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Read about: How writing for an Older audience enhanced my creativity
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The Ninth Window
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Tentative Tempests: Lessons Learned in Self Publishing
2015 was a big year for me, in terms of finally becoming a published author – notwithstanding the fact that I am self-published. I have three of the four planned books from my Storming Archives available on Amazon (Kindle Editions and paperback), with the fourth currently being written, as well as a novel planned for release in early 2016.
I have a total of ten writing projects slated for 2016, including fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry and other stuff and nonsense! I’m lucky to be in a position where I can finally say that I’m a full time author – with 1/4/16 being my last day in a traditional job. I am very grateful to have a wonderfully supportive husband, who has afforded me this awesome opportunity to live the life I’ve always dreamed of.
Now, I want to advise that I do not intend to sound like I’m doing the dying swan routine, but 2015 was very much a case of trial and error in regards to navigating the world of the self-published author. As I was impatient to get my books out, I ventured into the realm of self-publishing after sending only five query letters out. (They were all very gracious in their rejection letters – stating that, whilst they enjoyed reading my synopsis and sample chapter, they felt that it wasn’t what they were looking for.)
I knew early on that my Storming Archives would present a challenge to anyone (including me) in terms of promoting and marketing, as the genre and style is a hybrid of various elements. I market the series as a fantasy, with a twist of horror, but it’s also very surreal and in the realm of consciousness.
There are many reasons for this. Firstly, the protagonist is a thirty year old woman who (like me) “suffers” from a series of mental afflictions – namely sleep paralysis, hallucinations, astral projection and vivid dreams. In “Delwyn of the Realms” (Book 1), we follow Delwyn through a mirror portal to the realm of dreams (known as Onesol). There, she has to face her Shadow in order to properly integrate – in preparation for becoming a “Portal Stormer” (Book 2).
In the second book, Delwyn escapes into the “Realms” – where she meets her fellow Portal Stormers and discovers that she has to face her Last Sorrow in the hellish realm of Nidar. After being initiated as a fully fledged Portal Stormer, she and her troops have to learn how to shapeshift, in “Totem Shift” (Book 3). This is where Delwyn and the Portal Stormers go on their ultimate mission, to secretly infiltrate the realm of animal spirits (known as Erankorun), so that they can persuade the Ural to join with the other realms. A united front is needed to face the Founders – who are coming to destroy the realms (our galaxy – known as Kendanerum).
In most cases, fantasy and science fiction stories are set in physical realms, whether past, present or future. They can also be alternate or parallel worlds, on other planets as well as earth. They are sometimes slotted into fantasy genres such as slipstream, portal, epic and so on. The bottom line is that they are actual/physical places, or at least – if they are “imaginary” or unreal – it’s an aberration and the resolution is usually dealing with hallucinations, dreams and alternate realities.
I found it difficult to define the fact that my stories were set in the “inner” realms, which are usually mental or spiritual places considered non-physical. Sure, there have been many stories set in the dream world or imaginary places – such as hell, heaven, etc. The difference with the Storming Archives is that – on the one hand – the realms/worlds involved are usually considered imaginary, but on the other hand, they can be visited by a chosen few, in physical form.
This might not be a stretch for some people. To give you an idea, here’s my “map” of Kendanerum:
Here’s a legend or key to the realms in Kendanerum:
- Onesol is the dream world – the realm of the Collective Unconscious
- Alusol is the realm of hallucinations – where visions and inspiration come from
- Meditar is the realm of meditation – a place for contemplation and revelation
- Akasha is the realm of Karma – the Hall of records and hub for transit to the Seven Heavens
- Nidar is the Underworld – once the source of Dark Matter; now a hellish realm of retribution
- The Seven Heavens is just that – where good souls cycle through on their way to Nirvana
- Erankorun is the realm of animal spirits – a safe haven (heaven) for animals
- Aletheia (Earth) is the material realm – where Aletheians (humans) reside
Only those, like Delwyn – who have the ability to traverse all realms (given her mental “afflictions”) – are allowed to visit these worlds in physical form.
I’ve drawn on my own experiences, as well as inspiration from surrealism (literature, art, music). What I’ve found quite annoying, is that the majority of novels being produced (traditional or self-published) rely heavily on the aspect of romance and/or sex when it comes to selling their stories.
Of course, we all know that sex sells, but I consider myself very altruistic when it comes to telling (and reading) a good story. What I mean by this is, I don’t feel that every bloody story has to have a romantic vein running through it. I’m probably setting myself up for ridicule – but there’s more to life than finding your soulmate or electrifying sex! I understand completely that the majority of humans are drawn to sex and romance. It’s not like I didn’t include a romantic interest – and sex – in the Storming Archives. It’s just not the main focus.
Not wanting to boast, as a side note – I have my soulmate and good sex – so I don’t have a burning desire to live out a fantasy in order to make up for something I don’t lack. Having said that, I totally enjoy good erotica and a story that involves romance, blah blah blah. It’s just frustrating to feel the need to promote my work along those lines.
I will say – that hasn’t been my only problem with getting more sales. I am a complete novice when it comes to promoting and marketing. I hate Facebook, so there’s that – but I do my best on platforms such as Twitter, Google+ and here on WordPress, to name a few.
I purchased a Snowball microphone, for the purpose of recording an audiobook. I’ve been practicing, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve also entered a short story (unrelated to the Storming Archives) – in the Neoverse Short Story competition. Winners will be announced on 1/15/16. (Fingers crossed!)
I loathe the idea of “buying” followers, so I have that against me too. I am still learning about other formats and procedures – which I will be incorporating in my promoting and marketing plans for 2016. (Such as book blog tours, readings, more radio interviews, Youtube videos and slideshows, better advertising, etc.)
I utilize Hootsuite and Crowdfire, as well as giveaways and campaigns on Goodreads and Amazon. I also have profiles on Shelfari, Bookbuzzr, Mythic Scribes and many others I’ve probably neglected or forgotten about. It’s just so daunting, time-consuming and frustrating – to say the least. (Especially if you’re working full time and running a household, on top of that.)
I don’t mean to piss and moan. I understand that, even if traditionally published – I’d still have to do a lot of the legwork myself. The thing I’ve discovered is, it doesn’t matter if you’re using services you have to pay for (who promise the earth!) or whether they’re free. You have to find the nerve and strike while the iron’s hot.
The daunting thing (whether self-published or not) is that there are millions of other authors scrambling just like I am. It feels like being a tiny, insignificant drop in a ferocious tempest – inside an endless teapot. When I’m “spruiking” on Twitter etc – I get the image of myself clamoring over a sea of bodies. Most of us are drowning – occasionally reaching out and waving frantically – only to be absorbed by the teeming throng. (Melodramatic piss-ant that I am!)
The things I know I have to do better with include:
- Finding and targeting my audience (who and where in the hell are they? I’m not asking – I know now – and it’s great to finally have the time to focus on this.)
- Flowing on from the above – engaging my readers and keeping them engaged (*sigh*)
- Creating meaningful giveaways and prizes to “lure” my audience.
- Swallowing my pride and side-stepping my altruistic tendencies (to a degree. I don’t want to have to “sell my soul”.)
- Doing away with frittering away resources and money where it is not doing me or my books any good.
- Being more intuitive in regards to trends.
- Getting more reviews!!!!!
- Dealing with my shyness and learning how to believe in myself and my work (Lordy, I’m trying!)
- Being more open about constructive criticism – but at the same time – knowing how to sort the wheat from the chaff (as I have received some hair-brained feedback and even personal attacks!)
- Entering more writing competitions
- Figuring out what else I have to do to – working smarter AND harder!
Having the time to organize and execute a solid marketing plan is key. After 1/4/16 I’ll have no excuse! Even though I’m doing some freelance work to make my own money (as I’m not one of those women who like to ask their husbands for a handout) – I have structured my “routine” to include time every day for my own writing.
Robert (my husband) said something totally sweet the other night, after I advised my plans re: housework, cooking and errands (just to reiterate that I would keep it all together).
He said, “I do not want you to turn your back on your creative urges just to do the dishes or laundry. If you feel the flow – let it out and focus on your writing. I’m working less hours for more money now and I’m quite happy to pick up the slack, if it means that you get to produce solid work. Do not allow the mundane to thwart your creativity!”
How’s that for romance?!
A New Life Awaits
Well, I promised that I’d share my great news this week – then I wondered if I should wait until the new year, but that would be cruel (if anyone cares!)
It’s something I’ve been wanting to do my whole adult life and due to a variety of factors – I am finally in a position where I can GIVE UP MY DAY JOB and FOCUS ON MY WRITING CAREER!
That’s right – I’ve handed in my resignation and my last day worked will be 1/4/16. I know it’s a Monday, but I thought I might as well get my paid holidays. I have four more work days until then, which I know will drag – but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Two major things have paved the way for this momentous occasion: my husband getting a better paying job and my discovery of freelance work…
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Pretty please with sugar on top!
Please nominate “Totem Shift” for an Amazon Kindle Scout publishing contract! (Read an excerpt – follow link to read and nominate!) http://klou.tt/1l6ljln7wn0pt
The Storming Archives is the story of a woman who has always possessed “Storming” abilities. She travels to the dreamworld through a mirror in “Delwyn of the Realms,” then meets her fellow Stormers and faces her Last Sorrow in “Portal Stormer” – preparing for the ultimate mission in “Totem Shift.”
About Kelly Proudfoot:
An Aussie living in the USA and author of “Delwyn of the Realms” and “Portal Stormer” (Books 1 and 2 in the Storming Archives). Kelly gains inspiration from her own narcoleptic experiences – as well as astral projection, the dream world and her over-active imagination!
*Get Delwyn of the Realms and Portal Stormer free until 11/23/15 (Kindle editions – Books 1 and 2 in the Storming Archives.)
http://klou.tt/ixg91nhbnvgh and http://klou.tt/1vbyfxchh9sz5
Stay posted for giveaways – coming soon!
Dream Blogging – Meandering
I had these dreams last night, and seeing as all three “bled” into each other, I am going to interpret them as one dream. It started with me waking up to a knock on the door at about 2am (in the dream.) I was in a house that was a mix of my current home and the one I grew up in. When I answered the door, it was someone who was supposed to be some kind of a maintenance man – but his vehicle was also a food truck. He had brought his bain-marie to the front porch and had different dishes he wanted me to try. They food was all orange, like mashed sweet potato and grated carrot pie, etc.
As he served the food on a plate, I went into the kitchen and brought out a pie I wanted him to try.
As this was going on, my husband came home from work and was a little annoyed as he was wondering if I was having an affair. I explained what was going on but he still wasn’t convinced and started asking questions about the validity of someone bringing food in the early hours of the morning.
Then I was in a building (a work do?) and we (my husband and I) decided to leave and get food. We walked past a group of toddlers who were lined up to pee.
The front boy was peeing against the wall. We all thought it was adorable. When I got outside, I was in my office clothes but barefoot and didn’t care. We walked down the street and looked for a rerstaurant that had the food we liked. Then I had shoes on.
Robert and I continued walking down the street and were with other people (his parents?) and we went into a church.
It was massive – almost like a community center, and there were people in a waiting area, waiting to see the “organizer/planner” as well as waiting to go into church. I felt surly towards them for being gullible sheep – but kept my mouth shut. When I saw someone going into the office to see the planner, I noticed that the planner was attractive and wondered if that was why Robert had scheduled an appt with her.
I walked past the congregation as they listened to the minister, and went through a door on the left – as I needed to pee. I went into a bathroom where a lot of teenage girls were getting ready for sunday school and some of them were peeing.
There were open toilets in a row – white porcelain – some higher and larger than the others, as well as different types of toilets. When I went over to check them out – I decided not to pee as they were dirty. I went outside and started to go for a walk and went around a corner of a wall where the ground became like a cobblestone path – only the stones were huge and jutting out of the ground, some like rocks.
Then I was watching a woman who had also escaped the church session, and she was having difficulty walking over the cobblestones, so she took off her clogs/slippers.
She was walking through the garden singing a Stevie Nicks song and I thought that it was a new one as I hadn’t heard it before. I walked over to a small veggie patch in the center of the garden and started gathering zucchinis.
I was happy to get them before they grew too big and tasteless. I then realized that I’d better not pick too much as the people in the church might like them big and tasteless. I also saw cauliflower growing in sections – rather than a whole, circular cauli – but growing in flowerets.
There were other veggies – like large misshapen green peppers and when I looked around I saw that the rest of the garden was like a cold store of veggies, with lots of onions stacked up.
THEMES: Wandering, peeing, food, leaving the crowd, relationships, life path
SYMBOLS: Orange, food, vegetables, shoes/barefoot, urination, toilet, church, music, path, garden
EMOTIONS: Sharing, suspicion, wonder, annoyance, satisfaction, sustenance.
ARCHETYPES: Animus – husband, maintenance man, little boys, attractive woman, teenage girls.
INTERPRETATION: I have been focusing on my health and eating habits lately, so the veggies represent my idealizing of the healthy life. The man delivering food in the early hours is interesting (to me, at least!) If a male in a woman’s dream is her Animus (the representation of how she feels about men and how she interacts with them) – then the reciprocal nature of the interaction might show how I want to meet men on the same level, share experiences etc. This is how I operate in my marriage – as my husband and I have a good relationship where we take each other’s needs in consideration and treat each other fairly – regardless of attitudes towards gender roles, etc.
The fact that the man was offering orange colored food might indicate the sharing of energy (as orange represents energy or the life force) and the fact that I offered a pie in return, might show how I take the energy offered and make something new. My husband coming home and being suspicious could indicate an unconscious concern regarding my appreciation for him or even how I express myself in terms of my dealings with other men.
Seeing the children peeing against the wall brings to mind the pun, “pissing money up a wall.” I have been trying to be more careful with money lately (especially with my promoting and marketing of my novels and business.) The others waiting in line could symbolize how I’d love to share more with my son and grandsons – or perhaps – how much I have to give and feel like it’s taking too long? I mentioned to Robert that the children were adorable and he agreed, so it could represent my love for his boyish nature.
Walking down the street dressed in office clothes – but barefoot – could be showing how I travel through life being two people. The responsible professional – with the impetus being provided by my free nature or desire to be an individual. I am usually an honest, straight forward person – and people often tell me how it’s refreshing to see (especially in the workplace!)
Going into the church (which was like a combination of church and community center) indicates how I operate in a crowd and how I view and interact with others. I’m mostly agnostic – bordering on atheism – so my attitude towards the church-goers was based on that, but I feel that it was more like not wanting to be a part of the throng. It’s funny though – there was a sense of sadness, as a small part of me felt that I was missing out.
The attractive woman (organizer/planner) – was helping people get their act together in regards to spiritual and personal life. She could be symbolizing me and how I want to help people, however I was jealous of her and my husband having an appointment with her. I am usually a passionate person – but have become more complacent and easy-going as our relationship evolves.
Going into the bathroom and needing to pee, could have simply been dictated by my real life need to pee – as I awoke busting to go to the toilet. As a dream symbol, urination (especially in public) represents the need to offload negativity or unwanted refuse – as well as the way you “offload” in public. (I have been quite aggressive at work lately, due to feeling like I’m being used as a dog’s body!)
The fact that the toilets were dirty – and then deciding not to go – could symbolize my fear of absorbing other’s filth or negativity. (Or the fact that I couldn’t go – as I was busy dreaming!) The teenage girls might symbolize how I feel about younger people these days, or my attitude towards getting older and forgetting how it was to be young and carefree. (Trying so hard not to be a curmudgeon!)
The cobblestone path is obvious to me. It feels like the “rocky road” is not the road rising to meet me – rather, blocking my progress and showing the possibility for tripping up if I’m not careful. Also – obstacles in my path and issues I have to deal with in order to move ahead. The woman taking off her clogs represents how I need to be myself in order to traverse my life path successfully.
Hearing the Stevie Nicks song (apparently a new one I hadn’t heard) – could symbolize my desire for a new “soundtrack” to my life. For me – Stevie Nicks is spiritually aware – and I have been contemplating re-dedication to the pagan life. (maybe that’s what I’ve been missing lately – indicated by my sadness with not being part of the crowd at assembly.)
I have been using zucchinis a lot lately, so its appearance in my dream is obvious. Worrying about choosing only the smaller ones for better flavor could indicate my desire to ensure quality – not just with food. I was mindful to leave some behind – so they could grow some more – as the churchgoers might have liked it that way. This could symbolize my attitude towards religious people wanting blandness or mass appeal – or it could show that I’m taking the essence from a collective spiritual path? (I think that’s a bit of a stretch – but who knows?!)
Seeing the vegetables all stacked up gave me a lot of pleasure – which also indicates my happiness with eating healthier etc. The fact that there were a lot of white onions could symbolize purity – or that I need more onions – or less, as I use onions quite a lot in my diet. Maybe this was telling me to use less!
SUMMARY: I’m on the right path, but there’s more to push through – as long as I stay true to myself. It’s time to tune in to my spiritual side again – to complete the process of becoming whole. I must temper my attitude towards the “throng” and not be too judgmental. I must also take better care of my husband and pay more attention to his needs – balancing the give and take.
Dream Blogging – Falling Birds
This is a short dream I had recently, where I was walking down a city street and saw grey birds falling out of the sky. I saw two land in separate trees and something told me that there was an ecological disaster causing them to fall. When I went up to the first bird, it was limp and laying on a branch – but still moving a little. I picked it up and held it in my hands, wondering how to help it.
When I went to the second tree, I saw that the bird was a little more alert. I got close to it and it opened its beak – to reveal a tiny, grey, 3D printed cube inside its mouth.
I saw that the other bird also had one in its mouth and tried to carry them both into a building – to find a work colleague to help the birds. As I walked along, I worried that the birds would die, and when I got to my work colleague, he was blase about them and said they’d get better soon. I felt that he was brushing me off.
THEMES: Environmental calamity, illness, looking for answers.
SYMBOLS: Sky, grey birds, 3D cubes, beaks/mouths, trees.
EMOTIONS: Worry and concern, confusion.
ARCHETYPES: Birds, Animus – work colleague
INTERPRETATION: I get the feeling that – yet again – it was telling me about my physical state. I’ve been improving my diet and exercising of late, and also discovered that my Thyroid medication was too strong. Birds symbolize ideas and thoughts, as well as vehicles for escape and freedom. I feel that they also symbolized my “high hopes” for my books – falling out of the sky representing the lack of sales etc.
I have been disappointed with the progress/success of my writing and even told my husband that I felt like giving up. He told me that it was just a slump and to keep going – that one day, I would have success if I keep plugging at it. Also – the pleasure I get from writing and sharing ideas and stories is one of the main reasons I write.
The 3D cubes in their beaks/mouths is a mystery – although I could interpret them to mean concrete, or three dimensional ideas and solutions within the fallen or failing ideas. For example: the birds (ideas, my books etc) are not staying afloat due to the methods I’m using (and not using) to market and promote. The 3 D cube could symbolize the fact that there’s something solid there, but I have to find a solution.
Trying to get my work colleague to help could indicate my frustrations with the public and potential readers – not seeming to be interested in what I have to offer. In regards to the environment, it could represent how I feel about not wanting to jump through the hoops and produce what I feel are frivolous works – just to garner attention and sales.
It might also indicate how I’m feeling about my frustrations at work and my life in general – especially when I’m low or depressed – thinking that, no matter what I do, it’s an uphill battle with no reward.
SUMMARY: I feel that I need to analyze this dream more, but it does seem to symbolize my “malaise”. I’ve been half-hearted lately, in terms of my writing – so maybe this dream simply reflects those feelings, and indicates a need to be more scientific or well-rounded. Trees can symbolize the integrated Self (they were mostly barren) – so maybe it shows how I feel about myself and my life lately. The ideas and thoughts are there, but they can’t seem to get off the ground. I don’t know. I seem to be going around in circles!
Human First and Foremost
All else falls away in the face of oblivion. No race, no creed, no sex, no religion. Pushing these man-made attributes to the shadows – I see crystal-clear reality. No matter the gender – we are human. No matter the color or status – we are human. No matter the orientation – we are human.
We strain after the labels in order to slap them on each other – tagging and cataloging – even though we loathe being tagged and cataloged ourselves.
I will not be defined by my sex. It does not speak of my intellectual pursuits or creativity. I will not be a slave to the ugly machine – which dictates impossible standards of beauty while vilifying my humanity.
I will not expect a man to be a man, without tears or mercy – pumped like a grotesque, cancerous mass – dressed up as swagger. I will not expect a woman to be a woman, without strength or honor – trussed up and acid-washed to a bloody pulp – dressed up as sweetness.
If our hearts and minds are barred from meeting on common ground, where we can share our jubilations and fears – without resorting to a monkey dance in a cookie-cutter mask – I’m happy to pass you by.
I do not identify with any one race – even though four dwell within me. They are not beacons for others to flock to – to sway my focus. They are circumstantial and simple genetics – nothing more. They do not feed my psyche or prompt my interactions. I am a patchwork person like the rest of you, and I will not pledge allegiance to one over the other.
Poverty, destitution and despair are not the polar opposites of wealth, opulence or happiness. They are inter-changeable. We open our mouths and our spirits pour out – mangled and strangled by the refuse we absorb willingly.
We can sing in harmony or screech in discord.
It’s all down to a choice – not suggested or directed by the machine, but rather – by our humanity. What is right is what is good is what is natural – without fake holiness or smug science.
I can see my history – aligned with the horror as well as the beauty of the world. I will dust it down, wring it out and wrench myself into the person I was destined to become: Human.
Human first and foremost.
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!
Pecking the Feathers
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.
Dream Blogging – Swallowing Feathers
This is another hodge-podge dream. I had it last week and just now have time to post it – on Mother’s Day, no less!
At first – I was walking through an animal sanctuary – when I came across two lions that were quite pale and thin. I was worried about them but too scared to approach them.
Then I walked through a section where the birds were. I saw two birds on the ground behind a fence, who were swallowing feathers. One was able to manage at least seven – which were hanging out of it’s mouth as it tilted its head back and slowly swallowed them. The other bird could only manage two feathers and it stood watching the other bird. I sensed that it was upset that it could only manage two – while the other one handled a lot more with ease.
Then I was in a hotel with a work colleague and her parents. We were going to catch a plane to Canada, and as we walked out the door, I noticed that she had left her jacket behind.
She was grateful and grabbed it, but as we walked through the airport – I realized that I didn’t have my shoes on – only socks. There wasn’t enough time to go back so I had to continue on without shoes.
We discovered that we had missed our flight and had to wait for the next one. We went to a cafeteria and sat down to eat. I was annoyed that the only food available was fried food. There were huge platters of all kinds of fried food on the tables, but I wouldn’t eat. I sat and watched the others – quite disgusted.
Then I was sitting on the edge of a bathtub – peeing relentlessly. I was worried that someone would find out – but there was no toilet and I was busting to go. The whole bathtub filled up and I was still peeing. I frantically tried to get off the edge of the tub – as I wanted to find a toilet – but I tipped the tub and pee spilled all over the floor. I worried that the pee would flow out into the hallway.
THEMES: Illness, weakness, ingesting foreign objects, thwarted travel, flight, disgust, release.
SYMBOLS: Lions, birds, feathers, swallowing, jacket, shoes, socks, Canada, fried food, pee, bathtub.
EMOTIONS: Concern, wonder, forgetfulness, annoyance, disgust, embarrassment
ARCHETYPES: Lions, Birds, Colleagues, Parents
INTERPRETATION: The theme of concern over sick animals continues! The pale lions represent weakness and dissipating strength – which has been a niggling thing in the back of my mind lately. It could also indicate my concern over apparent lack of interest in regards to my books and numerology business – feeling like I’m having little or no impact and that I am ineffective in my pursuits.
The birds represent the side of me that feel grounded and unable to ‘fly’ – as they were on the ground – doing the opposite of what they are supposed to be doing, which is flying – not eating the things that help them fly. The fact that one bird handled at least seven feathers – while the other one had difficulty with just a few – could symbolize how I feel about my ventures and inability to succeed. Eating and swallowing feathers (which are a symbol of mobility, flight, lightness, adornment, magic, intuition) – could also represent my desire to achieve greater heights and hunger for elevation above the drudgery of everyday life. Alternatively – it could mean that I’m wasting too much time with the promoting and marketing.
Like the Ouroboros – the cycle of death and rebirth (eternity) – the birds were swallowing their own feathers. It could be indicating that I see others doing far better than me and I struggle with just a small level of ventures. This image still bothers me and I continue to try and interpret it.
Being in a hotel with a work colleague – and her parents – represents worrying too much about things that don’t matter. The shoes would have been more important than the jacket. The shoes protect your feet, and even though the jacket provides warmth – it’s more socially acceptable to be without a jacket. The jacket could symbolize my public persona – worrying more about image rather than my health, protection and how I travel in life.
Canada is a place that symbolizes a perfect society – to me, anyway! An idealistic place where people are a lot calmer and seemingly more intelligent and compassionate. In the dream, it could indicate my desire to escape to a place where I would fit in. Missing the plane symbolizes my fear of not ‘making it’. Having only fried food to eat, could represent my annoyance at having to settle for the cheap things that don’t do me any good – when I would prefer good food, therefore better sustenance and a higher level of success and a better life.
Peeing is release of negativity and purging. The fact that I had so much shows how I desire to let it all out, and that no matter how much I do release – it keeps coming. The fear of never being pure or achieving my goals – always needing to purge. The bathtub is a place where you should be cleaning yourself. It symbolizes an opportunity for washing away the dreck to become a new person. Filling it to the brim with more pee coming – then tipping it and flooding the bathroom (and possibly the hallway) – symbolizes my fear of showing my true self to the world. I want to get it out – but at the same time – am embarrassed to do so.
SUMMARY: I need to continue taking better care of myself and work to increase my stamina. I need to stop wasting my energies in areas that do not feed my goals. I feel that the time has come where I need to re-evaluate my ventures and change the way I operate – especially in regards to promoting and marketing. It’s getting to me lately – the fact that I have to work a full time job – which eats into my writing time. I know that we all have to do it – to pay the bills etc – but working a full time job and then coming home every night (and spending every weekend working on my ventures) is zapping my energy levels – leaving nothing left for family and friends.
All work and no play makes Kelly a dull bore!
Dream Blogging – Message from a UFO
This bizarre dream happened last Thursday. It seemed to be directed more at my husband – so I gave him a head’s up – as it pertains to his work.
We were lying in bed and I noticed bright lights outside. Then it seemed like our roof disappeared – or became transparent – as we looked up and saw clouds moving fast – with what looked like giant wheels coming down. The wheels were like old fashioned wheels with spokes.
Then two, long metal probes came out of the clouds – with glass orbs at the end of them. The probes were thin and they came so close to us that I was afraid they were going to poke our eyes out. The orbs started projecting an image in front of us – which was showing an email with information about my husbands’ work. (He is a QA Manager at a candy company and is often putting out spot fires – at all hours of the day – even when it’s not his shift.)
We were told telepathically that someone higher up would be mad about an issue at his work – but that he would resolve it and they would eventually apologize for blaming him.
THEMES: Message from the higher self, reassurance, panic, worry.
SYMBOLS: UFO, bright lights, wheels, probe, message.
INTERPRETATION: I feel that this is a prophetic dream (we’ll see!) – even though my husband is always having to solve other people’s problems. He has been annoyed and worried of late, that his superiors don’t value him and continue to heap work onto him – even though he always does his work in a timely and professional manner.
UFO’s and aliens represent the higher self or spiritual assistance. Some say that UFO’s etc have replaced religion and that they are also symbols of higher powers. In this case – I feel that it could have been a message from ‘beyond’ – or even just our own psyche’s issuing a warning. Bright lights symbolize illumination – alerting us to the fact that all will be revealed.
Wheels turning in the sky – indicates a pun (wheels of the mind turning, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, momentum, things happening). Also – machinations of the powers that be. The probes and orbs trying to pierce our eyes simply indicate a message trying to penetrate our field of vision. The message showed that there would be something to deal with – but that all will turn out fine – in the end.
SUMMARY: This is an ongoing issue for my husband – so it would be nice to see that people finally start recognizing his worth and abilities.
Dream Blogging – Magic Man
In this dream – one of the ones I had during the week – there was a man who traveled over the ocean in a variety of magical ways. At first he was riding (or surfing) some red waves – like large, rolling ripples. During the trip – he summoned quite a variety of psychedelic/trippy objects to ride on. They included geometric objects – multi-colored – and he jumped from object to object as he “surfed”.
I was observing and following him – floating behind him. I was aware of his ability to change into a butterfly. (Although I never saw it – I could sense it in the sky – like a simulacrum that he could enter.)
Then we landed in a place that seemed to be a medieval fairground. We went to an old stone building – where a little girl spilled out of his mouth. She turned around and vomited maggots into an old commode.
THEMES: Abilities, talents, magic, transformation, purging, dealing with issues, moving on – making way for the new
SYMBOLS: Ocean, abstract images, butterfly, colors (esp red), old building, vomiting/purging, maggots, magic
EMOTIONS: Wonder, amazement, concern.
ARCHETYPES: Animus – man, child, butterfly.
INTERPRETATION: The Animus representing the masculine side of myself. He was able to stay above the surface of the ocean. Water represents the subconscious and emotions. The fact that he was riding a variety of crazy objects that were psychedelic in nature – indicates my creativity rising up and out of the subconscious. This is true – as my creativity has risen sharply over the last few months.
The butterfly symbolizes transformation and I feel that the whole dream represented this side of me and my life at the moment. I am transforming myself and finally becoming who I’ve always wanted to be. The butterfly was in the sky and it seems to me that it was letting me know that I can rise above the everyday “dreck” and assume the role I was meant to play.
The old building and the girl coming out of the man’s mouth shows how I can move on and stop obsessing about old hurts and issues. Vomiting the maggots also indicates the purge of old, bad memories. Maggots are horrible – I hate them – but they eat away the bad parts in order to grow and morph into flies, etc. This also symbolizes the need for transformation.
SUMMARY: I feel very good about this dream. It’s telling me that I’m on the right track and that I can become who I’ve been struggling to be. I’m about to release the sequel to my novel and will be interviewed on the radio on 5/5/15 (at Artists first). I am also adapting my novel into a screenplay and have many fingers in many pies. I feel vindicated and justified – even righteous!
Dream Blogging – Caring for the Totems
As noted in my recent blog about dreaming – the Self is often represented by animals and appears when some kind of order is being restored within ourselves. I had this dream early in the week and it featured three animals. The main theme is providing sustenance and care for the animals – therefore my Self.
I was walking through the bush (not really a forest) and the conditions were similar to a drought. The first animal I saw was an alligator – running down a dirt wall – or maybe the banks of a dry river. I wasn’t afraid but it was rushing at me and I felt like I needed to provide food and water for it – due to the drought. I walked on and saw a dry river – with only a muddy puddle and a little water.
Somehow I knew that there would be rain or water soon and that there was a lake filled with water somewhere close. As I tried to locate it, I saw the alligator going in the direction of the lake and felt somewhat relieved.
Then I saw a brown horse – a little thinner that it should have been. (In Chinese Astrology – my sign is the Horse – element: fire. This represents an impetuous nature – strong and capable – but sometimes willful and passionate. Definitely me!) I felt sorrow over it’s condition and called it over to me.
It came over and followed me to a field of wheat. I sat down and it lay its head in my lap as I fed it grasses and wheat. I was happy to feel the energy coming from the horse – as there was such a need for it to get well. (There was a lot of emotion at this point.)
Then I went on into a dense part of the bush – where it was almost a forest – and it was dark. I found a huge tree that was also like a tall row of cupboards (inside – it was hollow and dry). There was a cute little chipmunk on one of the shelves higher up and it scampered down to my hands.
It was so tiny and adorable and I felt a rush of love for it. When I looked around – I could see that it had been gathering food for itself – but still felt that I needed to take care of it.
THEMES: Taking care of the Self
SYMBOLS: Sustenance, nurturing, food, dry river, wheat, tree, drought
EMOTIONS: Love, devotion, compassion, concern
ARCHETYPES: Animals – alligator, horse, chipmunk
INTERPRETATION: As mentioned earlier – the theme was about healing and taking care of the Self. I have been concerned with my own health lately and have been eating whole foods and trying to stay away from junk, etc. (I have also started taking multi-vitamins and have noticed great improvement in my general health as well as some weight loss.)
First – the alligator as a totem can represent the mother or mothering nature within. The alligator can be ferocious and attacks with vigor – runs fast on land and is deadly in the water – stalking with great levels of stealth. When they take their prey, they tumble and twist under water – doing the death roll – in order to either stun or kill it. Then they stash their meal in an underwater larder.
The alligator guards the borders between water and land and can be both hostile and gentle. They represent primordial energies, survival, power and wisdom. The fact that I needed to find it water might show that my own habitat – and my body – need water. (It’s funny – we are having plumbing problems this week!) My energy levels have been getting better but I sense that this dream is telling me to step it up. The alligator going off to find the lake shows that I’m able to take care of myself and that I’m resourceful.)
The Horse – as mentioned – is my main totem and symbolizes power (in the dream it was somewhat depleted), impatience (very true for me!), transforming wounds into wisdom, sexuality, stamina and freedom. Horses live in groups – so it could indicate that I need to take care of the group/family as well as myself. (Trying the best I can!) The fact that I was feeding and nurturing it – then feeling its strength coming back – shows that again, I’m on the right track.
The chipmunk was probably a symbol of the child in me – taking care of itself (as I had to do when growing up) – but still needing attention. The chipmunk represents agility and mobility, youthful energy, scattered energies (true for me lately!), hoarding, organization. I feel that the chipmunk was letting me know that it was ok – but I felt that I still needed to keep an eye on it.
SUMMARY: Pretty self-explanatory – taking care of myself and others. The Self has been revealed and has advised that I need to continue living healthily – physically and spiritually. Restoration, organization, using my power wisely and living an authentic life are the key messages here.