Category Archives: Preview of Epiphany

Writing Epiphany

Image:By You Tube-Synthetic Epiphany Feat. CoMa - Icarus

I guess you could say I “struck it rich when I worked  for a school system in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, so, I am writing Epiphany to  share the gold I found there. To tell my story, I’ve created Lucky Strike, a mining community seeking a school counselor, and Lori,  who applies for the job and lives out life changing experiences with Oregon’s children. This is what it is like to write about this turbulent time,when I lived my dream. Ha. This is what it is like to write about a break through that could be called an epiphany.

Writing Epiphany

Driven by knowledge road-marked with failures, on and on chasing deaththe radiant koan
Around the impasses, still pressing onward, dropping illusions, feeling alone
Upstream to the well-head, the lake that is hidden, the source, the essence the unsullied truth
To once again feel it, with surety, clarity, the rightness, the virtue, the dream of my youth.
Thoughts passing by on a ticker-tape ribbon, concepts, names, words on parade
I reach out and grab some, as they go by me, quick write them down, lest they vanish or fade.
Some stories linger, calling attention, like The Little Prince traveling on home, to his rose.
And I realize this wisdom, grows deep down inside me, waiting for water, and light I suppose.
So I struggle to tell it, to express what excites me, to spell out my towervision, my opinion, my take
What good would it be to leave unspoken, my part in the play, a crime, a mistake!
I want to contribute the best that’s within me, to write something lasting for someone to grasp
To keep them from falling, to pull themselves up on, to step on, to fly from, to love and hold fast
Like Silverstein did when he wrote of what’s missing, the broken place, that lets in the sun.
Like Kesey did when he wrote of the madness, the “Cuckoo’s Nest,” the lobotomy done.
Crashing and burning, losing and grieving, courting disaster with RWS_Tarot_17_Starnary a clue
That the circle leads inward in the grey of uncertain that listens in stillness, that opens the flue
So the smoke can rise skyward from smoldering mindsets, so fresh air ignites epiphany’s flame.
Inspiration fueled by new understandings, transforms, enlivens, leaves nothing the same.

Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,

recently released in all e-book stores.

A Legendary Character For Epiphany

Above image:

Lori is hired to be a school counselor in the wilds of the Oregon Cascades. Her new boss is legendary in the District. This is how she feels on her first day and her last day, and on all the days in between!

The PledgeEmperor

Engraved on his door is his name
The Principal Marshall Wayne
About excellence top notch supreme
His staff is the best—is the cream
Can I please him and still survive?
Can I finish this job alive?
I enter in hopeful and brave
To his office, his den, his cave
Putting all pretenses aside
My hopes and plans to confide
My very best service I’ll bring
I pledge like a knight to my king.The Chariot
He lays out what he expects
Less then that he soundly rejects
“Be early and never be late
We’re destined to win and be great
This job is really child’s play
You’ll work 36 hours each day”
My very best service I’ll bring
I pledge like a knight to my king.
Epiphany is the new novel  S.K. Carnes is formulating at present. She has been introducing (in this blog) some of the characters in Epiphany with poetry,pictures, and representative Taro cards. Soon  she will feature some “portals”—mind blowing experiences— that occur as the characters interact. Perhaps they will write the book—these characters I mean. Shall we shuffle the deck and see? What do you think will happen?  Please comment. Your opinions are valued!

Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,

recently released in all e-book stores.

The Dark Side

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I have mixed memories from my years as a school counselor in the Oregon Cascades. The characters I am writing into the novel Epiphany are made up from actual people I encountered there in the ’90s. I am introducing them in this blog called Portals, because these characters opened doors to new understandings. Your comments can enrich, inspire and make this—my third book—your book too.
The story goes that Lori, the protagonist in Epiphany (loosely based on myself) is hired by a school system in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. Many families have moved away to find work, and new people have come to make their homes in the back hollows and haunts of the once thriving gold-mining and logging communities—transients, killers, junkies, pushers, abusers and neglected children among them. Lori uses the full force of her personality, along with games, art, music, drama, stories, movies, and her best counseling skills in her new job. She tries to encourage children to be successful and healthy as they deal with good and bad times. But as she uncovers horrible secrets, she comes face to face with “the dark side” in a life and death challenge beyond any she could have imagined. Here is a poem I wrote about the evil hidden behind the words, “Don’t tell.”


Though tender skin and mind
Is ravaged
Deep down the child is bruised
And savaged
Though towering rage strikesdevil
With violence
And brands with “Guilt”
Expressed in“Silence”

Though dreams burn through and turn
To ash
Still children smile and
Let it pass
They fear the devil, but even more,
Disclosure, shame,
And the open door!

Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,

recently released in all e-book stores.

A Feminine Character in Epiphany: A Womanly Cure For That "Motherless Feeling"

Lori, our protagonist, has enjoyed exploring secret places in the mountains of Oregon. But,  she has been hired to do a demanding job, and with start-time looming, she looses heart and feels afraid. She remembers the song on an old album from Paul Whiteman, “Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child.,” (hear it sung here by Julie London) and sinks into depression. But Lori has a friend, the woman Claudia, who can provide solace and guidance for the difficult year ahead.
Have you also found a special person who can bolster your flagging self confidence? Remembering just how it felt for me, I wrote a poem about passing through the portal from melancholy to renewal, under the transformative power of a wise woman.
A Womanly Cure
See—the river goes somewhere,
Moving on.
Watch—the seedling springs up,
Growing in lockstep with the constant march of days,
While I huddle in the grip of doubt,
Wondering if I am lost in time,
Without direction, without knowing,
A student with no teacher.
A motherless child.
Adrift on a moonless night,
The compass has no needle, the radio no sound
The lighthouse has gone dead
In the eye of a monstrous storm circling round me
Set to strike.
It’s then I go to Claudia,
The sheltering wing of the angel
And she hugs me into herself, this woman,
Whispering ancient knowledge I have forgotten
Of Mother nature, fertility and abundance
And of harvest that nourishes the soul.
She holds the looking glass up for me to see my own womanly self.
With intuition as my compass, I hear the fiddler playing my song.
Claudia dowses up an artesian well of prophetic waters
To wash away fear
To shine a beacon of courage
To radiate the light of inspiration
To dissolve the clouds of depression
And I see my path forward
Across the year ahead.

Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,

recently released in all e-book stores.

Epiphany's Cast of Characters: Jubilation

Image: WoopWoopWarp-hippies-33410939-5000-3333

The third book I am writing, Epiphany, is peopled by characters Lori meets in the Oregon Cascades.  In previous blogs you have met Lori, our protagonist, then the Oregon logger who wants to show her Oregon’s secret places. While exploring, Lori meets Jubal who wants her to join him in his way of life.

Guarding the entrance to an almost forgotten cave full of petroglyphs, the village of Perils, named for the precipice shadowing it, hides stream side to the Blackwater River . The village patriarch, a highland hippy,  brandishes his bottle of whiskey  and announces through a blue cloud of marijuana,   that strangers are not welcome— but once there,     visitors     might     never     leave!
Jubal Speaks
I sport buckskin and bangles
Dance in moccasined feet
Hair falling in tangles
I whirl to the beat                                hermit
We live all together
And love wild and free
Like fur feather ‘n flower
We mate naturally.
I’ve found heaven’s key
That takes away pain
God touches me tripping
And I’m blissful again
Come sing songs of loving
Let all trouble cease
Enter into our dreamworld
Where you will find peace
Come-join us in peace!
Jubal Unspoken
I hide myself in mountain shadows
Swilling bottles empty
To fill with letters of love.
I send each one on the river run
That flows to mother sea.
But in backwater eddies, my secrets circle
I blow the sweet incense of Marijane skyward
Prayer smoke to my Father
And watch the smoke dissipate
To  become lost like me.

Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,
recently released in all e-book stores.

Epiphany: Meet Mr. Oregon

Characters. As I write this third book, Epiphany, I am beginning to bring in my characters. Already, I have established what Lori, the protagonist seeks. She wants a fresh start, a passionate adventure, the love of her life. The last post featured a poem that described her longing to pass thru a portal from  a hum-drum life overburdened with possessions,  into the life of her dreams full of adventure.
Enter  “Mr. Oregon,” the perfect counterpoint to play with a daughter of the midwest. This magical mysterious man tells her stories, sings, quotes poetry and promises her everything she longs for. He tells her he spends time at the University and in DC. lobbying for the timber industry, but in the time he can steal away from that task,  he wants to show her Oregon as only a timberman can, for Oregon’s rivers and wilderness areas are his stamping grounds. She is smitten. Soon she will know the meaning of every word in the song he has written about himself. He calls it
“A Northwest Timber-beast”
and sings it to the tune of Old 97.RWS_Tarot_01_Magician
A swagger in his walk
Woods-music in his talk
At 14, a whistle punk jack
Up before dawn
All brisk and brawn
Settin’ chokers-while his logs go-devilin’ back
The undercutter sees
While fallin’ skybound trees
On pecker poles  laid down into a bed
That it’s a haywire show
With a riggin’ fit below
And the Bull-O-The Woods-is see’n red
A lone wolf tree
Barber-shops free
Cracks slats n stems, axin’ da  Fallers
The kid steps up
Skookum in his cup
“I’m a Sawyer from hell” he hollers
He hops a lumberjack dance
‘n tin hat and stagged pants
Can high ball on a belly robber’s feast
He’s a gandy-dancin’ fool
Dodges widow-maker’s rule
He’s a bonified Northwest Timber Beast

Ahhhh but more characters are adding to the cosmic soup thickening the plot, for there are other men in Lori’s new life.  Next post,  meet Jubal, a resident of Oregon’s backcountry.

Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,
recently released in all e-book stores. Go to

Cast of Characters for EPIPHANY, my third book

Meet our protagonist, Lori Moyer

Lori’s Poem

I hear the whistle calling thru the fog of fear— calling my name. Casey Jones at the throttle,
The City of New Orleans? The Rock Island Line?
I feel the earth reverberating to the beat—the pulse of freedom.
Like a lady, her fingers entwined in the ruffles of her red skirt, teasing.  Showing just a glimpse of skin, twirling, whirling, spinning out my longing, calling me.

Gathering steam now, all aboard now, breaking out now.

Like the wind billowing out the sail
Like prancing horses, eyes crazy-wild
Like a sizzling spark in shredded paper
Like a skier exploding off a jump
Like a kayak shooting a cataract
Yes, I must seize the moment
Weigh the anchor and cast off the line,
Catch the current,
Ride the wave, the train,
Soar on the wings of my dream
To breach this curtain of illusion
And watch fear dissipate into droplets
That vanish in the sun.

What a fool Lori is! I see her now as the wild card (zero in number) of the Taro deck, the innocent believer stepping boldly off the cliff wearing her golden slippers, jumping head-long into an Oregon odyssey. And my dear reader, please comment should you have plunged forward into the unknown, and done so  with abandon!
Who will she meet to inspire, challenge, love and teach her the lessons she needs to learn in her new western life? Next week, I will introduce you to another character in the book I am writing. His promise to our little heroine would tempt any fool such as Lori. See you next week to meet Mr. Oregon himself.


Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,
recently released in all e-book stores.

cover of The Way Back       
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