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Live Out Your Story

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October 1, 2014 – Letter To Danny

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Danny,

I’m having problems with my contraption which started smoking again. I wonder how much longer it will last or if my letters will continue to get to you from my year of 2014 to your year of 1983.  I’ll keep sending and hope you will reply.

The other day something amazing happened to me. I am writing this book, The Broken Christmas Tree, and I sent it off for edits and the strangest thing occurred.  The editor wrote me back a note and said that she had experienced a similar traumatic event as you did at the age of three. I believe she was only two years and six months old but close enough.  It truly is an amazing insight to what is happening around all of us. How things just seem to fall into place with no real explanation.

I don’t think she sees shadowlings like yourself but she never said she didn’t either.  I am left to ponder this thought.  I have no direct communications with her as the company’s policy won’t allow it.  But I’ve given it thought to see about hiring her again for my next book. I don’t know what I’ll write yet, maybe something of science fiction with a twist or I could just keep my options open for now.

Your friend, Cluster,  sounds every bit the good story teller from what I’ve heard from you. He sounds larger than life, a great friend to have no doubt.  Natural story tellers are the best I think at keeping everyone’s attention on the rise, and giving them either a good scare or a good laugh on the fall.  Art is such an expressive way of getting our feelings out into the open don’t you think? Oh, I’m sending you the cover of my new book. I hope to have it out soon for others to read in the next few weeks. A  lot depends on my final reviews of the book this coming weekend. Anyway, I’ll keep writing for a while longer if you don’t mind and keep me posted on your adventures.  Maybe I can use those as inspiration for my next book.

Sincerely,

D.W. Rigsby

 

Letter to Danny from The Broken Christmas Tree

 

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

The Broken Christmas Tree – HMMM…

Pondering

I was worried what I might find when I received final edits back on The Broken Christmas Tree. Would the critique come back as “hey this is okay stuff but you need more work”, or “hmm – I’m not sure what you did here but you probably need to rethink this scene again.”  Also there was the fear that “this is an overall nice story.”  I don’t think any author wants to hear “nice story”. We strive for a much more in our work.

Over seven years and I’m finally about to release my first novel and the pressure is there on the tip of my finger, ready to click the mouse to download my feedback.

I clicked the download link and waited, pondering what I might read.

As the letter opened I wanted to delay the inevitable, but my eyes had caught the words all ready.

I was astonished by what I read. It threw my back in my seat, not literally, but as I read the words I couldn’t believe what Angela, the editor, was telling me.

The words were there, on the page, and I read them over again to be certain of what she was trying communicate to me. She said I was a skilled writer, that she couldn’t put the book down, that it was a page turner and she felt honored to have been the one to edit this book.  All great things but the final words on the page really stood out.

Something more than words was coming through the pages.

I will summarize what she said in her last paragraph to me – out of some coincidence what happened to Danny (the main protagonist) at the age of three happened to her at nearly the same age, around the same time, in the same room, near the same object, left with the same reminder, and she was born nearly the same year as the main character.

She said that she must have been destined to edit this book.  Wow! I do find this an interesting thing that has happened.

I don’t want to give away too much as many have not read this book, and you won’t know what I’m talking about

The coincidence is truly astounding. I’m sure once people read the first part of the book they’ll know exactly what i”m talking about when I refer to what happened to Danny at the age of three.

I’m very humbled by the feedback I received. The editor, Angela, did a wonderful job on the story critique and the line edits.  This was my second round through Create Space, outside of other edits done by Lydia Rigsby, my wife, and by Kristen James. I had been through several rounds of edits on my own and with each pass made changes, worked out the kinks before sending for final edits.

Create Space editors never speak to the authors – there is no direct way to contact them. You can only upload your manuscript for the editor, who downloads, makes edits, then uploads when completed for the author.

I leave it to you to ponder now, to wonder how the main character, Danny, in The Broken Christmas Tree, and a Create Space editor could experience the same thing, around the same year, and nearly at the same age, in the same room, near the same object, and be left with the same reminder.

 

Image Credit:  Pondering by anutjojo

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

September 24, 2014 – Letter To Danny

Fall Sept 24th 2014

Danny,

I almost forgot to write this week. I’ve been very busy with all my other duties and responsibilities.  Oh how I miss being young, not a care, and running around town playing games. It was a great time as I’m sure you know. Playing hide and seek, kick the can, picking up a game at the baseball field, or hiking through the woods. It still might be warm enough to camp  there even with the cooler nights, which I loved to do but never did enough growing up.

It’s getting that time of year when it’s best to go camping down here in Florida.  The summer is not like it is up in Ohio, and the fall is still warm enough to pitch a tent. A nice camp fire with a few burnt marshmallows doesn’t sound all too bad either.

You say you like to camp? That you even bought your first tent with your own money? What a great thing it is to be able to work for something you want and when you get it there’s that sense of accomplishment.

I have no worries about you when  you get older. You describe yourself as resourceful, self reliant at times and clever.  We need people like you, and  your friend. The way you describe your friend he sounds much older than you, but I know you said he’s only a  year older. Well, some people are born older.

Keep writing.

Sincerely,

D.W. Rigsby

 

Letter to Danny from The Broken Christmas Tree

 

Image Credit:  Cincinnati – Hapersfield Covered Bridge HDR by Corey Balazowich

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

Living Lies

Living Lies

Lies – where do they come from?

Others can tell lies about us but I’m not talking about those sort of lies. I’m talking about the ones that we keep alive inside of us.

A living lie is like that of a rusted old chain to bind you, to choke you and to break you.  The living lie is subtle with its remarks of how you aren’t worth anything, or how you always make mistakes, and everyone notices them.

When you want to move away from the living lie, it is attached to you, and stops you from going too far.

So, where does the living lie inside of us come from?  Why does the subconscious keep telling us something that is not true about ourselves?  Is that truly where living lies start?  Or is it our heart that continues to tell us false meanings or possibly the soul?  Or does it come from some other source?

I’ve lived with living lies as many of you have and still might. They tear you down and never build you back up. They keep you from who you truly are and keep you trapped with bindings of anxiety, guilt and self-hate.

One cannot truly live out their story if they continue to live out their lie.  The lie is the false self, the double mind, the destroyer of lives.  It is meant to do one thing and it is to keep you from living out your story.

I wrote a post called Live out Your Story. It struck a chord with many who read it which I am glad. The first step to living out your story is to be aware of the lie inside of you.  Once its found out it is hard for it to continue but make no mistake it will splinter into several more lies in attempts to try and tear you apart inside.

I know this to be true, not only because I’ve experienced it but because I’ve witnessed so many others who have experienced the living lie as well.

The living lie can be stopped but it will not be easy. There are ways to overcome it but it starts now.  Dismiss the living lie, forgive yourself, and others. Let whatever is holding you back go.  Stop worrying about how others see you. Be who you are. Stop trying to figure out what is wrong with you because maybe that is a lie in itself.

Don’t focus on the living lie either – it’s better to ignore it and focus on Living out Your Story.

 

by D.W. Rigsby

Image Credit: Rusty Chains by Matt Clark

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

September 17, 2014 – Letter to Danny

Fall Angel

 Danny,

 

My progress is slow with my stringed instrument, but I’m enjoying the process. I like to play the different chords, to feel the buzz of the strings, and hear the tones resonate as I pluck away at the strings.  It’s not an easy task. Learning the roll patterns took some tries but after several weeks I got the basic ones down. I still miss here and there but I’m getting the rhythm. Timing is another matter. I was looking into a metronome – it’s a way to keep your timing, making sure you hit a note each time it ticks. It’s job is to discipline your performance and without it I’m not sure how anyone could truly become a master of their instrument. Oh, I’m sure someone with the gift of music has done it, but I don’t possess this gift. I must work hard at it, I must chug along like the little choo-choo train that thinks it can.

You say you draw. We’ll that is an art in itself. A great one for self expression. I am glad you have some spark of artistry in your blood. We are like kindred spirits I think.

Now tell me that Sam is no longer around is he? It is terrible what happened. I still think about it. I’m glad you handled it well. It never changes. No matter where you go there is always someone out to make your life miserable.

As for those shadowlings you should still be careful. Don’t try and seek them out. I know what you told me that you can’t help it. I am not you so try and use your best judgement.

Sincerely,

D.W. Rigsby

 

Letter to Danny from The Broken Christmas Tree

 

Image Credit:  Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum “Your Time Has Come” by David Ohmer

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

September 10, 2014 – Letter to Danny

Sept Fall

Danny,

What you said in your last letter explains a lot to me. My only guidance to you is be on your guard, keep your wit about and make sure never to tell anyone what you told me unless you think they can keep it a secret.

People often act strange when they find out something different about another person. It’s human nature I suppose. It’s been ingrained into us since the dawn of time but we learn, some of us. You’re friend Cluster sounds like a true friend.  When you get older like me you’ll look back and see the wondrous thing of friendship and what it really means. We don’t often think of it until things have sort of slowed down and we have time to reflect. It’s okay, not to worry as you are young and I”m sure you probably already see some of what I mean.

Oh, I wanted to tell you that I’ve decided to pick up an instrument and learn to play music. I’m rather horrid at the moment but that will soon change as I practice more and more. My advice to you is try and learn music at a young age, it will be something you’ll enjoy for a very long time and one you can share with others. I’m excited even at my current age to learn and soon I’ll be able to share it too with my friends and family.

I look forward to hearing more from you. Please keep writing and don’t worry about the contraption thingy, it still works and hasn’t smoked for nearly a week. A good sign. I think that it’s on the road to recovery.

Sincerely,

DW Rigsby

Letter to Danny from The Broken Christmas Tree

 

Image Credit:  Ohio – Amish country by Kristen Klein

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

September 3, 2014 – Letter to Danny

mist

Danny,

 

New Weston sounds like a wonderful place. I wish I lived there myself from the way you describe it. It’s like so many of those small towns you see on television. Some of us stuck in the larger cities long to be in a small place, run around in the woods and enjoy what nature has to offer.

I bet the fall is wonderful there with all those hardwood trees with their leaves turning brown, gold, copper, yellow and ash.  I bet the nights are starting to cool down now. It must be heaven. It’s still very hot and humid where I live. It will be a while longer before the cool air reaches us.

Oh, yes I did some research on those shadow things. It seems sometimes this happens to people after a traumatic event. Did something bad happen to you?

Sincerely,

DW Rigsby

Letter to Danny from The Broken Christmas Tree

 

Image Credit:  Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum “Morning Light & Mist” by David Ohmer

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

Hidden Treasure

Hidden Treasure

The Broken Christmas Tree is a great story of friendship. Danny and Cluster are two boys in the story who are no doubt the best of friends. And they must face things of great peril together.  Friends are a corner stone in our lives and what a friend offers is being there when it matters most.

I have a friend who’s been in my life for the past 39 years, getting close to 40 years. We met each other through our moms.  My mom got a knock on the door one day and there was a lady standing there. She looked kind of ticked off, as my mom puts it. So my mom was ready to deal with whatever trouble her sons might have made for her all at the ages of three and five. Boys are great, aren’t they? I got two myself.

My mom answers the door fearing the worst but finds out the lady is only there to borrow sugar. I’m not completely certain that is how it went but it’s close enough.

The point is I made a friend and he’s been my friend ever since. He’s the one guy I go to for everything, I can tell him anything and he’s still my friend.  When I need him, he’s there for me. I tell you friends are a hidden treasure. If you have one, I’m not suggesting you bury them rather see them for what they bring into your life.

The Broken Christmas Tree highlights this point of how precious friendship really is to us. The friendship in your life most likely came to you freely, so therefore it is priceless.  Be sure to let your friend know today how much they mean to you. It’s a challenge, pick up the phone, call them and don’t delay. They are probably thinking of you right now.

This story I wrote also highlights a friendship I had as a young boy growing up in the hills of Ohio. When my friend, Cluster, passed away at 18 years of age it was a huge loss in my life. Our friendship impacted me so much that is still affects me even to this day. Our friendship lives on in this story, even though The Broken Christmas Tree is fictionalized it’s there in the pages.

Make sure to stay in touch with your friends. Don’t let too much time go by with your busy life. You never know when it’s their time to move on and you will need to live on.

by D.W. Rigsby

Image Credit: Look At That Booty by Theodore Scott

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

August 27th 2014 – Letter to Danny

Ohio Aug 27th

Danny,

I hope all is well with you. Those things you keep telling me about, shadowlings, seem quite scary. I unfortunately don’t know what they mean.  You have to figure that out on your own.

As for your mom, I know here spirits are down. Try to reassure her if you can. No reason to have everyone in a mood altogether. It really doesn’t make for a fun evening.

This contraption thing seems to be working with it sending you letters back to 1983.  Though it does tend to smoke a little, bad for its health. I fear its lifespan maybe cut short.

Write back and tell me what you did in the woods today.

Sincerely,

DW Rigsby

Letter to Danny from The Broken Christmas Tree

Image Credit: Forest Wander by www.ForestWander.com

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

August 20th 2014 – Letter To Danny

wolf creek

 Hi Danny,

Sorry about saying I created you, maybe we can agree that I discovered you? How’s that? You’re right, you are more amazing then anything I could create.

Maybe this contraption thing isn’t working as well as I thought, sending messages back to you from 2014 is a new thing really.  I believe it’s August 1983 your time. Can you confirm for me when you get this message?

What are these things you keep seeing? You call them shadowlings? Interesting. You should be careful with them, who knows what they mean.

Make sure you keep writing me, I like to hear about the fun you and your friend Cluster are having down in the creeks.  You say he’s a big story teller, well I hope to hear one of his stories myself soon. If you get a chance pass one onto me.

Sincerely,

DW Rigsby

 

Letter to Danny from The Broken Christmas Tree

 

Image Credit: Wolf Creek by THX0477

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

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