On Track – Wow, is it the end of March already?

I am so due for this post, and as I glanced at the calendar, I could not believe that it is the end of March already – someone is playing with time, I tell you – cosmic craziness.  Well, that led me to realize that I am on my way to accomplish the two major goals that I set at the beginning of the year.  These were to publish Moonlit Valley and Ramblings of the Spirit in 2013.  I just worked on the last proof for the past couple of days, and I think that Ramblings of the Spirit will be ready for the beginning of April.  And as you all know, Moonlit Valley is available through Amazon and Smashwords, as well as expanded distribution channels.  As I am looking at things this minute, I think that I will be able to accomplish my third goal of finishing the writing/editing of The Book of Sharon, book 2 of The Dinorah Chronicles. Wish me luck.

Another major goal that hubby and I have for 2013 is to make a huge dent on fixing the farmhouse; however, we have not been able to travel there so far, and the weather has been a bit crummy (makes me feel better).  Now, if I could only win the lottery, that will take care of it; however, the goals for the farmhouse are still in place and we still have three quarters of the year to make it happen – more wishes of luck needed here, so please send all your positive vibrations, good and fairy wishes my way 🙂

And to celebrate, I leave you with my favorite song, and what I think should be the theme song for Moonlit Valley“No Sound But The Wind” by The Editors, and these video is by Youtubers Theseboredkids.  Enjoy it again! Cheers!

 

 

Novel Update Brought to You by a Turtle

Slow as a turtle; this is how I describe the process.  Well, so far I have worked in getting Moonlit Valley ready to publish, and in the meantime, I have been working on small changes and tidying up of Ramblings of the Spirit.  I started writing The Book of Sharon, and can’t wait to have all these pieces that may seem apart now, fall together in harmony.  Self publishing is tons of work, that I can tell you.

I came across this beautiful song and immediately thought of Moonlit Valley – it fits the story perfectly, so I wanted to share it with you.  It is “No Sound But the Wind” by the Editors.  It is an awesome song.  I love their songs.  Here is a video that I found in YouTube from theseboredkids, who did a great job with it.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  In the meantime, I will go back to work 🙂

Thinking About Book Marketing for Introverts

For the purpose of this post, let me start by defining an introvert as someone who enjoys solitude, quiet environments, and working by himself/herself as opposed to someone who enjoys live and upbeat/crazy environments and group work, as well as the spotlight.  You may be an introvert and love to socialize, and not necessarily consider yourself a shy person.  For example, you may prefer the coziness of a small book club to an auditorium full of people, discussing the same topic, and you may prefer one on one interaction to group action.

These days, even if you are an introvert writer, you will be faced with making choices when it comes to selecting how you will market your book.  Technology and the internet opened the doors to many good authors allowing them to share their work – doors that once were slammed in their faces by traditional publishing.  In a world where viral can happen to anyone, introvert authors may find themselves in the spotlight, without even wanting it.  With it comes the interviews, the shows, podcasts, invitations, speaking engagements … and so on.  What is an introvert author to do?  Well, he/she may go with the flow (even if it becomes too much), or he/she may become selective and do things according to a level of “self-preservation” and comfort.

If you are on the “quiet side” don’t let the noise of the “new way of doing things” prevent you from following your dream.  When it comes to marketing your book, you don’t have to do what everyone does.  The purpose of marketing something is just to put the word out there so people know it is available and can make an informed decision whether to purchase it or not (in the case of a product) or to contribute to it or not ( in the case of charity or money-raising events).  You can tailor the marketing to the activities that you enjoy doing, and take advantage of social networking and technology to do them more efficiently.  For example, lets say that there is no way that you will have your face plastered via your YouTube channel to reach readers, because the thought of it makes you sick; however, you love blogging and you love forums, and this is a way by which you can achieve the same marketing results.  You may not want to go on a book tour(s), but you have no trouble with doing one on one interviews, or small group readings.

Those were just examples on how to tailor marketing to the activities that you enjoy, thus eliminating the dislike factor and making the process enjoyable.  People prefer a genuine you than a “stiff/scared forced to do this” you.  When I watch informative videos on YouTube, I go for the ones that show me a down to earth person who seems genuine and seems to be enjoying what he/she is doing.  I stay away from the clips in which a stiff person is trying to sell me something and making a fake effort so it doesn’t come across that way.  My point is, being genuine at what you do, even if it is only one activity, will turn better results than doing tons of activities that you don’t enjoy just because that is what the “experts” say you should do to sell more books, have more traffic, and gain readers.

If you don’t like the spotlight, you can always dim the lights to your level of comfort.  You never know, maybe the activities that you enjoy will lead you to activities that you didn’t know you enjoy.  When marketing your book, do the things that you love to spread the good news and be genuine, generous, and thankful about it.  The guts to live your dream takes many times, just showing up to what matters in life – to what matters to you, and not adopting a one size fits all approach.

How I Scare Myself Silly

Ghost?!

Ghost?! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This happened to me about two weeks ago or so.  The coincidence is so amusing to me, hence I am writing this post.  You are going to laugh when I tell you this, but come on, you know, what are the chances?  On Saturday night, hubby and I were ready to go to bed but decided to watch a YouTube movie on the lap top (they are free).  He picked 11-11-11 since we had not seen it and it seemed interesting.  Anyhow, this shows you what a way to spook myself silly.

So we start watching, he fell asleep for most of it but I watched it all.  It is about this man who keeps seeing the number 11.11 in different ways in his life – mom dies on that date, wife and son too, and other stuff.  He doesn’t believe in God, and his father is dying in Spain, his brother is a priest, but they have a strained relationship.  He travels to Spain and  soon, starts seeing weird stuff at his brother’s home – which happens to be a church too, He sees shadows, demons … and he thinks he has to save his brother, a prophet.  And I won’t tell you anything else because I don’t want to give it away.  So the movie ends, Eddie is up, and gets ready to turn the computer off, then, I happen to glance at the time on the clock near our bed, while the credits are rolling on the screen.  The time is 11:07, and I say “Oh my God” (just keep in mind that I just saw the movie).  This is our conversation.

Eddie – “Whaaat?”
Me – “Don’t turn it off, if what I think is going to happen, does happen, I will be so spooked that I will not sleep all night.”
Eddie – “Why are you looking at that crap (the credits)?”
Me – “Just watch the credits till the end of the movie, and watch the clock when the last one of the credits roll, just watch.”

So, he is looking at me like I am kind of a maniac, and I kept watching as the last of the credits roll, we look at each other (mouths opened).

Eddie – “This is so weird.” He starts laughing hysterically.
Me – “See, I told you, the movie ended at exactly 11:11.  That is so freaking scary, and why are you laughing, you should be as spooked as I am, now I will not sleep until you play some Mr. Bean clips or Eddie Murphy clips, to calm me down.”

Anyhow, he did, and then he was awake and he watched a karate movie and I went to sleep like a baby.  But it doesn’t end there, on Sunday, it was nice so we decided to go to the Collingswood Flea Market.  It was a good day for a good stroll.  Mind you, I still have the movie on my mind and thinking about synchronicity.

We picked up some coffee at the local Wawa.  The woman parked next to us, turns on her car, to leave, and it starts but shuts down, then quick starts on the next try, and she drives off.  We arrived at the market, and while I am looking at some old stuff on one of the tables, the man next to me tells the vendor – “the lights on your truck are on.”  The vendor says, “Thank you so much for letting me know,” and he goes to turn them off.

We keep walking and then it is time to head to the car.  We get in, and when Eddie starts it, it doesn’t start – the battery died because he forgot to turn the lights off (there was fog early).  So here we are, miles away from home, on a Sunday, figuring out how to get back (we don’t carry AAA).  Eddie gets off the car and walks towards a man who is heading to his car.  He asked him if he could jump us and explains what happened.  The gentleman says no problem, and he helps Eddie and the car starts right away (took less than a minute).  He didn’t want to take any money saying “No, I just did you a favor,” and he left.  I am inside the car all this time, and I look at the cap that the man is wearing, he is a Mason.  I can’t thank him enough for helping us.

Then, as we get ready to leave, this woman points to the eagle on the hood of the car and smiles, and yelled something that we could not make out, as she kept walking.  As we start rolling getting out of the parking lot, we stop just in time, because a car that is backing up, almost hit us.  I read the bumper sticker and this is what I see – “Don’t let the car fool you, my treasure is in Heaven.”  I said to Eddie, “come on, could this day get weirder or what?”  He, of course, is in la-la land and asks, “what are you talking about?”  I reply, “never mind, let’s go home.”

So this is a perfect example of how I spook myself silly, but you have to admit that some of the coincidences were amusing, none the least.

Uranium Mining and Milling in Virginia is a Dangerous Idea

If the moratorium that has kept a ban from mining Uranium in the Coles Hill area of Chatham – Pittsylvania County, VA – is lifted, may God bless VA weather and the residents who live there (including me when I finally get to move there after restoring the old farmhouse – just five miles away from the proposed site).

Instead of writing  a list about why it is a bad idea, let me leave the reader with a few YouTube videos that I found, which will give you an idea of how dangerous lifting this ban is, and mostly it is all about VA type of weather and hydrology.

The first video will give the reader a bit of history on how this all started.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6rVUkyq_Wc

About what residents living there will loose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL1Ich2dWRw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_epFdrAIxbY

Huge flood in Coles Hill area – 1996

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7mcUYAi_O4

North Carolina joins to support the ban and this is why this affects NC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_mtFZMf1_w

The last speaker on this video makes a good point

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nnQ4AmWiL8

The people from Pittsylvania County and beyond do not want the ban to be lifted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30giLNF9NpQ

And I leave you with this last video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4TKOqLPvmE

If this ban is lifted, living in this small town would be hell.  Just think of the pollutants, the noisy equipment, constant movement of mine vehicles … and just picture the worst case scenario …  May God bless Pittsylvania County, its residents, and all the people beyond this area who will be affected.

Please sign the petition to keep the ban.

http://keeptheban.org/

Of Faith and Seamonkeys

Have you ever doubt your existence?  I have to admit that since I noticed the change in lunar and solar activity (see previous post with pictures), I visited YouTube looking for videos of people who have experienced the same.  A few of them were jokes and alien propaganda … but others seemed legitimate, and were only of people filming what they thought was wrong with the moon or sun from their perspective or points of reference (a building, a window …)  This made me think a bit about my existence and what I think of it.

Here is how I see it.  I need a purpose to exist, the mere organic existence just doesn’t do it for me; I mean, I do believe in a Creator of all (although not in the traditional religious sense) and I have searched for my purpose for the longest.  It keeps me going through thick and thin.  In addition, I like the concept of faith – whether it is faith in a God or Creator, Spirit, Soul, Science, Beauty, the Human Spirit, or the Universe or universal and natural order of things.  The point is that I see purpose and faith in one of those above mentioned things closely related to our existence on the planet and the universe, whether you are an Atheist, Agnostic, a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist … you put your faith and purpose in something, even if you worship the Devil, you put your belief in something, and it gives you purpose to keep going in one direction.

Many of these videos talked about observations, theories, government conspiracy, a holographic moon, a fake moon, FEMA renting acres of land to store tons of coffins and aerial/terrestrial pictures and video of those … and other interesting stuff (as long as it was presented organized and in a serious way).  The topic of seamonkeys popped in my mind.  What if we were somebody’s seamonkeys?  What if we were an experiment, an organic test …?  What if our existence was a mere organic existence or one compared to a Truman Show existence?  What if there was no real purpose?

I did not like were my brain was headed – no purpose?  Then I asked myself how would I feel about this, if one day, I was told that there is nothing more than a tiny test terrarium called Earth and that it was all an interesting experiment, that evolution was just started to see how far it  would all go, and that we created everything else, given a few cues here and there.   I pondered this and I got my answer.  Here is my answer to that possibility.

First, realizing that the concepts of faith, purpose, science or creator, spirituality, or universal order  had been eliminated, I would be a very Pissed Human.  I would be mad at everything around me, then would have considered most of my existence futile and useless.  I would have no goals left, and I would crash for a while – my world, just as Truman’s world, would crash.  After that, one amazing thing started to happen once the fireworks and anger subsided – I looked around me and saw all the beauty inside the terrarium/tank, all the friends and loved ones, and all the other seamonkeys around it.  I saw the beauty that these creatures created out of nothing, out of a lie, and realized that all along, the faith and purpose, the creator, the science and the universe, was not outside the terrarium, but on the inside of every seamonkey on that terrarium called Earth.  After that, the rest didn’t matter at all, there was no anger, and there were only possibilities, tons of possibilities, many of them outside the terrarium, others on the inside, and many others, tons of them, in a world with no limits, no constraints, and no boundaries.

And that is, my friends,  the answer to my question.