All posts by B. K. Bergman

The Albatross Necktie

Close-up of Claucasian mid-adult man straightening necktie.I know it’s been two years and just when you think I’ve given it all up… I’m back!

The truth is this has been a long time in coming. Raising a family leads to making decisions that you insist you would never have to make, but do because what you want rides secondary to what responsibility holds. All during the past two years, I have had the publication of “Life in Harmony” hanging around my neck like an albatross necktie. I know that term is incredibly negative and in reality it’s not entirely the way it sounds. Has it been choking me with reminders of what should be? Absolutely! Sometimes we need those gnawing reminders to eat at us so we don’t forget about what lies deep inside us still yearning to get out.

Certainly, the daily grind of life and responsibility can weigh us down. It detracts you from affording the mental capacity of personal goals. Don’t get me wrong. I love my children and wouldn’t change my life with them for anything. No one tells you in person or in any parenting books the level of sacrifices you will make to show your children love. With them as my priority, most of my writing efforts in the last two years have been dedicated what has become known in our house as the annual “Summer Binders” (Books that guide my boys through their summer months in productive ways …more on that at another date).

The truth is I wouldn’t allow myself to work on anything else because of that albatross I wore as a reminder of something left unfinished. I knew what I needed to do to get “Life in Harmony” to publication but didn’t have the time or mental capacity to see it through except on vacations from the Monday-Friday, bill-paying job. And while sparks of creativity would tempt me into writing something else, I refused out of guilt. I needed to see this through to the end first. So I wore “Life in Harmony” around my neck not doing much else with writing because if there was time to write, it should be used to get the book into print.

So slowly but surely I built the bridge to this very personal goal one stone at a time. Finally, the bridge looks LIH Cover 2015complete and the necktie is coming off. “Life in Harmony” is finally ready for its close-up.

What has emerged is a good story that I hope others will enjoy. In working with my new incarnation through Pangloss Sea Books, “Life in Harmony” will hopefully be a new start for a new way of publishing and marketing books. The book will enjoy a soft release this holiday season. A soft release is a slow release where we can hopefully build an audience for an eventual larger release sometime next year.

For the few of you who are reading this I thank you. You can expect more consistent posts in the next few weeks. That necktie is now cast off and I am ready for what comes next. Look for this blog to take a strong turn toward positive story-telling with a new emphasis on “Stories that Inspire!”


Priorities & Purpose

While we all start off with the best of intentions with goals for ourselves, sometimes uncontrollable circumstances change what we had in mind. Being a writer doesn’t pay the bills for over 95% of us who generally pay our bills doing some other sort of work (“the day job”).

So while I would have loved to continue to spend the second half of 2013 prepping for the release of “Life in Harmony” in the fall, course corrections in life led me down a different yet purposeful path. With only so many hours in a day and days in a year, priorities must be made and goals must be organized based on those priorities. Changing the day job this year became priority one. So while the goal of releasing “Life in Harmony” this year had been the highest priority when the year started, priorities changed as the year went on.

I have long believed that all things happen for a reason. Most times we are so close to the events taking place that we can’t possibly understand the purpose but somewhere down the road in our life we see what the stall, detour or tragic event helped us do. I believe this is the case for 2013. So while “Life in Harmony” was supposed to come out this year and is really close to being ready, 2014 will be the year for its debut. For everything (including delays) there is purpose. God’s timing is always perfect and this is just a part of that plan.

Take the Most Unexpected Turn…”Life in Harmony

Life in HarmonyIt’s official! My novel Life in Harmony is set to be published later this year through my imprint Pangloss Sea Books.

Here’s the back cover tease:

When life seems to be handing you nothing but loss, take the most unexpected turn to “Life in Harmony.” When Michael and Kate’s marriage unravels after a futile final round of in vitro fertilization, they decide on a quick getaway up the California coast. In the sleepy town of Harmony (population 18), the couple happens upon a small house for sale, where Kate imagines she hears the laughter of a child. Drawn to the house, the couple uproots their lives in LA and moves to Harmony, where they share their home with an apparition of an astute four-year-old girl.

Trying to save your marriage while living in the smallest of towns with an array of hippies, farmers and artists, who are as different as they are close, can be taxing enough. When you add to that the realization that some of Harmony’s residents may not be what they seem, you wonder just how you found yourself here in the first place. Life in Harmony entertains the thought that the trials we face happen for a reason, and sometimes it takes supernatural intervention for us to understand ourselves, our relationships and the world around us. 

The journey forward will be a moving experiment in publishing. I’m excited for what is planned to help the launch of the book as there are some nontraditional elements I’m hopeful will help establish Life in Harmony as a different book.

What both my copy editor and I feel sets Life in Harmony apart is the delicate balance between being traditional and spiritual fiction. The book is not  pure Christian Fiction so the hope is that Life in Harmony brings spirituality to a secular world.

I hope you will follow me on this journey forward as Life in Harmony becomes a reality. If you haven’t already please subscribe to this website and you’ll receive updates on the progress and background of the book and its publication.

No Matter What You Believe… You Gotta have Faith!

Faith is an interesting thing. It’s one of those things that’s hard to describe to a kid or even an adult. How do you define what faith is for you? It’s not always easily put into words. Yet it’s something we use everyday. We have faith that our car will stop when we press on the brake. We have faith in our spouse that they won’t cheat. We have faith that the breeze we feel is really just the wind and not that of a spirit or vice versa.

In Life in Harmony, faith is a major theme. In the story, we get as varied of opinions on faith as we do in real life. People (based on their degrees of faith) handle situations, particularly losses, differently.  Here is how I detail the faith theme in the story:Life in Harmony

It (faith) is our choice as to whether we believe in divine intervention or simple coincidence. Not everyone believes in the miracles they witness. Those who choose faith see the circumstances all the clearer and experience a divine harmony in their relationship with God and the people in their lives.  

I think that pretty much sums up what the religious faithful gain from putting their faith in God. It’s something those against religion don’t have going for them.

What are your views on faith? Have you ever thought about the similarities between your faith in science and a faith in religion? Share your comments below.

The novel, Life in Harmony, will be published in 2013. If you are interested in reading more about the forthcoming book subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive e-mail updates every time there is something to share.

Let’s Talk About Heaven…What’s it like?

As humans, we will never understand the depth of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness. The bible itself talks about a multitude of people in heaven from every place, race, tribe and language. It begs the question whether heaven is for all religions or only a select few. 

In my novel, Life in Harmony, the topic of heaven and what its like is addressed in-depth. My personal view of what heaven will be like is very much represented in the book. I based my idea of heaven on my own interpretations of scripture to support my claim (something I think we all should do). 

In Harmony, Kate’s dealing with both the loss of her baby and mother. She’s struggling with losing people on opposite ends of the spectrum of her life and it’s an important dynamic. In one relationship she’s the daughter and in the other the potential mother (this dynamic is a central point in the story).

In addition to her grieving for their deaths, she struggling with understanding what death and heaven is. She’s not traditionally a religious person and in a time of loss (like so many people) she wants the comfort of knowing those she has lost are at peace. In particular, she wants to know her mother who suffered a painful, cancerous death is happy. Ruth, who runs a shop in town, describes for Kate what my interpretation of heaven is. Here’s a compressed passage from Life in Harmony:

The truth is I don’t think heaven is a physical place at all. Heaven’s not up in the sky like so many think. It’s a place of mind. It knows no boundary. I believe a soul is at peace once it arrives in heaven. It does not wander or wonder. It knows. And when we die, our soul goes to that place of peace. The soul is in harmony with the spiritual realm and all its elements. Void of time, pain and distance. It’s unlike anything we could imagine…heaven is hard for anyone to easily describe…While heaven is beyond us and it is still a part of us.

What Ruth is talking about in the end of that passage is the fact here on earth we catch glimpses of heaven. In the form of God’s majestic creation, in our soulful connections to other people and in the miracles He brings to our lives.

I want the reader to understand we have human limitations to understand what God and heaven are. We can never truly know just how great heaven is. At the same time, we still have these spiritual connections to both God and paradise.

In the novel, I set the story along California’s Central Coast in the real life coastal town of Harmony, California. For me, personally, California’s Central Coast is as close to heaven as I get. It’s my “place of mind,” my little piece of heaven here on earth.

I believe heaven will be different for everyone. What I see and experience will be different from what you will experience. I will find a beach more perfect that can be found here on earth. For a glimpse of the Central Coast and my view of heaven, I’ve included a photo by Dagmar Collins from of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse on the Central Coast. The lighthouse (and the legend I created for it in the book ) plays a significant part in the story. It’s a part of the story that reaffirms the harmony with the heavenly realm we experience here on earth and what heaven is to each of us.

What do you see when you visualize what heaven is for you? Who will be in heaven? Share your views below. Thanks for reading and sharing.

If you are interested in reading more about the forthcoming novel, Life in Harmony, subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive e-mail updates every time there is something to share.

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

In my novel, Life in Harmony, the central couple buy a small farmhouse that appears to be inhabited by the ghost of a small four-year-old girl. The question is raised through much of the book about what exactly this apparition is. In the small town of Harmony, California (population 18), the small group of residents have varied opinions on what exactly this girl and other appearances in town could be.Life in Harmony

A 2007 Fox News survey reported that nearly fifty percent of all people believe in ghosts and nearly a quarter of those believed they had actually seen one. What makes someone believe? Is seeing believing? Obviously not, if nearly half of all people believe and less than half of those have seen. Just what is it that makes people believe in things they have not seen?

In Life in Harmony, the statistics from the Fox News survey are fairly similar to those in the town in the story. There are just over a quarter of the people who have seen a spirit and about half who believe even without seeing. What’s most interesting about Life in Harmony is how the belief in a ghost or spirit works as a metaphor for our spiritual faith.

It was important for me as a writer to give those 18 residents of Harmony enough spiritual variety to demonstrate the spectrum of our world views toward spirituality, faith and belief in the unknown. Harmony has religious leaders and religious lay people represented, as well as non-believers and those who dance on the fringe of choosing to believe or not. All with various self-actualizing outcomes.

In my story, the ghost is presented positively and not at all in the horror genre. What if the ghost you saw were an angelic, spiritual one? How would that change things for you? Those of us who believe in spiritual things understand there are both holy and evil spirits that dwell in the world. In Life in Harmony, the focus is on the holy ghosts. There are those moments in our lives, even in nature, where reality defies logic. 

Anyone who has ever seen ocean phosphorescence understands something phenomenal isn’t always easily

explained. While this type of phenomenon has scientific explanations, those who have witnesses it, understand how unreasonably powerful the sight of it can be. It doesn’t seem logical for us to see glowing greens and blue in the night surf and yet we’re seeing it. The world is surrounded by scientific logic and yet there are things that defy common logic all the time. We live in harmony with both our natural world and the people around us as well as in harmony with the spiritual realm.

What do you believe? Do you believe in ghosts? What about spiritual or holy ghosts? What proof do you have to support your beliefs? Share your comments below. Thanks for reading!

If you are interested in reading more about the forthcoming novel, Life in Harmony, subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive e-mail updates every time there is something to share.