It’s a long way from Pennsylvania to Mount Everest. I’m still on the road (a bit closer – now living in New Zealand) but don’t know if I’ll ever get there. It’s not unlike the journey from being born to understanding, or at least making peace with, the meaning of life.
I’m an American man married to a Kiwi woman, retired from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) in 2013. My first novel was published a few months ago. It’s called Everest Rising, and the plot is relatively straightforward – the Earth is pregnant.
The idea came from a few different places. I am always searching for the new storyline– a tale that hasn’t been told and an engaging core around which to build a compelling narrative. I want my characters to grapple with both the commonness of existence and the wonder sneaking in around the edges. This wonder serves as a catalyst for transforming the human experience; a transformation revealed through the senses, understood by the mind, and confirmed by the heart.
The ‘pregnant Earth’ construct allowed space for various themes to intermingle and for passionate conflicts to play out. There’s conflict concerning the Earth: a living, possibly sentient entity about to safeguard its existence against humankind’s wayward stewardship. There’s conflict among the characters, many of them scientists who must decide how to deal with an unprecedented, physics-defying chain of events. At its center, the story is about acceptance. Accepting how little we know, and in that unknowing choosing how to use our energies and where to direct our focus. Where can one find answers – or some version of a contented frame … Continue reading
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that those of us writing Visionary Fiction have had some sort of vision, be it a lucid dream, an unexpectedly successful meditation, a trip brought on by a substance outside the normal diet, or even a near-death experience. It may have lasted several hours, possibly a day or two, but more likely it was only a few minutes. Nevertheless, a mere glimpse beyond the veil is all that’s required to alter one’s consciousness. We are suddenly aware that we are more than; more than we had been taught, more than we believed, more than we could have imagined. We are aware that things are not as they seem, and perhaps more importantly (as a motivating factor), we are aware that things need not remain as they are, that if only more people were clued in to the true nature of reality, the manifested mundane world could be modified in ways that would benefit all beings. So we are driven to spend endless hours of our short time here on earth piling up words, in hopes that our work will open the minds of our readers.
I’ll go out on another limb and presume that as writers of fiction we have all learned the maxim: show, don’t tell. Yet how do we show the qualities we have come to know in that eternal moment snatched from the other side—timelessness, infinity, unity—given that our only tool, language, is linear, finite, and distinctive by nature? How do we convey a globe to Flatlanders at all, let alone without technical ‘tell-y’ … Continue reading
Scene descriptions of real, physical spaces within Visionary Fiction writing engages and enthralls readers. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered what makes certain stories more powerful than others? Could there be such a thing as a story’s fifth element. If so, what is it?
Although in recent times, the basic elements have been recognized as four, in most ancient cultures and religions there are five. Hinduism acknowledges five great elements—earth, water, fire, air, and the ether, aka akasha. In ancient Tibetan philosophy, the fifth element is the space and in Japanese traditions, the void or spirit. In Ancient Greece, the ether was the most sacred element, for it was unchangeable as opposed to the other four.
Also, the primal geographical directions have been subject to confusion in this matter. Most Eastern and Mesoamerican natives viewed the center of the Earth as a fifth direction, the principal essence from which the other four primal directions derived. In the West, this center is called the Axis Mundi and is the connection between heaven and earth, the point where the four cardinal directions meet.
When I learned of the five elements and directions, I began wondering whether stories, being the reflection of life, could possess them as well? And if so, then what could such elements represent in regard to story?
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We are living at a crucial moment in the advancement of humanity. Everything is in flux. Materialism and reliance upon ever more sophisticated technology has reached unprecedented extremes, while in parallel a new yearning for purpose and a path to attainment is swiftly gaining ground.
Visual and literary visionary creators have a key role to play at this time. For by our very nature, we instinctively see beyond the apparent veil that separates our “material” reality from the infinite realities in which we move and have our being.
As visionaries, we cannot – and must not – ignore the growing rapprochement between the latest developments in quantum physics and the enlightenment sought by mystics.
The implications of the common ground between these two disciplines allow us to put forward the following Visionary Writers’ credo:
- QUANTUM META-PHYSICS tells us that REALITY is an ILLUSION.
- EXISTENCE plays out on limitless numbers of parallel TIMELINES.
- VISIONARY insight empowers us to alter the makeup of our single NOW.
- In turn, WORLDVIEWS shift and we gain greater control over DESTINY.
- Our PURPOSE is to SHARE these visions by forging PARALLEL REALITIES.
- To trigger varying degrees of KNOWING among our AUDIENCES.
- Thus contributing to RAISING AWARENESS and ushering in the NEW PARADIGM.
All of this means that we, as visionary writers, have a particular responsibility in these transitional times. We are writers with a mission and can make a very real contribution to heightening collective consciousness wherever our works may “happen” to be read or heard.
Shaping our own destiny
Since we all share this huge responsibility, we must also learn how to “jump” the timelines and steer ourselves into the parallel universe where our visions are able to fulfil … Continue reading
New England Inspiration
I grew up in Norwich, which is a little town in Connecticut rich in beauty and in history. Old buildings lined most streets, and are still used as existing businesses. The Norwich Post Office was built in 1905, in the Classical Revival design. I attended Norwich Free Academy, a high school mainly composed of very old and beautiful buildings. Perhaps the most notable is the Slater Museum. The museum has always kept a variety of different art pieces, but what always stuck out to me was the plaster cast collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Italian-Renaissance sculptures. I lived down the street from my school, which was very close to the Yantic Cemetery, and the Indian Leap Falls. The Yantic Cemetery was special, because it was built in the Victorian era, back when they used to design graveyards like gardens. Pathways, trees, and aesthetically pleasing graves were only a few of the lovely features. I would often come to the graveyard, to walk and have some time alone to think. Sometimes, I felt as though the tall trees could hear my thoughts. It is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to, and there is something about it that does not make one fear death nearly as much.
Shortly after the launch of the Visionary Fiction Alliance in 2012, Randy Davila, president of Hierophant Publishing and Hampton Roads Publishing Company, wrote a post for visionary fiction writers that remains relevant today. Therefore, I’m resubmitting it as our first post for 2017.
First purpose of fiction
Visionary fiction authors have one of the hardest jobs as writers—to both entertain their readers and to introduce them to new metaphysical topics, which the readers may have never been exposed to before. The most successful authors, of any type of fiction, understand that the first purpose of their book must always be to entertain.
Unfortunately, many times we see visionary fiction authors who feel so powerfully about their message that they let it become the central focus of the story, and drown the reader in metaphors, exercises, theories and unnatural dialogue all in the name of conveying their message. They have forgotten that their readers came to the fiction section of the bookstore to be entertained first and foremost. This is where the fiction author can run into the most difficulty in trying to reconcile their love of the story for the love of the message.
We, as fiction authors, have been told time and time again to “show, don’t tell”—and your metaphysical or spiritual message is no exception to this rule. To keep the reader engaged, you must show them how your character’s negative thinking is drawing negative circumstances into his life; or leave room for the reader to intuit how the character’s dreams about the Divine Feminine correlate to her real-life experiences. Showing the reader how these theories work instead of simply telling them that will help … Continue reading
A creative trance that allows me to delve into my unconscious whenever I want to, get the material I need for my poems and novels, bring that material up to my waking reality, remember it, and write it down.
Visionary Fiction, with its emphasis on spiritual wisdom and the evolution of consciousness, is in a unique position to explore Western Esotericism in its various guises. Continue reading
In the past couple weeks, the Visionary Fiction Alliance site experienced a technical difficulty that caused the site to either respond very slowly or not at all. Our tech team went after the problem as quickly as possible, but it took some time to isolate the source and rouse the appropriate vendors to take corrective action. We apologize for the inconvenience–very aggravating to have to wait for a link to respond–and assure you that the site is now up and running.
In the meantime, we went ahead and published a wonderful interview that Margaret Duarte did with Karan Bajaj, #1 bestselling novelist in India, who has just released his new Visionary Fiction novel, THE YOGA OF MAX’S DISCONTENT, through Penguin Random House worldwide in May. We believe that all VFA members and readers will benefit from Karan’s expertise and experience. We do not want to have that wealth lost in a technical glitch.
So, this special post is a reminder. Do click on this link to Margaret Duarte’s Interview with Karan, read and enjoy, give it a like and post a comment if you care to. Let’s give our newest VF star a warm VFA welcome.
Also affected by our technical difficulties was author Brandon Bosse. He offered a captivating 2-part guest post titled The Metaphysics of Lucid Dreaming – Visionary Fiction for Kids. See the second part here.
The VFA Steering Committee
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