Friday, March 28, 2014

Coming Out of Your Box

What box are you in? You don’t think you're in one? It's what controls your life and limits you.
When writers write, their limitations come through. The audience feels it and may not choose to be governed by your limiting beliefs—your inauthentic self. Oh, you have an audience for those in boxes similar to yours, but try and expand to a wider audience and you find yourself limited, which reinforces your fear of letting go. I challenge writers to ease out, break out, smash out of your boxes by letting more of your true self shine.

Fear is the biggest box, maybe the only box. We all have fears but we are not all honest with ourselves about them. Or we do not choose to look at our fears, because then we might have to change – and well, we don’t want change (the evil you know is better than the evil you don’t know).

We have our public persona and we have our private persona – and we have our secrets known to only a few. As a writer, I see too many other writers fear to let their private self slip into their public persona. There is even the idea that letting your personal self come through can damage your career. But being the rebel that I am, I let a lot into my public persona, to the point of throwing out some outrageous stuff to shake people up and get them thinking and re-evaluating their concepts.

I have come to the conclusion that that is exactly the fear I want to challenge and get past, even if it means I never have an audience for my writing. On the other hand, I just might find a different audience that I gave little or no thought to before now. Perhaps everyone on my Facebook page will unfollow me for some of the outrageous stuff I put out, but then, maybe I will gain a whole new set of followers who ‘get’ me. Since I herald from a unique group of those with ‘hippy’ ideas, who don’t really give a flying fig what society thinks, I’m in large company.

I digress a moment. When the hippie ‘movement’ began it was a time when all the ‘movements’ of the 60’s began exploding. A new wave of energy came through to incite us to change. Everyone fell along the lines their spirit vibrated to (a hippie expression-sorry). We moved into politics, civil rights, women’s freedoms or no-more-war movements -- or explored changing art forms, or new age philosophies, etc., etc. The energy moved us to make changes, but it also moved those who opposed change -- those in power that felt the threat of new thinking, and its inevitable weakening of their power structure that kept us nicely contained. They dug in deep, trying to put up blocks against this surge that formed to take back our freedoms.

Now don’t expect a linear, exact timeline from me. You’ll only get the essence of what occurred because the point I am making is that the second wave of change is coming. Those that ‘feel’ it are preparing themselves – or struggling to hang onto the old, the safe; the ‘evil we know.’

I’m throwing this out there for you to think about, to challenge you to open up to a greater part of yourself that wants to shine. Don’t stay in your box, whether you're a writer or not.

If you stop and give yourself some quiet reflection time, you will feel that part of you deep inside wanting, pushing to be free.
Do you recognize the changes you are being pushed to make? Will you make them or will you stay in your box?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Writer Going on a Road Trip

Heading out to Monterey, California. The Left Coast Crime Mystery Conference starts Wednesday with a workshop by best selling authors Jan Burke and Jerrilyn Farmer. I'm looking forward to the trip with a girlfriend and fellow writer/critique partner--her first mystery Con (we be writing Romance now).


I'm heading up a panel of 'amateur sleuth' writers. Why they chose me is still a bit of a confusion because my novel is less sleuth and more paranormal, suspense, hero's journey, but I accepted the challenge for the experience of being a moderator.  So here are my panel mates and the book they are promoting (Sunday, March 23 at 10:15 - 11:00) :


Margaret Dumas:  Dumas lives in the San Francisco Bay area. She was shortlisted for the CrimeWritersAssociation Debut Dagger award for her first novel, Speak Now, which Publishers Weekly dubbed a “sparkling debut.” The sequel, How to Succeed In Murder, was released in May of 2006 to glowing reviews.

      Speak Now – comic cozy meets crazed spy thriller


Denise Weeks:  describing herself as novelist and failed hippie, launches her new book: APRIL, MAYBE JUNE

      Murder by the Marfa Lights – Cozy soft-boiled mystery set in Marfa, Texas, among the Marfa Mystery Lights (ghost lights) and a cast of eccentrics. Gentle humor, Ariadne French and her older sister Zoe are co-sleuths in this suspenseful tale. There are oddball eccentrics, a crazy town that trades on its fame as the home of the Marfa Mystery Lights and a mystical Native American lawyer.


Jill Amadio:  An award-winning journalist, author, collaborator, ghostwriter, and screenwriter.

      Digging Too Deep - Feisty British gossip columnist Tosca Trevant is banished to the U.S. at the request of Buckingham Palace. Idly snooping out of sheer boredom, she stumbles across what she believes to be human remains in a recently widowed music professor’s rock garden. Tosca asks a retired U.S. Secret Service agent for help, and by solving the riddle of a coded music score, the two sleuths bring a serial killer to an unexpected end.


Marta Chausee: is a wanderer with a long history of foolhardy adventures. She crossed the Sahara in a beat down, rusty old Jeep with three friends and fifteen crazed Moroccans, Once, out of funds, she stowed away in the luggage rack of a train compartment from Gibraltar to Madrid. Just before the troubles, she explored the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, alone and happy, for twelve hours.
(we recently met and hit it off right away--both of us have that, 'let's try it and see what happens' gene)

            Murder’s Last Resort -- Set in the go-go 80s on a swank Florida hotel property, Murder’s Last Resort amateur detective, Maya French, is challenged to find and stop a sophisticated murderer, who has infiltrated and is disrupting the Sapphire Hotels and Resorts Awards Conference.


. . .  and myself, Cora Ramos: Quiet and innocent appearing until an adventurous opportunity presents itself, then I have to dive in and go for it. I trust in the powers that be to keep me safe from my, at times, foolhardy self. One of those adventures was in Mexico, the experiences from which my first novel was born.    

           Dance the Dream Awake – Not technically an amateur sleuth, Tessa Harper is on a mission to find out why she is having unrelenting nightmares of a Mayan sacrifice. She travels to Mexico, into the Yucatan, which forces her to experience another lifetime where her past begins to make connections to the people in her life now, one of whom is murdered as a result of her probing. What she learns will change her forever.

If you get to the conference, come on up and introduce yourself. Love to meet you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Renegade Life

Renegade/Rebel:   a person who resists authority, control, or tradition.

Several years ago when I first became enamored by the idea of starting a blog, the only material I could come up with was for a travel blog. I wasn’t ready to put my more intimate thoughts out into the world.

Along came Kristen Lamb and I took an on-line class from her to learn to use social media for promotion (because I had a novel I was finishing and knew I needed to get started thinking about that). She helped us define our log lines; our defining lens through which we see the world. But I wasn’t ready for her log line for me, from the Mothership. I still laugh when I read that. I know I am ‘spacey’ at times, but I don’t want anyone thinking I’m some sort of kook (my insecurity) so I chose instead, ‘straddling the edge,’ or something like that, but last year changed it to ‘writing through time’ because I write stories that entail reincarnation and past lives.
I just finished a second novel that is the past life of two of my characters from my first novel, Dance the Dream Awake. This second story, Haiku Dance, came out of the novel I had begun writing as a follow-up, but was so strong I had to make it into its own stand alone—a love story (romance genre-now in the process of looking for a publishing home).

Through the years of doing this blog, the subject matter has been all over the place while finding my legs for this journey. I’ve gotten braver about revealing my thoughts (I’m a very private person, usually). A psychic friend I had years ago did a Tarot spread for me once, revealing a life I had in Persia that entailed running away with my lover to travel around the country buying and selling things-a gypsy life in which I wrote down the stories of the people we met along the way.

That reading came back to me when years later my husband and I bought a school bus in which to travel around the country to follow a self-styled teacher/guru who was going on a lecture tour at major universities around the country. He had the Monday Night Class in San Francisco, as it became known then, where large groups of people came to listen to his new ideas about life, enlightenment and love in the new age. In truth the trip was an experiment in an alternate life style of being and thinking. But that’s a story for another day.

I bring that experience up to highlight the fact that to make that trip we had to sell all the things we had accumulated in our life up to that point—everything. The trade of ‘things’ for the treasure of the experience was worth it on so many levels—it fast-tracked my growth as a soul (but I still think about those beautiful leather boots I gave up-ha).

People on the outside of an experience will always give their opinion/judgement of what they see—but they do it through the lens of their own limitations and fear filters. It doesn’t disturb me much anymore. I dismiss or ignore such opinions because I have the rich treasure of my experiences, and it is in my heart to continue to learn from and use my entire life for growth as a soul.

If I would give one piece of advice, it would be to push aside the fears you have surrounding a deep desire/need that you might have to do something you’ve been hesitating about, and go for it. If the desire in you is strong—it is your Spirit seeking freedom and growth, something you should not ignore. Don’t let anything hold you back or you will begin to die inside, and then you will create a story you will come to believe as to why you couldn’t do a thing, and it will be a false story.

I get braver as I get older, less fearful to ‘go for it.’ Mistakes are just the bruises you earn along the way, the ‘war wounds’ of the battle to free your spirit. They will become the stories of the book of your life, a book that you will carry with you when you leave this earth. Make it a good one.

I saw this video this morning and thought it appropriate to share to give you a visual of the positive energy/light we carry and throw about all the time in our daily experience. If we could see this energy, it might look like this. (Maybe Kristen wasn't far wrong about where I'm coming from-ha).

Carry on creating your book-you know, the one about your life.
So, how afraid are you to try new experiences?