Friday, August 11, 2006

IN SUPPORT OF SUPPORT

In Support of Support

The various groups to which we belong can be considered, in today’s vernacular, “support groups.” In our writers’ group—our local chapter of RWA Land of Enchantment Romance Authors—we receive education, information, and encouragement individually and as a group, as well as the opportunity to extend these benefits to others. In this way, group affiliation illustrates the axiom, “What goes around, comes around.”

In her book Truth or Dare, Starhawk (Miriam Simos, Harper San Francisco, 1987) says “What a group does, says, believes, and how it makes decisions determine the way people within a group will interact.” In LERA we have an opportunity to share our individual progress and/or successes at every meeting, we add these successes to our monthly newsletter Lyrics, and we list our published authors—complete with photos and cover illustrations—annually in Lyrics. This creates a sense of accomplishment for the chapter as a whole as we celebrate each others successes. As each member shines in the greater community, the group also benefits.

Though LERA’s writers are not all writing romance, the writers who continue to write, to publish and develop a personal style all learn about writing from chapter meetings and publications, and benefit from the mutual support of the organization, including individual members. A close bond of friendship, even a feeling of “family”, has been created over the years.

Because we espouse the romance genre in particular, we are perhaps familiar with the earlier misunderstandings and prejudices that accompanied the romance genre. As we all know, romance is now the most popular genre in the world accounting for over 60% of the literary market. Dealing with these past stigmas and challenges, however, has made us more understanding of the challenges of other genres. LERA members are active in all sub-genres of romance including short stories and erotica, as well as non-fiction books and articles, mystery, e-books, screenplays, children’s books, and poetry.

Part of a writing career includes the challenge of marketing, so being a member of a strong writing organization such as RWA and a local chapter is an advantage, if not a necessity. Not only do we learn the skills of promotion and marketing to aid in our own writing careers, we give each other the support to meet difficult challenges at every stage of the writing process. We routinely offer speakers presenting topics related to writing and romance monthly, we present annual or biannual conferences, set up critique groups, attend each others books signings, encourage all members to share at meetings, and even attend book fairs as a group whenever possible, doing community outreach and pooling of our marketing resources.

When an author submits a manuscript to a publisher, listing membership in writing organizations carries a good deal of favorable weight. The reason, of course, is that the publisher expects the truism “what goes around, comes around” to come into play. The groups are excellent resources for promotion and marketing. As we support our fellow authors by buying their books, it’s not “selfish” to expect, in turn, this kind of support from our fellow writers. Simply put, if we purchase their books, they will purchase ours.

When we’re supportive of each other during the developmental stages of our writing careers, what better reward than hearing positive feedback from other RWA and LERA members who have purchased, read and enjoyed our books? It would be delicious icing on the cake for them to write a positive review and recommend us to their friends and colleagues. This concept of “turn about is fair play” can be a positive attitude and will work if we all participate in it to the best of our ability.

Romance is usually published in paperback or softcover and now quite often as an electronic download or CD from a web based publisher. The cost is comparable to a glorified cup of coffee and a brownie at Starbucks, or a long-distance phone call to one of our out-of-state relatives. So the “price” of mutual support is not the issue; it’s a matter of support and encouragement to ourselves, our fellow authors, and our writing organization(s.)

We can’t afford to overlook the benefits of belonging to a writers’ group. As part of the value of the education and support we’ve received (and given) we consider it “insurance” to buy our fellow member’s books, confident that they will support us by buying our book(s) when our turn comes to be in the spotlight.

As we gain support through, by and for our writing group such as LERA, the group (as well as the individual member) stands a greater chance of sustainability. As our group supports its primary purpose of encouraging, educating and supporting authors, it will ensure its own continuation. Just as the group values and encourages the diversity of the individuals within it, they, in turn, support the group purpose. In this way the group continues to evolve, grow and improve as it moves into the future, insuring it’s own ability to empower its members, the group itself, and the universal art of the written word.

__________________________________________________________________

My article that appeared in Land of Enchantment Romance Authors local RWA chapter

Lyrics newsletter.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The best "reader" feed-back

I write for love not money. I love my friends. Here's a comment I treasure.
______________________________________

Sandy,
I had no idea you are such a good poet. I love your blog. I laughed and I
cried and I saw your inside. Thank you.
Joanie

More on The Phantom of the Opera

Part IV


An important part of the media, is realizing the power it has over people's minds. Psychologically and even physiologically.

It's a known fact that music with a certain tempo (60 beats per minute) can put a person's mind into a mild state of altered consciousness. It seems to reach the mind at an unconscious or subliminal level, opening up the subconscious (perhaps) for easier absorption of stimuli and information.

If you know this, you can use this type of music to open your creative talents and write more easily from a subconscious level, if you happen to be a composer or an artist for instance.

But I noticed that certain songs from The Phantom of the Opera were subtly programming the minds of some viewers. Whether it was the beat of the music or the over-all emotionality of the movie scene, or a clever arrangement of words, this may explain why so many people were effected by the movie and the music.

Consider the lines in The Phantom of the Opera theme that the Phantom and Christine sing together (number 5 on the official CD.)

The Phantom of the Opera is now inside your/my mind.

So, getting hooked on the movie and the music and even the actor might have been a result of subliminal hypnotism.

They are certainly in my mind!! How about you?

Use the hyperlink on the sidebar to see Gerard Butler's Fan Website.

And use the convenient Amazon icon on my site to find the Phantom of the Opera movies, books, CDs, DVD's etc.

For information about the movie, click on:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0293508/



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Phantom of the Opera III


The actor Gerard Butler as he did NOT appear in the movie. He can squeeze my neck anytime!


Continued: Please read Part I and Part II first. Thanks.
~~
Of course, as in all good melodramas, the phantom runs off with the girl, but she's rescued by her true love.

Only there’s a twist in this particular ending. The phantom, after kidnapping her, gives Christine the choice of letting her “lover” live (there was only implied sexual attraction in this movie, no actual sex. As Jack Sparrow said in Dead Man’s Chest, “There will be no “knowing” here.) If she stays with the Phantom, he will not kill her true love Raoul. (If she leaves with Raoul, the Phantom will kill Raoul anyway and maybe her, too. DUH.) I will have to give the heroine credit for having a great deal of intelligence in reasoning this out. In so many movies the characters make the mistake of following their hearts when they know it will lead to their own destruction. People aren’t really that stupid. (Are they?)

Christine, loving Raoul, wants to save him. At the same time, she’s loved the Phantom for years since she was a young orphan. This love isn’t easily tossed away. Her compassion, too, comes into play. She chooses to stay with the Phantom, not only as “a sacrifice” to save Raoul, but she realizes that the Phantom didn’t really intend to be “evil.” He's behaved abominably because he's in dire need of love and approval.

She sings to him, “Pitiful creature of darkness, what kind of life have you known? God give me courage to show you, you are not alone.” This indicates that Christine’s love is a spiritual love. I believe, against her own better judgment, she had to admit she really did love him even if it is only as one human being loves another with human compassion.

She approaches the fearsome Phantom with his disfigured face just as he becomes exhausted with his own rage and confused desperation. And she kisses him! And he lets her. And he kisses her back.

(The lucky girl has an on-screen kiss with Gerard Butler.)


This kiss is what I didn’t understand in the stage play. In the movie the purpose is obvious. She chooses to show this “evil” man with a “suffering inner child,” compassion and unconditional love.

This is the Phantom’s undoing. You can read it on his face. You can see the battle that’s going on inside of him. The veil is lifted from his dark, twisted understanding…he feels unconditional love coming from Christine—something he has never felt in his entire life not even from himself or from God (whom he’s rejected, not vice versa, I am sure.) And he suddenly realizes that he could have had Christine’s love if he had not been controlling, domineering and murderous. His attitude of jealousy and possessiveness has driven her away! He realizes, too late, he’s ruined his own chances with his own behavior.

Not only that, but his heart is opened at that moment and he feels "real" love—unselfish, true, caring, deep inner love that Christine has shown to him. He can no longer keep her captive at the mercy of his possessive love. He truly loves her unselfishly when he allows her to leave and frees her to go with the man that's best for her, Raoul.

Of course, the Phantom (who never was given name in the movie to make him less than human?) is still caught in habitual self-hatred. With a sudden awareness that he's to blame for all his own misery in life, that it's not his deformity that caused it entirely, and the fact that with his talents and intelligence, he could have overcome his appearance by merely making different choices in life, he smashes the mirrors in horror. (Too bad there weren't 12-step programs back in those days to help set oneself aright, huh? Thank God there is now.)

Can you imagine the towering regret he must have felt when he realized that Christine’s love had been within his reach, and, with his own selfish, hateful ways he prevented himself from having that? It’s heartbreaking. (Reminder to myself: take Kleenexes to the theater on Oct. 28.)

So you see, the millions of women that fell in-love with the Phantom, perhaps were and are the women who have fallen for the “bad boy” in their lives—you know “the suffering child-man" who is his own worst enemy. They're the neediest, most pathetic of men that could be heros if only they would realize it, damn it! We women who have fallen in love with the wrong man, perhaps married him (and reproduced male children with him, for godsake; forgive me, world) and suffered for it, do understand the love for this Phantom character.

We have, like the Phantom, regretted causing our own suffering in life with our own delusions, i.e., thinking that the love of “a good woman” can change a defective man into what he ought to be and what he could be. (Forgetting that what he is and what he chose to be are out of our control and out of his own control, too.)

Most of us realize these things in life too late to fix the past, hopefully not preventing us from going on and having a better future, if we live long enough to become wise. (I know I have and I’m married to a wonderful, regular, ordinary, nice guy, now.)

The ring in the movie symbolizes this revolutionary story resolution perfectly. Raoul gave the ring to Christine as a symbol of their commitment. She's reluctant to wear it on her finger for everyone to see, because she’s afraid to let anyone know, especially the Phantom. Basically no one wants that happiness for her—marriage and family, except Raoul--and she wants to protect her dream. The Phantom wants to own her--body and soul--and the opera house wants to own her career and so keep her single and singing.

The Phantom appears at the masquerade ball where everyone else is attempting to hide behind masks just as he has done his whole life. There he snatches the ring from her. Only he can’t take away the love she has for Raoul—the ring is only a symbol of it. A hollow victory for him.

Later, he gives Christine the very same ring, and insists she wear it as a token of his ownership and love. She puts it on when she acquiesces to his demand she stay with him in the underground lair.

When he releases her, she returns it to him. The Phantom gave it as a show of power over her and as a blow against Raoul’s love for her, but when she gave it back she returns his love. This can be taken two ways—she hands his love back to him (refusing it) or she gives it as a symbol of her continuing love for him.

At the same time, when she gives the ring back, she’s accepting the Phantom's "gift." This is the ultimate gift her can give besides desiring, admiring and loving her--that is: loving her enough to let her go and be happy with Raoul.

At the very end of the movie, the ring turns up on Christine’s grave years and years later. On the same day that the Viscount puts the Phantom's monkey-music-box on her grave (symbolic of his surrender to Christine's love for the Phantom,) the Phantom puts the ring on the grave with his rose. (Red roses symbolize never-ending love.) With this, he shows his surrender to Christine's love for Raoul. Therefore, it's "a gentlemen’s agreement," after the fact, that they both loved her and admitted that she did, indeed, love both of them. (Again Susan Kaye's novel Phantom develops this concept a good deal more.

I have probably put this crudely, but the screenplay was magnificent with symbolism. It has given me much to marvel at over the past year or more.

When a group of individuals band their creative talents and powers into a collaboration and work of art such as this, the work becomes an entity of its own. It has a sum total much, much greater than the individual parts and even the group effort or final product. I believe this story is a genuine modern myth that will become part of our culture for years and years to come.

I would like to see it shown in movie theaters on a regular basis someday, just as The Rocky Horror Picture Show has become a cult movie showing, appearing in theaters for audience participation on Halloween all over the country. The fans of Phantom would LOVE to come to the movies at midnight, dressed as their favorite character and have a chance to sing and celebrate this exceptional phenomenon known as The Phantom of the Opera.

Thank you, all, for reading me. Best Wishes.

The Phantom of the Opera II



The Phantom of the Opera Part II—Warning: Spoiler

Please read the previous post first. Thanks.

Why millions of women fell in love with the Phantom…based on the movie with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Many people disliked the phantom character. Let’s face it, he was a sly, deceitful murderer. He was disfigured and as mean as a hornet with his tail stuck in a screen door. He was also a talented musician and composer. He lived for his music. Until, he fell in-love with Christine. She was half his age, and he came to her as (what she thought of) as The Angel of Music that her father promised to send her from Heaven, when she was a child. (And even if you hated the Phantom, you must admit the performance given by Gerard Butler was superb. Thank you, Gerry!)

Later in the story, the Phantom refers to himself as The Angel in Hell. He was not an angel from Hell—he felt he was in Hell, having suffered all his life for the congenital deformity of his face, which nowadays we could easily correct with modern medical science. In those days, people perhaps believed that God was punishing the mother or the child for something they had “done.” Disfigurements were seen as a negative indication of a defective soul or even being “owned by the devil.” Even today, we believe those who don’t “fit-in” deserve to be teased and/or scorned for things that are obviously not of their own doing. This would echo even racial bias and prejudices that have plagued mankind for most of its existence, hatred of people because of their appearance, i.e., skin color.

The Phantom was an object of fear and hatred just because of his looks. In fiction, stress of physical appearance is indicative of a superficial value system—those who care more for appearances are, if nothing more, missing out on a deeper meaning of life, at least until they get their “Aha!’s.”

The Phantom felt unloved and unwanted, had the passionate soul of a musician, and the innate intelligence and creativity to make him a great composer. In the movie, we are shown a segment of his childhood that attempted to explain a few things, but could easily have been left out of the movie, especially since it does not appear in the original novel by Gaston Leroux. I urge those who see the movie, to ignore this scene if possible, it is not in the screenplay/musical either. A good read about the Phantom's life is Phantom by Susan Kaye.

As I said, Christine thought he was the angel of music, so she took voice lessons from the Phantom, trusting him, though never seeing him, and loving him because she thought her Father sent him (prior to the opening of the movie.) She shares the Phantom’s love of music, which bonds them together. They both have sensitive, artistic souls. (And raging hormones, at least in the movie.)

At the beginning of the movie Christine is a capable singer without an opportunity to show off her talents, actually being in the chorus line as a background dancer, or bit player. The Phantom, because of selfish reasons, plots to have her take center stage as a star. One of the lyricsis Christine singing, “I am the mask you wear,” and the Phantom singing in reply, “It’s ME they hear.” He wants his talents displayed in Christine.

At some point, the Phantom falls madly in-love with his “creation.” Here we have the Pygmalion theme…the artist Pygmalion falls in love with the statue he created in the ancient Greek myth. (This is also the theme of My Fair Lady the musical, too.)

However, as a recluse who hates people as much as they hate him, the phantom suffers from a selfish, possessive, jealous, domineering type of love. In fact, he hasn’t got a clue how to love someone, having never been loved himself. He attempts to control Christine. When the Viscount Raoul, the patron of the opera house, makes his appearance in the story as the good-looking, young, blond tenor, the phantom sings, “He was bound to love you, when he heard you sing,” he realizes that in making Christine’s singing so beautiful, he has basically given her to the Viscount to love. This is just one of the ironies that the Phantom realizes too late for his own salvation.

It is interesting to note that when the Phantom is wearing his mask, he is suave, handsome, elegant, powerful, talented and appears to be have poise and self-esteem. He seems to get a kick out of scaring people, which boosts his own arrogance. (He actually kills a couple of people in cold-blood, unemotionally, in the story, so watch out!) However, when his mask is removed, he reverts back to an almost childish stage of life, a pathetic victim displaying abject misery or overwhelming rage—both extremes of emotion. This would echo the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde symbolism, which has also been done in numerous plays and movies since Robert Lewis Stevenson wrote it. That book was undoubtedly based on a more ancient theme itself.

When the Phantom realizes he's lost Christine to Raoul, he declares “war” on both of them. But his helpless longing and distorted love for Christine will not be eradicated by intention. It basically becomes his downfall. Not because he continues with the "war" but recause his love cannot be escaped…well, let me explain further.

When he forces Christine and the rest of the opera house patrons/staff to put on his opera Don Juan Triumphant, he’s still under the illusion that he's in control of the situation—even though he knows deep inside that he's lost it and/or never really had control over anything. He has the power that he can “create” with fear--and we all know that people (especially in dramas) overcome fear as unfounded and illusory. We all know the tale of the softhearted monster being nothing more than a fake, for example in the Wizard of Oz.

In Don Juan, the Phantom hears Christine singing words of love that he places in her mouth as song lyrics only...so he knows they’re insincere. At this point, Christine has lost all respect for him, knows he's a serious deceiver, murderer, and controlling, over-bearing monster of a person. She's afraid to get close enough to him to allow the authorities to capture him, but does it anyway because she's a pawn in in the opera's and authorities' hands, as well as in the Phantom’s hands. All she wants to do, as many a maiden has desired for eons, is to get out of the spotlight and get married and live happily ever after. This is the theme of nearly every fairy tale ever written.

So, in the middle of this “play within a play” the Phantom’s real desire comes out at the end of his duet with Christine--he sings to her the love song that Raoul sang to her earlier in the story—only his words transmit his true desperation. Instead of singing the words Raoul sang to her about wanting to love her, protect and save her from her solitude…the Phantom sings of his own wild desire for her to love him, be with him, and save him from his solitude. Cleaver reversal by the lyricist!!!

On the verge of being powerfully attracted to him again (which we know is real since the Raoul has tears in his eyes while he watches them,) Christine snatches off the Phantom's mask and reveals his true appearance to the entire opera house. The Phantom was lost in his own fantasy--the delusion that there is a future possible for him and Christine together. He blames her for betraying him, hurt & cut to the quick.

Continued in Phantom of the Opera III. Next blog

Phantom of the Opera Part I


Phantom of the Opera—May Contain Some Spoiler Information

The Phantom of the Opera, original Broadway show, is coming again to Popejoy Hall, UNM, Albuquerque, NM, in October 2006. It played here two or three years ago. From what I understood, the set took two weeks to put up, was carried in seven semi-trailers, and took two weeks to tear down and repack for the next city. It was magnificent, the lake and candles looked real. If I recall correctly there was an actual horse used on stage to carry Christine to the depths of the opera house/phantom’s lair. Unfortunately, I sat in the very back of the theater and the actors appeared to be about an inch tall. I didn’t follow the story well, because when Christine kissed the Phantom, I couldn’t figure out why. He was supposed to be horrible and evil, right?
.
Also, so far back in the theater, I couldn’t see the faces and I had no idea how disfigured the phantom might have looked. Oh, another thing, were the characters such fools that they couldn’t see the slender, shorter phantom take the place of the tall, heavy opera singer in Don Juan Triumphant? But basically, the musical thrilled me—the music, the set, the chandelier that came to life at the beginning and fell to the stage during the disaster scene. Oh, what can I say? It made me laugh and it made me cry especially Christine’s song in the cemetery to her late father—it was all so bittersweet. I LOVED it.

I have tickets for Oct. 28th this year. I am not sitting in the balcony again! I have orchestra seats, even if the orchestra is on tape. I have already ordered a long opera cape with a hood, black with red lining, and am shopping for the perfect dress to wear with it. I am even considering wearing a phantom mask since it is so close to Halloween. And carrying a rose with a black bow and the little rhinestone ring that looks like Christine's ring (that's featured in the movie if not the play.) Heck, if the music is loud enough, and I'm sitting close enough, I'm going to sing along, since I know all the words to the songs by now, thanks to the CD from the movie.

I understood the plot much better after I saw the movie. My brother said he and his wife went to see it at the movie theater in Dec. 2004, and it was great. They loved it. Said the music was great, the actors excellent, and the settings mind-boggling. I was still thrilled with the play and didn’t go see it on the big screen myself, telling him it couldn’t possibly be as good as the stage play!

Ha! Was I wrong! I didn't go see it on the big screen, I rented the DVD. I am now considering buying a big screen television so I can see it lifesized. (Heck, I wish it was on Virtual Reality machine.)

Now, I understand, the whole Phantom of the Opera phenomenon is as amazing as it was unexpected and unexplainable! First of all, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Joel Schumacher wanted a young cast. They wanted to show this as a love story, a triangle with people young enough to show the passion and romance that they had written into and directed into the screenplay.

The movie was a bit ambiguous as far as marketing. A lot of people didn’t like it, some even told me they got up and walked out of the movie theaters!

People wanted it to be more like the stage play/musical, perhaps. Or they expected a horror movie and it wasn’t. Some wanted opera music and thought it had too much rock music tempo. Those that wanted more pop or rock music were turned off by the Broadway tunes and some of the songs, which bordered on the operatic. (Webber himself said he considered it more of a rock opera.) A lot of people didn’t like the Phantom himself. After all, he was a bad guywith serious anger management problems that crossed the line into murderous; and the character was portrayed perhaps as a sympathetic tortured soul, which turned a lot of people off. (Gerard Butler, the movie phantom, said he thought it was tragically sad even thought they kept urging him to play it "sexy.")

The most amazing phenomenon that couldn’t be predicted was the huge, vast masses of women that fell in love with the actor Gerard Butler. If you don't know by now, he’s a Scottish actor, former drunken rock singer, and actor in many B- and violent action movies, who did the whole Phantom (he sang not only his songs but his lines as well) in a broad upper crust British accent, which is not his usual way of speaking being from Paisley. And, if truth be told, he's really not all that good looking or outstanding as an actor. (For instance I saw him in other movies and didn’t even notice him.) However, once we fans got a taste of him in Phantom, we were swept away with his--what ever it is --"IT"--that can't possibly be explained by using the word "attractiveness." (What a mundane word for such a colossal experience.)

But I am one of the women who fell madly in-love with the 36-year old actor. Actually, he was only 34 when the movie was filmed, the co-star playing Christine being only 16 at that time. She was half his age, and therefore the illusion of the Phantom being much older than Christine was maintained. I thought Gerry was older and told one of my friends I finally had a favorite movie star that wasn't young enough to be my son. And she informed me that was sure wrong. (I have two sons older than Gerry Butler.)

There was something in Gerry Butler’s performance that captured heart and soul of viewers. He threw his own heart and soul (as well as his whole magnificient physique) into his singing and performance and it showed. He doesn’t appear entirely comfortable in some scenes, but he radiated a certain who-knows-what that just amazed and overwhelmed the viewers, some more than others!

Many women also fell in love with the Phantom character, seeing him portrayed as a suffering villian/hero who had serious psychological problems that could be forgiven, so to speak, because of his miserable life of being abused and mistreated as a freak simply because of a congenital disfigurement. As a result he was a talented and spectacular person who didn't know it, and had terrible self-esteem and an extremely big chip on his shoulder.

Actually, Andrew Lloyd Webber was a genius with this screenplay, putting layer and layer of meaning and symbolism into the musical and the character(s.) He went well beyond the orignal story by Gaston Leroux, which is good read if you happen to run across a good translation of it. It was written in French.

I rented the DVD of the movie first, then went and bought the CD with original songs from the movie that I play nearly non-stop on my car CD player. (I like to sing when I'm commuting on the long drive from the mountains to town. I guess the other drivers think I'm yelling at them.)

I then bought the movie and watched it a number of times. In fact, the first time I saw the movie, I back-tracked the DVD and played the scene where the Phantom sings Music of the Night to Christine in a very sexy, passionate, beautiful way. (Why are there no words that indicate something much more fabulous than “beautiful.” It was overwhelming.) I watched it over and over about 25 times. I thought at the time that it was the absolute best "love scene" ever put on film. At the end of all that, needless to say, I was a hopeless pile of melted putty in the Phantom’s hands.

In a later post I will explain the depth of the character of the Phantom and why he touched so many hearts, and how that occurred. Not to mention explaining why it made Gerard Butler, while still not well-known, a very much loved and exciting international actor.

End

Thursday, July 06, 2006

An old poem

I found a poem I typed on an old portable typewriter. Good grief, you can't even get ribbons for them anymore. Thank God for computers. However, it must have been back in the early nineties when we first moved here and someone gave me an old typewriter because we didn't have electricity (or running water, or a house, in fact) when we first moved here. I didn't miss television as much as I thought I would. What I missed the most in our pioneering days when were first started building the house, was ICE CUBES.

Well, here i'tiz.

MODERN LIFE

We look for wisdom
Every night
On channel 7
We watch the news
But it's nothing new
We search for answers
With our remote controls
And we're all together
Alone
Forever
And still looking
We can't see the people for the crowds
Too bad
We spell life:
T.V.

Well, not really. But I was more of a cynic when I first started my writing career, less of a romantic like I am now.

By the way, I write spicy romances under my pen name. If you are interested, send me a comment and I'll clue you in. I have a short e-book coming out July 9.

Love, Sandy

Monday, July 03, 2006

More Fibonaccis

More Fibonaccis July 1, 2006 Sandy Schairer: Poet


One
More
Week-end
Over now.
Face the week and see
What will it bring besides boredom?
Being busy beyond human endurance, no doubt.


And
How
Many
Poems have
You written today?

Senior Power

Senior Power

Am I a magician?
Well…

I am very good at
disappearing things
I set them down and
Voila’
Gone

This results in me spending
Too much time
Hunting

I can look at things
And not see them too

Is the magic in me
Or them?


Home in Space

Home in Space

Beautiful blue and white ball
Earth
Rolling through the black crystal myst of space
Billions of dots of suns with
Invisible planets and moons.

Are you there?
Anyone?
Do you wonder about me?
As I wonder about you?
Up in your night sky
An invisible dot of dust.

Do you think, do you feel,
Do you laugh?
Feel you love and hurt?
Do you worship the same Gods?
Goddesses?

Are we really alone,
Or all one?
We shall never meet.
We shall never speak.
But we shall know
Because we answer
Yes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My Favorite Actor

My Favorite Actor
Guess Who?


He’s thirty-six but looks much older
Thirty-six, but behaves much younger
Inspires in women -- of all ages
A mysterious sexual hunger

He’s Scots but Irish by descent
Smokes packs of fags a day
And when he was a drinker
Could really put it away

Once a law school student
Who wasn’t very sober
He sang in a rock band Speed
‘Til his schooling was abruptly over

His hair is dark and curly
Especially when it’s long
But when he cuts it all off
Doesn’t look all that wrong

He’s prematurely graying
But he’s still quite a hunk
And all the sources say
He doesn’t live much like a monk

His dancin’ drives the ladies wild
His voice works like a charm
And if he likes to shag a lot
Well, no one sees the harm

He’s an actor in exciting roles
He auditions for movies galore
But his millions of adorin’ fans
Want to see him star in more

He was Creedy in Reign of Fire
And Marek in Creighton’s Timeline
Of course he was the Phantom
And played Dracula one time

He’s rarely on television
His movies mostly foreign
His fans are anxious to see Beowulf
The long wait is getting boring

A magnificent master of dialects
This handsome muscle-wrapped man
Can do any accent he chooses
To the delight of his worldwide fans

Could use a good razor for a change
Or at least a closer shave
But nonetheless his style is fuzzy
Like he ascended from a cave

Fans hope for lots more movies
He can sing for us ‘til he’s hoarse
And bravely do his own stunts
Only until he’s famous of course

We fans yearn to hug and kiss him
We love his he-man might
And when we crawl into our beds
We dream of him all night


By Sandy Schairer, 6/28/06 ©

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dealing With It

Dealing With It
by Sandy Schairer


Truth
Quite a concept
Rushes at me
Without reserve.
Not ready yet,
For it, I raise my hands to cover my eyes.
.
Save me from life
By living.
From death
By living, too.
.
I move forward in time
As if it were a choice.
Moving toward
Old and tired or
Wise and strong?
That is my true choice, in truth.
.




June 20, 2006

Frogs and Goals

Frogs and Goals

Think
Of goal-setting
And
Just going with the flow

This way

If you were a frog
On the shore of the pond
And wanted to get to the other side

This would be your goal
Set this goal

DO IT

Now are you going to walk around the water on land?
Jump from rock to rock and hope there’s enough
And you won’t be stranded on an island in the stark middle of nowhere?

Or are you going to plunge in and swim
And hope the currents are right?
(A lot of frogs do that. We never from them again.)

No.
What you do is
You hop onto the Lilly pads
That just happen to be there
Go jump from one to the next
And jump again

Until you reach
Your goal

That’s life
That’s how it’d done.

Ribbet


                         Sandy Schairer
                         June 2006

Vanished

                              Vanished ?


     Joyous day
     
          Come again

               Youth we did not appreciate

                         Gone away


     Love

          Independent of form

               It takes what means it can

                    And blazes through it

                              Thank God




by Sandy Schairer
6/20/09

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

EA Poe Poet



E.A. Poe: Poet
by Sandy Schairer
6/14/06

I used to love the poet
Edgar Allen Poe
The way he had his sounds
All lined up in a row
His clanging and banging
Of bells galore
And a raven who sat
On the top of his door
And when the clock chimed
Would say “Nevermore”
~
I thought his hard life
Made his talents more sharp
But his teenaged dead bride
Made his view sort of dark
A lot of his problem was
Drugging and drink
It drained his life’s blood
And beauty, I think
~
And now what’s a poet?
A silly old woman
Who sits with a pen
And tries to stay human
Are poems ever read?
It’s all mystery adventure
Like Da Vinci Code
And works of joint venture
So I'll bid Poe farewell
Go soak in the bath
And scatter some poems
On my own writing path.

End
Comments and your original POEMS
welcome -- click on "comments" below
Keep it clean

Poetry: Insomnia Pays Off


Poem by Sandy Schairer 6/14/2006

Insomnia Pays Off

There once was a woman
Who just could not sleep
She drank cups of warm milk
And tried counting sheep
.
She tossed and she turned
Then put on the light
And went out of her room
And into the night
.
She descended the stairs
And wandered the house
Walking in darkness
A scared little mouse
.
Next day at the libr’ry
She checked out some books
With a stack of sixteen
She drew quite some looks
.
She read Mark Twain’s essays
And all about hist’ry
Romance and then SciFi
Of course tons of myst’ry
.
When her eyes grew so heavy
She gave a big yawn
And looked out the window
It was already dawn
.
She gave up on her reading
Books way overdue
So she turned them all in
Wondered next what to do
.
Getting some pens
And of course reams of paper
She began to write stories
Stayed up even later
.
When her M.S. was done
She switched off the light
And crawled into bed
Fell asleep, hoped she might
.
Her book soon was published
Sold copies galore
Up way past midnight
She wrote several more
.
Her lover soon left her
(Felt cold in the bed)
And found a young blond
To sleep with instead
.
But our best-selling author
Was rich past her dreams
Hardly did miss him
While riding moonbeams
.
Her book signings successful
With lines ‘round the block
But always were scheduled
Way past 9 o’clock
.
Only night-owls came to her
To get autographs
Her life was just wonderful
And full of great laughs!
.
The End
.
~Sandy Schairer 6-14-06
.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mythological Voice

Exercise at Writer to Writer talk about Writing in Your Mythological Voice. 6/12/06, Albuquerque. (By the way, the traffic is horrendous that time of day!)
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There once was a woman who collected notebooks. Some of these notebooks had dates and some had lines, some had elaborate covers in beautiful blue or delightful orange. Sometimes they had designs on them, or the name of the company that printed them. They were all different except for one fact—they all had empty spaces, places to add things. Places to write or draw or scribble.
.
So you see, this woman who collected notebooks had a deep hidden passion to be a writer, an artist, and a scribbler.
.
She had a notebook just for poems. She had a notebook for stories. She had one for journaling her journeys through spirit, and through the world, and for work. She also had notebooks for memories and pet stories, and complaints and movie reviews. She even had a notebook for ideas and one was actually for notes!
.
But even stranger, was the fact, that she never ever read her notebooks. Once they were full, they went on the shelf and became dust-catchers.
.
Her husband built her shelves for them and refrained from complaining or from dusting them. and then one day, he asked her what should he do with them in the event of her untimely demise.
.
This was shock to her. She assumed someone someday would want to read them. Even him. Even her. A friend suggested she tell him, “Give them to my biographer, of course!” while sipping wine with a rose behind her ear.
.
She thought about it for days, weeks, years. Then of course the idea came to her and she opened a new spiral notebook with college-ruled lines and a red cover and entitled it, “What to do with my stuff when I’m gone.”

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Prayer Gets Results

Prayer Gets Results

One thing I have always been proud of (in a non-conceited way) is that I have friends with different beliefs and ideologies than I have, and we get along well. Some are fundamentalists in religion, some non-believers, and conservatives in politics and even Bush supporters and military folks, even tho I am anti-war [on general principles of finding a non-violent way to solve differences] and I'm inot different forms spirituality, so to speak.

The thing I find is that we are all Americans and support each others right to freedom of belief in whatever form it takes. The old saying holds sway, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it!!!!"

And lets face it, we are all praying to the same Divine Being no matter what we call God in our heart of hearts.

A relative of mine, who lives at a distance from me, and I both have children and grandchildren all around the same ages, and we write now and again and let each other know how our families are doing. But mostly, we write to request specific prayer. We pray for each other and our various kids when we feel one or more of them are standing in the need of prayer and God's love and protection. (I must admit, I have never seen more rapid and/or thorough answers this particular branch of the family gets from their prayers!!! It's no wonder I request prayer from them as well as my minister, local friends, and church, when I need some spiritual support.)

She just wrote me today with this miraculous story....

"As you know our son is in Iraq and I wanted to share this with you and give glory to God at the same time! Yesterday, his humvee was hit by an IED. He and his guys were called out to investigate a dirt mound by the road. He had his driver pull up on the opposite side of the dirt mound (the side away from the road). When they pulled up, the IED exploded. It blew their humvee over. The truck behind them thought they were all dead. They were in a cloud of dust and smoke. But they all walked away from it, with headaches and ringing ears from the noise and pressure, but NO serious injuries. All the shrapnel blew into the road. After EOD cleared it, they went back and they found shrapnel and exactly half of the 125mm round was still intact. Only the side facing away from them blew up. He told his men that if they looked close at the round, they could see God's hand print. They all stopped and thanked God... even the atheist of the group! Keep praying for our son and his guys. Our prayers are working!!!

And more good news along this line, I requested prayer from her for my oldest son who has been very sick in California for about six months. Just last week, he finally found substantial help that he needed. He was in the hospital, assigned a social worker to help find him medical financial aid and he is now in a men's shelter for further rehabilitation and possibly long-term assistance until or if and when he can get back on his feet. I asked for prayer for him, and I just knew it would get results, even though it has taken six months. In addition, my son asked me to mail him a little cross to wear around his neck again to remind him of God's love.

Keep praying and expect miracles. Don't just believe, know that God cares.
Keep an attitude of gratitude.

Blessed be, Sandy

Monday, May 29, 2006

Mel Gibson vs. Dan Brown

Now Mel Gibson, the foremost authority on matters of Christian belief (yeah right,) has criticized Da Vinci Code for disparaging his beliefs. He has a lot of room to talk. What did his movie, The Passion of Christ, do if not tell a version of Christianity that is different from the beliefs of other Christian denominations, let alone all the Non-Christian religions.
.
Something else is going on here. This big debate about Da Vinci Code is a smoke screen.
.
First of all, lets get clear on the basics of this issue. It's RIDICULOUS to criticize fiction stories for not being true to a religious belief system. There are billions of books and stories that make-up all sorts of unreal, imaginary "facts," not only creating imaginary worlds and imaginary people, but imaginary belief systems, governments, and all the details thereof. Just because they LEAVE OUT or DO NOT INCLUDE a particular church and its beliefs, does not mean they are ANTI- or PRO-anything in the "real" world. That's like comparing lemons and plums.
.
The something else that is going on here, is the disintegration of basic rights that the American Constitution declared to be the basis of our form of government--democracy--and the freedoms that the developers of the constitution wanted to preserve for a nation of individual people. Even if they meant only free, rich, white men--we have these rights and freedoms written down and can and shold apply them to every citizen in the country and extend these rights to other citizens of other countries as a vaule and ideal we believe in.
.
I won"t even dip into the trashing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights by the current administration. That's way off the fear-factor and rage-inducing chart as a topic for me right now.
.
The 1st Amendment of the Constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
.
Oh, my mistake. I see that it does not insist individual citizens and other groups beside the government are prevented from prohibiting freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and establishment of religion.

The government can't make any laws like that, but every person with a voice can speak up. And after they do, it's okay to prevent everyone one else from doing the same. Oh, of course. Freedom for YOU but not for ME.
.
Mel Gibson can make a movie about a controversial belief and sell it to the world, but no one else can make a movie about religion. Obviously, they have to check with Mel first to see if it fits in with his ideas. (I'll have to email him when I write my next hot romance story and see Mel thinks my characters are religious enough, and if he approves. HA, that'll be the day.)

Anyway, keeping this argument going--comparing apples to oranges--i.e., "Is Da Vinci Code blasphemous?" just keeps the citizens distracted while the real battle is overlooked.
.
The real battle is, do people still have the right to WRITE what they want? Newspapers and books, including FICTION without fear of reprisals?
.
Do people have the right to BELIEVE what they want about God and religion??? Or DISBELIEVE what they want about God and religion???!??!! Or are we on the verge, here, of having only ONE version of an idea stuffed down our throats and every OTHER IDEA prohibited? It doesn't matter what that one idea is, if NO ONE is allowed to think for themselves.
.
Do people have the freedom to read, watch, and/or write without fear of reprisals and recrimination? (I am not advocating breaking real laws here, okay?)
.
And what about fear? Do we have to be subjected to stronger and stronger propaganda and manipulated into feeling fear from everything under the sun, that is, until we turn to the government to save us from terror--a terror they created in our minds and hearts for just such a purpose?
.
Eroding our freedoms starts little --bit by bit-- so watch out for those agreeable, patriotic Americans that are willing to be strip-searched and forbidden prevented from carrying fingernail clippers and cigarette lighters when they fly on planes, just so they can be "secure" from terrorists. And God-fobid another set of terroritsts try to hijack a plane? What will the honest citizens use to stop them forcefully? Plastic cups and spoons?)
.
Do they not see that the people requiring these types of searches are implying that YOU yourself are a suspect? Assume that you are willing to give up a little freedom (and then a little more, and a little more) until the "saviors" like the government are not only in charge of your feelings, thoughts, shoes, and luggage but every little thing that everyone does or tries to do in this country? (Read the last part of the 1st amendment--freedom to redress the government for grievances. So we'd better speak up now, before that goes away.)
.
Are we going to continue to allow the chipping away at the freedoms that our founding statesmen wrote into our form of government? Are we gonna keep putting up and shutting up?
Are we going to keep looking the other way while this continues to happen? Are we going to get lost in the smoke screens and not even notice this is happening?
.
Why?
.
Of course, we're now going to get into the debilitating debate over the fact that this is really happening or not. But by the time we know it IS, it'll be too late. And it won't be any fun saying "I told you so" mainly because the freedom of speech and press to say such things will be GONE as well as our rights to protest unjust practices.
.
Let's be clear here. I do not mean forcefully, I do not mean illegally. I mean resistance using every legal and constitutional means available to us.
.
Are we going to wake up someday and see that the only book and movie available to buy, read, watch and/or write is how great the current family-in-power is and how wonderful the big oil, big medical, big pharmaceutical corporations, big-whatevers are in the way they are "helping" the common man? (For an enormous profit, of couse.)
.
I liked that bumper sticker I saw one time:
.
If you aren't mad as hell, you aren't paying attention.
.
I am not going to criticize writers and film makers for producing controversial, off-beat, strange, and bad art. They have the right to do that. Sometimes bad art is good.
.
Personally, I am going to go out and buy another copy of Da Vinci Code and go to see the movie again, and buy the video when it comes out because I want to vote with my spending dollar for freedom of expression and freedom of entertainment.
.
And hell will be frozen solid before I ever watch a Mel Gibson movie again, even if it has Tom Hanks in it, and even if it's the only thing on the television on every channel. He can make as many movies he wants on any subject, but I exercise my freedom to not have to watch them if I don't want to.
.
In fact, I defend his right to make whatever stories he wants into movies.
.
But I will NOT defend his right to take that right away from everyone other writer/director/producer/person.
.
In writing this, I feel I'm exercising my constitutional freedom as guaranteed by the constitution. You don't have to agree with me to give me that right. You have all these rights, too.
.
Use 'em or lose 'em.
.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Da Vinci Code

Thanks to all my friends who praised me for this post.
.
There is another point too that people are overlooking. The Da Vinci painting of the Last Supper was not a snapshot. Da Vinic wasn't really there. His rendition of the last supper was his own imaginary painting in his free expression of his art.
.
_______________________.

My original post below. See my most recent one for further updates. Thanks.
_____________________________________________________
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My friend Cheri took a poetry class and told me about a poem sequence called a Fibonacci...it's called "A fib" and based on the Fibonacci number sequence seen in nature and miminicked in art and architecture, music, etc.

It is done in the sequence of 0-1-1-2-3-5-8-13, etc. (Supposed to be syllables per line not words, which is more difficult. See PS below.)

So here is my Fibonacci for today


-
I
went
to see
Da Vinci Code
So now I'm a heretic
And I guess Christianity is in big trouble.
.
.
I don't get the uproar over a movie/book/story that's supposed to be fiction!!!!
.
(It's not like they are jumping on people and sucking the blood out of their necks...oops, Wes Craven did that. His Dracula 2000 (Yay, Gerry Butler) was supposed to be (warning -- spoiler) Judas Iscariot who couldn't die because of his sin of betraying Christ a few millennia ago. He appeared in America in 2000 and thought sex, drugs and Rock & Roll were "Brilliant." Did the churches boycott that movie? Heck no. And by the way, Jeri Ryan makes a hot vampire!)
.
There have been a lot of movies and books that make churches, police, FBI, medical institutions, schools, fraternities, the government, motherhood, you-name-it look bad. So, if it not based on anything real, what is the BIG DEAL???!?!?!?!?
.
Since when does a "lie" threaten anything of real worth? (That is, if you label creative fiction as lying--duh, I'm a writer, does that make me a liar when I write?)
.
And if by some remote chance a fictitious story were actually found to be true, are you telling me that the truth can hurt your belief system!!???!?!? Yeah, right. "The truth hurts." Why would Christians think the truth could hurt Christianity? And why do they care if people believe lies or anything else different than they preach, for that matter? Do we all have to believe exactly the same thing? (If you say "yes" then explain to me the thousands of Christian sects in the world that don't even agree with each other.)
.
Can anybody see the illogic in this Da Vinci Code protest, besides me?
.
People and groups of people and institutions like churches can believe what they want...and everyone else can believe what they want, too, AND they can go to any form of entertainment they want--regardless if it is "true" or "false" (is miniature golf a lie if we use smaller clubs and shorter putting greens?)
.
People are just looking for things to feel threatened about.
.
I think it is high time that churches and governments and other loud-mouthed people stop telling everyone one else what to think, believe, and write about.
.
This is still America, right?
.
Freedom of speech ring a bell with anyone?
.
And don't get me started on Harry Potter. If he is a magician and that makes him evil, what the heck are Siegfried and Roy? Aren't they magicians?
.
Good night for now. Love and Smirks, Sandy

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Writing

Hi!!! I've had some new friends and acquaintances interested in my writing, so I thought I would make it easier to find. You can now run ME on the internet and find me!! WhooHoo!! Me, Sandy S--chair--er.
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Anyway, in addition to my anthology of flash fiction ABC 123 which is still available for $10 plus $2 for mailing, see the cover and ordering info in a previous blog.

I still have an anthology still on Fear of Writing e-book site...link to Fear of Writing is on the side bar under my profile and picture.
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My e-book is called Once Upon a Blue Moon, click here ---->
http://www.fearofwriting.com/bookstore.htm#BlueMoon
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Also on www.fearofwriting.com I have a story in the free anthology of the Santa Fe Fear of writing group called The Devil's Darning Needle (an old name for a dragonfly.)

My story is entitled A Thousand Years Ago, the last story in the e-book. Get a free download and see how great e-books are!!! Click here-----> http://www.fearofwriting.com/bookstore.htm#DevilsDarningNeedle
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And, I am breaking into the romance field and have an e-book coming out in Aug. on Silk's Vault under my pen name. It's a spicy romance which isn't everyone's cup of tea, in fact, you have to be over 18 to access the site. But it's entitled Forever Marian.
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For your reading pleasure, I thought I would add one of my flash fiction stories here for you to read. Enjoy!!!!
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Read an Excerpt from ABC 123: Five Rainy Weeks by Sandy Schairer

“My lord,” I muttered. I’d never seen Reverend Kirby cry before. Except at a funeral. And that was his own mother’s funeral. “Reverend, are you okay?”
.
Rev. Kirby, the new minister in Webster, Iowa, swing around, swiping his eyes with a Kleenex. “Oh, Miriam,” he groaned.
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I’m church secretary. Been here longer than Rev. Kirby’d been alive. I raised my brows in a "Yes?” gesture.
.
“I feel so terrible. It’s this rain. It just goes on. And on. And on. It’s my fault. I feel so guilty for praying for rain last Spring.” His voice cracked with a suppressed sob. “What’s it been? A month. Two months!? If I were Noah, I would have been instructed to build an ark by now.”
.
It’d been raining day after dreary day for weeks. People all over town’d been falling victim to SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder--the depression caused by clouds and wet and dark. I could barely stave it off myself.
.
The Reverend was barely keeping up with the prayer list and visiting the sick and crazy, until today, when he cracked.
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I put his rain hat on his head, his raincoat around his shoulders. It was still wet from when he’d come to the office this dark, dank Wednesday morning. I lead him to my car under my umbrella and drove him home.
.
I knocked on the door out of deference to his wife, Mrs. Reverend Kirby, Reba. Rebecca really. She answered the bell with what I can’t help but describe as a delighted yelp.
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“Hi! Walter! And Mrs. Bellamy! Come in, come in. What are you doing here?” she demanded with relish.
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“I live here, Reba,” Rev. Kirby said flatly as if it were a stupid question. He sounded on the verge of tears again.
.
“Oh, what’s the matter?” Mrs. Kirby fairly sang. She was grinning, laughing, dancing around (or was it staggering?) Trying not to spill the martini she held in her right hand or drop the cigarette in her left.
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I blinked, kept silent, and backed out the door. I’d let the Kirby’s handle this. I went back to my car in the rain, drove back to the church on deserted streets. Nary a car on the streets but mine. Roads were flooded, nearly impassable. So were yards and fields. Soggy cattle watched me drive-by as if it were all my fault.
.
Once in the church office I turned on every light, lamp, and overhead florescent I could find. Even the broken lamps that were stuck in the closet without shades, the ones that still had bulbs.
.
The phone rang again and again. I made a list of prayer requests for the Reverend. During a short lull in the calls, I placed a call to my psychic advisor. As I suspected, she predicted more rain in the near future. I thanked her (though God knows why) and hung up.
.
I then placed a call to the weatherman at Channel 13. I begged him to report a clearing in the next few days or at least a let-up. He reminded me he didn’t make the weather, he merely reported it. With a long sigh, he hung up before I could explain how even an incorrect weather report would cheer people if only for a few days. Heck.
.
I saw then I had no choice, I had to call Beulah my psychic advisor again. I promised her the moon if she’d only cast a spell to stop this damnable rain. The town was out of control. Schools were closed. Sheep were up to their necks in water. For all I knew their wool was shrunken beyond hope. The cows were more than knee deep in water. Even Rev. Kirby was crying. Please could she do something? Please? Change the clouds into spun sugar, or the rain drops to frogs, for gosh sakes? I’d take out a bank loan to pay her, just name her price. I’d even rob the bank to pay her, I’d be that grateful.
.
She said, “Forget it,” and promised to do something. I could hear a strange grin in her voice. That night there was a thunderstorm complete with lightening. And three tornados. The next day the governor called for complete evacuation.
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Oh well, mysterious ways and all.
~~
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Meet the Author: Sandy Schairer started writing at age five when she had to ask her Grandma how to spell all the words. She’s a member of SouthWest Writers, The Land of Enchantment Romance Authors, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment. Sandy won the SWW Parris Award in 2004. She received her Ph.D. in Metaphysics in April of 2005 from American Institute of Holistic Theology. She lives in the east mountains near Albuquerque with her husband of 17-years, Ed-the-Woodworker—Custom Cabinets and Fine Furnishings.
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Love and Hugs, Sandy : )







Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fine Furnishings by Ed Schairer

Fine Furnishings and Custom Cabinets, Tijeras, NM
About Ed Schairer
Ed Schairer started in the woodworking business 35 years ago doing craft shows around the southwest offering smaller items such as handheld and wall mirrors. His woodworking talents developed gradually as he began to move into custom designed fine furniture and cabinets. His company, Fine Furnishings and Custom Cabinets, is known all over the state of New Mexico as well as major commercial clients in NM and other states. He works out of a shop in the mountains east of Albuquerque.
Ed is skilled in every phase of furniture manufacture from designing, handcrafting, and machine building-everything from complete home interiors to commercial display fixtures and lighted cases. He uses a variety of woods, veneers, finishes, and hardware for a one-of-a-kind professional look. Ed consults with potential clients in person and guarantees satisfaction of the finished product. His specialty is built-ins that blend with your d├ęcor and lifestyle at affordable prices.
Picture is of Ed at the recent Albuquerque the Magazine openhouse with the conference table he designed and built for the magazine.
~
He is my honey for over 18-years of happy married life!!!
~
Love and Hugs, Sandy
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Ed's son works with him in the woodworking business.
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See www.schairercustomwood.com for more information and pictures

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Evil People, What happens to them spiritually?

It's interesting that Sylvia Browne in her book Tenets of Novus Spiritus talks about dark entities just existing and then being reabsorbed back into Spirit at the "end" (of their "lives" or the end of the world as we know it, either one.)

It's as if "their job" is to represent evil and negativity on this planet Earth (which Sylvia and others believe is a gigantic school of lessons for spiritual evolution.)

If what is purely of the Earth (or matter realm) is illusion as some philosophies have stated, then the dark entities Sylvia talks about are merely shadows, similar to the shadows described by Carl Jung. They are part of the illusion.

A shadow by definition is merely a place where light is temporarily blocked. The light is still there and the shadow goes away when the light shines on it differently. Not real.

SO--I have decided that people who are purely evil and come here to create evil, negativity, suffering and destruction (while they are playing the role they chose or were assigned to somehow) are not "real." They are illusion. They are shadows. They cease to exist when they go back to Spirit and are basically obliterated or cease to be anything when they rejoin with Pure Spirit (and they lose their individuality or individual souls/spirits.)

Maybe. Sounds good to me.

Basically, these evil entities & shadow people are representations of evil...which in God's World or on spirit level perception...do not exist. These negatives represent something that isn't real, something that doesn't really exist.

That makes sense to me.

They are perhaps acting out the role of catalyst to bring mankind to a kinder, more loving, and stronger (as in-- tougher) place as we all go through our lifetimes & journeys toward enlightement.

This is just a theory that eases my mind when I wonder, What were these evil people thinking, coming here to hurt us?" Are we to forgive them? Does God forgive them? No, I don't believe they are "rewarded" or "punished" such as--in going to Heaven or Hell, they just cease to BE. No longer individual souls. Nothing.

I like that. I would rather think of Hitler and other purely evil shadows as going completely away into oblivion rather than reincarnating again and again living beside and among us and trying time and time again to "get it" (whatever it is--salvation, enlightenment, forgiveness.) (If perhaps there is a true soul that was misguided into using evil means for something, well, I am all for them working out their salvation and enlightenment here. That's not what I am referring to.)

Anyway, I hope Einstein has figured out by now if the Universe is friendly. Someday we'll know for sure.

Blessings, Sandy

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

Da Vinci Code

I recently received a newsletter with a link to a story about the new Da Vinci Code movie. It was about a Catholic priest, bishop or something, that was urging all Catholics to boycott the movie when it comes out.

Of course being an argumentative person…I love to debate…I don’t personally attack anyone, I emailed him with two words: It’s fiction.

He wrote back--Yes, he knew it was fiction but "unfortunately some people don’t know the difference between fact and fiction."

I thought, if he could TELL people to boycott it, he could just as easily tell them: It’s fiction.
___________________________
There are some questions about the controversy of Da Vinci Code.

One—If it’s fiction how does it threaten people? How does it threaten the truth?

Two—Does the truth need defending?

Three—Does a church really want uneducated people with closed minds (who don’t know the difference between fact and fiction) as members?

Four—If it IS proven (which it never will be) that Jesus was married, does that make Him any less the Son of God? Would the Catholics fire him as Savior? Would the Baptists? If Jesus decided to get married back in the old days, don’t you think He would have gotten God’s approval first? If He did get God’s approval, did God make a mistake?

Five—If Jesus went someplace else besides Heaven, such as France, after he was resurrected, would that really hurt Christianity?
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I like fiction, I like books, and I like movies. I also am a spiritual and sometimes religious person. I don’t think anything in the realm of fiction or even non-fiction that I read can remove the truth and my beliefs about the truth from mind. Nor can it interfer with my relationship with God and the guidance I receive from God about the Truth and every other matter.

I believe it's only in opening our minds to a variety of ideas and expanding our consciousness and awareness as wide as we can, that we reach our own understanding of Divinity and God and our relationship to God. And another thing, using our minds is FUN.

Dan Brown is a good writer. His stories have the backdrop of “religion” to make them interesting and specific. If he wrote a story about CIA or FBI, would those organizations urge everyone to boycott the books/movies to avoid picking up false beliefs about them? I don’t think so. (Take a look at X-Files. DUH.)

Just because something deals with religion doesn’t give anyone the right to dictate what others can do with their own brains. If you are a strong Catholic and believe in the church as an institution, you could watch dozens of movies that are not Catholic in flavor, and they won’t harm your spirituality or prevent you from going to church or even getting into Heaven.
Enjoy reading fiction.
Do NOT fear the written word. Opening your mind will not harm you. On the other hand, keeping your mind closed tight and remaining uneducated just might harm you.

Certainly, you can decide the difference between fact and fiction for yourself, right?

Think about it!!!
As the modern "proverb" says: "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."-Anon.
PS - If this is your copyrighted picture, let me know, and I'll give you credit or remove it. Thanks. I have no intention of stealing it. I just love to see Jesus smiling and full of joy.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

ABC 123 Review

"I completed reading your short fiction pieces and had a great time reading them. What I read was a good collection of greatly varied voices." from James in San Francisco.
Now on Sale
Write me at SandySchairer@southwestwriters.com Cost $12.00 (includes tax and shipping)
Thanks, Sandy

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

How to Quit Smoking FOR GOOD

Quit Smoking with the Spiritual Treatment
If you are among the fortunate few who have never smoked tobacco, smoking still concerns you. Statistics about second-hand smoke (inhaling a smokers residue smoke from surrounding environment) are as alarming as the dire warnings about smoking itself. Many buildings and establishments have banned smoking for this very reason. Many people will not allow smoking in their houses. Unpleasant smoke smell gets into the fabrics and materials of the house and lingers.

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In the days when my children were little, I asked my own mother to go outside to smoke when she was visiting my home. She understood and complied. She was one of the people who took up smoking as an adult, was able to quit smoking later in life with no difficulty. Others are not so fortunate; many begin smoking in childhood–used to be in the teen years, now statistics state it’s even earlier–and have a great deal of difficulty stopping. Some find it impossible to quit no matter how much they would like to.
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Besides being hard on the body, smoking is also hard on the wallet. The cost of cigarettes has jumped, as has the cost of “remedies” to help people stop smoking. Other costs include medical bills for health problems such as bronchitis, allergies, asthma and more serious ailments such as emphysema, lung cancer, and heart disease. Other costs may include unexpected accidents a person has when smoking while they do other tasks that demand more focused attention. An example would be driving at freeway speeds while lighting up, driving with one hand, or even dropping a cigarette; and something such as falling asleep in a chair with a lighted cigarette and starting a fire.
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The American Council of Science and Health has declared that cigarette smoking is now the leading cause of preventable death in the United States–attributing a half a million deaths a year to smoking or one in every five deaths
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Statistics on smokers obtained from Quit Smoking Hub (www.quitsmokinghub.com) indicate that in the United States alone, 26 million men and about 23 million women smoke cigarettes. When broken down into ethnic groups, a little over a fourth of all men in each ethnic group smoke (24 to 25%) while slightly fewer women in ethnic groups smoke (21% to 24%) with Asian women and Hispanic women smoking less (7% and 12% respectively.) American Indian and Alaskan Natives smoking nearly twice as much (both men and women at 41%.)
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Statistics also reveal that once a person begins smoking the chances of ever quitting completely are not good and indicate a high rate of relapse; in fact, a third of the half-million American smokers in this country attempt to quit each year. Only an estimated 10% of those are successful.
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While there is still uncertainty if smoking is an addiction, a habit or a compulsion, the major way of quitting has been to depend on an individual’s motivation and willpower. Those who tried quitting smoking and experienced debilitating withdrawal symptoms are more inclined to believe it is a physical addiction. Others find that the emotional pull is impossible to deal with. Compulsive smokers are often resigned to continue smoking for life.
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The products, remedies and techniques to aid smokers who wish to quit are not strictly scientifically developed and tested. Few studies and statistics are known on the effectiveness of these tools and aids since, in the majority of cases, the success of their use relies on the individual and his strength of will in applying the chosen method.
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Statistics and warnings of health risks may or may not have any bearing on whether a person starts smoking, tries to quit smoking, or actually quits. There are people who enjoy smoking and see nothing dangerous or “wrong” with it. There are occasional smokers who may have a cigar, for instance, on special occasions. There are those who smoke mindlessly in reaction to mental and emotional pressures. There are smokers who couldn’t care less about statistics and health issues, and smokers who feel terribly pressured by the statistics. Some feel pressured by other people or their own inner consciousness about smoking. Nonetheless, they remain smokers.
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I, like many others, experimented with smoking as a youngster before the statistics of health issues were know and publicized. I can still recall my first puff. My friend Sherri and I swiped a cigarette from one of my Mom’s packs and snuck down to the basement to light it up. We each took a few puffs and began to feel nauseated and dizzy. Sherri decided to go home and go to bed. I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed the next day to attend school. However, this didn’t stop me from trying cigarettes again later in my teen years. I smoked because the other kids smoked, I wanted to fit in, “look cool” and feel “grown-up” (in those days most kids observed at least one parent who smoked and sometimes grandparents who were smokers.) In those days the cost of a pack of cigarettes was only 35cents and cigarette machines were everywhere accessible. Most teens that experimented with smoking didn’t smoke openly, we snuck cigarettes in private, sharing the cost of a pack, and even sharing an individual cigarette. It was the days, too, before designated smoking areas outside the high schools. One could be expelled for smoking at school.
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I didn’t continue smoking in high school. I came home from school one afternoon and found a newspaper article on the table about teenage smoking which my Mom had circled in red. Not a word was ever mentioned aloud, but it was powerful feedback that I took to heart. Fortunately, I became active in a youth group at our community church and surrounded myself with non-smoking friends.
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However, I started smoking again in college and into my twenties when I became a wife and mother. I was a compulsive smoker so my husband left me a pile of ten loose cigarettes in the morning which I would chain-smoke before I got busy with housework. I saved one cigarette to smoke just before he arrived home from work. I’d greet him at the door enthusiastically while I’d reach for the pack of cigarettes he always carried in his front shirt pocket.
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I quit several times over the years, but I always picked up the smoking habit again. Maybe not as a compulsive smoker, I became more open about it, especially around other smoking adults.
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During my mid-twenties, I began to attend Bible Study groups in my neighborhood. These were people who found organized religion lacking for various reasons. Our self-ordained minister, Bob Devilbus, lead a Bible study and prayer group in our neighborhood on a weekly basis. During one group meeting, I attended a prayer group in which Rev. Bob helped a young woman named Nancy quit smoking.
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As was Rev. Bob’s custom when he prayed for someone, he and Nancy stood in the middle of a circle of seated friends. Nancy had requested the prayer to help her quit smoking because she had been unable to do so on her own.
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Bob took Nancy through a series of imaginative steps to bring her to a place where she could put down cigarettes and not have to pick them up again. He asked her to close her eyes and reach back in her memory to the moment she picked up her very first cigarette. He then asked her to describe what had been going on in her life and her feelings at the time she lit that first cigarette. Nancy remembered she had just been dumped by a boyfriend and felt that “the rug had been pulled out from under her”, in other words, she felt betrayed and heartbroken.
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Bob then encouraged Nancy to actually feel these emotions in present day, the feelings she had avoided by turning to smoking. Through sobbing and tears, Nancy expressed and then came to the end of her feelings of abandonment, disappointment, and disillusionment.
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Bob then had Nancy imagine that Jesus was standing with her, holding her hand, healing the hurt. When the prayer session was over Nancy was over the old, hidden hurt, and no longer desired a cigarette. She was able to stop smoking without any difficulty or withdrawal symptoms.
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Years later when I started smoking again and came to the point when I was ready to stop I wanted to stop again, I remembered this process I’d witnessed Rev. Bob leading Nancy through.
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I decided to try prayer therapy for myself by working this technique alone. I sat quietly alone in my home, searched my memory for the time I had picked up smoking again. I determined it had to do with some feelings of sadness that I felt I couldn’t cope with. * I smoked instead of crying. I was pacifying my sadness by not allowing myself to experience these feelings. When I was ready, I allowed myself to cry and feel the deep sadness and talked my way through the feelings in prayer. The emotions began to disperse and I was left with a refreshed feeling of hope and power. I expressed my gratitude in prayer. I stopped smoking in that moment and did not experience any withdrawal symptoms or cravings. I was free from smoking for good. It has been over 30 years now, and I have not turned to cigarettes again.
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I would like to share with you the steps you can use with the prayer approach to quitting smoking just as Bob had done with Nancy, and I had done through my own prayer work.
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• Sit quietly and pray silently or offer an affirmation for the success of your endeavor.
• Reach back in your memory (I found that a meditative state is almost like self-hypnotism.) If you are unable to recall the first incident of smoking, ask in prayer it be revealed to you. If nothing comes, wait until you have an indication to attempt this process again, perhaps at a time when you feel spiritually inspired and especially grateful and full of love. Love is a great healer. I also found that journaling about my life often leads me to revelations about myself that I hadn’t consciously been aware of previously, so you may have luck refreshing your memory with journaling.
• When you have recalled the first time you picked up the cigarette, you will recognize the feelings that caused you to pacify or energize yourself with a cigarette, so go into that memory with all your senses and open your heart and mind to the emotions of that memory. Then, asking in prayer for guidance, help or protection, go right ahead and feel those feelings. They may crying, or anger, or fear, but remind yourself that these feelings are in the past, that you have moved on, and nothing in this session can really hurt you. As you continue, describe the feelings and thoughts behind them to yourself. You may address them to your Higher Power, voice them to yourself aloud, or write on a sheet of paper they pass through you. At some point, you will reach a blank in which nothing more will come.
• Instead of reaching for a cigarette to quiet the emotion that you’ve uncovered, imagine that your spiritual guide–your guardian angel or the Christ, Holy Spirit, or Divine Mother as you prefer--is with you, holding your hand and know that you are not facing the challenge of quitting alone.
• Pray in your own style: short or long, personal or general. I find that thanking God is a way to release something, in this way I can accept my highest good from any situation even seemingly “bad” ones. You may have some favorite Bible quotations that apply, “...in all things give thanks” or “all things work together for good.” Accept your healing by believing that what you have asked in prayer is done, feeling the thanks and gratitude that it is the truth for you now.
• Release is the final step of prayer. Release sets you free from the temptation to pick up the “fight” again. If the process is not complete and you find yourself in a struggle with craving, smoking or withdrawal, feel free to repeat this process until it feels complete. You may find there was more than one reason you turned to smoking, so a series of releases for each set of emotions may be beneficial.

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*My critiquer said I should tell why I was so sad and started smoking again. I will here, I had just found out my ex-husband had been fooling around on me. I was crushed. However, it was a long time ago, and the poor man died a few years ago--at 57!!! He started smoking when he was 7 years old. Sad but true. I'm happily married to a never-smoker now for 18 years. YAY. And I haven't had a smoke since the time I used this method. Over 30 years ago. Whoa. So it works! Sandy