Someone in This Story has to die…..

These were the words that came out of the mouth of my leader in a writers meet-up group I attended over 5 years ago. He did me the favor of reading the first 10 pages of “Nick and Me”, the fiction I wrote which finally came out this past July. “Nick and Me” involves four primary characters, and the relationships get a little rocky. His advice was, “Someone in this story has to die.”

Now, this may seem morbid to you, but it was absolutely the truth. The class was about writing in a “narrative arc”, the structure typically used by writers when developing a fictional story. There is a set-up, and lots and lots of conflict that leads to a climax, and then resolution. It’s a rise and fall….therefore, forming an arc. Truth is often stranger than fiction, which is what I was thinking about today.

Our lives are narrative arcs. We are born into a situation where the characters are laid out. We develop relationships with said characters, then there are lots and lots of conflicts (and a bunch of good stuff too), and then we die. There. Narrative Arc. Someone in our stories has to die. We also have to die.

Coming to grips with our own mortality seems easy enough. But, really? If you think about the fact that over 250,000 people will die today, does this give you pause? I hope so. One knowledgeable Indian guru that I saw on YouTube the other day touched on this. His point was that, when you wake up and see you WEREN’T one of the 250,000 that died last night, it’s time to be grateful. Gratefulness has magical qualities. Simple feeling grateful every morning brings more blessings your way. It’s all how you look at things. My partner and I frequently discuss what we are grateful for in the morning.

The fact that you will die also puts things into perspective. Whether you think you only live one life, or many lives, doesn’t detract from the point that this life is short. We stop here only for a short while, so if you are living your life as if it will go one forever, maybe you should knock that off.

If you were to die tomorrow, how would you speak to others? Would you finally acknowledge that certain parts of your life are being led in order to fill someone else’s agenda? We all do this to some extent. If you need to distance yourself from toxic people with negative emotions, please do so immediately. You don’t need to feel sorry for that. After all, it’s not like they are giving you something you need. As a matter of fact, you may be doing them a favor. They will start waking up to what is real. That, I feel, is our task: To WAKE UP and live your truth.

When a writer writes, he/she of course creates all of these characters inside of their head. The characters are the writer’s creation. The characters are like children. You know what they are thinking and feeling, what they ate for breakfast, and the color of their socks, etc. In order to write well, however, as Stephen King says, “You have to kill the babies”. In other words, you have to be willing to eliminate your own creation for the good of the story.

We also have to eliminate some of the babies in our lives. Start living your truth, because someone in this story has to die……

Cheers to a new and glorious week ahead. Go get ’em. Deb

A link to “Nick and Me” on Amazon:


Spiritual Warrior

Join me, ladies and gentlemen, for the journey of a lifetime. Join me in the depths of despair, horror, and fear. The journey will be hard, and you will need the help of others. You will have to face the truth of life, and look deep inside yourself for the source of strength to continue….

This week I have experienced another death inside our family circle. This death was unexpected and shocking, truly horrible for those of us left behind. Death is really a weird concept. We all know we have to do it. We are born, live, and die. That’s the truth. And yet, somehow, when it happens it seems so out of place. It’s so unusual and foreign. We are shocked and horrified that it happened to someone we loved. So here is what we need to do.

Feel it, live it, immerse yourself in it. That’s why we are here: to experience life in all of it’s forms. Cry until your head feels like it’s going to burst, scream, shake your fists at the heavens. Blame God, get mad, lose your breath and all sense of time and place. This is not a normal day. Then sit on your cushion, close your eyes, let the tears stain your shirt. Open your palms to the sky and quietly let the wisdom of the universe permeate your soul. The storm will pass and you will find peace.

We are warriors – spiritual warriors. It takes much more strength to endure suffering than go through life immune to ourselves. Some days the path is clear, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we are holding our lovers hand. But some days, the path is dark and we can’t see. There might be a roadblock, or a wild animal in the shrubs watching us. Someone might try to run us over. It is at this moment you have to light your torch and thrust it into the sky for others to see. You have to become a spiritual warrior.

Shakespeare so eloquently stated in Hamlet’s soliloquy that to die, to sleep, “we end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” The Thousand Natural Shocks that Flesh is Heir To. Wow. That about sums it up people. We will have a thousand cuts upon our bodies and minds. Will we remain a block of marble, or chisel ourselves into a beautiful sculpture? It’s for you to decide. He writes that we have the choice to stay and fight, or bow out. But at what price? Death is, “the undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of.” We cannot judge the decisions that others made. We cannot experience life the same way. We have no idea how bad it was inside, and what made them drop out of school, so to speak.

The death of someone close forces us to accept the terms of existence, no matter how crappy that deal seems to be sometimes. It’s the universe nudging us, saying, “Hey, remember to live each day fully, because it might be your last. Don’t get too cocky.”

There is a mantra used in Kundalini yoga called “wahe Guru”. Loosely defined, it can be translated as “wonderful teacher”. Wahe is more of an exclamation of ecstasy and wonder. It was taught to me as any event in life that is miraculous or wonderous. This can include anything great, or anything horrible. It is the impact of the event, if you get my drift. Guru, as a popular notion, is a teacher. It can also be thought of as the soul journey back to its original source. I will always think of a yoga teacher I had who said, “Guru: Gee, You Are You (G.U.R.U)” We are responsible for learning and advancing along the paths of our lives. But don’t get discouraged, we are all in the same boat. You might think you have the worst hand in the poker game, but you can’t see the cards the other guy is holding. He might be bluffing you.

So, if you are in utter darkness, accept it. You are in it. Immerse yourself in the pain. Your tears are the fuel for the fire of transformation, and you will be transformed. This will take time, so don’t rush yourself. And if one day you wake up and don’t feel sad, don’t guilt yourself into thinking you have to feel sad. It is the progression of the soul. Love and peace are the magnet we are attracted to, not persistent darkness. Our loved ones on the other side are closer than you think, and they want us to be happy. We will see them again.

If, for some reason you are stuck on the path, cannot find the light, and it isn’t getting easier after some time, then talk to someone, anyone. Call a friend, open up to the cashier at the grocery store – anything at all. Message me here if you want someone to listen. Because we all want you to succeed in your quest in becoming a spiritual warrior.

Blessings, Deb

Become a Spiritual Warrior