Hot off the presses: my anthology is now available as an eBook!
Thanks for your support!
Hot off the presses: my anthology is now available as an eBook!
Thanks for your support!
My anthology won the 2017 Best Book Award for Fiction: Short Story!
Here’s the award link:
And here’s the Press Release link:
Of course I need to thank Joyce Combs, my editor, for her sharp eye and editorial skills. To Pam Headrick for her formatting sorcery. There’s no other word for such witchery. And Lon Kirschner—for his incredible cover artistry! I couldn’t have done any of this without them! Thank you all so damned much!
I have to thank the American Book Fest! Their readers and judges! Thank you so much! I am truly honored and stunned! Mr. Jeffery Keen! Thank you! You were so quick and timely with all of our correspondence and responses to my questions, as well! I am truly honored and stunned!
Second time’s the charm?
Wendy and I tried to record this interview a week ago (the last interview that never happened…), but ran into…let’s just call it “doppelgänger issues”…and the interview was lost….
But yesterday, all things fell into place! The irony of it all was that this interview was originally scheduled for yesterday‘s date, but Wendy had moved it to the previous week (and there’s more about this in the podcast, above).
Insert doppelgänger issues.
Here we are now.
Sorry about the occasional feedback issues, but it is technology.
Wendy is so charming, gracious, and fun! Thank you, Wendy, for two fun interviews, thanks for having me, and I hope we do some more of these! Thank you, listeners, for listening! And thanks to Matt, for his excellent production efforts!
Things are not always as they seem….
This year has been head-spinning in many ways…many good ways! But, man, has it just flown by! Time is…fleeting, as The Rocky Horror Picture Show says. The past (in certain terms) is behind us and the future (in certain terms) before us. So where does that leave us?
In the present moment. All we really have is the present. So is it really any wonder that Christmas packages are called presents?
I enjoyed as much of the present moment as possible throughout this year, and I hope the rest of you did, too!
And I know there are other holidays out there. I wish you all the peace and love and joy you also celebrate.
I thank all of you who—in your own, sometimes most personal ways—for helping create a better world for yourselves and everyone else. Many of you perhaps don’t even realize this. Doing so can be as easy as keeping good and positive thoughts in your head…as well as doing the more public acts. The point is, doing good in the world is as easy as doing good for yourself and your immediate circle of influence, because everything affects everything else.
I thank my wife, Laura, for her love and in being the kind and gracious person she is. For staying with me…and for continuing to put up with me and all my weirdness. Es.
I thank my family—both near and far, nuclear and extended—for being themselves and continuing to put up with me and all my weirdness. Es.
I thank all my friends—both close and acquaintance—for being themselves and continuing to put up with me and all my weirdness. Es.
I thank all of you who invited me to all the literary events I went to this year. I am ever humbled by your invites! Thank you!
I thank Lon Kirschner for his incredible cover art! Thanks, Lon!
I thank Mandy Pratt for all her efforts and dedication (which continues!) on editing and proofing my short stories. Thank you!
I thank all my writing friends for being who you are, for writing your wonderful blogs, for writing stories that are important to you. For being open and supportive to the rest of us who are not at your levels-of-success (i.e., thanks for not being snooty). Thank you!
Any group or individual I may have missed, it was not intentional. I thank you, too!
To those of us who require a little extra work in various aspects of our lives…I wish us all the very best at becoming and being the best person we can be throughout the rest of our lives!
So, I send out massive amounts of love and peace and joy to all on this day that many of us celebrate for many reasons, not all of them religious.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
While in Riverton, Wyoming on our Labor Day Weekend trip, I would get up before my wife and Cousin-in-Law (CIL) and read. I’d started these two books on our upstate New York trip and had finished one of them (New England’s Ghostly Haunts, © 1983, by Robert Ellis Cahill), but was only about halfway through with the other one. That book is the More Haunted Northern New York, by Cheri Revai (apparently Cheri changed her name for one reason or the other, to “Farnsworth”).
I’d sit in the recliner out in the living room, with just the table-side light on and read. What had happened next, I don’t know if it’s really paranormal or not, but I have not found out the source of “the weirdness.”
On the first morning, as I sat and read, I noticed a sudden and definite scent of women’s perfume. It wasn’t an air cleaner/spritzer, it was definitely perfume. I didn’t think any of it, thinking it must be some scent released into the air. I let it go. The next morning, it happened again—twice. This time it happened just as I was finishing up the story about the Hand House (pages 68-70), on page 70. If you read five lines up from my thumb, you’ll read what I read as the two instances of perfume hit me:
Okay, at this point I put the book down and inhaled some more.
Perfume. Women’s perfume.
My wife doesn’t wear it. Neither does my CIL. Neither do his pets.
I put the book down and got up and looked around the shelves behind me (pictures on the shelves and that was it). Nothing. Not one thing that could cause the smell of perfume. I look above and below…I look to the rest of the living room. Nothing. I go out into the hallway…nothing.
I sit back down and read the rest of the ghost story and book.
Later that day I ask my wife if she smelled any kind of perfume as she’d sat in the other room the previous day, and she’d mentioned that she had. I looked around some more but couldn’t find anything. I later ask my CIL, when he got up, and he had no idea. But later he brought me over to a knickknack he had. “Is this it?” he asked, at which point he placed what looked like half a geode into my face with a butterfly in the hollow.
There was a faint scent of perfume. Faint.
He said that you had to run a hairdryer over it to release the smell.
I don’t know if it was the same scent, but I have this to say about the entire affair:
So…am I making too much out of this?
All I know was that on that second day (and not since) as I read the words “There’s also a very faint scent of perfume“…I smelled perfume. Twice.
The Riverton Orb (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
I believe in reincarnation…or, more specifically, in the living of simultaneous lives that appear to us in this physical existence as reincarnational.
This belief has led to more than a story or two. The strongest past life is my Civil War existence. This is the one that seems to come up the most. Has the strongest effect on me. It led to the short story “Etched In Stone” (to be posted Feb 26, 2016, on my other blog site). I feel I was part of a Zouave regiment, perhaps the 5th New York. Another life that greatly impacts me is my Titanic life. I feel I died while in the steerage section of that ship. That lead to “The Death of Me.” Existences as a WWII tail gunner and a Ronin/Samurai lead to the short story “Tail Gunner” and a character, “Kioshu,” in The Uninvited. The curious thing about the WWII tail gunner existence is that I also feel I may have been an American ground troop in that war as well. Not only do images of B-17s rattle my bones, but many scenes with ground troops stir my soul quite a bit, too. So, I figure I must’ve had dual counterparts in WWII. But there’s more “military”…
Someone once told me they “saw” me as a Roman soldier. And a chiropractor I used to go to had muscle tested me and came up with 14 past lives…including yet another military life: a WWI life, which was interesting, because I’d never really felt that existence. He might have been confusing it with my WWII lives and his own “filters”…but, in any case, it was interesting (muscle testing can be influenced by the one doing the testing). Yet another World War counterpart. Clearly I’ve dabbled in the military end of things a bit. And I’m quite over it, to tell you the truth. Enough with war.
Another life I haven’t looked into much was one as a witch. A “kid witch.” In early 1984, a woman (a witch) told me she thought I’d been a kid-witch of 12 or 13 years old and had been pressed to death. She also told me that she’d been the cause of my death. I later found this in a letter I’d written to the late Jane Roberts and Rob Butts in 1984. In it I’d written that this present-day witch:
“…keeps seeing me as a coven member, and I tell her that she’s probably just seeing a probable self of me. She also says that we knew each other in a ‘past life.’ That I was a little kid-witch, about 13, and she was the death of me. Interestingly, [while with her one day] I saw an image of a young kid, about 12 – 13, being pressed to death–an agonized face. I told her this after she told me what I told you.”
Curiously, I could find no instances of a teenager being pressed to death over the Internet, so who knows what we’re really picking up on…or maybe it was done “in private”…you know, once you get past believing in any of this….
Interestingly, as a teenager I did have a weird thing happen to me that relates to the above: one day while looking for something in the Lake Clear, N.Y. garage, I had pulled some upright sheets of plywood toward me, away from the garage wall (the wall closest to the house). As I did so, I felt the plywood (this is how I thought of it then) seemingly take on a life of their own and fall into me. I pressed with all my might and was utterly helpless…and it raised a fear in me I had not experienced at that time. The entire “pile” knocked me over onto the gravel floor, all 10 or 15 or however many sheets there were, on top of me. Those suckers were heavy! It was the first time I’d felt so utterly helpless…and it felt so damned weird. I managed to get out from under them no worse for the wear, but that moment remains etched in my mind. I thought back to that later, after the witch told me the above. Also as a kid, I’d read up on the history of witchcraft, but it never really held much interest to me after reading about it…though I did get into it as an interest (not a practitioner) for a while, reading several books on it….
While visiting Maui, in 1998, with my wife, I had the following experience (taken from my diary):
“Nov 14, 1998, 1:36 p.m.
Note: While driving around, had a particularly spiritual experience, like the Manassas one, north of where we were staying [in Maui]. Laura and I drove north, to just inside that one-laned road, and we both felt that this drive felt “weird”! It was overcast, and late in the afternoon, but it was more than that. I again felt like I was straddling two worlds, and I got to thinking: oh boy, am I treading on ground I treaded before? Had Laura and I been alive in another life, past or future, here? Maybe had I been a spiritual kahuna? Had I died here in some ritual or war? It was verrrrrrrry weird….”
As much as I very much loved visiting Maui…I have absolutely no desire to permanently live there (though am perfectly willing to go back as many times as possible!). Whatever the reason…it seems to stem from the above “weirdness” and finally made total “sense” to me.
Another interesting one is seeing images of me walking in monk-like robes over sand in a far-away (barren) land. I wonder if it’s Australia. I haven’t gotten much from this imagery.
There have been a couple of other possible lives I’ve glimpsed, but none of them are as strong and emotional as the ones mentioned above.
Now…as fascinated as I am by the lives I feel I’ve lived/am living in other realities, I don’t focus my energies so much on finding out all I can about them (i.e., “reliving” them) as in acknowledging them, listening to them when I need to, but focusing my conscious thoughts and efforts to my current existence. Those lives…those consciousnesses are elsewhere…being focused upon by the me that is there…and I need to focus on the me that is here…but acknowledging that my other selves do still exit elsewhere and are every bit as important and real as the me I am, here, writing this. Some of those lives I really don’t want to revisit anyway.
If you keep focusing on the past (or “elsewhere”), you’re never really living in the present.
I feel the important thing about learning about our past lives is that we have them and acknowledge them when we become aware of them. Send them positive energy. I feel in doing this we can enhance their lives…change them, even. Remember I believe in simultaneous lives…not so much past lives. All our lives are ongoing…and this being my belief, I feel we can all help each other out. Make our collective lives better…which therefore helps out our individual “present” lives as well. It’s all energy…and all energy is connected. As we help ourselves out…we’re also helping out everyone else.
So, while it’s cool and interesting to learn about the other lives we live…we still need to focus on our present-day lives (“Over Now,” by Alice in Chains has been playing just now, and “Say Goodbye” just popped up from Theory of a Deadman…). I feel that’s also why many of us cannot remember much about our other lives. Or why we only get bits and pieces. I feel we have built-in filters. We only get what we can “handle”…or only enough “bleed throughs” to remind us who “we are”…but not enough to cause us to focus so heavily on these other lives so as to ignore our current focus. The purpose of having a life is to live it. Live and focus on the things in front of us. That, in turn, helps us all in our overall experience of Life and growth of our soul.
And each of you all have this ability. I bet you’ve all had some weird imagery or experience you can’t readily categorize that fits into the realm of reincarnation or simultaneous lives but have dismissed it as fantasy.
Acknowledge it…send it positive, constructive energy when you get such images…and move on. It’s okay if you do ignore it/them…they happened/are happening whether or not you believe it/them…or acknowledge them (you know, given you believe in this stuff…). But they pop into your consciousness for a reason. So, why not give them their due? No one else has to know! It’s just between you and…you. And it doesn’t even matter if you’re misinterpreting what you’re “getting.” Just acknowledge the thought…the idea…it.
So this post is not just about the reincarnation of F. P. Dorchak…it’s also about the reincarnation of you.
This happened last Sunday morning.
We do not get a paper copy of the Gazette…but every now and then (maybe 3 times a year?) one lands in our yard. It’s usually ads, though, not the full paper. Today…full paper. So, “certain things” on my mind these days, I open the paper. Life & Travel is the top sheet. I go to “Books.” I scan.
I see THIS.