Where Do Stories Come From?


I have heard that authors write what they know. I find myself doing that, both with fiction and non-fiction. It’s comfortable and familiar to build on experience as well as professional training. To me it seems, too, that a writer can’t hide for very long the totality of who they are. If they write extensively, and from that deep part inside of themselves some call the soul, many readers will come to know and understand them, even in a way their family or friends may not.

Where do those crazy, creative ideas in our heads come from? Some may say it’s the collective unconscious. Did you ever hear the phrase, “There are no new ideas?” Everything that has ever been experienced or thought about is out there, if only we can just tune into it. For me, that includes reincarnation; I believe that it’s a past lifetime I’m writing about when I’m emotionally involved in the story such as with my short story, “That’s Just the Way It Is.” It seems further confirmation that it’s one of my own lifetimes when I recognize people I presently know wearing unfamiliar clothing in a past time period.

“That’s Just the Way It Is” is free today on Amazon.com through October 25th. It takes place in Texas in the 1870’s. The personal connection to me is discussed in the “Afterword.” Here’s an excerpt from one of the action scenes between Rebecca and John:

“What the devil’s wrong with you? Carryin’ on with a scalawag like that? Good thing I came in when I did. In a couple more minutes he’d of had you bare-assed on the table.”

“For heaven’s sake, John. What’s the matter? Calm down. The children will hear you, and I’m sure Jake already did.”

“I’m not the problem. And don’t you ever go against what I say in front of the cowboys, or anybody for that matter.” John was getting red in the face and his lips were starting to protrude. I thought for a moment he was going to spit on me. I stood up, and he suddenly raised his arm and slapped my face with the back of his hand, followed by a harder slap on my other cheek with the front of his hand.

“I won’t have you carryin’ on with him. I’m firin’ him tomorrow,” he shouted.

“John,” I cried. ”Please come to your senses. There’s absolutely nothing going on between me and Mr. Johnson. Stop being so unreasonable. Don’t you dare fire him. That man has children depending on him.”

Emily and the boys had run into the kitchen by now. They stared in silence, four pairs of eyes wide open with fear. Emily hurried over and put her arms around my waist.

“Get away from her, Em. I’m not through yet,” he said angrily while he took off his belt.

I nodded to Emily and she stepped back. “Take your brothers into the parlor,” I told her.

John grabbed me by the arm. I struggled when he began hitting me with the buckle end, leaving deep gashes in the skin on my neck and arms. I tried to cover my face, and my hands became streaked with blood. After I started screaming, Emily came running and tried to pull his arm back. John accidently knocked her down.

“Stop it! Let me go! I’m pregnant,” I shouted angrily.

So, where do your stories or ideas come from?

Soul-Filled Moments

We came here to connect with, not disconnect from, our true selves. For some of us, this takes a lifetime; others seem to be born with a knowing that we are more than our physical body. Sadly, there are those who barely connect and continue to live a life of quiet desperation, with an empty feeling they try unsuccessfully to fill. Others never connect at all until they die and reunite with their true higher self.

Some of us feel our soul in the whispers of the wind; others in the crashing of the sea upon the jagged rocks. It might be heard in the spring song of a robin or seen in your baby’s first smile. It is that feeling of joy and infinite peace that you experience when you hook up with all that you are – the part of you that never dies but lives through all eternity. How do you connect? What is it you do when you lose yourself completely and time no longer exists?

When you take the time on a regular basis to experience soul-filled moments such as losing yourself in a hobby you adore or quiet moments of meditation, you will find it easier to keep your life in perspective. You will tend to detach, not escape in addictive behaviors, from the pain or complexity of your existence. You will be able to see through more neutral eyes as your ego-driven personality relinquishes control, and you become capable of seeing who you really are, in love and light. Not only will your health improve, but you will feel at peace as you see the wholeness and magnificence of this unique, loving being you were created to be. Nothing will seem impossible to you then. All problems are solvable, and they no longer even matter. Isn’t that a good place to be?

Thoughts for 2012

Change is upon us whether we like it or not.  We can be proactive and make it easier on ourselves or we can continue to react with negativity and fear.

We are seeing evidence of the change worldwide. Humanity is coming to terms with itself, looking into the mirror of human consciousness. It forces us to face our fears, our failures; look at who we are individually, as a family, as a citizen of a country, as a member of the world family, dysfunctional though it may be.

We are all in this together.  Many of the same societal trends we see in the United States are also in Europe and elsewhere.  Values have become skewed.  Kids are bullied worldwide because those who bully see so little of value in themselves. Homes and cars are often treasured more than family relationships and integrity. Greed is a monster lurking everywhere in the shadows. Political parties are on power trips.  They value their own party’s interest more than their own country.

The globe continues to be riveted with earthquakes, ecological disasters, volcanoes, economic collapses of institutions and countries, and wars.  2012 is here now. Some say it’s the end of the world, at least as we know it.  At the very least, it does seem to be a time of endings and new beginnings.

Whatever needs to change is smacking us in the face now. Such things as poverty, hate, greed, dishonesty, discrimination, hunger, abuse and war will no doubt continue until we seriously take a look at them, both as a society and as an individual.

Are we losing sight of the forest while climbing our own trees of righteousness and separatism?  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but thoughts and words are things. There are a lot of harmful ones floating around.  Just look at what the haters are posting on the internet, even about things they know nothing about and people they don’t even know.  Where does this come from?  What is going on in peoples’ own lives that fosters this kind of thinking?

We cannot survive alone, whether as an individual or a country.  We are all one.  What we do to another, we do to our own selves. Seeking the spiritual in our lives can put us in touch with the whole of human consciousness.  The path to spirituality is a personal choice.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s through a church community, listening to beautiful music, enjoying nature, or meditative experiences.  What’s important is that we reach a state where we feel at one with the universe; a place where we can feel love for the whole and most importantly for ourselves.  It is impossible to hate anyone else when we truly love ourselves.  Raising individual consciousness will raise the consciousness of humanity.  Life will become easier with an increase of positive, higher energy thoughts floating around the world.

Appreciation is a golden key when it comes to bringing more good things into our lives.  This includes appreciation of such things as love, friends, family, health, objects, opportunities, those annoying people in our lives, and most importantly, everything about ourselves.  Yes, I said, “those annoying people in our lives.” Why? They are here to teach use something about ourselves.  When we learn what it is, they are likely to go away or fade into the background.  There is something good in everything and everyone; we just need to look more closely to discover it.

It’s time to houseclean our own personal lives.  What’s really important?  What issues keep repeating themselves and need to be finally dealt with? A “wants” versus “needs” assessment is a valuable tool.  Many of the things we think we want will really not make us any happier.  It’s also time for an elimination of excess baggage, whether it’s things or relationships. Keeping around what we’ve outgrown, or no longer interested in, weighs us down.  Our inner world mirrors our outer world. If we can make our personal worlds more satisfying, loving and peaceful, then we will be better prepared to face the challenges that 2012 brings.