HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

St Pat's

May your day be filled with love and laughter

and may all your dreams come true

 may it be what you’re runnin’ after

is the best thing ever for you.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona ~ Happy St. Patrick’s Day ~ RG

17 The Paddy Settriskele.2

Ireland’s Shore

Happy St. Patrick's Day!Before I ever visited Ireland, I wrote a poem about it. This was many years before I sat foot on Ireland’s Shore.  The irony of this poem is that it came to me in a dream, and the ending is very much how I felt when I left Ireland twenty years later. My children drew my back to America, but Ireland calls to me still.

 

Is féidir teacht ar do aisling fíor. – May your dreams come true. – RG

Ireland’s Shore

 

Warm fire upon the ocean

Cool stars up in the sky

Arms reach out to enfold her

Draw her near to Ireland’s shore.

 

Strong oak all but forgotten

Ghosts on the barren, rock strewn land

Call her name, but just a whisper

Draw her near to Ireland’s shore.

 

Soft mist entwines the cliffs

The harp sounds low and sweet

Whispers echoed by pipe and flute

Draw her near to Ireland’s shore.

 

Pulsing tempo of the music

Her heart quickens to the beat

Sings to her a song of yearning

Draw her near to Ireland’s shore.

Bards and poets call to her

Their voices plead incessantly

Stir the longings of her soul

Ever nearer to Ireland’s shore.

 

Firm earth beneath her feet

This moment long awaited

Standing on ancestral ground

Finally reaching Ireland’s shore.

 

She feels the ages light a flame

The passion flows, in her ancestral blood

Tales of ancient days

Hold her fast to Ireland’s shore.

 

Bright the dawn, sad the morn

Tears course and tear her soul

She bids farewell with one last glance

So disappears Ireland’s shore.

© Ireland’s Shore – copywrite – RG Calkins 1978

If You’re Reading This . . .

. . .then the Mayans were wrong. Honestly, there’s probably another stone page to that calendar that hasn’t been unearthed yet.

Okay, be honest. How many of you were going around yesterday with the words to ‘It’s the End of the World As We Know It‘ stuck in your heads? I’ll raise my hand first and only because it was kinda fun to do so.

All this end of the world stuff and recent tragedies got me to thinking . . .

Then, the other day, a friend posted on Facebook that she was consoling her son because he was upset he couldn’t make a snow angel before school. I posted back that there would be more snow after school.

But afterward I had change of heart . . .

What does it hurt to let a child make a snow angel before school?

Yes, he might get a little wet. Yes, there may be a time issue. But, he’ll dry and I’m betting a teacher would understand a few minutes of time for such a beautiful act.

If your children (within reason) want to finger paint naked, slide down the stairs in their sleeping bags, dance on the coffee table, make snow angels before school, or snow men, or snow forts–let them. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow or the next day, etc. Support your children’s dreams (again, within reason), listen to them, let them fall, because they will, and be there to pick them up. If your kids want singing lessons, or art supplies, or dance lessons instead of sporting equipment, let them and vice versa.

Let them shine!

Because, even though the end of the world didn’t happen on 12/21/12, you don’t know when the world as you know it might.

candles burning3

For the people in Newtown, CT, at Columbine, the Aurora theatre, Virginia Tech, and so on, I’m sure it felt like the end of their world.

Keep a special place in your hearts for those who have lost loved ones (that would be about everyone) this Holiday Season. Hug and kiss your kids even if they think it’s mushy.

Have a Merry/Happy Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year!

RG

Matthew 24:36

Short Is Sweet!

Over the past month and a half, I’ve written three short stories, submitted two to a monthly contest, and one to a friends blog for the Halloween season. This little writing side trip has been fun, revealing, rewarding, and a palette cleanser.

In September, I entered and won the Darker Times Fiction contest with my horror short, No Lights. I surprised a few folks who weren’t aware of the darker side lurking beneath my surface. In October, I entered Pay the Piper, a supernatural piece, and was rewarded with second runner up. Both of these stories will be published in the Darker Times Anthology (date to be announced) and will be available in e-book and paperback. This has me pretty giddy as they will be the first pieces I’ve had published since a poem, in another anthology, in 2000.

In the spirit of Halloween, I also rallied to a request from a friend to write flash fiction (although mine is over the word count a bit) to post on her blog for the haunting season. I’m going to keep this one under wraps as I may be able to enter it in the November Darker Times contest.

While I hope that I can add more short stories to my repertoire, the next big goal is to get my novel published. That brings me back to why this venture into the dark side has been cleansing. It has made me eager to dive back into the revisions on my book, shown me some things I need to do to make it better, and helped me realize I have a character that needs some TLC.

Stay tuned!

The Spirit of Wayward (book teaser)

Last Wednesday, I woke up to my alarm slightly confused and pensive about the dream I’d been awakened from. The scenario was not complete. It ended before I understood what it was about. 

I dreamed about Wayward. This is strange because Wayward is my novel, it’s the conceptual plane that Simon gets pulled into and eventually learns to use. It is, in essence, a character on it’s own.
The really interesting thing about this movie of my subconscious is that not only was I in Wayward, but I could hear Simon’s voice (the same one that tells me to get it gear and do revisions). I was in an area of Wayward called The Field. It’s a place where you can imagine anything you can think of, almost without limit. The only thing I can remember him saying to me is ‘look at it, this is your creation.’ I think he told me other things, but I can only recall that.
While I scanned the area, The Field appeared as I envisioned it in my book, but when I turned around what I saw was dense rainforest. At this point I was joined by my Aunt Genevieve. She lives in Washington State a place that I have a particular fondness for. She did not say anything. We stood there in silence and then she put her arm around my shoulders and hugged me to her. That’s when the alarm went off. I didn’t know why she was there. Only that it was peaceful. 
Aunt Gen had recently suffered a stroke, which was complicated by pneumonia. She has been in hospice care for a few weeks now. I learned later in the day that she had slipped into a comatose state. She woke up a couple of days ago and is still weak, but doing better.
I have to wonder, in that rift between life and death, had she visited me? It’s a premise in Wayward, the connection of subconscious minds. It segues nicely into the book teaser that I’ve chosen. I would not have picked this passage had it not been for the dream. So, first a little intro.
Simon has been pulled back into Wayward by his friend Eli Cusack. In this chapter, Simon discovers that he’s already able to use Wayward and finds Eli willing to answer some of his questions. Eli’s wife, Celeste, has been dead for twelve years, but he’s indicated to Simon that she visits him in Wayward. This excerpt introduces us to Eli’s character arc. I hope you enjoy it.
RG
After several minutes Eli gets up, stretches, and comes to stand beside me. The pole magically disappears as he gets closer. He sets the beer bottle down. “Pick it up.”
It disappears when I try to grab it. I take my hand away and it reappears.
Eli smiles, “I can see your projections, you can see mine, but we can only interact with our own. However, if you had a straw you could put it in my bottle, but–”
“If I tried to drink it, I’d be sucking air.”
“Exactly.”
“So, projections are physical to a point–manifestations are not.”
“You’re beginning to get this. You’ll figure out all the rules in no time.”
“You say Celeste comes here. Is she a manifestation?”
“Oh, no, she’s real. The dead can visit Wayward. There are rules around that as well. We can’t touch, but we can talk. She, like a manifestation, is not corporeal. She can’t touch anything on this plane.”
“Are you saying she floats, like a ghost?”
He laughs at this, “You could put it that way. She has energy about her that I can feel. It’s as much as I can hope for.” A hint of sadness appears in his eyes, but he recovers quickly.
“Where is she when she’s not here?”
“Our ancestors called it Tir Na Nog, the Land of Youth. The Vikings called it Valhalla, some say limbo, whatever your culture or religion’s name is for it. To pass through to the final destination, the spirit or their loved ones must be ready to let go.”
“Are you keeping her here Eli?”
His face clouds over. “Partly. And part of it is her. We haven’t been able to say our final goodbye.”
 

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