Exploring New Worlds with Callie and the World Diver: Cover Reveal

Welcome to the Compass Rose Queen! If you’re new here, this is a place to celebrate the journeys of women. Sometimes those are my journeys (of life or to real places), sometimes they’re journeys of historical women, and sometimes fiction. I have a real treat for you today of that last kind.

My friend Haylie’s book World Diver is coming out on April 20, 2021! I’ve read earlier versions of it, and each time it gets better and better. So I can’t wait to read this one. I’ll have all kinds of information below about the book, about Haylie, and how to order/preorder it. And even how to preorder some cool swag from Haylie. I look forward to taking journeys into the Luminaut Trilogy’s multiverse along with our hero Callie in this first book!

Book cover reveal! Shown here with preorder swag. Details for ordering below.

Official book blurb so you know what it’s about:

College, grades, extracurriculars–who cares? Sixteen-year-old slacker Callie James would rather make robot creations and surf waves with her best friend Will. Then she discovers a mysterious glowing rod under the ocean surface, and her entire world turns upside down.

One, her hands start glowing (weird). Two, she can now control people (awkward). Three, she accidentally brings her robotics project to life. Classes were hard enough without her robot Nemo literally eating her homework.

Only the reclusive Dr. Ormandi knows the truth: Callie is a Luminaut (aka a light wizard) and it’s her destiny to reunite the shattered multiverse by collecting all the Light Cores (aka the glowstick of doom) in all the other worlds. To do this, she must repair the World Diver, the fifty-foot tall robot lurking in Dr. Ormandi’s basement hangar.

As Callie learns about her Luminaut powers, Nate crash lands into her life. He’s hot. Funny. Crazy about her. One problem: he’s technically dead. Oh, and he insists uniting the multiverse will destroy everything.

Pursued by murderous interdimensional phantoms and plagued by insecurities, Callie must protect her family and friends, while figuring out who to trust.

And all before a deadly, looming evil snuffs out her Light for good.

Haylie Hanson

Haylie Hanson writes YA fantasy and science fiction about quirky kids with superpowers finding the courage to embrace their destiny. She has an unhealthy obsession with Star Wars, Stranger Things, and Marvel. Haylie used to teach elementary special education before changing careers, and now crafts brand new worlds in between making snacks for her two tiny spawn. She loves to read any kind of YA fantasy, especially books with characters whose voice can reach out and grab her from page one. When Haylie isn’t writing, she can be found drinking very strong coffee, trying not to kill plants, and dreaming of saltwater hair and summertime beaches.

To follow Haylie:

Instagram: @therealhayliehanson
https://www.instagram.com/therealhayliehanson/
Facebook: @HaylieMachadoHanson
https://www.facebook.com/hayliemachadohanson/
Website: http://www.hayliemhanson.com

To order/preorder the book and to get your preorder swag:

Here are the preorder links for World Diver:

Link for preorder receipt submissions: (to get cool swag)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepxAtjqosdQ_dU69wbuqM6UE99EsBiDd0X50mq5juc9xIBGA/viewform?gxids=7628

If you read it and enjoy it, feel free to leave a comment on here, or a review on whatever site you got it from. Enjoy the journey with Callie!

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12th Day of Christmas

Happy 12th Day of Christmas, or Twelfth Night! Today’s gift is two more Christmas-related holidays coming up. Yes, you heard that right. Endless Christmas! And yes, Shakespeare’s play is named after tonight.

Today is the last official “day of Christmas,” while tomorrow is a related holiday, called Epiphany, or Tres Reyes in many Spanish-speaking countries and communities. Epiphany celebrates the story of the Magi (also known as the Three Kings) visiting the baby Jesus. You can read about it in the Bible book of Matthew chapter 2. It’s called Epiphany, which means “revelation,” because it celebrates when Jesus was “revealed” to the gentile (non-Jewish) world.

Tonight is a special night in many countries as Epiphany festivities begin, and include things like children leaving out their shoes to be filled with gifts or goodies by the Three Kings. Sound familiar? In Germany, some children leave out their shoes at night on December 5 for St. Nicholas to fill them overnight, in time for the saint’s official day on the 6th. Funny that these traditions are exactly a month apart! Anyway, December 25 is definitely not the only day to get presents!

Some Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Epiphany a bit later due to following the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian one. This also means that their Christmas day is coming up, on January 7. Most people who celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany following the Gregorian one will take down their Christmas decorations tonight or tomorrow, but I plan to leave mine up until Eastern Orthodox Christmas day is over. I’ll take any excuse I can get to stretch out Christmas a bit longer this year! Actually, from what I’ve found online, there’s a tradition in some places that if you don’t take down your decorations by tonight, then you have to wait until the next holiday, Candlemas. Candlemas is on February 2, and celebrates when Mary took Jesus to be purified at the temple, according to Jewish law. You can read about it in the Bible book of Luke chapter 2.

Know what else is cool about Candlemas? It, along with Epiphany and Christmas, have been celebrated since many, many centuries ago. And there’s a primary document about it from a female pilgrim in the 4th century. No, not the kind of “pilgrims” we think of here in the USA (Puritans on the Mayflower eating turkey, etc.), but a person who traveled to a place considered holy in their religion. Etheria (also spelled Egeria, Eucheria, and Aetheria) was a Spanish nun who traveled to the Middle East in most likely the late 300s, and wrote about her experiences there, including celebrating Candlemas with Christians in the area. So cool that a woman traveled there in those early times, and wrote about it! (And I’m excited to wrap up this 12 Days of Christmas series with a woman’s journey!) Here are some of the places I found information for today’s post.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Peregrinatio-Etheriae

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Candlemas#ref287671

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Epiphany

For today’s prayer, let us pray for unity. I know we all have different views of what that should look like, and that’s okay. But let’s pray for God to guide us all, so we can be in unity about the things that are important in our communities and our world. Thank you.

Thank you for joining me in this 12 Day journey of stretching out Christmas. I’ve tried to spread some encouragement, inspiration, and some laughter (which we all need in these dark times). You’ve all blessed me with your comments, whether left on here or sent to me in private messages. I don’t blog very often, so this 12-day blitz was a stretching experience for me. But I enjoyed it, and I hope you did, too. Good night, and Merry Christmas! And happy Epiphany/Three Kings Day tomorrow!

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11th Day of Christmas

Confession: I’m struggling today. Struggling to stay positive. Struggling to stay sane in all this chaos and pressure coming from all sides making every little decision into a Major Moral Dilemma. And less emotional but still important: I’ve been struggling to think of any new “Christmas gifts” to give you as we nearly wrap up our journey through the 12 Days of Christmas together. ((Yeah, no, I did not actually have an outline when on Christmas Day I decided to do a 12-day blog series!) But I just thought of two things I want to give you.

One, the assurance that you’re not alone. Well, okay, you might be alone, due to the lockdowns and all. But you’re not alone in your wrestling with emotions. If you are struggling, please reach out to someone for help. Whether it’s a counselor, a doctor, a mentor, a recovery group sponsor, a teacher, or a friend or relative who understands you, please reach out. They can hopefully help point you in a direction, like helping you find someone else who can help you more specifically with what you’re struggling with. And remember, you’re not alone.

The other gift is a fun nerdy thing that I love. And in honor of my favorite author’s birthday yesterday, I give you: Tolkien’s Father Christmas letters. I have a tiny little book of them, but I think you can buy bigger editions that have more of the letters in them. Every year for many years, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote letters to his children, posing as Father Christmas. In them, Father Christmas and his assistant the North Polar Bear have hilarious adventures. You can read one of them and check out the letters here:

For today’s prayer, please join me in praying for the country of Niger. No, not Nigeria, although it’s close by. What they’re going through right now puts my problems in perspective.

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10th Day of Christmas

Happy 10th Day of Christmas! Can you believe Christmas is almost over? Yeah, I know a lot of you have long since taken down your decorations, but I’m quite enjoying this extension of the holiday season that my Catholic friends and family have known about all along. Thanks for joining me for my 12 Days of Christmas series!

It’s time for another funny video. We need to laugh about the craziness that’s happening. Because if we don’t, well, I’m sure you’ve all experienced what happens when we don’t laugh at it (yeah, I cry a ton!). So here is another YouTuber’s song parody, this time mashing up the 12 Days of Christmas song with this year of Covid ruling our lives in one way or another. Yup, I watch a lot of YouTube. But that’s because I don’t subscribe to any streaming services and only get 2-4 channels from the TV antenna, depending on the day’s weather. I’ve got to watch something fun while I stand at the counter washing dishes! (Actually, there are some really cool things on YouTube, including free lessons on writing fantasy/sci-fi by Brandon Sanderson that are fantastic)

Anyway, this video is from Chris Mann, and it’s not completely kid-appropriate (don’t worry, swear words are literally erased on the blackboard as well as bleeped out), so watch at your own risk. But it is hilarious.

For today’s prayer, please join me in praying for the nation of Yemen. They have been going through a lot for a long time, and are still facing hard times. Thank you.

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9th Day of Christmas

For today’s gift to you on this 9th day of Christmas, I want to share a resource that was shared with me last year. After seeing Frozen II, I said something on Facebook about appreciating the song “The Next Right Thing.” Yes, I know; it’s a song from a kids’ movie. But it struck a chord with me. For a variety of reasons, sometimes we are at a loss for what to do. We get overwhelmed. Stuck. Scared. Depressed. Fatigued.

A friend of mine told me about a podcast that discusses this. I had never really jumped on the podcast bandwagon. Mainly because I didn’t actually know how to access them. I thought you had to pay money or subscribe to services for them. But many podcasts are available for free on the author’s website.

Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, aptly named “The Next Right Thing,” was around before the Frozen song came to be, although I may not have ever discovered it if it weren’t for the song. I have listened to several of the podcasts and receive her newsletter. They are encouraging, inspiring, and practical in their lessons on how to overcome what she calls “decision fatigue.” I actually haven’t listened to any for several months, but I have thought of her wisdom several times during this pandemic. When I feel “frozen” in place (sorry, couldn’t help it) by moral dilemmas we’re all facing right now, I think of the song and the podcast, and I think to myself, “What is the next thing I can do?” Most of the time it’s something very mundane, like washing the dishes. But that simple action gets me un-stuck, and moves me forward to the bigger things I need to do.

Here is a link to Ms. Freeman’s website. You can listen to her podcast for free by clicking on the “Listen here on my website” button. Enjoy! I will probably start listening to them again myself, as well. Goodness knows I need to. These are tough times.

For today’s prayer, please consider praying for the Uighur people in China. They are being held in detention camps in an attempt to suppress their culture, and worse. Please hear me correctly- I love the country of China in general and the people there, and I do not want anyone thinking badly of everyday Chinese people for this (like the antagonistic treatment Asian-Americans have been receiving here due to the Coronavirus). But I do not condone what the government is doing to this people group. It is horrifying. Thank you for joining me in prayer for this.

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8th Day of Christmas/New Year’s Day

Happy New Year! And 8th Day of Christmas! I’m really enjoying this stretching Christmas out thing. I know; my Catholic friends and relatives already know that it’s still Christmas season until Epiphany. But I’ve never done it before. If you’re new to the Compass Rose Queen, I’m doing a series of posts to celebrate each of the 12 Days of Christmas, with a gift to you each day of something inspirational/encouraging/fun. as well as a gift to the world by asking you to join me in prayer for a region/group of people/situation.

Yesterday we did some reflection on this past year. After posting, I sat down with my journal and wrote short answers to each of the 10 questions. (Much shorter than my answer to Question 1 that I included as a sample- I had too much fun describing some beautiful things I experienced last year!)

Today I’d like us to hope and dream and plan a bit for this next year. Don’t worry; it won’t be hard! And I know, even as we look forward, we will still look back to grieve things from this last year. Don’t be afraid of that. It was a tough year, and I don’t think positivity means pretending the hard stuff didn’t happen. Whether your grieving loss of work from lockdowns, loss of home from natural disasters or war, or loss of loved ones due to Covid or war or anything else, or even just feeling the grief of loneliness from all the social distancing, let yourself feel the pain of loss from time to time. But please keep looking forward with hope, too. I am trying to.

With that, let’s get started. I have three easy tasks to plan for 2021. And don’t forget to at least skim to the bottom to join me in prayer for a group of people.

Part 1: Ask yourself, what big things am I hoping for or looking forward to this year?

For me, most of the things I’m hoping for are too private to share on here. But I believe that verbalizing things can solidify our drive to make them happen as well as giving us things to look forward to. So I’ll share these two things: I would like to move to a 2-bedroom apartment. And as soon as it’s safe regarding Covid, I hope to drive to the Southwest to visit my BFFs, and if I can afford the time and money, to Texas and the Midwest to visit my relatives. What am I going to do about these things? I plan to set up a separate savings account for a new apartment (deposit, etc.). It’s been in my spending plan for a while, but without a separate savings account for it, I just keep forgetting to actually set that money aside for it. And I already have a practice of setting aside money for travel.

Part 2: What new things did I do in 2020 that I would like to do again, or make into traditions?

I did a lot of new short-term/seasonal things that I hope to do again, like Zoom family reunions and game nights, peach-picking, mushroom hunting, cider pressing, taking my mom kayaking, wildflower hiking, watching Dinner For One on New Year’s Eve, and many others. Even if I don’t do them all again this year, they were great experiences.

There’s one long-term thing that I did that I definitely want to do again. This was the first full calendar year that I completed a gratitude journal by filling it in every single day. My writer friend Doreen gave me a “2020 Vision Planner” she’d designed that had space for this as well as other spaces for planning and reflection. Little did she know how vital that would become when days (which became weeks and months) stuck at home due to the pandemic blurred into one another. Finding something to be grateful for each day became a lifeline. Sometimes it was just for enough break from the rain to go for a walk. Other times for a gift from a friend or something that went well. Still other times for a characteristic of God (His love, etc.). Thank you, Doreen!

And in keeping with that gratefulness practice, I’m thankful for these new things that helped 2020 feel not so wasted. And thankful to God for helping me survive this crazy year.

Part 3: What new experiences or practices do I want to try in 2021?

I’ll have to consult my thick “My Ultimate Bucket List” book that one of my besties gave me for this one. A lot of the time, I stumble upon things, like the unplanned mushroom hunting when a friend and I hiked the forested ridges at the coast this last summer, or when a friend invites me to do something I’d never done before. I definitely want to go back to the bouldering gym once they reopen from the lockdowns, because I have more punches to use on my card. That one’s not really new, but still a goal. I’d like to raft the Rogue and hike the Steens and Wallowas and Broken Top and every other gorgeous mountain in Oregon. Ooh, here in the middle of the book is one that I’d marked but haven’t done yet: Submit a photo to National Geographic! I should do that. I have entered photos in the county fair and scrapbook pages in the state fair, but nothing to Nat Geo. Oh, there’s so many things I’d like to do!

Happy dreaming and planning and having high hopes for this new year! I hope it is a good year for all of us, despite the challenges that will inevitably come our way.

For today’s prayer, let’s pray for everyone who is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts. Here in my region, this is a dark time of year from all the rain and short days, and even in normal years it can be tough on people. And now people are more isolated and lonely than ever due to the pandemic. Please pray for hope and for help for anyone who is struggling with this. Thank you.

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7th Day of Christmas/New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year’s Eve! At least in the Gregorian calendar. If I forget to say it on future New Year’s holidays this year: Happy New Year’s in the Julian calendar, Happy Chinese New Year, Happy Nowruz, Happy Islamic calendar New Year, and any others that I’m forgetting!

Today’s gift is the gift of reflection, and thanks to my writer friend Diana for sharing this website with me. This website has 10 great questions to ask yourself about this past year. Do this exercise however you wish: grab a notebook and journal your answers, talk them through with a person close to you, or even just think through them yourself. You can do as many of the questions as you want. I’ll answer one of them below, in my usual long-winded way.

End Your Year Intentionally with These 10 Questions

Also, because it’s New Year’s Eve, I’m going to share with you this German tradition. People there watch this hilarious classic British sketch every year, despite it not being shown much in Britain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVd_VLO9xcc Be aware that the first two minutes is an introduction in German, but the rest is in English. To understand why it’s so popular there, check out this short funny video by a Brit living in Germany which analyzes this phenomenon. https://www.dw.com/en/dinner-for-one-a-bizarre-german-new-years-eve-tradition/av-51711675

For today’s prayer, let’s pray for 2020 to be better for everyone, especially people who have been hit the hardest by natural disasters, war/terrorism, or the pandemic. And for everyone who is spending the holiday alone. Thank you.

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I’ll put my answer to #1 here to whet your appetite. It reads “What makes this year unforgettable?” Well, obviously Covid, but besides that, I’ll say Wildflowers, Waterfalls, and Wacky/Wonderful times with family.

Before the lockdowns began, I got to visit my friend in Fremont, and she took me hiking to Coyote Hills overlooking the Bay. The best part? Poppies everywhere, against the rocky outcrops and on the lush green hills. In July, I got to hike the Cone Peak/Iron Mountain trail with my friend Natasha. Up high in the Old Cascades, the meadows were blanketed with every color you could imagine. In August, my friend Alex and I hiked the epic Whitewater Creek trail to Jefferson Park. There were some flowers still in the alpine meadows, but in the areas of the trail burned by a wildfire a couple years ago, there was bright pink tall fireweed everywhere. This gives me hope for the future now that the entire area has burned from the crazy fires this year.

In Oregon, waterfalls are a dime a dozen, and I’ve seen so many of them multiple times. But this year, I got to see some that I’d never seen before. Natasha and I found four of them east of Cottage Grove just after a big rain, so the water was plentiful but other hikers were blessedly scarce. I had no idea these gorgeous falls were so close! Later in the summer, I took my niece to Henline Falls in the Opal Creek wilderness area. After playing in the crystal clear pool below it, we followed the directions I’d found online to find some unofficially named, off-trail waterfalls. We had to hike up and down crazy steep not-quite-trails and then “creek-whack” to the first of the “Family Falls” waterfalls, Jerry Falls. From there, we couldn’t make it over the giant boulders to get to any of the other waterfalls, so we turned back. But it was great fun seeing a beautiful waterfall that very few people had. And probably won’t for a while, since that whole area was also burned by wildfires this summer. I also saw other falls that I’d seen before but love. Mom and I checked out awesome Paulina Falls on a day trip to Central Oregon. And of course, when my friend Cindy came to visit me in Oregon, I took her to my favorite waterfalls, Upper and Lower Proxy Falls.

For wacky and wonderful times with family, I will mention a few of these treasured times. For Easter, I put together a Zoom family reunion for my mom’s side of the family that is spread out across the USA. They liked it so much that we’ve kept it going every month! Actually, this answer would count for question #4, “What’s your biggest win this year?” Getting to know family more has been great. My nieces in Ohio attended some of my Zoom game nights in the spring. It was so great to see them, and my great-niece and great-nephew! I also took mom on some day trips where she got to face some fears: kayaking beautiful Clear Lake, driving to the top of Paulina Peak, and picking peaches. Okay, no fears at the peach farm, but that was a first for me, so it was fun! I also got to see my dad’s side of the family for an outdoor picnic when my cousin joined the military, and got to pretend-camp in my cousin’s yard and eat cold s’mores with one of her adorable kids. And of course, old-fashioned visits with the rest of my immediate family (dad, brother, nieces and nephews, etc.). Then there’s the extended family- I got to camp at Waldo Lake again with my cousin-in-laws and friends from church, and go on short hikes and do other fun outdoor activities with friends.

All these things helped keep me going when the weather turned cold and we couldn’t get together as easily. What made this year unforgettable for you? What was your biggest win? Feel free to answer these or any of the other 10 questions in the comments below.

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6th Day of Christmas

For today’s gift, I give you: Games! First, a Smithsonian article about Christmas games from around the world. My favorite? Oaxaca’s “Night of the Radishes.”

The next article is also from the Smithsonian, a collection of online versions of board games that you can play with your family or friends from anywhere during this upcoming winter of more social distancing. There are a couple that I want to try! Anyone game? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

For today’s around-the-world prayer, please join me in praying for safety of civilians in Afghanistan, especially the Hazara people who are being targeted by IS there. Thank you.

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5th Day of Christmas

Happy 5th Day of Christmas! For today’s gift, I give you the gift of daydreaming about journeys around the world. Pilgrimages and epic treks fascinate me. I recently wrote a short story with a main character that lived along the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James). When I lived in Central Asia, I was in one of the countries the Silk Road went through. Currently, I live less than two hours from the Pacific Crest Trail. I’ve gone a few miles of it, on short backpacking trips, but that’s it! Someday I’d love to do a long trek. That takes time, money, planning, and training. But you never know!

So today’s link to something fun was tipped off to me by my writer friend Professor Popinjay (you can find his column in Springfield, Oregon’s Free For All newspaper and on his Facebook group page). This is the longest walkable road network in the world. Check it out in this article by Popular Mechanics (link below). It looks amazing! I don’t think I know anyone who would ever actually accomplish it (for a variety of reasons), but it does look like good inspiration for my writer friends. I could see a fun adventure novel based on this in the vein of Around the World in 80 Days. Happy daydreaming! How many of you would take this trek if you could?

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a30285283/longest-walkable-distance-earth/#:~:text=The%20suspected%20longest%20walking%20route,Trail%20are%20short%20by%20comparison.

For today’s prayer, let’s pray for the whole world! Why not, since we’re dreaming about trekking halfway around it? But specifically, let’s pray for the world to heal from the devastating effects of Covid-19, including our own countries/regions/cities. Thank you for joining me in this!

Me in one of the places that the road looks like it goes through! (2013; photo by one of my friends)
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4th Day of Christmas

Happy 4th Day of Christmas! I hope you are enjoying this holiday season with loved ones, as safely as possible.

For today’s gift, I want to tell you about an inspiring woman. At age 51, after being widowed and divorced, Méxican-American plant lover Ynéx Mexía discovered her life’s calling while studying botany at the University of California. According to her card in my Women Explorers Knowledge Cards deck, she discovered over 500 new species while traveling all over the Americas, many times by herself, in Alaska, Mexico, and all over South America. You can read more about her in the National Park Service’s webpage at https://www.nps.gov/people/ynes-mexia.htm

Since it’s Christmastime and we’ve mentioned Mexico, I’d love to share with you the beautiful legend of how poinsettias became associated with Christmas! The alternate name for them is “Flores de noche buena” or “flower of the holy night.” A little girl wanted a gift to bring to the Christ child on Christmas Eve, but she had no money. Find out what happend at https://www.farmersalmanac.com/the-legend-of-the-pointsettia-2815

And completely random but just for fun, since our hero today traveled to South America too, check out this adorable fresh news piece from the BBC, about a dog on the soccer field in Bolivia. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-55458599

For today’s region to pray for, please join me in praying for Venezuela. They have been struggling economically and politically since long before the pandemic, which has exacerbated the situation. Thank you.

Reference for Women Explorer Cards Deck: by Sharon M. Hannon, published by Pomegranate Communications, Inc.

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