Nevertheless, the Pacific—some say the Redwoods—seem to have beckoning power, an influence on people who, apparently without forethought or reason, up and take off for the West: it’s almost like a mini-Goldrush, except this time, there is an element of the unknown about it. One of the most famous ‘transitioners’, Eckhart Tolle said he knew he had to move to the PacificNW because he was being called, but he felt California was too ‘out there’ for his style, so settled in British Columbia, Canada!
The realm of consciousness is much vaster than thought can grasp. When you no longer believe everything you think, you step out of thought and see clearly that the thinker is not who you are’
To each his own. All I know about is another amazing learning curve called culture shock… for another time~~~
I never was one to watch the news, so my lack of internet has only heightened my separation from the ‘old country’ on one level, but hastened my adaptation to my new adoptive one. It is said some of our greatest moments of revelation come when life knocks us for six [cricket terminology, similar to 'out of the ball park' ], but it is also true that going through a transition is like an initiation ceremony in preparation for an event you don’t as yet understand…
Rudyard Kipling said it better than I ever could; I often wonder if he felt like a ‘stranger in a strange land’, a British ‘exile’ in the India of the Raj. In those days, psychosis was something everyone was more polite about: people had ‘the vapors’ or were having an ‘off day’. Sahib Rudyard wrote frivolous children’s fantasy and serious soul-searching poetry to deal with his bipolarity.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
He said a whole lot more—for his time, old Rudyard was the man with the mot juste—
This novelist, poet, literary innovator (1865-1936) also wrote The Jungle Book, and Tiger, Tiger (short story) while transitioning between London and Bombay. I wish we were all so talented. He in turn was inspired by poets of his grandfather’s generation, like William Blake:
If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Williuam Blake (1757-1827)
Both men of their times were inspired by Nature—in their era still plentiful, unendangered and thrilling to witness. What it seems our generation has dealt us are a few scattered rhino, an elephant population preserved in tiny spaces for the cameras, and still (sadly) plentiful zoos. Kipling would be appalled to learn of our disrespect for Nature, our wholesale slaughter of helpless creatures under pressure from big business to cash in.
William Shakespeare said ‘Needs must when the Devil drives…but I prefer Kipling’s calm in the face of mayhem.
The new enlightenment is supposed to come from the West—so say Herr Tolle and others. It looks like I need to take the poet’s advice and keep my head. Solar flares, hell or high water, we writers may be insecure, but we owe it to ourselves to stay in that calm pool: thank you Mr Kipling for allowing us still to dream.
And thanks as ever to Alex and IWSGers, of course.
©2013 Marian Youngblood
June 5, 2013 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, crop circles, fiction, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, IWSG, Just SoStories, leopard, rhinoceros, Rudyard Kipling. William Blake, tiger, transition | 2 Comments
Monthly IWSG Corner
Some time between in post-fifties Britain before the ‘Sixties’ revolution, BBC Radio aired a weekly show, Desert Island Disks, allowing a celebrity castaway to a fictional ‘desert island’ to take with him a handful of favored tunes, to accompany him in his exultant solitude.
Some of you will know I recently moved lock, stock and library shelves to a new abode [PDT is my excuse for being three hours late, Alex]. And while my internet hiccups continue—I know, it’s getting boring—I seem to have discovered a Desert Island Inventory of my own.
Higgledy piggledy among a few other life-enhancing objects—my possessions recently completed a circuit by sea from Europe to North America via the Panama Canal. I add quickly, I did not. I came the other way. And while I am still ‘camping out’, I’m gradually able to open a few boxes, and thought the readers/hoarders/collectors among us IWSGers might enjoy what came out of the first couple of cartons. I swear I didn’t pack them—this was movers’ choice. Isn’t it interesting to see one’s life flash before one’s eyes?
There follows a sample of my lifetime reading—as they emerged from the box. In the opinion of some, a ‘wasted youth’; but IMHO, Goodreads, eat your heart out.
Joseph Conrad: Outcast of the Islands, Limited Ed. Avon, CN 1979
Frank Herbert: God Emperor of Dune, Berkley Books [Putnam's], 1981
Arthur C. Clarke: Childhood’s End, Penguin, 1963
Arthur C. Clarke: 2010 Odyssey Two, Penguin, 1986
The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary—on historical principles—Vol. II N-Z, Clarendon Oxford, 1965 (‘shorter’ edition requires only mild magnifying glass)
William Golding: Lord of the Flies, Capricorn [Putnam's] New York 1959
Fred Hoyle: Astronomy, MacDonald, London, 1962
Robert Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land, Berkley, 1975
Jeffrey Archer: As the Crow Flies, Coronet, Hodder & Stoughton 1991 [no apology]
Shirley MacLaine: Dancing in the Light, Bantam New York, 1987
[in my suitcase as current reading are:
Shirley MacLaine: Going Within,
Ken Carey: Return of the Bird Tribes so I guess my reading habits alter little!]
Victor Hugo: Notre Dame of Paris, Vols I, II & IV[??] Dent London, 1899
Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Ox,U.P. 1979
Mrs Gaskell: Cranford, Nelson, London 1945
True Annals of Fairyland in the Reign of King Herla, Dent London Dutton NY, prob. 1940s
Wallis Budge, E.A., Egyptian Book of the Dead—Papyrus of Ani, Dover NY, 1967
Evans-Wentz, W.Y. Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries Oxford Univ. Press, 1911
Concise Oxford Dictionary [don't ask; handier single volume] Oxford Univ. Press, 1976
Aldous Huxley: Point Counterpoint, Chatto & Windus, London 1938
Thornton Wilder: The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Penguin (2 copies?), 1966, 1971
Innes of Learney, Lord Lyon: Scots Heraldry, Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, 1945
Lyall Watson: Heaven’s Breath, A Natural History of the Wind, Hodder & Stoughton, London 1984
Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Sunday School Union, Ludgate Hill, London 1896
G.Brook-Shepherd: The Last Habsburg, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1968
L & J Laing: Picts and Scots, Sutton, Stroud, 1996
Marion Campbell: The Dark Twin, Colonsay, Argyll, 1973
E.B. Lytton: Last Days of Pompeii, King, London 1832
Bros. Grimm: Household Tales, Dover, London 1963
P.D. James: A Taste for Death, Faber London, 1986
Lyall Watson: Lifetide—Biology of the Unconscious, Coronet 1980
J.V.Luce The End of Atlantis, Paladin [Thames-Hudson], 1973
J.C.Lilly: Centre of the Cyclone, an autobiography of Inner Space Paladin [Thames-Hudson], 1974
J.C.Lilly: The Human Computer; Abacus, 1968
New Oxford Book of English Verse, OUP, 1972
S.Rushdie: The Satanic Verses, Viking, London, 1988
Taylor Caldwell: Dear and Glorious Physician, Fontana/Collins, 1959
Vera Brittain: Testament of Youth, V. Gollancz, London, 1985
Rbt. Burns: Poetic Works, Kilmarnock edition, Scot.Daily Express, Glasgow. 1938.
E.A. Poe: Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Bracken, London, 1987
Salley H.E. & Greer, H.E.: Rhododendron Hybrids, Batsford London, 1986
David Austin: English Roses, RHS, Kew London, 1997
Reader’s Digest Great Illustrated Dictionary, Vol. II L-Z, 1984
One bonus to having even a single volume of the last item: it comes in handy when the wireless goes … I won’t mention it again… but round here, the internet service isn’t called Suddenlink for no reason…
I suspect you’re getting a little insight into my dilemma.
Onward and upward.
Once again, my thanks to Alex and his team of stalwart IWSGers. And a teeny weeny apology for not getting to press under the midnite deadline, EST. Raps own knuckles. Will try better next time.
And, BTW, oh so HAPPY MAY!
©2013 Marian Youngblood
May 2, 2013 Posted by siderealview | authors, culture, fiction, publishing, traditions, writing | Aldous Huxley, Alex J Cavanaugh, Arthur C. Clarke, books, David Austin, Desert Island Disks, Evans-Wentz, Fred Hoyle, inventory, IWSG, Ken Carey, Lewis Carroll, library, Lyall Watson, Mrs Gaskell, Rbt. Heinlein, reading, Robert Burns, roses, Shirley MacLaine | 8 Comments
Monthly IWSG Corner: or
Are [Insecure] Writers better at weathering stormy times than other people?
There is no doubt that—if one watches the news at all—we are all heading for hell in a handbasket, according to media-directed focus on the negative aspects of our economy, environment, life-expectancy and statistics on survival. But, quietly, behind the scenes other aspects of our lives are changing for the good… if we but extract ostrich-like heads from sand and look around to see what we may have achieved.
Some years ago, the book publishing industry used toxic solvents, bleach compounds, felled a lot of non-regenerating trees and had no interest in recycling materials or finding alternatives to the [sometimes candy-coated] printed page. In fact, if we are honest, since the days of the Gutenberg press, we (writers) as a race, have probably been addicted to the sensation/smell of a good book in our hands.
“Achieving the great economic transition to more equitable, ecologically sustainable societies requires nothing less than a design revolution beyond today’s fossilized industrialism. This enlightened and enlightening book—Cradle to Cradle—shows us how and indeed, that ‘God is in the details.’”
Hazel Henderson, author of Building a Win-Win World and Beyond Globalization: Shaping a Sustainable Global Economy
Then, in 2002, along came William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s seminal edition of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things, manufactured from ‘upcyclable’ material. The ‘Durabook’ feels substantial, pages wipe clean and at the time (before the great upswing to e-books), it was the darling of all ‘progressive’ universities. It looked so good on the second-hand book shelf!
With the advent of the e-book, electronic art, IT-in-all-schools, mass web access, we writers may have been guilty of continuing to keep our heads buried in the sand: not wanting to see what was happening: while the industry was changing—writers and indy publishers taking the business under their own wing; writers providing platforms, support systems for fellow-writers—we may even have rebelled internally, determined not to lose that most elusive of pleasures (to an author), the sensation of holding a ‘good book’ in one’s hands.Now, eleven years after their first Durabook (a synthetic made from recycled plastic resins and inorganic fillers), McDonough and Braungart launch their ‘sequel’ from Northpoint Press, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance, on April 16th. The foreword is by former president William T. Clinton. Northpoint is a subsidiary arm of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
In the early 1990s, then President Bill Clinton asked Bill McDonough to help with the White House ‘Greening’ program, to make drastic reductions in presidential fuel bills. The former president enthusiastically contributes to the new ‘durabook’ with a foreword clearly showing his support for the architect-chemist team’s solution to the world’s ills:
“Bill and Michael proposed that a better-designed world would be good for business, good for people’s health and good for the environment. Their first book introduced these ideas to the broader public and gave momentum to the sustainability movement, urging us to eliminate waste and consider no resource dispensable… essence of Bill and Michael’s work is the genuine desire to help others, coupled with intellectual curiosity and a deep commitment to transform ‘good enough’ into the very best. They focus on making the right things the right way.” President William T. Clinton
While the publishing industry may be slow (almost as leviathan as the banking industry, if we are being honest), there is certainly a sense of camaraderie developing among fellow writers-bloggers-authors by the fresh breeze blown in by indy publishers and independent e-book self-publishers in the last decade.
“We do not want sustainability, because that is not enough. We want real quality”
Judging by the press releases, the sequel to Cradle-to-Cradle may be even more inspiring than the original. Eleven years worth the wait? I am not totally confident that we insecure writers—led always to our fearless Alex J Cavanaugh, will succeed in plunging—all at once—into the new world of Durabooks or plastic substitutes, because of … our insecurities, you know: our favorite ‘feel-good’ and ‘smell-good’ sensations are indulged in when we curl up with our… well …you-know-what …
… Or do our insecurities insist that a good book isn’t the same if it doesn’t come from a tree? We shall have to wait and see. Thanks for listening, IWSGers and Alex. And great achievement, Michael Braungart and Bill McDonough.
©2013 Marian Youngblood
April 3, 2013 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, culture, environment, fiction | abundance, Alex J Cavanaugh, book launch, Braungart, Cradle to Cradle, Durabook, good book, Indy publishers, McDonough, Northpoint Press, president, recycle, sustainable, synthetic, Upcycle, William Clinton | 4 Comments
POWER OF A Piscean Stellium
Monthly IWSG Corner
Many times during a new transition, a house move, rearrangement of one’s life, writing has to go on the back burner. Much though we would like to keep up the pace, our stamina—our ability to get through it—flags and we feel the need to let it all go.
Stellium in Pisces
With the present swing in public fancy to the ‘Astroview’, it will astonish nobody to learn that we are currently midway through a major stellium in Pisces. For the uninitiated, this is astrospeak for turmoil of the heart/emotional mayhem throughout the run-up to the new moon [in Pisces] March 10-11th, 2013.
On those nights, the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Chiron, Venus, Mars, Neptune are held in a crucible within the bosom of Pisces—the most emotional, watery, spiritual sign of the zodiac. These bodies already stand in close conjunction, waiting for the Moon.
Following in the wake of the recurring potent three-year-long stress of a Grand Cross, it isn’t surprising that we now feel like a wet dish rag.
Psychic Piscean ‘Go with the Flow’
Life-affirming Piscean tendencies include:
Compassion, forgiveness and healing without sacrificing your self-esteem
Using the energy of the dream/fantasy to create something that touches people
Faith in what’s healthy for you
Letting go of what drags you down
Seeing what lies beyond the mundane world
Allowing things to happen
Less-than constructive qualities include:
Compassion, forgiveness and healing that drains you
Using the energy of the dream/fantasy to become addicted to someone
Faith in anything/everything, whether it’s healthy or not
Letting go of all boundaries
Denying the mundane world
Passively waiting for things to happen
For those who like specifics,
Neptune entered its watery home sign two years ago and will remain in Pisces through 2024;
Mars moved into Pisces: February 1st
Mercury into Pisces: February 5th
Sun into Pisces: February 18th
Venus into Pisces: February 25th
Moon stood in Virgo (full) on February 28th and
will move (new moon) into Pisces March 11th.
The immediate window extends through March 21st, equinox. So, brace yourself!
Being guided by one’s heart and following one’s intuition seems the only way. Or, to translate that in psychiatric concepts: allowing the left hemisphere to dominate—right handedness—will only lead to grief. By allowing our right hemisphere to guide us—left handed creativity—we may pull through this massive—planet-wide—emotional storm.
Sometimes, during Insecure Writers’ Support Week, we get to throw out a little nugget of a favorite subject—astro being one of mine—and our tolerant Ninja Cap’n Alex allows us the liberty of rabbiting on about matters unrelated to the honored art of writing. Such is this post; but since it DOES have a ‘space’ theme, and gives us a little insight into what we’re currently experiencing, never before having been exposed to such a degree of cosmic force, may I wish us all Godspeed and stamina to sail these choppy waters in uncertain times.
To end on a (positive) romantic note, when in trouble, dream…
… and a poem-let of inspiration by my nine-year old muse, inspired by [Neptune and] her ocean vista, top.
The Ocean by Oriah
The Ocean’s waves gracefully in the sunset
Where the seagulls fly
Pink clouds gently float away while the Moon rises
Then the Ocean comes back
No doubt our SpaceCaptain feels mucho at home in the rarified reaches of planetary atmospheres—Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all familiar territory; so maybe wishing ourselves well through this emotional roller-coaster is the best support we can give each other. May all our blogs be guided by superlative cosmic forces… sounds like a phrase from his forthcoming CassaStorm.
Thanks again for being there, fellow IWSGers and Alex.
©2013 Marian Youngblood
March 6, 2013 Posted by siderealview | astrology, authors, blogging, poetry, publishing, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, astrology, crucible, fog, Grand Cross, IWSG, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, moon, Moon in Pisces, Neptune, ocean, Oriah, Pisces, Saturn, seagull, stellium, sunset, Venus, waves | 3 Comments
MONTHLY IWSG CORNER
For us bloggers, insecure or otherwise, this might be seen as a boon, a blessing, a break away from the electrons which pull us relentlessly through the freeze of winter and into a, hopefully, more forgiving spring; or we may be so accustomed to computereze and the flow of the airwaves that we stress and tear our hair until the little gizmo, all innocent and apologetic, turns itself back on.
I ought to show bravery, fortitude, like our Ninja Capn. Alex, and just write by hand until my little comp changes her mind and acquiesces… but after years of being wired, I—and I’m sure several other IWSG-ers—get irritated, try to bake bread, make cookies, or throw our energy into non-writing-related artistic activities, hoping the hiccup will pass.But, what it comes down to is this: we have—since approximately 1993 or so—stepped up our writing skills to take advantage of internet versatility [communication with others being a supreme advantage; almost like personal mindreading] and we take it hard when our toys fall off the shelf or play hard-to-get.
So this monthly mutter from me may seem unwarranted—if you are in the fortune zone [E.coast US, Atlantic Ocean? and the Falklands!]—but for the rest of us, I say hold on, keep a calm sough—sorry:that’s a very old Scoticism which sounds like a sigh —and be prepared to knock out the words in duplicate, in tandem, in spades even, when the ethers deign to bring our connection back into the land of the living.
Meantime, the night sky and starry heavens have more to teach us than frustration. And the Universe is sentient, so perhaps it is listening and our prayers may be answered.
Thanks, as ever, to our fearless leader and to all you (countless) brave minions out there in bit-and-bite-land.
©2013 Marian Youngblood
IWSGers New Year’s Corner 2013Winter mode–solstitial ‘standing still’–affects us all to a greater or lesser hibernatory degree, so once again my apologies this month for brevity: but I hope the quality of my young guest IWSGer’s poem will make up for that, and add a little youthful passion and mystery to the mix as well.
I’ve mentioned my talented granddaughter Oriah, aged nine, before. She is currently giving me ideas for stories which seem so much more exciting than my own. And her own evening media entertainment has also opened up new spheres for me: Victor Hugo and the Great Barrier Reef (Finding Nemo) courtesy Disney cartoon, H.G.Wells’ classic, the updated version… makes one long to create on the spot a new scifi classic or extra-terrestrial world never before contemplated…In addition to the certainty of her age group (oh, what ecstasy to have such innocence and belief that one can create anything one wants), she is also fairly cool herself when conversing about states of matter, extra-dimensional ways of thinking, and especially as she is currently working her way through the intricacies of algebra and math-algorhythms along with the ‘magic numbers’, [don’t ask!], her dedication is awesome. So it struck me that her venture into poetry was pretty daring, considering she is new to the medium.
On an IWSG note, one of the delights of the pre-teen mind is that everything has a thrill, a potential; and a twist to the story can always be added to change the whole thing around, without messing it up. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Plot and storyline are spontaneous, pure fountains of creative thought, without an edit pencil anywhere near one’s consciousness. Would we could all go back to the drawing board with that kind of attitude. Who knows? we might revolutionize the fiction world.
To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom
CAT IN THE WINDOW
“Black cat in the window eyes were like gold
When the legend was told
The collar was silver
When the lights went out, nothing was told
“When the dead tree turns into the shape of a hand
the full moon in the misty night
the howls of the coyote
Then the black cat in the window turns into gold”
Bertram Russell touched on the crux of our adult angst in the quote above. To the open consciousness of the world before double figures, there is nothing to be afraid of. That, too, could be something we grownups might like to contemplate in this new year; with no apocalypse, no fiery earth-plunging meteor threat, perhaps we owe it to ourselves to release our personal fears and doubts, put on our cloak of invisibility and a whiff of that nine-year old confidence, and go out there and knock ‘em dead in 2013.
My new year wish is genuine: if I had my way, it would be book launches all round for IWSGers. But I also believe it is up to us to take whatever surprises 2013 has in store for us and make it happen..
2013 could just be that year!
Thanks to Oriah, Walt Disney and to our Cap’n at the helm, Alex J Cavanaugh.
©2013 Marian Youngblood
Monthly IWSG Corner
“I’m Late, I’m Late
For a Very Important Date…
No Time to say ‘Hello’; Goodbye.
I’m Late, I’m Late, I’m Late”
White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland
Put it down to being on another planet for the last month—California is another time zone—but truly it can also be a whole ‘nother world…
And, apologies to our Ninja captain Alex for transposing the first Wednesday of the month and attempting to re-create it as faux. I couldn’t miss you guys altogether. It’s just that my schedules and my life have taken a slight detour in the interim…
Mostly, sorry for being absent—moving house-life-continents can be rather demanding
and, for similar reasons, for this month’s brief contribution. It’s not really a moan at all—more a hi to all of you/Alex’s brave stalwarts out there —including his new lady co-hosts !! wow !! Livia and Tasha. Thanks to you all for still keeping us with the pen on the page; the book launch in sharp focus, the literary nose to the grindstone…
New Meaning to the Word ‘Wireless’
To be honest, the last month has been an exercise in experiencing and cherishing the wonder of electronic connection. Most of us don’t give it a second thought, unless there is a solar X-flare surge in our local electricitiy supply or a city power outage: usually, grateful for our cozy office or window view and a computer… we stress instead about not communicating with our Muse… or other lovely literary languishing.
But without internet—or wi-fi in some form—the Western World, our current little chats, frivolous interplay and supportive commentary—wouldn’t have a platform; wouldn’t exist on any plane whatsoever.
Basic intercontinental travel is only half the issue: we have all probably experienced the vagueries of wi-fi in big airports: the smaller the airport, the less likelihood of a reliable connection. Been there, done that. Now, several weeks, and a hinterland later, I am graced with sporadic wireless when the Universe—and the current 2000-foot mountain range—allow.
Like General MacArthur: I shall return; but in the meantime, guys, thanks for listening, hang in there, pray for no more solar X-flares, and other delights the Universe might throw at us in the rest of 2012 … and enjoy the season and the runup to Solstice 2012.
Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh, Walt Disney.
©2012 Marian Youngblood
December 6, 2012 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, culture, Muse, popular, writing | Alex J Cavanaugh, Insecure Writers, IWSG, Ninja captain, power outage, solar X-flare, solstice 2012, wi-fi | 6 Comments
Monthly IWSG Corner
We all know when the Muse is directing operations, it’s better if we just go along with her, with the tide, and allow her full rein. It’s important to give her loads of room to stir up the subconscious, and then wait and see what little miracles she has planned for us.
At other times, when the outer world directs—like editors, publishers, book-signings; that whole exciting round of putting oneself out there—it sometimes takes us by storm and we need to follow that flow, too.
But our Muse doesn’t like it; does she? Even when we tell her she needs to rest occasionally. Like her human charges, all work and no play… you know.
I wish it were as easy as it sounds: deciding when to write, and when not to. But, especially in the writing-publishing world, it’s never that simple. We writers aren’t totally in charge.
To be honest, we probably never were. We may think—especially during edit-mania—that the left hemisphere of our brain is running the show. But, even then, the direction is more likely to be coming from the reading public, what our publisher expects, what the market wants; what subjects are current darlings of the book-club circuit.
So, because I have been working flat-out—over the last month, at least—to try to get through final edits on my apocalyptic/end-times New Age novel, SHASTA: CRITICAL MASS, forthcoming from lovely Maine publisher, All Things That Matter Press, I have to say upfront I have probably let down my blogging/authorly friends in Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group. I know how good it feels to hear a word of encouragement from others in the same position—writers and bloggers and authors beginning to make a name for themselves out there—so I apologize if I haven’t had a chance to make the usual rounds of IWSG authors’ pages in the last few weeks. I promise I’ll try to make up for it, when the current push subsides.On the other hand, there may be quite a few IWSG-ers whose work is ideally suited to the ATTM ethos, so I’ll explain. They are a small press who like to introduce to the world of readers those authors who have a message—predominantly spiritual—to relay, a distinctive “self”, which they’d like to share. In these times where the ‘Big Five’ often have little patience with first-time authors or new discoveries, their approach is refreshing. Run by husband-and-wife team, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Phil and Deb Harris, the system operates smoothly, and the cogs are well-oiled and kept rolling by a team of editors, including the superb Marvin Wilson, himself a blogger and author of several books, including the Avatar-Award-winning novel, Owen Fiddler (2009). I couldn’t be in better hands.
For IWSG-ers, it may be of interest to point out that Marvin is also a mentor who delights in assisting writers, bloggers, other authors in the art of good writing.
That said, my Muse is feeling a little restless. She doesn’t like taking a back seat. Edits and reworked points-of-view (POV) are not what she thrives on. But I have told her that she, like me, should take a break from time to time. We all need to make the Journey Out and In. Besides, I’ve had a couple of chapter rewrites where she seemed delighted to pitch in again and throw her weight around!
And, if all goes well, she will be allowed to stretch her wings fully once more next month, when the annual NaNoWriMo marathon starts up again for all of us fledgelings to soar, unencumbered, to dizzy heights.
Until then, I hope she will a-Muse herself—sorry —and I have reminded her that we have even greater (Muse-ical) avatars who paced this path before us:
Gazing past the Planets
Looking for total view
I’ve been lying here for hours
Got to make the Journey Out and In
Thank you ©Moody Blues.
And thank you, Alex.
©2012 Marian Youngblood
October 3, 2012 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, fiction, Muse, novel, publishing | Alex J Cavanaugh, AllThingsthatMatterPress, apocalyptic, deadline, edit, Insecure Writers Support Group, IWSG, Journey Out & In, Moody Blues, Muse, novel, POV, Shasta: Critical Mass | 6 Comments
Writing should be an act of love; all else is a scribble—”écrire c’est un acte d’amour; ne pas faire c’est escriture” Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau clearly didn’t have a lot of deadlines; or else he was so secure within himself that they didn’t phaze him. Well, some of us DO write only when we’re inspired and in love with our words, but there are other times…aaarrrgggh.
No, I didn’t say that Alex J Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers’ Support Group [IWSG] stresses me with deadlines! But I did completely lose track first Wednesday last month, posting something which even Alex must have thought indicated I had lost it. So I am giving a quick apology now to any who read my cropcircle item at that time, as a bonus, or for misleading those who searched my site for other relevant material and ended up reading my (much older) post on how Myers-Briggs sees us flighty authors!
Blame it on the weather! Or something.
It is true: the 2012 season (which in Britain has been dire) since having early summer in March, resorted to Arctic gales and rainstorms from April through August, and now that September has arrived, only the most hardy of us mortals lingers outdoors to pick up the fragments of petunia blossoms, and rose petals hurled from their stems. It could get anyone down—in their right mind.But we writers have never been really in our right minds, have we? And, as we all know, if we’re feeling down, or insecure, or unable to cope for any reason, it always helps to reach out and help another. So if you guys are still with me, reading/writing and supporting each other, you may find it gratifying to stretch out the hand of friendship—even if your fingers are full of petals and your mind full of untyped words—because this month marks one whole year that the IWSG has been together, and it has grown from just a few writerly bloggers to an amazing 276 people out there sharing their tips, fears, doubts or just plain helping other budding writer/bloggers along. Alex, our Ninja captain, is a great one for holding out a helping hand—besides he posts FAR MORE FREQUENTLY than I do—so if you are in any doubt about joining our disparate gang, [I said disparate, not desperate] I heartily recommend it.
Besides, in reading and visiting the blogs of others—even if you haven’t really got one going yourself—you develop a ‘feel’ which just could turn into something you’ve always wanted to try, but never had the guts to. Now’s your chance.
P.S. My criticism of world weather may sound unreasonable, particularly in the wake of hurricane Isaac, which seemed intent on doing a Katrina around the Mississippi basin; I don’t mean to steal any thunder. My dear goddaughter is a doc in one of the emergency rooms in NOLA and she says it wasn’t pretty; but the great thing we all share about WEATHER is that it changes; and there is always hope for us writers that our togetherness—hugely assisted by the friendly electrons of the internet—will give us the feeling of holding hands across the waves [literal and metaphorical], so that we know we are not alone.
For that reason alone, I am grateful for having found IWSG and want to wish it happy birthday. I also wish Alex godspeed with his third novel CassaStorm—go to his site and reeeeead about it—like his other two, it is destined for huge success.
Thanks for being there IWSG buddies.
Have a good September.
©2012 Marian Youngblood
September 5, 2012 Posted by siderealview | authors, blogging, fantasy, fiction, novel | Alex J Cavanaugh, Arctic, blogging, Insecure Writers Support Group, Isaac, IWSG, Jean Cocteau, NOLA, September | 6 Comments
Monthly IWSG gets a Chill PillFirstly, may I wish all my American cousins, writerly, IWSGy or not, a stupendous Independence Day for 2012; I can’t help but notice that in the 236 years since you began this great celebration of your freedom—from the shackles of your colonial rellies—us Brits—relations between us have remarkably improved.
—Two cultures divided by a common language—
Geoerge Bernard Shaw
Although this time of the month I usually reserve for bloghopping, whispering our creative woes, or rejoicing in support of Alex J. Cavanaugh‘s regular bloghop/blast-off by insecure writers, IWSG, our fearless leader—with two sci-fi bestsellers in the bag; his third a WIP—has given us a reprieve*. Independence Day is, he believes, such a national holiday, a day of celebration, that it is worth setting aside any commitments or prior promises, and instead get out there and …er … blast off in another direction: with fireworks.
*Alex knows us writers well; technically, he gave us the option to post either today or tomorrowIn Britain, ‘health-and-safety’ concerns make it illegal now to shoot fireworks, except on the anniversary of November 5th, when in 1605 Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament situated in the medieval Palace of Westminster, London. It seems in our shared nature that we like to explode spectacular visual patterns on our consciousness and feel good when we do it.
So I thought that, instead of having a monthly moan, or catching you up on my latest literary contest rejection, I would use this month’s bloghop as an excuse to have a bit of visual fun—a mini slideshow— with the new images appearing in the (mostly British) cornfields; It’s my way of contributing to the US holiday; and isn’t it interesting to explore why certain images, like going to the movies, make us feel good. It works, however much or little we understand about the phenomenon.
Catchup for Beginners
By far the most-favored fields are those in the ancient neolithic kingdom of Wessex—Stonehenge and Glastonbury come to mind. Mostly confined to a small portion of chalk—limestone—ridges and fields in central Wiltshire, whose underground aquifers measure highly as an electric/energy current conductor, crop circles have in recent years appeared to highlight their surroundings, manifesting in the vicinity of ancient sacred centers like Avebury stone circle and neolithic Silbury Hill—largest man-made mound in Europe.It is true that more people have become aware of their ancient heritage through following the cropcircle trail… And wasn’t it the Native American who advocated following the route led by Nature into the Sacred Ways of the Ancestors?
You Americans did well to burst out in your independence. We Brits are still culturally guilty of too much criticism and cynicism. Maybe the crop circles are telling us to lighten up. And it has not escaped anyone’s notice that we are now midway through the year predicted by the Ancestors as a year of ‘signs’—eclipses and Venus transit included.While previous years have focused on dimensional and coded designs, it is too early to tell which way 2012 will go—both the flower-of-life and Disneyland palace have precedents—but the season is hotting up. There were fourteen English crop circles in June, and July usually doubles that number. For a more in-depth view, read my main consciousness and crop circle blog at Siderealview.
A couple of anthropomorphic designs—’alien mother’ and her babies—have gotten people excited into anticipating a heavy ET element. The internet has much speculation on UFOs and ETs creating the circles, particularly in Mexico and Italy, where more formations have appeared this year than ever before.It is encouraging that several Facebook groups, some serious, others critical, do much to keep concensus and interpretation at a high level.
Like Alex’s wonderful IWSG initiative here, where through his intention and focus to get us together, he has built up a lovely group mind among us, encouraging us to stretch out the hand of friendship, to share, and help each other out; so, an element of cohesion or group consciousness can be seen developing in embryo form within the most dedicated groups in the croppie world.
And, besides, having fun has always been a good way to recharge our batteries. So I hope my little bit of holiday divertissement adds a cultural twist to what I’m sure has already been a roaring success on the other side of the Atlantic.
Besides, we may indeed be enjoying our way into a better future. There’s …..hope for us all.
©2012 Marian Youngblood
July 5, 2012 Posted by siderealview | ancient rites, blogging, crop circles, culture, festivals, history, seasonal | 2012, Alex J Cavanaugh, Alien, alkaline aquifer, Ancestors, Avebury, bloghop, consciousness, crop circles, dimensions, electricity conductor, ET, flower-of-life, group mind, IWSG, medieval, Neolithic, Palace of Westminster, sacred, UFO | 6 Comments
Lots of writers use a nom de plume to distinguish between their personae - it’s the way publishing works. Blogs, too. What choice, what abundance: we can be guided by all our Muses and still retain our integrity (who doubts it?)if we are prone to take one persona more seriously than another. For this blog I become this particular blogger because the material is time-sensitive; the research is all coming together now and our way forward is mapped. That said, it’s up to us whether we take the information and run with it.
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