A blog about my writing projects, creativity and books!

 

Proof that Humanity has Evolved

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Book Reviews | 0 comments

Proof that Humanity has Evolved

It’s not between the lines, but in them

some of my classic sci fi booksI am a sci-fi fan through and through. I have been reading current work, including all the pop culture faves, like Harry Potter, Twilight and the Hunger Games books. I have also greatly enjoyed reading classics by the likes of Orwell, Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Wyndham. There are some similarities, of course, but there are massive differences in both the quality and quantity in new vs classic novels.

It struck me in a big way as I forced myself to finish “The Sun Also Rises” by Hemingway. One of the greats, right? I do understand that his style of writing and the stories he told of post war society were poignant. I swear, if I handed writing like that to an editor today, the first chapter would have been scrapped entirely and the ridiculous amount of repetitive words would have been scratched out in red ink. Besides being annoyed by his genius “short, declarative sentences” that were filled with repetition of story content, I felt like I should start drinking along with his alcoholic characters just to deal with the stress they were causing me.

hemingway write drunk quoteI did keep reading. After all, I was reading Hemingway! I had hoped until the very end that Jake and Brett would grow the hell up. Spoiler. They don’t. They weren’t completely smashed, or lit in the last scene though.

My favourite classic author is John Wyndham and his best book is The Chrysalids. In this book you get close to a group of kids in a small farming community, while in others of his work, you don’t get to know the characters as well. Classic novels like Wyndham’s, or War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells were short and more the length of today’s novella. Writers didn’t get into the mind of their characters as they did illuminating their ideas.

How has humanity evolved?

I could just say we read bigger books. We also seem to have a love affair with trilogies with three big fat books. Each of those books has characters who are involving and believable. They become parts of our lives they’re so real. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like vampires or wizards or werewolves. Today’s writing is actually superior to much of the classics, which I found surprising. (So far, Hemingway’s is the worst, which floored me.)

new sci-fi books vs classicI want to be clear. There are a lot of outdated concepts and sometimes racism in some classics that you don’t seen in new work. Those are interesting historical marks of the time each book was created and should not be edited out or condemned. They are part of the story of their time.

In short, our favourite classics had at least one big idea that has continued to capture our imaginations. Today’s sci-fi has to be a big thick book with enough words to let us get to know the people they’re about. We’ve come to understand that nothing in life is black or white. We get to know the villains, and to understand their motivations. At times, we feel empathy for the poor bad guy and wish things had started out differently for him or her. Today, our heroes are flawed, when in the 50’s and prior they were unrealistically perfect.

If you’re like me, you can enjoy both for all of the great adventures, creativity, fantastic characters and new worlds they have to offer.

Now, if we can get corporations and politicians to evolve we’ve got this evolution thing in the bag!


Written by Linda Laforge.

Copyright © Linda Laforge. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

Where the Water Is

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Short Stories | 0 comments

Where the Water Is

Where the Water Is

I sit here in the black of night beside the graves of those who came before me. Unfortunately, they left before me too, or I wouldn’t be here lamenting on days past. Both my brothers and my Dad  lay here, beneath the earth.
I remember planning all of these funerals with my Mother. How the funeral directors, glorified salesmen, tried to sell us the most expensive caskets, lead lined with satin pillows, pushing cement and lead lining of the grave on us so the worms and bugs wouldn’t have a meal of our men.

I’d have to admit, I’m not the best of Catholics, but as I understand the premise, when we die, our souls are going elsewhere. We’re saved, providing we’ve been good enough to get through the pearly gates.

I had difficulty looking at my brother’s dead body. Christopher, who died first, was hardest on me. Cerebral Palsy jailed him within his body, unable to say “Hey, how are ya,” and unable to grow up to run, play, learn and unable to ever have a life of his own. I watched him suffer his whole life and I watched him find joy in chocolate birthday cake and family visits to his nursing home. I had to pray beside his dead body with my family at his open casket. When I looked at his unmoving body, I didn’t see him there. It wasn’t just in the absence of breath or movement. He wasn’t there.

David died a few years later. He had A.I.D.S. so the funeral home insisted that he be cremated. That disease ravaged the body of a young, strong, vibrant man who died in the presence of my parents. When I got home, I couldn’t go downstairs to see him, to my mother’s annoyance. I already knew. He wasn’t there. Seeing his broken carcass would do nothing more than make me sick to my stomach over what he had endured. A broken heart was enough.

Seven years later I watched my father deteriorate for a month in the hospital. This time I got to tell him how much I loved and admired him. I got to tell him I was sorry for the times I was a selfish, rotten daughter. I got to say goodbye before they pulled the plug. At that point, the machines were keeping him alive in a clinical sense, but I felt his presence there.

At his funeral I watched his casket from a distance. He wasn’t there. Christopher wasn’t there. David wasn’t there when they burned him to ashes either. None of them are in the ground as the worms and the bugs make a meal of their bodies. Their souls are soaring off in some magnificent journey while we’re here, left to try to make sense of this world, to bury them and try to let them go.

That’s why I come here. To sit by their headstones and talk to them. I know I can talk to them from anywhere. This black night I sit here and almost see their rotting corpses beneath me and their brilliant spirits in flight above. I’m in the middle, but what makes me so different?  I’m alive and so are those spirits of fancy.  The worms and bugs below are alive, and don’t they have a right to a good meal?

Life, even unseen and imagined is around me as I seek a meager understanding of it. As I see it, the only difference between my life and those of the spirits is water. From what I hear a human being is 75% or more water, not unlike the planet we live on. We need at least a few litres a day for good health and energy.

We use it to bath in and to clean most of our things. We use water to cook with and to eat with. Water relaxes us. It calms us as we swim in it and even as we watch it reflect the blue sky. It’s oceans, seas and lakes provide a source of food to us, with all its critters swimming and wriggling around in it. We drink it and we pee it out almost as fast. It feels good as we drink it and even better as we relieve ourselves of it.

We like to talk of how we reinvent ourselves. Nothing reinvents itself with the fluidity of water as its poured into a glass or as it pours itself from a river into a lake or an ocean. Nothing is more immense or more attractive. Even the sky, almost as big if it wasn’t the purveyor of rain that it is. Like God, it is everywhere and in everything. Only the dessert knows different, and is likely the reason hell is often described as burning.

Water is the difference between us and them.

Water.

Angels are usually depicted with great wings and pleasant faces. Cerubs pointing darts at peoples, I suppose, because love hurts. Every time I see a movie ghost having a drink it runs through their non-corporeal selves onto the furniture. These guys don’t live here the way we do. They don’t have thirsts to quench. They don’t need to take a shower. They don’t need water.

Do they need love? Do they have jobs to do up there in the heavens? They must, otherwise they’re living the lives of proper house cats and everybody knows they have the brains the size of eggs. Thinking of these brilliant beings soaring the heavens with messages to deliver and papers to file is the only way I can find for it to make any sense. They’re not like us, but maybe we could be a bit more like them.

I sit here by the graves of my boys in the dark of night and I take a swig of beer and I realize I should probably be drinking water. A tear comes to my eye. We even need water to cry, I think, and wonder if the spirits cry. I take another swig of beer and I remember stories of how different religious icons cry. A statue of the Virgin Mary crying blood and even a marble Jesus with true tears.

There’s my proof.

I shed another liberating tear, just because I miss my brothers, my Dad. I shed a tear because the world is so full of uncertainty and duplicity.

When the spirits cry, it’s because of us. When they cry, they have to do it here, on earth, where the water is.

by Linda Laforge


 

Where the Water is copyright © Linda Laforge.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

The Facility by Michael Mirolla

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Book Reviews | 0 comments

A Clever Twist on Cloning

science fiction book coverMirolla is a deeply imaginative and skillful author. He tells us of Fausto and is aging grandfather, who secretly visit a biosphere that seems to preserve various animal and plant species. His parents don’t have much faith in the old man. Then Fausto witnesses him in a vicious and violent act that seals his fate.

This is a story, for me, of how mankind repeats the same mistakes, as life after life, Fausto is forced to experience. The poor guy is trapped with the clones of Mussolini, Rachele – Il Duce’s wife, and Claretta – his mistress. It’s interesting that he chose Mussolini. I wish I could recall what he told our audience at Word Up (wordupbarrie.com), a writers’ reading series north of Toronto, about why he thought Mussolini was the right guy to trap a person in a never-ending hell of vengeful acts, but it was enough to make me buy the book.

sci-fi writer Michael MirollaThere are a host of unique creatures, both from familiar fantasy, his own imagination and out of reality. There is a world of darkness and violence that I had trouble with, but kept reading. I had to know what was next. The trouble with violence books is, one does have to keep reading, unlike watching moves when one can turn a head or close both eyes.

If you’re seeking an uncommon experience and surprises, this is worth the read.

You can buy his book here: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00C4GTNUG/

 

Characters of Ashes

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

Characters of Ashes

I am an artist, so it makes sense that people would be asking me to draw my characters. When writing, I do grab images online that look like my characters and add them to my character profiles.  In this case, I never did find one for Dr. Norrel at all … until now!

So I finally did draw them! It took me forever to find my doctor, but when I did I was surprised I hadn’t thought of this sooner. Hope you like them!

These are both drawn in pencil on acid free paper, then pasted to an original hand written manuscript page.

2-EmilyBaker-300

Emily Baker, my hero

Robert Carlyle drawing

The strange and mysterious Dr. Norrel

It wasn’t entirely intentional, but yes, my doctor looks a lot like Robert Carlyle. Wouldn’t it be cool if he played him? Here’s to wishful thinking. I am selling a handful of black and white prints. Message me if you’re interested!

3 Priceless Writing Tips from Lesley Livingston

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

author Lesley Livingston on writing

Author Lesley Livingston

Comic Con Toronto, as all other Comic Cons and Fan Expos, is known for characters walking about in amazing costumes, comic book artists and sellers of collectibles. And then there are guys like me! With our books.

While at Toronto’s coolest pre-spring event I enjoyed all of the above, as well as getting to know other authors. I had the pleasure of listening to a panel with Amber Benson, an actress known for her role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer who is also a writer, and Lesley Livingston, author of Wondrous Strange, who is also a seasoned actress.

The two had no problem sharing that they were drinking Ceasars, something American Amber was newly introduced to, as apparently there is no clamato juice south of the border. It was a ton of fun listening to them giggle and speak freely.

During the panel, Lesley, our Canadian creativite with the all important supply of clamato, offered three tips every writer should use.

Tip # 1 – When you’re having a bad day, go kill a character.

Makes perfect sense. It needs no description for any writer, except to say that I hope you don’t have too many bad days. You won’t have many characters left.

Tip # 2 – Make your characters as attractive as possible.

A writer can spend a lot of time in their imaginary worlds with their imaginary characters. Might as well make them good looking! It makes it much easier to pass the time it takes to imagine, develop and write a book.

Tip # 3 – “Write what you know” is garbage advice.

You start with what you know. Then you blow stuff up! Research. Explore. Ask questions. Learn stuff. Talk to people. Travel. Expand.

Amber Benson writer

Amber Benson at Comic Con Toronto. Photo from Tribute.ca

Both Amber and Lesley recommended joining writers groups and critiquing groups. Not all groups are created equal, so find one where you meet in person or online that fits. They also both agreed that having someone read your work back to you out loud can make a huge difference during the final editing process. I read my own novel out loud to myself in my final edit and it helped me to see what had eluded me so easily many times before.

The girls were funny, informative and left me pondering. Check out their books, mostly YA. If I didn’t already have a ton to read I would have bought them! Go check out their sites.


http://amberbensonwrotethis.blogspot.ca

http://www.lesleylivingston.com

How to Download eBooks

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Publishing & Self Publishing | 0 comments

e-readers-600How to Download eBooks

This article is intended to help those who need help figuring out how to get their ebooks and ebook samples from me into their readers, but it can also be helpful to authors. It’s important to know what your reader experience is!

How do I download ebook samples to my Kindle or Kindle Fire?
How do I download books to the Sony Reader?
How do I download books to the Barnes & Noble Nook?
How do I download books to my Kobo Reader?
How can I read a Sample ebook on my desktop or laptop?

 


How do I download ebook samples to my Kindle or Kindle Fire?

There are two options for loading your ebook sample to your Kindle or Kindle Fire:

Option 1.
USB Connection.  Plug your Kindle into the USB slot (small rectangular slot) of your computer using the cable that came with your Kindle (the Kindle Fire doesn’t come standard with the USB cable, so you’ll need to obtain the cable separately, or, use the email option described in #2 below). When you attach your Kindle to your computer via the USB cable, it makes your Kindle appear as a hard drive on your computer.

1. Download the “Kindle” .MOBI format.
2. Next, navigate to where you see the Kindle show up as a hard drive on your computer.
3. Next, just drop the book’s file (it should end in file name of .mobi) to the Kindle’s “documents” folder.
4. Then disconnect the Kindle from your computer and the book will be ready to read.

If you already downloaded the .MOBI file to your computer, here’s a helpful YouTube video that shows how to drag the file from your desktop to the Kindle’s documents folder:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UPOgXDYj3M (video not produced by me or Smashwords)

Option 2.
Email the Ebook to Your Kindle Email Address:  For both first generation Kindles and the newest Kindle Fire, you can email your Smashwords .mobi files to your Kindle email address.
Amazon’s support page provides complete details.

To email files to first generation Kindles (Kindles other than the Kindle Fire), click here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200140600. 

For Kindle Fire only,  Click here for how to set up your free Kindle email address, and how to load ebooks or email ebooks to your Kindle Fire using either the email or USB cable method.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200729530


How do I download books to the Sony Reader?

Sony is no longer an ebook retailer, yet many readers continue to use the Sony Reader to read ebooks. The Sony Reader supports the EPUB format.

Here’s the step-by-step:  

  1. Plug your Sony Reader into your computer using the USB cable that came with your Reader.  You’ll know the Sony Reader is connected when you see the Reader Library software pop up on your screen.
  2.  Go to your web browser, and click the “Thank You” page  where you can click for the sample book you want to download.
  3. Click to download the EPUB version.
  4. Your browser should pop up a window asking if you want to open the file with the Reader software, or if you want to save the file.
  5. Select the save option, which will allow you to download it.
  6. Next, navigate your system directory (PC users:  Click My Computer), where you’ll see your Sony Reader appear as a hard drive labeled as READER: E (or some other letter), then click READER, then click the directory for Database, then click the directory for Books.  This is where you’ll save the file.  After you save the file there, wait about 30 seconds and then you can unplug the Reader from the USB cable and your book is ready to read.

How do I download books to the Barnes & Noble Nook?

For the Nook, just attach the Nook to your personal computer via the USB cable (makes it appear as a hard drive), and then download your books directly to your Nook’s “My Documents” folder.

B&N calls the process “sideloading.” Here’s a video on the process:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/video.asp?bnit=H&bnrefer=EBOOKS&cds2Pid=30195#vid2


How do I download books to my Kobo Reader?

  1. Connect your Kobo Reader to your computer using the USB cable and then drag and drop epub files to add them to your library.
  2. After you connect your Kobo Reader to your computer using the USB cable, tap Connect on your Kobo Reader screen.
  3. When Windows prompts you for an action, select  ‘Open folder to view files.’ A window should open, showing the contents of your device.
  4. In another window, go to the location of your ebooks on your computer and drag and drop then into the Kobo library window.

These instructions are excerpted from Kobo’s online documentation.


How can I read a Sample ebook on my desktop or laptop?

For a higher-quality reading experience download an e-reading application, also called an “e-reading app”, software designed for reading ebooks.  Several available ebook formats are easily read on a personal computer or tablet.

How to read the most common formats:

EPUB – Download and install the free Adobe Digital Editions (for PCs and Laptops).  In addition to being a great e-reading app for desktop computers, Adobe Digital Editions is useful for authors who want to inspect their epub files.  For Apple iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch/Mac, download the free Apple iBooks app from the iTunes app store, or consider other great free apps such as Bluefire or FB Reader (all available in the Apple App store).  For Android devices, download Aldiko, a free e-reading app. In my experience, the Kobo reader is difficult to load download book files to test so I use Adobe Digital Editions on my Mac.

MOBI (Kindle) – Use Kindle for PC (reads .mobi), Kindle for Mac (reads .mobi) or the popular FBReader (reads .epub, .txt, .mobi and multiple other formats).

An Interesting Thing About Book Reviews

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in Book Reviews, Writing | 2 comments

An Interesting Thing About Book Reviews

If you have bought books online, then you have likely sought the reviews to help you decide to purchase, specially if it’s a book by an Indie author. I have read them. Until now, I considered reviews according to the language and position of the reviewers.

Reading Ashes by Linda LaforgeBook Reviewers … categorized according to me

I try to take the comments on books into the perspective of who the reviewer is according to how they represent themselves. I have some unofficial categories when considering reviewers.

The reviewers I disregard or take less stock in are as follows:

one – Too picky, way way more Bookish than me. (And I read a lot these days!)

two – Too Angry to even consider their review. When they can’t spell it make sit all that much worse…

The reviewers I tend to appreciate more are as follows:

They start with what they like before critiquing because they don’t feel the need to crush anyone’s dream and they express themselves clearly.

How do authors get reviews?

Since I have recently published my own book on Amazon, Ashes, I discovered that the first part of the strategy to sell books is to get reviews. Most authors will say they all have to be shining reviews. And man, getting reviews is not as easy as I thought it would be! Yes, I have given my book to people hoping for a review, but they don’t necessarily follow through. Until recently, I had none.

So, I was advised to try an online community called GoodReads. I put up my profile and joined a few groups. Some are authors looking for reviews on their books, and in return, they read your work and do a review. Let’s just say I have been doing a lot of reading. The books I was working on have been put aside, as I too was hoping for speedy reviews. I received two great reviews too, though not the kind you’re thinking – I got a 3 out of 5 and a 4 out of 5. Because they are honest reviews by people who know their stuff, that’s great with me. I’ll do the same in return – an honest review.

Where to Trouble Starts

I have noticed a ton of reviews on books I have read that should be less than stellar. Way less. It’s that ‘review swap’. Too many writers are taking too much stock in getting perfect reviews. To get one, they may feel they have to give one. So when a book should get a 2 or 3 out of 5 because it’s littered with typos, spelling errors and giant plot holes, they get 5 stars.

I don’t think I could give a dishonest review. It’s not fair to the potential buyer and it’s not fair to the writer, who could grow and improve from the experience. (After all, they can edit and resubmit their book!) Something I hope to do with every new work I send out to share with the world. I would also like to be able to trust  book reviews, but now I don’t. It’s sad when another trust is broken…


by visual artist and art instructor and writer, Linda Laforge.
See her art and some of her writing at www.LindaLaforge.com

On the Edge of the Abyss

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Creative Thinking, Writing | 2 comments

On the Edge of the Abyss

When is it time to hold on or let go?

I had a dream that left me thinking this Sunday morning. A man was climbing a cliff face. He was free soloing. That means he was climbing without the protection of ropes and he was not climbing a cliff that over looked a beautiful ocean that could break his fall. He liked it that way.

He was climbing with a group of people who had climbed ahead of him and who were nearing the top. Although reaching the summit of a climb means you have successfully got to the top, that is not what makes you a successful climber. Returning safely to the bottom makes you a successful climber.

When I met this man in my dream he was seeking his next grip so he could lift himself up. He was not afraid of the great heights he had reached. In fact, he was quite proud of the many successes he’d had. He’d climbed Everest. He’d climbed some of the highest and most prominent city buildings and had a huge rush from jumping off them and flying down. He always landed safely and never had any trouble with his parachute or any equipment. He was in peak physical condition. He was famous for his antics. He thought of all of his successes as he climbed, and now had no idea what was next. He had accomplished everything he had ever wanted to. This had gotten boring for him. So boring that he thought he could just let go.

original illustration of a free style climber

Illustration by Linda Laforge

That horrified me!

The only thing that stopped him was his concern for what his fellow climbers would think. If they thought he fell because he messed up he would be mortified. He missed the fact that he’d be dead and wouldn’t be around to hear them talk about this one last failing. He couldn’t stand the idea of people thinking he made a mistake like that so he found a shelf on the cliff to rest on. He could stop and think more on his death. He felt he had nothing left to live for. His ego, which once kept him climbing towards more dangerous adventures, now kept him from taking a leap towards the last and greatest one. And that is where I left him. Sitting alone on a cliff thinking about how he should die.

This stayed with me for some time. I asked myself, “What could I say to him to make him see the error of his thinking?” What could I say to him to help him to realize, “It’s time to make new goals.” I compared my goals with his. Mine are so different, and at times have felt selfish. I want to make a comfortable living doing what I am best at – creating things. Writing. His goals are very ego-centric. His accomplishments are pretty cool, but the man in my dream isn’t doing anything to enrich the lives of others.

Every piece I make has a goal

It is to effect the viewer in some way. I usually want my audience to laugh, to think or to find a happy place. I had never realized this before, but everything I write, paint or sculpt is my gift to others, whether I can make a living off of it or not. Everything an artist does is meant to be shared. That is what the climber is missing out on.

Now, this doesn’t mean I would try and sign him up for an art class. If I could get myself back into that dream to sit with him on that rocky shelf, I would tell him this is his time to find new purpose. If he is a hero to young people, then he needs to find a way to share this wonderful ability of his with them. Write a book! Teach! Volunteer! Create a new organization to help others.

There is nothing more rewarding than doing things for others. I would tell him it’s time to see his new purpose. That it may feel like death has come to him. In this sense it has. It’s the death of an old life and the birth of something new. Something beautiful. Something that allows him to flower, to renew and to become more alive than he ever has been. This is his wake-up call, not time to hang up the phone.

What would you say to this Cliff Hanger?


by visual artist and art instructor (and sometimes writer) Linda Laforge.
See her art and some of her writing at www.LindaLaforge.com

Advice I Would Give My Young Self

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Creative Thinking, Writing | 6 comments

Advice I Would Give My Young Self

I was watching a new sci-fi show the other evening. An interesting character took the opportunity to send a message back in time to his young self. It made me wonder. What kind of message would I send myself?

When I was in my teens and early twenties I was freaking brilliant! At least I thought so. In spite of being disappointed in the world, I thought I had most of it all figured out, until I really thought any of it through. I appeared to be confident, but wasn’t. I was one of those girls who was thin but thought I was fat. I had very low self esteem and didn’t know I deserved to be happy, or to have all the wonderful things life has to offer. Still, I thought I had it all figured out!

A young artist and the smae older mature artist

Now, for you sci-fi fans, I am not worried about any Prime Directives out of Star Trek. I don’t think I would have invested in any stocks if I gave myself a great tip either. I’m trying to be realistic in an unrealistic scenario.

So what could I tell young me? What message would actually reach me? I thought about this for several days. It might be this.

Dear Young Me,

You are beautiful.

You are stronger than you realize.

You will suffer many losses but you will find yourself rich from the lessons gained. You will survive. You sometimes will feel guilty that you survived. You will sometimes feel relieved. You will feel a hole in your solar plexus that’s larger than you are, and rightly so. That’s how emotional pain can feel. Big. But you’ll be OK.

You will make your life easier as long as you do these things:

  1. Make friends who love and appreciate you for everything that you are. The ones who don’t, aren’t your friends. Make every effort to show appreciation to those friends. You will need them, and they will need you. Choose friends who you would like to emulate, or who are on a similar path. This will bond you and you will lift each other up.
  2. You make your own choices. Allowing others to make them for you is also your choice. Be responsible to those decisions.
  3. You are going to do a lot of stupid things. Trust me. I know! They’re called mistakes. Make an effort to learn from them. Open your eyes. When you find yourself repeating those mistakes, quit doing that! It’s even stupider.
  4. Always make time to do the things that make you happy. You will tend to focus a lot on what needs to be done for others. If they really love and care about you, they won’t be happy unless you are happy.
  5. Be the best you possible. Let go of others expectations. Your own are high enough. You are more capable, more intelligent and more creative than you know.
  6. Quit loaning your money to people who will never pay you back. They have no respect for you when they don’t honour their promises. It all adds up! Respect your own effort. You earned it. Manage it so it doesn’t manage you.
  7. You love learning. It’s great for your brain and will help you age well. Keep it up!
  8. Get off your butt and exercise. Use it or lose it!
  9. Important! Eat your fruits and vegetables and lay off the canned stuff. You have food allergies and health issues. Your solution is not in a pill, it’s in a garden. Like the one we had with Mom when we were ten.
  10. Best for last! Quit ignoring your own intuition. Trust your gut feelings. I can’t tell you how many times I wished I’d paid attention and followed those instincts and regretted it afterward. Knowing you are worthy and have a lot to offer will help you. So will paying attention when your gut is shouting at you! You need to stand up and argue your point when you feel yourself starting to recoil. You can do it. I know you can!

The rest you’ll figure out for yourself, as I still am and hope to do for some time. Expect some serious downs and some amazing ups! You will find yourself living in these moments for the rest of your life.

Peace out,
Mature Me

I probably wouldn’t listen to all of my own advice. I am not sure I would have understood that I am as valuable a person as the one sitting next to me at the bus station. If I could send this message to Young Me, I could only hope not only that the message was able to travel backwards through the vastness of a time already passed, but that the message would get through my own thick skull!

What would you tell your Young You?

PS. Young me was all dressed up for her first communion when caught ‘flashing’.


by visual artist and art instructor (and sometimes writer) Linda Laforge.
See her art and some of her writing at www.LindaLaforge.com

Muse in the Molecule

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Creative Thinking | 1 comment

Muse in the Molecule

I was intrigued by the title. “DMT: the Spirit Molecule“. It seemed right up my ally, seeing that my Muse still hasn’t returned. It’s a documentary about an account of Dr. Rick Strassman’s DMT research through a multifaceted approach to the hallucinogen found in the human brain and hundreds of plants. It has interviews with a variety of experts explaining their thoughts and experiences with DMT within their respective fields, and discussions with Strassman’s research volunteers.  It clearly illustrates the effects of this compound under controlled circumstances and far-reaching theories regarding its role it could play in human consciousness.

I want me some DMT (stands for Di-Methyl Tryptamine). Apparently I could just do some mushrooms for a similar effect, but it’s the full mind-expanding, touching the heavens sort of experience I’d like to have. Doc Strassman’s subjects were safely under the influence of this drug, which in essence, turns something on in the centre of our brain and makes us feel transported, even transcended to the spiritual realm, or realms.

I feel disconnected from this part of me. I lost it in a dream, believe it or not. (I’ve told very few people, but I’ve decided it’s worth sharing here.) When I lost my brother David, my Dad and my Mom I had dreams of each of them. I saw them in their new life and was able to somehow visit them through my dream world. They were their regular energetic, talkative selves and they had things to say to me. “Linda, go easy on your Mom. Be kind,” Dad told me once when Mom and I weren’t getting along. “I’ll be right back!” my Mom said while riding a bike down our old street. I’d never seen her ride a bike, which I took as a message unto itself.

The last dream I remember was of having lunch with Mom and Dad. I was doing all the talking. That never happened!! They were the talkers, not me. I thought about it for some time. I had a pile of those dreams. Were they just wish fulfillment? Because I missed them so much? What about the rest of the dreams? What were they? Was I creating a dream world based on my own beliefs and desires to have them in my life? If so, it wasn’t real. It never was.

And so, I’ve been living with this sense of loss, yet again. I felt like I lost the family again, as well as this little world I created in my head – the world of the spirit, where God hung out.

The part of me that wants it back would really like to check out south America and go on one of those  DMT tours, aka Spirit Quest! Maybe I could find my same old Muse, and a few more to tag along for the ride!


by visual artist and art instructor (and sometimes writer) Linda Laforge.
See her art and some of her writing at www.LindaLaforge.com

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