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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Logic is seeing and then believing. Faith is believing and then seeing.

I hope this hack is working. I don’t think it’s being tracked. If I’m wrong, they’ll alter your memory for reading it, Shykia’s for writing it (even though she knows nothing of this message), but my punishment will probably be worse. Hell, the council voted to execute me as a child, but thankfully their plans were interrupted. It seems comical that they need my help now. Given what’s at stake and seeing their changed ways, I agreed, but I disapprove of some of their methods.

Faith often defies logic, revealing that the vacuous spaces of reality aren’t so empty after all.

I’m Camile, by the way. I’ve learned that people who can see beyond the surface are less likely to fall through the cracks. If you’re reading this, you might be one of the lucky ones. I was told to keep the knowledge of my world a secret. As a woman who’s dealt with secrets all her life, I know how unfair and deadly they can be.

The real challenge is to open yourself to change without losing your individuality.

I feel obligated to tell you that there’s more to your world than what you’ve been led to believe. The things that go bump in the night aren’t always ghosts. There are people watching you, evaluating you even though you might not see them. I’m part of such a group, but don’t worry, we’re the ones you want watching over you.

It is the generator of hope that highlights a world that seems overly dismal.

It’s our defectors you need to be concerned about. They’ve been attacking and trafficking the people of your world for God knows how long. I’m forbidden from unsupervised contact with Coexistents (people like you), so I hope none of my people is reading over your shoulder. Then again, you wouldn’t have gotten this far if they were.

If you can look beyond the illusions, what you’ve been led to believe, you’d trust in your heart to do what’s right.

I don’t know how or why, but Shykia’s been to my realm and knows everything about it, me and the war that’s brewing. Funny thing is she thinks it’s all fiction. For her sake, that’s probably best. Still, she may be the best chance I have of you ever learning my story. That is, if the council or the rebels don’t get to her first.

Sorry I can’t say more in this message. I gotta leave before I get caught. You’ve made a big step by seeing beneath the surface of this entry. Please share it and connect with others who can see like you can. Subscribe to this blog or follow her on Facebook and you’ll see BEYOND THE VEIL this fall if you’re willing to go further. Until then, be careful, pay attention, and please be kind to yourself and others. It counts much more than you realize.

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Growing up in the gray concrete jungle I was well-acquainted with the harshness of reality. The confines within the bullet-pierced windows became my fortress, reiterating the dangers of what was often an urban warzone. This bleak climate in some ways hindered my imagination until one day a splash of color streaked across the heavens, sparking my interest and creativity. The source was a knowledgeable gentleman on my TV screen. He, and a colorful butterfly, beckoned me to explore the world. They led me to realize that though my travel limitations were restricted on a physical level, mentally, there was no place I couldn’t go.

My sisters and I found our escape through books, something my mother greatly encouraged. Life as I knew it had broadened, allowing my imagination to flow freely. Before I knew it, I found myself floating jubilantly behind the butterfly, trying to keep up. As time progressed, I flew alongside it, then finally beyond it, coasting along the rainbow as I explored my literary abilities. The further I ventured into adolescence, the fewer trips I took as reality dominated my time. I was slowly but surely returning to the colorless world I once knew. The multi-hued bridge of my imagination seemed to fade as the undertow of circumstance pulled me down.

Entering the abyss of obligation, I lost myself in what others wanted. Imprisoned by a heartache  fortified by skewed perceptions, I desperately searched for a way to ease my pain. By now, I had already placed years of my life at the mercy of despair and refused to surrender a minute more. I dared to make my escape, not knowing what lie ahead. A few perilous wrong turns were made in the process and I nearly chose the wrong way out. Luckily, I made it out of the maze alive and met the man I’d later marry, a man who’d help me find my song and bring harmony back to my soul. Though I had broken free of my turbulent confinement, I sometimes relapsed into the mentality of the heartbroken prisoner I once was. My husband, Max, helped me to identify what was triggering these relapses and encouraged me to break free of yet another toxic environment. It was a difficult process, but I slowly but surely moved away from the things and people who were hindering my spirit.

No longer bound by obligation, I was elated, yet uncertain about the things to come. I found myself in a dark void as I considered the next step in my career, my future, my life. There was an eerie, yet peaceful calm as I was engulfed in silence. As my vision adjusted, I noticed billions of celestial miracles surrounding me. Each star represented a possibility, filling me with a hope I thought I had buried with my dreams long ago. But surely as the ship that was tearing through the diamond-encrusted black curtain, it was still there. I never could have imagined how much my life would be changed by the people who beamed me aboard. There I was, this lost stranger floating in space with the fragments of my discontent, about to be further changed by a group of people I had never met.

The noble golden-eyed stranger was among the individuals who reminded me of myself in some ways. In addition, through his adventures he taught me the power of perseverance and the importance of self-awareness and personal development. This led me to contemplate not only my core desires for my life, but the methods of how I’d achieve them. For the first time in years, I found myself connecting with my passion for writing again. It had become unfamiliar territory, but I was quickly getting reacquainted with not only my craft, but myself. Soon, my passion was burning so bright, the words began pouring out of me almost as quickly as they entered my mind. Through the port view of my clearing disposition I could see the brightening sky. As we landed I was met with my golden-eyed friend and a familiar looking explorer. Though the eyes of the latter were obscured, I immediately recognized him from my childhood years. He was the same man who had unleashed the colorful bridge of literacy through my television.

Leaving the vessel, my watery eyes were greeted with a spectacular display. Across the sky was the most vibrant rainbow I had ever seen. There was no end in sight and it represented limitless possibility. In the distance I could see the butterfly etched with the colors of my dream. It hadn’t died, but had transformed and traveled to another place and time. It soared into the sky and beckoned me to give chase once again. The vast new world before me had me intimidated at first, but with my newfound inspiration I decided to boldly go where I’ve never been. As I took flight, the colors of the rainbow streamed by as I gained speed. Soon, I’ll catch up to the butterfly and will go even higher, as I did when I was younger.

I credit Reading Rainbow, Star Trek: The Next Generation and my husband Max for connecting (and reconnecting) me with my passion for writing. I wrote the above story to illustrate the very real way in which the aforementioned, Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton inspired me to embrace and pursue that passion. I was initially apprehensive about posting it, but felt compelled to share the awesome way my life was deeply touched and how my hope was restored after a long period of darkness and confusion. Max, Brent, LeVar, if you’re reading this, thanks to each of you for awakening my spirit and for making such a huge difference in my life.

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With great power comes great responsibility. Those are the famous words uttered by Peter Parker’s uncle in the movie Spiderman. The same can be said of our freedom of speech. With each passing day it’s becoming increasingly evident that our society is wielding this power irresponsibly. Many of our ancestors have fought and died so we can possess the ability to express our thoughts and ideas. It is an ability many of them were not able to behold, themselves. In addition, there are many countries today still fighting for their chance to achieve the incredible gift that has been afforded us. There is a banquet of opportunity for us to learn, grow and flourish if we work for it. However, rather than focusing on the opportunity for positive growth, we are seeing detrimental examples of the aforementioned irresponsible handling of free speech. This is most blatantly visible in the world of music, media and entertainment. Television, movies and music promote sexism, violence and promiscuity in a time of widespread disease. Combined with a growing deficit in our education system, this presents an ideal breeding ground for the plague of indifference and rowdiness sweeping the nation and the world. Anything remotely thought-compelling is either attacked, dismissed or ignored. Conversely, more people are widely embracing and defending things that are done for shock value that contain no pertinent messages.

Society is raising today’s youth to be more interested in how to screw like porn stars than to aspire to become doctors, lawyers or scientists. I mean, when you’re sitting on a train and there’s a 4-year old girl practicing stripper moves on the pole, it’s a clear sign that something’s seriously screwed up. Some of you may be thinking that parents have sole responsibility in raising their children and that any wrongdoing on the child’s part rests solely on them. In many ways, this is correct. It is the parent’s responsibility to prepare their children to make the right choices. However, we must not forget that no matter how much a parent restricts their child’s access to such material, it still finds a way into their lives—most often through the offspring of negligent parents. As a result, children grow up far too soon. Often times, parents find their best efforts negated by what the media presents. Hell, even some children’s movies have questionable language and sexual references these days.

The world is less child-friendly than it ever was. Yet, the media has all but completely washed their hands of any responsibility for the bastardization of our culture. Their response: if you don’t like it, don’t look. That’s like telling passengers on a bus to look away while the driver’s headed towards a cliff. Whether we choose to look away or not, the truth is we’ll have to deal with the repercussions since the media has a huge influence on the development of our society. Realistically, in order to completely protect our children from offensive material we’d have to ban television, radio, internet and walk around blindfolded since there are so many suggestive ads out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude or practicing for nunhood—I’m all for fun, silliness, even a bit of sensuality—but everything has a time and a place. At least it used to. When will we finally come to a point where we say enough is enough? So I ask you, since it’s the parent’s job to raise their kids, shouldn’t it be the media’s responsibility to do a better job filtering the content they display? Shouldn’t some form of public decency come before the money they receive to shelve their moral values?

I guess in some ways Pandora’s box has already been opened and everyone has a hand in it—the media for propagating bad behavior and us for accepting it. People are growing progressively complacent with the dizzying carousel we’ve been riding for years. It’s the perpetual spin of the degradation of human culture and its correlation to our troubled existence. When things go seriously awry, we ask all the right questions and sometimes make a temporary change, but eventually regress to our former ways. Yet that momentary instance of reform proves that we are capable of positive growth. And in that brief instance lies a flicker of hope.

What do you think? Is this a trend that can be turned around, or have we already ventured beyond the point of no return?

Please comment with your thoughts and opinions.

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A dream dawns from the city shadows

Most people think I’m putting them on when I tell them I’m a native New Yorker who grew up in the inner-city. They often say my personality doesn’t reflect the fact that I was raised in such a rough neighborhood. Nevertheless, I’ve learned firsthand that your geographical environment alone doesn’t determine your destiny, especially when you’ve been instilled with a moral compass and a solid educational foundation. That’s not to say my childhood was easy. On the contrary, it was tough being the kid with big dreams while surrounded by people whose ambitions were skewed or stolen. As a result, I was ridiculed for my lofty aspirations. 20/20 hindsight has allowed me to see that my success would remind my doubters of their failures, so naturally they preferred that I join them, not surpass them.

This has been a recurring situation that continues to follow me to this very day. The difference is that now I understand that in order to dream, you have to defy reality, even amongst misbelievers. If you succumb to the doubt around you—and sometimes within you—your dreams stand no chance of survival. The more I learned about this burdensome responsibility to preserve my ambitions, the stronger my will became to bear it. My recent lesson spanned three years with the development of my recent manuscript. I poured much of my soul into a project that means the world to me, yet I found that those around me were either unable or unwilling to understand. It was painful at first, but time has helped me to heal and grow. Not only that, I used my pain as a propellant to drive me closer to reaching my goals. As I put the finishing touches on a novel that has demanded much of my time, patience and energy, I move on to the next phase of my journey, hoping that I can use my dream to motivate others. All my blogs come from the heart, but this one comes from a personal place within it. I’m more comfortable with delving into topics outside of my private realm, but this time I feel I must give a broader picture of why I write and how it has saved me.

Some dreams die out when they don’t have the nourishment of support. Others are so powerful, that like the durable water bear, they remain dormant for vast periods of time, springing back to life when the conditions become favorable. This miraculous occurrence has taken place in my life. Like many people, I found myself adrift, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t due to lack of skills or interests.  Quite the contrary, I had several. I always thought my love of drawing would lead me to a life-long career as an artist. Along the way I struggled with many issues including family complications, identity and popularity—or lack thereof. I eventually found myself spiraling into depression. After several rough patches I began to dig myself out with a pen, using paper to help dry my tears and mend my bleeding heart. Creative writing helped set me on the path to finding my soul’s cadence again. One of the last pieces I wrote, just before my college years, was abandoned due to other obligations.

Consequently, I became too busy to write much else since I was focused on becoming a graphic designer. The market was tough, but I managed to secure two jobs in the field before ultimately realizing that it didn’t feed my soul like I hoped it would. Being the tenaciously stubborn woman that I am, I stuck with it and pushed through when times got tough.  Then I met an old acquaintance I hoped never to see again. Depression. I felt lost for a multitude of reasons; I had selected a vocation that just didn’t stoke the flame of my creative passion any longer. Additionally, I had poured so much of myself into making it work that when it didn’t, I felt like a failure. I put so many years building a bridge to my dream only to realize it wasn’t leading me anywhere I wanted to go.

The decision was tough, but I needed to make a significant change. Approaching the sacrificial slab of destiny, the choice became clear; I had to sacrifice the expectations of others in order to rediscover myself. Sometimes in order to be free, truly free, you have to let some people down and let some people go. The nakedness of it all was unnerving. I knew the life I had worn before didn’t fit me, yet I had squeezed into it and had gotten acclimated to the snug fit of routine.

I may have traded brush strokes for key strokes, but the pictures I paint are just as vivid. The important thing is that I’m expressing myself more freely than I ever have. Today, I have reached a milestone on my journey. After three years, I have completed my manuscript for my second novel and will soon begin the nerve-wracking process of query submission. It is my hope that the past three years I spent working on my novel will reach the eyes and touch the hearts of many. I also hope to carve a lasting legacy in the world that will remain long after I’ve moved on. To everyone who’s struggling to achieve your goal; know that although people may say you can’t make it, you’re the only one who can prove them right or wrong. Understand that there will be days on your journey when you’ll seek outside motivation that won’t be there. Know that you have the power within yourself to move forward and lift yourself up, even when you don’t think you have the strength.

P.S., the last thing I wrote before college ended up being the first book I published. I didn’t realize that until after it was printed.

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Some people mark the occasion by bidding good riddance to the year gone by. Others view it as a pending blank slate on which a new chapter of their lives will be written. I, and I’m sure many others, view it as a transition; time either folding or unraveling another year into existence. Rather than treat the year ahead as a completely blank slate, I choose to carry some baggage with me into the New Year and I hope you’ll do the same. Here’s what I mean:

As 2010 comes to a close, we reflect on memories both joyous and sorrowful. Additionally, we consider our triumphs and failures while remembering those we lost along the way. As we stand together on the precipice of a dawning new year, remember to take your hopes and dreams with you. They may be tattered due to the rough tides endured in previous years, nonetheless they will keep you buoyant in the seas of the unknown. Also take the lessons you have learned. For they are the badges of the turbulent times you’ve endured and a compass to help you navigate through or around future obstacles. Bring your memories of the good times and the smile and laughter that accompanies them.

Despite all adversity and projected chaos, life is still very sweet and should be savored each moment. It is a perpetually wrapped mystery that unfolds every second, revealing new things to inspire and delight as well as mystify. Let it trigger your imagination and unleash your dreams. Keep an open mind, but be very selective of what you allow to take up permanent residence. Protect your heart, but don’t allow it to grow cold or callous by lack of use. In order to carry the aforementioned most effectively, heavy grudges and burdensome resentments must be left behind. If not, you’ll only get weighed down on your journey into a year that’s full of potential in spite of the uncertain forecast. I extend my wishes to you for a year of continued healing, strength, joy, opportunity, hope, love, peace, health and prosperity.

Much love,
Shykia

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"Where are you, holiday spirit?"

Lately, I’ve asked myself: Where has my holiday spirit gone? Each year it has grown progressively dimmer until I found myself unable to locate it. Did it melt away like snow in the springtime? Did it fall from the branches of my resolve to be swept away like pine needles in the wind? Eventually, I felt my joy slipping away as my human spirit began to depart, possibly in search of its long-lost holiday counterpart. The world around me suddenly became bleak as it lost its vibrant colors of mystery and wonder. My vision was invaded by grim news and current events depicting the massacre of holiday spirit and human spirit around the globe. Still, I wondered: Where are you, holiday spirit? What have I done to drive you away? In exiting my childhood, did I abandon you for endless responsibility and what I believed to be reality?

Opening my heart and mind while forsaking the so-called logic of the current state of the world, I allowed myself to simply look and listen. In doing so, the stillness of my soul was interrupted with an answer to my agonizing questions. That answer came to me in this:


Yes, my holiday spirit has returned to me! It was disguised in this wonderful performance by my friend, Johnny Weaver. When it spoke to me after so many years, I realized that it hadn’t died. Nor did its counterpart, human spirit. It had only gotten buried beneath the propaganda of negativity perpetrated by those who no longer believe. Even so, it had been safely nestled at the bottom of my heart as it patiently waited to be uncovered. Tears filled my eyes as I was reminded of the wonders we shared throughout my childhood and into my very early adulthood. I caught a chill as I recalled how empowering and liberating it felt to believe that anything was possible, no matter how ridiculous others claimed it was. Joy and peace flowed through me as I remembered the happy times shared with family during past holidays. How wonderfully invincible it felt back then! Though the years have accumulated since then, the emotions still feel as fresh as when I experienced them during those occasions.

Whether or not the snow had coated the ground, there was no mistaking that the holidays were present. Colorful lights strung through tinsel covered pine only symbolized the deep-seated belief, as sweet as candy canes. The carefully wrapped presents are yet another symbol of the gift of life, shrouded in mystery. Each day we tug the ribbon of time, unraveling the gift of another day full of potential for love, adventure, laughter, happiness and peace. It all begins in your heart and with your decision to once again believe.

Happy Holidays!

P.S., Be sure to check out Johnny’s music via the following:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/johnnyweaversings
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/sosinatra1
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/johnnyweaversings and http://www.myspace.com/mrjohnweaver

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Shrouded in black garb, I no longer mimic the performer of darkness; I fear it has taken root within the depths of my very being. The chill of the night air reflects the desire lurking in my heart; a desire for revenge. But revenge for what? I have no enemies. These feelings are so strange, like something is shoving me aside within myself. It’s so…

It’s so…

It’s so intense, I can almost savor the salty taste of revenge as I stalk my target. He runs, ducking into alleyways, but the stench of his fear betrays his attempt to evade my brand of justice. I could put a quick end to his futile suffering, but what would be the fun in that? My ancestors and I have been damned for over 200 long years. We’ve toured the circles of hell waiting, longing for this very moment—to even the score for once and for all. Yes, since the dark days of Salem our adversaries have proven to be as elusive as mice. Time has afforded them with luck and protection for so long, but tonight they will learn just as my sisters and I have; that time is a fickle beast, loyal to no one.

The night thickens as my sisters join the hunt. We fall back, giving him just enough slack to tighten the noose of kismet around himself and his family. He realizes too late that he has fallen into our trap. I find myself oddly mesmerized at how weak the potency of this bloodline has become. Rather than fight as his ancestors would have done, this weakling resorts to pleading and bargaining tactics. I laugh at the insult since I know nothing will sway my mind.

Now, before you think me callous, keep in mind that my family was on the sharp end of their dagger centuries ago. A few hundred years may seem like enough time to get over the wrongs that had been done, but since when has life ever been that simple?  In some ways, I suppose I’m liberating both families from the bloody past of our former generations. This body I now possess is merely a vehicle to help facilitate my goal. She had been a curious teen, dabbling in dark magic after discovering vintage clothing in her grandparent’s attic. The clothing—my clothing—had been their carefully preserved trophy for far too long. When the naive girl slipped into my frock, I slipped into her body after she unknowingly opened the gateway for me. In turn, I released my sisters to attend to our unfinished business.

And now, here we are, cleansing the past of these two families with the blood of the final surviving descendents of our offenders. The warm spray of revenge is sweet. We revel in it as we savor our victory. Yet, it is every bit as fleeting as the last summer I enjoyed before I was set ablaze. Every moment since, I could feel the singeing heat accompanied by the smoke of my despair. Perhaps it has clouded my judgment. Who knows? My heart no longer has room for remorse. Yet, as I look upon my lifeless prizes, I find that my revenge has done nothing to douse the flames of anguish that continue to eat away at my soul.

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