Archive for February, 2014

I recall the first time I was really conscious that I was writing creatively. I was about eight at the time, and I was lucky to be in the relief teacher’s class at the time – Miss Ralph. She was young and English, and teaching in Australia at the time. She was also unlike any teacher I had had before. I was truly in awe of her. She really communicated with her class in a way that reached every individual there. She must have been a good communicator because, at the time, I was a shy girl that sat in class not drawing attention to myself and hoping no-one would notice me. In fact, I had managed to get through my schooling up until that point by being there, but not really being present. I was lost instead in the world of daydreaming and imagination. People – the real world – was a scarey place and the brief forays into town for school from the farm were to be endured as best as I could. The solution for me was to remain as invisible as I could. Let the world spin, because I didn’t like it much anyway. Well, that was until I met Miss Ralph.

It was a grey afternoon in the classroom and time for ‘Composition’ which was creative writing. She gave us a generic topic; as I recall to write about something we enjoyed. I wrote about writing and what I felt like when I wrote. I told her on that one page of blue, lined spaces that when I wrote I became lost in time. I think I said, ‘things go black and when I’ve finished my page is full’. I tried to convey to her that writing took me to another place, to the pictures in my imagination and that in this ‘trance-like’ state, I lost track of my immediate surroundings, and of time. It was a good feeling, I said.

After we handed up our ‘Compositions’, I was called to her desk. She quizzed me about my writing and asked me to describe my ‘writing feelings’ again. She smiled. I knew then I wasn’t in trouble and that somehow she liked what I wrote. She then gave me her commitment. She wanted me to write often, and I would have a key to the bookcase at the back of the classroom. I was to borrow those books and read them as much as I could. From that day forward she encouraged me to write and to read. By the end of the year, I was known as the ‘writer’ and I went from average student to an honours student. I had found myself and thereafter the world became a better place to be in. My eyes opened to my surroundings and to all the world had to offer. To the possibilities, and to what could be experienced.

Today, I’m a full participant in life, though at times I still need to escape from the world – when it becomes ‘scarey’ again; when I feel acutely what is wrong, and when I need to find the safe harbour within myself. But to this day, I write everyday and I’ve lost none of the magic that so enthralled the life of a young eight year old, ‘invisible’, girl at the back of the class.

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My name is Bruce A. Borders, author of crime-fiction books. I guess you could call me a professional dreamer – or a schemer. Either one fits.

First, thank you to Rave Reviews Book Club for voting me this week’s Spotlight Author! And a huge thanks to all the members who agreed to host me on their site! 

Bruce A Borders-Author

While in school, Bruce held three part-time jobs; a store clerk, a janitor, and a dental technician, working about 60-70 hours per week. After graduation, he became employed full time as a dental technician. Other jobs have included restaurant manager, carpenter, and grocery store cashier. For the past sixteen years, he has worked as a commercial truck driver, logging more than two million miles. 

Bruce A. Borders was born in 1967 in Cape Girardeau, MO. Bruce’s childhood years were spent in a number of states, including Missouri, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

During his high school years, he was a member of the football, basketball and track teams, involved in various non-athletic activities such as school yearbook production and photography, and won numerous awards for his artistic creations. Bruce graduated Valedictorian in 1984.

At the age of fifteen, Bruce decided to become a writer. He began by writing songs, news articles, and short stories. Eventually, books were added to the list. Over the years, he continued to write and currently has a catalog of more than 500 songs, numerous short stories and over a dozen completed books. He writes on a variety of subjects such as fictional novels of legal issues and westerns. Titles include: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Journey, and in The Wynn Garrett Series – Mistaken Identity, Holy Terror, Remote Control, Judicial Review, Even Odds, and Safety Hazard.

About his “SPOTLIGHT” novel: Over My Dead Body

Over My Dead Body Web Display

How far will a man go to protect his family? When the director of Child Protective Services uses his position to exact a personal vendetta in removing three-year-old Ashley from the Blake’s home, Jeff Blake, a financial advisor, responds to the threats in the only way he feels he can – violently. By the end of the short encounter, three people are dead and Ashley, the daughter, is still taken and placed in temporary foster care, so the tragic fiasco gained Jeff nothing. Or, so it seems. Matters are further complicated when Amy, the wife and mother, winds up for a brief stay in a mental ward due to the trauma she witnessed in their home. It seems as though everything is against the Blakes. Understandably, the police, as well as the Courts, are not too concerned with the needs of the family. Complete with many twists of fate, the story looks at the common problems of a typical family caught between love and the law.

Over My Dead Body is available at:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Over-My-Dead-Body-ebook/dp/B005N260Z4

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/over-my-dead-body-bruce-a-borders/1105621591

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114607

Sony Reader http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/bruce-a-borders/over-my-dead-body/

iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/over-my-dead-body/id464857750?mt=11

Kobo  http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Over-My-Dead-Body/book-4nYOrXCtVUaz8IDhXcQYIw/page1.html?s=bIkOjlpZzkmFGU3AyfF4wg&r=6

You can connect with Bruce:

Facebook address: http://www.facebook.com/BruceABordersBooksTwitter handle: @BruceABorders

Website address: http://bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752197.Bruce_A_Border

Courage to take the journey

In November last year I sat down and wrote a novel. It was inspired by the vague but disquieting feeling of not ‘belonging’. It may be a situation you find yourself in, a new home, a town, a group of people – sometimes it can be as simple as feeling like a particular party you’ve ended up at in the early hours of the morning, is just not your scene.

And sometimes that feeling of not belonging is so overwhelming it causes a radical shift in lifestyle and a re-ordering of priorities. Mostly, this feeling of belonging is tied to how authentically you are living your life [or not] according to your own dreams and ‘true’ self.

I don’t know how this feeling of not belonging affects men, but I do know that women can be very brave and, if the feeling of not belonging is strong enough, they will undertake a journey back to their authentic self, to who they are meant to be…and nothing can stop them.

So with these thoughts in mind, I let my imagination follow the journeys of three women: Liliana, Estelle and Jill. Three women at different ages and stages in their lives, they are, nevertheless, bound by a common journey towards their ‘belonging’ place, back to their authentic self. And they have the courage to make that journey. The result of my writing journey through the feeling landscape of what it means to ‘belong’, is my new novel “Belonging Places”.

It will be out on Amazon early March, but in the meantime, take a look at the book trailer.

three-trees-greyIt is sweltering here in Australia as we battle the hot days that sap our energy and motivation. It’s enough just to shut the blinds, turn on the fans and hope for the cool of the evening. Not that I’m complaining. I know only too soon that a slight chill will overlay the days and our thoughts will turn to fires, hot food and keeping the cold off our bones.

One of the best past-times in winter is curling up with a good book, under the covers and trying to keep your hands protected from the cold. A good book is one of the things that blocks out the world and takes over your thoughts. It creates a mini world from within which to look out; it subverts reality and that is sometimes good and often desirable.

But it does much more than that. Reading is an internal process and as we follow the thoughts, feelings and journeys writers create from their own minds, it allows us to broaden our thinking beyond our immediate environment and reflect. And after all, reflection is the baseline from which we can alter our thinking and make choices about how we want to act and react. Often reflection will prompt a large scale turnaround as a decision is made to start living life in a different way.

As a child I recall always asking for books for Christmas. What bliss. I would open them up with pure joy and appreciation, anticipating the wonderful reading experiences in front of me over the coming days. I would immerse myself in the adventures of heroes and heroines and dream my far off dreams of what my life might be like when I grew up.

And those horizons were realised as I travelled over the world and lived a nomadic life before settling down with a partner and children. But wanderlust never quite leaves one, does it?

It is getting close to a time for more adventures off the beaten track. As I curl up when the cold eventually does come, I will read and reflect and wonder what horizons lie beyond my winter book, beyond the confines of my bedroom, and grey clouded horizon over the hill from my home.

Freedom is one of those words that says a lot and a little. You can say you want freedom, crave it even, but staring at the horizon and lamenting the ties that bind you to a particular situation or place, is really not going to cut it I’m afraid.

Real freedom comes from within. It’s when you can rise above whatever is dragging you down and find a calm and centred place from which to view the world and yourself. Reactions and emotions are the ball and chain that prevent feeling free. Anger, sadness, frustration…jealousy even, are the irons of self made prisons.

Rising above life’s petty frustrations is not always easy. Human nature is often drawn first to the melodramatic and insular and second to the unconditional, and almost always not to the present moment.

And then there is the freedom that is relative. We bemoan an old knee injury and then see someone in a wheelchair. We ought to feel grateful for our sore knee but, hey, we give the wheelchair-bound a two minute thought and move onto the latte that is on the table at our favourite coffee shop.

What I know about freedom is this. There is inner freedom that takes work to achieve but it’s worth it. It’s real, and if you practice discipline, can be long lasting. And then there is the freedom of new experiences. Swimming in the clearwater of an unknown stream, watching a ceremony or ritual that opens your mind to new cultures, walking barefoot on the grass of a park in an unknown city at 5.30am in the morning.

I try to remember that in every new sunrise there is a beginning. If you are anchored to a particular place or situation, then cultivating inner freedom may just result in seeing the sun rise with new eyes. And that’s freedom.

My young adult paranormal adventure story, Shadowscape, that is all about mind power and heightened psychic sensitivity is half price until 3 February via Smashwords. You just need to redeem the voucher by quoting the voucher code HC74R. You can download to your Kindle or PC, Smartphone, Android or I-pad as it’s available in both mobi and e-pub formats.