Every morning multitudes of people wake up and reach for their phone to check their facebook newsfeeds. On their specially crafted reel of favourites, they’ll scroll through and maybe like or share content with other users. Instead of going to websites, perhaps even newspapers now, people open facebook for connection to society and the world.

It’s the portal to end all portals; one that sucks us in and keeps us there. There are quizzes and tests to take on facebook that predict everything from which movie star you look like, to the year you are going to die. It’s both infotainment and a humongous time waster.

I took one of the tests once – the one about which celebrity you look like. I got the ‘grumpy cat’ – a facebook famous identity. Yes, it’s a real cat who looks grumpy and has more than 8,000,000 followers.

Are we stupid to devote so much time to an artificial and I would say influential learning environment? As of the third quarter of 2015, Facebook had 1.55 billion monthly active users. While the grumpy cat mightn’t have much to teach us, the news, lifestyle and new age sites might. Just about everyone – artists, authors, the Dalai Lama – is on facebook.

I remember when I first started out on facebook. I liked Oxfam and the RSPCA, spiritual sites and the New York Post. As newspapers realised the news distribution had entered a new era, they too began to build their facebook platforms but the twist for them is they don’t control the advertising dollars. Facebook does.

And it is attempting to control our memories now too. Aside from the greeting facebook gives you when you logon in the morning, it is now providing you with ‘anniversary’ posts for you to share – so you and your friends can reminisce.

What’s next? Hopefully it won’t attempt political influence though I’m sure there are subtle signs there if you looked.

I would really ‘like’ to take a break from facebook for a week. It would take real discipline, as I’m one of those people who reach for their phone and newsfeed each morning upon waking. Someone once likened that to reaching for a glass of whiskey. They might be right.

It’s Saturday; a beautiful and gentle sunny day. Right now I’m overlooking poplar trees swaying in the breeze, a graceful liquid amber and a gnarled (and most likely dead) ghost gum. All things of beauty, even the twisted, dry branches of the gum, still standing despite a lightening bolt hit and a termite infestation.

Like the breeze that feathers my bare arms and cheeks, I’m feeling easy as I also overlook the golf course next door to our home. It’s dotted with the bright colours of the golfers who, literally, play rain, hail or shine.

Today is a good day – a busy day and a relaxing day.

I’ve decided I like good days. They’re the ones with just the right combination of activity, sometimes even action, and that sit back and survey the world, let it pass you by feeling. They are definitely days for positive thinking, for creativity and for enjoying the company of those lovable human beings you were lucky enough to meet in the past, on another good day.

That’s not to say that every day is good. It isn’t; can’t be. You need the dark to appreciate the light; the grey to appreciate the rainbow.

And that’s ok with me. I’ll take it all because that’s what it means to live. What I hope never comes my way is the despair or the bitterness I just can’t shake. I choose to have as many good days as I can, in the here and now and to create memories for me and those closest to me. There is everything right with generosity and little with selfishness.

My word for today is gratitude.

We all have them. They are the times when we’ve been hurt and scarred by unfairness and, at worst, inhumanity and evil.

It’s these dark moments and our understanding of what, and who, caused them that helps us eventually understand the dark moments of others and, potentially, the perpetrators of our pain. We understand the pain of others because we’ve experienced it.

In my new novel Blood Visions I’ve taken this theme and built the story of Fortuna Cavalieri and her dark moments. Blood Visions is a horror/paranormal thriller that stares evil in the face an12193364_924946864253046_4061271237306570367_nd asks, ‘why?’

Fortuna Cavalieri is an unwilling receiver. After a car crash which nearly claims her life, Fortuna is cursed with a psychic link to evil which she numbs with the help of bottle of whiskey.

When serial killer Brandon Keys goes on his murderous rampage, Fortuna is drawn into the edges of his world like prey to a spider’s web. Every time Keys kills, Fortuna knows. She knows because her sixth sense is activated by evil; she knows because she can see him in what she calls her blood visions.

But Fortuna is not the only one with a psychic ability. Keys too has been blessed with the second sight since childhood – the ultimate gift for an efficient killer.

With Brandon Keys closing in on her, Fortuna must try and outwit a serial killer and find a way to stop their mind links. If she can find the courage, and the sobriety, she must stop the killings, but Fortuna is no hero. She’s just a drunk carrying a curse.

It’s only with the help of washed up ex cop Danny Manchester whom she meets randomly at a bar one night, that Fortuna stands any chance of staying alive…but somewhere between a new dawn and a blood red sunset, and an ex cop finding himself again, Fortuna finds the courage to turn the tables on Keys.

It’s a showdown with a high price. Who will survive to see the dawn?

Blood Visions is out on 12 November 2015 via Whiskey Creek Press. You can head over to Amazon for more information.

At the beginning of this year I was diagnosed with early stage Bowel Cancer.

It sent me into shock for months and I told very few people. I wanted privacy and time to deal with my own emotions rather than worrying about what other people were feeling. The other reason for privacy was my fear of my looming, major bowel surgery.

I was right to be fearful. It was a huge and dreadful surgery that my surgeon likened to open heart surgery in its invasive-ness. What a relief I felt when it was over, even though the road to rehabilitation was long and hard with a post operative wound infection and other complications.

For the first time in my life, I experienced total and utter physical helplessness. I could hardly move, except to go from the bed to the chair. The pain levels were acute, and I have a reasonably high pain threshold.

It was a good milestone to get out of the road. Then as soon as I was feeling a little bit better, it was time to get back on the chemotherapy treadmill (I had 5.5 weeks of radiation and chemo in March/April).

Cancer teaches you many things. It has been the single, most defining moment in my life – aside from bringing children into this world. It has changed me beyond what I thought would be possible. It has changed me for the better.

That’s shocked you hasn’t it. How could getting cancer change you for the better? It’s hard to explain but I’ll try because it’s hard to understand for people who have lived without a serious disease or illness that could take their lives.

The easiest way to describe it is that I no longer live my life on some sort of invisible auto pilot. I now make the most of each and every day and I am joyful to see a sunrise. I take great pleasure in downloadthe smallest things, in living a simple life – in a sunny day dotted with yellow daisies and brilliant green earth and trees that are responding to the Spring, right before my eyes.

I have a heightened sense of awareness now, perhaps because I live in the moment; in the now.

I have a strengthened belief in God or Buddha or the Divine Presence…whatever it is that you want to call divinity. Names don’t matter much really.

It sounds cliched but I see the sheer power of love to change everything in the universe. At the end of the day, it is all that matters.

If something or someone bothers me now, I simply turn away. Time is precious and I don’t want to waste it on people or situations that are not doing me any good. I value happiness and that simple joy I feel most days.

That ability to decide and act in my own best interests has finally lifted my self esteem which has been a lifelong struggle. It feels good to be free.

I was lucky. I had early stage bowel cancer and for most people, if it is caught early, it is curable. I hope I’m cured.

So tonight, I finished Round 2 of chemo. That’s 2 down and 4 to go. I’m whittling it away and looking forward to the day when I don’t have to poison my body any more and cope with the resultant side effects.

I would urge anyone with any symptoms no matter how slight, to get them checked out. Don’t ignore what your body might be trying to tell you.

Yes s**t does happen in life but it’s entirely possible to recover and emerge stronger and better than before.

Namaste.

A few months ago I told you that my first horror/supernatural novel was being published by Whiskey Creek Press, a division of Start Publishing in the US. So far, I’ve worked with an editor and cover artist and I’m now working with a publicist who requested five of the top quotes from the book.

Well…I couldn’t choose five so I gave her 15 and said, “you choose“. I’m sure she wasn’t impressed because I guess this is a job for the author. In any case, I’ve selected five from the 15 tonight and will publish the other 10 here over the next few nights.

  • Fortuna had been having strange dreams which she called her “blood visions” because they were bathed in blood red violence—suffering and torture, which always ended in a kill.
  • He opened the bedside drawer and took out the knife, running its metal blade along his arms, just enough to cut the hairs. He drew in his breath and held it, closing his eyes and remembering his last kill.
  • Life had a way of dealing one bad card after another, and when Danny Manchester walked out of the Police Force, he found his wife was taking his two kids and leaving with another detective.
  • All she could manage was a guttural groan of disbelief and then despair, into the dark space surrounding her.BloodVisionsback
  • He looked like failure had paid him a visit too, like someone had knocked him around when he was at his most vulnerable. The way a dog looks when it’s been kicked by its master.

I hope you like Blood Visions. I’m finding, more so nowadays, a real joy in creative fiction writing. It is flowing like never before, and I take great joy in creating a ‘killer’ plot. Blood Visions is published on 12 November 2015, and you can preorder on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Visions-Maryann-Weston-ebook/dp/B015DCH3CW

Tick that lesson off!

Posted: September 22, 2015 in drama, learning, Negativity, patterns
Tags: , , ,

Today I lost track of time. I had my head buried in work, was late going for my afternoon walk and let my thoughts stray to those less than perfect parts of my life. I reacted negatively to someone else’s insecurity and didn’t ‘rise above’ it, and descended back into the old patterns; the ones where I take on other’s stuff.

One of life’s biggest lessons for me is not to carry other people’s energy around on my back, like some sordownloadt of dumb ass mule.

We all have those people in our lives; you know, the ones that leave an impression, and I don’t mean a good impression. My thoughts turn to social media jargon to try and illustrate my point. An impression on Twitter for example, is really just a look at something but it is not engagement or activity. Engagement is when you retweet or share a post. Activity is when you click on a link and follow it through. Some people choose not to engage with a tweet or post. It doesn’t interest them, they don’t want to waste their time, or it’s simply rubbish. Why go there. If only relationships and human interactions were that simple. But they’re not, are they.

More often than not we engage in the drama and get sucked into that vortex of negativity. We waste our precious time and tie ourselves up in knots trying to analyse a problem that’s not really our problem at all. I read a line from one of those Facebook gurus today. Normally, I don’t ‘engage’ in these posts, but today I stopped scrolling. It was about recognising you can’t do the learning for people, they must do that for themselves. And that there comes a time when you just have to bless them and release them. In other words, not carrying around their problems as your own.

So I blessed a few of the more difficult people that came my way today; blessed them, released them and let them go. Then I said a prayer for their highest good, and tried to get back on track myself. I walked in the late afternoon, when the clouds were overcast and grey and before the rain came.

In front of the upcoming total lunar eclipse, it’s not surprising people’s energies are scattered. I’ve got the feeling I’ll be doing a lot more blessing and releasing over the coming days.

My new horror novel “Blood Visions” is available for preorder on Amazon. It’s being published by US based Whiskey Creek Press on 12 November 2015.

I have had some time out recently, having undergone an operation and recovery. The good news is that I’m writing this blog, which means I’m feeling a whole lot better. I won’t go so far as to say I’m back to normal but some days, yes…, I feel a bit like my old self.

I have missed the writing, and story lines and plots are beginning to swirl through my imagination. I need to get back to it, and write the next novel that has been incubating at the tip of my pen, so to speak.

Just recently I had some good news which I posted about – my horror/paranormal novel ‘Blood Visions’ was picked up by Whiskey Creek Press and, since then, I’ve been working with an editor and a cover artist to get the manuscript ready for publication. BloodVisionscoversmall

There are a number of possibilities for my next novel. My contract for Blood Visions gives my publisher first right of refusal on a sequel. Although I wrote this book with a sequel in mind, mainly to keep track of the main character Fortuna Cavalieri as she grows and develops into a tough warrior, I’ve also had another plot permeating for a while now.

I would like to explore obsession and what happens with obsession after death. If you believe in the after life, you’d be aware of the ‘in between’ state between earth and heaven. That is the place of transition, not entirely earthly, nor heavenly either – a place where we might learn and thus progress before we leave our earthly ties behind. But what happens when we choose not to progress and to draw the person we are obsessed with into that place. What might that look like?

Without giving too much away, some of the novel takes place in an institution for the mentally ill. Perhaps those with crippling psychosis ‘see’ and experience things those on the earthly plane cannot understand. And once in that ‘in between’ place, how do they get back when outwardly they appear insane, coupled with an entity with an obsession straight from hell? Anyway, that is the start of the story that I would like to write. And then there’s the sequel to Blood Visions…

As I sit in my chair, lazily choosing which medium to be entertained by in my recovery – internet, youtube, DVDs, television, books, magazines – I’m reminded that I can be using this time to get on with my creative fiction. So, here’s my first blog in recovery and the absence has definitely made the pen stronger.

* PICTURE: The cover art for my upcoming novel Blood Visions to be published by Whiskey Creek Press.