Tag Archives: Author: Maggie Tideswell

Imagination is a wonderful Thing!

book_club-main

Have you ever thought where we would be if we didn’t have an imagination?

We’d be lost and hungry, for a start.

Let me explain.

Imagination is the ability to form new images and sensations in the mind that are not perceived through senses such as sight, hearing, or other senses. It is a mental process, which is not visible to others. Imagination makes use of relevant knowledge and previous learning to solve problems

This is why I say that without an imagination we would all be lost and hungry. Without an imagination, nobody would be able to translate an abstract concept like a road map into the reality of the roads. The same applies to recipes. Imagination is what enables a person to turn a bunch of words into a wonderful dish.

In the business world, trainers emphasize ‘thinking outside the box’ and ‘lateral thinking’ in problem solving. What do they mean by that? Simply put, they might as well have told their trainees to ‘use your imagination.’

In today’s world, we want to be visually entertained. We watch movies, TV series, we play computer games etc. These are the products of somebody else’s imagination. Our own mind’s eye becomes lazy to the point of not being able to ‘see’ without ‘seeing’. We forget how to think in the abstract. We rely on imagination borrowed from somebody else.

Everybody doesn’t have to be a visual artist or an author, but our imagination is what separates us from the animal kingdom. No invention would have been possible with the imagination of the inventor. Every painting and sculpture started with an idea in the imagination of the artist. Bridges, highrise buildings, airplanes, trains and spaceships, the common light bulb, the telephone, television sets, you name it, they all started as an idea formed in somebody’s head by his/her imagination.

If the imagination becomes the privilege of the few the human race will be left so much poorer. Each person should strive to develop all the faculties available to him or her. Imagination incorporates learning, previous experiences and personality to come up with solutions in a new and original forms. With a blunted imagination, this process becomes limited to the point of being useless.

One way to develop one’s inner eye is by reading. By reading a book as opposed to watching a movie based on that book, one creates mental images for oneself from the abstract words the author used to tell the story. One enters the world the author created by visualizing it. But when we watch what another person have created, our own imagination shrivels with disuse.

Read a book!

 

http://www.maggietideswell.blogspot.com/

Maggie Tideswell is the author of passionate paranormal romance novels. She lived in Johannesburg, South Africa with her husband Gareth and their three cats.  She has two books published, Dark Moon (2011) and Moragh, Holly’s Ghost (2013) and has just launched her new five book series Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons. Book 1, The Run-Away Couple, is available on Amazon. Book 2, He’s Married will be released next month.

Living with Loadshedding by Maggie Tideswell

a

South Africans are faced with an unusual challenge, namely loadshedding.

Loadshedding is defined as the action taken to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant. In practice, this means that there is not enough electricity available to meet the demand from all Eskom customers, necessitating interruption of supply to certain areas. It is a last resort to balance electricity supply and demand to avoid total collapse of the electricity supply grid.

Escom, South Africa’s electricity supply company, has fallen behind on maintenance and upgrades of their power plants over the past 20 years. Now it can’t cope with the demand of electricity for day to day living. This affects businesses, mines, factories, traffic lights, hospitals and private homes, the whole country and nobody is exempt from it.

Rolling blackouts has become an integral part of living and working in South Africa today. Although there is a schedule for the power outages, one never knows when it is going to affect the area you are in. Escom doesn’t stick with the schedule. One cannot plan one’s life according to Escom’s schedules. The power could go off at any time, in the middle of your favourite TV programme, with dinner partly cooked, before you had time to save that very important manuscript you have sweated over for hours. It is completely unpredictable.

And there is nothing anybody can do about it!

When the power goes off, it isn’t only for a couple of hours as it is meant to be. You could be ‘in the dark’ for 6 – 8 hours at a time.

People in the towns and cities are not equipped anymore to cope without electricity. Shopping malls and hospitals have emergency generators, but there is chaos on the roads when the traffic lights are out.

At home one has to grin and bear it with the help of candle power, portable battery operated radios and one-plate paraffin or gel stoves. New dishes are being created as our way of cooking is forced to adapt. One-pot dishes are the order of the day. Laundry is a challenge.

And loadshedding is here to stay for at least the next two years!

But, as a writer of the ghostly unexplained, flickering candle light is great for the flow of the creative juices about the paranormal. Every dark side has a bright one too! And fortunately my laptop’s battery lasts for several hours. I’m sure every ghost in my environment smiles at me where I pound away with only a couple of candles to light the keyboard. Great atmospherics!

b

I have been interested in the paranormal, the things that go bump in the night kind, since I lived in Pilgrims Rest, South Africa’s very own gold rush town, for three years. And the thing that fascinates me about ghosts is why some people pass over to rest in peace and others don’t. Two of my paranormal romances have been published, Dark Moon in 2011 and Moragh, Holly’s Ghost in 2013. The latter was nominated as SAIR Book of the Year 2015.

I love the paranormal romance genre! by Maggie Tideswell

a

Let’s face it; love really is all around us. When you read a murder mystery or horror novel there are usually romantic elements. People fall in love. Even in the most unexpected or dangerous situations, people find each other. It is human nature.

What fascinates me about romance is, firstly, which characteristics attract people to each other enough to fall in love and, secondly, which traits keep them in love for a lifetime when one in three relationships fail.

Then there’s my fascination with the paranormal. People want to be scared. Fright gets the primitive fight or flight response going. And that is where the paranormal comes in. When I say paranormal I don’t mean zombies and vampires. Creatures with tentacles and many teeth also don’t interest me. Those are not scary and only have entertainment value as far as I’m concerned. My intent isn’t to put authors of those genres down. All I’m saying is that those elements aren’t what I write about. I’m interested in what isn’t visible to the eye–things that go bump in the night, ‘nothing is as it seems’, and witches getting up to mischief or doing genuine work to help. And of course, ghosts!

We all have those creepy little experiences of something moving just at the edge of vision, and when you look, there’s nothing there. Or the sounds we hear for which there are no logical explanations. And who of us haven’t known what was going to happen next or what somebody was going to say before it actually happened? This is what’s termed déjà vu.

People are not always what they seem. It’s a known fact that people represent themselves in the best light and what they show to the world is only the tip of the iceberg of their personality. I like to say people wear ‘masks’ to hide their true selves from others, for reasons of their own.

But my biggest interest is ghosts and why some people seem to get stuck on the earthbound plane after death. I even joined a paranormal investigation group, but I’m yet to come face to face with a ghost I could have a conversation with. I’ve been told I look too hard, and that ‘s why I’m unlikely to see a ghost, but I do experience them. On one occasion I had fallen asleep on the couch and I startled awake with the distinct feeling that somebody was leaning over me. There was nobody there, but the room had been freezing. It was the middle of summer.

Romance in combination with the paranormal is what I write. Instead of placing my characters in mortal danger of burning buildings, an erratic gunman or in the path of a tidal wave, I scare them with what they cannot see.

 
Maggie Tideswell’s first book, a paranormal romance titled Dark Moon, was published by All Things That Matter Press in 2011 and her second, Moragh, Holly’s Ghost, also in the paranormal romance genre, was published in July 2013. Her stories reflect her interest of things unexplained. Maggie loves books (the smell of paper), tea, wine, and her cat Felix is her constant companion. http://maggietideswell.blogspot.com/

Owls, harbingers of death or symbols of wisdom? by Maggie Tideswell

 

Owl 1

I have written ghosts in the past, but they aren’t all I am interested in. Owls are another passion of mine and are repeatedly used in my novels. My owls always act in unusual ways, for instance they fly together in a swarm, which they never do in real life; they attack humans, which is highly unlikely; and they guard or protect a human being, which is also not in their nature. That is the fun part of being a novelist. To serve the purpose of my story, owls may behave in any way I want them to, although I mostly stick to the known facts.

We all knowBarn Owl the basics of owls. They are birds known for their distinctive call, they are nocturnal and their flight is silent, and deadly if you are a tiny creature. Owls are right up there with bats and spiders as the most popular creatures of Halloween.

Owls are classified into two categories: barn owls have a heart shaped face, and true owls have a round face. In each category there are of course several species; 16 Barn Owl species and 190 True Owl species, to be exact. Owls don’t build nests, but make their home using anything that is convenient, from a nest built in the ground by other birds or burrowing animals, to a nook in a tree, to old abandoned buildings.

 Owls are carnivorous and will eat rodents, small mammals, nocturnal insects, fish and even other birds. After digesting their food, owls regurgitate hard pellets of compressed bones, fur, teeth, feathers and other materials they couldn’t digest. A barn owl can eat up to 1,000 mice each year, and farmers try to attract barn owls to help control rodent populations in agricultural fields.

Most people will know that owls’ eyes are fixed in their sockets, so that they have to turn their whole head to find their prey. You might have heard the tall tale that, because of their fixed eyes, should you circle an owl, it will wring its own neck watching you. As the owl can only turn its head 260 degrees, this claim is impossible. Because their eyes are fixed, they have binocular vision, a necessity for hunting in the dark. An owl has three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping and one for keeping the eye clean and lubricated.

Owls have asymmetrical ears that are different sizes and different heights on their heads. This gives the birds superior hearing and the ability to pinpoint where the prey is even before they can see it. The flattened facial disk of an owl funnels sound to the bird’s ears and magnifies it as much as ten times to help the bird hear noises humans can’t detect.

Some owhorned owll species have “ear” tufts on their heads but they aren’t ears at all. These tufts of feathers may indicate the bird’s mood and help keep it camouflaged.

Owls have zygodactyl feet, which means they have two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backward. This gives them a stronger, more powerful grip on their prey. Their feathers have been especially adapted to muffle the sounds of flying. Their broad wingspan and light bodies helps to make them nearly silent in flight. Handy for stalking prey.

For most owl species, females are larger, heavier and more aggressive than the males and she is also the most colorful.

Owls don’t only hoot, but are capable of a wide range of sounds, such as screeches, whistles, barks and hisses. During the nesting season, an owl’s calls can often be heard up to a mile away. And they sing duets with their breeding partner, whom they mate with for life.

Did you know that a group of owls is called a parliament?

Owls have been found in the fossil record up to 58 million years ago. The largest recorded owl fossil, Orinmegalonyx oteroi, stood about three feet tall. Owl images have been found in cave paintings in France, in Egyptian hieroglyphics and even in Mayan art. Most cultures focused on the dark aspect of the owl, mainly because of man’s inherent fear of the dark. Because the owl is nocturnal, and the medical fact that most deaths occur at night, the owl became associated with death.

The biggest modern threats to owls are habitat loss, pesticides that poison the birds and their food supplies, and human persecution because of negative superstitions.

dreamcatcher

Unfortunately for the owl, they have been much maligned by folklore and superstition. In ancient Greek mythology, Athena, goddess of the Underworld and Wisdom, had a companion owl on her shoulder, which revealed unseen truths to her. The Japanese believe the owl warns them of impending danger. In Celtic folklore the owl was sacred and endowed with magical powers. To the Welsh, the owl symbolized death, renewal and wisdom. Today, owl superstitions still associate the birds with bad luck, death and stealing souls in many cultures.

In paganism, the owl is associated with the goddess, wisdom, Underworld deities and prophecy. Owl symbolism used in meditation and ritual can help you interpret dreams, unmask those who would deceive you and find hidden spiritual truths.

For me personally, hearing an owl hoot at night means something good is about to happen.

 

Bio: Maggie Tideswell’s specialty is supernatural romance. Her novels are set in her homeland of South Africa. learn more at  https://www.amazon.com/author/maggietideswell

We Are Not Alone by Maggie Tideswell

maggie 1

Ghosts and apparitions have held great interest to humankind through all the ages. At first, ghosts of the dearly departed were accepted as fact and formed part of everyday life and rituals, but as we became gradually more technologically sophisticated, so the skepticism grew. It is a basic instinct to fear what one doesn’t understand or can’t reasonably explain.

Because “ghosthunting” isn’t a real science and has depended on amateurs with imperfect methods and imperfect equipment, knowledge has remained rather sketchy. Of course ghost stories are steeped in folklore. As tales get passed on from generation to generation, they becomes embellished and distorted. These stories were told to warn and to entertain and weren’t necessarily meant to be accepted as fact.

Personally I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, and have recently started questioning the nature of apparitions of the dead. I wanted to know why the spirits of some people linger after death and others not. To find answers, I first had to explore the nature of ghosts in general.

Let’s be honest. We’ve all heard inexplicable little sounds we hear at odd times for which we couldn’t find reasonable explanations. And because we’re scared of ghosts and things that go bump in the night, it makes one feel better to blame the noisy neighbors. And what about the movement we catch from the corner of the eye that we assign to shifting light casting shadows? Sometimes when we can’t come up with a logical explanation, it’s just more comforting to blame our own overactive imagination. But is it possible that all this space around us is not empty?

I believe we’re all born with the ability to “see.” Unfortunately our perception changes over time as we mature. This suggests that in the process of socialization, the ability is blocked when it’s assigned to the child’s imagination.

Here are a few interesting “facts” regarding the experience of ghostly activity:

•                Whereas children can see ghosts, only about one in ten adults retain that ability.

•                Women are more likely than men to see a ghost.

•                The higher the IQ, the lower the likelihood of seeing a ghost.

•                People actively looking for ghosts are the least likely to see one, and by the flip of a coin, those who disregard their presence are quite likely candidates to have a ghostly experience.

The most common explanation of what ghosts are, is that they’re the spirits of people who have died prematurely and so still have unfinished business to complete. The soul incarnates into each new life with a set of prescribed tasks to complete in that life for the development of that soul. When death comes unexpectedly or early, some of the tasks might still be incomplete and the soul is unable to cross over to the spirit world. The spirit then lingers around his or her old haunts and friends and family. This kind of sighting is highly interactive, and not only is a conversation possible, one may even capture the spirit in a video or photo. Some people stick to this theory of the nature of ghosts because they seem to accept it as proof of life after death.

Another theory is that high-impact events are recorded in the surroundings where the event takes place. The recording is then replayed so to speak, over and over, but can only be seen by people who have retained the sensitivity. This could manifest as the actual seeing of the apparition, but it could also take the form of recurring smells or sounds. The recording consists of a very strong emotion or a violent event. As this is only a recording of an event, it makes sense that there can be no interaction with the ghost as such. This is what is called poltergeist activity, as a poltergeist is attached to a place or house or even a single room in a house and doesn’t respond to the people occupying the space.

Recently in South Africa, our own Paralympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius, was accused of murdering his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013. The trial is still continuing as of this writing. The state has tried to prove that it was premeditated murder, while Pistorius has claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Then Pistorius’ legal team announced that Pistorius’ home, where the murder took place, was to be sold to offset his escalating legal fees. It is a beautiful house, in a good neighbourhood in Pretoria, South Africa. But the intense fear and violence of Reeva’s death has to be recorded in that bathroom where she was killed. Also, as in all murders, life is cut off prematurely, which leaves the soul with unfinished business, making it impossible for her spirit to cross over. For some this house will be even more desirable for this possibility; for others it will become a place to avoid.

A third theory of what ghosts are, states that they are naturally occurring electromagnetic events. We all leave impressions on the places we visit during our lives. So, one place could have the impressions of many people who had visited it over time. I’m not sure if these impressions would be interpreted as ghosts, though.

Similarly, there is a theory that ghosts are actual people living in parallel dimensions that overlap our dimension for a time. I suppose one must consider all options, but this one seems unlikely.

And the theory that ghosts live only in the imagination would seem to satisfy only those who have lost their ability to perceive.

Whatever the nature of ghosts, I believe they are there, whether one accepts them or not. And remember, if you don’t believe in the existence of such spirits, then you stand a much better chance of being  visited by one.

maggie 2

South African born and bred, Maggie loves all things paranormal. Her stories reflect her interest of things unexplained. Maggie loves books (the smell of paper), tea, wine, and her cat Felix, who is her constant companion. https://www.amazon.com/author/maggietideswell