THE PEACE OF A LIFE LIVED BY YOUR TRUTH

I’m sitting here contemplating a white board on which I have the various castle rooms written, enjoying a bit of sun – and a bit of peace and quiet.

Sort of.

I’ve come to see that peace and quiet – for me – can be more disruptive than chaos.  This is partly – I believe – because as someone whose life has been chaos since pretty much the beginning – I’m used to navigating it with ease but also – because it leaves time to think.  The challenge with that – in my case – is that if I don’t choose something specific to think about something will be chosen for me.  

Unless it’s a book project, I’m probably not interested.

Today turned out to be a surprise in the thinking department.

In an effort to distract myself – so my mind wouldn’t wander too far into the quiet – I thought about a few emails I could get to.  The thought of one of the recipients took me to a place I hadn’t considered.  

A very welcome place.

Happy peace.

I took a moment to consider how this woman is one of the gentlest, kindest, and happiest people I know.

The kind of happy that is an inner contentment that glows out of her.

Her husband is pretty similar in that he radiates contenment – and peace.

I suspect it comes not just from their natural dispositions but that they are living their truth.

aka their dream.

To put it in perspective I need to go back in time a few decades.

Switchback style.

When I was a kid my dad used to watch Jacque Cousteau.

He also subscribed to Yachting magazine.

He often talked about living – as a family – on the open seas and while he talked I watched the show documenting the seaman’s latest adventure and while I didn’t agree with my dad’s thoughts on the matter – I wasn’t interested in living on the ocean – I did spend a lot of time pondering the type of person who would.  At the top of the list of thoughts was how brave such souls would be, followed by how adventurous, and finally, how passionate.

The kind of inner fire that would sustain you through the difficult times.

I don’t know if it was flipping through my father’s magazines and studying the luxurious innards of the yachts or noting the absolute serenity projected by Jacques and his crew but over time he became a hero for the simple fact he was living his truth.

His dream.

Though I never felt a pull to live on the open seas I always had admiration for those who did.  And throughout the years, as childhood ponderings tend to do, things came around so that I met several individuals who do.  What they all have in common is an inner peace that simply radiates and while one might think it comes from negative ions or sunshine or some other nature aspect of their living arrangements, I know it’s more.

Deeper.

It’s living their truth.

Aka dream.

I might be tempted to think it’s living on the water that inspires the peace but I’ve been fortunate enough to come across other souls who, though living their truth, are not on the open seas.  Every one of them radiates a peace that comes from living their truth.

Living life on their terms.

It’s about choice.

I believe what all these souls have in common is choosing the life of the free spirit.

Each of them worked diligently for years to earn the ability – the right – to have choice.

As someone who’s done likewise, I know it takes decades of hard work.

Outside Inside.

It’s not always fun.

Nor is it easy which is why passion is, I believe, a prereq.

Living a nontraditional life comes with unique challenges.

If you travel the seas, consider the impact of all the countries that had to close their ports because of Covid.

Everyone I know to be living their truth has something in common. Every one of them has been challenged – especially in recent times – yet all radiate that same inner peace.  

I think it’s because they are living a life reflective of who they are.

The soul has the freedom to express itself.

One thing I’ve noted.  Whenever I have the threat of nonproductive thoughts at the edges of my consciousness?  All I have to do is think of one of these individuals and peace is restored.

Live your truth!

Dedicated to Behan, Jamie, Derek, Andy, Sean, Gregg, Kim, Sandy, and MaryAnn, all who are embracing their truth – and life! You are an inspiration!

CURVEBALLS AND CLEARING: BRINGING A PROJECT TO LIFE

NOTE: Longer post. Cross-posted on metatronsarmy.com.

Don’t you love it when life throws you a curveball?

Losing 3 family members in 3 weeks definitely classifies.

After a couple of days off I am back to the nonfiction project.

It’s the first time in years I took a few days off writing.

As I reengage I note the more permanent changes that have affected things.  

Clearing.

Months back  in preparation for adding more nonfiction into the career picture – I began clearing out anything that wouldn’t serve the vision I had.

Professionally, and personally.

I put a great deal of time and energy into laying the foundation for success and while I’m happy – overall – with the progress I’m also dealing with an aspect of change:  

Getting There From Here

In his book Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, William Bridges points out change doesn’t always start with a new beginning.

This is an excellent book by the way.  I highly recommend it.

Sometimes change is introduced with/by an abrupt ending.

Loss of a job through downsizing for instance.

While that was revealing it was the other part of the story that really got my attention.

The Road Between

He points out not only does change sometimes start with an ending, the new beginning doesn’t always happen right after.  There is often a period of “between” separating the two.

But I’m Ready!!

I‘m fueled up for the journey!

He explains that this Road Between can be uncomfortable because it’s a time of unknown.  

The familiar has ended but the new hasn’t started.

I was so busy laying the foundation for what’s next in this project – while simultaneously clearing what wouldn’t serve – I didn’t realize I landed on the Road Between!

That curveball – which is far more than the recent deaths -shoved me there.  Slowly.

Fortunately, I’ve been in this situation before.

Multiple times professionally and personally throughout my life.

Between = Empty Cupboards

Because I’ve been in this situation a number of times in my life – which should tell you how often I experience change – I am prepared to ride it out.  That doesn’t mean I won’t be doing what I can during this time to set myself up for success.

I am starting to fill in World of EMF content which is part foundation/part launch.

It’s a delicate balance because if you allow a feeling of restlessness to direct your actions you could wind up wasting a lot of time and energy.  To illustrate I will share one of my favorite metaphors.

It’s one I’ve used to help others who’ve found themselves in the land of Confusion.  I mean on the Road Between.

Imagine you need new dishes but your cupboards are already filled.  There are a few ways – each different – that you could go about this.

If you already have the new dishes in possession then it’s simply a matter of clearing the old and putting the new ones in.

Or is it?

What are you going to do with the old set?

Hint:  Storing them somewhere only serves to turn them into clutter.

What if you don’t have the dishes yet and you aren’t exactly sure what would look right?

Maybe all you have is this notion that it’s time for change.

Step One:  Remove the old.

Step Two:  IMPORTANT!  Do something with them!

Something other than storing them.

Why is this step so important?  It backs you into a corner and forces you to see the change through.

You need to eat on something right?

Step Three:  Sit with it for awhile.

You know, stare at- I mean contemplate – those empty cupboards.

This step is the most likely to make people uncomfortable if not anxious.

It’s the ROAD BETWEEN!

You cleared out what no longer works.

Which sends a powerful message you are ready for this change!

You don’t have the new yet which may bring a lot of panic.

  • OMG what did I do?  I just got rid of the only set of dishes I had!

But they are no longer reflective of who you are.  You’re doing yourself a favor in letting them go!

  • I have no idea what to put in there!

At some point you thought you did else you wouldn’t have taken the step of getting rid of the old.

In other words – trust yourself!

  • What is everyone going to think?  What if they hate what I put in there?

I’ve struggled with this myself on and off throughout the years and what I’ve concluded is some will, some won’t, move on.**

To do otherwise only saps you of energy.

  • Why is this taking so long?

This is that uncomfortable part where you stare at – I mean contemplate – those empty cupboards.

Which is wise.  It’d be worse to put something in there just to make yourself feel better then realize you hate the new even worse than the old!

All of which leads to – as Jen Sincero put it – learn to love feeling uncomfortable.

This more than about anything helped me know I was doing it right.  You know, because I was uncomfortable!

To the extent I’ve gotten very little sleep in recent months.

It’s the familiar discomfort of the Road Between that lets me know I’m doing everything right.

Familiar as it’s reflective of the truth my life has been one one long string of changes.

Making it an adventure!

Changes Big and Small.

As recent events have shown change isn’t always instigated by the one going through it.

Pandemic anyone?  Talk about living on the Road Between after abrupt endings!

Genie Out of the Bottle.

Fighting change isn’t a good use of time.

Neither is trying to force things back to the way they were.

When I watch the tug of war between employers demanding their employees get back to the office and make it so things are back to normal – whatever the hell that is or ever was – and the employees who have other ideas – I wonder if those making demands understand  

That genie?  He ain’t goin’ back in the bottle.

Change happened.

The best way forward is forward.

New dishes more reflective of the new way/person/lay of the land/etc.

Cooperatively.

It’s a lot less painful that way.

I understand accepting change is easier for those of us who have had nothing but for the entirety of our lives but anyone can embrace it.

Embracing it has its advantages.

The best place to start? Embrace the Road Between.

After all, as they say in the Matrix, it’s inevitable.

Everything for new projects – fiction and non – is on track.

Stay tuned!

**What really helped me with this was an interview with Chris Cornell talking about a new Audioslave direction.  (I’m paraphrasing).  He acknowledges that the change left fans unhappy but shrugs and explains some will always be unhappy and that’s what goes with it.  

Change: It needs to happen.

Wow – not bad for someone who was woken by birds before 6. Espresso does wonders!

HUNTING EMFs

I’m off for a day of EMF Research.  In a manner of speaking this is one part of my life that counts as research that never really ends.

Though no longer sickened by tech EMFs, I am aware of a variety of non-tech EMFs.

Today’s challenge will be trying to ferret out the source of a change in awareness.

There is an impact from being around the source.

It could be one or more 

  • Geologic
  • Atmospheric
  • Factor X

Geologic

I live in an area criss-crossed with geologic fault lines and though I still feel earthquakes before they happen I am no longer sickened by the EMFs emitted in the hours and days before they do.**

My head will turn in the direction of the epicenter and I will declare, “We’re having an earthquake” before the shaking starts.

If the quake happens in the middle of the night or early morning I will come straight awake before it hits. I always know what it is that woke me, what’s about to happen.

I always say “We’re having an earthquake” before the shaking starts.

Not all fault systems have the same effect.

I’ve lived and traveled throughout the Western US so I have a lot of exposure to draw from.

One thing is consistent, I feel quakes before they happen.

Today I will be making observations relative to other factors.

I’m hoping it doesn’t wear me out too much.  

It can feel as if I’ve been hit with a degauss button.

Atmospheric

In general this is felt as a pressure in my skull.

With a particular focus where it was cut into for emergency surgery when I was a kid.

Though I no longer suffer pressure change migraines I am aware of the change.

My body reacts – usually with a tension I am not consciously aware of.  One of those where it’s subtle, creeps up.

I’m still working out the timing and various temperature threshholds.

It happens when the temperature rises.

Factor X

Involving the M in EMF, Factor X is one of the more challenging EMF related sensitivities I’ve had to deal with.

To the best of my knowledge, it began when we were living in Scottsdale and while I’ve had a version of it ever since, it has evolved.

I used to call it the Weekend Factor because it only happened on weekends.  That’s no longer the case.

I’m also testing one of my tried and true EMF remedies to see if I notice a difference when in the presence of these EMF sources.

The jewelry.

In addition to the materials I mention in Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity, I’ve acquired a few new pieces.

Experimenting with new materials.

What makes this investigative work more challenging is that the changes in equilibrium are subtle.  Once I become aware I need to immediately determine the likeliest of the 3.

Or which particular combination(s) of the 3 may be at work.

In spite of the challenge I’m looking forward to a day away from the laptop.

**I have a unique relationship to volcanoes too but that research will have to wait for another day. Good thing I live in the Ring of Fire.

WRITER IN THE HOUSE

I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumors .but I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor…and when I die I expect to find him laughing…” Blasphemous Rumors – Depeche Mode

Note:  Short and to the point.

Not that the longer ones aren’t to the point.

As I was preparing for upcoming video shoots it occurred to me that I’m in a somewhat precarious position.

Especially given I have interactive conversations with ghosts.

In the interest of preserving my sanity if not my ego I just texted the following:

Quick update guys – I’m going to be doing a LOT of video in the very near future so if you happen to catch me talking to air?  I’m rehearsing my lines – not having hallucinations.

THE RHYTHM OF WRITING: A BAD HABIT TO BREAK

Note:  Longer post.

I’m a person who believes it’s best to treat the root cause than a symptom if you want to solve a problem. 

This approach served me well while dealing with EMF Sensitivity.

It can be a bit tricky because root cause is not always easy to identify.  

Troubleshooting.  

Assuming you are aware of the symptom(s), the best place to start – in my experience – is to ask yourself a simple question

What changed?

This is something I learned while working in tech.

Nothing, damn it!

I always got a kick out of a customer vehementaly insisting nothing had changed – the workstation performance just suddenly degraded.  

If everything was fine and now it isn’t?  Something changed.

 A lot of times the something that changed happened elsewhere making it unknown to the user.

i.e., someone added another protocol to the network which created additional traffic which…

I Didn’t Realize.

More than once I stood witness to a bitter dispute between an end user and a network administrator wherein the administrator insists it was such a small change, it couldn’t possibly be having that much of an impact.

It’s interesting to watch CAD guys working to keep their cool in such a situation.

These arguments often had two levels

  • The problem
  • The problem that is a result of the problem

It’s bad enough the administrator doesn’t grasp the impact of even slight performance degradation.

They often seemed to think the designer was exaggerating, that it was no more than annoyance.

The designer’s performance is impacted.

Not the workstation running the CAD program – the designer since his ability to meet deadlines was impacted.

In general, once the disagreement got to that level of communication it was simply a matter of addressing the situation.

The administrator understood and accepted even small changes can have big impact.

The fix.

This is not always easy since it’s not just a matter of undoing whatever was done.

Maybe that protocol has to be on the network to serve other users.

While I could share a number of solutions to such an issue the point is that when something happens to productivity – identifying the root cause can be time consuming and energy draining – and solutions not always easy to implement.

Or even to find.

This happened to me with regards to my writing.  Or, more specifically, its rhythm.

Something’s wrong?

Because I had a number of projects in the queue I didn’t even realize something was off until very recently and when I figured it out I misunderstood the root cause.

Timing.

Though this started two years ago, I didn’t begin seriously analyzing the problem until yesterday.

Because I didn’t know there was a problem.

No.  It’s Timing.

It wasn’t until walking on the UW Campus near the Neptune theatre that I understood just how off my internal rhythm was.

And it wasn’t until writing about the concert I understood the impact that had on my writing career.

In Plain Sight.

I wrote that the pandemic was one of the more prolific times of my career, suggesting the impact wasn’t as significant as other things going on at the time.

Including my efforts to recover from heavy metal poisoning (cadmium, nickel, mercury, calcium, among others).

As I further considered I realized it really was the pandemic that started all the trouble to begin with.  

Or, one aspect of it.

Rhythm in Chains.

When we went into full lockdown other than walking outdoors I was unable to continue a number of routines.  What I didn’t realize was how important those routines were to the rhythm of writing.

For me.

Or how strongly said rhythm was integrated with the external environment.

On the surface I understood the frustration.  So much so that I channeled that frustration into writing.

I kicked out a number of books in a span of months.

Time Out.

It eventually got to a point where walking outdoors and writing from dawn to dusk 7 days a week wasn’t working.

I was treating a symptom not the root cause and I still didn’t realize there was a problem!

I used the time I gained not going anywhere that wasn’t pure necessity to make career changes.

Necessity to someone else maybe but as my experience taught me – those “non” necessity trips were important to my health and career well-being.

I used the time not going out except for walks to ponder my goals.

Eventually, I quit going out to walk. It was too depressing.

I moved peas around on the plate to facilitate meeting the goals.  

Little did I know those efforts were only dealing with symptoms.

How Long Has This Been Going On?

It took almost another entire year of taking actions I now realize were just addressing symptoms to understand there was a bigger issue.  What tipped me off?  Walking around campus before the concert.

Now that I think of it – it started before – on the subway.

It was the Familiarity That Did It.

It was the first time I rode the Seattle subway.  

I was amazed at how similar it felt to when I regularly rode the BART and MUNI while living Downtown SF.  

I realized at that moment how integrated such an urban rhythm was to my soul.**

And how badly its absence had affected me.

Next Stop?  Cherry Blossoms.

I was admiring the cherry blossoms and the general atmosphere when I realized how similar it felt to parts of Ann Arbor in the summer.  

This was a regular part of my life for over a decade.

I made a note to return and just soak up Nature’s Rhythm.

Which is also critical to my writers soul.

Social Gathering Pandemic Style.

I wrote that attending a concert while wearing a mask – though the right thing to do – is hot.

We’d seen Shinedown and Ayron Jones* at the Moore so I had gone through this once before and knew what to expect.

Shared Rhythm.

Fortunately, none of that diminished the joy of being with people who were thrilled to be enjoying a live performance.

I think some of that joy stemmed from being able to share it with like-minded concert goers.

It was while writing about it that I came to see how important routine is to my internal rhythm.

At least when it comes to writing.

I also see how changes I unconsciously made to address the situation did not resolve it.

Because those changes dealt with symptoms – not the root.

Like Perspective, Timing is Everything.

In other words, now what?

Due to the nature of where I live and the approach to the pandemic, there’s only so much I can do to reestablish old routines but now that I know what the root cause is?  I can be more strategic about the solutions I consider.

One I did yesterday was to install another version of Freecell.  

Playing this game while listening to music puts my mind into a meditative state that is good for creativity.

It’s apparently good for my soul too because in those weeks it was gone?  Even though I continued to listen to music while working, I was starved of the serenity that goes with it.

I hope you enjoy the photos.

*AWESOME performance.

**Since I spent a great deal of my youth in Downtown Detroit I’m wondering if urbanity is in my soul.

I wouldn’t be surprised.

THE CREATIVE SOUL NEVER SLEEPS

“You need a hobby.”

Words spoken by someone who thought I was working too hard.

I explained I was fine.

When pressed I further explained that because I work doing something I love – am passionate about – it isn’t work.

So long as I’m creating?  I’m happy.

Last night I had the good fortune to see Gary Numan at the Neptune.

btw: I took that photo.

Wonderful.  Amazing.  Perfect.

I actually owe this artist – though he has no idea who I am.

I can guarantee he wasn’t thinking of me when filming What’s In My Bag.

THANK YOU GARY FOR PEFORMING CARS!!!!!!

For a number of reasons, the past years have been a bit of a career challenge.

When I heard Gary’s comments how listening to a fellow artist helped him find his music soul again I realized that in releasing Intruder he’d done the same for me.

Creatives, regardless of discipline, are connected – soul to soul.

What acted as a sort of confirmation to it all was the mythological undertone.

Roman – not Greek.

I’d been mentally pondering an upcoming book.  Something was missing.

In studying the imagery in the Neptune – tuning into the fact it was Roman – not Greek? I understood.

I took Latin so I have a decent understanding of the parallels and differences.

It was the universe answering a dilemma.

A plot dilemma.

I leaned over to Aaron and semi-yelled the revelation through the mask.

I get wearing it but in a concert venue?  Hot.  Still – the right thing I think.

For the artist and his crew who are traveling internationally and are exposing themselves – putting themselves out there – because they love their fans and want to bring joy in difficult times.

The concert begins and I Speak Machine – opener – is wonderful.

Think Goldfrapp and Florence and the Machine though they are unique – and perfect.

Gary and his crew come on and it was evident from the first the man was happy to be there and eager to share that happiness with those who’d come out to see him.

His crew were equally willing to share their beautiful creative spirits through unwavering energy.

But I’ll admit…

At least 1/3 of my energy was wrapped up in my nonfiction project.

Can I help it if being in this theatre with imagery that solved a plot dilemma opened a floodgate of creativity?

A writer, I pulled myself to my center and split my multi-tasking soul to 

  • Watching the fans
  • Integrating everything valuable into my upcoming projects – fiction and nonfiction both
  • Observing the artist

The entire time though my awareness was – theoretically split – I was enjoying the music.

As I explain in Metatron’s Legacy – via Energy Trackers – visual and audial input is different.

You can enjoy music with your eyes shut, right?

What I know is this.  The creative soul never sleeps.

It seeks to exist.

On that note – readers may wish to take a look at my updated bio.  It includes – at the top – perspective I believe meaningful.

Enjoy

Cross posted to metatronsarmy.com.

WRITING TO RHYTHM: MORNING

I’ll be honest, it’s a little early for me but I guess I was done sleeping.

At 5:45am.

I tried lying in bed do see if I could get back to sleep.  Within minutes the birds began singing.

Fortunately, not a stellar’s jay.  Those guys are loud.

Realizing it was pointless to try to get back to sleep I mentally went over what the writing plan is for the day.

Dragon Core!

In addtion to the fiction, however, I will be continuing work toward the nonfiction project.

Over the next weeks I will be adding pages and articles tying into the project.

As I lay in bed listening to the birds I considered how different the rhythm of morning can be depending where you live.

Not to mention what time of year it is.

It brought to mind just how many parts of the country I’ve lived in.

Multiple cities in multiple states in multiple regions in the US.

While I didn’t develop EMF Sensitivity until moving to the SF Bay Area in 2000, I have had the chance to understand how different locations have impacted the condition, for better or worse.  All of this is going to go into the upcoming nonfiction project.  Specifically

Atmospheric**

I have lived at 0 feet sea level (Louisiana), 627 – 833 feet (Michigan) 5004 (Colorado) and a number of variations throughout the western US.  

Thunderstorms in these different regions and the impact of those storms provided a wealth of data.

Geologic

I began studying the impact of geology on EMF Sensitivity in earnest while living in the SF Bay Area as I’d readily seen the impact.

Especially geologic fault lines.

I have lived in regions of the country known for shake, rattle, and roll, and other areas known to have the least geologic activity in the US.

Chosen for that reason.

Esoteric

Though this was not part of the initial EMF Sensitivity research outside noting a loss of psi ability as one of the symptoms, after living in so many different regions I’ve come to see the impact of location on psi.

Traveling to areas with unique geologies and noting patterns while on vacations or EMF research trips has also given me perspective and insight.

Though I have had psi for as long as I can remember there are locations and conditions under which the frequency – no pun intended – increased significantly.

It isn’t just location.

I will be sharing the role tech plays in psi experience as well.

As I’ve written in Destination Unknown: Explorations of the Paranormal, ET who showed up on the scene while I was visiting Vegas has been incredibly helpful with regards to EMF Sensitivity research.

He’s also helped in my recovery.

Once the other members of the crew – who began showing up in 2017 – understood what I was dealing with they did what they could to help.

I have learned so much about the impact of location and materials on psi thanks to their assistance.

I will be sharing all of this and more in upcoming articles and videos.

Stay tuned.

Among other things, ET helped me understand why the type of music I used as a remedy worked.

** I will be sharing how living north of the 37th parallel is the same as living on top of a mountain.

WHEN HELP IS SURREAL

I’m sitting here fighting tears.

Not sad ones either.

Maybe I’d better back up.

You know – start from the beginning so I can do my favorite thing in recent weeks – put it in context?

I’m listening to Honeymoon Suite and jotting down notes for an afternoon meeting.

About the upcoming nonfiction project.

The meeting is about web design changes.

Specifically, new banners and imagery for the pages that will be dedicated to this project.

I sat down after lunch and thought about words that came to mind when describing a very specific part of the upcoming project.

Ahem – Esoteric EMFs.

I ran a couple of the words through the Thesaurus to see if I was on target only to find one of them triggered an esoteric response.

It’d be lengthy to go into – let’s just say one of the esoteric advisors in my sphere didn’t like it and proceeded to lock up my computer and yes – having worked in tech for decades and with my computer since I bought it?  I know when it doesn’t fit the “can easily be explained” category.  Sigh.  

Point taken I went back to the drawing board.

Obviously, someone had an opinion.  My guess?  He thought I was selling myself short with that particular adjective.

One of the – um – advisors suggested I turn to imagery right off because a picture’s worth a thousand words.

He then went on to say that I already had what I needed – if I’d just look around.

Turning my head I saw a poster I keep close.  My eyes went first to the imagery but then fell to the words:  Perspective is Everything.

I can’t count the number of times people I used to work with in the Corporate Black Hole** used to tell me attitude is everything.  Nope – perspective.  

Perspective gives rise to attitude.

Sensing I was interpreting correctly I went to other art pieces I designed and began copying them into the document I would be using as a talking point with staff.  

Here’s where it gets … hmm – weird?  Different?  ME?!

Hint: ME?!

As in I know it’s my life.

Finding an image I liked I copied it into the document then went back to my work to see if a specific item I had on a book cover would serve to go with it.  Unfortunately, because of orientation, I was going to have a challenging time getting a good visual perspective which drove me to go onto the web and debate grabbing a clipart piece that might do the trick.

I knew it wouldn’t.

Deciding I’d just have to wing it best I could I copied the image of the book cover into the document next to the other piece.

For perspective.

As I sat there – fingers paused over the keyboard while debating what I needed to do to make it work for me – the image flipped so that the specific item I needed close to the other objects moved into place.

I Didn’t Do It!

My fingers still hovering over the keyboard, I took a moment to just stare.

Noting how I was now able to get the perfect visual perspective.

Because an esoteric helped.

Showing his support.

Upon seeing the two images side by side with the pieces I needed to compare in the exact location I needed them – through no effort of my own?  My eyes started to sting.

It’s Real!  It Really Happened!

I can’t count the number of times in the past 10 years I’ve said to myself – often out loud – “That really happened.  I just saw that.”

Surreal does’t begin to describe it.

Surreal doesn’t begin to describe my life and how it changed once ET – today’s esoteric advisor – showed up in the Vegas Hard Rock.

While he played a big role this afternoon he is not the only crew member in the vicinity.

I’ll be explaining the story behind the crew as part of the nonfiction project.

btw: It’s Aaron’s nickname for the creative spirits who call me friend.

My eyes stung because it’s a reminder it’s real.  

That I have help if not support if not approval from the crew.

And speaking of approval…

Ready to share my story, I opened a new Word Document to start this blog.  

I always start my blog creations by typing in a title then typing away before doing a copy and paste.  

Today?  I typed in a title and got an immediate esoteric response.

ET appeared to my right kiddie-corner from my desk.

He was sucking on a DumDum sucker and shaking his head.

As I write in Destination Unknown: Explorations of the Paranormal, I asked him to do something other than the stinky cigarettes when paying a visit.

Thus, the DumDum suckers.

Obviously he didn’t like my original title.

He explained why – and I agreed.

I chose the current title and he nodded.

DumDum in his mouth.

Why tears?

I didn’t cry – my eyes stung.

It’s real! That image? That an esoteric advisor helped me like that? It’s real. They want to help me succeed.

Throughout the previous 5 or so years I’ve had numerous conversations with several of the crew wherein they tell me they know what it’s like to put yourself out there; how scary it is – and went on to share personal stories.

Sharing this part of my life with the world?  It’s scary.

With notable exceptions, I’ve been either feared or rejected for psi from the time the nun locked me in a closet when I was 7 because I saw an aura.

A lot of it had to do with where I was living not to mention the educational or cultural background of those around me.

In general, the higher the level of education, the less of a problem it was. Unless you’re a nun.

The Grim Reaper.

I’ve lost count of times one family member or another has said to me: “Am I dying?  Is that why you’re here?”

When in reality I just flew some 3000 miles across the country for a surprise party they aren’t aware of or just a visit.

Those comments do not make me happy or feel good about myself.

Though a number of family members have been understanding – to the degree they shared stories of their own supernatural experiences.

To have the crew – esoteric advisors that they’ve been – helping me? Believing in me?

To have them holding my hand through this next stage of my career?

It’s surreal.

And beyond words.

Though images might work.

**I will be explaining about what I term the Corporate Black Hole in the upcoming project. Basically, it’s a specific time and place.

That it became a toxic environment which significantly impacted my life is what made it relevant enough to label.

BACKSTORIES: FAMILY OR NOT?

A big part of backstory planning for me is laying out family details prior to starting the story.  Even before I’ve settled details such as hair and eye color I need to know where the characters come from.

Many times I figure this out before cementing a name for the character(s).

  • Are they orphans ?
  • Are the parents married or divorced?
  • What is the relationship with one or both parents – and why?
  • Does the character have any siblings?
  • What is the relationship between the character and siblings and/or extended family members?

Family dynamics in the respective series I’ve authored have varied based on a number of factors but perhaps the biggest one is age.  Is the character old enough to be on their own and if not, what do I need to do to ensure believability within whatever is going on in the story that lands them – like Mica Gilotti or Christine Baker – as the lead while they are minors?

As adversity is something I grew up with, I have never run short of ideas as to how a character can be wise beyond their years, or at the very least mature enough to lead an adult novel.

Being blind, paralyzed, and comatose at ten leaves an impression.

I also knew my share of people – often fellow students – who had plenty of adversity in their lives.

The family dynamics in the Okracoke series was drawn from a real-life situation – someone I met once upon a time who shared their very interesting family tale.

For me, the Dragon Core series was an opportunity to explore family relationships beyond the typical approach.

Though it didn’t start out that way.

The intent at the outstart was to have Clare come from a small family situation and through adversity, I did accomplish what I set out to do keeping it small.  And then came Mica.

Maybe it was sitting in a cafe one summer and looking up to see a doppleganger for Mica Gilotti that spurred me to give her a bigger role but I really fell in love with this teen character.

So much so that I gave her a starring role in Shadow of the Gods, which was not part of the original series yet which ended up becoming one of my very favorites – likely for all the humor in it.

I will never forget looking across the restaurant as this young woman was walking into the kitchen and thinking, “Oh my god, that’s Mica – if she had tatoos on her arms!”  

The young woman who looked to be about 20 was harder around the edges than my character but her face, her hair, her body type fit – exactly – my vision for the 17-year old in my story!

I found a way to bring Mica fully into the story but I needed her to have skills and thinking processes not necessarily typical of a 17-year-old which meant I had to explain why.

I will share a fun story.  When I was in high school I would occasionally join some friends for a game of D & D, where you roll for skills and attributes for your character.  I remember a particular session – perhaps a bit more competitve than usual – where one of the guys got upset because my decision for my character was – in his opinion – above the intelligence I’d rolled.  I explained that I couldn’t pretend to be stupid.

I used family dynamics for Mica.

  • She’s the oldest

Free babysitting among other things.

  • Her uncle is a cop

He taught her some self-defense strategies

  • She has special skills

Obtained through work and family both

  • She has attitude and perspective

Gained from multiple generations of family

I really enjoyed focusing on Mica’s relationship with her siblings.

From Cauldron of the Gods:

Clare stared at Lage’s back as he looked out on the parking lot.  She’d been more than happy to accept his invitation to come stay with him at the hotel, for any number of reasons including to get away from kids who, understandably, had had enough and were sniping at each other.  At the top of the list of topics to argue about was her niece’s decision to change her name from Mary Angelica to Mica.  At least as the way she wanted to be addressed from now on.

“I took the M from Mary and the last letters of the second name.  Mica.”

Her younger sister had not been impressed.

“Mica is a type of ceramic, not a name.”

Thirteen-year-old Joseph had also weighed in.

“I think it’s stupid.”

Denny junior was too young to have an opinion, apparently.  And thankfully.  

In setting the stage in Cauldron I needed to consider how things may or may not have changed in Shadow.  I chose to focus on the sibling relationsips individually.

From Shadow of the Gods:

Francesca:

“Francesca you’d better get a hobby.  When I’m away at school?  I’m not going to be around for you to pester.”

Joe:

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to fill in the rest.  Obviously, the woman had plans for her younger brother.  She shook her head.  “He won’t play kiss and tell if that’s what you’re getting at, but he isn’t me.”  She thought about his reaction to the idea she was kissing a bird. 

“That’s the second time I’ve seen it, Mica.  The first time I thought maybe I didn’t see it but twice?  Does Cayden know you do that?”

“Do you think he cares?”

“Why can’t you be normal?”

“Because it’s boring?”

Denny:

Denny Jr was too young to have complex expectations of the newest member of the tribe.  So long as Cayden played Legos with him when he visited?  He was good as gold.

In defining family ties that evolve through the series I set myself up for continuity beyond the shape shifters which allows for me to branch out within the series.  It also put me in a bit of a bind.

Redemption.

Francesca.

As I talk about in the video, Francesca had a prickly personality that made her difficult to warm up to as a heroine.

Which was the plan for Redemption.

Fortunately, as I developed the plot and the characters I found a way to make it all work.

Thanks to supporting characters like the Messenger of the Gods, Jake McLachlan who will be getting his own story in the near future.

Not every family member gets a starring role though they can have strong supporting roles.

As Mike and Joe Gilotti do in Sadow of the Gods and Redemption.

Dragon Core is not the only series in which unique family dynamics plays into the story.  The siblings in the Port Gallatan tales – with their unique gifts – also have perspective gained by family dynamics.

As does non-sibling rocker Clint Malek.

Perhaps more than any other series, this is the one that shows family of choice is a powerful thing.

And it’s a concept that is highlighted in a number of follow-on stories in the works.

Stay tuned!

Cross posted on metatronsarmy.com

AN ODE AND A PRICE REDUCTION

Note:  As this post contains book excerpts it’s a bit longer.

In honor of my Uncle Pat who died on St. Patrick’s day I am going to offer Shadow of the Gods and Redemption – Dragon Core stories featuring Mike Gilotti for whom my uncle was the inspiration – at a discount.

I’m knocking $3 off the price.

This offer will last through May 26.

His birthday.

Though the change order was put in yesterday, it may take a couple of days for it to take effect across all platforms.

Patrick MacKercher

While I offered a bit of detail about how my uncle positively impacted my life the impact he left on the world is far bigger.

As I understand it – many contributed personal stories on Facebook.

  • He worked with at-risk youths.
  • He understood we all have faults and never turned from his

Never apologized for them either.

  • He was a peacemaker who worked to help people repair broken relationships when possible

He was particularly proud of a father-daughter situation that crossed continents.  Why proud?  The dad died not long after. 

  • He had a sense of honor

A 20th century version of rock chivalry

  • He always sought to understand – even when it meant swallowing pride.

If he’d made a mistake with his assumptions.

While people usually trot out the good when eulagizing I can honestly say that Pat left a light in shadowy and sometimes dark places in the world

Mike Gilotti

To end this post I’m including a few fun passages from the two books.  

To provide a glimpse into one of my favorite supporting characters, Mike Gilotti

From Shadow of the Gods:

“And all this because of a bird,” he muttered.  He turned to the window.  “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” she asked, following him to the window.  Something was definitely out there.

“I thought I heard -.  Forget it.  I’m getting old.”

“Say it isn’t so,” she quipped.

“You have a smart mouth,” her father said, ruffling her short dark hair.

“Ah, the Gilotti genes run true,” she replied.  “You can rest easy at night, as Uncle Mike likes to say.”

and

Cayden was glowing.

“What the -?”

“Do not,” she repeated, “shoot him.”

“Mica,” he snapped his gaze fixed firmly on her love who was transforming, “in spite of how we’re portrayed in the media, cops are taught to use force as a last resort.”

“Yeah, well hold that thought,” she advised as she sidled past and grabbed the weapon off the table.

and

“What the fuck?!

Encircling him protectively, Mica made a face at her uncle.  “There’s no need to shout.”

“The fuck there isn’t!” he shouted.  “What the hell?”  He pointed.  “What is that?”

She moved an arm so he could see her love.  “That,” she responded condescendingly, “is a bird.  A raven, to be exact.  Isn’t he beautiful?”

“Where’d he go?”

“Cayden?” she asked.  “He’s right here.”

“Not funny, goddamn it.  Now where the hell is he?”

When the raven squawked, she set him on the fold out bed, watched as he began to glow.  

“He normally does it faster than this, but he wants you to see, which is quite the honor, you know.  He must like you.”

“I respect him,” Cayden acknowledged shaking out his black hair.

and

From Redemption:

“So, you were the one who supported him,” Mike said knowingly pointing at the new leader, “and Jude paid the price for it.”

“It’s more complicated than that,” Conrad interjected, “but yes, Jude paid the price for his loyalty.  For refusing to do as so many of his brethren did, turn to darkness.”

“Aw, now this is starting to sound a little too much like Jedi shit.”  He shook his head.  “God, what did I -?  Okay, okay.  Keep going.  God, I’m glad I don’t have to live in that kind of world.”

and

Rubbing his eyes, Mike backed up to let the West Coast raven shifter in.  “Something told me I’d be seeing you again,” he said then yawned.

Jake held up a paper bag.  “Would it help if I told you I come bearing gifts?”

“I don’t know,” he groused, stomping toward the kitchen.  “Something tells me you were there at the time.”

“Troy?  No.  I was – I did my purgatory elsewhere.”

“You gonna tell me about it?” he asked, yawning again and grabbing plates and forks.  

and

“Purgatory,” Mike said taking a bite of toast.  “Medieval France, right?  The Crusades?”

“You’ve been talking to Cayden,” Jake answered taking a drink of the apple juice he preferred.

“Hauled his ass into the station and put him under the lights.  Gave it to him good.”

and

“I’m too big for this.”

“You are not.  Never let the day come when my nieces are too big for me to help them feel safe.”

Resting her head on his shoulder, she let out a breath and smiled.  “But you don’t do this with Mica.”

He squeezed her gently.  “Mica would never sit still long enough.  From the time she could walk, the minute I’d get her into my lap she’d squirm out of it.  That one is far too prickly to allow for this.  You on the other hand,” he explained kissing her hair, “are like a raccoon.”

A laugh bubbled up.  “A raccoon?  They’re cute but they’re vicious.”

“As are you when someone threatens you or anyone you care about.  Don’t think I haven’t noticed.”

She sighed.  “You’re worried about me.”

“I’m worried about you,” he repeated.  “Of course, I’m worried about you!  What were you – what was thinking?!”

“What you always think.  How can I help?”

The homicide detective sighed, stared out the window.  “Tell me this is going to work.”

“It’s going to work.  In fact,” she added pulling back to look up at him, “I can give you odds.”

Cross posted on metatronsarmy.com.

Bonus Excerpt: I am including an excerpt from each book that deals with the main characters. Enjoy!

Shadow of the Gods:

Cayden was tempted to bolt out of the closet, shift, and never come back.  Was it possible the girl mashing her mouth against his had never been properly kissed?  He was absolutely going to kill Jakob McLachlan, and at his earliest convenience.  He’d wait til the guy’s arm healed, fly out there and rebreak it.  What the fuck was that guy thinking turning him loose on an innocent?

“You don’t like it?”

Fuck.  “Um, no, it’s – I do.”  When she started to stand, he yanked, hard enough she went sprawling across his lap.  Maneuvering her so she was beneath him, he pressed his mouth to hers, waited.  When she started with the mashing business again, he pulled back.  “You don’t know how to kiss.”

“I -.”

“Would you like me to teach you?”

“Definitely,” she said breathlessly her fingers gently brushing his cheeks.

“Okay.”  He could safely say judging by the response she wasn’t afraid of him.  He spared a moment to consider it may have been better for him if she was.  “Do you want me to explain it first?”

“You mean like with diagrams and stuff?”

and

“Do you regret kissing me?”

“No.”

“So, your fear is me.”

“Definitely.”

She smiled.  “Can I touch you?”

“Um.”

“Just – do you trust me?”

‘I don’t know.”

“Well, it’s not like I wrapped my legs around you.”

Jesus.  

“I –.”  She blew out a breath.  “Maybe we shouldn’t do this.  This wasn’t what I meant when I told Jake – and I like you, Cayden.  I don’t want to hurt you.”

He could replay that phrase a thousand times and still not understand what the fuck she’d just said.  Even so, he rolled, sat up, waited.  Screw letting McLachlan heal.  He was just going to kill him for the sport of it.

Redemption:

Francesca glared at the Southwest raven shifter.  “I’m not a child for you to order around.”

“I’ll call your uncle.”

“And if you threaten me again, Stanton you’ll regret it.  Jake and Lug both taught me what I need to know about fighting shape shifters.”

“All you have to do is suffer and you’ve beat us.”

“Save it,” she snapped.  

Chris sighed.  “Okay, Jude.  The queen has spoken.  I won’t toss your ass out.”

“That’s only because you saw who’s sleeping on the windowsill.”

“True.  Good night you guys.  Francesca?  Thanks for letting me stay on the couch.  Jude?  Behave yourself or I’ll make you sorry you were -.”

“Get out of here Stanton before I -.”

“Enough!” Francesca shouted.  “Chris, go to bed.  Jude, you too.”  She waited til the Scathe was settled before waving at the raven watching from the ledge then crawling in beside him.

“I think I like the de factos.”

“Yeah?  Why’s that?”

“Because they’re soft.”

She smirked.  “That’s not it.  You’re just happy because they’ll keep you on your best behavior.”

“If you think for one second I don’t – that I wouldn’t -.”

She reached over, turned out the light.  “Wouldn’t what?”  

It was all she could do not to shriek as a cold hand slid beneath the waistband of the sweats.  He must have taken her silence as permission because he moved his hand lower slid a finger between her thighs as he rolled onto his side to face her.  Deciding she was perfectly happy with the way things were progressing, and blatantly ignoring the fact they had company, she turned her head, opened her mouth when he leaned close.