Thursday, April 05, 2018

Announcement of My Upcoming Book of Poetry



My fellow artists and readers,

I want to make a brief announcement about my upcoming, yet-to-be published, book of poetry entitled Zen is Now.

As you already know, I've been on the New York poetry circuit for nearly 30 years and have read my works and have published them in several anthologies as well as numerous publications. I have even printed my poetry online at my blog site: Obsidianthemystictakesnewyork.blogspot.com.

However, never have I presented the bulk of my work for you to view. Zen is Now is just that. It is a compilation of nearly 30 years of my poetry material, many of which you might've heard and seen me perform on stage. Some of which you may not be acquainted with, since they were never read or submitted for publication. There are also a few new verses included as well.

Here is the story behind the making of Zen is Now.

After several years of productive writing and performances, I suddenly ran into a severe creative drought, in that I wasn't able to produce any subsequent material. As a result I pretty much disappeared from the poetry scene all together. However, after a span of four years I was suddenly struck with new inspiration and a flood of prose began to flow from my subconscious. Unfortunately, this recent creativeness was inspired by a succession of tragic events.

Shortly after my 50th birthday I was informed by my VA doctor that I had cancer, which required radical surgery and lot of recovery. Fortunately, I can say that I am cancer free and plan to be around for a long time. In addition, a year later I lost my precious mother after a protracted and exhausting battle with congestive heart failure. This was coupled with the unexpected death by suicide of a very close friend of mine, who took his life at the tender age of 30. To say the least, after these episodes I had truly hit rock bottom.

Oddly, what came out of these successive adversities was nothing short of a miracle, because these catastrophic events shocked me out of my creative dry spell. What followed was an unexpected opening of a well-spring of new prose. It also caused me to revisit and to rewrite a number of my older works. I felt this was appropriate in order to better express the ideas and emotions I felt at the time they were originally put to pen. I also intended to honor the live of my mother and the lives of so many close friends who traveled a while with me along the bard’s highway, before departing off into the great void.

In all, Zen is Now is the product of my personal, philosophical ruminations of this experience called life, as well as my contemplation of the future with the view to attaining the coveted state of Zen.

In regard to the chosen title, I like to draw attention to the word Zen. It seems whenever one considers this word it conjures up metaphors like inner
peacefulness, tranquility, as well as a profound sense of well-being. Not surprisingly, this is what I had in mind when choosing the book’s title.  I'm certain you will agree that reaching this state and maintaining it is not an easy task, especially when life is beset by so many hardships and a garden-variety of adversities.

Nevertheless, there always remains hope.

This is the theme I wish to permeate throughout the body of this collection. However, I have to admit there are times when my verses fail to reflect this kind of optimism, but are rather filled with unmitigated anger, frustration, an incongruity of humor and even righteous indignation. In spite of this, in the end the central theme of Zen can be found and the premise remains one of resolution.

Each poem reflects my inner voice in a variety of contrasting demeanors. Some are light and jovial. Others are dark and foreboding. There are even a few deep, metaphysical reflections. In all, I come to realize there are many disparate ways I have made my voice heard over the years, and that the path to enlightenment can be like a Sisyphean journey with many highs and lows along the way.

What is more, you will discover there is always the element of passion to be found in my work. I believe if you cannot add a little fire to your words than you ought to throw your prose into the fire!

This brings me to another issue I wish to touch upon. Since I have become known as a mystical poet, there is also the element of the sacerdotal. At this juncture I deem it necessary to clarify what I mean by the word "mystical," since I have been accused by some religious critics to be a practitioner of the magical arts. One would think I was being accused of something worse! Whenever I say "mystical" I am referring to matters which are close to the heart; such things as love, the pain of loss, the sort of things which make you reflect deeply upon the meaning of life and its hidden influences. To me these things are indeed a great mystery to be unraveled.

In addition, those of you who are familiar with my poetry might recognize some of the changes I have made in several of the older pieces. I made these adjustments because I felt it more accurately conveyed the thoughts I originally intended when the verses were first put to pen. I hope that you'll relish these modified stanzas as you have the originals.

Lastly, I believe you will discover Zen is Now to be a rare odyssey into the inner workings of my mind. It is my wish to take you into some of my more profound, esoteric ruminations. I hope you will also find it to be a celebration of the creative forces which shape our daily lives in this grand experiment. Zen is Now is an affirmation that no matter which road we travel, we will all meet at the same summit, at that eternal state of Zen.

I encourage you to sit back with your favorite cup of Joe and enjoy reading this collection. 



Sincerely,
Daniel Canada aka Obsidian



ALSO CHECK OUT MY 2 BOOKS “THE SHAITAN” & “HOBO HANDBOOK: MEMOIRS OF A HOMELESS POET IN NEW YORK” SOLD AT THESE LOCATIONS:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/655627

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hobo-handbook-daniel-canada/1124340542?ean=2940153669205


They are not being sold on Amazon.com at this time.

To view a few sample pages or to purchase the books visit:

https://smashwords.com/books/view/573076  (Note: You must 1st remove “adult content” filter from top right hand corner of Smashword page to access the books, by clicking the “Adult Content” button before searching for the titles titles in search field).

If you want to view my Smashwords Author Profile visit:


You can also check out the comments I will be posting on these social media sites:

My Twitter account: https://twitter.com/lordlumiel
If you wish to shoot me a personal note, this is my email address: lordlumiel@yahoo.com
I’d love to hear from you!
-Daniel Canada aka Obsidian







Wednesday, March 14, 2018

In Case You Haven't Heard...



Why you might need a passport card to travel domestically in 2018


Everyone knows that you need a boarding pass and driver’s license to pass airport security. It’s always been this way, but next year, some travelers may also need a passport card.

Starting on Jan. 22, 2018, travelers from a handful of states may have to show an alternate ID to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the airport. This is because the REAL ID Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005, will go into effect.

Essentially, this act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses (and ID cards), and prohibits the TSA from accepting cards that don’t meet the standards. Several states have requested extensions to become compliant, many of which expired on Oct. 10. New extensions may be granted, but for now, the grace period for states ends on Jan. 22.

States that are compliant with the REAL ID Act.

Currently, only 26 states are fully compliant, so residents of those areas can continue to use their state-issued driver’s license when passing through airport security. The remaining states, including New York, California, Illinois and Louisiana, are currently under review. This means that they may be granted an extension and given more time to become compliant. Or it could mean that residents of these states will have to use an alternative form of ID when flying in 2018.

Alternative forms of ID

The easiest back-up ID option is your passport. The problem, is that only 36% of Americans have a valid passport, according to the U.S. Department of State.

At $135, passports can be expensive and unnecessary, especially if you have no desire to travel internationally. In this case, a passport card may make the most sense. For starters, it’s cheaper. First-time adult applicants can get one for $55, and the cost is $40 for children. The card is valid for 10 years (5 years if you’re 16 or younger), after which a renewal will cost $30.

Another perk of a passport card that makes it better than a license is that it allows for some international travel. Cardholders can use the wallet-sized document to re-enter the U.S. at border-crossings or ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

The TSA has a full list of all identification that will be accepted, but some of the more popular alternatives include:

·         DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)

·         U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)

·         Permanent resident card

·         Border crossing card

·         DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license

Time is of the essence

It’s unclear if any states will be granted an extension, so if your state isn’t currently compliant, it’s time to consider some other options.  A passport can take four to six weeks to arrive, while a passport card can take up to three weeks. Applying now means shorter wait times, compared with next year when procrastinators will be looking for new IDs before their spring trips.

Even if your state does get an extension, it doesn’t hurt to just get it out of the way. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, you can only use a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel.

Article was edited to clarify that passport cards can only be used at border-crossings or ports-of-entry.






ALSO CHECK OUT MY 2 BOOKS “THE SHAITAN” & “HOBO HANDBOOK: MEMOIRS OF A HOMELESS POET IN NEW YORK” SOLD AT THESE LOCATIONS:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/655627

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hobo-handbook-daniel-canada/1124340542?ean=2940153669205


They are not being sold on Amazon.com at this time.

To view a few sample pages or to purchase the books visit:

https://smashwords.com/books/view/573076  (Note: You must 1st remove “adult content” filter from top right hand corner of Smashword page to access the books, by clicking the “Adult Content” button before searching for the titles titles in search field).

If you want to view my Smashwords Author Profile visit:


You can also check out the comments I will be posting on these social media sites:

My Twitter account: https://twitter.com/lordlumiel
If you wish to shoot me a personal note, this is my email address: lordlumiel@yahoo.com
I’d love to hear from you!