Greetings everyone and welcome to another installment of the WE ARE INFINITE stories and giveaway! I'm so grateful to be able to do this and to share stories that remind us all of connection and our intrinsic worth.
Now, before we dive into today's tale, let's have a quick refresher on what's happenin' 'round here:
1. Contest is simple: you send me (email@example.com) your INFINITE STORIES and I post 'em. I also promote them, so if you want to include a link to a novel you wrote, an etsy shop, or other such awesomeness, then by all means, include that in your entry! I want to share the love!
2. INFINITE STORIES are tales that remind us of connection: ghost stories, past lives, prophetic dreams, a moment that changed your life, how you found faith, how you found love, how you recovered from heartache, a friend who saved your life, a dog that meant the world, a cat that knew too much, a feeling that spared you or a loved one from pain, a feeling that hooked up a pair of friends for marriage, kids, and life. Anything and everything goes!
All the details about what I'm looking for and how to play are found HERE.
3. Each story enters you for the grand prize. What is it, you ask? Well it's Amazon cash, artwork, and a book!
4. Don't have a story you want to share? No problem! Sharing information about the contest also constitutes an entry for the grand prize! More details about that are right HERE.
5. More questions? Check out the FAQ or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And last but not least, don't forget to check out the always-accumulating-ever-impressive-oh-so-powerful WE ARE INFINITE STORIES INDEX, where all the contest entries will be linked for you to peruse anytime you need a reminder that you are never, ever alone!
Today's entry is one of mine. I love the chance to be publicly grateful for all the incredible ways the people in my life and the Universe at large has helped me out over the years.
I'll be posting my entries mixed in with others as the contest rolls on.
Deadline for all entries is FEBRUARY 8, 2015!
Much love, many thanks, and light and love to you and yours.
Follow the Raven Part I
My crisis of the faith had nothing to do with religion. At least, not mainstream religion; not anybody else's idea of worship. My temple's always been the page, and a little over a year ago, I was having sincere doubts about going to church.
To understand how much of a crisis this was, you'd have to understand me at age three, dreaming that at night I'd climb out my window to tell stories to the creatures who lived in the woods. You'd have to understand me at six, writing down stories and making my own books, some of which were so controversial that my father encouraged me to keep going but also whispered, "Let's just not tell your mother, mmkay? She doesn't need to know you can draw demons, child. Not yet." You'd have to see me at age eight, when my third grade class, unable to go outside for recess because it was pouring rain, voted to let me tell stories to the class. Stories I made up on the spot, usually, about goblins and vampires and ghosts. You'd see me at twelve winning state-wide writing contests. You'd see me at fourteen being published. Poetry. Of all things. You'd see me through high school writing, writing, writing to leak the poison building in my heart and soul so it didn't take up permanent residence inside me.
All my life, you'd see me with the words. My church, my steeple. Open the doors, and I share my life with hundreds of little people.
It's a pretty common sort of tale for fellow slingers of the words, but typical or not, it was my tale. It was my life. It was my way of life. But in the beginning of 2013, I lost somebody very dear to me, and it damned near killed me. The missing person was intrinsically tied to the writing, and as grieving carried on, the words were looking like work and worse: they were looking like memories. I began to believe I'd made a horrible mistake.
I'd strayed from my Grand Writing Plan to dally in a genre I didn't anticipate, and I'd done it with a person, a new friend, whom I loved very much. Loved so much that I didn't see myself drowning in a relationship where I could not be myself. We've all been there. And when we, by the grace of God, get out of those relationships, we always kick ourselves for being blind and dumb. For getting distracted and wasting time and all the other terrible things we say to ourselves when our hearts have been broken and it's taking so, so long to get the pieces glued back together and working right again. We're hurting and impatient, wanting to put the pain behind us as fast as possible, and we get mad at ourselves when that's harder than the impossible we already thought it to be.
In 2013, around about September, I felt that I'd veered off my path. The life path that had always been clear-cut and lit up with runway lights because the Universe knows I'm more or less a daft idiot unless you club me with signs. As a teenager, I used to whine that I could never do anything wrong. Because of the path, you see. The "path" in question is a mixture of destiny, fate, and choice; it's a series of things I know to be true. It's a way of living and existing that I understand I must do in order to be square with the Universe. There are points upon which I can finagle and bargain, and there are others I must obey without question or face the consequences.
Think of it as a contract with Purpose and the Universe with very little wiggle room. And any effort to get off of the Path or go against its tenants was met with abysmal failure.
Like the time I tried to lie to my mother. I can't lie. Well, okay, I can, but only for the right reasons. Only for path-approved reasons that involve sparing me or others from harm. I can lie my face off to protect somebody, like telling an abusive ex-husband that no, I've not seen his former wife, even when she's cowering in my bathroom behind a locked door, listening to every convincing word I say to make him go away and crying when it works.
Lying to my mother to say I was going to the mall instead of going to my boyfriend's to make out was not on the Approved Reasons to Lie List. But I lied anyway, rebellious me. I think I did it because I'd never tried it before and wanted to see what happened. So I drove our one car over to the boyfriend's house. Now, he lived way, way off the main road. His parents had acres of property off a side-road off an underused exit off the Interstate. From his road, there is exactly one spot where one can even see the end of his driveway and the circle drive in front of his door. It's ONE SPOT, and if you're going, say, thirty miles an hour on that twisting, carsick-inducing back road, you'd have approximately two seconds to see if a strange car was parked in my boyfriend's driveway. And you'd definitely have to be actively looking.
The next day my mother called me before I went to work at my summer job to demand to know what I'd been doing at my boyfriend's house last night instead of at the mall. Apparently, a person she worked with had been driving on that twisty back road and had seen a car that resembled my mother's car– which by the way? Was a gray Ford Taurus. There were only about a million of them in the county, but somehow, the woman at work knew it was my mother's – in my boyfriend's driveway, and she was asking my mom how Mom knew my boyfriend's parents.
It was hard to explain to my mom why I'd lied, and it was even harder to explain my relieved, if slightly abashed and hysterical, laughter when she demanded to know what I'd been thinking. Some part of me had known that I wouldn't get away with it, and that same part of me was comforted when it was confirmed.
I had my path. I've always had my path. It's heavily steeped in purpose and that purpose has to do with words and people, and in 2013, I was pretty convinced that I'd gone astray, somehow.
And I was right again. I had veered. Totally and completely. The problem was, I didn't understand the exact nature of my misguidance. I mistakenly thought it had to do with being in a six-month relationship exactly two and a half years too long.
The truth is that spending time with people we love and who make us happy, even if it ends badly, even if we're hurt and weak afterward, is never time wasted. A friend taught me that: loving people is never wasted time or a mistake, she'd tell me. Over and over while I cried on her shoulder. When I make a mistake, I'm so ashamed of myself that the mistake risks blotting out any of the good that came from the trial and error. I'm working on that. I'll always be working on that.
Anyway: picture of sad, distracted me slogging through the house in my fuzzy pajamas while carrying a coffee mug of cold coffee. I was pacing, I do believe, that September morning. I was definitely avoiding going into the office to work, because work had become a very frustrating affair. I wasn't blocked, exactly; I was angry. Which in itself is a kind of block, come to think of it.
But angry I was: at me, at the Universe, at the words, at everything. It'd been building for a while, this anger. It seemingly had no source that I could discern, other than feeling like I was doing something in life wrong when I thought I was doing everything right.
I couldn't get to the bottom of the anger because I'd forgotten, temporarily, one of the rules of the path: you have to listen to hear answers. Listening to the blasted Ether takes practice, but it also takes willpower. You usually have to mean to do it. So, unfortunately, this life path rule is one that tends to get forgotten when we're terrified that the answers we need to hear will incriminate us, change us, or make us face things we do not want to face.
We're all children in the eyes of the Universe. We all think we've done the unthinkable. We've broken the priceless antique vase while the parents were gone and left us in charge for the first time, and we're terrified of what they'll do to us when they discover we've broken something valuable. We hide and we cry and we lie and we make ourselves absolutely sick over the prospect of what they'll do to us if we fess up. We clearly weren't worthy, oh Lord, and they shouldn't have trusted us, and now we've done gone and royally fucked up.
Thing is, when we finally do fess up, through tears and nausea and anguish, the Universe doesn't give a rat's ass anymore about the broken vase. There's always a way to replace things. Replacing state of mind, however, is much harder, and the Universe cares far more for repairing the damage we've done to ourselves, which can be so much worse. The Universe is usually the one with arms out, full of comfort, to hold us and tell us it's okay because she's much more concerned with how sick we've made ourselves over a small mistake that we thought was so much bigger.
We're the ones who hold on to things we don't need long after we should have let them go.
But I'm a stubborn cuss on the best of days, and I didn't want to listen because I'd been through so much change that I was exhausted by the thought of more of it. In 2012 and 2013, I'd conquered health issues, phobias, and worked myself to the bone. I felt like my reward for all that hard work was heartbreak and a big ol' FAILURE stamp on my forehead, and by all things damned, I was angry about it. I didn't want to think that I was making life more difficult on myself by refusing to set aside the anger and see what was under it. I had plenty of reasons to be pissed. I wanted to hang on to each and every one of them.
Reluctance to own up to my own culpability aside, at that particular time, I probably couldn't have heard anything if I'd tried. The hurricane gale of my anger was too loud. I was so pissed, in fact, that I did something I never, ever do: I called the Universe to the mat.
I remember it clearly. I put down my coffee and stood in the middle of my living room. I looked up at the ceiling and snarled at it. "You know what," I said, breaking the silence of my house, "you've always pushed me to do this shit, you know? And I do it. I do everything you say to do, and I've mostly even stopped being irritated about getting bossed around. But you know what, Universe? You know what?" I think I may have stomped my foot. "I'm struggling down here. It's goddamned bad. I can't tell which way's up, anymore. I don't know if I fucked up or did exactly what I was supposed to do. I've been fighting blind down here, and I'm sick of it. So I tell you what: I need a damned sign. If you're so hell-bent on me continuing to do this path stuff, this writing bullshit, the whole thing, then you'd better damned well speak up and throw me a bone, or I'm through. I'll take that job as a Wal Mart greeter, I swear to God I will, and you will have to sit up there sucking wind and watch me do it!"
Well, lightning didn't strike the house.
But I was most certainly... heard.
Much love & signs,
Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop. She believes she's here to tell stories and to connect people with them. She's written several novels, novellas, and short stories and has no plans on stopping anytime soon.
Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She's a coffee addict, an avid movie lover, a chronic night owl, and she loves a good thunderstorm. Currently Kelly resides in the southeastern United States.
Meet Me at the Gates by Kelly Wyre
Outer Banks bookstore owner Hyacinth Silver Fox has a secret millennia in the making: her soul was magically entwined with another, and at night she dreams of every lifetime they've ever spent together. The rules of their magic are simple: Hydee always knows her lover, but he, or she, doesn't remember her. It's up to Hydee to find and make her soulmate see they are destined for each other, and this lifetime is no different, but there's one problem: her soulmate is Theo Monk, heartthrob actor and Hollywood's sometime-infamous badboy. Hydee's hope of reuniting is wearing thin, but she has no idea how dire the situation really is.
Because meanwhile in California, Theo Monk is losing his mind. Anxiety and paranoia rule his life, along with his on-again-off-again girlfriend and her entourage. When fear and frustration push him to an edge, Theo cuts and runs as far from his problems as he can without knowing Fate's giving him one last shot to unite with the only person who can help him. Hydee and Theo must save one another before hope runs out and Hydee's despair and Theo's fear keep them apart forever.