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 II
After my rather impertinent declaration and demand, I went about my business. I made phone calls, got showered and dressed, and set out to do errands. It was a bright, sunny day, and as I made my way toward town, the heavens cracked open, and the Hand of Unforgiving Awareness reached down and smacked me upside the head.
I nearly wrecked. Lana Del Ray was playing on the stereo. "Summertime Sadness." I pulled over, breathed, and burst into tears, not because I was sad or angry, but because I was completely overwhelmed.
Maybe this is why we don't know more than we do about the way the cosmos works. Ever seen the movie DOGMA? With Ben Affleck and Matt Damon? Alanis Morissette plays God, and you can't actually hear God speak, because your head will literally explode. Hence Metatron, the Voice of God (played by Alan Rickman; seriously, if you've not seen the movie, do so), who speaks for God and relays messages so people don't blow up.
I think my head was trying to explode.
It was a vision, for lack of better word. In a split second, I saw myself, small and sitting and plugged into the web of life, and I saw how I was connected to everybody else. I saw how art and words and stories and paintings were the things that stored our history, our pasts, our hopes and dreams. Art and expression is the foundation of human existence, and I was lucky enough to have something to do with it; to remember enough from the space in between lives to spread the word that we ain't alone, we ain't just floundering around without purpose or paths...
And I had dared speak out against such a gift?
I was well and truly smacked around. I deserved every bit of it.
It was like something said, "Oh, she wants a SIGN does she? She wants a SIGN? THEN WE WILL DAMNED WELL GIVE THE MORON A SIGN."
I could feel the indignation right down to my bones. I never made it to my destination. Instead, I slinked back home, highly ashamed of myself and sort of mumbling apologies to the air.
Once again, I was ever so grateful that I'm usually alone when all this insanity strikes me. Lord help me if there are ever witnesses.
I will make a fantastic old, crazy person who scares children at Halloween. I'm already three-quarters there.
Anyway, I went home, and I found a deluge of messages on my computer. That was the day when everybody who'd read my words decided to tell me how much those words meant. I had messages on my messages, and I wept through reading and replying to them. I remembered that being angry and resentful does nobody any good. The only really good way to go through life is in a state of perpetual gratitude that you're drawing air into your lungs.
Our lives are our chances to expand ourselves. Spending them afraid or angry or miserable in any way doesn't do anybody or anything a lick of good.
I remembered to feed myself and all that, and later that night, I sat back down at my computer. I knew the Universe wasn't done. I'd only had two parts of an ass kicking, not three.
She usually works in threes, fives, or sevens. If she's working in nines? Oh boy...
Anyway, I sat down and I had a message. A voice mail video message on Skype, to be exact. It was from a person whom I knew casually but not overly well, and she lived three thousand miles away and we'd not spoken in any capacity in weeks.
Her message was essentially this: "So I hear you're in need of guidance and maybe a sign?"
Image of me: sitting with a blanket around my shoulders, hair in a wadded tuft ponytail on top of my head with eyes as big as teacup saucers.
Never one to back away from lying in the bed I'd so recently made for myself, I messaged back and we got online. She gave me a thorough life reading, and she said many important things, but one of the things she said stood out among the rest to me:
"You have a raven in your life," she said, after turning over a card.
"Er, yes?" I said, knowing precisely whom she meant. There's only one Feather in my world.
She nodded. "You need to follow the raven. He's going to take you back to where you need to be so you can get back on track."
"Okay," I said, instantly willing.
She eyed me over the webcam. "You need. To follow. The Raven."
"I will," I swore.
When I went to bed that night, I think I stared for a long time at the ceiling while cuddling my Pluffie collection (I sleep with a whole lot of soft, lively little dudes). I probably prayed and apologized and promised I'd try to uphold my end of the bargain and get over being so angry. "I need help figuring that out," I said to the ever-attentive darkness. "I don't know why I'm so mad, and I don't know how I've lost my way, but I swear I'll try to find it again. I'll do whatever it takes."
Because I always do whatever it takes for the words. For the path. I've traveled to strange places for them. I've conquered fears for them. I've faced demons and chatted them up. I've changed how I sit, sleep, stand, and walk for them. I've reconfigured every aspect of my daily life more than once for them.
That's the thing, though, that the people who haven't yet acknowledged their connection to the Universe don't quite get. See, creative types? We feel the connection to the Beyond. We all know, as writers, artists, painters, musicians, that the real answer to "Where does your craft/inspiration come from?" is:
"I don't know, but when it comes, I feel bigger than myself, larger than my life, and I am in love with that feeling."
We crave that feeling. We need it. We understand, I think, on a cellular level, on a soul level, that it's our ticket to remembering we're all in this together. That we never die. That we're part of something great and intricate and mystically magical, and we will do anything to taste that connection again. We will drink, do drugs, get into bad relationships, go places we should and shouldn't, forget the faces of our loved ones, and climb mountains at the edge of the world. We will live in humility, trying to get back to that place of peace and light. We will live simply, we will live poorly, we will live in agony if required. We will also get over fear, face ourselves, hunt down obstacles and eradicate them, and fight to be able to do what we're called to do.
It's my greatest addiction in life: connection. I will do anything to feed it.
Even if it means changing myself forever, over and over again.
The next day, I told my Raven about the conversation and the signs and all else. He joked and claimed perhaps it wasn't a great idea to follow him headlong into a wall, but I said if I needed my brains bashed against some brick to knock some sense back into them, I'd happily and willingly do so.
It was a couple of weeks later that we came across... him.
The artist, the celebrity, the Communist.
We'll call him L.
"Caw," cried the Raven from high above the crow's nest, and the captain looked on and said, "Ahoy, mateys; strange seas ahead."
I first heard about L through a friend of mine who is always on the lookout for character look-alikes. She sent me a picture saying, "This guy reminds me so much of one of your guys, it's not funny." I clicked on the link, and sure enough, the man did resemble one very particular character of mine. I tucked the memory and the picture away for later.
After the Day of Signs and Portents, that picture was rolling around in my brain. I looked L up and it turned out he was everywhere. I found a website, his blog, and I found a post that confounded me.
He was doing an art project. He was, and is, apparently, an artist, and he was soliciting audience participation.
The call to action wasn't the only thing that rang gongs in my head. The art project was based on a set of symbols – of "found" objects – that looked very, very familiar. They were these little drawings, (just one to start with, and a new drawing would be "revealed" every month of the eight month art project) that came with phrases, ("Honesty is respect for truth.") and after a little Googling I found out two things:
1. The symbols come from a video game called Ultima IV, and they represent "virtues" in the game. Things like love, honor, courage, etc.
2. The symbols are tattooed on the body of another man also involved in the same circles as L. Said second man was often assumed to be involved with L. Hell, I found one interview where they put all "assumptions" to rest and came right out and said so: "We're boyfriends, sure."
Fascinated that the entire Internet and L's fan club didn't seem in on the gag, so to speak, I went back to the post about the art project. I read it again, and I saw a line that tugged at me:
"I 'ate' my 'hate' and all I got were 'eight' souvenirs (and one broken pericardium). Now I need your help to put the pieces back together again."
The man was basically saying that the guy who was tattooed with those symbols had left and broken his heart, and this project was an attempt for L to get over it and move on.
I was still staring at this trying to figure out why I was fascinated when my Raven came online.
"Yo," he said.
"Hey," I said.
"You're... what's up?"
"Well, there's this thing..."
"And this guy?"
"And this post on this blog about this project..."
So I did. And my Raven's response was immediate and emphatic:
"YOU MUST WRITE SOMETHING FOR THIS."
Raven was convinced, for whatever reason, that this call to arms given by a man who so resembled one of my characters (one of the characters who was the most impacted by the ending of the relationship in the beginning of 2013, I might add), was especially for me and my eyes. Raven pointed out that the way I interact with people often changes and helps them, and while I could have argued both for and against his opinion, the (somewhat drunken) order to write, goddammit, clanged around in my head. I couldn't help but think of my other bit of cosmic direction so recently handed over to me:
"Follow the raven."
So I spluttered and floundered, but eventually I agreed to do an art project. Though I dragged Raven along for the ride.
It's just the kind of friend I am.
We signed up to write a continuous story based on L's "art prompts" that would be released once a month for eight months.
Little did we know, however, how far and wide this journey would take us.
Much love & prompts,
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.
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