WORD PICTURE ACADEMY

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Blog Post Links to Elysium's Passage
https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/ep-blog-posts

So what's this WORD PICTURE ACADEMY about? 

Vincent Van Gogh dreamed up inspired paintings, but dreaming word pictures can be just as, if not more, creative and inspiring. The advantage of the written word is that it's not limited to the material world and therefore can last forever in one form or another. Oral traditions that have lasted thousands of years prove this.

When will Shakespeare or the Bible not be quoted and read? Probably never, as long as there is a semblance of civilization. Inspired writing is immortal because it speaks to the heart. And who knows what they download on the other side... if they do.

So now, after mostly completing my seven-book in the Elysium's Passage novel series (after eleven years) I'm working on developing an online English language course for anyone wishing to upgrade their English skills. Particularly students, and ESL immigrants. It may take a while since I'm just creating the curriculum now. It may be a live group tutorial or a monetised course available at any time at no cost. This post gives an indication of what content I intend to offer. 

In designing this curriculum, I'm currently selecting approximately 1,000 words to help with reading comprehension and facilitate more creative verbal/written expressions. 

By the way, if you know of someone who may appreciate the contents of this post, send them the link for this post at https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/word-picture-academy 

 

OBJECTIVES

Tutorials will endeavour to achieve the following objectives:

Creative Expression

Create word pictures that engage the reader with inspiration, amusement, entertainment, and teaching. The student will be taught how to not only ‘tell’ but ‘show’ with creative expressions. For example, we might write the sunset was beautiful. But that’s telling, not showing.

Instead, we seek to create a picture of a beautiful sunset. The reader doesn’t need to be told but can imagine it by painting beautiful word pictures.

For example, from Book Four of Elysium’s Surreal Adventures: Later that evening, as I stood talking with Rhom on the port side, I witnessed brilliant aqua waves interspersed with currents of glowing turquoise. If that wasn’t enough, the evening skies streamed with wisps of magenta offset by shades of deep indigo. And the wind; there was no other description than to say melodic, coruscating with mystical intimations.

Creative Thinking

Words can be an effective tool to help create new worlds. A hundred years ago, we didn’t have words such as virtual reality, biosphere, noosphere, spacecraft, multiverse, etc, to open us to new dimensions of thought and fractals of infinite possibilities.   

Business Communication

Principle of the slight edge that sets one apart from others seeking higher positions. Having a large vocabulary with proper grammar will increase the odds of a high income. A street sweeper does not require an extensive vocabulary to do their job, but a lawyer will.  So, who will make more money? Why put a ceiling on the potential for income and an expansive world of expressive thought? Whether it's writing a well-thought-out resume, internal memo, sales pitch or proposal, having English skills is essential for success.

Social Mobility

We may be content and satisfied with our social limitations, especially if our family and friends are stuck in a sphere of narrow possibilities. However, once we expand our language skills, new opportunities become possible; we would never want to go back to a restrictive world that is stifled with few options to achieve higher quality friendships and careers. We can always go down socially, but not upward, without appropriate language skills to navigate through life. Being able to express ourselves in ways others that are properly understood is necessary for our concerns to be addressed. An effective communicator will not be ignored but be taken seriously.

Comprehension Skills

The quality of literature or communication one exposes oneself to enjoy, be it entertainment or intellectual stimulation to enter into higher thought patterns, will largely be determined by the extent of vocabulary one has available to comprehend what’s being said. Therefore, reading or listening to enlightened communication will be limited because it’s no fun to remain in the dark while others get it and you don’t. Obviously, this will enrich and open one to new worlds of inward adventures of vicarious reality.  

Precise Words

To effectively communicate, it is necessary to have an appropriate repertoire of words when selecting the highest and best words to express ideas. Without that, it’s like painting a picture with just a few colours, no tones, hues, contrast, just bland. No one will be interested in looking at it because it's boring. No one who has a rich inward life wants to listen to banal and bland conversations that don’t interest us or engage us with stimulating thought.
Instead, it's preferable to be with people who can engage us with precise words and expressions. Less is more because precise speech is expressed with fewer words that provide more meaning and description. Learning this skill will enliven communication by culling out annoying, superfluous words, be they spoken or written. This will give new confidence and a commanding advantage in discourse.

Punctuation

By understanding how to use punctuation for effective written communication, we are more apt to get the attention of the reader. For example, in using semi-colons effectively, we can create more interesting sentences that need not be run-ons or choppy short sentences. A few examples from Elysium's Elixir, my sixth novel, illustrate this:

They very well may, though I’m not sure it ends there; a thousand years is nothing to the universe.

There’s no telling how many; it could be twelve, twenty-four or more, depending on the conscious evolution of the subject.

Many scientists might call this impossible, but it’s not; the inherent conatus of the universe is to expand perpetually, including human’s nascent consciousness.

The use of exclamation marks! colons, semi-colons, ellipses…, and dashes – are all means to create more effective and engaging writing.

Proper Grammar and Pronunciation

Many common errors in everyday speech project fundamental grammatical ignorance. These can easily be corrected once the mistake is pointed out. For example, one of my pet peeves is: “Me and Dan are going to… “ Rather, Dan and I are going to …”  It amazes me how many get this wrong. A word that few get right is the word “naturopath, or naturopathic. For some reason, many insist on saying naturalpath, even after you tell them there’s no such word; ask any naturopath.

The course will point out many common grammatical mistakes, so no one needs to fear sounding ignorant. The following site might be useful for students outside English-speaking nations who sometimes struggle with proper pronunciation. https://www.mondly.com/french-phrases-expressions

Foreign Words and Phrases

Certain foreign words can often help us understand what is only sometimes expressed in English, at least succinctly. For example, various German words, such as weltanschauung, zeitgeist, gestalt, weltshmirtz, and wanderlust, often contain many shades of meaning captured in one word that would take much clarifying in English.

Or, to use a Latin expression, to say, after closing a major deal at work, Vini, Vidi, Vici, may be more effective to proclaim that instead of ‘I came, I saw, I conquered. Definitely, something is lost in the translation.

In French, there are many words and phrases of distinction that often become as natural as English in expressing embellished speech. Some examples might include coup de grâce (death blow), esprit de corps (camaraderie, bonding, solidarity, fellowship), raison d'etre (reason for living), élan vital (vital force or impulse of life), c’est la vie (that’s life).

Below are a few websites that provide the student with many useful foreign phrases in French, German, and Spanish.
https://www.mondly.com/blog/cool-latin-phrases/ 
https://www.mondly.com/german-phrases-expressions 
https://www.mondly.com/spanish-phrases-expressions 

Logic

Logic is important in writing since it establishes the credibility of the writer and the positions being advanced. There are many logical fallacies, so it's good to know what they are. I've identified many of them in this blog post. https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/it-s-logical 

Though the tutorials won't get into teaching this sidebar information, students will be encouraged to become familiar with these pitfalls so they don't use them or at least recognise when others do and can call them out on it. 

1. Argumentum ad hominem. One of the most common errors in logic that all too often occurs in politics is where the presenter is attacked rather than the position being advanced by the presenter. It's a cheap hit for those who don't know how to respond to the argument, so they go after the presenter for reasons that generally have nothing to do with what was being said. 

2. Red herring. A red herring is an attempt to shift focus from the debate at hand by introducing an irrelevant point. Example: Losing a tooth can be scary; it’s a good thing there’s a Tooth Fairy. 

3. Straw man. A straw man argument argues against a hyperbolic, inaccurate version of the opposition rather than their actual argument. Example: Erin thinks we need to stop using all plastics right now to save the planet from climate change. 

4 Equivocation. A logical equivocation is a statement crafted to mislead or confuse readers or listeners by using multiple meanings or interpretations of a word or simply through unclear phrasing. Example: While I have a clear plan for the campus budget that accounts for every dollar spent, my opponent simply wants to throw money at special interest projects. 

5 Slippery slope. With a slippery slope fallacy, the arguer claims a specific series of events will follow one starting point, typically with no supporting evidence for this chain of events. Example: If we make an exception for Bijal’s service dog, then other people will want to bring their dogs. Then everybody will bring their dog, and before you know it, our restaurant will be overrun with dogs, their slobber, their hair, and all the noise they make, and nobody will want to eat here anymore. 

6 Hasty generalization. This fallacy is a statement made after considering just one or a few examples rather than relying on more extensive research to back up the claim. It’s important to keep in mind that what constitutes sufficient research depends on the issue at hand and the statement being made about it. For example, I felt nauseated both times I ate pizza from Georgio’s, so I must be allergic to something in pizza. 

7 Appeal to authority. In an appeal to authority, the arguer claims an authority figure’s expertise to support a claim despite this expertise being irrelevant or overstated. Example: If you want to be healthy, you need to stop drinking coffee. I read it on a fitness blog. 

8 False dilemma. This is also known as a false dichotomy, which claims there are only two options in a given situation. Often, these two options are extreme opposites of each other, failing to acknowledge that other, more reasonable options exist. Example: If you don’t support my decision, you were never really my friend. 

9 Bandwagon fallacy. Here, the arguer claims that a specific action is the right thing to do because it’s popular. Example: Of course, it’s fine to wait until the last minute to write your paper. Everybody does it!

10 Appeal to ignorance. Such an appeal is a claim that something must be true because it hasn’t been proven false. It can also be a claim that something must be false because it hasn’t been proven true. This is also known as the burden of proof fallacy. Example: There must be fairies living in our attic because nobody’s ever proven that there aren’t fairies living in our attic.

11 Circular argument. A fallacy that uses the same statement as both the premise and the conclusion. No new information or justification is introduced. Example: Peppers are the easiest vegetable to grow because I think peppers are the easiest vegetable to grow. 

12 Sunk cost fallacy. With this, the arguer justifies their decision to continue a specific course of action by the amount of time or money they’ve already spent on it. Example: I’m not enjoying this book, but I bought it, so I have to finish reading it. 

13 Appeal to pity. Such an appeal attempts to sway a reader’s or listener’s opinion by provoking them emotionally. Example: I know I should have been on time for the interview, but I woke up late and felt really bad about it, so the stress of being late made it hard to concentrate on driving here.

14 Causal fallacy. This implies a relationship between two things where one can’t actually be proven. Example: When ice cream sales are up, so are shark attacks. Therefore, buying ice cream increases your risk of being bitten by a shark. 

15 Appeal to hypocrisy. Also known as a tu quoque fallacy, this is a rebuttal that responds to one claim with reactive criticism rather than with a response to the claim itself. Example: “You don’t have enough experience to be the new leader.” “Neither do you!”

16. Cherry-picking. Selecting data to support a claim rather than drawing a logical conclusion from a broad body of evidence. Example: “Just look at the temperatures here this summer. Now we know for sure global warming is a fact.”

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SUMMARY OF LEARNING OBJECTIVES 

- Primarily, it is to become empowered with a solid and robust lifelong vocabulary by assimilating hundreds of essential words that are foundational for achieving the objectives listed below. We will avoid obscure words that aren't used in everyday life but concentrate on the most relevant and powerful words being used in meaningful conversations, lectures, articles and quality books. 

- Creating a lifetime love for words and creative expression.

- Expand thinking into a higher awareness of reality.

- Express with oral and written precision.

- Understand educated and influential sources of communication, spoken and written.

- Becoming aware of proper punctuation and pronunciation.

- Effectively business communication.

- Understanding logical fallacies and logical validity

- Apply learning methodologies that are fun and practical.

- Anyone can benefit from these tutorials, however, the target audience is high school students contemplating a university education along with anyone studying English as a Second Language (ESL).  

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GENERAL COMMENTS

For good reasons, there is some controversy on the correlation of a large vocabulary with intelligence. I found a discussion on this topic in the comments on the Quora Digest website, which I have pasted below. Later, I will put forth my own case of what I believe a quality vocabulary can and cannot do for us.  

It is literally unavoidable: you put more words into your mind, and your mind will start humming like a well-greased engine. In other words, Grow your vocabulary, and you WILL get smarter. And just to show how deep that effect goes, studies have shown that when you get serious about learning words, using them, and reading more – your brain actually changes. In other words, vocabulary does really make you more intelligent. And I’m sure you’ll agree with me: “stupid” people don’t go very far in life.

Vocabulary breadth, as evidenced by a person's speech, is an excellent metric for intelligence.

Speech represents what a person has overlearned. A person who uses precise vocabulary correctly when speaking and whose speech is similar to standard academic English is generally able to produce language that is more sophisticated when writing. You speak the sort of language you are deeply fluent in, and no one can be an accomplished, articulate speaker without being intelligent.

The distinction between vocabulary words and concepts is artificial. You don't speak using words you know you don't understand, and you can't understand many words without understanding the related concepts. Take the common science term evaporate. Who would use that sort of word metaphorically when they speak without also understanding conceptually what it refers to? No, you reach for that word precisely because you understand it and believe it's the best tool for the job.

The smarter the speaker, the better the toolkit. In brief, the size of the working vocabulary is more closely correlated with IQ than any other single factor. Of course, this rule of thumb is subject to the usual common sense caveats.

Some people use big words without quite knowing what they mean. That suggests a low IQ rather than a high one. It can also be a symptom of autism.

Some people intentionally use simple language so as to facilitate understanding (heh), or in keeping with contemporary literary fashion. Ernest Hemingway is perhaps the most famous example of this: a brilliant man and a great writer, he showed that even simple words have power in the hands of a master. And Winston Churchill, another great writer and brilliant man, famously wrote, “The short words are best, and the old words are the best of all.”

The size of vocabulary is correlated with education and reading, both one’s own and that of one’s parents. Studies find that the children of uneducated parents are exposed to far fewer words than the children of educated ones when young, and needless to say, those who are widely read pick up most words. To make this a valid criterion, one has to take into account an individual’s literacy and educational status.

Then there are the jargonites — academics, businessmen, and professionals who use fancy-Dan synonyms to dress their pedestrian thoughts in a bishop’s cope. Again, a sign of low rather than high IQ.

“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.” -Ernest Hemingway

A large vocabulary is a marker for academic accomplishments. Because of this, sadly, the use of lesser-known words and complexity in language has become an ingroup/outgroup marker within the academic community. And, since academe has the usual share of all-hat-no-cattle types, complexity has, at some level, become an anti-marker for intelligence. People who use ten-dollar words within academe are more likely to be less secure and less accomplished within that group and, therefore, more invested in proving that they belong.

The larger one’s vocabulary is, the greater their verbal intelligence is. An intelligent person will almost by definition, have a lot of things going on in their heads. Eventually, they’ll seek to communicate these ideas in some fashion, and a complex vocabulary is often necessary to describe what it is linguistically they’re thinking about.

An intelligent person who’s learned to broadly communicate effectively may deliberately use a simplified vocabulary, but that is different from “having a simple vocabulary”. I’d be inclined to refer to it more as an “adaptive vocabulary”. A version of a language that they can translate into, to ease communication with those that have less expertise with whatever it is they’re trying to communicate.

Most people will judge a person by the words they choose and how they speak. For instance, a sentence that begins with “I seen” is one that has immediately lost credibility.

It’s the intelligent, the smart and the clear thinkers who go places. Success comes to clever people because they know how to spot and grab opportunities. They’re that smart.

More words mean richer and more to-the-point thinking

Some psychologists think that a large vocabulary is one of the most vital indicators of overall intelligence.

In nearly all cases, using simple words is better than complex words. Nothing is more irritating than listening to someone using opaque language that leaves the audience confused.

It goes without saying that their verbal facility certainly has an edge over those whose vocabulary is restricted.

By the way, a good and evolving command of the English vocabulary naturally feeds and fuels the five skills sets often associated with English mastery, and they are: Reading, Listening, Thinking, Speaking and Writing.

I believe a person’s clarity of thoughts and opinions, be it about any affair, when we are meeting them would be first quality to make an impression. When a person is able to express clearly and put their ideas out distinctly, it evidently makes a breakthrough leading to further open conversations. 

If you’re well-read, know a lot of words, and speak correctly, you’ll come off as someone coming from a wealthy background, literate, smart, and maybe a little arrogant.
Using a lot of slang and swear words will put you on the other extreme.

Yes, though I would consider the clarity of their statements more of a sign of intelligence than overcomplicated vocabulary.

While it is the case that more intelligent people know and use more words, if you can’t express what you’re saying clearly and in simple terms, then it’s more intellectual posturing than intelligence.

Really smart people don’t show off their vocabulary. They use ordinary words as much as possible. You start sounding stupid when you say, “Extinguish the illumination” instead of “Turn off the lights” or “The fluid supply in my writing implement is exhausted” instead of “My pen is out of ink.”

Vocabulary can be learned but the way it is used will provide a good guide to intelligence. Never mistake education for intelligence. Many are educated but few display intelligence.

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SAMPLE WORDS

As stated previously, I'm in the process of compiling a list of 1,000 highly relevant words that most students might wish to learn if they don't know them already. I'm careful not to include obscure words by those that likely wouldn't be used in everyday life. This is a sample I will introduce to INCULCATE students to make them second nature for speaking, reading, and thinking. 

1.    Prescient… perceptive, psychic, revelatory, clairvoyant, prophetic
2.    Precipitous… hasty, quick, rash, impulsive. Also… steep, vertical, sheer
3.    Assiduous… diligent, persevering, unremitting, industrious, persist
4.    Arduous… difficult, laborious, gruelling, strenuous
5.    Inexorable… relentless, unstoppable, inevitable, unalterable
6.    Resplendent... Splendid, stunning, glittering, brilliant, dazzling, glorious, magnificent, alluring
7.    Resonance... Reverberation, echo, significance, timbre, hint       
8.    Intrepid. Brave, fearless, gallant, audacious, dauntless, valiant, heroic
9.    Inveterate.. incorrigible, adamant, entrenched, ensconced, embedded
10.  Wont… accustomed, predilection, routine, habitual, tendency
11.  Inadvertent… chance, involuntary, unintended, accidental
12.  Serendipitous… unforeseen, unanticipated, unexpected
13.  Intimation… hint, insinuation, inkling, allusion
14.  Intimidate… threaten, frighten, daunt, alarm, bully
15.  Integrity… honesty, veracity, uprightness, truthfulness
16.  Gauche… tasteless, awkward, tacky, vulgar, uncouth, graceless, callow, clumsy 
17.  Enervate… deplete, drain, debilitate, devitalise, tire, enfeeble, exhaust, knackered, fatigued
18.  Asperity… harsh, severity, brusqueness, sharpness, astringency, stern, curt
19.  Cavort… frolic, prance, romp, frisk, skip, play
20.  Convivium… convivial, joviality, celebratory, sociable, hospitable, genial.
21.  Congenial… agreeable, friendly, pleasant, affable, hospitable.
22.  Loquacious… garrulous, verbose, glib
23.  Taciturn… reserved, introverted, distant, quiet, aloof
24.  Reticent… unforthcoming, reserved, uncommunicative, quiet, discreet, aloof
25.  Insouciance… nonchalance, disregard, indifference, detachment, unconcern, detachment
26.  Impertinence… insolence, impudence, brazenness
27.  Elucidate…, explain, clarify, illuminate, explicate, reveal, illustrate
28.  Inordinate… excessive, unwarranted, exorbitant, extravagant
29.  Extraordinary… unusual, amazing, astonishing, peculiar, surprising, bizarre
30.  Perspicuous… lucid, pellucid, limpid
31.  Perpetual… unceasing, everlasting, inexorable,
32.  Obdurate… Inflexible
33.  Impetuous… hasty, impulsive, reckless, spontaneous
34.  Impertinent… impudent, brazen, rude, brash, disrespectful
35.  Impudent… sassy, presumptuous, cheeky, impolite
36.  Presumptuous… inconsiderate, impolite, rash, presuming
37.  Audacious…  overconfident, daring, risky, bold, courageous, foolhardy, cheeky
38.  Pusillanimous… cowardly, faint-hearted, spineless, timid, nervous, tremulous, quivering
39.  Discrete… separate, detached, isolated, unconnected, distinct.
40.  Deleterious… detrimental, harmful, toxic, lethal, ruinous, injurious
41.  Venomous… noxious, malicious, virulent, abusive
42.  Vituperative… scurrilous, rancorous, cruel, spiteful, malevolent
43.  Beatific… blissful, radiant, heavenly, ecstatic, adorable, serene, sublime, virtuous
44.  Euphoric… ecstatic, joyful, exhilarated, exultant, elated, jubilant
45.  Resplendent… stunning, glittering, brilliant, dazzling, glorious, magnificent, alluring
46.  Inimitable… unique, incomparable, one-off, unmatched.
47.  Coruscate (coruscating)… sparkling, scintillate, glisten
48.  Glissade, a skilful glide down snow or ice, such as when skiing down a mountain
49.  Abrogate- To revoke
50.  Anachronism… relic, holdover, left-over, archaic

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ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR/AUTHOR

I have a Bachelor's degree in English and Philosophy and a BEd in Secondary English. Though I've always been fascinated with words and reading throughout the years, I worked in the real estate sector for most of my adult years, including brokerage in land assembly and acquisitions, office leasing, land development, ownership and management of residential properties, etc.   

If you're interested in knowing more about my background, you can read about my past in the following posts if you like.

Author Interview
https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/author-interview 

Author's Pictography. Pictures from childhood to adulthood. 
https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/picto-bio   

My TWILIGHT ZONE BACKSTORY
https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/how-it-came 

Anyone interested in participating in online Zoom tutorials in the future, please send me an email at nmeyers@shaw.ca, and I'll get back to you when I've completed the design of my curriculum and begin the online tutoring by March '24.

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ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE NOVEL SERIES

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As an update on my Elysium's Passage series, I hope to have all seven books posted on Amazon this spring of '24. 

Meanwhile, at the last minute, I decided to rename the books by adding the phrase: CHRONICLES OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE after each title. If this worked for C.S. Lewis with his CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series, it might work for me.

                                

PENDING PUBLICATION OF ELYSIUM’S PASSAGE SERIES

                                             Amazon in 2024

 

The Ascent: Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage

The Summit: Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage

Quantum Leaps: Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage

Surreal Adventures: Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage

Mystical Romance: Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage

The Elixir: Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage

The Return: Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage

 

1. The Ascent is the first novel in the Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage that’s foundational to everything that happens in the following narratives that embark on an adventure that will surprise and delight the reader like no other book.

It all begins with an extreme adventure of climbing a remote and challenging mountain somewhere in the Andean Mountains. Just as James, the protagonist, is about to reach the mountain summit, he falls into an abyss that leaves him in a coma for almost a year.

After being airlifted by a forestry helicopter and flown back to London, where his body remains for almost a year. Eventually, he learns it was not him but his body that was rescued. Several days later, without understanding what happened, he continues to climb to the summit in an alternate dimension of higher consciousness.

Fortuitously, he meets two adventurers on the summit ridge who are no longer of this world. After that, his surreal life leads him to several new adventures in the subsequent chronicles that include a rich mix of adventure, romance, and fantasy, along with profound discussions of philosophy, spirituality and the afterlife.

 
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2. The  Summit, the second novel in the Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage, carries on where James, the narrator and protagonist, is taught more about a multidimensional reality that he finds difficult to comprehend.

Not only does he find he’s not as clever as he imagined, but his off-world companions on the summit demonstrate that much of what he believed about life was not just parochial but wrong. At first, he finds this difficult to comprehend since their teachings are contrary to his limited understanding of non-material reality.

After being tricked into teleporting off a ledge where he was trapped, James becomes aware of the new reality that makes him capable of far more adventures than could have ever been experienced previously in his physical body back home.

Now, if only he would win over the only woman in this life who matters, the nurse on the other side of the veil, who continually demonstrates her unconditional love toward his healing.

Warning: This book may also open the reader’s eyes to a much vaster reality than most might be aware. As with the other Chronicles, there are discussions of philosophy, the spiritual afterlife and what might seem like fantasy.

 
 

3. Quantum Leaps is the third novel in Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage, where James, the philosopher-protagonist, teleports back to London to visit his body and make contact with the special nurse taking care of it in his absence. Immediately, he feels an inexplicable spiritual bond with her for reasons he remains unaware of.

Now aroused by a renewed interest in matters of love, the beginnings of a relationship begin to emerge as he attempts to reach across the chasm of their worlds. But it’s not until the fifth novel, Mystical Romance, that he encounters her in a way that he finds difficult to believe.

However, before that can happen, there is much about his failed relationships that must be resolved before he is ready to move forward in his new life in Elysium’s Passage. It is during this time he christens his comatose body as the fall guy since it took the fall for him down the abyss so he could learn the lessons he’s now learning.

That will be the next focus of his life, where in his next Surreal Adventures, he is given virtual lessons to release many of his past beliefs about life.

 
 

4. Surreal Adventures is the fourth novel in the Chronicles of Elysium’s Passage, which finds James, the protagonist and narrator, escorted by his companions to a remote South Pacific Island, where he is left to reflect on what he’s learned.

During the next forty days, he battles the demons of his past as he works through some rather painful issues from his early youth. Here, in a tropical storm, he encounters an eery suspended spectre of the one he loved yet still resents for abandoning him as a child.

After this, he achieves peace of mind and is ready to return to his lodge to join his off-world companions on the Andes summit. However, just when it seemed things couldn’t get any stranger, a sixteenth-century sea captain sails his ancient ‘ghost’ ship onto the beach. Together, they sail off on a mystical ocean voyage to a couple of virtual islands supposedly in the South Pacific, where he witnesses and, at times, participates in several important life lessons.

Near the end, these encounters help prepare him for a new challenge within the interior of a mountain, where he falls deep into a dark tomb of fear. After being rescued by a mysterious stranger wielding his Excaliber, he continues on to where his life is about to be transformed in the following chronicle, Mystical Romance.

 
 

5. Mystical Romance is the fifth chronicle in Elysium’s Passage, which will surprise the reader with a romantic twist of how love is expressed in higher realms. From this lofty perspective, everything about intimacy is understood as within, so without.

After escaping his tomb, James, the narrator and protagonist, makes his way through a maze of tunnels until he arrives at a large oak door, which he opens with the golden key he had been given. There, he steps into Elysium’s Passage’s Great Hall, where his life and recent achievements are celebrated now that his eyes have been opened to perceive a fascinating interior world of wonderment… and romance.

To say more might risk diminishing the multitude of delightful surprises as circumstances begin to open to The Elixir, where James is about to re-enter his earthly body’s existence.

 
 

6. The Elixir is the sixth chronicle of the Elysium’s Passage series that prepares James, the narrator-protagonist, to awaken and return to his body in London. Before that can happen, however, his off-worlder friend presents a mysterious equation enshrouded with a light code frequency that will stimulate multidimensional DNA strands within him.

Much of this narration is centred in London, where his nurse unknowingly becomes involved in how the Elixir’s equation finds its way from a taxi cab driver to higher echelons of science. There are many twists in how she unwittingly brings the Elixir to the attention of mathematicians and physicists, after which they eventually discover how to code the equation into a laser ray to stimulate his fall-guy body into full consciousness.

Ostensibly a new Adam, he is destined to return humanity to a higher multidimensional existence. How this happens is filled with intrigue, as is his shocking return to his earthly body.

 
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7. The Return is the seventh and last chronicle in the series where James, the narrator and protagonist, has re-emerged from Elysium’s Passage as he readjusts to life in the third dimension. Many of the events experienced in the previous novels are tied together in an exciting, fast-moving, action-packed narrative over several countries.

 At first, it seems all memories have been lost, with his fall guy’s brain not being aware of what happened to him while in his coma. As a consequence, it takes a while for him to be convinced he had been out of his earthly body for almost a year.

Through some rather unexpected events and evidence, along with his girlfriend’s urging, he is brought to an awareness of much of what occurred. It takes a while for his mind to catch up with the changes made in his heart during his stay in the alternate realm. But after experiencing several harsh realities, he discovers what he became within while out of his body. Gradually, he comes to understand the many challenges that lie ahead for him in fulfilling his future mission on Earth.

This book is filled with adventure, romance and personal intrigue that ties together all six previous narratives of the Elysium’s Passage series.

 

Here's a little unprofessional video I did a few years ago where my little companion, Octavia, stole the show.