Friday, June 28, 2013

That Magical Fire Agate

Take a moment to step away from real life and into enhanced life, like a video game where you can do anything you want. What would you want to do? If you could do anything? Whoa, that’s heady. 

Anything? Isn't that magic? Yes.

You start by finding an object with magical properties for this journey of doing anything you want. That is exactly where I find myself this Friday, #wanafriday, where we write to theme:

      If you could have one magical item, what would you choose?  Why?

I have to work backward to choose.

First, what would I want to do, be, have that I don’t right now? Explore another time and place—with the safety net of avoiding the scary stuff that might kill me. 

So maybe an amulet I wear around my neck that would whisk me away when I touched it, in case I got into a dangerous situation. And then it would thrust me to another time and place of my choosing, for more exploration and adventure. 

A glowing, Mexican fire agate would do for that. Yes, hung around my neck with a soft leather string.

Now, where would I go? I would go to Mesoamerica, to the Maya. I want to know exactly how they lived and all about their culture and mindset and mathematical abilities and things I don’t even know about them that existed a thousand years ago. 

(Maybe the original Maya were star travelers. It could have happened. And I want to know.)
                                                                                                                          Picture is by Tomas Orban

Oh, wait—isn’t that the journey I took in my recent published book, Dance the Dream Awake

Yes.  Except for the star traveling part--although that mystery was hinted at.                                                                                                                                      

My amulet for that novel was my imagination and it was a fine journey—but I want more. I only scratched the  surface of ancient Mayan experience in that romantic, paranormal suspense story. My amulet would actually allow me to walk through the jungles, hear their music, eat their food, take part in their rituals—except the sacrifices (—rubs amulet).

So what object would you choose and what would you do with it?

As always, fellow WANAs that choose to add their post to this theme will be added here as they post, so check back or check #wanafriday:

Ellen Gregory What does Ellen take away from Harry Potter?
Tami Clayton What do wands and pickles have to do with each other?
Kim Moser Griffin A very versatile object.
Siri Paulson What's beyond the portal?
Liv Rancourt Very practical, and definitely magic.
Seth Swanson  Practical magic.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How Far Will You Go?

What place (in all the world) that I have been to is my favorite?

#WANAFriday* theme

(In reality there are two, but because of my ulterior motive this week I'm picking only one.)

Let’s start with why I chose my favorite place:

  • Adventure   
  • New experiences   
  • Meeting new and different people that I might not ordinarily associate with   
  • The magic—that special something that happens when you expect the unexpected  
  • Synchronicity

I moved to San Francisco at the end of the Beat Generation and eased right into the Flower Children generation, moving on to explore New Age concepts and higher consciousness modalities. I have always sought that artist’s edge of new ideas and explorations. 

When I read an article about the Mayans (I had taken classes on Mesoamerica that fired my imagination to learn more) and their prophecies, I felt as if there was this big secret I had to learn about.

So, I felt compelled to visit Mexico again in August of 1987, and be at Teotihuacan on one of two days, for what Jose Arguelles was calling the Harmonic Convergence. Many people in the New Age movements were talking about it, and like an itch you have to scratch I had to be there for that event. There were power places around the planet that people were heading for on those two days in August. Even though Mount Shasta was closer to me, I knew I had to be in Mexico.

There was El Tule Tree in Oaxaca,  Teotihuacan outside Mexico City and Palenque. But I only made the first two (time and distance being factors). Instead of Palenque, we went to Coba—a lesser known pyramid system close to Chichen Itza. The Yucatan Peninsula is rife with ruins and I wanted to see as many as I could in the time we had to travel (plus, being close to the beach was an absolute must for me).

Why? For what reason did thousands of people trek to these supposed power centers? I remember asking one young man I met in the Cancun airport, that had just flown in from the East Coast, that question. His answer was also my answer:

"I felt compelled by something other than logic, by some draw that goes beyond rational thought. I just knew I had to be here."

Someday I may write that memoir I've been asked to do, and explain the why better, but for now, the results of that trip (and the reason for my ulterior motive for choosing Mexico today) was my novel, 

Dance the Dream Awake

It was published this week! 

I hope you will check it out. More details about my novel (paranormal romantic suspense) can be found on my website:

It will be out in e-book eventually (not sure when) on Amazon, 
but for now the paperback can be purchased at:

Oak Tree Press Books  (listed alphabetically) for $10 + shipping

Amazon  for $14.20 + shipping

*WANAFriday is a group of writers that each post on their own blog on Friday (or thereabout) on our agreed upon theme of the week. The other authors participating this week will be listed below (and updated as they post):

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Sniff Sense


What I Learned from my Dogs About Writing and Writers

Every day my dogs require that we do our pack walk around the neighborhood. They want to walk or trot together, but then they stop individually to sniff those stinky wet compelling sniff spots. They have slightly different tastes in smells (eew, that came out weird), so some stops take longer than others—more to smell read, I guess.

Those dogs that came before, tell my dogs things that only a dog would love, (sorry that was too good to pass up), and then they add their own pee comments on top of the really good ones of others. Sometimes they make their own statements and start their own conversations and maybe brag a bit. It’s all part of the ritual conversation.

When my Buddy (Lhasa Apso with his summer cut) scratches the ground like a bull, I figure he’s proud of his last comment that topped some other dog’s previous comment. Maybe he said something really funny and is applauding himself, but probably not since he doesn't have a very good sense of humor--more the cuddly type.

When Milton (a Ratcha-that's a rat terrier/chihuahua mix) drags his feet in getting started on the walk, I have to pick him up and carry him until he warms to the idea (but his nose is in the air informing him of the latest news) until his curiosity gets the better of him and he wriggles to get down, closer to the action.

Observations on the walk: (You can make the analogies as writers)

-          They are aware of and keep tabs on their pack mates even while they wander a bit on their own.
-          They add notes of confidence when appropriate, to the 'writings' of others?
-          They pace themselves.

My dogs have very different temperaments yet they pack together in a harmonious walk. (Even if they start off pulling in different directions, by the end of 15-20 minutes, they are in sync.) Are your dogs energies all going in the same direction in a harmonious 'walk', or is all the information out there pulling you in different directions? Be a good pack leader and stay in control of your dogs energies.
Writers who stay current daily by reading the work of other writers (blogs, books, articles and social media) learn more quickly and improve their own work, inspire their own creativity and learn the latest in publishing. They support fellow writers.

Writers who pace themselves don't burn out.


Writers who pack together can learn and grow faster than going it alone—or, at the very least, have more fun: 

  • Critique partners that make constructive comments can accelerate your progress by giving you suggestions that you might not otherwise think of. 

  • Online social interactions with other writers glean valuable insights and help. They keep you centered from getting too far into your own head--which might be a very weird place (from some of the writers I know).
So take a lesson from the dogs and try commiserating with other writers.

Do you think writers are better as pack animals? 

Do you learn from your pets? What?

Don't forget to visit other WANA writers who are writing today on the same theme of our favorite pets, real or imaginary: (some very creative blog posts)

(more links will be added as more of our WANA writers add their posts throughout the day)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pinterest, Wordle, Snipping Tool--What's next?

Okay, my head is spinning today. I've been on Pinterest (yeah, you know what happens when you are 'just going to take a peek' at the new pins posted) and I'm sure I pinned about 1,000,000  10000  1000 well, maybe at least 100 new pins. 

I ended up doing some house cleaning maintenance on my boards (my house should be so lucky) by sorting, rearranging and emphasizing certain pins--sounds like a yoga workout (I'd be thin as a rail if it was). 

But by doing that, I thought about how to use Pinterest more effectively for promotion for my upcoming novel coming out at the end of June. I got more specific with my Pins by writing a little bit on each one about how it represents part of my novel. I have one Board dedicated to my present novel and one for my in-progress novel (haven't gotten as detailed on that one yet).

If I was going to make a motion picture of my novel, this would be my story board. Who would play the characters? What are some of the interesting elements in the story? Maybe include some food and things that a browser might be tantalized enough by to cause them to check out my book.

This post was instigated by inspired by my WANA buddies for #wanafriday. Do a Wordle they said. What the @#&% is a Wordle, I yelled at the computer. Now I have to learn something else new!--when I'm in the middle of expecting company (and I have not given my house the attention given to my Pinterest boards) and have so many other problems? (my website is acting like a jumpy rabbit that I can never tell if my book page will be there or jump into oblivion the next time I try to fix something)

Well, long story short. Wordle is mixer. It mixes up words you input. The above picture is a wordle from my website blurb of my upcoming novel--you can decide if it is a good representation.

Not only did I do the Wordle, I had to figure out how to transfer it to this post. ($#&%$$) But after some head banging checking in at Facebook where our Friday theme was posted, I got help from other WANAs who are more tech savvy. You use a Snipping Tool found in Windows 7 accessories. (of course, a scissor of sorts) Who knew I had a snipping tool? 

The things you learn when forced to. 

How much do your resist learning new things? 
Did you know about Wordle? 
Was I the only one?

Be sure and check out the other writers who are posting their Wordles. I will add their names and websites as they post.