Seraphel - Shadows of Malevolence

In the enigmatic realm of Seraphel, where darkness whispers and malevolence thrives, a haunting tale of supernatural intrigue unfolds. "Seraphel - Shadows of Malevolence" invites readers into a world shrouded in mystery and teeming with secrets waiting to be unraveled. Journey alongside Evelyn "Evee" Blackthorn and Gabriel Wolfe, two seasoned hunters, as they step into the chilling embrace of Oakwood Manor, a mansion steeped in ghostly apparitions and spectral whispers. With each turn of the page, the presence of Seraphel, an ancient and sinister entity, grows stronger, its shadowy tendrils reaching out to ensnare the unsuspecting.

From the eerie beginnings of their investigation in "The Haunting of Oakwood Manor," Evee and Gabriel are thrust into a spine-tingling journey that takes them deep into the heart of the supernatural. Unexplained shadows dance along the walls in "Unexplained Shadows," while their first encounter with Seraphel sends shivers down their spines in "The First Encounter." As they uncover the dark origins of Seraphel in "Investigating Seraphel's Origins," Evee and Gabriel delve into forgotten rituals and legends, unearthing long-forgotten truths that could hold the key to Seraphel's malevolence.

As Seraphel's power intensifies, the battle against the shadows becomes a race against time. "The Dark Ascendance" reveals the depth of Seraphel's influence, while "Seraphel's Sinister Influence" showcases its ability to manipulate and control the unsuspecting. With each passing chapter, the stakes rise, and Evee and Gabriel must confront their own inner turmoil and fears in "The Inner Inferno." The clash of elements and the embodiment of darkness in "The Clash of Elements" presents our protagonists with a formidable adversary, testing their resolve and pushing them to their limits.

Throughout their perilous journey, Evee and Gabriel's bond strengthens, and they gather allies to aid them in their battle against Seraphel. Together, they must face "The Phoenix's Sacrifice" and make decisions that will shape their destiny. As the shadows dissipate and the final battle looms, "Flames Rekindled" symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, as Evee and Gabriel emerge from the crucible of their trials forever changed, ready to face new challenges and protect the world from the encroaching malevolence that threatens to consume it.

"Seraphel - Shadows of Malevolence" is a captivating tale of supernatural suspense, blending elements of horror, mystery, and redemption. With vivid descriptions, immersive world-building, and characters who grapple with their own inner demons, this first installment sets the stage for an unforgettable series that will keep readers eagerly turning the pages, yearning to uncover the secrets hidden within the shadows of Seraphel. Seraphel - Shadows of Malevolence eBook : Gould, Matthew: Kindle Store 

Love and the amazing ways to show the beheld feelings

Love and Hate, the distance between the two (in time and in between two separate worlds or ideas of perfect hubs - to disturb or not to disturb? (to which level?), and the closeness between the two, the thin line drawn (always by Bugs Bunny) and the pieces of the puzzle called The World to unify a broken concept and make of it the representation of what palpably is with life implying death, at times even asking for it... or longing for an end. So, it must be my life the one longing for... my end? Wow! What a hero I have become!

But who am I saving and is it for the best? Do I like it? And if the answer is "Yes" then to which extent? Would I love it as myself? 

Yes! You've got it! This is about Persephone!

Persephone, queen of the Underworld, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility. She was also called Kore, meaning "maiden" and grew up to be a lovely girl attracting the attention of many gods. It is widely spread that Demeter had a sickening obsessed love for her daughter, thus keeping all men away from Kore. 

But suitors couldn't be kept away forever and, as Persephone grew up to be a charming young lady, Hades, the god of the Underworld, a middle-aged man living in the dark - after being refused the hand in marriage of Persephone - decided to take the girl to his kingdom. One day, while the girl was playing with her friends in the field, picking flowers, she stopped to pick the most enchanting narcissus she had ever seen when the earth cleaved open beneath her. Through the gap Hades himself came out on his chariot with black horses and grabbed the maiden before she could alert her friends. He then took her to his kingdom, the Underworld where he was planning to keep her forever as his bride-to-be and Queen of the Dead. 

Interestingly enough, at the surface, the disappearance of Persephone remains unnoticed by her idle friends. However, Helios and Zeus do witness the incident. Nevertheless, they prefer to remain silent about it for reasons of wisdom and the need for peace and tranquillity. Distraught and heartbroken, Demeter wandered the earth seeking her daughter. Hecate, the goddess of wilderness and childbirth had mercy on this desperate mother and advised her to go and seek the help of Helios. The all-seeing sun god, when he saw Demeter crying and begging for help felt very sorry for her and revealed to her that Persephone had been kidnapped by Hades. Helios suggested that it was not such a bad thing for Persephone to be the wife of Hades and queen of the Underworld. However, Demeter was furious at this insult and decided that Hades, who had only dead people for company, was not the right husband for her daughter. This fury of Demeter started out a great fight, the woman threatening that she would never again make the earth fertile and every single body on the planet would die. 

At this threat, Zeus decided that Persephone would spend half of the months in a year with her husband in the Underworld and the other half of the year with her mother in Olympus. None of the two opponents got pleased with this arrangement but they had to accept it. During the six months that Persephone spent in the Underworld, her mother was sad and did not need to deal with harvest - according to the ancient Greeks, these were the months of Autumn and Winter; when the land is fertile and gives crops, though, was when Persephone was allowed to come to the surface and so she did, living with her mother. Demeter then would shine from happiness and the land would become fertile and fruitful again all due to their happiness. Now, these would be, of course, the remaining months of Spring and Summer. 

The myth, among other purposed ideas, was to explain the change of seasons and the eternal cycle of Nature's death and rebirth. Of course, as a vegetation goddess, Persephone in fact as well as Demeter, were the central figures of the Elensinian Mysteries which promised the initiated happy afterlife. 

Although the origins of her cult are uncertain, the agricultural ancient communities celebrated Persephatta in the month of Anthesterians in Athens whilst the city of Epizephyrian Loceris, in modern Calabria (Southern Italy) the cult of Persephone is moved around the idea of her being the goddess of marriage and childbirth (an inherited earned gift from Hecate, perhaps?) The sources of inspiration have this myth explained and reinvented in many expressive and sometimes clever forms. Nevertheless, for the natural mythological data in this article and the tradition of perpetuating the popular legends as close to the original story as we know them the source remained a traditional one. 

It is good to point out, though, that Persephone, was and is still known under many names with various historical variants including Persephassa, Persephatta or Periphona, in Latin being rendered as Prosepina, also identified by the Romans as the Italic goddess Libera who was conflated with Prosepina. The Homeric form of her name is Persephoneia whilst the people keep knowing her as Kore. 

Now, leaving the debate of her name behind for perhaps the richer in meaningful resources symbol linked to her existence as a legend or a mythological creature if not an archetypal character: what's with the pomegranate? And where is all that pomegranate thing or story we got all so crazy and hooked up with by artists or with artists and writers, if with no magicians or sorcerers involvement whatsoever!? 

Well, a more succulent side of the myth tells us that Persephone cried and cried and over-cried to Hades about being separated from her mother, refusing to eat anything that was being brought to her. Hades insisted to find ways to please her, so, he brought her many fruit and foods until he attracted her with a pomegranate. At the sight of the exotic enchanting fruit - one some speculate she had never seen before whilst others hold as her favourite fruit -she splits the fruit into two halves and picks six seeds she eats from it. This act takes her immediately back to her mother where they embrace and have a wonderful cheerful time together. But, after only six months, Persephone is paid a visit from the Underworld, is summoned to return to her husband and explained the reasons - she had eaten six seeds of the pomegranate which entitled her to see her mother for six months in the year only. When the time comes Persephone does say goodbye to her mother and returns to Hade's kingdom remaining the queen of the dead forever. 

The pomegranate myth had many sides and facets. A different one, in fact, explains the will and power of the gods involved earlier in this presentation the one telling us of the desperate tries of Demeter, the mother, to get her daughter out of the hands of Hades, Hecate's and Helios'  mercy and goodwill, the wrath of the mother and the need to make peace invoked by Zeus. So, Zeus, here, does decide that Persephone must get back to the surface as the crops start being affected by Demeter's state of mind so Hades, knowing that the girl has to eat something from the Underworld in order to remain attached to it forever tries to tempt her with many exotic foods. But, the girl refuses and at a god's council, she is promised, out of the goodness and good-will of her husband, Hades, some time to spend with her mother, in Olympus. She is instructed or guided to have only six seeds of the pomegranate and so she listens and eats only six seeds being immediately taken back to her mother. Spring and Summer fly, though, away and the girl must obey and return to her destiny and husband in the world of the dead. A slightly different version still speaks of Hades' struggle to convince Persephone to eat something and the sign given to the gods when Persephone chooses to eat six seeds - it must mean that she needs to spend half of the time in a year to the surface and half of it in the shadow. 

Artists and poets around the world have speculated and have drawn inspiration from this myth. Enchanted by the story and the mysteries coming with it, they came up with their own thinking details and adornments or with their pragmatical or not quite-so variations of the story, either embellishing it or aggravating things, making it more or less different from the archetype, closer or a lot more distant from the legend's meaning and the typology of this character. Nevertheless, the legend leaves space for many interpretations and speculation, and just like many writers and thinkers of Athens and Greece have exploited the potential of this myth, others launched themselves into making assumptions, making discoveries and even changing the whole story turning it into something else.  The dark fantasy literature and sub-genre is the one that in present days exploits with thirst the myth, remixing it with many other folk legends around the globe and coming up with interesting time shifts, launches in extraordinary and never seen before adventures, and jumping to unexpected conclusions with spectacular novel endings.

This journey of the quest for meaning and the symbolism carried with the fruit had me not only hungry but also a little intrigued and very curious. I wanted to know more. Did I want to understand why a pomegranate? Now, what's with it? What does it symbolizes and why? 

Interestingly enough, this fruit is native from Iran to the Himalayans, in northern India. It has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa and Europe. The fruit is a powerful one, full of vitamins, very nutritious, containing even the good fat our body needs, proteins, dietary fibres and minerals. It doesn't lack carbohydrates and is indicated in a few affections, being one of the very happy to help you with a few health problems gift of nature. Due to its rich water content and Vitamin C, the fruit helps against dehydration. It was also used and is very effective in cicatrizing internal little wounds as well as external wounds.  One can find in 100 g of pomegranate arils 78 g of water, the entire body of arils being responsible for offering 346KJ (83 kcal) of energy. The fruit is seen as a life-giver or a redeemer of life if you like, a rejuvenating wonder fruit. Its skin is also said to be used in producing carpet paints and I am not sure that it wouldn't work for the industry of other textile and non-textile paints. Worth giving it a thought in research.

The Ancient Egyptians regarded the pomegranate as a symbol of prosperity and ambition. According to one of the oldest medical writings from 150 BC, Ebers Papyrus, the Egyptians were using pomegranate for the treatment of tapeworm and other infections. Due to its powers to bring the dead back to life and life back into the human but also following the influence of Persephone's myth, this fruit has been recognised as a symbol of fertility, rejuvenation and health. It is also seen as a symbol of death, and who can blame it for being also a killer when, in order to give life you have to kill and, in order to come back to life you have to die for the world you're living in. 

The association of this fruit in Greek mythology is with Aphrodite and Hera, two powerful goddesses who were both known for their beauty and were associated with love, marriage and childbirth, each in their own particular character traces. It was also named Malum Granatum, which means "grainy apple" and was used in beauty treatments, skin disorders and digestive disorders over the centuries of The Ancient Mediterranean world. Modern research revealed that pomegranates are helping against heart conditions, diabetes and cancer. Several publications and articles were dedicated to offering more details about the health benefits of this miraculous gift of the Himalayas. 

But the symbolism of this fruit doesn't stop here. Given its many seeds, the pomegranate is seen as a fertility fruit. In the Quran, pomegranates grow in the Garden of Paradise and are referred to on multiple occasions as God's good creations. It was also believed to be found in the Garden of Eden and Ancient Iranian Christianity also leaves open the subject of it being the real forbidden fruit rather than the apple. The people of Iran also celebrate the victory of light over darkness by eating pomegranates. In the Egyptians' eyes, this fruit was a symbol of prosperity and ambition and in the Armenian culture, this fruit is held as a symbol of fertility, abundance, and marriage. In Ancient Armenia, a bride was given a pomegranate fruit which she threw against a wall; the scattered pomegranate seeds ensured the bride's future children. The pomegranate also has an important role in Jewish tradition - it's said that one fruit must have 613 seeds which represent the 613 commandments of the Torah. In Ancient Israel pomegranates were brought to Moses to demonstrate the fertility of the "promised land" and the Book of Exodus describes the me'il (the robe of the ephod) worn by the Hebrew high priest as having pomegranates embroidered in the hem. The fruit is even mentioned in the Songs of Solomon six times containing a particular quote.  The tradition is to consume them on Rosh Hashana because the pomegranate symbolizes fruitfulness. They also symbolize a mystical experience in the Jewish mystical tradition, or kabbalah, with the typical reference being to enter the "garden of pomegranates" or pardes rimonim. Azerbaijan made the fruit its symbol by dedicating to it a Festival named Goychay Pomegranate Festival. The Pomegranate was also depicted on the official logo of the 2015 European Games held in Azerbaijan. 

In the European Christian motifs, this fruit makes a sensation. A fourth-century floor mosaic from Hinton St Mary, Dorset, now in the British Museum, the bust of Christ and the chi-rho are flanked by pomegranates but this is not the only place where pomegranates are encountered. They are often woven into the fabric of vestments and liturgical hangings or wrought in metalwork. They figure in many religious paintings such as the ones representing it in the hands of the Virgin Mary or the infant Jesus. When broken and bursting open, the fruit is a symbol of the fullness of Jesus' suffering and resurrection. In Eastern Orthodox Church, pomegranate seeds may be used in kollyva, a dish prepared for memorial services - this symbolizes the sweetness of the heavenly kingdom and the Greeks make similar offerings when they commemorate their dead; their kollyva is as well a dish made of boiling wheat mixed with sugar and decorated with pomegranate. In modern times, when somebody buys a new home, it is conventional for a house guest to bring as a first gift a pomegranate, which is placed under the ikonostasi (home altar) of the house: a symbol of abundance, fertility and good luck. It is also said that Solomon had his coronet designed based on the pomegranate's calyx. 

In China, this fruit was introduced during the Han Dynasty and was considered an emblem of fertility and numerous progeny, the Chinese character describing it meaning seeds and offspring at the same time. In Kurdish culture, the pomegranate is accepted as a symbol of abundance and a sacred fruit of ancient Kurdish religions, used as well in Kurdish carpets as a symbol. It is also the case of India to be considered a symbol of prosperity and fertility, in Indian culture being associated with the earth goddess, Bhoomidevi and Lord Ganesha, the one fond of the many-seeds fruit. 

This fruit was so popular, appreciated and loved that there was even money imprinted with this symbol. The Ancient Greek city of Side (which is the name for pomegranate in the local language) used a coin that had a crested Corinthian helmeted bust of Athena on it with a pomegranate fruit on the other side. Pretty wise, don't you think? And clever, I'd add. By the way, Side was in Pamphylia, a former region on the southern Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor, today's Antalya province of Turkey.  

The fruit of the dead, as it was known in Ancient Greek mythology, is believed to have sprung from the blood of Adonis. So, it must also stand for potency and beauty, if not power, right? Maybe that is why Persephone gave it a try! Clever girl! But let us return to the closer-to-us days and look into the more recent studies on pomegranate.

Right. So it seems that according to Carl A.P. Ruck and Blaise Daniel Staples, one a professor of Classica Studies and "an authority on the ecstatic rituals of the god Dionysus", the other a classical mythologist, the chambered pomegranate is also a surrogate for the poppy's narcotic capsule. The two co-authored The World of Classical Mythology: Gods and Goddesses, Heroines and Heroes, a textbook which became a standard in the field of Classical Studies and Mythology. In the book The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries, Blaise Daniel Staples claims that there was a psycho-active ingredient in the secret kykeion potion used in the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Nice to know that the name pomegranate derives from the medieval Latin Pomum meaning apple and granatum meaning seeded with the possibility of the term to be stemming from the old French word for the fruit, pomme-grenade, as the pomegranate was known in early English as "apple of Granada". Apparently, the term survives today only on heraldic blazons. But garnet derives from Old French, you'd say, and granatum used a different meaning of the term such as "of dark red colour". Well, the modern French term for pomegranate solves disputes and everything in a very military fashion: "Shut up or I'll kill you" sounds like the way the French would have done it in Ancient times, keeping their Celtic bottoms safe and away from the enemy, throwing a grenade or two at the enemy and sending them away. "Oh, off they go! Look at them! Such a short visit!" "Now let us pay a visit to our friends oop on the little island!" "Take a couple of wine-apples to them, like the Romans do, you know, they moved to a new home!?" "Are ye goin' tae Dublin? I have a friend there! He's a scientist. Can you give him this box from me?" "Sure, what's in it?" "Cochineals! Don't open it! They'll eat oop yer fruit there and cause you some injuries as well!" "Yuch! You keep it, mate!" 

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Eleusinian Mysteries are echoed by many thinkers and writers.  We can identify, thus, references and allusive expressions if not versions of the myth and teachings in The Myth of Er in Plato's Republic or moments and pictures in Shakespeare's The Tempest where imagery from alchemy and hermeticism draw on the Mysteries, the play's central masque sequence celebrating the greek myth by using the Roman deities names for the characters involved. But, this is not all of it. Terms and interpretations were borrowed by Carl Gustav Jung himself for his reframing of psychoanalytic treatment and they were used as a source of metaphors to initiate rituals of spiritual initiation and rebirth. To hint even more at the pomegranate symbol use-make in art and literature, we have the Poena Damni trilogy by Dimitris Lyacos, who, in his second book focuses on the return of the dead and the pomegranate is remembered as a symbol indicating the residence of the dead in the underworld and their periodical return to the world of the living. Now, to conclude in musical tones, Eleusis, the symphonic poem created by Octavio Vazquez treats the Eleusinian Mysteries with add-ons of Western esoteric traditions. 

Love and Hate! Figuring out how things can turn great... And there I find a little story from the Side region in Ancient Greece, and this one is about a girl named Side (which means pomegranate) who killed herself on her mother's grave in order to avoid suffering rape at the hands of her own father Ictinus. Boy, that Cinderella we know had such great reasons to cry over missing the ball and not meeting the prince and everything at her mother's tomb! Nevertheless, Side's blood transformed into a pomegranate tree. And voilà! some greater mysteries starting to get revealed, the symbolism of the great mythological facts turned upside down and a rough reality pointed out as "the spotted side of the legend". 

So, with which side of the myth and legends and the stories built all around them would you rather choose to live? Which one do you prefer and why? And what is better, in your opinion, and in which case - silence or truth? Reality or mischief? A lie or two or some nice dosage of creativity...? Which one is better? Which side comforts one best and where would you rather position yourself, if you had to be in some kind of a participant's shoes for a while? I will let you explore and think about the answers you can come up with while I'll send myself back into the editing-creating-editing world where there's loads of research, study and exploration by means of learning to do. 

Enjoy your reading times as much as your living times and have some happy socio-active pomegranate celebrations!

How to be happy ?


Principle 4:

You should strive for true happiness by aligning yourself in conformity with the present circumstances and ‘the only other requirement that ‘remains is your’ willingness and cooperation ‘to do so’, as you remain the sole party in achieving it ‘from within’.

Me: Sometimes I get confused about what is more important — success or happiness. If one is not happy after attaining success, what good it is? Which would be a better bet; to remain happy and ignore success or to be successful and ignore unhappiness? I mean, if I have to choose one among the two, which one should I go for among the two options? Here, what I mean by being successful is having a lot of money, fame, and power. Can you guide me on this aspect of happiness too?

Him: A smart question once again. You seem to be asking questions like the much-reviled journalist. It is as if you want to words in my mouth so that you can then misquote or misinterpret my teachings easily to anyone. This, by the way, is said in jest!

I will answer your question directly. I would prefer to be happy rather than successful. There is a lot associated with happiness; health, good relationships, enjoyment, satisfaction, and many more traits.

You can be very famous, powerful, and have a lot of money but you may still be in a difficult relationship with all those with whom you are connected.

You may gain a lot of wealth by being successful that way but you yourself may not be in a position to enjoy that wealth of yours, in case you remain unhappy.

You may be very famous and many people would know you but there always remains a possibility that you are unknown to yourself in unhappiness.

What would be the point in many people knowing you, in the way you have projected yourself because then you would not be your true self. It would be like chasing a mirage-like the endless search for water in a dry desert, forever disappearing among the optical illusion of the shifting sands — leading to a meaningless pursuit.

Being happy is always a better option, as then you are in synchronization with your inner self and always feel proud of all your actions. You may not be famous but you know yourself pretty well in being happy.

Happiness is a state of mind and is in fact, surprisingly not even associated with the so desired words like success and fame. Most of the things in life can be bought with money except the state of happiness.

India is one such place in this world where you can find many poor people living happily. People from afar and especially from the Western world flock to India seeking the tools to be happy and satisfied.

Me: Yes, I agree, I should feel lucky and feel proud that I am born here in India.

Him: Yes, you should. There are many authors of great books who adore the spirituality of this country. Many people from the West still pour into your nation for finding the truth about spirituality and visit ancient cities like Varanasi. The great ISKCON movement of Hare Krishna has also originated from this land and one can see many foreign devotees dancing on the street in dhoti and kurta displaying a long tilak on their forehead.

The main teaching of Krishna for “one to remain always in the present” is widely acknowledged by many authors of the West.

The philosophy of not bringing anything to Earth at birth and taking nothing out of it at death is also widely given due recognition. This clearly shows that the outside circumstances are irrelevant to the contribution of any happiness.

Me: Where do we find happiness then? What is the main source? I have seen that all physical material, in fact, is the source of happiness. It can be accomplished by money. All comforts of living have some cost attached to it and the rich seem to enjoy and derive happiness out of it. The more amount of money they have with them, the more comfortable they are and hence happier they seem to be. I still do not believe that the outside circumstances do not have any effect on our happiness, as more possession of material wealth and equipment seems to be the source of general happiness and can never be ignored easily. How can it be possible to ignore the outer circumstances?

Him: Happiness emanates from within, never enforced from outside. No amount of money or interference from outside can buy or destroy it, as it is internal and eternal.

The basic ingredients of happiness again sprout from gratitude and satisfaction. Being grateful to others and the almighty is the stepping stone on one’s journey to happiness. In search of happiness, people often ingest intoxicants or chemicals that at times provide temporary ecstasy or euphoria. The residual implications are forms of depression, though.

Even as the initial stimuli of happiness come from outside, real happiness is always generated from within. For instance, when a poor person is made to stay at a luxurious hotel, he may be very happy but at the same time a rich man, having lived in such an environment, may not be so.

Man wants a change in outside stimuli and wants it to happen in continuation forever; in terms of more comfort, power, fame, and wealth for him to remain happy all the time. If there is no change or decrease in any of these, he becomes unhappy.

People staying in hotter climatic conditions become happy on seeing snowfall and they tend to enjoy that; the people habitual to that climate do not. When such people experience snowfall, they may make it an object of play, and throw snowballs at each other. However, people staying in that region may not do so; they do not feel happy with snowfall. So the same snowfall makes some happy and some not so, the outside stimuli are the same but the change in stimuli is for those tourists who happen to be there and hence they become happy. This clarifies that the outside circumstance itself per se does not create happiness but the change in outside circumstance can create happiness or sadness.

Once a person gets accustomed to the circumstances and finds that it is suitable, he starts wanting more of it and in absence of getting more becomes unhappy. There is no limit to the material possession and at a certain point, after having achieved that, a fresh demand gets created. If that demand is not met the person becomes unhappy. That is the reason why newer models of products are released. A product, in spite of being useful, becomes obsolete after some time as a better model with more user-friendly features is pushed into the market. This is the best practical example of a temporary happiness phenomenon creating a huge business model. Much of business is dependent on this and that is why there are new features, new products in the world today which seem to provide us with increasing happiness every day.

A person who remains happy from within does not give importance to the outside circumstances because he has decided to be happy in conformity to any type of environment outside. One can remain in a state of happiness only if he has decided to follow that way. The best way would be to practice meditation and learn the art of appreciating others, and you will be going towards happiness. You may see monks roaming about peacefully, fully contented, and with no new gadgets with them because they are happy internally and no amount of features lures them into the race of material possessions.

Happiness can only be achieved in a permanent way by internal adjustments and thought. That is why it is termed a state of mind. Internally happy people do not require any intoxicant for them to be in that state because they have decided to be happy without outside interference. On the other hand, the happiness some people derive from intoxicants is only temporary and permanent happiness eludes them in the long term.

Me: Yes, people get intoxicated by taking drugs and other such substances from outside. Is there any other way to get such chemicals, internally? Is there any other way to get intoxicated internally?

Him: There are many chemicals stored in our own body and are released just by the mere thought process and there may not be any need of buying chemicals off the shelves of a drugstore to do that miracle. These chemicals can be released at our own sweet will and happiness can be released momentarily or permanently.

The problem is that you are used to deriving happiness from outside sources, outside substances, and circumstances. You derive happiness from that roller-coaster ride of yours or on reaching the top of the mountain, where you have a scenic landscape in front of you, or when you let yourself drink alcohol or any drug for that matter, which gives you a ‘high’ or that loss of control of your senses.

You can lose temporary control of your senses from within too. You can devise a method by which you can lose control of your senses even permanently. Say, in meditation, when you ignore your surroundings and are lost in thoughtlessness. You can generate happiness from within by even appreciating the surroundings. You can also generate happiness by appreciating yourself or engaging in an act of kindness. You can choose to live in that awakened state of awareness, where you feel aware of doing every act of yours, be it walking, talking, eating, or doing anything for that matter. Once you develop this art of becoming aware of yourself, you are moving towards permanent happiness, you then ignore your adverse surrounding of yours; you do not get hurt by any amount of abuse from anyone. You are not affected by the acts of others and you cease to compare with others and you remain happy, but it takes a lot of effort by way of practice meditation and training your thinking. You devise a system whereby you let yourself think in a particular way.

Many a time interaction with an infant makes you happy. You start observing the gestures of an infant and talk to the child for hours. You start making strange sounds and interact with the child. It does not have to be a discussion that is meaningful. That is happiness.

To be happy is to be aligned with the current environment, to be in conformity with it. In happiness there is no resistance to an environment, if the environment is resisted, the happiness can never be attained. To be happy is to appreciate the present state and realize it to be one’s own well-being.

Happiness can be well-learned from a child, an infant, who without knowing you, smiles and it has such an enormous power that you are also forced to smile, irrespective of whichever mood you are in. You smile back automatically without even realizing that the child has not uttered a word or done anything for you to smile back but you do reciprocate. This is the power of an infant smiling at you.

Happiness is akin to the blooming of a flower, a rising of a sun wherein joy comes automatically from the universe; it is similar to an infant smiling at you without any cause.

Happiness is like a catalyst that revitalizes your present moment without your knowledge. It is spontaneous and sudden; you suddenly begin to appreciate that breeze that has recently touched you or that sudden change in the weather which you have instantly appreciated. Happiness has no cause or effect, it is just that you are happy. So is it true for unhappiness? Many people do not even know what they are unhappy about, they are just unhappy without a cause.

This is the reason that the state of happiness or unhappiness is not defined and so it is called a state of mind. People may feel unhappy about an event or a failure in their attempt at achieving something, but it can soon be dissolved if we try living in the now and forget the past or future.

Me: Great explanation about happiness. I never knew this is what it is. I recollect now that these were the moments in my life too when I was really happy. And, I was not drunk! Can we not remain in this state always?

Since now, as you say, my main goal is to be happy rather than to be successful, how should I achieve it? I ask this because the goal is always at the furthest end. One has to make an effort to reach it; travel the full length of the path to reach that goal. So, how can we be ‘future happy’?

Him: In fact, happiness can only be achieved in the present, it cannot be found in the past or future. One can never be happy thinking about future success or an event, it can only be relished in the present.

The moment one deviates from the present to possess something in the future, the feeling of possessing something in advance embeds inside one’s mind, and one tends to fall back into the loop of acquiring something. So if you want to be future happy all that you need to do is to be present happy from moment to moment and always. Do not look further than that and do not long for more. It then becomes a continuous process of appreciating all that is and being with that.

Me: What other benefits can we derive from happiness? Just by being happy nothing much can be achieved; I mean, one can lead one’s life well by being happy but no creation then is possible, as creation is born out of discomfort always. For creating, excelling, or doing something great one might have to leave the path of happiness. So what I want to know is; what all is associated with happiness?

Him: Happiness gives you longevity, the happier you are healthier you would be, it is the remedy for many diseases and similarly unhappiness is the major cause of dreaded terminal diseases like ulcers, cancers, and severe depression.

Medical research has confirmed that people with the terminal; diseases have had a history of unhappiness, prior to their illness. Feelings of hatred! Comparisons! Jealousy! Not having things, of not achieving something which others have achieved, was in fact the cause of the beginning of that terminal illness of theirs.

On the contrary, happily living persons are virtually free from any disease and not vice versa.

Moreover, it is not true that every discomfort gives you unhappiness. In fact, when you love doing something and you are associated with that every moment, you are not able to perceive any discomfort and you continue to do it. So it is not true that if you are happy you cannot create. In fact, all great creations take off from a state of happiness. For example, Edison’s ten thousand attempts at making a bulb would have been a source of a lot of pain; with so many failures he could have been unhappy, but he took it otherwise and kept at it. He treated all those failures as all the ways of not making a bulb. He was so involved in his task that once someone he had invited for dinner arrived, watched the inventor engrossed in his work, ate his dinner, and left the house, ignored completely all that time. Later, as Edison took some time off his experiments and reached the dining table for victuals and saw the used plate, he censured himself at how forgetful he was, that he had already taken dinner. He promptly went back to work.

So here the discomfort of feeling hungry was not even recognized by him as he was busy and happily engrossed in his work.

Me: If that is the miracle of happiness, how can happiness be generated as a state of mind?

Him: Happiness generates itself from the adjustments which are done willingly, the compromises which we make in our life without remorse. It sprouts from acknowledging the present and appreciating it. One can never be happy if one is not in conformity with the present environment or is in a non-accepting mode.

To be happy one necessarily needs to have self-appreciation, of one’s deeds, actions, and present state vis-à-vis that of others. The best moments of happiness derived from the self, from within.

Happiness is all about appreciation, if you begin to appreciate everything in your life, you will be happy. In fact, you cannot appreciate anything when you are sad.

Happiness can be generated by doing what you love and loving what you do. Once that love is generated you have then found the source of happiness. If you remain in that state — of loving what you are doing or doing all that you love — you have found the right path. Do not divert yourself from that and then it is certain that you will not only be happy but you may be able to create something new for mankind or invent something great in the very work you are associated with, may it be any form of art.

Whenever you feel sad and you then want to be happy, you should follow these steps in sequence:

1. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, take a deep breath and concentrate on your breathing; observe it and feel it going inside your lungs all the way.

2. Let the thoughts come and go but do not get attached to any.

3. Feel the environment around you, listen to all that is going around you but do not get attached, ignore all.

4. Thank God for all that you have and all that is present now.

5. Think about what you love to do most of the time.

6. Open your eyes and start doing that.

Me: If this is all about the generation of happiness, then what are the causes of the generation of unhappiness? If we know how not to be unhappy, we may learn ‘the how to be happy. I want to know something more about this.

Him: Unhappiness is generated when a person does not behave the way you want him or her to behave or when a situation arrives right in front of you that you are trying to avoid or resent. It is thus generated by the occurrence of an event that is not to your liking. These are the causes of the generation of unhappiness from outside circumstances but it is generated from within too.

The unhappiness from within is generated when you regret an earlier action or from a feeling of inferiority, which in turn gets generated by incapability of yours in accomplishing a job or a task.

Whenever you start comparing yourself with others who are better than you at performing a task, unhappiness is generated instantly; especially if you do not sincerely appreciate such efforts made by others. The best way is to appreciate them in order to be happy. A very simple example; when a near or dear one of yours accomplishes a task that you yourself cannot do, you still appreciate it and consequently feel very happy, instead of becoming sad. Any excellence achieved by your near and dear ones; parents, spouse, children, and a close friends is appreciated instantly. So unhappiness is generated in non-appreciation for those you do not love. Hence the best way is to love all and appreciate all that is achieved, irrespective of the person achieving it.

The non-accomplishment of daily desires is a sure source of unhappiness. Once you are unable to accomplish that short desire of yours, you become unhappy. You then have to find an alternate desire which you can accomplish. So, in order to remove unhappiness, you either need to accomplish that desire of yours, or in case you are not able to do that, at least extinguish or change that desire. So the best way would be to desire differently and be in conformity with the non-accomplishment of your earlier desire.

Me: Sorry to interrupt you, but I am getting confused. You had said that one should engage in what one desires and do everything to attain that happiness. Now, on the contrary, you are saying that I should change my desire.

Him: Never mind. It is good that you are listening and learning seriously. Please do stop me when you have a doubt because I rarely visit in your life. Many a time I visited you but you ignored me completely, as you were not meditating in those days.

A very valid question you have raised on the understanding of happiness. A wish, even a desire is different from a burning desire. You may wish to be a rich man, you may also desire that but that alone would not suffice; when you cannot achieve that state unhappiness gets generated.

But if that is your burning desire, it means you have complete faith in it and you are sure to achieve that; there remains no impossibility, even ten thousand attempts will seem minuscule since you know you will achieve it. Once the desire comes up as a burning desire, you start to work on it relentlessly and you will begin to derive happiness in every failure of yours. The point is, that there is a huge gap between desire and a burning desire.

In case you know that it is just a wish or a desire, leave it instantly and find something for which you have a burning desire.

I will make you understand with a relevant example, which happens everywhere in a family. There are times when kids desire many things instantly and see what happens then.

The art is in changing your desire into a burning desire. It happens when your desire becomes your dream. Not those dreams which come after your sleep but those dreams which do not let you sleep; such dreams happen only in an awakened state and never occur after sleep. You may happen to find the solutions to these dreams immediately after you wake up or in the middle of the night.

When children want something, they create merry hell; shout, cry, stamp their feet and create general havoc, all for that toy that they may have seen at that moment. You either succumb to the demand or divert the attention of the child by giving another choice, in case you cannot afford or intend to purchase that toy. You present arguments and innovative reasons for not purchasing that toy. You also provide an alternate solution simultaneously and instantly to quench the initial desire of the child. The child then starts listening to you, gives your words due consideration, and believes what you are saying is the truth. The child’s desire has finally been quenched or killed.

Similar is the case with you; after all, you are also a grown-up child who now thinks himself to be learned, a wise man. Try to adopt the same strategy to convince yourself of that small non-accomplishment of yours and leave that desire as a bad target. Leave it completely, remove it from your mind, and believe that an alternate action may probably give you a better solution.

Desires are generally associated with enjoyment and are generally found as a cause of celebration or engaging oneself in intoxications.

This is true, especially for an addiction, let it be smoking or drinking alcohol. Practice it regularly and a day will come when you will be no more addicted to any vices. You will then not have a feeling of guilt, the very next morning after indulging in that addiction. It is not just the addiction that is killing you, the guilt is worse to deal with.

Me: You mean to say, drinking alcohol; is not a cause of unhappiness. If I do not repent my wrongdoings the morning after, how do I do away with all my bad habits? Don’t I have to take a vow or a decision that my engagement in that activity was not good for my health and repent the day after a drunken binge? If I do not resist doing that or rightly acknowledge it as a wrong engagement, how would I be able to move away from it? I mean, I cannot rationalize my wrongdoings and be with it still; in that case, I would be cheating myself and in your words not be true to myself.

Him: I mean, enjoy doing what you do, but in limitation. Do not overdo it. In case you still do till your body allows it without any harm, then at least do not repent it. If that case, don’t do it. If you keep repenting and doing it, your regret embeds into your subconscious mind, where you do not have any control over it anymore. You start losing faith in yourself. Once you lose faith in yourself, you start abhorring every activity of yours. You then try to question each and every activity of yours and start doubting yourself. You start hating yourself and then you originate a disease inside your body, automatically. You become the master creator of your own disease.

Then you go to a doctor for the cure, cure something, which is your own creation. The doctor gives the medicines to numb your senses, your ability to think, and induces artificial sleep in you and you become a living dead man.

Me: What should we do then?

Him: Your own bad creations should be destroyed by you only and that is the safest and quickest way. Such a cure would be without any side effects or complications. This is the only way to do away with all your bad habits, which bestows unhappiness the day after, every day.

Me: It is good that you have come to the topic of addiction, which many are fighting against. Most people do have an addiction of some form or the other; drugs, sex, gambling, and the likes. As a solution to this problem, aside from diverting the mind and not repenting, is there any other way?

Him: You may also think of other engagements to kill that addiction of yours. Plan another activity at the time you usually feel like indulging in your addiction. For instance, you may try to engage yourself in other activities like playing a game of tennis or going to a gymnasium. You can also learn to play a musical instrument, write that short story or maintain your daily journal of goals and desires. For that, you have to take the first step which the child took in the previous example, who gave due consideration to your suggestions of not buying that toy.

Nothing can be done without your willingness and cooperation. You are a party yourself in creating your own happiness or unhappiness. No outside source or situation should be held responsible for that.

Happiness is generally self-generated, but it can also be derived from the works of others, only if it is appreciated. Music is one such source where people become happier by appreciating it; the lyrics, the notes, and the silence between the notes. Silence plays a major role in happiness, even a good song can never be composed without brief silence between the notes. If there is no silence between the notes, the music becomes a cacophony.

So to find true happiness, search for silence, the silence between notes or silence within. Appreciating it would definitely lead you to happiness, the condition being that it should be appreciated by you.

Everyone is addicted to something or the other. There are various forms of addiction, which may range from sex, smoking, alcohol, music, watching TV, or many other things for that matter. Some are addicted to good things such as exercising, running, art, etc. Addiction in a way can also be compared with passion. To remove an addiction or a passion is really a hard task. Generally, it is done by instilling fear in one’s mind and various de-addiction centers use this method. Fear of dying is the most common form of fear, where de-addiction is done.

Me: True! I got that, the ultimate and sole responsibility of happiness lies within myself and I was searching for it outside.

Him: See, happiness is your birthright and nobody can stop you from having it. You have got the ultimate authority to be happy; nobody can interfere with that, not even your near and dear ones. If you believe and are convinced to be happy, then nobody can deter that faith of yours to be in happiness always.

You should take a vow, never to get hurt by the words of others, however bad, insulting, or stimulating it appears to you. If you have decided not to nurture the feeling of hurt and delete such thoughts the moment they occur in your mind, you have found a path to happiness. For this to happen, you should always keep imaginary “control, delete and enter” buttons in your mind and the moment your brain registers the thought of an insult, immediately press these three buttons simultaneously and you will see the brain shutting this thought process of being ‘hurt’.

It should in fact become your habit by regular practice of using it in all such instances. Initially, you may have to struggle, as these thoughts may recur again and again, but over a period of time, with your persistence in deleting such thoughts instantly, the practice will get embedded in your subconscious mind, and then you would be able to do it effortlessly. Like driving a car!

Me: Driving a car! It’s interesting that you are quoting some normal practices which help me to understand it easily; otherwise, it would have become an abstract lecture and would then required much effort and willingness to learn from my side. Go ahead.

Him: See, when you learn a car, you learn of the equipment first. I mean you are taught where is the clutch and gear, what are its functions and how we operate all these, what sequence has to be followed, when should we increase or decrease the accelerator paddle, etc. Without that knowledge, it is not possible to learn to drive a car. The whole sequence then must be practiced for a considerable time in order to become an expert driver. Initially, all that seems complex and you look amazed by the functions of these four pieces of equipment, namely, clutch, gear, accelerator paddle, and the steering itself. Once you learn the art it becomes easy as you are fully aware. Can you now tell me how many activities you perform while removing your car from the car parking? Please do not miss any activity, however small it may be.

Me: Yes, I can tell that all these activities, would be like this:

· I sit on the driver's seat, first check the gear and make sure that it is in neutral gear.

· I check the hand brake and pull that down to make it free.

· I then put on the seat belt.

· Insert the key inside and turn on the ignition switch.

· Press the clutch.

· Look at the front through the windshield for any obstruction.

· Do the same by looking in the rear-view mirror.

· See the left and right side for space availability.

· Put the required gear.

· Gently release the clutch and simultaneously increase the required pressure over the accelerator paddle.

· Turn the steering as per the need and maneuver it accordingly.

· Press the brakes when required.

· Press the clutch, change the gear, accelerate and turn the steering continuously and keep watching back and forth and side as required.

· Switch on the indicator, turn on the lights in case it is dark, put on the wipers if it is raining and finally come out of the parking.

I have explained it in quite a detail and think that I did not miss even a single activity.

Him: So, in all, you have noticed that you almost do twenty-one activities to bring the car out of the car park. By the way, how much time does it take you to finish all these activities?

Me: Hardly any, I mean not even thirty seconds.

Him: Do you not get tired, while doing all this so fast?

Me: No, Why should I be, there is nothing great in this, I do it all the time.

Him: That is what I had wanted to convey; you have developed a habit of removing your car from the car park this way many a time and you follow these activities as per your habit of operating the clutch, gear, accelerator, and brake.

Here I would also tell you that you do many other activities apart from these, while removing your car from the car park.

You may happen to pick up your mobile phone, in case it rings and you may happen to talk to the person on the other side with almost full concentration if he or she would have happened to be your boss. You must almost have your entire mind occupied in replying, retrieving the required information, or speaking to him about your latest plan, your next strategy for achieving that goal of your company; however, you may have continued with other activities of removing your car from the car park.

You must also have additionally not reduced the volume of the stereo playing that music and would also have been listening to that favorite song or music of yours. You also must have put your destination on that GPRS display of your destination simultaneously while driving the car out.

Me: That is true but, what do you want to convey?

Him: I am coming to the point. I wanted to convey that since you have developed the habit of doing all these activities while driving the car out of the parking, you are at ease and many a time you do not know exactly how you reach the office or what happened all the way in your journey from the home to office, as once you learn to drive a car, the whole process goes into the subconscious mind and it handles all these without your conscious awareness. Everything happens without your knowledge and effort. You have down-delegated this knowledge to your subconscious awareness, which is executed wonderfully without any extra conscious effort by you.

Me: So, all of us can download good habits and knowledge which is of great and regular use to our subconscious mind?

Him: You have got it right! Successful people do this by downloading good habits into their subconscious minds, which keep on working without any extra effort from them. Most people have the habit of watching television all the time, sleeping, eating, gossiping, drinking, criticizing, comparing, being jealous, worrying, etc. Then they become unsuccessful in terms of maintaining good health, progressing in their career, achieving wealth, being happy, and are then also generally ill. On the other hand, successful people have the habit of exercising, reading, writing, painting, appreciating, thanking, helping, singing, dancing, creating something new and thus become successful in terms of good health, creating wealth, progressing in their career and being happy always.

Me: I have noted this vital learning — “Always develop good habits of learning, creating, thanking, appreciating, and exercising.”

Him: True and once the good habits are developed, they are then automatically transferred to the subconscious awareness and work automatically, leaving your conscious mind to learn other good knowledge, which may be beneficial for mankind.

Me: Why do most people generally resist instilling good habits in themselves? Everyone wants to be successful, wealthy, and healthy but such a lot is very rare in the world today as compared to the overall population on the planet today.

Him: I will say that is the art of asking the right question at the right time, which most people don’t do. You seem to be keen on learning the art of the development of good habits. Let me tell you clearly why there is so much disparity between people who have abundance and those who do not, why there are few who develop good habits while many of us have bad habits.

Habits are normally formed when it is associated with a system of reward. The activity is actually liked by an individual when a reward is associated with it and that is the reason every time that activity is done, a reward is extended and as result doing that activity over time becomes the habit of an individual.

Unfortunately, all bad habits are associated with activities that supply such a reward instantly; for example, drinking alcohol provides instant relief to all. Whoever drinks alcohol or takes drugs gets intoxicated instantly, without any discrimination of caste, color, or creed. The effort involved is also minuscule in nature, except for shelling out some money, so people fall into the trap of this bad habit easily.

However, all good habits require a great amount of effort from an individual and are generally associated with initial pain or discomfort. There may be no fear or requirement of any competency in drinking alcohol or gossiping around but to exercise, read, learn or be creative requires a large amount of effort initially. You must have faced a lot of fear or competency while learning to drive a car initially, rather than when ingesting drinking alcohol. You decided to go even then to learn to drive as you had chosen the better bargain and were aware of the benefits after learning that art. So you learned the art of driving a car for the comfort associated with it at later stages. Similarly, it is difficult to resist the temptation of eating that ice cream or that tasty food a little bit more though many decide not to overdo that as they associate less input of calories and associate better health by not doing so.

Me: Initial pain is better than initial pleasure, I must now develop good habits and the first sign of such traits is that such habits are associated with pain and effort in the beginning. I must not divert myself away from that activity that provides long-term benefits in terms of health, wealth, and happiness; even if there is no instant reward. I must instill this thought in my subconscious mind and should have full faith in it.

Him: You have got it right!

Me: How should I implement all that you said in my life? What are the key takeaways for me?

Him: First decide that it is your prime responsibility to be happy and the effort for the same is to be made only by you and no one else, no one can be held a party to this venture of yours. For you to be happy you should be always in the mode of gratitude for what you have, at present. By being in this mode you would ensure your happiness quotient to a higher degree.

Please also do not compare with others on the terrain of “must-haves”. There are many parameters in life, which can never be compared on every aspect on a “one-to-one basis”. If you look more closely you may find others to possess many “must-haves” in a deficient quantity, but you may have them in abundance. Secondly, for all that you do not have, you may decide to analyze the reasons and amend your approach to fulfill that accordingly. The negative results which you may get should not deter you from making attempts. You should not get disheartened as you do not know how many attempts have been made by persons who have got positive results.

You must seek happiness from within by regular practice of meditation. If you live day-to-day, in the present, and are not bogged down by past results or future scenarios, you may be happy even while attempting, irrespective of the number of that attempt. Try to make “to be happy” your habit, as this is your birthright. Remember always in life that this is the only aspect of human life where all the controls have been placed on an individual’s mind and no one else on the planet can interfere with it.

In case you are unhappy, it is only because you have decided to be that way. Being always happy is an art and everyone must learn it as compulsory learning. There are times when mood swings do occur and you may ride on roller-coaster rides on these swings, but the best way is to come out from “downs” or at least minimize “downs” and maximize “ups” in your life. Never ever cry about your failures and non-accomplishments, instead laugh it away and celebrate your success, however small it may be.

Revenge of Zeeka Five-book Series

Revenge of Zeeka five book series is a futuristic horror mystery thriller series about zombies and their clever Mastermind Zeeka.
.A zika virus outbreak is the start of the island's troubles.
Twenty years later terror stalks the mystic island of Gosh.
It’s the year 2036, and it’s a high-tech world.
Dr. Raynor Sharpe had a vision of zombie-like men with small heads walking on the beach. Was he dreaming or was it a reality?
The woman he secretly loves, Janet Jones, is engaged to another man and is sleeping in the next room.
Why is she there?
Reviewers have compared this futuristic series to Frankenstein, Twilight Zone, and Shakespeare’s plays; and some have said it is movie material.
This series written by Brenda Mohammed is a must-read

How to Write for Success Three Book Series

Writing and Publishing a book is the dream of every new and aspiring author. Author Brenda Mohammed, who self-published 55 books, has created this series for just that purpose.
HOW TO WRITE FOR SUCCESS – VOLUME ONE, received a five-star review from Readers Favorite one month after it was published in December 2017.
In August 2019, it topped all the books in the Non-Fiction category of Connections Emagazine Readers' Choice awards and won the gold medal in the category of non-fiction. It also placed second in all categories and won the silver medal. The merits of the book HOW TO WRITE FOR SUCCESS were featured in a review in the Ethiopian Herald Sunday Edition on February 16th, 2020.
HOW TO WRITE FOR SUCCESS - VOLUME TWO written by Author Brenda Mohammed is meant to help new and aspiring authors fulfill their dream of writing a book.
While Volume One focused on general aspects of writing for success, Volume Two is not only on publishing, and marketing, but on writing characters, writing for kids, memoirs, and fiction.
SELF PUBLISHING TIPS is a simple writing and publishing guide for new and aspiring authors who want to be independent and learn the art of self-publishing.
The book is useful for new, as well as seasoned writers.
All three books should be in a writer’s library.

Barry Holmes Mysteries: Three book Series

Barry Holmes Mysteries: Three book Series (3 book series)

Young adults, and all readers will love BARRY HOLMES MYSTERIES with three thrilling and exciting tales of kidnapping, and mysterious disappearances.

The stories are interspersed with clean romantic scenes to delight you.

In three mind-blowing episodes, the author weaved the first story, THE GIFT OF LOVE, to introduce Barry as an amateur detective.

In THE AXE MURDERER, which is well written in the author's humourous style, Barry faced many obstacles to identifying the real perpetrator, as there were others who fit the profile.

Readers are taken on a rollercoaster ride to capture the real culprit.

The end is surprising.

WHAT HAPPENED TO MARY LOO, revolves around the bizarre disappearance of a businessman's wife immediately after the lockdown for the coronavirus pandemic is lifted.

Did she really disappear?

Image is a collage of three books made by Amazon: The Gift of Love, The Axe Murderer, and What Happened to Mary Loo.

Get the series on Amazon.

Romance Three Book Series


In this Romance three book series, romance lovers are treated to eighteen unusual, intriguing, suspenseful, and alluring romance stories, intermingled with crime, unhappy marriages, and all the trials and tribulations of love,

These stories are written by Trinidadian Author Brenda Mohammed, and some are set on the island of Trinidad and Tobago.

STORIES PEOPLE LOVE won two gold awards in Connection Emagazine Readers’ Choice awards 2019 in romance fiction.

HEARTWARMING TALES –a reviewer said that this book contains, Unique stories assuring amusement “

STORIES THAT INTRIGUE – this book received a five-star review from Readers Favorite International.

Get the full series on Amazon at

Different Types of Office Chairs- By Nick Telford**

Office chairs are the most important furniture for any office not only for the looks of the office but also for the health and efficiency of the staff. Office chair design has come a long way from the simple prototypes of yesteryears.

Today's office chairs promote health, are ergonomically designed, improve your posture and even help you to meditate and relax.

Here are a few types of new office chairs available in the market -

1. Kneeling office chairs - These office chairs have no back support. They incline forward and thus allow the hips to slide forward. This office chair naturally aligns the neck, spine and shoulders.

2. Saddle chairs - Saddle office chairs are so named because sitting on them is like sitting astride on a horse. These chairs can solve lower back problems quite successfully. The height of the office chair is easily adjustable. It works well as a desk or a computer chair.

3. Exercise ball chairs - These chairs are shaped like a ball. You can use them as a desk or computer chair. It is difficult to slouch in such a chair because the user has to sit upright. The exercise-ball office chair encourages movement while sitting because it is a bit bouncy. This movement keeps up the blood circulation and keeps the muscles in constant use.

4. Recliner chairs - Recliner office chairs help the user to work in a reclining position. It is suitable for people suffering from spinal injuries. A small table can be attached to the chair to enable the user to work.

5. Balans Chair - The Balans office chair keeps the user's legs at an angle of 135 degrees to the spine. In this position, while sitting upright, the weight is distributed between the front and the back of the spine and along its length evenly.

You can select an office chair for you depending on your specific requirements. Whatever type of office chair you end up using, experts suggest the following tips to keep your body and back in good condition:

* Take a break every hour. Do not keep sitting throughout the day. Stand up and walk around periodically.

* Change your sitting position at different times. Keeping a single position is not naturally good for the body.

* Sit straight without back support for at least some time during the day.

* Even while sitting, try to move around as much as possible - pick up the phone, reach for the file or simply get up and stretch.

** Nick Telford worked in office environments for more than 30 years. A few years ago, he developed back problems, and discovered it was due to bad posture in his chairs. He decided to research office chairs, and find out exactly what is the best way to sit for 8 hours a day or more... now he's written a series of article to help others. **

Thanks To Author - Mr Nick Telford

Thanks to Article Source:

Secret Monitor Men

An award-winning mystery thriller. A Skye Keller mystery. Follow Skye on her journey of self-discovery  as she investigates her father's disappearance. For thinkers who enjoy international intrigue, code, and subtext.

Buried Planet - Epic High Fantasy on

This work was a long time coming as It took me several years to complete. Having started it in the mid 2000's and only having completed it in 2021. Such an extended period comes from several sources; from not only my own inexperience and, admitedly, initial ineptitude to also leaving it to go and do other things. But also, perhaps even more so, by the sheer size of it all.

Now, what is it all about?

"Buried Planet - the following forever" is a narrative close to 300 thousand words in the telling and with around 115 coloured illustrations to boost it. Without giving too much of it away, it is at its core a mixture of High-Fantasy and Science Fiction. A story where a few out of place characters stand in contrast against an ancient and overly dead looking, underground world.

Some of the inspirations for the concept?

Having grown throughout the 80's I was, of course, heavily influenced by all the animations at the time and this is very visible in every character's depiction. They tend to look ( for the most part) very comic-like, almost superhero-like at times and even though the narrative will support why such a depiction, I still have to admit my fondness for all those great works that so motivated me in my youth.

As for the backgrounds, I have always loved the pre-rendered works found later in certain types of videogames and how the characters roaming through those incredible backdrops never [obviously] felt like they actually belonged. I love the absurd quality of some of them and I love that difference, as unintentional as it was, between the "world in the back" and "people in front of it" and so here we are...

Goal 1: 3500 dollars usd

This will allow us to print 50 paperbacks (in black and white) which will shortly after become available for print on demand as well as an Ebook version.

Goal 2: 9500 dollars usd

If enough interest is shown and we make it this high up then we will also be able to print 50 Hardcovers (in full colour) which will also become available shortly after for print on demand. 

Writing influences?

I am a big fan of the pulps, namely those flashy sci-fi's; all the way from their birth until the early 80's where, to me personally, that is when they died off and although I consider myself quite a versatile reader, that is where my heart lies. That pulp style, that on the move, go-go-go type of story telling where anything goes... the untried and the uncertain . So as aforementioned, despite this being a narrative with close to 300 thousand words, it is still quite light. Any possible reader may rest assured that this is an assembly of words much closer in style to say Burroughs than Joyce. I did attempt also, at times, to go for something different, that untried and uncertain; to strive for some new things, to take a few risks of my own when it comes to story teling. A few made it all the way to the end while others, regrettably did not. Ultimately, this is quite the "meaty" experience but it is also a very "pulpy" one in its nature and should be considered as such.

Why a Kickstarter?

"Buried Planet" is here because, among other things, it is [apparently] too diferent from the norm and therefore quite a hard pitch to sell. And since it is my wish for this to remain an open book, pardon the pun, it is also here because of my refusals to change or reshape it in any form in order to appease some of the tyrants who like to hide behind false claims of sensibility in order to dictate what should or should not be created. It is here because I want it to retain its original vision and because platforms like this seem to be now the last bastion for projects like it. The place where ideas can come to life without any pressure from outsiders; whether they be political or financial. Also, and I'll gladly mention it, all sorts of questions are welcomed and with many thanks in advance to anyone planning to partake in them.

Time on Earth Time Beyond

Movement of Time on Earth

By simple observation of the movement of the sun, moon and stars; changes in the seasons, day in and day out and by observing the fall of night ending in dawn, the prehistoric man could guess the time they were passing through. Certain sights, sounds and smells mark the movement of time. The smell of certain flowers at certain times tells us the season and the time precisely. Our biological clock tells us the rhythmic time of our body machines.

Measuring Time using Manmade Devices

Improvement in measuring time came by stages. Sundial was used first in Egypt. Hourglass using sands of time and the Water Clock, used first in Greek, were the devices man invented.

By the 1300 C.E. appeared the mechanical clock using weights or springs in different ways. This was the time when clocks and watches were produced; the predecessors of what we see today in different varieties. Pendulum clock saw the light of day in 1656. John Harrison invented a small clock accurate enough to use for navigation at sea in 1761. Half a century later digital watches were introduced. In 1967 atomic clock used the oscillations of cesium (133 atoms) to tell time. This clock had an error ratio of 1 second for every 1.4 million years. In 1999 scientists developed the cesium fountain atomic clock, which is off by only one second every 20 million years. This clock appears to be the most accurate in the world. All these are dividing the time by our clock, devised to record the movement of ongoing time through the rotation of earth, moon, sun and such bodies, in their own way.

Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar is a unique construction with bricks, sand and cement made first in Rajasthan and then in New Delhi, India to record the movement of time. One of the five observatories was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur in the year 1724. This observatory completed the purpose of compiling astronomical records along with the task of estimating time and tracking the movement of celestial bodies. It is a very intelligent geometrical measurement of time. But in spite of everything, every way of measuring time it moves without any halt.

Can we really Catch Hold of Time! Can you arrest time or stop the movement of time!

Time Whole or Broken!

Time is neither circled by the earth nor even by the universe. It is beyond. From the beginning of civilization the scientists and philosophers were bewildered by becoming aware of the presence of time and space though invisible unless broken in different ways. The big questioners and discoverers were mostly scientists though philosophers too tried to find the answers. What is time!

Stephen Hawking’s Scientific Speculation and Rational conclusions

Stephen Hawking, the great British scientist who has just parted from us, tried to probe the existence of time, space and other things in his A Brief History of Time. He says that “There are at least three different arrows of time. First, there is the thermodynamic arrow of time, direction of time in which disorder or entropy increases. Then there is the psychological arrow of time. This is the direction in which we feel time passes, the direction in which we remember the past but not the future. Finally there is the cosmological arrow of time. This is the direction of time in which the universe is expanding rather than contracting.” (Hawking 153)

“To summarise”, he writes, “the laws of science do not distinguish between the forward and backward directions of time.” (Hawking 160)

He says that the thermodynamic and psychological arrows are essentially the same and that intelligent beings can exist only in the expanding phase. “The no boundary proposal for the universe predicts the existence of a well defined thermodynamic arrow of time because the universe must start off in smooth and ordered state.” (Hawking 160-61)

The concluding chapter of the book, “Conclusion”, is interesting. He cannot arrive at any conclusion in the absence of any definite clue.

“When we combine quantum mechanics with general relativity, there seems to be a new possibility that did not arise before: that space and time together might form a finite, four dimensional space without singularities or boundaries, like the surface of the earth but with more dimensions . . . . But if the universe is completely self-contained, with the singularities or boundaries, and completely described by a unified theory, that has profound implications for the role of God as Creator.” (Hawking 184)

This conclusion is revolting to a scientist. So he concludes by putting a volley of questions, may be to God himself: “Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence? Or does it need a creator, and, if so, does he have any other effect on the universe? And who created him?” (Hawking 184)

Unlike a believer in God Stephen is a bit frustrated. In keeping with his scientific pride he writes, “The people whose business is to ask why, the philosophers, have not been able to keep up with the advance of scientific theories . . . . Philosophers reduced the scope of their enquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, ‘The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language.’ What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!” (Hawking 185)

Humorous and understanding, Hawking has a rational personality. He remembers that scientific theories are always susceptible to changes though many of the broad scientific discoveries and ideas are guiding us. He mentions in the book that Newton and Einstein committed mistakes and admits that he too committed mistakes. He admits at the beginning- “Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory.” (Hawking 11) Hawking’s quest for time seems very genuine and sincere but remains inconclusive.

Concept of Time in Ancient Tradition

Hawkins mentions only Western scientists and philosophers. But many great Oriental philosophers realized God and knew things by identity. They too wrote great philosophical treatises; not just religious books prescribing rituals. There were great astronomers and mathematicians in India. Vedic mathematics is a great subject being explored by some great scholars of the Western World.

According to ancient or ‘Sanatana’ Hindu scripture, the time is divided into equinoctial cycles of ascending and descending Arc, each divided into four Yugas; ‘Kali’, ‘Dwapara’, ‘Treta’ and ‘Satya’, corresponding to the Greek ideas of four ages; Iron, Bronze, Silver and Golden Ages, wrote Yogananda referring to a series of 13 articles written by Sri Yukteswar Giri titled, ‘Yuga theory’ that was published in the magazine titled “East-West” from September 1932 to September 1933.

Yukteswar calculated each cycle to be of 24000 years. The ancients calculated the life of the universe too which was in terms of many lakh solar years, corresponding to the present scientific speculation extending to many millions years. But ironically, none of us will remain to see the truth of such calculations extending to billions of years which has been described as few twinkles of an eye of ‘Brahma’, the supreme Indian Godhead of Creation, for our time and the divine time

beyond the spheres of the universe do not match. (Yogananda 174)

Time Beyond

He is not Slain in the Slaying of the Body (Na Hanyate Hanyamane Sharire)

When we come to the divine reality, as realized by the Rishis of the lore, it remains in essence inexpressible for it is beyond any earthly conception of time, it is beyond time, it is the Time. The God is essentially timeless and featureless.

“The wise One is not born, neither does he die: he came not from anywhere, neither is he any one: he is unborn, he is everlasting, he is ancient and sempiternal: he is not slain in the slaying of the body.” (Upanishad 248)

“He dwelleth above and beyond the past, the present and the future and Time hath no part in him. Worship ye the Adorable whose shape is the whole universe and who hath become in the Universe, worship ye the Lord, the Ancients of Days in your own hearts who sitteth.” (Upanishad 377)

And the realized words of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tse are-

“Tao is in us. Tao is in repose . . . . The true sages follow the Teaching without words, that which remains unexpressed. And who will ever express it? Those who know what Tao is, don’t speak of it, those who speak, don’t know it.” (Wei 7)

“Tao is neither good, nor bad: Tao is real. Tao alone is . . .” (Wei 9)

Time is Eternity of the Eternal

“He is the Timeless and Time; he is Space and all that is in space; he is Causality and the cause and the effect . . . . All realities and all aspects and all semblances are the Brahman; Brahman is the Absolute, the transcendent and incommunicable, the Supracosmic Existence that sustains the cosmos, the cosmic Self that upholds all beings, but it is too the self of each individual . . . . the Brahman alone is, and because of It all are, for all are the Brahman . . . . it is by his Shakti, his Conscious Power, that he manifests himself in Time and governs the universe.” (Divine 324-25)

Here time in a sense is explicitly defined:

“The cardinal fact is that any given Time or Space or any given Time-Space as a whole is a status of being in which there is a movement of the consciousness and force of the being, a movement that creates or manifests events and happenings; it is the relation of the consciousness

that sees and the force that formulates the happenings, a relation inherent in the status, which determines the sense of Time and creates our awareness of Time-movement, Time-relation, Time-measure. In its fundamental truth the original status of Time behind all its variations is nothing else than the eternity of the Eternal, just as the fundamental truth of Space, the original sense of its reality, is infinity of the Infinite.” (Divine 362)

Scientific Indecision

The path of time has not been defined. Scientists cannot catch it entirely. In the vortex of time even a scientist becomes a philosopher: “But the best of evidence we have that time travel is not possible, and never will be, is that we have not been invaded by the hordes of tourists from the future.” 1

Time with the mortals

Looking at time as eternity coming out of the eternal, as said from a different perspective in absolute term, we find that in spite of its eternity of the eternal time it is temporal with us, the commoners of the earth. We are not out of it but in it. Time walks with us holding one of our fingers. A yogi may be free from the clutches of time in his eternal consciousness. An idiot, a mad or a nincompoop does not understand the implications of time in his life. Together they walk but are not aware of it. Everyone else with some awareness, living a worldly life, realizes the effect of time on his or her body, the tangible call of time at different phases of his or her life; the definite mark of ageing finally leads him or her to death. Most individual persons does not catch the vibrations of time; the current of its passing through his body, touching his sense and mind, till a time when his hairs start graying and falling, teeth begin to lose hold of and legs shake. Many remain unaware of age like an uncouth country man unaware of the time past. But it is with him.

The modern man looks sharp. There is no denying that time is passing keeping us witness to it among Nature all around us, witness to conditions of our neighbours, witness to changing phases of market economy. We act and react. Sometimes we may be aware that during a passing phase of time consisting of few day-steps we get up at the same time, do routine works at the same time and go to bed at the same time in spite of our wishes to the contrary. We come to the same measured time unless we deliberately or violently break it.

More a modern man is sharp more he looks at himself, compares his position to the others; ambition pulls him further. Whatever one is one may further progress. A moneyed man may want more money, a man of reputation by birth, family connection and heritage work to gain more reputation. The more one knows more he runs after knowledge. In every field of life’s business; politics, sports, professional jobs, performing art, industry or agriculture, one may always go higher and higher. But one is bound to recognize his self-limitations, earlier or later, at least inwardly. Does Time hold him!

In a competitive world situation one has to run to gain his or her position to the maximum extent. And in such a run time runs with him. All of us run but if we fall back Time will go ahead leaving us on the road side. So the modern man has learnt the phrase- ‘Time Management’, to plan how to achieve the best in a limited time frame. But it is no guarantee that such a rat race will take us to the heights. “Keep time, look sharp, manage your time- Okay but one needs to know that time is something extremely impersonal. It waits for none while it honors everyone. Wastage of time may be a barrier to all progress and the wise use of it may give us the joy of progress and freedom.

Time bewilders in conclusion

Here one has to pause; what is progress? What is defeat in life? Is it best to always run to gain something materialistic or is it better to wait and see, to look back sometimes? These are some of the very important and core points to ponder over. And they take us to the other areas away from time. All these are part of our literature, the literature we create in ourselves which mostly remain unexpressed. Time is in literature and beyond it. Time is in us and beyond us.

Notes and References

1. Stephen Hawking. “The Future of the Universe” in Black Holes and Baby Universes and other essays. Great Britain: Bantam Press (Bantam Books). 1993. 140. Paperback

Work Cited

1. Hawking Stephen. A Brief History of Time. Great Britain: Bantam Books. 1989. Paperback

2. Yogananda Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. Mumbai: Jaico Publishing House. 1997. Reprint. Paperback

3. Sri Aurobindo. The Upanishads. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library; Sri Aurobindo Ashram. 1972. V. 12. Hardbound

4. Wu Wei. Translation: Shyamsundar. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo’s Acion. 1997. Paperback

5. Sri Aurobindo. The Life Divine. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library; Sri Aurobindo Ashram. 1970. V.18. Hardbound

© Aju Mukhopadhyay, 2020

The Lonely Ayil is about a ram that wishes to do something important instead of just sitting and running around all day in a yard. He doesn’t think he will ever get the chance, until one day when the farmer forgets to lock the gate. He escapes and finds a purpose for his existence and does a good deed that benefited the Jewish community on the other side of the mountain. He is proud of his accomplishment and the community is thrilled with his assistance for the Jewish New Year.

Who Is Woke and Who Is Asleep?

The word 'woke' is now used in a pejorative way. Sadly, some conservative-fringe speakers use the word to evoke the idea of that people have false beliefs that conflict with their own. The use of the word began in African-American populations where being 'woke' meant to be aware of the systemic danger you are in just from being a racial minority with little power.

"Woke" is now defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)," and is regarded as a U.S. slang term. It originated in African-American English and gained more widespread use beginning in 2014 as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Since 'woke' seems the proper way to be in the modern world, the question becomes: "Why is the state of being aware of the facts and issues be something that anti-liberal personalities condemn?"

The reason is that anti-liberals foster lies and mistruths about their opponents. In its contemporary use, "woke" means social awareness, being alert to social issues, racism, discrimination and injustice. The anti-liberals add false goals to "wokeness" such as: dissolving the nuclear family, abolishing capitalism, eliminating religion, re-writing our constitution and raising children gender neutral.

The right-wing fringe now assigns a false ideology to "wokeness". They claim that that 'woke' means having certain far-left views regarding social-and racial-justice and believing that any who disagree are under the thought control of the oppressive capitalist system.

The idea that all who do not believe the 'woke' ideology are subject to capitalist mind control (“asleep”) is central.

What are these false ideas about "Woke Views Social Justice?"

  1. Social construction. All ideas and knowledge are “socially constructed,” by the oppressive capitalist system, especially ideas about race and gender.
  2. Thought control. It is the job of woke revolutionaries to suppress these ideas and replace them with woke ideas.
  3. Power hierarchy. The system has created a hierarchy of power and oppression with white, straight men at the top and black, non-binary women at the bottom.
  4. Victimhood culture. The woke must invert the power hierarchy, placing those who have been most victimized at the top. From []

Is any of this true? There is a strong power hierarchy of racial/ethnic groups. For centuries whites have been at the top and African-and Native-Americans at the bottom. There is a power hierarchy of biological sex and sexual preferences. Even more insidious is the idea that 'woke' people want to invert this power hierarchy. "Inverting the power hierarchy means the least powerful identity is given the most prestige and respect in woke culture. But lack of power is demonstrated by oppression, which means victimization. So, in practice, greater victimization means you deserve more respect. In other words, you have higher status in the woke community."

"This causes the woke to compete for status by proving their victimhood. And since victims are automatically seen as high status and virtuous, venerating victims also increases your own status. Hence woke culture is fundamentally a status culture based on victimhood." [

It should be obvious that the entire debate about "wokeness" is a substitute for the lack of a political platform that serves the people as a whole. Its purpose is to hide the bigotry of the bigots, the racist views of many.

How I Used ChatGPT to Brainstorm a Story

How I used ChatGPT to Brainstorm a Story

By Professor James Musgrave

Most savvy authors who’ve been published know that writing tools are just that: tools that enhance your ability to create but not replace the actual act of “crafting” the work. This includes the latest in the long list of tools, ChatGPT.

What’s quite encouraging about the software is the fact that it is very amenable to using the “microscope technique” of focusing your story’s content so that you have fresh, original ideas. In this article, I will show five ways to use ChatGPT, and I will demonstrate the techniques by using an actual story I crafted for an anthology.

The usual process of storytelling requires the writer to first get an idea to craft by searching all kinds of resources online, and then, once you’ve focused on the concept you want to use and the characters you’ll create to work with your concept, you must create the dreaded “first draft.”

Depending upon whether you’re a “pantser plotter” or an “outliner plotter,” this draft can be chiseled, the way Kurt Vonnegut said he “edited as he wrote,”or you can delineate your story ahead of time.

Maybe you like organization and planning; using all the tools being sold for this, including outlines, character lists, and personality features/details, and actual plot suggestions. You can then create an outline and/or note cards that are used to methodically “flesh out” your outlines of scenes before starting your draft.

ChatGPT can work for both methods. I’m more of an impromptu guy, but I’ll show you five techniques that you can use, whether you use outlines, scenes, and character descriptions beforehand, or just dig in, keeping your idea about the plot/conflict/character motives in your head as your write.

The best first step is for you to come up with an idea that you can handle well and use to create the most “original” story you can craft. Again, this is where ChatGPT can help better than most writing tools out there today.

The editors of the anthology want a story integrally connected with music. I can write in any genre for the anthology, including fantasy and horror.

For my example, I chose a popular Native American character, and possible evil character (his positive aspect was called a “trickster”). My great-great grandmother was a Native, so I have a personal stake in doing this well! So, I chose a well-known cultural character from the Southwest tribes named Kokopelli.

You may have seen this little hump-backed, flute-playing dude decorating many tourist trinkets being sold in Arizona, New Mexico, California, and other Southwestern states. He is also a cultural symbol of fertility, with all the positive attributes, like rain, agriculture, and human sexuality (the original artifacts drawn on caves had penises displayed, until the missionaries got rid of them).

The above two paragraphs were my Step 1: Searching for details about your main character and narrator.

What I did was ask ChaptGPT about the focused feature of Kokopelli that fit the character I already had hibernating on my mind:

How was Kokopelli a trickster?

In my devious writer’s mind, I wanted to write a story that was not especially gory or even violent, which are the usual tropes of many horror stories. In fact, I happen to know that stories with humor contained in the horror plot are very popular with many editors. Why? Because humor is difficult to write well. Of course, you can go in any direction you wish. I just want you to see how ChatGPT can help you focus upon a direction from which you can get usable ideas with which to craft your story.

This is the actual readout by ChatGPT as its answer to my very specific question:

Kokopelli is a fertility deity commonly found in the mythology of various Native American tribes in the Southwestern United States. While Kokopelli is often associated with fertility, he is also known as a trickster figure.

As a trickster, Kokopelli is said to use his charm, wit, and music to manipulate situations and people for his own benefit or amusement. He is known for playing tricks on others, such as stealing food or playing pranks.

In some stories, Kokopelli is portrayed as a shape-shifter who can transform into different animals, such as a rabbit or a lizard, to trick others. In other stories, he is said to use his flute-playing to hypnotize people and make them do his bidding.

Overall, Kokopelli's trickster nature is a reflection of the complexity of his character, which embodies both creative and mischievous energies.

So, as you can see, I have many concrete ideas I can use in my story when I begin the draft. This is the genius of using ChatGPT. The human brain is great at focusing on details and crafting them, but it is not a big storage house of random-access memories. What I do, and you can as well, is to choose those concrete ideas contained in the readout and “make them work for you,” which means I insert them in my plot wherein it will serve the overall purpose of my narrator and major characters.

This comes to Step 2: Who is your narrator?

To give you a fast idea of what I plan to do, my character, who calls himself “Cockopelli,” as a slur to his culture, purposely lives off the “rez,” in a trailer. Cockopelli, instead, stays drunk much of the time, and dreams of becoming all the positive things he was “supposed to be,” instead of what he is, a down-and-out drunk and dreamer who likes to taunt his people and trick them rather than help them.

I am beginning to visualize him. However, I want a bit more to assist me when I craft him in the scenes, so I ask ChatGPT, What is the 2023 term for slacker?

Here is the readout:

As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions, and language is constantly evolving, so it is difficult to predict exactly what the 2023 term for "slacker" will be. However, there are some possible alternatives that have been used in recent years to describe someone who is seen as lazy or not putting in effort:

"Chiller": This term is sometimes used to describe someone who is very laid-back and doesn't seem to take things too seriously.

"Moocher": This term is often used to describe someone who relies on others to support them, either financially or in other ways.

"Loafer": This term is a bit more old-fashioned, but it is still used to describe someone who is seen as lazy or not productive.

"Slouch": This term can be used to describe someone who doesn't have good posture, but it can also be used more figuratively to describe someone who is not motivated or productive.

"Coaster": This term is sometimes used to describe someone who is not putting in effort and is just going through the motions.

So, cool. I know that my character has a curved back, from hauling all those babies to their mothers, so I am going to use “Slouch,” which connects with this aspect of his former life bringing joy to the tribe, but which he no longer aspires to be. It is also both physical and psychological in my mind, as I craft my story, so I can use it in description and in humorous situations, like quoting Keats’ famous poem (in the public domain!) The Second Coming, most specifically the lines: Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? My character has a drunk’s tendency to exaggerate his self-worth and feel sorry for himself at the same time. I visualized a Native version of the old movie character of “Arthur,” the alcoholic rich white guy, who was both lovable and sarcastic. You can even ask ChatGPT about Arthur’s character traits, and you can steal a few and make them fit your plot in the right places.

I now come to Step 3: Why is your main character/narrator in trouble? As most creative writers already know, conflict and extricating your characters from trouble, or getting them deeper into trouble, in this case, is the best way to read your most important ingredient: the climax (turning point) and the resolution of the conflicts (or not).

So, I again ask ChatGPT a focused question: How could Kokopelli be damned by tribes? I got an excellent readout from my pal:

In Native American mythology, Kokopelli is generally seen as a positive figure associated with fertility, music, and the arts. However, there are some stories where Kokopelli is seen as a negative or dangerous figure, and in these cases, he could potentially be "damned" or shunned by certain tribes.

One common version of this story involves Kokopelli as a womanizer who seduces women and then abandons them, leaving them pregnant and alone. In some versions, Kokopelli is punished for his behavior by the tribe, who reject him and drive him out.

In other stories, Kokopelli is portrayed as a trickster who goes too far, causing chaos and disruption in the community. In these cases, he may be punished or shunned by the tribe for his actions.

It's important to note that different tribes have different versions of Kokopelli's story, and his character can vary widely depending on the tradition. While some stories depict Kokopelli in a negative light, many others celebrate him as a positive and important figure in Native American culture.

So, for my plot, I want Cockapelli to be already banned by the Hopi tribe, so the so-called “common version” concerning his womanizing seduction fits my Arthur image, as well as thinking of himself as a lover boy. I can also bring some romantic conflict into my story with the introduction of the woman he seduced and perhaps her relatives.

Finally, my Steps 4 and 5 entail crafting my climax and resolution. I asked ChatGPT an important question: How can Kokopelli redeem himself from being a womanizer to his Hopi tribe? This specific question will aid me in forming the final conflict in my story as well as a possible way he can redeem himself from all the troubles he has caused. I decided a more positive resolution would fit with my humorous character, but I can also leave a “hint” in the ending about his possible “back sliding nature,” or the “trickster” effect.

Here's ChatGPT’s actual response to my question for Steps 4 and 5:

Kokopelli, a figure from Hopi mythology, is often associated with fertility and music. While some versions of the Kokopelli legend portray him as a womanizer, other versions depict him as a messenger of love and fertility who promotes harmonious relationships between men and women.

If Kokopelli is to redeem himself from being seen as a womanizer, he could engage in actions that demonstrate his respect for women and their autonomy. For example, he could work to promote gender equality and advocate for women's rights within the tribe. He could also demonstrate his commitment to monogamous relationships and promote healthy and respectful relationships between men and women.

Kokopelli could also apologize to those who he has wronged in the past and seek forgiveness from them. By acknowledging his past behavior and making amends, he could show that he is taking responsibility for his actions and is committed to being a better person.

Ultimately, Kokopelli's redemption would require a change in his behavior and a sincere commitment to respecting women and promoting healthy relationships. By working to promote positive change within his tribe and demonstrating his respect for women, Kokopelli could redeem himself and earn the trust and respect of his community.

So, this readout gave me some very cool ideas to possibly craft into my climax and resolution. But remember. You use this information only in the way it fits your purpose. In this case, I need to maintain the horrific element, so it is not a romance. However, the result can show Cockapelli “taking responsibility for his actions,” without losing most of his impish or fiendish personality traits. I do know that “giving up the booze” will be high on his girlfriend’s list, so I’ll have to make that work in a special way that will be both funny and appropriate to both characters and their idiosyncratic motivations.

For example, I wanted my two characters to have different beliefs. So, my main character who turns into the evil aspect of the Kokopelli I want to be raised Christian. Therefore, I wanted to know if there was a Hopi myth that explained the Christian belief in the return of the Savior.

I asked ChatGPT: What myth does the Hopi have about Jesus returning?

I received the following:

The Hopi, a Native American tribe primarily located in Arizona, have a prophecy about the return of the Great Spirit, or Pahana, which some people have interpreted as a reference to Jesus Christ.

According to the Hopi prophecy, the Great Spirit will return to the Earth in the form of a "true white brother" who will come to restore balance and harmony to the world. This brother will possess great knowledge and power and will teach the people how to live in peace and harmony with one another and with the Earth.

While some people have interpreted this prophecy as a reference to Jesus Christ, it is important to note that the Hopi have their own distinct spiritual traditions and beliefs, and the prophecy should be understood within that context. The Hopi have long held that their way of life and their connection to the Earth are integral to their spiritual identity, and their prophecy about the return of the Great Spirit reflects this worldview.

The main use of ChatGPT is to get specific ideas to craft within your story. Asking focused questions is the main method of “microscopic querying” to get what you want. This leads to the “result,” and since I have a crafted example from the story, for you to see, I will reprint it here, and then discuss how ChatGPT helped me understand how I wanted to show why the horror elements came about in my imagination:

My tribe calls me a Kokopelli because of what I used to be, before I fell in love with Kaia, which means, quite ironically, “sea,” when I met her at the University of Arizona. My Hopi name is Chunta, which means “cheat.” And Bolton was my family name. We all got baptized, so we made Jesus into our returning Savior. In fact, my parents attended the “Cry of the Earth Conference,” at the United Nations in 1992, where the Seven Nations attended. They led the Hopi delegation of Christian believers.

Hopi prophecies speak of the return of Bahana, our True White Brother, who left us in ancient times, promising to return. So, we wore our hair in bangs to form a window, by which to see our Elder Brother when He returned. It was also an identifying mark for the Elder Brother to recognize us. I don’t wear my hair like the Beatles anymore since I was banished by my family and my tribe. Today, Wednesday, it’s long, stringy, black, and littered with Frito crumbs and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

When I was a child, I often visited my So’o (grandmother), Ethel, at her home in Flagstaff, Arizona. She and my Kwa’a (grandfather), Lloyd, lived in a small three-bedroom house on the east side of town, not far from historic Route 66.

Never do I recall a time when So’o did not have in her refrigerator Wonder Bread, Oscar Mayer Bologna, and Sunny Delight. While happy to feed us, she realized that Christians also needed spiritual nourishment, and believed that her grandchildren could not live on Wonder Bread alone. She was happy being raised at the Catholic Mission off the reservation, and she taught us the songs of the church. But she was also the first one to listen to my singing and my playing of the clarinet, and she called me by the Hopi name of Kokopelli.

I wasn’t a Kokopelli then. I was a sober rez graduate of the Hopi Junior-Senior High School in Keams Canyon. Kaia was also, but we never met there. I was too busy getting high with stoners, playing the clarinet, and writing and rapping songs for our Native group, “The Scalpers,” but my grades were still good. I’ve always seen myself like my favorite white author, and fellow rebel, David Foster Wallace.

At the U of A, we saw each other across the huge cafeteria, filled with white faces, mostly, and we knew at once we were meant for each other. I was majoring in English Literature and Journalism, and she was taking Agricultural courses. Her family raised sheep, chickens, and goats in the shaded valley beneath the First Mesa. She told me she wanted to help her people stay fed in the desert near the Grand Canyon, which is the usual way with these reservation homies. At that time, I didn’t think of myself as a player, so I was drinking every trite little bit of the traditional Native bullshit she told me. She is a stupendously attractive woman.

I could go on and on describing how her brown eyes glistened with emotion when she watched the sun come up. Or the way she laughed like a mother quail who sees her chicks cross a stream for the first time. I could listen to her speak for hours, and that’s what I did outside the campus, in the desert, with the full moon shining down on us. That’s when she saw the first image of the Kokopelli on the moon, playing his reed instrument, his bowed back curving around some gray-white craters.

“Why did you name your group the scalpers?” Kaia asked me that night in the desert. “You know our people never made war on the Wasi'chu. We never scalped anybody.”

Obviously, you can see how I incorporated the ChatGPT information about the myth of Jesus and His return. I also “made it my own” by adding character-specific details. I also got the information about the attraction of my main character Chunta Bolton to his girlfriend, Kaia. The last sentence in this passage also alludes to the coming horror transformation of Chunta and his rap group into evil “scalpers,” which will lead to his banishment by the Tribal Council and his need to get back into their good graces. I have in mind that they will not actually scalp their victims, who are Hopi females, but just a ritual cutting of their long hair, which is also a very bad thing for even a Cockopelli to do.

This “rebellion” will happen in a supernatural or magical realism scene when my narrator transforms into the evil aspect of the Kokopelli, and he and his group “scalp” the women at a reservation dance. He does this because his girlfriend, who is pregnant by him, wants him to stop drinking and settle down, but he is indignant.

This will lead into the climactic scene whereby Kaia and the rest of the tribe perform an intervention, so the result is what the ChatGPT suggested. Our horror story becomes a more softened story about tribal and gender equality but with a hint of Chunta remaining a bit of a trickster.

I hope you enjoyed these suggestions, which will also be included in my upcoming tutorial and textbook. You can learn more about this text here.

Case Studies in Modern Life (Behind the Words)

Case Studies in Modern Life is my first published book and it has been a long time in writing.

I have been writing all my adult life. I was eighteen when I discovered I could write stories. At first I was writing sketches for a drama group. It was an amazing feeling turning an idea I had into something written down that worked and then watching actors perform my words. It was also the first time I realised I had an ear for dialogue. I would hear people talking in public and remember how they spoke; later, I would be able to write in the style of their dialogue.

I also experienced something else. If people enjoyed a sketch, they didn’t call “Author, author!” They really weren’t interested in who wrote it; people usually heaped their praise on the actors, and I liked that too. I could happily hide away in the shadows and carry on watching people and writing about them.

The first piece of writing I sold was a short monolog to my then local radio station. It was about someone who stole pillows, and only pillows, from stately homes. It was about getting away with the “perfect crime” because no one cared about missing pillows. It was a silly piece but again, when it was broadcast, I could hide away behind the knowledge that the vast majority of people who heard it knew nothing about me.

The first short story I had published in print was a story about a gay couple spending Christmas apart because one wasn’t out to his family. It wasn’t a happy story; I’d wanted to capture the reality of life for some people. But as I saw my own story in print, with my name attached to it, I had a marvellous feeling. The vast majority of people who read this story had no idea who I was. I could communicate with people and all they knew about me was my name on a magazine page. People read it without any prejudice against who I was. They would like the story, or not, based solely on its content. That felt so good.

You’ll be sensing a theme by now; I like to hide behind my writing. My writing isn’t about me rehashing my life as fiction, rewriting my life so that I always come out on top, re-writing history so that I am always the winner. My writing is my way of exploring themes and events that fascinate me or make me angry. I want to find the people behind a subject. I don’t want to be the focus of my writing.

The theme of Case Studies in Modern Life also took a long time to come about. Coming out as gay changed my life in many ways and it certainly gave me something to write about. As I explored my gay life, I found there were so many different things to write about. At first, I wrote wish fulfilment stories. I was in my twenties and wanted the best of all possible worlds. As I grew older and experienced more of life, I saw the ways in which gay men adapt to the challenges of their lives or don’t, and this started to fascinate me. How do gay men maintain relationships with lovers, friends and relatives? How does being gay affect our attitudes to health and illness? How and where do gay men find a place for themselves in this world? After reading some of my stories, a friend of mine suggested that I put together a collection about gay life that didn’t focus on the typical subjects of dating apps and finding a boyfriend. I am so grateful for her advice.

The stories in this collection cover some of my favourite themes to write about. There are stories about sex, not sex stories about people’s attitude to sex, which I find endlessly fascinating. There are stories about relationships. Not stories about trying to find a boyfriend, but stories about how relationships work or don’t work; the compromises we make inside relationships and that unique moment of joy that I thought we might never see. There are stories about the issues gay men can face in our modern world, some that only gay men face and some that are universal to all people. And there are stories about how health, ill health and a change in health can affect someone’s life, but this is something I have seen first-hand (though all the characters in this collection are fictitious).

If you read my collection please leave a comment about it, here on Goodreads or even on Amazon, and if you are minded please write a review of it. Comments and reviews drive people to my work, as they do for any author.

Case Studies in Modern Life can be found here on and here on


Our Newsletter

Give your inbox some love with new books, writing tips, technology & more. Don't worry. we don't spam


Welcome to åpenbok, the premier book promotion platform for authors to showcase their books. We offer free and paid options for fiction and non-fiction books in various formats, including ebooks and audiobooks. Our website boasts an array of promotional services, including book listings, author interviews, and email campaigns. Our strategies are tailored to promote each genre effectively. We leverage social media marketing, book trailers, and reader reviews for fiction books, while non-fiction books thrive on expert endorsements, speaking engagements, and targeted advertising. Explore our services at www.apenbok(dot)com and take your book promotion to the next level. You can access various writing resources for free, such as articles, writer events, and press releases. www.apenbok(dot)com