Perception is Reality

 

kings-cross-station

PERCEPTION IS REALITY

I can vividly remember stumbling out of a darkened cinema near London’s Piccadilly Circus some thirty-plus years ago, the two of us coming to a sudden stop as the bright lights, the city sounds, and the suffocatingly clammy warmth of an English summer evening assaulted our senses. We had spent what felt like a lifetime glued to a movie screen; alone, though surrounded by a hundred other moviegoers, living the tale of Doctor Zhivago. We knew the Doctor like a member of our own family and we were silently screaming our grief as Lara and our friend were finally parted forever.

We were Russians in a state of shock, and exiting those doors onto the streets of London, England felt like we had been suddenly and rudely deposited onto the streets of an unknown planet. Our own world no longer felt real.

Perception is reality.

Some years later, the two of us had an extended argument about a visit we had had from a friend. I was adamant that Tony had come to see us on the day that I had cooked a full roast beef Sunday lunch. Dammit all! I remembered every minute of that lunch in my head – I could see it all, but my other half insisted that was not what happened. He, being his usual self, could not let it drop. Most people would eventually agree to disagree… wouldn’t they? Well, not my other half. He kept talking… and talking; he wouldn’t let it rest until he was certain I’d seen it all from the perspective of HIS memory.

And you know what? He was right. When enough of his words had finally sunk into my brain I realized that I had totally mixed two different days in my memory. He was exultant. And I was… WRONG. I felt that cold shock again of suddenly being dumped onto the streets of London when I was really a Russian in mourning.

Had Mike, who had an almost pathological fear of being proven wrong – or of losing at anything, for that matter – not felt the need to keep worrying away at it, my perception that Tony had come to dinner and I had served him roast beef would have remained a reality in my mind until the day I died. In which case, of course, Mike would probably have been waiting for me at the pearly gates with Tony, who would have said “We had fish and chips!”

This last week I was in serious need of a vacation. But where does one go when they are too financially strapped to go anywhere? For me, the answer has always been simple. I have a strange secret… there is one wall in this house where multiple doors to different dimensions are available when I need them. I know that those dimensions are real because my daughter has opened some of those doors and had her own adventures there – I recognize the signs when she returns: the far-away looks, feet almost imperceptibly not quite touching the floor, and that slight frown of confusion which persists for anything from several minutes to several days.

I went to Hogwarts.

I didn’t want to come back, but there’s only so long that you can hide inside the back door of a portal to another world before your supposed ‘real-life’ memories come back and you have to walk through and close the door. On this trip, I heard something that I don’t remember from previous visits; Albus Dumbledore made a comment to Harry, near the end of the story: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” And then the twinkly-blue eyed Professor winked at me and, in my mind, added softly; “This is the golden key to writing, Wendy, use it wisely!”

And that, dear friends, is my perception, and therefore, my reality. 🙂

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More of the Same

I wonder how many dusty and forgotten worlds there are out there? Thanks for this thought provoking post, Jo Robinson! It gave me a lot to think about, and more, besides!

Back in my teens, I spent some time reading Harlequin romances. After about the fifth one, I was justifiably bored by the repetition. Kind of ruined romances for me and I have never read them since. 😂

I DO love the idea, though, of continuing to build and expand a world you have created! It’s built, it’s right there, and ready for some evolution. Doesn’t even need to be the same time period. Maybe you could jump a couple of hundred years and have a story in which new characters are directly or indirectly influenced by the historical actions of your original characters.

I smell smoke! Ooh! I think my brain’s on fire! LOL.

 

Lit World Interviews

There is no harm in sticking with a good thing. Once you’ve written and published your book, that doesn’t mean that you have to forget the people who live in it forever, and move on to something totally brand new and original. You can write about them again. Maybe just as background for totally new people, just living in the same town maybe. You could write a whole series of books that stand totally alone, with totally different characters but with similar themes. Just not too similar though. Think Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dan Brown, or Lara Croft series kind of similar – similar, but still very different.

One memorable occasion I read and loved a book by a certain author, so I promptly bought another two by him. They weren’t listed as a series, and even though I’m very partial to the familiarity of an author’s voice coming…

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I’m not dead yet…

golden eagle small

I’m not dead yet…

Part One.

Hello to all my great followers, and my apologies for my long absence.

So… off I went to have a fabulous time camping by myself in Colorado Springs from August 3rd through 8th, surrounded by hundreds of previously unmet, kindred spirits at the second annual Tiny House Jamboree, where a great time was had by around 60,000 wonderful people! For those of you reading this who might remember me from that weekend, I am the loony, magenta-haired English lady who volunteered at the merchandise stall on Saturday and Sunday!

The experience honestly made my heart soar. If I had any doubts about the path I have decided to follow in planning for, paying for, and building my own tiny house on wheels within the next year, it was only solidified by the wonderful new friends I made and the amazing speakers and vendors at this event.

But life is very good at throwing you curveballs, just when you believe you’re on track, doesn’t it?

Very early on the Monday morning following the end of the Jamboree, I awoke, relaxed and refreshed in my one-person tent to a clear, bright blue, Colorado Springs morning. I decided to grab the opportunity to pack up and hit the road so that I could be home before rush hour hit.

Well… that didn’t go as planned, did it?

The very last tent stake appeared determined to stay buried, exactly where it was. It obviously had no intention of heading for home. I pulled and pulled and pulled and – well – you can probably imagine what happened next.

You got it! I ended up in a heap on the ground with one thing I’d never had in my life before; a broken hip. I think this was the only thing that’s ever happened to me that I can honestly say hurt more than childbirth.

Yes… REALLY. I think I screamed my head off that day more than ever before in my life.

Many campers had already packed up and left for home the night before, but, luckily, I had chosen to camp fairly close to the Portapotties. I was only lying in the damp grass, drifting between throwing up and unconsciousness, for what seemed like 5 minutes before somebody appeared.

I’m one of those people that detests asking for help, but, you know what? Somehow I had no problem asking for help – although I guess I did it in a very British, stiff-upper-lip way; “Good morning! Would you mind very much coming over to help me when you’re done with the bathroom?” A slightly perplexed “Sure!” was the answer. Poor lady probably thought I was drunk or sunbathing. 😀 She did, however, return a few minutes later and realized the gravity of the situation (Gravity! LOL! Gravity strikes again!).

Before long there was a small crowd surrounding me and one lovely lady called 911 while another packed up the rest of my stuff. How I wish I could give them a shout out and remember their names, but I was way beyond trying to remember anything. These two lovely perfect strangers not only stayed with me until the ambulance came; one of them drove my car to the hospital and both stayed around until about the middle of the day to make sure I was being taken care of! There really are such things as modern day Samaritans. Dear Colleen Chesebro and her husband; who live not far away, came in to see me as well, which cheered me up a lot. I don’t remember much, but I CAN remember Ron saying “It will all be alright.” 😀 (Edit: Lainey has just jogged my ‘memory’ that, actually, Donna LaWall was there on the day I actually broke my hip and Colleen and Ron came the day after. What can I say? Those painkillers are bad news! Thanks, Donna ♥)

Later that day, the surgeon operated on my hip, running a nice, big pin and two nails to put me back together. Did you know they STAPLE you closed these days? Certainly took ME by surprise!

Anyway; today’s installment ends with me still being alive. Stay tuned for part two – part two is when the magic enters the story!

😀

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #102 Birth&Cheer

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Join us once more for Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge! This week’s words are ‘Birth’ and ‘Cheer.’

 

Awaiting that cry.

As the words grow inside me

Miracle of birth

 

Wendy Anne Darling, 2016.

#WQWWC – “Rebirth” – J.K.R., and My Own Story

Join us for Writer’s Quote Wednesday. This week’s challenge word is ‘REBIRTH.’

WAR & CONFLICT BOOKERA:  WORLD WAR II/WAR IN THE WEST/BATTLE OF BRITAIN

Children of an eastern suburb of London, who have been made homeless by the random bombs of the Nazi night raiders, waiting outside the wreckage of what was their home. September 1940. New Times Paris Bureau Collection. (USIA) Exact Date Shot Unknown NARA FILE #: 306-NT-3163V WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 1009

Yesterday, I saw a video posted on Youtube of J.K. Rowling, talking about failure, It is one of the most heart wrenching and inspiring things I’ve ever seen and so jammed packed with fabulous quotes that I could NOT pick just one and chose to add a link to the short segment. It’s only around 2 minutes, and part of a longer address to graduating Harvard Students.

Please take a look at J.K. Rowling on the benefits of failure

To say this video knocked me sideways, is an understatement. It prompted me to write the piece below, and I realized – as I was writing – that we really must DIE to be truly reborn. The old J.K. died, the old was burned away and, left with a pen and paper, she wrote her new life as she wanted it to be.

This is how I see my own rebirth:

MY OWN STORY

 

The house looks like it’s been bombed.

Photos of hope still adorn broken walls,

Betrayed smiles staring back at me.

The bricks and mortar of a life –

Thoughtlessly, callously, strewn –

And trust lies, shattered, on the bedroom floor.

 

If I stay here, I will end here

If I have not already gone

The air is poisoned and there’s nothing to sustain me

But I stare through cracked and dirty windows

Looking for a sign,

And I see nothing.

NOTHING.

 

I remember back

To long ago

When I believed in magic

And I seek my trusty wand

In desperation

Poking out from beneath someone else’s dream,

It calls to me

But it’s broken in two pieces

From the battle.

I hold them in my hands and lift them high

 

WHAT IS MAGIC FOR, IF NOT FOR THIS?

 

I grasp one piece of wand and sketch a portal

On one unbroken stretch of wall

And then I draw a handle

Then a lock

And finally,

I draw myself a key.

 

I TURN THE KEY…

 

There is nothing on the outside of the portal.

Like walking into a whiteout

And so I crawl

And draw myself a path.

A path AWAY

A path TOWARDS

On my knees…

 

I WRITE MY OWN STORY NOW…

 

Wendy Anne Darling, 2016.

The Tale of Dracon and Anarion Jones

DRAGONS

The Tale of Dracon and Anarion Jones

 

Anarion Jones, with her dark hair flying

Walks Welsh mountainsides on tiptoe,

As if she purely skims this Earth

Yet never touches it.

 

Dreaming of flying, her long skirt rustling,

like a flurry of autumn leaves

She bathes in banks of daffodils

Their sun-warmed scent like perfume on her silken skin.

 

Here, she is herself, far from the fury of the fighting,

The joy of life surrounds her like a cloak.

The distant screams of swords and men

Are swallowed whole, an offering to the wind.

 

Nobody comes here; she is alone, she thinks

Yet, today, amongst the breezes, lies a presence.

Something different in her usual world

Something warm, mysterious.

 

“Be not afraid, my little one.”

A lilting voice speaks softly in the listening air

And eyes, the size of dinner plates,

Blink back at her from cover of a bush.

 

Anarion Jones, with her amber eyes flashing

Bounces to the bush without a fear

And witnesses the winds of time composing

A very different song of life and love.

 

The second that the maid beheld the dragon,

She knew her fate was sealed in his embrace

And long they wandered, star-struck on the hillside

‘Til dawn the waning golden moon replaced.

 

When, from the tops of mountains, sunlight glimmered

Returning warriors spied the couple there

Believed the lass to be the ancient evil

That brought the battle that had plagued their lands.

 

As Dracon slept, upon the verdant hillside,

In silence wrapped, the soldiers bound the girl.

They carried her into the waking village

Full heralding the witch who’d brought the darkness there.

 

Anarion Jones, her dark hair laying, shaven

Was naked stripped, and tied fast to the stake,

And, as the flames licked hungry at her paleness,

The maiden screamed a prayer to her love.

 

Down swooped the beast and plucked her from the fire

Her mortal breath was fading as he flew –

He paused and wrapped his huge, red wings around her

And their souls merged, forever to be one.

 

Anarion Jones now tiptoes in the fields of Erath

Her golden voice sings magic to the moons

For she is home, within the heart of Dracon

Who holds her safe, until the end of time.

 

Wendy Anne Darling 2016

The Alchemist

PREMONITION

THE ALCHEMIST

In the apothecary of her mind

She seeks the ingredients to weave her magic

For an incantation that does not reside in any spell-book.

This must be hers, and hers alone.

Upon the dusty shelves she seeks them

Some, well-used, and almost worn away

Yet others, lurking near the back wall,

Still gleaming in their newness

Like precious gems thus far unset

Upon any mystic amulet.

As she finds them, she holds them,

With the tenderness of a would-be mother

In supplication to the goddess

To bring forth a child so rare

That the universe will marvel at the sight.

Then – with tears of pain,

Feeling the flames singe her flesh

She casts her jewels into the crucible.

Laboring through darkness,

Treading the razor edge between euphoria and fear

To bring about an alchemy so rare

That all creation will fall in awe before its magic.

Silently…

Uttering her spell of longing to the skies,

Hope born of desperation catching in her throat,

Stirring with care the words upon the final page…

She whispers “The End,”

And closes the book.

 

Wendy Anne Darling 2015

AN UNUSUAL ENCOUNTER

PIX UNICORN

AN UNUSUAL ENCOUNTER

Some days are different from all other days. Other days, months, years seem to pivot on days like today.

I was hungry, and I went dumpster-diving behind the local grocery store.

And, suddenly, life ceased being normal.

Next to the dumpster, stood a huge unicorn; his horn sparkling in the Colorado sun, as if it was the most natural place in the world for him to be.

He lowered his head, almost as if he was looking down his nose and laughing, silently, at my confusion.

I just stood there, as you do, you know, when you’ve just stumbled upon your first unicorn.

“I, ummm, hello! I’m Wendy. Nice to meet you. Ummm… is your magic in your horn?”

“I don’t know if you’d noticed, but I have no hands. So… I can either slap you with my rather substantial tail, or I can tap you elegantly with the tip of my horn. Simple, really. But I must tell you that, occasionally, I choose simply to smack people with my tail. Sometimes that’s the only thing that seems to have any effect.”

My eyes are big as saucers, and he snickers.

“What did you think? I just prance around being NICE all the time?” He tosses his beautiful head.

I am silent.

“Child, I can sense the magic in you. I can tell if magic runs through your veins, more than death does. Don’t laugh… to me, magic smells like daffodils, but many smell something else.”

I stand, transfixed, unbreathing…

“I know if you have the capacity to turn away from hatred, leaving death behind, and drawing more magic to yourself. If you want it enough, you WILL find it. It is only a matter of time, and there is no end to time while you live.”

I could swear he almost smiled. “What on earth do you mean?”, I asked.

The unicorn throws his head in the air and laughs; as if I’ve said the funniest thing he’s ever heard.

“Earth?” he snorts, “Why do you limit your thinking to Earth? It is a lump of rock with its own timetable; spinning until it doesn’t, until its particles migrate to other realms. You just happen to exist on it, right now.”

He lowers his head and probes me with those sparkling eyes… eyes in which whole universes seem to revolve. And there is silence, for what seems like eternity.

Maybe it was eternity. Who knows?

“Human…” he eventually asks, “do you draw the magic to you, or do you kill it when you see it?”

A sudden sob escapes me and the tears flow. “I crave the magic more than I crave life itself!”

He softly touches my tears with the tip of his horn.

“Silly girl,” he whispers, gently, “they are one and the same.”

 

 

Wendy Anne Darling, 2016.

THE FIRST – AND MOST IMPORTANT – LESSON:

 

Welcome to my new blog. A new approach for a new phase of life.

I do hope you enjoy it and come visit often!
GOLD DRAGON

A Mythical Menagerie.

THE FIRST – AND MOST IMPORTANT – LESSON:

Life, The Universe, And Everything.

 

Dragons are entities with the wisdom of eternity. Many of us may not believe in THEM – but, this simply amuses them. They DO believe in us.

They have to. It’s their fault we’re alive.

They love us for our childlike curiosity – for how we seek magic; and then ignore it when we find it.

Dragons are not gods; even THEY did not foresee everything that would be set in motion when they chose to take corporeal form.  And, even they did not know that they were magic. No… not ‘magical,’ and certainly not really mythical. They are not even the SOURCE of magic. They are MADE of it.

Every atom of a dragon is the spark of LIFE.

We would not exist without their magic.

It took them a very, very long time to realize this, but, when they did, they took it seriously.

*******

You’ve all been wondering about this Higgs boson thingy? Well; here it is, in a nutshell. The Higgs boson particle is magic. Pure and simple. Life is magic and magic is life.

A dragon will not cease to exist (unless it chooses to do so; which is a whole different story. It may take on a new physical form, but the effect of ‘time,’ which was unknown until well after the dragons chose physical forms, is that everything that lives, dies. That is the irony that stirred ‘life’ into existence. The life/magic that permeates the dust as the dragon’s body breaks down is moved all over this universe. Wherever it lands, life grows. Everything that lives has at least one dragon particle in it, and some living things have the power to draw more magic to themselves.

Dragons laugh at the idea that the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is ’42.’

The answer to THAT question is – quite obviously – ‘dragons.’

There! Doesn’t it all make perfect sense now?

You’re very welcome!

 

Wendy Anne Darling ~ ‘A Mythical Menagerie.’

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #97 Magic&Glimmer

What Happened at the Stone Table?

Just when I thought the true meaning of life couldn’t get any simpler, I wrote it in a haiku.

magic glimmer

Join us for

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #97 Magic&Glimmer