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1001 Mansions in Heaven, From a Different Kind of Writer

Updated on January 4, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has been a professional writer and critic of films, books, music & theater for over 20 years.

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Inspirational Writing is Best

Inspirational writing is best in a troubled world such as ours.

The year 2016 left many inhabitants of Earth slack-jawed and glassy eyed, waiting for another surreal episode of The End of Days, the ultimate reality show.

Garrison Keillor regularly compiles volumes of what he calls "pretty good poetry" from effective authors. He finds that helps us digest what is happening in the world, with an eye to overcoming and coming through the other side. They help.

Another author and publisher, Mike Friedman, compiles volumes of stories about people achieving their final reward after long (or short and intense) journeys on Earth. They also help.

Everybody's Looking for Something

What are We Looking For?

People look for cosmic answers, money and fame, power, a legacy, God, or alien lifeforms. Everyday, someone is looking for something new. William Shatner says he has questions ready to ask God when he dies.

The Carriage Driver books may have some of those answers for Mr. Shatner and for us. Bill still feels that he will always be Leonard Nimoy's friend. Perhaps they will see each other again and Leonard will speak and offer an embrace.

I don't know why he (Leonard Nimoy) stopped talking to me...

— William Shatner, 2015

Bill Shatner's "You're Gonna Die"/You'll Have Time"

Telephone in Heaven: Can We Call Up Lost Loved Ones?

Those who go to Heaven ride on a pass and enter into blessings that they never earned, but all who go to hell pay their own way.

— John R. Rice

What is Heaven?

Not everyone believes in Heaven, so those who do believe often wonder what keeps the non-believer going in life. Believers sometimes wonder what is in Heaven, no matter how many times they read the descriptive passages in the Book of Revelation.

Still others take on the view provided in Robin Williams's What Things May Come. I'm still aghast at his recent death. His film depicted Heaven as the choice of each individual - interesting, since his Bicentennial Man examined what it means to live as a human being.

Mick Friedman's Carriage Driver book series brings us into the backgrounds and final hours of individual people who matter. They all matter and they all have a choice of afterlife destination.

We Have Questions

Where are we? Where will we be?
Where are we? Where will we be? | Source

At age five, I was taken to a funeral for the first time, without explanation. A woman lay in a box in a living room, unmoving and people were sad. I watched her being buried in the ground later and shuddered. After a few more such events without explanations, I suffered nightmares of being buried alive.

I had no church upbringing. I heard about God in first grade from my public school teacher as we prepared for the Christmas Pageant (those aren't allowed anymore). However, I always thought I'd seen an angel at age five. These few blessings were enough to get me through high school to the chance of attending churches and learning about life and death and afterlife.

Life, if properly viewed in any aspect, is great, but mainly great when viewed in its relation to the world to come.

— Albert Barnes

Carriage to the Beyond

In Carriage Driver2, we see dozens of people enter into an afterlife that is rewarding in a different way to each one of them.

We may hold to the Revelation description of Heaven and rely on God to get us their through our faith in His son Jesus of Nazareth, but we can still benefit from the stories of the carriage driver and his white horse as they deliver people there. Perhaps he delivers some into still another dimension of the universe.

No matter our belief or unbelief, these stories can prod us into thinking more about life, how to live it, and what comes beyond it. Fiction is sometimes a better teacher than accurate history and I hope that readers of all opinions will give these books and stories a try. Fiction writing can give us hope.

The Carriage Driver was a captain in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

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The white carriage horse Nuelle was the captain's horse during battle. Sometimes she is the one with the information needed for a journey into the hereafter.

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Joy is the serious business of Heaven.

— C.S. Lewis

Favorite Stories

Those of us who have read and appreciated the second Carriage Driver book have chosen our favorite entries.

For me, "Naming Names" is a favorite, because it provides the back story for the carriage driver with his faithful horse and partner Nuelle. Both of them are war heroes.

Another favorite is "8mm Life." The story presents life as a movie playing on a screen, filled with visions of a desert, it caravans leading to a grand oasis filled with beauty. This story won the 2016 "Best Hub on LetterPile.com Award."

A perennial fan of aerospace projects and aeronautics, I love the story called "Fly Me to the Moon." It includes an old garage in which someone is building an airplane from a kit. Where will he fly in his next life? In the upcoming Carriage Driver3 is a story about astronaut Col./Senator John Glenn (1921 - 2016) called "Appointment with Annie." You will not want to miss that one, either.

The entry named "Forever '51" includes a yellow car from 1951, an important vehicle and year to someone who is ready to drive into the afterlife. The story is much like a happy episode of The Twilight Zone.

Many intriguing titles populate this short story anthology. You will likely find one to resonate with your soul.

What do you think about Heaven?

Is Heaven for real?

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If you have questions about life and death and what the afterlife may be, read the Carriage Driver books and try some from the following list.

Books About the Afterlife

If you are willing to be convinced of the reality of Heaven, then select one of these books to read along with The Carriage Driver2:

  • Heaven is for Real, by Lynn Vincent and Todd Burpo. Also a movie, this true story is about a church whose members did not want to talk about Heaven, because they thought it a fairy tale. Then the pastor's young son dies and is revived, bringing back with him visions of the place. Then supernatural occurrences begin and the evidence is clear.
  • Waking Up in Heaven, by Alex Tresniowski and Crystal McVea. This is also a true story, of a woman with a history of abuse who was so ill that she died for nine minutes, but was revived. An unbeliever before she died, she came back believing.
  • Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander. This Harvard scientist had a near-death experience resulting from a severe brain infection (E. coli meningitis) and a week-long coma. He reports that he experienced consciousness after death, but no bright light at the end of a tunnel. He saw heavenly beings.

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© 2017 Patty Inglish

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

      With all the vile things that have occurred lately, positive stories and perspectives are a nice escape.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Patty - I feel like I won something grand after reading this. Thank you for this presentation. I must confess, my own inspiration has been waining, but this has really boasted by resolve to keep going. The last few stories have been inspired by the passing of American heroes.

      I think you have mentioned elsewhere, that you at some point saw an angel. Now, I must admit, that has to be a highpoint in a persons life. I can also take that as a very good sign for things to come at some far off distant point in time.

      Thank you - you made my day.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
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      Patty Inglish 3 months ago from North America

      @FlourishAnyway - What you say us surely the truth. What is happening in the late 2010s is worse than events in the years in which my city had violent riots and related curfews. Now we have young children shot and dying every day. I pray this ends soon.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 3 months ago from North America

      @mckbirdbks/Mike Friedman - It takes a long time to find book series and anthologies that lift us up and keep us going. You encourage us, we encourage you. Grand it is and a blessing.

      I am happy to include Griff and Nuelle among the things that have been touchstones of light and stability in my life - When I was 5, it was that angel, the characters on Captain Kangaroo's show, and the stories of the Wright Brothers. I hope The Carriage Driver books become such anchors for increasing numbers of readers.

      Thank you for these stories!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      What a thought provoking and inspirational review of a book series that I hold close to my heart as well, dear Patty.

      Happy, peaceful 2017 to you and yours!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 3 months ago from North America

      @marcour - Many blessings to you in 2017 as well. We can look forward to more Carriage Driver!

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 3 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Patty. I surely hope that Heaven isn't what we make of it. Heaven is a perfect place and since none of us are perfect, how can we make a perfect place. I believe that Heaven is the Kingdom of God, where God reigns and He is what creates the light that shines there. Jesus told His disciples that in His Father's house there are many mansions and He would go and prepare a place for them. He also said, "if it were not so, I would not have told you." Since Jesus is God and God cannot lie, we have to believe that there is indeed a Heaven. I for one am really happy about that.

      Your brought up a really interesting subject. Hope you have many blessings in the New Year.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Loved this review of The Carriage Driver stories. Mike has a true skill in making the afterlife seem attainable, real and a place we want to go. Each story takes us to a new place making Heaven seem flexible and adaptable to our keenest wishes.

      I also went to my first funeral at the age of five and it was a sobering experience. I remember it clearly, seeing my grandfather lying in the casket. I'm glad you were able to learn about God at school - those were the days - also curious about your angel.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
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      Patty Inglish 3 months ago from North America

      @Rachel L Alba - I am waiting to see the wall made of layers of gems as described in Revelation. In an article years ago, a woman had a vision of that wall before she ever read the Bible or heard any of it read by others. These types of occurrences are likely evidences of Heaven. "What things May Come" was disturbing to me, especially the bit about rescuing someone from Purgatory - and later, Pope Benedict XVI did away with Purgatory, as it was never mentioned in the Bible!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
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      Patty Inglish 3 months ago from North America

      @PegCole17 - Although my belief is that Jesus builds the mansions, The Carriage Driver gives us a lot to think about.

      Whether the angel was a being or some sort of large light that followed by the side the car for a hundred miles (what would that light be?) - it caused me to accept the existence of angels when I heard about them in first grade. Later, that light reminded me of the pillar of light that guided Moses and the Israelites each night in the desert.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 months ago from The Caribbean

      Patty, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. I tend to accept the old folk view about surprises in heaven, so I like to believe that it is beyond my imagination or any description I've read. I agree though, that it is something to look forward to. Good read!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
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      Patty Inglish 3 months ago from North America

      @MsDora - I like the kind of surprise in which you get to heaven and find more people you know than you expected!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 months ago

      I am looking forward to heaven one day. I read the book Heaven is for Real and truly enjoyed it but I thought the film lacked the deeper perspective from the book. Anyways, you have people thinking here.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 months ago from Georgia

      I have never heard of The Carriage Driver Books but will have to look them up after reading this hub. Thanks for the tip!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 3 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Patty

      I haven't read the 'Carriage driver' though the premise sounds interesting. I'll have to look it up on Amazon.

      Very informative.

      Lawrence

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
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      Patty Inglish 3 months ago from North America

      I hope you like the stories if and when you read them, Lawrence. I find some of them thought provoking and some of them very feel-good and uplifting.

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