Archive for the ‘writing, muse, inspiration’ category

Lifting the Veil: Humanity at the Gate: Solstice 2012

November 29, 2012

Santiaguito volcano, Guatemala, September equinox 2012; Earth stirred in transition from summer to autumn

Serpentine Mind disentangles from branches of confusion uncoils its knowledge to greet the dawn and sees In the growing light
Great Colored, feathered wings
That grew unnoticed in its sleep
Understanding perfectly
In a single rush of joy
It flies above the ancient promises
Beyond where the forest lies to the Sea
The open sea
As rings around the Morning Star
Light corridors through the air
Kukulkan

During classic harvest time, a crop circle appeared on new moon August 17th/18th, predicting thirty-six days stretching from then until autumn equinox, September 22nd; and coincidentally twenty days backwards to Lammas and the Avebury masterpiece, more below.

According to some Maya present-day research, Equinox is the famed day for witnessing the serpent of light creep down its light staircase at Chichen Itza. Equinox ceremonies there are attracting increasing numbers each year on that day, and it added to the excitement this year that seven “triangles of shadow and light” appeared on the northern staircase. The August crop circles appeared to reinforce this appearace of Kukulcan.

Today, one hundred days farther on, the full moon in Gemini/Sagittarius—plus a partial lunar eclipse——may be closing one door——the end of an astronomical sky show and spectacle which the Heavens have been giving us all year—

2012 Astromical Highlights
May 4 Partial lunar eclipse, off Mexico
May 14 First standstill Venus during retrograde loop
May 20 Annular eclipse of Sun
June 6 Transit of Venus (above) and Inferior Conjunction
November 13 2012 Total solar eclipse, in which Sun and Moon align with head of the Serpent (constellation Serpens)
November 18 Solar system conjunct dark ridge Galactic Center
Nov 28 Partial (penumbral) lunar eclipse

—or a preparation for what is —more energetically— to come.

We are told by all Cultures that moments of experiencing the “Shift” are individual: that we will be taken by the Light, know if it is meant for us, that it matches our own inner right-ness, intent, and it will allow us to move on down the new path. Our spiritual senses are being honed. It is thrilling to believe the crop circles—particularly later in the 2012 seson—are showing us a kind of starmap of consciousness: in the essential original meaning of the Maya calculation of time: they appear to be more a calendar to consciousness.

Sadly, out there in television land there is a war being waged to capture our attention “in fear” and to distract us from what is happening in our inner-spiritual world.

Avebury forecast solstice dawn to precision limits; photo M.Etchepare

Human consciousness is rapidly transitioning to a new state, a new intensity of awareness that will manifest as a different understanding, a transformed realization, of time and space and self.
Daniel Pinchbeck

Several years ago Michael Glickman suggested some crop circles were representative calendars or ‘maps of time’. A square within a circle in 1997, itself made up of twenty-six rows of 30 squares, the total number of squares coinciding with the number of weeks remaining from its appearance date until the end of 2012. Glickman and Pinchbeck both believe that the focus on the end of this year too marks a dimensional shift and the purpose of crop circles is to key us in to this change, and to give us clues as to how this shift in dimension will manifest itself in our world.

Thankfully, help from the crop circles has only continued to manifest and inspire us—with the magnificent series of serpent formations all summer, and the Avebury culmination, commented on in so much detail by astronomer Miguel Etchepare.

More sigificant than the development of language…
We are all aware that there is a Shift going on. In physical terms, it has taken some by storm; continents have upheaved, hurricanes have raged; and the December portal beckons.

Ken Carey writes:

The great day of purification has begun—a short but essential division that will gather those who promote fear and volence and separate them from from this Season of the World like chaff is separated from wheat at binding.
During these next two and one half decades [written in 1988] humankind will experience this separation, a transformation in human consciousness more fundamental than the development of language, more significant than the shift to agriculture, more meaningful than any historical revolution.

The dawn approaches.

What if they are all right?

Returning to Galactic Birth Canal
There has been such a plethora of celestial events, from Mars lander, to Voyager breaking through the heliosheath, to Venus transit, and potent crop circle reflections in autumn fields have echoed events, even after the crop crowd had closed down group hopes and expectations for the year.

Venus's Heliacal Rising, November 2011, her return from the Underworld presaged solstic dawn 2012

Something in between dreaming and doing
Something arching down from there to here
We are the arching
We are neither here nor there
We are the hope that lives between
The continual blooming outward and upward
of something we want
but cannot see

– Author unknown

The Etchepare series of videos is important to view—especially for budding astronomers or those less aware of the movement of the skies. On the Maya count, above, November 13th’s total solar eclipse brought the sun and moon to co-align with head of the Serpent (Serpens caput); while last week on November 18th, the Solar System became conjunct with the dark ridge of Galactic Center. Please read various back up blogs on Venusian cycles, significance of Galactic Center, the Maya Sacred Tree.

Each year we spin in and out of this Dark Rift: it is a cosmic sign of our balance in the system, a prelude to our annual rendezvous with Galactic Center—that dark patch in the Milky Way—when the Sun, including us, microscopic specks of energy clinging on to the plane of the ecliptic, all nine planets of our system as one, aligned again with our Motherboard-birth canal, the Creator-energy-vortex, on November 18th in the middle of our Galaxy. The portal is still open—our consciousness is being assisted before the sun spirals away one more time, and we shall head off for another year of peripatetic searching through infinite realms of space.

What is significant about Etchepare’s starmap—interpreted solely from his inspired reading of the Lammas Avebury crop circle, above, is that by associating each planet as it rises ahead of the sun just before dawn on solstice, December 21st, 2012, not only do the planets—led by Saturn, Mars, Venus guide the solar rays ahead like a plough or cosmic train of starlight and planetary bodies—along the line of the Ophiuchus’ [Serpent-bearer] arms, holding both ends of the Serpent—Serpens:caput, head, above November 13th led by Spica and the edge of constellation Virgo; pulling serpens cauda (serpent tail) after him.

But … when all these miracles have been witnessed all over the planet —various earth views are given, making it easier to understand the sky program from any earth location, including Antarctica—the dawn sun … rises from the very mouth of the Galactic Rift.

For the Maya to calculate so far in advance of their own time and to see this train of heavenly bridal veil enticing the light to re-emerge from its birth-hole—was indeed unprecedented. It is still difficult for some to comprehend such detailed knowledge of the heavens so vastly ahead in time. However, their predictions for solstice are phenomenal—to an exact celestial degree: Saturn joins Spica/Virgo to ensnare Ophiuchus, who, wrestling forever with the head and tail of the Serpent, drags—alongside Venus and Mars—the reluctant Sun at the exact moment of dawn from his cosmic birth cavity at Galactic Center to be reborn for a new cycle.

Indeed a spectacle worth keeping predictive records of witness for over three thousand years. And we are the civilization alive to witness it.

In the eyes of the Ancestors, we are the ones we have been waiting for. We need to get our heads round this soon: and … before solstice would be good.

Above all, group consciousness, or combined intuition is clearly the way to perceive what is happening to us.

For those perhaps not willing to take another [spiritual] leap, the earth will continue in her beautiful bounty, I do believe; but I also believe there is an added dimension out there—not just because the crop circles have succeeded in describing “portals” in detail; but because all the ancient calendars can’t be wrong.
©2012 Siderealview

Volcanic Surprise: Take your Toys and Go Home

April 18, 2010

Eyjafjallajökull erupts during the strongest geomagnetic storm to hit Earth in 3 years; photo Albert Jakobsson

Tomorrow morning, April 19th, 2010, at around 5a.m. PST the Space Shuttle Discovery is due to reenter Earth’s atmosphere on a trajectory that takes her over the Pacific Northwest, and then on a southeasterly heading towards Cape Canaveral, Florida. She undocked from the International Space Station at the weekend in preparation for reentry.

Early birds in the states of Montana, South Dakota, Missouri and Mississippi and those driving to work in the cities of St. Louis, MO, Memphis, TN and Columbus, GA may catch a glimpse of the descending craft as it prepares for landing at the Kennedy Space Center, ETA 8:48a.m.

Trajectory of space shuttle Discovery on her way home tomorrow

Viewers in continental U.S. will be able to see Discovery as a blazing fireball in the dawn sky on first reentry over Northern California, Oregon, Washington and BC, and then, when daylight progresses, as a bright high-altitude object, as the craft heads east. Those who may not be sure of what they are seeing will hear a double sonic boom about a minute after the shuttle passes overhead.

Discovery’s appearance in the skies over continental USA is unusual, to say the least.

NASA is normally super-cautious, not only to schedule reentry on a trajectory over ocean (south Pacific or Atlantic) – to avoid potential conflict with commercial air traffic or the complication of an accident over such an important landmass – but also does not issue a specific schedule beforehand – for ‘security reasons’.

In the case of tomorrow’s landing, another issue has complicated NASA’s plans: the volcanic cloud emanating from Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland. Because the eastern hemisphere is affected by dust and volcanic ash in the atmosphere resulting in the grounding of all European airlines, the shuttle’s choices were drastically reduced.

It is perhaps our present crazy world’s greatest irony that tomorrow, when the whole continent of Europe has not a single aircraft in the skies, except for patrolling military Tornadoes or light prop craft which can fly below radar, United States air traffic controllers will be overworked as they reroute planes so as not to provoke a chance encounter with the spacegoing shuttle on her way home.

Air travel all over northern Europe has been disrupted, with flights grounded or diverted due to the risk of engine damage from sucking in particles of ash from the volcanic cloud.  Even the usually noisy skies of helicopter traffic to and from North Sea Oil fields are silent.

Eyjafjallajökull sub-glacial eruption

And what of Eyjafjallajökull?

What series of convoluted circumstances caused her to erupt just when airlines the world over were pulling in their horns in response to global recession, cutting frills and flying fripperies to an absolute minimum?

Eyjafjallajökull is merely responding to a ripple in the mid-Atlantic ridge.

Iceland can’t help it: her island kingdom sits astride a large tectonic anomaly, where two plates meet, and – rather like Hawaii – has confounded scientists for centuries in their ability to ride the volcanic storms and still maintain buoyancy as islands. Icelanders have benefited in cleverly channeling underground heat from natural hot springs to provide comfort – even luxury – to every home, but, like Hawaiians, their tiny population (300,000, about the same as a medium-size British city) is not unaware of the fragility of their situation.

Eyjafjallajökull has erupted five times since human settlement in the ninth century and its most recent eruption has been going since March 20th this year, but it is only in the last week that ash from this eruption has reached the stratosphere of its continental neighbour.

And Europe is freaking out.

In terms of aviation, when almost all transport is presently airborne – people, freight, goods and services – it is understandable that Eyjafjallajökull’s blasting through its surface glacier and spewing dust and ash into the airlanes should cause concern. Health and safety have become buzzwords in industry: the natural reaction for air traffic regulators was to close everything down. So soon after Easter, when many were starting to enjoy the prospect of spring following a very hard winter, holiday travel numbers were high and planes fully booked.

Those airplanes are now dead in the water.

And, with no change in the foreseeable future, Europeans are stranded in remote locations worldwide, unable to get back home; British-based airlines may not take off and US-based airline traffic may not land in Europe.

Europe – the northern portion of it, certainly – is like a plague zone.

They’ve always said character comes to the rescue when crisis descends or hard times rule. And the other thing they say: Necessity is the Mother of Invention.

During the hard snows and frosts of winter – that in northern Scotland and pockets of Europe lasted until spring equinox – Britain went through a series of threats from companies in conflict with employment unions – with aviation and transportation strikes imminent – until intervention by a well-meaning Icelandic volcano moved the goalposts.

Suddenly, within the last week, other means of transportation – bus, taxi, train, ferry, tube, metro, hot air balloon, microlite, bicycle – have reared their heads again and a dumbed-down population re-creates, starts to think outside the box, begins to invent.

In early ‘seventies ‘3-day-week’ Great Britain, share-a-ride became an everyday occurrence, nobody drove a car without at least two other passengers, public transport was in full use and the struggling population again became aware of their parents’ post-war attitude of ‘conserving’ energy. It is possible that the present crisis may bring about a similar respect for alternative means to get from A to B, and consequently even more respect for the entity which caused the hiccup in the first place: Mother Earth.

Many of us have blogged over last winter about impending changes the Earth may put us through: for most of us those earth-changes were remote: reports from Haiti, Chile, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey. But changes are starting to happen closer to home (Home being the First World).

large swathes of Amazon rainforest under threat

The First World has not traditionally reacted well to being threatened by Nature. It has acted (particularly over the last two generations – fifty years) as if nature were subservient to Man. It has turned a blind eye to decimated rain forests, depleted habitat for endangered species, global poverty, substandard housing and polluted drinking water in those ‘other’ worlds. It’s not accustomed to having its toys taken away and told to go home.

With the grounding of aircraft run by some of the world’s most elite flying operations, those ‘toys’ are getting a shakedown. And Big Business doesn’t like it.

Already on shaky ground over fears of recession, many airlines are already in debt or about to seek bail from world governments. Now governments themselves are questioning whether there are funds in the coffers to cover planetary transportation meldown. Big Business has traditionally used London, Paris, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Amsterdam as staging posts in its hops between hemispheres. Suddenly their wind-up toys aren’t working. No immediate replacement in sight, they’re having to think of ways around the situation.

Pressure/precipitation 4-day forecast, courtesy Unisys

Fortunately, continental Europe has remarkably efficient waterways, rail links, passenger liners, trains and autobahns. Every one of them has suddenly become remarkably important as an artery of communication in an atmospherically-deprived world. But if Icelandic ash continues to spew forth it will take some really revolutionary thinking for Big Business to survive. Seven million passenger-journeys have been cancelled in a few days. There’s talk right now of losses in the millions – Emirates Airlines calculating 25 million dollars per day in lost revenue, British Airways losing one million pounds every hour. Pretty soon those losses will be billions and thereafter . . . if Eyjafjallajökull doesn’t let up – or worse, if her neighboring volcanoes on the Ridge join in – figures will be incalculable. ‘Business’ as a concept will have no meaning.

None of us wants the approach to ‘End Times‘ to come suddenly. But there have been warnings; we have had clues; our history is littered with references to ‘preparing’ for when those ‘decline and fall’ times will come. So should we be surprised when the Earth herself is the instigator?


It is a well-known phenomenon that spacecraft engineers, pilots and scientists, on their return to Earth after a space mission, express feeling ‘transformed, changed, uplifted’ and ‘born-again’ by their experience outside Earth’s atmosphere. From liftoff as hardened scientists, electrical engineers, they return as philosophers, enlightened spirits.

It might be seen by some that Discovery’s reentry to Earth coinciding with the Earth’s growling northern latitudes indicate a sign of impending doom; for others it may signal the onset of liberation from earthly institutions which were beginning to cripple creativity; a top-heavy bureaucratic mechanism that smothers the budding creative spark.

Heaven knows, now is the time for creativity to surface and be recognized: time for the toys to come alive and play for real: our future and our future home – the planet Earth – depend on it.

©2010 Marian Youngblood
Marian Youngblood is the author of a prescient novel (in the light of this week’s events) ‘SHASTA: Critical Mass‘ which relates volcanic earth changes to Man’s ability to rise above his own beginnings and become superconscious human. Her book is entered in James Twyman’s contest to find the ‘next spiritual author’. Press this LINK if you would like to read an excerpt and vote for her entry. Round One (voting round) of the competition ends on May 3rd.

Lobo and the Future of Mankind

August 31, 2009

SHASTA: CRITICAL MASS
The following is an excerpt from the new back-to-the-Earth spiritual novel by MARIAN YOUNGBLOOD

A video presentation of the novel’s story and setting can be seen on YouTube here.

… or a shadow over my grave…

The wolf pack had been gathering all day under the watchful eye of Tawnia, the mother, and were about ready to head out. Her mate Lobo, the tribe’s great white alpha male, experienced in the ways of Men and the natural world, would lead them. If they walked all evening and most of the night, they would travel beyond the perimeter and out of danger. In the Park they were protected; out there their lives were not safe because Man and they didn’t always get along, It was a risk they had to take. Staying behind was for the aged or sick. The young were hitching rides with cousins, allowing aunts to carry them in their mouths. Never in Tawnia’s time had she seen such cohesion and trust within the pack: young warriors were cowtowing, behaving like wise old beasts, just this once. They knew something big was afoot.

Lobo’s instinct was pure; his decision contained wisdom beyond their own limited view. They trusted him to lead them to safety. He called the Elders together and they agreed.

They had to leave the camouflage and protection of their Yellowstone home and take their chances in desert night temperatures because Lobo had read the signs and Yellowstone was telling them to leave: west across the desert, through the badlands lay sanctuary. There a new home beckoned. Lobo knew. Now the young had practiced and could imitate and howl the name of their destination.

Three Sisters.

Back at daybreak, Lobo called together and addressed a conclave of Elder wolves, experienced in the ways of canis lupus. They all agreed. Craters of the Moon was close, but barren; lava beds had a familiar smell but supported little wildlife. They would have to go farther to find the perfect place.

 

Lobo's wisdom would guide them

Lobo's wisdom would guide them

They may be of Wyoming stock, their strength in their connection to volcanic timber slopes and grassland, but their experience was gained in richer territory. Expert and lethal at trapping niche animals in a familiar shared habitat. Specialists in foraging as a posse. Community skills handed down, kept their tribe alive and strong for ten generations. Lobo’s direct ancestor founded the dynasty. Nine-times-great grandfather had been a traveler, himself: descended from New Mexico’s original and celebrated Lobo, the great wolf emulated by teenagers; one of whom even human beings had heard. He, a son of the Great Wolf Spirit, inspired respect.

 

Much had changed since Man created the first National Park in their hunting grounds; some Elders believed and hoped that ethos of the original parks was alive and active in the human young.

More senior Elders felt Man had not yet learned to put aside his ancient fear of Wolf. It was even said their Ranger friends in the old homeland were persecuted in their stead for allowing Wolf to return.

Elsewhere in this great country, canis lupus was, if not extinct, definitely rare and there were few areas where they and domestic animals shared territory. But Yellowstone was a milestone park, even if it was about to die, and there was talk among humans of giving wildlife a fairer portion, a more sensitive sharing of habitat, of a new kind of park where the lion might lie down with the lamb.

Even Abuela had heard such talk and encouraged Lobo before departure to head for the most dreamed-of location because dreams come true. Oregon had volcanoes, people there were also descended from original pioneer stock and a place would be found.

After Lobo patiently explained her words, they listened thoughtfully to her opinion and came to a consensus. There was no doubt about the Elders’ decision. They were agreed their aim was for Three Sisters. There the Great Wolf Spirit would provide a place for them.

A couple of hours later, the pack was on the move.

Only Abuela, the old grandmother, stayed in her den. If Lobo’s guidance proved less than accurate or the crisis was somehow averted, they would return to her. Age gave her resignation. She watched without blinking from her rock ledge, head between outstretched paws. As she saw the last straggler leave, her eyes closed.

LOBO is an excerpt from my forthcoming spiritual novel:
SHASTA: Critical Mass by Marian Youngblood

 

Book cover by Joris Amerlaan for SHASTA: Critical Mass by Marian Youngblood

Update:April 2010
When I wrote this, who would have known that the Bush administration would cancel the US Endangered Species Act and allow wholesale murder of Wyoming and Yellowstone wolves. Wolf killing continues as a ‘sport’ in March and April 2010-2012 in Wyoming and Idaho.

I entered SHASTA: CRITICAL MASS in James Twyman and Robert Evans’ 2010 spiritual author competition, Nexttopauthor.com. The video presentation was created at that time. Another excerpt –which gives more of the novel’s volcanic flavor– can be accessed here.

‘SHASTA: CRITICAL MASS’ has been picked up by AllThingsThatMatterPress for publication during 2012. I continue to encourage all genuine interest from agents who may wish to represent the novel with its déjà vu scenario and may feel its publication is prescient. I may be contacted via this page. Thank you.

The Spiritual Route: we used to call it the Road less Travelled

July 28, 2009

In the ‘sixties, there were a lot of us about.  We called ourselves seekers, but others had less complimentary – yea, derogatory –  names for us: hippie was one of them; living on the land was another.  We didn’t care: we were poets, musicians, philosophers and we were catalysts for Earth Shift.  At the beginning of the ‘seventies, we thought everybody in the Universe was a believer; the world was going to flip overnight, heaven-on-earth was imminent.  We could and would create the World We Chose.

I lived in Northern California at the time and the world was my oyster.  Communes were two a penny; Buckminster Fuller domes proliferated, tree houses, goat shed shacks converted for summer living, tipis abounded, everyone had an organic garden and all kinds of people drifted through, joined and disjoined, contributed (sometimes) and accepted free food, board and lodging.  It was light-hearted, fun and nobody thought it was going to end.  We had come full circle: the Great Spirit was on our side and We Were Invincible.  

In my particular neck of the woods – I kid you not – Cat Mother (& his All-Night News Boys) were neighbors with Gene Clark of The Byrds. The Fifth Dimension sang the song ‘Age of Aquarius’. Fulleresque geniuses came from the Bay Area for an overnight stay and helped  build hyperbolic paraboloid structures in two days.  Fuller’s other shape, the Dome – sixteen plywood boards bent and bolted together – were like the Amish equivalent on the East Coast: erected in a day.  Small villages of these instant creations appeared on The Ridge, the known hangout of the Alternative Lifestyle.  Redwoods nodded wisely as humans found summer shelter in their root boles, bluejays didn’t object to sharing nest sites.  Gray whales waved huge arms in passing as if signaling approval of the human race. 

We all promised to hold the vision forever and as silently as the movement started, it faded into individual dreams as we each followed separate paths and drifted away.

Some, I know for a fact, became convinced on their return to the ‘real world’ that their dream was a fantasy and that they should follow the rest of the human race in amassing great fortunes or becoming famous for their contribution to the corporate world.  In the intervening forty years I often wondered if I should write and remind them of our Pact.  I didn’t, of course.  Others stood firm in their belief in themselves and their dream, but found the 9-to-5 a killer and succumbed to heart disease, self-doubt or disappointment in relationships and love.  It was a difficult time for believers: the age of Thatcherite Britain and Reaganite America.  I retreated to an organic garden of my own making, lost myself in writing about my dreams, having a family and getting on with life: the act of watching one’s genes grow into another being is hard to resist.  The Path (and the Pact) were still there, but tucked away in a subliminal stratum.  Life moved in circles of parenthood, overdrafts, insurance, schooling and subsequently into computers, cell phones and the internet.  Imperceptibly we grew old, let some things go, held on to others and became different people.  They say the body changes all its cells completely every seven years.  In six times that number, it isn’t surprising that the bodies and minds of those dreamers forgot everything they promised themselves in a few brief years at the dawning of the Aquarian Age.

Astrological progressed chart for Valentine's Day 2009 Until February 14th this year.  Then, according to respected and accurate ‘progressed’ chart astrology analysts, Planet Earth did in fact enter the Age of Aquarius.  On that day, lyrics of the song from the Broadway musical ‘Hair’,  made popular by the Fifth Dimension  in 1969, came true:

When the moon is in the Seventh House,  And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets,    And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
The age of Aquarius  Aquarius!    Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding     Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions    Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation       And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius!   Aquarius!

 It is ironic that those visionaries in 1969 had to wait half a lifetime to watch the rest of the human race reach epiphany:   it took scientific and engineering and electronic miracles like the internet, satellite communications, jet travel and cell phones to bring about an electromagnetic shift in planetary consciousness.  Now, with the miracle of virtual friendships, instant messaging,  spiritual .ning sites – even blogs – the world has begun again on the Road Less Travelled.  

Tomorrow (July 28th, 2009) there will be a planet-wide meditation and spiritual convocation of believers in our common destiny: for one hour we may all, if we wish, visualize, contemplate, dance, sing or ‘Om’ together in celebrating our shared ability to create the World We Choose.

This one-hour appointment with our Higher Self is the initiative of Fire+The+Grid, a group of young people (about the same age as we were in 1969) led by Shelley, musician and lyricist Bradfield and singer-songwriter Anael.  They fired the planetary grid in July 2007 and were surprised that 800,000 other people joined them in a wave of world meditation.  Tomorrow – at 1919 Rio de Janeiro time (conveniently, at 11:19p.m. in your time zone wherever you are) – we shall do it again: fire the planetary grid of light, dream dreams and send beams of potential round the world – another chance for all of us to create the World We Choose.  This time it is expected we will be joined by upwards of one million souls.  Don’t take my word for it – you can check the truth of this at http://www.firethegrid.com and, if your inner child (or cosmic dreamer) is still active, you too can be part of creating the New Heaven and the New Earth.

In 1969 a seed was planted in human consciousness.  Without the internet and instant sharing worldwide, there was only intuition, channeling, a medium frowned on by middle-of-the-road humanity.  In 2009 we’re all in the middle of the road: the Road Less Travelled, and we’re in it together.

Dabbling in the Quantum Field

July 10, 2009

Spiritual novel 'SHASTA: Critical Mass'

 

In quantum physics, the act of Observation changes the object observed.  

 

Writers, especially novelists, beware. 

 

It is a truth worth remembering when knuckling down to the synopsis.  A necessary evil, some say;  but it is really important to remind yourself, when you lift your head up again after you’ve sent the ‘hook’ off to your editor/publisher/reading group that it was an exercise in stepping into the quantum field.  That’s all.  It isn’t really you.  You were acting as a mere observer presenting an object as you saw it to an outside agency.  The real you in still in there, champing at the bit, ready and waiting to get back to REAL writing.

 

I’ve been asked a few times: ‘So, what is your novel about?’  an open-ended – but natural – question from a reader.  The answer varies with the mood of the request.  Which got me thinking about queries in general and query letters in particular: oh, no, not again, sounds the imaginary chorus of rejected authors in the agent/publisher debate.

 

Any excuse will do.

 

There IS a case to be made for the poor, maligned, ever-hopeful, endless optimist writer; she does have to lay down all tools of the scribe and pick up tools of the adman to get her subject noticed.  Her query letter, synopsis and an impeccable first chapter are all she’s got.

 

But not today.   If she’s a trooper, then her Muse will return, the pen or keyboard will beckon and the wild ride will begin once more.

 

So what is my novel about?  The thing is: I didn’t think I was writing a fantasy adventure; I thought it would turn out to be an historical romance with some realtime spiritual insights; a kind of James Redfield-style handbook set in both past and present Scotland with a respectful nod to the New Age, California style.  I spent my childhood in Scotland, some early adult years in California and now swing between the two.  It made sense that I should draw on my own history to create an authentic atmosphere; I spent 20 years writing and giving lectures on the suppressed, unwritten history of my country. It wants to be told.

 

But my spirit soars when I step into the wild country of the Pacific Northwest and I guess my Muse knows that at her core.  So, let’s face it, after setting the romantic framework of ancient Scotland, my Muse was itching to get in there and change it all around.

 

As I began to relax and allow my characters to speak, Muse Girl (MG for short, thanks to S.King for his male version) wasn’t standing for any nonsense.  If it was authenticity I wanted, she would show me what the real message was in the book:  I am the instrument and she directs as the movie unfolds.  Drop the dry historical facts, castle interiors, ancient hunting forests, family lineages;  enter a succession of vivid past lives intermingled with a present day drama of a family caught up in cataclysmic events precipitated by a planet in environmental crisis.   

 

Even my title got changed:  it became SHASTA. You don’t want to know what it was before.  That got relegated to short-story-dom.

 

In some awesome way I could not (didn’t want to) control,  the 14,000-ft mountain colluded with MG to become the dominant presence.   And, gradually the historical corridor of my original vision morphed into a capsule which faded in and out, while a dormant volcano in the present-day Cascades proceeded to take over; create a tectonic miracle, and develop a scenario with potential to disrupt national and international communications. 

 

All right.  It’s true: a lot of writers see their novels as movies in their heads: it’s the way the right hemisphere transmits information.  Yet I was carried along on this visual current like a swollen river of ash and mud within a backdrop that was more than real. Daily reports issued by NOAA and the Global Volcanism Program were mirroring my scenes: Yellowstone, Mauna Loa, Kamchatka, Vesuvius.  There was no way I could put this down.

 

When each morning I went back to edit what I’d written the day before, the left hemisphere often had punctuation and grammar to correct, but the right hemisphere was right there (along with MG), ready to pick up where we left off.

 

Naturally Shasta saw to it that I learned Native American respect for her, researched her early history, became immersed in her volcanic past.  In process I discovered the difficulty humans faced constructing highways and railroads  in trying to tame her; her influence on local tradition, myths and legends surrounding her, filtered through New Age groups and sects that inhabit the valley at her feet. 

 

She is a rumbling giant; she never sleeps.   With or without a volcanic murmur, northern California suffers annual forest fires and spring deluge.   It’s what people live with all the time.  What I was being asked to do was to give it a little tweak to up the ante.  It all fit.  I had to move with the story.  It was telling itself.  And by setting the scene over one long weekend I simply brought the elements together to make it believable – in a fantastic sort of way. 

 

Ancient Scotland plays a part.  It has to.  In a quasi-science fiction way it becomes a timeline thread, interjected into the future-present narrative, meshing the background of the principal characters with a deeper element – I like to think.  Past meets present creates future earth where all is possible… of course I’m an idealist.   

 

So what is it about?  We should be grateful for the gentle reader, the well-meaning questioner.  It makes us look at genre (the agent/publisher’s tool) and in observing, perhaps changes us the writer from quantum instrument to quantum fly on the wall.

 

SHASTA made the decision for me: molded my characters, attached me to the project, wouldn’t let me go.  My historical journeys became woven through and around her, creating more substance than I originally planned.  But what story is not improved by a mystery weaving a web to pull one in, to keep up the pace, to NOT give away the ending?   

 

Quantum field? Personal movies or Images of this scale are beyond quantum physics, in my humble opinion.  A project guided from beyond? A spiritual adventure? Particle or wave, it chose me to put it into print, and I am the first to say that I, the observer, was changed by it. Not the other way around.  

The Timeless Art of Getting Back on the Horse

July 3, 2009

We’ve all been there.

I got rejected by a BIG publishing house editor around 10 days ago and I haven’t really been able to share the information until now.

Some of us use the dear joan letter as a springboard for our next plunge into an alien world and rebound with a kitbag of ideas; others take rejection (from an agent, a publisher, an editor – they all hit hard) very personally and never surface again.

But there is part of me that uses the kick of the mule of rejection – timelapse included – as a way of getting back up on the animal; I think I come to terms with my own vulnerability, start to look at the wounded soft centre as a way through, as a tool to create a gentler version of a particularly difficult character, or to be ruthless and throw out a superfluous scene.

For me that’s a better way  than to allow the rejection process to gag and bind me into hardening and toughening and ‘becoming the adversary’.

Been there; done that.  And it doesn’t work because I’m still me inside. I live with me and my characters, my story are part of me.  Something phenomenal came from my keyboard and I’m not going to let it go.

It’s not easy to say this.  But I have slept on it.

Writers are traditionally loners by definition.  I think the part of this writer who feels most miffed is the invisible self-critic, the one on alert all the time; so being told by the ‘expert’ what I already know: that’s a little of a let-down. 

The thing is, the other comments were really helpful, constructive, even complimentary.  I liked having my writing style compared with Sheri Tepper; Barbara Kingsolver;  and yet sustaining a ‘fast pace which manages to stay just the right side of chaotic’ (?)

 I like chaotic.

But putting it out there, stretching out the young shoot and having it nipped by frost – again:  that is the hardest to handle.  It implies not good enough. Compromise, adaptation, tailoring required.

There are those who react to a negative response by thinking their work is somehow mediocre, not complete; needs re-grouping, splitting into two separate books; compromising the original idea which was to write a great big exciting blockbuster to end all blockbusters.  

Why then let the dream die?

Why shouldn’t the original dream  be more real than the  ultimate short story mini-format adaptation the publishing industry thinks it wants?  We know it’s the reader who counts : s/he’s the one with desire to read our book in the mindset we originally conceived it: holed up in the imagination, carried along by the story, wanting to see what happens next.

It’s the reader that keeps us in the novel business.  The publisher is incidental.  Heavens, don’t let them know I said that.  I might get rejected – again.

I don’t intend to offend the big publishing houses – if indeed there are personalities left to offend.  They are necessary to the whole works.  There are, however, one or two little things they should know: people have, do, and will continue to read. The book business isn’t going to die.

Like the rest of us it’s currently going through a process of change.  

One thing a new-age spiritual discipline teaches me is change can make or break me: make or break any enterprise. It’s up to the individual to see change (in this instance, rejection) as failure or potential success. And no outside critic is more valid than my own fierce inner censor.  

But a writer has to lay down his tools when it comes to the query letter  because it requires a different mindset to write, a commercial approach that’s usually foreign to the novelist, the romance author, the passionate thriller-writer.  Unlike the industry:  they have the edge on us. They get to use tools – like arbitrary filtering, rejection – that have kept them in business: it allows them to do what they do best: publish books. They get to shut out the best, the middling and the bad at the first hurdle, just because that’s what they have to do.

I like what Randy Pausch says in The Last Lecture

‘The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.’

I agree.  I’m not other people.  I’m going to make this one work.

The Waiting Room of the Mind: web-longings of a Writer

June 13, 2009

Blogging should probably  be blonging: web-longing to be writing real stuff while relegated to waiting (in the waiting room of the mind) to hear from publisher/s-agent/s- editor/s to whom our precious words were submitted.  Even the tiniest spark of encouragement,  the smallest interim ‘sorry still reading the in-pile’ is taken as Big Time Hope that our three-year Magnum Opus has received a moment’s notice; that the publishing world is understandably going through a lot of stuff lately and they’ll finally realize what a gem they have ready to roll.  

Writers have to be tough. It goes with the territory: loners at best; communing with our computers; social outcasts at worst – unless or until our talents are recognized and we are inundated with chatter and praise and, worst of all, false friendship.  We have to recognize it all, because the mind devises every scenario (didn’t we just give one of those attributes to a character in chapter 42? its opposite to the antagonist in chapter 6?)  

Inside, if we are true to ourselves, in the interim waiting room of the mind we are above the wrangling, above the pressures that drive an editor to tackle the daily mound of MSS she knows she has to get through. We are guided by an inner equilibrium; sometimes by a need to express something – anything – in print; on a good day, we are in thrall to our Muse.

Ah, that elusive entity, the Muse.

S/he is the keeper of the Stargate: it is s/he who decides what comes out and what stays inside.  If we are really honest with ourselves, it is s/he who not only inspires, but dictates. 

And on days when s/he doesn’t, the poor earthbound writer sits at the computer anyway – never too far from the email inbox or the internet search engine, just in case an idea pops; a thought which needs to be ‘researched’.  

Naturally there are other days when the mind doesn’t even say hello to the Muse: those are days of the rewrite, the ruthless self-editor at work, preening and primping and heartlessly chopping whole chunks of dialogue, along with necessary adverbs and future conditionals.  On those days the writer is just that; no room to be the ‘other’, the author, the celebrated creator, Muse-instrument.  

They say it takes two to tango.  In the case of writing, it takes something in the order of 52 and those personalities are all within.  It’s a miracle some of them ever get out: but that’s what writing is all about.

Successful authors, screenplay-writers, budding novelists, dramatists, wannabe magazine contributors: we are all alike in our self-doubt when we are stuck in the waiting room of the mind.  Maybe that’s why we decorate it with figments and pigments – to cheer the place up till the real stuff comes along.

Are you a frustrated author? a self-disciplined writer of a daily quota? or simply another patient ? (pun intended).  Whichever it is, you are most welcome to join the rest of us here in the waiting room of the mind.


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