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Tuesday Tales: From the Word Fly

Badge for TT - very small (1)Welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales, the weekly blog hop that lets you peek into the current works of participating authors. This week’s word is FLY, and I decided to let my imagination soar.

My excerpt is from Wedding Bell Blues, my latest contemporary romance. If you’ve been following the story, you’ll know my poor heroine’s adventures have been plagued by one disaster after another, some of them hilarious, others enough to bring her to tears. Things aren’t about to get any better for a while longer. For your tale this week, I pick up where I left off last week.

tableMJ gasped as the dining room doors opened. The tiered room reminded her of the ballrooms she’d seen in copious historical movies. Below the mezzanine area where they stood with the other diners, the round tables covered in white damask cloths with floral centerpieces were set for eight. Surrounding the exotic flowers, the tea lights in various sized crystal holders flickered. She’d never seen anything more beautiful. At the far end of the room, one long table, reminiscent of the head table at a wedding, complete with a beautiful three-tiered cake decorated with flowers and trimmed with plaid edging, stood beyond an empty space no doubt meant as a dancefloor. A wall of gold curtains hung behind the table.

Around her, animated couples chatted, took pictures of the fairytale setting, and waited to be led to their seats. Servers, both male and female, dressed in traditional Martinique costumes, moved through the crowd offering appetizers and champagne.

“I’m speechless,” she said, accepting a champagne flute. “It’s so … I want to pinch myself to prove I’m awake and not dreaming. I feel like Cinderella arriving for the ball. This is all so much more than I could even imagine.”

Paul grinned. “I don’t mind playing Prince Charming to your Cinderella.” He lifted his glass in salute. “Lucette mentioned the staff had gone out of their way to make the next ten days special. She wasn’t kidding. It’s incredible, but unlike Cinderella, all this doesn’t end at midnight.”

“Don’t be too sure of that. Once Mark and Melena arrive, things will change.”

Paul put his arm around her, sending waves of desire through her. “We’ve got this covered. For the next ten days, whenever we’re in public, we’re two people enjoying our honeymoon. We’ll not only stick it to the Achilles Heel, we’ll have a hell of a good time doing it.”

“I’ll try, but so many things can go wrong—”

“Stop with the negative waves,” he said, squeezing her shoulder. “Nothing will go wrong. The next ten days will fly by, I promise, and when you get home, Mark will be only too happy to give you back every cent he took from you rather than face prosecution.”

“If you say so,” but that waiting for the other shoe to drop feeling wouldn’t go away. “Who gets to sit up there?” She sipped the champagne which she really didn’t need, and used her glass to indicate the head table.

“The bride and groom, of course.”

She almost choked on the mouthful of wine. “You mean this is someone’s wedding reception?”

Paul laughed. “It’s everyone’s reception. Monsieur St Louis explained that to me when I spoke with him earlier. The names of all of the ten-day guests are put in a bowl, and one couple is chosen to be the honorary bride and groom. Three other couples get to join them as their attendants. They’re all given a few perks like gold key service and souvenirs.”

MJ turned at the sound of her name and smiled when Lindsay and Noel made their way over to them. Seeing her new-found friend grounded her. Lindsay had a camera around her neck.

“Isn’t this incredible? Look at the color and the costumes. Absolutely fantastic. I can’t believe they transformed this place in one day.”

Smiling, MJ nodded. “I feel like I’ve walked into someone’s fantasy.”

“Well, if they pick your name, it will be yours.”

Not a fantasy, but a nightmare.

No doubt whoever the lucky couple was, they’d be in the forefront of every activity on the island. Since her luck sucked, and they weren’t registered as a married couple, she could relax.

“If they were to call my name,” Lindsay said, “I’d faint, but since Noel and I are here for seven days, we’re not in the running for that honor, although our name did go in the attendants bowl.”

Before MJ could answer, a bell tinkled and she turned toward the sound.

Mesdames et messieurs,” Raymond St Louis, dressed tonight in a tuxedo with a plaid cummerbund, addressed the crowd. If the grin on his face were any wider, it would split in half. “In a few moments, you will be led to your tables, seated with members of your treasure hunting party, but first, as is the custom on Paradise Island, we must have an honorary host and hostess. Rosette holds the bowl with the names of all out ten-day guests. Earlier this evening, the name of this week’s Best Man and Matron of Honor were chosen.” He turned to the couple next to him.

The man resembled Rick Moranis. He was short, no more than five foot five, wore glasses, and seemed ill at ease in his white dinner jacket. The woman beside him was shorter still, a touch plump, but looked lovely in her black floor length gown trimmed in sequins.

“May I present Monsieur and Madame Larson, from Toledo, Ohio.”

The crowd applauded. When the clapping subsided, the manager spoke once more.

“Madame will now pick the name of the bride and groom.”

goldenThe woman giggled and reached into the bowl, digging as deeply as she could, and handed a small golden envelope to Monsieur St. Louis.

“Your bride and groom, and the hosts for this week’s treasure hunt and festivities are,” he slowly opened the envelope. The tension in the room was palpable, with women, leaning into their mates, fingers crossed, hoping the honor would be theirs. “Monsieur et Madame Paul Davis.”

Lindsay squealed as the room erupted into applause.

No. It isn’t possible. What did Paul do?

She turned to him, unable to mask the panic on her face, somewhat mollified when the surprise on his matched hers.

“And you said nothing could go wrong,” she hissed before Mendelssohn’s Wedding March flooded the room.

That’s it. Come back next week to see how MJ and Paul deal with this latest curve.

Please take the time to check out the other  Tuesday Tales

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History Is Important: Women in Politics

Good morning. Monday is my birthday. And this year as they say, I’m feeling it. If you’ve seen the new Star Trek movie, Beyond, I can echo Captain Kirk’s sentiments in the opening owllog entry. In some ways, I wish this milestone hadn’t arrived, but the one thing I haven’t been able to do is stop the passage of time.

I’m sure the day will be great.  The grandchildren always make me something special, and there’s usually a meal out as well as cards from friends and gifts from my parents, my children, and my husband, but for some reason, this year, I feel more mortal than ever before. Possibly it’s because of the horrors going on in the world–all the innocent people, especially children, and police officers being killed, or it could be because actors and musicians who were my idols have passed on. It could even be because this is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and I’m still older.

I sit and wonder why this year bothers me so much–the last time I felt this way was when I turned 30. I should be excited. These are interesting times. My fledgling career as an author is slowly getting off the ground, my sons are doing well, both in careers they love, and my daughter may have found her soul mate. What more can a parent want for her children? Maybe a world that’s a much safer place.

There’s no doubt American history is in the making. It was only in the last century that women were given the right to vote, and now one of them is running for President. Of course, the world at large has recognized the value of women in that position for a long time now. Indira Ghandi was Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1984. Golda Meir had the top job in Israel from 1969 to 1974. Margaret Thatcher led the UK from 1979 to 1990. Even Canada had a female Prime-Minister. Kim Campbell led the country for six months in 1993. Since then we’ve had several women as provincial premiers–right now there are three. If Clinton were elected President, she’d join another 22 women around the world currently holding their country’s top office. These include Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and the UK’s Theresa May.  And of course, Queen Elizabeth I ruled England long before that! So, long story short, the idea of women in politics isn’t new. History should’ve taught that lesson by now. I wonder why it hasn’t.

Hoping to make myself feel a little better about growing older, I’m offering a piece of history to you. From now until August 5th, The Captain’s Promise, my historical romance set in the seventeenth century, is on sale for $.99 USD. Let’s go back to a time when women had to fight for any rights and then we can appreciate how far we’ve truly come.

The Captain’s Promise Blurb:

The Captain's Promise Etienne Blouin left Danielle de Cherbourg in tears, promising to return; he didn’t. Ten years later, Etienne learns she’s been widowed and left almost penniless. Now a wealthy ship’s captain, he offers to help her, but the only reply he gets is from her aunt telling him to leave Danielle alone. Convinced she’s in trouble, he determines to rescue her whether she likes it or not, even if it means losing her love. Danielle is shocked to learn that her companion is going to the colonies, while she is to marry a cruel and powerful man as repayment of her husband’s gambling debts. Despondent, she sees no way out of the horrendous situation. When her carriage is waylaid and she’s kidnapped, she fears the worse. Etienne has enemies who don’t want La Belle Rose to make port. Can he outfox them to save his ship and the woman he loves?

Excerpt from The Captain’s Promise

Marie hurried to the house, leaving Danielle to ponder her circumstances

How much more sorrow was she expected to endure? She’d lost Etienne ten years ago and her parents a few years later. She’d been forced into a loveless marriage to a man who had since died, leaving her in this precarious financial position. Marie spoke of a second marriage, but who would want a penniless widow? Her dowry, and now her inheritance as well, had all gone to pay for a sick man’s perversions. She shuddered, remembering Allain’s last visit. She didn’t mourn his loss.

When her father and mother had died, the wealth of Cherbourg had been split—half of Cherbourg’s value to her, but the title, the rest of the estate, her guardianship, and the management of her finances had passed to her Oncle Philippe. He’d owed the Viscount D’Estrie some sort of boon, and had paid it with her hand in marriage, an unhappy marriage doomed to fail before it had even begun.

With Uncle Philippe’s death last fall, control of the estate and its income had passed to her aunt, the Countess Paulette, who was guardian of the estate and its heir, her twelve year old son, Sébastien. The boy was a fop, overly concerned with his appearance, dressed in the court’s latest fashion, the only thing in the world that seemed to hold his attention. The new Count de Cherbourg deferred to his mother for everything. Danielle couldn’t expect any help from her young cousin.

Paulette meted out an allowance to Danielle, but the sum she’d receive this year wouldn’t even cover half of the debt owing. While her aunt couldn’t be considered a popular woman, she was a powerful one, with considerable influence. Danielle hoped she could use that influence to negotiate more reasonable terms.

She shivered, hoping those negotiated terms would be something she could handle with grace. Yesterday, she’d learned the Chevalier De Flambeau had purchased Allain’s surety from the usurer. The idea of being obligated to such a man didn’t sit well with her. He’d been Allain’s friend, but she’d never liked him. She’d caught him more than once, staring at her, lust evident on his face.

Danielle stood and closed her eyes. The roses weren’t in bloom yet, but in her mind, she could smell them as she had on the night of her sixteenth birthday. She leaned against the arbor wall, trying to hold back the tears of loneliness slipping from her eyes. She hadn’t felt whole since that night.

Get your  Kindle copy today!

The Captain's Promise Teaser 1

 

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European Vacation My Way 2016: Time to Cruise

Welcome back to my travel blog. Today, we leave Copenhagen behind and take to the high seas aboard the Norwegian Cruise Ship, Star. The ship weighs 91,740 tons, is 965 feet long and 105 feet wide. In addition to its 1,083 member crew, it welcomes aboard 2348 guests for each cruise it takes. The wasn’t our first cruise, but unlike last year’s Celebrity Cruise to Alaska aboard the Millennium where there were dress codes and formal nights, the Star offers freestyle700x475_MainImage_Star dining–eat where you want, when you want, and if you want to dress up, you can do that, too.

We met in the hotel lobby late morning and boarded a bus for our trip to the harbor. Since Tuesday was a work day,   the traffic was horrendous–not cars, but bicycles. We passed a bike traffic jam. I’d never seen anything like it before. Treehugger has some great pictures, much better than the ones I almost got.from the moving bus. It’s amazing. Check it out. http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/bike-rush-hour-copenhagen-how-it-should-be-everywhere.html

The bus ride to the port was a long one, with the bus driving down streets so crowded and narrow, it was a wonder he made it through. The port is located far from where we were staying, and as you approached you could see that the city is under construction everywhere. They’re even reclaiming the sea to make more land. DSCF6004 DSCF6003

Once we boarded the ship, I took pictures of the warehouses at the docks and the expansion. Is it just me or do things look prettier?

I’m not a fan of standing in line waiting, and I have to admit, the waiting to board the ship was long, but it was handled well. The only official picture we purchased was this one taken after registration and before we boarded the ship itself.

NCL cruise 2016

And so the adventure begins. The Star was an awesome ship.  We had a cabin with a balcony. Our steward kept everything in order for us. Here John was trying to put stuff in the cabin safe, but the thing didn’t work. Within half an hour, they’d replaced it.DSCF6007

After lunch at O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill (Deck 8). This is the ship’s 24 hour restaurant. It was the one place we could usually find without getting lost–which I did several times. The restaurant–more of a open space with tiered seating overlooks the atrium. It’s lots of window seating. The food was delicious. We had several late breakfasts, lunches and dinner there our first night aboard ship–although we missed the roast beef, but that comes later.Here’s a peek at some of the balcony seats and the gorgeous ceiling. IMG_1913

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This second picture is taken from the staircase that leads to the Java Cafe in the atrium.

All ships have a sailing out protocol and on the Star, this was a presentation–a musical extravaganza on the pool deck. While it definitely wasn’t swimsuit weather, the crew made us all feel welcome and at home.IMG_1908

There were even a few hardy souls who soaked their feet in one of the hot tubs, but sorry. WAY too cold for me. IMG_1885

Off we went to explore the ship. We found the two main dining rooms, Versaille and Aqua.IMG_2826

Versailles, all gold and posh, decorated with pictures of King Louis XIV, was where we reported for lifeboat drill. It was also the ship’s main dining room. We had several meals there throughout the cruise. Everything was absolutely excellent and the service unbeatable.

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In the Stardust Theatre we got a glimpse of what we’d be seeing during the week and met the ship’s leaders. Most were from the Philippines, but the captain was Swedish.

After the presentation, we headed to Gatsby’s, one of the ship’s main bars. It became our meeting place. My husband loved being addressed as Mr. John. Here he is  enjoying a beer with Stan, a friend from Cornwall also on the cruise.  20160519_211826IMG_1906

There was a nightly piano player who was always good to listen too. We made friends there too–couples from the United States, England, Australia, and New Zealand. We played games such as Country Shape Trivia and Name that Tune. I even played the one-armed bandit and won $60.00.

DSCF6008Our next day would be a sea day, where we could sleep in,or do whatever we liked. After that we’d make our first Norwegian Port. For now, it was good food, good drinks and lots of happy conversation.

See you next time for a look at a Norwegian Fjord town!

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Midweek Tease: Just For the Weekend

Good morning! Wow, it’s been ages since I teased with you. The last few weeks have been incredibly MWTease15busy, but I’m back today with another tease from Just For the Weekend, my contemporary romance set in Vegas. Fall plans include writing a sequel to this story.

Many thanks to Angelica Dawson and the rest of the lovely authors here who provide this weekly blog opportunity. Here’s the blurb:

It’s time to play with the grown-ups.

Kindergarten teacher Cleo James needs a change. Three years at her widowed dad’s beck and call are enough. A weekend in Vegas at a sci-fi convention with her best friend will do for now, and the hot guy who wants to spend time with her only adds to her excitement. After all – it’s just for the weekend. What can possibly go wrong?

Just for the Weekend cover.Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. He’s looking for someone who’ll fall for him, not his wallet. When he meets a shy, green-skinned slave girl, she pushes all his buttons – the best part is she has no idea who he is and mistakenly believes he’s a Chippendale. Between the sexual attraction and too much alcohol, he wakes up married to his green-skinned beauty, but the bride has vanished. Finding her will be a lot harder than he thinks.

Here’s the tease. Enjoy!

They entered the salon decorated in an outer space theme giving the impression of a nightclub on a distant planet. The ceiling was covered in fabric behind which white twinkle lights shone, simulating stars. Tables were covered in black cloths and featured exotic flowers in vases lit from underneath, giving them an out-of-this-world look. Cleo recognized bird of paradise, orchids, banana, ginger flowers and a few others. Each flower was accompanied by greenery, some of which had been sprayed every color of the rainbow.

In the far corner, a three-dimensional mural of the eight planets from the sun’s perspective had been set up, and a photographer waited to snap pictures of couples who wanted a permanent souvenir of the occasion—for a price of course.

A band dressed like the one from the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars, played Europe’s The Final Countdown while costumed dancers of all ages gyrated to the music. Cleo looked around, trying to spot a Klingon/Cardassian couple.

“I don’t see Charlie and Mitch. I guess they must have gone into another room.”

Now that her indignation at being treated like a piece of meat had cooled, she wasn’t sure what else to say. She didn’t want to ask what kind of ideas Sam was getting—the kind he’d have to ask permission to act on—she’d rather just imagine those. Mitch was the one with all the glib lines. Cleo might be dressed like a temptress, but seduction was way out of her comfort zone. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been left alone with a virtual stranger. The few dates she’d had were with colleagues who shared a common interest. Why did small talk always look so easy the movies? She struggled for something interesting to say, praying Mitch and Carlie would show up to rescue her soon. She could always make an excuse and leave, but, truth be told, she didn’t want to leave her Cardassian just yet.

“I can’t imagine where they found all these flowers. Look at that one. It looks like something Cruella Deville would love.” Damn. Kindergarten speak.

Sam laughed. “They do have some rather weird ones here tonight. That is a Dalmatian Orchid, and you’re right; it would please Cruella. I’m up on my Disney movies.” He winked.     “That blue one over there is called Love in a Mist, and that orange and yellow one is Beehive Ginger—all very exotic, and all very earthy.”

“How do you know so much about flowers? I’d love to photograph some of them.”

“Just a skill I picked up over the years in my line of work.” He chuckled. “So, are you interested in flowers or photography?”

The band began to play Liz Phair’s Supernova, one of her favorite songs, and she relaxed. “Both, but mainly photography—nothing professional. I just like to take pictures and play around with them on the computer.” This isn’t so bad; maybe I can pull it off.

“I’d love to see some of your work. You going to invite me up to your place later to look at your “etchings?”  He wiggled his eyebrows and pretended to be smoking a cigar, his voice a bad imitation of Groucho Marx. She was a huge fan of mid-twentieth century comedians and burst out laughing. She liked this guy.

“Cool your jets, Groucho, I never reveal my etchings on a first date.”

Sam looked at her and suddenly it felt as if they were the only ones in the room. He bent his head and she thought he was going to kiss her again. Instead he spoke softly, pulling her close to him to ensure she could hear his voice over the music.

“I can arrange for you to take pictures in here tomorrow, when’s there’s light. No one’s supposed to come into the room, but I have connections.” He indicated a white orchid set apart from the others. It was attached to the wall as if it were growing out of the sky. “That white one over there is a Ghost Orchid, very rare and protected. The casino had to get permission from the Governor of Florida to ship one here. It has to be returned to its natural habitat on Monday. Part of the reason it’s on the endangered list is because only one insect, the giant sphinx moth, has a long enough… feeler… to penetrate the long nectar spur and pollinate the flower.”

The huskiness in his voice sent sexual desire rushing through her. How can talking about insects pollinating flowers make me think of hot sex? The music was fitting. She felt like a star about to explode.

Sam smiled as if he’d read her mind, and Cleo took a sudden interest in an orange Jamaica orchid until she realized this flower wasn’t cooling the sexual images at all.

Want more? https://www.amazon.com/Weekend-Crimson-Romance-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B00J0HEAL4

Now, please drop by and visit the rest of this week’s teasers.

#MidWeekTease July 27, 2016

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What Is This World Coming To?

Good morning. Before I start, I need to say that I know many people will disagree with my opinions this morning, but St Lawrence and USAI’m ranting because I’m wondering if the world has all gone mad. The level of violence continues to escalate, and it shows no sign of abating. People, including children, are dying at the hands of insane killers, not only in France and Germany, but right here in Calgary, Alberta. Police officers are being ambushed and killed in the United States, and the racial tension there reminds me of the way it was back in the sixties. Two songs come to mind, Elvis’s In the Ghetto, and Lightfoot’s Black Day in July, sung here by The Tragically Hip.

Growing up in a small city in Canada, the whole situation made no sense to me, but as I said, I was and still am naive about these things. In the same way, I don’t understand people whose sole purpose in life is killing and destroying others who don’t live, dress, and believe the way they do, people who can justify murdering a woman because she supposedly impinged the family honour by speaking her opinion. Maybe some learned behaviours and hatred go too deep to be unlearned, but this has to stop before we destroy ourselves.

Maybe it’s this frustration with the world as it is that made this video the one that broke this camel’s back. What is it with people that they would ever think doing something like this was okay? While I’m not a dog lover, I’ve seen the pictures of tortured, starved dogs, as well as those who were used in dog fighting, that have disgusted me, and I believe the punishment for inflicting pain on an innocent animal should be far more severe than it is, but what this stupid woman does is just too much. Even if this video is staged, meant as a joke in someone’s warped mind, it’s wrong, but if it isn’t, then this woman is very, very sick!

If the video won’t open for you, try opening it on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/susanne.l.matthews/posts/10153889548063981

My response to this was that there should be a special place in Hell for people like these.

I showed this to my grandchildren for two reasons–the first so they’d realize it was a terrible thing to do, which they all did, and the second to remind them that someone is always watching you. I pointed out she knew she was going to do something wrong and they said yes, she was looking around to see if anyone was watching her. Kids learn by example. Even bad things can be used to teach good behaviour. I hope whoever was filming this rescued that animal. I also hope since the video has gone viral as they say, that the woman in question will be identified and gets lambasted the way the dentist who killed that lion did. Cruelty to animals is what grows into cruelty towards people. In my research, I’ve see the comment over and over again. Sociopaths often start their infamous career torturing defenseless animals and move up from there.

So, rant over.

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Tuesday Tales: From a Picture

Badge for TT - very small (1)Good day, and welcome to another edition of Tuesday Tales. Once a month, the inspiration for our posts comes from an image, and we use it to write a flash fiction piece ot no more than 300 words. Most of us try to make the picture fit our current stories, but sometimes we need to branch out  For the past few months, we had various images from whicrestaurant signh to choose, but this month, we’re all on the same page–or rather–picture.

This week, I’ve managed to continue with Wedding Bell Blues, my contemporary romance. Here is the inspiration. It was a bit of a stretch, but…

So, here is your Tuesday Tale for this, the last week of July.

“I can’t believe it got dark just like that,” MJ said.

Paul ushered her along the boardwalk to the pathway. It only took three steps before he scooped her up into his arms.

“Put me down,” she said, with less enthusiasm than she should have. The aroma of his aftershave was doing strange things to her slightly inebriated senses.

“No way. The last thing I want is for you to twist your ankle. Relax and enjoy the ride.” He pulled her closer, and she had no choice but to put her arms around him and hang on. He veered off the path they’d used earlier.

“Where are we going?”

“I’m taking you in through the main doors.”

“I went in that way when I arrived, silly,” she said and giggled, enjoying herself far too much to quibble. How did that saying go? Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Once Mark and Melena arrived, that was quite possible.

Overhead, twinkling lights resembled hundreds of fireflies flitting through the canopy.

“Whoever designed this place is a genius,” MJ said.

Paul stepped out of the trees. The building was awash in the soft glow of multicolored floodlights. He set her gently on her feet, opened the main door, and stepped back, letting her walk ahead of him.

She gasped. It was like stepping four hundred years into the past. The foyer had been transformed into a town square. Wooden signs suspended from black wrought iron bars, identified the various areas, now designed to look like store fronts. The exquisite doors leading to the bar, had looked out of place earlier, but now fit right in.

“It’s beautiful.”

“Not as beautiful as you.”

“This way,” Paul said, leading her toward the closed doors under the restaurant sign.

Please take the time to check out the other  Tuesday Tales

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The Star Trek Experience: Welcome to Starfleet Academy

star-trek-splash-logo-6Good morning! Are you a Star Trek Fan? I am. I watched every single episode when they first aired in 1966. My teen imagination couldn’t get enough of the world of the future, and when the series was cancelled, I watched the reruns religiously. My husband got interested in Star Trek at university watching those reruns, and today, he’s as big a fan as they come. We had a Star Trek themed party for him when he turned 60.12204621_1027354927286026_1232929330_n

Currently, the Museum of Aviation in Ottawa, Ontario, has a Star Trek experience on the go. According to the website information, “The Starfleet Academy Experience provides cadet recruits with an opportunity to experience a “career day” at the Academy. In an immersive environment, recruits try out a number of activities to test their potential to train for careers as Medical Officers, Science Officers, Communications specialists, even Commanders. The experience is enriched with the actual science behind the science fiction as the participants learn about emerging technologies such as a functional tricorder, NASA’s warp drive theory, and the latest experiments with phasers and teleporters.”

I was lucky enough to attend “Starfleet Academy Career Day on Saturday. The tickets aren’t expensive and you get to visit the Aviation Museum as well–Two experiences for the price of one.

The first thing we saw as we entered the exhibit was a model of the Enterprise with an image of the Canadian flag superimposed on it. Enterprise

The next thing we saw was a complete timeline for the original Star Trek series and its many characters, starting with World War III and Zefram Cochrane, ending with the defeat of the Borg and Captain Janeway’s return to Earth. Timeline

Once inside the main exhibit, you have the opportunity to try various interactive devices. You can scan a Klingon and determine his treatment in Sick Bay. Perhaps you’d rather learn to speak Klingon if Communications appeal to you. If you like, you can even use technology to make an image of yourself as a alien.

Here are replicas of various medical instruments used on the show. What I particularly enjoyed was learning about the devices we have today that were born out of Gene Roddenberry’s imagination. Hyposprays have been used successfully to deliver mass vaccines.Medical EquipmentAs we moved through the exhibit, we were able to take short quizzes. Our answers determined what we’d be best suited for–they also tested your knowledge of the series, but many were hypothetical–what if–questions. You selected the most likely answer for you. Here John struggles to complete the Kobayashi Maru scenario. He managed to rescue 150 of the 300 people aTaking the testboard before the Klingons destroyed the Enterprise. I only managed to save 20 before I met the same fate.

Throughout the exhibit, there were star maps, uniforms worn by the cast in various series. I was most surprised by how thin the female cast members must’ve been. Galaxy map

The displays included posters, like this map of the Beta Quadrant as well as models of ships and shuttle crafts used in filming. filming models

You could even use the Transporter. They send you a short video of yourself getting your molecules scrambled. transporterI got to use the ship’s phasers to eliminate the enemy–brought down 33 out of 50 potential threats.  Very proud of myself since I don’t usually do that well at that kind of thing.

By far the most impressive aspect of the exhibit is the Bridge.

 

 

When all was said and done, we got our results. John, sitting in the Captain’s chair, would make a fine Science or Tactical officer, but guess what? I was given the choice of Engineering or Command. Damn, that chair feels mighty good!

My Star Trek experience isn’t over yet. At the beginning of September, I’m going to Fan Expo where I hope to meet Captain Kirk himself–he’s older, wiser, heavier, but aren’t we all? http://fanexpocanada.com/sci-fi-attractions/ 

My love of Star Trek gave me the idea for one of my novels.Just For The Weekend starts at a Sci-fi convention.  I plan to write a follow-up when I get back and use my experiences as part of the plot.

Well, that’s it for now. As Mr. Spock would say, “Live long and prosper!”