Category Archives: writing

“Unleashed” is published!

My novel, Unleashed, was just published and is available in paperback and Kindle versions. Below the cover image is the synopsis, and then the Amazon links here and around the world. The young girl, Rowan, is awakening.

Please tell your friends and share with your networks!
All the best,
Amrita Skye
Synopsis:
After her father’s death, eleven-year-old Rowan Graham wrestles with depression. Carolina, her mother, looks for a way to ease her daughter’s grief and decides to adopt another dog. Rowan chooses a wolfhound-deerhound mix and believes she and the pup, Zephyr, communicate through mind-pictures, a phenomenon that her mom rejects.
While vacationing, the family is embroiled in a multi-car accident; Zephyr is pitched from the van and bolts into the wilds of central Oregon. Medics airlift comatose Rowan to Portland for head trauma care.
Best-selling author Moss Westbury is haunted by devastating nightmares. A veteran of the Afghanistan conflict, he writes to expunge his demons. When his nightmares are fueled by unfamiliar howling on his isolated land, he sets out to find the culprit.
Unleashed is a story of devastation, courage, hope, and love, told through the eyes of Moss, Rowan, Carolyn, and Zephyr—each struggling to resolve challenges and fears.
Australia for Kindle: http://amzn.to/2g0RVdk
The Netherlands for Kindle: http://amzn.to/2fAt8fv

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my memoir has been published!

My book, Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude has been published! Both the paperback and Kindle versions can be found here, at Amazon. Other digital versions can be found at Smashwords.

Usually my posts here have a different flavor, exploring nondual understanding. The memoir chronicles the pressure cooker journey that drove me toward unwrapping this deeper truth. Perhaps, without my son Thom, I would not have. I am very grateful.

Front cover with white text justifiedThe memoir won first prize in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2005 contest under the name Blood Bond. That was a very bad time to market memoirs, I discovered, because of James Frey’s betrayal of the form in A Million Little Pieces when he exaggerated his personal story, and was exposed.

I let my manuscript molder on my computer for seven years, then pulled it out and walked it through two more critique groups.

Bound to Love is the true story of a single mother who encountered and navigated a complicated nightmare for any parent. My child, the only child I could ever bear, was born with a life-threatening congenital heart defect, and suffered a more brutal health diagnosis soon after. Walk with me as I birth the courage and grit to meet Thom’s compounding challenges.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015

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Filed under Awakening, memoir, Truth, writing

love waits – a poem

Love Waits

Love waits
patient, unseen, outside of time.
It cloaks as car accident,
chronic illness, or grief;
starry night, baby’s breath, or
first ripe raspberry in spring.

It is waiting,
waiting for you,
waiting for you to turn around,
to finally turn inside.

This love flows, wholly dependable,
unlike relationship, made of two:
at best, a luscious, rampant garden,
filled with surprise and hidden delight—
still—in all its fullness, a mere reflection,
temporary and time-bound for loss.

Love waits,
waits for you,
waits for you to turn around,
to finally turn inside.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015

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Filed under Awakening, Love, Non-duality, Poetry, writing

hot tub epiphany, on writing

four quadrants of the brainSoaking in the hot tub tonight, I was wondering about writing non-fiction and fiction, and why I haven’t succeeded–yet–in flowing easily from one to the other. I returned to writing a novel a few months ago, and no sooner than fictional words started to flow, this blog slowed to a dribble.

The story I told myself is that writing non-fiction, from direct experience, takes place in a different part of the brain. When one quadrant is active, apparently, the other is not.

Tonight in my head, I heard my mother in her parenting prime many, many decades ago, saying “Hogwash!”

Everything: every object, thought, feeling, sound, and so on, is a modulation of awareness–writing, too. The source of these blogs is identical to the source of my fictional characters. Perhaps, in seeing through and dropping the story, I can move seamlessly from one project to the other.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit: Scientific American

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality, writing

I have a plan

planHow many times have we said, “I have a plan” over our lifetime?

When we approach life with a plan, there is always some part of us to improve, to correct, to change.

I remember that I always had an idea of what events, relationships, or even my hair styles would look like, but they never turned out the way the mind envisioned. I had self-improvement schemes, too. For example, if I were kind enough, other people would be kind in return. Not necessarily so…

I no longer live with a plan. However it is, is how it is. This makes this wild experience we call life much simpler and easier. Much less stress, resistance, and drama.

Not having a plan makes life interesting right now, because I’m taking a year-long real estate course where I’m required to make a business plan. Which, of course, I will–because I’ve committed to completing this course. I will put close attention to what they ask of us, and attend to the details. But do I “believe” in it? Do I really believe I have individual control over my life? No longer–because this is so obviously not “my” life. I’ve spent hundreds of hours noticing, and I cannot find a “doer.” And yet doing happens, and life continues to unfold. Occasionally events even turn out in a pleasing way. Just as often, they do not.

I soaked in the hot tub tonight. Abruptly, the body-mind stood, and stepping out of the tub, wrapped up in a towel. There was no plan–or even the premonition of a thought–of leaving the warmth of the tub at that moment. And yet it occurred. I slipped into bed, looking forward to deep rest before an apparently very busy day tomorrow. Forty-five minutes later, I found myself sliding my feet into slippers, wrapping up in a hoodie, and returning to the computer.

Do I have any sense of when writing will stop, and I’ll return to bed? No idea at all. Perhaps writing will go on all night. Perhaps, a couple of minutes from now, the body will put itself back in bed. Whichever occurs, or something else completely unforeseen–I’m sure to be surprised by whatever shows up. That’s part of the delight of living now–it’s all so surprising.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
image credit

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Filed under Advaita, Dzogchen, Musings, Non-duality, simple pleasures, spirituality, Surrender, thoughts, Truth, writing

oneness and multiplicity

OnenessLogoTonight, I took part in a reading at Sisters Consignment Couture in Sonoma, California. We read short sections of memoir about sisters, or people close enough that we consider them our sisters. David shared how his father turned malevolent when he drank, and thrashed his wife–frightening him and his three sisters. Catherine’s sister died five years ago of lung cancer, and she so clearly depicted walking with her sister towards her death, and the loss she still feels today. Joelle wrote about the night she was taken home abruptly from a slumber party because her sister, Wendy, had died in a car accident. Laura described unreasonable and thoughtless behavior of a Mother Superior when she and her sister were little. I read a short piece where my best friend and I spontaneously created a ceremony at the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford Hospital to honorably dispose of my wedding ring from a previous marriage.

The common thread that expresses oneness amidst the seeming disparity of experience and stories was so obvious–our compassion and love for family and friends, the exquisite rawness of our shared human experience. The mind notices differences, a skill that we require for many activities. We can make use of the able mind and know it is not the largest truth. The deeper heart recognizes with undeniable clarity that life is not-two.

©Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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Filed under Advaita, Dzogchen, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality, stories, Truth, writing

inquiry, take two

smiling shivaYesterday’s post quickly falls apart under close scrutiny, because in the first half I spoke about the personal, separate “I,” and in the second half, I was referring to the inquiry that brings one to understand there is no personal “I” at all–all there is, is freshly unfolding life.

This is how words continually miss the mark they aim for. And yet, I cannot deny my love affair with them. Words keep me up at night, as I lie in bed honing, mentally wordsmithing, searching for the most subtle,  direct, honest expression I can put forward.

Inquiry is Shiva. It destroys what we believed ourselves to be. What’s left has no ownership–but nothing has been lost. As my friend and teacher Elias Amidon says, “We’re ruined.” Then he can’t help but chuckle.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

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Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality, Surrender, thoughts, Truth, writing