A Top 10 place for Delwyn of the Realms
How exciting to be placed at Number 2 in Ezvid’s wiki list:
10 Enthralling Fantasy Novels by Australian Authors!
Here’s the verbiage they used for Delwyn of the Realms:
“In the #2 position is Kelly Proudfoot’s “Delwyn of the Realms.” Delwyn, who has the ability to astral travel, has always existed between two worlds. This mysterious power has taken its toll, and after her marriage breaks down, she goes to her aunt’s house in the country to recuperate. While there, she discovers a magical mirror that allows her to enter the world of dreams. Now Delwyn must navigate her secret adventures in dreamland as well as an increasingly tempestuous waking life.”
See the book trailer here
They also have info on Fantasy themed activities and a
Ted talk about why Fantasy matters.
Update re: The Storming Archives!
I have been working on the final book in the series: Soul Storm for several years and hope to have it done by 2020 – so stay tuned and be prepared for an even wilder ride!
The Upside Down See-saw: a poem about depression and suicide
When depression slides into the dark realm of suicidal thoughts, the secrets deepen.
The process of withdrawal into the safety of the personal interior began in the distant past and the idea of self-annihilation pushes you further into the abyss.
Therein lies the dichotomy. On the one hand, there’s the deep yearning for understanding and compassion, while on the other hand, there’s shame, confusion and the desire to shield your secrets from prying eyes.
Those eyes belong to the ones who shake their heads in disbelief, disgust and disdain.
The ones who either have no idea about what it’s like to fall into the hidden and hopeless chasm or who are so afraid of being sucked into the vortex that they resort to ridicule in order to keep a safe distance.
Even when someone takes the time to try and understand, it takes a small forcing to share those dark thoughts, which are usually sanitized and censored.
There’s so much that begs to be revealed, but to utter those black pearls means to bring the subterranean tentacles to the surface.
How do you share the concept of losing the will to live to those who only want life for you? How do you explain the way the horrors of the world plague your thoughts at night or how nothing holds any delight, pleasure or happiness like they did before?
What can you say, when only a void filled with the ghosts of tumbleweeds and a lonely, howling wind come to mind – blocking all the fulsome things you want to convey?
In the depths, the only thoughts swirling around are the ones that remind you that nothing matters. In the scheme of things, we’re all distracting ourselves to avoid the inevitable. No matter what, we all die.
It doesn’t matter how many pills we take or how much effort we put into preserving what we call our lives. Time marches on until we slip away into the darkness and for some of us, the dark reaches out to greet us beforehand.
It’s a taste of things to come.
Try telling that to someone who tries in vain to impress on you that it all matters; that you have a duty to keep on going for the sake of others, if not for yourself. Like trained monkeys, they beseech that you have to get back on the horse, keep your chin up and get back into it.
If nothing else, it’s to make them feel better themselves, not necessarily to help you deal with your darkness.
However, one question is hard for the depressive to ignore: Why choose to focus on doom and gloom when it’s just as arbitrary to focus on joy and light?
If focusing on joy and light is only a distraction from our inevitable demise, then surely the act of focusing on doom and gloom is only a distraction from our possible liberation from darkness?
It’s all about choice.
What do we choose to dwell on, when both avenues are equal distractions? Are both points of view equally valid? Were the Buddhists right when they advised to find the Middle Way?
Depression and thoughts of suicide are like Venus fly traps; dripping with the blood of their victims. They hold us in their cold, black hands – clenched and slimy – blocking the light and clouding our vision.
This is a place where hope is crippled. Any promise of escape is blocked by the heavy drapes of despair, loneliness and self-loathing.
Why not wrench them apart and bathe in the shards of light?
Why choose to wallow in the pit, when the lightness of the soul begs to soar?
Like riding blindfolded on an upside-down see-saw, the only way out is to let go and fly.
To sink is to fail.
My Books For Free!
From Fantasy to Romance to Erotica –
get all my books Free (Kindle Editions) for a limited time!
My new contemporary romance – Juneau Dreaming – will be out very, very soon!
(I know we’re not allowed to use the word “very” but I don’t like being told what to do, so – there’s that!)
Stay tuned for news about the release of Juneau Dreaming. It’s a novel about a young woman called Lilith, who loses her parents in a freak accident and decides to pack up and relocate to Juneau, Alaska.
Wanting to start afresh in a new place with a new job, she doesn’t count on having to deal with two men – essentially polar opposites – as well as her kaleidoscope of emotions that weave throughout the story.
Lilith’s dreams guide her through her new life as her grief threatens to propel her into fleeing once again. Will she overcome the tidal wave of emotions so she can settle into the wonderful community of friends and her new family?
Can she effectively choose between the reserved and moody Lachlan and the charming and earnest Stephan – or should she stay true to her initial conviction of staying single, since her fiance left her on the day of her parent’s funeral?
Juneau Dreaming is a romance filled with wonderful characters, magical imagery and a journey that leads a woman from the depths of despair to a promising life where the healing can truly begin.
A Feast in the Forest Indiegogo Campaign
Please share and help me bring Magical food, poetry and art to your table! http://ow.ly/iebG302geAM
A Feast in the Forest
Prepare for “A Feast in the Forest” – my cookbook for The Willow Lake Group!
(To be written from the POV of Sondra – one of the main characters!)
Recipes, photos, art and poetry –
as well as a few magical tips from the Hedgewitch herself!
The Storming Archives Book Trailer
Delwyn is in the center – clockwise from the top:
Prem-Luss (Planet-headed – two characters in one!), Purrsula (the cat-headed warrior), Drade (computer program entity), Fleat (feathered Stormer with a deadly Third-Eye) and Varun (half-man, half-seahorse and Guardian of the Dreamworld.)
Here’s the Book Trailer:
Updates, Bits and Pieces
In a better head-space lately but still feeling like I’m spinning my wheels and going nowhere, however – I think I finally found the fantasy genre my writing falls into. It took me a long time to find the one that feels right – wading through many sub-genres that became more and more confusing. Apparently new ones are added every year!
I have a Goodreads Giveaway currently running – for my erotic novel “The Ninth Window.”
I’d like more reviews – so if anyone wants a free copy in return for an honest review on Amazon – please let me know. I currently only have two – as different as chalk and cheese. I love the first one – but the second one left me baffled and annoyed.
“This is a story with several other stories nested within – each very different from the others. The book has a really fresh premise. I liked the writing style, and appreciated the fact that it was nicely edited and proofread.
It’s difficult for me to review this without including any spoilers. I can say that every story within the book is really sexy (although Chapter Six was my least favorite.) The ending was really unexpected. An overall enjoyable erotic novella – one of the best I’ve read lately.”
(I was very happy with this review and didn’t expect to hear why the reader didn’t enjoy Chapter Six. With erotica, it’s even more so about personal preferences. If he had said that Chapter Six was slow or ill-fitting – I would’ve understood – although the fact that it was about a woman dominating a man could’ve had something to do with it. Still – it was an honest and unsolicited review – which I was very grateful for.)
(This stumped me. I don’t know what the reader expected and would’ve liked to have heard why they thought it wasn’t interesting – but then – everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I’d like to say that at least I’m happy they bought the book and “took their time” writing a two word review. What baffles me is that they still gave it two stars. One star would’ve been more aligned with their comment. Oh well!)
Here’s something exciting! I’ll be interviewed by the lovely hosts of the Deadly Reads show – Linda L. Barton and Lisa Vandiver – on Blog Talk Radio this coming Thursday night! These ladies are also authors – so check out their work! (Deadly Reads also offer author services.)
I received a great review on Goodreads for “Portal Stormer” – Book 2 in The Storming Archives!
I also updated my Author website – still a work in progress! See my review of my favorite film – “Withnail and I”.
And finally – my contemporary romance (if that’s the right genre – see the reviews below the Ad!) “The Willow Lake Group” will be available for free (Kindle Edition) on Amazon from Monday to Friday next week!
Vicki also reviewed the Audiobook on Audible:
*If you’d like a free Audible code for “The Willow Lake Group” – in return for an honest review – let me know!
If you’re interested in my upcoming Fantasy/Horror novel “City of Gargoyles” – which includes living gargoyles and flying zombies – watch it unfold here:
If you feel so inclined – vote for it!
I know that some authors see these kinds of websites/services as predatory. I’ve read articles where it was stated that some sites trick fledgling authors into submitting their work, only to fish for free content – and I am wary of this nefarious element. I tried posting “City of Gargoyles” on WriteOn (an Amazon service) – where you can get feedback as you write – but it seems to be a dead end. I just wanted to try the “show as you go” routine for the development of a novel, so – we’ll see.
I’ll be updating my Shapeshifting blog – where I’ll be talking about my temporary departure from healthy living – due to becoming a full-time, Freelance Author! (Notwithstanding my “dark night of the soul” routine – where I took a nosedive and am still clawing my way out of it!)
So – lastly – an update on being a freelance author. Apart from a few regular clients and some interesting jobs, it’s incredibly annoying when you have to chase them for payment! From students who want their homework done to big projects – these clients have made my foray into the world of freelancing a pain in the butt. Fair enough – it’s usually the bigger jobs that pay the most – but just like the business world, they take their time to pay.
I’ve been getting awesome feedback and steady work (including ghostwriting ebooks, screenplays, memoirs and data entry etc.) I’m still trying to develop a workable structure – but my time is operating on another plane of existence. I could be writing (as I am now) well into the wee hours of the morning. Night is day and day is night. What I’m struggling with is juggling my own writing with the freelance work. Hopefully I’ll strike a good balance soon!
Finally – to close this post – here’s a series of fun visuals to illustrate the ups and downs of being a Freelance Author!
Till next time – take it easy!
Existential Crisis in a Teacup
I haven’t posted for a while – on any of my blogs. I felt bad for it – but I felt worse for not writing my own stuff – being bogged down in freelance work. Then I felt bad for feeling bad – as I should be grateful that I had the opportunity to leave my full time job to be a writer. I am grateful – and my husband is a saint for encouraging me to do so. I couldn’t complain to him about my internal predicament. Getting the flu in between and going down for the count didn’t help any.
I then found myself plunging into a strange fog which I am still trying to fight my way out of. I became immersed in a spiraling whirlpool – doing my best to grasp onto whatever debris or beams of light that showed up here and there. They slipped out of my hands so quickly that I wondered if they existed at all. My dreams have been intense – and hopeful. When I get the chance I’ll post them on my Collective Unconscious blog.
I also veered away from my Shapeshifting blog – neglecting to chronicle my “progress” on healthy living. I’ve been sleeping a lot and doing my best to drag myself to the computer every day to complete my freelance writing wherever possible. One thing I know for sure is that – for the most part – this fog or “crisis” has to do with my impending 50th birthday in September. I am not happy about it – at all. It’s not so much the fact that I’m ageing – but rather that I’m losing time.
My identity has become a mist, or a vapor that has no form. All that I projected about who I thought I was and what I was doing has cleared to reveal the truth. There is nothing. I am nothing. Nothing matters. It’s all pretend. We keep on kicking along just to save face – to make ourselves feel that it’s all – somehow – worth it. Worth the struggle. One day we’ll get there. But where is that? And who says that it’s “somewhere” – the destination we’ve been working towards?
It seems to be a collective grudging towards the only definite element in life: death. I don’t even know what that is – or what it means. The ceasing to be. That sounds awful – and I’m sorry to be so down. Please don’t let it infect you. If anything – I’m writing this out to chronicle my dark patch. I see myself posting tweets etc about my novels – begging for people to buy my books, blah blah blah. It seems so pointless. The emptiness is swallowing me up – but I have to write about it. I have to “sublimate” it – in order to make sense of what is happening to me. Maybe it might help someone else out there – or maybe they can help me.
I stopped writing last night – due to plummeting further downwards. I could see that I wasn’t doing myself any good, even though I thought at the beginning that writing about my “malaise” would make me feel better. I went to bed – with the start of a panic attack looming on the horizon. I was breathing shallow and on the verge of tears that wouldn’t come. I got into bed and focused on my breathing – in a kind of forced meditation. After about half an hour I fell asleep.
When in the clutches of despair, it’s important to remember just to breathe. The only thing in the world that matters is breathing – at that point. I told myself that – if nothing else in the universe mattered – breathing was all I could do. The knowledge that everything would make sense – eventually – kept me going, even though the thoughts in the back of my mind kept bubbling to the surface from time to time. Thoughts such as: “what’s the point?” or “what then?” as well as “I’m just prolonging the obvious.”
I pushed them away and continued breathing. I dreamed about having different cars. First – a red one – which I parked seamlessly in a tight spot. Twice. I amazed myself. Then I had a blue convertible. It was under a dirty blanket and I had to tell a friend to keep her son from playing in it. Then I had a huge, thick branch of marijuana buds. Each bud was intricately wrapped in foil. I wanted to smoke it but people kept showing up so I had to stash it somewhere. Then I woke up.
There are a lot of symbols and related meanings which I will explore in my Collective Unconscious blog soon. The main messages I take from the dream include reserved energy, hiding depressive thoughts and the desire to lose myself. Today I’m getting myself in gear. I have decided to create a roster or weekly agenda for myself. I need order and direction – to pave my way out of this crisis. I’ll post an update later in the week.
I took some photos of myself last night – in an attempt to preserve whatever fading looks I think I might have before I hit 50. I used some photo editing and filters – but for the most part – it’s me. They make me laugh – now.
When I’m feeling like this – I have to remind myself that there are others in the world who are living wretched lives. They would do anything to have a fraction of what I have. Therefore – it seems that I have no right to complain or feel depressed. But what is that thought supposed to do – comfort me? Isn’t that wrong? Does pulling myself up by the bootstraps help them any? Do I owe it to the less fortunate to live a fulfilled life? Isn’t that rubbing their noses in my fortunate life?
What is humbling is the huge smiles on their faces – in the middle of a war zone or filthy, hopeless conditions. The fact that they can make the most of a horrible situation; that they can find the silver lining. Clean water or peace would mean the world to them. In my little corner of the world – I do have access to clean water, a peaceful home and food. I should be grateful. My own mind is the enemy.
Time to whip it into shape.
Looking for Reviews
Looking for honest reviews!
See my Amazon Author Page for links to books: http://ow.ly/YYD9W
Contact me here: http://ow.ly/YYIn2 or here on WordPress!
The Willow Lake Group Freebies
The Willow Lake Group Freebie Offers! Amazon http://ow.ly/YNk44 – Audible http://ow.ly/YI2o6 (Also available on iTunes)
Listen to the talented Tim Campbell!
Listen to my Book!
Listen to The Willow Lake Group – narrated by Tim Campbell – http://ow.ly/YI2o6
The Willow Lake Group is available!
Buy it here: The Willow Lake Group at Amazon
Paperback coming soon!
Here’s my book trailer!
The Ninth Window
My first review for my first erotic novel!
You can buy it here (if you’re so inclined!):
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?!
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 – 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.
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 – Buttons and Booze
I had this dream last week. I was in a house with my grandson, and the time frame ranged from when he was little until he was a grown man – although he still looked like a little boy when he was grown. Throughout the course of him growing up, I was always coming downstairs and seeing him at the bottom with buttons in his hands. He collected them from me and other people – when a button popped off our clothes. He always had them in his hands and eventually he had carried them in a white bowl.
Every time I came down the stairs – a button would pop off and he would pick it up with glee and save it. Finally when he was a young man – still looking like a little boy – he came to me with a small house he had built out of buttons! He gave it to me and I was marveling at the intricate workmanship.
Then I was at a bar and ordering many glasses of cider – one of them was filled to the brim. When I took the full one over to different people – trying to give it to them – they said “No thanks.” Eventually I went back to my table and realized that I would have to drink them.
Then I was in some kind of space station – very futuristic – and I was a soldier, preparing to go out and fight a war. The dominant color in this part of the dream was sepia and variations of light brown and beige.
When I went out to the war – it was a mix of desert and abandoned or ruined cities. A young woman met me there and told me that I had to go through the city to fight the enemy and complete the mission.
Once there, I was walking through some dilapidated buildings – at ground level – when an angry Sergeant came up to me and started yelling in my face – but he was also seeming to be having fun – dropping back occasionally and watching for my reaction. I disregarded him, but every time I went to walk off – he came back and started yelling and mocking me.
THEMES: Family, giving and receiving, growth, childhood, social persona, adversity, self-doubt.
SYMBOLS: Buttons, stairs, house, alcohol – full glass, pub, futuristic city, war.
EMOTIONS: Happiness, generosity, annoyance, difficulty, anger, ridicule, self-doubt.
ARCHETYPES: Young boy, Female soldier, Sergeant – Angry and annoying.
INTERPRETATION: The young boy/grandson was collecting buttons – coming from my clothes (as well as others’ clothes – although I didn’t see them) which symbolizes lessons taken from me and others. He was happy to have them – which makes me wonder if the buttons also symbolized characteristics he has inherited from me – including my sense of humor and delight in knowledge. Presenting as a young boy – even though he was supposed to be fully grown – could indicate that he hasn’t arrived there yet – but denotes how the things I teach and give him will help with his evolution.
When he gave me the little house he’d built – I felt that it symbolized the idea of giving and receiving, like knowledge and/or the circle of life and how the way you treat others comes back to you. He was showing me how the things I give him will be used in his life.
Being in a pub symbolizes a public arena – the social setting. Glasses being filled to the brim showed how I try to give everything away – or give too much – or even, how extravagant I am. (I always go overboard – for fear of doing too little and being considered stingy. Also – doing too much or even being greedy, but then – trying to share it with everybody.) When I tried to give the full glasses to people (friends and acquaintances) – they were smiling and polite – waving me away. Going back to the table with the full glasses could indicate how I feel with the promotion of my work and that no one seems to want what I have to offer.
This feels right to me – as I have been promoting and marketing my novel and my Numerology business – with little return. While everyone is happy to follow me, like my posts, give positive feedback etc – I feel like it’s “much ado about nothing.” Of course – this is just my subconscious throwing up imagery of how I feel sometimes – I understand on a conscious level that these things take time and that I should be grateful that people are being so supportive. I now understand that it was telling me to ease down (as I’ve mentioned before!) and hone my approach – so that I don’t become annoying or overdo it.
The futuristic war was the second part of my dream – and it was so strange that I feel it was quite a different scenario and message from my subconscious. It could indicate what will happen in the future – or how I feel about the future. The weird space station could symbolize the fact that I feel out of sorts with where I’m heading – uncertainty, etc. Being sent out to war could represent the way I view the world and the community I am associating with. Constantly trying to promote myself has become like a battle – trying to keep ahead of the game, seeing what other’s are doing and striving to do the best I can to be noticed and therefore – selling my wares.
Maybe my subconscious was trying to tell me to be more aggressive – which isn’t really in my nature (unless it’s a physical attack against myself or my family!) The young female soldier was directing me to the abandoned city – like my younger self guiding me – telling me to go to a place that I might normally avoid. The fact that the city was abandoned might indicate that I am overlooking uncharted territory – that I need to focus more on what audience I’m trying to target – rather than ‘blowing in the wind’, or wasting my time spruiking to the wrong audience.
The angry and annoying Sergeant could represent my fear of being ridiculed, as I often feel embarrassed with the level of promotion I’m doing – or at least – the methods and avenues I’m choosing. As my animus – it could simply be my masculine side – once again – sniggering at me and my feeble attempts to get recognized and make a living from what I love doing.
SUMMARY: I have to be wary about what I’m teaching my grandsons and how I present to them and the world. I have to lead by example – and be grateful for the little things. I should not waste energy in futile attempts and projects that don’t advance my profile and become more savvy re: promoting and marketing my book and my business. I must not be duped – or dupe others. (Hence – the alcohol.) I need to hone my abilities and be smarter with my career and preparations for the future. Last – but not least – I have to stop listening to the inner, negative voice that keeps telling me that I’m wasting my time. I have to scale back, take stock, regroup, assess and review my methods in order to streamline an effective pathway to a happy future! (Maybe the Sergeant was doing me a favor!)
Sequel to Delwyn of the Realms
Just finished writing the first draft of Book 2 in the Storming Archives – sequel to Delwyn of the Realms! Trembling and excited!
Blurb for Delwyn of the Realms
Delwyn of the Realms: Storming Archives – Book 1 – available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback.
(Click picture for link to Amazon)
Dream Blogging – Patchwork of scenes
This is a dream that I had last week but have been too busy to post. A lot happening in this one – one of those hodge-podge dreams that zig-zags here and there!
At first I was at Tina’s place (my son’s girlfriend’s mother – phew!) – back in Australia. We were in the kitchen and she was at the stove, preparing to cook. I was helping with the dishes but there were small things going on that were preventing me from completing the task. Just issues with organization. This was during the day, as we were both at the kitchen window and sunlight was pouring in.
Then it was night and I was driving and speeding along a winding road. I noticed a police car behind me and I became paranoid, so I slowed down and kept it under the speed limit. I remember that when I was speeding – I was doing 50 in a 40 zone – so after I spotted the police, I dropped it back down to just under 40. Luckily – they were distracted by a speeding car at the bottom of the hill, so they took off after it.
Then I was in a shopping mall with my two grandchildren – Leon who is 4 years old and Noah as a toddler (even though he is only 5 months old). I saw a woman who I used to work with, doing a product presentation in the middle of the walkway. She had a crazy blonde hairdo that reminded me of the lead singer from the 80’s band – A Flock of Seagulls!
I took Leon and Noah to a cafe and went up to the counter to order our food. I ordered two burgers, a coffee and then tried to order some fish sandwiches for later – but the guy at the counter was rude and arguing with me over the extra sandwiches. I told him that it was none of his business, but then a nice guy came up and told him to go back to the kitchen.
Then the nice guy took my order and was very professional and polite. I opened up my wallet and there was a lot of cash stacked in there. I was worried about other’s seeing it.
THEMES: Issues with organizing; worried about being caught. Public persona, interactions with others.
SYMBOLS: Dishes/housework/organizing. Driving, police, breaking the law. Hill top. Crazy hairdo. Food, money.
EMOTIONS: Annoyance, fear of authority and breaking the law. Wondering, confusion, being secretive.
ARCHETYPES: Stable woman, crazy woman, nasty man, nice man. Police, Children.
INTERPRETATION: A lot of oscillation between opposites – especially behaviors exhibited by my anima and animus. Tina – the stable woman – represents the persona that I fear others don’t see me as. Being in the kitchen (the ‘family’ room in the Mansion of the Soul) – shows how I operate in regards to my family. (Worry, feeling inadequate?) Even though I am always told how happy and ‘together’ I am – inner doubts about how I am perceived were represented by my inability to complete the tasks in the kitchen. This could also symbolize my regret over not being back in Australia – which I am working on – as my husband and I hope to relocate in a few years’ time.
Speeding on the top of the hill could represent how I feel I might appear to others – in regards to my promotional activities and public persona. I am constantly marketing and promoting on the internet – as I need to get my book and my Numerology business into gear. Going over the speed limit could indicate either my embarrassment or fear that other’s might see me as striving too hard to ‘get to the top’. I know that it’s my life – so it’s no one else’s business – however there is a side to me that worries over ‘rising above my rank’ or station! Maybe dropping speed showed that I might need to calm down, which is funny – as I have been telling myself to go easy and get back to what I love – which is writing!
Seeing the woman in the mall with the crazy hairdo could also be hinting at my public persona. At times, when on Twitter, Facebook etc – I feel like I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone and projecting a ‘crazy’ image of myself. It’s amazing how promoting yourself can feel like you’re entering an invisible circus – especially on the internet.
The rude man in the cafe could symbolize that side of myself that thinks I’m being ridiculous – like biting off more than I could chew, when I ordered the extra sandwiches. However – food symbolizes sustenance, and the fish in the sandwiches could symbolize spirituality. So it could be my inner, masculine self – telling me that I should just work and stop ‘fluffing’ about with the writing and numerology. Or it could represent the negative voice trying to sway me from striving for what inspires me: the authentic life.
The nice man resolved the situation and took my order – pretty much letting me know that it was all ok and I could have what I wanted! I was also worrying about Leon and Noah – so that could mean that I need to do all this for myself and my family – to have something solid and meaningful to pass on to them. (Also to show an example re: living the authentic life!)
Dreaming of money is often a wish fulfilling aspect of the dreamer. We all would love to have our wallets and purses overflowing with cash! The fact that I was worried that others would see, might indicate that I’m either afraid of success – or worried about having to share! I’m a very generous person – so the latter doesn’t seem that feasible to me – yet there is a side of me that is concerned about others taking what’s mine! Especially when the cost of promoting and marketing can be quite daunting!
SUMMARY: Mostly to do with my public persona and how I appear to others: particularly in regards to my writing and my business. I want to succeed – but I’m also afraid of succeeding – for fear of others seeing me in a different light. Overall – I think the dream was trying to tell me that in the end – everything will be ok – and that I still need to be mindful and scale it back, in order to remain authentic. Also – even though others might think I’m crazy – it’s what I think and how I feel that counts. What I leave behind as a legacy is all tied in with following my dreams – but keeping at least one foot on the ground!