I spend hours imagining what might happen next in my novel. I live in two simultaneous worlds. There’s the outer: husband, son, friends, teaching, writing groups, spiritual community, and the inner: the life of my characters, their challenges, setbacks, and growth. Both are equally alive and real to me. The novel characters remain active in my mind as I walk, shop, and visit in my daily life.
I do not look to writing for my happiness–that kind of unshakable contentment is never found in something that comes and goes. Nonetheless, writing is a passion. It’s what I must do, and one way I give back.
Is my interest in these characters a waste of precious time? Does it undermine resting in and as awareness? What is creativity, anyway? These are the puzzle pieces I’m moving around today.
© Amrita Skye Blaine
photo from http://www.freepik.club
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,
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.
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.
The 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
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.
waits for you,
waits for you to turn around,
to finally turn inside.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
Tonight, 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
Amanda of smilesalot1969 has nominated Heart of the Matter for the One Lovely Blog award. Thank you, Amanda!
I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself, and nominate other blogs. I’m out of town helping a friend move, so I won’t be able to nominate blogs now–but here are seven pieces of info about this body/mind:
1. the truth of what we are interests me more than anything else in life.
2. I live with my wonderful husband, a smooth collie named Emma, and a Scottish deerhound named Maggie. They keep us laughing.
3. The smell of Thai food cooking simply makes my mouth water! It’s my favorite cuisine.
4. I like finding animal shapes in cloud formations.
5. Writing brings me joy.
6. I’ve made friends in the blogosphere (how IS this spelled?) that are precious to me.
7. I think I enjoy reading on my Kindle as much as an actual printed book.