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MYSTICAL MUSINGS

Rebecca E. Neely, Author ~ Romance. Paranormal. Suspense.

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My Top Ten Powerful Posts This Year

img_1875Today, I’m celebrating what I consider the TOP TEN powerful posts on my MYSTICAL MUSINGS blog in 2016. I met and interviewed some fascinating people this year, who graciously allowed me to ask all kinds of questions about their passions and expertise, and I came away from the experiences a more educated, enlightened and learned person. Plus, I had a blast! In other posts, I connected and explored memories and passions of my own. As an author, a writer, a storyteller and a blogger, It’s always an adventure sharing what I’ve learned and discovered with readers, and hearing your comments and feedback. It’s a journey that I want to be on, and I look forward to another great year. Thanks so much for joining me!

What powerful posts have you written, or read this year?

Here’s looking at you! Happy holidays, and Happy New Year!

If you’ve read my posts before, you know I cover a wide range of topics, from tattoo artists to paranormal activity.  Here’s a few of my favorites from this year:

Storytellers and Tattoos: For the Love of Art

This is the Reason We Connect with Tribal Tattoos

Goodwill Hunting – The White-Tailed Deer, That Is

This is Why They’re Fascinated by Fossils (and more)

Ghost or No Ghost? Spotlight on Steel Town Paranormal

Soulful Silver & Why I Love It

Mystical Movies: Why The Magic Isn’t Only in the Making

If You Believe It, You’ll See It: Celebrating Abundance

Empowered and Encouraged: Visitation Dreams with my Father

 50 Shades of Green – Healing Crystals, That Is

Rebecca E. Neely is an author of romance, the paranormal and suspenseful kind. 🙂 Visit www.rebeccaneely.com

Join Rebecca’s mailing list & monthly, be entered to win a FREE e-book ! You’ll also receive deleted scenes & other cool stuff 🙂

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Celebrating THE WATCHER, Book 2 in the Crossing Realms Series

the-watcher-1-1_830x1250I’m celebrating the release of THE WATCHER, Book 2 in the Crossing Realms paranormal romance series this week, and I’m thrilled to finally be sharing Dev and Meda’s story.

Today, I’m talking about writing, and sharing inside info about hero and heroine Dev and Meda.

Here are some questions I’m asked frequently:

What was it like writing THE WATCHER? Writing THE WATCHER was the most challenging story I’ve written to date. It’s the longest story I’ve ever written. As well, Crossing Realms is my first series, and writing the second book in a series is a challenge all its own. I wanted and needed to continue the quest begun in Book 1, as well as build the foundations for Book 3, AND weave Dev and Meda’s tale. I wouldn’t consider the books stand alones; you’ll enjoy the series more if you start from the beginning.

Why did you pick New York City as Meda’s initial locale? I love New York City. I’ve visited Manhattan several times, and I love the vibe of the city, the energy, the architecture, the character. It’s teeming with life, and even though there’s so much happening there, as I put it in the story, Meda is able to hide in plain sight. Plus, Dev needed a little quest to get him and his Harley going. 🙂

Where did the inspiration for Tan come from? Ah, Tan. I walk almost every day around town, and there’s a dear old lady who likes to sit on her porch who I pass often. She’d call to me as I went by, and we’ve become friends. Her dog was named Tan. 🙂 He was a mutt, really old, and his back legs would often give out from under him if he tried to stand too long. A total sweetheart! She loved him, and he loved her. I always adored the name Tan. It’s so simple and sweet. I decided I would use his name a long time ago, and I chose a German Shepherd because I’ve always wanted one, and because he could be a protector of Meda.

What’s up with Dev? On the surface, Dev Geary seems pretty simple, pretty straight forward. As he puts it, “He’ll get in, rock his Compulsion, and get out. Boom. Done.” Famous last words, right? Indeed – he’s anything but simple. Guilt, darkness and a need for revenge haunt him, and complicate his life and his relationships. However, there might just be a woman who’s ready to take him on…

Find out more in THE WATCHER, Book 2 in the Crossing Realms paranormal romance series, out now on Amazon!

Missed THE KEEPER, Book 1? It’s on sale for 99 cents until December 3rd!

Join my mailing list & MONTHLY, be entered to win a FREE ebook! You’ll also receive EXCLUSIVE sneak peeks, offers & sale info!

Put some paranormal in your life. Go on. I dare you.

Cover Reveal for THE WATCHER, Crossing Realms Series Book 2

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Hello! Thrilled to share the cover with you for THE WATCHER, the second book in the Crossing Realms paranormal romance series! And even more excited to share Dev and Meda’s story with you on November 30th!

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The battle in the Steel City continues…

Look for THE WATCHER, coming November 30th from Soul Mate Publishing! Pre-order available soon ~ stay tuned!

COOL CONTESTS  ALL MONTH LONG – KEEP SCROLLING!

Hell bent on avenging his own death, former Keeper Dev Geary eagerly accepts when the Watchers task him with returning to the human realm to discover the secret for rendering Similitude—the very thing that killed him.

But to succeed in the seven days he’s been granted, he’ll need to work with the one human who wants nothing to do with him, and who he can’t help falling for—Meda Gabriel, a cagey, street smart bar owner with a unique skill set, and maybe, the key to his mission.

With the clock ticking and the Betrayers barely a step behind, can Dev overcome his demons and find the answers the clan so desperately needs, with Meda at his side? Can love find a way, or will he be forced to abandon her and the clan, leaving them all to face imminent destruction?


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ALL KINDS OF COOL THINGS HAPPENING THIS MONTH!

  1. ALL NOVEMBER LONGI’m counting down to the release of THE WATCHER, and kicking it off with a contest at Fresh FictionGrand prize is a Kindle Fire! I’ll also be giving away books 🙂 Click here to enter!
  2. NOVEMBER 7th – Catch up with me at Coffee Time Romance’s Book Brew with the Coffee Crew! I’ll be posting throughout the day, sharing sneak peeks, excerpts, the inspiration for the Crossing Realms series, and, you guessed it, giving away more books! Stop by, chat and enter to win!
  3. WEEK OF NOVEMBER 14th – Catch up with me during the ROMANCE WRITERS GONE WILD event on Facebook. A week long romance reader’s paradise! Join over 100 romance writers for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways, with a specific day dedicated to your favorite romance genres, and all without leaving the comfort of your home. And, you guessed it, I’ll be giving away even more books!

 Join my mailing list & MONTHLY, be entered to win a FREE ebook! You’ll also receive EXCLUSIVE sneak peeks, offers & sale info!

Put some paranormal in your life. Go on. I dare you.

Spooktacular Halloween Blog Hop!

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Welcome to this stop on the Spooktacular Halloween Blog Hop!

Fabulous Authors, Prizes  & Fun!

The Prize for this Stop ~ Join my mailing list and be entered to win a Kindle copy of THE KEEPER, Crossing Realms paranormal romance series, Book 1

THE WATCHER, Crossing Realms Series Book 2 coming November 30th!
The battle in the Steel City continues…

Crossing Realms SeriesSacrifice or salvation?
A chosen psychic few may be both. As the city’s Keepers battle Betrayers to save the human race, all’s not fair in love and war.

Enter to win by October 31st!
TRICK OR TREAT HERE NEXT: Lisa Kulow ~ https://www.facebook.com/lisakulowauthor/
For a List of all Stops on the Hop & Kindle Fire Giveawayhttp://bit.ly/2dQ8uFL
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GIVEAWAY IS OPEN UNTIL MIDNIGHT OCTOBER 31ST
FB IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS WONDERFUL TREAT!

This is Why They’re Fascinated by Fossils (and more)

Why are people fascinated by rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils? Why do they love them, collect them, seek them out?

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On a personal level, I’ve admired these natural wonders all my life. As a storyteller, a fictional ‘Vitality stone’ plays a huge role in my Crossing Realms paranormal romance series. For both reasons, I sought to deepen my understanding when I recently spoke with Leslie Metarko, co-owner with her husband Tom, of the Appalachian Rock Shop and Jewelry Emporium in Harmony, Pennsylvania.

Both Leslie and Tom are degreed geologists with backgrounds in the oil and gas industry. Since 1996, when the couple purchased the shop, they’ve followed their passion and utilized their knowledge to transform the one time hobby shop into a premier destination.

“We wanted to do something different with their lives,” Leslie said of buying the shop. And so they have. Each year, they travel to mega events such as the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. There, they meet with people and families from all over the world who own the mines, and handpick their vast and assorted inventory.

Leslie and Tom’s passion for the business also extends to their customers. “I’m proud to say we’ve known many of them for years,” Leslie said. “Many are local, but others travel miles to visit the shop. We’ve even had people from as far away as Germany and Australia who are visiting the area stop in. I’m honored by that. Because for many of our customers a visit to the shop is not a quick one, we’ve gotten to know a lot of them very well.”

img_0050Appalachian Rock Shop customers are as varied as the stones the shop carries. “They’re young and old, casual enthusiasts, metaphysical practitioners, novice and serious collectors,” Leslie said. “While we’re very knowledgeable about the stones we carry, and love to share that knowledge, often, we also learn a lot from our customers. While they peruse the selection we have, they have questions, and stories to share. I love to hear about their experiences with the stones.”

I felt privileged to hear one such story, about Pat Mauro, a dear friend of both Leslie’s and Jolan Nalappa’s, long time shop employee and teacher. “Over fifty years ago, Pat had a life changing experience,” Jolan said. “She’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, but hadn’t told anyone. At the time, she was in her thirties. While at a picnic, she tells of a woman appearing behind her, wearing a flowy peasant dress. The woman said she had breast cancer, and to keep Sugulite with her always. Pat did as the woman said, and has been fine ever since. As well, she’s been on a mission of healing ever since, working as a chiropractor and reflexologist. She’s a beautiful woman in every way,” Jolan said. (Sugilite, also known as lavulite, is a relatively rare pink to purple cyclosilicate mineral.)

Jolan explained that many other customers have also shared with her and the shop staff about how stones have affected them in positive ways. “They’ve told us about how their health has improved, or how they’ve been able to ease their headaches through use of the stones. Some of them, I believe are really intuitively in touch with the energies of stones. And those who are have been very generous with their talents when they visit us.”

Leslie explained that people often ask how she’s able to be around the many different energies of the stones all day. “I feel blessed,” she said. “Other questions we hear frequently from customers include ‘Do you cut the stones?’, ‘Are these real?’ and questions of a healing nature, such as ‘what can I give someone for depression?’, as the healing nature of stones has become more mainstream.”

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To be sure, people are drawn to the rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils for many different reasons. “However, as we’ve talked with people over the years, we’ve found time and again the customers are drawn to the energies and beauty of the Earth they embody. As are we.” Leslie said. She explained that fossils are her favorite. “I’m visually drawn to them, and their organic, natural appeal.” Jolan agreed. “I have an intuitive connection with fossils,” she said.

“The very nature of our inventory is a tactile one,” Leslie explained. “People are instantly and intuitively drawn to pick up the rocks, touch them, and feel them in their hands. That’s all part of their beauty, and the joy and fascination they bring.”

mine-img_1416Of the many stones available, Jolan explained that “everyone loves quartz and amethyst.” Why? “It’s widely available in many forms, and ranges from cheap to expensive. Plus, its color, sparkle and shape are pretty. (Amethyst is a well-known mineral and gemstone, and is the purple variety of the mineral Quartz.)

Both Jo and Leslie love the merchandise they handle, but for different reasons. Jolan, who also handcrafts jewelry and teaches classes at the shop, told me how over a decade ago she was commissioned to make a ring in grey moonstone. “I’ve been in love with stones ever since.”

“From the start, I fell in love with the natural, geological process of how the different stones are created,” Leslie explained. “Both I and my staff have actually cried tears when people have bought certain rocks and fossils that we love so much, and couldn’t afford to buy. We’re attached to them, just like we’re attached to the customers.”

And perhaps that sentiment—one of connection—is the common thread throughout the many reasons why so many different people love rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils. As well, the stories these natural wonders tell, and the people who share those stories, are perhaps the biggest fascination of all.

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Left to right: Leslie Metarko and longtime employee, Jolan Nalappa

Visit the Appalachian Rock Shop and Jewelry Emporium at 508A Perry Highway in Harmony, PA, or visit them online at www.appalachianrockshop.com. The shop features a wide variety of rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils, as well as a wide selection of jewelry and jewelry making supplies, books, gifts, beads, educational materials.

Rebecca E. Neely is an author of romance, the paranormal and suspenseful kind. 🙂 Visit www.rebeccaneely.com

Join my mailing list & monthly, be entered to win a FREE e-book ! You’ll also receive deleted scenes & other cool stuff 🙂

Saturday, October 8th – Steel Town Paranormal is in the House!

autumn-218804__180On Saturday, October 8th, starting at 3PM, Steel Town Paranormal will proudly present “An Evening in Haunted Harmony II” at the Harmony Museum in Harmony, Pennsylvania.

The event will take place during the annual Harmony & Zelienople Sleepy Hollow Festival. Proceeds will benefit Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley.

A huge draw for the event is not only the guest speakers, but the guided ghost walks through town.

I also invite you to join me, where I’ll be signing books for the very first time and hanging with STP, all of their guests, and lots of other cool vendors!

The Psychic Vincent Sisters, featured speakers for the event, were recently featured on an episode of the show, Six Degrees of Murder, on the cable channel Investigation Discovery. The Vincent Sisters will be discussing their work and conducting a gallery reading.

Also speaking at the event is Patty Wilson, who has researched and written about the paranormal and the history of Pennsylvania for over twenty years. She is affectionately known throughout the Keystone State as The Ghost Lady of Pennsylvania.

Drake Bowan, a paranormal investigator with 14+ years of experience, will also speak at the event.

img_4077Learn more about a ‘day in the life’ of a paranormal investigator in my article, ‘Ghost or No Ghost? Spotlight on Steel Town Paranormal’ I interviewed founders Steel Town Paranormal’s Chris and Melanie Durish, and some of the things they told me gave me goosebumps!

For more information about Steel Town Paranormal, their events and investigations, visit their web
site
, and follow them on Facebook, and Twitter.

THE WATCHER, Book 2 in the Crossing Realms series  ~ coming this November ~ Join my mailing list & be entered to win FREE ebooks monthly , receive deleted scenes & other cool stuff 🙂

Mystical Movies: Why The Magic Isn’t Only in the Making

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What one of us doesn’t love the movies? They transport us, empower us, excite us. We laugh, we cry, we love, we hate. As an audience, we come together in that space of two hours plus to embrace the glamour and adventure, the heartbreak and triumph, as one. We’re moved, changed, and the stories become a part of us.

How about our favorite television shows? We don’t miss an episode, we love and hate the characters, happily become part of cult followings, eagerly await the start of new seasons, and freely share our opinions on social media.

Maybe you’ve even dreamed about being in the movies, or on television. And if you’re an author or a playwright, perhaps you’ve longed to see your story come to life on the silver screen—or maybe, Netflix.

Recently I had the opportunity to get the perspective from the other side of the lens—literally—when I spoke with seasoned camera assistant Wade Ferrari. He kindly shared his insights about the movie and television industry, as well as his wide variety of experiences.

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Wade Ferrari, working on set.

Specifically, Wade is a Union Camera Loader at ICG: International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600). In layman’s terms, that means he works in the camera department for productions across the film and television industry, acting as assistant camera, or ‘AC’, camera operator and cinematographer, to name a few.

“The movie and television industry is changing so quickly,” Wade explained. “I’d describe it more as the ‘entertainment industry’ versus the movie industry. It feels like there’s a giant crossover among the different mediums brought on by the huge role Social Media plays in society now. Movies aren’t necessarily the focus anymore. There’s web series, docu-series, or documentary series, reality television. Even commercials, Youtube and Snapchat are part of what I’d include in those ‘crossover’ mediums.”

Currently, he’s working on the set of popular television series Outsiders, which is currently filming it’s second consecutive season in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Per WGN America’s website, Outsiders is “…the story of the Farrells, a family clan living off the grid on a Kentucky mountaintop since before anyone can remember.”

On the set of Outsiders.
On the set of Outsiders.

“This is a big budget show,” Wade explained. “One of the perks? Breakfast is always catered,” he said with a laugh. “We watch the rehearsals so we can get a feel for what we need, but I don’t get to play any kind of creative role in deciding how to photograph the scene or light it. That comes from the Cinematographer.”

So, what’s a typical day like for Wade? The day before a shoot, he, along with everyone else on the crew, is emailed a call sheet, which details all of the vital information for the day. This comes from the assistant director, and includes a breakdown of scenes, lighting, special effects, wardrobe, actors and more.

“We use a 24 foot truck to house all of our cameras and gear,” Wade explained. “We have five camera carts which we use to move around the sets all day. Often, we’ll work between twelve and eighteen hours a day.” He laughed. “A lot of people have such a romanticized version of Hollywood. A lot of it is physically demanding blue collar work. Just a bunch of sweaty people getting it done.”

“Every day is busy, and we’re always operating at least two cameras. Sometimes it’ll be a three camera day, which is busy, and when it’s a four camera day, it gets crazy. We’ll have four primary cameras, and sometimes, two additional ‘stunt’ or ‘crash’ cameras, which are used in scenes with special effects, just in case anything goes wrong.”

Wade explained there’s myriad gear that goes along with the cameras, including lenses, filters, monitors, batteries, transmitters, and cabling. “But that’s nothing compared to the grip or electric departments. They both run with two trucks, and they do all kinds of cool things for us, including building cranes, giant flags to block and shape light, and building all kinds of structures to help everyone out.”

Wade has worked behind the scenes on both large and small scale productions, and for industry giants including the Discovery, Weather and Travel Channels on series including Booze Traveler, Natural Born Monsters and Shark Week. He’s also worked on a wide variety of movies, including The Fault in Our Stars, The Avengers, Won’t Back Down, and The Taking of Deborah Logan.

“On the set of Outsiders, there’s a crew of about 300 people. On smaller scale productions, like the docu-series I worked on, we had a crew of only six people.” For Wade, that means the opportunity to make more decisions, which he enjoys. When the producer for the series, Natural Born Monsters, was delayed on their journey from Thailand to South Africa because of a luggage snafu, Wade even had the opportunity to produce an episode, though he was uncredited for it.

What’s the most memorable project he’s worked on? “I’d have to say, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It was many firsts for me. My first job. The first time I’d traveled alone. The first time I’d been on any movie set. I got to live in Australia. It was the biggest budget for a movie being filmed in the world at that time. I’ll probably never work on something like that again.” On that film, Wade worked the entry-level position of production assistant for the camera department.Wade IMG_3999

Traveling is definitely something Wade enjoys about his job, and he does a lot of it! For the series Booze Traveler and Natural Born Monsters, he traveled for over four months for each, and visited seven different countries. What did he enjoy the most? “It gave me an opportunity to see the world, to experience so many different cultures. It humbles me, and I’m thankful for the life experience. I got to see things a lot of people don’t ever get to see.”

What did he enjoy the least? “On one documentary in particular, all of the crew went into the project knowing it was a dangerous concept for the show,” Wade explained. “We knew we’d be around dangerous animals in the field, up close and personal, conveying how they’d been affected by climate change over the centuries.” However, he explained there were times when poor communication and botched logistics led to frightening and dangerous situations. “There were a number of times I felt my life was in danger.”

Wade told me of one such instance. “We were shooting footage at a crocodile farm in Southcrocodile-66886__180 Africa. Originally, we were told the shoot would take place during the day. Instead, it was at night. Big difference in being able to see the crocs! Basically, there were six cages, which consisted of wooden posts and chicken wire, housing twelve crocodiles, between eight and sixteen feet long. We were shooting inside the cages, and it ended up with me sitting on top of a ladder, shining a spotlight over the area, so we could see them to avoid attack.”

And despite that? Wade laughed. “You know, it’s like ‘Type 3’ fun. You would have to pay me a lot more to do that again. All of the crew agreed they’d never do the show again. It was miserable going through it, but looking back on it, it was cool.”

Just as the movies are often filled with adventure, so are, it turns out, the everyday goings on of camera assistants. Wade told me about an experience he and his crew had while in South Africa working on Booze Traveler. “We were shooting what we call a ‘B roll’ day, meaning we go around shooting pretty stuff, like trees, leaves blowing in the wind, flowers. Filler stuff to include. We got the idea that we should hike to the top of this hill to get a sunset shot of the African landscape. So, me and two other camera operators did just that, while one guy stayed back with the van. We got some great footage. Then, we looked around and saw what we thought were little monkeys. Just a few at first. Then a few more. Cute, right? Wrong.” Wade laughed soberly. “There’s one rule in The Bush. Don’t go out at night. The sun was starting to go down, we were loaded down with equipment, and the guy who’d stayed at the van was calling us frantically on our walkie talkie, but the reception sucked. When he finally got a hold of us, he was screaming, ‘You have to get down here! They’re flanking you from both sides!’ Those monkeys? Were, in fact, baboons. There were probably 20 to 30 of them, about 40 to 50 feet away, arming themselves with rocks and branches. We hauled ass out of there. That,” Wade admits, “was just stupid on our part, and could’ve ended badly.”

Whew. Aside from harrowing misadventures with crocs and baboons, what does Wade enjoy most about the industry? “Every project is different,” he said. “I genuinely enjoy the collaboration and the unknown variables. I’m a small part of a great big cog. There’s so many different minds collaborating and working together to get the job done, to create something bigger.”

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Wade & crew on set.

“Also, I’ve made a lot of close friends, some of them I never would’ve expected. And that’s really special to me. I’ve heard friendships described in the industry are like being at summer camp. You might be with them for only a few months, but you’re working with them for sometimes 12 to 18 hours a day. That time you spend with them is unique and intense. You get really close with them, but at the same time, you might never see them again. But if you do, it’s like not a day has gone by.”

And perhaps this is where the real magic lies, in both the creative process and the enduring friendships—at least for people in the industry. For, as Wade explained, “I’ve heard it said, the longer you do this job, the more the magic fades. Now, when I watch a movie, I’m thinking more about how they accomplished the shot instead of the content of the scene.”

Of course, I had to ask, any cool stories to share about celebrities? Wade laughed. “Well, I do have a story, but I can’t tell it.” He thought for a minute. “Okay, I’ve got one,” he said. “I was working on the set of Won’t Back Down. I walked onto my camera truck, and there was this guy standing in the aisle, drinking a beer out of the mini fridge. I was like, who’s this dude, and why is he drinking my beer? Having a nice cold beer at the end of long shoot day is an absolute priority in my department. I asked him who he was, and he told me, ‘I’m Jake. My sister, Maggie, is working on this film and I just flew in for the weekend to see her.’ I was like, okay, ‘What department does she work in?’ He said, ‘No, she’s acting in it.’ Then it hit me. Maggie Gyllenhaal was starring in the movie. This was her brother. Jake Gyllenhaal. I felt so stupid. I never in a million years would have recognized him. I shook his hand and just told him how nice it was to meet him.”

Just another day at the office. <grin> No matter where Wade ends up, for as he says, “different opportunities come up all the time”, I’ve no doubt there’s plenty of magic left for this adventurous, brave and creative camera assistant—from any angle.

More about Wade: Wade grew up loving video games and computers. He graduated from Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Cinema and Photography. In addition to the many projects and productions Wade has worked on, he was a co-producer and cinematographer on a piece entitled Crosses. It’s a post-apocalyptic war film he shot on an almost zero dollar budget. He received the “Best Cinematography in Show” award for this piece at the Utica Film Festival in the city where the film was shot. For more information about Wade and his other projects and credits, visit his IMDB page, or follow him on Instagam, @WadeFerrari.


Rebecca E. Neely is an author of romance, the paranormal and suspenseful kind. 🙂 Visit www.rebeccaneely.com

Join my mailing list & monthly, be entered to win a FREE e-book ! You’ll also receive deleted scenes & other cool stuff 🙂

Fire: The Primal Element

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Ferdinand Foch
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Ferdinand Foch

Camping in the mountains, the nights are cool – a perfect time for a fire. Having spent the last few days doing just that, I was drawn to research and write about this powerful element. What is it about a fire that draws us, connects us, warms us? Both soothing and invigorating, it invites conversation and reflection. And man can’t do without it.

Fire is life giving: it warms our homes, allows us to cook our food and wards off the darkness.  barn-1364280__180As we all know, fire can also be destructive. Think about the sun, and lightning – two forms of fire. On a recent drive, I passed a house still smoldering from the flames that had consumed it – a sobering reminder of what fire can do if it goes unchecked. Too, the recent Arizona wildfires are a stark reminder of fire’s destructive nature. Controlling those aspects, along with utilizing its positive qualities, was vital to the development of civilization.

Fire has played a central role in the rituals and traditions of nearly every culture and religion on Earth. It is also very symbolic in other practices, such as astrology, Tarot readings and Wiccan beliefs.

According to information at thewhitegoddess.co.uk, “Fire is…contrary to water; it is a masculine element, its aspects being change, passion, creativity, motivation, will power, drive and sensuality. It is sexuality, both physical and spiritual. Fire is used in spells, rituals and candle magic for healing, purification, sex, breaking bad habits or destroying illness and disease. Fire is the element of authority and leadership.”

THOUGHTS: How does fire play a part in your daily life?

Rebecca E. Neely tells stories with a paranormal flair. In the first book in my new Crossing Realms series, The Keeper, elements converge in those realms in unusual ways…Available on Amazon now!

How Water is the Essential Miracle

"Water is the only drink for a wise man." Henry David Thoreau
“Water is the only drink for a wise man.” Henry David Thoreau

Odorless, colorless and tasteless, the element of water is without a doubt the most essential element of every aspect of our lives, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Water covers over 70% of the Earth. Our bodies are made up of over 60% water. Water gives and nourishes life. It can also take life, in the form of natural disasters and pollution. It’s in our food, our beverages and the products we use every day, we bathe in it, and we literally cannot go a single day without it. One only needs to recall the recent horrific events in Flint, Michigan to know that clean water is a gift for which we should give thanks every day.

fountain-197334__180Emotionally, water soothes and invigorates, calms and heals. As humans, we gravitate to the ocean, rivers, streams for swimming, fishing, boating and other recreational activities, or merely to sit, relax or read. In the way of ponds, pools, and fountains, we make water a focal part of our homes and our landscapes as a way of inviting tranquility, color and life. The sound of the ocean waves soothe. The warmth, the reflection, the feeling of floating in the water reconnects us to a fundamental place in our lives, perhaps of being in the womb, protected, nurtured.

Spiritually, water is indispensable in religious rituals the world over. Catholics bless themselves and their homes with holy water and employ it in the sacrament of baptism to cleanse original sin. Hindus regard the Ganges River in India as sacred, bathing in it to wash away sin. Christians use water to redeem, cleanse and rebirth the soul.

An unusual but visionary view about water and humanity’s deep connection with the element was put forth by Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese author and researcher who claimed that human consciousness had the ability to affect the molecular structure of water, and that it was a blueprint for our reality. In the article, ‘Exploring the Mystical Powers of Water’ by Kate Canan, it’s explained he also “believed water revealed hidden messages and reacted to human thoughts, music, emotions, prayers and written words.” “When I was a child, I learned from my mother that ‘water is a reflection of your soul,'” Emoto was quoted as saying.

LET ME HEAR FROM YOU: In what ways do you appreciate water in your life?

Rebecca E. Neely tells stories with a paranormal flair. In the first book in my new Crossing Realms series, The Keeper, elements converge in those realms in unusual ways…Available on Amazon now!

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