Category Archives: unforgettable

An image, thought or feeling that persists in your mind

Legendary High Flyers

Above image: massively.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/riders-of icarus
I remember the story of the bird that stopped singing when put into a cage. With that in mind, I want to write about those who let their spirits soar, smashing through limitations. They walk among us!

HIGH FLIGHT

By John Gilesppi McGee Jr.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of –Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
John Gilesppi McGee bounded from the cockpit of his plane with a scrap of paper in hand. The 18 yr. old American pilot for the Royal Canadian Airforce had jotted down a poem he called High Flight. It began,”Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth”  Young McGee wanted to fly in the Battle of Britain so much that he illegally crossed Canada’s border and began flight training for World War II. Three months later the young pilot/poet was dead, tragically killed test flying a super marine Spitfire.
I first heard McGee’s poem recited by the President of the United States following the tragic loss of Challenger 7 and her legendary crew.

We shall never forget them nor the last time we saw them, as they prepared for their mission and waved good-bye and slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God.”—President Ronald Regan

pedro-at-dawnMazatlan has her heroes!  Every morning just at dawn, I walk past the memorial to Pedro Infante, a legend in bronze, that sits on a bluff overlooking the sea and Mazatlan Mexico where he was born. Pedro was an aviation fanatic and died in the crash of a war bomber he piloted. Another bronze statue is set in Mexico City made from the bronze keys of his fans. Two other such statues reside in Mexico. Pedro’s fame increased after his death. As Mexican American author, Denise Chavez, in her book “Loving Pedro Infante” put it humorously, “If you’re a [Mexican], and don’t know who he is, you should be tied to a hot stove with a yucca rope and beaten with sharp dry corn husks as you stand in a vat of soggy fideos.” Why? Because his spirt soared.  He was a high flyer!
new-pegasus I created this image for my soon to be published book Epiphany: Starting Over in Oregon which is about rising above fears.  It is my attempt to describe spirit that won’t be confined, as a silver Pegasus. My next book  will be about Mazatlan’s HOTEL BELMAR— the place of high flyers— fascinating  people who dared much, their fame increasing after death,  for such energy lives on. “We shall never forget them.”
Mazatlan was a favorite destination for Hollywood stars escaping prohibition and watchful eyes. Indeed, the Belmar was the first ocean front luxury hotel in Mexico that catered to the “tinsel town. ” John Wayne kept a room in the Belmar while he worked in Durango making movies. The Matinee idol Tyrone Power, a highly decorated Marine pilot in World War II, often played cards with the locals in the spacious game room.
0vt88-ieuieh1tpk5I found this picture of Errol Flynn high-up the mast of his beloved yacht that frequented the Mazatlan waterfront.  See it at The Hairpin.com: The scandals of Classic Hollywood: In Like Errol Flynn. I am collecting  more  pictures and legends of the Belmar Hotel in Sinaloa, Mazatlan, Mexico to share  in this Blog and in my new book.  Stay tuned…
 
 


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

Front cover 6x9bleed size
New novel: The Way Back. To find it on Amazon Kindle at  http://bit.ly/SoldiersJourney
Also as an Audio book at adbl.co/2f0UeOp      Soon to be Published in paper.
finalist-shiny-web 5star-shiny-web

The Power of the Animal

 Last summer, we adopted a young German Shephard dog by the name of Karma. I saw her picture on the Internet and fell in love with her pretty face. She had been abandoned in a kennel for a year and a half and it took a court order filed by a sympathetic soul to get her out. Karma means action you know, and reaction. Fast forward to life with Karma today. We go to the beach twice a day for a run and a swim. At first, she was afraid of the waves on Olas Altas Beach—the sound and fury of them as they crashed ashore. She had only known a chain-link fence that kept her in confinement. But now, she cries and trembles on the way to the beach as she thinks of the joy of being free to work a job! When I throw a stick out across the breakers, she bounds into them to fetch it. Even as the waves roll over her, she remembers her mission, and though the stick gets sucked and surged in the surf, Karma finds it using her considerable powers. It is something to see her parade with her stick. Triumphant. Pleasing me, doing what I could never do.
And I remember my little Arabian horse Gremlin. Back in my long ago Wisconsin life, when all means of rounding up the cattle on our ranch failed, and the men finally admitted that their 4 wheeled beasts were no match for 60 head of rangy yearlings, that is when the guys would come asking for help. Gremlin knew. He would snort and tremble with excitiment as I rode him out to face the herd of beasties. Just me up top  a little horse facing jazzed up young cattle that had suceeded in out manuevering 4 men on machines. And so, in our face challenging, “they” (the yearlings) would come forward in a line, breaking out each end in a dead run. But one by one, I watched their eyes ablaze in rebellion, widen in fear, then get docile, as my little horse came alongside, ears back, nose out, outrunning them, out turning them, until they obediently filed thru gates and into the corals like it was their idea. How Gremlin would prance and dance with pride, for he loved his job—his work—and I got to be part of it. For a little while, I had powers I did not have alone—the power of the animal. Amen.
attackdog
I finished my book Epiphany. Starting Over in Oregon. It is out as a Kindle book:
amzn.to/2bFQnme
A reviewer calls it ” a story of endings and beginnings, heartache and humor, confusion and enlightenment.”
Over summer I learned how to make an Audiobook of my work of Historical Fiction set after World War I on my homeplace in Wisconsin: The Way Back. A Soldier’s Journey.
Listen to an audio http://162.215.253.97/~susancar/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/retail-audio-sample.mp3 Simply double click on this link and a new window will open.  Enjoy!
 

Shedding the Long Shadow of Abuse

Above image: hope_for_the_future_by_eddiecalz-d60f44i

Purpose

Epiphany is not just a pretty face. Sure it is classified by Kindle Scout as a “Romance,” and an “Action Adventure” but it is really a story about struggling out of the shadows toward the light. Please go to Kindle Scout, and nominate Epiphany to be published. Only 16 days left.                https://kindlescout.amazon.com/category/158566011?page=2
Birch in the Canyon 1
Years ago I took this picture of a birch tree in a canyon. Because it was so dark deep down, the birch tree grew up—up and—UP to reach the sun. It turned into this remarkable tree. It is an outstanding specimen among birch trees that usually mature at 40-50 feet in height. To me, this tree symbolizes people who live in difficult situations. Like trees, our purpose is to grow toward the sun. Thus enlightened by wisdom, we inspire others to overcome the shadows.



While I wait to see if Kindle Scout will publish Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest
Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

Safe on the Side-hills of Success

Above image, courtesy of: www.wallpaperfo.com_63.jpg

“A crooked legged man walks best on the side-hills of success.”

This quote is puzzling. It nags at me, begging for my attention like a pesky dog wanting me to throw a ball.   So I’ve decided to toss it out  and fetch it’s meaning—for me. If it intrigues you,  please do join me to wonder over it.
I think that the term “crooked legged” refers, not to anatomy, but to some flaw in thinking that hinders fulfillment of my goals.  Ironically, I have been afraid of heights all of my life and have tried to overcome this fear, climbing and crossing over high places. That must be why the above “wise-ism” intrigues me. “Crooked-legged” is a metaphor for the fear that plagues me, and side-hills would then symbolize the safe, attainable and familiar.
Don’t we all want to be successful (whatever that means) in our endeavors?   I write and paint, always trying to catch onto, constantly hoping to  capture, some lovely thing that probably I can’t quite get hold of. Spirit perhaps? Yes, I am  safe and comfortable on the side-hills of success, looking up. But I force myself to climb higher  into unfamiliar territory. Reaching the top of the mountain could just expose my flaw (like the idea of being crooked legged) as an excuse I have conjured up. A shadow across my path upward. And then what?……..

“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

Presently, I am trying to master two difficult things: 1. I want to narrate my own audiobook.  2. I seek to tame an aggressive dog. I am technologically challenged, but must learn to use recording and editing equipment if I am to do an audiobook, and I am afraid I can’t figure out the jargon. The dog? Her name is Karma. She scares me. There is the rub. I have to go in the direction of my fear. If that isn’t crooked-legged thinking, what is? “Karma.” Hmmmmm. I wonder how this rescued dog earned such a name!
So, I accept the idea that “crooked legged” means, for me, fear of excellence. I am tempted to stay with what I can already do. But, I want to take what talent I have, to higher levels and explore new territory. An audiobook? Well, I have read the manual on my recorder and set up a make-shift studio. Now, I have to hit the red “record” button and try out the microphone. And I must learn to modulate and sing my words so they make a melody of my stories.
Karma
And the dog? She waits outside my door. It will take all my strength and love of the wild to master this exquisite beast. Mastery. Never complete mastery. No. For me, success resides on the mountain top of partnering with the wild in the other. But my “downfall” is contained in another “wise-ism” by an unknown author:

“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.”


While I chip away at the rock of editing and revising Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest
Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

 

An Oregon Kind of Love

 

As my new novel, Epiphany is being edited, I read and re-read it and let myself sink back into my own experiences that are the basis for what my character, Lori does and feels. My love poem to Oregon  appears on the last page. I wrote it to thank God, Oregon, and the friends and enemies I met, for teaching me more about love. Here are the last two stanzas of

“Love is too Small A Word”
For the gift of riding
Bucephalus unbridled
Singing quicksilver music
Soaring astride freedom
With no strings at all
No strings at all

Love is too small a word
For the light that shatters aloneness
And sets the universe spinning
Desire completing the circle
With no end at all
No end at all

_______________________________________________________

While I chip away at the rock of editing and revising Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest
Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

 

Follow The River Out: A Metaphor

Above Image: courtesy of Mark Chadwick on Flickr.

Have you ever been lost and “followed a river out?”
My new novel, Epiphany  is being edited at present, and will be published later this year.  This post is one of several about themes, metaphors, and story structure. Lori our protagonist,  writes poetry filled with metaphors, to bring clarity to her life. What follows is an excerpt using the “Western Star” and “the river” as a metaphor.
Lori has interviewed for a job as a school counselor in the Oregon Cascades. As she waits, hoping to be hired, she writes a poem about leaving Wisconsin and driving West.  The trip, just before Christmas was terrifying. She remembers how frightened she was.
Too heavy my load
Of doubt and disgrace
Too late for me
Fear lines my face
I am a wave
Without a tide
Dust in the wind
Hitching a ride
I sail the seas
Without a tac
Can’t find the wind
That takes me back
Lori had wanted to turn around.  The face of the blizzard at her heels scared her less than going forward into the unknown.  But then her car and trailer spins full circle out of control on Montana black ice.  Panic. The reality is, she can’t go back.
I CAN’T GO BACK
There’s no way back
There’s no home base
I’m out of time
I’m out of place
Lost in the dark!
Which way to run?
Where is my map?
Where is my sun?
How will I live?
Without a man?
Lean on myself?
Make my own plan?
A teamster drives his big Western Star truck up alongside and leans out to congratulate Lori on surviving. “Santa put Lady Luck in yer sock.”
She drives on to Eugene, Oregon, where she walks along the Willamette River, listening to the music of the river and making friends of like-minded strangers. Lori knows she has been granted a second chance at life.
If Lori is hired, she can build this new life in Lucky Strike, Oregon. Her dream is happening. She goes to sit by the river, letting the restorative water wash away her fear of moving on. She thinks about what her father had told her, “when lost, follow the river out.”The last two stanzas of her poem reflect the role of a river as a metaphor for finding her way.
Across the prairies
Ore mountains-crest
Follow the river
On her sea quest
The pioneer spirit
Like Oregon’s rain
Refreshes my courage
To start over again


While I chip away at the rock of editing and revising Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest
Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

When I Write

As I write the folks in my novel
Yes, it’s all coming back to me now.
Each one has traits so familiar
Don’t ask me the why or the how.

But each one has stamped me with something!
Time’s passed and they are afar.
Sure’n the writing is making me find in myself

Some part of who they all are.
 
How did this come round to happenin’
I guess cus we followed our vibes.

And they say we get changed and are different
When we let others into our lives.

We’ve tangled and jumbled each other.
I knew them, their love and their pain.
I felt their sunshine and laughter

And we all got drenched in the rain
 
‘Cus of them I found my direction
They’re apart and within just the same.
We meet up again in my writing.
My novel sets round them a frame.

When I write, we’re together again.
*epiphany


While I chip away at the rock of editing and revising Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest


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

Together—Hand in Hand

As I write Epiphany, my third book, I think about the children I met in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains where I worked as an Elementary School Counselor. A 4th grader by the name of Fawn comes to mind. One afternoon she was crouched, rocking herself back and forth outside the Principal’s office, wailing like her life was ending. I scrunched down to be on her level, feeling every sob tear at my heart. What could be so wrong?
“I did it to be pretty,” she sobbed. “I wanted to look just fine.”
“Why Fawn, you are pretty,” I said cupping her wet little face in my hands. And you are just as fine as you can be. What did you do that seems so awful? Did you burn down the school?”
“No,” she sniffled.
“Did you shoot your teacher Fawn?”
“No, she shook her head shedding tears all around, with the slightest smile showing that she wasn’t THAT bad.
“Well, what did you do then?” I asked, mopping her face and the collar of her dress with my handkerchief.
“I stole earings from Marsha Jane. She had ‘em hid and was showin’ off to the other girls in the washroom. So when she went out to recess, I stole ‘em— only Judy saw me. And now I have to see the Principal! I needed them earings to be pretty for my Grandpa.”
“Oh— well come on, I’ll hold your hand and we will go together to see our Principal Marshall Wayne,” I said. “Be brave. Let’s own up to this and take the punishment. Are you ready?” And so, I entered into Fawn’s world of fear and doubt, and found out all about needing to be pretty. After the experience —both horrifying and terrifying— I used the song “Where, I Can’t Find” that Lenore, Fawn’s sister wrote. We wrote it into  an original play we put together and performed. It was about feeling powerless, and not knowing what to do, until—well, sometimes being brave, strong, and hopeful comes only with an epiphany. And that is what we can help to happen for one another—together, hand in hand.

 Where I Can’t Find

When I want to feel like I’m pretty
When I want to look just fine
I’ll find my reflection in the eyes of my someone
Who lives only in my mind
Or
In some far-away place I can’t find.
When I want to do great things
When I want to mend what’s broke
Miracles circle  just out of my reach
That call to me in my mind
Or
From some deeper place I can’t find.
When I want to know the answers
When I want to feel like I’m smart
Bright bubbles of knowing blow by in the wind
That burst when I call them to mind
Or
Float off to where I can’t find.


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

recently released in all e-book stores.

Write Yourself

image is a composite from melissamcplail.com and other sources

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O’Connor

The Dame in Chapter 23

Life it seems is like a play
Sing and dance and act away.
But, step outside, and it comes clear
The highs, the lows, the sad, the dear.
I write these down, my goings ons
The rights I did, the good, and wrongs.
I make a plot and structure too
For my novel, I think it through
Until at last its polished prose.
A page to start and one to close.
So here it is, my life between
Down to the long lost smithereen.
I agonize in guilt and shame
But through it all I am the dame
Found in Chapter 23
Hiding here-the clue to me.
Find yourself in here too
Write yourself and find your you.


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

recently released in all e-book stores.

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.