Nathan Speaks: About the Authors, Christmas and the Future…

Merry Christmas Eve and a Happy Hannukah (which also begins tonight) to all our friends…  

For the past few months the entries here have been erratic and I want you all to know how sorry our authors (Allan and Helen) are for these issues.  However, life has gotten in the way in many forms during this time.  First, up until November, Allan was still taking full-time classes at CSU Monterey Bay and these were very demanding classes.  They ate up a lot of his time and his mental energies.  
Then in early November he received a job offer with the County of Santa Cruz in their Assessor’s office.  As you all can imagine getting settled into a new job and learning all the ropes is no easy task and very consuming of both time and energies (especially mental energies).  However, the biggest obstacle since he started work has been the fact that his commute takes anywhere from 1 – 1 1/2 hours one way, on any given day.  He rises at 5:30AM and does not get back until 6-6:30 PM, which leaves him little time to spend with Helen, who has been dealing with a major FLARE up of her Fibromyalgia.  Naturally, he has been trying to care for her as best he can when he’s available.  
However, these are not the only obstacles the two of them have had to deal with.  In addition to preparing for the holidays and guests, they have also been looking for a new place to live.  Until now, they have lived in subsidized housing at CSU Monterey Bay, but that is only available to students who are full-time!  Naturally, Allan can no longer be a full-time student while working full-time and caring for an unwell spouse.  So they are hunting for a new place they can afford during the holidays (not easy let me tell you).  But as they do so, they are aiming to cut down his commute considerably to give them more time together as well as time to write.
Naturally, this has left both of them with very little time to be creative.  Hence, the lack of updates or even a Christmas-themed tale.  Two stories were well under way, but are on the back-burner until a new place has been found for them to reside and then get moved and settled in.  So please bear with them as they try to get their lives back in order.
Finally, know that the stories and more novels about me, Lisa, Marisa, Otto and our other friends in the Para-Earth Book Series, are on the way.  The hopes are for two books to be released in 2017.  The first will be “The Door” which is a sequel to “The Bridge” and “The Ship”.  In December an anthology of some of the stories that have appeared on this blog over the last 2 years will be released.  The anthology will also include several brand new short stories that have never been seen before.
During 2017, work on the 2nd “Vampyre Blogs” novels will be fully under way as well, leading to an anticipated 2018 release around Thanksgiving/Christmas.  I know that’s a long way off, which is why more adventures will continue to appear on this blog, in addition to the anthology for next December.
I can also tell you cross-over stories involving myself, Lisa, Marisa, and Otto, as well as characters from the other 3 novels (“The Bridge”, “The Ship”, and “The Door”) are in the works as well.  One or two of those tales will appear in the anthology, as well as novellas, and full-length novels.  So please be patient and hang in there.  Allan and Helen are very eager to get back to their writing and bring you more adventures to tantalize and thrill you all.
In the meantime, we and they wish you all a wonderful holiday season and as a little bonus.  For those who had not realized, in addition to writing our stories, Allan is an accomplished artist and the artwork that graces each of the Para-Earth novels has been done by him.  So here I share some of his more holiday-based art.  We hope you enjoy these works and have a wonderful and magical holiday season:
First we have a European Father Christmas, he based on several different figurines of Santa Claus he found in antique shops:

Next we have a Robin on a Yule Log.  Robins are associated with Christmas quite heavily over in the United Kingdom, but for this piece. However, Allan chose an American style Robin (which is different from those in the England where his mother was born and raised), blending the tradition between the two countries.

And finally, we have this little piece which he titled “It Was Supposed To Be A Still Life”.  This is true because, he had planned on doing a pastel piece of the presents and village he and Helen had set up beneath their tree one year.  Of course, after getting things just right, he went to fetch his art pad and soft pastels and came back to a scene much like you see here.  However, rather than getting angry and trying to set things up again, he simply sat down and got to work on the piece saying, “Hey, it’s Christmas for kitties too…”

 *Note: the coloring of the cat is based on his late father’s cat Spikette, rather than his own feline mistress Avalon who was jet black and had been the one underneath the tree.  Originally he started out using Avalon’s ebony coat, only to find it was too distracting to the rest of the piece, so he kept her attitude and behavior while substituting Spikette’s colors for a more balanced piece.  He finds great comfort in having done this since both kitties are in Heaven now, although their spirits seem to occasionally visit and cause mischief around the house when one least expects it.

That’s all for now.  Enjoy the holidays and stay safe everyone.  If you must travel, may your journey be swift and fun, without worry or fear.  And we will see you all in the coming year.


Nathan, Lisa, Otto, Marisa, the rest of our extended family and of course our creators Allan and Helen Krummenacker


Lisa’s Private Thoughts – March 15, 2015 “Never Forgotten…”

*A note from the author: Terry Pratchett has long been one of my all time favorite authors.  He’s made me laugh and think so often it never ceases to amaze me.  It’s  because of him there are so many moments of laughter in my own work, but never enough to distract from the main storyline.  However, I’ve never reached the levels of hilarity and pointedness he could.  With his passing this week, I knew I had to do some kind of entry to say how much he and his work influenced me.  I struggled with how to come up with something to say, when I remembered Nathaniel who has been around for so long and has known so many people.  So, through him I share some thoughts and feelings on the passing of a wondrous author, as well as provide more insight into my vampyre and what makes him so special sometimes.  I hope you enjoy.*

My last class of the day got cancelled over at New River Tech, which is also where my dad teaches.   Marisa still had some classes as well, but I didn’t feel like hanging around the campus.  So I decided to go and hang out over at Nathan’s place.  He was probably still resting down in the ground, but at least I’d be there when he got up.

 You can imagine my surprise when I got to his place and found he was up and about in the middle of the afternoon.  I found him sitting on the floor with his back me, with a bunch of books laid out in front of him. Surprisingly, none of them were the old worn hardback kind that lined the walls of the room.   Instead, these were all paperbacks, some going back as far as the 1980’s.

Naturally, this piqued my curiosity so I quietly went over to him and took a look at the covers.  They were colorful with amusing artwork.  All of them were by the same author… Terry Pratchett.

Immediately my heart sank.  “Did he…?”

Nathan nodded.  “It was all over the internet this morning,” he sighed and looked up at me.  “I’m surprised you didn’t already know.”

“Marisa and I have a dance class at 8:00 AM, so I didn’t have a chance to get online,” I replied and sat down next to him.  As soon as I settled in, I rested my head against his shoulder.  “I remember when you introduced us to him when we went to England with you.  He was really nice. I like him.”

“He was amazing,” Nathan smiled.  “Not that he thought it, but you, me and a lot of other people out there did.”

“At least we have his books and stories to remember him,” I pointed out.

“I have a lot more than that,” Nathan said with a smile that aroused my curiosity.

“Oh? What did you two have wild night together or something?” I asked innocently, while batting my eyes at him.

“We had a few nights where… HEY!” as cut himself off as the penny finally dropped.

I was still laughing at his reaction as he desperately tried to explain that nothing ‘unnatural’ as he put it, ever happened between the two of them.  “We just had a few good laughs together, that’s all,” he  finished with scowl that was not remotely intimidating.

Taking his hand I squeezed it and said more seriously, “I know it’s hard losing another friend.  It’s not something you ever get used to, is it?  No matter how long you’ve been around.”

“No, it isn’t,” he said quietly, as that curious smile suddenly reappeared on his face.  “But, I can take solace in the fact that for me they’re never really gone.  My memories are different than most people’s.”

“How so?” I asked curiously.

For a moment he didn’t answer.  Instead he seemed to be gathering his thoughts and then said, “T think Terry put it best when he said…”

“Now most people, can recall a number of things from their past.  But I can recall everything!”

I stared at him in wonder for a moment.  “Everything?” I repeated.

He nodded.  “Our brains are taking in all kinds of information all the time.  The feel of the breeze on our skin, someone’s smile, how it felt to kiss a person you’ve longed for the first time, the works.  But it’s so hard to remember every little detail.”

“I can remember a lot of things,” I pointed out.

“Of that I’m certain, but how hard is it to remember all the things that you saw and witnessed in 1999?”

I started to say something then stopped.  “You mean, in the entire year?  Everything I saw or did within that time?”

He nodded.

Blinking I shook my head.  “No, I don’t think I could.  I’ve probably forgotten most of it.”

At that point Nathan shook his head, “No you haven’t.  It’s all there, but it’s stashed away in different areas of the brain where you can’t always access them.  But it’s all there.”


Immediately my mind began picturing photos and letters all scattered about in a huge room inside my head.  Only it looked like total chaos.  “But you can keep track of it all, can’t you?” I asked.

“With effort, but yes,” he smiled.  “I can recall everything friends like Terry ever said or did in front of me.  Plus there are always the stories other people told me about him.”

“And you never forget any of it?”

“Not a single thing,” he replied.

“Then, you remember everyone you’ve ever met and all the things they did,” I whispered in awe.

This time his smile became even wider.  “Now you got it.”

“So you’re like a walking repository of other people’s lives.  The ones who only family and friends knew about, because they never became famous or well known,” I murmured in growing awe.

“That’s definitely one way of looking at it,” he nodded after thinking it over for a few seconds.  “And I share those memories with their descendants so they’re never forgotten.”

“So you make sure their memories stay alive,” I smiled.

“I can do better than that,” Nathan winked.  “If the person is in tune enough with me, I can share those memories so they can have them as well.”

This was news to me so I quickly begged him to share one with me, which he did.  It might not have been the one he’d intended but I saw Mr. Pratchett holding a broom, next to the actor who played “Death” in one of the Discworld movies.  Both were pointing at each other with amusement and camaraderie, then I felt something… calm and at peace.  I knew that last part came from Nathan.  It was how he was feeling about losing another friend.

Having read the Discworld books myself I knew that when Death collected someone there would be a desert for them to cross.  “Do you think Mr. Pratchett’s already crossed it?” I asked Nathan as we were still linked.

To my surprise Nathan shook his head and said, “No.  Somehow I think he’s in a cottage that is much bigger on the inside, and colored in different shades of black, and is filled with all kinds of cats.  Across from him Death is holding out a cup of tea saying, “ALBERT AND I WERE WONDERING IF YOU WOULDN’T MIND STAYING FOR A WHILE AND TELLING US A STORY…”  That’s where I think he is, anyway.”

“I think so too,” I smiled and gave Nathan a kiss, knowing the memory of it would never be lost.

**Special Note: The section where Death is talking to Mr. Pratchett was created by my wife Helen, who gave me permission to share it in this entry.  Thank you my love.**

Marisa’s Musings “My Dad The Hero…” October 28th, 2007

That’s right, you saw it here.  My Dad is an honest to God hero.

Now for those of you who’ve never met him, let me tell a bit about Dad.  He’s not a firefighter.  He’s not a marine, a cop, or in the military.  He’s a mailman.  An average guy who walks the same route day after day, delivering mail.  In rain, sleet, snow, or the heat of the summer, he’s out there doing his thing.

He’s walked the same route for like ten years now, and he knows every one of his customers and they know him.  Heck, even their dogs know him and they don’t chase him either.  They all like him, with the exception of Dukey.

Dukey’s a pain in the ass. I’ll talk about him another time, right now I want to tell you how Dad saved a woman today.

One of the people on his route is an old woman named Ms. Katz.  She’s a widow who recently had to put down her dog.  Dad was really upset about that one.  Brandy was an Alaskan Malamute who was a realy sweetheart.  He’d bore us with stories about her sometimes, but she was a great dog.  Unfortunately,  age caught up with her and she had to be put to sleep

Ms. Katz wasn’t ready to get another dog just yet, so she was all alone in the house when the accident happened.  Dad noticed he hadn’t seen Ms. Katz for a couple of days and that her mail wasn’t being taken in.  He knew she lived alone and that she always alerted him if she was going to be away even for just a day.  So he knew something was up.

He went up to her front door which has an old mail slot.  Dad never uses it anymore, because of her age.  It’s too hard for her to bend over all the time to pick the mail up off the floor.  He convinced her to have a regular mailbox put up near the front door.

As soon as he called out, he heard sobbing coming from the back room.  He raced around the house, looking through the windows until he saw her. Ms. Katz was lying on the floor, pinned by her bureau which had fallen over.  Dad immediately rushed to the back door, which was unlocked and got to her in record time.  He pulled the bureau off her and called 911.

Luckily Ms. Katz was just weak and dehydrated.  Nothing broken, but if Dad hadn’t found her when he did, God knows how much longer she would’ve been trapped.  The newspapers are doing a write up about him and everything.  Even a television reporter interviewed him at work this afternoon.  How cool is that?  

Apparently, this isn’t the first time he’s done something like this.  A few years ago, he spotted a guy breaking into the house of one of his other customers just a couple of blocks from Ms. Katz’s place.  I guess I must’ve been too young to pay attention.  Apparently, he had a neighbor call the cops and he caught the guy on his way out and sat on him.

I may have to start paying more attention to him when he’s telling me and mom about his day.  Being a mailman may not be glamorous, but it’s not boring either.  I’m really proud of him.  He’s always been my hero, and now everyone knows why.

Ciao, all!

PS:  Almost forgot, guess who made it onto the cheerleading squad this year?  That’s right, me!  I can hardly wait, I’ve been working on routines all summer long.  Now it’s finally paying off.  Tell you more next time.  Today is my Dad’s day!  Woo-hoo!