MY NOVEL–
READING THE SIGNS: A PARANORMAL LOVE STORY

Ted Jones, campus chaplain and English Professor in downtown Denver, doesn’t need more problems. His life has been full of them. More than a few of the clergy seem to think of the church as a sex club, and those who administer the English Department are vipers. Yet, at the beseeching of the spirit of an old woman who appears floating near the stained glass window of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Ted soon becomes involved with Sharon, the deceased woman’s grown granddaughter.

Damaged though she is, Sharon responds, trying to return the steadfast love that Ted offers. After her grandmother died, she lost that capacity in herself and couldn’t find it in any of the people who professed to love her.

Although Sharon and Ted’s trials are multiple, their love forms the crux of the novel. Such love reaches beyond time and space as we normally conceive them, to involve intersecting planes of existence that touch both past and future.

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While fiction, and centrally a love story, it is essentially true. My experiences teaching at CU Denver and the Episcopal Cathedral stick very close to the facts.

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Please help me launch this project by preordering copies on my website, using PayPal or another method (personal check, MO).  Paypal buttons will soon be up on the Writing Page.

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The novel ends with a vision of meeting Sharon on the fields of eternity:

For a moment, my earthly sight blurred with tears, I glimpsed Sharon and me. We stood on fields of gold, there, where chronos meets kairos, and earthly time rolls into eternity.

I think this will be the cover.

We need to beware of pat answers and over generalizations that do more harm than good.
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This story by Tina Plantamura first appeared at ravishly.com, an alternative news+culture women’s website

My oldest son just graduated high school and is now embarking on the next leg of his journey that will bring him closer to real life. I have come to realize that there are so many things that I wish I could un-tell him.

I hope he knows that all of these empowering, yet misleading little statements that I (or others with the best intentions in mind) might have spoken into his nearly grown-up ears are not exactly true…

Now, a new small study suggests that all it takes is one night of sleep loss to alter our biological clock genes — and this impact may hold clues to the complex link between sleep and certain diseases. After all, lack of sleep has been linked to negative effects on our metabolism and even an increased risk of obesity and diabetes.

More.

Parents are busier than ever, juggling multiple responsibilities at home and work, all the while doing their best to raise a healthy, happy child. Sometimes a child’s favorite TV show can be the only time to catch a breath. And in a world of smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs, minimizing screen time has gotten harder than ever. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers shouldn’t be exposed to any screen time before the age of 2, and kids age 2 and up should only watch 1 to 2 hours of age-appropriate TV per day. Now, new research adds evidence of the potential downsides of too much TV exposure at a young age, showing that that too much TV time at a young age can have a detrimental impact on kids’ social development.

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That’s the premise of a recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that suggests sugary and starchy foods could contributing to depression. Previous long-term studies have shown that people who eat pastries, sugary drinks and other refined carbohydrates have a higher risk of depression, but didn’t determine what is it, exactly, about those foods that ties them to depression risk.

More.

Snail and caterpillar
July 12th, 2015

“We can learn a lot from a snail and a caterpillar. We might even make the world a cooler place while we’re at it.”

A wonderful little cartoon that illustrates the differences among creatures and how we need to recognize and respect them. (This goes for humans as well.)

More.

“The dogs’ avoidance of someone who behaved negatively to the owner suggests that social eavesdropping may be shared with a nonprimate species,” Fujita said in the email. “It is because dogs are usually extremely attentive to what their owners are doing.”

The study is to be published in an upcoming issue of in the journal Animal Behaviour.

More on this fascinating study.

Olson (a magician) explained that we often feel like we’re not being manipulated even when our choices are in fact being influenced by outside forces.

“The main conclusion that we can draw from this research… is that this feeling of a free choice might be more of a feeling that we have and not something that is directly related to the influences on the decision itself,” Olson said.

We’re likely to fall prey to such influences in many other real-world situations.

For example, you probably think you choose a dish at a restaurant based solely on your personal preference — but your decision may be also influenced by the menu’s layout. Research has shown that you’re most likely to choose either the first or the last item on the menu because those are the ones that immediately attract your attention, although you’ll likely justify the decision by claiming you picked the meal you were craving most.

More.

Lindsay Holmes writes:

Let’s be honest: relationships are complex, no matter what kind of personality you have. And some truths are universal, like fighting is never fun. Romantic gestures are usually appreciated. Communication is definitely valued. Compromise isn’t always easy.

But a lot of these nuances are only heightened if you’re of a more sensitive nature. Below are nine things to keep in mind if you’re in a relationship with a highly sensitive person.

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Kat Gal WRITES:

Chronic pain is something I’ve lived for years, chronic headaches, chronic hip pains and related chronic back pain, chronic neck aches and chronic muscle pain… not to mention the emotional pain that came with it.

I’ve healed from my non-stop, 24/7 chronic headaches and running happily without chronic hip pains again.

I am grateful for every pain-free moment. I am happy for my healing. I also don’t take it for granted.

I understand others who are struggling with chronic pain right now. While I believe healing is possible for just about any condition, I know that in some cases it can take decades of trial and error and for some healing may not arrive this lifetime. The hope is out there. Healing is a journey. Personal and spiritual growth happens even if the pain doesn’t disappear just yet.

Still, living with chronic pain is difficult. I felt misunderstood, lost and lonely — often hopeless. During my many years with chronic pain I’ve heard many comments from friends, family and strangers. While I know most of these comments came with good intentions from kindness, the truth is many of these comments were hurtful, annoying, unhelpful and even inappropriate.

More.

Pamela Madsen writes:

As a relationship and sex coach, I watch men blow relationships even when they actually love and desire their woman.

How can we really want to be in relationship and yet make a mess of it?

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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