“Selah of the Desert” Chapter 4

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I hope you are enjoying my new Selah book.  Read Chapter One here.

FOUR

Low Tech

After months of Blackout, the Company finally let Diego call Selah.  Hoping that she would hear from him, Selah got used to carrying her Tech device everywhere with her.  When the call came she was driving back from a short visit to the Golden City to see Jessie. As soon as she recognized the Tech number, she pulled off the main road and parked near a random market.

“Hello,” she said after a Tech voice informed her how to accept the call.

“Hi, Beautiful,” Diego’s voice replied, laughing a little.  Selah smiled and held her Tech closer.  She could not see his image because it was Low Tech, but his voice sounded the same as she remembered.

“Hi!’ she echoed, smiling.

“How are you?” Diego asked.

Feeling a little awkward talking into Tech when before she had spoken IRL to De Leon, Selah told him about moving to a new rental room and visiting Jesse.

“How are you doing?” she queried.  “Did they punish you much?  I got some of your letters.”

“Oh, you know, they put me in The Hole.  They wouldn’t let me call you.”

Selah didn’t want to know how horrible The Hole might be, a place she had never been allowed to see when she worked inside the prison.

“I filled out the Visitation Request form and kept calling the AW, but he never answered.  I left messages with the receptionist, but still he never called me back.”

“Yes, I figured they would ignore you.  They will not let you visit me here because of what happened between us.”

The words “between us” sounded so Hot to Selah that she blushed—though no one could see her.

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“Selah of the Desert,” Chapter 3

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My daughter Jessica is Selah One

Here is Chapter Three as I promised.  I hope you enjoy it.  You can read Chapter Two here and Chapter One here.

Three

Blackout

For a week Selah drifted like a lost soul.  She suddenly had no job to go to, no schedule, nothing to look forward to. She could not see or speak to De Leon. She drove her car on meaningless errands like shopping, paying bills, and getting take-out dinners.  She drank coffee with lots of milk and sugar—as if that would make her feel alive again, when she really felt like some kind of wandering spirit whose heart had been ripped out a thousand years ago.  Even in her dreams, she floated randomly across the shifting desert sand, looking for De Leon.

“Good Cole,” she said one afternoon when her week was almost finished.  She knelt down near the big, black, friendly dog who was more important than she was in the house where she rented a room from strangers.  “You don’t have much to worry about except where you buried your bone, do you?”

Cole shook his tail and coughed (his way of speaking to her).  His brown eyes shone brightly, and he opened his mouth and licked her hand.  Selah brushed his neck and ears and whispered, “You’re smart, aren’t you?  The Maker made you, too.  I wish I could be carefree, like you are.”

Selah opened the glass door that led to the back yard, and Cole eagerly brushed past her on his mission to inspect his area and bark a little.

“Oh, Selah, here you are.  I’ve been wanting to talk to you.”  Bill, the owner of the house, spoke from behind her.  Selah turned around to face him.  He looked a little sleepy, though it was late afternoon.

“Yes?” she asked.

“I need you to move out,” he stated without wasting words, “By next week.”

“What?” she asked.  “I told you that I have rent money to pay you, and I will continue to pay you.  I have other sources of income than the prison.”

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“Selah of the Desert” Chapter 2

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As I promised, I have Chapter Two for you.  Read Chapter One here.

TWO

Love Is Illegal?

Selah and her student De Leon exchanged forbidden papers for six weeks. Sometimes they drew colored hearts and flowers on them.  Sometimes they wrote verses from the Maker’s Scroll, with a pen on paper, as people used to do—before they were sucked into a Virtual World and Lost in Tech.  Neither Selah nor De Leon felt guilty.  They exchanged nothing but words and the unseen love that grew in their hearts and made them prone to smiles or laughter. They planned no jail escape, passed no drugs or money.  Their only Contraband was love, which they were brave enough to express.  If De Leon had not taken the risk to give Selah a Winter Solstice card, she would not have known that he loved her.

Their mailbox became lined notebook paper into which they slipped impassioned notes.  He drew 2 gold rings on one letter and asked her to be his Mate.  She drew a heart on a small pick notepaper with the words “Yes, I will” inside it.  She summoned him a few more times, so they could talk alone.  No one seemed to notice except the 2 of them.  They were careful not to hug, kiss, or use any obvious gesture to show their love.  They felt stressed but happy, and both saw not a prison but a precious place where they found each other.  The plain-colored walls seemed infused with rainbows all around them, and they looked forward to each day they would be together.  Selah’s drives across the desert seemed shorter.  Diego’s nights alone in his narrow bunk, in the dormitory with 100 other inmates, passed quicker.

“Love changes everything,” Selah said to De Leon the day before Heart’s Day.  She had dismissed her tutors early after De Leon showed up for the afternoon tutoring session. Lately they could not be alone at all in the afternoon, when the classroom was full with tech users and students in need of reading or math.  But this day, they found themselves alone among the red hearts that Selah had decorated around the room on bright-colored paper.

“You know, I was amazed that my Counselor put me right into your class,” Diego told her as they sat at a respectful distance from each other.  “I arrived during the Autumn festivals and started in your class that first week. Many inmates wait months before they can get into Education.”

“Oh, I didn’t know,” Selah said.  She unconsciously leaned toward Diego so that he would not have to speak loudly.  “I’m afraid I didn’t really notice what was going on back then.”  She didn’t want to explain how sad she had felt that her daughter had moved away to the Golden City after a tragedy hit them both—and how lonely she was with the holidays approaching.

Diego noticed the shadow that passed over her blue-green eyes.  “I saw how sad you were, and how beautiful,” he said in a low voice.

Selah never much considered how she looked or put her faith into appearances.  She was wearing a red blouse that made her hair look brighter, and her silver necklace shone with crystals formed in the shape of the Maker’s Seal.  Diego couldn’t help reaching out his hand toward her.

“Remember how I wrote that you have a hot smile?” he asked.

Selah blushed almost as red as her blouse. “Yes,” she whispered, smiling. She reached out and clasped his hand in hers.

“By the Maker!” they both exclaimed at the unexpected, forbidden touch of skin to skin.

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“Selah of the Desert” Chapter One

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These are 5 of my 7 books on Amazon.  The one to the far right is my fantasy novel, “Selah of the Summit.”  On the cover, I am Selah, posing in an outfit I wore to the Big Bear Renaissance Faire.  Selah is a slave girl trapped in a desert prison.  One day, a stranger appears at a banquet where she must serve her cruel Master.  He gives her a snowflake, and everything changes.  Follow Selah’s journey to the top of the Summit, as she finds freedom, friends, enemies, and love–along the way.

Now I am writing a new Selah book, set in the California High Desert (which I call the Apocalypse Desert).  A thousand years after the first Selah lived, a new Selah works in a desert prison.  Five days a week, she drives across the Apocalypse Desert to teach inmates.  At Christmas, one of her students gives her a sweet Christmas card, and everything changes.

“You can be walking down the same hallway you have trod for years.  Then, one day, you turn the corner, and everything changes,” is my favorite quote from my Selah books.  Do you think you are stuck on a sad, never-ending, doomed old road?  Do miracles still happen in our modern world as they did in the old days?  May you find help from The Maker, as Selah did!

Geo Prison

Here is Chapter One from “Selah of the Desert”

A Prison in the Desert

           The sun was not up yet.  Faint wisps of pink and orange clouds like feathers drifted above the eastern horizon. Selah looked up at them as she stepped out of the house and braced herself for cold air.  Wind blew down from snow-covered mountains that surrounded the High Desert.  Selah wrapped her jacket around her and pulled on her gloves as she balanced 2 bags, a travel coffee mug, and the scarf she had not yet wound around her neck. Her red-gold hair, annoyingly curly, peeked out beneath a black knit cap.

“It might snow today,” she mumbled to no one as she locked the door behind her and approached a white car that was covered with ice.  “Funny that they call this a desert when it snows sometimes!” she exclaimed, as if the silent auto could hear.  “Now I’ve got to warm you up and melt off all that ice so that we can drive to work.”

She unlocked the door and pushed her bags and coffee mug inside—then sat down on the cold driver’s seat, placed the key in the ignition, and started the engine.

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Apocalypse Desert

Please watch my new 6-part video series called “Apocalypse Desert.”  It tells about my job teaching in a California High Desert prison and how I found love in that most unlikely place, between the prison bars.  My story ties in with my Selah fantasy novel which is set in a desert prison.  Thank you, and God bless you!

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Christmas in a Hotel

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My family is my daughter Jessica, the only one of my 4 children who wants me in their lives.  She is having a baby soon, the only grandchild I will see–unless things change.  Jessica spent Christmas with me in a nice (but inexpensive) hotel in Ontario, California. We stayed there before–during the Miss California competition and Thanksgiving.  The hotel has a cheerful, red-hued lobby; a pool; and walkways with a gazebo and rose gardens.  It reminds me of hotels I stayed in throughout China.  We gave away some of my books to curious staff members and enjoyed green tea, butter cookies, and a few wrapped gifts.  I am thankful that, though I do not own my own home, this year I was not homeless.  I have a good job and can afford a hotel near to where Jessica lives.

Jessica read the story of the first Christmas as written in the Bible’s Gospel of Luke.  As a Messianic Jew and a Christian, I could be criticized for celebrating Christmas, a holiday not well steeped in valid history.  However, I love Christmas for the songs whose words I memorized when I was a child, the tiny blinking lights, angels, and evergreens.  Jesus came as the “light of the world.”  He died on a tree, our sacrifice to wash away our crimson sins, and rose again to bring new life.  Somehow these ideas do not erase older traditions of Hanukah, but fulfill.

How was your Christmas?

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Big Bear Renaissance Faire 2017

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Last night the Queen invited all her court, friends, and their family & friends to celebrate Christmas on 12th Night (in January), as was done long ago and is still done in some places today.  Seeing people who have become family to me, feasting on our homemade food, listening to music and stories, and playing games like the Gift Exchange, I remembered back to last summer when I entered a better Reality than this modern age.  Close your eyes and enter a slower-paced, more fantastical time where surprises waited behind tree branches and in the spark of children’s eyes.

See the video I just posted on Youtube.  Read my fantasy novel.  Celebrate life!

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Woman Down

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I watched the most life-changing film, “Man Down.”  Not only veterans get PTSD   I have had it since I was not yet 5 years old, when my father shot himself in the head–in front of me–on Christmas Day.  Through abusive men, cancer, and near-fatal car accidents, trauma has returned repeatedly.  Jesus help veterans and all of us who have PTSD.  Woman Down.

You can read all about my journey with PTSD in my 3 nonfiction books which I call my “Survival Series.”  Start with “Crossing the Chemo Room,” then go through “I Saw You in the Moon.”  Realize that I do not tell the whole truth until “Fire and Ice.”

May our 2018 be a year less affected by trauma.  Sadly, I cannot help but feel that everyone on Earth is in danger of PTSD the way things are headed.  Like my Selah fantasy character, may we overcome!

Beautiful Fool

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I am a beautiful fool

eyes as aquamarine against faded gold

like the ring my daughter gave me

living in my own dream world

Galadriel of the forest

giving to Arwen

pink flowers in moonlight

standing, frail, against the doom of a sorcerer

waiting for a miracle

Jesus

**This is the poem my daughter Jessica wrote for me when she gave me this ring:

For My Mother
Whose Beauty Shall Forever Illuminate Through
–& Within–
My Heart
As Galadriel,
the Immortal Lighthouse
of All Forests.
My Courageous
Queen
Shall Eternally Protect
–& Reign o’er–
My Spritish Soul
with Grace Beyond
Earthly
Comprehension
(–Perhaps Sprouted from
the Aquamarine
Ring
this Elf
Once Gave Her!)

Please buy my books, just $2.99 each, so that my dreamlife may continue in practical, unpoetic, expensive California.  Thank you, this Day after Thanksgiving, Year of our Lord 2017.

Selah Cover

Fantasy and Technology

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My last blog, written 3 months ago, was set in my Happy Place–the Big Bear Renaissance Faire.  Since those Merry Days ended, I realize more than ever that I was born out of time.  I should have lived when women wore capes and could be Queen, accompanied by a faithful, silver-armored soldier.  After reading my daily news and Technology Update (outdated the moment it’s published), my aching, spinning head longs to shrug its Technology Trauma and wear a simple, golden mesh “snood” that blends with my emerald flounces.  I don’t need to know about Killer Robots, camera-equipped drones, Bitcoin, or the newest smartphone.  I want to walk in red forest dust, beneath boughs of evergreen branches, beside breeze-dancing edges of graceful tents.  Mountain summits, still with snow, hover above me; knights, ladies, priests, and dancers surround me; and we all yell together,

“Long live the Queen!  May she reign forever!”

as we follow the purple-trimmed Spanish Queen of Misfits who allows anyone to join her bountiful land and escape the terrible Inquisitions.

So I updated my “Selah of the Summit” fantasy cover with a photo of me at that Renaissance Faire this summer.  Do you like it?  I sadly replaced the cover with my daughter Jessica looking like Arwen from “Lord of the Rings” because its resolution was so low (when I added it to the cover format).  Did you like that one, too, in its original state, below?  Which is better?  Email me your preference, please:  selahtrilogy@yahoo.com

Also download my Selah fantasy novel as a Kindle eBook (just $2.99) or paperback ($10).

Thank you and Happy Olden Days!

Lonna Lisa Williams