Rocky Mountain National Park Timelapse: 100 Years of National Parks

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Here’s a timelapse series I took yesterday at Rocky Mountain National Park to celebrate 100 years of service and conservation by the National Park Service. Admission to most parks in the U.S. is free this weekend. WELL DONE. And hey…If you like the video, share it! Will Burcher is a former police officer and current author of “The GAIAD,” a story of ancient secrets not quite forgotten and the positive power of global perspective. He lives and works in Colorado, USA. SUBSCRIBE for a chance to WIN A signed edition of The GAIAD. Join the conversation. EARTH. SPACE. INSPIRATION. EVERY 10th subscriber will receive a print edition of THE GAIAD, a new science fiction novel, signed by the author. Subscribers will also receive a 20% discount on the book—our thanks for being part of a conversation that WANTS TO BE HAD.    

The GAIAD Preview—Chapters 14 and 15

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The GAIAD is the story of one modern woman’s attempt to heal the fundamental rift between humanity and the Earth—a separation born of an event occurring both on a physical plain and in the minds of men millennia ago. In the following two chapters she contacts a man, an innovative thought-leader she believes will understand the consequences of the secret she’s discovered: a message from an unlikely source motivating us to look beyond our insular lives, both up and out. 14 Abdul-Jabbar Sulayman It began as a recognition of the undifferentiated emotion inside her, a kind of physical feeling not yet expressed. It was a heavy thing located near her heart, a concretion of lighter stuff, stuff that should be free. She let it overtake her—which was hard, scary. In an instant it overwhelmed her like an ocean wave. It became something else, something more. First it was pain, raw … READ MORE…

The Nature Conservancy Colorado

Which way do we go? The Nature Conservancy Colorado is trying to keep places like this (Aiken Canyon, near Colorado Springs) protected and available for future generations.

“Our natural resources are at the heart of our quality of life in Colorado—from the fresh water we drink and the clean air we breathe to our economic prosperity and world-renowned recreational opportunities. But Colorado’s environment continues to face many challenges. Our population is expected to nearly double by 2050. Increased needs for food, water and energy will further strain Colorado’s natural systems.” —Carlos Fernandez, Director of The Nature Conservancy in Colorado I BELIEVE IN CONSERVATION. It is the most simple, effective way to ensure a balance between human economic activity and the needs of the natural environment. I am a strong advocate of the idea that “we” (humans, humanity, corporations, government, Wal-Mart) have utilized (or exploited) enough of the natural world for our purposes. We should now be seeking balance. The most glaringly obvious way to accomplish this is to set land aside, to restrain ourselves, to stand up … READ MORE…

Writing Dreams

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I RECENTLY FINISHED Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore.” Murakami has been described by some critics as the greatest writer still living today. This book in particular has been labeled as one of his best. (For more, see my review on Goodreads.) Murakami writes his dreams. There are thousands of blogs, essays, reviews, pieces on the web talking about how incredible a writer, how revolutionary his stuff is. There’s a common sense of expressed amazement at how fantastic his writing can be. “Kafka on the Shore” includes scenes and imagery as varied and off-the-wall as WWII era UFO’s; a strange, enlightened old man who can talk with cats; a sociopathic, animal-mutilating Johnnie Walker; Colonel Sanders as a pimp; a mysterious stone disc with the power to somehow affect the world; a precocious, “well-equipped” 15 year old boy’s possibly incestuous sexual dalliances. All of this is very imaginative, sure. But I contend … READ MORE…

The GAIAD — Available Now at Poor Richard’s Books

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I’m pleased to announce that “The GAIAD” is now available for purchase at Poor Richard’s Downtown, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.   Poor Richard’s is an iconic place in Colorado Springs and through their independent bookstore, the gift shop, the restaurant and cafe, they work hard to support local artists and businesses. If you’re in the Springs, definitely check them out, SUPPORT LOCAL, (and also be sure to look for a certain, conspicuously displayed book toward the front of the store):   Will Burcher is a former police officer and current author of “The GAIAD,” a story of ancient secrets not quite forgotten and the positive power of global perspective. He lives and works in Colorado, USA. SUBSCRIBE for a chance to WIN A signed edition of The GAIAD. Join the conversation. EARTH. SPACE. INSPIRATION. EVERY 10th subscriber will receive a print edition of THE GAIAD, a new science fiction novel, signed by … READ MORE…

Books and Everything Q&A, Thursday, July 14th, 1PM EST

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I’m pleased to be joining Books and Everything (an exciting, active group of book and literature enthusiasts) for an online question and answer session this Thursday, July 14th at 1PM EST (11AM MST). Click the picture or the link below for the link to the Facebook Event: CLICK HERE!   Will Burcher is a former police officer and current author of “The GAIAD,” a story of ancient secrets not quite forgotten and the positive power of global perspective. He lives and works in Colorado, USA. SUBSCRIBE for a chance to WIN A signed edition of The GAIAD. Join the conversation. EARTH. SPACE. INSPIRATION. EVERY 10th subscriber will receive a print edition of THE GAIAD, a new science fiction novel, signed by the author. Subscribers will also receive a 20% discount on the book—our thanks for being part of a conversation that WANTS TO BE HAD.    

The Importance of Place

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Place This body of mine, in all its seeming dense and static corporeality; in all its seeming distinct and separate nature, is a mere interim expression of time and place. Like an animated ghost it moves through space, pervious to air and liquid, bacterium and virus, quark and neutrino. All but the most mundane and structured matter (itself a mere temporary arrangement) passes through me, interacts with me, affects me. I breathe the air, I drink the water, I am infected and then shot-through a trillion times over by the natives of its sub-atomic jungle. Except in mind and myopia, Place and “I” are near the same. Despite frequent admonitions to the contrary (Tennessee Williams: “I can write anywhere…”), a writer is an animated eating breathing thinking shitting expression of place. Beyond the obvious examples such as Joyce’s Dublin, Hemingway’s Paris, Lee’s Alabama, the “where” of a writer’s work is … READ MORE…

The GAIAD Gets a New Cover

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I am pretty damn PLEASED to announce the release of a NEW COVER for The GAIAD by designer Joseph Marsh. Joe’s based out of Colorado Springs and I felt pretty privileged to be able to work directly with such a talented local artist. He didn’t just formulate some quick design based on my description or some vague instructions I gave him, but took a copy of the book to Peru with him, reading it in what I can only imagine were some pretty inspiring places. The result was a wholly original image inspired by the deepest themes of the story. The new cover can be found representing both the Kindle and Print editions of the book:     Will Burcher is a former police officer and current author of “The GAIAD,” a story of ancient secrets not quite forgotten and the positive power of global perspective. He lives and works in Colorado, … READ MORE…

On Receiving a Negative Review

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A little time lapse shot with the moon rising over a winter oak. 30 second interval. Outside of Castle Rock, Colorado. #nature #moon #picoftheday #video #timelapse #colorado #followforfollow #follow4follow #followme #instapic #instadaily #castlerock #photography #photooftheday A video posted by Will Burcher (@willburcher) on Feb 24, 2016 at 3:15pm PST A FEW WEEKS AGO, a first real negative review of The GAIAD. After I’d read the thing, it took a few moments to identify my reaction. A half-second after that, a mental double-take and a literal LOL. Though not at the review. The review itself was well-written, the author clearly in possession of an active and educated mind. I respected his opinion. Respect, however, can absolutely exist simultaneously with disagreement. This sounds elementary—indeed, it’s a tenet that should be taught (along with so many other important and overlooked things) more vigorously to kids at school and at home. How many seemingly … READ MORE…

“Perelandra” by C.S. Lewis—A Review

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4.5/5 stars “Perelandra” is the second book of the “Space Trilogy.” It is the best of the series. This series was my re-discovery of C.S. Lewis. Like many, I was exposed to “Narnia” as a kid. 20 years later I was admittedly biased toward the negative, thinking that his more “adult” works would be laden down with religious references or burdened by a rickety old Judeo-Christian moral scaffold. I was wrong. The references are certainly there; but his trilogy (and “Perelandra” in particular) is anything but “laden” or “burdened.” The questions posed within are primal, fundamental, universal. What would a human be like, unaffected, uncorrupted by the darkness of a modern soul or psyche? What would her nascent world be like? How would she view it? How would she view herself? The narrative orbits Lewis’ characterization of “Eve.” She is this book—at once naive and lordly, innocent and powerful, child-like and … READ MORE…

VIDEO: Florida’s Forgotten Coast

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This post is part 6 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

Will Burcher is a former police officer and current author of “The GAIAD,” a story of ancient secrets not quite forgotten and the positive power of global perspective. He lives and works in Colorado, USA. SUBSCRIBE for a chance to WIN A signed edition of The GAIAD. Join the conversation. EARTH. SPACE. INSPIRATION. EVERY 10th subscriber will receive a print edition of THE GAIAD, a new science fiction novel, signed by the author. Subscribers will also receive a 20% discount on the book—our thanks for being part of a conversation that WANTS TO BE HAD.    

The Florida Wildlife Corridor

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This post is part 5 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

  THIS SERIES BEGAN WITH A QUESTION. It was born from a thought I had while jogging an empty beach along the Gulf the first day I arrived on the Forgotten Coast. The uniqueness of the area had already struck me, obviously and immediately apparent from the beginning. The natural-ness, the ubiquity of the birds on the wing, the wildlife, the native plants—all these things seemed new, experienced in Florida only once before during a trip to the Everglades. My question was simple, but embodied others that came with it in a cascade. Is the Forgotten Coast unique? Is it “natural?” Has development been balanced with a respect for natural environments, for native habitats, for biologically active and unique areas, such as those presented by the biomes of this place? If it is presently—balanced—can this situation be sustained? Within a few days of looking into these questions I came upon a … READ MORE…

East to West and Back Again

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This post is part 4 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

The Span of the Forgotten Coast in Pictures and Words   THIS IS A DIVERSE PLACE, as much as it is relatively unspoiled. Heading west along Highway 98 from the “Nature Coast” and “Big Bend” areas of northwestern Florida, the farms, acreages, and small rusting towns like Cross City, Salem, and Perry slowly morph into more natural, protected spaces. There is a growing sense that rather than just being an out-of-the-way place that people would rather not be, the area has been consciously conserved and protected. You encounter various “conservation” and “wildlife management” areas first. They’re heavily managed, the forests harvested and thinned, but they obviously lack condos, hotels, or the staples of other parts of the Florida coast. These then give way to Econfina State Park and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge—true protected lands that still offer a respectable level of public access. The St. Marks Lighthouse, built in … READ MORE…

Prodigious

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This post is part 3 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

Vines below! (disclaimer) These are all small, relatively low-res cuts of a larger video I’m editing… THE LIFE HERE, the abundance. It is prodigious. My first night here was warm and wet and clear. I was staying at a house surrounded by acres of woods outside the small town of Sopchoppy, about 10 miles inland from the coast and known for its annual (yeah!) “Worm Gruntin’ Festival.” I stepped outside around 9PM to look upward—at a sky free of clouds, of stratospheric aircraft, of anything but stars and the familiar galactic haze of the Milky Way. The clarity, the visual lucidity of the night was striking—the scene in stark contrast to the nearly terrifying, natural din of the surrounding forest. The tumult came from every direction. Owls hooted, bullfrogs croaked and rumbled, their smaller cousins in the trees and bushes chirping and barking like terriers. Strange birds called in unholy … READ MORE…

Dark Water

Tannic water, Ochlockonee Bay.
This post is part 2 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

THE WATER HERE is dark. The color of black tea, or even coffee—on first encounter it can look dirty or even foul. It isn’t. The water of multiple, major rivers flows into the bays defining the Forgotten Coast. It is tannic for the most part—tinted dark by chemical processes inherent to the decaying of vegetation—it is rich with organic matter, rich with the stuff of life. The color of the water is testament to the biological productivity of an inland Florida to the north—and the effluent of that productivity flows down and out, meeting the fluid of the Gulf in places like Ochlockonee Bay, Apalachee Bay, Apalachicola Bay. It is in stark contrast to the clear water of the popular Gulf beaches to the west and south. On my first encounter with it, on a warm day in April when the sun shined bright and blazing overhead, I could tell that … READ MORE…

The Forgotten Coast

Salt marshes abound. Rich in life, they're equally rich in beauty.
This post is part 1 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

APPROXIMATELY 40 MILES EAST of Panama City, Florida there exists a special place. Geographically close to other areas of the Florida shoreline known affectionately by some as the “Emerald Coast” (and not so affectionately by others as the “Redneck Riviera”), this area remains separate and distinct. The beaches are not as expansive, the water not as clear, but the natural soul of a state more often bought and sold, remains here. This is Real Florida, as they say. This is the Forgotten Coast. Though some locals might argue the exact boundaries of this place, the 100 mile stretch along US-98 beginning at Mexico Beach and ending at St. Marks, is a general and approximate definition. Strangely enough, what is more distinct than a numerical configuration on a map is the feel of this place, the sense of it in the air. Driving east from Panama City along 98, the beach resorts … READ MORE…

Anti-Gravity and the Pull of the Past

Police Academy Graduation, 2009.

“If you think you’re enlightened, go and spend a week with your parents.” —Ram Dass I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family lately—good time, quality time, with the people in this world I love most dearly. It renews me, recharges and inspires; and can be simultaneously frustrating. Even infuriating. These people are those with whom I share the most history. Here the past runs both heavy and deep. Much of my self-image has grown and developed through my interaction with, my history with them. And therein lies the rub. Our voluminous, shared past (along with love) defines these relationships. In college I once took an undergrad anthropology course from an excellent professor, Dr. Craig Palmer, now at the University of Missouri. He made a point that no relationship is stronger than that defined by blood, punctuated by the assertion (somewhat startling, but absolutely true) that any other … READ MORE…

A Positive Path

A fall day in Colorado. Above Geneva Creek, 90 mins west of Denver, 12,000 ft.

  I’m inclined to judge—people, places, my dogs, myself. I’m inclined like some rotten old tree, bent toward an undefined but clearly negative gravitational mass. And none of this is new, of course. I’m certainly not the only one afflicted by this proclivity. My mind, my ego, or the “I” of which “I” speak is effectively a resistance device, manufacturing judgment and negativity; bush-whacking through a daily span usually by toil and brow-sweat and a hell of a lot of swearing. But this I know. And therein lies the hope. With self-knowledge always comes a liberating ability—that of choice. I can choose to see that negative inclination for what it is and I can let go of it. Or at least I can sit back and watch the movie play out, knowing that “I” am that movie’s audience, not the film itself. And then, with practice, I can choose the … READ MORE…

Up from Below

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(Sperlonga, Italy. Photo by WB) Within this blog is a section entitled “Up from Below.” I wanted to explain it. Some might call this section “contemplative” or “philosophical” or “spiritual.” Perhaps all of these terms fit. I don’t know. For me, writings, musings, posts that fit in this section simply come from a place within me, the writer, that seems deeper and less tangible than that other, more common point of origin. They might also concern writers or works of art and lit, or the stuff of other thought leaders that I feel comes from this same place. These things well “up from below;” like a spring or a kind of clear and bubbling brook rising up and out of the earth. The term comes from a feeling, more than anything. The term is my expression of a perception almost prior to specific thought or words. I’ve come to learn that my … READ MORE…

The GAIAD, A Novel—Free!

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TODAY and Tomorrow (March 25th and 26th) The GAIAD, A Novel—is FREE for Kindle. If you haven’t yet read the book, don’t miss this opportunity to experience the story—a powerful, revolutionary work from a “confident new voice” in literature and science fiction:   Will Burcher is a former police officer and current author of “The GAIAD,” a story of ancient secrets not quite forgotten and the positive power of global perspective. He lives and works in Colorado, USA. SUBSCRIBE for a chance to WIN A signed edition of The GAIAD. Join the conversation. EARTH. SPACE. INSPIRATION. EVERY 10th subscriber will receive a print edition of THE GAIAD, a new science fiction novel, signed by the author. Subscribers will also receive a 20% discount on the book—our thanks for being part of a conversation that WANTS TO BE HAD.