My Email to NPR’s Good Words To You!

Last weekend the hosts talked about how the word ‘nickname’ was originally ”an eke name”, meaning an extra name. The wanted listeners to send in odd nicknames. That rang my bell:

My Eke Name

From: Mary Wall <flintspringsroad…

To:”words@waywordradio.org” <words@waywordradio.org

Sent: Mon, Jan 11, 2021 04:38 PM

Hello!

I’m a dedicated listener who has been fascinated by words since I first chewed on my Golden Book ‘Three Little Kittens’ while teething. I’ve written a dozen Science Fiction books and several others since. I have a library of over 7500 books in my forest cabin in Western Kentucky and also have an online bookstore at ABE Books (I’m Old lady Who?)and I try to sell as many as I can!

To wit: I have bitten the hook you cast out last weekend for nicknames. From the first I can remember, I was called Hoot and Hootenanny. I thought my name was Hoot and told it to anyone I met. We were poor and isolated on a gravel road that deadended at Slop Ditch, all this in the Louisville city limits. My parents never got past 9th grade. Thus I got no preschool or kindergarten, but went straight into first grade. In my Dollar Store t-shirt and high-water pants and smiling with my crooked teeth, I proudly wrote ‘Hootenanny’ on my name tag neatly and as I’d taught myself to read all the books at home including Gone with the Wind, the Wagner Encyclopedia (that I stole from a goodwill donation box) and any books I could borrow from the Bookmobile.

I received the first derision of the unending trail of it throughout school, however after that first occurrence, I learned how to spell Mary Ellen Wall. And after winning the 8th grade Science Fair and using the $50 prize to buy a sewing machine, I learned how to sew my own and my Mama’s and Sisters’ clothes. I was personally proud of them (particularly of my floor-length, low cut waist, purple brushed denim flared jeans) whether anyone else liked them or not. I became indelibly independent and introspective.

I finally relearned real confidence by joining the US Navy in my late teens as a nuclear mechanic tasked with maintaining nuclear submarines; they made me speak up and look the judges in the eyes while getting my initial qualifications on the USS Dixon that was docked at Point Loma in San Diego when not cruising the Pacific. That two years extensive training and experience, a Bachelors degree, a Masters degree as well as multiple professional certifications got me a Nuke Engineer position at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. I worked there ten years to be able to buy 100 acres of gorgeous Kentucky woodland where I built my own log cabin. Full circle, eh? Sorry for the long letter; when I start writing it’s tough to stop!

Thanks for this opportunity to participate!

Mary Ellen ‘Hootenanny’ Wall

P.S.  In my 10 volume Sci-Fi adventure series, the lead character is Elise t’Hoot Dutch refugee 105 years from now. She made her illegal way to her aunt’s cabin in Western Kentucky, went to WKU, signed up for an interplanetary trip to supply the colony planets, met tree-like aliens along the way and smuggled them to the first colony called Tenembras. Adventures ensue, including saving Earth from climate change with her alien friends’ aid and from mighty aliens that dislike fusion reactors. Ha! MEW

Resolved!

I fell off the ‘writing a blog’ bus because I was busy writing a new book and getting more of the ones I’d already written published! I hope to get the Elise t’Hoot Galactic Adventure print set out in a week or two. This one on dowsing is out in eBook now, print is coming as soon as Ingram gets off it’s tookus.

Here are a couple links:

The Communicating With Various Entities book:

Conversing With Various Entities – Kindle edition by Wall, Mary, E. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ AmazonSmile.

The Various Entities Shoppe – in progress! I did put a blog up there with a training video up there if you’d like to try it!

What’s all this about? You’ve heard of folks in the country using a forked stick to locate a spot to sink a well? Same thing, taken much farther. The book covers the history including my experience doing the water witching just described. That stick is cumbersome and doesn’t fit in your pocket very well. A pendulum (see below) works on the same principles but is much more versatile. Get your answers to the rest here!

The Answer Book
PENDULUMS!

Siren Bay

Hey All!

I thought I might share a story I recently submitted to a writer’s contest:

SIREN BAY

Kinja gazed hungrily at the glinting water. No one came this far, no one crossed the safety barriers. She shed her long-sleeved shirt and long pants and folded them atop her slip-ons that had her socks tucked inside. The mean sun burned her tender skin. Treatments from her last secret dive had taken five weeks of caustic scrubs and she’d had the runs all that time as well. She’d heard sirens would lure sailors into the water and drown them. Silly myth, yet she felt the beat of a siren’s heart within her breast; the water called her home.

The puny overhang couldn’t be called a cliff. Kinja remembered seeing the Acapulco cliff diver arrowing into the sapphire waters once, back on Earth. Even then they’d said the cliff seemed puny compared to the days of lower seas, when a sprawling city surrounded the area. She remembered the sound of applause out there, a mere breeze compared to the gale-force acclaim she’d won at the Toronto Open.

If a bird flew by she’d leap after it. No birds. If a dolphin breached and squeaked, she’d dive in to meet it. No dolphins. Terraforming lagged on most everything. Toes on the crumbling edge, she felt the gray regolith sink beneath her feet. Rather than fall, she’d best dive, dolphin or not.

As she sliced into the warm water, her brain reveled in the flight, in the contact, in the sensation of weightless gliding. Flexing her thin form, she angled to the surface. The algae mats topped the sea as far as she could see, horizon east to west, so no swimming from her lagoon. A soft, swift current thrilled her from her legs up. The lighter gravity made swimming harder; she found simple one arm then the other, kick, kick worked most effectively.

At the sharp rocks at the lagoon mouth, she kicked off a flat surface and raced as fast as her muscles and lungs could manage all the way to the low beach at the diagonal. Climbing out on her knees, black shoes appeared before her happy eyes. Her heart fell and she boot lacesflipped over onto the hot sand.

“You knew better and did it anyway. I sympathize but you know the hazard from the bio-package we seeded the sea with, and the consequences.” Her father dropped her stack of clothes and shoes beside her. “Get dressed; you know where we’re going.”

The scrub was deemed too risky so soon after the last time. They put her into the Conditioning Chamber. She occasionally perceived faces surrounding the translucent bubble but heard nothing. The chamber had been used once before – the guy had gone crazy and they couldn’t attend to his heart attack in time. The unending tickling, the feeling of millions of fire ants crawling around on her bare skin to remove the tenacious accelerated growth enzymes and seeds did not bother her. She put herself in the 2115 Olympic Trials and re-swam each precious stroke in her mind. The surge in her heart when she realized her hand hit the bar a full second before her rival’s kept her skin peels and regeneration far, far away. The golden trophy weighed less that you’d think. She’d hugged it then and she felt the smooth, cool thing against her breastbone. She got out of the Chamber tender and weak on her eighteenth birthday.

They fitted her out with a collar that would give her a severe shock if she even went near the safety barriers. She bent her mind to making this alien sea her friend.

***

As the top scientist for oceanic life genesis she finally succeeded with her decade-long project. She savored the congratulations from the entire community. She walked up to her father with a pair of side nippers. He clipped her collar with a grin. She stood before them and gave her many thanks to all those who’d accepted her single-minded attack on the terraforming problems and had assisted her efforts so ably. At 31 she’d earned her right to say, “Sign up for swimming lessons first thing tomorrow. If you want me today, I’ll be in Siren Bay.”