We’re now being punished not for crimes, but for merely words and ideas

When I first drafted those words above, probably back in 2010 for what eventually became book 5, I really didn’t think we’d get to this position in our own world. At least not for another 30 or 40 years, and only once I was senile enough to not notice.

But ten short years later I’m reading daily about how people, groups, and movements are “canceled” because of their opinions.

Political commenters are calling for those on the sides “opposite” of them to be punished after this election.

Leaders are threateningly suggesting that those who vote against them will regret their decisions in the future.

Friends and family are attacking each other on public forums, calling each other “sheeple,” or “oppressors” and, in once case, reported a family member to the police on false charges in vengeance for a slight on social media.

We haven’t reached the level of laws against ideas yet, but considering how rapidly we’ve run into this state of chaotic accusations and offenses, I can’t imagine it’s too far off. I remember my parents telling me stories about having to be careful about what their families said in Nazi Germany, because they were never sure who was listening in and who would turn them in.

I never imagined we’d forget so much of that horrific history that we choose to repeat it, but here we are.

We’ve long ceased being a republic; we’re well on our way to a dictatorial leadership of some kind. And such leadership can exist safely only when its enemies have been silenced.

I’m slowly learning to stay out of these fights. No one’s opinions will change because we tell them they’re wrong, just as we won’t suddenly agree with those who accuse us of ignorance.

The only thing we can do right now is rise above the mudslinging, the anger, the fury. I keep thinking of Legolas in the first “Lord of the Rings” movie, walking on top of the snow drifts that his companions struggle to slog through. We have to stay above it, or it will drown us.

Go through the storms, but don’t be slowed down by them. (Also helps if you’re as light as an elf, but hey, we can’t all be nearly perfect.)

Because more and more, I’m feeling that a different future awaits those of us who try to remain kind, calm, and compassionate. More and more I’m not only hoping and praying, but also looking forward to a place that lets us live in peacefully even with those we may disagree with, without any threat or retribution.

It’s coming. We need to make sure our hearts are ready to receive it. If we will be one, we will be His, and safely with Him.

Choices, always choices here. This isn’t the world, you know. We’ll never tell you what to do, or what to think, or what to believe. We offer what we have and show you what we feel is true, but then we let you make your choice. Whatever you choose, whatever you choose.

~Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti, Book 5; Forest at the Edge

Why I made all my books free (and title release for book 5!)

If you go to Amazon/Smashwords/and-the-like you’ll see that my four books are now all available as FREE DOWNLOADS, and this is a PERMANENT change. (The paperbacks still cost money, because I’m unable to give those away, but I adjusted the prices so that I make nothing from them. Literally nothing.)

Why the heck did I do that?!

Because I felt, intensely and undeniably, that I should.
Because as I’ve stated elsewhere in my blog that I didn’t come up with this story; it was gifted to me.
Because when you’ve been given a gift, freely, you don’t then go around charging other people for it.

I’ve spent thousands of hours trying to improve these “gifts,” these stories. I started the series five years ago and spend an unconscionable amount of time developing them to the point that they’re just this side of readable. And while it’s been an enormous undertaking–I’ve never worked harder or longer on any other project besides motherhood–I’ve enjoyed it immensely, and felt incredibly blessed.
It’s been my therapy, when my sister and parents were ill and dying.
It’s been my escape, when we were severely underemployed and struggling.
It’s been my motivation to study deeply some theories, philosophy, and writings I normally wouldn’t.

It’s been a complete joy, a pure blessing. A true gift from God.

And I need to give that gift away.

It’s not like I ever made big bucks from this series anyway. I barely paid off my computer from the proceeds one year.

But something I read just the other day affirmed what I’ve been feeling for a long time now. Those words come from the Book of Mormon (yes, I’m a Mormon–a practicing Christian, as I’ve confessed before). When I read the following in my studies the other day, I felt a cosmic slap upside the head:

 29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.

 30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing;  . . .

 31 But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.

~2 Nephi 26: 29-31 (emphasis added)

As I’ve stated here in my bio, I believe in the concept of Zion—a group of people that are of one heart and one mind, where individuals choose (unlike socialism and communism) to share all things freely so that there are no poor among them, and are focused on improving their minds and increasing their knowledge, not their possessions. And I also believe creating this kind of society is doable in our future.

That’s why I’m writing. That’s why I’m so excited–and anxious–to get out Book 5, titled Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti (the enigmatic nature of the title is explained in the book; here’s a hint–it’s a code). I still hope to release in Spring of 2016. I had planned all along to make Book 5 permanently free, and held on to the idea that I can make a buck-fifty on the other books, no problem.

No. No, I need to be as open with all of my books.

Safety Assured book 5 PreCover

This isn’t the OFFICIAL cover yet. But this was the magnificent sunrise only this morning, and I realized it’d be a perfect background for Book 5 in the meantime.

To be honest, I was hoping to make some money because we’re crushed by an enormous student loan debt which we have no hope of paying off. I should be a brain surgeon with a debt like that. (Fortunately for all people requiring surgery, I’m not.)

But I’ve decided to have faith that if/when God wants me to pay off that debt, He’ll provide us with the right opportunities. Selling the inspiration He’s given me is NOT the way, however.

I have three other books kicking around in my head completely unrelated to Forest at the Edge, and maybe through one or all of those we’ll finally come into the money that will allow us to get out of the debt.

So today I happily announce that my series–which people either LOVE! or HATE! based upon the feedback I’ve been getting online and privately–will always be permanently free.

Enjoy! (Or bash, whatever.)