Sunday, January 26, 2020

Ghost Hunters Anthology 09

Ghost Hunters Anthology 09 - Brower, Marpel, Kruze“Well, this is curious – I’ve only got papers that say to take one of you.”

My two latest deaths stood in front of me.

“The other is supposed to keep on living. But here you both are.”

Neither spoke to volunteer which was which.

“So, you both intend to keep on living, in spite of my orders to take one of you.”

Silence signaled assent.

“You know that no one has ever cheated Death. Just because you have some spirit-guides looking out for you doesn’t mean I won’t end up with one – or even both of you.”

I tapped a long, bony finger.

“Or maybe all four of you, just to make it completely fair. Because the more those two gals are working to keep you both alive, the more they are just making a bargain with me.”

The two men standing there looked at each other.

Then turned to me and shrugged. At the same time, like they’d rehearsed it.

“Alrighty, then. The Game is on. Let’s see who can beat Death and keep living. It’s like always – all or nothing.

“And I never lose…”

This anthology contains:

– The Healers Chronicles: Birthdays – 01 by S. H. Marpel
– The Healers Chronicles: Origins – 02 by S. H. Marpel
– Lazurai Homecoming by J. R. Kruze, S. H. Marpel
– When Death Lives Twice by S. H. Marpel


JUDE AND I GOT RUSHED in here again last night.

Because both our boys slipped under again. Flat-lining like before.

Rochelle kept telling us we two sisters were doing great at nursing them, that there was nothing anyone else could do any better. But now each of us had only one duty right now – and that was to save the guy we were “assigned” to.

We knew Rochelle had never seen anything like this before. Sure, she’d had people just give up and die on her. Especially when she couldn’t get to them in time. Even after she’d brought them back to life once or twice or more.

But under the care of a Lazurai healer, body death is extremely rare.

Sure, they both had serious wounds when they came in. But those had all been patched. And there were only faint lines now where the jagged cuts had been repaired. In time, there wouldn’t even be any scars to show. The surgery here was expert.

Yet this was the third time both of us had to come in and stop the slide.

And once we did, it left us both exhausted. Of course, it didn’t help that we were either sleeping on hallway couches or a nearby wheeled gurney just to be on call.

At least we had plenty of towels around to sob into when it got to be too much.

– – – –

MY SISTER AND I WERE spirit-guides, not used to being healers.

We’d seen it done, been around to help, even held oozing pads on bloody wounds with our own hands while rushing the injured to an operating room.

This was different. Much.

Rochelle explained it as simply as she could. I was somehow connected to John on an intimate basis, and Jude was connected to Bernie. And just as Jude and I were both connected to each other, there was some connection between Bernie and John as well.

So it wasn’t just any healer that could come in and “fix” what was wrong. Not with our two boys.

Rochelle had talked to Ben and he’d been researching everything he could find on this area – everything the Library and his network could find.

But nothing more, really, than the way she had explained it.

And I felt it somewhere inside me as well. I’d give my eternal life to save John. Just as Jude would for Bernie – even though she’d known him less than a day before he wound up here near-death.

The one thing we knew about Bernie is his background as a shifter. Most of the time, he’d prefer being a border collie. And that breed was known to not just defend but care for their charge as if they were one with them.

And John would give anything to anyone to help them solve their life-problem.

The math on that was pretty clear: we four were in on this to the end. Either alive or dead, but preferably all alive.

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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Tao Te Ching – Classic by Lao-zi

Tao Te Ching by Lao-zi - Classic Self-ImprovementHow to Find Your Own Way in a Chaotic and Confusing World

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” So goes an ancient saying. And it is true about this classic, in all its versions.

Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is the classic manual on the art of living, and one of the wonders of the world. In eighty-one brief chapters, the Tao Te Ching looks at the basic predicament of being alive and gives advice that imparts balance and perspective, a serene and generous spirit.

This book is about wisdom in action. It teaches how to work for the good with the effortless skill that comes from being in accord with the Tao (the basic principle of the universe) and applies equally to good government and sexual love; to child rearing, business, and ecology.

Next to the Bible, the most translated book in the world is the Tao Te Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of the Way. Written approximately 2,500 years ago by the legendary sage Lao Tzu, this classic continues to inspire readers today.

Chinese Buddhism, which when first introduced into China was largely interpreted through the use of Daoist words and concepts. Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and even gardeners, have used this book as a source of inspiration. Its influence has also spread widely outside East Asia, and is among the most translated works in world literature.

Finding Your Path As You Read

You may find as you read that you discover wisdom like a raw jewel which you shape into a glittering diamond. That is the brilliance of the book.

The Tao is wise, paradoxical, counter-intuitive, puzzling, fascinating, mysterious, inspiring, amazing and true. These concepts bypass ego-based thinking, and the idea of doing things by not striving is allowing a higher more authentic way of thinking to inform your being and your action.

Like any great mystery, the Tao is there to be experienced and not necessarily fully understood on first reading.

The Tao is not about being right, it’s about who and what we are. The Tao is a spiritual philosophy meant to be integrated into daily life, not a quest for some clinical academic pontification of words and ideas.

The Tao is a living breathing way of awareness and conduct and it cannot be contained in even the most brilliant of translations. If a piece of art, writing or performance touches you to the core of your being then all criticism is really obsolete.

How to Translate a Timeless Classic

This edition was translated by The English sinologist James Legge in 1885.

To translate a work that has been translated so many times before–and so well–may seem almost an act of hubris. But as the English language continues to evolve, it is the duty of the translator to attempt to restate a classic for their generation, in a language that they can best understand.

Many have missed the point to criticize the work on the pros and cons of it’s translation. The merit of the work is in the effectiveness of bringing a person to the Way in the simplest strokes. The translator’s gift is to bring the work alive in a way that touches the emotions as well as the mind. Translators may inspire us because of their ability to reach us and bring us closer to our true nature.

In many translations the direct or closest literal translation does not meet the western individual where we can A) understand it and B) assimilate it into our daily lives.

Why You Should Read This Book (Again.)

You may ask yourself why it is that you’ve read this far down the page. You may have several copies of the Tao already.

But do you need another view of this classic to reveal meanings you may not have seen?

Again, perhaps this teacher appears because you are now ready for more lessons about your own Way.

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The Healers Chronicles – New Speculative Fiction by Kruze, Brower, Marpel

The Healers Chronicles - New Speculative Fiction by Kruze, Brower, MarpelWalking down the highway – barefoot, feverish, and in only a nightgown.

At least the storm had quit.

Now if I could get my chattering teeth to stop, it would help – maybe.

Up ahead, I see some stopped cars. Some have their lights on. Maybe I can get help. Too bad I can’t travel any faster the way I am.

That’s odd. Nobody in them. Lights on, but no one at home.

Except for a crying baby. And no one answers my calls either.

No, I can’t leave her alone. At least there’s a shawl they left with her and her blankets.

So she and I are on the road again. At least she quieted down. Just ahead is the next town, which is only a couple of painful miles ahead.

Me and the baby have something else in common besides my barefoot walking and feeling alone…

None of us remember what happened to get us here.

This anthology contains:

– The Healers Chronicles: Birthdays – 01 by S. H. Marpel
– The Healers Chronicles: Origins
– Lazurai Homecoming by J. R. Kruze, S. H. Marpel
– The Lazurai by J. R. Kruze
– Ham & Chaz by C. C. Brower, J. R. Kruze
– The Lazurai Returns by J. R. Kruze, C. C. Brower
– The Healers Chronicles: Miracles by S. H. Marpel


I woke up not remembering much of how I got here, where I was, or who I used to be.

There were two babies, one on each side of me, who were sleeping soundly. All of us in a big bed that was soft and warm.

My hair and white muslin nightgown were drenched. Like I’d been out in the rain with them. Even soaked the sheets a bit.

But the babies were both dry.

I could hardly move from where I was, since the top sheet and quilted patchwork comforter had been tucked in around all of us so tight.

A little work at loosening these from under the babies allowed me to carefully scoot up a bit to more of a lounging position. The extra pillows helped me not have to go all the way to vertical and wake up those cherub-faced infants on each side of me.

At least I could take in the room.

Being alive, at least, was a plus.

If I woke up without any memories, I at least was in good company. These two had none or few yet themselves.

Then I heard steps come up the hallway. I’d soon find which door led out. But the question of who was coming in made my heart race a bit…

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