Category Archives: Writing

The Alice Effect ~ Excerpts

….She popped the safety lid off and placed two pills in her hand. She tossed them in her mouth, swallowed a drink of water and shook two more out of the bottle. There was no hesitation this time; she took these with another drink and followed with two more pills. She continued this until she was sick and her legs felt weak. Then she stood and glared at the woman in the mirror. That bitch always argued with her. Well, not anymore. There would be no more arguments. There was a distant knocking and Ally watched as the woman in the mirror turned towards the bathroom door, and back to her. There was a pleading look in her eyes. As if the woman was asking Ally to save her. Suddenly, the woman in the mirror collapsed.

 

Ally stood and watched as a dark haired woman crumpled to the ground in front of her. With her mind inexplicably clear, she recognized the body as her own. Tom rushed in from the mirror’s right. She watched as he looked at the bottle on the counter and then at the form of his unconscious wife. She didn’t move or call out as the scene played out before her. It was like watching the climax of a movie. Only in this theater she was the star. She watched as Tom knelt down beside the Other…

*********************************************************************************

 

… She had taken sleeping pills; she knew that, but how many? Enough, she thought. She should have died. Now, it looked as if she had simply falling asleep and this was only a dream. She opened kitchen cabinets and closet doors; looking for any proof this house wasn’t hers. Nothing had changed but still, something wasn’t right. Suddenly, she was pushed forward again and she was falling. Her eyes opened to florescent lights speeding by. A voice to her right shouted, “I’ve got something!” followed by, “No wait, I’m losing her….”and the world faded again…

*********************************************************************************************

… she ran to the door and threw it open. Instead of the front porch, there was an endless black ocean as far as she could see. The neighbor’s house sat in the distance, a hazy outline in a fog. She looked out over the water and realized this sea was dead. There were no waves, no life, not even the rank smell of algae and fungi that typically grow on a stagnant pool. And this dead sea kept her isolated from the rest of the world. For the first time since coming through the mirror, loneliness wiped the fear away. For the first time since watching her body collapse, she realized she had just condemned herself to a Hell more terrifying than the brimstone and fire she had been raised on. There was silence in the air. “Not even the breath of God can reach me here.”

Oh, don’t be so dramatic.” Surprised  she looked to her right and saw the woman standing in the kitchen, wiping down her counters… “Well, are you going to stand there all day? Come, sit.”

Ally found herself sitting across the table from this strange woman of about 30. The woman stared back at her. “You don’t know who I am, do you?” The woman asked. “Well, I’m not surprised. You weren’t even a spark in your Daddy’s eye when I passed. But, don’t think that means I haven’t been around. Couldn’t miss the birth of my oldest’s first child, could I?”

Ally stared as this story sank in. Could this woman be her Grandmother?

“Well, of course I am!” It was as if she had read Ally’s mind. “You know, I was expecting to see you on this side at a young age, but not this young, and certainly not here. I saw you, you know. Don’t think I don’t recognize what you were doing.”

“I was killing myself.” It was the first time she had spoken the words aloud.

“No, not that,” Grandmother waved a dismissive hand. “I meant with the wine.”

“Oh.” Was all Ally could manage.

“And the tequila, and the vodka you would add to your juice when you thought he wasn’t looking.”

“Oh,” she said again, quieter. She was suddenly ashamed. She had just learned that every shot she had stolen in secret had been see by someone. Her Grandmother continued.

“Do you remember any of those stories you heard? The ones your Daddy told you about growing up?”

Composing herself, Ally answered,”a little. I know…” she stopped short.

“You know I wasn’t always the model woman?” there was a smile on the woman’s lips. “No, that’s true. Why do you think I recognized it in you?”

Ouch, that stung. “Is that why you’re here? In this, what is this, Hell?”

Her Grandmother patted Ally’s hand. “No, I was never here. I did spend some time in the Shadowlands. But, just like on Earth, family came. They found me and they lifted me up out of the shadows. Hell isn’t what you think it is, you know. Think of it this way,there are many levels. At the highest level, there is God. God shines like a sun, warming you and bathing your level in light. The father away you are from that light, the darker and colder it is.”

Ally took this in. It wasn’t like any of the stories she had heard in church. That’s when it struck her, “it’s twilight here. Like just after sunset.”

Sadness was all she saw when she looked into her Grandmother’s eyes… Her eyes, if she were honest with herself. “Sweetheart, you are about as far away from God as you can get. I am not here because I have to  be. I am here because I want to be. I am here to help you.”…

 **This story has been started and deleted many times. Something had been missing. I found that something very recently, thanks to Dr. Stafford Betty. He introduced me, and many others, to the abundant evidence available on the afterlife. While I take some literary license, I do try to take what I’ve learned from him, and what I am still learning from my own research, and include it in this work. It is a slow process and I am certain there will be many changes. Particularly, as I proofread. This is just a taste of where I see the manuscript headed.** 

Advertisements

For Morgan, With Love

A little poem for my daughter:

If I were a glow worm

I’d sparkle in the night.

Illuminating shadows

With my natural light

And if I were a caterpillar

I’d soon turn out to be

Pretty as the sunrise and

The wind could carry me

But I’m just a little girl

Not knowing what I’ll be.

And that’s OK because I know

I’m the one and only ME!

My dearest daughter, you are a gift from the heavens. Your life is spread out before you. Take advantage of the opportunities you are given. You can grow to be anything in this world… My only hope is that you choose to be yourself, first. I love you, my Hobbit.

 Mom

Language of the Soul

I’ve been listening to a lot of music, lately. I like it because it speeds the day up. I spend 8-9 hours a day staring at a computer screen. Anything that will speed that time up helps. Anyway, I’ve been listening and I’ve noticed, or rather rediscovered, how effectively music stirs up emotions.  I’ve always had songs that made me think of certain people or events events in my life, but it’s more than that. Music is a language all its own. It speak to the human soul (if you don’t believe you have a soul, stop reading now. You probably won’t understand the rest of this).

In the last 7 hours I have laughed, rocked out in my chair, cried, and simply become lost in my own mind. All because of Jango, my chosen streaming site. But, just before I started this blog, something happened that I don’t ever remember happening before.  I heard a song that sent me face to face with one of my own demons. I won’t say what song, that is a bit too personal for a non-fiction post. Though the rhythm was disquieting. I couldn’t stop listening.  It was a familiar song but I couldn’t place it. Then, the words caught me. I pulled up the lyrics (thank you Google) and there is was – my demon… or demons… spread out before me on the page. Every word I have said to myself in the last several months, every thought, every emotion. It was all right there. That’s when I realized why I couldn’t stop listening. The music was speaking to me, on a very deep level. I wasn’t listening, my soul was. It was a powerful realization.

I know this isn’t news to most people. Even when I was a child I understood the depths music could effect people. After all, I grew up in an age where Ozzy was sued for causing teenage suicides. We would all stand around and say it wasn’t the music, but deep down we knew the truth. Music speaks to everyone at the level of their soul. If that soul is black, empty, it will find emptiness in the chords. It is also clear in my mind, a failing grade I had received on a writing assignment. We were to chose something that gave us comfort and explain why. I chose music; I failed for not writing on the topic. Apparently, the writing topic referred to an OBJECT and music, in the instructor’s opinion, was more of an idea. Whatever, I’m still writing and those tests are obsolete…. But, I digress…. again. Back to the music – I often wonder if song writers realize what they create when composing their music.

Has anyone ever heard a country song and imagined themselves barefoot in a pickup truck, driving down to the river for fishing? (*author raises hand*)  What about a song that makes you want to hit the highway and drive without a plan? (*hand up again*) For me, the song determines the direction I head, either west to the ocean or east to the hills…. I usually head east. What about love songs? Married ladies, can you remember the song you danced to at your wedding? Do you remember why you chose it? And how many of us, after suffering a broken heart, have sat listening to every sad song in our library (*author raises hand*). Eventually, we get over it. But there is always that one song that breaks our heart all over again, even after someone has come along to mend it. “My Immortal” always brings me back to my first pregnancy… and miscarriage. As I said, we get over it. I did. That song has taken on other meanings in recent months but the pregnancy is always the first event I associate with the music.

Music is an amazing art. It is a series of tones, mathematically arranged into chords, which are mashed together in organized chaos to create a tune, which is transformed into a language. The language of the soul…

…Oh! If you are wondering, during the song I faced my demons, admitted they exist, and quietly moved to the next track… I’m still to much of a coward to take them on…


Lost Inspiration

I’ve learned over the years that inspiration is not a force to be commanded. It is a whispering sigh from The Universe when it feels the need to create. I have been waiting almost a year for inspiration… Well, maybe not that long. Certainly, I have not heard it’s call since starting the antidepressants. Which begs the question, does alcohol and Depression feed The Muse? Look at the great writers: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Poe.. Even the “King” of horror has had his battles with drugs and alcohol. And there are so many others who’s names escape me. All of them suffered with one vice or another. I suppose, it is better to not suffer and let The Muse be silent…

     …It is strange, though. I never considered myself depressed. I was unhappy, of course. And that unhappiness fed the darkness where my writing occured. But Depression? No, not me… never… Just goes to show self diagnoses it not the way to go… Neither is self medication but why take all the fun out of life. Now.. what was I saying…..

      Oh, yes! Inspiration. It’s true, my Muse is quiet these days. The worlds I created in my imagination seem no more or less exciting than the one I live in. The one we call “Reality”. Sigh, I hate that word sometimes. It holds far too many “impossibles” in it. It’s odd to feel the void left by my departed Muse. She has been with me so long, watching in good times, helping me to escape in bad times. But She is gone now. I half hope She is going to return on the storm clouds I see gathering outside… but they feel as empty as the imaginary rooms in which She once thrived. No, I fear She is gone forever and I am now lost to reality…. that hated word.

      I am not entirely alone, though. I have my daughter, my husband, my friends, my meds and red wine. But none of them, no matter how precious, can fill the void I sense inside, the one left by my Muse. And, it is times like these I feel it most. Days when the clouds gather, darkening the sky. Days when the silence inside is so loud I can’t ignore it. Days when I want to write and have nothing to say.

     So, here I sit. Waiting for posters to print and calculations to finish. And I write a sentence here or there. Rambling about nothing. Perhaps, if I truly wish to write, I should consider writing Non-Fiction? I could write about….. what? My life – my “reality” – doesn’t hold much in it worth writing about. I suppose I could share my struggle with Depression. I do feel that familiar feeling returning…. The feeling I am a ghost within the lives of those I have known, and those I still speak to. But it is faint, somehow. Fighting to surface like mist searching for a keyhole. A small crack in which to slip through. I suppose the meds have filled all the holes in my armor. Kind of like that foamy stuff you spray and watch expand. I tell myself it is a good thing I have that barrier of protection. It’s good I am safe from the darkness where unimaginable thoughts can circle like vultures. But I’m afraid I have locked my Muse out in that darkness by mistake. and without the full force of the Depression weighting on me it becomes  hard to write about.

      You see, for me Depression was never about sadness. It was about numbness. So, to talk about how I felt before the medications is impossible. I felt nothing…. there were one or two that touched my heart, but mostly I was numb. And my Muse fed on that emptiness as she whispered to the pen in my hand, or keyboard under my fingers. And now, She is gone. I must give up writing or find a new Muse. I don’t have the energy for such a search; not right now, anyway. I have too much to do. Work, school, websites, and rescues… I have a very full life. And if I continue to fill it with these things, I may forget to miss my Muse. But for now – meds or no meds – I am saddened by the loss…. And I will continue to hope for Her return….


Silence

I’m having trouble sleeping tonight. It happens on occasion. While I sat sipping my tea, a single line came into my head. From it, I built the following. Perhaps, it is meant to be a poem. I believe I am too tired to tell. I may refine it in the future, when I’ve had more sleep…..

Between life and death, there is silence. You’ll hear it in the middle of night. While all around sleeps quiet, the spirit emits its soft sound. You won’t hear it by daylight, as you rush about in your day. You won’t hear it by moonlight, as sleep carries you away. It is not a product of deafness, nor an unwillingness to hear. It is the silence within us, music for only our ears. It is times like these you will hear it. Only now does the song of the spirit ring. Between life and death there is silence. The sweet, simple music of being…


My Daughter

I sit by the window and watch her. Her arms spread wide to the sun. Its rays shine on her golden brown hair in a halo of light. I see her mouth moving and, though I can’t hear her I know she is singing. Maybe the song is one she has heard on the radio or one she has written herself. She dances and sways and our pup runs around her, nipping at her heels and jumping up and down. Not long ago, I realized how quickly she is growing. Our children are ours for only a little while. Then, we must release them into the wide world, where they learn lessons we could never teach them fully. Someone once said the two best things we can give our children are roots and wings. Looking at her now, I can see her wings spreading to fly… And she is only seven.

Almost seven, I should say. Her birthday is a month away. We’ve been arguing over what to do for it. I suggested the zoo and she suggested Disneyland; I suggested the park and she suggested our backyard. I don’t think we will come to a consensus. I turn back to watch her again. Now, she has climbed to the top of her jungle gym dome. She sits with her feet dangling between the rungs. Nina, our dog, is lying underneath, as if to catch my daughter if she falls. I believe she would try. They are inseparable when outside, a girl and her dog. They are relatively the same age. Nina, in dog years, is seven. She follows my daughter all over the backyard as Hobbit picks flowers, digs for worms, and catches “rolly pollies” (pill bugs).

Hobbit – A nick-name that never fails to get a laugh out of strangers. I tried reading The Hobbit to her when she was younger. When she asked what a Hobbit was, I told her “Well, Hobbits are little people, like you. You are my little Hobbit.” From then on, she was my Hobbit. My Hobbit and My Mini-Me. The latter name was given to her by others. From her morning scowl to her overflowing bookshelves; she is a smaller version of me. As I write this, I am reminded of a time she wanted to write, as well. When she was four, she sat with me while I worked on a research paper for school, “Theodore Seuss Geisel and his place in Today’s Literary Canon”. As I read every Dr. Seuss book I could find, she sat next to me, listening and looking at the pictures. As I wrote how Geisel replacing Dick and Jane with a six-foot tall cat, she traced words and pictures out of The Lorax. I’ll never forget that day. She told me when she grew up she was going to be an author and her name was going to be Dr. Morgan. I still have the “book” she made. I was so proud of her and encouraged her decision, hoping it would continue as she grew. She has changed her mind since then. Now she wants to be a veterinarian and an artist. She can be anything she wants. My only desire is her happiness.

I look up from my laptop again. She has come down from her perch and is standing on the patio, staring out across the yard. Nina is lying at her feet, sniffing the ground. I recognize the look on her face. She has wondered off into her own world. A fantasy world, in which I ride a unicorn and her father rides “a lame horse”. I know this because she has told me about her world. Although, I have always encouraged imagination, I am still surprised by the detail in which she describes hers. She is a source of constant amazement. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her. And now, I sit and watch my baby, who has become a little girl, who will one day become a woman. I sit and watch and hope I am doing what I should. I hope I am strengthening her roots. I hope I am building her wings. Most importantly, I hope I am giving her the courage to fly…


The Meeting

I wrote the following poem while waiting for a meeting to begin. I was entertaining myself and this was the result….

White walls
Louder than the conversation

Guests all
Speak of professional degradation

Pointless words
Wondering eyes
Talk of agency compromise

Delegated by my boss
Thinking to miss
Would be no loss

Yet, here I sit.
I’m listening
And thinking
there must be something missing….