Death and Dying

Now Available on Amazon.com for Kindle and in Paperback

I’m delighted to announce the launch of my latest book: “The Weight of Air: A Short Story,” and the accompanying giveaway of 50 copies of the Kindle Edition! Enter the Giveaway!

An early version of this story had been collecting dust in my desk drawer (my computer, really) for nearly two years. I liked the original story called “Murdering Time,” but couldn’t generate a lot of interest in it from literary journals. I realized it lacked something—I just wasn’t sure what.

Then, a few months ago, I received a number of emails from a Canadian publication, Broken Pencil Magazine, urging me to submit a story to their Indie Writers Deathmatch (yes, it really was a bloodbath). So I decided to pull out a creepy old sci-fi story I’d written a few years back but never published, and I revised it for the contest. Lo and behold the story, “Fogger,” was accepted as one of the 16 finalists in the Deathmatch, and went on to make it to the semi-finals. I was happy to receive a prize package from the magazine, but was even more excited to learn that they had decided to publish my story.

The experience inspired me to pull out more of my old stories that I’d previously given up on and refurbish them. I’m very happy I did. This new story, “The Weight of Air,” is twice as long as the original, and I finally figured out where the story was supposed to go. It’s amazing what a difference some time, distance, and a couple of additional years of writing experience make!

Once it was completed, I submitted “The Weight of Air” to a few literary journals. When I received a rejection, I was actually thrilled. I know it sounds strange, but the editor wrote to me that “there is much to admire in this story, but unfortunately it is not a good fit for [our journal].” She went on to say that it would probably do well with a journal looking to publish more commercial fiction. She also enclosed the comments of the reader reviewer at the journal, which were extremely complimentary. Among other things, the reader said it had a “Compelling plot that both anticipates and upends readers’ predictions/expectations,” and that it was a “delight to read.” That made me feel great!

Since delighting readers is really my major goal, I decided to publish the story myself! I hope you will check out The Weight of Air on Amazon. And, my advice is to all you writers out there: Don’t ever give up on your work, maybe that story or novel just needs a little tweaking. It’s worth taking a second look and a second leap!

Please enter the Weight of Air Launch Giveaway!

My Christmas Tree!

My Christmas Tree!

I know it seems odd to be writing about death during the holiday season when joy and good cheer are the order of the day, but I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately for a couple of reasons. First, I began writing a new novel in the fall with a wisecracking, smartass narrator who just happens to be—you guessed it—dead! After a night of hard partying, my protagonist died from an accidental overdose, and while heaven is everything it’s always been touted to be, it’s really not his cup of tea, so he’s trying to earn his way to another life on earth.

“If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character…Would you slow down? Or speed up?” ~ Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

The second reason death has been on my mind is that a longtime friend of mine just passed away only weeks after being diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer. Her death has deeply shaken me not only because it came so quickly and unexpectedly, but also because she was so full of life and had so much to live for. She is survived by a loving family—including two daughters who are left asking why?

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I was forced to confront my ideas regarding death back when I was in my twenties. My husband of seven years died tragically in a freak accident only months after our daughter was born. Within days of his death, my boss and mentor suffered a major heart attack and also passed away—leaving me widowed and unemployed within the span of a week. I had an infant to care for, a large mortgage to pay, and an IRS audit to get through, but my greatest concern was Where are my husband and my mentor? Are they safe and happy?

I read everything I could get my hands on about death and dying, near death experiences, and people who have stumbled upon life between lives while undergoing past life regression. I gained a lot of comfort from the fact that the accounts are remarkably similar and remarkably positive. Collectively, it seemed to be an affirmation that the spirit does go on. There isn’t room to go into it all here, but the most poignant and inspirational account I’ve read is in Anita Moorjani’s amazing book Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer to Near Death to True Healing. I recommend this book to everyone, even if you’re not searching for answers about life after death. It’s a stunning account of Ms. Moorjani’s experience on “the other side,” and it also serves as a guide to living an authentic life. The bottom line is this: we’re all spiritual beings whose essence is pure love, and the only thing we’re here to do is be our true selves. If we can accomplish that we’ve lived a worthwhile life.

“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” ~ Mitch Albom

My friend Nancy was a remarkably authentic individual—smart and sassy, but always concerned about making others feel loved and accepted. She will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by the many who loved her.

Hope I haven’t been too much of a Debbie Downer today. I’ll close with my favorite funny quote about death:

“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” ~ Woody Allen

Happy Holidays, everyone! Watch for the upcoming kindle sale of the Transcender Trilogy Complete Box Set during Christmas week. Details will be announced here and elsewhere.

Complete Box Set

Complete Box Set

About


I’m the author of the Transcender Trilogy, TRANSCENDER: First-Timer, STREAMING STARS, and the upcoming ILLLUMINOSITY, which blends science-fiction, fantasy, and romance in an exciting cross-dimensional adventure.

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