Using Creative Trance To Write Visionary Fiction – Guest Post by Mary Mackey

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.

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Climate Change Requires Consciousness Change

The Goodreads book giveaway will be going on until November 30th, 2014.  Click here to enter.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, everyone talks about climate change but no one does anything about it. No one, particularly those in power, wants to make the necessary sacrifices. For example, the US government refuses to comply with international environmental agreements. And the Japanese government recently announced that CO2 emissions there would be increasing rather than decreasing as promised.

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Clearly we need a global reordering of priorities, away from short-term economic gains and towards long-term sustainability. But we’ve known this for decades, and the problem continues to worsen although scientists insist we could solve it if we had the will. Generating the will to make these changes, both in our personal lives and in the economic structures we are caught in, is going to require a change of consciousness.

My new book, Wellsprings: A Fable of Consciousness, approaches ecology from that dimension. The novel is set in 2026 as the earth’s ecosystem has broken down under human abuse. Water supplies are shrinking. Rain is rare, and North America is gripped in the Great Drought with crops withering and forests dying. In the midst of environmental and social collapse, an old woman and a young man set out to heal nature and reactivate the cycle of flow by using techniques of higher consciousness. But the corporations that control the remaining water lash out to stop them.

In the story water is analogous to consciousness. People are out of contact with their own inner wellsprings of consciousness, so their lives … Continue reading

At Sea With My Writing – Peggy Payne

A Novelist’s Turning Point, Mid-Atlantic (Summer 1997)

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Even from the farthest reach of the dock on New York’s 53rd Street, the Queen Elizabeth 2 was too long to photograph.  I couldn’t, with a wide-angle lens, get the whole ship into the frame at once.  So I shot it by halves, the front and then the back, not sure what I’d do with two mismatched ship halves when I got home.

This ship, the QE2, is the last of the world’s transatlantic liners.   The Cunard press kit had described it as three football fields long.  I don’t measure things in football fields.  I keep score in numbers of words, copy-inches, books.  It’s as a writer that I was heading to sea, and not only as a travel writer with a notebook, but as a novelist bringing along a manuscript that had been too long in progress.  I was running late, by years, in getting another book out, felt pressed, frustrated, discouraged.  I planned to look at the manuscript, away from my usual life, see where I stood with it.  (Working aboard the QE2 was an idea that had also occurred to Francis Ford Coppola, Ray Bradbury, and other writers I would soon meet toting manuscripts on this voyage.)

But there was still another reason for my taking this trip:  I am approaching the anniversary of my 25th year as a freelance writer, two and a half decades typing out of one little office or another in the outer fringes of Raleigh’s downtown.   This crossing was to be both a celebration and, optimistically, the start of my career’s … Continue reading

Jessie’s Song Excerpt – Eleni Papanou

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Charcoal smoke surged over me in a thick stream obscuring the stars, along with the events that forced me down onto this cold, hard sidewalk. I stared into the flames streaking out of the second-story window until my senses were hypnotized, and the searing pain from the bullet that pierced my abdomen disappeared. “Stardust” began to play in my radio brain and transmitted the memory of my first meeting with Stella. I was at the Jazz Room with my band-mates, Donnie and Snaps. Most of our conversations were pointless, but I recalled them with startling clarity on this starless night.

The pain from my injury forced me back to reality, a reality I had no desire to return to. As blood surged out of my wound unrestrained, I thought this was it. I’d die alone and without my last dream realized. Just as I had given up hope, it came true.

“Daddy!” My daughter, Jessie, ran over to me wearing the pink pajamas I got her for her ninth birthday. She looked off to the side, hypnotized by the flames.
My sister, Leda, arrived next and knelt beside me. “Hang on little brother. An ambulance is on its way.” She gently assisted Jessie down to her knees.

As I gazed at my daughter’s face, an emotional storm struck me. Is this real? Are you here? I couldn’t trust my own senses. I wanted this moment so badly. It sustained me all the way up to now.

“Why are you bleeding?” she asked.

“I’ll be okay.”

“That’s a lot of blood.”

“They’ll fix … Continue reading

Novel Excerpt – The Destiny of Ethan King – by Martin Cosgrove

9781477517819_p0_v1_s260x420Elroy Stark shuffled up the steps to the Eternal Flame Christian Spiritualist Church one wet Monday afternoon. He was late again. His manager always managed to persuade him to stay for ‘just a few minutes’ to finish off some important document or other.

He shook his umbrella several times in quick succession when he reached the top step, folded it down and smoothed back his wet, greasy hair into an overly-slick Dracula style before entering the hall.

The meeting, as usual, was already under way and the spirit medium, Frederick Wallas, was sitting perfectly still and upright in a wooden chair at the front. His monotone voice bounced off the stone walls of the former Freemasons’ building.

Elroy’s scuffed leather shoes squeaked on the highly polished floorboards as he approached the back row of seats. He tried to shift his weight to prevent the squeaking, but ended up making it worse. A few heads spun around to look at him as he squelched his way towards them. One woman in her sixties saw it was Elroy, shook her head and turned back to face the medium. A red-headed, pale man sitting in the front row narrowed his eyes and glared at Elroy as if trying to kill him with his thoughts. That was ‘Bonny’ Benny, the Church’s founder.

Elroy sat on a chair right at the end of the back row, next to a lady he’d noticed at the last three meetings but had not spoken to. Her greying auburn hair was wavy and although it was fixed up tightly in a bun, a couple of wild … Continue reading

Novel Excerpt – Ripple: A Dolphin Love Story

ripplecoverStars were appearing when Zenith saw Cosmo approaching. He listened carefully as Cosmo described the events of the afternoon.

‘What will you do now?’  Zenith asked.

‘I’m leaving,’ Cosmo said, ‘I’m not yet sure where to, but you’ve told me of the northern astronomers. I’ll swim their way until I decide.’

‘Do you want me to come?’

‘I need solitude for this journey.’

‘You may meet danger, Cosmo.’

‘I am danger.’

‘Avoid waste. You have much to offer any school.’

Oh for the skills of Alcyone now, thought Zenith. But Alcyone was dead. Zenith observed Cosmo’s departure and saw that he did indeed head north.

Many of the Southern School tried to contact Cosmo in the days afterwards, but failed.

We (deities of the Hereafter) observed Zenith taking steps to ease what he feared could be a hostile reception for Cosmo – should he ever win through to the School of the Astronomers five or six days hard swimming away. Meanwhile we followed Cosmo on his lonely passage.

Cosmo swam towards the Astronomers with only the vaguest intention of arriving.  He could think of no reason to travel in any other direction, and only the north held something that had once been of interest to him. He swam fast, causing the acids to collect in his flesh until his muscles burned. Icy squalls lashed the ocean through the first night of his journey. He watched the stars that gleamed between flying clouds and recited their names as he raced onwards. He ignored hunger all the next day, and his bloodstream … Continue reading

Novel Excerpt – Unison – by Eleni Papanou

RESONANCE

 

First Incarnation

 

Time is relevant to sound. An infinite voice sings life into this universe, and I’m but one note resonating within this expanse of boundless potential. While that’s an easy abstraction to grasp, my own potential remains elusive. After eight parallel lifetimes I’ve been adrift somewhere between struggle and mastery, both of which I now see as an illusion.

I first realized there was something unusual about me in my ninth year, shortly after winning the lottery to go on a camping expedition. My friend Wade and I had taken climbing classes to prepare for our hike up Emerald Mountain. Because of our age, we were restricted to the beginner wall which soon ceased to challenge us. When Headmaster refused to move us to the next level, we waited until the athletic center had closed for the night, then snuck inside to climb the advanced wall. The ropes and harnesses were locked away, and we ascended without them. Finding it difficult to handle grips positioned for longer limbs, I fell during my descent. After Wade yelled out my name, the outside world disappeared.

My awareness returned in the hospital, but my body remained unresponsive. I screamed and cried out in silence when I heard a doctor tell an Overmaiden I was in a coma and wouldn’t last beyond the week. Seven days later my condition remained unchanged. To alleviate my increasing restlessness, I imagined myself exploring the deathlands. They had fascinated me ever since I learned about them at school, but the poison left over from the Great Cataclysm meant I could never visit them. The Earth I created had no limitations. There were no fumes to contaminate my lungs and no scourge to keep me from venturing too … Continue reading

Novel Excerpt – Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman

The discussion was cut short when Jason Bard, quarterback of the Prescott Academy Panthers, descended the stairs covered in blood. He was the first of what was to be a series of bungee-jumping casualties and had sustained a deep gash on the side of his neck. Turned out, he was directed to me by a student who’d been sledding at Danahy Park on the day I mended Callie’s broken ankle.

I suggested taking Jason to the ER, but everyone was curious to see whether the rumor about my having healed Alessa’s burns was true, and I eventually gave in to peer pressure. It was a messy procedure, but—with the help of the OM—I managed to close Jason’s wound. When the bleeding stopped, the mob of kids around us erupted into wild cheers and whistling. That didn’t surprise me, but what happened next did.

Someone suggested that I attempt to heal Tasha Gomes, and soon the whole room was chanting, “Heal Tasha! Heal Tasha!”

Although somewhat uncomfortable with all this attention, I was happy to be of service. But Tasha Gomes didn’t just have a neck wound. She’d been blind since the age of three!

“Listen guys,” I said, “broken bones and bruises are one thing, but I can’t restore sight.”

The partiers would have none of it. As they continued chanting, “Heal Tasha!

Heal Tasha!” the crowd parted just enough to allow Tasha Gomes to approach me, proceeded by her guide dog, a German Shepherd named Fred.

Tasha was an auburn-haired beauty who wore aviator sunglasses. Her blindness followed a bad case of the measles, which she’d contracted because her parents didn’t believe in vaccinations. Despite her handicap, she was active in school affairs and never missed the honor roll. I’d known her since kindergarten and had always admired her strength and determination.

“I’m sorry, Tasha,” I told her, … Continue reading

Novel Excerpt – Systems by Saleena Karim

CHAPTER FOUR

Catharsis

Perched at the top of the scaffolding with his legs crossed, he focused his thoughts on emptiness. This was the only way he could distance himself from the droning energy of the people.

His eyes were closed, and his body perfectly at rest. His pale blue T-shirt and black jeans dripped constantly as the rain pelted down. Yet he was oblivious to the cold and the wet. His mind simply sought the peace.

Most would find it difficult to believe that a man of such quiet composure could at the next moment be possessed with wild, irrepressible energy. However it was as natural to him as the weather. The red ribbon that he wore permanently round his head symbolised that he was different. His self-appointed title, the Peace Man, was a testament to his mission. No one knew it but him.

Doctor Hargreaves believed that his patient’s sociophobia was just a part of his illness, but the Peace Man knew better. He felt utter contempt for the state of the human race. He’d been free for just three days, but in the world of the so-called sane he’d found only what he’d known all along. Hell was earth. The people had vacuous minds, empty souls. They weren’t even alive. They merely existed from the cradle to the coffin. They were not human beings, but androids tagged with serial numbers, whose sole purpose was to work and make never-ending payments for the things they would never own. And in all their mindless running around, they had no time to stop and think; certainly not before their bodies wore out and forced them into the death before death. The have-nots of the modern world were not the unemployed; they were the unenlightened. They knew nothing of their … Continue reading

Novel Excerpt – Carry on the Flame by Jodine Turner

from Book One Carry on the Flame: Destiny’s Call  by award winning, best-selling visionary fiction author Jodine Turner 

DestinysCall e book coverThe dayroom was full of idle chatter, some nonsensical, along with the monotonous blare of a morning television talk show. Cigarette smoke wafted upward, trapped by the closed and barred windows, as much prisoner as all the patients committed to the psychiatric hospital against their will.

Sharay looked up and feigned a casual glance around the room. Her gaze rested on the old man. His knobby hands scratched his scrubby gray beard, then, index finger curled, he motioned for her to join him at his table. Sharay hesitated. The old man pointed to the spread of cards before him and chuckled. He held one up for her to see, and furtively laid it back down again. Curious, Sharay stood and scuffled across the room, the closest she could come to walking while on her medicine. She sat in a worn wooden chair across from the old man, the table and mysterious cards between them.

“Dillon.” He proffered his weather beaten hand in welcome. “Dillon Emrys. Born in the North of Wales, high in the mountains in a town no one has ever heard of. Born and raised there.” His voice was deep and carried the musical lilt of a heavy Welsh accent.

Sharay extended her hand and watched it tremor. Another side-effect of her medicine. She quickly withdrew it, embarrassed.

“The shaking is nothing to be ashamed of. Easy to remedy. Here, try again.” Dillon’s hand hung over the cards, waiting for … Continue reading