Tabitha’s Character Zodiac, a Detours in Time character study

Tabitha Hansen of Detours in Time.  Photo via Pixabay.com.

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This is a source idea I read about online somewhere for NANOWRIMO inspiration as I wrote the second of my books starring Tabitha, a character in the time travel series, Detours in Time.  Tabitha, a.k.a Pinky, is in her early thirties.  In book two, she no longer answers to the moniker Pinky.  She says it’s too childish.  Her hair: not exactly blonde, not exactly dark.  Some call it dirty blonde, while others call it “touched with honey.”  Her body stature: small. She is a picky eater.  Height: 5’6.  She is built like a dancer.  Eyes:  hazel, sometimes brownish.  Maybe amber.  I don’t know; I’m going on the word of her best friend and partner, Milt.  Let’s be glad he remembered her birthday (3/28/1967).  Skin: beautiful.  Tans easily, with dark eyebrows.  Reminds me a little of the movie star, Ashley Judd, in her thirties.  Just lovely.  Long, skinny fingers on her hands, and toes to match.  Long, thin arms.  Loves to dance.  She actually went to dance school for a while, but also loves art.  She draws, paints, dreams.

She’s a student when she meets Milt, but after graduating, she works in an art gallery because it brings more money than trying to sell her own art.  She is prone to moodiness and flights of fancy, yet, set in her ways.  Her parents are deceased, and she has one brother, two years younger, who is a little, let’s just say, wayward.  Has his own issues and struggles.  Family is so important to her, and she is also a loyal friend.  Just don’t get on her bad side.   While she loved the Flashdance fashions from the eighties, her go-to wardrobe in the nineties consists of jeans, Doc Martens or Chucks, and rock-n-roll or progressive band t-shirts.  But watch out, she can also rock a little black dress and will dress up for the art gallery when it is called for.

Listens to: Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elvis Costello, U2, Sting, The Police, The Who, The Cowboy Junkies, Smashing Pumpkins, and a lot of music from that alternative/progressive station.

Particularly true for my character are numbers 1, 3, 6,7, 10, 12, 13, some of which almost made me consider making her a Gemini, but that didn’t set well with her. 🙂

The idea that inspired me was to match my character to a Zodiac sign, and make it hers.  I know little about any signs other than my Gemini sign, so I found a helpful article about Aries at http://www.yourtango.com/2015261912/13-brutal-truths-about-loving-aries-as-written-by-aries  by Andrea Zimmerman.  It is easy to see my character Tabitha in this zodiac description.

The article is titled “13 Brutal Truths about Loving an Aries, (As Written by One)”  What are our Aries friends like?

     “We’re fiery. We are a fire sign, so this should come as no surprise. I’ve been described as “fiery” my whole life, which after many years of introspection, I’ve come to realize is both a compliment and an insult. (I choose the former.) On the pro side, this means when we walk into a room, we bring a LOT of energy. Mostly good energy. Some bad, depending on our mood.”

Like I said, don’t get on Tabitha’s bad side.  She’s a pistol, for sure, but fiery can also mean passionate, and if she loves you, she will love you deeply and without faltering, as is also mentioned in this same article.

     “We have an ego…. Aries women need people who both stroke our egos when we need them to (which, admittedly, is a lot) but also can keep us humble. Have fun with that balancing act!”

In fact, there are times when Tabitha has Milt, whom she meets when he hires her to clean his university office, outright confused.  This is a little difficult for him, as he is a university Science professor who is socially awkward.

     “We’re adventurous. We’ll try almost anything once. But if we don’t like it (or we aren’t that good at it) the first time around, we probably won’t want to do it again.”

Of course, Tabitha is adventurous!  She agrees to join Milt (Dr. Milt Braddock, that is) on more than one time travel journey.  Though she may not be as open-minded as he is, (where he is more perceiving, she is more judging), she is curious enough to get in that vehicle and take the leap!      

     “We’re big-picture people. Small details don’t interest us. We think broadly about projects, ideas, and goals and what it will take to get the job done. Minor details are less interesting to us. We’ll take care of ’em if we have to — after all, we value accountability — but we’ll probably do so begrudgingly.”

I liked this description, because it does seem to describe some dreamers and artistic types, and Tabitha is definitely one of those.  She paints some interesting images in Detours in Time, images which seem to come to her mind fully formed, and she discovers a new artistic medium in Undercurrents in Time to express her emotional state.  Milt, on the other hand, seems like the small details guy.

     “We’re aggressive. At getting what we want, when we want, and how we want it. Please step aside and get out of our way. Best not to compete with us because you’ll probably lose.”  Like I implied, don’t get Tabitha angry, but if you are on her good side, she’ll defend you to the death.  You can witness that in book 1 and 2 of the Detours in Time series.    

     “We’re assertive. That’s just a nice way of saying that we say almost anything we want to, especially around people who know us extremely well. We might lock it up around your parents or your boss because apparently “restraint” is a societal norm (who knew?) but understand that it’s so freaking difficult for us to not say how we feel.”

I have to chuckle here, because this character trait definitely comes into play in Detours in Time Book 1, when they first get to the future.  In face, Milt is so beside himself over her reactions to their surroundings that he tricks her into being silent for a good part of one or two chapters, much to his later regret. 🙂

    Thank you to Andrea at yourtango.com for the inspiration.  I thank you all for joining the fun!  I thought this was a good strategy that someone else could use, or, perhaps I just entertained and distracted you for a few minutes.  Writing this series has been a journey, a journey of the mind, and while I had many distractions like fender benders, family issues, and full-time work, the world of the Detours in Time characters has been such a fun escape for me.

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You can preview or start reading the Detours in Time series today by clicking here: Detours in Time.  It’s available in Kindle, paperback, or read free with Kindle Unlimited.

Detours in Time has earned a Literary Titan Award for sci-fi and the title of Official Selection in Young Adult Sci-fi/or Horror in the New Apple Literary Summer E-book Awards.  Read the book reviewed as “a great way to spend a few hours in both another world and another time!” –Tome Tender Book Blog

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An Ode to Vonnegut. Brilliance Takes its Own Path. #poetry

With great respect, this is a portion of a response I completed for an assignment on Gifted Learners who also have another diagnosis; in this case, I chose Vonnegut, an accomplished writer with a mood disorder.  May he rest in peace.  ❤

 

From “A Speculative Perspective”  by Pamela Schloesser Canepa (c) 2018

 

I  spent my life thinking,

Imagining, responding with feeling

Struggling with identity and loss,

At times, emotions reeling.

 

I didn’t do it their way

(You don’t have to, my friend).

Some brains work differently;

Mine won’t conform or bend.

 

Opportunities before me,

A scholar I could have been.

Though I did not make the grades…

I still built worlds with my pen.

 

***I have been fortunate enough to learn many things in a course for teaching Gifted students.  Not all gifted students will graduate with honors, and not all are gifted in the same way.  Some students have special challenges in addition to being intellectually different from their peers.  I enjoyed this recent assignment in which I could study a bio of a gifted or brilliant famous person who also had a disability or mood disorder and then respond with either a written analysis or poem about them and their challenges.  From the list, I chose Vonnegut and have since started to read that Vonnegut book I bought for my Kindle months go.  I’m so glad I did!  Having dealt with mood disorder in a loved one, I have often worried about their place in society.  Reading Vonnegut’s bio and background truly inspired me and warmed my heart to see that he lived a long, full life.  We all have our own path.

Side Character Sunday. Malachi.

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Photo credit, Pixabay.

On this Side Character Sunday, meet Malachi of Undercurrents in Time.  The nineteen year-old Malachi is a sort of actor hired on by an agency that is contracted by Professor Milt Braddock in his attempt to thwart a future disaster.  This post is a never before published background that I plan to develop into a novel of its own, followed by an excerpt from Undercurrents in Time.

Malachi’s Point of View:

I looked down at the notice in my hands.  It read: “Academic Probation.  Please report to your career counselor’s office to clear yourself of probation and enroll for this semester’s classes.”

Then there was the other notice:  “Notice of financial aid suspension.”  I didn’t even read that one.  I knew what it meant.  I’d been missing assignments left and right and failing most of my recent tests.  I knew I was failing out.  This meant I would have to prove myself or go through a lot of red tape to ever get financial aid again.  My pizza delivery job was not really paying for even my necessities.  I sat on the couch and chewed on a toothpick nervously.

Maybe I could ask them to increase my hours, just until I figured out exactly what I would do next.  I thought about picking up the phone to call my brother, Timothy, but thought better of it.  We hadn’t talked since I left for college, and here I was a year later, picking up the phone to talk?  He’d know something was up right away, and he’d certainly give me hell for it if I asked for money because of failing out of college.

A better idea came to mind.  I got up and opened the door to my apartment, peering across the hall.  Mr. Ackmen’s paper was still on the doormat.  Looking both ways, I stepped from the apartment and stooped to pick it up without making a sound.  Stealthily, I retreated back to my apartment and closed the door ever so quietly.  Classifieds.  There they were.  So many ads for sales that probably involved going door to door.  I did not own a suit.  Though I wouldn’t mind finding a decent paying job, buying a suit, and then getting a better job.  Finally, I found a headline that spoke to me.  “Put Those Acting Skills to Use.”  It read: Acting job.  Get your foot in the door. Tryouts Thurs., 11/04 at 10 a.m. at LLJF,  2033 Spindle St.

There was no phone number, so I figured I’d just show up.  I circled the ad, tore it out, and used a magnet to hold it in place on the refrigerator door.  At least now I had a plan, and with my social skills, I should blow away the competition for this entry level job.  Little did I know just exactly what this job would require of me.

Suffice it to say, there was no Shakespearean play, and Jack Fontaine certainly wasn’t scrreing candidates for commercials or daytime TV.  Still, it became clear I would be putting my acting skills to work, and the job actually did seem right for me.  I walked out of that office hoping I’d played my cards right and would receive that return call ASAP.  I was ready to be just about whomever Jack Fontaine needed me to be, and I knew I was just the right candidate for the job.

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

Excerpt from Undercurrents in Time (Malachi meets Dr. Milt Braddock):

Malachi made small talk; he definitely must have been an actor, Milt thought, briefly wondering what his real name was.

Jack headed off on his own, coat obscuring his camera, and Milt and Malachi continued their walk.  Without thinking, Milt tried the door to the Science labs.  Locked.  Of course.  Anyone working in there would have a key.  What would he do if Mahoney happened to walk out and bump into him?

He steered Malachi back down the path to the Health Sciences complex, watching the lab building the whole time.  There were lights on; he could tell. Exactly who was there and what they were doing, he couldn’t know.  He made a mental note to see if Jack could finesse his way into getting a building key.  Jack was able to do a lot of things Milt hadn’t foreseen, so maybe it wasn’t too much.  “So, Malachi, are you thinking of college yourself?  Or have you been in college?”  He forced a smile.

“Look,” Malachi retorted, “I didn’t ask you a thing about yourself, why you’re here, or what you’re doing in these hand-picked areas of the campus.”  He waved his hand toward the Science labs.

Milt was taken aback, not so much by Malachi’s response, but at his own carelessness.  He had let his guard down with a stranger.  Albeit, a stranger who was paid to be discreet, but still a stranger who might tell things for the right price.  Things such as, a man hanging around the Science department at MIT when the campus was all but shut down.  They were snooping around; that had to be obvious to Malachi.  Milt was usually good at compartmentalizing parts of his life, particularly scientific secrets; he knew there were some times you had to fib to avoid revealing them, but he was not used to this sort of stealth.  Still, it could be a matter of utmost importance in his attempt to stop Mahoney.

“Touché,” he responded.  “You know your job well.  I apologize.”  He added with a whisper, “I’m not accustomed to being so duplicitous.  But, you know, I must keep an eye on the competition.”  He then wondered if even that was saying too much.  Louder now, he added, “I’m just here because my nephew can’t decide between Chemistry or Health Sciences. “

“Well done,” Malachi answered, lightening up.  “I’m leaning toward Chemistry.”

“Okay, but we’ll view the Health Sciences area and buildings, just for good measure.”

“Of course, Dad.”  Malachi looked down, walking with his hands in his pockets.

“Uncle,” Milt corrected, looking straight ahead.

“Yeah, well, you’ve spent a lot more time with me than he ever did,” Malachi said, winking.

Learn about the Detours in Time series at Detours in Time on Amazon and read about the character, Malachi in its sequel, Undercurrents in Time.

Character Background: Tabitha and the Professor. #pointsofview

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“Tabitha, Tabitha? Have you heard anything I’ve been saying?” Candace raised her voice to be heard, frustrated at her friend who was gazing out the window vacantly.

“Yes, yes. Of course I heard you,” Tabitha replied, a little too insistent.

“Okay, so what’s his name?”

“Um, Walter?” Tabitha offered.

“No. His name is Matt, and you are not listening! If you’re not really interested, just tell me. I don’t want to set up a meeting and have you disappoint him.”

“I guess I’m not really interested,” Tabitha answered.

“It’s been years, Tabitha! You’re thirty and you’re going to turn to dust!”

Tabitha snorted in laughter. “No, I’ve got some time left. Seriously, you exaggerate a bit much.”

“What’s going on with you and the doctor?” Candace asked slyly.

“Dr. Braddock? No, um, nothing. I mean, I have been working with Milt more lately.  Instead of just cleaning I’m also helping him organized his office, but nothing has come of it; it’s just work.”

Nothing had come of it, except learning that he was researching quantum physics and how to travel in time. Not that she’d ever tell anyone. When she came clean and told him what she had seen, he begged her to promise not to reveal what she knew. In fact, he confessed that he already discovered the secret to time travel. Tabitha couldn’t deny that they were growing closer. She’d proven herself indispensable when she created a filing system for keeping his lab notes in order. It was obvious he appreciated her. Despite the age difference, she found him intensely interesting. Still, they’d probably always just remain friends.

“We’re just friends, Candace. We work together well, that’s all. I’m really organized; he’s not. He’s totally brilliant; I’m not.” Even in her denial, she couldn’t forget the dream she’d had about kissing him. She shook her head to dispel the thought. “Just friends.”

“You don’t even seem convinced of that.  And–I noticed how you call him by his first name!”  Candace smiled deviously.

“That doesn’t mean anything, Candace. Stop trying to read my mind. I’m just not, I just don’t need a man right now. Is that all right with you?”

“Okay Tabitha, that’s all you had to say. And don’t knock yourself; you are pretty bright.” She glanced at her watch. “Oops, gotta go. I’ll call you tomorrow!” Candace blew a kiss on the air and grabbed her jacket as she jogged out of the cafe.

“Okay, later Candace!” Tabitha had someplace to be as well. Dr. Milt Braddock needed help that evening organizing his tax papers. I could use the extra money, Tabitha reasoned. That’s all this is about.

She strolled out of the cafe slowly, picturing the smile lines around Milt’s eyes.  Smiling, she walked into a young couple.

“Sorry!” she called as they laughed and walked on.

“Daydream much?”  one of them replied.

I have got to get a grip, she thought.

**Read Detours in Time and learn what Milt and Tabitha discover together in the future. Available in Kindle, K.U., or paperback. Universal link:   Detours in Time Amazon link

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Side Character Sunday. The Brother.

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He’s young, innocent, and sensitive.  Until he drowns that innocence and sensitivity.  Tabitha’s brother becomes a plot point in the novel, Detours in Time and a good bit of the character development in Detours in Time and its sequel, Undercurrents in Time.  Why does he keep running?

In Detours in Time, Tabitha finds out some truths about her brother during time travel to the future.  After all, an internet search in 1997 was not so detailed and not even thought of by most people.  If someone disappeared from your life, you called the cops.  If they were over eighteen, you got the drill:  There’s not much we can do if he doesn’t want to come home.

Would you let a discovery from the future change the way you deal with a family member?  It’s probably an easy question.  Read Detours in Time, a sci-fi novel packed with moral dilemmas, sticky situations, and decisions made in the future that affect our present.

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Read Undercurrents in Time to continue the story.  Come for the curiosity, stay for the characters.  Both books available in Kindle or paperback and also in Kindle Unlimited.  You may find both books here:  Detours in Time Series on Amazon

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Exclusive Interview on Tabitha from the Detours in Time Series

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I have a guest post today on the RLF blog!  I’ll be giving some background on Tabitha, a main character in the Detours in Time books.  It’s a little different, actually.  I’ll answer questions about her, and she’ll answer questions about me.  (Why does she think I created her? Just one example).  It was a lot of fun to do!  Please visit the link below, like it, share it, etc.

Tabitha’s Character Background

The website rlfblog.com stands for Romance Lives Forever blog.  While I don’t classify Detours in Time as romance, there is a sweet romance involved when two friends learn things about each other during time travel, a unique bonding experience.  Detours in Time is classified as Sci-fi, time travel that comments on where society may be headed, but in the process, comments on love and the importance of family.  Detours in Time and its sequel, Undercurrents in Time are both available at Amazon.com.

Thank you for visiting my blog and the rlfblog.  I think you’ll enjoy what you see.

Undercurrents in Time, a new #scifi release. Book graphic teaser.

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Tabitha, a carefree artist, and Milt, a socially awkward scientist came together in Detours in Time to explore the future and in the process, found an enemy they didn’t know existed.  What will they do to stop an enemy they have not met yet?

See what happens next in the sequel, Undercurrents in Time.

Blurb:

Time travel took Tabitha and Milt to places they could never have imagined….
Now it seems the very things that cemented their bond will also drive a wedge between them emotionally. Travel to the future, discovery of a long-lost, troubled family member, and an unplanned baby all have taken a toll. Tabitha struggles to accept her new identity as a mother while remaining a strong, independent woman. She longs for a getaway, even a short one, but that getaway puts her on a collision course with danger.
Milt is busy trying to prevent a horrible future disaster at the hands of an enemy he has not yet met. While concerned, Milt doesn’t even suspect Tabitha’s plans, the very plans that will have her facing Milt’s nemesis.
Tabitha risks it all on a brief escape. How will she handle the unforeseen dangers she faces and make her way back home? How far will Tabitha and Milt go to prevent tragedy?

Get your copy in Kindle, K.U., or paperback:  Undercurrents in Time on Amazon

Visit any of the blog stops for exclusive excerpts from Undercurrents in Time and enter the raffle for a $10 gift card.  See a list of participating blogs here:  Undercurrents in Time Blog Tour