainly come to mind.

It is in all actuality quite possible. For example, over the last few years several species which had been assumed extinct for over a hundred years were found alive and well in various corners of the globe. That being said, new species are being discovered every day. Despite our vast knowledge and tools of documentation, we still have much to learn about our world.

Either way, it seems that the mystical creatures (evil or otherwise), are here to stay. Much like the stories of Big Foot, Moth Man, the Giant of Kandahar, Atlantis, and the discoveries of Nephilim bones, people still continue to talk about their existence. It seems into the future, the legends will continue, even if it is only from the booms of pop culture.

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The Recovery of the Lost Stories – Part 2

New Year, new task. 2020 looks like it’s going to be a renewed period of time where we all can get in touch with our inner selves… Or to be quite frank, let’s hope it’s a lot better than 2019! Yes, you can hear my sarcasm. Nobody I have talked to said it was a good year.

Now that I’ve got all the contaminated manuscripts squared away so I can start to actually touch them again (you can read part one of this story here), I can start the fun process of bringing them into your hands: transcribing them. So to start the process, I’ve been tallying up all the notebooks to see what I’ve got. Turns out I’d written a lot more than I remembered. Out of the sixty or so notebooks, I’ve tallied up what notebooks belong to what series.

Note to self: Tell my brain to calm down. We’re good on content… that is, until it invariably comes up with yet another idea... usually are one AM when I’m trying to get to sleep. Tell me I’m not the only author who has become more bat-like than human when it comes to hours…

Hence forth, here are all the series and books coming your way in the not so distant future. Ie., this is my list of WIPs (works in progress) plus a quick summary of what they are. (Anyone who requested a twisted fairy tale, you can now check out to see if your request made the cut!):

Destiny in the Shadows: 17 Notebooks (mind you, all 70 pages each and written on front to back). They include the story lines for BLOOD WAR, the as of yet untitled untitled book to sum up the series, and three of the spinoff series books from Cain McRattin’s POV. (Yes, dear readers. I’ve been listening to your pleas!) This makes up about 30% of my notebooks. Clearly I enjoy writing from Sierrenna’s & Cain’s POVs.

The Delunian Kingdom Saga: 6 Notebooks (not including the current manuscript of the first book in the series which is close to completion). As for those who aren’t acquainted with the concept yet, it’s a dystopian medi-punk sci-fi retelling of the Robin Hood story from Maid Marien’s POV. Yes, considering there’s all sorts of otherworldly creatures including reptilians and awesome sword fights, it’s definitely for my sci-fi readers. Maid Marriene is definitely not your typical lady in waiting.

Note: These books have been one of the hardest to write out of all of them. I started the story when I was ten and have continued to rip the story to shreds periodically to build it back up from the bare bones. And let me tell you, my ten year old self had no interest in evil reptilians, so it’s been quite the rewrite! This series has been over a decade in the making.

Del Muerta Trilogy: 5 Notebooks. Based loosely on the state of Venezuela, it’s a dystopian series with a slightly Latin American spin. It involves vigilantes, a revolution, a pack of former police dogs, and is one of my more high octane action series with a slightly Hunger Games feel. If you enjoyed the newer Zorro movies, I venture to say you’ll likely enjoy this series.

Riding Hood: 2 Notebooks. Red is a man and granny is an alpha wolf shifters. Need I say more? Fantasy fodder with a romantic twist.

Jack Frost Chronology: 7 Notebooks. Yes, I’ve got an upcoming science fantasy series where Jack Frost is actually Jaqueline Frost (Jackie Frost), an ice elf able to control ice and fire. Includes genetic cloning, the Louisiana French Quarter, a pet fox / Yeti, a skunk, and all sort of fun subjects. Three books planned and two largely in complete in the notebooks.

It was one of my first series that I wrote next to Vaktare and Destiny in the Shadows. The male protagonist, David, is one of my favorites because it’s been such a challenge writing from his POV since he’s blind!

Sleeping Beau-T: 2 Notebooks. A sci-fi retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty story.

Guardians of the Grail Series: 1 Notebook so far since the Vampire’s Handmaiden was released in October. But it’s in the works! The ‘catnip sniffing idiot’ as one of my readers coined Rafe will return with Yasmina, as will Dune!

Vaktare of All Realms Series: 5 Notebooks, not including books 2 & 3 of the series. Those, plus one more notebook that is the beginning of the Rex spin-off that was requested by one of my Beta-Readers. Most of you haven’t met Rex yet because he doesn’t come into the picture until book two (Black Hart which is out on Valentine’s Day!) Those who read the ARC of it are still fascinated by him! Needless to say, he plays a huge role in Shira Hart’s story.

Legends of Arestina Series: Six notebooks, which span two books from Kenzie and Dare’s son’s POVs. You see? I do listen to my readers. Wings of Caligo was originally a stand-alone, but enough people demanded that I do a sequel that I listened. I even have a fourth book rattling around in my brain that hasn’t been put on paper yet.

The books extensively cover the subject of hybrids and chimeras that result from genetic engineering. Much like the first book, the subject of bullying will also be a large theme. Needless to say, old enemies resurface from the dead and create all sorts of mayhem on Arestina!

Cicario (Still untitled): 1 Notebook. Still largely in development, but is inspired by the situation in Mexico with the drug cartels and assassins in the cities. Yes, I do take pokes at sensitive topics. I’m no coward.

Watergate: 1 notebook. No, it’s not a Clinton investigation book (I value my life too highly for that! I may not be a coward, but I’m no idiot!). An underwater high-tech civilization under attack by marine spirits and mermaids. It takes place in this current day in time, so it will be an urban fantasy.

Blood of Innocents: 1 Notebook. Epic Fantasy in a different time. Still too new to talk about, but there will be sword fights, different realms to explore, and an epic love story.

Star Catcher Series: 3 notebooks (so far) and two books in total. A hypochondriacal dragon*, a knight, and two princess go on an epic quest. What could go wrong? Sabrina is another favorite of mine as is Channidy.

*The series was originally supposed to be a serious, epic fantasy. That is until I made the stupid decision to mention it to my mother and she came up with the idea of turning Reggie into a hypochondriac. Needless to say, it disrupted all of my plans for the story but was too good to let go!

The Sword in the Stones: A modern retelling of the Sword in the Stone story. Two men from the medieval era get transported to the future. Again, what could go wrong?

Faith Vs. Magic / Deliverance: 4 Notebooks. A fictionalized version of deliverance Ministry within the Christian faith. Basically us Vs demons. My first officially Christian novel that will likely piss a number of people off because it tackles the subject of demons in the faith.

The Gunslinger: 1 Notebook. A dystopian novel that follows the adventures of Jairal (Yes! For those who have spoken to me, she’s quite the character!) a gunslinger in the ruins of an American city. My first foray into cyber-punk fiction.

And finally…

The Wolf Keeper’s Daughter: A stylized retelling of the Cinderella story that includes a fantasy world, giant wolves, an icy fantasy world, Snow Alclaws (basically giant snow leopards that are an advanced civilization), and a war for power between their kingdoms. Clearly I don’t stick within normal fairytale bounds!

PS., none of these include the books I have noted but not yet written down. This is just a short list of what’s physically in the notebooks!

So that basically sums it up. While these stories won’t be immediately released, they will be coming your way very soon. If there’s a particular one you want sooner rather than later, make sure to comment and let me know what you’re looking forward to. I aim to please my readers and sometimes your requests make my to-do list get re-prioritized!

If you really want to do me a favor, make sure to fill out his survey for me before you go! I’m trying to see just exactly who my readers are and it gives options about you preferences about future books. Ex: are you into fantasy, scifi, or straight up action? It’s anonymous, so there’s no strings attached.

In this next month, I have two releases coming up, so you definitely won’t be without new content to keep your reading list full. BLACK HART and OUTFOXED will be coming to a bookshelf near you. Outfoxed will be a charity release for the Australian bushfires, so make sure to stay tuned for the details. You’ll get to support a great cause and get a book out of it, too!

In the meantime, if you want a free copy of my now BEST SELLING ebook Still Death, make sure to click here. Wishing you all the best this new year! May God bless you and may the winds of adventure always be at your back!

– Maggie Lynn

Rocketbook Everlast Review: Pros & Cons – A Great Writer & Author’s Tool

The Rocketbook Everlast is a reusable not book that creates digital scans with the app, uploads your work to the digital clouds Google Drive, Onedrive, Box, and many others, plus can transcribe your handwriting into type. Overall, I like the product.

Want your own Rocketbook of your own? You can get yours here!