… even though we ain't got scratch …
About SALLY SUE: In St. Louis, I am the namesake of my then-deceased great-uncle Saul Fleischmann, a baseball player for the St. Louis Browns, known as “Sakie,” which I was also called by his loving brother, my grandfather. In Louisville, I am considered to be the namesake of my then-living great-grandmother, Sarah, and many there believe my name to be “Sarah,” not “Sally.” Since I grew up in St. Louis, “Sally” appears on my birth certificate. I experimented occasionally with “Sarah” as my name, but I am firmly a “Sally.” Having “Sue” as my middle name was the compromise, another name starting with “S,” to appease whichever set of relatives thought they were being left out of my naming. It’s also very USA = Southern to have alliterative names, isn’t it?
About EMBER: I have intentionally never been married. In 1980, when our child was about to be born, his father and I had a dilemma. The law in New Hampshire (where we lived) demanded that I give our baby my surname since his father and I were not married. That was an unsatisfactory choice for a few reasons. “Fleischmann” means “meat-man,” or “butcher” (from the German), but my son’s father was a vegetarian and I mostly was, also. Passing on that name was unappealing. I also, as a life-long feminist, strongly objected to passing on male-gendered surnames. We decided to choose a new name, to add on a surname that I could bestow. We lived collectively at that time (and for years before and after that). Two of our housemates came up with the possibility of the name “Ember,” which we immediately resonated with and then chose. Turns out it’s quite unusual as a surname, but interesting. The “Ember Days” in Celtic lore are the days before and after every Solstice and Equinox, often known as the “Days of Change.” This seemed appropriate since having a child is a large change in anyone’s life. “Ember” also has great traditional meanings known by all English speakers, evoking red-hot coals ready to re-ignite a fire at any time. That meaning appealed to this Leo very much. To aid in future genealogy/ancestry discoveries, my partner and I each kept our entire birth names and added “Ember,” legally, to our full names in New Hampshire Probate Court. That was how I became “Sally Ember,” and the way I could give that surname to our son, legally, on his birth certificate.
About Ed.D.: Ed.D. is an Educational Doctorate, which I earned at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in 1997. I worked very hard for that degree and am still paying for it, so I use it in my full name, social media, and as my author name. Prior to that and consecutively, I earned my M.Ed. (Masters’ in Education) from the same institution, in 1993, but since it is not traditional or necessary to include “lesser” degrees in one’s name or title once one has earned anything higher when they’re in the same academic field. My M.Ed. and my B.A. do not appear except in job application question responses and on my resume, which, since I am an academic, is actually known as a C.V., for Curriulum Vitae.
About St. Louis, MO: Clayton (St. Louis), Missouri, USA, is listed as my birthplace, which is part of St. Louis County, MO. But, I went all through school and graduated high school (which is ALL that matters in St. Louis County, which HS anyone attended) in Ladue, from Horton Watkins High School. Go Rams! We lived in Olivette, actually, across from what used to be our elementary school, Central School, and became the alternative high school about 15 years after I graduated from it. My little sisters and my mom stayed in that house after my parents divorced in 1973, then my mom and her husband lived there after they moved out.
My Southern Roots: When I was an infant, my parents, my one-year-older brother and I moved for about a year to Louisville, Kentucky, which is where my mom grew up and where she then had her mother, her mother’s parents, five aunts and uncles (siblings of her mother) and a ridiculous number of cousins. My family returned to St. Louis to live in Clayton, then Olivette. There are audiotapes (reel-to-reel) made of my entire St. Louis family (dad, his parents, his uncles and aunts, us) talking among ourselves, singing songs, telling jokes and putting on role-plays (my grandfather did that; hilarious) in order to send “letters” to my dad’s sister and her husband while they were in Alaska (my uncle was stationed in the Air Force from the late 1950s – early 1960s). On these tapes, my brother, mother, and I all sound very Southern. By the time I was in junior high school, though, we all sounded Midwestern. I kept “y’all,” and that’s about it, usually. It only takes about 3 seconds, however, for my USA Southern accent to kick in when I’m around anyone else who speaks that way.
My Jewish Heritage: When we talk about “place of origin,” though, I have to mention these facts: 1) when I was born in 1954, two full sets of my great-grandparents were still alive, one in Louisville and one in St. Louis; 2) they and their siblings and their parents had all emigrated in the mid- to late- 1800s from “the old country” to escape the Cossacks; 3) unlike many USA Jews my age, I am third-generation, meaning, ALL of my grandparents were born here in the USA; 4) because my St. Louis great-grandparents spoke only Yiddish and my grandparents and parents used Yiddish to try to hide things from my brother and me, I grew up trilingual, speaking and understanding both Yiddish and English while learning Hebrew prayers. Growing up Jewish in a predominantly Christian society (which the USA most definitely is) while living, going to school and summer camp and even working mostly around other Jews provided many discontinuous experiences which were both alienating and comforting. When I went to college, I was placed in a dormitory setting with mostly other out-of-state students who “happened” to be Jewish as well, at the University of Wisconsin/Madison, a common practice at that time (is it still?).
CURRENT BASE, or You CAN Go Home, Again: I now live in Creve Coeur (St. Louis), Missouri, also part of St. Louis County, which is about ten minutes from where I grew up. I live now with my elderly mom in a condo community (several buildings with dozens of condos in each) which contains many surnames that are the same as the ones surrounding me when I grew up in Olivette and Clayton, both home to many Jews at that time. Some of my former classmates’ parents were living in this same building until recently.
TIME WARP: It is more than a little strange, 42 years later, to be driving down the same streets, seeing many of the same landmarks, buildings, terrain I grew up around and learned to drive among, hearing “oldies” on the radio station (which plays songs from my first driving years–1970s) but now, I’m 60. I sometimes have to remind myself that I’m not currently on my way to school or my summer camp job, to visit my friends, go get high, listen to music, have sex with any of my several boyfriends, or go to a party. I glance out my window frequently as I drive by the side streets of my friends’ childhood homes, wondering when one of those long-gone teens might just pop up, in tie-dyed shirts and hip-huggers, demanding to know how I got so old. Prior to this, as an adult I lived in: Wisconsin; every state in New England, with 20 years in New Hampshire; New Mexico; and, five places in the San Francisco Bay Area of California before returning to St. Louis.
FIELDS: Science-fiction/Romance/Utopian/ Multiverse/ Paranormal Speculative Fiction ebooks in 10-volume (planned) The Spanners Series for Adults/YA and NA. Yes, my ebooks are really in all these genres and for all these audiences. I refuse to compartmentalize unnecessarily. I am also a blogger and co-writer/editor of nonfiction education, psychodrama/ socio-drama books.
Also, I host of *CHANGES*, a Google+ Hangout On Air (HOA), a live conversation talk show with one author as a guest almost every Wednesday, 10 to 11 a.m. EST USA. (Jnana Hodson will be my guest on an upcoming episode.)
LATEST MILESTONE: I’m working on The Spanners Series, Volumes III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, and IV, Changes in Latitude/Changes in Attitude. Hope to release both in 2015, about 6 months apart. However, in April 2014, I suffered injuries from a bad fall which included a broken nose and concussion, days after I had released Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, into pre-orders. At that time, I was midway through Volume III and had just made Volume I, This Changes Everything, free everywhere. This accident greatly delayed my writing schedule since I couldn’t/wasn’t allowed to write for a while and am still somewhat aphasic and much slower with getting words and ideas onto “paper” while recovering from that. Because of this and long-term unemployment as well as my mom’s needing help, a cross-country move was necessary from California to Missouri in August 2014, which also set back my writing schedule and depleted my savings.
In early December, I began a Patreon crowdfunding campaign. My goals are to raise enough money to 1) pay for Volume III’s book cover; 2) upgrade my home sound system and convert my *CHANGES* videos to podcasts; 3) convert my ebooks to print formats and make them available as Print-On-Demand books; 4) pay off my bills, student loans and fund my life while job-hunting in order to keep writing, blogging, hosting and supporting other indie authors. If you are interested in contributing to support this writer, an amount as low as $4 can bring “rewards,” while higher amounts can get you my editing/proofreading services at a great discount. http://www.patreon.com/sallyember leads to my video pitch and info page. Please go, share, become a Patron! Thanks! Also. I am seeking collaborators in CROWDCREATING The Spanners Series for Volumes VIII (younger and/or YA and new adult writers) and IX (middle-aged and older adults) to offer suggestions, submit portions of or entire chapters, and questions/ suggestions for parts omitted or wanting more of for Volume X, from all ages. Read up through current volumes, then contact: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com no later than Jan 3, 2016, if you’re interested. Describe yourself and preferred collaboration role. I get my story ideas from dreams, the news, meditation, my own life, science, literature and other people. YOU can be one of those people!
TO LEARN MORE: Go to http://www.sallyember.com for all blog posts, ebook reviews and buy links, The Spanners Series info, *CHANGES* guest schedule and previous shows’ archived Youtube URLs. My ebooks are currently on Amazon, Smashwords (all formats), Kobo, iBooks/iTunes, and nook (Barnes and Noble) as well as all overseas Amazon and Smashwords affiliates, like FlipKart. About the books: Volume I, This Changes Everything. The Spanners Series, is PermaFree. (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFELTG8 or https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197) Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse. When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are. Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty. The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions. In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth? This Changes Everything begins the 30-year story of Clara’s term as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, continuing in nine more Volumes of The Spanners Series. Are YOU ready for the changes? Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever of The Spanners Series. (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424969 or http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC) Intrigued by multiple timelines, aliens, psi skills, romance and planetary change? Clara and the alien “Band” are back in Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever of The Spanners Series. Now as Chief Communicator, Clara leads the way for interspecies communication on- and off-planet. Fighting these changes are the Psi-Defiers, led by one of the oldest friends of the Chief of the Psi-Warriors, its reluctant leader, Rabbi Moran Ackerman. Stories from younger Spanners about the first five years of The Transition fill Volume II. How would YOU do with the changes? Cover art and Series’ logo by Aidana Willowraven: http://www.willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com/
Just click for more: Main website Crowdfunding page Author page Twitter: @sallyemberedd Spanners Series’ page on Facebook Facebook personal page Pinterest Spanners Series‘ page on Google+ Sally Sue Ember on Google+ Youtube Goodreads
And you thought the hippie era was far out? The multiverse takes it way beyond that.
And, let me confess, how amazed I am by those writers who are so active on so many fronts these days.
Wednesday Writer is a weekly feature profiling devoted writers of all stripes, most of them laboring outside the celebrity spotlight. To my mind, they are the lifeblood of the literary world, both as active readers and exponents of the empowered word.