Category: Choices

Fend Off the Collapse of the Biospheres

This post doesn’t have to do with the Deathlist, My Piano Hands, OR Giving My Self to the Wind. NOPE. It’s about climate change. It just happens that Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, and she gets it.

We must all work together to do this thing… Keep our planet from imploding on itself because of our neglect. But “It’s Not Too Late!” YAY

Okay. That’s it. Be the change. Thanks, Margaret, for supporting our cause.

What Music Am I Playing Today?

My Piano Hands!

I play music as I pass through my day.

 Sometimes it’s harsh, and sometimes easy-breezy, hooray.

Each day it’s a choice to:

Curate the chords

Making majors from the minors.

Nurture each note and

Relaxing on the rests.

Dive into dissonance

Forcing fortes and frowns.

Invite

Pianissimos seeking peace,

Soft pedals pushed down.

Channel rock ‘n roll?

Relish Rachmaninoff!

  Meet Miranda or Mozart.

It’s a joy, it’s an art.

The best news is

The music I play.

Is totally mine,

To make my day my way.

 

 

Death Has a Therapist?

If you’re old enough, you remember Kermit the Frog’s song, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” If you’re not old enough, you might look it up, but suffice it to say, it’s not easy being Death! It’s almost as bad as being a dentist. No one wants to see Death or the dentist, and people are afraid of both of them when they shouldn’t be afraid of either one.

Death, who also likes to be called Coco for Coco Chanel, is very tired of being feared and of her job of collecting souls. Here’s the thing. She doesn’t CAUSE death. She only collects souls and helps smooth the path between living and the here-after.  PLUS — Death doesn’t send people to their eternities, Heaven or Hell, or wherever they are going to go. But people don’t get that about Death. They think she’s the one doing all the dirty work.

So, that’s why Death has a therapist named Nancy. And when Nancy isn’t available, Death uses retail therapy to get through the roughest days on the job.

She wonders if her therapist is real. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. But then she REALLY wonders if she needs therapy!

How about you? What do you do when you’re feeling blue? Bubble baths? Dancing? TV? What’s your secret escape? Let us know! 

Maybe check out the Deathlist book trailer to see more about Death and why she’s tired of her job. AND why she buys so many clothes. No, she won’t bite! If you read the book Deathlist, which is a satire (and pretty heavy on philosophy), you’ll get to meet a pretty goofy God, a bike riding Jesus, and a fashionista Holy Spirit.  They’re funny, although sometimes Death questions their idea of funny because they all drive her nuts!

Death plays golf with the Trinity when they’re talking to one another, that is.

 

 

The book asks: “WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW WHEN YOU’RE GOING TO DIE?” Because that’s what the Deathlist will tell you. Take the survey here.

Inspiration for the Novel “Deathlist”

I’m often asked, “What was the inspiration for this novel?”

Well, pretty often.  Um, so. Hmmm. Okay. I’m telling you now that you’ve asked. Thanks! 🙂

Here’s my ANSWER: Every time I saw someone on the news or heard of a person dying that seemed especially odd (like a child, for gosh sakes, or someone sitting on a bench eating a sandwich and a tree fell on them, maybe), I began to form a theory that everyone had a specified death date. Death was not by chance, happenstance, or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. God had it planned out. He kept track of it in a big database, which someone or other dubbed the Deathlist.

I still believe there might be one somewhere. How do you explain those little times when you were two seconds behind that huge traffic accident? Or, okay, on a morbid but equally mysterious level, why do some suicide attempts not work? Without bogging down my explanation with statistics, we can all report anecdotal evidence of failed suicides.

Then imagine that humans were somehow allowed to know what their death date was. That was the germ of the book.

Would you want to know when you’re going to die? 

I could know how much time I had to finish and publish the Deathlist. Write a how-to book about anything. (I’m not sure, but I buy a lot of those fix-me-please books, so I think I should write one!)

 

LOVE to have you take the survey and… oh yes, buy the book. 🙂

Golly! Is This the End?

When is death? I would like to tell my fanbase that I am able to answer this question for you. It’s THE question, and I AM DEATH. I should know.

On my side, when I pick up a soul, that usually means a person’s sentient mind and corporeal body are no longer connected. More importantly, the “spirit” has been separated, and that essence is what flows to its next existence. Your IS and your IS NOT co-exist in a non-existent in-betweenness that some people call Heaven, some call Hell, and some call Limbo.

Some people don’t call it anything. And some people say those places exist not after life but during life. They think that the really terrible stuff that happens to them is “Hell” and that the sweet, happy stuff is Heaven.

Let me tell you this: In Heaven, we have several beautiful golf courses, a free gym with lots of machines, jacuzzis, and lovely fluffy towels. And the best part is that you get to meet a lot of the people you’ve admired over your lifetime. Sorry to say that the people you admired most, however, may not have made it to Heaven. We do have standards. You know. Too many sins and you go to the other place.

I’m going to say this about death. It’s not the end. You can quote me. Because you won’t know if I’m telling the truth until, well, until, you’re gone. In the meantime, read DEATHLIST. You’ll get to hear more about Heaven, Hell, death, and me, Death, a.k.a. “Coco.”

What Is Satire, Exactly?

Here’s the thing. The novel Deathlist is a satire, in the same way, that George Orwell’s Animal Farm was a satire. Satire is “penetrating wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly. Orwell’s satire took the form of his effort, “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.” [Wikipedia] In the case of Deathlist, I tried to fuse life’s purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.

The Deathlist is God’s way to keep his mind free to do other things. Keeping track of everyone’s birth and death dates is a huge chore that not even God likes to do. When the Deathlist gets released to the people of Earth, humans have a chance at achieving their life’s purpose with more urgency if they know when they will die. That was my original idea for writing the book.wanted that urgency in my life.

The book started out with an entirely different main character, and he (a young man) was a mortal and found the Deathlist, and at the same time,  there was another older man and his wife who also knew the Deathlist existed. Alas, that story (I really liked it) was taken over by the vain and gorgeous Death, so much so that the entire book changed from science fiction/fantasy to visionary & metaphysical/satire.

In some ways, the final scenes of Deathlist mimic the end of Animal Farm in that our main character Death is betrayed by the Trinity. However, unlike Animal Farm, the novel Deathlist is not as depressing an ending. Death learns quite a bit about herself during the course of the action, while the reader will have some pretty important questions to ask of themselves as well. Most importantly, it’s this one:

“Would you want to know when you’re going to die?” 

You can answer the question in our survey here.

As a literary device or artistic form, an “allegory is a narrative or visual representation in which a character, place, or event can be interpreted to represent a hidden meaning with moral or political significance. Authors have used allegory throughout history in all forms of art to illustrate or convey complex ideas.” [Wikipedia]

The character Death conveys vanity, selfishness, and a host of other “deadly sins” (Did I say that? Yes, I guess I did.) But her character represents some aspects of hope, love, trust, and loyalty, too. SO. I hope you read Deathlist, take the survey, and let me know what you think of it!

Also, Deathlist is funny, but its messages are not. That’s kind of what satire is all about, I think.

Well, the Trinity is off playing golf while you and I are working. So let’s go back to work.

 

Writing About Good People

As a business writer, I write about accounting, taxes, marketing, sales, inventory, construction, real estate, and other interesting topics. Everyone once in a while I get to write about someone who is doing something to help people. In my article “Finding Freedom — Five Steps When Applying for a Green Card”  for National Business Post, I got to write about someone who helps people attain Legal Permanent Residency in the United States.

The man is Chris M. Ingram and he is an immigration attorney who is himself a Legal Permanent Resident in the United States. He’s spent the last 20 years of his life helping others to find the freedom to work and stay here. Other work visas are temporary. The Green Card, which grants legal permanent residency, is the “gold standard” in work visas, and the only higher level is citizenship. People born in the U.S. are lucky. Others, many of whom we see at our borders, are clamoring to be a part of the promised land. It reminds me how lucky we are.

I like writing about interest rates. Trust and probate homes. Cybersecurity and banking are fun topics. But a person like Chris M. Ingram is a real treat. His website, with pages and pages of videos, tutorials, and definitions shows his passion and desire to help his fellow immigrant.

Thanks, Chris!

 

 

 

Two Attorneys Walk Into a Bar

Lawyer One says to Lawyer Two, “You look awful. What’s up?”

“My dad had a massive stroke. He’s paralyzed from the neck down.”

“I’m so sorry!” They order drinks.”How old is he?”

“He’s 61.”

Silence.

“Whoa. What’s the prognostication?”

“We don’t know yet. Some doctors say he may never walk again. Others say he might be okay after physical therapy. It just depends.”

“On what?”

“They say some of it will be the extent of the damage to the brain. They’re not sure yet. But it’s also a lot about how hard he works to be well again.”

Lawyer One says, “He’s still young! Sixty-one is means he has a lot of good years ahead.”

“Or decades of hell.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Cut to the novel Deathlist, and its thematic question.  

Would You Want To Know When You’re Going To Die? 

Here’s the thing. If you knew you were going to live to be a hundred, would it give you a better motivation to work your fanny off to be able to walk again? OR would you want to be glad you’re still able to read with your eyes? What if you were an artist? Would you somehow learn to hold a paintbrush in your teeth? Paint with your nose? Or as a musician, wouldn’t you like to know how to compose music through a speaking- or singing-to-musical-notation device? ALSO, you could still listen to amazing books and take classes online or at a school!

We don’t know how long we will live, but I’ll tell you that a young man injured in a surfing accident was paralyzed from the neck down. What did he do? He went around to schools to tell teenagers that whatever happens to them, they can still make a life. He was funny and hip with long, blond surfer hair, and he had the kids (middle school, by the way — a tough age to impress) glued to their seats. He didn’t know how long he had to live, but he made himself useful by helping others. Either way, the Deathlist could tell you how long you had and help you make your decision. OR you can make your life how you want it either way.

I’d like to know.

Would You Want To Know When You’re Going To Die? 

Let us know. Go HERE to fill out the short survey. We’ll collect the answers and use yours anonymously (of course) to let people know what others think.

Oh… and the two lawyers? Maybe the dad will find a fulfilling life. From the neck up. We hope so.

P.S.  Here’s the Deathlist book trailer!

The Last Walk for A Man and His Best Friend

It was a sunny day. Beautiful. When George stepped out of the house with his dog that day, he didn’t know it was the last walk he’d ever take. The Amtrak train came out of nowhere.

He didn’t know, but I did.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m Death. And I pick up people’s souls. I don’t kill anyone. That’s another department. I just collect souls. This guy was a doozy because if the DEATHLIST were still active, he could have consulted it before he started out that day, and he may have decided not to “chance” the run across the tracks. Right? But it’s not. In Kathryn’s book, DEATHLIST, we know humans could see when they were going to die. But it’s gone now, so this person was taken quite by surprise. I know it because when I picked him up, he was, like, “Did that train hit me?” He looked at me very confused. “Are you the grim reaper? You’re beautiful!”

“Yes. I am she. And yes, thank you for the compliment. But I’m not that grim. At least I try not to be.”
“What about my dog?”

“I’m sorry. It was hit, too. I don’t know you, but you might see your dog again.”

He was going to ask me about it, but I knew I had to comfort him and tell him how lucky he was that I could be here with him. “Uh. Okay,” he said.

Just for the record for you animal lovers, the DEATHLIST was not for animals. Good question, though. The DEATHLIST was only for people. However, heaven lets good people have their animals with them. It’s one of the perks. I’m not sure this person walking their dog will have their pup with them. It’s not my job. See. As Death, I don’t make those calls. I just answer the call to pick up the person’s soul and then we turn them over to the Sin Amalgamators to tell them to check their credentials.

Our last-walk guy has gone on his way. And now, I have to take care of a few other people. The poor conductor who killed our dog walker was a basket case after the accident, but he didn’t die. His wife had a heart attack when she heard the news.  I had to collect her soul later that night because truth be told, the conductor had a teeny drinking problem, and was on his last chance to straighten out or lose his job. Of course, he did lose his job, and his wife was sure they’d lose their home and their beat-up car. She probably brought on her heart attack, at least she may have thought so. But God had her on his list for that day.

On a happier note. It turns out the dog got into heaven with his owner. They were both on God’s good list. I like happy endings. Don’t you?

HAVE A GREAT LIFE!

Signed,

Death

P.S. Would you want to know when you’re going to die?  Drop us a line here. We’ll be including the results in a post on social media near when Deathlist launches.