What If an Entire State Were Quarantined?

People are being quarantined in Texas, healthy people who simply hosted someone who was ill with Ebola. What if the disease spreads? What if more cases are found? What if a whole town or maybe a whole state were quarantined to prevent a pandemic?

This is the premiASHFbordersmse of my novel A Spark of Heavenly Fire. The disease in the story is not Ebola, the avian flu, or any known disease, but a lab-created disease that had its origins in biological warfare experimentation. This fictional disease was created to be unstoppable, to wipe out entire populations. And it fell into the wrong hands.

Because the disease began in Colorado and that is where most of the victims lived — and died — the entire state is quarantined and martial law is put into effect. The seemingly inhuman measures that take place in the story to keep the non-sick under control are all probable since they are based on executive orders Clinton signed into law. The wonderful thing about writing such a book is that I didn’t have to imagine any of the horrors. Our own president did the work for me.

We are coming up on the supposed anniversary date of the publication of A Spark of Heavenly Fire. (I say supposed because although it wasn’t published until March 25, 2009, Amazon lists the publication date as November 23, 2008.) I hope you will check out this still relevant novel, thinking as you do so of the small quarantine in Texas (small in numbers, and perhaps even small in consequence, but huge to the people whose freedom is being denied). It happened to them. It could happen to you.

To celebrate this faux anniversary, A Spark of Heavenly Fire will be available at 50% off from Smashwords, where you can download the novel in the ebook format of your choice. To get your discount, go here: A Spark of Heavenly Fire and use coupon code ST33W when purchasing the book. Offer expires on November 23, 2014. (After you read the book, posting a review on Smashwords would be nice, but not obligatory.)


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Excerpt From “The Boon: Thoughts of a Schizophrenic in Remission” by Eugene Uttley

51BSsVlm8LLHi, Pat. Very Kind of you to offer to post excerpts! I have just self-published a book entitled The Boon: Thoughts of a Schizophrenic in Remission… not scary! The experience of late onset schizophrenia and a year-long psychotic break was scary, yes, but I have emerged stable and the wiser for it. The book is available on Amazon. Here’s a link –> http://www.amazon.com/dp/1481233947/ref=rdr_ext_book or check out http://showandtell.tripod.com for other options. What excerpt to show here… hmm… okay here goes:

Looking again at Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, his many steps in the hero’s journey, I come to the step called The Ultimate Boon. It is the penultimate step in the quest, the achievement of the goal, the winning of the prize. It is not the end; there are five or six steps after it, including The Crossing of the Return Threshhold and The Freedom to Live, which is overcoming the fear of death. But what Campbell says about The Ultimate Boon is very interesting. It’s about God (or gods and goddesses) being the custodian of the prize. He says what the hero finds himself seeking is not God, but God’s grace, a “sustaining substance”:

“This miraculous energy-substance and this alone is the Imperishable; the names and forms of the deities who everywhere embody, dispense, and represent it come and go. This is the miraculous energy of the thunderbolts of Zeus, Yahweh, and the Supreme Buddha, the fertility of the rain of Viracocha, the virtue announced by the bell rung in the Mass at the consecration, and the light of the ultimate illumination of the saint and sage. Its guardians dare release it only to the duly proven.”

I have the sense of having proven myself. Not to any mystical guardians or even to God, but to myself. I lasted the course of my year-long psychotic break and, like Job, I did not blame or curse God or my fate. I countenanced the loss of my station, my ability to work – and of practically all my possessions – with fairly good humor and temperament, if I do say so myself. And after I had endured the mental and spiritual maelstrom long enough, say nine months, I dedicated all my energies to making myself well. I had whipped myself into decently good shape by the time I finally sought professional help. All the medical people I’ve come into contact with and told my story to congratulate me on the work I’ve done to overcome my symptoms, and I take those congratulations to heart. Taming the lions of dysfunctional thinking, mastering and shepherding oneself, is not an easy task. Now I’ve just about got myself jumping through hoops.
By the grace of God, I know what I want. You guessed it: to be whole. To be mentally and spiritually whole and to cultivate an ever-keener awareness of connectedness to the greater whole. I’m not saying I’ve accomplished these goals. In fact. I’m pretty sure they’re not the kind of goals one ever quite achieves. But knowing them as goals, and being in the process of working towards them is sweet relief from the restlessness of heart I had as a youth. It’s a hollow feeling, not knowing what you want. To know is to have that hollowness filled, that vacant space occupied by a worthy ideal. Wisdom warns against desire, but there is power in wanting, power that can fuel the will and keep lit that precious torch, hope.

knowing is hard to trust
for facts take faith
and faith I find
in short supply
but ficts I got
in spades

Now and again am I
of a mind to write
yet what have I to describe
who have known but a moment
of no moment and none
other than this?

In these two poems from the old chapbook, I see the aimlessness I felt at that time. Obviously it irked me enough to spur me to write about it. No facts, just ficts. Those ficts became trouble. Being delusional was like living fiction. Now, with faith, facts are easier to come by. Faith is a foundation, a solid base on which to build. In Thisclaimer there is a humility I like, but also that aimlessness. “What have I to describe?” Why, the workings of my mind! The goofy profundity of selected great works and the glorious trivia of the day-to-day here in the vale of Soul-making. I wish I had written more about my life in Korea while I was there. Which tells me I should write more about now, as I live it.

–end of excerpt–

A little explanation.. “The old chapbook” is a collection of poetry, prose, and dialogue which was written in the years leading up to my onset of schizophrenia. A good deal of this material made it into The Boon as I explored my mindset before becoming ill. The “vale of Soul-making” is a reference to a letter written by John Keats, which is discussed more thoroughly elsewhere in The Boon.

So yeah, Pat, thanks for inviting us to participate in your blog and thanks for supporting indie books!

Eugene Uttley

Interview with Yvonne Perry, Author of “Shifting into Purer Consciousness”

I am participating in the virtual book tour for Yvonne Perry’s latest book, Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience. You may learn more about Yvonne and her book at http://shiftingintopurerconsciousness.com.

Today, I am sharing an interview that I conducted with Yvonne.

Pat Bertram: What is your book about?

Yvonne Perry: It’s about the ascension process or great shift we are currently in that is causing spiritual transformation on Earth. Whenever we have a spiritually-transforming, out-of-body, or near-death experience, we are left to wonder what to do next. We may feel like a different person — and perhaps we are! Our souls are expanding as we the accelerated frequencies that came with that significant event. Shifting into Purer Consciousness can help you make sense of what happened and give you tools such as exercises, affirmations, and visualizations to help anchor your light body and Christ oversoul as you raise the vibration of your physical body. The book is intended to help people personal move forward in their soul’s evolution while helping others and the planet ascend into purer consciousness.

Pat: How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

Yvonne: When I awoke on September 21, 2010, I was receiving inspiration and decided to write it down. I thought this would be an article for my blog, but then I began thinking about my spiritually-transforming experience that occurred in 1999. I originally started writing that story in 2005, but put it aside, sensing that there was more that I would add to it someday. As I added new thoughts that September morning, the document grew and so did my desire to do more research. Soon, I realized I was writing a book. However, I was in the process of writing Whose Stuff Is This? ~ Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those around You, which I published in February 2011; so, I put Shifting into Purer Consciousness on the back burner until summer of 2011.

Pat: Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

Yvonne: To support my findings, I read more than twenty books on the topic of spiritual development and the coming age of enlightenment—that’s in addition to all the online research I conducted and online seminars I attended and videos I watched.

Pat: Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?

Yvonne: Ascension comes after the resurrection. There can be no resurrection until something (the ego, beliefs in separateness) dies. This is why we encounter opportunities for great spiritual growth during the dark night of the soul and other heartbreaking events. The reason why the purification path has been so difficult is because we have resisted the process that brings an end to suffering and dethrones the ego. Whenever we are moving to the next stage of spiritual evolution, we may reach a “ceiling” or encounter resistance.

The dismantling of this energetic barrier is a deceptive process because the more we resist it, the more it distracts us and pull our attention away from our goal of oneness. The temptation to fight the ego is strong, and ironically it is in this “struggle” not to engage that we gain the strength to push through the elusive ceiling of separatism.

Because whatever we place emphasis on will increase, the victory over the ego is more quickly accomplished by refusing to engage in the battle it offers. The answer then is to focus on the Divine essence within the Sacred Heart, which raises our vibration. I encourage readers to enjoy their spiritual practice and maintain their own energy rather than setting up fortresses to protect against external forces. I address this in the chapter on ascension symptoms under the subheading “Mental Thoughts.”

Pat: What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?

Yvonne: It seems like everything I wrote about had to be experienced in order for me to own the truth of what I’m sharing. Fear cannot abide where there is love and this book is about coming to a place where only love is experienced in the mind, emotions, and body. I went through some physical challenges that urged me to purify my body, I encountered dark energy and learned how to compassionately release it, I underwent a cathartic release of karma so intense that there were days I really didn’t know if I’d be able to finish the book. I’m glad I persevered because in doing so, I intimately connected to ascended masters, who are now my beloved partners on this journey. I am experiencing the peace that passes understanding and realizing how powerful my thoughts and feelings really are.

Pat: Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?

Yvonne: The writing of this book has changed me in many ways, but the most evident is that I can no longer tolerate an omnivorous diet. Animals have feelings—nerve receptors capable of feeling physical pain as well as personality and emotions. They bond with one another and form families and communities; they express sorrow whenever they encounter a loss. I began to ask myself, “Why is it justifiable to eat a farm animal but we would never eat our domesticated pet?” Based upon the Garden of Eden story, no animals died until after humans started to believe they were separate from God. In our return to the sacred within, we let go of all behaviors that perpetuate separation.

I am in no way judging anyone who eats meat, but I am asking my readers to consider what needs to be done if we truly want a non-violent and peaceful planet. The answer seems obvious: we must end the death and suffering on our own dinner plate. I now truly enjoy a conscious and mindful plant-based manner of nourishing my body. Besides showing compassion for all God’s creatures and being good stewards of the Earth, it’s also for our own health that we return to eating the vegetation supplied by Mother Earth. If we eat what comes out of the Earth, we might be more conscious of how polluting the Earth detrimentally affects us.

Pat: What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?

Yvonne: I’m not gone! I’ve shifted into my light body and still helping others learn to love our creator with all their heart and soul and mind.

Pat: Have you written any other books?

Yvonne: Yes, my latest book, Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You, is a resource for sensitive people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. http://whosestuffisthis.blogspot.com/.

More Than Meets the Eye: True Stories about Death, Dying and Afterlife addresses suicide, near-death experience, end of life decisions, euthanasia, and spirit visits from the “deceased.” (http://deathdyingafterlilfe.com)

The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children provides a role model for parents while entertaining children with stories that teach life lessons (http://WhoseStuffIsThis.com).

I have also written several books and e-books, mostly on spiritual topics.

Pat: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

Yvonne: While this book can benefit any spiritual seeker, it is intended to help those living in the US, who are fearful of the future due to having been indoctrinated by fear-based religions that teach a dreadful end of time. So many of these dear ones are having experiences that do not align with their religion dogma and they are searching for answers. My book attempts to provide courage and support for those who want to take their spiritual walk up an octave.

Pat: Who designed your cover?

Yvonne: Vickie B. Majors painted the exquisite art of the ascending human for the cover. Rick Chappell is the graphic designer who put the layout together.

Pat: Where can people learn more about your books?

Yvonne: See http://weare1inspirit.com/bookstore.htm for a list of all the books I’ve written. Shifting into Purer Consciousness is featured at http://shiftingintopurerconsciousness.com

Pat: What else would you like to share?

Yvonne: Coinciding with the release of my book, Live-Spirit.com will present a telesummit for integrating spiritual transformation with the human experience. Featured panelists include Dr. Caron Goode, Harriette Knight, Sondra Ray, Susan Allison, Kristen Ann, and other experts who share how to develop our souls and planet to a new level of consciousness. The topics to be addressed in this telesummit include ascension, oneness, spiritually-transforming experiences, walk ins/soul exchanges, working with angels and ascended masters, immortality, DNA restructuring, the light body/merkabah, and much more about integrating purer frequencies and flowing with grace throughout the ascension process.


Yesterday, the tour stopped at Journey Into Consciousness blog. Tomorrow Yvonne will be on the Journey Into Consciousness Radio Show and I invite you to visit that site to learn more about the spiritual transition we are currently in. See the full tour schedule at http://dld.bz/byrF7 .

Excerpt From “When Jonathan Cried For Me” by Carter Lee

“When Jonathan Cried For Me” is a tremendous story of struggle and redemption. After a childhood filled with sexual abuse at the hands of a pedophile, violence, and intimidation, Carter Lee was being destined to become a monster. Against all odds, he took control of his destiny and turned his life around. The foundation of this metamorphosis was the attainment of True Inner Peace, through the cultivation of True Self-Esteem and Total Self-Confidence. This book provides a road map for others to attain happiness in their lives and to reach a true inner and lasting transformation.

Carter is blatantly honest about his inner demons and wears his heart on his sleeve. More than just a motivational, inspiring, educating, or an entertaining read, this book transcends any one genre by coalescing strengths of each form into a powerful teaching tool. he is witty, unconventional, and has a knack for describing highly technical mental processes in layman’s terms. Sometimes controversially, but always with honesty, Carter delivers what so many of us need; a real way to facilitate internal change.


And you may ask yourself
Well…How did I get here?
And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife
— Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime”

It was four years ago, 5:00 on a Friday evening, when I was sitting next to the rest of the cattle who were getting ready to escape monotony for two days. They would talk about the picnics they would go on, or a couples’ dinner, or the game. As for myself, I was trying just to breathe. It was that time again, the same time I faced every day of the week, the lonely inevitable. I packed up my stuff in my briefcase, said my goodbyes, and headed off to fight traffic in my disheveled Jeep Cherokee to only face the unavoidable.

I spent most of my commute home trying not to rear-end people as I flipped through radio stations, occasionally glancing at the road in front of me with almost an indifference of crashing into someone, frantically trying to listen to anything that wasn’t related to love or life. Channel surfing and trying not to kill people on the highway was a sufficient distraction for the time being. For the moment I was safe, at least for the commute home, unlike those sharing the road with me. Exiting Houston’s Highway 10, I headed to my suburban neighborhood, filled with cookie cutter houses. As I approached my house I tried not to get my hopes up, desperately attempting to avoid the disappointment I could feel mounting. This was impossible though, and my heart sank as I saw that once again I was pulling up to an empty driveway.

Neighbors were outside trying not to stare and would still wave to be polite. I felt like someone with an awkward handicap. I left all of my shit in the car. I walked up to the house, opened the door, walked in, closed the door, and before I could even say hello to the dogs, I collapsed. It wasn’t because I felt sorry for myself. It wasn’t because I wanted sympathy, because I doubt my dogs were impressed by my display; they would have been much more impressed had I opened the back door for them so that they could do their business. It was for the reason that I had to collapse. I collapsed because my wife Katelyn had left me just a week before, taking my stepson Christian with her. The reality was setting in.

Initially my relationship with Katelyn started out great. It was practically love at first sight. The first two years were very fulfilling for both of us and you could just feel the love pour out of us. Our energies were intertwined and we were both dedicated to Christian. However, there were issues with communication, and I wasn’t truly healthy. Our relationship began to suffer. The kinks in the armor of our relationship grew into gashes, as small problems became big problems. But in the end, we were two very different people, and we eventually grew apart through the last two years of our marriage.

I was once a man who ignited a room with excitement when I walked in. I was once a man who was motivated. I was once a man who was a professional wrestler and a dream chaser. I was once a man in a beautiful house, with a beautiful child, with a beautiful wife, with a beautiful dog (insert Talking Heads song here). I was once that man. Now I was just a three hundred pound fat-ass, lying in the foyer of my house, crying and drooling like a pathetic fool. Now I was just the angry man I had become in my marriage, with no inner peace, no self-confidence, and no hope. I was just three hundred pounds of excess fat, anger, and a shitty self-esteem to boot.

The dogs looked at me like, “Open the goddamn door already.” But I couldn’t. I could only lie there. I knew that the more I walked into my house, the more it would hurt. I didn’t know how I would conjure up the strength to stand, so I lay there, in the foyer, sobbing myself to sleep, as I smelled the stench of old food in the sink.

As I woke up in my new cozy tiled bed, I realized that a new scent had joined that of the rotten food…dog feces…next to my face, in fact. Fair enough, little ones, and very apropos. Waking up was always very difficult during this time, very similar to when I had lost loved ones in the past and the death was still new. The first few seconds when I awoke were fine, but then I would remember, and a chill would cover my whole body, followed by a seemingly endless flow of tears. After reflecting on how I used to wake up next to someone I loved in a bed, rather than the floor, I finally stood up and realized I had been asleep for six hours. I was disappointed that my only means of escape didn’t last longer, and that I had to wake up at all. I then finally let the dogs out. My new nightly routine of chain-smoking and living in my head would then ensue. What a hoot! This time it was different however, as I found I was running out of reasons to keep on living.

Night after night I tried to think of reasons to stay alive, but I was out of hope. I was done. I didn’t know who I was anymore, and all I knew of what I had become disgusted me. I had been through enough trials and tribulations in life, enough valleys, that I wasn’t about to face this one too. If this was life, what was the point of living? What was the point of getting the courage to face life since everything I loved was taken from me? What was the point? I had achieved so much, only to lose it all or push it away. My marriage was collapsing. My job was following a similar path. I didn’t like anything I did. Everything was fucked! I thought there was more to life than this, but if life were to continue along this hopeless path, I was tapping out.

I was at the end of my rope.

I went into my bedroom and got out my shotgun. I cradled it for over an hour, staring off into memories on the edge of the bed where passionate love could once be heard, in a house where once love could be felt, but now I was by myself with gun in hand. I remembered laughter filling the hallways of the house, the smell of lilacs, my stepson’s birthday parties, family dinners, and the sound of toys being played with, all creating a beautiful symphony of noise, love, and life. Now there was just heavy silence around me, and the noise of painful memories that no longer brought joy to me.
Sitting on the bed, I looked down at the gun, and then looked up at the picture of my family, and I put the cold steel barrel in my mouth. My finger was just on the edge of the trigger. As I gripped the barrel with my teeth I thought that my last sensation in life would be the taste of metal and gun oil. It had actually come to this, Jesus. I had been through so much pain. I had caused so much pain. The happy ending I fantasized about as a child never materialized.

Forgiveness, healthiness, true love; it was all bullshit. As I had the barrel in my mouth I saw the picture of Christian. I couldn’t do it while looking at him. At that point I didn’t think I would be able to be in his life anymore, or I wouldn’t even have gone this far. I spat the barrel out of my mouth and turned his picture around. I wasn’t crying or frantic; I was ready.

I sat back down and assumed the position. This time, however, something else happened. Maybe it was because of seeing a picture of Christian. Maybe my subconscious was reaching out to me, but a thought ran across my mind. It was me, as a miserable shocked child, and a promise I had made to a childhood friend that I would have a better life. This is what I allowed myself to become? So far gone from hope that I would do this to my friends and family? I then moved from sadness to anger.

This was the gift I had given myself, that traumatized child who wanted a better life? I had been a man filled with dreams and aspirations. I had suffered so much and my solution to this suffering was now suicide, not becoming better or changing the things around me, or myself. I threw the gun to the ground and I screamed, “Fuck!” over and over again, as tears streamed. I screamed and screamed. I felt so hopeless, but I made the most important decision of my life by not pulling that trigger and having the resolve to fight and live. How, though?

If I were going to continue on, it couldn’t be the way I had been living. I couldn’t keep going through life filled with anger, hopelessness, sorrow, and doubt, feeling unattractive and unlovable. I couldn’t expect other people to fulfill what was empty inside of me. If I was going to persevere, I decided that I had to live life on my terms. I was going to need a whole new mindset.

I had always had a deep connection to Jesus, or so I thought. I was a Born Again Christian plugged into the church, and truly had faith in Christ as my Lord and Savior. I had even done overseas and domestic missionary work. I was not one of those annoying missionaries who tried to convert everyone by cramming their faith down others’ throats, but everyone who knew me was aware of my convictions.

During our wedding, Katelyn and I even made sure the message of Jesus was put in the center of our ceremony. I had tried religion my whole life, so for once I was going to try something different. My faith in Christianity was changing, and I knew that wasn’t the answer, but what was?

It was only a minute or so after throwing the gun down that I saw a book my dad had sent me earlier in the week, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Dr. Viktor Frankl. Dad had originally read the book in college. He told me that it was a great inspiration to him and his mindset, which I greatly admired and envied. So I picked up the book, took the dogs back outside, and I began to read.

Dr. Frankl was a psychotherapist and survivor of Auschwitz and other concentration camps in World War II. Through his experience in those camps he founded Logotherapy. Dr. Gordon Allport, one of the founding figures of personality psychology, called Frankl’s philosophy the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy.” Where Adler focused on the will to power, and Freud focused on the will to pleasure, Frankl focused on the will to meaning.

After the first few chapters, the book had already grabbed me, and I couldn’t put it down. Here I was, reading about this man who lost his family, his home, his clothes, and who endured torture, yet still found meaning in his life and the will to continue on WITH HOPE and JOY. This gave me a great deal of comfort. I want to make it clear that my comfort came from the mindset Frankl was revealing, not because he went through something worse than I had. In fact, one of my main concerns when I share my story is that the reader or audience will think I am trying to make them feel better by pointing out that I perhaps have been through tribulations worse than theirs.

People often try to “comfort” others by just pointing out how it could be worse. Imagine the following situation.
“I have a throbbing headache,” said George the Painful.
“Well if it makes you feel any better, I get migraines daily,” said Randy the Idiot.
“Yes, your migraine issue all of a sudden just took my headache away,” said George the Painful.

This method of “comfort” doesn’t make any sense, yet people do this to others all the time. And what’s worse is that this logic is all too common in the motivational/self-improvement world. Often you hear speakers and authors share horrific stories to comfort others. It’s a way of saying, “It could always be worse,” but that doesn’t take care of our pain now, does it? They share their stories yet don’t really reveal any transformational methods for someone who is suffering. Because of this, I’m very careful to only share stories that reveal meaning to what I’m trying to teach. It’s pertinent to understand the transformation I went through because of my experiences.

Pain comes from many sources, but the cause is less relevant than getting to its foundation. Pain itself is the problem.

Dr. Frankl’s book was a quick read and I didn’t put it down until I was done with it a few hours later. I learned so many things through the book, but one quote really stuck in my head: “Everything can be taken from a man or woman except for one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” I was at a fork in the road— would I turn left or right? I decided to choose my own way; I went straight ahead.


Carter Lee is the President of Innovative Social Dynamics, a professional speaker, columnist of In That Moment of Space for the Washington Times Communities, and author of When Jonathan Cried For Me. Formerly an actor, stand-up comedian, and involved in the sports-entertainment industry, Carter was a licensed professional wrestler, promoter, and booker. During this time, Carter struggled a great deal internally.

He was diagnosed with chronic depression, PTSD, due to childhood sexual abuse from the hands of a pedophile, and struggled with his weight and anger. He decided he was going to stop living under the oppression of his negative thoughts and emotions, and began a journey to transformation. Through this journey Carter found his road map to freedom, and no longer suffers from PTSD, depression, anger, or his weight; and he’s on no medications. He now dedicates his time to helping others achieve a true-transformation similar to his own.

Preferred link to purchase the book: http://www.whenjonathancriedforme.com
Link to video trailer for the book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blur80-eGHE
The Washington Times book review: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/entertainment-news-and-reviews/2011/dec/14/when-jonathan-cried-me-recovering-child-sexual-abu/

Yvonne Perry’s Empath Blog Tour

I am going to be one of the blog tour hosts for Yvonne Perry, author of  Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You.  Feel free to join Yvonne as she drops by more than twenty blogs to talk about dealing with empathy fatigue, emotional burnout, and intuition as well as how she wrote and published the book.

Visitors get to read something new each day as they follow the book tour from blog to blog: audio clips, video clips, written interviews, links to radio interviews, book excerpts, media releases, and content-rich articles.  She will be telling “Stories From an Empath” here at Dragon My Feet on March 16th. Should be interesting!

Other Topics include the following:

  • Authors Must Learn to Sell What They Write
  • Clearing Your Energy Field
  • Detaching Politely Before You Reach Your Limit
  • Empathic Babies, Children, and Teens
  • How I Published My Book on Empathy Fatigue
  • Identifying Your Own Energy
  • Setting Boundaries with People
  • Stories from an Empath
  • Why I Wrote a Book for Empaths
  • 5 Steps for Developing Your Intuition
  • Characteristics of an Untrained Empath
  • Difference Between Empathy and Intuition, The
  • Excerpts from the book
  • Gift of Intuition Reveals a Sister’s Secret, The
  • Influence Ghosts Have Upon Human Emotions, The
  • Make the Voices Stop!
  • Psychology of Empathy, The
  • Q&A Interview with the Author
  • Temper Tantrums ~ An Opportunity to Teach Your Child How to Process Emotions
  • There’s a Ghost in Our House. Can We Keep Him?
  • Understanding Empathy
  • What Is an Empath?
  • When Fear Turns into an Anxiety Problem
  • Why I Chose to Self-publish My Book About Empathic Overload

Here is the tour schedule:

Join the pre-tour warm-up on Wednesday, February 23 as Dr. Caron Goode and Yvonne Perry chat with @LynnSerafinn on Garden of the Soul Radio at 6 p.m. UK Time, 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

Another running start for the tour is on Saturday, February 26 Joyce Shafer will share an article in her State of Appreciation Newsletter: http://stateofappreciation.webs.com// Follow @JoyceShafer.

Monday, February 28 – The Shift Guru Barbara Joye will host an article by Yvonne titled “5 Steps for Developing your Intuition” http://shiftguru.wordpress.com/. Follow @TheShiftGuru.

Tuesday, March 1 – Joanne Sprott (@muselady11) will host Yvonne on Beyond Words Radio Show at Believe in the Moment radio http://www.believeinthemoment.com/bitm-radio.html.

Wednesday, March 2 – Carol Denbow (@author101) will share an article titled “Why Yvonne wrote the book” on her blog, A Book Inside http://abookinside.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, March 3@positivepresent Dani will post an article: “Psychology of Empathy” on her blog, Positively Present http://www.positivelypresent.com/.

Friday, March 4 – Irene Conlan @ieconlan has an article: “Setting Boundaries with People” to share on The Self Improvement Blog.

Saturday, March 5 – Shelagh Jones @SpiritusShelagh will be hosting an audio interview with Yvonne for her Spiritus blog.

Sunday, March 6 – Penny Ehrenkranz @pennyehrenkranz Article: “How Yvonne Published the Book” on One Writer’s Journey http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 7 – Doreen Pendgracs @wizardofwords will be sharing an article from Yvonne titled: “Why I Chose to Self-publish My Book About Empathic Overload.” See http://doreenisthewizardofwords.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 8 – Nickolove Lovemore @nickolove Skyline Coaching Blog http://www.skylinecoachingblog.com/ has a video clip, an excerpt from the book, an article “Clearing Your Energy Field,” and a book review.

Wednesday, March 9 – Callie Carling @moonpoppy shares a video, book review, and article on her blog, Empowered Healer http://www.empoweredhealer.co.uk/

Thursday, March 10 – Irene Conlan (@ieconlan) hosts Yvonne on The Self Improvement Radio Show.

Friday, March 11 – Dr. Caron Goode @parent_coach shares an interview with Yvonne and a video about the gift of empathy on the Academy for Coaching Parents International http://academyforcoachingparents.com/blog/

Saturday, March 12 – Dr. Caron Goode will be joining Shelagh Jones @SpiritusShelagh for an audio interview about the psychology of empathy. See Spiritus blog.

Monday, March 14 – Soulmate Coach Crystal @soulmatecoachc shares an article about detaching politely http://www.soulmatecoachcrystal.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 15 – Lisa Jackson @lisajjackson shares her question & answer interview on Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 16 – Pat Bertram @PatBertram has an article, “ Stories from an Empath,” on Dragon My Feet: https://dragonmyfeet.wordpress.com/

Thursday, March 17 has two stops: Elizabeth Bennett @PeerAbuse will post an article: “Empathy in Children and Teens” on http://www.peerabuse.blogspot.com/ AND Barbara Techel @joyfulpaws shares a YouTube video on Joyful Paws http://www.joyfulpaws.typepad.com/

Friday, March 18 – Barbara Joye (@TheShiftGuru) will share her interview with Yvonne on her Creative Cafe Radio Show: www.blogtalkradio.com/shiftguru.

Monday, March 21 – Reno Lovison Marketing Communications Services presents an article “Authors Must Learn to Sell What They Write” on his Business Card to Business Blog: http://businesscardtobusiness.com/blog. Follow @renoweb

Tuesday, March 22 – Anne Lyken-Garner @esther96 has a media release on http://www.abloggersbooks.com/

Wednesday, March 23 – Dr. Caron Goode @parent_coach presents a book excerpt and press release on her blog, Kids Who See Ghosts http://kidswhoseeghosts.com/blog/.

Thursday, March 24 – Faith Ranoli interviews Yvonne on @positiveradio Heart and Home Radio Show http://healthylife.net/RadioShow/archiveHH.htm

Friday, March 25 – Vonnie Faroqui @inkslngrswhmz has an article on Ink Slinger’s Whimsey blog http://inkslingerswhimsey.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 28 – Dr. Caron Goode @parent_coach shares a book excerpt on Raising Intuitive Children blog http://raisingintuitivechildren.com/blog/.

Buy Your Child A Book Project – A Program of the Piercy Charitable Foundation

My guest today is the Piercy Charitable Foundation, explaining the Buy Your Child a Book Project:

Buy Your Child a Book Project encourages authors, educators and publishers to develop literature and programs that increase the number of heroes of color in children’s books.  Focusing on such topics as creating diversity in children’s literature, the shortage of age-appropriate books for children of color, the translation of brain research to the classroom and other educational innovations, the foundation seeks to encourage the creation of heroes of color in literature as well as for other social platforms, including the entertainment industry, schools, communities and businesses.

We believe that literacy and reading programs can solve many of society’s problems. With teen dropout rates in some parts of our country reaching almost 60%, our programs present students with age appropriate reading materials to encourage reading and to build resources that focus on inspirational role models for minority students, especially for children between 6–14 years of age.  

Encouraging Literary Heroes of Color

Our annual Buy your Child a Book Conference took place at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers store in Santa Monica November 6, 2010. Featuring some of the most respected contributors in their fields, the program offered new information on current heroes of color literature for the classroom, presentations by established authors, the corporate support of Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and innovative approaches to storytelling by one of Hollywood’s most notable producers. Other upcoming conferences will be held in Atlanta and Washington D.C. This year’s conference was in conjunction with Barnes & Noble Booksellers, McKesson Enterprises, the Los Angeles Academy of Media and Technology, the Los Angeles Urban League, the Milken Family Literacy & Youth Training Center, SP Turner Group, and the Publishers Association of Los Angeles.

The conference keynote speaker was Charles F. Johnson, a veteran television and film producer with more than 30 years in Hollywood. He began his career with The Rockford Files, progressing into many successful TV series franchises including: Magnum,PI, Quantum Leap, JAG and NCIS. NCIS achieved status as the number one series on television in 2010 and continues to expand its reach in syndication while still being in current broadcast. It has also garnered a successful spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles, which Charles was important in developing as the most successful spinoff at CBS. Soon to be released is Charles’ latest feature endeavor, Red Tails, the story of the Tuskegee airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II. Charles has joined with George Lucas in this project. They are co-producing and the film which will be in theatres this fall. Charles has taken an interest in the charter school community and has a deep concern for children’s education especially at-risk children in the inner city.

If you or your organization would like to organize a Buy Your Child a Book conference in your community, please contact us at:  

Piercy Charitable Foundation
8306 Wilshire Blvd. #1213
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(866) 604-3852 • www.bycabfoundation.org

More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife by Yvonne Perry

An excerpt from More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife by Yvonne Perry

Chapter One: Fear of the Unknown

Screaming, moaning, groaning, and sorrowful sobs could be heard from the medical intensive care unit of Vanderbilt University Medical Center all the way down the corridor on the seventh floor. The ventilator had just been turned off for a young woman who was dying of AIDS. The woman never took a breath once the support was removed. She passed immediately and without a struggle. However, the family completely fell apart emotionally and were not prepared to accept the passing of their loved one with any amount of understanding or peace. In contrast, Terry Emge shares her story:

Upon arrival, I found Mother in her chair. Her respirations were agonal, her pupils were fixed and dilated and she had a strong steady pulse. I asked my grandmother, who was ninety-one, what had happened and she said, “Virginia grabbed the back of her head and said, ‘Get Terry.’ Those were the last words she spoke.

Despite my efforts at resuscitation and my medical background (I am an RN, CRNFA for a busy cardiac surgical practice), I knew in my heart that she had come to the end of her life on earth.

A definitive diagnosis was made by CT scan. She had suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke. Our options were to temporarily monitor her in ICU on a ventilator or make a decision to withdraw life support. Her chances of survival were minimal at best.

After a discussion with her physicians and caregivers, it was decided to withdraw life support. During all of this, my mother’s condition remained unchanged—fixed, dilated pupils, strong pulse, and normal blood pressure. Her ventilator was disconnected and her pulse and blood pressure remained stable.

The hospital chaplain student that was with me, my husband and best friend, Diane said to me, “Sometimes you have to tell them it’s okay to go.” As I was holding my mother’s hand, I kissed her, told her that I loved her and that I would take care of Mom-Mom and for her to go to the Light. Within five minutes, her pulse and blood pressure slowed and her spirit went to be with God.

My mother had had a near-death experience earlier in her life. When my brother was born in 1952, she had a post-partum hemorrhage. She relayed to me that she had walked through a misty grey valley and was aware of relatives that had died when she was a child. She was drawn to the Light, the brightest and most pure she had ever seen and she had a sense of “utter peace”. Her only thought was of how beautiful it was there and how she longed to remain, but she knew she had two small children to care for. Suddenly a voice like thunder said, “Ye shall live.” She awoke in her hospital bed and began to realize what she had experienced. From that moment in her life she was not afraid to die.

As I stood beside her stretcher in the ER, knowing there was no chance for her survival, but not yet wanting her to leave me or those who loved her here on earth, I felt a sense of peace. Mother was not afraid to die—she had reassured me of that “beautiful, wondrous place” and I knew she was finally in heaven.

Some families are able to let go and even assist their loved one in transitioning. Why do some families or cultures process death so differently than others? Perhaps the fear of the unknown is what makes death so intimidating. If only we knew what was on the Other Side. Is there an afterlife or not? Do our deceased loved ones live in another dimension or reality? Are they near us? Can they see or hear us? Knowing for sure what lies ahead might make a difference in how we handle death.

Much of what we believe about death and dying is taught to us by religious doctrine. Our main attitudes about death and afterlife are deeply connected with our religious beliefs which may either confuse or comfort us. For example, if someone believes in a legalistic or angry God that punishes for sin, then death for that person may be frightening. If someone believes that we all go to a better place after death, regardless of our earthly behavior, that person may not have as many concerns about dying.

There is a huge difference between Eastern and Western cultural views on death; specifically about beliefs in salvation, reincarnation, and the afterlife. Buddhism, Hinduism and other Eastern religions believe in a progression of the soul after death. These philosophies teach that an accumulation of bad or good karma affects rebirth into either a favorable or unfavorable situation. Western religions tend to look at the present life as a one-and-only chance to “get it right” with the end result being an eternity in either Heaven or Hell. Most Catholics believe in an interim state called Purgatory where those who are borderline between deserving Heaven or Hell work their way up. Jewish beliefs most often do not include the typical Christian idea of an eternal hell. Jewish people see hell as a separation from God rather than an actual place of fire and brimstone. Therefore, Heaven may be considered as a reuniting with God’s light or spirit and not necessarily as a physical place with streets of gold as many Christians believe. The Aramaic word for death is interpreted “not here, present elsewhere” and shows a belief in an afterlife. Modern day scientific studies show that there is a consciousness of mind after death and that the mind and the brain are not one in the same.
Many of our fears are rooted in delusions or distorted ways of looking at life and the world around us. Generally, our fear of death is an unrealistic fear. We tend to either ignore the subject altogether or become morbidly obsessed by it. Perhaps the best way to overcome the fear of death is to remember that our present physical life had a beginning. There was a time when we were not on Earth in these physical bodies, and there will be a time when we shall return to a non-physical state of being. The rational mind has difficulty believing that any reality other than the third dimensional world of time and space, in which we currently live, could possibly exist. We have been trained since birth to thrive in it. We know ourselves to be who we are by our external experiences; however, looking inwardly may give us a different perspective.

The sorrow, grief and sense of loss are real, but our fear about death is only an illusion. You’ve faced many things in life that are more frightening and unknown than death. For example, public speaking is said to be the greatest fear a person can face. So, if you’ve ever spoken in public then you have faced a fear said to be worse than the fear of dying. The famous comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said, “If you’re at a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy!”

Death should be feared no more than birth, for there is no real separation between the physical and non-physical realms. The separation seems real because there is a very thin veil (i.e.: our skin and physical body) between the two realms that dims our ability to interact with those in other dimensions. But more than the physical sense of separation, we limit ourselves with the false belief that we have only five senses with which to explore and experience life. This belief hinders us from accepting what our inner knowing tells us is true. We are multi-sensory spiritual creatures able to sense the presence and energy of non-physical beings. Those who do interact with the non-physical realm are sometimes considered insane or in need of psychiatric help. Many are shunned and ridiculed. Some children are even punished for talking about seeing angels and spirits.

The Earth plane is simply another facet of our experience as souls. We are spirit beings having a human earthly experience. We all come from the same Source regardless of what we call it—God/Goddess, Spirit, Energy, Creator or whatever vocabulary term one wishes to use. Even though we manifest in individual bodies and have the illusion of separateness, there is no real division in our spirit. An ethereal mist or cloud of spirit exists where every soul is united with God and with one another. From this cloud extends a line of energy or Spirit to the Earth plane where it manifests as a suit of human flesh.

Who we really are is only a small portion of what we see in each other. It is like poking your fingertip through a hole in a bed sheet draped over your body. What is hidden behind the sheet is so much greater than the fingertip—so much greater than the small portion that meets the eye!

After its mission is accomplished in the earthly realm, the soul essence simply returns to the spirit cloud to continue its work or to wait for another opportunity to manifest into human form. This return to Source may occur as a result of the body’s deterioration and inability to support the soul as a vehicle and thus death of the physical body occurs. Because the soul craves authenticity, living an incongruent life may cause us to subconsciously create disease, physical deterioration, or ultimately death as a means to leave the physical body.

According to the Old Testament, humans originally had the ability to live forever. The book of Genesis teaches that death occurred for mankind as a punishment for the sin committed by Adam and Eve. Still, some Biblical characters were noted to have lived for almost a thousand years. What happened that caused our lifespan to be so shortened? In light of the technological and medical advances, it would seem that the opposite should be true. Some, like Elijah mentioned in the Bible, didn’t die. Jesus took his resurrected body with him when he ascended as a light body. Living a long, healthy life requires us to live in integrity with our inner truth. It requires unplugging from belief systems that prevent us from living life to the fullest.

What we do with our life is our choice. Even dying is a choice we make! It is my belief that God does not infringe upon our free will or tell us what to do with our life. Instead, God very gently leads us to learn at our own pace, and never forces us to do anything we do not wish to. Life is the picture we paint by the decisions we make. Since a soul has choice (free will) it may simply choose to return to Source. I believe this is why we have SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and other unexplainable departures from a body that is otherwise healthy. The soul changes its mind about being in the physical body, or has another idea about what might best assist it on its spiritual journey. While any death causes grief for the remaining family, it is ultimately the soul’s choice to move on. Free will is something we have not been taught to accept, appreciate or consciously exercise. In order to understand and accept death as a natural part of the soul’s evolution, we must be able to allow people to choose for themselves on all levels. It is normal to feel anger towards God when our loved one leaves his or her physical body, but it is not God’s choice. God does not take a soul against its will. The soul chooses to leave in the best interest of its evolution. We may have difficulty accepting that our loved one’s death could have been a part of a greater plan—especially when it doesn’t fit our expectation.

What is death? What is dying like? The best way to obtain information about death is from those who have had a first-hand experience with death; those who have died and returned to tell about it. These are referred to as near-death experiences (NDEs). P.M.H. Atwater is one of the original researchers in the field of near-death studies. In her book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Near-Death Experiences, an NDE is loosely defined as an intense awareness, sense or experience of “otherworldliness”, whether pleasant or unpleasant, that happens to people who are at the edge of death. It occurs for people regardless of age, education, culture or religious background. Atwater began her work in 1978 and comes from the vantage point of being a near-death experiencer—not just a mere researcher. She believes there is a step-up of energy at the moment of death, an increase in speed as if you are suddenly vibrating faster than before. Using radio as an analogy, this speed-up is comparable to having lived all your life at a certain radio frequency and then someone or something comes along and flips the dial. That flip of the dial shifts you to another, higher wavelength. The original frequency is still there as it was before. Only you changed. You sped up to allow entry into the next radio frequency. As is true with all radios and radio stations, there can be bleed-over or distortion of transmission signals due to interference patterns. These can allow or force frequencies to coexist or commingle for indefinite periods of time. Normally, most shifts on the dial are fast and efficient, but occasionally, one can run into interference, perhaps from a strong emotion, a sense of duty, or a need to fulfill a vow or keep a promise. This interference could allow coexistence of frequencies for a few seconds, days, or even years (perhaps explaining hauntings); but eventually every given vibrational frequency will seek out or be nudged to where it belongs. You fit your particular spot on the dial by your speed of vibration. You cannot coexist forever where you do not belong. Who can say how many spots are on the dial or how many frequencies there are to inhabit? No one knows. You shift frequencies in dying. You switch over to life on another wavelength. You are still a spot on the dial but you move up a notch or two. You don’t cease to exist when you die. You shift your consciousness and speed of vibration. That’s all death is…a shift.

Those who are not afraid of death may actually look forward to it. Such is the case of Carolyn Smith. She is a neat, very attractive, woman, about 80 years old, who has been a widow for a number of years. She was diagnosed with lung cancer recently and the doctor estimated she would have about 1-3 years to live. Carolyn had a great attitude about her coming demise so she started making her plans and preparing for her departure as if it was a trip to Disneyland. She cleaned out all her old stuff and decided to sell her home and build a house with her daughter – a house that would be a great place where her daughter could live after she was gone. Then her doctor told her about a wonderful new treatment that would take care of her lung cancer. She was actually disgusted to find out that she may continue to live! How dare they find a cure after she put forth so much effort getting ready to die? She said to her doctor, “So, am I going to die, or did I go to all this trouble for nothing?” Carolyn plans to have the treatment, but she is disappointed to have to wait a while longer for her ride home. Carolyn’s attitude about dying is better than her attitude about living! Oh, that we all would have such an expectancy about our transition.


Living life to the fullest in Nashville, Tennessee, Yvonne Perry (also known in spiritual circles by the name, LavendarRose) is an author and keynote speaker who enjoys helping people discover a spiritual path of love and joy that comes from the knowledge that we are all one with our Creator.

A graduate of American Institute of Holistic Theology, Yvonne holds a Bachelor of Science in Metaphysics. She has written hundreds of articles on spirituality, death, afterlife, spirit communication, and suicide. She is the host of We Are One in Spirit Podcast, a talk show that offers people a chance to share spiritual insight and join cross-cultural hands. She is a polished, speaker available to share her knowledgeable on a wide variety of spiritual topics such as walk-in/soul exchange, psychic gifts, empathy, ascension rituals, ghosts, afterlife, and near-death or other spiritually-transforming experiences.

Musical Marketing Muse

My guest today is Sara Taney Humphreys, author of Amoveo Heart and The Amoveo Legacy.

The Amoveo Legacy, 2009

The moment she encounters the mysterious, arrogant neighbor Malcolm Drew, her life is never the same. Through a seductive courtship, he introduces her to the magical mystical world of the Amoveo. The dream walking, telepathic, shape shifters that he claims are her true heritage.  However, Malcolm holds back a secret that could destroy them both. Will he be able to protect Samantha and convince her of the secret legacy buried deep inside of her?

Sara Taney Humphreys secured TV roles in such shows as A&E BiographyGuiding LightAnother WorldAs the World Turns and Rescue Me.  She then became a Drama Teacher at her alma mater, Convent of the Sacred Heart, and quickly launched her own after school theatre workshop studio for kids called Ensemble Productions. Bound by reality, Sara lives in New York with her husband, who is very considerate of her double life, four amazing boys, two dopey dogs and an extremely loud bird.  Life is always busy, but never dull. Sara talks about her Musical Marketing Muse:

Soundtracks for movies and television shows are standard. In fact, a really great movie or show is often instantly associated with kick ass music. Well thanks to my old college buddy and DJ John Campbell…I found the soundtrack for Book 2 in my shifter series.

Actually, I had been in a major writing rut. Completely blocked. Book 2,  Amoveo Heart was not coming to me as easily as the first book did. At any rate, John wanted to interview me on his weekly radio show and had gotten some musicians who were willing to let me use their music as an intro for the interview. He sent me the links and the second song I listened to stopped me dead in my tracks. I couldn’t believe it. It was as though this song was written just for the heroine in Book 2. Amazing! The combination of the lyrics and her hauntingly beautiful voice were absolute perfection. I immediately contacted the artist and asked if I could use her song for Amoveo Heart’s book trailer. Gratefully both she and her record label said yes!

Then I had an idea to take it a step further. Luckily, she is located not far from me and as a new musician is looking for new opportunities for exposure. Why not have her play at my book launch/signing? Gratefully she agreed. Amy played at a couple of my book signing events and it really brought a great bit of texture to the signings.

The song that sparked my creative juices and woke up my muse is called “Honey on the Skin”. You can find Amy Petty and her spectacular music on her website http://www.amypetty.com/

John connected me with another awesome musical muse. The Strike Nineteens. TSN are a band of adorable guys from Scotland. Ladies…think William Wallace/Braveheart accent….yummy. Their music is gritty and intense. These darlings actually wrote me two songs! One of which will be on their new album “Screams for Denver” which will be released this Spring. I look forward to checking them out LIVE when they come to the USA later this year.

You can check out their music at http://www.myspace.com/thestrikenineteens

Cross marketing with music is fun and a little outside the box…just the way I like it.

Sara Taney Humphreys


Farting Fire by Justin Blackburn

Hello, my book Farting Fire is out on Virgogray Press! You can order it at (www.virgograypress.blogspot.com

This is also to let you know that there are real people writing raw, vigorous poetry that is fearless, that flies straight to pain, delusion, doubt, and kisses it right on mouth, poetry that realizes all is beauty if you let be, poetry that understands the most evil man and holds him like a butterfly.  Poetry that writes its own poem that does not blame others for the ending, that never went to school, poetry that does not care about winning awards, that is written straight from the sword in the heart  There is a beautiful world inside and outside and this collection of poetry expresses it!

Here are a couple of poems and some reviews… 

Spring Christian Festival

I remember the first time I felt left out
I was five and the only kid who didn’t find an Easter egg
I cried and called my mother to come pick me up.

Today twenty years later my mother yelled at me
For being left out of society
Because I didn’t graduate college,
I don’t have a job,
And I am still living under her roof.

I left her house and started walking
To the place where the eggs were first hid
When I got there I still couldn’t find any
I cried and called my mother to come pick me up. 

Unlearning Hitlerature 

Jobs are for rednecks
College is for cutie pies
Money is impotent
Problems are lies
All people are lovable
Judgments disguise
All people are suicidal
Stupidity tries
Getting offended is awesome
Feeling embarrassed is sweet
Anything is possible
I am an idiot
Your God is whatever you want your God to be
Death is a disease
Knowledge knows nothing
Aliens are everywhere
Everyone has angels
Everything works out perfectly
Testicles are beautiful
Compassion is key
Emotional attachment is murder
I take retardation very seriously. 

sleepy timmy tambourine dreams of being a christian rapper  

i only want to see your art
i won’t need to ask you to see mine
my art is seeing your art alive

sleepy timmy tambourine dreams of being a christian rapper
but I only want to see his art
to see him smiling, dance,
to give him one drunken chance to be the most popular flapper

i am not in it for the money, the girls, the glory, or the fame
i am not in it because i want to write another chapter
i am just here to take your fear and make it laughter 


Just when the world is getting a little too much to deal with, comes a collection of poetry so honest and true that it’s reality is quite relieving. Enter Justin Blackburn, light-healer, performance poet and all around great guy. Justin, who has authored two other books “ Gifted Disabilities” & “Its Hard to Get There When You’re Already There” now proffers his first publication of poetry which deliver a humble view of a twenty-something living life. “Farting Fire” is the answer to those moody blues that sometimes get us down. I really enjoyed reading his manuscript and was surprised at the humanity of some of his work which I encountered. Mr. Blackburn’s publication, Farting Fire, tackles many issues in life from relationships, to school, to parents, to poetry and everything in between. While some poems such as the title poem “Farting Fire” and “Every Fart that Made you Laugh” are light-hearted verse that will definitely bring a smile to the reader’s face, but what is more is the subtle wisdom one gleans when reading the work of this young poet. Take for example a poem like “Channel 2012 News” where Justin admonishes:

Always be sure to say a prayer / before eating your food / other people cook it with their fears / Always remember to create your own reality with love / for other people are trying to create your reality / with their fears

 Or consider, “The Homeless Man Told the Rich Man he was a Failure” in which Justin shares an anecdote about a homeless man offending a rich man by telling him he’s a failure for not having money to lend him. “Rich people are a dime a dozen.” Classic. All in all, Justin Blackburn’s Farting Fire is a candid look into the life and struggles of a young man whose brave enough to share words that, even when tackling difficult subjects like death, remain candid and fresh. –Michael Aaron Casares


Justin Blackburn, a former University of South Carolina student and poet, has had two small poetry books publishing over the last year. “Farting Fire,” published by Virgogray Press, and “Female Human Whispers,” Shadow Archer Press, are Blackburn’s third and fourth books and focused on homeless men, learning about women and everything in between. While the titles may catch a person off guard, there are some rather intriguing pieces of poetry, such as the one in “Farting Fire” titled “As my Pain Waits to Die,” in which pain is personified as a slouching roommate that you cannot get rid of, and as much you hate him, you feel jealous as soon as he moves on to someone else. Many of the poems do not follow any particular rhyme scheme or rhythmic outline like those typically taught in most high school English courses

Blackburn’s poems contain a certain raw quality that has the power to make readers wrinkle their noses and curl their toes at suggestions, and the occasional curse word thrown in for some shock value. Some of the poems do not even make sense, such as “Daddy Says Jesus was a Carpenter” from the book “Female Human Whispers.” In it, the first line talks about attending a Ku Klux Klan rally and then the speaker claims “he was dressed as an apricot.” Deeper symbolism seems to be missing. Why would you go dressed as an apricot? Is the speaker trying to suggest that they were of a different color, or that they were perhaps standing out at the meeting? Or, maybe the author is trying to insert a line just so he can move on to the next line of the poem.

Another poem from the book “Farting Fire,” “My Savior,” talks about a young man’s problem with being an outcast of society and being comfortable with himself, yet wanting to have sex with a girl and finding it difficult to accomplish. The poem’s lyrical quality is one of the better of the two books, where the poem portrays a man torn between satisfying his primeval urges and yet retaining his dignity, while coming to terms with self and accepting others as they are, even when they hurt you. The poem beckons readers to question everything we know about ourselves, asking if we could do what a savior does.

As it often is with critics and poetry, who can really determine what is good? When you first pick up a book, do you do anything more than glance at the cover and read a few pages before you set it down again? It is the same with a book of poems — you choose a few that you may find interesting without much thought. Keep in mind the rating given; while some of the poems are perhaps the worst you will ever read, there are those that stand out and actually have a deeper meaning to them. Test the boundaries of your comfort levels as you begin to delve deeper into the conscious that is self and enjoy these poems.  –Katie Crocker

Dead Darling From Daughter Am I

Faulkner advised us to kill our darlings, those bits of our novels we love that don’t advance the story. I had way too many darlings in Daughter Am I, but I did steel myself to remove some of them. Today, for your edification, I am posting one dead darling that made it through all the edits except the very last one. You won’t find it in the book (well, except for the last paragraph or two. I wanted to make sure what you read here made sense so I added a bit that was included in the novel). 

“The Cleveland Syndicate was dominated by four Jews,” Teach said, “Moe Dalitz, Samuel Tucker, Morris Kleinman, and Louis Rothkopf. An Italian, Chuck Polizzi, and an Irishman, Tommy McGinty, achieved near equality.”

“Chuck Polizzi wasn’t Italian,” Spaghetti said. “His parents were Jews from Russia. When they died, he was adopted by the Polizzi family.”

Teach arched his eyebrows. “I didn’t know that.” Pointedly ignoring Kid Rags’ chuckle, he stroked his chin. “I often wondered how a non-Jew got so high up in that organization. I did know the Polizzis belonged to the Mayfield Road Mob, which became part of the Cleveland Syndicate. While the Mayfield Road Mob, composed of both Jews and Italians, had a reputation for utter ruthlessness, the Syndicate believed the bribe, as a general rule, was more effective than the bullet. Families like the Polizzis, who accepted the new way, lived to become old as well as rich.”

“So how did an Irishman get so high-ranking?” Mary asked.

“Tommy McGinty—Thomas Jefferson McGinty—was the circulation manager for one of the Cleveland newspapers. Contrary to the legend that gangs and gangsters were a product of prohibition, many of the principals of the Syndicate-to-be were assembled and trained in violence years before by the newspapers in their fight for local monopolies. Tommy McGinty and his counterparts on the other newspapers would recruit thugs to beat up their rivals’ employees, particularly the newspaper boys, especially those on lucrative corners.

“In the early prohibition years, McGinty became one of Cleveland’s most powerful bootleggers.

“The Cleveland Syndicate was truly formidable. Moe Dalitz, probably the smartest guy in the business next to Meyer Lansky—”

“You said Johnny Torrio was the smartest,” Mary objected.

“So I did.” Teach smiled at her. “It’s nice to know I haven’t been talking to myself. In point of fact, all three men were smart. Always looking to expand. Always looking for new venues.”

“You sound like you admire those people,” Mary said.

In the silence that greeted her remark, she could hear Spaghetti and Lila Lorraine murmuring softly to each other. Looking around to check on the rest of the group, she noticed that Iron Sam, Crunchy, and Journey all appeared to be sleeping. Kid Rags and Happy were passing the hip flask back and forth. Tim had his head cocked while he drove, as if he were listening for Teach’s response.

“Not at all,” Teach said finally, his voice harsh. “People tend to romanticize prohibition, to romanticize the so-called Mafia, but they don’t get it. It’s about the unholy trinity—criminals, politicians, and businesspersons—all working together to sell out the little people. And make no mistake about it—no matter how rich and successful we might be, the vast majority of us are the little people.”

DAIClick here to buy Daughter Am I from Second Wind Publishing, LLC. 

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Amazon.

Download 30% of Daughter Am I free at Smashwords.