My Infinity

In a few weeks I will be taking off for two months in Egypt. It’s time to start up the blogging again in preparation….

 

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My parents in 1967

I was last in Egypt at age ten. I can imagine much has changed since then. Of course, the monuments of Luxor, where I will be staying, will not have changed. I look forward to walking among the queens and kings and breathing in their spirits, as well as the slaves who suffered in order for those in power to gain immortality. This is the dilemma that drives me, the juxtaposition of yin and yang. Is it evil and good, or is that just how we have tried to explain it? Perhaps it is really something else that we don’t understand.

Luxor is my next stop in gaining inspiration to write Throne of Desire, book 5 in the NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES series. Writing six books is a lesson in endurance. It is also  a spiritually uplifting experience. I found that while writing Land of Talismans, book 4, the characters truly took over the story. They are leading me on their own mysterious journey. I am learning much as I travel along.

 

Writing this series has taken me from Los Angeles to Istanbul, Turkey; the Sahara Desert, Morocco; Martha’s Vineyard; Lausanne, Switzerland; Sucre, Bolivia; Lake Arenal, Costa Rica; and now Luxor, Egypt.  My characters represent many cultures and ethnicities, the stories are steeped in history. The themes of free will (does such a thing exist?), spirituality vs materialism, the corruption of power; the sedation of the masses, well…let’s just say it’s all in there. What would you, as an ordinary human being, do if you had the opportunity to become a god?

And what, really, does that mean–to be a god? What does it mean to be human? What is life and what is death?

 

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Good vs Evil…who can say for sure?

We don’t know the answers to these questions, no matter how much we fool ourselves into thinking we do.  To know these answers means to have the knowledge and power of what many call God…or the universe… or whatever words one wishes to use. As finite beings in an infinite universe (a concept impossible to comprehend) we theorize, speculate, believe we know, kill each other over theological technicalities, but the fact is, we are tiny ants climbing up onto blades of grass, thinking we have scaled the highest mountain when we haven’t even made it out of the backyard.

That said, it’s a lot of fun speculating and I am putting it all into NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES.  We’ve each been allotted a certain amount of energy to put back into the universe. So, this is how I use mine. Telling stories, creating my own little worlds. And along the way, traveling where my spirit takes me to absorb all I can of the wonders of the world I live in.

What a life! We should make our lives worth living–to ourselves, which is why I have such a hard time writing in this blog. It’s all in NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES, it’s all in my other writings. I want people to read what I write. I want to share my little worlds and hope that others will get lost in them, too. It’s a way to find connection in the void of infinity.

Life shouldn’t just happen to us. We should give our all to creating our best adventure.

This is my best effort. And I’m loving every minute of it.

 

HOW MY TRAVELS AND WORK WITH YOUTH AROUND THE WORLD INSPIRES NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES

FANTASY LITERATURE Expanded Universe article

Inspired by my current travels to Sucre, Bolivia, where I am writing for two months

Writing is never just about sitting down in front of a computer and obsessing about characters and stories. For me, writing is powerfully connected to my life experiences. And some of the most influential experiences I’ve had have been the result of traveling to incredible destinations and having amazing adventures as a result. This led to me founding the MY WORLD PROJECT, connecting youth in remote areas around the world through art and writing. Knowing the power of words to create change, I want to give youth a chance to speak out beyond the borders of their villages and towns and connect with other youth, who might have different cultures and faiths, but who share common goals and concerns.

Please check out the MY WORLD PROJECT Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/myworldproject

The Haunting of William Gray and Ghostly Islands

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I have always loved nothing better than to find a cozy spot by the fire during stormy weather and read a good book. Preferably a book about mystery and romance, set on a wild moor, a creepy castle, a wind-swept island…you get the idea. My imagination was shaped by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek, My Cousin Rachel…I read all of her books. And I confess that to this day, I still have my dog-eared copy of Agatha Christie’s The Man in the Brown Suit in a place of honor, easily accessible. I even gave my son the nickname of “Harry,” thanks to the dashing rogue who steals the heart of Anne, the heroine.  And, of course, I pined away for bad-boy Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and cried my eyes out reading Jane Eyre.

So imagine my delight when I met Renee Johnson two years ago at Noepe Center, a writer’s retreat on Martha’s Vineyard. Noepe is set in an old inn, in the heart of Edgartown, where surely mariners’ ghosts and the ghosts of their long-suffering wives or seductive lovers wander at night. I have been to Noepe three times and will return again (if they aren’t fed up with me yet!). I have been to many fabulous and exotic places in the world to write and this is one of my favorites. I always go in October, when the summer crowds have faded away and an expectant silence settles on the island. I say expectant because I always feel as if the island is taking a slow, deep breath in preparation for the onslaught of the winter. Someday I would like to experience the island when the wild winds, pounding surf and relentless snow storms create a deeper magic, like that of Narnia when the White Witch was in control.

In October, the sun still may shine on one day, bright and clear, while on the next, mists role in, snaking through the tiny streets and rapping around the old buildings. When that happens, I shudder and sigh quite happily. I am in my favorite kind of place to hunker down and write.

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Renee and I have all of this in common, and more. A love of laughter and good wine and a way of bringing out the best of our imaginations in each other. When I first met Renee, in October of 2014, she had her first book, Acquisition, coming out with The Wild Rose Press. A great accomplishment and a great read! We agreed that we would meet again the following year, and sure enough we did.

The next time I saw Renee, in October of 2015, her new book, The Haunting of William Gray, was about to be released. And now, having read it, I can say that it is exactly in keeping with my memories of those wonderful stories from my past. Harry and Heathcliff, make way for William Gray! Set on an island off of South Carolina, this story has the elements essential to making me shudder and sigh with happiness; from the glittering parties, to near drownings, to old creepy mansions, not to mention a ghost, and vividly authentic voodoo. The references to historical facts ground the book in reality and make it that much more believable to the reader. With beautifully descriptive language, Renee blends the past with the present and brings it all together in a surprising and satisfying ending.

I have no doubt that Renee and I will meet again to share more adventures and to write. Where will it be? Perhaps a castle in Scotland? Who knows? I can hardly wait to see what Renee comes up with next!

You can find this book and Renee’s others at The Haunting of William Gray

And Renee’s musings here Renee Johnson Writes