Books, Literature, Pets, Writing

Week 12 2016 – The Last Good Bye

HeavenlySkiesI can picture Hell. It’s all too easy these days. Just turn on the news.  A place without love, without compassion, full of selfishness, ignorance, oppression, totalitarianism, and violence. Hell is nothing more than the absence of God, although there are plenty of false gods and theocracies formed to keep the drivel in line.  There are no miracles, no magic, no dragons, demons, or ghosts,  and no happy endings. Everything can be explained. It is all terribly shallow and mundane. Imagine a life occupied by only the most base of human experience. There is no need for fire and brimstone. While humans suck at power to do any good, we are quite adept at making our own little Hell dimensions, especially if we are given any power.

There is pleasure in Hell, fame and riches, envy and lust, but it is all empty, meaningless and always surrounded by horrors.  Hell lacks subtly and is so prevalent in its creeping tendrils in our world, we scarcely notice it. And we certainly do not dare call it by its name.  We live in a fallen world where glimpses of Heaven are fleeting.

Heaven is found only in moments of pure joy, unconditional love, and painfully beautiful visions that take our breath away, a sunset here and a clear blue ocean there. It is quiet, always there just in your grasp, not on the other side of the clouds, but rather on the other side of your life. In my belief, a man of love was nailed to a tree for our crimes so that everyone of us might conquer death and gain Heaven. This man descended into Hell, rose again on the third day so that all of us might one day dwell eternally in a place that is filled with love so bright that even the most glorious of poets could never describe it.

J.R.R. Tolkien gave a wondrous description at the end of Return of the King which comes pretty close to my meager imaginings of what paradise might be like.

“And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the gray rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”


I like to think that my Aunt Barbara is there in that far green country reunited with her beloved horse, Annie, both young and whole again.


This week we said our last goodbyes, and though I will miss Aunt Barbara from this day until that day, I do believe we will meet again. I might go fishing with my granddad first, my dad (if he beats me there), and my old Springer Spaniel, Winston. That dog loved to jump in the lake, especially when a fat brim began to nibble on my line.

So Aunt Barbara and her horses may have to wait. I am sure she won’t mind as there will time for everything and everyone. For now, I will try my best to fight the good fight, live my life as full as I can until the good Lord calls me home at last.  At least, I will write more whatever comes along.


Week 11 -2016 – Lord, Lead Her Home

Aunt Barbara Palm Beach 2005

My dad and I went to my Aunt Barbara today. The experts say she can still hear us when we speak to her. I didn’t know quite what to say.  I adored this woman. I told so many stories about her, and she became part of my mythology. The family has her laid out in the great room of her home overlooking the stables where her beloved horses live. I told her it was a great view, and it is. The dogwoods are just coming in bloom, and while it’s difficult to breathe in the South if you have allergies, and it’s a bit on the chilly side, it has been a perfect spring day. Who would want to die on a day like today?

I will miss my aunt forever, and will try my best to see her again in the heaven I know awaits her this night.  She is, in truth, the inspiration for the character of Rhea Crisdean in my fantasy series, Idylls of Alleysiande.  I had so wanted her to live long enough to read the series. I just took too long to finish it, and now I am dwindling in the query trenches.. In the next few hours, my aunt  will get to see what I can only imagine. Lord, please lead her home.



Week 10 – 2016 A Cheshire Cat Moon

IMG_0500My Aunt Barbara suffered a massive stroke at the beginning of the week. The family braced itself for a terrible loss.  My cousin, Elizabeth, flew home from France, not knowing if her mother would still be alive when she arrived. Well, as I should have expected, my Aunt Barbara kicked that grim reaper in the teeth and is hanging in there. Anyone who knows my aunt knows exactly what I mean. I expect the grim reaper is afraid of her and probably called in sick the day he was asked to go collect my aunt.

Hundreds of people are praying for her. A steady stream visits her, offers the family their warmest regards. She earned it. She is quite the character, not someone easily forgotten once met. She is also a very good human being bordering on saintly. That she is my aunt is not at all her fault, and should not be held against her. I am an anomaly in my family.

I am its proverbial black sheep although that is putting it too kindly. I am more like the family rotting corpse in the closet. I bewilder them even though I am not even the only writer in the family. I am merely the oddest of the lot. And not in a sweet, peculiar way, but more in “don’t give her any sharp objects” and “don’t make direct eye contact with her and she’ll go away” sort of way.  I know that when my time comes, if anyone even notices, it will probably only be because of the stench that comes with death. I will never be that person who hundreds pray for. It amazes me that I am related to so many people who inspire such universal love. It is because of them I know heaven exists. Although, I am not sure I will ever pass those pearly gates myself.

A Cheshire cat moon followed me this evening as I was walking my pug. I’ve never liked that grinning moon. It has always filled me with dread although I could not say why. I can’t put my finger on it, and I hope this week, reality will leave me the Hell alone. I have no more patience for it and the creeping anxiety it fills me with.  I have books to write, and that is the only place I can escape my demons. Do not fear. Although, I will never tame my demons, I am not a danger to myself or others as I always keep my demons on a leash.



Publishing, Writing

Week 9 2016 – Avoiding the Reaper

IMG_0099It happens now and again that I freeze inside. I simply stop. I go numb, and there is this sort of surrender akin to despair. I float through life during these periods, making lists of things that I must do (go to work, walk the dog, feed myself) and my dreams take a back seat to survival. It is this weird fugue that proceeds illness. The sick hit me Saturday at noon.

That morning, I was feeling well enough, tired, but I was getting things done; the laundry, the grocery shopping, walking the dog, playing with the dog, a little proof-reading of my R&R, some notes on my WIP (work in progress). I sat down, thinking I would make some tea and do some real writing. Then out of the blue, pain, gut-wrenching like I was being torn in two, pain. That is how it happens every couple of months, and for the greater part of my adult life. After a while and much vomiting and wailing, it passes, leaving me feverish and weak as a newborn kitten.

These episodes are a  brutal reminder that time is no friend of mine, not when I was twenty and not now. Opposing that unpleasant truth, is my belief that I will live until I finish and publish the final book in my Idylls of Alleysiande series. There will be seven of these.

DarkriderReality and I have never gotten along. I am working on book two now while trying to snare an agent with book one. I have two other series that I hope to weave into my publishing career along with the Alleysiande books. I will be needing another few decades, but there is no bargaining when it comes to mortality.

Somehow, I have to stop counting on the mystical to keep me alive, and start dealing with the reality that if I don’t keep my eye on my dreams, time may run out before I have readers waiting for the next book.  I can’t imagine what is coming this next week. I am a piss-poor prognosticator, but perhaps in the labyrinth that is my life, I can hide a bit longer from the grim reaper.