The Visionary Benefit in Fiction: From C.S. Lewis to Me

I would like to honor one of my favorite writers, Mr. Clive Staples Lewis, briefly showing how his intuitive genius made him a famous exemplar through works closely related to the “visionary fiction” genre. C.S. Lewis is the author of the well-known Chronicles of Narnia series, as well as a less known but most inspiring to me, Screwtape Letters, among many other works.

In his Narnia novel, C.S. Lewis uses his main characters to parallel the central players within Christian theology. For example, the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe represents the non-fictional concepts (in Lewis’ mind) of Jesus Christ, Satan, and the Supernatural aspect of the real world, respectively—making the plot of his story “universal in its worldview and scope.” One need not be a Christian to find edification in this work of Lewis’ because Jesus Christ can be universally interpreted as the moral hero generally, Satan can be seen as forces of moral challenge, and in regards to the supernatural aspect of the universe, no additional translation is needed for a fan of the visionary fiction genre.

The work of Lewis which most inspires my own experiment with visionary fiction, however, is his Screwtape Letters. In this book he uses the instrument of letters to convey in dramatic, engaging and most entertaining form, elements of Christian spirituality. Set as letters written between Screwtape, the experienced devil, and Wormwood, his nephew apprentice, he manages to exquisitely draw out and paint a most colorful and at times hilarious picture of the spiritual person’s struggles, temptations, and moments. Communications between an experienced devil and his apprentice via letters was a most creative “metaphysical plot device” on his part.

Because I was so inspired … Continue reading

Build Your Own Author Website Header

I can’t begin to tell you how many frustrating hours, days, and months I worked to create the website header for my original author website. I went as far as to purchase a program called Photo Shop Elements 10 and then spent months learning how to use the program in order to come up with an image that worked for me.

For one thing, it’s hard to find images that are not protected by copyright. For another, size matters. Stretching images to fit the required header dimensions often distorts them. Cropping doesn’t always work either. And then comes the issue of fonts and font placement.

Don’t get me started.

Since then I discovered a website called Canva (Thanks, Jane Friedman) that saved the day when it came to creating the website banner for my Book-Snapper theme.

And that’s what I want to share with you today.

Assuming that you’ve purchased and installed Book-Snapper (or an equivalent) author theme for your website, let’s get started.

First, go to the Appearance menu on the vertical panel below the Dashboard to your Book-Snapper author website. On the pop-out that appears, click Theme Options. There you will see a screen that looks like this:

Book-Snapper Theme Options

From there click Banner. Under the Banner image, notice that it says “Enter your 960px x 400px banner image here. Yikes! That’s one big banner.

No problem. Let’s head to Canva.

Once there, create a free account and log in.

In the right upper corner under your account name and profile, you’ll see “Use Custom Dimensions” in small letters.

Click on it and two boxes will pop up for width and height. Enter … Continue reading

Build Your Own Author Website—Step 7: Administration Panel

Administration PanelBefore we get to the fun part of decorating your new cyber home, let’s take care of some general housekeeping tasks via the navigation menu on the left side of your WordPress Administration panel.

Hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the very bottom of the vertical menu below your Dashboard and a submenu pops out to the side that contains the following links:

  • General
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Discussion
  • Media
  • Permalinks

The only settings we will concern ourselves with for now are: General and Permalinks.

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Literature and the Flow of Consciousness – Part 2

seven states of consciousness

This is part 2 in a series about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Author, MR Neer addresses some questions that are related to the Yogi’s theory about the connection between literature and the evolution of consciousness.  Please read the previous post where MR Neer offers some insight about literature, how we experience it, and how it develops human consciousness. 

How does literature affect the writer, reader, and society?

Now from this foundation, I have identified 10 of Maharishi’s key ideas about literature.

consciousness

For the Writer:
1) Silence. The creative process depends on the inner silence of the writer. The aspects of a piece of writing “all come together in a very beautiful, connected manner if there is silence deep within.” By silence, he means thought arising from the state near or at the level of pure consciousness – the quietest level of the mind where all activity has settled down. He insists that the power of literature lies in “the purity of the writer, in the purity of the consciousness of the writer who is able to bring in an ocean in a drop, … [who] naturally comprehends the totality on any surface value of a thing.” He explains that when a writer maintains that simple, silent awareness, it has all possibilities in it.

2) Flow. Good writing is not so much about … Continue reading

Visionary Fiction: The Call to Awakening, An Interview with Rea Nolan Martin – Part 2

This is part two of Robin Gregory’s interview with author Rea Nolan Martin. For part 1, please click here.

Robin: “It is entirely possible that behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden of which we are unaware,” Albert Einstein said. Some of your characters have contact with non-physical beings. Can you talk about what lies beyond “the perception of our senses”?

Rea: Ha! Everything! Our senses are keys that unlock doors to the next chamber, wherein another locked door awaits us, and another, etc. The secrets of the universe are contained in a tabernacle at the epicenter of existence. The observable “seen” world, however, is full of clues if we have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” as is repeated over and over again in ancient sacred texts. But we have to attune ourselves to that world, which means constantly adjusting and refining our spiritual antennae to new and evolving signals.

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