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Monday, 10 February 2014

Blog guest – Mari LaFore – ‘cat scan’

Cats can, apparently; and so can humans, too…

Today, my blog guest is Mari LaFore, who is the author of The Tale of Wisdom and Delight, the true and inspirational story of two cats and reincarnation; it’s also about love, devotion and loss. And belief. When I was EIC of Solstice Publishing, I accepted Mari’s book.


Hi, Mari, thanks for being my blog guest.
It’s my pleasure! First of all I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing my book to publish. You made my dream come true for me.

Can you tell us how your book Wisdom and Delight evolved?
Our precious13-year-old cat, Wisdom, died in 2001, and then less than one year later miraculously returned to us, in the form of a Calico kitty which we called Delight. His return was foretold to us by a pet communicator named Valerie Dixon and it was a turning point in my life. All the signs were obvious and even though I had no previous experiences or training in reincarnation, I knew unmistakably what was happening. It was impossible for me not to know that Wisdom had loved us all so very much that he made the journey across time and space to come home and be our Delight.
I'm home...

You did a great amount of research into reincarnation. Were there any surprises?
Yes, definitely! I’m not the only one who had experienced reincarnation of a loved one. This experience is considered common in countless lands. Sadly, many people in western cultures have shunned the teaching of reincarnation for too long and by doing that many of us have missed life-changing reunions with loved ones who returned to share our lifetime over and over again. When I first realized that Wisdom was back with us in the form of Delight, I thought it best not to share my experience with doubters for fear of being ridiculed because the fallacies of organized religion in the west still have a grasp on many people. Then, with the encouragement of a dear friend, Kathleen Schneider, internationally renowned psychic consultant, located in Middleton, Wisconsin, I actually shared it with the world in a book! The Tale of Wisdom and Delight, was written to encourage and inspire others who have had the same life-changing experience. My research came afterwards. I didn’t do it for myself because, as I say in my book, “If there’s one sure thing I know, it is that this really happened!” I wrote it for the readers; for anyone who has ever loved a pet.”
'New beginnings' - with Mari's son & daughter

The subject of the book – animal reincarnation – might be considered controversial. How much positive feedback have you had from readers?
Readers have been amazingly positive and I am always delighted when they open up their hearts and share their similar experiences with me or in reviews. My book was meant to do just that. They no longer feel alone or foolish in sharing their newfound spiritual awareness with the world and that is exactly what their loved ones, whether human or animal, are nudging them to do!
Love at first sight - Dustin with Wisdom, 1987

The sub-title of your book is ‘Love always finds its way home’ – what do you mean by that?
Spiritualists unconditionally accept the survival and return of departed souls to their loved ones. They don’t question this phenomenon. We come here on a journey. Our loved ones accompany us or come into our lives later at a moment when we need them the most, but we don’t always recognize them in this lifetime. When we do recognize them, it is a miracle and we need to reach out and take hold of it. If we will just listen to our hearts, our loving Creator is telling us that we don’t ever have to feel alone or lonely again. They are always with us, surrounding us with unconditional love. That is the spiritual answer to the phrase “Love always finds its way home,” which seemingly fell into my heart as I was writing my book.

The scientific answer in part is that mental energy involves electricity. It has been discovered that the brain has twelve to fourteen hundred billion cells. The combined power of these cells is equivalent to hundreds of watts of energy. This can be recorded by an electro-encephalograph. In other words, it is provable. This energy, however faint, when emitted can affect matter. To make a long story short, intense emotions are similar to powerful and concentrated thoughts because they can and do leave their imprints on objects that are thought to be inanimate. Both animals and humans can sense these impressions and they will find their way home, sometimes against nearly insurmountable odds.

I did not know all of that when I heard the still, small voice within my soul whispering “Love always finds its way home.” My heart knew it, though, and at the end of the day, isn’t that all that really matters?
'Our cat family forever' - Mari

Lastly I’d like to add something I found in my research which encompasses both the scientific and spiritual explanations of reincarnation. I wrote about it on page 81 in my book: “Masters who have studied reincarnation believe that the soul seeks the location of its growth and its greatest happiness. This usually means it will return very close to where it left the previous body. This place is like a gravitational field or vortex. The soul drifts faster and faster as it approaches life once again. It falls toward its previous origin. It comes home!” This clearly explained to me why a tiny kitten was sitting patiently in an empty parking lot on a cold, snowy day with no one around, no houses, surrounded by two busy streets, office buildings, and quite a little way from my sprawling apartment building… very unlikely but that’s how Wisdom chose to arrive in the neighbourhood. It was here that he sought out the help of Angela, the angel who found this cat and put up all those “Cat Found” fliers. The journey and the transition was a success! Once in our home, Delight only remembered her former life as Wisdom or a moment to show us who he was and then with those memories erased this precious soul became our Delight.
Flier - Mari's 'turning point'

Your book is non-fiction. Have you ever wanted to write fiction?
Yes. l plan to write a novel combining fiction and fact about some of the players in my life who were with me in past lives and who have made appearances in my current life in most astonishing ways. It will be my way of letting them know that I do indeed recognize and love them more than ever and always will. God gave us the miracle of reincarnation and, unfortunately, it has been too long suppressed and needs to be shared and even shouted from the rooftops.

Can you list five favourite books and tell us why they’re your favourites?
Wow, five? Well, Portrait of Jenny by Robert Nathan is my first choice. It was the first book I ever fell in love with back in high school. It is the story of a man who meets and falls in love with the ghost of a girl who has been his soul mate for eternity. It seems like I was destined to know of the magic and power of reincarnation way back then because this book has held fascination for me all these years. I love the humour and insight of Ellen DeGeneres and so I will include her New York Times Bestseller The Funny Thing Is… on my list. It makes me laugh.  I have yet to accomplish The Art of Doing Nothing which is why another favourite of mine by the same title and written by Veronique Vienne is always on my night table. I rush by it and think about doing nothing… but don’t follow my own advice most of the time! I simply love Born Standing Up by Steve Martin which my son Dustin gave me one year for my birthday. I am the all-time Steve Martin fan and you can read about Dustin and his perpetually positive and delightful influence on my life in my book too (complete with photos). Hmmm…one more favourite…OK…I’ll have to choose Listen to the Warm, a collection of love poems by Rod McKuen. The first poem “A Cat Named Sloopy” sent me forth on my journey of love for cats and I mention how it all began with this poem in my book. Thanks Rod, in case you read this blog!

You’re a busy person. Now that you’ve finished your book and seen it published, do you have any other writing projects?
I made a tiny start at writing a novel about which I’ve already mentioned. I just finished a 35-page research paper for a college class so I am taking it easy on the writing for a while…. or at least I was until I got this questionnaire from you, Nik! Here I sit answering these questions and enjoying every minute of it!

And if so, what are you working on now? Well, I’m working on this blog at the moment, Nik! (You are supposed to laugh now).

What is your biggest distraction when it comes to writing?
Everything! Life! Jobs! College! Family! Writing takes a lot of inspiration and when you’ve got that you need the discipline to sit yourself down and write, write, write before that inspiration slips away.

What’s your favourite movie?

I have to say All of Me, starring (who else?) Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin, wins my vote. Oddly enough it is centred on a soul who wishes to keep living after her death so she can experience all the things she missed in her current life. The concepts of reincarnation and the somewhat similar concept of transmigration (the passing of a soul into another body after death) are portrayed in a humorous way, yet the lesson for all of is there if we look. Life never ends and our chances to make things right, to become the one we were meant to be and to find our destiny are always right there for us if we will just believe!

What’s your favourite quot
ation?
Every Winnie-the-Pooh quote that was ever written, I’d have to say! I can’t seem to choose because my eyes are filled with tears as I read down the list I have collected!

If you could live anywhere
else in the world where would it be and why?
I do love San Francisco. I left my heart there twice!

And last
ly, just for interest – what’s your favourite food and why?
Yogurt is my everyday favourite food…any flavour! A day without yogurt is like a day without sunshine! Of course, I feel quite the same about chocolate, but chocolate is not a food but a flavour, but I don’t seem to care for chocolate flavoured yogurt…go figure!

Thank you, Mari. I wish you continued good fortune with your book.


THE TALE OF WISDOM AND DELIGHT

Mari LaFore
Amazon.com kindle can be purchased here
Amazon.com paperback can be purchased here
Amazon.co.uk kindle here
Amazon.co.uk paperback here
 
Illustrated with photographs, and includes a comprehensive list of sources.

Some reviews:
“Mari LaFore combines her heart-knowledge of her pet’s reincarnation with documentation and expert opinion to create a beautiful and credible testimony. As an author, I enjoyed having LaFore’s loving words about her cats dance up and down my spine. Kudos on a warm and soul-satisfying story!” - Pegi Deitz Shea, Institute of Children’s Literature, Redding, Ct

“A wonderful story of love and hope.”  - Megan Zuba, Case Manager, St. Joseph Center, Los Angeles, CA.

“I find Mari LaFore’s story quite stunning and heart-warming.” - Seema Kapani, Diversity Education Coordinator, UW Madison

Wisdom and Delight moved me. It makes for an inspirational read for anyone who has lost a loved one, whether human or animal.” - Robert Morton, author of Death is Another Life

“Fans of The Ghost Whisperer will find this a delight. If you love animals, especially cats, you’ll adore The Tale of Wisdom and Delight!” – Helen Ross, reviewer


Bio
Mari LaFore lives in the beautiful, Isthmus city of Madison Wisconsin between two sparkling lakes. Her sunny apartment is shared with plenty of contented purring cats. Her home reflects the timeless beauty of a Maxfield Parrish painting, decorated with her paintings, photographs, and other works of art. She considers it to be her heaven. She is an artist in oil paint, acrylics, watercolor, and tempera. She loves writing poetry and short stories. She has written a whimsical four-act play called Will I Know You?, a zany TV sitcom pilot called Chicago Dogs, and a delightful children’s tale titled Salvador’s Wallet which was published in the Skipping Stones Multicultural Magazine, March/April 2012 issue. Find Mari’s artwork  at http://laforedesign.smugmug.com/Art/Mari-LaFore-Painting/

Mari has a Liberal Arts Degree from Madison Area Technical College, has taken theatre and film classes at U.W. LaCrosse and Edgewood College, and is currently a senior pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Theater at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she also holds a certificate in Chican@?Latin@ Studies. She is a member of Working Title, a writing organization on campus and was a poetry judge for 2012’s Annual Lit Fest held on UW Madison campus. She also studies Spanish during the summer months plus working at both Student Unions UW Madison campus, Wisconsin Union Theatre also on UW Madison campus and Kelley’s Market. She also finds time to counsel bereaved pet owners, who have recently lost their furry babies


2 comments:

Jan Warburton said...

As a huge cat lover, I really enjoyed this guest interview, Nik.
Most interesting and enlightening. Have sent it on to other pet loving pals to read.

Nik said...

Thanks, Jan. Yes, please spread the word!