Archive for September, 2012

       In Immortal Beauty, Celine D’Aumont is obsessed with one thing: revenge. She wants to right a wrong that happened very long ago and one that she took very personally.  I know just how she feels. There have been many times in my life when I have been slighted or wronged and I rise up with self righteous indignation that allows me to think and say things I normally do not think and say. This anger gives me permission  to plan my own way to get even and balance the playing field again, though normally I am a very pacifistic people pleaser, I can become a monster in a matter of moments. If someone were to wrong one of my family and friends, the indignation spins out of control and I have free reign to become a manipulative bully to get back at those who harmed my inner circle. I think we can all relate to these things because they are so basically human. Now Celine is a little more than human and she literally has all the time in the world to seethe and boil over trouble and toil! As she moves through time consumed with thoughts of revenge, her humanity begins to slip away. I know people who have experienced something in their past that has caused them anger or pain and they refuse to let it go and in the end, it defines who they are. I have a friend who is so angry at the church because he didn’t like the way he was treated as a child, it has become his ‘broken record’. He’s the friend that other friends whisper: “Just don’t get him started on the church!” before visiting his home. I have learned personally that I have to somehow process and accept and finally forgive everything that has happened in this mortal dream or I cannot move on. We can become prisoners of our own thoughts. No one can create a more perfect jail cell than your own self. People are driven to do horrible and unspeakable things because someone did not treat them right.  Passions can turn from the brightest light to the darkest force and we find ourselves in a mortal battle with the one we used to love. I feel that if we continue to hold onto these dark and powerful thoughts of revenge, a kind of madness ensues. The person obsessed no longer has the ability to enjoy a sunny day or a simple smile. Everything has become darkened with the poison of the mind. We can do so much damage in one lifetime by not forgiving or releasing or accepting. Imagine the madness that would follow if you were full of hatred and you were going to live forever. Would the hatred grow with the years until one became like Celine, a mad woman who will only rest when everyone around her is dead? Or would each coming century bring another chance of redemption and forgiveness? These are the mortal musings I ponder as I look back at my own life and my own dark obsessions that have finally found the day. Stay beautiful my Lovely Immortals! And on a light note, I have to quote Elvira, Mistress of the Dark: “Revenge is better than Christmas!” I’m certain Celine would agree with her!

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21 Rue Raynouard
The house that haunts me still

  This is an old photograph from World War One of a house that no longer exists except in memory. This house was donated by the Gautier and Hottinguer families during the war when the volunteer American Ambulance drivers needed a new home. We are looking at the back of the house as the front was amazingly deceptive, appearing to be a simple one story chateau. Once inside, an impossible staircase descended four levels to the back as the house was built on a hill sloping down to the Seine. The American Field Service (AFS) was born here and these brave men thankfully took photos and then wrote about this place long after the war was over. This house seemed to have a quality that none who entered its portals could ever forget. The more research I did on this beautiful place, the more intriguing and interesting it became. A mineral spring ran underneath the home in pre-Roman caverns and people came from far and wide to take the cure. Benjamin Franklin as ambassador to France lived next door and took the waters himself and performed his first lightning rod experiments here. Voltaire wrote one of his books in this home, Le Devin de Village. Ernest Hemmingway and Somerset Maugham served as ambulance drivers here as well as Louis Bromfield, an Ohio writer who at one time was more popular than Hemmingway. It was Bromfield who used this ancient chateau as the home of one of his characters. The way he described the house made me think that perhaps it was based on a real place as I knew he lived in Paris as a young man. The house was taking over my imagination. I had to find it. I knew it was real. The house, long forgotten was begging to come back to life. Now here’s the part that is really strange (in a cool way!). At one time this house boasted the largest park in all of Paris. The park was replaced by concrete as we continued to pave over paradise. When I began writing my book, I knew I wanted the house to be the main character and as I started my book a new park began to be constructed at the very site of the original park. Parc du Passy was born at the same time my creation began. It even has its own Facebook page! I did not know that the house had been destroyed and on my first trip back to Paris after the haunting, I ran down Rue Raynouard and cried on the streets when I saw an apartment building with a plaque on the wall dedicated to those brave volunteers. Later I found out that supposedly one can still go beneath the building and access those ancient tunnels leading to the fabled waters. As you see, I am still haunted and obsessed as all writers must be to do the crazy things we do and create the fantastic worlds we create for others to live in. Over time I began to think, what if the waters did something else? What if they had a special quality to them? That is how my first book Immortal Beauty began. What haunts you? What is your obsession? Find out more about the house and see more pics on Immortal Beauty’s Facebook page. The ebook is available on Amazon.com. The sequel is being written now in the trilogy of The Immortals. Stay beautiful! Stay haunted! Immortality begins with you!

IMMORTAL DOUBT.

Dialects, friends, dialects!

Posted: September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Dialects, friends, dialects!.

Follow Your Forrest Gump Feather…

Posted: September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Follow Your Forrest Gump Feather….

A Hero in Hiding

Posted: September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

A Hero in Hiding.

IMMORTAL DOUBT

Posted: September 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

     In my book Immortal Beauty, the main character struggles with the idea that she has lived many other lives before this one. There is a moment in the book where the past and the present collide and she questions who she truly is. If I had been here before, how much of that other personality still exists within me today? I have a terrible fear of anything too tight around my neck. If a necklace or a shirt or a tie is too tight I panic and end up ripping it off my body and tossing the offending article as far away from me as possible. Is this because my neck was chopped off in a former life, or was I a slave wearing a tight collar? I start to question the things that have no answers. I personally do not like the idea of coming back around and around again like recycled plastic. I like the philosophy that arises out of the reincarnation belief. We don’t have to get it right the first time, that would be too much pressure. We can come back and fix things or if we were terrible in one life we could be kind and selfless in the next. This dogma allows a sense of justice that if someone was a monster in this life, he would come back and get his karma kicked! Like all theories and dogma, it explains many of the chaotic and inexplicable events that occur in this crazy mortal life. I was taught that my reward would come in heaven and if I didn’t get it all in this life, I would get it in the afterlife if I was a good boy. I like the idea that there is only one me, wich is probably just my ego yawning and stretching before it unleashes the claws, but I am not sure I like that I am not just me. I am the sum total of all the lives I had lived before. I am just another version of me, trying to make meaning out of the madness. Sasha rejects her pasts and is angry that she just can’t be herself because in this life she has it pretty good. She doesn’t want to be a samurai assasin from long ago, or a pampered member of the upper class right before the French revolution. She doesn’t want the memories of life after life invading her lovely Parisian existence. She just wanted to be the young American girl that made her way in this world by herself. She rejects her pasts which creates conflict within herself and with others around her. It is not until she fully accepts who she is and who she was that I believe she becomes really interesting and absolutely admirable.

The idea for Immortal Beauty came from my own inability to accept my past in this life, if not in my other lifetimes. I had a lot of things happen in my life that I would not accept and until I accepted them and even thanked them, was I able to move on with my life. The book was my own attempt to find peace within myself from acceptance of the most difficult thing in the world to accept: The Self. I am what I am. It’s not just  a song! Until I was willing to accept all that I had been, the good, the bad, and the ugly, I was not able to move on and found myself stuck in behavioral cycles that I was not thrilled with yet unable to change. Once I realized I was a mere mortal and not the super demi-god that my ego would have me believe, I was able to accept my mistakes and my darkness before I could truly move into my own light. I am still on the fence when it comes to reincarnation but I love the idea that we have the time and the space to make our mistakes and learn from them and carry on and start all over again: tabula rasa. We are washed clean. Now my horrid past seems amusing at times when I look back and realize I truly am not the person I was, and that I had a big part in this new creation of the self. I believe we are formed and shaped by our environment and our genes and that these are the first programs downloaded into our psyches before we develop natural firewalls. I used to fight like my parents fought until I learned a different way to argue. Now I spend much of my time deleting programs that no longer serve a healthy function in my life. I believe my life has been a classroom and I am learning something new everyday. This biggest thing I learned on this recent journey to accept my past that the hardest thing and the most important thing was to accept and forgive myself. I am, thankfully and gratefully only human! I don’t know if I have what it takes to be an Immortal! Only time will tell!