Edith Pawlicki

a curly haired dreamer who tries


Alive Together

"Alive Together" is a song I wrote for Chapter 7 of Minerva. Here is the clip of it as performed by the audiobook narrator, Ellora Sen-Gupta. Ellora added the harmonies herself!


Churchill Falls is an actual place in Labrador with the tenth (as of 2020) largest hydro-eletric plant in the world. I've never been there, and the technical specs in Minerva are sketchy at best, but I used Wikipedia, satellite images, and the town's website as the basis of the setting. Churchill Falls was once a very impressive waterfall, known as the Grand or McLeanFalls, but most of the water is now diverted for power, creating the Smallwood Reservoir.

Churchill Falls, 2006
Churchill Falls Generating Station in 2006, from Wikimedia Commons.

I'm not sure if there would really be a nuclear winter following a nuclear holocaust - there's enough disagreements among experts on the subject that I'm certainly not qualifid to make a definitive statement! - but I wanted a small, insular community, and I feel pretty sure that a nuclear winter would create those. I did some reading on the subject, and - rightly or wrongly - I settled on the following seasonal patterns:


Because I'm a very visual person with low spatial intelligence, it's my habit to create maps as I write. My friend and artist Michael Engard created beautiful finished maps to include in the books:

Since Churchill Falls is a reall place, this is based on satellite images.
I didn't create a map of the Guard Academy until my second revision of the novel when one of my readers said they were confused by the layout described and I realized I was too!
I didn't bother including this map in the book, so you have to settle for my version from Google Drawings. Can you imagine making this from snow?


Slang Terms

freeze - besides the literal meaning, a strong curse word; many people find it offensive (i.e. “that freezing liar”)

heatup - verb and noun replacing hangout; casual gathering

inda - colloquial term for individual, often used as an address or as a polite way to describe a stranger (i.e. “Hey, inda!” or “That inda looks like she needs help.”)

ice and/or snow - besides the common meaning, a mild curse (i.e. “Snow, I forgot my homework!”)

iced - very offended /annoyed (i.e. “The teacher was iced when Rex slept through class.”)

Lerk - humans who live in the general surrounds of Churchill; they generally exhibit significantly more body and facial hair than those who were born in the city. It originally referred to anyone "lurking" around the city, but the word was corrupted.

melt your snow - judge you

troll - bully, verb and noun (i.e. “She trolled the new kid relentlessly.” or “That inda's a total troll.”)

snowflake - someone who is overly sensitive; they are easily offended and lack perserverance

Legal Terms

Rehabilitation - the most common punishment for crimes; an individual must receive counselling meant to stop them from repeating their crime; sometimes their activities will be limited during rehabilitation and it is usually conducted with a help of an Empathic therapist

Exile - the most severe punishment for crimes; an individual is forced to leave Churchill and is not allowed to ever return; some hold that it is equivalent to a death sentence as survival outside the city is difficult at best

Empathy - able to send or receive emotions to others; individuals with Empathy are known as Empaths

Compel - a legal term when an Empath uses emotions to control another's actions; it means the legal responsibility for the actions of the target of the Compulsion are born by the influencing Empath; some Compulsion, such a authority to a criminal or in self-defense, but most Compulsion is considered illegal, similar to assault or blackmail

Memory - better recall and faster processing; essentially eidetic memories; individuals with Memory are known as Memoirs

Remember - when a Memoir guarantees their recollection to be the completely reliable; a Memoir can be held liable anything that say they Remember that is shown false

Vitality - increased speed, strength, and improved healing/immune response; individuals with Vitality are known as Vitals

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