Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Harvest Poetry

Combines at night 
with their lights
working beneath a harvest moon.
Bright spell.
Dusty, musty new-mown smells
of harvest. 
Cold thick haze
born of warmer days 
over the lower fields.
I feel. 

Harvest Poetry is brought to you by DISPASSIONATE LIES

"...drama, intrigue, and asks some really interesting questions." 

"It will surprise, titillate and fascinate you."

"..kidnaps the reader and compels them to

"A story of intrigue, love, and lust" 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mushrooms and Roses

I felt somewhat like young Katrina, the protagonist in The Traz, out there today in the mellow autumn sun with my basket.

However, Katrina accomplished a lot more with her mushroom picking, than I did. She used it as a cover when she disabled the perimeter sensors of The Traz biker gang compound and then disabled some of the bikers with the toxic Amanita muscaria as the cops swooped in.

Throughout her year-long stay on the compound, she was also known to buy favors from the bikers now and then with the hallucinogenics she found.

Oh, well. At least I get a delicious side dish for supper tonight, and some flowers to brighten my kitchen.

Mushrooms and Roses has been brought to you by THE TRAZ

"Exciting, power, and tragic..."

 “I recommend this dark and compelling story…”

 “I was heart broke when it was over”

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Female Writer, Male Protagonist...

Although I have male characters in all my published novels, the main character has always been female. I'll break with that tradition in my upcoming SciFi trilogy, Project W.Olf (to be released by WolfSinger Publications in 2019).

I remember writing a short story in Grade 6 and my teacher complimenting me on writing first person from a male perspective. She said children usually stick to writing from their own gender view point. So immersed had I been in my story, until the teacher mentioned it, I hadn't realized I'd written it from a boy's point of view.

I seem to have fluid gender identity when it comes to my imagination. I recently found a short story I wrote in Grade 3 (it won a first place ribbon at the local fair). It, too, was written from a male perspective--a young boy named Daryl talked to a beaver about what his 'dam' life was like.

I don't know--can authors realistically portray what it's like to be of the opposite gender? Have you ever read a book and double checked the gender of the author because you didn't find a character believable (i.e. must be a male writer because a woman wouldn't do that, say that, think that).

As an author, I find it exhilarating to be unfettered by gender roles and biases when designing my characters. What it boils down to, for me, is at the core of our being we're all the same, no matter our gender, the colour of our skin, our religion, nationality, income. We all hurt. We all love. We all make dreadful mistakes. And hopefully, we all forgive.

Female Writer, Male Protagonist has been brought to you by SHADOW RIDERS.
"Shadow Riders is a thriller with depth and weight and fully explored characters" #CrimeFiction

"Shadow Riders is interesting, intelligent, and exciting." #thriller #gangs

"The reappearance of the BackTracker series characters is welcome for those who are already fans"

"Readers will feel Allie's pain in this chilling new psychological-suspense from Schuh..."

"...anticipation and fear, sympathy and revulsion." SHADOW RIDERS #PsychologicalThriller

“A riveting plot & dynamic characters will leave you craving more." SHADOW RIDERS #SouthKorea

Eileen Schuh, Author 
Schrödinger's Cat
Web site:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Three Things I didn't know until today

"You're never too old to learn" vs "You can't teach old dogs new tricks"

I think I'm pretty clever and have lived a long time, done much, and learned just about everything until days like today strike.

It seems one mindlessly accepts the world as it is until something, for reasons not understood, piques one's interest. "Have you ever seen a chickadee's nest?" Hubby asked as we watched the cheery, plentiful birds flit about our campsite.

I realized I didn't know if I had because I had no idea what a chickadee's nest looks like.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, our get-away campsite has no internet or cell phone service, so googling chickadee nests had to wait for the weekend to be over.

Half the time these days, things I want to google go in one side of my brain and then disappear into the ether before I get anywhere near a computer or smartphone. It was halfway through the  next week before I remembered to look up the nesting habits of chickadees. I discovered no, I likely have never seen a chickadee's nest because they build them inside tree holes and hollows. But, as always happens when one surfs the net, another curiosity arose. Along with the chickadee nest article were instructions on how to build a 'bird house' that chickadees would nest in. Included in those instructions were tips on how to keep the squirrels out of the house as they might raid the nest and eat the eggs.

Squirrels eat eggs? I thought squirrels ate nuts, and pine cones, and judging by the mess they once made in our abandoned outhouse, tissues, mushrooms, corncobs, and carpet strings. I was pretty sure this was an example of 'internet misinformation.'

Further research on my trusted nature sites revealed, yes, both chipmunks and squirrels will raid birds' nests and not only eat the eggs, but eat the hatchlings, too. Some, in fact, have been known to catch and kill adult birds. (They've also been known to scavenge dead birds.)

Okay, so there went my impressions of kind and cute vegetarian squirrels, but also therein lay the answer to my burning question about where the unhatched robin's egg on my deck went after the fledglings fledged.

I was pondering these newfound facts of nature as I hiked through my forest this afternoon when I came across a fresh pile of bear scat. I pondered that for a while, trying to decipher what it was the bear was eating since the spring infestation of tent caterpillars had severely stunted the saskatoon berry crop. There were seeds of some sort in the scat, perhaps raspberry and strawberry as due to the caterpillars destroying the forest canopy, extra sunlight reached these plants.

When I came across the second pile of bear scat an observation struck me.  Most people would not be prone to thinking deeply when encountering bear scat, either about food sources of Ursa or wood frogs, but authors are known to be unlike most people in their view of the world and their thought processes. I surmise, because about then I realized both times as I neared the scat pile, five or six frogs hopped away from it.  When the same thing happened at the third pile, I realized frogs eat bear scat, something even google doesn't seem to know.

About then, I pulled my canister of bear spray from my holster...

The three things I learned today:
1. Chickadees build their nests inside trees
2. Chipmunks and squirrels eat birds
3. Wood frogs eat bear scat

Brought to you by DISPASSIONATE LIES. One more step and the most powerful computer in the world will be hers, and hers alone.

Eileen Schuh, Author 
Schrödinger's Cat
Web site:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Criminal Minds at Work: Genetically modified...

Criminal Minds at Work: Genetically modified...: According a recent MacLean's article,   "Canadians ate 4.5 tonnes of unlabelled GM salmon without knowing it this past year" ... Today on Criminal Minds at Work I look at the law and GMO

Friday, June 1, 2018

Pauline Barclay : We've Decided to do it Again!

I do another reading from my BackTracker series on Pauline Barclay's blog. This time from FATAL ERROR. Listen to it here: Pauline Barclay : We've Decided to do it Again!: I am talking about VLOGs!  Author, Eileen Schuh has returned to talk about, Fatal Error, book two in the BackTracker series, in ano...

Eileen Schuh,
Canadian writer

Friday, May 25, 2018

We're someone's computer game, they say

Suppose I notice that in the morning after a good night’s sleep, I often successfully pass a level in Candy Crush that I had spent hours the day before unsuccessfully trying to complete. Suppose I wonder if sleep somehow has helped me decipher the pattern needed to complete the level. Suppose to test this theory I do an experiment with subjects in a lab where sleep is monitored and with researchers not knowing which test subjects have ‘slept on’ the problem and which one’s haven’t. Suppose that experiment shows that who have slept have a competitive advantage over those who have not—all else being equal.

I therefore decide that sleep does indeed help with learning.

What if I was I was later to find out that those who wrote the Candy Crush game programmed in an algorithm that stipulates if a gamer does not actively play the game for eight or more hours, the game will be made easier once the gamer returns to action and that morning abilities are not dependent on sleep?

What if nothing is as it seems, even when scientifically tested? What if I were to find out the entire cosmos runs on algorithms and that my sense of self-determination is an illusion and that my ability to make choices, plan my life, pursue success rests more on programmed abilities and limitations than on what I perceive as my personal choice and work ethic?

There is a new theory floating around the physics’ world that suggests such might be the case, the Simulation Theory.

Of course we know that much of our physical identity is programmed by our genes--the colour of our eyes, our gender, our propensity for cancer--but what if our mental and spiritual identities are also programmed in a similar way? In fact, what if the entire cosmos is?

Suppose a bi-racial American woman’s life is programmed so if she does everything correctly, she will marry a British prince?

Or, say a woman’s life is programmed so that if she writes a single book about a Mr. Grey, she will become a popular author, no matter how well or not-so-well that book is written. Whereas another woman is programmed so that no matter how many books she writes, well-written or not, she never will achieve fame or fortune?

The role of chance and choice raises havoc with our understanding of the universe, prompting even Einstein to once declare that certain scientific understandings of the universe could not be true because “God does not play dice with the universe.” (Scientists like to be very rational.)

Take statistics on car accidents, for example. With each accident happening supposedly independently of all others, in an unplanned way, miles apart, how is that the number of accidents forecast to happen over a long weekend, is inevitably close to the number that actually occurs?

Is it because of an algorithm?

Why is it that we can predict that over the long haul, when flipping a coin, 50% of the time it will be heads, and the other 50% it will be tails? Does each flip know what happened before so it can work to even things out? Can each flip see the future and know what it has to be?

Or, is it because some superior being has written an algorithm dictating that with two equally possible outcomes of a repetitive action, half the time the outcome must be one and half the time the other?

Are people who feel content with life, who have found their ‘calling’, simply those who are tuned into the algorithm that is their life?

Are those with difficult lives, who find success hard, who end up homeless, addicted perhaps and on the street, simply those who are programmed to do so? Or are they people who have not yet done what the cosmos has algorithmically determined they must do to attain happiness and/or success?

Do we as people and we as civilizations repeat our past mistakes because that’s what we’re programmed to do? Are those who keep repeating an action hoping for a different result doing so because that’s how they’re designed?

Many physicists, mathematicians and computer programmers think we might be more virtual than we believe.

Exactly how that truth would make a difference in our daily lives or in our understanding of ourselves and our universe, or in our culpability or heroism, is up for discussion.

If we could learn to decipher our personal algorithm as we have deciphered our DNA, could we lead more successful lives? Could we be happier because we’d be doing what we were designed to do, just as we as children may give up efforts and dreams to play in the MBA if we were to discover by DNA analysis that we'll be under 6' tall as adults?

If we knew that according to our programming, we had to first become an actress and move to Toronto, Canada before meeting and marrying our prince, we could do that—or not do it because the alternative is more to our liking. Or, is there an alternative, or are we just destined to be where we are doing what we're doing, moving through what appears to be time toward an inevitable fate?

What we all want to know, though, is exactly who is it that’s doing the programming? And are/were these algorithmic creator/s, programmed by someone else?

Or is it just that today's computer programmers are super self-centered and egotistical along with the physicists they’ve dragged into their Simulation circle? i.e. “We created the Cosmos!!! It was us!!!”

* * *

"We're someone's computer game" is brought to you by DISPASSIONATE LIES, my scifi novella wherein Ladesque is set to unleash a quantum computer on the world. And she will control the power!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Writing for our leaders

I was going to get some seasoned authors and critics to help me blog about the literary genre, but it turns out we all got too busy.  So I’ll go it on my own.

Literary novels are the novels taught in schools and universities. They are the classics or are on the path to becoming classics. They may or may not make the New York Times best sellers list, but they generally win all the prominent book awards. They are often selected to be read by book clubs.

They are sometimes not all that entertaining, because entertainment is not their prime purpose.

My novels, so far, have been written to entertain the masses. It is my hope that almost anyone who picks up one of the BackTracker novels, or one of my science fiction novellas will read it and enjoy it. I want the main characters to be likable, the plot to be exciting, the beginning to be compelling and the ending to be satisfying.

I want people to learn a bit about themselves, about their world, about science, drugs, gangs...the police. I want people to ponder the plot, talk about the social issues exposed in the stories. Yes, I want to make a difference in people’s lives, in the world, but I want to do that through appealing to many, keeping my message simple, and gently prodding people to consider new ways of thinking and living.

None of that applies to books in the literary genre.

Literary novels are written to appeal to societal leaders. Characters are multidimensional and are often liked by some readers and not others. As in real life, the plot or action is often not very exciting, the major changes and challenges are often occurring within the characters rather than within the plot.

Over and above all that, a literary novel takes liberty with all rules of writing. The climax might come at the beginning of the literary novel, the ending may be in the middle, the prologue at the end.  The setting may become a character in itself, a character may in essence, be the plot. Setting, may upon close examination actually be pure emotion while a description of the insignificant might portray the universe.

A literary novel is not told with action and dialogue but with an unremitting stirring of emotions. To meet that end, it is rife with literary devices, hidden from the conscious view of the reader. Rhythm and rhyme, allusion, anaphora and alliteration. Metaphor.

A literary novel manipulates emotion and thought without the readers’ awareness and often without their consent.

A reader who puts down a literary novel, remains emotionally trapped for hours in the warp where the novel has led them...and doesn’t know why.

Literary novels don’t necessarily instigate social change, they just as often rob readers of their will to make changes, because after all, life inevitably leads to death—a common theme in literary novels. There always is a message, though. Often poignant, sometimes futile.

Readers who live the emotional experience of reading a novel in the literary genre are ultimately responsible for how effective the story will be at making things better. 

The importance of the literary novel rests not so much on what’s between its covers, but what’s between the ears of the readers who deign to read it.

Writing for our leaders has been brought to you by SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT 

I loved it from the first word." #SciFi 

"And the ending I never expected" #QuantumPhysics

"thoroughly rocked my socks..." #SciFi #multiverse 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

To make a short story long...

My work in progress is not going well. I set out to write a novel and ended up with short story. Everything I wanted to say and all that the characters wanted to do has taken far fewer words than planned.

It’s especially distressing as this was to be my first attempt at writing a literary novel, and literary novels are noted for being wordy and detailed. How my literary attempt came up so short, I’m not sure.  I am not a short story writer. In fact, I have so much to say and my characters insist on so many adventures, I write not only novels but entire series.

I’m not giving up on my quest to be literary, though. Short stories can become novels. I was introduced to my first one in high school. Flowers for Algernon is an award-winning science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes.

I did not find Keyes short story lacking in any way, yet the author very cleverly and not at all redundantly, wove his initial ideas into a wonderful book-length story.

That said, unlike Keyes who published his short story first, I don’t intend on letting this short story escape my hard drive. I want to take my amazing short-story characters and develop them. I want to detail their stories, deepen their emotions, make their problems more convoluted.  I want the settings to become powerfully symbolic and the novel’s social message much more profound.

We’ll keep at it!

Next time, I’ll explore what that this novel-in-progress needs in order to be elevated to the “literary” genre.

To make a short story long...has been brought to you by DISPASSIONATE LIES

“after the first few chapters, I became hooked” #Romance #thriller #SciFi

"has drama, intrigue, and asks some really interesting questions." 

"it will surprise, titillate and fascinate you" 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Criminal Minds at Work: #DeleteFacebook

Criminal Minds at Work: #DeleteFacebook: Yes, I'm still on Facebook despite the kerfuffle in the news about the role Facebook data may have played in Cambridge Analytica and Agg...

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Spring promises

Spring is here with all its tease and impending promise.

Beyond the whistle of the late March blizzard, one can feel it. Hear it. Even the snow now falls slower, quieter, laden with the promise of a quick melt. The chickadees chirp louder, with more persistence, with a familiarity born of eight long months of winter feeding and...their newfound longing to mate. In the evenings, at times a grouse drums in the forest.

On sunny days, the sun rises earlier and travels higher and kisses warmer.  The robins and the geese are yet to arrive, but we imagine them. They will come—soon. Expectations.

Spring—that time of year when life opens. When the future is more imminent than ever. Spring, when graduations happen, careers are chosen, love is consummated and new life is conceived. When one is rejuvenated, inspired, preparing. Learning.


I’m old. My careers have ended. Love is listless. My children are now the restless parents and my bucket list is terrifyingly short. All that’s on the horizon is another summer, a bout of gout. Another realization that one more summer sport must be put aside.


I foresee one more adventure becoming nothing but a virtual campfire dream.

Spring—what do you wish me to do? What new and amazing and intriguing things are you promising? Riding in on your warm breezes is a renewed passion for...what?  What new truths are streaming in your rays, hitting my face, filling an eager mind with wonder?

What spring looks like where I live

I feel the power of your  potential, but Spring, exactly what are you promising this old lady?

Spring Promises has been brought to you by the BackTracker Series. At 15 she ratted out The Traz biker gang. She'll be endangered forever. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Criminal Minds at Work: DNA and Privacy

Criminal Minds at Work: DNA and Privacy: THE LEGAL ISSUES When my kids gifted my husband and I  DNA testing kits, we both got a tad nervous.   Not so much because we feared what might ...

Ancestry--from whence one came

I’m not really a nut over family trees; to me the significance of my ancestors has rested mostly in the stories told to me by my parents. Faces and names and branches on trees mean little to me without a story.

Some people are obsessed with their ancestry, believing perhaps that by remembering and honoring those who have gone before, they will find a measure of immortality in their descendants’ pursuit of the same passion.

I pursue my immortality by publishing novels.

But curiosity is what it is—as is Holiday advertising. So when my son and his family gifted hubby and myself DNA testing kits for Christmas—after a month of research and contemplation I spit in the vial and mailed it off over the pond to be processed in the Ancestry DNA lab in Ireland.

One doesn’t get a lot of information back with the results. In fact, one gets about ten times as much information and email litter inviting one to cough up one’s membership dues and search out ones relatives and build one’s family tree on their website.

Be that as it is, I found the data I received interesting.

Here are my DNA results for my Ethnicity Estimate:

Great Britain 51%
Ireland/Scotland/Wales 24%
Europe West 11%
Scandinavia 9%
Finland/Northwest Russia 4%
Africa North < 1%

Unlike those in the Ancestry TV ads, the results did not surprise me. They’re a close match to the oral family history passed down.

The only surprise is that smidgen of North African. It is, I’ve come to say, my token attempt at diversity, otherwise I'm kinda like almost pure WASP.

Using my imagination, I filled in a bit more of my history.

It appears my ancestors were not very adventurous. They did not travel far, did not mingle with outsiders—didn’t sow their wild oats around the world so to speak. I've inherited this homebody tendency, staying close to where I was born and traveling afar only for short stints. When my ancestors immigrated to North American, they did so en masse, (according to the Ancestry Immigration maps provided) to New York and then the Eastern US. Family to them, as it is to me, was obviously important.

The tiny bit of North African in my past is interesting. My maiden name is Fairbrother. Perhaps that is because there was dark skin and hair somewhere in my past, with me descending from the fairer of the brothers. Perhaps, too, the North African ancestry explains the kinky (albeit blond) hair that sprouts up once or twice in each generation.

So all in all it’s kind of cool to have had my DNA tested.  My children now wait with great anticipation for my husband’s results to come in. Maybe he will have bigger surprises.

Ancestry--from whence one came has been brought to you by DISPASSIONATE LIES, a tale of conspiracy--and  a powerful woman.
Schrödinger's Cat
Web site:

Monday, March 12, 2018

Top 10 Things to do When Bored with Ice Fishing....

10. annoy the fresh water shrimp swimming around in the hole by hitting your line against them
 9. walk  over to the other fishing people and find out if they’re catching anything
 8. change your hook
 7. change your bait
 6. if you're not too remote for cell service, step away from the hole and check your email (phones don’t float.)
 5. turn on your tunes
 4. drill another hole
 3. move everything to the other side of the lake and drill another hole
 2. have a snack. Take a whiz. Open a beverage.

And the number one thing to do if bored when ice fishing...
 1. Plot  a novel

These Top 10 Things to do when bored with ice fishing have been brought to you by:
The BackTracker Series

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Criminal Minds at Work: Fire and Fury...

Criminal Minds at Work: Fire and Fury...: Lawsuits and Amendment Rights Trump threatens the publisher and author of Fire and Fury with a lawsuit and the publisher responds by movi...

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Super Powers and grand kids

In the cauldron of a volcano...

I love my grandkids. I adore them. They fascinate me to no end. They remind me of the way I was, and the reasons why I am the person I've become.

They see things clearly, without prejudice. They are unique in word choice and language. They like it when I tease them.

They know how to fix my tablet and phone when things go wrong.

After our home burglary last spring, my husband and I decided to use the insurance money to buy something the thieves couldn't come back and steal.

I now have a brand new fancy hot tub on my deck, complete with a lounger chair, speakers, a smart-phone connection and an entire menu for lighting selection.

Being a crime writer, I was grossed out when the the red light flooded the tub and oozed out of the controls and speakers. I felt I was in a churning pool of blood.

"No, Nana!" the nine-year old said. "It's lava! Turn on the jets and it's a volcano.  See? Now, we must call on our super powers to survive the eruption!"

I now sometimes choose the red light setting when I'm out there alone under the stars. The lava churns about me as I contemplate my super powers.

"Super Powers..." is brought to you by The BackTracker series

At thirteen she falls in with The Traz bikers. At fifteen her testimony brings down the gang. Her genius, beauty and wealth eventually make her a very powerful woman--but Katrina will forever be in danger.