When Art Imitates Life

images-4I was poking around the iTunes store for sci-fi and fantasy movies.  Happy to note a couple of new additions, I checked out a few trailers.

Sometimes, there are multiple trailers though I don’t always watch more than one.

The very last trailer I watched for Midnight Special intrigued me enough that I decided to rent it.

I’m glad I listened to the small voice suggesting it would be worth my time.

My husband and I weren’t far into the movie before I realized why I’d been inspired to watch the film.  There were several paranormal elements I recognized, having dealt with them myself.

Stuff like this happens to me all the time but it never ceases to amaze and delight.  I just never fail to see the miraculous in it, never take it for granted.

At one point, I said, “He’s an antenna.”

Being one myself, I recognized the symptoms.

I knew this because he was perceiving things others couldn’t.

EMF things.

It’s Fiction – I Get it!  I don’t start speaking in tongues or experience any of the other dramatic behavior but I have picked up on stuff carried on an EMF wave before.

Stuff that has sounded like Morse code to me.

It wasn’t that I could do the things the kid in the movie could do so much as that I recognized what he could do from what I saw and experienced in the NDE.

Elements I’ve given my characters in Metatron’s Army.

Spoiler Alert!  It’s a good movie and unique.  I’m not going to give the plot away but I’m about to reference various “talents” the kid had that – coincidentally – have been included in my saga.

Hands.  Light shoots from the kid’s hands.  Light is energy.  In my story, Christine is able to shoot energy from her hands. 

Eyes.  In the movie the kid’s eyes glow.  In my book, Christine displays a similar feature, as do the Light Beings and the Azlaans.

And speaking of Light Beings.

Orbs.  The glowing beings in the movie were orbs whereas the ones I saw were more like elongated candle flames.

In my book After Here: The Celestial Plane and What Happens When We Die I describe them as being similar to the transporter beam effect in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Watchers.  As I write in After Here, these Light Beings are watchers.

I switched various characters around for Metatron’s Army. The Light Beings in my story are closer to the teachers I know from what I call Spirit School.  I then exaggerated and utilized creative license in the telling of a saga.

41qwyjEStULFollowing the bread crumbs.  A good part of dealing with understanding the things I saw and experienced during the NDE has been following the trail of bread crumbs put before me.

Though it has been a lifelong journey, there have been spurts during which I gained a great deal of information, if not understanding.

I was at a Harmony House in Novi one evening in 1992.  I felt drawn to a section I’d never gone to before, New Age.

You could typically find me in the area that stocked heavy metal and classic rock.

I came upon Jean-Michel Jarre’s Les Chants Magnetiques.  I zeroed in on the eye that seemed to glow and without understanding why, just knew I was looking at something familiar, something from the NDE. 

I bought the CD and to this day it remains one of my favorites.

The Familiar.  After the movie finished, my husband said, “I didn’t pick up on that antenna thing.  That was good.”

My response?  “I’m one, too.  I recognized it.”

I couldn’t help wondering if whoever wrote that movie had a connection to the paranormal that they beautifully exaggerated in the tale.

It wouldn’t be the first time…

Celestial Love

angelembraceThe love story component in Metatron’s Army has been fun but challenging at times because in honoring the NDE experience I needed to address the point of view of a celestial being.

The type of love that is felt by the celestial beings is a universal love.  There’s no favoritism in that realm. 

Even though it’s deep it could almost be considered lukewarm due to a lack of emotional peaks and valleys normally associated with the human interpretation/experience of that energy.

At the same time I have a “common man” character – Christine – who feels passion and love in a significantly different way.  She feels emotion deep whereas the celestial beings feel it more broadly and there is a wide gulf between when it comes to bringing them together in a relationship that not only makes sense but can be understood by the reader.

Layered on top of it all is that in this world, energy is the ruling force, not the rules of late twentieth century Earth.  This means dealing with lifetimes rather than age.

As one of my characters says, “It’s about energetic compatibility.

I don’t address how old the celestial characters are because it’s irrelevant.  They’re timeless because celestial beings are timeless.

They aren’t a twenty-first century invention and they aren’t a Christian invention.  If anything, physics has more to offer when understanding them because the rules of energy apply; the law of conservation of energy, Einstein’s theory of relativity, etc.

 While science played a significant role in helping me understand the NDE, there is a strong spiritual component in the environment I was in and the celestial beings I encountered.  These energy beings fell into different categories

  • Spirits of humans I’d known on Earth
  • What we would call angels
  • Watchers

These energy beings were almost inanimate objects.  They existed but they didn’t speak; they simply watched/observed.

When creating the characters for Metatron’s Army, I pulled from the celestial realm and created characters you might find in a sci-fi epic.

In mine at any rate.

Since these different species were born into a world/universe where there is celestial diversity, there was opportunity for a variety of interactions that included all the emotions (i.e. jealousy, anger, fear, and of course, love).

In the Beginning.  When I first began putting a creative storyline around the NDE, there were a handful of characters, and only three planets.

There was the Council of Twelve which is made up of an even different celestial being.

From the outset, the characters were different species, which allowed me to explore the sensations and observations I had during the NDE.  I think I’ve done justice to those original characters while filling in with additional characters who support the story and theme at the center of it all.

That love and the adventures that go with it are universal concepts that traverse all energetic beings, man and angel alike.

An Odd Thing Happened on the Way to the Finish

mg20727671.800-1_500.jpgAs I wrap up the first draft of the entire Metatron’s Army series, I can’t help but notice that several scenes which were cut 18 – 24 months ago are making their way back into the finish.  Interestingly, they are associated with the meat of the NDE.  The fallout has been equally as interesting, if not a bit disconcerting because it’s had a strange consequence.

The top of the box into which I’d shoved much of the experience has been ripped off.

It was Unique.  As I’ve written before, Hollywood has distorted an experience that cannot be replicated nor shared due to the unique nature of it by telling one piece of the entirety, throwing in a bit of dramatic imagery and putting it in the minds of many that this is how it is – for everyone.

Such, I suppose, is the hazard of good storytelling.

There is far more to an NDE and fortunately, there are numerous stories, studies, and documented interviews to draw from in order to learn more.

And each has the opportunity to honor the individual and their unique experience.

timeMetatron’s Army grew out of the images and sensations I saw and experienced during my own NDE. However…

And it’s a BIG however…

I needed to create a great deal of lead up.  I knew what I saw and experienced.  What led up to that?

What was it I was seeing, exactly?  What was I being told?

That the setting was sci-fi was a given.  After all, heaven is celestial, correct?  When we consider what’s after, don’t we look up to the stars?  How to interpret the rest and what conclusions to draw.  Well, that was a whole other story.

So, what’s real?  More than I’ll ever own up to.  I have presented a bit already in previous posts but here is another tidbit.  Time Distortion Sickness.  It is a condition that is extrapolated from a conversation I had at ten years of age, in the days after I got home from the hospital.

Still fairly paralyzed on my left side and as yet unable to walk. I also had difficulty feeding myself without making a mess.

My father walked in one evening to find me sitting up in bed, staring off into space.  What was I doing up, he wanted to know?  I looked up and said, “Did you know that in another life I’m dead?  I died from the aneurysm?  I can feel it.”

He said, “Well, you’re alive in this one, so go to sleep.”

It was absolutely the right response and the first of many existential conversations he and I had as I sorted out what I’d seen and experienced and contrasted it with what I’d been fed in Catholic elementary school.

Not even close to the same.

My father did an incredible job helping me learn to integrate and live with the craziness so that I could move on with my life.

Something the doctors seeking to publish seemed reluctant to do. After all, there was academic fame to be gotten, I suppose, though not every doctor fell into this category, most notably, not my neurosurgeon nor the British surgeon who began my training in alternative medicine.

When it came time to develop a plot for the MA series, I considered.  What if I’d never learned to live with the knowledge that in another timeline my life was different?  And what about all those other lives where we turn left instead of right?  What if we knew? 

Thus Time Distortion Sickness was born.

I wove together a backstory that would eventually wind its way to the ultimate series climax and resolution.

Though pieces of the NDE are pulled in throughout, a large chunk falls into the latter half of the series.

The climax – you might say the point of it all – came from a “conversation” I had in the fall of tenth grade.  I’d already been daydreaming the story content – the way it was developing.  And then – a word from our sponsor.

“That’s not how it happened.”

Crap.  Did someone really just talk?

Little did I know I would have been better off getting used to that way back then.

I listened to a twist I wasn’t particularly happy about but which needed to happen, apparently because – it did?  Hard to say.  Images running together – flashes of information at the speed of light?  Talk about sorting…

Especially when you’re just a witness and not emotionally involved. Yet…

As for the experience…

I’ve learned to say very little about the NDE outside what people find familiar if not comfortable.

People get very upset when my experience doesn’t match what they saw on television.  Some people go so far as to tell me what happened to me, (what I saw, heard, etc).  Isn’t that special?

Flash!  Every once in awhile I’ll come across an article or a documentary that comes close to some of the experience.

Hugh Everett III had a lot of it right, as well as a young Russian mathematician who developed an equation in the early 70s that proved out a lot of Everett’s work. There’s also a good PBS Nova documentary on black holes that’s pretty close to certain aspects.

Weave.  While science and math went far to help me understand a great deal, I still relied on the story I wove to address that which was difficult to describe.

As pieces of the event would replay across my visual screen throughout the years, like flashes of backsight.

First pass.  When it came time to write the story,  I ended up cutting several scenes.  It seemed necessary as the story seemed to be winding out like a spool of thread rolling across the floor.  But then a funny thing happened.  It all came back around.

Without me trying – or noticing.

chess-470x310@2xAbout three weeks ago, while working on the beginning of the Middlegame (Books 6, 7, and 8), I found myself having an unexpected response to the words onscreen.  Was I writing them or reading them?

More – why did they seem so familiar?

I quickly realized that not only was the core of the story coming back, it was a memory, from the NDE.

It was very difficult for me because I had to relive a lot of the sensation of being outside my body watching and listening and living information not available to everyone.

Even for someone like me, who has lived with the paranormal since childhood, it was unsettling.

Familiar?  Characters that had become more or less stand-ins supporting the main characters were given the opportunity to show their true selves.

This depth had been cut, but I apprently – unconsciously -began bringing it in again. It was as if I was the reader, not the writer, or perhaps just the stenographer.

dirt-track-winding-through-misty-forest-austockphoto-000066425.jpgSpecific environments that had been difficult to describe in the aftermath of the NDE had been in the original story, i.e. climates of the planets.  In the telling of the story, however, I’d not spent a lot of time on the specifics.  As the series climax drew close, I was presented with the opportunity to spend time (and paragraphs) describing some of the more memorable “environments” and the sensations of being in them.

In on instance, it was almost a recreation of the memory though I’ve used it to support the story.

Home Again.  As I wrap up the series, I have found my way back to the beginning, to those moments when I was organizing the images and sensations from the NDE in a way that I could understand, if not live with.

It feels good to be home again.

There truly is a peace of mind, if not soul, in seeing the experience organized using a talent I was born with