Releasing Self-Criticism

Sometimes becoming new happens without you paying attention. I lost all my baby weight within the first 6 months after my daughter was born. I was astonished – there had been no exercise, no diet. But looking back I can identify a shift in consciousness – I had been making healthier choices. Breathing more deeply, drinking more water, doing everything a little bit more slowly.

There was no end of my old body and beginning of my new body. Just a constant emergence of new cells born under the attitude of a different mind.

They say if you get into your car in Sarasota and point it in the direction of Tampa, you’ll get there. But if you incorporate just the slightest degree shift in your steering, not even an inch difference in the steering wheel, then over time you’ll find yourself in a completely different location.

I look back at what I’ve achieved in the last three years thanks to the slightest degree shift. I have no idea where I will end up.

But! The new beginning does not involve going back to the old when things get scary. They will – they’re new. Newness is a tricky territory. And for a long time while you’re in newness, whatever that means to you, your old mind will be screaming at you to turn back to the old.

For instance, I used to have a strange relationship with alcohol. I couldn’t just drink one of two glasses of wine, I would have to keep drinking until the last drop was gone. It wasn’t a behavior that supported all my highest and best desires, so I made a conscious decision to change that destructive conduct. It took a lot of discipline and focused will, a lot of grace and cooperation with Spirit, but over a relatively short amount of time I managed to shift my relationship with that chemical. Until the other night, when a group of the loveliest, bubbliest, funniest girlfriends got together on the beach with two bottles of champagne, a hundred stories to tell and a clear midnight sky pricked with the eyes of the gods.

The next morning I woke up with my belly aching from laughing all evening, my toes buzzing from the memory of the cold sea water lapping against my skin, my skin tingling from the crystal quartz sand and my soul happy and full of the love of great girlfriends. But did my ego mind pay any attention to that? Not at all. It was howling and thrashing itself from the guilt of having drunk champagne.

The night itself was perfect. It was my thinking the next day that was faulty. An excruciating self-criticism.

Shakespeare wrote, “Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” And self-criticism is the moment we sabotage our newness. It isn’t the individual choices we make, good or bad, that define the path we lay for ourselves. It’s our thinking along the way. Spirit can work in any configuration of circumstances, any decision we make can be the right one when we work with the power of God instead of against it. God’s good can be found anywhere – I’ve walked the streets of poverty-stricken shanty towns in Kenya and seen great kindness and generosity there.

I’ve been tempted my whole life to put my relentless self-criticism down as healthy introspection. Critical thinking is rational examination which is so vital to our progress. But for it to be that positive propulsion into expansion it needs to be conducted without judgment. I can view what I perceive to be faults within me and not love myself any less. The way I used to apply self-criticism though, was more like cynicism. An impotent complaint and embittered resignation. Totally destructive. The self-critical part of ourself is strikingly unimaginative. A relentless complainer which frankly drones on about the same old stuff any time we give it the space. I can still hear the dull, toneless chanting inside my head that tells me of my inadequacy—but I’ve sure accomplished some amazing stuff despite it! How much more would I have enjoyed my progress if I had been noticing the expansion instead of noticing what wasn’t?

So the secret to new beginnings is not in starting them—they start all the time. 35,000 times a day in fact, every time you make a decision. The true secret to new beginnings is in releasing the old thinking.

“Take off that worn out and stained outfit of your past life, with its selfish desires and worthless ways of thinking. It no longer represents who you are. You are now a true human being, with a new way of seeing and thinking. Put on the regalia of your new life, for you have been made new, created again to look like the One who made you; standing in a good way and walking a true and sacred path.” Ephesians 4:22-24 FNV

You don’t see this self-critical behavior in nature. You don’t hear the trees bemoan in flagellant analysis over their root systems or recount how many rocks they had to circumnavigate so they could grow. They know that the uneven texture of the ground is what keeps them stable. Were an oak to lay root in a moor or desert where the ground was smooth and free of obstacles, it would topple with the slightest gust of wind. And so the mighty oak stands, owning every knobbly bit and every twisted branch, growing and being, and being and growing.

Renewal is happening anyway. Watch it. Be in it. And be brave enough to release the old way of self-critical thinking so you can fully embrace the higher, brighter and clearer version of you.

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“Remember not the former things, nor consider things of old. Behold, I AM doing new things—I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18

A statement of healing for newness:

I AM in and of God, and God is in me, as me. I know that through my imagination I can reconfigure my cells, and by feeling so wonderful about my new healed state I can draw that reality out of the quantum soup and into my experience. I AM excited about feeling stronger and healthier, about my new body, and revitalized mind. I AM already feeling Spirit coursing through me like water, washing away all that is less than my highest and best. I call on my healers in Spirit and they lovingly and unquestioningly respond by directing the Light through me. I AM renewed, strong, healthy and vital.

And so it is. 

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I want my daughters to be like Disney Princesses

Before I had kids I was pretty enthusiastic (to the point of being belligerent) about never giving in to their demands for up-to-trend Disney toys, especially princesses. Princesses, I decided, were a symbol of centuries of men turning girls into stupid, weak and completely dependent little porcelain pets. Little girls, no older than 16 in most cases, ushered promptly into the arms of powerful, marginally pedophile royalty. Not that for my daughters! No! My children should only play with good, solid, wooden, organic, gender-neutral, educational toys.

Then my first daughter Olivia turned 2 and spotted her very first Princess in the window of a toy shop. It was Belle, with her chocolate hair and golden dress, holding a blood red rose there she stood inside that pretty box with the see-through panel. Olivia tossed her wooden block and had to have her.

The other thing I wasn’t prepared for before having Olivia was that the joy of fulfilling her fantastical desires far outweigh my values (read: prejudices). I want her to know that she has the power to manifest the aspects, tangible or not, that she desires in her life. Right now she desires Princesses.

To my huge surprise, I bought her the Belle doll. And since then she’s been hooked. She has all the Princesses now, and all the villains too. But it’s not the pretty dresses and the tiaras she loves. It’s the stories! Adventures, journeys, conflict and trouble. Witches’ spells and brave quests to rescue the victim (and yes, sometimes the victim is a stupid and weak girl, but sometimes it’s the butcher, the witch’s pet stingray, or a banana).

Snow White Dead

 

Above is my Olivia in the depths of one of her Princess stories. Snow White had recently perished after falling in a pool of slime. Her funeral was attended by Van Helsing, Sophia The First, Maleficent, Anna and a Barbie priest. 

 

Upon closer examination, I discovered how foolish and egotistical I had been in my judgment of the Disney Princesses. If my girls grow up to share some of the qualities of Belle, Cinderella, Ariel and the gang, then I will class myself a hugely successful mother. Here’s why:

Belle

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Belle rejected societal pressures to marry the man most likely to fulfill the arbitrarily chosen measures of success. Instead she emphasized her own intellectual pursuits, until she fell in love with a man who was marginalized and rejected by society because of his deformity of body and mind. She showed great integrity and strength in standing up for him when under pressures from popular opinion, an act and attitude which ultimately transformed him and uplifted both her and the community they lived in.

Mulan

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She saved China from the oppression of the Mongols to uphold her father’s honor. Enough said.

Cinderella

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Despite years of neglect, Cinderella maintained her belief in the innate good in people. She displayed compassion, patience and kindness throughout her lifetime of abuse, which kept her in the vibration of divine grace. By the Law of Attraction, this eventually manifested the love of her life. It is incredibly hard to believe yourself lovable when you have been shown time and time again that you’re worthless, so to have been able to keep her connection with her higher self and nurture self-love until she attracted someone to reflect that is an extremely admirable quality.

Merida

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This young princess believed so strongly in her right to determine her own fate that she went against the will of her parents and publicly rejected the tradition of arranged marriage. She showed incredible courage, not only in standing up for her own divine right to freedom, but in her actions to rectify the damage caused to her relationship with her mother as a result of her rebellion.

Tiana

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As a black woman in New Orleans in the 1920s, Tiana adopted the “work hard for your money” mentality. Although it’s always admirable when a woman sees herself as the source of a bright future instead of seeking good luck, better breaks, wealthy husband type cheats, it’s even more admirable in my eyes when she is open to the lesson that good fun and joy comes first. It is tempting to say a woman should work work work for her career, but unless she is spiritually fulfilled she’s nothing more than a factory cog.

Pocahontas

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The young Powhatan Indian in the early 1600’s demonstrated that love transcends cultural boundaries. Her understanding of Spirit and the collective consciousness is so beautiful I still burst into tears whenever I hear “Colors of the Wind”.

Snow White

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Nurturing, gentle and motherly characteristics are rarely championed in women these days, I think. Yet there is little that is so close to a woman’s true nature as the divine Mary aspect of her soul. Snow White portrayed such a soft strength with her sweet kindness and compassion, and still she had that unparalleled maternal quality of being stern in her soft-spokenness.

Jasmine

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I’ve always encouraged curiosity and adventure, and my daughters know to look for their own Truth beyond the walls of our home (and by “home” I also mean the doctrines and values that are important to their father and I). Jasmine shows the confidence and open-mindedness to look for meaning in cultural settings “beneath” her station.

Aurora

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Aurora is perhaps the most passive of the Disney Princesses, but I am reminded by her that there is a space in this world and a time in our life for just being feminine and graceful.

Ariel

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She’s a stinker – she represents to me the rebellious teenage coming-of-age defiance that is imperative to all young girls at one stage or another. She openly defies her father over some petty thing and displays absolutely terrible decision-making. I’ve been there. Learned a lot. Wouldn’t change it for the world.

Rapunzel

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Maybe my favorite Princess, Rapunzel is whip smart, brave and yet there’s an aire of imperfection, like she has a lot of growing to do. She’s almost clumsy in her emotional control and she floats between being firm in her ambition, to wavering in insecurity, then finding her conviction again. She has no idea who she really is but is called by a knowing deep inside that she is more than what she knows – she is greater than the tower that has contained her and the woman her mother has raised her to be. Pow. Punches me right in the mother organ.

So I changed my mind about the Disney Princesses when I saw how my Olivia interacted with them. I saw that my judgment of them was as shallow as anyone’s judgment may be of my daughters, for the facets of each other that we experience are to us what we perceive them to be. I choose to show my daughters the uplifting characteristics in every person, real or fictional, that has an impression on them.

Elizabeth is a mom, author, minister of metaphysics, and reluctant bureaucrat. Her comic fantasy novel “Ascension Denied” is set in purgatory but is nonetheless available to the living, now, online, at all major retailers. Stay in touch through:

How Generous You Really Are

 

A few weeks ago I gave a talk at the Sarasota Center of Light on the topic of generosity and giving. Most of us understand the importance of giving, but it can be hard to truly understand what it means. I know that, because I used to be one of them. It is so easy to look at the most altruistic and selfless people, note how much of their money they give away and how often they visit soup kitchens, and then feel down on ourselves because we don’t have the time or the cash to be as generous as them.

But I want to remind you of how generous you really are, and how much you already give.

You are important, skilled, and brimming with incredible things that you can share with those who need it. Here are four extremely easy but valuable ways of giving that are just as good for your soul and for your fellow people on this tiny planet. I suspect you already gracefully give in this manner, and it my hope that this will remind you to feel as generous are you are:

1. Give of your attention.

Did you know some many people go through their day, or week, or year, without ever being really noticed? Perhaps you yourself know how that feels. When someone talks to you, really listen. Pay attention to what they’re saying, understand it and record it in your memory. Analyze it. Is there a meaning behind the words? If so, does it change how you should respond? With more compassion or patience perhaps? See the effect on people when you actively listen. See how you strengthen their confidence, make them feel comfortable around you. Soon what you hear will begin to have a deeper meaning for you too, and in turn it will enrich your life as well.

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” – Bryant H. McGill

2. Give of your knowledge or skill.

Regardless of who you are and what you do, you own a deep reservoir of knowledge that can be useful to others. Sometimes we feel stupid or less capable when we compare ourselves to the brightest lights, but:

“If you judge a fish on his ability to climb a tree he’ll spend his life thinking he’s stupid.” – Albert Einstein

There is something you know that many others don’t. Explore that, embrace it, and study further. Then teach it. Give it away. As you become a mentor to someone you will see how your knowledge and skill develops both them and you. Perhaps you yourself will find a mentor and continue your own path of development, and then who knows what opportunities will come your way? You will end up gaining every grain of knowledge and ounce of skill that you need to manifest your dream.

3. Give of your happiness.

Joy is extremely contagious. It’s also a powerful healing emotion that can inspire the stagnant, cure the stressed or depressed, bring courage to the fearful, you name it. It spreads in the form of good vibes, or karma, or whatever you want to call it. You know the sort of person who carries this highly infectious condition. They brighten the room. They leave you feeling sort of bubbly and excited. You can easily pop on a cheery disposition, adopt that state of joyfulness and let it ripple through your surroundings, brightening your own life and the lives of everyone you meet.

You can’t help everyone, give everything, be everywhere and save the world, but you can give, give, give of this sacred state of consciousness. Focus only on the things that give you joy, and help brighten the world.

4. Give of your thanks.

Be grateful. But meaningfully so. Notice the things in your life, tangible or not, that are yours because of someone else. Give thanks for someone’s time, or an inspiring thought, or a good smell. Express your gratitude simply and genuinely. Wave a thanks to the driver that let you in off the merge lane. Nod and smile to the supermarket attendant who let you squeeze your stuffed cart in front of them. Whenever you get, give thanks.

And not a penny has to leave your bank account. (But I’ll wager you’ll end up giving joyfully of your money very soon, because if you follow my Guide For The Greedy, you’ll end up getting a lot more too.)

Do you have any other hints and tips for giving?

Elizabeth A. A. Wilson

*Photo credit: Care2

Hell is the Suffering of Being Unable to Love

Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky

In my humorous tale “Ascension Denied” I depict Hell (or Fo, as it’s called in the book) as a rather hot and dry desert, brimming with slot machines, in a manifested afterlife so far removed from the Source of creation that the essence of its light simply cannot reach that far. The result is a population of dejected, languid and frankly dull dead people.

Whether you accept the medieval Christian view of Hell as a physical place with pits of belching sulfur, or you’d rather contemplate it as a state of mind, it always involves the divorce from that which we understand to be good (from the perspective of the viewer, of course!) Few would argue that love is the one vibration that we all understand to be good, in whatever form it manifests – some see it in their families, some in nature, some in the classic God figure, some in science, and some in themselves.

Can there be a worse hell than love’s opposite? I’m lucky to never have suffered depression, so I can’t relate to the spiritual agony of lovelessness and hopelessness, but I keep in my heart those who have. I imagine if I were to ask someone who has been down that dark and lonely road they would tell me that Hell is the suffering of being unable to love.

If you are able to love, then go out today and love like you never have before! Embrace all of creation, both your loved ones and those strange people that exist outside the universe of your day-to-day. Feel it course through every one of your marvelous, intelligent cells and emanate it out to the corners of reality. Because if being unable to love is Hell, then loving is truly Heaven.

E.A.A Wilson is an author, minister of metaphysics, mom and reluctant bureaucrat. Her comic fantasy novel “Ascension Denied” is set in purgatory but is nonetheless available to the living, now, online, at all major retailers. Stay in touch through:

The Dead are the Countrymen of my Future

Koontz

We have this hilarious habit of adapting very quickly to new realities and considering them norm. We reprogram our perspectives so fast. We have more money, stuff, freedom of speech, human liberties and creative expression now than ever before in our history, yet here we are, complaining that we’re just so very poor. In some ways it’s a good thing – I think we’re designed to always yearn for more: it keeps us striving for growth, whether it’s financial, material, personal or spiritual. And on the other hand, we do tend to keep ourselves down in the dumps that way.

This idea was what got me pondering the afterlife in the first place. If there is a life after death, and we turn up there shortly after perishing from some hideous and gruesome demise, how long will it be before we adopt it as the norm and consider it mundane? If the angels built us a purgatorial world where we could recuperate and rest following this shocking life we lead, how long will it be before we fill it with bureaucracy? Taxable incomes? Competing with fellow dead souls for attention in an immortal world where the population is constantly increasing (we certainly haven’t slowed down our death rate). And when life after death is the norm, will we still fear the unknown yet to come? In “Ascension Denied” I created just such a purgatory, where the same fears we have on Earth lead to strange deals and corruption even in the hereafter. I loved writing this – both because it’s side-splittingly funny, and because it reminded me to live like paradise is already here. To live like I’m in Heaven already.

Because it really is true. It’s just a matter of reprogramming our perspective.

E.A.A Wilson is an author, minister of metaphysics, mom and reluctant bureaucrat. Her comic fantasy novel “Ascension Denied” is set in purgatory but is nonetheless available to the living, now, online, at all major retailers. Stay in touch through:

Seeing Death as the End of Life is like…

Searls

Searls

Fellow blogger David Searls puts it beautifully. The horizon simili is so powerful because it reminds us that we’re in the center of our universe. It doesn’t matter that you’re in your little rubber dinghy pumping those oars till your eyeballs pop and your intestines herniate, you’re not going to reach the horizon.

In the same way, up until recently we believed our universe was all there was. We can see pretty far into the past – all the way back till every little piece of matter was squished into a baseball sized blob of density. But there are very few scientists left who believe that the Big Bang was the big beginning. It was just an event horizon. What came before the beginning is still up for speculation.

I believe that just as your little arms will never propel your dinghy far enough to reach the horizon, you can’t reach the end of your existence. Death is just an event horizon – beyond which we’ve got little tangible understanding other than testimony. I’ll probably keep rowing though.

E.A.A Wilson is an author, minister of metaphysics, mom and reluctant bureaucrat. Her comic fantasy novel “Ascension Denied” is set in purgatory but is nonetheless available to the living, now, online, at all major retailers. Stay in touch through:

E.A.A WILSON INTERVIEW: Epicstream meets author of novel deemed “too controversial”

E.A.A Wilson

Epicstream

Originally published on Epicstream May 26 2015.

What would an Egyptian goatherd have thought watching the great Exodus led by Moses? What if you were to be sacrificed in the morning, and were looking forward to it? What if there is an afterlife – what would you bring with you from this lifetime? What if the next life is just like this one? These are the questions that author E.A.A. Wilson pondered upon when writing her comic fantasy book, Ascension Denied, the first story in the open-ended Jacob’s Ladder series.

Wilson wanted to write what she truly believed in: The inevitability of death, the pointlessness of striving for any goal other than our own, and the existence of angels. She loves the way Douglas Adams discusses religious topics and Terry Pratchett’s thrilling way of squeezing our preconceptions about religion, business, and the mundane. Here’s the synopsis for Ascension Denied:

Purgatory is in trouble. Strange deals and corruption are preventing the dead from ascending to their final resting place. The ferryman is still bringing daily loads of freshly perished souls to the shores of the afterlife. Guardian angels are rebelling. But worse, the mayor has restricted all afterlife beer-drinking. What is the point of death if not to enjoy the fact that liver disease is no longer a threat? Alice Shepherd, who has only been dead for five years, finds herself at the helm of a band of activists determined to set things straight. But can Alice unclog the system before the streets are overrun by dead people? And what happens when two drunk guardian angels accidentally open the doors to Hell?

Interview with E.A.A. Wilson


Why do you think “Ascension Denied” is considered “too controversial for Americans”? Did you expect to get that kind of reaction from you readers? 

Religion is always a sensitive topic, especially when you get a pair of garden shears and clip away at some of the world’s favorite age-old institutions and slap it into a comic fantasy. But I was delighted to find (as I’d expected) that the publishers who feared Americans couldn’t take this sort of satire were completely wrong. Readers are intelligent, broad-minded, creative and questioning. Since the beginning of the written word readers and writers have come together to put question marks around the pillars that hold up stagnant dogma. And when you wrap it up in a hilarious fantasy story, it’s a winning combo.

Tell us something interesting about the characters in “Ascension Denied”. 

One of the interesting things I discovered about my characters is that dead or alive, angel or human, all wildly different, they all seem to share the same weakness: A fear of their ability to handle what they believe they’ve been assigned to do. The intriguing thing is how they handle that fear, regardless of whether or not it’s valid. Take Mayor Jagger T. Fleisch for example. He is simply terrified of our heroine Alice Shepherd, and has implemented a stringent bureaucracy to keep purgatory under his control. In between drags of his soggy cigarette filter, his lipsticked pout barks condescending orders to assert his authority, sending him into fits of juicy coughs. He would do anything to increase his power. On the other hand, Raen-El, a guardian angel brimming with divine might, is crippled under the responsibility of protecting the living. He knows that every piece of advice he whispers will send ripples of cause and effect like aftershocks through the present and future of every living human. He would do anything to quit his job.

How is the world of Eadar different from Earth or other versions of the Purgatory from other pieces of literature? 

Since Eadar, like Earth, is manifested by the mind viewing it, it’s very similar to both our world and other literary and mythological depictions of purgatory. Apart from the fact that the world is shared by dead people and guardian angels, there are some striking parallels. We have a tendency to create the reality we expect, don’t we? To that end, it makes sense that the experience of purgatory depends entirely on the poor soul that had perished. For example, the capital city of Anglarnir is a buzzing metropolis, filled with the paperwork, traffic, pollution, vandalism and nicely manicured public spaces that the general masses require to feel at home. Inland stand great silver mountains with the magnificent Mount Olympus at their summit. The rolling green hills of the Garden of Eden surge and swell as far as the lush meadows of Folkvanger. Industrious quarries and mines in the country of Asgard in the north lie in the shadow of the great structures of Valhalla presiding. And the world’s curvature sits like an event horizon at the end of the never-ending turquoise seas of the great Styx, waves twinkling in the Light as they separate the dead from the living. But the way in which Eadar is most similar to our world, is that its inhabitants are still searching for something. That’s what is so great about fantasy–we use the fantastical to explore our own realities.

How do you portray religions and deities in “Ascension Denied”? 

In “Ascension Denied” beings that were worshiped as deities by the living are in fact misunderstood angels. Odin-El, for example, has a fairly good relationship with the dead Vikings that still hang around Asgard. Zeus-El still wreaks havoc with the Greeks. But their commonality is that they still really have no idea about Prime Source. You see, while I don’t reject any religion or claim any one belief system to be truer than another, I do like to think that the mysteries of the most high can’t be explained by any of us, dead or alive. That’s what makes it fantasy. So I leave the question open for debate.

Does your fiction reflect your religious beliefs in some way? 

I think so. When I started writing I was solidly agnostic, but the process of exploring these concepts required a lot of painful introspection. Through fairly intensive studies of theology, quantum theories, myth and legend, I found myself staring into my own spiritual awakening, so to speak. Most uncomfortable at the time, but one of the best things that ever happened to me. I went on to completing ministry studies and am now a practicing minister of metaphysics. The book doesn’t seek to influence one way or the other, but I think it’s impossible for any author to write from the heart without investing at least some of your convictions into the voice of the story.

How are angels depicted in “Ascension Denied”? 

Despite being celestial creatures the angels are like us: still flawed, still searching, still evolving. Their superior insight and metaphysical abilities don’t change the fact that their responsibility is enormous – particularly for the guardian angels: They face consequences of unimaginable magnitude when they screw up. It’s a pretty hefty job, looking after people. And yet, of course, there is comfort in knowing that somewhere out there exist beings far more evolved than us. I guess we just didn’t realize how much beer they drink, but then, can you blame them?

Why do you think your characters share that same “fear”?

I think we all do. We’re torn between “follow your dreams” and “this is your lot, make do”. Throw in a bit of guilt-tripping and some stern words of advice from our elders, coupled with absolutely no idea what happens next, and I think we’re all pretty terrified at the core. But then, like my characters, we plod along, making life up as we go along. And it is some comfort that nobody in the history of humanity had any more of a clue about life than we do. So we turn to the fantasy genre!

What could possibly be at stake in after-life if death is no longer a threat? What makes your characters vulnerable? 

I’m not sure that death is the thing we fear most. I’m certain that fear of the unknown, the unknowable, is much more pressing. When you’re dealing with infinity there’s a lot of the unknown going on! Just as us living look with trepidation towards the end of our life, so do the dead view with suspicion the looming next stage of theirs. And what would happen if someone in the afterlife murdered someone else? Can you die–again?

What kind of actions scenes shall we expect to find in your work? 

Without spoiling anything, I can reveal there’s a slimy chase through the repugnant end of town that involves nakedness and a herd of muddy swine. There’s also some angels’ illicit snorting of black powder that causes a spiritual maelstrom through spacetime. In the underworld there is the frantic race to build a human stairway to heaven before the soul-sucking fallen can reach the only heroes that can save existence. And, of course, the accidental explosion somewhere in the Void that causes the destruction of the afterlife’s first prison, only recently converted from a steel oyster-shucking plant.

Get “Ascension Denied” at Amazon now

E.A.A Wilson is an author, minister of metaphysics, mom and reluctant bureaucrat. Her comic fantasy novel “Ascension Denied” is set in purgatory but is nonetheless available to the living, now, online, at all major retailers. Stay in touch through: