Thursday, 16 October 2014

The night my Mommy came to visit me in a dream

The night of 14 October 2014 is a special night.  A night forever etched in my soul.  It was the night my Mommy came to me in a dream.

In the dream, the family was gathered at someone’s house and my Mom’s children were there (except my eldest brother, because he’s in Heaven now) and her grandchildren.  She was excited to see everyone.  And she had done something special.  She’d specifically bought and brought gifts for the grandchildren who were born after she’d passed on to Heaven.  She was instructing the fathers of the children where the toys were and that they must give the presents to the little ones.

Then she and I danced.  I just wanted to hold onto her forever.  She was smiling as we twirled around.  And then she said something so awesome to me, she said, 

“When the ink in your pen runs dry, pick up a pencil!”

Wow, this is such a powerful statement.  I feel it applies to everything that I am trying to accomplish in life.  She was telling me, that if something stands in the way of what I am trying to achieve, I need to find another way of reaching my goal.

And if anyone knew my Mommy, they’d know that this is so characteristic of her steely determination with everything that she tackled while she was here on earth.  I remember one evening when I was around 16 years old, we were getting ready for a prayer meeting. She went out into the yard and as walked she gashed her leg on a sharp metal object.  The gash was deep and I knew it needed stitches.  But no way, that wasn’t for her.  She was determined to get to her prayer meeting that night.  So she got some Microspore tape, taped her cut closed and we left for the prayer meeting.  Over time the cut healed so well.  She hardly had a scar.  That was her.  Determined.  When she set her mind on something, it was full steam ahead.

Anyway, back to our dance.  Unfortunately the dance came to an end as she had a stroke in my arms.  And her spirit quietly spoke into mine, as her speech was stolen from her.  She said, “I just want to lay down in my soft bed now.”  And I said, “Yes I know Mommy, I’m trying.”

And the dream was over.

One can say that my current efforts of trying to wind up her estate a year since her passing is working on me and yes it is.  I do feel I need to “lay her in a soft place” – I need this all to be put to rest now.

But this story doesn’t end there.  The next morning I woke up and felt her presence with me so strongly.  I could almost feel her body’s imprint on my left side as when we danced.  I missed her even more, as if that’s possible.  But I got up out of bed and went about the normal morning proceedings before getting my daughter off to school.

As I was going to put my cell phone on charge, I thought I’d quickly check Facebook.  About the second post was a link that a friend had shared that morning.  It read,

“Have you received your visit from Heaven yet?  Every so often your loved ones will open the door from Heaven and visit you in a Dream.  Just to say, “Hello” and to remind you they are still with you, just in a different way…”

Well I think my eyes went the size of saucers and I read that paragraph over and over as I still felt her presence.  I really have no adequate words to say how I felt at that exact point in time.  Just co-incidence?  I think not.

I took my daughter to school and came back home and set about cleaning the sink area in my kitchen and against the right hand sink edge at the back, close to the wall, I found the most unusual white feather.  It’s been said that when you find a feather crossing your path, it’s an angel looking out for you.  Well, there’s just absolutely no way that a feather could land there.  There is no draught of any kind there.  There is no window near my sinks.  I picked up the feather and just knew where it came from.  It was the most perfect little white feather just 5cm in length and the most unusual shape.  We have no white birds around here.  We have pigeons, wagtails, the most beautiful owls, sparrows, but no white birds.  And let me again say, there is just no way the wind could have blown it there.

I’m always cleaning the sink area and if someone was going to catch my attention, that’s the best spot to place a feather.  And to place it right at the back where it is impossible for it to land in normal circumstances? 

And what is the unusual shape?  Well look at the photo.  It’s the shape of an old quill pen that people used before the age of the fountain pen or click pen.  Let me go back to the statement my Mom made, “When the ink in your pen runs dry, pick up a pencil.”

Three things in succession.  References to ink and pens, a feather that looks like a quill pen.  Co-incidence?  Absolutely not.  If ever there was goosebump stuff, this is it. 

I know that my dreams have always spoken to me or for someone else and this time it’s no different.

“I love you Mumsie.  Now and forever.  And I will do what you’ve told me to do.  I’ll live to make you proud.  And I’ll cherish this little white feather.  Until we dance again.  Forever yours.”

Friday, 18 July 2014

A little gift for you

A mid-year coupon special on my book, "Cameras Don't Lie', because .... well, just because I feel like it and I can!  So there, if you feel like a good read at a good price until end July, just check out my coupon at the special ...

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: VA42A
Expires: July 31, 2014

where you'll find Cameras Don't Lie for the special 50% off price.

So share with your friends, and make their day too.

Thought for today...

"No-one can steal your joy.  Yes, someone can make you stark raving mad, but what you choose to do thereafter is your choice.  So make a good choice, no matter how hard.  Because in the end you'll be the winner who walks away choosing to forget what's not important.  Have a wondrous life."

Thursday, 12 June 2014

It's in my hands

I love the digital world that we live in, but holding a hardcopy of my book makes it all feel a little more real.  And it’s proof that I wasn’t sitting staring at a blank screen.  Well most days anyway. ;-)

It is true that they say writing a book is daydreaming one page at a time and between the pages of Cameras Don’t Lie are many daydreams.  The daydreams of Devlin Cole and the residents of Spring Manor are real.  The daydreams of intrigue and conspiracy is real.  The effect of the stranger that arrives in Spring Manor is real.  The murder that takes place is real.  The emotions are real.  I am so pleased that my daydreams became real in Cameras Don’t Lie.

The book was birthed from the questions, “What if Jesus was on earth today, how would people be affected by Him and who would want Him dead?”  What was the controversial subject that rocked the boat and ultimately Devlin Cole’s world?  It might have been better if He’d stayed away from that subject.  But He didn’t.  He insisted on speaking out on a subject so close to His heart.  So close that He was willing to offer up His life to redeem those who had suffered because of it.

Mm, seems I’m a little too attached to my characters.  I suppose that’s understandable.  They’ve lived with me for the past few years and I have no doubt that they will live with me for the rest of my life. 

I’m glad to have met them, to have shared in their lives and their heartaches and dreams.  In fact, I want what Devlin had with Adam.  But then again, I do!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

What would you main character tell you when you interview him/her?

Interview with Devlin Cole from "Cameras Don't Lie"

I wanted to know from Devlin why Adam, such a kind man, who only seemed to have love to give and healings to perform, was causing such a stir in Spring Manor and who was threatening him.  This is the transcription of that meeting. 

“There was no way that He wasn’t going to cause a stir.  I mean, He was talking about a touchy subject and He wasn’t letting up.  He was changing peoples’ hearts and He was making an impact on the residents of Spring Manor.  He spent many hours talking to the people at His favourite spot in the park, that old park bench.  I grew to love it just as much.”

“But I still don’t get it.  What was so wrong with that that He was threatened to stop?”

“From the outset He caused a stir.  Perhaps if I tell you where it all started, you’ll understand a little better.  Shall I?”

“Yes, please do.”

“Well as you know I have my studio in The Vine Shopping Mall and this was where I first saw what He was able to do.  I heard a commotion and terrified screaming, well, more like creepy, eerie screaming.  I dashed off in the direction of the noise to find a young teenage boy thrashing around on the tiles.  He was writhing like a snake among broken pot plant pieces, cutting himself.  He was a mess.  I’ll never forget his eyes.  Black, pitch black eyes.  Almost not even there.  It was strange.  But eyes full of hatred.  I was scared he was going to hurt someone.  The security guards tried to get him under control but they couldn’t.  He threw them around like rag dolls.  And then I saw Him.  Adam.  He brushed past me.  I almost sensed Him before I saw Him.  I found it so odd at the time.  Now I understand why.  Anyway, he took the boy’s hand and cast out the demon from him.  I and the crowd were stunned into silence.  Off course I had my camera with me and I snapped all the scenes.  Of the young boy and his father embracing, his father sobbing with joy.”

“And this is when you interviewed him for the newspaper?”

“Yes.  I interviewed him later on the lawn outside the mall.  And this was where He spoke out on a very controversial subject much to the peoples’ surprise.  Not that what He was talking about was illegal.  In fact it was legal.  But as He continued to speak out about this, He started changing women’s minds and hearts and this is when He became a problem to a certain sector of the community.”

“I’m not sure I follow.  If He was changing hearts and minds it would be a good thing, not so?”

“Oh it was a good change in every way for the women concerned and they thanked Him numerous times.  It was this particular sector that wasn’t happy because it was having an effect on their business.  But I am so excited to tell you how He changed me.”

“Fine let’s do that we can always come back to this point.  You do seem very happy.  Has Adam got anything to do with it?”

“Happy doesn’t begin to describe it.  I carried so much guilt around with me because of a childhood event for which I blamed myself for years.  After performing incredible miracles at the river which I captured for a follow-up story, He pulled me aside to walk with Him along the river, my favourite spot.  I had believed lies so long that they were ingrained in me.  Strange how us women do that hey?  Believing lies before we believe the truth.  Well He wiped all the guilt away that day and that was the beginning of the wonderful change in my life.  And that’s the task that He commissioned me to do.  To spread the truth with my camera.  He warned me it wouldn’t be easy.  And was He ever right.  It was even dangerous at times and I can say my life took drastic turns.  Turns that I would never have had envisaged.  But I worked through those too with Adam’s help.”

“What do mean when you say ‘the truth’?”

“He told me He’d come down from heaven to reconcile man with God and looking back now I realize in a roundabout way He was telling me that He might have to offer the ultimate sacrifice for that reconciliation.  That broke my heart when the time came.  But I knew He’d come to do just that.  But victory sometimes comes after much sorrow.  That’s another lesson in life we learn isn’t it?”

“You’re right there.  But unfortunately our time is running out so let me bring you back to our earlier point of discussion.  What was the controversial topic that caused so much debate and even danger?   The one that seemed to cause a paradox of emotions and reactions in Spring Manor?”

“A very sore point I must say, one that caused Him many tears which he shed openly and unashamedly.  A subject that He spoke about with passion.  A subject that robbed the world of the ones that He loved so much.  And a word that I hate mentioning and will always hate mentioning. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Daydreaming one page at a time

In junior school, teachers used to write on my report card, "She daydreams too much in class."

I took it as a bad thing.  Well I suppose it was a bad thing from the teacher's point of view.  It meant she wasn't able to hold my attention.  That perhaps the world inside my head was more interesting that the world she was presenting to me.

If only that avenue had been explored further.  If only the teachers had spotted a natural ability to focus on.  My love of reading might have been a flashing neon sign.  My rows of gold stars for reading in class on the wall outrunning any of my fellow classmates', should have been another hint at what I loved.  At something that I should have been steered towards.

If only...

But at least I have 'at least'.  At least I never let that love die.  That my daydreaming still carries on until this day.  And that I've harnessed that ability and put it to good use.  My latest novel, Cameras Don't Lie, is an example of how I've let my daydreams run onto my screen and how I've let my characters come to life.  Given them oxygen to breathe and given them a reason to live. Given them obstacles to overcome and skeletons to discard, murders to solve and heartache to overcome.

Daydreams are good.  Daydreams are wonderful.  Daydreams make you unique.

Don't listen to negatives words.  Give them the boot!
Don't believe a lie.  Give it an eraser!
Don't shun your daydreams.  Give them life!

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Fly on the wings of your destiny!

If anyone knows me, they know I have a thing for dragonflies.

I am mesmerized by them as they float on near invisible gossamer wings.  They're so delicate.  So perfect.  But that's not all.  It goes a little further.

One day the beautiful dragonfly in the photo came to pay a visit to our koi pond.  I rushed inside the house to fetch my camera asking it very nicely to stay so that I could take a picture of it.  It listened and I was able to capture this beauty.

As I watched it flit around the reeds of the pond, I stood talking to it and telling it how beautiful it was.  Then I thought of an article where I'd read that a dragonfly only lives for 24 hours.  I stood talking to the Lord telling Him that it was a little sad that something so beautiful was only on the earth for such a short time.  But then I felt Him speak into my spirit and say something very profound.

I felt Him saying to me that as long as the dragonfly had fulfilled it's purpose on earth, it had had a full life.  It had done what the Creator had asked it to do.  What it was born to do.  And then I felt Him speak to me about people and how we needed to do what the Creator wants us to do.  What we are born to do.  In that way, we reach our destiny and live a fulfilled life.

But sometimes we are caught up in what is expected of us.  Our responsibilities. That's understandable, but if that's all we ever do, are we truly living a fulfilled life?  A content life? Knowing that we're doing what the Creator has asked us to do?  Have we tapped into our talents and are we making the most of them?  Or are we doubting our abilities and believing that we don't have what it takes?  Are we listening to others and their negative comments about us?

We need to step back and look at ourselves in a new light.  We need to see ourselves as God sees us.  Made in His image with all creativity at hand. Look around at the sunsets He paints every day. Each one different.  The sea and the changing colors thereof.  The trees, the flowers, the animals, the minute, the large, those invisible to the naked eye.  That's our creative God and we are made in His image.

(Gen:1:27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.)

So today - think about those things to which you're drawn.  And those things that you'd like to do but haven't had a chance to do.  Maybe you are restless because you haven't done what your soul is asking for.

Have you begun fulfilling your destiny?  If not, why not make today the beginning of your destiny.  You are unique, just as each dragonfly. No one has your talents. You're not a copy.  You're an original.

Just like the dragonfly, fly on the wings of your destiny!

Do it today!

Monday, 3 March 2014

One step at a time

Getting to one's goal doesn't happen in one giant leap, although, leap of faith springs to mind.  It comes from taking one step at a time, one day at a time, one thought at a time.

In short, it comes from hard work, all the time.  It means keeping your goal in sight and staying focused and working on it progressively.

One has heard the terms, "long distance" and "sprint".  And that is so true when writing a book. It's a long-distance effort.  It means sifting through the mine of information and finding what works for you because not everything works for everybody.  The world would be one-dimensional in that case.

So it leaves me pulling my "to do" list close and ticking off what I've done and what I still need to do.

One step at a time, and I'll reach my goal!