Across the Soul's Boundary: An Epic in Seven Volumes. Volume One: Lifekeys

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9780970990938: Across the Soul's Boundary: An Epic in Seven Volumes. Volume One: Lifekeys

How would you react if, before your twelfth birthday, two angels yanked you to a place outside the universe and asked if you would help them with a cosmic testing to determine if everyone alive (and the universe itself) was worthy to continue existing? They explain how they'll be watching your growth over the years, focusing in particular on four major life decisions—which they call "lifekeys"—to see if you can figure out the meaning and purpose of life and so to qualify as the person heroic enough to help them. Would you be willing to try—even to fail? Would you risk everything to discover the deepest essences of life? A pretty tall order for a kid? Follow the boy, then the man, David Metternich, as he struggles from his roots on a thoroughbred race horse ranch in California to the mysterious, glittering eastern Boundary of the universe where all meaning seems to begin and to end. What is the Boundary—something physical? spiritual? universal? personal? good? evil? knowable at all? The supernatural beings imply that the lifekeys are somehow buried there, but David has no idea how to look for them or even what they are.

With his non-stop humor along with a dazzling and larger-than-life personal style, even a certain quietly majestic humanity, David confronts his four major life's choices with intensity and sincerity of heart but with the confusion and uncertainty we all feel in the presence of life's most profound ambiguities, its complex joys, and bottomless sorrows. Always pushed by an awful awareness that the fate of the universe is somehow tangled with his choices, still he is never sure if he's decided correctly, purely. Will he discover our purpose, the reasons for our being alive? Come along on David's journey to discover the deepest meaning as well.

The seven volume epic, starting with David's life adventure, stretches across three generations in dealing with the universal challenge, presents an eye-witness account of the birth of a new universe and its own crucial trial, and ends with outright apocalypse and the end of time. Be there!

Actually, the series is adult fiction, not science fiction or fantasy, about the meaning of life in all its struggles and joys and profound crossroads—the real purpose for which we've been given life at all. The only reason it involves huge distances of universal space is that the scope is cosmic in confronting the major issues of being alive—relating human people to the whole sweep of the creation. Heaven and hell are actual places in the series, so the span needed to be large enough to hold and probe them. The epic is intended to make you think in life-changing ways—but also to laugh and cry.

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About the Author:

Kathy Alba, a native of Los Angeles, received her B.A. in English (with minors in psychology and French) from Oregon State University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English and linguistics from the University of North Carolina. She currently resides at Bear Hollow in Wichita, Kansas with her husband, a beloved Old English sheepdog named "Bear," a prized woodland garden, and hundreds of collected stuffed animals (mostly bears). Her son is a family medicine physician, a classical violinist and vocalist.

Kathy's main professional focus is her writing. In addition to Concertos in D Major, A Novel, published in 2004, she has written two other relationship novels (available soon). These three accompany her major work, Across the Soul's Boundary, the life-changing seven volume epic exploring the meaning of life and apocalypse through both comedy and pain. Begun in 1984, the writing and researching of the series consumed some eleven joyously obsessive years while the illustrations for Volume 1 took nearly two. Work on pictures for the remaining six volumes is ongoing.

While admittedly an anti-adrenaline non-athlete, she is passionate about researching the details of her books even in outlandish ways—including rock climbing (in particular, for Volume 1, to the summit of Mt. Whitney, twice), white-water rafting, kayaking, sailing (in gale winds), combing European capitols along with the ruins of Greece, Jordan, Israel and Egypt and humiliating herself on the back of a camel—because such adventures force her, ready or not, to grow beyond her natural state of self-avowed wimp-hood and give her a chance to make dry jokes about hershortcomings.

Besides the writing, Kathy has been an award winning adjunct professor of English in several colleges and universities across Kansas and has taught volunteer classes in two maximum security prisons. In response to the needs of her students and people in the community, she has written a zany self-help book (on speaking and writing "empowered"—that is, grammatically correct—English) and gives wacky seminars to inspire and help individuals move closer to personal fulfillment. Kathy is also founder and chief artist of Bear Hollow Art Works, a studio that engages in computer graphic design, photography, and landscape design, works in stained glass, and creates hand-dressed teddy bears. She also heads Frills and Furbelows by Kathy Alba, a line of hand-crocheted and knitted Victorian ladies' fashions and accessories.

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