Soul Sabbath by Dale Thompson

Dale Thompson the front man for the band Bride has written an amazing novel and has made it available for all to download free.

Here’s the description in his own words.

I have written a series of books called “The Eternal Mortal Series.” The first book in the series is called “Soul Sabbath.” This book is historical fiction mixed with an element of sci fi and fantasy. The plot is: A monk is punished for sins against his monastery. He is imprisoned in a room and only given utensils to scribe with. During this agony of working day and night he cries out for relief. Magically the pages of the book comes to life and sucks the monk into the book. The monk becomes the book – The Codex Gigas – which means BIG BOOK. When the other monks realize that the ostracized monk is missing they find the BOOK completed with its pages elaborately scribed. The Monk has become the book and the book contains his soul. – Dale Thompson

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I’m in the process of finishing it up and it is amazing! A thrilling ride of fantasy and science fiction. Once you start you wont want to stop!

http://www.bridepub.com/dalebook.htm

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The dragon, the wolf and the castle


“I desired dragons with a profound desire.” – C.S. Lewis

Why would C.S. Lewis say this? I ask why wouldn’t he?

Dragon’s open up a world of possibilities to the imagination that are  only limited by fear of treading beyond that which is sensible.  The dragon is fearsome and feral. The dragon symbolizes power and the primal elements as well as magic and mystery.

A quick search in Google about dragons will result in an endless barrage of stories, images, symbolism and meanings in regards to dragons. You find that the dragon represents both good and evil depending on who does the representation. In fantasy literature the dragon has been and will be all things magical and fantastic.

What a dragon is or is not is in the eye of the beholder. Fantasy itself is in the eye of the beholder. Anyone who tells you otherwise is narrowing down their view of the world around them and diluting the possibilities as well. I see fantasy as the perfect way to pose a question or idea that otherwise cannot be presented without being clouded by bias and prejudice. This isn’t a unique approach, in fact its the most common use, alongside religious or political views.

I prefer the allegory and parable approach. The dragon becomes an allegory of a larger ideology or pattern of thought or concept. Allegorical approaches to fantasy can take on many different forms. The three forms being modern,medieval and classical. I wont get into great detail on what each one entails. If you want more details on these forms this Wikipedia entry should give you all the info you need. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory

Ironically one of my favorite author’s J.R.R Tolkien was not very found of allegoric fantasy when people has posed the idea of Lord of the Rings being allegorical.

It is neither allegorical nor topical… I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence.” – J.R.R Tolkien

At this point, it has probably gotten boring and more intellectual and academic then is needed. So lets switch gears and look at the wolf.
The wolf in many cultures holds deep meaning, both spiritually and symbolic. In many cases the symbolic and spiritual meaning is so intertwined they can not be separated. The wolf even holds strong symbolism in dreams as well. If you do the same Google search as before but now search for the symbolism of the wolf you find the list to be even more daunting then the dragons. The wolf, like the dragon plays the dual role, hes evil and hes good. Some place him in the role of neutrality but I find that one a bit of a stretch.

Normally we see the wolf stand for strength, courage, family, loyalty as well as a free spirit uncontainable and wild at heart. The wolf in fantasy has played all these roles as well. He’s been the villain in fables and fairy tales alike. The mindless plot conflict used to move the plot along. I see the wolf as much more then all that.

The wolf is the perfect allegory wrapped into a parable. A real life example that we can look to and see the beauty and mystery of. The wolf brings fantasy closer to reality. The loneliness of the wolf separated from the pack we can relate to, it tug at our heart strings. When an author makes the wolf a focal point or central figure in a story we cannot help be become attached. We  look down from our reading and see our faithful dog sleeping next to us. Suddenly the wolf is more alive now then he just was. The wolf becomes the hero’s faithful companion a symbol of unconditional love. This brings the fantasy world alive for the reader a point of comparison and emotional investment. To me the wolf is the heart of fantasy.
The castle is the perfect parable. The means to drive home a point. The castle is a symbol which houses the meaning. Just like a parable, we do not focus on the elements and details of the castle.  In the parable look for the meaning of the narrative, in the castle we look for the rule it serves. Is the castle an obstacle to be over come? or is it a safe haven to defend?

Fantasy writing in the form of parables allows us to see something we would otherwise never see. Open our eyes  in ways we would never dream. We are exposed to things and thoughts that we would otherwise never encounter.

The dragon, the wolf and the castle are what drives fantasy writing. If you tell a story and have nothing to conclude from its telling, then you have created nothing but foolish ramblings. Even the smallest of conclusions in its simplest form can give life to a story that lives well beyond the years of its teller.

Release date has been set

Just a break from the usual posting of short stories and what not, to cover some updated news items.

The release date for the novel has been set for August 20 2013.

And This means?

You can order it now on line from the bookstore, then from the local retailer on August 20th 2013 if its not sitting there on the self.

Here’s the link for the book release from the publisher ( this is what goes out to the distributors and warehouses) for those interested in such things.

http://www.tatepublishing.com/tipsheet/book.php?key=24504

Here’s the actual cover as well:

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Shattered Images


(Draumr Verge Part II)

I understand now what it must be like for those that have gone mad.  My very first thoughts when it happened was “I must be going mad

My second reaction was to turn toward heaven and call out for deliverance. I thought that the devil himself was tormenting me. I had always been taught that anything that did not align with what the church had told me was of the devil. When the veil between the two worlds started to tear and I was caught in-between the two realities, I thought I was possessed, I prayed it not to be so. I wanted to be mad instead. I screamed till my voice was hoarse but only silence answered me.

I thought the best recourse was to admit that I had simply gone mad. I could then at least endure the images and voices with simple ignorance. However, the bliss that should have accompanied the ignorance eluded me. I knew the truth of the matter. I was not mad, nor was I damned, I was simply awakening to the truth. The veil was ripping and the two worlds merging as one. I could no longer tell which one was reality and which one was the dream. They waged a war against my mind and my senses , both struggling for dominance. The resulting landscape before me was forever altered, shifting like sand from one reality to another, a twisted dream that had no beginning and no end.

A moment of clarity presents itself amidst all the chaos. I can see the worlds suspended before like windows looking into time and space. The answer is there, I just need to find it, or is it the question that I am suppose to find. As quickly as it appears the clarity disappears. Once again I am thrust forward into a world of chaos, though I feel this time I have a guide, a purpose. This purpose is to find the question as well as the answer hidden right before me.

 

The mansion just appears before me.

One moment I am at work sitting at my desk,the next I’m standing in the threshold of a large entrance way. It’s carved stone archway is intricately overlain with vines and stags and all assortments of forest creatures. The keystone of the arch is a sinister looking gargoyle that seems to breathe and stare directly at me. I blink and the gargoyle appears statuesque once again.

I slowly walk through the archway….

(To Be Continued.. The Mansion (Draumr Verge – Part III)

Don’t Forget to check out the Bookstore and place your order for the novel Ancient Darkness available now online. The novel will also be in stock at local retailers later this summer.

https://rksouliske.wordpress.com/bookstore/

Draumr Vegr – A dreamers Journey

They are afraid. I cannot blame them, for I feel the same fear they do. The difference is I dare to ask the questions that they refuse to ponder.

Is our life real?

Is death merely a transition from one dream to another?

Is the world we believe to be real simply a dream, while the dream is the real reality behind the mask ?

    I ask the questions because I can feel the thin veil that separates my dreams from my waking moments stretching thin. I catch myself remembering something or someone ever so fondly to only be startled to realization that the memory was not real. It was  but a dream, a fragment remembered from another lifetime in another world. I can not separate this  fact from my mind, it feels and instinctively reacts to these fragmented memories not as fantasy but as reality. I use to try to  shrink  away from such thoughts, banishing them from my mind so that others would not think I was crazy.

   I found to my great horror, that I longed for sleep. I longed not for the waking world but instead the world of dreams. I felt, or better yet, I knew that beyond that veil was a world of wonder and adventure. I needed only learn how to rip through the veil or tear it down entirely. Though as I age and grow older I now believe it may be simply a matter of slipping behind it. The dead have found this to be true, their crossing over being complete as they leave this world. The roles of the waking and sleeping worlds are reversed.

  I struggled to find peace, it seemed as if my memories and mistakes forever hounded me. I found nothing but torment in the waking world. The dream world seemed to give me solace for a time. Then as the veil stretched ever so thin I found torment in the world of dreams once again. I found the two worlds slowly merging as one. My waking hours haunted by the torments of my sleeping hours. I sought to find meaning to this experience. I sought it in any and every way possible I was a man possessed , a man feverishly looking for the answer that would ease his tormented mind.

  I heard, or maybe a I read it somewhere,  that we need to look inside ourselves,  “unlock” the kingdom within. It sounded all new age like to me, but then I was honest enough to know that’s how I had been raised and taught. I grew up being taught “traditional” Christian values and doctrines. I was taught and raised to view religion and the religious in one way and one way only. If I was taught anything it was that God was external and that we must struggle and scurry around to gain his favor. That he would never reveal or talk to one as “unworthy” as me, unless of course if  I was chosen or called to the ministry. To be a pastor was the ideal achievement of anyone that grew up in the church environment I did. If you did not become a pastor, youth pastor, or pastors wife you where less in some way. A black sheep, or even worse a lost soul, one unworthy of God’s loving grace.

I digress, none of that means anything, merely a distracted mind fumbling through the two worlds. I call them the two worlds for they are as such to me now.

( To be Continued…)

Old Norse:

draumr meaning dream and verg meaning journey

The dark woods call …

“Watching the sunset always seemed to calm his troubled mind, but not this time. This evening his troubled thoughts raced uncontrolled through his mind. He hated the endless battle that seemed to always wage in his mind.”

Simple enough. The possible beginning of a new chapter or story in the making. This time it is neither, it’s  a simple statement of feeling and thought. We spend our lives searching for meaning or direction. Some of us spend our nights and days deep in worry. We worry about “the bills and money” , “the kids grades in school”, “The big project at work”. All these things run around inside our heads and cause us to suffer as our peace and joy is stripped away by the anxiety that begins to build inside our hearts and minds. I can honestly tell you I don’t have all the answers, some days I don’t think I have any answers at all. I have these very same anxieties. I fight against these very things daily myself.

What I can tell you though is nothing new exists in this world that others have not also experienced.  I remember sitting in church growing up and hearing the pastor tell the congregation things like, ” you need to have more faith” or “you are not right with God that’s why you suffer”. My all time favorite was “you need to give it all to God and trust completely in him and it will all be taken care of “.  The service would end and we would all go and eat cake. Problem was  everyone would get home and nothing would have changed. I grew up with questions and very little answers.  No one could tell me “how to get more faith”  or “Why when I do everything I was supposed to nothing changed”.  Eventually I came to believe the problem was me. Something deep inside was broken beyond repair.  I got tired of what I soon came to call “church sign wisdom”. Little sayings with no real answers, but everyone would quote them like mantra’s, as if the very speaking of them was casting some spiritual spell that was moving God into action.

I could continue and tell you all the details of my journey through various denomination’s and their doctrines and study the differences, but I wont.  I know all I hear in my head is “blah, blah, blah” so I rather spare the reader the experience and move past that part to the present.

I’ll stick to what I know best or better put  what comes naturally to me and that’s story telling. Do not expect this story to answer any questions instead expect it to create more.

 

” Another comes and another goes…each one wanting a different answer when will they ever learn the path is not the same…”  The old man threw another log on the fire, causing the stirred smoke and ashes to spark and flare up into the night sky like a swarm of angry bees.

“What are you talking about ?”  a voice whispered from the darkness as another man, much younger then the first entered the small clearing and sat down across from the old man.

“I’m talking about the dark woods” The old man answered as he pulled out a worn and tattered leather-bound journal.

“Yeah you been in there?” The other asked as he strained to peer at the old man’s journal.

The old man quickly closed the journal and set it down. He smiled and looked at the stranger. The dark woods was a place that all had to transverse at one point or another. There was not one person who could resist its call. If anyone thought they could avoid it and simply refuse it, they would suddenly find themselves deep within its dark bowels.

“Of course I have been there, we all venture into the dark woods we have no choice in the matter.”  The old man stated in a matter of fact manner. He knew the young man was going to ask him for guidance, they all did at one point or another.

“What do you mean we all must enter the dark woods?” The young man asked perplexed.  He had no intention of entering the woods.

“It’s simple the woods finds you. One day you will be sitting there like you are now minding your own business and it happens, suddenly you are in the dark woods” The old man grinned and continued writing in his journal. He saw the ghostly whiteness of fear fall upon the young man’s face as he looked fearfully at the woods off in the distance.

“You fear the woods?” The question was simple but he knew the answer was far from being simple.

“Yes” The young man answered. He looked down cast at the crackling fire, he couldn’t bear to look this strange old man in the eyes for admitting his fear. He felt ashamed and he couldn’t begin to explain why.

The old man took pity on the younger one and set his journal down. He looked thoughtfully off into the distance before he spoke.

“The path you take will be different than any one else, but remember this, the pitfalls and trials are the same. We all enter and leave this world in the same manner our journey is where the differences lie.” He paused as he sighed. He could see in the young man’s posture that he didn’t understand, at least not yet.

“What weighs on your mind young one?”

The young man took a deep breath and looked up at the old man.

“I’m worried that I will fail. That something will happen that will cause me to lose everything. I know I shouldn’t worry but I do.”

“Let me guess. You worry in particular about the worse case scenarios the most. The ones you know can’t happen, even your friends and family tell you it cannot  and wont happen.” The old man smiled, he knew exactly what the young man was worrying about.

“You worry about what if it does happen, what if you do or do not do something that causes this unthinkable outcome to come to pass. Am I right?”

“Yes” The youth answered with his head held low in self-imposed shame once again.

The old man smiled, as usual they always ask him for guidance, and as always they never even realize that they have. He picked up the journal once again and wrote in it, glancing up at the youth from time to time. He finished and handed the journal to the young man.

“Take it… it will guide you through the dark woods.” his smile was warming and welcoming.

The young man’s eye’s lit up as he gingerly opened the journal. He read the words and his brows furled slightly as he flipped through the pages. He looked up  at the old man questions hidden just behind his gaze.

“I don’t understand. It just says….”

    The dark woods call is strong, if you let it sing to you , you will find nothing but sorrow. Your path is before you walk it and do not look back. The shadows around you are merely distractions, they have no substance, ignore them for they are just shadows.

Author Spotlights

Two Authors that I highly recommend.

 

“Raising Hell: Christianity’s Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire” by Julie Ferwerda

And “The Calling – A voice in the Dead Woods” by Jacob Israel.

Once these are done Ill post them here. And I hope they will be something that everyone can can get something out of.

I know Jacob’s book is amazing. It’s bursting with truth and insight. It’s a great read that keeps you on the edge of  your seat from page one. Jacob is an amazing author with great talent and powerful insights. He gives you straight answers with uncompromising conviction and humor. Jacob is unashamed of what he believes as well as what he has endured in life. He shares openly all that he has learned and the calling is a journey that takes you deep into that well of  knowledge and experience. I’m gonna read it one more time ( which makes it “4” times now)!

Julie is an amazing talent from what I have read of her articles and blog. She has a heart of gold that she lays open for all to see in hopes that she will help someone else along way. I can not wait to read her book.

For now I’ll leave you with links to both their blogs. You can spend hours learning and gain great truths at both these great author’s sites.

http://jacobisrael71.wordpress.com/

http://www.julieferwerda.com/