This month’s topic is all about that other world. You know – the one we can’t get into normally. It may contain spirits, ghosts, demons and other ethereal beings – or it may not.
So much of what we do, suffer and experience in life is down to chance, that it’s easy to say, “My guardian angel was watching” or “There’s a demon on her shoulder.”
But no, I don’t believe in them. I do believe in the power of prayer, however, and there may very well be rational explanations for that. Having worked with people suffering the trials of addictions’ abuse, I’m a little familiar with cognitive behavioural therapy. What or how you think affects the results of your actions.
Have you ever gone into a cupboard to look for something really important just knowing you weren’t going to find it? And them gone back to that same cupboard two days later believing you must have put it in there? Result.
Does it sometimes occur to you that you probably had it in your hand, while you searched the cupboard the first time, and put it down as you turned away?
Prayer in Action
So, meaningful prayer may very well work along those lines. The depth and persistence of thinking through your problems may well lead to understanding, solutions you didn’t think of earlier and the ability to accept what you can’t change.
What, the topic asks, do I think when the other world’s beings appear in people’s stories?
Like anything else in literature, I enjoy if it’s well written. I particularly enjoy the farcical effects of mischievous ghosts. The television programme, Randall and Hopkirk, for example, was brilliant fun.
My own reading preferences aren’t towards the story where she can’t let him go in death and brings up his ghost. The most helpful remark I’ve read about the loss of a life’s love and partner was by a Scottish novelist who was also a journalist. She described a dream in which her husband appeared and found herself thinking “But, how will I explain him to my friends?” I think it marked the moment when she moved from backward pulling grief to forward moving hope.
Grief is horribly real and can last months, years even. I remember marking things that happened as suitable for re-telling to my mum and then realising she wasn’t there to tell, for a very long time after her death. So I do accept that it will alter the mind’s state and perceptions.
Robert Burns’s Tam O’ Shanter is a comic and dread-filled masterpiece. But it does rely on the volume of alcohol Tam had consumed. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is another masterpiece, but it also relies on mind-altering drugs.
And finally – Have I used ghouls and ghosts in my own stories?
Yes. I wrote a lovely little two-hander for the stage, called Clinical Know-How. Spoiler alert – one of the ladies is dead.
So – what do my blog friends make of this? Well, there will be as many opinions as there are names, below. I’m followed by Yorkshire woman, Helena Fairfax but you can move from her to any of the other authors below. Good Spook-hunting.
Anyone interested in licensing Clinical Know-How should leave an enquiry in the comments and I’ll get back to you
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Margaret Fieland http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Heather Haven http://www.heatherhavenstories.com
Bob Rich http://wp.me/p3Xihq-wU
Anne Stenhouse https://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Helena Fairfax http://helenafairfax.com/
Hollie Glover http://www.hollieglover.co.uk
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Skye Taylor http://www.Skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/
I have always been ambivalent about ghosts and spirits, but used to believe in them a lot more when I was younger. We used to have late evening story-telling sessions with my friends where we would scare one another to death with supposedly ‘true’ stories! It was great fun. One of my friends was from the Auvergne region in France – a very rural and in places inhospitable region – and the stories her grandmother told about ghostly happenings and sinister footsteps and whisperings in the night were chilling…I must confess that I do like to weave some of them in my stories!
That sort of story-telling sounds like good fun, Marie. thanks for dropping by. Anne
Well, you’ve explained the black hole I’ve discovered in my house, hiding all the objects I need to find. Enjoyed your post.
That’s good, Rhobin. thanks for another thought inducing topic. Anne
Anne, I like your logical approach to things. Belief does shape reality.
Hullo Bob, thanks for dropping by, Anne
My aunt told me a story years ago when I was still coming to terms with what I believed and didn’t. I had a cousin born about the same time I was, but due to a birth defect he was not expected to live beyond 6 or 7 months. But as a newborn, he seemed perfectly normal and he came home from the hospital to live the life any new baby lives. And one day when he was only a few weeks old, both my uncle and older cousin were out of the house and it was just my aunt and my baby cousin at home. He was sleeping in his crib and my aunt was working in the kitchen when she said she felt someone put their hands on her shoulders and say very clearly “go look at your baby.” She hurried into the nursery to find him not breathing. She picked him up and he began breathing again and lived for several more weeks. She was convinced that it was Jesus who told her to go check on her baby, but who knows – could have been Little Dickey’s guardian angel?
Oh Skye, these things are really weird, aren’t they. Anne
You would have gotten on well with me late faither. He was a realist to the max. But I told him that I had to disagree with him, once I’d had a few weird experiences. In fact, one of them involved a dream I had about him after he passed on. I’ll put a quick note about it up on my website. But it truly made me wonder…
Hullo Fiona, I’ll take a look later, Anne
Interesting post. And I love that after your explanation you have a ghost or spirit in your story.
Yes, it surprised me, too, but it was obvious once I got to that point. Anne
I enjoyed your though-provoking post, Anne, especially your mention of how we can go back to the same place and find things we could swear weren’t there the first time. The mind is such a mysterious thing. I hope future generations will have a much better understanding of it than we do. Great post.
Hullo Helena, thank you. Yes, the mind is amazingly mysterious. Anne