If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our October interviews feature: Kathy Aarons 10/5, Tracy Weber 10/12, Shelley Costa 10/19, and Maggie Toussaint on 10/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers: Sharon Love Cook 10/1, Leslie Lantry 10/8, and our Saturday Bloggers--10/15 Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/29 Kait Carson. 10/22 will be filled by E. B. Davis.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Sourthern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

Jim Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Labyrinths, Brain Science, and Mystery

Walking the Labyrinth at Chartres Catherdral by Daderot
My love of labyrinths must have started with the myth of Ariadne, that Cretan princess of long ago. She captivated me in a way that few mythic heroines did. Never mind that the first chapter of her life didn't end well (Theseus, the hero she fell in love with, the man she taught the secrets of the labyrinth to, eventually abandoned her on a deserted Greek island). The final part of the story – where the god Dionysus falls in love with her, marries her, and makes her immortal – now that's a happy ending.

I think of that story every time I walk a labyrinth. Luckily, there are many where I live. They can be found in chapels and green spaces, even backyards. Whenever I travel, I look to see if there will be one near my destination.

The labyrinth combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but meaningful path. It is a powerful metaphor for life's journey, but it also provides a particularly satisfying neurological experience. Our brains operate differently in a labyrinth, it seems, and therefore, we become different people, even for just a few minutes.

To understand labyrinths, you must first understand that a labyrinth is not a maze. Mazes must be solved, a left brain activity that involves choices and an active mind and logical, sequential, linear thinking. A maze is multicursal, with many paths. If you don't pay attention, you can get lost in one.

Not so with a labyrinth. It is unicursal – one way in, one way out. There are no decisions, no choices, no thinking required. The only choice is to enter. To walk one is a right brain activity involving intuition, creativity, and imagination, and it requires a receptive mindset. You must trust the path, surrender to it.

A labyrinth is not a puzzle; it is a mystery. Theologian Diogenes Allen illuminates the difference: "When a problem is solved, it is over and done with. We go on to other problems. But a mystery, once recognized, is something we are never finished with. Instead, we return to it again and again and it unfolds new levels to us. Mysteries, to be known, must be entered into. We do not solve mysteries. The deeper we enter into them, the more illumination we get. Still greater depths are revealed to us the further we go."

With a labyrinth, the journey really is the destination. We've all heard that old saying, but sometimes it seems little more than an admonition to enjoy the scenery, like life is a train ride, with all the countryside of Life just flying by unless one pays attention.

The labyrinth offers a different truth. It teaches that life is lived step by step. In the metaphorical labyrinth, like in real labyrinths, there is only one way in and one way out, so you can't get lost. And unlike the labyrinth of Greek myth, you will find no monster in the middle – only yourself.

You'll find yourself at the end too, only not the same you who went in. And likewise, the labyrinth has changed too, by your presence within it, so the only thing to do is go back inside, again and again and again.

If you're interested in exploring a labyrinth yourself, you can find one in your location by using the World Wide Labyrinth Locator. It lists the locations to over 5200 labyrinths; it's also a good place to learn about different types of labyrinths and other fascinating tidbits.

Happy spiraling!