Just had a fun conversation with author Varla Ventura on Soul Lab Radio about The Book of the Bizarre: Freaky Facts and Strange Stories which has thirteen chapters including Something Wicked: Mysterious Objects & Haunted Homes and Morbid Writers and Tortured Artists: From Edgar Allan Poe to Vincent Van Gogh. Other topics in the book range from Strange Rock and Roll Stories, Medical Maladies, Conspiracy Theories, Superstitions, Hexes and even UFOs.
So what’s in the book? Did you know duck dander is hallucinogenic? Or that Katherine Hepburn had a phobia of dirty hair? Have you ever wondered about the Magickal Skull of Doom or contemplated the mysterious Transylvanian Tablets? Varla has gathered a veritable treasure trove of startling and stranger-than-fiction trivia that spans history, continents, even worlds.
We also got into some of the weird stories and I was particularly interested in a chapter called “Coincidences or Synchronicity?” Then we launched into a discussion about psychic awareness and children. Varla was introduced to the strange and unusual at a young age. Her first game was a Ouija board, and family picnics in cemeteries were common outings. She spent most of her formative years exploring graveyards, underground tunnels, and abandoned mansions in, around, and under Nevada City, California. She is the author of Sheroes and Wild Women Talk About Love. Varla currently lives in the attic of an 1890’s Victorian in the hills of San Francisco, with her cat Midnight. Of course, Halloween is her favorite holiday.
I had an eye-opening conversation today on Soul Lab Radio with writer Shelley Seale who just released her first book, The Weight of Silence: Invisible Children of India. In it, she chronicles her experiences visiting and getting to know a handful of the 25 million homeless children who live in slums, orphanages and on the streets. Many of the stories mirror those of the characters featured in the Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
Shelley is a freelance writer based out of Austin, Texas, but she has traveled around the world capturing stories of real people. Shelley has written for the Seattle Times, Washington Magazine, the Austin Business Journal, Intrepid Travel and Andrew Harper Traveler Magazine among others, and is the Sustainable Travel Columnist at The Examiner.
I spoke with Bernard Haisch, Ph.D. this morning on Soul Lab Radio regarding his latest book, The God Theory. Haisch is an astrophysicist, author of over 130 scientific publications, and was a scientific editor of the Astrophysical Journal for ten years. His professional positions include staff scientist at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, deputy director of the Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, and visiting scientist at the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestial Physics in Garching, Germany. He was also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Prior to his career in astrophysics, Haisch attended the Latin School of Indianapolis and the St. Meinrad Seminary as a student for the Catholic priesthood.
He writes: “I offer a genuine insight into how you can, and should, be a rational, science-believing human being and at the same time know that you are also an immortal spiritual being, a spark of God. I propose a worldview that offers a way out of the hate and fear-driven violence engulfing the planet.”
Just had a great interview with story consultant, author and mythology expert Chris Vogler on Soul Lab Radio. What an interesting guy.
Chris Vogler has worked for Disney Studios, Fox 2000 Pictures and Warner Bros. in the development department. He has also taught in the USC School of Cinema-Television, Division of Animation and Digital Arts as well as at UCLA extension. He is President of the company Storytech Literary Consulting. Vogler studied filmmaking at the USC School of Cinema-Television, the alma mater of George Lucas. As with Lucas, Vogler was inspired by the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell, particularly The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Vogler used Campbell’s work to create the now-legendary 7-page company memo for Hollywood screenwriters, A Practical Guide to The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Vogler later developed his memo into the late 1990s book, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers now in its third edition.
Check out my interview with early parenting expert Carrie Contey, PhD!
How are parenting and spirituality linked? And how can bringing mindfulness to parenting your own children create a happy, healthy and harmonious home? Carrie Contey PhD received her doctorate from Santa Barbara Graduate Institute in clinical psychology with a specialty in prenatal and perinatal psychology. She is a nationally recognized early parenting coach, consultant, speaker and educator. Her passion is providing parents with the support, information and tools to create conscious, connected and balanced lives in all stages of early parenting from before conception through childhood. Carrie is the co-founder of the Slow Family Movement with Bernadette Noll and currently serves on the board of directors of the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH). She is also the co-author of “CALMS: A Guide to Soothing Your Baby.”