Getting Back To Work

On her 29th April blog post, frog Nisha talked about the ‘Lucky 7 Challenge’ where a writer goes to their current WIP (Work In Progress) and on either page 7 or 77, go down 7 lines and post the next 7 lines.

Being stuck ‘twixt neither and nuthin’ as far as a direction for any new writing project, I thought long and hard about what I had tucked away in the dusty corners of my files.

When we were packing to move to our island in the middle of the lake, Mrs Widdershins unearthed a stack of papers marked ‘files’, that had probably been sitting in that exact same place since we moved into the apartment. In that pile were several handwritten journals of mine that told the story of the first year of my Shaman apprenticeship. I’d given up any hope of ever seeing them again.

Three cheers for Mrs Widdershins!

I perused page 7, went down 7 lines, and posted the next 7 in the comments section of Nisha’s post, and said to myself, “Self. We should publish that story.”

Self snorted. (rather disparagingly I thought) “Handwritten notes. From 1991. Do you remember how … erm … how to say this delicately … detailed those notes are?”

I’d thought of a less attractive word, but was willing to go with ‘detailed’.

“Of course I do.” I said. “That’s what’ll make this so interesting. You know you want to.”

With a few semi-audible whines Self capitulated.

So there we have it. Along with the projects I already have active; Book 2 of the ‘Gallery’ series – (working title, ‘Journey of Echoes’), a historical mystery, and a collection of short stories, I am now going to dig out those yellowed journals and transcribe them onto my computer. We’ll see what they decide to become.

P.S. It’s stopped raining. The sun is shining, and we might even get to see that giant moon tonight.

*

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art” Leonardo da Vinci 

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Shaman

“The time has come,” Walrus said.

“Time?” White Rabbit interrupted. “If time had come on time then I wouldn’t be so late! I fear that Time has come and gone.” He consulted his pocket watch and scurried off. “I’m late! I’m late!”

The Walrus harrumphed, and tried again. “The time has come, to blog and … Wait a minute. That wasn’t in the script last time.”

A harried under-assistant to the sub-directors secretary materialised at his elbow… erm … flipper … and flapped a sheaf of closely typewritten pages under his nose. “It’s been edited. She authorised it.” The under-assistant jutted his chin out in the general direction of whoever ‘she’ was.

“In all my years I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Walrus said as he harrumphed mightily and lumbered off … stage left.

(apologies to Lewis Carroll)

*

I have dilly-dallied, and shilly-shallied, and enjoyed my time off but it’s time, as the Walrus (why can’t actors just read their lines as written!) tried to say, to get into 2012’s postings.

I began this series of posts expanding on the one-word descriptions I used for my Self on my ‘About me’ page, back in November with ‘Taking the Scenic Route’. Which described my stance as a bicyclist. Now we venture forth into deeper waters.

When I set about world-building for the ‘Gallery’ Series, way back some time last century, (of which Mortal Instinct is but a single stepping stone across a very large and boisterous creek) I wanted to create a magic/spirit system that not only was deeply spiritual, but also worked. There’s nothing worse than getting buried in a beautifully crafted SF/F story only to find that the magi/spirit has flaws so wide you could drive a truck through.

(Joshua Palmatier, over at Magical Words – one of my favourite sites – has a bit more to say on that side of the subject)

So, as this was my first foray into the heart of the dark forest of ‘published author’ I decided to stay with what I know … with a bit of bling and other embellishments so that it blended seamlessly with the other world-building elements of Mortal Instinct.

What I know is the spirit of the Earth. This land we walk upon, either heavily with hobnailed boots, disregarding all the lessons around us, or as lightly as we can, with conscious intent of the consequences of our actions.

My spirituality is tied to the turnings of the Year, the seasons, Solstices and Equinoxes, where the Earth is the Great Mother, First Mother of us all, “from whom all things proceed and unto whom, all things must return.” – from Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente 

I didn’t come by this knowledge easily or at times willingly. I seem to remember being dragged (metaphorically) kicking and screaming all the way down a surprisingly smooth path – smooth, that is, once I got out of my own way!

There are many Realms of Awareness beyond this physical one we experience with our five senses, and they are all connected. Imagine a bag of marbles, all sorts of marbles. Different colours, sizes, and shapes, chipped, and brand new. Inside the bag all the marbles touch. Each marble is another realm or world. The ones closest to us here in our physical one are similar. They might be the place we connect with when we dream in our sleep, or what we reach into when we know who is on the other end of the phone, before it rings. And no, I’m not talking about caller ID!

Others are further away and we must step carefully between the worlds to visit them. And we must remember the way back to our physical bodies and to the time and place that our physical bodies inhabit. This is not an easy thing to master.

It was only after a solid year of instruction that my teacher let me venture forth on my own and would not/did not attempt to rescue me. I made it back intact, but it was the scariest thing I’ve done in my life. Scarier even than hanging on by a single hand and foot grip to the side of a cliff-face while a flash-flood created waterfall burst over my head. What? Haven’t I told you that story before? Well … perhaps another time.

A shaman is someone who Journey’s between the worlds to bring back information that has usefulness in this world. I have been a student and a teacher of this path, and I’ve fallen off it and skinned my knees and bloodied my nose, (sometimes not metaphorically speaking) only to get up and place my feet firmly on it yet again. (the afore mentioned kicking and screaming often features heavily at about this point) I have travelled beyond all I have known, to the other side of existence, and come to know my Self. It’s been a helluva ride … and I’m only halfway there!

Oh yeah … and guess what? It’s snowing! At last!

*

“I think we have to be careful about what we label as a prerequisite for spirituality. I don’t think you have to know a lot to have a spiritual life, but knowing gives life richness”Olympia Dukakis 

This is for the White Rabbit …