Thursday, April 30, 2020

LA REALIZACIÓN DE "EL CHICO DE URKIOLA"



Por ROBERT EGBY
Escribir ficción es ser creativo, pero escribir ficción histórica es como jugar a ser Dios. El autor está reorganizando la historia, poniendo en peligro vidas pasadas y creando dudas en las mentes jóvenes de los estudiantes. Así que debo disculparme por El Chico De Urkiola.
Desde que se publicó el precursor de Por el amor de Rose en junio de 2014, tenía en mente a Mikel Ybarra. Frank Barbury, el joven productor lechero estadounidense con su amor vasco-estadounidense había desafiado los horrores de la Guerra Civil española en Elgeta y Durango en el corazón de Euskal Herria, la nación vasca.

En la creación de Rose y Mikel, acumulé una colección de más de dos docenas de libros, desde la magnífica biografía de Paul Preston de 1,000 páginas, "Franco" hasta los libros de Adrian Bell y Natalia Benjamin sobre los niños vascos refugiados en Gran Bretaña. El historiador vasco Jon Irazabal Agirre contribuyó a la colección con dos excelentes libros (español-vasco) sobre la guerra en Durango y la región.

Además, durante unos buenos cuatro años, mi compañera Betty Lou y yo pasamos varias veces por un total de tres meses en el País Vasco, haciendo preguntas, escuchando y tomando fotografías. 
Cuando tienes más de ochenta años, escalar el Monte St. Anton en Getaria para un complot de asesinato puede ser un poco laborioso para un investigador. Pero la vista es muy gratificante. Photo: Betty Lou Kishler.

Agregue a esto la necesidad de aprender español y conversar en ese idioma. ¿Vasco? Es tan difícil como sus orígenes son oscuros.
De hecho, toda la historia vasca antigua está nublada, escondida en el polvo del tiempo. Cuanto más los estudiaba, más me atraían los sumerios, Babilonia y las historias en las tabletas de arcilla que están escondidas en los museos de al menos seis países. Y así se creó un héroe para el libro.

Las hondas se remontan a los tiempos de Babilonia y a la Biblia, por lo que es probable que los antiguos gudaris vascos estuvieran tan armados. Para garantizar cómo funcionaba la habilidad de las hondas, el autor practicó durante meses, incluida una sesión aquí en las montañas de Urkiola. Photo Betty Lou Kishler. 
Mikel era vasco y nació para llevar la marca de nacimiento de los antiguos, especialmente Jubal. Poseía dones y talentos inusuales, entonces, ¿por qué su cuerpo adolescente, casi sin vida, fue arrastrado por una costa inglesa en 1938 cuando la guerra española estaba en su apogeo.

Era necesario tener una historia que avanza y, sin embargo, revela la vida y la lucha de los vascos sin demasiados datos pesados. Es una historia que atrae a la mayoría de las personas que disfrutan de la ficción histórica, especialmente si conoces el norte de España, los vascos e Inglaterra.


Necesitaba crear una imagen de los vascos, sus culturas, su supervivencia bajo la ocupación franquista, cómo fueron tratados y cómo se rebelaron. Además de los hechos, sentí que necesitaba escribir sobre los orígenes extraños y místicos de los vascos y cómo los antepasados ​​habrían compartido sus conocimientos si estuvieran vivos durante el período de la novela, de 1937 a 1943.

Es importante comprender que a pesar de la imagen de guerrero o gudari que a algunos vascos les gusta proyectar y promover, hay otra imagen latente que permanece oculta en su cultura.

Mikel Ybarra, el héroe tiene varios nombres, junto con su amor Uda, es el símbolo de esa imagen latente. Está en su psique, su sangre, su ADN, su cultura. Han nacido curanderos. Tienen los dones, pero el problema existe ¿sobrevivirán al brillo sin sentido y al atractivo de la era tecnológica y la inteligencia artificial?

Sobre el libro: El "hombre malo" de la novela es el Capitán Alejandro Aquino, nacido en La Coruña en 1888, es el amigo ficticio de la vida real Lisardo Doval Bravo. Sombra la vida de Doval y es su secuaz clave para asesinatos despiadados.

Otro "hombre malo" de la vida real retratado en la novela es el dictador español Francesco Franco, que desencadenó la Guerra Civil española en 1936 y gobernó España y ocupó el País Vasco hasta su muerte en 1975. Por algún hilo extraño que data de 1920 Franco tiene la Urkiola Boy como objetivo desde la Introducción a casi la última página donde ordena el asesinato de sus propios soldados nacionalistas. ¿Ficción? Lejos de eso, Franco era famoso por matar a su propia gente.

En esencia, la novela sigue la vida de un adolescente vasco encontrado en una costa inglesa, Selsey Bill, de hecho. Uno de mis lugares favoritos de mis primeros años de adolescencia la. Sufriendo de amnesia, la inteligencia británica lo hace revivir su vida y sus eventos, el bombardeo de Durango, la batalla en Elgeta, y en el proceso descubre que tiene regalos extraños. Uno es el antiguo arte del tiro de honda, otro su extraña habilidad con un rifle ordinario sin alcance.

Mikel busca desesperadamente regresar a España, pero es joven e inexperto. La inteligencia británica lo entrena con varias fuerzas para que se convierta en un comando o gudari, como dicen los vascos. Su misión: asesinar al general Franco. Bueno, Mikel tiene su propia agenda y está escondida en la Cordillera de las Montañas Urkiola, cerca de Durango. Armados con un grupo de más de dos docenas de hombres y mujeres, lanzan incursiones desde esta base escondida en una montaña.

A lo largo de los días, semanas y meses, Mikel entrena a su grupo en el arte mortal de la honda y otras actividades de defensa. Todo el tiempo piensa en Uda, una chica que conoció y adoraba en su adolescencia y también su joven hermana adolescente Zoriona. Ambos son mantenidos cautivos por las fuerzas de Franco.

Kurutziaga Kalea en Durango, el corazón del País Vasco después del bombardeo llevado a cabo por la Fuerza Aérea Italiana el 31 de marzo de 1937. Este es el lugar donde Mikel, el gudari vasco, conoció a Frank, el conductor de ambulancia estadounidense de la novela "Por el amor de Rose ". Los aviones de combate realmente dispararon a civiles inocentes que huían aquí. Crédito: Registros municipales.
Si lees mi primer libro "Por el amor de Rose" que hablaba del bombardeo de Durango, Frank y Rose ven a esta pequeña niña en los escalones jugando con una muñeca y es entonces cuando hablan de tener una familia después de la guerra. Más tarde, Frank ve el cuerpo aparentemente sin vida de la niña y quiere ayudar, pero lleva a Rose herida. Bueno, la niña es la hermana de Mikel y ahí es donde existe la conexión con "Por el  amor de Rose". Zoriona es ahora una joven adolescente cautiva en la famosa prisión de mujeres de Les Cort en Barcelona.


En la primera parte de "El Chico de Urkiola" durante el entrenamiento y desarrollo de Mikel, él está en Inglaterra, que jugó un papel importante en la Guerra Civil española. Miles de niños vascos fueron evacuados a varios países. Cuatro mil llegaron a Gran Bretaña y fueron alojados en propiedades que llamaron "colonias".

Un amigo historiador que vivía en Maidenhead / Cookham en Berkshire envió un correo electrónico para decir: "Sabes que había una colonia en Bray Court", e incluyó una foto. Fue deslumbrante. Había pasado los primeros 18 años de mi vida viviendo en Maidenhead y nunca había oído hablar de la Colonia en Bray. Ahora juega un papel en la novela. De hecho, esa es una de las cosas que disfruto escribiendo novelas históricas, usando lugares de la vida real para la acción.

Todos los lugares descritos en el libro, como el puente en Hendaya, el mirador en el Mont de San Anton en Getaria, la estación de policía en Zumaia, la plaza en Elgeta, el campo de batalla, todos son lugares reales experimentados por el autor. El único lugar que el autor no vio fue la mansión Les Cort en Barcelona, ​​que se convirtió en una prisión infame durante y después de la guerra civil y luego se redujo a escombros. Hoy es un centro comercial.

La trama requiere que el héroe Mikel use un arma antigua popular entre los sumerios y otros soldados en Babilonia hace miles de años. Era el tiro de honda, no una catapulta, sino una simple honda con un bolsillo para sostener una piedra o una pequeña roca. David usó uno en Goliat y el arma se menciona varias veces en el Antiguo Testamento. Bueno, soy un gran creyente de que si uno va a escribir sobre una actividad, será mejor que tenga la sensación de volar piedras de una honda. Tomó mucha práctica, pero finalmente pude golpear un árbol a 30 yardas y esa experiencia me permitió escribir partes de la novela. Sí, mientras visitaba las Urkiolas, en realidad practiqué con la honda. Mi compañera Betty Lou grabó el evento tomando algunas fotografías con las montañas de fondo.

El novelista histórico debe luchar por la precisión. Un lector vasco que revisó varias frases en la novela señaló que varios de los personajes tienen nombres que ya no están de moda. "Eso es bueno", fue mi respuesta. “Reuní nombres de fuentes importantes para el período del libro: 1936 a 1943. Los nombres reales deben reflejar la edad de vida en una novela, dije.
Una parte importante de la acción en la novela es que la bandera vasca ondea en la cima de la montaña. Para la primera edición en ingles me resultó imposible adquirir una foto del sitio, así que ideé otro plan. Tenía muchas fotos de las montañas para cubrirme, pero necesitaba la bandera, conocida como ikurriña. Amazon entregó una bandera de cinco por cuatro pies y traté de fotografiarla. Paja. Los pliegues del fabricante se mostraron claramente. Betty Lou lo empapó suavemente, luego, cuando estaba seco, usó una plancha de vapor para aplanarlo. Aún así, la bandera parecía bla. Necesitaba una bandera en movimiento.

No es la tarea más fácil hacer que alguien con un mástil enarbole la bandera de un país extranjero, así que me quedé en casa y una mañana, cuando el sol brillaba desde un cielo suave y brumoso con una brisa suave, coloqué la bandera en el césped que necesitaba ser cortado. La hierba era lo suficientemente alta como para que la brisa moviera la bandera. A veces demasiado Otros a la perfección. Para mi foto de portada necesitaba el área alrededor de la cruz. Se tomaron dos docenas de fotos y cada una de ellas se analizó. Uno apareció a la perfección: una bandera con movimiento congelado.

 Esa es la foto que aparece en la portada, ¡encima de Urkiolas! La gente de Jera Publishing, dio los toques finales con un gran título rojo. Se veía genial. Tengo una explosión de la cubierta de 24 pulgadas en mi pared. Pero así es como surgió la portada.

Más tarde expresé mi deseo de amigos en Durango para ver un gudari vasco llevando el Ikurriña con las montañas de Urkiola al fondo. Iban Gorriti actuando como abanderado y fotógrafo Sergio Quero junto con una bandera de Gerediaga Elkartea crearon la imagen requerida en el Euskal Prospekzio Taldea. ¡Qué espléndida tarea! Orgullosamente aparece en la portada de la novela. El Chico estaría orgulloso de ellos.


La foto original producida por el equipo en Durango para este libro. Nuestros amigos de Jera Publishing en Georgia lo tomaron y produjeron la portada. Gracias a todos los interesados. Se mencionan en este blog. Foto: Sergio Quero. Modelo gudari: Iban Gorriti. 
Cuando leas la novela, verás a qué me refiero con la bandera vasca que ondea sobre las Urkiolas. Debe hacer enojar al dictador Franco, donde sea que esté en el mundo espiritual.
El libro está dedicado "a todos los seres queridos que perdieron las vidas porque de la Guerra Civil española y a todos aquellos que esperaron en vano a que sus gudaris volvieran a casa"  

Muchas gracias por leer. Cuidate. Robert

El Chico de Urkiola: las aventuras de un gudari vasco: La edición en español está aquí.
The Urkiola Boy (English in Europe)                                     
The Urkiola Boy -- Amazon, London UK                                                 



Saturday, April 11, 2020

CHATTING WITH SPIRITS WHO HAVE PASSED

EASTER SATURDAY, April 11th, 2020
On television I just heard a nurse saying, “People should not die alone.” It created a ripple in my day. All through history it has been demonstrated that people never die alone. Society through its one-eyed religious teachings has been taught that death is the end. So, we have a breed of ignorants that are completely and blindly unaware the Spirit lives on.

Ever since the tender age of seven – 81 years ago – I have had good and loving spirits help me with my life – and my books. They come and go like good friends. 

The more you have, the passing out of the physical into the spiritual life is simply an enjoyable journey.  Spirit Life is not bowing and scraping to the Creator, spending eternity on your knees in endless prayer. Far from it. The Spirit/Sole continues its journey of learning and living in harmony.

This excerpt from my book “The Quest of the Radical Spiritualist” may help in these troubled times to breach the stigmas left by the Unknowing Society.  
   
EXERCISE:  LISTENING TO SPIRIT VOICES People often ask: “I feel my mom and dad around at various times. How do I hear what they are saying?”

Here’s an exercise that will help you tune in. Find a place where you will not be disturbed then slip into an altered state and relax. Close your eyes and focus on the center of your head. This is the area of your pineal and pituitary glands.  French philosopher René Descartes described it as the “seat of the soul.” It’s also associated with the sixth chakra and the third eye which is the power for visions, intuition and receiving telepathic messages.

Now, bring to mind a familiar voice from your childhood. Perhaps one of your parents, a brother or sister, uncle, aunt, or someone close. Remember a particular phrase they used time and time again, such as “Eat your dinner,” or “Do your homework,” or “You’ll be late for school.”

Silently, recall that voice and have it played in the center of your head. Listen to it. Repeat it several times. Get the feel of the sound. Pause for a minute or so, then for a change, find another voice of someone in your early life. Practice this for several minutes a day. Get used to it. Then when a loved one in spirit wants to make contact you will be ready.

Incidentally, when that special person does come through, never express surprise or jubilation. Such sudden impulses disrupt the whole energy. Stay cool. 

Infinite Blessings. 

Robert Egby DHP, CH, Rev


Saturday, March 7, 2020

HYDESVILLE: A COSMIC PLOT OR SIMPLE COINCIDENCES?


THE SOUNDS OF HYDESVILLE

By Robert Egby


On March 31, 1848 the veil was broken between two worlds. A murdered pedlar in the World of Spirit finally got someone to talk, and it happened in the little hamlet of Hydesville, then some 20 miles out of Rochester, New York State. The events that happened that night, March 31, 1848, and thereafter are known by every student of Modern Spiritualism.

What happened at Hydesville bridged the two worlds--the Physical Earth and the World of Spirit. Communication between humanity and departed loved ones and friends was not only possible, but provable scientifically.  But were the events at Hydesville planned. Was it the a sophisticated cosmic plot, or were the events simple coincidencces.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in “The History of Spiritualism”  says that according to the flood of early messages “the whole system had been devised by the contrivance of a band of thinkers and inventors upon the spirit plane, foremost among whom was Benjamin Franklin.”

Franklin (1706-90) was the American statesman who helped draft the Declaration of Independence, a scientist who invented, among other things the lightning rod, and author of many papers and books.

Emma Hardinge Britten, known to many as the “Mother of Spiritualism,” wrote in her two volume book “History of Modern American Spiritualism,” that from the first working of the spiritual telegraph spirits claimed that “this method of communion was organized by scinetific minds in the spirit spheres.”

First let’s examine the people on the stage a Hydesville. There was the Bell family who inhabited the Hydesville house from 1843-1845??? They were in residence when the peddlar, Charles B. Rosna was murdered sometime in 1843. Then there were the Weakmans whose stay was short, mainly because of the rappings and other sounds. The next family was Mr. And Mrs. John Fox and their daughters, Margaretta  (15)  and Kate (12), and they were the ones who first communicated with the spirit of the murdered peddlar.

The period between the murder in  1843 and the break-through in 1848 was roughly five years. This is the period of the scenario.

Observe the start of the coincidences. A short distance away in Poughskeepsie, also in New York State, a young teenager, with little education was about to be inducted into Mesmerism, an altered state of consciousness technique developed by Austrian physician F.A. Mesmer (1734-1815). In the trance, the teenager, Andrew Jackson Davis discovered clairvoyance and the ability to see diseases and sickness in people. The year was 1843. In March, the following year, 1844, Davis was suddenly transported into the Catskill Mountains, 40 miles from home where he met the spirits of Galen the Greek Physician and Emmanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) the Swedish scientist and mystical thinker whose revelations of the spiritual world stunned readers for centuries.

The encounter changed young Davis’s life, and he started to dictate the most beautiful and inspiring literature which paved the way for public acceptance of Modern Spiritualism.

Was Galen, Swedenborg and Mesmer on Ben Franklin’s cosmic team?  The first two, it’s difficult to say. But Mesmer, definitely yes.

Franlkin knew Mesmer very well.  In 1784 in Paris, a Royal Commission concluded its inquiry into the activities of Franz Mesmer. The Chairman of the Commission was the American Ambassador to France, Ben Franklin. The report gave Mesmer a negative standing.

Coincidence? There’s more. One of Ben Franklin’s inventions was The Glass Armonia,  a strange musical instrument that played “eerie” and relaxing music, similar to the rubbing of rims of wine glasses filled to different depths.  Ironically, it was used be Franz Mesmer to relax patients.

There are more concidences. Let us return to Hydesville. We have the family of John Bell, the occupants of the house at the time of the murder of Charles B. Rosna. It was never proved that John Bell murdered the peddlar, but somebody cut the poor man’s throat, and dragged him off to the cellar. The main part of the body was discovered in 1904.

Bell?  Another of Ben Franlin’s invention was a device called Lightning Bells. It was a contraption that would jingle when lightning was in the air, and reports say Ben was very proud of this invention.

Another coincidence?  Consider the name Charles B. Rosna. A strange name to say the least. He was supposed to have had a wife and several children, but no one ever found them. In fact, the name Rosna is so rare, it doesn’t appear in the US Social Security Records at all.

Rosna is an anagram for Sonar--yes, we all know Sonar as the World War II device used for detetcting submarines under water, a system still used to this day for tracking submerged objects. It was supposed to be an abbreviation of Sound Navigation Ranging. The noises were called Pings. Sonar came 100 years after Hydesville and Charles B. Rosna.

Except for one thing-- Sonar also stems from the Latin Sonare, which means to sound, and Rosna sure made the sounds at Hydesville. Would Ben Franklin have been aware of the Rosna anagram from Latin? Naturally! He was seven years old when he was sent to a Latin school to become a preacher. He was head of his class.

All this raises some intriguing questions.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

CREATING THE URKIOLA BOY


THE AUTHOR TALKS ON CREATING "THE URKIOLA BOY"
By historical novelist Robert Egby


Writing fiction is being creative but writing historical fiction is like playing God. The author is rearranging history, endangering past lives and creating doubts in the young minds of students. So I must apologize for THE URKIOLA BOY. (published June 2019)


Ever since the forerunner FOR THE LOVE OF ROSE was published in June 2014, I had Mikel Ybarra on my mind. Frank Barbury, the young American dairy farmer with his American-Basque sweetheart had braved the horrors of the Spanish Civil War at Elgeta and Durango in the heart of Euskal Herria – the Basque Nation.

In the creation of Rose and Mikel I amassed a collection of over two dozen books – ranging from Paul Preston’s magnificent 1,000 page biography,  “Franco” through to Adrian Bell’s and Natalia Benjamin’s books on the Basque children refugees in Britain. Basque historian Jon Irazabal Agirre  contributed to the collection with two excellent books (wrtten in Spanish and Basque) on the war in Durango and the region.

In addition, over a good four years, my partner Betty Lou and I spent various times totaling three months in the Basque Country, asking questions, listening and taking photographs. Add to this the necessity to learn Spanish and converse in that language. Basque? It is as difficult as its origins are obscure.

Indeed the entire ancient Basque history is cloudy, hidden in the dusts of time. The more I studied them the more I was drawn to the Sumerians, Babylon and the stories on the clay tablets that are tucked away in the museums of at least six countries. And so a hero for the book was created.   

Mikel was Basque and born to carry the birthmark of the ancients, notably Jubal. He possessed unusual gifts and talents so why was his teenage body, almost lifeless, washed up on an English seashore in 1938 when the Spanish war was at its peak.

It was necessary to have a storyline that moves along and yet reveals the life and struggle of the Basque people without too much heavy data. It’s a story that appeals to most people who enjoy historical fiction, particularly if you know Northern Spain, the Basques and England.

I needed to create a word picture of the Basques, their cultures, their survival under the Franco occupation, how they were treated and how they rebelled. In addition to the facts, I felt I needed to write about the strange and mystical origins of the Basques and how the ancestors would have shared their knowledge if they were alive during the period of the novel – 1937 to 1943.

It is important to understand that in spite of the warrior or gudari image that some Basques like to project and promote, there is another latent image that remains hidden in their culture.

Mikel Ybarra – the hero has various names --  together with his love Uda, is the symbol of that latent image.  It’s in their psyche, their blood, their DNAs, their culture. They are born healers. They have the gifts, but the problem exists will they survive the meaningless glitter and attractiveness of the technology age and artificial intelligence?

About the book: The “bad man” of the novel is Captain Alejandro Aquino, born in La Coruña 1888, he is the fictional boyhood friend of the real life Lisardo Doval Bravo. He shadows the life of Doval and is his key henchman for ruthless killing.

Another real life “bad man” portrayed in the novel is Spanish Dictator Francesco Franco who triggered the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and ruled Spain and occupied the Basque Country until his death in 1975.  By some strange thread dating back to 1920 Franco has the Urkiola Boy as his target from the Introduction to almost the last page where he orders the killing of his own Nationalist soldiers. Fiction? Far from it, Franco was renowned for killing his own people.

In essence the novel follows the life of a teenage Basque boy found on an English seashore – Selsey Bill, in fact. One of my favorite boyhood places. Suffering amnesia, British Intelligence gets him to relive his life and events – the bombing of Durango, the battle at Elgeta – and in the process discovers he has uncanny gifts. One is the ancient art of sling shot, another his uncanny ability with an ordinary rifle without a scope.

Mikel desperately seeks to return to Spain, but he’s young and inexperienced. British Intelligence trains him with various forces into being a commando or gudari as the Basques say. His mission: assassinate General Franco. Well, Mikel has his own agenda and it is hidden away in the Urkiola Range of Mountains near Durango. Armed with a group of more than two dozen men and women they launch raids from this base hidden in a mountain.

Over the days, weeks and months, Mikel trains his group in the deadly art of sling and other defense activities. All the time he thinks of Uda, a girl he met and adored in his teens and also his young teenage sister Zoriona. Both are held captive by Franco forces.

If you read my first book “For the Love of Rose” that told of the bombing of Durango, Frank and Rose see this little girl on the steps playing with a doll and it’s then they talk of having a family after the war. Later, Frank sees the apparently lifeless body of the little girl and wants to help but he is carrying the injured Rose. Well, the little girl is Mikel’s sister and that is where the connection with “For the Love of Rose” exists. Zoriona is now a young teenager held captive in the famous Les Cort Women’s Prison in Barcelona.

In the first part of “The Urkiola Boy” during Mikel’s training and development he is in England which played an important role in the Spanish Civil War. Thousands of Basque children were evacuated to various countries. Four-thousand came to Britain and were housed on estates which they called “colonies.”

An historian friend living in Maidenhead / Cookham in Berkshire emailed to say: “You know there was a colony at Bray Court,” and included a photo. It was stunning. I had spent the first 18 years of my life living in Maidenhead and had never heard of the Colony at Bray. It now plays a role in the novel. In fact, that’s one of the things I enjoy in writing historical novels, using real life places for the action.
The author Mont de San Anton at Getaria.  (Photo: Betty Lou)
All the locations described in the book such as the bridge at Hendaye, the overlook point at

 Mont de San Anton at Getaria, the police station at Zumaia, the square at Elgeta, the battleground, they are all real places experienced by the author.  The only place the author missed seeing was the Les Cort Mansion in Barcelona, which became an infamous prison during and after the civil war and later was reduced to rubble. It is now a shopping centre.




The plot calls for the hero Mikel to use an ancient weapon popular with the Sumerians and other soldiers in Babylon thousands of years ago. It was the sling shot, not a catapult but a simple sling with a pocket to hold a stone or a small rock.  David used one on Goliath and the weapon is mentioned several times in the Old Testament.  Well, I am a great believer that if one is going to write about an activity, you had better get the feel of flying stones from a sling shot. It took a lot of practice but finally I could hit a tree at 30 yards and that experience enabled me to write parts of the novel. Yes, while visiting the Urkiolas I actually practiced with the sling. My partner Betty Lou recorded the event by taking some photographs with the mountains in the background. Here's one.
The author gaining experience with the ancient sling in the Urkiolas..
(Photo Betty Lou Kishler)

The historical novelist must strive for accuracy. A Basque reader who checked various phrases in the novel noted that several of the characters have names that are no longer fashionable. “That’s good,” was my reply. “I gathered first names from sources that were important for the period of the book – 1936 to 1943. Actual names must reflect the age of life in a novel, I said.

One important part of the action in the novel is that the Basque flag flies on the top of the mountain. It was impossible for me to acquire a photo from the site so I devised another plan. I had many pictures of the mountains for a cover but I needed the flag – known as the ikurriña. Amazon delivered a five by four feet bandera (flag) and I tried photographing it. Blah. The manufacturer’s folds showed clearly. Betty Lou soaked it gently, then when it was dry used a steam iron to flatten it. Still, the flag looked blah. I needed a moving flag.

It is not the easiest task to get someone with a mast to fly the flag of a foreign country, so I stayed home and one morning when the sun was shining from a soft hazy sky with a gentle breeze blowing, I placed the flag on the lawn which needed mowing.  The grass was tall enough to let breezes moved the flag. Sometimes too much. Others just right. For my cover photo I needed the area round the cross. Two dozen photos were taken and each one scrutinized. One appeared just right – a flag with frozen movement.

 That is the shot that appears on the cover – above the Urkiolas!  The folks at Jera Publishing, put the finishing touches with a big red title. It looked great. I have a 24 inch blowup of the cover on my wall. But that is how the cover came about.

When you read the novel, you’ll see what I mean about the Basque flag flying on top of the Urkiolas. It must make Dictator Franco mad -- wherever he is in the Spirit World.

The book is dedicated “to all the loved ones who lost their lives because of the Spanish Civil War ad to all those who waited in vain for their gudaris to come home.

 
The Urkiola Boy: An Adventure in Basque Time is available at these bookshops.


Amazon and Kindle U.S.  


The Book Depository -- Mailing Free to the World


Amazon and Kindle UK





















Friday, September 28, 2018

THE RACCOON INCIDENT-- A LIGHT FICTION STORY


When we lived in northern New York we had a cottage very close to Lake Ontario. One summer's evening, a noise occurred in one of the big trees that stood between the cottage and the water.

It was a raccoon. The animal was caught up in the branches. No matter how much noise we made it would not come down. We created noise on a drum, a trumpet and an Indian flute. I don't think the flute music did much good. It made us feel lazy.

A crowd of neighbors gathered and made suggestions, most of which were useless.

One said "Invite him down for a glass of wine." I think she was an alcoholic.

A farmer suggested we could light a fire with twigs. The smoke would scare the raccoon and make him come down.

His wife scolded him. "You want to burn Robert's house down?"

A tall thin man with a long face stared at the farmer: "When you start fires, it could burn down the entire neighborhood."

The wife stared at the tall thin man: "Don't say such things. My husband lit a fire on our boat to cook some sausages. The whole boat started to burn. The boat’s engine got us to the dock and we jumped to safety. First the dock burned and that burned a warehouse and eventually it burned down the fire station."

“”Where were all the firemen?” asked the tall thin man, his dark eyes peering cautiously at the farmer’s wife?

“It is good that you ask,” cried the woman. “In the next town. They were all drinking beer at the fire chief’s house. It was a funeral party.”

“Who died?” asked the woman who had first suggested the raccoon be brought down with a glass of wine.

“Who died?” cried the farmer’s wife angrily. “The funeral party was for a dog.”

“A dog?”  It was a chorus of voices all repeating the question.

“All the firemen were totally drunk on beer,” said the farmer’s wife. “They all climbed onto the one fire truck and it was supposed to come to fight the fire in the village.”

The woman shook her head and sighed. ‘The driver lost his glasses and before any of the other firemen knew anything, they were going in the opposite direction.  That’s when everything really turned bad.”

“How bad could it get?” asked the tall thin man.

“They headed for the old Rickson bridge. It was made of wood without nails by pioneers two hundred years ago.  It was not built for fire engines,” said the woman.

“What happened?” cried the woman with the wine glass.

“It stopped right in the middle of the bridge, that’s what happened,” cried the farmer’s wife. “The whole bridge together with the fire engine and twelve fire fighters all went down as if they were on an elevator.”

“For God’s sake!” cried a man wearing a red wig with a scarf to match.  “What happened.”

“God must have looked kindly on the drunken men,” said the woman with a sigh, “because the old bridge structure acted like a raft, and it drifted downstream.”

“Oh, so God was watching over them.”

“He was until the twelve on the fire engine and the raft drifted by their home town which was now a holocaust,” said the woman.

“They didn’t stop?” It was a question from the tall thin man.

“Oh, no.  The mayor of the village stood by the remains of the dock and shouted that if ever any of the men ever came back to this place they would be burned at the stake,”  she said. Then staring at her husband  she shouted:  “And this man who caused it all wants to start a fire to smoke out a raccoon?  You have to be joking.”

Raccoon? All eyes looked up into the tree where they last saw the animal. But the creature had quietly sneaked away and gone home.
AUTHOR'S COMMENT:  If this short fiction story brought a smile, that's wonderful. I'm writing a novel in this vein, simply as a way of making people (and myself) smile.  Drop me a line at robertegbyauthor@gmail.com Blessings. Robert  September 28/2018.

Friday, November 24, 2017

DO SOMETHING POSITIVE? SEND A COSMIC BOUQUET!!

By Robert Egby

The following article was written by the author while studying Modern Spiritualism at the Morris Pratt Institute in 2000.

The next time you’re stuck in a traffic snarl, or waiting in a store check-out line, work on this. Cast your gaze, briefly, on a total stranger, someone you’ve never seen before, and as you do, say to yourself mentally: “I don’t know who you are, but I wish you wealth, health and prosperity.”

It’s called “Cosmic Bouquets.” When you get used to doing it, you’ll feel different in many ways. If you have difficulty wishing that upon someone because of age, class, creed, ethnic origin, dress, physical appearance or any other feelings, examine your hesitation, your reluctance. Work to understand this.

Find yourself a place to relax, with eyes closed, and focus on your hesitation, focus on your reluctance, and shortly you’ll start to hear voices, probably familiar voices -- mom, dad, brothers, sisters, teachers, school friends -- and listen to what they are saying. Don’t feel badly or negative in any way. Simply work to understand (1) why they said it, and (2) why you accepted it.

Child environments are critically important. As children we absorb messages, particularly emotional, high energy messages from people. Frequently, messages are negative, and they become imprinted in the deeper recesses of the Mind, and sooner or later, start to manifest themselves in life. Consciously, you don’t know where they come from, but they’re there deep in the subconscious. You may be angry, intolerant, impatient, prejudiced, skeptical, opinionated, judgmental, and when questioned about your attitude, brush it off with: “That’s the way I am. It’s in my genes.” Knowing is one thing. Understanding another. When you work to understand yourself you will find that most of your negative habits, statements, attitudes, were adopted. You didn’t create them.

Charles Kettering, the American electrical engineer and inventor, said: “There is a great difference between knowing a thing and understanding it. You can know a lot about something and not really understand it.”

When one works to understand one’s self, it starts a fascinating process. Some might call it “A miracle.” It changes your energy, it changes your attitude on yourself, and it changes your outlook on life. The key to this understanding or awareness, is that it needs to be done without judgment, opinion or criticism. Do it with a neutral mind. It is well nigh impossible to understand yourself--really understand yourself--if your thoughts are colored by any judgmental responses: “I don’t believe this - it’s loony, psycho stuff.” OK. Don’t feel badly about such responses. Work to understand where they came from.

Tolerance and open-mindedness go hand in hand in the teachings of modern Spiritualism. Both must be practiced, cultivated, and made a part of one’s daily way of life. Also cultivate an attitude of understanding and compassion.

And as in many things, start with yourself. You are the key to your world. Many years ago, as a struggling, underpaid journalist, working to raise a family, I used to get upset when charity fund-raisers came to the door collecting for the homeless in some remote corner of the earth. My reactions were always the same. Angry and resentful that they came, and guilty that I had been unable to give anything. No one was around to tell me what I know today. Feeling negative in any shape or form is unnecessary and harmful to one’s body and mind. If you cannot give financial help, meditate and send love and healing to the unfortunate. Send a Cosmic Bouquet! Don’t do it if you feel compelled, or that God might be watching over your should. Wrong reasons! Do it because you understand the old negatives, anger, resentment, guilt, are not for you or the Universe. Do it because you understand and want to do it. And enjoy!

There is a Golden Rule in modern Spiritualism, echoed from the ancient teachings, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye also unto them.” Work to understand this. If a voice pops up inside you, challenging the logic or wisdom of the statement, work to understand the voice and where it originated. Once you work with understanding, and determine the root causes of why you do and say things, “...the truth shall make you free,” (John 8:32) -- another incredibly wise teaching from the past.

Tolerance, open-mindedness, understanding and compassion. Work to understand what they mean. Develop an awareness of what they mean and what they don’t mean and in doing so you’ll observe changes happening within yourself and in your world. You’ll sense when others are intolerant. Observe their intolerance. Work to understand it. This does not mean you’re condoning it, it simply means you’re a student in the growth process. Be open-minded, do not judge or condemn, because you’ll fall into the negative trap. Be compassionate, send healing, send love to the intolerant. Again, this doesn’t mean you condone their intolerance, it means that you recognize that person is a Soul working on his or her own path which may be different from yours. Be tolerant and allow someone the freedom to be wrong. Depriving a person of the freedom to be wrong, you may well be depriving him or her of a life lesson.

The same applies to yourself. If you make a mistake, immediately observe yourself. Do you feel stressed, angry, silly, incompetent, not worthy, guilty? Such negatives will color or even block your learning process. Observe yourself without judgment or opinion. Simply watch yourself and work to understand what went wrong, and observe the opportunity to learn. Making a mistake, is a gift of the spirit. It’s called Wisdom. Learn from it, and you will come to develop the cosmic qualities of tolerance, open-mindedness, understanding and compassion.

Tolerate your own mistakes and decide to learn from them--all biases, opinions, prejudices and negativities. Be open-minded about getting to understand what went wrong or why you feel the way you do, and give compassion, give healing to yourself. Love yourself.

Some of the orthodox fundamentalists might disagree and hurriedly slap the old “sinner” label on you, but always remember the classic message from Thaddeus Golas, “The sin that most needs to be loved and forgiven is the state of mind that sees human being as sinners.”

It’s quite all right to love yourself. You don’t ever have to ask anyone’s permission if you can love yourself. When you have love for yourself, you become a source of love, and that love, that compassion, that understanding, starts to radiate outwards, and others will take notice.

Lao Russell wrote in her book, “God Will Work With You, But Not For You,” these words of wisdom: “If you wish to transform your individuality into a greater one, begin thinking great thoughts, beautiful thoughts, powerful and friendly thoughts, and your personality will immediately reflect your changed thinking. Your face will have a different expression in every detail as well as your whole bearing.”

The operative words are thinking and thoughts. You’re Mind is a powerhouse. What the ancient teachers and modern Spiritualists have known for a long time is right: “You are what you think you are. When you send out thoughts of love, healing, compassion and anything else, they’re out there traveling--faster than the speed of light! Princeton University engineering researchers Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne repeatedly showed that thoughts can influence machines. It’s scientifically proven and it’s in their book: “Margins of Reality.”

There is one key ingredient you need in anything to do with changing directions in life, and developing tolerance, open-mindedness, understanding and compassion, is a change of direction if you’re not used to it. The key ingredient is desire. Desire is the emotional fuel you need to achieve anything. Napoleon Hill featured it in his classic book “Think and Grow Rich,” and Lao Russell in another classic, “You Create Your Own Destiny,” said: "Whatever destiny you plan for yourself... you can reach it if your desire is strong enough."

If you find these teachings difficult to understand and implement, that’s quite all right. Don’t feel guilty, hurt, upset, or any other negative. Desire to understand yourself at all times, and if you wish, work at tossing out a Cosmic Bouquet when you’re in the shopping mall or in a traffic snarl...or anywhere. Do it anytime and the Universe will repay you.

So, whoever you are, wherever you are, I wish you wealth, health and prosperity!

Postscript: In the essay I use the word “work,” instead of the tired and worn “try.” The word “try” is read as a negative by the subconscious mind. If you try to do something, like lose weight, quit smoking, meditate, go to sleep, chances are you will not succeed.

Robert Egby's webpage

Robert's Books on Amazon

Monday, December 12, 2016

AN ENCOUNTER WITH BOOK PIRATES

In some obscure way I suppose one must feel honored that pirates stole my latest literary adventure: Chasing the Cosmic Principle—Dowsing from Pyramids to Back Yard America.
After experiencing encounters with book pirates on other tomes, principally with eBooks, my aim with “Chasing” was to make life more difficult for pirates on the seas of literature. No eBook!
Well, the pesky pirates within six weeks of publication not only had the book posted as a “Free eBook” it was also available as a Free PDF.
Reflecting back it was Bernard who took the lid off the piracy angle by suggesting the book title be scanned in the Google Search Engine. After listing all the regular links, up came that horrible little word posted by the pirates “Free!” Not just one link, but several links!
The next couple of days involved tracking down the pirate vendors and finally getting to the pirate captain with a cease and desist order. I must say, the pirates were fast. Within minutes the offending links were gone – at least for the present.
The tough part after getting the news that my literary creation was stolen, was the fact that on the pirate internet pages the “Free” edition was actually getting some good reviews!
In the midst of all this the ipba – that’s the Independent Book Publishers Association – of which I am a member, came up with a workshop on book piracy slated for the next week. I live in a world of seemingly coincidental events.
Who is Bernard, you might ask?
Bernard is a spirit gentleman with an Oxford accent who appeared one day and disrupted my efforts to write a small book on dowsing and the geophysical phenomena known as leys and geospirals.
Leys, known in England and Europe as “the old tracks” mainly because our ancient ancestors tuned in to the energy to move from one place to another – an ancient GPS if you like, also exist in North America. That is if one slows down enough to find them. Geospirals are circles of energy that manifest over blind springs, domed rocks that capture pure water coming from deep underground.
Both leys and geospirals produce aYin energy that relaxes, de-stresses, inspires creativity and generally maintains a comfortable aura of living. One highly publicized Earth energy point is the Chimayo Sanctuary in Northern New Mexico which we discussed in my award-winning book “Holy Dirt, Sacred Earth: A Dowser’s Journey in New Mexico.” The new book was supposed to be a sequel to show that ancient track leys and geospirals are equally prevalent in the eastern United States.
For instance, cathedrals, churches, hospitals, universities, schools, art academies and many offices are often found along leys. Pierre l’Enfant’s National Mall including the Capitol Building, William Penn’s unique City Hall in Philadelphia, Russell Conwell’s Temple University, the Catholic Church’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York are all built on leys with their accompanying nests of geospirals manifesting Earth energies. Fifth Avenue, New York and north and south Broad Street, Philadelphia are great streets on which to have office, artistic endeavors, healing centers and creative projects.
So along came Bernard and suggested I hold a pendulum – any small object hanging on a piece of string or chain, usually a nice crystal or rock – over a model pyramid we have on the kitchen counter.

Pendulums are neat little devices for getting answers to any questions one might have from the higher consciousness. So, I obeyed Bernard’s suggestion and held a pendulum over the pyramid. For a few moments it swung back and forth, and then as if some invisible force was at work, started swinging in counter-clockwise circles. There was no question asked, no reason why it should swing right, left, back or forth. It just insisted on swinging counter-clockwise for absolutely no apparent reason.
In the days, weeks and months that followed my original idea for a little dowsing book was disrupted by something Bernard refers to as a “Cosmic Principle” was introduced into my life as well as Betty Lou’s.
We learned of the potent power of not the pyramid – it goes far beyond – but the fact that there are things around us that also share and manifest the Principle, such as certain words, a color, a musical note, a language, and more. They all insist the pendulum swings counter-clockwise for absolutely no apparent reason. They are all a mysterious part of our Universe, their purpose generally still unknown and waiting to be explored in full.
Since the book was published in September, the search for the meaning of the Principle has continued, and I suppose the pirates are watching. If you, the reader find a “Free” copy of Chasing the Cosmic Principle, kindly let us know. If you purchase a copy of the actual book, that would be highly appreciated and if you send a sincere and honest review to Amazon or ourselves that would certainly make our day and heal the wounds of our encounter with a dastardly crime, book piracy.

The Dowsing Watch Column

CHASING THE COSMIC PRINCIPLE on Amazon

CHASING THE COSMIC PRINCIPLE from the Author