Sorry…no kooky cats

I got lost in the wilds of YouTube the other day. It’s a crazy place out there. Lots of strangeness, craziness, and things that should be none-of-your-bizness but people put it out there for the world at large to see, anyway.

When I finally wandered back to my own little corner of the world, hours (nearly a whole day) had passed. And yet nothing had been accomplished (although, I did admire several hilarious cat videos). It’s amazing how such small bits of no-purpose videos can suck you in.

At first, I was glad to simply escape with my life and my sanity. But after a little thought (very little, actually), I decided that maybe I should throw some of my own hey-look-I’m-on-YouTube-too videos out there. Unfortunately, without any crazy cats or other cute animals (well…except for my husband, who is adorable and fluffy) I didn’t know what I could share.

Then my BFF reminded me that I have books. Books that I’m actually trying to encourage people to buy. “…but what has that got to do with crazy old lady or kooky cat videos?” I asked her. Oddly enough, it seems that you can create videos even if all you have is words. Isn’t that something? Who would have thought it?

So, here it is…my own attempt at a YouTube video (I promise, next time I’ll find a crazy old lady or a kooky cat ; )

 

 

Advertisements

Rejecting Rejection

Choices Cover 03

Rejection is a way of life for an author…or for any artiste, for that matter. It’s one of those things that you either learn to cope with or you spend all your time depressed. My coping mechanism has always been to tell myself, “Well, that’s just your opinion. I happen to think my [book/story/article] is pretty darn good.” And then I move on to the next step in my path—writing something else, submitting the book/story/article somewhere else, or just taking a nap. I always try to ensure that when I do move on, though, that is in a positive way.

However, the first time my esoteric talents (I’m extremely intuitive) got rejected, I wasn’t quite so aware, nor was I quite prepared to deal with it. I took the rejection of my talents as a rejection of myself. And I believe that’s the trap many people also fall into when their writing is rejected.

I’ve always had a touch of intuitiveness, and after my car vs. bike accident this ability became even more pronounced. For instance, I could ‘hear’ thoughts, perceive emotions leftover in a room or house, or get an inkling of what was about to happen. However, since the accident, I’ve become pretty good at reading someone’s entire aura, including their previous lives—their histories, if you will. I can see the correlations between their current life, their health, and their past lives, and I can usually see (and understand) what lessons they want to learn in their life by having those past lives so prominent in their auras.

When I met ‘Phil’, it was just an ordinary day in my rather ordinary life at my rather ordinary job. We were introduced, he told me a bit about himself, and then he and the boss moved on to the next cube to meet the next person. For the next few hours, I didn’t give him another thought.

The team went to lunch to welcome Phil to our group, and everything was still normal. However, as we prepared to leave, I had difficulty with my coat and Phil reached over to help. When his hand brushed my skin, I got a rush of information, including the connection between us. This ability was still new to me, and in my joy at having this talent, I assumed everyone would want to know what I discovered. I was wrong.

Back at the office, I wrote down everything I could remember. And that night, I did a reading to fill in the gaps. Proud of what I had done and thrilled with this new information, I typed it up and presented it to Phil the next day. He looked confused, asked me what it was, and I told him just to read it and that I would answer his questions later.

I waited all day for him to say something, but he didn’t. So, I thought, okay…he’s digesting it. After all, it was a lot to take in. I told myself similar platitudes all week. Finally, Friday I could wait no longer. I asked him what he thought, and he scrunched his face in thought. Then he looked at me and said in his politest manner, “I don’t believe in that kind of stuff.”

I was crushed. I tried to argue with him, I tried to reason with him. I tried to convince him that it was real; but the hardness of his eyes never changed. He didn’t believe in past lives, he didn’t believe in what I had written, and (overall) he thought I was a kook.

He moved on to another part of the company soon after that (I hope it wasn’t because of me), but I learned two lessons that day:

  1. Not everyone is going to like what you do.
  2. Not everyone is going to believe in what you do.

For those who don’t like what you do, well, that’s on them. For those who don’t believe in what you do, it doesn’t matter, because you believe in what you do.

And for both sets of people, never force your products on anyone, but always make them available to anyone who wants to them.

Most of all, remember rejection isn’t about you. It’s about the person doing the rejecting. Psychopomp 3D - DLS - 8pxls - 2

It’s time for a change…

Dreambook3DI’ve been dreaming a lot about houses and apartments. At first I thought it was because my spouse and I are due to find new rental lodgings this year. But as I’ve collected the fragments and written them in my journal, I’ve noticed that the central theme of the dreams isn’t about moving or relocating at all. It’s about changes…at a more personal level.

I’ve been emptying the basement and cupboards and closets of all the ideas, notions, and behaviours that I once thought important because I have now come to realize they no longer fit with the life I am leading and want to lead.

I no longer want some of the concepts or biases that I’ve held on to for so long, and I no longer cherish some of the hurts and prejudices that I’ve been lugging around with me for all these years. I’m ready to move on from the slightly seedy, poorly lit place I’ve called home, and I’m now looking at a brightly lit, very sunny, sparsely furnished, 3-room flat. Even the stairs leading to this new place are more direct, and there are only 3 steps instead of the treacherously winding and exhaustingly long staircase that I had been struggling with.

So, what does all of this mean? It means that I’m finally finishing one of the big life lessons that I’ve been dealing with for the past few years, and I’m ready to move on. However, moving on means leaving behind a lot of old ideas while clearing space and making room for the new ideas that I’m anxious to start learning. I no longer want all the old ‘baggage,’ so I’m making room for just those things I need, while knowing that if I need more room, I can always move again.

I may not be sure exactly when this ‘move’ will take place, or who (if anyone) will be helping me with the move. Yet, despite all the questions that remain, I’m looking forward to these changes, even if they seem somewhat scary. Sometimes scary is good, and this is one of those times. So, let the changes happen.

If you’re having dreams and wondering what they mean, you can read my book for some inspiration and instruction, or you can email me and I’ll help you figure it out.

A Modern Fairy Tale

we-never-look-up

Once upon a time in a land far and gone, there was a story teller. Oh, not just any story teller. No, this story teller could weave an emotional net with her words, capturing any and all who heard her thus causing them to fall under her spell. She could make people laugh; she could make people cry; she could evoke sighs; and she could appear wise.

Yes, her stories were wondrous things to behold, and all within the land would gather around to hear her tales of daring, romance, and comedy sublime. But then one day, the story teller saw that no longer was everyone enthralled by her stories. Alas, instead of heeding her marvelous stories, they walked by, ignoring her and her magical words.

“It must be a trick of the web wizards,” she thought. How else could such an occurrence be explained? Always, were her stories binding to those who heard; always, were her words bewitching enough to entangle even the most reluctant listener. But now…now, did no one stop; in fact, no one even slowed down as she let her words weave their magic stories.

Instead, with heads down, faces blank, and fingers twitching over strange glowing screens, her audiences scurried past without even noticing her. The story teller, bewildered by this, vowed to venture away from her cottage at the edge of the village, and strike out toward the village square. She had to see for herself whether this affliction was a random thing or some horrible epidemic. So, as the sun arose the next morning, she cast her feet upon the path toward town. She followed the road as it wandered through farms and neighborhoods, around the shops, until it came to the village square.

With each step she took, her heart sank lower and lower. While one or two travelers were drawn to her, and greeted her with requests for stories, most continued past without noticing her at all. Instead, they traveled with their eyes focused downward while their fingers danced across the glowing screen they held in their hands.

“This cannot be,” she exclaimed. “How is it that these glowing screens have entranced them all?”

Sick of heart, she cast her web of words once more. But this time she sought only to ensnare one of those with the magic screens. Once captured, she compelled the boy to speak; to explain to her what sorcery held him so enslaved. With barely a glance her way, his voice explained, yet his fingers never stilled. They twitched and fumbled across the screen, flicking here and tapping there. The story teller’s eyes grew hard, and her mouth did frown as she learned the secrets of the magic devices.

She released the boy and watched while he continued his flicking, twitching, and tapping, while he scurried down the street. That’s when the idea came to her. Her lips slid upward and a scheming glint lit up her eyes. She nodded to herself as she brewed her spell. Yes, she knew what to do now.

Returning to her home, she worked far into the night. Come the dawning of the day, her spell complete, she smiled. Now, they would hear her words, she thought. Now, they would once again be enmeshed in her web of words. Once more, would she be the supreme story teller.

She cast her spell and it crept through the crevices and back corners of every web site ever devised by the clever web wizards. And soon her stories were everywhere on the Internet. The siren song of her magic words would no longer be ignored, but instead would they appear on the glowing screens that each person held. And for those few who shied away from the web wizards’ tool, she magicked her stories into books of paper. These, too, were easily procured and she made sure they were available to any and all. And soon, she saw the changes she had wrought appear across the lands.

While still the people scurried past her, their eyes glued to their magic screens; no longer were their fingers twitching and their faces dull like death. Instead, they were smiling, laughing, crying, and frowning as her words flashed from the screen into their minds, and then into their hearts. No longer were they immune to her magic, but rather had her magic net of stories captured them all by traveling via the Internet and into their own shiny devices where her words once more bewitched and bespelled them.

And the story teller, using her own magic glowing screen, watched her rankings climb and climb as each of her stories ensnared another reader. And she thought herself clever and wise to have used the web wizards’ own tools to once again show the people how wonderful were her stories.

Technologies

Where is Love?

wave washed heart and pink shovel_4500Where has the romantic gone?

How did she become lost?

Where is the lonely little girl who constantly poured her soul

Into a few choice words—laying bare her life, her heart, and her mind?

I have searched everywhere, yet she remains lost.

I see a form; it could be her.

Instead I am confronted with some glowering old woman

Whose sour disposition seeps forth from every seam of her face,

and every pore of her skin.

Like the odor of spoiled meat, it surrounds her in a miasma,

full of despair and dislike.

When she sees me, she grabs my sleeve

and demands querulously, “Where is love? Where has it gone?”

“I was a young woman once—in love with life and filled with joy.

Now, here I am dressed in these rags. My hair is coarse and my

face is wrinkled. I do not understand. How did I come to be this way?”

Her tears follow the runnels of her face

until they tumble free and splash against her shawl.

Her claw-like fingers still grip my sleeve

and I find myself patting her age-speckled hand.

Love is so fleeting, so swiftly fading.

With its departure do we lose our youth,

our beauty and our way.

Feeling her pain, I turn her toward the light.

Wiping away her tears, I softly explain

that love is there, in front of her.

For within the light all is joy,

and within the light all is music,

and within the light everything is love.

With a look of awe, she releases me

and reaches toward the light.

As she shuffles forward, her countenance changes.

Her face grows smoother, and her back straighter,

and as the glow surrounds her, somewhere deep

within myself I feel the tones of love resound.

Writer by Day, Author by Night…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’ve taken webinars, attended seminars, read books, and listened to podcasts. I’ve read blogs and news posts, attended conferences, and bought and received numerous books on how to market my own renderings.

I’ve created websites, blog sites, a brand, and a following. I’ve created Twitter and Facebook accounts, and I’ve learned how to tweet, post, and create YouTube information. I’ve given talks and presentations, handed out “free samples,” and given away promotion items.

However, the biggest lesson I’ve learned regarding the marketing of my books is: I’m an author and a novelist. I’m not a social media adept; in fact, I’m not a social person at all. I’m an extreme introvert, who would rather continue writing stories and books, than go through the ordeals of trying to market what I create.

I, like many a “starving artist,” simply do not have the constitution nor the personality for marketing. On top of that, I do not have the time. I have a full-time job that pays the bills for both me and my spouse, another full-time job of creating the books, and a part-time job of editing and publishing materials for other writers. All of this barely leaves me any time to eat and sleep.

So, when faced with a choice of whether to catch four or five hours of sleep or to attend a conference or speaking engagement and face a multitude of strangers, I choose to catch up on my sleep.

It’s a choice that I made long ago when I first entered this marvelous world of creative writing. As much as I would love to be able to make a living writing books, I have learned to content myself with an abbreviated form of that: I make a living writing.

Granted, it’s not the type of writing that wins awards or wows audiences. And I doubt anyone would option any of the writing I do at my day job for a movie or a play, but it is writing, and it does pay the bills. I consider my day job a warm-up to my real purpose—telling stories. So, once my day job is over, I can let my imagination run rampant and start putting all those wild and crazy ideas I’ve had stewing on the back burner down in print.

I may never become a Louisa May Alcott or a JK Rowling, but I can still say that I am a full-time author. After all, I do put out at least one book per year (or try to), people do like my fiction and non-fiction stories, and I get to enjoy and indulge myself during the weekends and evenings when I put my stories together.

I’m sure there are people out there who would say I’m copping out and not living up to my full potential. And that’s probably true. I suppose, I could quit my day job, leave my bills unpaid, and just write stories all day long forever. But quitting my day job is not going to help me become something I’m not—an advertising and marketing guru. So, rather than thinking of myself as a failure, I tend to think that I’ve made a decent compromise. I write to live, and I live to write. What a wonderful life to have.