Publication Dreams

Being creative, being a writer is who I’ve always been.  As long as I COULD write, I’ve been writing. Novels, novellas, short stories.  I have a plethora of them, In the early to mid 1990s I began to see some success, having been been published sporadically in the small press.  Once you get a taste of that success it spurs you focus is on reaching for greater goals.

 

One of the questions that people ask is
Would you do what you’re doing if you didn’t reap abundance from it?

 

I’ve been writing for well over forty years.  So I guess the answer to that question is yes.  Abundance doesn’t always have to be financial however.  But I HAVE been writing without financial abundance for sometime now.  That’s all about to change. After years of doing my best to find a greater market for the writing I do, I have finally captured my leprechaun.  In November 2018, I will see two books get published simultaneously.

Fahrenheit Books, a Guilford Connecticut publisher is taking on my books.  One, a short story collection of dark fantasy is called:
Random Acts: Stories of Redemption

Click the above title to view it on Amazon.
Cover design by Chris Dobbins

 

This book is a collection of short stories I wrote in the late 1980s to mid 1990s.  The other book is essays on death and dying and my impression about what happens to us after we pass.  That book is titled:

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Off A Coat: Ruminations On The Infinite Soul

Click the above title to view it on Amazon.
Cover design by Chris Dobbins

 

To purchase each book, simply click the title link for each book.

This was originally scheduled to happen last year but as with all tentative publication dates it was delayed.  I’m so excited for this to happen. It’s been a long time coming and a lifelong dream. Isn’t it every writer’s goal to be published?  If not, then maybe you should reconsider writing. Robert Heinlein said it best with his rules of writing:
Rule One: You Must Write. …

Rule Two: Finish What You Start. …
Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order. …
Rule Four: You Must Put Your Story on the Market. …
Rule Five: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold. …
Rule Six: Start Working on Something Else.

One of the most important factors that lead to this is that I didn’t give up, that I didn’t let anyone stand in my way.  There have been people in my life who have dissuaded me. Telling me:
No!  You can’t do that.  Telling me no is probably the greatest motivator someone can give me.  It provides the EXACT opposite of the original intent.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

God is Green

Your spiritual self was born in a dream, and when you dream you are returning home.  Your natural self is at home where everything is both a physical fact and a poetic metaphor.  When you dream, you are returning to the home, the very womb of your spirit and a world that speaks the language of your soul.

 

A Religion of One’s Own
Thomas Moore
Page 82

 

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Each column that has an Amazon link will also work.

 

Let me speak first on the title of this book.  When Oprah asked Thomas Moore about creating a religion of one’s own, his answer connected with my own experience.  He said:
The way you create your own religion is by picking and choosing from the world religions and melding them into your own life.  (A paraphrase, because I didn’t pay attention to the exact words Moore used.)  This is EXACTLY how I created my own worldview.

 

Image from:
Pixabay

 

Oprah Winfrey had Thomas Moore on Super Soul Sunday.  The above quote from his latest book resonated deeply with me.  Pay attention to a few key phrases in the quote.
–Your spiritual self was born in a dream.
–When you dream, you are returning to the home, the very womb of your spirit and a world that speaks the language of your soul.

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Moore is most known for his book:
Care of the Soul

 

You know that dreams have played a role at Wisdom and Life in previous columns.  Should you need a reminder:
Dreams at Wisdom and Life

 

If I take the first sentence from this passage apart I can see remnants from Journey of Souls.  That book played a huge role in my always developing religion as can be seen from the link below:
Journey of Souls at Wisdom and Life  Journey of Souls is a book of case studies from people who recall what occurs before birth and after death.  In that transitional space you are greeted by those who have passed before you and by teachers/masters who are there to guide you into the next life you choose.  Those people in your soul group  who passed before you wait to be reunited to teach you what you could have done differently in your previous life you have just woken from.

 

Your life is born in a dream and if you take this as an analogy, then you can clearly see why I connected with this quote from A Religion of One’s Own.  Death is seen by some as a mere sleep and what do you do in sleep but dream? There are those who believe that your dream life is your TRUE life and the waking world is the fantasy.  What if when you’re in transition, the place between lives is the real life? Your NEXT life IS created in in your life between lives in a place (according to Journey of Souls) called Transition Hall:
Here is where we choose our next life.  That next life will be a result of how we performed in our previous life.  In other words, if we came upon a challenge in a previous life and we didn’t make the connection and make the necessary change then we will come upon the same challenge again this new life.  We keep finding the same challenges until we make the correct change and move forward.
From
Soul Groups at Wisdom and Life

 

Since that’s the case, so is your next spiritual life.  As I’ve mentioned before here as well, the ONLY way to reach those who have passed is through dreams.
Dreams of those who have passed

 

If those who have passed can only reach us through dreams, perhaps that is where we are most at home.  What if that place between Life, death and dreams is our real home as Thomas Moore’s quote seems to suggest?

 

Journey of Souls continues to have an impact on my spiritual life as can be seen from this column.  I highly recommend finding a copy of this book and reading it. I imagine because you’re a follower of Wisdom and Life,  some of you will come away with a deeper knowledge and more peace that life does NOT end with each passing.

 

As Deepak Chopra said in a recent episode of Expedition Unknown:
Everything recycles including plastic.  Matter recycles. Energy recycles. Information recycles.  Why should consciousness be the only exception?

 

This is also reminiscent of my own thought process here:
God is Green

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

My Favorite Children’s Books

I’ve been a reader my entire life. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that reading as much as I did growing up helped my writing get to where it is today. Without reading, you’re not going to learn.

 

It’s why I mentioned Ray Bradbury’s quotes about libraries in an earlier column.  In one of the quotes, Bradbury said he is completely library educated.  Libraries and books are integral to everyone. My day job is at my local library.  Before I worked at my library I had the pleasure of working at RJ Julia Booksellers.  I’ve always loved the printed word, so much so that I’ve been writing longer than I’ve had a camera in my hand.  

 

These are my three favorite children’s books of all time:

Reading as a child helped me in many ways:
–Reading transported me to a safe place, just as writing did as I grew older.
–Reading was my friend, as I’ve been an introvert as long as I can recall.  Just click the previous link and you’ll see my columns at Wisdom and Life on introverts.
I’d rather curl up with a book or spend my alone time writing then being out with people i don’t know.

–Reading and writing have been my friends long before I had people friends.

 

 

 

I’m not saying any of this to garner sympathy.  I love the way I live.
–I love coming home and finding no one here.
–I love the freedom I have.  
The freedom to read when I want,
The freedom to write when I want.
The freedom to do what I want when I want.

 

So, I bet you’re wondering when I’m not only getting to the subject of today’s column, but what the column’s subject is.  Well, reading is the subject, more specifically, three of my favorite children’s books of all time:
Tuck Everlasting
A Wrinkle in Time
Charlotte’s Web

 

So do these books stand out to me?  The first two books have time as one of its major subjects. If you’re a long time reader of Wisdom and Life then you know I have an interest in the concept of time.

–That you can’t change anything without affecting everything else about your life.
–That time doesn’t really exist. That it’s simply a construct of humankind.

 

It’s why the first two books resonate so deeply with me. In Tuck Everlasting, there is the concept of aging and immortality. Sort of a retelling of Ponce De Leon and his search for the fountain of youth. I’ve sometimes considered the idea of immortality. Which is another reason why I connect with Tuck Everlasting. My writing will create the immortality I sometimes think about.

 

A Wrinkle In Time is another favorite. I’ve been fascinated by time and distortions in it for a long while.  I often find myself considering ACTUAL wrinkles and tears in the fabric of time itself. Which is why Madeleine L’Engle’s quintessential book has resonated with me.

 

And Charlotte’s Web?

That doesn’t fit in with the above two books at all you may believe. You’re right. However, Charlotte’s Web has long been a favorite, even before the Tuck Everlasting and A Wrinkle in Time.  Can’t really put a finger on why this particular book has been so deeply important. All I can say is that it is my favorite children’s book of all time.

 

What are your favorite children’s books?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

I Read a Book One Day

I read a book one day and my whole life changed.

Light The Dark:
Writers on Creativity, Inspiration,
and the Artistic Process

 

 

 

 

 

When someone asks me what I do, the first response is photographer. It should be writer THEN photographer.
I’ve been writing longer than I’ve had a camera in my hand; and I write more than I’m out with my camera. EVERY day as a matter of fact I’m at my computer tapping on my keyboard.

 

Light The Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process is the latest book I’m reading.  I’ve had a challenge finding any fiction to read recently, having borrowed several books from my library in the past six weeks or so.  No fiction has turned me on.  Nonfiction is where I find my inspiration now. Writing books have always been a favorite of mine, and this book along with several others have been an inspiration.  I highly recommend the two below:
Dancing on the Head of a Pen
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life

 

Read my column that refers to Still Writing:
Writing Saved My Life

 

Reading and writing have been such an important aspect of my entire life.  I feel blessed that I followed my bliss and continued with my writing career even though roadblocks had been placed in my way.  Many people said:
No.  You can’t do that and expect to make a living.

 

So I went around the roadblocks and worked my way into the book field, working first at RJ Julia Booksellers, my local bookstore, then at The EC Scranton Library.  All the while I continued to write; first short stories then moving into blog content.  I let no one dissuade me.  In fact, as I may have said here previously, the BEST motivation anyone can give me is try telling me no.

 

And now, while I haven’t yet broken through and made a living writing, I DO have two books being published later this year.  So I will paraphrase the above quote:
Reading a book has changed my life for the better.

 

For without reading EVERYTHING, you can’t expect to accomplish ANYTHING!  Ray Bradbury I think said it best:
“I’m completely library educated. I’ve never been to college. I went down to the library when I was in grade school in Waukegan, and in high school in Los Angeles, and spent long days every summer in the library. I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest. I didn’t want to be a permanent thief, and I was very careful to wash my hands before I read them. But with the library, it’s like catnip, I suppose: you begin to run in circles because there’s so much to look at and read. And it’s far more fun than going to school, simply because you make up your own list and you don’t have to listen to anyone. When I would see some of the books my kids were forced to bring home and read by some of their teachers, and were graded on—well, what if you don’t like those books?”

 

And here’s another by Bradbury:
I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college. People should educate themselves – you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.

 

So turn off your television and immerse yourself in the written word.  
Your brain will thank you.
Your eyes will thank you.
Your writing will thank you.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Your Soul Energy

Your soul is interested in how you use your energy—what you create and whether you achieve your greatest potential.  It sees the experiences of your life as part of a larger, richer, more complete picture than the one you can see

Thoughts from the Heart of the Soul

 

 

I use a variety of resources for inspiration, many books to help me write about the topics of Wisdom and Life.  Gary Zukov is an author I’ve followed for awhile. He’s in the same vein as Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer.  I recommend reading some of his content.

 

As I’ve maintained at Wisdom and Life almost from its inception we all have a plan that has been divinely planned before we incarnate.  How do you know what your soul has intended?

 

When you’re doing what you SHOULD be doing, as the quote above says, your energy level will rise and that’s what your soul is interested in:
High energy.

 

So how do you achieve high energy?

You follow your bliss.  Your bliss is how you feel when you are doing what you love.  And whatever you do do NOT let anyone dissuade you from your soul’s plan.  That’s the time when you lose your energy.

 

The reason your soul sees your life as part of a larger fabric is that before you incarnate, it knows EVERYTHING you will you will face:
–Your soul knows when you will return to spirit, to the ethereal.
–Your soul knows when you’ll find your soulmate, and how you will spend your time together, whether as friends, lovers or married.
–Your soul knows how you will spend your life, what kind of career you will have.  It will do everything it can to show you your gifts then push you to follow your bliss.  In the end it’s up to you whether you listen to your soul or outside influences.

 

Listen to your soul so that you live in bliss!

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Ferdinand the Bull

My newest category at Wisdom and Life:
INFP is another topic I’ve started to discuss  INFP is on the Myers Briggs testing spectrum.  If you haven’t taken the test, it will reveal your personality as long as you are honest about the responses.  You can take the test here:
16 Personalities

 

I’ve mentioned Ferdinand The Bull at Wisdom and Life previously.

I’ve always loved the book and didn’t realize it until I recently understood my personality type connects on a completely different level with Ferdinand.  Ferdinand is definitely an INFP on the Myers Briggs spectrum. I now read Ferdinand in a completely different way.  I discovered that Ferdinand is an INFP after reading the book again in the last week.  Apparently, others feel the same way as can be seen from this Google search:
Ferdinand The Bull and INFP

 

After taking the Myers Briggs test and getting my results, I clearly see that I am an INFP.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Rob Bell

I discovered Rob Bell several years ago through reading his book:
Love Wins.  

This book spoke volumes to me as it clearly identified the challenges I’ve experienced with organized religion.  Bell ruffled many feathers in the religious field with his thoughts.  He is still unsettling some in organized religion.  I feel like he is only stating the truth as he sees it.  One of the features of Love Wins that Bell writes about is:
If God is truly love, how and why would he forsake ANYONE?

 

Image from:
Wikipedia

I couldn’t agree more.  In a July 28, 2017 CNN article written by John Blake:
Outlaw pastor Rob Bell shakes up the Bible Belt Rob Bell continues to push for radical changes in the church.  Let me just say, that I don’t find the changes, he is calling for radical at all.  In fact, I embrace them.  One of the changes, Bell calls for is accepting women as priests or pastors.  He says:
Do you belong to a church that says women cannot be priests or pastors?
Bad move, Bell said.

Any church that does so betrays the example of Jesus, who treated women as equals. Women in Jesus’ times couldn’t even testify as witnesses in court.

“Yet all the gospels have women as the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection,” he said.

Makes sense?  Doesn’t it?  This is one of the many challenges I have with religion.  And I’m well aware that I may take flak for it.  However, Rob Bell brings up an interesting perspective:
–Any church that does so betrays the example of Jesus, who treated women as equals.
–Yet all the gospels have women as the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection.

 

Rob Bell has stirred something in many people.  Controversy can be a good thing as it brings people together who want to facilitate a change.  I give Bell credit for bringing his thoughts to a conservative area of the United States.  The Bible belt as some of the Southern States are called could be a “danger zone” for Bell as he has antagonized some in that area.  He didn’t let that stop him however.  I like that.  That he stands up doesn’t let controversy scare him away.  I have a lot of respect for Rob Bell.  I like that we are on the same page when it comes to our worldviews.  If you haven’t yet been introduced his books, I highly recommend starting with:
Love Wins

 

Bell certainly still has a following even after his ouster from his own megachurch.  You can see that following in the crowds he still amasses when he speaks.  It was with Rob Bell, that I realized my belief system had changed.  Bell voiced in Love Wins, what I always knew about myself but hadn’t been able to see in myself that as I stated in My Spirituality:
I believe God LOVES EVERYONE.

I believe God created us and he won’t forsake ANY of us.

I recently discovered Rob Bell’s Book Love Wins and after reading it I realized Mr Bell and I believe the same things.

Why is it so difficult to embrace this worldview?
Isn’t religion supposed to be inclusive?  I understand these are rhetorical questions.  They shouldn’t be, however.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Jonathan Carroll

I’ve been writing reviews a bit more recently at Wisdom and Life.  I do my best however to ensure those reviews are compatible with Wisdom and Life’s guidelines.  Today, I’m featuring my favorite author:
Jonathan Carroll.  Hiis themes touch on many of Wisdom and LIfe’s themes as well:
Death and Dying
Love and many more.


Image from:
Wikimedia

When you read Today’s column you will see how much Carroll has impresesed me.  A new Jonathan Carroll book always warms my literary heart.  Mr Carroll is one of the few authors whose books I will buy sight unseen.  A few weeks ago, on October 21st when I returned from dinner I received an email from Jonathan Carroll’s website telling me his new book  Bathing the Lion was out in stores.  On my way back to work at the Scranton Library in Madison I made a detour across the street to RJ Julia Booksellers so I could hope beyond hope that a copy of the book was in.  There were two.  I grabbed one and was so happy I floated out of the store.

 

Jonathan Carroll has a plethora of books to choose from and I’ve read many of them.  With his latest book, Bathing the Lion Chaos returns a pseudo character that first graced the pages of his books with  White Apples and its sequel Glass Soup.

 

I started with White Apples when I worked at RJ Julia Booksellers.  I was given an advanced reader copy of White Apples and I read the book in a week.  As with all of Mr Carroll’s books by 45 pages in I understood that I was in the hands of a master storyteller and I wanted to keep reading the book but I became afraid that I was reading too fast.  In other words I didn’t want the book to end.  And when I FINALLY did finish.  I wanted to read it again for the first time.  As it has been with all of his books.

 

Someone recently asked me what is style was like.  The ONLY way I could think to describe him is he is:
Alice Hoffman on LSD.

 

White Apples and Glass Soup tells the story of Vincent Ettrich and his significant other Isabelle.  Vincent has died, but Isabelle brings him back from death because he needs to teach their unborn child what he’s learned in death because it will help their child defeat Chaos.

 

There are so many amazing passages in White Apples and Glass Soup.  One in particular in Glass Soup is discussed at one of my other blogs here:
Life is Controlled Chaos  Start reading from:
“This is how it began.

 

I think another reason I connect so well with Mr Carroll is that he seems to be on the same page with me when it comes to our worldview.  In his latest, Bathing the Lion he writes:

Burnt sienna:
The colors of the greatest love humans can feel for each other. It comes only when all others have burned off or faded away and what remains is a hundred percent pure. Like the color of the earth in direct sun  on a late fall afternoon. It’s the color of the truest human passion.

Bathing the Lion
Page 217

And again:

Dogs know what comes after death. It was not bad. THIS is the primary reason why most dogs are so merry and resilient:

Death is no more frightening than traveling to a distant land where the landscape is lushly tropical or glacially polar or simply unlike anyplace you’ve ever been.  Just the smells alone…

Bathing the Lion
Page
222

 

Death and Dying is a topic I feel strongly about and the above passage is my entire belief.  There’s more. The Burnt Sienna passage above is also another strong belief.  As is the column Life is Controlled Chaos.

 

Carroll has written other books as well and each one holds something special.  You simply MUST read him to see what type of writer he is.  Don’t miss this guy.  Don’t let him pass you by because you’re afraid to try something new.  I implore you to pick up one of his books.  I’m guessing some of you will come back to me and say the same thing I say:I want to read him so badly but I don’t want the book to end and when I’ve finally reached the last page I wish I could read his books again for the first time.

The Ghost in Love, Carroll’s previous book turned out better than Glass Soup as Glass Soup turned out better than White Apples.  The Ghost in Love, about a man who goes out in the middle of winter to walk his dog, he falls and cracks his head.  The man was scheduled to die with that fall but doesn’t.  Why?  You’ll have to read the book to discover the answer.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Why Did You Do This For Me?

Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.

 

Charlotte’s Web
E.B. White

 

The Charlotte’s Web links lead to my Amazon Referral account.
Should you follow the links and purchase the book I will benefit.

 

 

 

 

Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorite children’s books of all time.  As with many of my favorite books, there are countless quotes throughout the book that resonate deeply with me.

 

 

Our friends play an important role in our lives.  There is no self made man.  We are all where we are because someone else cared enough to give us a hand when we needed it.  Whether it was friends or family makes no difference.  No man is an island.  

 

We need our friends.
We need others to help us move along the path of life.

 

 

 

Who has helped you?
Have you thanked them?

 

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

A Life of Fulfillment

You cannot create a life of fulfillment, joy and meaning while barricading yourself from others and from the opportunities Life offers you.

 

Thoughts from the Heart of the Soul
Page 51

When you NOW see Amazon Links at Wisdom and Life,
if you purchase linked items from my blog, I will benefit.

 

I have many sources for Wisdom and Life and one of the sources I continually return to is books of quotes.  I have many at my disposal.  Today’s quote comes from Gary Zukov’s
Thoughts from the Heart of the Soul
Zukav

 

If you’re feeling less than joy, one of the well known remedies is to leave your home, get outside, see your friends.  Go for a walk.

 

Don’t stay locked up inside.  That will only keep you dwelling.  For some of us we need time to cope with what is cause our distress.  But we can’t stay stuck.  The BEST thing to do is get out as SOON as we can.  The longer we stay inside, the longer it will take for us to recover our joy.  For those of us who are artists, whether painters,  this also can relate to getting stuck with our artistic endeavors.  I know I’ve experienced having a temporary writing block and if I step away and go for a walk, get out with friends, my mind leaves the challenge I’m having and I’m able to return with fresh perspective.  The same can be said if we are having an emotional challenge.

 

Step outside yourself.
Spend some time in nature.  Go for a hike in the woods.  Go to the water.  Find your happy place.

 

Don’t stay inside.  It’s like my blogger and friend, Dick Sederquist in his book:
Hiking Out

You need to get outside.  Find what brings you joy and don’t stay dwelling on what brought you to the state you find yourself in at the moment.  And remember:
EVERYTHING is temporary.

 

The next time you find yourself stuck in an artistic or an emotional challenge, get up and get outside.  You’ll find that will help motivate you to recover.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.