Cape of Storms

The Sky above Chapman’s Peak

It happened again! Heavy storms thundered across the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa – also known as the famous ‘Cape of Storms’ . Just when spring was in full swing, painting the garden with magnificent colours, these chimeras start a mad dance around Chapman’s Peak before they came slashing down along its flanks and had a feast ripping it all apart. Just that they weren’t illusions, they are real.

 

While we all held our breaths when the temperatures dropped from 33 to 15 degrees within just a few hours, in the desperate hope of much-needed rains, and we rejoiced when we got a little, which was a great relief for the heavily battered garden, it’s far beyond what Cape Town needs! This means that we will have to continue on 87 litres of water per head maximum until . . .

The Sky Above Chapman's Peak

The damagewas massive . . . and the rain minimal down here in Noordhoek, South of Cape Town. Our dam is almost empty to this day. And this after the ‘winter rains’.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining, smiles are creeping back on worried faces, and resiliant as always, South Africans get back up from their knees and move forward and upward again!

Three years through the worst drought we’ve ever seen down here, we still hope it will change and a miracle happens. It will!

We need everyone’s positive outlook and prayers . . .

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Barnes & Noble Book Review

What if you are ‘Born With Wings’ yet unable to fly?

Birds, like Angels, have long been seen as messengers in human life and culture. In some societies, the Crow is seen as a harbinger of danger, while in others the Crow is the conveyor of Wisdom and warnings to pay greater attention to our surroundings instead of living in a state of constant distraction between past and future. Likewise, the Owl has long been associated with Wisdom – but also with Death. Like Angels, too, birds can be both friends and enemies to each other and to humans. But suppose you are “Born With Wings” yet unable to fly?

What Readers say about Born With Wings

Five Stars for out-of-this-world adventure

Suppose your destiny as a winged creature is very much in question given your obvious “disability”? How are you to fulfill your destiny and rise above the mundane dangers of existence, when you are confined to the vulnerable world of the earth-bound?

For one such winged creature, these questions were very much at the centre of her existence. Born in a beautiful and remote valley in South Africa, the Egyptian Goose we come to know as Piu Piu falls out of her nest and into the world of humans. Confined to earth with a broken wing could be a death sentence. Our little heroine, known here as Piu Piu, but in eternity as Anata, takes us on a delightful but perilous journey through earth-bound dangers, assisted by a young girl’s loving care, an ironic cat’s ambivalent companionship, an alert snake’s guidance and numerous encounters with unexpected allies amid Nature’s impersonal forces, on her way toward confrontation with her Fear, and potential Freedom, if her courage holds.

Friends and enemies, uneasy alliances and family dynamics all contribute to the temporal experience of Piu Piu’s life, but it is her recognition of who she really is, and her choice to face her destiny with courage, that turns her life into a truly magical tale. Opening a window between our physical world and the greater reality in which we all must learn to “fly” is an entrancing epic, in which all sentient creatures are tested, and our capacity to deal with different levels of reality determines whether we go on to the next step in our spiritual development or must repeat the still unlearned lessons.

Beautifully written, divinely inspired, “Born With Wings” is a new and revised edition of  The Immortal Life of Piu Piu, a wise and wonderful story in the magical tradition of “The Little Prince” and “Jonathan Livingston Seagull“.

Treat yourself to a unique and unexpected pleasure with an out-of-this-world adventure! FIVE STARS!

This Book review was posted by Donegal on Barnes & Noble – August 2017

As the author of this visionary fiction novel, I’m deeply grateful for a book review like this – I feel understood and will stretch my wings even more to fly – after all, I was born with wings! As YOU are… and anyone else, of course!

 

Easter my favourite time

Easter in Namibia

If I look back in time, my favourite feast has always been Easter! In those delightful childhood days in Namibia (South Africa) it was the time when the first rains had arrived – eagerly-awaited – covering the scorched desert sand with a carpet of bright yellow ‘morning stars’, literally overnight, and triggering a symphony of new green leaves sprouting on camelthorn bushes and acacias. A sense of awakening was in the air that raised the earth’s vibrations including everyone, big or small, who dwelled upon her! A new beginning!

Happy Easter 2017 by Bianca Gubalke

“What you are the vibration of, appears.”

~ From the visionary fiction novel  ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’

What fascinated me most was the magic of new animal life that manifested itself within the sudden abundance. Those tiny new-born antelopes hopping to their feet to follow their moms – springbok, wildebeest and kudu – when we kids roamed through the bush to find what the Easter Bunny had hidden for us! But – already then, and that was the secret – it was much more about what we’d discover along the way than what we actually found in the end . . . if we found it at all! Sometimes, the chocolate egg had melted in the glazing sun and had become a welcome alternative to seeds for a whole colony of large marching ants. We never meddled with those. Or it had been discovered and pinched by a clever baboon who smiled at us from high up in a thorny tree, eyes glittering with an air of superiority, and pieces of silver wrappings sailing down. Which we duly collected and carried home like trophies of a new funny story to tell. Sometimes, we found the remains of the Easter Feast a year later . . . or two . . . or we never found it at all!

It is the path that matters

If you think about it, it’s the path itself that matters much more than the goal. And as we dance between worlds, each new beginning reminds us to hold on a moment, to breathe, and then to let go and abandon the chaos outside . . . to turn within.

This is not about escapism, not at all, it’s about choice!  Our free choice, that is. Our choice to look past the illusion and see with our heart. Isn’t it time to – consciously – open ourselves to the Light we all carry within, no matter who we are or where we find ourselves on our journey? No better time than now to trust our divine intuition, to follow the inner guidance that is always present within a sacred space we all share!

I’m wishing you a blessed time!

The First Day of 2017

New Year Magic

On the last day of 2016, I wish to thank YOU, my friends and loyal readers, for your friendship, comments and unwavering support over the course of  an extraordinary year that saw ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’ take first baby steps on the publishing highway of the Internet – all ready to spread its wings in what promises to be a magical new year 2017! And to be accompanied by Book 2 in the trilogy ‘Dance Between Worlds’!

Actually, as I’m publishing this post, we’re just back from an early morning walk on the beach and saw the first day of 2017 start in a breathtakingly beautiful way! May it be a good omen for 2017!

New Year in Noordhoek, South Afric a

 

The Magical Garden - A photographic journeyShowering you with heaps of sweet flower petals, forever sunshine and positive vibrations from Noordhoek, South Africa – and looking forward to meeting you again in an exciting New Year 2017!

Be safe, be blessed and lots of love!

Bianca

PS: And don’t forget to download my FREE PHOTO BOOK GIVEAWAY HERE! 

The Magical Garden is a photographic journey through 150 pages of gorgeous colour photos – landscapes, flowers, birds, cats, insects, butterflies and bees and much more to introduce you to the so-called ‘richest floral kingdom in the world‘ and, tugged within it, that magic place called Noordhoek, South Africa.

Author Interview by Zoe Brooks

Zoe Brooks interviews Magic Realism Author Bianca Gubalke

Zoe Brooks is a British novelist, an award-winning poet and blogger, who reviews one magical realism book per week, since July 2012. Her list of magic realism books currently comprises a staggering 700+ books. Below is her Interview with Bianca Gubalke:

Author Interview with Bianca Gubalke 2016

 

  • Who are your favourite magic realist authors and why?

As far as I can think back, my main interests, besides my love for Nature, were always the Arts and Spiritual Healing. This lead to studies of Shamanism following teachers like Michael Harner, where we naturally worked with another ‘reality’ – which was something I knew from the San people in the Kalahari of South Africa.

At that time, I was also drawn to the fascinating work of Carlos Castaneda. Here, the ‘magic’ in form of a search for power came in. It stunned me as it was not in synch with what a true shaman – who is a healer – aspires to. It appears that real insights were drawn from other sources and traditions, but Castaneda knew how to write and package the message, and he did something else: He put himself into the story!

Much later, my film editor gave me a small book to read that was so special, that I went all the way to London to get the adaptation rights. The author was a Nigerian writer: Amos Tutuola. It may be my African heritage – although my cultural roots are also firmly grounded in Europe – but this vivid, extraordinary writing with its special rhythm immediately resonated with me, and I still enjoy it today!

Of course, I could not resist Joanne Harris’ strong and sensuous  ‘magical woman’ (‘magical mother’) and her culinary temptations, blown by the wind into a rigid little French town, where she opens – of all names – ‘La Céleste Praline’!  Played by my favourite actress, Juliette Binoche, this was an absolute treat. As a magical realism story, ‘Chocolat’  has much more depth than it seems.

 

  • What is your all-time favourite magic realist book?

Bearing in mind that there are many books I still want to read, so far, my all-time favourite magic realist book is: The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola.

 

  • Why do you write magic realism?

I did not set out to write a magic realism novel. I see it rather as visionary fiction – but this category does not exist – yet – on Amazon.

I wrote my story for a special young girl who deeply cares about Nature and its survival, bearing in mind that everything is a reflection. And I wrote it for baby boomers, who are too busy on treadmills to stop and reflect on life’s most important questions, who now panic as their own transition draws closer. In the end, my mission is always to heal.

As a hypnotherapist, we work on different levels with each patient. While always aware of the ‘here’ and ‘now’, we work with the subconscious. We’re here and there – whereby ‘there’ is like a gap between thoughts. It’s a natural process; the patient is always in control. This can be taken much further during past life regression, where one moves beyond the death experience into other lives and even existences that are a far cry from what we consciously know. While this process takes place in our known world, our so-called ‘reality’, it has a perceived ‘magical’ component for some, that is exploited on stage in a misleading way.

Lastly, all my creative work as a screenplay writer or filmmaker included different ‘realities’ – and so does my debut novel. Life’s mundane fabric contains many strings of magic – not as a mere decoration, but as a part of it. So when my editor suggested ‘Magical Realism’ as the appropriate genre, it immediately made sense.

 

  • Can you give us your definition of magic realism?

I’ve read many definitions for magic realism, none of which I truly resonate with. Maybe it’s because I cannot imagine a reality without magic?

The following thought – based on a quote from the Bible, John 17:14-15 – is an attempt to express what I feel:

“In magical realism, as a literary genre, we play with the notion that ‘we are in the world, but not of it’. This awareness can lift or defeat us; it can be used to harm or to heal.”

 

Set in a land of shifting realities – the Western Cape coast of South Africa, between Nature’s paradise and a ruthless world – and based on the heartbreaking true story of a human-animal bond, this magical journey reveals how a young girl and the wild creatures who are her constant guides, join in the ultimate adventure: to reveal the mystery of life after death.

MAIN CHARACTERS

Pippa
A natural born leader who joins forces with wild creatures and natural scientists, long dead, to unlock the mystery of the invisible world.

She seeks KNOWLEDGE.

Piu Piu
An experiment, a catalyst – and the happiest Egyptian goose on earth until the Unthinkable happens and destroys her world.

She seeks FREEDOM.

Charlot
The shadow, hunter, killer – he’s always there, right behind you! So be warned: He’s ruthless in a ruthless world.

He wants . . . FOOD. At least, it seems so . . .

ABOUT THIS NOVEL

We all know about the surge of interest in the survival of consciousness after death as millions of baby boomers face their own mortality. All this is reflected in popular TV shows and movies, as well as trailblazing videos on the Web. The fact is that life’s fast pace and our personal fears often keep us from addressing the most important of existential questions, which can cost us our emotional wellbeing, happiness and health, and we may not pass on the right message to our children. This is where this enchanting tale – with its touching human-animal bonds, that awaken a sense of care and guardianship for the Earth – fills the gap.

As you follow the hero’s journey of self-discovery, spiritual awakening, personal transformation and healing, discover how your feelings are the key to your eternal soul:

“What you are not the vibration of remains invisible to you.”

 

‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’ is Part 1 of the Trilogy ‘Dance Between Worlds‘.

 

Please feel free to comment below!

 

 

Message to the Inner Child

Life through the eyes of a child

It’s time to release Part 9 of the Author Interview on Magical Realism and other questions we asked the author of the new South African novel The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’ , conducted by Arteby Publishing (AP) on 17th January, 2016, based on a series of 10 main questions. Please follow the transcript below. The Interviews will be loaded to YouTube in due time. Here is  Author Interview 8. Just in case you have missed it. Please take note that this is Book 1 in a series called ‘Dance Between Worlds’.

Author Interview with Bianca Gubalke

AP: We’ve spoken about the importance of human-animal communication in your book. We’ve gone into your target audience, the so-called ‘babyboomer generation’. However, it seems to me that the story very much addresses the ‘inner child’  within the reader, no matter the age. It’s like looking at life through the eyes of a child.  The inner child. Is this your intention as a writer?

Dream it, do it!

BG: Intuitively, yes. I believe that’s where we’re authentic and true to ourselves, never mind who we are. We have an incredible confidence and trust when we’re little people. We want to try things out and explore the world – NOW. We just dream and do! Maybe that’s how we used to do it, before we incarnated into the material world. And isn’t that what each inspirational speaker repeats to us as adults? “If you can dream it, do it!” It doesn’t always work out. But while we’re still young, there is a divine absence of fear – but it won’t last long. Soon enough, conditioning sets in and, with it, the ‘don’t do’s’, ‘be carefuls’ and ‘be reals’ and all that goes with it to make us fit in. And suddenly there’s no longer this inert Oneness we feel part of, but a you and me, good and bad. Duality, Judgement. Separation.

AP: This reminds me to ask: Did you have a specific person in mind when creating this story?

BG: Yes, a young girl like Pippa. A free little spirit with eyes wide open and a big dream. It is true that any child with a keen interest in this story can read it as of – say age 12 or so, especially if it’s a girl. Parents and a number of teachers here in South Africa and overseas have confirmed this – but we all know there’s a free spirit of a young girl or boy in any 60- or 70- or 80-year old woman or man and beyond. It just needs wings to fly again . . .

This journey is a very light one in a world weighed down by burden . . .  there will be those who resonate with it and others won’t.

What happened to our Dreams?

To come back to your question: So perhaps we’re looking at two pivotal moments in life: one going out into life – and the other having reached that point where we look back and ponder how life went so fast and what happened to our dreams? And when we analyze things, we may well discover that either we remained true to them or we got off-track, we were hijacked . . . most probably by our fears. And obviously, the biggest fear of them all . . . is moving rapidly towards us. That’s when panic strikes.

This is where ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’ takes the reader – like in the hero’s journey – through the process again. The process of life and learning. What appears to be Piu Piu’s journey actually is their own. Beginning – middle – and end. Many may not even be aware of it. But that’s what’s happening – reminding them how it all started . . . how things changed and apparently went wrong . . . but that with hindsight, everything happened for a reason . . . to grow and fulfill a purpose. So in the end, there’s no pressure or judgement or fear – just gratitude and many reasons for celebration.

Piu Piu rises by lifting others

In that sense, Piu Piu rises by lifting others. Until they eventually realize, that all is one.

AP: May I ask you: Are you sad when someone you love, dies? 

BG: Absolutely! This will never change. I’ve known times of immense grief in my life and, inevitably, there’s more to come. But my sadness has to do with me. Only with me. It’s my loss, I feel ‘left behind’ with no one to fill that gap. Although, time is a healer. On the other hand, I deeply believe that those who leave us are in a good place filled with unconditional love and light. Free and whole again, they have many reasons for celebration – see the picture I painted in Piu Piu’s final chapter. It’s a transformation. A change in frequency, in vibration – not in communication. Once our grief eases away and our ‘receptors’ are open and receptive again, we can feel the presence, there’s a form of communion. No one we love is ever far away.

AP: In heaven or hell?

BG (laughing): Heaven! Definitely. Hell can only be here! But, seriously . . . remember, duality only exists in the material world. Fear or Love – that’s the only choice we have.

AP: Fear or love – let anyone decide! Let’s breathe for a moment, before we dive into our last question for today . . . to see what’s coming next.

Please stay tuned; the final transcript, part 10, of our Arteby Author Interview with Bianca Gubalke on her book in the literary genre ‘Magical or Magic Realism’ will follow soon!

Get the book HERE.

South African Literature

Author Interviews

Arteby Publishing (AP) conducted an Author Interview with Bianca Gubalke, author of the new South African magical realism novelThe Immortal Life of Piu Piu’ , based on a series of 10 questions. Here’s question number five. While there were technical glitches with the video, so it’s not finished yet, the transcript is – and you may follow along below. In case you missed the previous part, here it is: Author Interview 4.

Interview with Bianca Gubalke

AP: Your story plays in South Africa. I notice that you unite different races and cultures within one family, including the strong presence of an imaginary ancestor, which is quite typical for African Literature. Is this a political story?

BG: No, I kept politics entirely out of it . . . although taking any particular viewpoint always has . . . somewhere . . . a political edge, if you will.

This story – as confirmed by a number of readers – is a gentle . . . someone called it ‘therapeutical’ . . .  journey to that hidden place within us that no one talks about when we are little people. Nor does it ever appear in schools. So it is bound to lose its significance. Then we tend to neglect it . . . and eventually forget about it as we grow up as separate individuals in this, our so-called REAL physical world. This is a tragedy as it’s the purest, most vulnerable and hence most precious and authentic spot we all own. It’s where we are our true selves. It’s a place where we are closest to our soul. Therefore, it’s also the place where we are all connected – and I really mean everyone, free from any form of judgement or privileged hierarchical corset. A place where we know and love one another – not in a romantic fashion, but in an encompassing, unconditional way – as the magnificent energy beings we truly are.

About the Survival of the fittest

As our courageous heroine soon finds out directly from her dad, the dominant reality of life on earth is that we live in a dualistic time-constrained plane, where we are drawn into a cruel game called  ‘The survival of the fittest’ . This implies scarcity thinking instead of abundance wisdom, fierce competition instead of mutual cooperation. Everything seems to serve a purpose, after which it’s cold coffee, thrown away, disposed, gone – and fast! This leaves little room for empathy and magic, and as we’re subliminally conditioned to ‘fit in’ – from the cradle to the grave – we lose touch with our true selves, our essence. We lose our dreams, and worst of all: we allow ourselves to be overpowered and dominated by the many expressions of . . . FEAR!

Sadly, this is a way of abandoning our hope and giving up on our dreams. We’re dying to who we really are – instead of exploring what we came here to be!

About Fear

We all have fears. Love cannot breathe where fear reigns – and what we fear, we attract. So we want to find a path to identify, understand, and overcome our fears – fears like jealousy, abandonment, death. This is what is addressed in the book, on a much deeper level, of course. Reading the book with time and inner focus will be a healing experience in ways that may surprise!

To get back to your question: yes, I bring a number of races together in a very natural way, each nourishing and enriching the other with their cultural heritage and wisdom as I believe it should be. Our differences were never meant to separate us, but to show the rich diversity of life!

To give you an example:

About African Fiction

Our main protagonist, Pippa, is the offspring of an African woman – whose ancestors came from Namibia and Germany – and a South African dad. She is a typical ‘Rainbow Nation’  kid – a result of true magic – call it ‘Madiba Magic’ . . . but don’t forget, in those magical, memorable days in 1994, it was a whole nation that connected as ONE and reached for ONE dream! A whole nation! Imagine that! I was blessed to be part of that unique moment in space and time . . . and I will write about it . . . one day. Not now. In this book, race or political criticism are not the issue – going back to our roots and discovering our passion and purpose are.

We all have them – and if they’re buried, we need to dig them out in order to free ourselves and fly!

As such, our young and inquisitive heroine is not only conscious of something happening ‘to her’, but she uses all her courage – sometimes in bone-thrilling adventures – to discover and understand what it . . . and who she . . . actually is. While her closeness to Nature and the many wild creatures who are her constant guides, certainly help, she regularly clashes with her dad, a pilot and contentious figure whose temper forces her to reveal her strength. But – through a wonderful coup of MAGIC that blends into her REAL world – it will be her German great-grandfather, a botanist, long dead, who supports her in her quest for knowledge and takes her back to her roots.

Sorry! I won’t reveal more.

But I assume this is the ‘strong presence of an imaginary ancestor so typical in African literature’ you alluded to here. Whereby my vision differs: to me, the German Great-grandfather is by no means imaginary . . . he’s REAL! If he was . . . he still ‘is’ . . . as time only exists ‘here’, and all we do as we pass from life to life to life is changing our frequency, our vibration. Which means a number of things . . . with many more things to be discovered, but it’s an area of intense research we’re advancing into right now – and this is so very exciting – and I feel beneficial! – for all of us!

On a lighter note: time has a different dimension in Africa, you know. Especially, in Namibia . . . where I was born, where I love to return to from time to time . . .

I’m just the storyteller . . .

AP: Thank you, Namibia is a magical country indeed! It’s good to speak freely about race in a country like South Africa – the famous ‘Rainbow Nation’. Which brings me to my next question, number 6!

The transcript of part 6 of our Arteby Author Interview with Bianca Gubalke on her book in the literary genre ‘Magical or Magic Realism’ will follow soon!