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A bold new way of storytelling. Join the epic adventure and travel to the afterlife.
A bold new way of storytelling. Join the epic adventure and travel to the afterlife.
167 backers pledged $75,457 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

THE SULTAN OF NO-WHERE

Hi Numinous People:

We have some new members of the team, and on behalf of all of us, and Albert Einstein's three children, we say THANK YOU for contributing, and WELCOME to the Numinous Club.

You'll find us small, determined and very friendly... 

Firstly, a few nice write-ups. 

An interview in a blog by a writer I really admire: http://creativeinsideout.com/2012/07/16/the-next-generation-of-storytelling-mark-staufers-the-numinous-place/ 

A Kiwi news site called Scoop: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1207/S00243/kickstarter-project-the-numinous-place.htm 

The Appside: http://www.theappside.com/2012/07/16/the-numinous-place-e-book-seeks-75k-on-kickstarter/


Please spread the word that these guys have supported us, and support them back. I'm counting on some more mentions in blogs and on news sites this week. 

Mark! Is there anything I can do to help?

Really? You wanna help more even after all you've done? I'm overwhelmed! Well, maybe there is just one teeny-tiny thing...

You could tell just one new person each about our wonderful project and get them to contribute... And then tomorrow, there will be 100 of us!

And if we get to 100 tomorrow, I'm going to do something really special just for us. 

I'm going to publish for the first time anywhere something from THE NUMINOUS PLACE right here, exclusively for backers.

Exclusively for YOU to show my appreciation.

It's a missing story from the classic "1001 Arabian Nights", translated in 1923 and mysteriously censored from subsequent editions. The story is called "The Sultan of No-Where" and some who have read THE NUMINOUS PLACE call it their favorite.

So, please help us get to 100 backers—one new convert each is all it's going to take—because I'm dying for any excuse to let you read some of the book.

Much love, thanks to you all, and I can't wait for you to read the story tomorrow.

—Mark

WHY I WROTE IT THIS WAY... Part I.

Hi Everyone,

I thought I'd give you some insight into the reasoning and process behind creating THE NUMINOUS PLACE

In other words, I had a great story, why didn't I just write a movie or a book or a graphic novel? Why did I want to combine all those methods into creating the storyworld?

This is Part I, Part 2 will follow in a while. Please enjoy, I hope it offers some insight, and don't hesitate to post any questions. 

COSMIC MEAT-GRINDER

I sat down in the dark room to begin writing THE NUMINOUS PLACE three years ago. I'd pretty much been carrying the story and characters and information around with me for a decade, and now it was the moment of truth. 

Except, the actual writing part is also the worst part. I can't begin to tell you how painful and frustrating it is for me. I'd rather be doing anything else, including feeding my soul through a cosmic meat-grinder with a very miniature Chihuahua yapping right inside my cochlea. 

The story of THE NUMINOUS PLACE is told as real. It's an account of a vast cover-up being pieced together by a less-than-likely hero. Because of my background in journalism, radio announcing, directing, screenwriting, I found myself bringing all these skills and formats into play while creating the narrative.

So, the less-than-hero HENRY MEAT tells the story in first-person narrative, and  offers as evidence TV news reports, old documents, newspaper articles, web-pages, phone-calls, and video and photographs he has shot on his cellphone. 

And it worked brilliantly!

PAGE TO SCREEN

At first I simply presented the video in script form, and the audio in transcript form, and thought that it'd be cool to have the newspaper articles and webpages actually designed to look like the real thing on the page. 

The paper page, because I wasn't even thinking about digital...

Why? Because so-called ebooks looked exactly like paperbooks—words had simply moved from the page to the screen. Which was fine for the classics—I didn't really want anyone screwing around with Tom Sawyer or To Kill A Mockingbird—but I began to wonder where the new classics were.

Why weren't authors telling stories in a new digital way? Was I the only one who thought that digital gave us loads of exciting storytelling possibilities?

And then a couple of things happened that changed everything.

EUREKA MOMENT

While wondering why ebooks couldn't embed my audio and video to create awesome new types of stories I discovered apps.

AND...

This thing called an iPad was released.

Now, instead of just having the transcript of, say, a strange mystic from the past telling us a secret about humankind's existence, I could actually embed his voice. 

Like so:

 

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CREATIVE SUPERHERO

Hi Numinous Ones:

It's great to be able to use these updates to introduce our team! 

If you're one of our new contributors, THANK YOU! There's 48 of us now, and we've reached the 5% mark of our total. 

Curiously, 5% is the exact amount of sleep I've had over the past few days. 

You may have seen Larry's amazing art in the Kickstarter sizzle reel, and on our page, well now I'd like to introduce him to you properly.

LARRY SOILEAU: ARTIST 

THE NUMINOUS PLACE uses every type of media to create a unique storyworld and part of this is a 26 page color comic. I was blown away by Larry's art the second I saw it, and knew he was the man to create our comic "The First & Last Tertön." And when I met him, there was so much synchronicity. Nothing, however, prepared me for the pages he began creating and sending through. We've included another here (please scroll down). It features the heroine from the comic receiving a sign from the sky in her monastery in Tibet.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, and what your role is on THE NUMINOUS PLACE. 

My name is Larry Soileau. I am a storyteller, creative superhero, and sole artist on a 26-page comic book which plays a key role in The Numinous Place. I have also worked as an actor, segment producer, writer, and director for television and the web. In addition to my work on TNP, I am currently nurturing two feature-length scripts and creating concept art for a Spielbergian family film entitled, "My Monster".

2. What are you doing in the photo at the bottom of the page? 

My best Orpheus impersonation (who doesn't love Greek mythology humor). But seriously, this was taken at a dry sea bed in Bulgaria called Pobiti Komini. Old hydrothermal vents in the sea floor left these great holes in rocks, and I found one just big enough to squeeze my head through.

3. What attracted you to THE NUMINOUS PLACE?

Synchronicity. My wife and I had been writing dream journals and working toward increasing our frequency of lucid dreaming when I discovered the project. We were also researching the Bon religion of Tibet at that time, which is a central theme in the comic-within-the-story. So it was a perfect match. After reading the manuscript, Mark's incredible talent for weaving a story sealed the deal. We have so many intersecting interests, and Mark has managed to include a king's share of those brain-tickling elements into The Numinous Place.

4. TNP is about a spiritual quest, tell us about yours

I was raised to believe that if Jesus didn't say it, then the devil did. "He-man" was an idolater and "Dungions and Dragons" was a gateway straight into the pits of hell. It was a very dualistic and frightening world to live in. Later I found out that there was really no record of Jesus saying many of the things that my school had attributed to him, and ,in fact, what he really said was not much different than what the Buddha (the devil) was saying. After a brief agnostic period, I met my wife who opened me up to the practices of Yoga, Chi-gong, and meditation. The science of quantum mechanics was becoming mainstream and spoke to me in deeply spiritual way. The wider I cast my gaze, the more I realized that just about everyone was saying the same thing, because we are all different expressions of the same thought or different calls in the same brain.

5. What's the most amazing thing that ever happened to you?

My life has been generally amazing. But, given my love of sci-fi, I'd have to put my two UFO sitings at the top of the list. The first was in Austin, Tx while driving. I saw something odd in a cloud ahead, but it didn't seem solid. As the cloud rolled by there was a stationary, disc-shaped void left in the white vapor. It like the cloud was moving around an invisible object. I managed to snap a few clear pics on my cell phone wich even show a sphere-shape in the middle of the disc. The second was while spinning kids in a gyroscope at a school fair. The yard was poorly lit, so I had to watch the silhouette of this huge, spinning, metal ring against the night sky for hours. At one point I saw an orange ball of fuzzy light traveling at the speed of your average passenger plane. When it reached the middle of the sky, it stretched like a rubber band and shot into infinity. I immediately screamed, "Did anyone else just see that!?", but bystanders just looked at me like a crazy person. Later, a very pensive young girl approached me and wanted to know if I was the one who asked the question earlier: "I am." "Wasn't that just a meteor?" "Meteors don't change speed in the middle of the sky." "...oh." She turned and slowly walked away. I could almost see her brain dribbling out of her ear.

6. TNP is about lucid, or numinous dreaming, tell us about your dream life.

As a child I would have lots of reoccurring dreams. My favorite was one in which I would find a metal disc covered over by sand or dried leaves. The edges of the disc would glow and when I stood on it, the platform would shoot underground, carrying me with it. In the darkness, hundreds of these discs glowed, and they would take me to any number of other worlds. The reoccurring nature of the dream helped me to recognize it as a dream while experiencing it, so I could control where the glowing discs would take me. Ever since then I have had a very rich dream life that serves as an inspiration for my art and writing.

7. You're one of the few people who've read the manuscript, please tell us about a favorite part 

Mark has created a kaleidoscopic tapestry of stories within stories. My favorite tend to be the newspaper and magazine articles included in the script. Many of them could be expanded into entire books on their own. One that left me gasping in horror and laughing out loud for days after was the first-hand account of a screenwriter who took a jog in Griffith park to work out the details of a hilariously complex sex scene. His imagination gets the better of him after he recasts the two roles with his ex-girlfriend and a Russian tennis player. He decides to take a self-servicing detour into the empty woods which results in the writer up a tree fighting off an angry mob. Mark has a way of creating these amazing characters who are still completely sympathetic despite their egregious behavior. In short, they are all incredibly human.

8. Is there a character in TNP you particularly relate to? 

I'd have to say it's Sera Marvel, the main character of the comic I'm illustrating. Like me, Sera is a small person who finds immense power in the creative and dreaming worlds. She is a spiritual Indiana Jones, seeking hidden truths that will effect every open mind.

9. What are some of your favorite books, music and people who inspire you? 

The worlds of Neil Gaiman hold a particularly special place in my heart. His epic story of Morpheus, The King of Dreams, left a permanent impact crater on my imagination, and stands as one the earliest examples of comic books as a serious adult artform. As I mentioned before, my childhood experience was somewhat limiting, so I had a lot of music to catch up on when I discovered it was not, in fact, written by the devil. Now I listen to an infinitely eclectic playlist while drawing, inking and coloring. Favorites include: Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire, and cheesy 80's arena rock. (I know that description is a bit redundant)

10. What's your greatest achievement so far in life?

Finding my soulmate. I couldn't imagine a more perfect partner to walk hand-in-hand with between the worlds.

11. And finally, what's the quote that really inspires you and your life? 

I used to think it was the funniest line in film history; but the more I explore my own inner world and the ability to create our own reality, I've come to see it as much more.
"If someone asks if you're a god, you say yes!" 

--Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore, Ghostbusters

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A COUPLE OF NICE MENTIONS

Hello Numinous Ones!

I must say, I'm feeling a tad sleep deprived... But I won't go on about it for fear of a comment about how Einstein didn't sleep for six months while working on his theory of relativity. While dandling two babies on his knee.

We've had a couple of very nice mentions that I'd like to draw your attention to.

Please check them out, and maybe send to anyone who you think may be impressed enough to visit our site and pledge!

Leaves of Russell Crowe

The Corax Daily

We're hoping for more coverage this weekend, and if you spot anything, please post here for the rest of us.

Cheers, and if you're new to our ever-growing community WELCOME!

Kindly,

Mark

DREAMER

1 like

Hi Numinous Ones!

I wanted to begin introducing you to my team. The people who are collaborating with me on making THE NUMINOUS PLACE such a special experience. They're all brilliant, I feel in awe of their abilities, and incredibly blessed to have them.

These Q & A's will also serve to reveal more information about the actual plot, and the way we've gone about generating the storyworld.

DR. RORY MACSWEENEY: LUCID DREAM CONSULTANT

Rory is a force of nature. He's courageous, optimistic, full of heart, wise and constantly searching. I call him the Irish Yoda. He's developed a truly revolutionary technique of lucid dreaming which he teaches the main character in the story. Readers will be able to learn along too.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, and what your role is on THE NUMINOUS PLACE.
My name is Dr Rory Mac Sweeney and I play a character in the TNP experience, that mentors our hero, Henry, in the art of lucid dreaming. As a formally trained scientist and expert in martial arts, I have been immersed in the body/mind conundrum for all my life. I believe lucid dreaming could be the bridge between these events and now I want to share that with the world. TNP is offering an amazing opportunity to speak to an eclectic audience about something that I am deeply passionate about

2. What are you doing in that photo below? In my delving into the mysteries of the mind, I have taken time to study a little magic, sleight or hand or as I like to put it, sleight of mind. After all, where does the trick happen but in your own imagination. This photo is not photo shopped, it's part of a fire production routine that I use to vanish objects when I perform live. 

3. What attracted you to THE NUMINOUS PLACE?The world is a curious place. Only two weeks ago we made, arguably the most important scientific discovery of our generation, the Higgs boson, yet already it feels like yesterday's news. People just don't form the same emotional relationship with events in today's information saturated world but a story always has a certain resonance with its audience - we all can remember a great book or a great film we saw, even a wonderful song we love. My quest has always been to tell the world about lucid dreaming and have them feel as passionate as I do. TNP introduces them to the subject with a story, which helps them see to take the time to see its true depth. The fact is we all like to have a tale told to us and if we pay attention to this one, we might just get to see one the true mysteries of the Universe unfold before our eyes.

4. TNP is about a spiritual quest, tell us about yours. My goal has always been to find something truly supernatural within my own lifetime. I have almost taken a biblical stance on the matter, just praying for a glimpse of something unique and I recall with great joy, the night it happened. I had heard about lucid dreaming for some time but never actually achieved it...that is until that night. I recall being in a room of people, all just making their way randomly about the place, not really paying much attention to me and then it just hit me - "I think I am dreaming". I don't even know why I knew, I just did and that was it I wanted to test it so I ran up along a wall a la Matrix and before I could really start to explore, I had lost control. The dream collapsed and I woke up with the excitement but I had seen that moment of the impossible, I had felt it in my bones. I didn't see this as a chance event, but instead, an invitation. Something, somewhere in the Universe had felt it was time for me to wake up and I was more than willing to take up the challenge to return to ask it who or what it was and so begun my adventures into the dream world. Today, I consider myself a member of a very select group of people who have the ability to transition their consciousness from waking directly into dreams and now I want to share this gift, as I believe it was given to me by another...


5. What's the most amazing thing that ever happened to you?
I cannot help but to ponder the very event of my own existence. The fact that I was born at all, to me is a mystery, how out of all this chaos, to distill something as sophisticated as self reflection is an almost non-computable phenomenon, yet here we are! I need not look further than the fingers I type with, to feel special, because life in this Universe is the ultimate mystery to me. So may of us take our reality for granted and just pay a subtle nod to some creation myth, we were prescribed by those who came before us, but I am looking for my own answer to the ultimate question of my reality and I honestly feel that every day is simply amazing.

6. TNP is about lucid, or numinous dreaming, tell us about your dream life.
How long have you got? Since I have learned to become self aware in the dream world (lucid dreaming), my life has changed radically, I no longer feel trapped in my existence. The human mind was made to wonder and wander and what could be more enticing than the opportunity to literally live out our dreams? People ask me about life after death, to them I say, have a lucid dream and you won't have that question to ask anymore....

7. Like all the team, you've read the manuscript, please tell us about a favorite part 
I like the scene in the river in Savannah, it is a deeply touching moment in the script and I really felt my heart go out to the character, Easter Virgil. One could almost picture the innocence of youth evaporating along with the spirit of her brother, as he lay helplessly on his back in the water but somewhere in all the sadness, a message of hope is coming through in the subtlety of the writing. It's a magic moment. One of many in the book.

8. Is there a character in TNP you particularly relate to? 
I can't but point the proverbial finger at myself here but there is a surprise about my character that I won't reveal quite yet, suffice to say, I am a magician, all is not what it seems...

9. What are some of your favorite books, music and people who inspire you?I am a fan of Terrence McKenna, maybe it's the Irish poet in him I admire, well that and his total transcendent genius, as he so eloquently describes his journeys to the far off inner landscape of the mind. I am a dreamer by nature and always tend towards the oneiric. I am an avid fan of film and hold Darren Aronofsky's film "The Fountain" as one of the most beautiful I have ever witnessed. It is a wonderful tale about the Tree of Life, brilliantly brought to life by Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. What's more Clint Mansell, who gave us the familiar theme to Inception (Time), gives the film the most wonderful score with his theme songs "Together We Will Live Forever" and "Death Is The Road To Awe" I am forever in awe by the impact this film has on my soul.

10. What's an achievement you're proud of?

I think it has to be making the front cover of Martial Arts Illustrated magazine. Winning titles is one thing but with all the politics these days, there are a whole load of paper champions out there, so I guess what separates out the true warriors these days is how our peers view us. I grew up reading the magazine and made quite a few appearances over the years but that front page always seemed like a dream, until one day...
What I loved about it was the title we chose (the editor Bob Sykes and I) - "Rise of the Dream Warrior!"

And finally, a statement that enchants you?

"Matter is not lacking in magic, matter is magic!"
--Terrence McKenna

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