Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
Just before COVID-19 hit the U.S. hard, I wrote/published a novel for intellectual orphans like me—the people who went to work one day and discovered some of their warm-hearted friends and neighbors and even family members seemed to have succumbed to body snatchers. (Remember the film THE BODY SNATCHERS—a couple versions—in which people would fall asleep and their bodies would be taken over by cold-blooded aliens who had previously been pods?) The intellectual orphans had been accustomed to discussing current events from many different viewpoints. When they said they loved America, they meant they loved a diverse community, fresh ideas supported by free speech, and compassionate democracy. But seemingly overnight, the orphans felt like they had to speak softly. Suddenly there were humanitarian subjects they were forbidden to address or they would be attacked. Blatant lies shouted down facts. Violence and hatred burst like landmines around them. (Also like landmines, both had been there all along—most visible to victims, as we have recently witnessed.)
I was among the extremely disoriented. Had I fallen asleep and been transported to an alternative universe? Had the workings of American brains been compromised by some pollutant we didn’t recognize? (This question inspired my book! I used both the warnings of a respected holy man and the findings of current science to suggest answers.) Even today, the world I love feels fragile, under constant barrage by people who have decided to embrace fascism out of their fear of losing control. I’m hesitant to promote my novel that was never formally introduced—COVID-19 precautions making book signings impossible. I think of Indiana Jones in the snake pit. I remind people I write novels—fiction—not doctrine, but even my own beloved birth family avoids deep conversation with me as though I’m a contaminant more lethal than viruses. I promote unblinking independent thought, so I suppose they’re right. One of my professors used to say he wanted to rattle our cages. I think that’s a worthwhile goal. As I often say, like plants, we’re either growing or withering. Successful author Dean Koontz wrote me his career was a fight every inch of the way.
I enjoy an unpredictable, challenging roller coaster read. My novel THEY’RE IN YOUR MIND (by Susan Adair Harris) wasn’t meant to preach anything—except maybe the power of love. I wanted it to be exciting as it reflects the turmoil of our age. Within its pages, a collection of characters are thrown together by threatening situations (familiar in 2019) that force them to re-evaluate themselves—beginning with a raging wildfire. Readers have told me they were deeply touched as they recognized some of their own emotional experiences and biases in the reactions of individual characters, but each was a unique perception. No two readers read the same book.
An overseas friend had this to say: “I loved your book! I have just sat here and read until I finished! You have great courage in addressing current issues. Susan takes people from diverse backgrounds, paints beautiful character portraits, then synchronicity draws them together to handle unusual and testing circumstances. Challenging their existing belief systems and prejudices, facing circumstances that many of us don’t want to know about, they courageously embrace new persuasions as they struggle towards the light to grow into greater, conscious human beings. As Tutu says, ‘You can’t just talk to make change; you gotta do something.’”
~Heather Carey, Reiki Master—Teacher and practitioner; Latrobe, Tasmania, Australia
(THEY’RE IN YOUR MIND is available online from Kindle and in print from Amazon.com—now at a SPECIAL DISCOUNT!)