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A young curandera...an evil archbishop!
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August 31, 2014
Religious freight can be shed in favor of what the women mystics in The Unholy live out as a natural spirituality. They enjoy life in all of its facets. Nature is their communion, truth to self and love their resting place.
Sam Harris (reviewed in the New York Times 8.30.2014) in his new book, Waking Up, writes, “You can have spiritual experience and understand the most thrilling changes in human consciousness in a context that’s secular and universal and not freighted with dogma.” He goes on to explain how religion usurps a natural experience of transcendence. We have the mystic in us and surrounding us all the time, if we but take a moment to see, to feel, to breathe it in.
The Unholy lays itself out as a story of challenge, life-and-death realities, and the desire for spiritual freedom. What it takes to experience the mystic is simple. What it takes to live it out is courage.
Terrible fear can assail those who voice truth to self and a natural union with the mystic. Rigid religion demands conformity. Claire Sanchez, young medicine woman, dreamt of death stalking her. Outrunning death forever or yielding to a change of consciousness was her task, one that she feared, one that she could not escape!
August 30, 2014
Reading and moving through time to hear the voices of the ancients repeatedly happened for many in the reading of The Unholy. Old wisdom applied to new problems strikes us as we read. Take a trip through time and listen to the voices as they speak!
When the voices within a novel speak to me, it's a whisper. In other instances, I dream of the characters and what they said. The effect lingers like a sip of a fine wine. It stays and changes me consciously and unconsciously.
Unconscious movement within the psyche happens via images. Old medicine people surface in Claire's nightmares. They take her to places beyond space and time. It is a stage of transition and initiation.
Ancient wisdom in story takes place as characters live out their plight. Theirs is a struggle, an eternal dilemma. What it means to be human and face challenges that people have seen their way through throughout time calls us into the narrative, to take a trip through the decades and centuries and listen to the voices as they speak!
August 29, 2014
Stories usher us into another time and space that constantly call back to us. Even after having finished the writing of The Unholy, I go back to a particular moment when terrible sadness descended on Claire, grief. It came unexpectedly. At the moment of having to face great evil, she was confronted with the closing of a door and not knowing what would come next or which way to turn.
There's nothing quite like the experience of grief taking us by surprise. When it hits, we sense that a door has closed. Life can never be the same. It shouldn't be the same. We need to let go and move on.
Claire needed to move into life with greater courage than ever, to find herself without indulging in old patterns of self doubt. Her life depended on it. A very big door closed with a life shattering thud. She needed to make a decision--to buckle under and give up or gather her energies and focus on what she had to do. She wavered, and, at the end there was a death that altered everything forever.
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." - Helen Keller.
August 28, 2014
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This morning I was writing a blog post for a book tour I will be on for The Unholy and was caught by this reality in the story---the light within cannot be dimmed whether going through travails or joy or life or death!
The Unholy goes through incident after incident, scene upon scene, in which life-and-death matters loom large. People are hurt, forever scathed. Despair runs rampant. That which is supposed be good is actually on the prowl.
When the good turns out bad, inner light is threatened. We can feel weak when our spiritual foundations are shaken, our inner light may be obscured. However, as the drama of The Unholy unfolds, we can witness how the inner light eventually shines bright on decisions, destiny, and life unfolding.
“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
― Maya Angelou
Painting by Jane Madrigal.
August 27, 2014
Read my full book excerpt here at She Writes
August 27, 2014
Those ten things will remain ten things that most people don’t know about me. But, the other ten things that I’m willing to share concern The Unholy itself.
Read more at I’m Shelfish
August 25, 2014
"I know you did a lot of research for your book. Can you give us some researching tips?"
"What you need to know about your story is often presenting itself to you during the course of daily life by what happens, what you read, and what you want to avoid, so listen, take internal notes and then hit the page. I find that I am always doing research, the newspaper article that I’m reading in the morning before starting to write, something my wife tells me at the breakfast table, a casual remark by a friend all act to inform my writing of the day. Research takes on a synchronous quality because I really believe in the meeting of the inner and outer worlds so that what we are writing about is swirling about us in our daily life, information constantly coming our way that will guide us in the development of the story."
August 23, 2014
A Woman's Rage-A Priest's Power
In The Unholy, a young medicine woman, Claire Sanchez, faces overwhelming odds when face to face with the power of the dark side of religion--Archbishop William Anarch. She must decide to run for the rest of her life, be haunted by ghosts from the past, or deal with the terrorizing force of one of the most powerful men she has ever met. To come to terms with her fears she must find the archetypal wellspring of a woman's rage!
Men and women can fear rage, they fight against what is meant to be an honest and direct expression of integrity. It sets things right when they've been wronged. It is not a destructive emotion when used in this way.
Toxic religion denies human feeling. The "good old plastic Jesus" from of religion covers all transgressions with a sticky sweetness of false forgiveness. Things haven't really been faced and worked through; instead, emotion has been suppressed, only to soon return in a sideways, passive-aggressive, acting out. Denying, suppressing, authentic emotion is toxic.
Genuine rage in a man and woman sets things right. The soul is set right. Claire, in The Unholy has the potential to set things right in her life. Fear can hold us in bondage. Religious fear is a bad fear since heaven and hell are in the balance. To move forward with genuine rage when wronged is to set things rights in one of the creative ways humanly possible.
August 20, 2014
My latest book review at My Life, Loves and Passion
. "It's a very good story. I like how it was told in a story that talks about real issues in a fantasy world". My Life, Love and Passion also shares my interview.
August 20, 2014
Yesterday, I talked about how to listen to my writing muse over at The Book Rack
and today I'm sharing writing tips like this one - go with the flow and don't over think since it's the over thinking that blocks the creative stream from running (more…)