Tag Archives: The Potluck

Is Making Money A Talent?

I Don’t Know, But If I Write About It, Maybe I Will Find Out!

The Prosperity Gospel preaches that God wants us to be rich. Those on the other side of the spirituality and money issue, however, are quick to  point out that Jesus, who, as far as we know, carried no cash, checks or credit cards–said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth…” and “Consider the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin, yet your heavenly Father takes care of them…” And. oh yeah, let’s not forget his pronouncement that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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Walking the Talk

I Am On A Role…

and a roll…when it comes to writing the future of a gift society. Remember Fuller Banks, a character in my novel The Potluck?  For those of you who have not read or don’t recall earlier posts containing excerpts from this book, Fuller is a financier who brings the expensive Russian caviar to a gathering of spiritual adventurers. Later, he explains why he was invited to join that group, “I would say that it’s because I am a rich man, and I view that as a blessing. And blessings are spiritual, aren’t they? It makes me happy to give people gifts that they can’t afford for themselves. I do occasionally help people in need, but it makes me a lot happier to give some ordinary person an unexpected luxury item. Something that gives them pleasure.”

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Fairies Are My Future…

And My Present!

“Present” meaning both right now and a gift. Right now I am in the throes of fairy fascination as a result of the fairy adventures described in my last post: I have plans for building my own fairy house and garden, I have been reading books about them. I’m also mindful of Shakespeare’s play: A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is about fairies and how their lives intersect with those of humans: so how mysteriously awesome it is that I have written a play entitled A Midsummer Nights’ Spell?!! (Read a synopsis: http://jkwintersauthor.com/writing-samples/plays/midsummer-nights-spell-a-play-on-words/.) To have something be mysteriously awesome is just one of the gifts I am receiving right now.

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Is “Juicy” The Key?

Wow! I Think He Photoshopped The Future!

So all along I’ve been writing about writing, right? But because of something that happened last week, I’ve expanded my perspective on how to create the future. Yes, that is the correct term: create. Writing the future is too limited when we are talking about universal guidelines for future-making. (Just in case we are talking about universal guidelines, blanket rules, you know.)

This is the background information to my aha: an acquaintance, well, actually a relative, no wait, he’s just an in-law (private joke in case he reads this)! Anyway, this person whom I will designate as “M,” is a photographer… and a writer, but that is not really relevant in this instance… He also likes celebrities a lot. So what he did for his daughter’s wedding reception a couple of years ago was to photoshop all kinds of famous people posing with the newly-weds. For example, when I went into the ladies’ room, on the inside of the stall door there they were hanging out with William and Kate. In another place they were with Jay Leno.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. M recently got free tickets to a Jay Leno event, to which he took his wife, his daughter and her husband. At that event last week, Jay picked out M’s daughter and son-in-law from the audience and began talking with them about their jobs. The end. I know! You probably expected more, like they had their picture taken with him or they happened to have the wedding photo he was in, and he autographed it, blah, blah, blah.

Which brings up an interesting question: if we are really creating our futures when we engage in some kind of artistic fiction, why does that future not appear in reality exactly the way we created it?

I have some theories. Feel free to reject them, tweak them…or best of all, start a discussion here or on my FB page about your perspectives. My view is that in order to create our future, we have to use the expressive medium that we enjoy the most. For me that would be writing and for M it is often photography. Then, the more fun we have creating and the more time we spend doing it, and the deeper the desire we have for it to manifest, the more likely it is that parts of it will eventually make their appearance in consensus reality. In other words, it has to have juice! The very act of creating involves engagement, delight, desire and surprise. Surprise because when we lose ourselves in the creative act, it often takes a shape we are not expecting. I know this happened over and over again as I was writing my novel The Potluck.

But then, maybe none of the above is the truth, and the little reality blips we get from our artistic endeavors are only random coincidences. Or, possibly they are, as a friend of mine likes to say, “just for our entertainment,” since life itself is a fun ride on the amusement park of planet Earth. I like that concept, actually. It keeps me from being too serious about a game that will eventually end anyway.


#39 Peace

Just Because I’m Quitting Doesn’t Mean I’m Finished

Last February I began this blog as an out-of-the-box way to put my book, The Potluck, out into the world. It was a worthy experiment, and once I got a handle on the technology, I had fun doing it. I also learned a couple of things, among them that it is hard to blog a novel because of its nature: to make sense of a work of fiction the reader has to start at the beginning. A blog has a different nature: a reader can read the most recent post and it will make sense all by itself. Hopefully it will also stimulate back-reading as well as future loyalty. (As my mentor keeps telling me, the Internet is not linear!)

Another thing I discovered is that when you write something, some of it does come true, which, as you may recall, was the point of the “writing my future” experiment I described in Post #1. Now, as I watch some unexpected adventures line up in my life, I am reminded of the story Renee tells, at Joe’s request, to some urban gang members in Chapter 6 and wonder if I mainly wrote the book to jump-start my own future:

“A man with a golden tattoo is making his way slowly down the mountain into the village below. He has spent his life on the mountain studying the art of war, developing his skills, and this is his first visit to the village. The village is very poor. The people don’t have enough food and that sometimes causes them to fight with each other. Their huts are small and dirty. There are no schools, so the children run ragged in the streets.

“The man from the mountain is tall and strong. His head is shaved, he sports a goatee and the image of a swastika gleams on his right arm.”

“What is a swastika?” The question came from the girl in the yellow skirt.

“White supremacy!” (their leader) Raphael sneered as he pulled a can of black paint from a bag he carried over his shoulder. He sprayed a viable replica of the symbol onto the sidewalk.

Renee’s response was calm, “The swastika is an ancient symbol of peace.”

“Why would a warrior want peace?” The young man who asked looked incredulous.

Renee was so into her story she did not hear his question. “The man with the golden tattoo has learned his art well. His sword gleams in the sunlight. His stance is bold. He swings the weapon as he dances in the shimmer of its blade. There is music in his method and joy in his heart. He is full of untested power. He has come to bring justice to the village. To right the wrongs. To bring peace.”

Joe picked up his knapsack, slipped his arms through the loops and settled it comfortably on his back. “Thanks so much, Renee.”

Annoyed, Raphael demanded. “So then what happens? Swords bring war, not peace.”

Joe beckoned Renee to join him as he strolled away. “What happens is for you to decide. We will return later and you will tell us the ending,” he called back to them.

One of the other young men shouted, “But it’s her story. She came here and started telling us, so she needs to let us know what happens.”

Joe was implacable. “No, it is your story. She only came to remind you.”

And this is where I end this blog because I need to pay attention to my inner knowing that it was a stepping stone to the next thing. At the end of December, 2013, this site will change into my author website while the blog evaporates forever into cyberspace. I hope you will check out the website and also my Facebook page where you can stay abreast of my adventures–writing or otherwise–as they are unfolding. And of course you can always reach me by e-mail: jk@jkwintersauthor.com

#35 First Love

“The Horse Knows The Way”

I haven’t mentioned the writing my future group lately. Actually it was retired some time back after I finished writing The Potluck and began focusing my attention on this blog. Most of the members weren’t writing anyway, and I no longer felt the need to read to them as they can now read for themselves right here. Which they are doing. They are a loyal group and I appreciate everything they are doing to support me.

Meanwhile, the title of my blog has taken on a new meaning. Originally it was “Writing My Future,” subtitled “How I Wrote My Book.” Like this suggests, I am–consciously and unconsciously–writing my future through Renee. But what is also happening is that I am writing again, which was always my first love in terms of vocation. I abandoned that love many years ago because I believed the fiction police (writing teachers, editors, publishers…) when they told me I was unworthy. Now the love of my life has come back to me with the gift of The Potluck. So I have changed the title of my blog to “Writing…My Future.” It’s pure genie–ous, my three wishes are being granted all at once: a spiritual adventure, magical grandchildren and a future of writing. Excitement!

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#24 Now Is Never

Time Is The Strangest Thing!

I can’t stop thinking about how maybe I should be writing my present instead of my future and how inconvenient that will be since the title of my blog is “Writing My Future.” But then I realize that the present is also called “now,” or as Eckhart Tolle calls it, “the now” in his book The Power of Now. Anyway, as far as I can see “now” is always never, because as soon as you start to focus on “now,” that “now” to which you are bringing your attention is already past. So, if I’m going to write my present, by the time I write it, it is my past, which is not what I want at all. Since what I want is Renee’s present and future, the only thing I can think to do is keep writing and hope for the best.

Therefore and thus (don’t you just love that transitional phrase which I thought of all by myself?), below is my usual review of what happened in my last post, along with the new excerpt from The Potluck, all of which I am writing in my now, for your future pleasure. And hopefully my new present and future.

This is the review: Sir John has just chided the group about being Americans. Well, what I mean is he is upset about Americans, who, in his opinion, make very bad decisions about what they eat, mac and cheese in a box being the epitome of negative food choices:

“I like your mac and cheese.” Ada smiled in Rita’s direction.

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#21 Smorgasbord

It’s So Cool To Have Options!

I love hearing from my Muse. At least I love hearing her reactions to my writing: “thrilling,” she tells me, “inspiring, magical!” At the end of these accolades she adds, “New York Times bestseller list.”

By that she means find a traditional publisher such as Random House. Or maybe Hay House, which publishes books on spirituality. She has a connection who has connections. She is going to court this person. Persistently.

Meanwhile, in addition to a member of my writing group handing me the ‘How To Blog a Book’ book, other people are just kind of showing up and offering to help me in other ways: a webmaster, a person with experience in self-publishing…

My position is to remain open to serendipity. Since the Muse is having trouble getting a date with her connection and the person who has the self-publishing know-how is suddenly too busy to help me, I go with the webmaster who is ready and willing to show me how to blog.

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#20 Q & A

Live The Questions, Write The Answers

I am sitting at my computer in my home office, but the faces around the potluck table look back at me. I wonder where they have come from and what they want from me. I know the only way to get answers to those questions is to write them, so I pick up where I left off with Ada introducing Reese Archer as a physicist researching the God particle.

Wait a minute! There’s a God particle?!!!  Renee was about to voice her astonishment at this of anomalous piece of information, but Ada was already focusing on Joe Kerr seated to her right at the short end of the table. “And this is Joe, whom you have already met. Whenever we are stuck for answers, Joe shows us the way. And now, before we get our food, I would like to ask Gilda to say the blessing.”

Gilda rose and quietly announced, “It is done, it is done, it is done. The food is blessed and so are we. We are grateful.”

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#19 Insurgence

They Don’t Like How I’m Writing This!

If you recall, in the continuing narrative of Chapter 4, “The Potluck,” Renee has met Ada Greenway, Joe Kerr and Reese Archer in casual conversation. Then after everyone had been seated Ada has stood at the head of the table and moving around to the long side to her left introduced Sir John, Rita Kulos, Fuller Banks and Dee Lyla:

“Finishing off that side of the table, Judge Case, one of the greatest criminal lawyers in the city and recently elected to the bench.”

“In this circle of friends I’m simply known as Justin. Please call me by my first name.” There was a rich texture to his voice. Commanding, yet soothing at the same time. Like one would imagine the Voice of Reason to be?

“At the opposite end of the table to me, sitting next to our beloved Monty is The Very Reverend Gilda Temple. Gilda is a carpenter who has recently built her own church.” Gilda had honey-colored curls, large doe-like eyes and a short plump figure. Dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, she looked more L.L. Bean than clerical.

“And now, next to Monty on the other side of the table….”

I’m reading this aloud to my “Writing My Future” group. but they have a dazed look about them. “Stop!” one yells. “Too many characters! I can’t keep them all straight.” The others nod in agreement.

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