Home » present

Tag: present

“Quantum Lace”

quantum lace by bella st john


Purchase on Amazon:

quantum laceUS Customers:

Print Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace

Kindle Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace-kindle

UK Customers:

Print Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace-uk

Kindle Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace-kindle-uk



Get your FREE audio book read by author, Bella St John:

To obtain your free audio book, simply purchase either the print or kindle version of the book and forward your Amazon receipt to audiobook@leighstjohn.com – we will then follow-up by sending you the link to the audio book!


Author Interview:

Author Leigh (Bella) St John is interviewed by Clarissa Burt (supermodel, entrepreneur, television/video producer, award-winning actress and Miss Universe (Italy) licensee) about Ms St John’s latest book, “Quantum Lace”.


Interview with Books Go Social:

Click the image to read the interview…

quantum lace books-go-social-interview



Reviews:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

quantum lace readers-favorite

Quantum Lace by Leigh (Bella) St John is a remarkable science fiction novella about a young woman’s introduction into the exploration of time and space. … [this] is an intriguing science fiction short story that takes the reader on an adventure into another era. It is the first story in a series that is based on actual studies and scientific data. I was immediately caught by the imagery of the setting and couldn’t put the book down until the startling and sudden ending. The story line is mesmerizing, and Ms. St John has done a magnificent job of melding fact with fiction. I love science, history, and fiction stories that stay true to reality and this novella achieves that criteria. Although this is not a standalone, it is a phenomenal science-fiction novella. I highly recommend it to those who are fans of time travel and wish to explore the concept by applying quantum physics.
Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers’ Favorite

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Quantum Lace” by Bella St John (CreateSpace, $7.99) is the first in a projected series of five books starring Lady Bridgit Darnell, set initially in 1895 in England.

It’s an intriguing, well-researched tale involving time travel, not as a possible concept, but as reality.

The slim 100-page novella opens with Bridgit believing that she’s having a strange dream, when she meets a time-traveler named Markus in present-day South Carolina.  He explains the concept as not just theoretical – he’s living proof that it can be done.

The author deftly mixes reality with fiction, as she notes in a brief prologue, it’s a vivid combination “largely based on real science, real people and real events.” … There are life-altering changes; it ends with a cliff-hanger – followed by the first chapter of the next book in the series.

More information is at St John’s website QuantumLace.com.”

This review by Ray Walsh appeared in the Lansing State Journal.  Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed books regularly since 1987. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Mind Blown!”
Maxwell Sparks

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Intriguing! I have never heard anyone present such a compelling notion of how time travel could ACTUALLY work. Makes me want to test it for myself.”
Jonathan McTaggart

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Beautifully written story about acharacter I already feel I know and love. But you can’t leave her there! Hurry up and write the next one!”
Mary Gladwell

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The research you have done for this book is beyond impressive. It is a mark of a true craftsman. Brilliant!”
Ralph L. Masterson

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“With a family and a career, I rarelyget a chance to read novels so when my mother gave me a copy of Quantum Lace, I was overjoyed that it is a short, doable read once everyone has gone to bed. I loved it. Sign me up to read them all!”
Julia Overton

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Being a student of quantum physics, I was expecting to spend my time picking holes in this book, but quite the contrary.  It is an interesting combination of physics and spirituality that makes you question what you thought you knew.  I wish I could say I hated it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Scott Barnes

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Any book that makes me think is a good book, and this is one of the best I have read.”
Mrs. E. Marshall


Purchase on Amazon:

quantum laceUS Customers:

Print Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace

Kindle Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace-kindle

UK Customers:

Print Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace-uk

Kindle Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace-kindle-uk


From the Author

It has been a labour of love creating this first book in the “Quantum Lace” series and I hope you love reading Bridgit’s journey as much as I have loved writing about it.

It’s funny how a character can become such a reflection of one’s self ~ and that is exactly what has occurred with Bridgit.

Well, off to research and write the next book… and I hope you love that one just as much…

~ Bella


quantum lace bella st john

Sneak Peek:

Prologue

“Sit down before fact like a little child and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.”

 Thomas Henry Huxley

(4 May, 1825 – 29 June 1895)

As you read this book, may you follow Huxley’s words, not his example (that’s another story!), and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion of what you thought was impossible.

As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

Introduction

Once upon a time…  Sounds like a simple enough way to start a story – and particularly a story about time travel, but what does it mean, ‘once upon a time’?  What is time?

Clocks can tell us what time it is, but they cannot tell us what time is!

In fact, we can only define time using terms that are related to time.  One definition states time is “defined by its measurement”.  Even the most un-educated will agree there is something very circular in that reasoning and lacking in that definition.

The story of time travel you are about to read, while a work of fiction, is largely based on real science, real people and real events.  Where fact leaves off and fiction begins is for you to decide.

Do a search on just about anything in this book and make up your own mind what is ‘real’.

For instance, Morgan Robertson really did publish a book on the sinking of the “unsinkable ship” that hit an iceberg fourteen years before Titanic; the edition of “The Time Machine” published by Holt, really did misspell Wells’ name as H.S. Wells and his address listed on the letter sent to Bridgit, was Wells’ actual address at the time; Lord Brassey really did go off to Australia to become Governor of Victoria and his first wife did die on board the ‘Sunbeam’; the quotes from Tesla’s presentation are actually verbatim of the words he uttered in 1892; and the quantum physics mentioned is all real scientific fact as we know it today…

In this first book of the Quantum Lace series, Lady Bridgit Darnell’s life in 1895 in England is interrupted with what she initially thought was merely a strange dream – a dream in which she meets present-day Markus in South Carolina who tells her not only that quantum physics has shown time-travel is possible, but he outlines how he himself has already been able to travel through time.

Awaking back in what she recognizes as her own time and place, Bridgit is convinced the vision must have been a fantasy of her own making until an event occurs that proves the dream was in fact real, and the ripple effect of which alters Bridgit’s life forever…

Chapter One – The Dream

“I am home,” Bridgit mumbled sleepily to herself as she slowly opened her eyes and carefully looked around her familiar bedroom, reflecting on the events of the past several hours, or was it just a few minutes?

Some dreams are simply a jumbled mish-mash of the day’s comings and goings.  This had not been one of those dreams…  Nor was it a problem-solving dream where one has visions of cryptic clues that help alleviate a challenging situation.

To be completely honest, this did not feel to Bridgit as though it was a dream at all, but yet…

Her thoughts were interrupted by Dixon who came in to open the curtains, releasing a bright display of dust particles dancing in the shard of daylight that came streaming into the room.

“Are you well this morning, Miss?” asked the short, slightly plump but very agile Dixon with a caring tone but displaying a lack of any interest in not only the answer, but indeed whether or not an answer was even given.  She was too intent going about her morning chores, confident that if Miss had been other than well, she would already know about it.

Although originally hired as lady’s maid to Lady Bridgit Darnell, when the housekeeper, Mrs. Capwell, left to move to Brighton with her son, Dixon took charge of the household with such military precision that it was not deemed necessary to hire a replacement.

With the precision of a well-rehearsed soldier, the be-spectacled, grey-haired Dixon went from one activity to the next, all the while commenting in great detail on the unusually fine weather and excess of sunshine that May of 1895 in Warrior Square had bestowed upon them.

“You’ll be wanting to take this shawl with you down to the shore, Miss.  It may be bright and sunny out theres abouts, but it is still mighty chilly and you don’t want to catch cold.  I’ll be back up in ten minutes to help you dress.  I’ve laid out the blue for today.  Mrs. Patterson still hasn’t fixed that rip you put in the hem of your brown one when you caught it the other day.  I keep telling her ‘we ain’t made of clothes, you know’ and all I gets is ‘I’ll see to it…’  See to it my foot.  That woman would take seven minutes to boil a three-minute egg, she would…”

Normally not the role of the cook to mend a hem, but Mrs. Patterson took extra pride in her sewing ability and when she once criticized Dixon for a crooked seam, it was decided in order to avert domestic warfare, that in the future all manner of things to do with fabric and thread would be the domain of Mrs. Patterson.

Only Bridgit and her father were in residence and, despite their social position entertaining was something they did rarely, so aside from Dixon and Mrs. Patterson, the remainder of the household staff consisted only of Mr. Chapman the butler; Perkins the valet; Annie, who took on both responsibilities of kitchen maid and general under-housemaid duties; and the tasks of houseboy fell to Perkins’ nephew, Rodney.

There was one other addition to the household staff – the rather now aged French chef, Monsieur Dubois who had worked for Sir Frank Darnell decades ago and, when Sir Frank discovered the man was now homeless and penniless because he was infirm and no longer able to run a large kitchen, had hired him to join the staff at their home in Warrior Square as chef – however, the only time Monsieur was required to cook was if either Sir Frank or Lady Bridgit felt in the mood for something in particular – the rest of Monsieur’s days were spent reading and reminiscing.

As she had completed her immediate chores and not waiting for a response from her mistress, Dixon left the room, closing the door behind her and leaving Bridgit again to her thoughts.

Yesterday had been quite an ordinary day, yesterday evening equally so.  Bridgit retired as usual and went to sleep, but as she began to dream, that was where normal ended.

She imagined she was seated in a booth in a large restaurant overlooking a harbour.  Massive arched windows gave her an almost one-hundred-eighty-degree vista, but something was odd.  The boats were all white in colour and almost to a vessel they were absent of any masts…

“How strange,” Bridgit remarked supposedly to herself but obviously loud enough that a young woman standing near her said, “I’m sorry?  I didn’t hear you.  What would you like to order?”

“Oh, ah… tea would be lovely, thank you.”

“Is that all?” asked the server in an accent that was completely unfamiliar to Bridgit.  Since ‘talkies’ were many years away in Bridgit’s reality, the only people in 1895 England who would have heard an American accent were those who had either travelled abroad or had met someone originally from America – Bridgit had done neither.

“Yes, thank you,” replied Bridgit feeling rather confused.  The young woman was dressed in tight black trousers and a form-fitting shirt with short sleeves, all of which showed off her figure in a way that caused Bridgit to stare.  If only she had looked at her own apparel, Bridgit would have been startled to discovered she was wearing something similar, although a skirt not pants and not quite so form-fitting.

“Well, if you want anything else, I’ll leave the menu here with you,” said the server as she walked off with her white-soled shoes squeaking on the floor as she left.

Looking down at the large document as it sat on the solid, heavy wooden table, on the cover Bridgit read the name of the restaurant and below it the location – Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina?

Suddenly even more aware of her surroundings, Bridgit’s eyes darted about the room, her ears picking up on sounds and conversations.

It was not just the young woman who was dressed oddly.  The entire establishment was full of people whose dress, manner and even conversation were beyond comprehension.

“Thank goodness you’re still here!” exclaimed a man in his early thirties as he hurriedly sat down in the booth opposite Bridgit.

“Excuse me?” remarked a startled Bridgit, but the man was undeterred.

“I did it, Bridge!” he continued.  “I did it!” he exclaimed again as he excitedly reached across the table and took both Bridgit’s hands in his, quickly squeezing them and letting them go.

“How dare you!” exclaimed Bridgit but to her surprise, Markus didn’t seem at all perturbed by her response.

Bridgit was wide-eyed and totally aghast at the cheek of this man.  Thinking he must surely come to his senses, apologize and remove himself, Bridgit waited in silence, eyeing him with bewilderment and suspicion.

“I know, I know – I should have been in touch and I’m sure you’ve been worried, so I’m sorry for that, but Bridge!”  He paused very briefly, then continued. “Wow, where to begin,” Markus said with a sigh, totally oblivious to Bridgit’s horror as he sat back against the bench seat, allowing his manic enthusiasm to dissipate slightly and eventually looked down searchingly at the table in a vain hope he would somehow see the starting point for his explanation in the grains of the wood, unaware of Bridgit’s perplexed glare.

The moment was interrupted by the waitress who returned with Bridgit’s order and placed a glass of iced tea on the table.

“What is this?” asked Bridgit who was expecting a very English pot, cup and saucer.

“Tea,” replied the waitress.  “You’ll find sugar and sweeteners at the end of the table,” as she pointed to a container of blue, pink and white small paper satchels.

Bridgit reluctantly took a sip.  It looked and tasted like black tea but why on earth was it cold?

The waitress asked the man now sitting opposite Bridgit in the booth what he would like to select from the menu.

“Nothing yet, but I’ll wave you down when I’m ready to order,” he said very obviously wanted to get rid of the server as soon as possible.

Bridgit felt a flood of emotions course through her.  Enraged at the impertinence of this man…  Curiosity at the bizarre nature of his actions, her cold beverage, and of essentially everything within sight and earshot…  and a mild sense of fear that she that she was seemingly trapped in a bizarre play from which she knew not how to leave.

“OK, well, I guess it all started when I found out that Dmitri Mendeleev, you know, the guy who came up with the periodic table of elements.”  The fact that this man seemed to know her was one thing – he might simply have made an error and thought she was someone else…  But he called her “Bridge”!  …and then there was the fact that everyone and everything around her was peculiar beyond measure…

“Where am I?” Bridgit wondered apprehensively to herself but didn’t venture to say aloud.

At a loss for any other course of action and, if she were completely honest, more than a little intrigued enough to learn more, Bridgit nodded and motioned for the man to continue.  “When I learned that he discovered the whole periodic table in a dream – a dream! – the entire periodic table, in a dream! – that started me thinking…” Markus trailed off in thought.

Bridgit didn’t know what to do other than to sit patiently and await the continuation.

Markus looked at Bridgit intently and said, “It’s like it all came together, Bridge.  Quantum physics, holographic universes, spirituality…  Everything I have read and studied by people like Dr. Fred Alan Wolf – you know him, Dr. Quantum – and Neville Goddard, and the research done by…  What’s that Reverend man’s name?  I can never remember it.”

Bridgit shrugged.  “Fanthorpe, that’s it. Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe,” he continued.  “Even the work of people like Giorgio Tsoukalos or however you say his name – you know, the guy with the crazy hair – and Gene Roddenberry…  They might seem totally unrelated, but they are not – they all came together in that moment and,” he lowered the volume of his voice but not his intensity, “I knew that the piece I had been missing was to time travel in a dream when all resistance has stopped!”  He emphasized the word with such veracity and passion that even though she was perplexed by this man and her current surroundings, her instinct was to trust him and allow him to continue.

As he looked at her face, Markus could see Bridgit was confused but there was an directness in her eyes that gave him the confidence she would give him a fair hearing, even though he knew what he was saying sounded crazy, even to him.

“Let’s start with some basics,” he began.  “You know that for some time we thought that Steven Hawking was right when he said nothing, not even information, could escape a black hole?”

Bridgit had no notion of what he was talking about but decided it was best to just nod and allow him to resume his explanation.

“When Leonard Susskind proved that Stephen Hawking was wrong – that information is not obliterated in a black hole but rather that information cannot ever be destroyed, it felt as though I had somehow been given permission to continue with my quest.  Instinctively I knew that Hawking’s theory didn’t fit with what I believed, but I had no way of challenging it.  Thankfully, Susskind did that for me!  I love him for that!” he chuckled as though the only one in on a private joke.

“Well, since we now know that information cannot be destroyed, that means that every thought anyone has ever had, every dream, every experience…  It’s all still available – right back to the beginning of time.”

Bridgit again nodded and although she didn’t understand the rest of what he was saying, that element at least made sense.

“It is called the Unitarity Principle,” he continued, “and it says that information can never be lost – it is always there, even if it’s not visible.  The only challenge we have is being able to tap into it, and that’s where personal resonance comes in.”

“Personal what?” asked Bridgit, now too far out of her depth so simply nod obligingly and follow along.

“There was a psychologist called Anderson who proposed that we can tap into all that information, but only if we have some type of connection to it – a personal resonance.  Kinda like a vibrating tuning fork will resonate with another tuning fork only if the second tuning fork is the same frequency as the first – or in other words, the vibrational frequencies match.”

Since Bridgit had learned of the musical vibration principle in her formative studies, she was at least following along in this part of the conversation, but did not understand how it applied to whatever the man opposite was attempting to convey.

He continued, “For instance, if you have a tuning fork tuned to middle C and then you tap it on the table and stand it on its end so it sings, any other tuning forks near it that are also tuned to middle C will also start to sing, but a tuning fork tuned to A for instance, will not.”

Markus looked intently at Bridgit to see if she was following.  “Go on,” she said hesitantly.

“Sound waves are amazing!” enthused Markus.  “I mean in 2007 scientists showed that sound pulses can travel faster than light – imagine that, faster than light! – and then in 2008 it was discovered that if you are able to determine the resonance or vibrational frequency of a virus, you can destroy it using that resonance – and in 2015 they even built a machine that was able to levitate objects using nothing but sound waves!  Or think about the invention by a guy called Peter Davey that is able to boil water in seconds using only sound waves!”  Markus was on a roll and Bridgit was sure she must have misheard him – “2015?”

“Don’t you get it?  They are central to being able to travel through time,” he said, misunderstanding her expression of confusion.  “We can’t simply bounce around aimlessly in time – we need to have some sort of connection to where we are going.  We need to match the vibrational frequency, just like they did with the virus – to have a personal resonance, just like the tuning forks.”  He paused, then smirked, “Hmmmm, or perhaps that should be when we are going,” again, he laughed to himself.  Bridgit was not amused.

Noting her scornful look and feeling like a chastised schoolboy, Markus composed himself and resumed, “Part of the preparation for time travel is to have some vibrational connection to where you want to go,” he continued.  “Einstein said, ‘Everything in life is vibration’ and everything has its own vibrational frequency, whether it is a rat, a rock or this table,” he said as he patted his hand down on the sturdy chunk of wood.

“Einstein?” asked Bridgit tentatively.

“What?” questioned Markus looking at her with raised eyebrows.  He didn’t realize it would still be another ten years in Bridgit’s time before Einstein’s famous works were published.

“Who is Einstein?” she replied in an almost staccato fashion.

After a momentary pause, Markus chuckled aloud.  “OK, funny, Miss Smarty Pants.  Trying to throw me off.”  He sat back again, grinned, and then again leaned forward saying, “Look, Bridge, I know this sounds crazy, but I have already done it – and I have proof that it works…”

Bridgit didn’t understand why he mocked her question, but decided to again simply be quiet, nod, and follow along as best she could.

“OK, I will get back to the resonance and objects in a minute.  The other thing you need to know is how reality is created.”  He looked at her for some indication that she was ready to proceed but getting only a bewildered stare he decided to continue regardless.

“With every choice and decision we make, with every event in our life that could go a variety of different directions, a parallel universe branches off…  Now, just stick with me – I’ll explain…” he hastily added before Bridgit could interject.

“Back in 1982, a physicist named Alain Aspect proved that either objective reality does not exist – meaning there is no such thing as what we consider the see it, feel it, touch it reality – or communication with both the past and the present is possible – and that’s not just hypothesis.  He proved beyond a shadow of doubt that one of those two options must be accepted as fact.  I mean, how amazing is that?”  He looked at Bridgit whose complexion was now turning significantly pale and peaked.

“Are you ok?” he asked, reaching out for her hand as she slid it slowly back under the table and out of reach.

“Quite,” Bridgit replied quietly and a little breathlessly.  She had never been a very believable liar.  In her mind, she was attempting to put all the pieces together to defy logic and somehow make it make sense, and felt she was holding her own until ‘back in 1982’?  Surely, she had misheard him.  But then again, one look around her confirmed she was no longer in England in 1895.

Feeling he was in too far to back out now, Markus continued.

“Every time you make a decision, you create reality – but up until you make that decision, every possible alternative exists as a potentiality.  Look at it this way – say you are considering whether or not to cross the road.  There are countless – infinite, really – possibilities.  You could choose to cross the road now, you could choose not to cross the road, you could jay-walk, you could walk part way across the road and come back…  They are all possibilities until you actually make the decision and take the action.  Do you follow?”

“Not really, but keep going,” replied Bridgit honestly.

“Well, for each of those possible decisions, any that are strong possibilities actually branch off and form another holographic universe, just like this one – but in one universe you have crossed the road and in another you are still where you started.”

“Why do only the strong possibilities form another universe?” she asked, still not following, but doing her best.

“Any possibility needs to have enough energy so it can branch into another universe,” Markus replied as though this was common knowledge.  “Those without enough energy are called ‘terminal universes’ and cannot survive – and actually, that leads us to an interesting point,” Markus continued, now feeling on another roll.

“The way we create reality is primarily through our focus, our emotions and our imagination.  When we think of a possible outcome for a situation, the ones to which we give our focused thought, where we vividly and with intense emotion place ourselves in the desired outcome in our imagination – those are the possibilities that survive and split off as separate universes – and the strongest is the one into which our consciousness continues – what we would call ‘reality’.”

Bridgit briefly contemplated a conversation she had with her father many years ago as he was discussing the notion that everything that exists was once a thought – every chair, every building, every piece of art…

“Hugh Everett proposed that everything that is physically possible happens in some branch of the multiverse – and I happen to largely agree with him,” continued Markus.  “So, if you take that and combine it with Aspect’s finding that either objective reality doesn’t exist or communication between past and present is possible, just think about what that means in relation to time travel!  Not only can we travel back in time, but we can explore just about every possible choice we could have ever made!  …and,” he said emphatically and enthusiastically, “we can travel to the future simply because our ‘now’ is part of the future’s past!  Do you get it?”

At that moment, there was for Bridgit a welcome interruption.

“Hey, Markus!  Good to see you, buddy.  Y’all going to the game on Saturday?” said a man in his thirties who was taking a seat at the bar but addressing the person sitting opposite Bridgit in the wooden booth.

“Sure!  I’ll text you.  Let’s grab a drink afterward,” Markus replied.

Bridgit’s head was spinning as she took a sip of tea, her shaking fingers almost spilling the contents of the glass.

“Anyway, like I was saying,” he continued as he brought his attention back to the table, again lowering his voice slightly.  “I’ve even been able to take care of the paradox that H.G. Wells encounters in his book, ‘The Time Machine’,” Markus continued.

“Bertie?  What does he have to do with this?” Bridgit blurted out, now momentarily feeling on solid ground as she took a deep breath, her confidence on the rise.

“Who?” replied Markus.

“Wells.  Herbert Wells.  You said you solved the paradox in his time travel story in the New Review.”

“The New Review?  What on earth are you talking about?” questioned Markus rather confoundedly.

Bridgit and Wells met at Uppark in West Sussex when they were mere teenagers and had remained life-long friends.  His mother was housekeeper at the estate and Wells, Bertie to his family and friends, had the run of the place when he would come to visit – in particular, he spent countless hours with the collection of books in the magnificent white and gold saloon with its almost floor to ceiling windows looking out over the estate, and the room in which the two friends first met and often discussed theoretical and philosophical concepts such as travelling through time and space…

Bridgit had just recently read Wells’ serialized version of his time machine story in the New Review periodical, but the tale was yet to be published into a book.  In fact, the story had been published several times, in several different formats, under several different titles and with several slightly different storylines, but not yet as one cohesive volume.

“Never mind, please continue,” she said with a resigned sigh.

Markus tipped his head to the side and down slightly, raised an eyebrow, and gave Bridgit a considered look, but then continued.

“It was funny – they didn’t even get his name right when that book was first published, and now it’s a classic!” he laughed.  Seeing Bridgit was more perplexed than amused, he continued.

“Anyway, the grandfather paradox that you can’t change the past by going back and killing your grandfather before your father was born.  You see, it’s not really a paradox at all because nothing you do changes that past – the one where you needed to be born in order to exist to be having this experience in the first place.”  Bridgit gave him a blank stare.

“The same applies for the chronology tenet Wells put forward,” Markus explained, “where you cannot go back in time and change something that would mean you now don’t go back in time in the first place.  They are all holograms of an infinite number of pasts, all different universes, different realities, if you will.  You cannot go back in time in this reality,” he said as he tapped the table, “but you can explore every other universe – every other decision and alternative where your consciousness hasn’t yet been.”

Bridgit’s head was swimming but not seeing any means of retreat from the situation, and despite her discomfort, actually being quite captivated by the entire fantastical discourse, she encouraged Markus to continue.

“But, like I said,” elaborated Markus, “time travel only applies prior to collapsing the wave function, prior to taking action, when all other alternatives are only potentialities – or in other words, once you have made a decision and taken action, and your consciousness has moved forward into that new, branched-off universe, you cannot travel back prior to that point in that universe, but you can travel back in an alternate one.”

Markus stopped and looked at Bridgit for a signal of how to proceed, or even whether to proceed.

“So, if you believe all this to be true…” Bridgit’s question was cut off.

“The question is:  Are we sure what we know now is everything there is to know – or even if what we think of as fact, are we sure that we are correct?  Or, is it possible there may be things that are in fact real that we are presently ignorant of?” replied Markus, heading off any suggestion that he may be imagining the whole thing.

“For instance, I have always wondered whether Morgan Robertson was a time traveller,” said Markus.  “The coincidences are just too freaky.”

“What do you mean?” Bridgit inquired, not sure she would even understand his answer, but willing to continue further down the rabbit hole.

“Just before 1900 – I think it was around 1897 or 1898 – Morgan Robertson wrote a book called, ‘Futility’ all about a huge British ocean liner that was considered unsinkable, and that struck an iceberg in the Northern Atlantic, 400 miles from Newfoundland, around midnight in the month of April.  It sank, with most of her passengers drowning because there were not enough life rafts.  Sound familiar?”  Bridgit had no recall of any such incident but nodded for him to continue.

“More than that, Robertson’s ship was called ‘Titan’.  How’s that for weird?” he said as he raised his eyebrows and looked at Bridgit.

“There were only a few minor differences between the real Titanic ship and the Titan ship in the book – for instance, Robertson said the ship was travelling at 25 knots when she hit the iceberg, and we now know that it was 22.5 knots – which isn’t a big difference, but makes me think that Robertson must have been around in 1912 and then went back to the 1890s,” he looked briefly out the windows at Charleston Harbour before continuing.

“You see, I figure he must have been around at the time of the real sinking and travelled back to the nineteenth century from there, because that – the 25 knots – was the speed some of the newspapers reported at the time on the incident. But even apart from that, so many other elements are identical to the real Titanic – that, remember, didn’t sink until 1912 – more than a dozen years after he wrote the book!”

“I would like to think that Robertson went back to write about the Titanic as a warning, rather than knowing it would sell more books when the real ship actually sank,” Markus continued.

“I mean, think about it.”  He proceeded in a comic overly-British tone to his Southern accent.  “‘Hello, chaps – I know I’m from America and I know nothing about shipping, but if y’all build a great big unsinkable ship in the future, it’s going to hit an iceberg and sink – so, don’t do it, OK?’”

Markus chuckled.  “The idea that he could have warned them is ludicrous, so I guess he did the next best thing – he wrote about it hoping they would see the similarities.”

Markus looked at Bridgit with a solemnity as he continued, “Either way, history shows we didn’t listen.  He did give it another shot in 1914 when he wrote about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, but no one listened to that warning, either – well, they didn’t in this reality at least,” he sighed with a sadness that touched Bridgit’s heart.  “Maybe in some other reality we didn’t needlessly lose all those lives…”

Markus sat looking contemplatively at the table and tracing the grains in the wood with the tip of his finger.

“Reality is more than what you can perceive through your physical senses, Bridge,” he expressed, coming out of his reflective trance.  Looking directly at Bridgit, he continued, “Every rational person understands that, even if they never think about it. They acknowledge radio waves exist – waves you are not physically aware of. To you, those radio waves are non-existent – you can’t feel them or pick them up with your physical senses.  Yet, anyone with an inexpensive receiver can pick up – or more precisely, tune into those signals that are all around you.”

Bridgit nodded, again finding just enough in his commentary that made sense to her to allow him to continue.

“Time travel is possible, Bridge, but it’s like a jigsaw puzzle – you not only have to have all the right pieces, you have to know how to put them together in the right way to bring the picture – the alternate time-travelled reality picture – to life.”

Markus continued, “You know, it’s amazing, we think that reality is all ‘out there’ but consider when you go to the movies.  Not only are you simply seeing one still image after the next that gives you the illusion of reality and movement and travel through time and space, but when you see a scary picture and something happens suddenly, causing you to jump, your heart-rate goes up, your fight-or-flight reaction kicks in – but yet nothing ‘out there’ has changed at all!  You are still sitting safely in your seat, eating your popcorn that is now probably scattered all over the place,” he chuckled.

Seeing Bridgit still did not appear to be amused, he asked, “So, it makes you wonder – what is reality and how do we know it exists the way we currently believe it to exist?  Because ‘reality’ certainly isn’t the scary bogey-man on the screen who is coming to get you right here and right now in this moment in time – he is just a series of still pictures strung together with some words and music – but yet your mind and your body react as though he were real…  So, how can we say we know what ‘reality’ is for sure?”

Bridgit didn’t understand much of what Markus said but did recall reading a book by Mary Shelley that had scared her to the point where she lit several extra lamps in her bedroom in hopes they would make her feel safer and to calm her agitated, frightened state – and yes, just as he said, the monster was not actually in her bedroom and she was not in any danger.  Her reaction was merely to harmless printed ink on a page – hardly life-threatening – but yet what she perceived as her reality, her quickened pulse, her heightened senses were all as if the monster was indeed right there with her.

“Interesting,” Bridgit said, as she pondered this bizarre, confusing and nonsensical conversation and situation.

Feeling Bridgit was becoming a tad more promisingly engaged in the entire concept, Markus quickly continued while he had positive momentum.  “Another crucial element is dreaming, like I said at the beginning.”  Bridgit nodded.  “Well, not exactly dreaming as you might imagine it, but rather the dream state.”  Markus looked at Bridgit for some signal to continue but at least not getting one to stop, he picked up where he left off.

“When we enter the dream state, all resistance ceases and we are able to move about without the constructs that our perceived reality in our waking hours places upon us – or more specifically, when our conscious mind that tells us what we can and can’t do, takes a nap.  For instance, think of a dream where you were flying,” he waited for an acknowledgement from Bridgit.

“Can you fly like a bird in this reality?” he asked.

“Of course not,” replied Bridgit, shuffling uncomfortably in her seat.

“Actually, what if you can,” said Markus with a smirk, “but the reason you don’t is that you think it is impossible.  Think about it…” he said leaning forward toward Bridgit.  “Once upon a time it was thought impossible to sail around the world.  Once upon a time it was thought physically impossible to run a four-minute mile.  Once upon a time it was thought impossible to put a man on the moon.  Now we know they are not only possible, but we have actually done them, all of them, and more.”

Bridgit was about to interject but held her tongue, partly because she didn’t know what to say and partly because she felt she might be physically sick if she even opened her mouth at this point.

“We also thought that time travel was impossible, but what I’ve done,” he said and then paused…  He wasn’t sure what it was, but he only just now realized there was something unfamiliar in the manner of his best friend, however dismissing any concern and taking a deep breath he said, “What I’ve done is to find a way to travel back and forward in time, Bridge, and I thought perhaps together we might even…”

Markus trailed off the sentence – or was it a question? – and looked at Bridgit to gauge her reaction.

Taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly, Bridgit put her fingers to her temples in a futile attempt to stop her head from throbbing so loudly she could barely hear his words.

“What you are saying, if I understand correctly, is that you want to teach me how to travel through time?”  Bridgit’s eyes now fixed on Markus’, her fingers still pressed to the sides of her forehead.

“I know you can do it, Bridge,” Markus replied enthusiastically and started giving her instruction as though she had already said yes.

“One vitally important thing you have to remember is to make sure your emotional state is in check before you start the process.  Remember the tuning forks – like attracts like.  You don’t want to be feeling all frantic and upset when you begin or you’ll find yourself attracting a frantic time and place like a war zone somewhere else in time!  Believe me, I’ve done it,” Markus cautioned, “and it ain’t pretty.”

“That, and you have to follow exactly what I tell you to do, or my research all shows that you won’t be able to come back to the same time and place you left,” Markus said with an added level of warning and concern.

“OK, do you think you can give it a go?” he almost sounded as though he was a child asking for something special for Christmas.  “Please?”

All Bridgit could do was to remove her fingers from her temples, place her hands on the table, let out a sigh of resignation and say, “Proceed.”

At that, Markus excitedly straightened in his seat and gushed, “Excellent!  OK, the first thing you need to learn is about psychometry – or the personal resonance objects we mentioned that act kind of like Dr. Strange’s ‘sling ring’.  With the object in your hands, you have to focus. Take what you think of as the physical ‘real’ world in front of you out of focus and instead, visualize and focus on the destination – the time and place you want to go to – in your mind.”

As he spoke, he pulled a small silver article from his pocket and placed it on the table.

“Where did you get that?” Bridgit almost screamed with alarm as she reached for her waistband, only to find it bare of any accessories.

The object on the table in front of her was an antique ladies belt hook, the same chatelaine that Bridgit wore every day – the repousse rose chatelaine Bridgit’s father had made for her mother as a wedding present and upon which he had hung both the keys to their new home and a silver verge fusee pocket watch that he said would mark with a pleasant ticking sound every moment of the many years they would spend together.  It marked but two years before a black satin ribbon was threaded through the loop at the top, tied into a bow and the now silent piece placed in a drawer along with the rest of Lady Mary Darnell’s jewellery.

“Answer me!”  Bridgit demanded, but as Markus attempted to answer, his attention was diverted as a small device he had placed on the table vibrated and emitted a loud musical sound that jolted Bridgit awake, back in her own room, in her own time and space…

“It has to be here,” Bridgit said frantically to herself as she leapt from the bed and raced to the mahogany dressing table.  Sure enough, as she opened the drawer in which she kept her mother’s jewellery, Bridgit found the silver chatelaine was sitting where she had placed it last night.  She breathed a sigh of relief and clutching the small piece in her hand, curled back up in bed, feeling somewhat more secure with the beloved artefact firmly in her grasp and the weight of the covers providing a welcome sense of protection – protection from what, she wasn’t sure – until she drifted back off into a light, albeit restless slumber.

Upon waking and being comforted that she was safely tucked up in her own bed, just as Bridgit was again starting to mull over the events from the dream, precisely ten minutes after she left it Dixon re-entered the bed chamber to help Bridgit dress in time to go downstairs for breakfast.  Before leaving her room, Bridgit felt her waist for the wayward chatelaine, just to make sure it was exactly where it ought to be and then, reassured, continued on her way.

Sir Frank Darnell was already seated at the table reading the newspaper when his daughter walked into the room.

Peering over the top of the freshly ironed pages, he commented in a soothing, concerned tone, “You look frightfully tired, my dear.  Didn’t you get any sleep?”

Giving him a kiss on the forehead as she passed absent-mindedly by on her way toward the food, Bridgit replied, “Not really, Papa.  I had the most unusual dream…” but she allowed the sentence to go unfinished as she helped herself to the selection Mrs. Patterson had prepared for them.


 


Purchase on Amazon:

quantum laceUS Customers:

Print Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace

Kindle Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace-kindle

UK Customers:

Print Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace-uk

Kindle Book:  http://bit.ly/quantumlace-kindle-uk

Share My Elves! (Virtual Assistants)

elves virtual assistantsI smiled when I saw this as that’s what I call my virtual assistants – my “Elves”!

Many people realize the benefit of having virtual assistants – and I could not live the Luxurious Nomad lifestyle I do without them – but it is a scary journey for some to actually find someone reliable – and who speaks English – and then to navigate the payment situation, their hours, whether you are getting what you paid for…

Since they are ‘virtual’ – meaning they are not there with you in flesh and blood, so to speak – many get dismayed with what seems like a daunting prospect of even knowing where to start in the virtual assistant hiring process, and so continue to do it all themselves.

Not long ago, my Chief Elf and her Elf (yes, even my elves have elves!) came up with the idea of me sharing them with our clients – since many of our clients are also in need of virtual assistants.

What started with that simple idea has now become a reality where we have several clients using the services of my Elves.

Since I already have a team of Elves in various disciplines, we have come up with a straightforward way you can use the services of my Elves without all the drama and worry of having to find your own.

All the details are here:  http://luxuriousnomad.com/elves/

Here is a list of the types of services with which my Elves can assist:

  • Book Marketing (submitting your book to literally hundreds of sites, competitions, forums; posting your author profiles, requesting reviewers and much more – essentially the majority of action items in my book marketing book)
  • Data Mining (research for contact details, websites and businesses)
  • Data Entry
  • Online Research
  • Simple Video Creation (using animoto and windows movie maker with provided files)
  • Basic Photo Editing (Photoshop, Gimp2)
  • Basic WordPress (posting, uploading images and videos, installing plug ins)
  • Social Media Maintenance (posting provided posts/tweets, scheduling using Hootsuite, creating posts using Canva for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram)
  • Marketplace Listing (such as Ebay, Amazon, Shopify…)
  • Classified Ad Posting (Craigslist, Backpage, and other free classified sites)
  • MLS
  • Directory Listing (for websites and businesses)
  • Forum Posting 
  • PowerPoint Presentation (from provided information)
  • Word Processing (Pdf to MSWord, typing, transcription)
  • File Organization (for google drive)
  • Other tasks – willing to be trained where required

Most of your questions will be answered on this page http://luxuriousnomad.com/elves/ and if you have any other questions, feel free to reach out!

Looking forward to my Elves becoming part of your glorious life as well…

By Leigh St John aka Luxurious Nomad

Writing Competitions & Book Fairs – April 2016 Deadlines

Keyboard_typingTime to start writing and/or submitting your work for these April 2016 Deadlines!

Remember, continually promoting your book leads to greater awareness, increased sales and sometimes to opportunities you could never have imagined…

Here are the latest writing competitions and book fairs for you to consider – they each have deadlines of April 2016.

…and if you need any help or support, just reach out and we will be happy to assist wherever we can!

Btw, there is a larger than normal number of poetry competitions this month, but scroll through and you will find just about every genre listed, as well as an interesting array of book fairs for you to attend.


 

Kay Snow Writing Contest

  • http://willamettewriters.org/submit-your-writing/kay-snow-writing-contest/
  • April 30, 2016
  • The purpose of this annual writing contest, named in honor of Willamette Writers’ founder, Kay Snow, is to help writers reach professional goals in writing through a broad array of categories, and also to encourage student writers. In addition to cash prizes, winners will be listed on the Willamette Writers website, are honored at our Willamette Writers Conference held annually in August, and are automatically considered for publication in Willamette Writers’ new literary journal.

Self-Published Book Awards

  • http://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/self-published-book-awards
  • April 1, 2016
  • Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 24th annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition, co-sponsored by Book Marketing Works, LLC spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.

1st Annual New Deal Writer’s Competition

  • http://livingstonarts.org/new-deal-writing-competition/
  • April 1, 2016
  • The New Deal Writer’s Competition is a short story competition where the writer is asked to use a painting chosen by the staff of Livingston Arts as inspiration for their piece

Ware Poets Competition

  • http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/comps/ware16.pdf
  • April 30, 2016
  • The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over.

2016 Bristol Short Story Prize

  • http://intercompetition.com/index.php/writing/ad/2016-bristol-short-story-prize
  • April 30, 2016
  • “The maximum length of submissions is 4,000 words, there is no minimum length.
    Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Children’s etc.).
    All entries should be in English.”

Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

  • http://www.upress.pitt.edu/renderHtmlPage.aspx?srcHtml=htmlSourceFiles/starrett.htm
  • April 30, 2016
  • “The University of Pittsburgh Press announces the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize for a first full-length book of poems.
    You have to send one copy of your manuscript on good quality white paper, with no fewer than 48 and no more than 100 typescript pages. You should also include your curriculum vitae.” “7500 Thomas Blvd.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260”

Spring 2016 Literary Festival

  • https://www.ohio.edu/cas/english/news-events/spring-literary-festival.cfm
  • April 6-8, 2016
  • Since 1986, The Spring Literary Festival has featured some of the world’s finest, most distinguished writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. The three-day festival is held in May on the Ohio University main campus in Athens, OH.

2016 Bath Short Story Award

  • http://bathshortstoryaward.co.uk/
  • April 25, 2015
  • “Stories can be on any theme or subject but must be original and written in English. They must also be for adult or young adult readers. Non-fiction and fiction written for children under 13 years is not eligible.
    Maximum length is 2,200 words.  Entries must not have been previously published in print or online, been broadcast or won a prize.”

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

  • https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free
  • April 1, 2016
  • Submit one poem only, with a maximum of 250 lines 351 Pleasant Street, PMB 222, Northampton, MA 01060

The London Book Fair

  • http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/
  • 12-14 April 2016
  • The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. In 2016 the fair will take place at Olympia, West London, and cover all aspects of the publishing industry.

Ver Poets

  • http://verpoets.org.uk/
  • April 30, 2016
  • Poems must be no more than 30 lines in length. They may be on any theme and in any form. The competition is open to anybody aged 16 or over. Competitors may submit any number of poems for a fee of £4.00 per poem, 3 poems for £10, £2 per poem thereafter.

The Prestigious Claymore Award

  • http://www.claymoreaward.com/
  • April 30, 2016
  • Judges will consider any subgenre of mystery or thriller. Enter the first 50 pages of any unpublished literature “P.O. Box 680759
    Franklin, Tennessee 37068-0759”

Colm Toibin International Short Story Competition

  • http://www.focalliteraryfestival.com/the-colm-toibin-international-short-story-award/
  • April 1, 2016
  • “Entries must be between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length. Entries must be in English. Entries must be the original work of the author and must not have been previously published either in writing or electronically. Entries which have received awards in other competitions are also ineligible.” “C/- Focal @ Enniscorthy Library
    Lymington Road,
    Enniscorthy Co. Wexford Ireland”

International Short Story Contest

  • https://www.firstwriter.com/competitions/short_story_contest/
  • April 1, 2016
  • The contest is open to stories of any style and on any subject, but they must not be longer than 3,000 words. The closing date for submissions is April 1, 2016, and there is a reading fee of $9.75 / £6.50 per story. Alternatively you can enter two stories for just $8.63 / £5.75 each, three stories for only $7.50 / £5.00 each, or five stories for only $6.00 / £4.00 per story.

Momaya Press’s Short Story Competition

  • http://momayapress.com/momaya-short-story-competition/
  • April 30, 2016
  • Momaya Press’s Short Story Competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and offers the opportunity for winners to be published in the Momaya Annual Review 2016.

The Bath Novel Award

  • 2016 http://bathnovelaward.co.uk/
  • April 10, 2016
  • Novels written for adults or young adults, first 5,000 words plus synopsis PO Box 5223, Bath, BA1 0UR, England, UK
    FanStory’s Character Writing Contest
    http://www.fanstory.com/contestdetails.jsp?id=102630 April 29, 2016 “Write a short story that includes a character that is part of the scene pictured below. Creative approaches are welcomed. We are looking for ‘Vivid Characterization’ – well-defined, rich characterization. These are characters you can vividly hear, see, smell and care about as they are created by the writer. Minimum length 700 words. Maximum Length 7,000 words. Recommended length 2,000 – 3,500 words “

The Story House Ireland Presents “Poetry: The Craft”

  • http://www.poetryireland.ie/writers/opportunities/the-story-house-ireland-presents-poetry-the-craft
  • April 11, 2016
  • Coleridge said that poetry is the best words in the best order, but how do you choose the words and the order? Join experienced tutors, Nessa O’Mahony and Peter Sirr, for a week-long residential course that will guide you through the craft of writing poetry, from getting started, developing a daily practice of writing and reading, through drafting and redrafting, to finishing your work.

The Magpie Award for Poetry

  • http://pulpliterature.com/contests/
  • April 15, 2016
  • At Pulp Literature, we have an affinity for poetry, the hard liquor of literature. We like it strong, neat, and we don’t mind if it makes our eyes water. Our judges, will be looking for a fusion of musicality, imagery, feeling, and thought. May the best poem win!

Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry

  • http://www.sarabandebooks.org/morton
  • April 30, 2016
  • This contest is open to any poet of English. Employees and board members of Sarabande Books, Inc. are not eligible. Individual poems from the manuscript may have been published previously in magazines, chapbooks of less than 48 pages, or anthologies, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished. Translations and previously published collections are not eligible. To avoid conflict of interest, close friends of a judge or students in a degree-granting program with a judge are not eligible to enter a contest in the genre for which their friend or teacher is serving as judge.

2016 Poetry Chapbook Contest

  • http://www.omnidawn.com/contest/poetry-contests.htm
  • April 18, 2016
  • Open to all writers with no limitations on the amount of poetry a writer has published. Submissions should be 20–40 pages of poetry, not including front and back matter. (Keep in mind that this is intended to fit in a 5.5 x 7 inch published chapbook of approximately 60 pages or less, although you can submit on standard 8.5 x 11 inch pages, and we will format to fit the smaller size.) Colleagues, students, and close friends of the judge, Hoa Nguyen, are not eligible. “1632 Elm Avenue
    Richmond, CA 94805-1614”
    Wax Poetry and Art http://waxpoetryart.com/contests/poetry.html April 30, 2016 “The work submitted must be wholly original to the person submitting
    the work.
    Simultaneous submissions are not allowed for this contest. Please do not
    submit the same poems anywhere else until the contest results are
    announced.”

RhymeZone Poetry Prize

  • http://www.rhymezone.com/contest/
  • April 12, 2016
  • For the first RhymeZone Poetry Prize, we asked people to write poems on the theme of “Understanding”. We received 3,556 submissions from more than 3,000 people from all across the United States and Canada. The poems touch on all aspects of the contest theme, and there’s a staggering diversity of styles, forms, meters, rhyme schemes, and topics.

Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards

  • http://www.poetrycenterpccc.com/awards/
  • April 1, 2016
  • Up to five poems per person will be accepted for consideration. Submit four copies of each poem for distribution to the judges. No poem should be more than two manuscript pages. Since the poems will be judged anonymously, sheets which contain the poems should not have the poet’s name on them. Include a separate cover sheet with the poet’s name, mailing address, phone number, email address and the titles of the poems. Poems cannot be returned.

Paterson Fiction Prize

  • http://www.poetrycenterpccc.com/awards/
  • April 1, 2016
  • A $1000 prize is awarded by The Poetry Center at PCCC for a novel or collection of short fiction which, in the opinion of our judges, is the strongest work of fiction published in 2015.

THE 2016 BEST FIRST NOVEL COMPETITION

  • http://www.delsolpress.org/DSP-NovelCompetition.htm
  • April 15, 2016
  • The competition is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence, and is available to published and unpublished authors alike. Genres we are looking for include literary and upmarket fiction, mainstream or general fiction, mystery/thriller or speculative fiction with a literary edge, serious women’s fiction, and unique experimental work. “2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
    Ste 443
    Washington, DC 20006”

Acrostic Poetry Contest

  • http://www.fanstory.com/contestdetails.jsp?id=102652
  • April 24, 2016
  • Write an acrostic poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word (downwards). The poem can be about anything. It can be based on one or more words. Creative approaches are welcomed. One entry per person. New entries only. Acrostic poetry only.

The Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize

  • http://ashlandpoetrypress.com/guidelines/snyder-prize
  • April 1, 2016
  • This poetry book series honors the memory of Richard Snyder (1925-1986), poet, fiction writer, playwright, and long-time professor of English at Ashland University. In selecting manuscripts for this series, Ashland Poetry Press editors keep in mind Snyder’s tenacious dedication to craftsmanship and thematic integrity.
    “401 College Ave.
    Ashland, OH 44805”

The Eastern Iowa Review Poetry Prize

  • http://www.portyonderpress.com/eastern-iowa-review-poetry-prize.html
  • April 30, 2016
  • The Eastern Iowa Review Poetry Prize will award three poets a prize for poems that reflect smart writing from a “good spaces” context suitable for a wide audience. No poem length or style restrictions. Prose poems are welcome as are found poems, free verse, haiku, rhyming poems, etc. All poems must be completely unpublished.
    6332 – 33rd Avenue Drive, Shellsburg IA

2016 Indiana Review Poetry

  • Prize http://indianareview.org/contests/
  • April 1, 2016
  • “Send no more than three poems per entry, 8 pages maximum.
    As of September 2014 we no longer accept hard-copy submissions.
    Entrant’s name must not appear on the submission.
    Cover letter must include name, address, phone number, and title. Entrant’s name should appear ONLY in the cover letter.” “Ballantine Hall 529
    1020 E. Kirkwood Ave. Indiana “

THE ANNUAL GULF COAST PRIZE

  • http://gulfcoastmag.org/contests/gulf-coast-prize/
  • April 9, 2016
  • The contest awards publication and $1,500 each to the best poem, essay, and short story, as well as $250 to two honorable mentions in each genre.

The Waterston Desert Writing Prize

  • http://www.writingranch.com/waterston-prize-for-desert-writers/
  • April 1, 2016
  • Now in its second year, the Prize annually honors literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy – with the desert as both subject and setting. Inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston’s love of the high desert of Central Oregon, a region that has been her muse for more than 30 years, the Prize recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide in the ecosystem and human narrative. “PO Box 640
    Bend, OR 97709”

Beacon Street Prize

  • http://www.redividerjournal.org/submit/contests/beacon-street-prize/
  • April 30, 2016
  • We launched the Beacon Street Prize in 2012, in honor of our 10th anniversary, and writers and readers responded with such enthusiasm that we now hold it annually. Welcoming submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, the 2016 contest will open February 15 and close April 30.

Binsted Arts Poetry Competition

  • http://www.binsted.org/poetry-comp
  • April 17, 2016
  • Original unpublished poems are invited on the theme:
    A way through the woods

Ver Poets Open Competition

  • 2016 http://verpoets.org.uk/
  • April 30, 2016
  • Poems must be no more than 30 lines in length. They may be on any theme and in any form. The competition is open to anybody aged 16 or over. Competitors may submit any number of poems for a fee of £4.00 per poem, 3 poems for £10, £2 per poem thereafter.
    16th Poetry on the Lake http://www.poetryonthelake.org/page2.php April 30, 2016 “3 categories: Open & Formal (max 40 lines each), Short (max 10 lines)
    Mark category top right of each page. The same poem may be entered in two or more categories
    but will count each time as a separate entry. “

The Very Short Fiction

  • http://www.glimmertrain.com/pages/guidelines/very_short_fiction_guidelines.php
  • April 30, 2016
  • “The Very Short Fiction Contest is open to all writers.
    Any story that has not appeared in a print publication is welcome.
    Maximum length: 3,000 words” “PO Box 80430
    Portland, Oregon 97280 USA”

The Fiction Open

  • http://www.glimmertrain.com/pages/writing_guidelines.php
  • April 30, 2016
  • Open to all subjects, all themes, and all writers. Most entries run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, but any lengths from 3,000 to 20,000 words are welcome. “PO Box 80430
    Portland, Oregon 97280 USA”

2016 New South Writing Contest

  • http://newsouthjournal.com/contest/
  • April 15, 2016
  • This year’s contest will be be judged by Anya Silver in the genre of poetry and Matthew Salesses in the genre of prose. First place winners in each category will be awarded $1,000 prizes; second place winners, $250 prizes; and third place winners, a three-year subscription to New South. Your $15 entry fee also includes a one-year subscription to New South. You may submit electronically via Submittable ONLY.

2016 Frost Farm Prize

  • http://www.frostfarmpoetry.org/prize/
  • April 1, 2016
  • Poems must be original, unpublished and metrical (any metrical form). No translations. There is no limit to the number of poems entered by an individual, but an entry fee of $5 U.S. per poem must accompany the submission. You are welcome to submit a poem sequence (a crown of sonnets for example) but each poem must be entered as a separate file and will be judged individually. “280 Candia Rd.
    Chester, NH 03036”

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

  • https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/tom-howard-john-h-reid-fiction-essay-contest
  • April 30, 2016
  • Welcome to the 24th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $4,000 in prizes.

Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest

  • http://www.mcslibrary.org/program/edu/essay.htm
  • April 1, 2016
  • The rules of the contest are minimal. Essays must be typed and double-spaced. Contestants should provide contact information so they can receive notification of final results. Essays should be no longer than 2000 words. Quality of evidence, argumentation, and writing is more important than quantity of pages. “56 Norridgewock Avenue
    Skowhegan, Maine 04976 “

Twelfth International Short Story Contest

  • https://www.firstwriter.com/competitions/short_story_contest/
  • April 1, 2016
  • Welcome to firstwriter.com’s Twelfth International Short Story Contest. This competition is open to fiction in any style and on any subject, up to 3,000 words long.
    LitRejections Short Story Prize http://www.litrejections.com/short-story-prize/ April 4, 2016 “Our inaugural story prize is welcoming submissions from writers around the world for the chance to win cash prizes and publication on our website, a site with over 100 million web hits.
    We would love to read your stories and bring your voice to a wider audience of readers, agents, publishers, authors, and many leading figures from all of the other creative industries, who regularly visit our website www.litrejections.com”

THE LONG ISLAND BOOK FAIR

  • http://www.libookfair.com/
  • April 2 – 3, 2016
  • Featuring Books and Ephemera, with Paper in every category, Prints & Post Cards, too. 720 Northern Blvd. (NY25A) Brookville NY 11549

New York Antiquarian BOOK FAIR

  • http://www.nyantiquarianbookfair.com/
  • April 7-10, 2016
  • From April 7-10, 2016 book lovers will find a fascinating treasure trove at the Park Avenue Armory. Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair, bringing a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera. The diversity of specialties includes art, medicine, literature, photography, autographs, first editions, Americana, and much more. “Park Avenue Armory
    643 Park Avenue, New York
    Between 66/67 Streets”

Southern Kentucky Book Fest

  • http://sokybookfest.org/
  • April 23, 2016
  • Southern Kentucky Book Fest is one of the state’s largest literary events and is presented by Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and WKU Libraries. Held annually in April, the Book Fest draws thousands of readers of all ages who welcome the occasion to meet their favorite authors and purchase signed copies of their books. Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101

2016 Virginia Book Fair

  • http://www.virginiabooksellers.org/
  • April 29 – 30, 2016
  • “40 of the country’s finest booksellers under one roof, offering books, manuscripts, maps, autographs, art and ephemera for every taste and budget.
    Admission is free, parking is ample, and the VMFA Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is right next-door (with its award-winning café and restaurant). ” “428 N. Boulevard
    Richmond, Virginia 23220”

Bloomsbury Book Fair

  • http://www.bloomsburybookfair.com/
  • April 10, 2016
  • We welcome our regular dealers PLUS some new faces and Specialist Military Dealers! You can expect dealers in fine and rare books, ephemera specialists, map & print sellers, as well as auctioneers and bookbinders, be sure to mark the date in your diary! “Bedford Way
    London WC1H 0DG”

2016 AWP Conference & Bookfair

  • https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/
  • April 2, 2016
  • The AWP Conference & Bookfair is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join our community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature.

The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

  • http://www.buffalosmallpress.org/
  • April 9-10, 2016
  • The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair is a regional two-day event that brings booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and other cultural workers (and enthusiasts) together in a venue where they can share ideas, showcase their art, and peddle their wares. “Porter Hall
    453 Porter Avenue
    Buffalo, NY”

THE 2016 VIRGIN ISLANDS LITERARY FESTIVAL AND BOOK FAIR

  • https://vilitfest.wordpress.com/
  • April 21-23, 2016
  • The second annual Virgin Islands Literary Festival and Book Fair is set to kick off April 20-23 with events highlighting and celebrating literature’s role in culture and society. “University of the Virgin Islands
    St. Croix Campus”

Blue Ridge Bookfest

  • http://www.blueridge.edu/blueridgebookfest
  • April 22-23, 2016
  • The 2016 Blue Ridge Bookfest is pleased and excited to announce that Novelist Ms. Sara Gruen, author of the widely acclaimed Water for Elephants, will be the 2016 Blue Ridge Bookfest Featured Author. “180 West Campus Dr.
    Technology Education & Development Center
    (TEDC Building)
    Flat Rock, NC 28731”

Ohioana Book Festiva

  • http://www.ohioana.org/programs/ohioana-book-festival/
  • April 23, 2016
  • Since its inception in 2007, the Ohioana Book Festival has given readers the opportunity to connect with their favorite Ohio writers. Held each spring, the Festival welcomes roughly 100 authors and more than 3,000 visitors every year. Capitol Square, 75 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215

Greater St. Louis Book Fair

  • http://www.stlouisbookfair.org/
  • April 28, 2016
  • Greater St. Louis Book Fair is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most popular charity book sales. For over 60 years, book lovers and collectors have enjoyed bargain prices on a diverse and quality selection of new, gently-used and rare books. Fair proceeds benefit local non-profit education and literacy programs.

Newburyport Literary Festival

  • http://newburyportliteraryfestival.org/
  • April 29-30, 2016
  • Founded in 2005, the Newburyport Literary Association, Inc. will host its eleventh festival April 29th and 30th. PO Box 268 Newburyport, MA 01950

Dayton Book Expo

  • http://www.daytonbookexpo.com/
  • April 30, 2016
  • For the seventh consecutive year, hundreds of book lovers will convene at the Dayton Book Expo. The all-day event includes panel discussions for aspiring authors, activities for children in the Kidz Zone and book signings! The event is free and open to the public. Great Hall – Building 12 444 West Third Street Dayton, Ohio 45402

 

Luxury is a Choice, not a Dollar Sign!

wellness-spa-relax

Look at an image like this and you think of a quality day spa where all you hear are sounds of birds chirping, waves rolling… and many also immediately then jump to “but I couldn’t afford that type of luxury”…

Luxury is a Choice not a Dollar Sign…

On Sunday, I decided to turn my studio apartment into my very own oasis…

Relaxing luxury-spa-type music playing, reading, enjoying fresh juice and nibbling on nuts & steamed edamame, candles dancing away all throughout my Princess Tower, the aroma of glorious essential oils diffused through the air, luxuriating facial, and a bottle of wine that was sipped from a vintage Censka crystal glass I picked up on my travels… 

When I posted about my ‘retreat’, a friend sent me a message saying she wished she could afford to live like I live…

Hmmm, let me think… The wine cost less than $20, the nuts and edamame would collectively be less than $10… Everything else I have already on hand, but even if I didn’t they are not expensive items – you can even pick up candles at the ninety-nine cent store… Even the vintage crystal glass I found for less than $20 (it is ever so elegant – I love it – and it travels with me)…

As I said to my beautiful friend ~ luxury is a choice – it doesn’t need to be expensive – you just need to be mindful and decide whether you will focus on ‘reality’ or make your own…

While we may not be able to click our fingers and put a million dollars into the bank, or twitch our nose and be free from illness – we can choose to create our own world in which we are blissfully happy and loving the beauty of the present moment…

For anyone with the resources to be able to read this post ~~~ Luxury is a CHOICE ~~~ 

Whoever says you can’t enjoy the 5-Star life without having to outlay a 5-Star wad of cash, obviously hasn’t spent enough time with me…  :-))

Sending love and smiles to all… 

 

The Importance of Having a Bucket List (plus here’s a look at mine!)

bucket-list-LSJWhen was the last time you did something you really wanted to do?

Why have a Bucket List?  Most people go through their life as though they have all the time in the world to “one day” do the things they really want to do – and you know what?  Most never do them.

The old adage is true about the cemetery being full of the best books (that were never written because they never found the time to write that book they always dreamed of writing); the most amazing love stories (that were never lived because they never built up the courage to ask the person out or to say “I’m sorry”); the most amazing experiences (that were never experienced because there was always “one day”)…

I often update my Bucket List (that I call a Life List) however recently I did something in addition to that – I wrote out my Life List DONE!  Not just Bucket List items, but also simply amazing experiences I have had – because I decided that “one day” was every chance I get!

What I discovered in writing that list was just how many wonderful memories it brought back simply by going through that exercise – and also just how much I had truly done in my life…

…but I had a special ‘gift’ that many of you do not have…

What is that ‘gift’?  Several years ago I had an illness that was supposed to kill me – and didn’t (I’m stubborn like that).  Thanks to that illness, I realized just how short life really is and how every moment is precious… and I started living each moment to the fullest…

I started paying attention to the beauty in the everyday comings and goings of life…  I started exploring and going places and doing things simply because they sounded interesting or fun…

…and I developed a Life List DONE that inspires me every time I read it.  It contains not only goals and bucket list items, it’s also simply experiences that were ever so cool and that have meant a lot to me.

While you scan my list – reflect on all the incredible things YOU have ALREADY done in your life!

So many times we look at our GOALS and our TO DO lists, and forget just how much we have already accomplished…

…and if you look at my list and think it would cost a lot of money to achieve – perhaps if you did it all at once – and yes, there are a couple of expensive items on the list – but this list is the culmination of the past 10 or 20 years of my life – and also, think about how many incredible experiences you could have, right in your own city – for free…

It’s all about making the most of every moment…

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done…”  Thomas Jefferson

Here in no particular order is my EXPERIENCES ‘DONE’ LIST:

  • Own the Car of My Dreams (her name is Bridgit aka Baby Car and she’s a classic Jaguar convertible I restored who has been my constant travel companion for several years while living in the USA – when preparing to finally leave the States, I donated her to a children’s charity.  I just couldn’t bring myself to ‘sell’ her so I gave her to an organization where she could continue to bring smiles to people…)
  • Traced my family tree back several hundred years and completed the Ancestry DNA analysis (I’m 40% UK, 26% Iberian Peninsula, 21% Scandinavian, 12% Irish and 1% from western Europe) – and am writing a novel based on some of the stories…  Stay tuned!
  • Lived on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Climbed all 272 steps of the Batu Cave Temple in Malaysia (complete with an army of macaque monkeys ‘helping’ every step of the way)
  • Rebuild a Car Engine (twice)
  • Wrap a Snake Around My Neck
  • Stayed two nights in one of America’s most haunted B&Bs
  • Ride in a Tiger Moth
  • Sat beside Walt Disney’s original “Dreaming Tree” on the farm where he grew up – while the original tree has fallen over, the trunk is still there, a sapling from the tree is growing next to it – and the entire field is awe-inspiringly beautiful!  Wild flowers that grow as high as your waist in some places…  It is one of my top 10 spots on the planet.
  • Host Movie Premieres at Warner Bros
  • Walk over Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Host “Going Green” TV show
  • Live in a two-storey villa in a 4.5 star resort with a friend’s 65′ yacht moored at my front door
  • Leave nothing ‘unsaid’
  • Grand Canyon
  • Fly Internationally First Class
  • Mardi Gras Ball
  • Made my living as a Professional Entertainer
  • Find True, Pure, Blissful Joy in pretty much every moment…
  • Live in USA (my dream since I was a small child)
  • Write an Amazon #1 Best-Seller
  • Speak on stage at the United Nations in New York
  • Stay in a luxury vintage rail car at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel (formerly a Victorian-Era rail station)
  • Love Unconditionally
  • Spent Significant Time Touring Through 42 States (so far) – all by Road
  • Fly a Plane
  • I absolutely ADORE what I do for a living!
  • Ride the Incline Railway (world’s steepest)
  • Bring a Stranger Home for Dinner
  • Winter Olympics in Whistler
  • Tombstone, Arizona & OK Corral (where the shootout DIDN’T happen, by the way!!)
  • Angel Oak
  • Drive Across the USA Coast to Coast (several times – and at least 4 times in Bridgit!)
  • Teach at a World’s Top Business School
  • Target Pistol Shooting
  • Forgive and move on
  • Fairy Penguins on Phillip Island
  • Member of various Private Members’ Clubs
  • Visited The Alamo
  • Make a Difference in Someone’s Life
  • Visit Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Visit just about every significant Antebellum Home in the USA
  • Learn Sign Alphabet
  • Catalina Island
  • Own Personalized Private Label Wine
  • Participate in Murder Mystery
  • Spent several inspiring hours at the Georgia Guidestones
  • Tour Historic Philadelphia
  • Hug a Redwood in the Redwood Forest
  • Competition Ballroom Dancing (as a teenager, and won two awards)
  • Tour Stalagmite Caves
  • Mark Twain’s beloved Hannibal Missouri
  • Member of Mensa
  • Visit Cadillac Ranch
  • Gorgeous collection of Jewellery, Shoes, Handbags & Accessories
  • Hiking Through Rainforest
  • Visit the original Laura Ingalls Wilder house
  • Arabia Steamboat Musuem (the largest single collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world)
  • Achieve over 50,000 Followers on Twitter (it’s down to around 37K now, and it was a wonderful experience building the following – it’s interesting that once I stopped actively building, the ‘fluff’ fell off and the 35K or so that remain are constant, loyal followers)
  • Own several Civil War Gowns
  • Struck by lightning – and obviously lived to tell the tale!  Actually, the lightning hit the roof of the garage I was in and went through the power line to the charger cable that was beside me – the spark arced from the cable to my leg, causing a weird burn/bruise-like injury, my hair stood on end, my heart started beating to a very different drum!  Not only that, but it fried the wiring in the garage and even literally ‘blew up’ the automatic sprinkler controller on the wall – we found pieces everywhere!
  • Daily Full-page “Life with Leigh” series in Major Metro Newspaper
  • Own a grand piano
  • Visit Parkes Observatory
  • Treat a Person who is Homeless to Thanksgiving Feast (I do this most every year)
  • Live with Private Beach at my Doorstep
  • Been on stage with Jay Leno
  • Tour Historic Newport
  • Win Awards for my Photography
  • Build a Snowman
  • Ruby Falls
  • Visit Painted Desert in New Mexico
  • Fishbowl Margarita in El Paso
  • Willard Hotel in Washington
  • Visit Churchill Downs (Home of Kentucky Derby)
  • Sailing on a tall ship
  • Attend Private Event in US House of Representatives
  • Shopping on Rodeo Drive
  • Sing for a Living
  • Route 66
  • Drive entire length of Historic Route 1 / Hwy 101 from Mexico to Canada
  • Civil Rights Museum in Lorraine Hotel
  • Swim Naked Under the Stars in a beautiful a lake
  • Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Danced/Played the giant piano in FAO Swartz in New York
  • Met the Principals of the Russian Bolshoi Ballet & had front row seats
  • Elvis Presley Aircraft Museum
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame (no, I’m not ON it, I just walked along it)
  • Watch the sun rise and set at the horizon while at the Beach (obviously not at the same beach!  LOL!)
  • Natural Bridge in Virginia
  • Historic Santa Monica Pier
  • Four-wheeling over monster sand-dunes
  • Host “Achievers and Unsung Heroes” TV & radio shows
  • Victor Borge 80th Birthday concert
  • Monticello
  • Horseback Riding through Antebellum Plantation
  • Nashville
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Off-Roading Through Monster Sand Dunes
  • Ride the L train in Chicago
  • Crater Lake
  • Build a smart-phone app (several)
  • Attend a Rodeo
  • Travel Through Asia
  • Manage a Charity Feeding Homeless Children
  • Stay in Eco-Friendly Cavallo Point, California
  • Attend a Cirque de Soleil show in Vegas
  • Guest Soloist with Sydney Conservatory Choir
  • Attend Revolutionary & Civil War Re-Enactments
  • Go on a Blind Date
  • New Years Eve on Sydney Harbor
  • Churn Butter By Hand
  • Survive an Illness that was supposed to kill me
  • Conquered fear of Public Speaking (and a good thing, too, given that I chose to go into the field of media and entertainment!)
  • Herd Cattle
  • Contact someone I don’t know who also has my name
  • Tour Royal Selangor Pewter Factory in Kuala Lumpur
  • Buy something at an Auction
  • Attend College Football Game (LSU @ Tiger Stadium) & Tail-gating
  • Ride an Elephant
  • Visit Grant Park in Chicago
  • Do something ‘big’ completely on faith
  • Lead in Musical Theater
  • Study Artificial Intelligence at Stanford (for fun)
  • Niagara Falls (& also did a horse-drawn carriage ride in middle of winter – stunning!)
  • Daily Successfully manage several health ‘challenges’ that sometimes slow me down but never stop me…
  • Own AV Studio
  • Reverse a Trailer Around an Obstacle Course
  • Stayed AirBnB
  • Cuddle a Koala
  • Ride in a Tuk Tuk
  • Live in Las Vegas
  • Co-Host Drive Time on Major Commercial Radio Station
  • Explore a Completely Uninhabited Ghost Town
  • Ate squirrel and rabbit gumbo (where both critters were shot on the same premises they were cooked and eaten – certainly an ‘interesting’ experience but not one I recommend! (for you or the squirrel!))
  • Do several ‘staycations’ where you stay in a hotel in your city and be a tourist in your own town
  • July 4th on the Water in Savannah, Georgia
  • Attended a Louisiana Cajun Boucherie
  • Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur
  • Attended an international IndyCar race
  • Visit all Smithsonian Buildings in Washington
  • Swim in a Tea Tree Lake
  • Adopt a Rescue Dog
  • Attend International Surfing Competitions (not as a competitor!)
  • Eat Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia
  • Hoover Dam
  • Row 6 – Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour
  • Snorkled on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Dropped 75lb after putting it on during an illness (and currently working on achieving my dream body)
  • Camping By Myself – beside a lake… it was magical!
  • Jekyl Island
  • Start a Non-Profit
  • Visit ‘The General’ in Kennesaw Mountains
  • Ride a Greyhound Bus across several States (boy, was that an experience!)
  • Build Websites
  • Entertain elderly people at a nursing home
  • Shear a Sheep
  • Build several businesses (some were successes – some were monumental failures – although thankfully there were more of the former than the latter!)
  • Natchez Pilgrimage
  • Play Bocce
  • Continually Learn about Quantum Physics
  • Windsor Ruins
  • Create My Own Family Crest
  • Get caught in a dust storm with zero visibility (Ok, so not something I planned, but experience worthy of the list)
  • Biltmore
  • Attend an Event with International Heads of State
  • Hold a Tarantula
  • Stayed in a number of glorious vintage hotels
  • Attend Renaissance Festival
  • Front-row-center at Don McLean concert
  • Shucking Oysters Fresh from the Fire at an Oyster Roast
  • Spend a whole day at a luxury spa, then elegant dinner and a show
  • Sailing
  • Study at Stanford
  • Discover my signature perfume
  • Hole in One (OK, so it was mini-golf!)
  • Magnificent Historic Charleston, South Carolina
  • Picnics are usually 5 Star with Vintage Crystal Glasses & Estate Silverware
  • Teach Someone who is Illiterate to Read
  • New Year’s Eve on the river in Savannah, Georgia
  • Eat possibly the world’s best Lobster Slider – Plymouth (near ‘the rock’)
  • Used Limousines as primary method of transport
  • Toured a submarine
  • Visit New Zealand
  • Attend a Polo Match
  • Visit Times Square
  • Learn CPR
  • Bought a quality western cowboy (or should that be cowgirl) hat and had it custom-fitted (I love bespoke experiences like that!)
  • Drive in Celebrity Speedway Race
  • Catalina Island
  • French Quarter in New Orleans
  • Lasik Eye Surgery
  • Boat License
  • San Antonio Riverwalk
  • Met Masaru Emoto
  • Jet-boating
  • Brewed Beer
  • Atalaya Castle
  • Be a Ghost-Writer
  • Shoot a Bow & Arrow
  • Attend Zulu Lundi Gras
  • Regularly Send Handwritten Notes with Wax-Sealed Envelope, Written with Fountain Pen
  • Learn to Throw a Clay Pot
  • Bowl a 200+ game
  • Donate Blood
  • Aspen
  • Historic Vicksburg
  • Experience a Real White Christmas
  • Mount Vernon
  • Toured an aircraft-carrier
  • Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club
  • Milk Cows both by Hand and Machine
  • Live on a Yacht for a Week
  • Go on a Hay Ride
  • (ref scene in Pretty Woman) Had lunch at Bar at the Beverley Wilshire (they’ve redecorated since the movie)
  • Dined at the Boat House in Central Park

(I update this list (both done and to do) every few months)

…and here is the (much shorter) Bucket List of items still to do… (again in no particular order).

  • Become healthy enough to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in 2017
  • Daily continue to see the beauty and enjoy the bliss…
  • Continue to make a difference and help people achieve their dreams…
  • Be a volunteer at “il Club di Guilietta” (ref ‘Letters to Juliet’)
  • Continue to explore my ancestry, including visiting places from which they originated
  • Be the voice for an animated feature film
  • Achieve the body of my dreams
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Develop a fictional character I love and publish stories about her journeys
  • Live in a Marina (again)
  • Meet and fall mutually in love with the Man of my Dreams
  • Help a family who is homeless to get a job, a home and a new life
  • San Francisco Cable Car
  • Private Plane (I don’t want one, I just want to travel in one if I need to fly anywhere)
  • Learn to better appreciate wine
  • Be a writer for “Huffington Post”
  • Speak Italian and French (I don’t need to be fluent, just enough to understand and to be understood)
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Attend all three Triple Crown events – Private Box
  • Build a Labyrinth
  • Visit every US state (42 down – 8 to go…)
  • Continue to facilitate inspiring events…
  • Natural Hot Springs
  • Really explore Napa Valley
  • Pike’s Market
  • Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Stonehenge
  • Develop a range of inspirational books, journals, items etc from my photography
  • Coliseum
  • Monaco
  • Machu Pichu
  • Mud Bath
  • Produce inspiring short films
  • Heart Castle
  • Coral Castle
  • Santorini
  • Tour ~ and stay in ~ castles across the UK and Europe
  • Major art and architectural icons through Europe
  • Coney Island
  • Vienna
  • Venice
  • Vintage Rail Tours including Orient Express & Pullman Tours
  • Greek Islands
  • Austria
  • Disneyland
  • Switzerland
  • Easter Island
  • Rome
  • Kiss passionately in the rain
  • Athens
  • Loch Ness
  • Tuscany
  • ‘Nights in Rodanthe’ House
  • Record an album
  • Horseback riding on the beach
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Build a water feature
  • Fly in a helicopter
  • Go on a cruise
  • See icebergs up close
  • Buy jewelry at Tiffany & Co.
  • Horseback riding in the snow
  • Regularly make something with my own hands
  • Christmas Caroling
  • Edgar Cayce Museum
  • Martha’s Vineyard
  • Narraganset Rune Stone
  • Make a Kiva loan
  • Nantucket
  • View a piece of Harry Winston jewelry up close and personal
  • Cape Cod
  • Stay at a Dude Ranch
  • Upperville Horse Show
  • Winchester House
  • Chateau Montelena
  • Newport Tower
  • TCM Cruise as a VIP
  • White Pass and Yukon Railway (Skagway AK to Whitehorse, Canada)
  • Continue to regularly attend exhibitions at the Smithsonian

I’m certain I’ve missed a number of items – and I am constantly adding to it… although the one that is most up to date is on my Luxurious Nomad site – here’s the link:  http://luxuriousnomad.com/bucket-list/

So, why have a Bucket List?

When I finally do meet my Maker, I want to be able to honestly say I lived my life to the fullest – that I used my passions – that I was of service to others – that I made people (and myself) smile – and that I didn’t wait for “one day” that never came…

This list is my inspiration to live the life of my dreams…

What’s yours?

Leave the wake in the past…

wakeAs many of you know, one of my most beloved teachers and the person, next to my great-grandmother, from whom I have gained perhaps my most important and profound perspectives is Dr Wayne Dyer.  One of Dr Dyer’s stories that he uses to illustrate the power (or lack thereof) of our past is the wake of a boat. If you are unfamiliar with the story, in short it refers to the fact that what is past – in this instance, the wake (or trailing wave) of a boat has no impact on the ‘now’ nor the future of the boat – with the boat being analogous to your life.

One thing I witnessed on the weekend, however, prompted me to a revised knowledge that the wake of a boat CAN have quite negative and destructive impacts upon the boat.

Please allow me to explain…

Imagine you are out on a speedboat, cruising along at a high rate of knots, and leaving a very large wake behind you. While this trailing wave has no impact on your ‘now’, nor your boat’s forward momentum, if you decide to suddenly turn your boat about-face and focus on where you’ve been instead of where you are going, your wake can swamp your boat! A scene I witnessed yesterday.

If you are flowing along with a great deal of forward momentum and all of a sudden start focusing on your past, you, too may discover that your life is ‘swamped’ with the unwanted.

…and yet another example viewed yesterday with regard to the potential negative power of a wake, is when you stay too close to the wake of another…

A large boat was very quickly heading into the harbor. A much smaller vessel that had been on a particular course, decided to change direction and ‘wake surf’ the larger boat’s trailing wave.  Unfortunately, the smaller boat was disabled by the power of the wake of the other boat.

The lesson I took from this scene was that if we focus too intently on the ‘past’ of others, we run the risk of disabling our own forward momentum.

While it may seem like a very basic message, this simple notion can have profound impacts on our path from where we are to where we wish to be.

Leave the wake – yours and everyone else’s – in the past where it belongs.

Sending love and smiles…