10 Near-Death Experiences – Reblog…


I am sharing a blog from 2013 today – original link: http://listverse.com/2013/09/15/10-astonishing-near-death-experiences/

A feeling of weightlessness. A bright light at the end of a warm tunnel. The ability to see your own body below you, and friends or loved ones—who passed away years ago—now surrounding you in absolute peace. These are just a few of the things described by people who have had a near-death experience. And not all of them are as positive. Some recount a visit to hell, where they were overcome with fear and hopelessness, and even tortured by demons.

While many in the scientific community are skeptical of these accounts, others believe they offer the most definitive proof of life after death we might ever encounter. And though the debate continues, one thing is for certain: These people insist what they went through was life-altering. But by all means, feel free to judge for yourself.

10 Veronika-Ulrike Barthel

Veronika-Ulrike Barthel

Veronika Barthel says that, after being struck by lightning while driving her car one day in 1981, she was instantly transported into hell, where she found demons escorting her into a big waiting room.

“The creatures that I saw there were more terrifying than anything I even saw in a horror movie. Today I know that they were demons. As soldiers they where marching past me, and in the middle of them were people that were screaming with pain. It was very difficult to breathe down there, because of the terrible smell of this place. I saw a lake, which looked like the inner part of a volcano, where people were cursing because of great pain.”

She says that she saw people being thrown into caves, which were guarded by demons, who threw spears at them as they screamed. She also recalled snakes being present all over the ground, which were there to frighten and intimidate the people in hell.

After her experience, Veronika found herself transported back into her car, where for a moment, she saw her own burning hands gripping the steering wheel.

9 Howard Storm

Howard

Once a self-described “double atheist” and “know-it all college professor,” Howard Storm was leading a three-week European art tour with his students when he retired to his hotel room in France on the last day of the trip. Without warning, he suddenly screamed and dropped to the floor, prompting his wife to call for help. At the hospital, the news was grim: Howard had a perforated stomach that required surgery, and if he didn’t get it soon, he would die.

The wait for a doctor to arrive at the hospital was lengthy—so much so, that Howard turned to his wife at one point and said his final farewell to her, insisting that he was moments from death. That’s when he recalled finding himself standing next to his own body (which was still on the hospital bed) and feeling more alive than ever, with no more stomach pain. Soon after, he heard unfamiliar voices calling to him.

“Come with us,” they said. “Hurry up, let’s go. We’ve been waiting for you.”

After calling out to his wife and getting no response, he began to follow the voices, which led him out of the room and down a long, dark hallway. He followed them for so long, and became so increasingly terrified, that he told the voices he wasn’t going any further. Then they attacked him.

“We had a big fight and the fight turned into them annihilating me, which they did slowly and with much relish,” he says. “Mostly they were biting and tearing at me. This went on for a long time. They did other things to humiliate and violate me which I don’t talk about.”

Collapsed on the ground, Howard began reciting The Lord’s Prayer, after hearing a soft voice tell him to “Pray to God.” After saying a few other other prayers, he said that Jesus personally saved him from the demons, and sent him back to Earth, telling him to live his life differently. Storm’s book, My Descent Into Death, was published in 2000.

8 Dr. Mary Neal

Mary

During a kayaking trip in 1999, Dr. Mary Neal became pinned under the water when her kayak capsized, making it impossible for her to breathe for anywhere between 15 and 25 minutes. That’s when she says she experienced a near-death experience that brought her into the presence of God, Jesus, and angels.

During the experience, God told her that her family would be facing an upcoming tragedy and would need her to help them through. Specifically, her nine-year-old son Willie was going to die—but she wasn’t told when, where, or how. Ten years later, at age 19, Willie was killed in a car accident in Maine by a driver who was on his cell phone.

Mary is convinced Jesus helped her under the water, making it possible for rescue workers to revive her following the kayaking accident. She awoke with two broken legs and lung complications, and spent a month in the hospital, followed by six weeks in a wheelchair. She wrote a book called, To Heaven And Back, which was published in May 2012.

7 Ben Breedlove

Ben

When 18-year-old Ben Breedlove of Austin, Texas began posting a series of videos on YouTube telling the world about his rare heart condition, they instantly went viral, attracting millions of viewers. In one of them, he tells the story of being wheeled down a dark hall by nurses to the surgery room, and seeing a bright, peaceful light near the ceiling. He was four at the time it happened.

Through a series of index cards in the video, he wrote: “There were no lights on in this hall. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, and I couldn’t help but smile. I had no worries at all, like nothing else in the world mattered.” He talks of different times when he “cheated death,” including an incident where he fainted in the hallway at school.

“While I was still unconscious, I was in this white room; no walls, it just went on and on. There was no sound, but that same peaceful feeling I had when I was four. I was wearing a really nice suit, and so was my favorite rapper, Kid Cudi. I then looked at myself in the mirror—I was proud of myself, of my entire life, everything I have done. It was the best feeling. I didn’t want to leave that place. I wish I never woke up.”

Ben’s videos attracted the attention of rapper Kid Cudi, who apparently “broke down” after viewing them. He responded: “I broke down, I am to tears [sic] because I hate how life is so unfair. This has really touched my heart in a way I can’t describe, this is why I do what I do. Why I write my life, and why I love you all so much.”

On Christmas Day 2011, one week after posting the videos, Ben Breedlove suffered a heart attack and died. A family friend stated, “There are times that [the family is] overwhelmed by the pain and the loss of Ben, but then it’s replaced with knowing that he was at peace with what was going to happen.” The final index cards in Ben’s last video stated, “Do you believe in angels or God? I do.”

6 Colton Burpo

Colton

Colton Burpo wasn’t quite four years old when his appendix burst, landing him in a hospital for emergency surgery. And when he awoke two hours later, he had an amazing story to tell. He said he had been to heaven, where he met Jesus, John The Baptist, God, and even family members who had passed away previously—including a baby sister that his mother had lost due to a miscarriage. Neither of his parents had ever mentioned the miscarriage to him.

He also met an old man he called “Pop,” whom he had seen as a young man. Later, he was able to identify Pop in a family photograph as the man he had seen in heaven. It was his paternal grandfather. And while the surgery was taking place, Colton told his father that he had seen him in another room, where he had gone to pray.

His father, Todd Burpo, said, “We knew he wasn’t making it up, because he was able to tell us what we were doing in another part of the hospital. Not even Sonja had seen me in that little room, having my meltdown with God.”

Todd wrote a book called Heaven Is For Real that recounts the entire story of his son’s incredible experience in detail. Colton Burpo now travels the country with his parents, sharing his story with others.

5 Betty J. Eadie

Betty

In November 1973, Betty Eadie underwent a partial hysterectomy, after which she says she floated out of her body and passed through a tunnel to heaven. She said she was guided by three hooded, monk-like figures who claimed to have always been her guardian angels and informed her that she had died prematurely.

In an excerpt from her book, Embraced By The Light, she recalls:

“I saw a pinpoint of light in the distance. The black mass around me began to take on more of the shape of a tunnel, and I felt myself traveling through it at an even greater speed, rushing toward the light. I was instinctively attracted to it, although again, I felt that others might not be. As I approached it, I noticed the figure of a man standing in it, with the light radiating all around him. There was no questioning who he was, I knew that he was my savior, and friend, and God. He was Jesus Christ, who had always loved me, even when I thought he hated me.”

Following its publication in September 1994, her book became a No. 1 best seller and remains in print today.

4 Don Piper

Don Piper

Following a pastor’s conference in January 1989, Don Piper was driving over a bridge when a Texas Department of Corrections tractor-trailer truck crossed the center line and ran into him head-on. He said he was “instantly transported to Heaven,” where he found himself surrounded by dead relatives and friends, and a large pearl gate.

“The gate of heaven was a magnificent edifice, the one that I saw. It looked no less like a giant gate that had been sculpted from mother-of-pearl,” he said. “Behind that portal was such a light that I don’t conceive of how you could see it in an earthly body. It could only be envisioned in a heavenly body because it was too bright.”

As he lay there crushed in his vehicle on the bridge, a pastor came by, who prayed over him. The EMS staff had told him that Don was deceased. After the pastor prayed, he instantly found himself back in his vehicle, staring up at a tarp that had been draped over him. At the hospital, it was revealed that, although he suffered no major head trauma, nearly every bone in his body had been broken or shattered. Don wrote a book called 90 Minutes In Heaven after his recovery.

3 Bill Wiese

Bill Wiese

In his book 23 Minutes In Hell, author Bill Wiese tells the story of laying in bed at 3:00 AM and being suddenly thrown into the depths of hell, where he was tormented by demons. He said he was placed in a small cell with vicious “beasts” who looked like reptiles. He recalls understanding that they had been assigned to torment him, which they did, throwing him against the walls and piercing his flesh with their claws. The pain became so bad that he wished for death but was not obliged. He said that he heard the cries of millions, who were either burning in hell, or being tortured as he was.

When he awoke, his wife noted that the clock read 3:23, so his book is titled 23 Minutes In Hell.

2 Crystal McVea

Crystal

Following a simple medical procedure for pancreatitis in 2009, Crystal McVea of Oklahoma went into full respiratory arrest on the operating table. When that happened, she says she experienced a trip to heaven that renewed her faith in God, whom she met in person. She described him as “an immense brightness,” one that she could “feel, taste, touch, hear, and smell,” and recalled having 500 senses while in heaven, as opposed to the traditional human five.

“I had angels, I had God, and I fell to my knees in front of him,” she said, adding that she’d always been a doubter prior to the experience. When she was asked twice by God if she’d like to return to Earth, she chose to stay both times. But despite her insistence, God sent her back—though not before relieving her of her guilt and shame.

McVea released a book about her experience called Waking Up In Heaven in April 2013.

1 Ian McCormack

Ian McCormack

While diving for lobster one day on the island of Mauritius, Ian McCormack was stung on the arm by a box jellyfish. He says that, by the time the ambulance arrived, he already felt completely paralyzed and necrosis had begun to set in. As he lay dying, Ian saw a vision of his mother praying for him, and after he made it to the hospital, he was clinically dead for a period of 15–20 minutes. That’s when he found himself in a very dark place and began to hear people screaming.

“From the darkness I began to hear men’s voices screaming at me telling me to ‘shut up’—that I ‘deserved to be there’—-that I was ‘in Hell.’ I couldn’t believe it, but as I stood there a radiant beam of light shone through the darkness and immediately began to lift me upward. I found myself being translated up into an incredibly brilliant beam of pure white light—it seemed to be emanating from a circular opening far above me (I felt like a speck of dust being drawn up into a beam of sunlight).”

As he walked toward the light, Ian says he could feel it giving off a “living emotion,” and that God then spoke to him. McCormack hasn’t written a book but has shared his story with several news outlets and talk shows.

Have you experienced this or know someone that has?

Did it change your belief in life after death or not?

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Interview with Mandy Eve-Barnett, Author


Thanks to Eva for the great interview!

Beyond the Precipice

I am happy to have Mandy Eve-Barnett as my guest today. Thank you, Mandy, for joining me here on my website.

Mandy, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?

AuthorPhotoPrior to immigrating to Canada I lived in England, where I ran my own company for over 20 years. Although I have always been creative and experimented in everything from paint to clay to textiles, it was not until a chance visit to a local writing group in Canada that I ‘discovered’ a passion for the written word. My ‘day’ job is in a credit department, so there is no creativity in that! However, I make up for ‘lost’ time when I am off work and can delve into my imagination. I escape to the library, the mountains or anywhere I can selfishly immerse myself into my imaginary worlds.

What books…

View original post 993 more words

Summer Author Reading – 9 Tips to Prepare and Read…


 

Last Saturday I attended a local author reading, it was at a new venue – a local coffeehouse, Social Grounds Coffeehouse. The cafe owner is welcoming all local artisan’s to display or perform giving the community a new place to enjoy the arts.

Although this is not my first public reading, there are always steps to take in preparation.

  1. Firstly, you must determine what you are going to read. If you have several books, will you read from a new one or something you feel will grip the audience.
  2. Will the audience be young or adult? Tailor your readings accordingly OR take two pieces to read just in case. (Which is what I did for this reading)
  3. If there is a time limit to the reading, practice the passages out loud. It doesn’t work well to just read it. Practice inflection and if you are good at them, dialectics.
  4. Make sure to mark the start and finish of the piece you are reading, this will ensure you stay within the time limit.
  5. Remember to take promotional items with you including business cards, bookmarks and of course books. A small amount of petty cash too so you have change.
  6. Props are a good idea for children’s books. I have a soft toy I made for my Rumble book. I did take a couple of ornaments with me just in case children were present and I did read from Ockleberries to the Rescue as well as from The Rython Kingdom.
  7. Depending on the venue, there maybe a microphone, if not it is an idea to either purchase one or borrow one. Some venues have a lot of background noise so you want your audience to be able to hear you.
  8. Remember to smile, look up while reading and engage your audience.
  9. Be ready with answers to questions about your book and your writing.

The event on Saturday was an all adult audience which resulted in quite a long Q&A session.

What tips can you share about author readings?

Not the most flattering photo of Karen Probert and I – just wondering what we we discussing when the camera caught us! There will be another photo to add – hopefully!

IMG_0922

Karen is a short story expert – her books and mine can be found at http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca – Karen’s: Fragments of Lives & Colouring Our Lives. Mine: Rumble’s First Scare & Ockleberries to the Rescue and also The Rython Kingdom.

Writing Prompt Contest -Favorite Food for Writing…


snacks

Tell us about the food you crave or favor when writing. Is it chips, nuts, chocolate or something else?

Enjoy this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response.

Proof of Reincarnation -Reblog…


With so many incidences of reincarnation around the globe, it is remarkable we do not hear of them more often. This list details ‘proof’ of reincarnation. Original site: http://listverse.com/2014/12/30/10-claims-of-physical-evidence-for-reincarnation/

10. Transferred Birth Marks

borthmark

Photo credit: Journal of Scientific Exploration

In parts of Asia, tradition dictates that when a person dies, relatives will mark his or her body—often using soot—with the hope that the soul of the deceased will be reincarnated within the same family. The mark is said to become both a birthmark and evidence that the soul has been reborn.

In 2012, University of Virginia School of Medicine professor and psychiatrist Jim Tucker and Jurgen Keil, an emeritus professor and psychologist from University of Tasmania at Hobart, submitted a paper to The Journal of Scientific Exploration (a peer-reviewed journal for the study of fringe science, from alternative medicine to UFOs). Their study detailed families with children who were born with marks corresponding to their dead relatives.

In one case, K.H., a boy from Myanmar, was noted to have a birthmark on his left arm in the same place where his grandfather’s body had been marked. His grandfather had died 11 months before K.H.’s birth. Many people, including family members, saw the grandfather’s mark made by a neighbor from charcoal of the underside of a pot.

At just over two years old, K.H. called his grandmother Ma Tin Shwe, a name only used by the deceased grandfather. The grandmother was called “Mother” by her children and Daw Lay or “Auntie” by other children. K.H. called his mother War War Khine, just like his deceased grandfather had, rather than Ma War.

When K.H.’s mother was pregnant, she dreamed of her father saying, “I want to live with you.” The birthmark and the child’s names for his loved ones makes his family think the dream has come true.

9. The Child Born with Bullet Wounds

bullet

Photo via Relijournal

Ian Stevenson was a psychiatry professor from the University of Virginia who focused on reincarnation. In 1993, he published a paper in the Journal of Scientific Exploration detailing birthmarks and birth defects seemingly linked to past-life memories. According to his findings, the majority of birth defects are thought to be formed by “unknown causes.”

In one case, a child in Turkey remembered the life of a man who was killed by a shotgun. Hospital records told of a man who had died after six days of injuries caused by a blast to the right side of his skull. The boy in question was born with unilateral microtia—a malformed ear—and hemifacial microsomia, which is the underdevelopment of the right side of his face. Microtia occurs in roughly 1 in 6,000 babies, while microsomia is estimated to occur in 1 in 3,500 babies.

8. The Patient Who Killed and Married Her Son

Weiss

Photo credit: BrianWeiss.com
Brian Weiss, the chairman of the psychiatry department at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami, claims to have seen a patient have a spontaneous past-life regression episode during treatment. Even though he is a classically trained psychiatrist and had a regular practice for many years, he is now a leader in past-life regression therapy.

In his book Messages from the Masters: Tapping into the Power of Love, Dr. Weiss tells the story of a patient named Diane, who worked as the head nurse at an urgent care center. During a past-life regression session, Diane supposedly experienced the life of a young settler in North America during the early years of conflict with Native Americans. She specifically talked about hiding from a hunting party with her toddler son in a secret compartment while her husband was away.

She described the baby as having a birthmark shaped like a half moon or curved sword beneath his right shoulder. While hiding, the son cried out. Out of fear for their lives, and in an effort to quiet him, the woman accidentally smothered the child by covering his mouth.

Months after the regression experience, Diane felt herself attracted to a patient who had been admitted for asthma attacks. The patient also felt a connection or familiarity with Diane. Diane was shocked when she noticed a crescent-shaped birthmark in the same location on the patient. Dr. Weiss claims to have seen asthma in people whose previous memories involved death by suffocation.

 

7. Reincarnated Handwriting

boy

Photo via IanLawton.com

At age six, Taranjit Singh was living in Alluna Miana village in India. The boy had been claiming since the age of two that his real name was Satnam Singh and that he was born in Chakkchela village in Jalandhar, roughly 60 kilometers (40 mi) away.

Taranjit allegedly recalled that he was a student of Class 9 (about 15 or 16 years old) and that his father’s name was Jeet Singh. A man on a scooter had collided with Satnam, who was on a bike, and killed him on September 10, 1992. Taranjit said that the books he was carrying the day of the accident were soaked in his blood, and he’d had 30 rupees in his wallet. The child was so insistent, and the story was so odd yet detailed, that his father, Ranjit, decided to investigate.

A teacher in Jalandhar told Ranjit that a boy named Satnam Singh really had died in an accident, and this boy’s father was named Jeet Singh. Ranjit reached out to Satnam’s family, who confirmed the blood-soaked books and rupee details. When Taranjit and members of Satnam’s family met face to face, Taranjit was able to correctly identify Satnam in photos.

A forensic scientist, Vikram Raj Chauhan, read about Taranjit in the newspaper and investigated further. He took samples of Satnam’s handwriting from an old notebook and compared them to Taranjit’s. Even though the young boy “was not accustomed to writing,” the handwriting was a near-match. Dr. Chauhan shared his findings with colleagues, who also found the samples similar.

6. Born Knowing Swedish

 

Swedish

Psychiatry professor Ian Stevenson investigated numerous cases of the phenomenon of xenoglossy, which is defined as “speaking a real language entirely unknown to (the speaker) in his ordinary state.” The definition was coined originally by Charles Richet between 1905 and 1907. Richet was a Nobel Prize–winning doctor, whose interests and research spanned many areas, including parapsychology.

Stevenson investigated a 37-year-old American woman whom he called TE. TE was born and raised in Philadelphia, the daughter of immigrant parents who spoke English, Polish, Yiddish, and Russian at home while she was growing up. She studied French while in school. Her only exposure to Swedish was a few phrases spoken in a television show about the lives of Swedish Americans. However, while under eight different regression hypnosis sessions, TE became “Jensen Jacoby,” a male Swedish peasant.

As Jensen, TE answered questions posed in the Swedish language with Swedish responses, using about 60 words not first spoken by the Swedish-speaking interviewer. TE as Jensen was also able to answer English questions with English answers.

Stevenson gave TE two polygraph tests, a word association test, and a language aptitude test, all of which she answered as though Swedish. He also spoke to her husband, family members, and acquaintances about her aptitude or exposure to Scandinavian languages. All agreed that she had none. No Scandinavian languages were taught in the schools TE had attended.

That said, TE as Jensen was not fluent. The transcript of the session shows that TE as Jensen had a vocabulary of roughly only 100 words and rarely spoke in full sentences. In fact, there were no complex sentences at all, despite Jensen supposedly being an adult male. The accent was praised, however, by Stevenson’s consultants. In an added twist, several specialists pointed out that the language was mixed with Norwegian.

5. Memories of Monasteries

monastry

In his book Your Past Lives And The Healing Process, psychiatrist Adrian Finkelstein describes a boy named Robin Hull who often spoke in a language his mother couldn’t understand. She contacted a professor of Asian languages, who identified the language as a dialect spoken specifically in the northern region of Tibet.

Robin said that he went to school many years ago in a monastery, and that is where he learned to speak that language. However, the truth was that Robin wasn’t even of school-going age and had yet to set foot in a classroom.

The professor investigated further based on Robin’s descriptions and eventually settled on a monastery in the Kunlun Mountains that matched the information the young boy was able to relay. Robin’s story inspired the professor to actually travel to Tibet, where he located the monastery.

Finkelstein specializes in hypnosis and past-life therapy. He has been on the staff of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and was a clinical assistant professor at UCLA. He currently has a private practice in Malibu, California.

4. The Burned Japanese Solider

soliders

Another Stevenson investigation revolves around a Burmese girl named Ma Win Tar. Ma Win Tar was born in 1962, and at around age three, she started referencing a life as a Japanese soldier. The soldier had been captured by Burmese villagers and burned alive while tied to a tree.

The specific life in her account was not identified, but, as Stevenson points out, the circumstances were plausible. In 1945, Burmese villagers would capture any of the stragglers from the retreating Japanese Army, and they sometimes burned soldiers alive.

Ma Win Tar showed traits that were incongruous with her life as a Burmese girl. She liked her hair cut short and liked to dress in boyish clothes (something her family forbade). She refused the spicy foods that marked Burmese cuisine, showing a preference for sweet foods and pork. She also showed a “streak of cruelty,” including a habit of slapping the faces of her playmates. Stevenson said that the Japanese soldiers “often” slapped Burmese villagers and that the practice is not culturally organic to the area. Ma Win Tar resisted her family’s Buddhism and even went so far as to consider herself “a foreigner.” She declared visiting members of the Japanese War Graves Commission (who had come to her town) as “our nationals.”

Oddest of all, Ma Win Tar had been born with severe birth defects in both hands. Her middle and ring fingers on the right hand were webbed and “loosely attached” to the rest of her hand. They were amputated when she was only a few days old. Several other fingers were missing or had “constriction” rings. A ring on her left wrist had three separate depressions. There was also, according to her mother, a similar mark on her right wrist that had faded. The marks were eerily similar to that of a rope burn—something a Japanese soldier who had been burned alive while tied to a tree may have acquired during his ordeal.

3. His Brothers Scars

medical

In 1979, Kevin Christenson died at the age of two. A broken leg at 18 months had revealed metastatic cancer. Chemotherapy was administered through the right side of his neck to combat the many ailments brought on by the disease, including a tumor that caused his left eye to protrude and a nodule above his right ear.

Twelve years later, Kevin’s mother, who had divorced his father and remarried, had another child named Patrick. Right from the start, there were similarities between the half-brothers. Patrick was born with a birthmark that looked like a small cut on the right side of his neck. It was in the same place where Kevin’s chemo IV entered his body. Even stranger, there was a nodule on Patrick’s scalp in the same place that Kevin’s had been. Like Kevin, Patrick had an issue with his left eye, which was eventually diagnosed as corneal leukoma (thankfully, not a tumor).

When Patrick began walking, he limped, even though there was no medical reason for him to do so. He claimed to have a memory of going under surgery. When his mother asked him where on his body, Patrick pointed to the area above his right ear, the same place his half-brother had had a nodule biopsied.

At around age four, Patrick started asking about his “old house,” even though he had never lived in any other home. He described it as being orange and brown. If you’re guessing that Kevin had lived in an orange and brown house, you get a gold star. Researchers investigating the situation actually took Patrick to the old house, but the little boy did not identify anything that convinced them that he was actually familiar with the orange and brown home.

While it is very possible that Patrick was able to pick up on details of his mother’s life with her previous husband and deceased son, the biological connections are difficult to explain.

2. Cat Memories

cat

When John McConnell was fatally shot six times in 1992, he left behind a daughter named Doreen. Doreen gave birth to a son, William, in 1997. William was diagnosed with pulmonary valve atresia, a congenital condition in which a faulty valve directs blood from the heart to the lungs. The right ventricle of his heart was also deformed. William’s condition improved after numerous surgeries and treatment.

When John was shot, one of the bullets entered his back, hitting his left lung and the main pulmonary artery in his heart. John’s injury and William’s condition affected the heart and lungs in a very similar way.

One day, while trying to avoid discipline, William told Doreen, “When you were a little girl, and I was your daddy, you were bad a lot of times, and I never hit you!” Similar overly familiar statements followed. William asked Doreen about a cat she’d had as a little girl and mentioned that he called it “Boss.” Strikingly, only John had called the cat that—its given name was Boston. William was also able to differentiate between Boss and another family cat named Maniac.

William was able to state the day he was born (a Tuesday) and the day John died (Thursday) before he even knew his days of the week without Doreen’s prompting. He said he’d been told on a Tuesday by “God” that he was ready to “come back.”

John had told his daughter that he would always take care of her. Whether he did in fact come back to care for her as William, the coincidences are an interesting link to her father.

  1. The ‘In-Between’ State

doctor

Dr. Brian Weiss became involved with past-life regression through his involvement with a patient named Catherine, as illustrated in his book Many Lives, Many Masters. During a regression session, Catherine shocked Dr. Weiss when she mentioned that she was in an “in between” state and that both Dr. Weiss’s father and his son were present. Catherine went on to say:

“Your father is here, and your son, who is a small child. Your father says you will know him because his name is Avrom, and your daughter is named after him. Also, his death was due to his heart. Your son’s heart was also important, for it was backward, like a chicken’s . . . He wanted to show you that medicine could only go so far, that its scope is very limited.”

Dr. Weiss was shocked, as his patient knew very little about his personal life. Photos of his living son, Jordan, as well as a daughter were on his desk, but Catherine seemed to be talking about Adam, the doctor’s firstborn who had died at only 23 days old. Adam had been diagnosed with total anomalous pulmonary venous drainage with an atrial septal defect—the pulmonary veins had grown on the wrong side of the heart, effectively backward. Further, Dr. Weiss’s father went by “Alvin,” but his Hebrew name was Avrom, just as Catherine had suggested. Dr. Weiss’s daughter Amy was indeed named for her grandfather.

The revelation convinced Dr. Weiss of the veracity of Catherine’s regression claims and changed the course of his career.

***

As you can see there are cases that are startling in their detail. Of course there are ‘explanations’ given for some of these occurrences but not all can be dismissed. My own nephew has remarkable similarities to my father. At an early age, he would reel out whole perfectly formed and enunciated sentences when he was ‘too young’ to know those words. He also walks just like my father crossing his hands behind his back with his thumbs linked.

Do you know of someone who is reincarnated?

Do you have memories of another life?

When the Muse Won’t Stop Talking…


pool

I enjoyed a spur of the moment road trip on Saturday with my dear friend, Linda. We traveled west towards the Rocky Mountains and a lesser popular highway (some unpaved). As writers we notice everything – landscapes, flora and fauna and glimpses of everyday life as we pass by (or in our case stop!) It had been several weeks since we traveled together in that direction and we saw astounding differences in the places visited. This was due to the amount of rain the area has experienced – dry dusty tracks were now mud filled, dried up ponds and stream beds now torrents of water and a beaver lodge, which had been high and dry was now partly submerged. It shows that nothing stays the same – observation is key to a writer.

Part of our discussions during our 11 hour trip was narratives we are working on and the many put aside projects, snippets of ideas and future novels still to be realized. I remembered that some time ago a writer friend had stated that “I’m not sure I have anything to write at the moment. I cannot comprehend this. I have a folder of ‘writing pieces’ on  my laptop – several hundred in fact – all of which have not seen the light of day for some time. I have come up with an idea for these short stories – but that will be a project once I have edited, revised and completed the four novels I am working on this year! (Yes I know I am a lunatic.)

If you have a similar problem to mine and suffer with ‘too much inspiration’ then maybe these strategies might help.

a) Leave the chaos of your writing space with pen and paper or recording device and go for a walk. Once you are in a new environment the most exciting and prominent idea(s) will stay with you. Write or record them and let your imagination flourish with them for a while.

b) Restrict your time on musing about new ideas by setting yourself a time limit. Even a ten minute burst of inspirational writing will ensure you get the idea down but not ‘waste’ too much time on it. Once it is written put it to one side and continue with your current project, safe in the knowledge the idea has been dealt with.

c) Take some time to really dissect the new idea. Can you envisage the plot arc, the ending, the characters? If the majority of the narrative reveals itself to you, then mark it down as your next project. However, if the idea is vague, do not pursue it – just jot down the outline and file it.

d) Utilize your passion when defining whether an idea is worth reflection. If it excites you or is on a subject you feel passionate about then it should be considered in depth.

e) Get yourself an idea board. Organize each idea into genre or categories and when a new plot, character or scene comes to you place it with the other components of that particular story.

f) Bounce your ideas off a few trusted friends or members of your writing group.

It is thought a ‘problem’ to have too many ideas – they densely populate our minds. Crowding out each other and jostling for attention. It can be frustrating when we are embroiled in a current project. We hastily jot down the details of the new idea, too frightened to leave it to chance that we will remember it later. This removes our mind set from progressing with our existing work, if only for a short time. These ‘breaks’ can either be a good thing – returning refreshed and with renewed vigor or a bad thing – lured into the new project and dissatisfied with our current work in progress.

How do you handle the sparse and dense periods of your writing life?

What obscure stimulus has sparked an idea for you? 

How do you approach new ideas? Frantic notes? Plot arc? Character descriptions?

Have you experienced a story unwilling to stay quiet?

new idea

“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out.  Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.”          

Writing Prompt Contest – Hippo Cart…


hippo-cart

I’m intrigued to read the poems and stories that this photo inspires!

Taken in 1924 this was a circus promotional photo.

Have fun with this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response.

Regression – Past Lives Visited…


reincarnationMy fascination with reincarnation began while I was a trainee nurse. I was allocated three terms on geriatric wards and although slightly unusual, I was happy to care for the elderly. Their life stories and experiences had me spell-bound on many occasions.

One particular instance sparked my curiosity and started my journey into researching life after death and reincarnation. I have related this story often and it is published on my blog within my writers group website. Here it is :

Whilst training as a nurse, I was assigned three rotations of geriatrics; two male and one female. It was while on one of the male wards that this event happened. My night shift started at 9 pm and after the usual updates from the day staff, my colleague and I were left to care for the old gentlemen.

One gentleman took my hand as I fluffed his pillows.

“Thank you so much for the daffodil.”

“Daffodil? I’m sorry, what daffodil.”

“It was so sweet of you.”

Thinking he was in a confused state, I just made sure he was comfortable and continued with my tasks with the other night nurse. The two of us administered medicines and settled the patients for the night, then turned most of the lights off. Our desk was situated at one end of the ward so we hear and see all the beds. For several hours we took turns in attending to patients needs, writing out reports and taking vitals.

At about 3:30 am, the gentleman who had spoken to me, passed away. After the doctor had been, I attended to his body. After cleaning and wrapping him in a sheet, as is the custom, I left him for an hour and went to write my report.

Later with everything in place, I watched the day staff arrive. One nurse was carrying a bunch of daffodils – yes, I was very shocked. The reason not only because of what the old man had said but also the fact that it was the midst of winter, much too early for daffodils.

“Where did you get daffodils from?”

“They’re from the florist down the street. The blooms are forced in greenhouses. I couldn’t resist a piece of spring to cheer us up.”

“May I have one bloom?”

“OK but why?”

“I’ll tell you later.”

I gently placed the yellow flower between the old gentleman’s hands, just the way he had described. He had told me he had ‘seen’ this happen and knew he was going to pass away. It had given him peace to thank me for my kind thought. As to how he had ‘seen’ this event before it happened, I have no idea, but I did want to ensure it was done.

Although this was not the first time I had experienced strange events of a spiritual kind; I had seen a ghost at the age of ten; it was the catalyst for me to start researching. Whether you believe in reincarnation or life after death or not, the subject is fascinating.  Today researching this or any other subject is easy with the internet but at that time it was visits to the library and reading through numerous books to find the details, events and research I wanted to feed my curiosity.

After several years of research, I decided to put the theories to the test and went for a regression session. Under hypnosis I was directed to seven doors. Time only allowed me to enter three. These are the lives I found through those doors. Again I have already related this event on my blog. For those of you who have not read it, here it is: Regressed Lives

Indian Squaw (Aborginal)

I look down into the still glassy water and see an old face, deep down I know it to be my face, and the deep lines creasing my eyes, cheeks and mouth are at the same time familiar and alien. Dark brown eyes and skin are in contrast to my hair, which was once a shiny ebony mantle but now streaked with silvery grey, hair now thin and wispy in one long plait down my back. Splashing my face with the icy cool water, I look up to see the tepees across the stream that feeds the lake and raise my old body upwards. I’m only good for collecting wood, minding the children and cooking. My days past slowly. Without a husband, I have to ingratiate myself to my daughter’s brave, be of help so I can have a place to sleep, tucked into the side flaps, under my buffalo bedding. Walking back the horror of that far day comes back, maybe it’s the similar setting, the crispness of the air but I ‘see’ the riders coming over the hill, the crack of the guns and the sudden screaming, startled me. The soldier’s were yelling and laughing as they rode through the camp, shooting my friends and family, everyone they see fleeing.  I was helpless to stop them, I’d screamed back but was too far away. Fear stops me running toward the murderers but my heart breaks as I watch the massacre. Crouching under a bush I covered my ears until long after the screaming and pounding hooves had ceased. Too scared to move I waited until nightfall before walking back to a blood soaked and burnt earth where my home had once been.

I hadn’t noticed I was walking as the horrors around me had numbed my body and mind. The land was silent and still as though shocked and sadden as was I. Whimpering coming from the far side of the camp leads me gradually in that direction. To my utmost joy I found my grand-daughter but my grief had sprung into my heart as I saw she is huddled underneath my own daughter’s body. Taking her up into my arms, other sounds around me come to my ears as one by one the women and children uncovered themselves and crawled out of their hiding places.

This past will never leave me and I wait for my time to come when I will be with the spirits and my husband, who had fought so bravely on that fateful day against an enemy so cowardly and strong. The firewood is weighing heavily now as I enter the camp and I smile at the last of the Lumbee tribe survivors.

(Over 15 years after my regression session, my cousin found out that we did have a great, great grandfather married to a squaw of the Lumbee tribe.) Lumbee

Manor House

Manor

My feet hit the icy floor, as I swing them over the bed’s edge, the cold chills my body very quickly even though I try to dress as fast as I can. Mother is already gone from the little attic room we call home. Tying my long hair into a bun, I walk quietly and swiftly down the long back stair case. The warmth and noise hits me as I enter the kitchen, cook’s voice shouting orders, the pan’s being filled with water, eggs being boiled and bread being cut. Cook is a hard task master so I run straight to the scullery cupboard to collect my brush and bucket. Quiet as a mouse I walk into the great rooms upstairs and start cleaning out the fire grates, laying out new kindling and on to the next one. I must be careful to be swift and unnoticed by the Lord and Lady, their graciousness to let my Mother stay after the disgrace of my coming; it must never be forgotten or taken for granted.  Being our Lady’s favorite hand maiden had made all the difference to my Mother staying or being thrown out, once her pregnancy was discovered.  I was put to work as soon as I could be taught to polish the silver ware, sitting at the servants table hour after hour. Our precious day off once a month was time for Mother to show me the outside world and let me play in the huge grounds and gardens.

Mother didn’t tell me about my Father until very recently, when I think it was more of a warning away from men. I had noticed a young gardener the month before whilst walking through the walled garden and his eyes seemed to penetrate my very being. I hadn’t noticed that Mother was still walking ahead and that I was rooted to the spot, staring back into those wonderful eyes. Her voice made me jump and look toward the sound. Catching up to her as she strode purposely on she started to tell me her story. She too had been entranced by a young gardener in this very walled garden and quickly became obsessed with him. Every month they would meet in secret and he told her of faraway places and his adventures. Swearing his love for her and the promise of marriage she succumbed to his wiles. Another month and he was gone without a word and quickly she realized her condition. Lady Havalore did send men to find the rogue but he was long gone and no one knew of a young man called Ted Franks, it probably wasn’t his real name anyway. Mother continued her duties as long as was possible and after my birth did as many of her duties as she could between nursing and comforting me. Luckily I was a quiet contented baby and my little crib was set in the scullery during the day for  warmth.  Looking at the grand ornate gates I can see the letters of the manor’s name but cannot read them; reading and writing are for our betters not the likes of us.

(With careful research through Who’s Who, I managed to find this manor house in Kent, England.)

Wooden farm shack

shouse1

The smell of the cattle, the steam from their bodies mingles with the morning air. Waking early, I am excited knowing father is taking me to the town today. The trip will take most of the day on the cart, which is filled with grain, vegetables and trailing two cattle, all of which father will sell for cloth and other supplies. Leaving Mother, my brothers and sisters for more than a day is such a treat. There are advantages to being the oldest but I have a feeling father has an ulterior motive in taking me. Last autumn he had encouraged me to visit Bayard in his father’s butcher shop. A match between us would be a favorable match for our farm and their butcher shop. I really enjoy the ride into town with so much of my life spent around the farm, escaping to see the different views and smells is wonderful as well as having no chores to do. Father maneuvers the cart through the dirt streets and to the rear of the butchers shop. I can feel myself become hot and nervous, Bayard is so handsome and I hope my appearance is pleasing. Just as I think about him there he is at the door in a blood splattered apron greeting us with a wave and a smile. Lowering my head I glimpse Bayard come to the wagon to help father lead the cattle to the little shack at the rear of the shop, he will slaughter them later I’m sure. Watching him walk away from me, his muscular body makes me flush. “Wilda, move yourself.” Father’s shout makes me jump, so grabbing a sack of sawdust I enter the shop’s rear store and greet Bayard’s father with a quick nod and place the sack upon the floor. The air is full of the smell of meat and blood mingle with the sawdust scattered there. I have become accustomed to the smell over time. At first it clawed at the back of my throat and stayed within my nostrils, now it is a reminder of Bayard and I have come to love it. Sitting quietly while my father talks, I watch Bayard through the veil of my eyelashes imagining him oblivious to my staring. However as our father’s leave the store, he turns smiling and asks if I would like a drink, keeping my head lowered I gently nod.

(With no records kept I was unable to find where this life was lived)

Twesome Loop 002

My novel, The Twesome Loop has a reincarnation theme weaved between southern England and the Italian slopes outside Rome. The narrative follows four main characters who find their souls mates in another lifetime.

Do you believe?

Have you had experiences you can relate?

 

Double Duty at Local Event – Books & Food…


Savor Strathcona

Yesterday I helped out at an event called Savor Strathcona, this incorporates local restaurants and artisans. There are numerous foods from across the globe to try and arts of all sorts, including pottery, painting, books and jewelry. The event also included live music and food demonstrations throughout the afternoon and evening, it was extremely popular, which seems to always be the case when food is offered.

I helped out at two tables – one with my publisher, Dream Write Publishing (where we also incorporated information on my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County) and also with the Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona Council.

We saw friends, family and interested attendees and gave out postcards for our next big event Words in the Park – 1st October. Books were browsed and bought, connections made.

I feel that the more exposure to the public an organization or company gets the better. Many local people did not know about their local publisher, writing foundation or indeed their Arts and Culture Council.

My books are on the front edge of the table – Rumble’s First Scare, Ockleberries to the Rescue and The Rython Kingdom.

Savor Strathcona 2016books at Savor Strathcona 2016

I am often asked why go to so many events, when they are not always a huge success in terms of book sales. My answer is that if I am not there, how will anyone know about me or the books I write? It is more about making connections and exploiting the event to showcase my work. On subsequent events people will approach me saying they met me before, bought a book before or they buy a book because last time they did not have a special occasion to buy it for. Being recognized helps as well as always being friendly and forthcoming and informative.

Do you attend events regularly?

What is your impression of them?

Is there a reason you limit or do not attend events?

Writing Prompt Contest – Jade Figure…


Jade

Write a story or poem based on the image – a superb jade carving. Is it an heirloom, was it stolen, who made it? Go wherever your Muse takes you.

Enjoy this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response.