Fire and Ice

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Two of the most intense of the four elements are fire and ice (ice being the frozen form of water).  Touch either with your bare hand, and you will feel their contact.  Journey with me through the fire of a California mountain wildfire, where my cozy life as a rich housewife and mother burned up.  I walked through fire to find a new life teaching English in frozen Russia.  Missing my children, my heart like ice, I learned to walk across the frozen rivers of Samara.  Read about this journey in my “Fire and Ice” book.  Watch my Youtube video that I narrated with my own voice.  Know that you, too, can survive contact with the wildest elements.

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Sound

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The first thing I wrote was a poem.  I was four years old, and my mother jotted down the words I spoke.  As a child I wrote stories, and as a teenager I created plays.  I got a Master’s degree in English, and my thesis was a book of poetry.  But I had always wanted to write books, so I put all the music I had learned in poetry (and in voice lessons) into my prose.  Poetic prose, novels that can sound like poetry.  Poetry, as the English poet Shelley once observed, can turn all things to loveliness.  In this passage from Chapter Four of my new book “Fire and Ice,” I write about domestic violence in a poetic way.  Tell me what you think:

One night, I sat at my polished mahogany desk in front of the moonlit window.  On the other side of glass, wind blew evergreen boughs like dancers.  The forest around the house lit up, trees casting shadows upon the pine-needled ground.  Music filled the air, inside the room and out–the music of wind, my joyful heart, and the words in my mind like clear notes of an aria.

My long fingers swept across the white keys of my laptop like a pianist in a concert.  With each touch of a fingertip, the melody rose toward crescendo, in words like windowsill and elbow.  I was writing an epic story like an opera.  I mastered arts of setting, character, and costume, each detail chosen from millions of possible words.  They appeared one black letter at a time on a white screen against a glowing blue background.  I loved that color of blue, the color of the distant sky and shallow water.

Selah, clothed in glittering armor, faced the dungeonwraith at last.  Her right hand held a torch high against the darkness of deep stone and dim halls.  Her left hand lifted a silver shield that blazed with reflective light.  Her sword hung ready at her side. Continue reading

“Fire and Ice,” Chapter Nine: The Gates of Hell

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I had cancer 16 years ago when my son was just a baby.  Now Jonathan is 17 and facing his last year of high school.  I teach English in Turkey and miss him, hoping to sell more of my books and buy an airplane ticket back to visit him.

Sixteen years ago, after surgery and 4 months of chemotherapy, I suffered nerve damage and axiety.  The doctors gave me anti-anxiety medicine and morphine, and I eventually became addicted.  This chapter from my newest book tells how I stopped taking all prescription medication, suddenly, and almost died.

Nine

The Gates of Hell

“The battle is the Lord’s.”

1 Samuel 17:47

Edd stopped paying child support, and I had no money left for food or rent, so I did another stupid, senseless thing (in my hazy state of morphine and other medications) and moved in with a Mexican guitar player who had serenaded me in a restaurant a few months previously.  His name was Miguel, and he was cute and short and jealous to the point of insanity.  He locked me in a cage just like a bird and would not let me go anywhere out of his jealous sight, and that was so painful I cannot even write about it.  But he also helped to set me free.

He was the first one to call me a ****ing drug addict.  Though I protested that I never took illegal drugs in all my life, and doctors had written out quite legal prescriptions, I knew that he was right.  He told me I could choose the drugs or him.  And, finally, I realized that God required me to give up my addiction, so I let go.

The day after Mother’s Day, 2008, I gave all my colored pills to Miguel, like sand at the seashore.  The waves swirled around my feet, and I threw my fistful of wet sand into the water.  Then I knelt and thrust my hand into the waves until they cleaned them of every golden grain . . .

Since we were poor with just a barely furnished house in Big Bear, I could not check myself into a fashionable Drug Rehab Clinic.  So I went off all my pills Cold Turkey, without a doctor’s care.

That action took me to the Gates of Hell. Continue reading

“Fire and Ice” Chapter Three: Serpent in the Grass

I was an abused wife as so many women are.  Read this chapter from my newest book and tell me what you think:

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Serpent in the Grass

My marriage to the Navy pilot ended, and just as I was free, I became entangled with a tragic poet I met at San Diego State University.  We took graduate writing classes together, and I was repelled at first by his gruff, Lumber Jack demeanor and cruel words.  When he read my lamentation poem of England, he remarked,

“Go back to the moors and stop complaining.”

I should have listened to my first impressions.  Instead, I put on my Rescue Ranger hat and thought to save a troubled man.  Edd Williams’ parents had both been alcoholics like mine, and he had seen them abuse each other for years (mainly his father toward his mother, until she learned to fight back).  He told me once that he had welcomed Anger into his life, like a demon, shadowy and real as clouds that hover above the mountains in the night sky, beneath the stars and moonlight, ever patrolling the earth and haunting those who dwell upon it.

I battled that Anger for sixteen years.  It alienated me from my children Kristen and Ryan, who moved with their father and new stepmother to Washington, and I missed much of their teenage years.

I tried to leave him several times, before we had children and even afterward.  I packed my white pickup truck I’d gotten in my divorce from Jeff Smith and drove north from San Diego to a random hotel room that smelled of cigarette smoke.  And then I dreamed I was in a canyon, in the darkest night, and a rattlesnake coiled between me and the canyon’s distant rim.  It held position in the high, brown grass, its scales a wondrous blend of black and red and gold, and I could merely stand and see a few stars shining far above us.  I could not find a way to pass its amber, slanted eyes and open mouth with white fangs glistening.  Maybe it’s a sign, I thought.  Maybe I should stay and have Edd’s children, and he will find healing.

I should have gathered strength from God and pressed on past that serpent in the grass—at all costs, at risk of being bitten by those two white, arching fangs that would pump nerve-destroying venom through my veins.  But we never know the path before us, cannot see what risky slope it climbs or perilous descent it plunges to—until we have walked it.  I called Edd from the hotel room phone.  He said he was making a steak dinner for me and to come home.  I missed that open door to freedom, and it would not swing clear again for many years, and then I would be too weak to safely walk through it. Continue reading

Kissing a Stranger on a Russian Train

Russia is a strange, beautiful, icy, lonely place.  You may find yourself on the train in winter, and this could happen:

Lonely strangers can meet upon a train as it rushes through the long Siberian winter, snow all about the tracks and fields and forests, and moonlight shining through the window of the dark, cold space between the wagons where he takes her for a kiss.

It was the most needed and romantic kiss she ever had, for months had passed without a hand upon her.  And he trembled with her, and also wept, for he had been working hard for the railroad, trampling through the snow beside black metal rails.  Like a scene from a war movie, he is there, his eyes a vague green in the moonlight, his smile so transitory, his hair a type of blond, the smell of tobacco on his breath.  The train tracks click, click, click beneath them, the wagons sway, and then his stop approaches.  It is late, and he must go home, and she must travel further up the line.  He holds her for a moment against his chest, in the circle of his arms, then steps out the open door into a whirl of snowflakes and is swept away.

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The above is from my new book “Fire and Ice.”  Read the whole travel adventure story here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007U7KYJ8

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Movement

People going up and down the stairs in Izmit, Turkey (near Istanbul). Notice how the gray colors reach toward the brighter reds and yellows in the light. Life is always moving . . .

Read about my always-moving adventures through places like California, England, New Zealand, Russia, and Turkey in my new book, “Fire and Ice”:

http://www.lonnawilliams.com/books.html

“Fire and Ice” Chapter Four: 38 Steps

How does an abused wife leave her husband?  It is difficult, especially if she has children.  Sometimes she does a rehearsal for the real event.  I did this before I fled from California to New Zealand with my two children.  Read and wonder.  Has something like this happened to you or someone you know?  (from my new book, “Fire and Ice”)

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Thirty-eight Steps

“Where shall I go from your Spirit?

Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to Heaven, you are there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!

If I take the wings of the morning

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,

and your right hand shall hold me.”

Psalm 139:7-10

One thing the doctors gave me through cancer and nerve damage from the chemotherapy–was medicine.  They were eager to write prescriptions for pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness.  Fifteen years of domestic abuse pushed me further into these drugs.  When they became less effective and the doctors would not prescribe stronger ones, I would use the family credit cards and buy more on the Internet–without a prescription.  They came easily enough from places like Canada and India, in dubious packaging with strange names.  I hid this contraband in the linen closet of our lovely mountain home and waited all the long, stress-filled days for the chance to swallow them secretly at night (as if no one knew).

It was a family custom for Edd and me to put Jessica and Jonathan, our beautiful children whom I homeschooled, to bed each evening.  We would sit on the children’s twin beds in their shared bedroom, in the glow of the green moon nightlight. By Jonathan’s bed, Hebrew letters–penned with his own hand–were caught in black ink behind glass, framed upon the wall.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body, and soul,” they read.

Beside them, the painting of an angel blazed in white against the dark background of a boy’s bedroom.  The heavenly being, with arching wings, stood tall above the sleeping boy who was covered to his chin with blankets.  The angel held a torch in one hand and a sword in the other.  Its silver blade reflected fire above the small, smooth face of the sleeping child.

The inscription below the painting read in English cursive letters:

“I will both lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

How can I feel safe with Edd?  I wondered, staring at the man who tormented us. Continue reading

“Fire and Ice” Chapter Five: Spaceship in New Zealand

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My newest book, “Fire and Ice,” tells how I left California for adventures in New Zealand.

Summary:  In Book 3 of “Survival Stories,” Lonna Lisa Williams tells how she survived a tragic childhood and cancer.  Then she realized she was an abused wife.  But instead of finding a new life, she retreated into prescription medicine that her doctors gave her.  A wildfire burned her California mountains, and Lonna flew to New Zealand with her two trusting children.  She lost an international trial and returned to California where she lost everything in divorce.  Her castle of a home was gone, her children hidden from her, and Lonna’s downward spiral into drugs continued.  She crashed her car in the mountains then nearly bled to death while stopping all prescription medicine.  But, like the mythical phoenix bird and through the power of resurrection, Lonna rose to a new life of teaching English overseas.  Walk with her on this journey of adventure, across the frozen rivers of Russia and to the sunset seas of Turkey.  Discover how the extremes of fire and ice can shape a person’s life.  Catch a flame and snowflake in a camera’s lens and listen to the music of this writer.

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Spaceship in New Zealand

“I lift my eyes up to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2

A nearly full moon cast all the hills and valleys of sheep farm country in a liquid silver light that flickered in and out as wind blew clouds across the sky.  In the distance, mountains rose in snowy heights, their peaks stark white against black chasms, a contrast more lovely than the road before me, and it drew my eyes away.

“I’m late,” I muttered, trying to focus on the headlamps that illumined the dotted white lines in the middle of the highway.  Jessica, beside me, was silent as I raced down the wet-black road, on the left side instead of the right.

It started raining again, steadily and strong, and I turned on the windscreen wipers.

“Be careful, Mom,” she warned.  I slowed down a little and glanced at the glowing face of my cell phone.  No reception.  The implacable time read 9:28.

“I’m late,” I repeated.  “They’re going to be so mad.” Continue reading

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New Zealand Video (Part One)

My son Jonathan (now 17) was little Frodo and his sister Jessica (now 19) Princess Arwen in our great adventures in New Zealand. See the mountains, lakes, glaciers, bays, seasides, waterfalls, and strange birds that make this the most beautiful place on earth!

Read my book “Fire and Ice,” that tells of my adventures with my children in New Zealand:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007U7KYJ8

“Fire and Ice” Chapter One: Walk with Me

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have written 3 true survival/adventure books.  My newest book, the third, is here for you to read:

Summary:  In Book 3 of “Survival Stories,” Lonna Lisa Williams tells how she survived a tragic childhood and cancer.  Then she realized she was an abused wife.  But instead of finding a new life, she retreated into prescription medicine that her doctors gave her.  A wildfire burned her California mountains, and Lonna flew to New Zealand with her two trusting children.  She lost an international trial and returned to California where she lost everything in divorce.  Her castle of a home was gone, her children hidden from her, and Lonna’s downward spiral into drugs continued.  She crashed her car in the mountains then nearly bled to death while stopping all prescription medicine.  But, like the mythical phoenix bird and through the power of resurrection, Lonna rose to a new life of teaching English overseas.  Walk with her on this journey of adventure, across the frozen rivers of Russia and to the sunset seas of Turkey.  Discover how the extremes of fire and ice can shape a person’s life.  Catch a flame and snowflake in a camera’s lens and listen to the music of this writer.

One

Walk with Me

“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee,

saw two brothers . . .”

Matthew 4:18

When I was not yet five, my father shot himself in front of me and my mother, on Christmas evening, in our little North Carolina trailer.  He had been drinking, and I remember the smell of whiskey, sharp and strong, upon his breath.  He reclined at the kitchen table, wearing his red plaid shirt that matched the color in his cheeks.  His face was handsome, his eyes brown, his hair dark and rakish—nothing like my delicate, blonde, blue-eyed mother.

“I want to go to my mother’s Christmas party,” my mother insisted, standing like a fashion model in her sequined jacket that reflected rainbow colors on the wall.  “Please come with me.”

“Those rich English snobs do not want this alcoholic gypsy in their fine home,” my father slurred, holding up a half-filled bottle.  Its amber liquid glinted in the light.  He stared at it a moment, as if contemplating doom, then took another sip and set it down hard upon the table.  “I’m not going.”

“Then I will go without you!” she exclaimed, reaching for her velvet purse.

“Then I will shoot myself,” he said. Continue reading