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 →
I get excited when I come across something like Gary Schwartz’s Super Synchronicity: Where Science and Spirit Meet. Such books and operations like the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health at the U of A allow us visionary authors to write about various preternatural phenomena with confidence of their veracity even though we have neither the time, resources or perhaps brains to perform the requisite scientific experiments ourselves. 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?
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 →
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.
Esme Ellis started out life as a visual artist. At age 11, she earned scholarships to the junior art department of the Sheffield College of Art and the senior art college at 14. At 17, sculpture and ceramics became her preferred focus of study. She won another scholarship to The Royal College of Art in London. She spent a year in Rome working on her studies and visiting many museums and galleries.
After having moved to Bath in 1975, she headed spiritual and meditation awareness meetings in her home. She also expressed herself with painting and writing. Her journey to becoming a writer was an organic process and almost reads like a visionary fiction story:
“After virtually forty years of training and practising the art of sculpture, my life took a surprising new course. It is said that a Shaman must endure some physical calamity – a fall from a high rock face, breaking every bone in their body – be taken apart and reassembled again – before discovering their true power. The same could be said of a writer. From the most earthy, hands-on, three dimensional form of creative expression, sculpture, I was led through a devastating illness … Continue reading →
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