Hashing out my stories

Archive for June, 2015

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Delwyn of the Realms by Kelly Proudfoot @ValiMyers4eva

Review of my novel – Delwyn of the Realms! Thanks Sterna and Rosie!

Rosie Amber

Today’s team review comes from Sterna, she blogs at https://sternakruger.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/

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Sterna chose to read and review Delwyn of the Realms by Kelly Proudfoot.

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Delwyn of the Realms – Storming Archives – Book 1 by Kelly Proudfoot

Newly released from the psych ward, freshly divorced, haunted by her dreams and mental splintering all Delwyn wants is to head somewhere safe to rebuild her shattered life. She is welcomed with open arms by her Aunt Gwen on her farm, a place that has always invigorated Delwyn, made her soul sing with its fresh clear and clean air and water. She realizes that running away to her Aunt’s was fine when it came to hiding from her earthly problems, but her psychological issues would always find her. She could never escape her destiny.

Delwyn stumbles into dream world and her whole world changes. Trying to keep a balance between normal life on the…

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Dream Blogging – A Room with a View

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I was in a house where some teenagers (majority of them were African-American) were gossiping loudly in my mother’s room. When I went in, I saw a couple of them rifling through my mother’s jewelry box. They stopped gossiping and started to pray – pretending that that’s what they were doing the whole time. When I told them that I heard them gossiping – they denied it and said that they were just praying.

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I looked at the jewelry box to see if they had taken anything – but I couldn’t tell. Then I went into my dark room and decided that I wanted to change rooms.

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I went through the house and found a light and airy room – which was opened out to the driveway in a country setting. I didn’t mind that it was open – but I saw that the bed had a lot of dead insects where the pillows were supposed to be.

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In the dream – I thought that I normally wouldn’t mind the insects, but I didn’t want that bed.

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THEMES: Gossip, praying, lies, desire for change, dead bugs, light vs dark.

SYMBOLS: Jewelry box, dark vs light, bed, bugs, outdoors

EMOTIONS: Annoyance, suspicion, yearning for illumination

ARCHETYPES: Teenagers – African-American, Mother (not present)

INTERPRETATION: This is quite personal – suffice it to say that I have issues with my mother stemming from my childhood and the fact that she wasn’t present in person signifies her absence in my life. The gossiping teenagers – especially being African-American – symbolize the childish side of my mother (she is dark) and the fact that others are joining in on the gossip. When I questioned what they were doing, they lied and said that they were praying – which represents her trying to present herself as blameless and pure.

Worrying about what was taken from her jewelry box denotes a fear of the precious things about her – or the hidden treasures that I fear will be stolen from her, therefore me.

The desire to get out of my small, dark bedroom represents my yearning for escape from guilt, or repressed memories. In dreams, the bedroom usually symbolizes the sexual side of yourself – but I feel that it indicates my yearning for openness, freedom and a lighter or even illuminated life. With the new room being open to the elements – it shows how I want to open up into the world and step out of the darkness. (This also represents my public persona and desire to ‘meld’ with others and join the crowd – after having deliberately stayed in the shadows for so long.)

The dead bugs in the bed could represent old, little things that should be of no consequence now. Things like old arguments, bad memories and outdated or unnecessary elements in regards to how I cling to the past. The fact that I didn’t mind them so much – shows how I might still harbor resentments (which I do!) – or how those things still plague me. The fact that I decided I didn’t want that bed – due to the bugs – indicates that I finally want to move on.

SUMMARY: Time to bury the hatchet and move on. I must remember the good things and not dwell on the bad. It’s time to be more honest and open. I need to get “out there” and get amongst it.


Dream Blogging – Dead bodies and Dirty Water

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I was in a field with long grass where there was a patch mowed in a square. As I walked past, I looked in and saw several men – supposedly dead – lying along the edges. At first I thought they were just men’s clothes arranged as though men were inside them, but then I realized that they were men. They were wet and I assumed they had drowned before being placed in the square.

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Then I walked to the edge of the field and met up with a work colleague.  She was standing in a queue with other people who were going to a training session and I walked over to talk to her. She was laughing (as usual) and told me that she was trying to get away from a man who was trying to kiss her. She said that he had herpes and she didn’t want to catch it.

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Then she told me that her anal jewelry was bothering her! Later in the dream, I was thirsty and went over to a man who was serving water out of an old metal bucket (or a still). When I went up to him, he handed me a large jar – but I saw that there were a couple of dead insects and a spot of mold floating in it. I wouldn’t drink it, so I went over the road to a covered stand.

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There was an old woman selling her wares – but it looked more like a forgotten trash heap. I thought I saw a table loaded with old animal skulls – displayed in a pyramid fashion. But when I got closer, I realized that they were just knitted and crocheted baby booties.

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I told the woman that I was thirsty, so she pulled a cup of water out of her pocket. I was afraid that it was her urine, so again – I declined.

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THEMES: Death, issues with men, sexuality, disease, thirst, contamination, misinterpretation.

SYMBOLS: Death, grass, square, water, drowning, queue/line, training, sex, water, dirt/filth, skulls, crochet.

EMOTIONS: Confusion, concern, disgust, humor, thirst.

ARCHETYPES: Playful/sexual woman, dead men, peddlars, old woman, animal skulls.

INTERPRETATION: To see the animus (for a woman) – dead in a field – could represent dead sexuality. Fear of losing sexual power – although seeing my colleague happy and chatting about avoiding a man for fear of disease, could also indicate a lackadaisical attitude about avoiding sex. (Hmmm – not like me at all!)

What stumps me is the part about ‘anal jewelry’. This colleague is hilarious and we have a fun time together laughing at work – but I feel that she does represent me, and the ‘anal jewelry’ could symbolize abnormal sexuality. She was off-handed about the comment – so it could represent an element of myself that is glib or flippant about sex.

The fact that the men had possibly drowned (water = subconscious, emotions) – could indicate the men in my past that I’ve “laid out to dry” – or that I am ignoring my sexual side (or the sexual side of my husband.) Without giving too much away (we are very happy!) – we have been very busy of late, with our careers etc. Let’s leave it at that!

The fact that she was in a queue or line – waiting to go into training, could symbolize life still throwing lessons at me. I am very impatient – especially when it comes to my writing career – so maybe it represents the fact that I still have to keep learning and wait my turn.

The thing with the dirty water could have been affected by being thirsty for real. When I went to bed – I had brought a glass of water with me as I was particularly thirsty that night. When I woke up – I was still thirsty, so maybe my physical condition carried over to the dream state. In the dream – I couldn’t drink the nasty water – representing my thirst and lack of clean water to drink. If I was going to interpret it as a dream symbol – it could either tie in with my health (still working on it – eating healthy and all that boring crap!) – or even a “thirst” for sex, which is thwarted – self-inflicted.

The animal skulls (especially in the shape of a pyramid) – could indicate my desire to get back to my pagan side. This is something I’ve been thinking of lately, as I want to re-dedicate myself to the craft. The old lady – who had baby booties (white) – could symbolize my desire to get my business and writing career off the ground. (Babies represent new things, new ideas etc.) The idea of her having urine in her pocket doesn’t escape me. Sometimes I feel like I’m “regurgitating” or re-purposing things!

SUMMARY: I need to continue focusing on my health – and pay more attention to my sexual side. I must remember not to take my husband for granted. I need to think up more creative ways to promote and market my business and writing. I need to get my schedule worked out so I can incorporate my spiritual pursuits. (I’ve already started with clearing out and cleaning my office – to make way for a sacred space.) One step at a time!


Pecking the Feathers

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We’ve all heard stories about chickens and the pecking order – especially where they peck at the black feathers of an unlucky bird who is not the same as the others. I witnessed this on a social website (that shall remain nameless!) – where a reader left a less than favorable review of a novel and incurred the wrath of the unhinged author.

I became privy to the ensuing circus – having been linked with the author – and could see early on that it was going to spiral out of control. To be fair (on both accounts) – the reader had every right to review the book as she saw fit, and the author had every right to be upset, as all authors can be when faced with a negative review. The golden rule for an author is, of course – not to respond to any reviews. You can take it or leave it and move on. You can learn – and modify your work if need be – or shrug and continue as you were.

The review did mention the word “loathe” – which is a strong word and a sharp dagger to the heart of any author – however, the reader had every right to use it, if that was how she felt about the book. The author went on a psychotic verbal rampage – demanding to know where the reader found the book (ridiculously confusing and totally irrelevant) and displayed narcissistic tendencies, delusions of grandeur (in relation to the supposed superior quality and spiritual message in the book) and continued attacking everyone who weighed in on the thread.

The poor reader did her best to offer a more thoughtful review – but would not take it down (as requested by the author) – nor should she have. Honesty is the best policy when reviewing a book – for the readers and the authors. I decided to include my two cents – trying to show support to both the reader and the author – by suggesting that they both walk away before it became a circus. I was then “berated” by other users – telling me that the author needed to back away and apologize, etc – as he started it – blah blah blah.

I left the thread as I could see that nearly everyone (not including the reader – who maintained her composure throughout) was slathering and baying for blood. The author continued fighting back – becoming more and more psychotic with insane ranting about “bad reviewers” being just as bad (if not the same) as murderers, killers, rapists etc. He started using caps for random words and went on about – on the one hand – everyone being connected and needing to show love, to blaming every user on the thread for child abduction and many other atrocities.

There were a lot of thoughtful responses from authors who tried to advise him to calm down, move away and stop – as even the best authors receive negative reviews. There were others who talked about negative or 1 star reviews being a boon to authors – as some readers look for them to see what all the fuss is about, etc. This all started on friday – 6/5/15 – it continues now – as at 9:36pm, sunday – 6/7/15.

There are all kinds of nasty messages and slurs – peppered throughout the thread – with some compassionate advice every now and then. Some users have taken to attacking each other and I just checked now, as I write – 495 messages are on the thread – with more to come, I’m sure. The author left the thread at around page four – there are ten pages so far! It seems that the website has blocked the author’s account – as many flagged him as breaking the site’s rules (which he has). It has also been discovered that he was “buying” 5 star reviews, by giving away free copies of his book in return. This is a deadly sin for any author.

What also shocked me was that apparently, he plagiarized Alan Watts! It’s obvious that this author is in serious trouble – on many levels – and he did it to himself. However – what amazes me more – is how the other users on the site are gladly flocking around to kick the carcass. They are regurgitating comments and advice that have already been posted – ad nauseum – for the sake of joining in and being considered on the “right” side of the fence. This is why I got out when I could. It would have been easy to hang around and waste my whole weekend watching for new comments and slinging crap – for the sake of entertainment – which it clearly is for a lot of the users.

The reviewer has now been elevated to the status of sainthood, as the author is being considered worse than the anti-christ. I reiterate this though – I still believe that the reviewer had every right to give it a 1 star rating and the author was idiotic to respond the way he did. I also reiterate that the reviewer should have backed out early on in the piece – but again, that’s her choice – so be it.

What is happening now is that many are going in and giving the book a 1 star rating – out of spite, I assume (especially if they did not read his 100 page novel.) They have every right to – if they truly read it and did not like it – but I feel that doing so, just for the sake of leaving the bad review with the “us versus them” mentality – is akin to the chickens pecking the black feathers of a seemingly lesser chicken.

I have learned several things from this storm in a teacup – which I will endeavor to remind myself of in the future. One – definitely do not respond to any reviews of your work. Two – if you’re going to leave a negative review for a book, be thoughtful and explain your reasoning (and don’t engage with a psychotic, slathering author.) Three – trolls will either side with the winning side – and will keep kicking, even if the object of hatred has left the room, or will throw a spanner in the works to get attention. Four – 1 star reviews or negative reviews can be good, as some readers’ interests are piqued if they see them – and are distrustful if you have only 5 star reviews.

This one rings true for me – as I mostly have 5 star reviews (I didn’t pay for them , thank you very much – and I didn’t solicit them.) I know that someday – someone will give me a lesser rating AND will explain how I could make my writing better. I look forward to it – as I need more reviews and need more feedback. I also know that I won’t respond – but I will dig through for the gold nuggets that will help me grow as a writer. If it’s an unwarranted, scathing attack – I’ll walk on by and keep on keeping on.

I only hope that the author doesn’t do anything drastic or that he doesn’t become the next David Koresh or Charles Manson, as I believe he has the kind of personality that could easily gravitate in that direction. I hope he gets professional help and that this has been a lesson for him. I also hope that this thread dies soon – as the damage has already been done.