Excerpt from “Atlantis: The Isle of Horses” — My name in that life was Al-Ya. I was born on the Isle of Horses, the only island in Atlantis that afforded the freedom to have an unconventional and pleasurable childhood, given who I was, and the body I inhabited. I was many times blessed in that life, though few would have thought so. Born a woman, then as now not the dominant gender, but a good thing for me none-the-less. Born a man, I would have been expected to take my father’s place on the Council, a position that would have put me under too much scrutiny given my appearance.
Over the last four years since Bailey’s passing, I have pondered the depth and degree of my love for her. Is it because I was never a mother and therefore had an inordinate amount of love to devote to a dog? Or was it simply two souls connecting on an undefined level? Can a human being and an animal be “soul mates”? Some say that animals don’t have souls, and that they don’t go to heaven. That simply cannot be true. In my world, dogs — more than many humans — deserve a place in heaven. When you look into the eyes of a beloved pet, you can see their soul. Doesn’t a dog’s unconditional love and devotion feel like pure heaven itself? If dogs don’t go to heaven, then heaven is no place for me!
The true story of rafting the Upper Yangtze River from the source, at 17,400 feet elevation in the great Himalayan glaciers, to the city of Yibin. The dream was to be the first expedition to travel the 2,000 miles of uncharted water. But the death of a teammate, a so-called mutiny, and several all-Chinese rafting teams racing ahead of the expedition in an attempt to be first, turn a perfect trip into a voyage of drama, disaster and unexpected challenges.
FISHING WITH HYENAS is a love story between girlie girl Theresa and commercial fisherman Captain Bart, who convinces her to crew on a ninety-two-foot tuna boat plying the North Pacific Ocean. Trading cashmere and high heels for rain gear and rubber boots, she becomes a deckhand, confined for three months at a time, thousands of miles from anywhere. Bart’s tight group of fishermen—the Hyenas—become her extended family, but no one explains what appalling weather and hauling thousands of pounds of tuna would do to her hands. Or to her heart. Or to her mind.
“Guerrilla Priest” is based on the memoirs my parents wrote of their experiences in the Philippines in World War II. At the beginning of World War II, Al Griffiths was priest-in-charge of St. Paul’s Mission in Balbalasang, Kalinga, the Episcopal Church’s most isolated mission. With the support of Chief Puyao, Griffiths helped organize the first guerrilla resistance to the Japanese in northern Luzon. When the Japanese threatened to execute him, Griffiths and his family spent a year and a half hiding in the forest, but were captured in March 1943 and interned in Camp Holmes, then at the Bilibid Prison in Manila. General MacArthur’s 37th Infantry liberated them in February 1945.
“Why did you do this to us? Why take dying and dead minds and force them on unwilling and random people?” Her voice did not raise, but the few physical items in the room began to shake, and the air took on a distinct smell of sulphur. “Why not just let us live normal lives? Why burden us with this?” Suddenly, the small chamber felt crowded as the rest of the twelve Pseudo-Reincarnated young men and woman appeared behind Cojiñí. So… she would need backup, perhaps?
Kathryn Carlson’s gift to her granddaughter, Myndi, for her college graduation is an all-expense-paid road trip for Myndi and her dog, Ginger. It is Grandma Kate’s wish that Myndi’s adventure include numerous historic places throughout the Western United States. The gift is a trip Myndi’s grandmother had always longed to take for herself. But a series of odd coincidences occur along the route that Grandma Kate helped Myndi plan—a journey that eventually leads Myndi to solve a secret that festered for a quarter of a century.
Deep within the majestic Eagle Cap Wilderness of Northeastern Oregon, a handful of vacationers assemble to unwind—in ways both beneficial and detrimental. Family secrets and behaviors forged by unfortunate experiences shed light on current motivations and personalities. Can traits change through the interplay of family and strangers?