When Fiction Becomes Life ~ Schizandra Update

I continue to receive emails from enthusiastic readers of Schizandra and the Gates of Mu ~ readers wondering when I’ll release the next book in the series. The short answer is: I don’t know, but I’m leaning towards never. The longer answer follows:

In 2010, I alluded to a strange situation in which everything I started writing in Book 2 began to manifest almost instantly in my life. If a character developed a health issue, one or more new clients contacted me with that exact health issue within 24 hours. If I created a situation for tension and plot advancement, that situation (or an obvious derivative of it) appeared in my own life. Some “real” but faraway people on whom characters in Book 1 and Book 2 were loosely based suddenly blasted through the comfortable separation of years, re-inserting themselves firmly in my reality.

I had been participating in NaNoWriMo during November 2009, writing thousands of words per day for the first two weeks. By the beginning of week 3, the lines between fiction and life had blurred so much that I decided to regroup. I shelved the manuscript, but the synchronicity and reordering continued. Writing Book 2 opened Pandora’s Box. By February 2010, I found myself having filed for divorce and moved to Chicago. And there, the real adventures began …

Prior to moving to Chicago, I thought it was Book 2 that carried such strange power. Now, nearly three years later, I see that Book 1 has also manifested in major ways. When I first wrote Schizandra and the Gates of Mu, I knew little about many of the background topics. I researched, researched, researched for the book, but oddly enough, people who know me now and read the novel wonder if I wrote it as an autobiography. “Those characters are so you! And the crystals! Madison?!” Here’s the deal: when I wrote Book 1, I had never been to Madison and had no intentions of ever moving there. I had lived in Chicago and Sedona but had no intentions of relocating again to either of those places either. My divorce landed me, through a series of overwhelming synchronicities, not in Evanston, IL as I had planned, but in Hyde Park, Chicago where Schizandra lived with her now-deceased father. Nine months later, another series of undeniable synchronicities resulted in me moving to Madison –home of Schizandra’s eccentric spinster aunts, Rosemary and Lobelia.

In Book 2, I introduce Schizandra as having particularly good matchmaking abilities ~ perhaps the easiest of her gifts for society to accept. Schizandra and the Gates of Mu itself played a curiously persistent role in getting me together with David, who, coincidentally, had lived in Madison for many years and met me due to a tightly woven tapestry of synchronicities surrounding my living in Hyde Park. Even odder? Since he and I moved in as housemates and eventually got together, I learned that he has two spinster aunts, one tall and thin, like Rosemary, and one shorter and stockier, like Lobelia. Whereas my characters were reflexologists from Madison, David’s aunts are liberal nurses who use homeopathy! The last chapter I wrote in Book 2, before all the Pandora’s Box events occurred, has Schizandra encountering a bald giant in the desert. David shaves his head.

Then there’s the whole Shazzie connection. My (now) dear friend Shazzie of UK raw food fame, was relatively unknown to me at the time I began Schizandra. She and I became friends largely because of events surrounding the writing and releasing of Schizandra. The events themselves are far too strange to share, but suffice to say, Shazzie/Schizandra matchmakes friends as well. 🙂

No telling of Schizandra synchroncities would be complete without mentioning portal doors. Yes, Book 2’s outline has Schizandra painting portal doors at her grandmother’s house in Sedona. As soon as I shelved the manuscript in late 2009, the first of my doors appeared. I painted them into portals, and then, when I moved to Chicago, doors continued to find me. My friends Wendy and Matthew found door number 3, and then I learned from my apartment’s maintenance man that my bedroom was directly under The Motherload of Doors. Not knowing why, the building’s owner had ordered management (years prior) to save the doors. My maintenance guy immediately recognized my portals as the mysterious reason for saving them when everything else in the attic got thrown away.

In retrospect, I love how life reordered itself at the stroke of a keyboard. Some things took longer to undo and redo, but I find myself incomprehensibly happier, more grounded and delighted in life than when I began Book 2. (Or Book 1, for that matter!) I find myself surrounded by people I love in a community I love, living in a magical home filled with portal doors, crystals, Rune-coded paintings, Tarot cards and faeries. I have all but completely extricated myself from any undesired tangles, and I love my life’s trajectory. I love my life!

Because I love this life, and due to the obvious (to me and others) interconnections between this life and the Schizandra series, I feel extremely reluctant to tip over the chess board and begin anew. After “summoning” past ghosts of characters into flesh and blood, it took quite a lot of effort to re-extricate myself from people I had left behind. Given the now-recognized correspondence between people I didn’t know at the time of writing but do now know and love, I also feel cautious about putting those characters through the conflicts and challenges necessary to move a plot forward. What if the fictional health crises and dangers bleed through into my loved ones’ lives? I know it sounds nuts, but the instant manifestations of Book 2 were pretty freaky to all involved.

Writing Book 1 took a massive toll on my body, mind and spirit. It felt like an Initiation, complete with a descent into the Underworld, relinquishing all my old life, near death encounters, and fighting through the Shadows. I love the results, but having reached a happy still-point on the other side, I find myself wanting to leave all the pieces and people in their place, free to live and love without my fictional influence and orchestration.

Will I write another novel? Probably. I feel one percolating now, and I’m excited about its possibilities. Will I write another Schizandra novel? Probably not. I don’t like to say “never,” because “never” usually means “I will.” Would all fiction bleed through like Schizandra and her crew do? Maybe so. That’s why any fiction I write will include those things I most want to experience, in places I’d love to go, with characters who aren’t attached in any way to people from the past whom I may not wish to summon. I know I’m not the only one who experiences such things (1111 words right then!). Ponder “The Neverending Story,” Bruce Lipton’s “Biology of Belief” or Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle: we live in a highly dynamic, interactive world in which instant manifestation from thought can and does occur. With creation comes responsibility. May we all love and create well … honoring those times when we feel “enough is enough” and building new paradigms as Love and Life inspire us.

Peace!

11 responses to this post.

  1. 🙂 it’s been a wild ride indeed. i always remember the words from this saturday morning kid special that had something in the title about “Simon.” and the song used to go, “Now you know my name is Simon, and the things I draw come true….” etc. that’s the only part i remember vividly. take some potent faeries channeling creative gifts and poof!

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  2. Yes, indeed-y … and you’ve witnessed and in some cases been party to it! xoxo

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  3. yeppers! and couldn’t think of a better partner to share in it with 🙂 xoox

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  4. xoxo! Love you…crazy, amazing times. 🙂

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  5. Posted by Ann Magoon on December 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I have to say I entirely believe you! The same things have been happening in my life. A thought will go through my head, I not thinking much about it, go on to something else and a couple of days later, there it is. For example: I was just thinking how long the last repairs on my electric fireplace were lasting and was thankful that it was still working well, as I had had it repaired twice not too long after I had bought it. Yesterday, my son noticed the flame was frozen and it wasn’t acting like it should. Ah, the flame is the whole point of having the thing to begin with.

    This phenomenon started about 6-8 months ago, then stopped and now I see it’s starting again. I’ll have to really watch what I’m thinking! Happy New Year, by the way!

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  6. Thanks and Happy New Year to you, too!

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  7. Posted by Cheryl on December 30, 2012 at 6:43 am

    You never cease to amaze me Laura. Wow. XO

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  8. LOL and xo, Cheryl!

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  9. I sense a whole new professional avenue opening up for you, Laura: writing story/books on commission, to manifest your readers’ dreams… (Only half-kidding! For of course, we all write our own books. Yours just have that extra dose of manifestation mojo.) Much love to you at the end of 2012, and into the future… xx

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  10. Thanks, Diana. Much love and a Happy Manifesting 2013 to you! xxx

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  11. […] doors, but any large canvas will do, especially since I already have a portal purpose for this one. Unlike novel writing, for me, painting expresses the freest opportunity to decide what I would most love to bring into […]

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