Beautiful Photograph found on Pinterest. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original photographer/Artist. Thank You~
20 years ago I was the manager of a retail music store called The Wall. While working there, I met a young man who so influenced my life that I actually had a series of posts early on in my BnV career that were inspired by him (The Burning Questions). He had a particularly intriguing habit of coming into work each day with a specific question. He would pose this question and we would spend the remainder of the day discussing amongst ourselves our thoughts and opinions on the selected topic. Who is the best band of all time? What is the best song ever written? Do ghosts exist? Is there a God? And always, WHY? They were some of the best conversations I’ve ever had. They must have been, because I still remember.
Fast forward 20 years. Lives change, tragedies and challenges happen, and Inspiration Leads. This same young man is now a father and husband, pastor of his own church, a relatively new blogger and the author of his first book. (I say first, because Im certain there will be many). I shared a post by him just last week called “Youth Sports — Love With A Capital L” and now I’d like to introduce you to him. So grab a beverage, curl up with a blanket and enjoy …..
My name is Chad and this is my profile.
These sorts of things always seem vain and self-important, but I can’t figure out why. We wear name tags, introduce ourselves, smile and invite each other to our parties. This is all a very natural overflow of our human need to connect, to see ourselves as part of a bigger story. When I can find a real-life bookstore, I look at the titles, cover art, and excerpts for the same reason: to find somewhere I can belong, someone I can relate to, a hand to hold.
I guess this impulse is why I/we do anything.
I write often and from a pretty specific point of view. That we are loved and accepted by Our Creator – this perspective is the life-line that runs through every word, even if it is never stated. Because you can tell, right? You can tell if someone thinks you are worthy and beautiful. Religion has so often come down on the wrong side of this, showing people we are garbage, we are primarily sinners possessing no real intrinsic value. It’s why I ran from God, Jesus, and spirituality for most of my life. Once I woke up to the fact that this couldn’t have been further from the truth, woke up to the fact that I was loved, here, now, today, what else could I do but spend the rest of my life as a modern-day street preacher? Instead of sandwich boards pointing to a fiery hell, my tools are my heart to open and my arms to wrap around a cold and lonely world who has believed a lie for way too long.
I started the Bridge Faith Community where I teach on Sunday mornings, write on 2 blogs; bridgefaithcommunity.com and lovewithacapitall.com, and now I wrote a book; Chronicles, Nehemiah and Other Books Nobody Reads, that you can get at lulu.com or at my house.
The Bridge blog is very spiritual, mixing my life with Scripture in an attempt to clearly display that God is not somewhere else, that He is here, if only we have eyes to see.
Love With A Capital L is a bit more fun, mixing my life with, well, your life and the art I see/hear/experience and the things that make today explosive and ordinary and painful and overwhelming and totally worthwhile.
These things are the way I express myself, but to be honest, my favorite work of art is my life. I have been given gifts I could never have imagined and been blessed far beyond my wildest dreams. I have 2 of the sweetest boys you have ever met, Samuel and Elisha, and a wife who is truly an Angel. So, I might make it to a million or I might die tomorrow, but I will be thankful for every moment.
Now that it’s finished, maybe it is vain and self-important, but it was pretty fun, too.
Love & Peace.
Here is a chapter of the book:
XXIII. Everyone Needs A Hand To Hold On To
Let’s take this one day at a time, I’ll hold your hand if you hold mine.
Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, Rise Against
If picture’s worth a thousand words then your touch is worth them all.
Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen, Anberlin
For the closing prayer, everyone at the Bridge stands and holds another’s hand in each of their own. Now, for some, this introduces an element of dread into an otherwise safe environment. I’ve seen some hurry from their seats into the lobby or their car when they begin to sense the message winding down. For others, this is the perfect end to their morning.
At the Bridge, we give an awful lot of thought to the environment we create. From the color to the art on the walls to the music and placement of the tables and food, the narthex (a super-fancy term for lobby that I just love) is designed for welcoming comfort. The people are engaging and kind, the food is terrific, entering is easy and non-threatening.
However, once the service starts, there is a different aim altogether. The Scriptures invite us into a transformation, a spiritual re-birth, and transformations are never comfortable. Has there ever been a woman, reflecting on childbirth, that would say it was anything other than stressful, arduous, and exhausting? It’s called labor.
Of course, the primary announcement of the Gospel, the Good News, is one of grace, forgiveness, rescue, and life. No matter who you were, what you’ve done, where you’ve been, you can come home. Not only can you come home, but the Creator of the Universe, and the Creator of you, has been waiting for you with the table set. He has never stopped loving you. You do not have to get it together, stop doing whatever, start doing whatever, or climb any kind of ladder of achievement. He loves you and accepts you, exactly as you are, here, now, today.
That IS Good News.
My wife fell in love and married me. That was really good news, too. She accepted me as I was, scars and all. I had many habits and vices, none of which I’ll detail here and none of which were honoring to a woman as lovely as Angel. She loved me anyway in spite of my flaws, the way I was.
There is really only one response to that kind of overwhelming love; to live into those shoes, into that identity. (Obviously, the love of my wife is a laughably poor comparison to the love of Jesus Christ, but sometimes laughably poor comparisons are all we have. The Taylor Swift song ‘Begin Again’ makes me cry because it points me in the direction of my God.) If someone sees you, loves you, speaks a fresh word about you, and you believe it, that can change everything about you, everything about the way you live. All of the things that you settled for before that moment suddenly aren’t good enough. You are a child of the Living God, made in His image, and there is an honor and dignity to that. Some things are beneath you now. You are made to fly, not to crawl in the muck at the bottom of any gross barrel you see.
But leaving old lives behind is hard. Shedding that skin is painful, full of starts and restarts.
Welcome to Church, right?
Welcome to the road.
Welcome to a full capital-L Life.
Ideally, you come inside and you hear you are the beautiful artwork of God, loved beyond reason. And you weep.
Then you realize that you have erected all sorts of walls, carried such heavy baggage, worn thick iron chains around your neck, locked yourself in a prison you have built. You have believed so many lies that this is all you are worth.
And again you weep.
But it’s LOVE that exposes those lies. It’s LOVE that gives you the tools to break those chains, destroy those walls, and demolish that prison. Tearing down the cage you’ve constructed forever is hard, terrifying work, not for the weak.
Or for the unconnected.
We live in a culture that glorifies the individual, the loner, the hero who pulls herself up by the bootstraps. Our culture has minimized actual personal contact until we have days where we don’t see or talk to another human being in person. I have hundreds of friends on social media, some I’ve never actually met. I prefer to text. If my phone rings, I assume it is an emergency. I drive myself if I must leave the house.
But why would I leave the house?
I can order any products I see advertised to live a fulfilled life. I can order my groceries online and someone leaves a box outside my door. I don’t even have to get dressed. I have new neighbors who I haven’t met.
This is life? This is living?
Is it living to measure my worth based on how many ‘likes’ my latest post garners?
In a word, no. So we hold each others hands as an act of rebellion, opposing the culture that tells us we should worship at the altar of ourselves and our superior abilities. We hold each others’ hands as proclamation that we are, indeed, alive – especially if we have forgotten. Though the road can be long and difficult, it is nothing we have to travel alone.
Do you know what damage it does to a soul that is never touched by another human being? One of the most revolutionary barriers Jesus broke was to touch those who shouldn’t have been and never were touched. In fact, they were called ‘untouchables’ and they were cast out from the rest, regarded as less than human for some reason or another (blood, skin, sin, etc.). Jesus spoke with them, ate with them, and shockingly touched them. As if they were friends or children and not just a disease, history, or reputation. Of course, the healing was physical, superficial, but the true healing took place where the Pharisees could not see, in their hearts.
And that is absolutely worth a bit of uncomfortability.
Thank you so much Chad for sharing your time, talent and self with BnV. Im pleased and honoured to share the news about all you are doing and pray only the best blessings…or the most inspiring …ever touch your life.
Welcome my Friends 🙂 Happy Saturday and, once again, thank you for stopping by to see just who is In The Lime Light this weekend 🙂 I confess, I am Delighted to share a poet and writer with you who has inspired me since the first time I posted on BnV; a friend who has been around since the beginning and whose writing pushes the boundaries and makes me smile, laugh, gasp, tremble and sigh! You will agree, I am sure, when I tell you that Richard Ankers (whose wonderful blog you can find here: http://richardankers.com ) made a rare appearance in the Interview arena JUST for Booknvolume…well and for all of YOU as well…so my blathering is pointless. Lets Jump Right In shall we? 🙂
IN HIS WORDS: Richard was a Company Director in retail until finally plucking up the courage to show people the writing he had spent years shyly stashing away. Joining HarperCollins’ Authonomy site was the jolt he needed to realise people liked what he wrote. Winning a gold medal there for his book The Snow Lily, was a great boost. Since then, he has spent a long time writing and preparing a trilogy of SciFi/ DarkFantasy books which he hopes to have traditionally published. Richard stopped by for a natter, so lets put the kettle on and get right to it!
Please Introduce us to your Blog. What is it all about? What sorts of posts do you lean towards?
RICHARD: Hello, my name’s Richard. My blog is a place where I post writing and poetry that is on my mind and needs to come out, (there’s far too much in there.) I use my blog as a way of honing my skills for the longer writings that I love. I believe the more you write the better you write and I try to practice what I preach.
What Inspires and stirs your creativity?
RICHARD: Everything inspires me. I can hear a word, or see an image, or even hear something, and it sets off the creative juices. I have written a whole trilogy of books based on one simple image that I saw and was taken by. I never struggle for something to write about because I will never have enough time on this earth to write everything that’s in my mind.
What Message, if any, do you hope to Share through your blog/posts?
RICHARD: I don’t really share any message other than insisting on writing what I want. I would always encourage others to do the same. Don’t pamper to people because the most heartfelt words are those that are most honest, regardless of the length or style they are presented in.
How has your blog helped you as a writer/Indie Author? What things have you learned along the way that you never anticipated?
RICHARD: I wouldn’t say my blog has helped other than not having to worry about wasting what I’ve written. It’s given me a home for all the words.
Tell us about your book(s):
RICHARD: My first book was called The Snow Lily, a story about two abandoned children in Victorian times. I was lucky enough to win a gold medal on the HarperCollins Authonomy site through my efforts. This gave me great confidence (as I have none) and a major boost to my resume. I never had any intention to publish it but one day I might.
I am currently writing a Sci-Fi / Dark Fantasy trilogy. I have made the unusual decision to write all three books in one go and then return to them one by one in order for publishing. I want each book and the trilogy as a whole to be perfect before it goes out there. Believe me when I say, they are unlike any Dark Fantasy book you will have read. The Trilogy was going to be called Decadent Gothic but I have recently altered it to The Eternals Saga, as it’s just a touch more appropriate.
PS. Shhh! They’re almost done.
What Inspired you to write your book?
RICHARD: The whole Eternals Saga was based on a single, spectacular image that I saw. I can’t say what though, as it would give the game away.
From what Point of View do you prefer to write? Is there a reason?
RICHARD: I prefer first person but aren’t particularly bothered. I just find it easier to be in the protagonist’s shoes if I am writing as though it is me. I like to look through my main character’s eyes, so to speak.
How would you describe your “Voice” or Style of writing?
RICHARD: People have said I have a Literary style, but I would leave that to others to decide.
What genre do you prefer to write or are you truly eclectic?
RICHARD: I love every genre. I hate to be pigeonholed. But, dark fantasy and the speculative genres that abut it are my real passion. Basically, things with a fantastical element.
Do you painstakingly plot out your story; are you a discovery writer or a bit of both? Why?
RICHARD: I’m neither. I’m very lucky that the moment I have the idea the whole thing unravels in my head. I have no need to write a word of plot unless I wish to. I know exactly how it will start, finish and everything in-between within moments.
Share an insight or secret about your book(s).
RICHARD: They always have a twist near the end.
What do you feel is your best advice to share with other aspiring authors?
RICHARD: Write what you want how you want. And NEVER, NEVER EVER let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough. Practise and you will be.
And now, the part most people hate…lets talk About YOU:
If you had to describe yourself to someone who has never met you, what might you say?
RICHARD: I wouldn’t, as I’m too shy in person. I always know what to write but never know what to say. Plus, I’ve never had a very high opinion of myself.
If you could meet one person from the past, who might it be and why?
RICHARD: Nobody in particular.
When you are NOT writing, what is your favourite pastime?
RICHARD: I love to run and do so everyday. I also love nature and all it encompasses.
Describe Your Dream Getaway Destination. Have you ever been there? What makes this place Irresistible to you?
RICHARD: My dream destination is Wengen in Switzerland and I have been there. The place has spectacular scenery, mountains to die for, and once out of the town itself is wonderfully quiet. I also love the British Lake District for similar reasons. I would love to live near mountains and am a very quiet person.
Do you have a Mantra?
RICHARD: Above all else be happy. Life is too short not to be. (Lots of people say that but don’t really mean it. I mean every word of it.)
I am honoured, Richard, that you agreed to share a bit about yourself and your writing with me/us. Thank You Ever So!
You can Follow Richard via Twitter @richardankers
Time stood still, a product of perception; perhaps a fragment of the imagination only, which was neither tangible nor incorporeal. He stood looking into the figment, wonder expanding through his thoughts like a mirror replicating that which he saw, stretching, reaching into the unknown.
Where had he come? What place filled his gaze? A dark encapsulation of mystery sparkled in his eyes; innumerable points of light filling what once stood empty, alone; and that bejeweled cacophony of silence reflected in his liquescent gaze as a whisper just above the point of perception hinted he was not alone.
A feminine voice.
Beautiful Original Photograph by: Matt Payne
Saffron tinges of Memory
Essence of Harmony
Singing on the breeze
Whispers of Captivation
Melding as it Frees
Enchanting through the Blush
Of Auburn Tresses Falling
Through the Tapestry
This poem was the result of reading another poets work (Roland of www.rolandsragbag.wordpress.com), seeing One word or in the case of his work one image that sparked my Inspiration (that being the word Saffron) and immediately opening a word.doc to capture the words and phrases that tumbled through my mind. whether the poem makes any sense or not, I shall not say, but it was a wonderful exercise of Creativity I encourage you to try.
Beautiful Photograph found via Pinterest. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original Photographer. Thank You~
Poetry is music, a song without instrumentation; a symphony of rhythm, meter, timing, flow and magic. It is a conundrum. The expression of an emotion through the use of language that seeks to instill emotion, but how does one create a concerto of syllables and verbs, adjectives, nouns and pronouns in order to adequately convey something that is often intangible.
Take love for example. How does anyone truly express such an inexpressible concept? A sensation so powerful it overrules all logical thought, yet so delicate it can be whispered in the softest tones and still be understood? It is exceedingly blissful and agonizingly painful; a tempest of temptation temptingly tempestuous.
Some poets are born to spin emotion into lyrical gold. Shakespeare, Poe, Blake, Dunn; they all had a unique style that reached hearts and minds within mere measures of words and are even today, hundreds of years after their lives, evoking emotion through the power of words. We, as contemporary poets, all seek to emulate, in our own way, magic similar to theirs; we all strive to convey emotion in an enduring and poignant manner.
Poetry is music. A Heartbeat; a pulse; a tempo to which the heart and mind dance. For some, creating that music is easy; for others a struggle. For me, it is magic that is indescribable; a romance between my hands that form the words and my spirit that feels them. I write with my eyes closed, waiting. Heart quiet in restful calm or pounding in passionate inspiration, and Spirit open, willing, questing, seeking, listening, as the words and images come tumbling down. Down from Heaven.
Down from the Sweet, sparkling heavens;
Down from the clouds of thundering rain,
Down from the Starlight of glittering Refrain,
Down from the Breathless moon that Sighs,
Down from the Whispers of Silken skies.
I am there, an open vessel while my Spirit sings the Sweetest tune I have ever heard. Though I cannot physically hear it, though I cannot listen to the manifestation of music like I do when I connect to my playlists, I hear the serenade as clearly as that faltering music. The melody comes down.
Down from Heaven,
Down from the sweet, sparkling heavens,
Down from the clouds of Glittering glow,
Down from the bastion o’er the rushing flow.
Down like a Heralding triumphant horn,
Down from the Endless expanse of morn.
Eyes closed, waiting. Heart Quiet, listening. Spirit Willing, Questing. All for the lyrical Beauty that spills like an endlessly cascading fall of sparkling water from that inestimably breathtaking Source. I write, write as fast as I am able, unconcerned about spelling, punctuation, context, verbiage. I sit in Humble wonder as the Blessed words pour Down.
Down from Heaven.
Down from the Sweet, Sparkling heavens.
Down from the rainbow of Jubilant Praise,
Down like a star falling in radiant blaze,
Down like symphonies of ethereal balm
Down like thunderous, calamitous calm!
Beautiful Original Artwork: heartbeat_by_moonbeam1212
5 interesting facts about psychological dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain
The book is available to buy from Amazon:
D.M. Cain Biography
D.M. Cain is a dystopian and fantasy author working for Creativia Publishing. The Light and Shadow Chronicles series features a range of books which can be read in any order. The series instalments to date include A Chronicle of Chaos and The Shield of Soren. D.M. Cain is working on the next novel in the Light and Shadow Chronicles series, The Sins of Silas, as well as two complementary novellas entitled Genesis of Light and Origin of Shadow.
Cain has released one stand-alone novel: The Phoenix Project, a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future. The Phoenix Project was the winner of the 2016 Kindle Book Review Best Sci-Fi novel Award.
D.M. Cain is also a member of the International Thriller Writers and one of the creators and administrators of the online author group #Awethors. Her short story The End was published in Awethology Dark: an anthology by the #Awethors.
Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK with her husband and two young children, and spends her time reading, writing, reviewing and indulging in geek culture (Marvel, GoT, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Final Fantasy).
Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/XevZH
There are ghosts and demons that wander among the living; they do not haunt in the traditional sense. Instead, they plague mankind with diseases and physical deformities, and once a ghost finds its victim it will haunt them for a lifetime.
What Haunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 1)
A mild illness brought on the dreams, which triggered the suppressed memories, which in turn allowed George to see ghosts. Along with this new sight into a realm unknown to most, George also discovered he could kill the ghosts and save their victims, and his life changed from ordinary to extraordinary.
George’s confusion spurs him to call his father and inquire about these memories in the hope that he will give him a reasonable explanation. Instead his father is evasive and George suspects that he is lying—something he has never done, at least not to George. Although he still has no idea why this is happening to him, he accepts it, and by his own definition, he is a ghost killer.
His acceptance of this newfound ability becomes an obsession so powerful that he has little regard for the cause or the impossibility of it all, and that disregard is destroying his life and threatening his sanity. When his livelihood is endangered, George knows he must find out why this is happening to him. He seeks out a local paranormal expert, who briefly explains what a ghost killer is, tells him about a worldly organization called the “Watchers,” and warns him about a man, Frederick Vokkel, who has deep connections to the supernatural world, and seeks out powerful ghost killers in an effort to harness their abilities for nefarious purposes. Phil is vague, but promises to connect George with the Watchers so that he can learn more about what he has become and learn how to protect himself from his unknown enemies.
Soon after George’s meeting with Phil, he encounters Billy, a young woman with an unlikeable personality, who is the niece of his much loved grandmotherly neighbor, Justine. Through his new association with Billy, who is also a ghost killer, he discovers that there are different levels of ghosts and demons, varying from dangerous to extremely deadly, but there are also different levels of ghost killers, and George is of the most powerful.
He also discovers that his mother and Billy’s grandmother were connected; they too were powerful ghost killers. George’s mother and Billy’s grandmother, met at a school in Switzerland, a school run by none other than Frederick Vokkel. George is frustrated and confused; the coincidences are piling up and he can’t help but wonder if his decision to move to San Francisco and subsequently become Justine’s neighbor was somehow directed by the hand of fate or destiny. One thing he does know: Justine and perhaps even his father knew what he was, and until Billy’s arrival, both had kept it from him, leaving George feeling betrayed.
With the help of Phil and Billy, George is introduced to Aris, a high-ranking member of the Watchers. Aris explains George’s ancestry—he comes from a long line of powerful ghost killers, some of the most powerful ever—and like him, Billy shares a similar heritage. Aris also warns George that Frederick Vokkel has learned about a previously unknown powerful ghost killer, one that is capable of prolonging Vokkel’s life, but can also merge a powerful demon back into a human, giving the monster renewed physical form. And Aris believes that George is that ghost killer.
When Vokkel’s efforts to sway George into a meeting fail, he resorts to kidnapping George’s father, but he also uses his connections with the demons to summon a surge of ghosts that will descend on the city and cause the rapid deaths of hundreds of people. George has no choice but to do as Vokkel asks or risk not only his father’s death, but the loss of many innocent lives.
He teams up with Aris, Phil, Billy and several other ghost killers to devise a plan that will save not only his father, but also prevent the surge of ghosts from causing irreparable harm.
The Edge of the Cemetery (Ghost Killer Book 2)
George has embraced his life as a ghost killer and now works alongside his new friends, Billy Wilkinson and Phil James. Together they assist the Watchers in an ongoing battle to maintain the balance between the living and the dead.
When San Francisco and the surrounding area are suddenly plagued by rogue groups of ghosts and demons, who appeared to have a leader of sorts, a seventeenth century musketeer demon, the Watchers know it isn’t random, nor was it the usual form in which ghosts and demons prefer to haunt. These monsters were also possessing their victims and forcing them to hurt others, and once the ghost killers arrived, the demons directed their human weapons on them. The question was, who was this musketeer demon and why was he directing these attacks?
As George, Billy, Phil and the Watchers investigate, they discover the seventeenth century demon is teamed up with a teenage boy, who they come to realize is a powerful ghost killer himself and more importantly, they believe he is being controlled by the demon. Their search for the teenager and his demon lead them to the discovery of an enemy from their past and a mysterious prophecy. As they decipher the true meaning of the prophecy, they uncover a plot for murderous revenge involving a secret vault containing numerous malevolent souls and a plan to return those wicked dead to human form as directed by Satan himself. Unfortunately, they also discover the true purpose of the demon musketeer’s involvement, which is to become one with the powerful teenage ghost killer, creating a monster that cannot be defeated. With the clock ticking against them, they must find the vault and destroy it before it can be opened and kill the demon and his teenage host.
What Haunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GSE7E7S/
The Edge of the Cemetery (Ghost Killer Book 2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GSE7E7S/
What Hunts Me (Ghost Killer – Book 3)
The year was 1915, Alexander Graham Bell completed the first transcontinental telephone call between New York City and San Francisco, the Ford Model-T and silent motion pictures were all the rage. Raggedy Ann, aspirin in tablet form and processed cheese, as well as the milk carton were invented. America was steadily growing in population and that population was on the move. In San Francisco, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition opened in February, an event that introduced many wonders to the United States and the world at large. The Lincoln Highway (also known as Highway 30) opened as America’s first transcontinental automobile road. In the small town of Houtzdale, Pennsylvania, a train pulled into the station with ten people on board…all but three were dead.
A hundred years later, in the attic of the large Edwardian house in San Francisco owned by the Watchers, a box is discovered, containing various documents from ghost killers dating back more than ninety years. Among those missives are letters, some photographs, and a diary dated in 1915, belonging to eighteen year old George Sinclair of Houtzdale, Pennsylvania. The letters chronicle an epic journey from Pennsylvania to San Francisco along the route of the newly opened Lincoln Highway. However, the diary also indicates something more sinister might have transpired. It contains strange drawings and nonsensical writings, but the final entry is loud and clear; George is a ghost killer and he is being hunted. Equally important, there was a good chance that 1915 George might be the key to modern-day ghost killer, George Sinclair’s, unknown paternal heritage.
George, with the help of his good friend Phil James, travels to Houtzdale, PA in search of more information on the man who bears his name, and just might be his great-grandfather. Their investigation leads them to 1915 George’s last remaining relative, only to discover she had died recently, and circumstances indicate supernatural forces were involved. As they delve deeper, they learn about a deadly 1915 train incident. Its survivors consisted of two passengers and the engineer, and although none of them could recall what transpired, the engineer was believed to be the killer and his guilt was so immense, he took his own life. The weeks and months that followed were wrought with tragedy for the small town, and illness and disease plagued the citizenry—Houtzdale was being haunted, and 1915 George Sinclair could see these ghosts and demons, and he could kill them. But more importantly, he knew who and what unleashed them—the two remaining train survivors, monsters capable of commanding the ghouls, and with great pleasure they used them to torment the sleepy Pennsylvania town. George had no choice but to kill the two survivors before they could continue their murderous rampage. He hunted one down, killed and buried it, then chased the other west, via the Lincoln Highway, and dealt him the same fate; or so he thought.
As George and Phil investigate further they discover someone else is looking into the events that took place in 1915, and more specifically young George Sinclair. They soon discover that someone is a dead ringer for one of the 1915 train survivors, who young George had admitted to killing and burying. If this person is the monster 1915 George believed him to be, Phil and George need to find him fast. Their only clues as to where and what this resurrected being wanted were in the letters and diary. George and Phil determine the monster is tracing his great-grandfather’s path west, via the Lincoln Highway, in search of his partner, who he believes 1915 George also killed and buried somewhere along the way. With each town mentioned in the letters (and visited by the monster), Phil and George discover droves of ghosts and demons, who have been tormenting these locals for a century.
When Phil is called home, Billy joins George to continue the hunt, and they find themselves embroiled in a hundred year old mystery, which grows beyond a reanimated monstrous creature. Mysterious supernatural forces are in play, and the discovery of very dangerous stones and an even more dangerous artifact propel the ghost killers into a fight for their lives.
What Haunts Me – Ghost Killer Book 1: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019EAN2K6/
The Edge of the Cemetery – Ghost Killer Book 2: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GSE7E7S/
What Hunts Me – Ghost Killer Book 3 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BK73XDV/
Margaret Millmore lives on a quaint island in the Puget Sound, Washington with her husband and two cantankerous alarm clocks (better known as cats, who are apparently starving to death at 5 a.m. every single darn morning…).
Her first published works were flash fiction, which were featured on Bay Area artist, Kenny Mencher’s blog, The Welcome Home and Untitled – Luke N. Goode.
In 2011 she published her first full length novel, since then she’s published a three book series, another novel and her current series (via Creativia Publishing) What Haunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 1) and The Edge of the Cemetery (Ghost Killer Book 2), which was awarded the August 2016 Book of the Month award by Long and Short Reviews, and What Hunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 3), which incorporates an epic journey taken by her grandfather in 1915. The majority of her books are set in San Francisco where she lived—previous to island life—for over 26 years.
Margaret’s preferred writing genre is supernatural fiction, with the exception of her time-travel novel, The Dragonfly Door.
THIS IS A REPOST OF SUE ASHBY’S MARVELOUS BLOGPOST/WRITING EXERCISE. I found it so intriguing and inspiring that I did the exercise myself, picking a quiet place to sit and listen, see, smell, taste and touch. (of course, it should come as no surprise that it was nearly midnight, but those of you who know me, realize that finding me somewhere in the sunshine of a summer’s day is about as rare a thing as stumbling across a zebra-stripped unicorn wearing a fedora)…but I digress. MY observations are listed below the copyright info by Sue. PLEASE stop by her beautiful photography/poetry blog to enjoy more of her unique insights and observations : https://perpetualessence.wordpress.com/
When my mind gets stuck on the outer beauty of anything, my writing suffers horribly. Even more so, my entire tank of creative juices drain away until I find my self channel surfing for a distraction from my own stagnation. Consequently, I get absolutely nothing accomplished.
Back in the early 1980’s I did a lot of backpacking in Colorado’s magnificent wilderness areas, and never went anywhere without a journal and pen. Quickly, I discovered my own “Zen zone” as I call it. It is a state of complete relaxation surrounded by the splendors of earth and nature, where I find the flow of creative energy. This exercise can be done anywhere, and at all times of day or night in any weather. It is also easily adjustable to suit your own personal needs. One simply needs to empty all the tumultuous thoughts from your mind and focus for a short time on your immediate surroundings.
The entire concept revolves around utilizing all of your senses to inspect, observe and sift through every nuance of your surroundings within five or ten square feet of where you are sitting. With imagination this also works very well using photographs.
With paper and pen, find your desired mini retreat and make yourself comfortable. In parenthesis write down each of your five senses side by side, or each one on a separate piece of paper. Now mentally dissect every facet of the things around you, reducing everything to its most minute particle. I start mine like this;
Small puffy white clouds
Round, angular, fractured, pointy
Pinks, peaches, white, browns
Bright green moss
Curly pale green lichen
Blue jays, etc.
Dry, dusty, hard
Flows through fingers
Points, smooth pieces
Soft like fur
Thick like carpet, and so on.
Once your lists are in detail and complete, contemplate, toss in human interactions, reactions, situations and emotions. This exercise can help create a storm of lively and solid scenes for a storm of creative projects. If nothing else, it is always good to empty your mind and contemplate the little things which really are so beautiful.
Copyright 7-12-2016, by Sue Ashby.
Photograph Copyright 7-12-2016, by Sue Ashby.
Lying back upon the grass in my quiet little yard under the glimmering glow of a nearly full moon, I closed my eyes to
(Listen) : hearing most prominently the whirring sound of many a/c units running. Once I put that aside however, I heard the gentle whisper of the breeze telling me secrets from far away and the occasional chirp of a bird (which always makes my imagination stir. Why do they sing at night? Are they having a bad dream? Did some creature steal into the nursery to snatch a fledgling? Or are they, too, simply enjoying the shimmering show of the moon?) I heard the distant rumble of a train and, as ever, the garish noise of traffic from the city not far enough away.
(See): Opening my eyes, I saw first the spectacle of the moon, dancing amid a rolling tide of puffy white clouds sailing effortlessly across the sky. I saw the shadows of trees across the way and the rustling of their leafy tresses as the night breezes ran its fingers through their hair. I noticed a nearby rabbit, no doubt awaiting another slice of apple as I am in a habit of giving them apples in the evening; and of course I saw the stars: those delicate sparkles of ethereal light that ever fill me with lyrical musing (but that is another post!)
(Smell): I drew a deep breath and smelled the warm humidity that hung on the air like heavy fog mixed with a hint of asphalt from the nearby road. Not terribly pleasant, but not repulsive. Clean, hot night air. Nothing more.
(Taste): Since I was not eating or drinking, I tasted nothing. Not a wasted sense, though, as I certainly could have been sipping sweet lemonade.
(Touch): Reaching down I ran my fingers through the July grass that is rapidly drying up and turning into something much more straw-like than it once had been. I tousled the heads of a few clover, now resting from the scurrying-hurrying bees that plunder their sweetness all the day long; and I reached outward to caress the sky, feeling the warm blush of the air against my palms and slipping through my fingers as I sighed deeply and smiled, meditating upon the simple yet profound Blessing of five extraordinary senses.
I do so hope you will try this wonderful exercise, if not to stir the inspiration of your thoughts, at least to Kindle the wonder of your spirit in the Beauty of the world around us.
Thank You SUE for such a delightful suggestion!
Unexpectedly, her mind filled with a low, drawn out whisper; the deep baritone of the speaker frighteningly familiar and she gasped again, louder than before.
It was him.
“Oh, not now!” She cried out into the hush of her small home, but the persistent answer came back all too quickly.
“Now, Ayla.” The whisper was so close, the thought piercing her mind as if he stood mere inches away from her and she swayed under the potency of his presence, her lashes fluttering.
“Where?” She thought, seeking him, but not finding him. How could he be so close and, still, not be inside the cottage? He was closer than ever before. Once again, his reply to her question was instantaneous.
“Here.” His deep voice echoed in her mind, but she opened her eyes just the same, searching her parlor, expecting to see him at last; but her two-dimensional thinking brought insidious laughter to the edges of her consciousness and she shook her head at her own folly. Fool! She thought, admonishing her own simplicity.
“Here inside my mind?” She inquired, almost in disbelief and once more the answer came back to her so quickly it seemed he was capable of reading her thoughts before she could even think them.
~An Excerpt from Dark Fey: The Reviled~
The Hour has come
The Madness descends
The slow, Inescapable
Of Tumbling Words and Imagery,
Spilling like claret wine
To Intoxicate and Invigorate,
Poised to Capture
All my Essence may Choose to Express,
For the Ephemeral Inundation
To Drown me
In her Rousing Deluge.
The Love here is quite obviously of words, but the romance of those words to me is often as intoxicating as Love itself 🙂
Beautiful photograph found on flickr. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Photographer. Thank You!
For those of you who find Dark Fey of interest, it now has it’s own Official Website! You can explore the Realms of the Award Winning Epic YA Dark Fey Trilogy, Discover more about the lands the Fey inhabit, read free book teasers taken straight from the stories , learn insights into the characters through in-depth descriptions, read a few behind the scenes secrets and more.
Thank You Ever So for supporting me and my writing 🙂
Like the Blustering wind upon a barren plain
Or the windswept ocean, tossing and churning,
As the restless sea of green ebbs and flows
By the cascading breeze’s playful hand,
Through countless measures of space and time
This Willowy Effervescence of verbosity
That Sings in Pain and Wails in Pleasure
Fills the Essence of what makes me Who I Am;
The Poetess within the woman,
The Romantic within the doubter,
The Sensualist within the reticent,
With Passion that Demands representation
Through Flamboyance of phrase
And Delicate Gossamer Lilting words
Spinning Reason into Vivid Rhyme
That gives my Being Purpose
And Speaks of Ages now lying in the vast unknown
Once filled with All I
Aspire to Unveil
What Inspires us to write? Why do words move us so passionately? Is it something scientifically explainable; a chemical reaction or predisposition, or is it something more mysterious. Spiritual, perhaps, or metaphysical in nature, words often stir the deepest parts of our psyche, connecting us, even unknowingly, with things we barely comprehend, crossing generations, spanning eons of time. Is it the words, or is it the emotions and thoughts they provoke? Can anyone truly say for sure?
Beautiful Image found on 123Stockphotos. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Artist. Thank You!
I’ve heard it said that only human beings have been given the gift of music; that only people create songs, sing and serenade their souls with this most magical and uplifting form of communication and communion. Yet, should we not consider the song of the lark? The haunting ballads of the whales? The mournful call of the wolf? The robin’s lyrical laugh at dawn and dusk? The crickets that serenade the nighttide? The burbles of monkeys swaying in the trees? The laughing of the hyena?
Who is to say that in their melodic tunes, caterwauls, howls, wails, and other worldly vocalizations there is not some measure of music. Why should we be the only ones to sing praise, to croon our love, and to bewail our distress? How can we know, in truth, in honesty, that the deliberate scree of the hawk, the piercing bugle of the elk, the chattering of raccoon and ferret, and the murmurings of infrasonic elephant calls is not music to their ears?
Music is a form of communication that lifts the soul, expresses emotion, and brings one being into contact with another being. If this is, indeed, the definition of music (of which it is a form) then can that being not be one other than human? Does not one wolf join another when it sings? Does not the whale song change season to season and year to year, picked up by another whale to be carried on? Does not one roaring lion inspire the entire pride by its lusty cry?
Consider what the morning would sound like without the sweet music of the birds. Contemplate what the summer night might be when not a single chirrup, trill, drone or buzz lilted through the air. Ponder how deep and lonely the oceans would be without the drifting, breathtaking songs of the whales. Can you even imagine a mountain landscape without hearing the echoing howl of a wolf or the bubbling laugh of the loon?
If these sounds, that can captivate us and uplift our thoughts, our hearts and even our souls, are not music and do not do the same for all those who hear them, regardless of race, than perhaps, we must follow that course of logic and say that cave paintings are not art, tap is not dance, improvisation is not acting and free verse is not poetry.
Or perhaps, Music Teaches the Soul what the Heart Feels and Guides the Heart with what only the Soul can Truly Know.
Not too terribly long ago (though I cannot tell you how long precisely) I was conversing with a fellow writer about Inspiration and Poetry. It was a fascinating discussion that I, not surprisingly, never wanted to end. It started out innocently enough, with a simple query ‘What makes a poem a fantastic poem?’, a question which soon spiraled into the importance of metaphysical thinking and transcendence of emotion; the subtleties of wordplay vs. explicit vulgarism, and the inevitable influence our musings may have, even if such an outcome is not deliberate.
As might be expected, our ideas contrasted, but it was not surprising as our own unique writing styles are quite different (his more structured and traditional, mine…well you know mine.) These variances, however ultimately came down to format, style, grammar and the like; yet we agreed to disagree on these points. After all, whether a poem comes in the form of a sonnet, a rondeau, a pantoum, or a cinquain; a troilet, a senryu, a tanka or a kyrielle, the desire to share a particular thought, emotion or impulse is usually the underlying motivation for writing.
Our views on the emotive side of poetry concurred, such as allowing Inspiration to lead as opposed to leading Inspiration. Leaving yourself open in all situations rather than closing yourself off to the emotions that may inspire you, whether that inspiration comes through quiet contemplation or at the spur of the moment in some flash of creativity that makes you reach for pen and paper (or laptop) to scribble effusively before the wave passes by. (and the resulting frustration that can occur when you do not.)
We also agreed that rhyming is far less important than timing; that the heartbeat of a poem is crucial, the pulse, as it were, which brings the verse to life and keeps it alive. Rhyming is a beautiful thing when it happens, when it works, but it should not be the focus of writing poetry. There is a fine balance between (good) free verse (which quickly became another facet of the conversation, but I’ll prattle on about that another time) and rhymed poetry, and it is a tightrope that is often difficult to walk, but we did unequivocally agree that the age-old, sing-song rhyming scheme so often forced upon an unsuspecting verse (or reader) can easily trap the poet, stifle the verse, and, ultimately lose the reader, frequently for good.
So what is the magic combination that stirs the heart, mind and spirit of both writer and reader? What is it that constitutes a fantastic poem? Perhaps you have thoughts you would like to share? (please do!) but we could not really say, yet just like any form of art, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder’. The artist can never predict what might inspire smiles or prompt sighs and, in the end, the creator must create whatever it is their heart longs to express. After all when two poets start musing about musing and the words we are choosing and using, the result can be amusing, but very often confusing.
Image found on Pinterest. Credit Acknowledged to the Original creator. Thank You.
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