Okay. I've got guests and we're busy all the time. Somehow there aren't enough hours in the day for me to write. And while I'm itching about the writing, I've decided to take a blog break this week by re-blogging a guest post that originally appeared on The Cover Contessa on July 8 .
Next week normal life begins again. See you then with a new blog post!
Researching the Paranormal
I stood at the curb, watching the garbage truck’s process down the block, waiting for it to come near. At my feet were Hefty bags full of trash and a thin box. Inside the box was a Ouija board. I wanted to see the garbage men pick it up, throw it into the truck’s huge jaws. I wanted to be sure that board was wrecked and out of my life.
Three weeks earlier when I had bought it, I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to play around with it, to contact the spirit world with my friends. Thing is, when it worked – when the triangular piece that guides the user to different letters actually moved on its own – I freaked. There was no sinister message and no items flew around the room, but I felt something. Something dark. And the days that followed, every time I would look at the Ouija a sick sensation gurgled in my stomach. I knew I had to get rid of the thing I’d wanted so badly.
That experience sums up my relationship with the paranormal. I find it fascinating. Intriguing. But the second I get up close, fear takes over and I shut everything out. Yet here I am, writing novels with a paranormal edge.
The writing is fun. It’s the research that can be freaky.
Mostly, I read books and scour the internet. And I suppose I could stop there since what I write is fiction. But I’m drawn to the “real life paranormal” and want to experience it, despite myself. Sometimes I’m lucky and it just happens, like for Untethered; I left my body as a kid when falling down a flight of stairs. But sometimes, I have to seek it out.
My most recent research discovery? Channeling. It’s like mediumship, only with higher beings. The leader guides you through deeper and deeper meditation, inviting those she calls "spirit guides" to come to you. To communicate through you. To use your body and voice to speak so you can hear them. (Um, yeah. I’m still reeling from the fact I signed up for this. And voluntarily.)
Part of me had thought this workshop would be a bunch of bull – more smoke and mirrors than anything else. And another part of me was terrified that it wouldn’t be. That it would be all too real.
Well, it was real. But thanks to the leader, it wasn’t scary. Just…weird. Very weird.
At one point during the weekend, I let go of my fears for a minute and felt the energy around me change. A weight, like a blanket of electricity, settled over me and in me. My left side began to twitch uncontrollably and I sensed something nudging me from the inside out. My body felt warm and happy and…full. Just a little too full. Like I wasn’t the only one in there.
My fears swooped in again and I cut the experience off.
I opened my eyes, sucked in a breath and wished the presence away. It was enough to do the trick. I sat there instead, watching the others. Two of my friends started speaking in a way they wouldn’t normally. Their breathing changed. The pitch of their voice was different. So was their posture. Their facial expressions. They weren’t themselves. Literally.
Fifteen minutes later, we were all blinking at each other amazed at what had happened. Amazed and unsure. Because that’s the nature of the paranormal. It can be difficult to believe. It can be difficult to prove. But it’s also difficult to forget.
Right now I’m writing a novel that involves the devil. I’m sticking to books and internet for research on that subject. But I know for other books I’ll be trying out other things, with both fascination and trepidation. I’m open to learning about most anything.
Anything but the Ouija board.