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 V
Timing is everything. The book The Dream Hunters was my tangible semi-proof that there was likely-sorta-most-probably something up with the Universe and wanting me to pay attention to L., to the art project, to all of it. There was something to learn, here; something to do. And I thought mailing the book would be that very thing: the action portion of the program.
By the time I mailed the book, however, L. was moving and downsizing his possessions. And by "downsizing" I mean, "Getting rid of everything." It was part of another art project of his, to get rid of everything he had and start fresh. In a way, it's what any of us would love to do after a terrible heartbreak. Tear it all down, give it away, sell it off, and start over somewhere we don't have to explain ourselves or our histories. I admired him for it, but when I got his text that he couldn't keep the book, I was equal parts sad and confused at the Universe, again.
Why would it lead me down this strange road, give me this book, and have it be so clearly connected to all of us if not to give it to him? Keeping it didn't seem appropriate, and at the time, I didn't see any other option. Raven was equally baffled.
"What now?" Raven would ask.
"No clue," I'd say, over and over again.
Then L. asked me if there was anything of his I might want. Actually, he'd asked me a few weeks beforehand, and I'd forgotten the request until the book dilemma came up. So I texted him back: "The book. I want the book back. Bring it to me, and we'll call it done."
"Okay. I will. I'm sorry I can't keep it."
And just like that, L. and I had a date to swap a book for a certificate saying I'd participated in his art project.
I'll spare you the details of me fretting and cooking all kinds of food, anticipating that I'd be feeding him and being completely unsure what he'd like to eat. I can't help it. I've got Southern blood in these veins, and any time we smell a visitor coming, we Prepare, with a capital P.
I also had all the usual New Friend jitters along with a healthy dose of, "I'm doing what, again, Universe?" L had no idea he had such a role to play, and I still had no idea how to explain or if the time would ever be right to try. So on the day he was to arrive, I made a ton of chicken salad and broccoli salad and my mom's specialty meatloaf and green salad and plopped myself in the dining room to wait after stuffing the fridge to groaning. At first, I played it coy, feigning interest in my iPad and story outlines that were ongoing, but pretty soon, I was staring out the window like a kid waiting on their best friend to arrive for a playdate.
He was on time. He was tall. And the first words between us were, "Hi, so good to see you, glad you made it, oh man, I have to piss like a racehorse."
That last bit was him, not me, so inside we went, and to the facilities I steered him while I went into the kitchen to make up a plate. There was no way I could eat. My stomach had bats, butterflies, and zombie birds in there, so food wasn't an option. But we sat in the dining room and he wolfed down the food while we talked about Everything Under the Sun.
For two hours we spoke to one another like somebody had a timer on us and we only had so long to get our life stories told. Or at least our most recent and failed relationship stories, at any rate. I told him about the traffic jam, too, and the ensuing anxiety and my efforts to get over it. He confided in me all sorts of things, from hopes to relationships in the near future to fears about the choices he'd made and other events beyond his control. All too soon, he had to go and get on the road again. We swapped books and certificates, snapped pictures, and I waved goodbye from the sidewalk as he drove away as quickly as he'd arrived.
I wrote up the entire encounter attempting to see all the meaning in it. I shared the story with Raven, and when I concluded that the tasks were complete – that the commonality between the tragic ends of Recent Relationships Past and my ability to share what I'd learned and vice versa was clearly what the Universe had meant to happen between L and me – Raven disagreed.
"Nope. You're not done yet."
I froze in the act of eating my nightly ration of chocolate. "You don't think?"
"...okay." I chewed thoughtfully. "Any other insights, oh sagely one?"
"Nope." Raven laughed. "You'll be the first to know."
Months went by. My anxiety continued to plague me, as did the vague sense of unease that I wasn't on the Path. My Life Path, always so clear and so gentle, was marred with fog and critters endowed with sharp, pointy teeth. The writing was stalling out, and I was beginning to be terrified that all this Life Path Inconsistency nonsense had to do with me changing focus. Should I go back to school? Should I start my own business? Should I shave my head and sing on street corners? At least two dozen schemes played out in my brain over the weeks I tried to figure out what in the hell was wrong with me.
About the time I was ready to take up permanent residence under my bed with my Pluffie collection and my books and hot chocolate and say forget the world for a few years, I got a text message out of the blue:
"Hey stranger. You in town this week?"
Now, I'd been talking to L off and on, but the conversations had been polite, vague, and occasionally awkward, at least on my side. I was the perpetual socially awkward idgit trying to text. Me. Who can talk to posts and get them to talk back. Me. Who starts up conversations in the line at the Post Office and learns all about how someone raises bees for a living and has been doing so for the last two decades. Me. Who can make even the most recalcitrant friend open up about their bad day. Raven might have a thing or two to say on that point.
I had no idea what to say to the man. Unfortunately, I was discovering that if a friendship begins on esoteric terms, and those terms remain unclear for too long, it becomes very difficult to hold normal conversation as, well, you're desperately trying to say the right thing not just on the friendship level or the get to know you level but on the Universe Is Speaking and I'm Generally Deaf and Dumb So It'll Have to Shout level.
I was waiting for the next sign to fall.
I told L that I was, indeed, in town, and he said that he and a friend would be passing through and he'd love to catch up with me. After a few negotiations, we decided he and the friend should just stay here, as opposed to camping out or getting a hotel room, as we have the space. My husband, ever tolerant of my strange schemes, was looking forward to meeting the man of mystery. And Raven? Well, he was cawing in triumph from the metaphoric trees.
L and his friend came and stayed for most of a weekend, and in a weekend, he helped kick me in the ass to change my life.
Recounting the entire exchange would take pages (at least thirty of them; that's how long the journal entry I wrote about the visit is), but suffice to say, we talked about everything again: my anxiety, art, travel, trips, relationships, people, love, spirituality, communism, capitalism, writing, performing, and the fine art of cooking with a crock pot.
During his visit, we attempted to take a trip to a nearby theme park. Attempted is the key word, there. My anxiety trumped the trip, and L was not only patient, he was good at listening. He said the hard thing: "Sometimes, it takes a doctor and professional help to get over something."
Like a lot of people in general and some of them in the creative fields in particular, I've been terrified of medication that might alter my brain chemistry for a long time. The Mystical Wherever from whence stories come might not be able to get through the net the meds would make over my receptors. I was also dragging my feet on therapy and other resources for reasons I couldn't account to you now, but I think added up to, "Aren't I doing enough, already?"
I considered my choices and options all the way home from our aborted trip, and on the way, L asked me to help him make a video for his current and ongoing art project. There were some rather specific parameters that had to be worked out to make it happen, but we managed, and over the next day or so, we shot some footage.
It was scary, it was silly, it was badass, and by the time L and his friend left, I had a new fire lit under my ass.
I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I needed to be able to do insane things on a moment's notice. It's the way I've lived my entire life up until the anxiety kicked in, and it's the way I'm going to need to live the rest of it. I can't be bothered with pesky issues driving a car, not when I might have to drive to Canada or uproot and fly to Romania for two weeks for who knew what reason.
In short, I realized that part of my unease about the Life's Path is that I felt like I couldn't meet its demands. And I wasn't wrong, so I had to do something about it.
Never one to do anything by slow or half measures, the following day I got information on an Energy Worker in town. The next Monday, I got appointments with various doctors, therapists, and a host of professionals to cover all angles of the anxiety, from brain to patterns to the metaphysical and the purely physical. For a solid month, I did nothing but go to appointments and that in and of itself was a kind of therapy. I had to get in my car and drive and drive and drive, and I did it.
I damned well did it. I had to do a lot of breathing, but I did it.
And along the way, I realized the Raven had led me straight to a crossroads:
Did I break through or break down?
Much love & crossroads,
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.