“What we call empty space contains an immense background of energy.” ~ David Bohm, physicist

This is the quote at the beginning of The Field. It really sums up the theme of the entire novel.

“What we call empty space contains an immense background of energy. This vast sea of energy may play a key part in the understanding of the cosmos as a whole. Space, which has so much energy, is full rather than empty. What we perceive through the senses as empty space is actually the plenum, which is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves.” ~ David Bohm, physicist

theFieldfrt2final

“You could be tapping into the Collective Consciousness” ~ Dr. Auberge to Eric in THE FIELD

Eric and Dr. Auberge discuss the Collective Consciousness in The Field.

“It could be instinctive athleticism or that you are subconsciously reading the behavior of the other player, or,” Dr. Auberge pauses for emphasis, “you could be tapping into the Collective Consciousness.”

“What’s that?” I feel like The Twilight Zone theme song should be playing in the background.

“It’s called many things; the Akashic Record, the Universal Field of Consciousness, and by some, God. Many Eastern religions believe that we are all connected to each other and to what you could call God or higher consciousness by our thoughts and that thoughts have power, or even energy. Science is just now recognizing the power of thought. As you said, visualization is used frequently in sports, but there is much more to it than that.” I’m thinking that I am in store for a really out-there conversation with Dr. Auberge, but I’m saved when Renee comes into the kitchen and puts her hand lightly on my shoulder. I didn’t hear her come in so it startles me a little. The conversation with Dr. Auberge was getting pretty intense. At some deep level it resonates with me, but at the same time, thinking that there’s a Universal Field of Consciousness seems straight our of a science fiction movie. It’s hard to believe it could actually be real.

theFieldfrt2final

“Just because you can’t see it and don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.” ~ Dr. Auberge on The Unified Field in THE FIELD

Dr. Auberge is a nuclear physicists on a two year research stint at the university. He is a guest speaker at Eric’s AP Environmental Science class. Here is is explaining The Universal Energy Field to the class.

“The ‘Zero Point Field‘. It is easiest to think of it in this manner. We know that the air around us is filled with energy waves or forces. Magnetic, sound, light, radio, television, microwave, radiation, et cetera. Most of these waves are outside the realm of human perception. However, we can measure them and we know that animals can hear sounds that are imperceptible to the human ear, and we benefit from the action of these waves when we watch TV, use our cell phones or microwave our dinner.”

Dr. Auberge paces back and forth in front of the room gesturing for emphasis. “Scientists theorize that there is enough energy is a cubic inch of space anywhere in the Universe to power all of New York City for a year.” He stops and looks around the room. Someone coughs and clears his throat.

“What we don’t fully know yet is how to harness these powerful forces as an infinite energy source. That is the focus of my research and experiments for the next two years.”

Dr. Auberge continues. “Think of the implications of a totally clean, infinitely renewable energy source. No more drilling for oil or natural gas or mining for coal. No more burning fossil fuels and the resulting air pollution. No need for nuclear power and radioactive waste.”

“The Universe is essentially a sea of energy. Scientists are calling it ‘Dark Energy’, and while we don’t know exactly what it is, Einstein predicted its existence when he postulated using a ‘cosmological constant’ to explain the expansion of the Universe. We have to set aside what we think we know about the world around us and open our minds to new discoveries. Remember, we once thought the work was flat, and Galileo was thrown into jail for suggesting that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Just because you can see it and you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.” 

Spirituality is the Solution – What you can do to help the World

Neale Donald Walsh, author of the Conversations with God books has written a new book, God’s Message to the World – You’ve got me All Wrong. In an article he wrote about the book in Watkins MIND BODY SPIRIT magazine he concludes  “What we can’t seem to see, or are simply refusing to admit, is that the problem facing humanity today is not a political problem, it is not an economic problem, and it is not a military problem. The problem facing humanity is a spiritual problem, and it can only be solved by spiritual means.”

But what kind of spiritual means? In my novel, The Field, the main character is connecting to the collective consciousness or The Universal Energy Field, what you might envision as the thought energy of every human being, and possibly every other kind of being, in our world and in the Universe. This energy connects us all to one another and connects us all to God, or The Divine, because it is part of God just as God is part of us and in everything in the Universe.

Lynne McTaggart talked about it in her non-fiction books entitled The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe and The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World. We learned about it in the movie The Secret but the movie didn’t focus strongly on the important element of spirituality.

In essence – our thoughts are powerful when used with a spiritual focus. Studies have proven that prayer can affect the health outcomes of cancer patients. Even if they are prayed for by someone who doesn’t even know them.  In McTaggart’s book The Intention Experiment, she gives multiple examples of situations where thoughts and intentions actually change events and outcomes.

Other studies have shown that our fights against things – the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the War on Terror, campaigns against bullying – actually cause those problems to increase! As Mother Teresa said “I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.” What you focus on becomes your reality, so we need to focus on what we want, not what we don’t want.

Quantum physics has proven that everything in the Universe is connected at a subatomic level, which means that we are all connected to one another. What physicists can’t explain is how we are connected. It is the Unified Field, the noosphere, the collective consciousness – God- that connects us all. Everyone and everything. Neale Donald Walsh also says “The biggest misunderstanding of all is humanity’s idea that human beings are separate from God.”

So that brings me to what you can do to help change the world. I know that many, many people want to have a positive impact, but feel powerless or don’t know how. You are more powerful than you know. Your thoughts have power when combined with spirituality. Pray for peace. Meditate for wisdom for our leaders. Envision prosperity and universal love. Pray for healing for the Earth. Ask for help from Divine Source in raising your consciousness. Find other spiritual seekers and connect with them. Now is the time. We are awakening. Blessings to you all.

Work in Progress – Aliens and Earth in Crisis

I’m about a quarter of the way through with the very rough draft of my next untitled novel. Titles are really hard and I’m hoping for some inspiration to strike somewhere in the writing process!

As in my other books there is an environmental theme. I’m very concerned about what humans are doing to our planet with pollution, nuclear radiation, fracking, and burning fossil fuels. There is a lot of evidence that what we do harms the planet and I believe that there is a limit to what the Earth can absorb of our throw-away culture. There are better, healthier alternatives to plastic waste, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and fossil fuels. Don’t even get me started on antibacterial soap! Antibiotics are turning up in mountain stream water! We just have to show a commitment on a personal level. What you do does matter. Corporations and governments won’t change of their own volition. They change in response to economic pressures – buying habits of consumers – and public pressure – how we vote. My way of showing my commitment is to include these issues in my books interwoven with stories of normal teens.

In THE FIELD the characters learn about and interact with The Universal Energy Field and the Collective Consciousness. This book will have aliens. Or star-beings, or extra-terrestrials – whatever you want to call them. If you think about the vastness of the Universe – billions of galaxies, billions of stars with billions of planets – I think it is naive, and really arrogant, as well,  to assume that we are the only form of intelligent life out there. Or that we are the most advanced form of life. These other life forms could be so advanced that they could already be here without our knowledge. At least the knowledge of the general population. There are certainly enough UFO sightings by credible sources such as airline pilots and military personnel to make one wonder about it.

A lot of books and movies about aliens have them attacking Earth. Then there are movies such as Interstellar, ET, Contact, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. What if that is the truth? What if star-beings don’t mean to harm us, but want to help us? Are we ready to accept their help?

Here are some sites with more information.

Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute – SETI – Carl Sagan Center

Institute of Noetic Sciences – IONS Founded by Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell – Science and Consciousness

LitPick gives THE FIELD 4 Stars and calls it “electrifying”!!

The Field is an electrifying …[and] imaginative book full of action and mystery.  I liked that the author blended a believable story about a regular high school boy with just enough sci-fi to make it enjoyable.  … if you are a soccer fan who also likes a little bit of sci-fi, this book might be for you.” ~ LitPik reviewed by Jotaf aged 13

I love getting reviews from teen readers. Nice to know that he loved the book! Read the full review at LitPick.

theFieldfrt2final

When the Universe Speaks….

After we learned the exciting news about The Field winning the Eric Hoffer Award, my husband suggested we have champagne to celebrate. I said that I couldn’t that night, but perhaps on Tuesday evening as I had something else scheduled. He went to his favorite writing local – The Corner Wine Bar in Broad Ripple – to work on his next book. Later that evening he texted me that the owner of the restaurant told him we had a bottle of Cava – Spanish sparkling wine – that we had purchased at a wine tasting in December and forgot to pick up. Perfect for toasting to my writing success. When he brought the bottle home and I looked at the label, here is what I saw ~ 

IMG_0717

Poema in Spanish means ‘poem’ in English, and a writing quill!?!? The Universe is speaking loud and clear! And that’s not even including the huge clap of thunder that I heard immediately after I said an affirmation about being a successful writer and publisher the night before! If you listen, the Universe is speaking loud and clear.

Cultivating Resiliency Through Books for Teens ~ PLA in Indianapolis

This past week I was at the PLA, Public Library Association, conference in Indianapolis signing books and giving a presentation on “Cultivating Resiliency Through Books for Teens.” I even had my picture in the paper for the event! John Green gave a presentation, too, and I don’t know how I beat him out!

IMG_0658

In the paper! Bigger picture than Jane Pauley!

IMG_0653

Signing Books

 

 

IMG-20140314-00569

With a Fan ~ Love those librarians!

Here’s my presentation! I was rather nervous at first, but got it under control. 🙂

Fiction isn’t real, but it is true. Especially when it is about real issues that impact teens. Reading about difficult topics is a non-threatening way to experience the trauma and consequences, and ultimately hope, through the characters in the book. Perhaps it is something they personally have experienced or a friend has experienced. Or something that the teen will encounter in the future. They may identify with the characters which can alleviate feelings of isolation and instill the understanding that they are not alone.  When you see a character dealing with abuse or divorce and then moving beyond it and healing, you create hope.

Fiction is a great teacher. It is a safe place to confront the difficult issues that teens deal with every day. I’ve always believed that information is power and communication is the key. Writing stories about difficult issues like drinking, divorce, sex or self-destructive behavior does not cause teens to engage in that behavior. On the contrary, it helps them develop tools and skills to use when confronted with those issues in real life. Reading fiction about difficult topics is like reading a self-help book as an allegory. Studies show that the reader experiences the same feelings and emotions as the character in the book she is reading.  This is truly empowering because it allows them to experience life within the safety of the pages of a book and formulate opinions and strategies for how they might behave or react in real life. Banning or withholding books that deal with difficult topics does not protect teens. It keeps them from learning valuable lessons and gaining knowledge. It is knowledge that helps teens become resilient.

So Fiction is a powerful tool in creating resilient teens. The messages are deftly woven through the story so that while the reader is entertained, they are also presented with a subtle, deeper meaning.

The Field

–          When I was developing the plot and conflict in The Field, I asked my teenaged children and niece, then aged 15, what issues would be the most true-to-life and relevant to them. They suggested drinking as it was something that really came up among their peers. Like it or not, kids are drinking in high school. They also suggested parents divorcing, as so many of their friends and acquaintances were experiencing that in their lives.

–           In THE FIELD, the main character, Eric, struggles to figure out how to help his best friend Will who starts abusing alcohol to deal with his parent’s divorce. At first Will’s drinking doesn’t seem too bad. Who else is he hurting? But the possibility exists that he could get caught and thrown off the soccer team jeopardizing the success of the entire team. As Eric tries to talk to Will about the drinking and his parent’s divorce, Will becomes more and more hostile. The deterioration of their friendship follows the same downward spiral as Will’s descent into drinking. Eventually Eric washes his hands of Will saying “I know he’s dealing with the mess his dad left, but I’m done. I don’t need to be his punching bag.”

–          When Will puts his life at risk driving drunk, Eric knows he can’t abandon his best friend and it is his refusal to give up on Will, even in the face of Will’s hostility, that saves him.

–           By the end of the novel, Will recognizes that not only did the drinking not help, it almost cost him his life. He also realizes that even though his parents are divorcing, his father still loves him.  The reader sees Will work through his issues and come out the other side.

–          I dedicated the book to my children and their friends and to Brett Finbloom, a soccer teammate of my son’s who died from alcohol poisoning the summer before his freshman year in college. Although I didn’t base the story in any way on Brett (it was already in rough draft when he died), the circumstances of his death emphasized the importance of having an open dialog with teens about drinking.

–          Brett’s family started a foundation called “Make Good Choices” and in the conversations they have with young people after their presentations, they hear over and over again from the kids how talking about drinking and not pretending that it doesn’t happen or simply forbidding it, helped them to work through questions they have and made them really think about the choices they make.

Indian Summer

–          In this middle-grade novel, the issues are not as difficult, but they are of utmost importance to a middle-schooler. Marcie is dealing with issues of peer-pressure, fitting in and doing what you think is right against insurmountable odds.

–          At the beginning of the novel Marcie lacks self-confidence in dealing with the popluar girls. She is thrown in with one of the girls, Kaitlyn, who is a little more worldly-wise and bold. With Kaitlyn, Marcie does things that she normally wouldn’t do.

–          Kaitlyn’s father is secretly developing old growth forest on the lake into luxury homes. Marcie wants to stop him, but doesn’t know how.

–          When she abandons Kaitlyn’s team in the middle of the sailboat race to save her elderly friend, Al, she has made a decision to follow her own convictions and not be swayed by Kaitlyn and the popular, wealthy crowd, even if it means she loses Kaitlyn’s friendship. As a result, she finds a way to stop the development of the land.

–          Marcie discovers that she can be true to herself and keep her friendships without compromising her own values.

By exploring real life circumstances and issues through fiction, instead of pretending that they don’t exist in an effort to protect or shield  young people, we gird them with powerful tools with which to deal with the difficult things that inevitably show up in life. Through knowledge we create empowered, resilient teens.

Joseph Campbell, author of The Power of Myth and The Hero With A Thousand Faces, said,

“The big problem of any young person’s life is to have models to suggest possibilities.” He also said,

“We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heros of all time have gone before us.”

What all writers of fiction are really creating is Myth and as Joseph Campbell has concluded, there is power in myth.

Through the difficult trials of the hero’s journey, our protagonist, and our teen readers, are changed. They are stonger. They are resilient.