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Archive for November, 2006

The book launch for “Nexus” at Chapters Meadowlands on Sunday November 5 was successful thanks to people who attended. We are thankful to everyone who bought copies of “Nexus.” Of course, we couldn’t do it without Chapters – Ancaster for providing the space and equipment, our publisher, Michael B. Davie, for being a delightful host, and Ian Thomas for sharing his wit and insights with us.

When we first walked into the Chapters bookstore, we noticed the Holiday Season decorations were already up. In fact, the displays came up right after Halloween, since retailers count on doing brisk business at this time.

Wide Shot with Authors

Copies of “Nexus” were prominently displayed on our table, which allowed us to personally sign copies of our book during breaks along with lively conversation with people over cookies and coffee.

Our reading for “Nexus” was from 12:00 to 1:00 PM before the book launch of “Bequest” by Ian Thomas, which is a unique murder mystery where the main character, Professor George Moss, has a special psychic gift inherited from his predecessors.

Ian Thomas, besides his wit, is a celebrated Canadian singer and songwriter of hits like “Painted Ladies,” “Liars,” “Pilot” and “Hold on.” He has successfully taken his song-writing abilities to writing with his first novel. His book is also published by Manor House, which brings us to our publisher, Michael B. Davie, who was the MC for the event. He read many off-beat and hilarious poems from “Poetry for the Insane.”

Michael B. Davie with Authors of NexusArvind Singh, Michael B. Davie & Deborah Morrison with their book “Nexus”

Michael had previously published Deborah’s book of poetry, “Mystical Poetry.” Since Debby has a good experience with her first book, we felt comfortable to ask him to publish “Nexus.”

We were ready to start reading but our microphone was only a hand-held one without a stand. But like a unexpected twist in a plot, we needed to adapt quickly. So we became pros with using our hands, except at times two hands were just not enough. So, Debby and I became each other’s third and even fourth hand during our reading.

Reading with Microphone

Michael welcomed everyone and introduced Debby before she began her first reading. She gave an introduction to “Nexus” and then began her First Selection, which highlighted the struggle of Logan Andrews climb to the top of a hill. During a short break, we had engaged discussion with people about our novel and our journey as writers. We also sold more copies of “Nexus.”

Bob Lumbers, a tall man with a heart of gold, agreed to be our official photographer. So most photos from our launch are taken by him. Here is a photo that I took of Bob with Deborah:

Bob & Deborah

The Second Reading by Debby drew attention of even many otherwise engaged shoppers because it resonated with current social changes. My passages were shorter than those selected by Deborah. They included the following selections:

Logan’s Vision in a Dream

Sarah Closes the Door on Logan

Compassion for a Dying Fish

Petals Floating

I concluded the Book Launch for “Nexus” and soon we had Ian Thomas join us with insights into “Bequest.” We were glad to have Ian with us, especially since we wanted to find out more about him, his book and his experience as a writer.

“Bequest” reads like a murder mystery and a novel that highlights corporate greed along with the strange gift of sight handed down generations. It keeps your interest with a level of suspense that makes you turn the next page. Apart from the suspense, the many lovable characters along with wisdom expressed in poignant phrases are the greatest strength of “Bequest.” Here is our photo with Ian:

Deborah, Ian & Arvind

We had a lot of fun at our Book Launch, thanks to Ian, Michael and everyone who attended our event. Our weekend will be busy with two book launches. One is in Burlington’s Indigo Bookstore on Saturday. Then on Sunday a book launch in Toronto at Chapters – Festival Hall near the MuchMusic building.

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Logan begins his journey as he waves goodbye to Celeste in the distance. When he starts walking, he begins to notice that getting his body in motion does lift his mental fog. He starts feeling less dejected and even somewhat enthusiastic. The sun doesnt seem unbearable, especially as a cool breeze plays with his hair. He reflects on Celestes words. She was right: Now that he is taking action, he does feel better.

After 20 minutes, Logan notices he does feel more motivated, but the journey is only a third complete. He looks off into the distance. He sees the hill. With that sight, he regains his momentum. Simultaneously his negative thoughts disappear like nocturnal creatures that become inactive with daylight.

Logan starts to see his journey as an adventure. He feels like an explorer trekking his way through the wilderness with only his tenacity and intuition as guides. He will triumph like a mythic hero, bringing back the prize: Muriels medicinal herb.

While in these thoughts of optimism and grandeur the next forty minutes pass, Logan reaches the hill more quickly than he had anticipated. Wow! That wasnt so bad.

As Logan stands at the bottom of the hill he gazes up to the top, feeling somewhat concerned at its immense height. But, he reminds himself how far he has already come. He hears Celestes voice: Remember action before motivation. As he remembers her words, he feels that he can do it. He can scale the hill and it should take him no more than fifteen to twenty minutes to walk to the top, and so without another moments hesitation the next leg of his journey begins.

A scent of wild roses fills the air as Logan walks along the path. Birds sing, melodious and free. Their tune carries him along with greater ease. Butterflies playfully dance as they flutter amongst the flowers. One butterfly lands on Logans shoulder and he feels encouraged, as if this is a good sign.

Logan begins to walk swiftly but always carefully maintaining his footing.
The scenery is so beautiful around him that he looses all sense of time. Then, he remembers to keep moving his body. As he does so his motivation increases. With newly discovered motivation, his energy becomes more charged. Logan begins to realize that the climb is not nearly as difficult as he had imagined.

Suddenly Logan stops abruptly. From out of nowhere a diminutive, white bearded man appears, carrying a large staff.

Logan is so startled that he veers back off the path and falls over the edge of a dangerously steep cliff.

He luckily grasps onto the edge of the cliff, with his bandaged hands and holds on for dear life. His struggle to hold on is intense. He fears that if he loses his grip he may not survive the fall.

Who are you? the white bearded man asks.

Im Logan, he gasps while trembling.

No, who are you really? the man insists.

Alright, then if Im not Logan, then who am I? Logan cries trembling with fear, as tears and sweat run profusely down his face, his shirt drenched.

Ah, now youve asked the key question. Who am I? smiles the man.

I dont care who I am or who you are. Help me before I fall! I cant hold on much longer! Logan pleads fervently.

Oh, no. Why is it that the most simple is often the most difficult to find? continues the old man. He seems lost in his own riddle, unaware of Logans predicament.

Help me, please. Help! Logan is terrified, barely able to hold on another moment.

Suddenly, the white bearded man holds out his staff and says: Here, hold on to this.

One hand at a time, Logan grasps onto the staff. The old man effortlessly pulls him up onto a grassy area beside the path. Logan moans in relief, rubbing his sore hands that are now irritated even further. The pain is excruciating. The old man takes some pieces of a plant out of his pocket. He rubs the succulent leaves gently on Logans hands as he explains that the aloe-vera leaves will help accelerate the healing and ease the painful sensations. Logan is surprised when he finds that the pain is instantly relieved.

Amazing, declares Logan. And how did you manage to pull me up when I weigh much more than you?

The old man obliviously continues talking as Logan recovers from his ordeal: You are not just your body, mind, senses, or name. You are the Eternal True Self. When you were falling off the cliff, you were frightened because you equated your self as synonymous with your body. Yet, even if your body composed of five elements becomes extinguished, you will still live on.

With that, the old man points his staff up into the air and brings it down with a heavy thud on the ground to emphasize his point. You are the miracle of life and you have unlimited potential. You are light, love, and energetic motion and stillness. Remember who you are! Do not see yourself in a static mould, you are being even in motion. To define or label yourself narrowly is not to understand the depth of your own self. To believe I cant is an illusion, but to believe Ill try is to recognize you have no limit. Be free from setting narrow boundaries on yourself. Remember to first take action, and then even the impossible is possible the old man reiterates passionately.

Wow, declares Logan! Thats just what Celeste told me.

She is a wise woman, this Celeste, the old man says with absolute confidence as if he knows her well. My name is Sunny but Ill have to go now. Good luck on your journey. Then just as swiftly as he had appeared, the man turns and leaves, wandering out of sight behind trees off in the distance.

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Meanwhile in another part of the room, Celeste asks Logan for a favour: Would you do something for me? What is it? Logan asks, feeling unmotivated to carry out any requests. Will you walk to the top of the hill on the other side of the stream and find a medicinal herb for Muriel? She’s having trouble sleeping at night, due extreme pain. This herb grows abundantly on the hilltop about three miles from here. The herb will ease her pain and help her get a good nights sleep. Will you do this for her? Logan is genuinely fond of Muriel yet is faced with inner turmoil when Celeste presents her request. Whats wrong with her? Logan asks. Celeste explains: She wants to keep it a secret for now. She really doesnt want to trouble anyone. I dont know. Im not sure, he says. Logan really wants to help but feels he cant. In fact, he really doesnt feel like doing anything. Besides, going up a hill doesnt sound easy. He doesnt feel like battling with any obstacle, whether its Mount Everest or just a tiny hill. Muriel is a great woman, but if I feel so tired and upset, I shouldnt even try. Celeste doesnt realize how difficult this task is for me. I can imagine how each step of those three miles to the hill will be excruciatingly difficult. The hot sun would be beating down on me. Then, Id get to that enormous hill and that would drain the remaining strength out of me After another moments reflection, Logan responds with a resolute, No! Why not? Well, I just cant. Why cant you? Im not motivated. What keeps you from being motivated? Im just too tired, too exhausted. Basically, Im just a hopeless case. I wasnt even able to hand in my reports on time at work. So, you feel that you are a hopeless case? Yes! Have you always been hopeless? Well, no. Then, how can you identify yourself with a permanent label of being hopeless when at times you have shown yourself to be resourceful in the past. Since you have been resourceful in the past, then you can be so now. Isnt that so? Yeah, I guess so. What seems to be keeping you immobilized is your label that youre hopeless and because you feel you are hopeless, you stop trying. When you dont try, you feel even more miserable and hopeless. It becomes a self-fulfilling tragedy. After a long time, Logan begins to feel glimmers of hope. His doubts start to leave him as he gains a belief in his capabilities. To confirm these positive feelings, he requests: Could you expand on what you said, Celeste? Sure, Logan. Its like this: If you put motivation before action, then you will continue to wait until you feel motivated. On the other hand, if you take action, then the motivation will surely follow. Okay; that sounds good but I have depression. I cant control how I feel. We can discuss your feelings another time. Why dont you take action now, and then evaluate how you feel. Go to the hill and get the herb for Muriel. Okay, Ill give it a try. I really like Muriel and I do want to help her. Point me to the hill. Thats the spirit! Celeste enthusiastically cries as she points to the far off hill and gives him a description of the medicinal herb as he leaves: Youre looking for a plant that grows about 2 meters high. It has creamy white flowers growing together into a rounded cluster or umbel like Queens Anne Lace. Its an unmistakable plant and youll easily spot it. Good luck on your journey! Excerpt from Nexus: A Neo Novel. Buy from:

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Finally Sarah stands beside the stream in awe. How beautiful.

A profusion of red flower petals drift playfully along the surface of the waters; then more and more petals. Sarah cusps some of these petals into her hands and then watches them drop to the ground. She looks at her hand and it reminds her of the shape of a heart and a human figure at the same time. In that instant, she realizes something about the whole retreat.

Nexus involves heart-centered living and allowing your heart to freely open and blossom. These petals in her hands represent that progression from a closed bud to an open flower. The open flower has the scent of love-nectar, which attracts bees and other insects to it. Without opening of the petals, the male pollen would not be carried by the wind or insects to the female parts of the plant in order to fertilize the plant. Similarly, if the human heart remains closed, then a person will remain isolated but once the petals of the heart open then connection and relatedness is established. Through empathy and compassion, the heart can reach out to others. The opening of the heart-petals is the Nexus within and the connection with others through empathy is the Nexus outside us. Wonderful! she sighs.

Excerpt from Nexus: A Neo Novel. Buy from:

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Even with the snow falling around him, Logan felt warm inside with the knowledge that he would soon see his Sarah. He could finally unburden, for Sarah would heal him with each kiss, each touch.

Logan arrived in Putney in a rented car battling the blowing snow and ice along the way.
As he pulled up to Sarahs house, he noticed the curtains were drawn but there was a dim light on upstairs.

He rang the doorbell, wondering what he would say to her first. He wanted to explain to her about the agony he went through and how he was lost without her.

The door suddenly opened and Sarah stood there surprised and puzzled. Logan? What are you doing here?

It was not the warm greeting that he expected. Well, he replied, I came to see you, Sarah.

A strong, male voice spoke from inside the home: Who is it, honey? Is it someone for me?

No, Kurt, its an old friend who was just passing through, she answered turning her back to Logan. She then looks at him with a serious, aggrieved look and declares with a solemn tone: Logan a lot has changed over the past year and I couldnt wait any longer. I didnt know how you felt I had to move on I hope you understand.

She waited briefly for a response but hearing none, then tersely added: I must go now. With those words, she shut the door on Logan. He continued to stand outside for a couple of minutes, completely perplexed and hurt.

As a gust of air made the snow swirl around him with a terrific howl, he resolved to leave. He wanted to walk away with a shred of dignity.

Logans heart sank. All of his dreams of the warm meeting with Sarah were brutally dashed, for Sarah was no longer his. What a cruel twist of fate, he thought bitterly.

Logan had pulled the ring out of his pocket. His hurt turned into rage as he threw it away like a cursed object. It flew through the air, and fell on a rock, making a ting sound.

As he pulled out of the driveway, he had looked back at the house in misery. He realized he just wanted to get away from Putney and get back to San Francisco. He had decided to take the job as a reporter, and never come back to his hometown so long as Sarah was not his.

The work had kept him busy, so that he could suppress his sense of loneliness, sorrow and anguish. Unlike his father, he couldnt drown himself in booze. But work provided a good substitute, a welcome distraction from emotional pain.

Everything went reasonably well, or seemed to, and he continued to overlook his emotional state until despair set in with a vengeance. The feeling was overwhelming and took full control of him, battering his ability to fight, his will to live. He wanted nothing more than to end his misery by ending his life. He began contemplating suicide and decided to take this course of action. Finally, he ended up in the hospital from a failed suicide attempt after overdosing on sleeping pills.

Excerpt from Nexus: A Neo Novel. Buy from:

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Oh Tree!

Oh Tree!

How many autumns

Have you seen? O tree!

How many seasons

Have you graced

With enflamed leaves?

Oh tree! You delight

My senses

By your bright hues

Yet the days grow shorter

As October

Becomes

November

A sombre time

When you are naked

Waiting for the first snow

To hide your shame

In December

Your naked limbs

The snow covers

And Christmas lights

Delight the senses

With artificial hues

The warm days of summer

Are gone

And become

A memory

Still the circle of the seasons

Rotates

With the promise

Of the return of spring and summer

To keep you and I warm

During the frosty months

Of winter.

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