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Monday, 25 October 2010
The weather is looking a bit grim this morning, but there is sunshine coming in the guise of Julie Wise. The author of Dream Bigger.
Before we sit down with a cup of British tea and have a chat, here is a little about her.
Julie Wise is a professional life and relationship coach who works with people to take their dreams from wishing into reality. She knows from personal experience the challenge of starting over when your dream has fallen apart. Instead of giving up, she learned how to reinvent herself and discovered that there is always a bigger (and better) dream waiting to happen. In her new book, Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease, she offers a fresh, practical and hands-on approach to inspire readers to overcome their challenges and achieve their heartfelt desires.
Hello Julie and thank you for coming today. As writers we all get inspired by different things. Mine is life in general. Can you tell us who/what inspires you to write?
Good Morning Margaret. Thanks for having me. I’ve always been a writer. From the moment I saw my first ABC book as a child, I wanted to “do that too”. My father owned a bookstore, so there were always lots of books in the house and I learned to read at an early age. I soon began to create my own books, printing out stories with a big fat pencil and illustrating them with crayons. I’d glue the pages together and then add a cover where I’d proudly print my name in capital letters. It’s interesting to note that, although writing was my passion, I set it aside as I grew up and pursued more “practical” careers. The writing wouldn’t go away though, and kept showing up as poetry, short stories, a few years as a newspaper editor and a columnist, and finally in a couple of unpublished books.
I think every writer has put their pen to one side at one point or another. At the end of the day, unless we strike lucky, another job has to be taken on to pay the bills. So what’s next on your agenda?
In addition to promoting my current book, I’m continuing to coach clients who want to make their dreams happen. I’m also busy writing again. You see, when the idea for Dream BIGGER came to me, I was in the midst of writing a book about Ireland. Dream BIGGER insisted on being written first, so now that it’s published, I’ve returned to writing the Ireland book. It’s the story of my 3-month journey through Ireland in 2008 to connect with the land, the people and my ancestral heritage. And it’s definitely an example of me dreaming bigger – heading to Ireland at a time when I didn’t have work or income, and choosing to travel alone by foot, bus and train. It’s fun to be back writing and delving into the memories and experiences of fiddle music, wild northern coasts, misty rain and rainbows!
I have family from Northern Ireland. My brother in Law being a very proud Orange man. What part did you visit?
I spent some time exploring the south, but was primarily in Northern Ireland because that’s where my grandmother’s family came from – the seaside town of Bangor east of Belfast. When I left there, I traveled north to the Bushmills area where I’d booked a cottage for a month. Every day, rain or shine, I’d be out walking along the roads, cliffs and beaches, savouring the wind in my face and the joy of living my dream. I’d wanted to go to Ireland since I was a child listening to my father tell stories passed down to him by his mother.
I have met many new writers this year battling their way through the mirage of writers loops, publishing houses and the usual trappings for a new writer. Do you have any advice?
Be patient and trust the process. It takes time (often more than we anticipate!) Write every day. Read often. Write about what excites you, whether it’s in a blog, a journal, emails or newsletter. Read and notice how your favorite authors write. By writing you’ll develop your style, and by reading you’ll learn more about what captures a reader’s attention. Creative writing courses can be helpful. I also belonged to an editing circle for a few years. We’d meet once a month, share ten pages of whatever we were working on at the time, and give each other constructive feedback on our material. Being with other writers occasionally can help keep you motivated, since writing is a solitary profession.
Very solitary! I always advocate a good critique circle. Not only does it help with feedback but like you say, it motivates at well. So where do you hang out nowadays?
I have a book blog. It provides updates about where I am on my book tour and a link to my coaching website. There’s also a link to the Dream BIGGER Reinvention Challenge. It’s a cool online contest in which people can post a video about their dream and win prizes to help make their dream a reality. My current dream is to help 100,000 people dream bigger in the coming year, so I’m hoping people will enter the contest and share their dreams with others.
Can you tell us a bit more about your book and provide a short excerpt.
In my coaching practice (and in my own life), I’ve realized that most of us yearn for “something more”. Dream BIGGER meets that need by offering a hands-on guide to rekindle the dream you have for your life, create an action plan, and make your dream a reality. Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we planned and in those moments, it’s hard to have hope for the future. We just want to give up. I believe that’s when it’s time to dream bigger because the dream we had for ourselves wasn’t big enough. The bigger dream invariably connects us to a larger community and has broader impact than what we would have expected when we started out. In the book I provide real life examples of people who have created new lives and directions for themselves. I also offer simple and effective exercises to motivate and inspire readers get to where they want to be.
The following excerpt was taken from the introduction to Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease.
“Did you daydream as a child? Do you remember the magic of imagining you could fly like an eagle, or discover new lands like Christopher Columbus, or find a cure for cancer? Perhaps you pictured yourself standing on stage accepting the Nobel
Peace Prize, hearing the thunder of applause or savoring the majestic silence from the peak of Mount Everest.
If you stop for a moment and remember what that felt like, chances are you’d describe a sensation of freedom, joy, and ease as well as a strong sense of accomplishment and a deep connection to who you truly are.
This is what it feels like to live our dreams. And, yes, we can experience that today, even if we’re all “grown up.” That’s what this book is all about—learning how to rekindle the magic of dreaming, creating a road map for the journey and moving past the obstacles along the way.”
Now to go completely off topic lol If you had the choice to be anyone you like, who would you be?
I would choose to be Oprah Winfrey because she’s a woman who truly knows how to dream bigger! She also encourages others to do the same. The focus of my book is to encourage and inspire everyone to make their dreams a reality, by facing their fears and disappointments, taking steps toward their goals and celebrating every moment along the way. Oprah is the living, breathing embodiment of the philosophy behind my book – that there’s always a bigger dream waiting for us than we could possibly imagine, if only we’re willing to take charge of our lives and personal growth. She does everything within her power to provide access for everyone to the information, resources and inspiration to heal and transform their lives. If I could be her for one day, or even partner with her for a day, we could get our shared message out even further in the world and help more people move toward the life of joy and ease that I believe is our birthright. Imagine the possibilities!
Thank you for joining us today Julie and good luck with your book.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Alysa Braceau, Dreamshield lives in the Netherlands and has a 6-year old daughter. She studied social legal studies and the last ten years she is a (freelance) journalist and publisher. Besides that she has a healing practice and gives workshops about the Art of Dreaming.
Dreamshield is author of The Sorcerer’s Dream. The theme of the passed years have been the sorcerers tradition and mastering conscious (lucid) dreaming. She carefully recorded her personal experiences which has finally led to this first book.
Good Morning Dreamshield. Can you tell us what inspired you to write this book?
Hello Margaret. Thanks for having me here. Someone can win a copy of The Sorcerer’s Dream today. There is a contest going on right now on my site, offering a chance to win a copy of the book. I invite you to type in 'Book Giveaway' in the question area and you will be entered in the drawing on Oct 30 (2010).
More than six years ago I met the shaman Running Deer aka Vidar somewhere in Amsterdam. I found him so intriguing that I started a conversation with him. When I visited him a few months later at his place, he invited me to be his apprentice, to learn the art of mastering conscious (lucid) dreaming, one of the teachings of totality in the sorcerer’s tradition. And he suggested that I write a book about my experiences. At that time I was a journalist and used to write about my personal experiences following new age workshops so I eagerly said ‘yes’ to both of his questions.
I could definitely feel this was the path I wanted to follow. This was my chance to learn more about the knowledge I was waiting for.
This path is in the tradition of Carlos Castaneda, he described the first line of knowledge, coming from the Toltec’s and Aztecs.
My dreaming teacher said there is also a second line in which he have been raised. Originally there was only one sorcerer’s line, but because hunters covered great distances during the ice age, and due to the origination of land bridges, this original line split into two tribes. The second line is the North American tradition. He said that we both come from the same spiritual family and that his assignment is to lead me into the teachings of the totality.
Beforehand, I had no specific goals regarding discoveries in comparison to Castaneda. It was ‘just’ that my teacher told me that he was capable of leading me toward the totality within two-and-a-half years. I felt attracted to that goal, and I went for that. He also told me that
there were big differences in the paths to follow. Explicitly he said: “You cannot compare the two traditions because there are different teaching methods.” I explain this in more detail in the book.
In a later stage of my sorcerers-apprenticeship I found out myself how important it is to free myself from convictions, fears, trauma’s etcetera.
To be able to free myself, to heal myself, I could travel with my dream body - after having mastered the skill of lucid dreaming - into the unknown and recognise myself in totality!
The Sorcerer’s dream, an initiation into the sorcerer’s world and mastering conscious dreaming. Buy it at:
The book can be ordered on Amazon – and everywhere they sell books
Vidar sits up straight and slightly uncomfortable on the smooth couch. He bounces up and down, feels it and looks around him as if it is the first time he is sitting on it. He fidgets and starts massaging my calves, during which he starts moaning, first giggly but then more and more passionately and he does that remarkably well and with enormous devotion. With the aaaaah’s and oooooh’s which seem to be coming from his abdomen, he touches every sensitive chord of my body. I shriek from arousal. Vidar smiles contrite, but his demonstration appears to be no more than an introduction to his own sexual development.
“Reproduction can be arranged in three minutes,” he starts, “securing the evolution, but on the way to dreaming and visions the arousal needs to be very intense. With shamans, earth-energy and universal energy flow freely through the meridians,” and uncovers, “that explains my sexual charisma. Shamans send sexual energy through the senses and far outside the body through the orgasm. The mounting line of energy is driven by consciousness and awareness, and is taken to a high level by producing primitive sounds from the abdomen, and is kept high by sensuality.”
He mentions a couple of resources: sexy lingerie and clothing, stirring and stimulating music, scents, provoking each other by touching, but also someone’s manner, their face or facial expression. “It’s important to constantly be in a light state of arousal. The heightening of sexual energy leads to dreaming. In addition, when the energy reaches the level of the forehead chakra, visions will appear and together you recognize your cosmic history. It is an encounter beyond the intellectual knowledge. At the height of the excitement, words are not spoken, because you transfer to primitive sounds, to the voice of your body. You just got a taste of that,” he grins. “The sexual energy is taken to the spiritual senses outside the body through the orgasm; they are the steps to a higher consciousness. The steps to totality,” Vidar explains. “Then a total transcendence takes place of the material body. Spirits meet, recognition takes place and together you become an androgynous being,” he puts his hands together in front of his chest and turns them a quarter turn toward him. “In this androgynous state you are all-knowing and you can only reach that in this way. This combined action is the reflection of the birth of the universe. If you know this, you will understand why there are two polarities, yin and yang and so forth. The number two is a universal principal that everything in the material universe revolves around.”
The Sorcerer's Dream Review
Reviewed by Margaret West
Paranormal & Romance Author.
Virtual Blog Host for Authors promoting Authors
Covers are important to me as I feel they catch a reader’s eye. So I was disappointed that such a good book had a very bland cover. I have to make a point of saying that this book is not about fantasy. It is a guide to the Native American traditions of dreaming, sorcery, and shamanism. So don’t be misled by the title.
Alysa Braceau explores the teachings of Carlos Castaneda and writes about her journey as an apprentice woman sorcerer, dreamer, and healer within the Native-American traditions. Dreamshield aka Alysa, is a wife and mother and this book is her quest for soul searching and spiritual healing. Accompanying Dreamshield on her sorcerer training sessions is her mentor, Running Deer. To embrace the knowledge from her dreams she must let go of her material ideas of the world and hold onto the alternate reality she finds herself in. For this reality reveals her true self and with it challenges that she will need to overcome to be a woman sorcerer.
Through the knowledge she gathers about traditional shamanism and magic and with the teaching of Running Deer, the author guides you on a personal inner journey through dreaming. What I liked about this book is that as a reader you can see Dreamshield begin to change as a person as she gains knowledge and becomes more aware of the power of dreaming. Over a period of two and a half years she masters the hidden powers of dreaming. The journey is not an easy one, but it is one she wants to share with the world. I liked the book, but it is not an easy read and in places, I felt a little confused as to what she was trying to say. Anyone who seeks wisdom and discovering their total self might find it in The Sorcerer’s Dream. I recommend you read it and find out for yourself.
Friday, 15 October 2010
Before we start here is a bit about her.
Robin Cain lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, daughter, three dogs, three horses and donkey. As a novelist and regular contributing writer for an online publication, she spends her days searching for the perfect words to amuse, enlighten and touch her readers.
A percentage of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the American non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), which aims to present hope and find help for people struggling with problems such as depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.
To learn more about Robin or read an excerpt of her book, please visit her website:
Hello Robin, pull up chair and I'll pour you a cup of british tea while you talk about your new book, When Dreams Bleed.
“How did you come up with all this stuff?”
This is a question I’ve been asked more than once by people who’ve read my book, WHEN DREAMS BLEED. A brutalized body washed up on the shores of a lake in Washington and a gruesome suicide-by-firearm are just not the sort of things on which a ‘middle-aged, middle-America, law abiding woman’ like me would normally have any insights. But, as any author knows, the answer lies in the ‘research, research and more research’.
Writing a crime story requires great attention to detail – particularly if the crime is a figment of the writer’s imagination. It’s not an easy undertaking to create motivation, details, plausible events and the ensuing investigation. An author must think like a criminal or a cop and be convincing enough to ensure that the reader will ‘believe’. Since most authors don’t have firsthand knowledge of crime, creating a crime scene (particularly in the case of a homicide) requires hours and hours of research. Even though as it was mentioned here in a previous blog that crimes in real life, more often than not, lack real justification, readers still like to understand the rationale, what led the criminals to do what they did and how it all happened. Readers like to get into the minds of criminals. That’s what makes a good story. No one wants to hear about how some guy buried a knife in his wife simply because she read the Sunday paper first or that someone killed their neighbor over a badly trimmed tree. Though this is the stuff of real life, the fact of the matter is that engaging stories need to be far more complex.
Want to know about blood spatter patterns? What kinds of bugs infest a body a few days after death? What type of fragments are left behind by certain bullets? The criminal charges passed down in a certain city for negligent homicide? One doesn’t need a degree in forensic science or contacts in criminal law to ascertain these facts. All this information is within anyone’s reach as long as they have the time, inclination and research skills. The internet has opened the doors to a wealth of information. With a few clicks of a mouse, a writer can pull up sample crime scene done There are even sites out there that make searching easier. According to the info on its website, Crime Spider has ‘compiled the best crime/ law enforcement sites and categorized topics so one doesn’t have to sort through hundreds of sites to find the one that fits the bill’.
No, this ‘middle-aged, middle-America, law-abiding woman’ doesn’t have any first-hand knowledge about murder or suicide, but, like any good author, I’ve done my research. Every fact, event, character and motivation in WHEN DREAMS BLEED is a figment of my imagination, BUT they were all based on something I found somewhere during my research.
Though I suppose the similarities of blood and guts and motivations remain the same, the paranormal genre is something I have yet to tackle. While immersed in an entirely new world of facts and details – vampires, werewolves, beasts roaming the earth looking for their next victims – this author can’t help but wonder how paranormal authors do their research. The tables have turned and I, like my readers before me, stand in awe of how it’s done. Are some of you moonlighting as creatures of the night? Have some of you lived other lives? Is blood a staple of your diets? What I really mean to say is, “How in the world do YOU come up with all this stuff??”
Now that's a good question. Comment and let Robin know how you come up with your paranormal themes.
Thanks for stoping by Robin. Good luck with your book.
Thursday, 14 October 2010
The paranormal prize goes to Peggy. Yaaaay, loud raucous applause. The new follower gift goes to Jules...even louder applause!!
Fridays guest is going to be very interesting and she is doing a really generous giveaway, so shoot back here tomorrow and join in.
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Many thanks to the new followers whose names are in a hat, to be picked out,as we speak and to the old followers, your names are in a paranormal box, where one of you will win the gift inside it....eeeek, be prepared for a surprise!!!!
So I managed to interview Justin the demon from my next release Abigail Cottage. It was dangerous but I had to do it. With Halloween lurking on the periphery of our vision, who is afraid? Halloween is also known as Samhain, Summer’s End, All Hallow’s Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, and Snap-Apple.
The word itself, "Halloween," origionated within in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" or "All Saints Day, which is a Catholic day of observance in honour of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain , the Celtic New year. Wherever it came from Halloween is now celebrated in United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden...pwew, the list is endless.
It’s said that on Halloween night, the spirits of all those who have died throughout the preceding year will come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. All laws of space and time are suspended, allowing the doorway to this world and the next to open up. My question is... would you dare to step though it? What would you expect to see? Is the spirit world the same as here? Do demons exist? It is said ‘Hell’ is of your own making and there is no specific place. Your thoughts and actions make up your own private hell, living or otherwise.
"Jack's lanterns" were originally made from turnips. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America became a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember instead
Sit and look into a mirror with a candle burning beside you and you will see your future husband. What you are actually doing is ‘Scrying’ and the only face you will see are from the dead and departed.
Leave a comment about what you would expect to see spirit side. You could receive something really spooky if you win the prize draw.
Friday, 1 October 2010
Firstly, a huge thank you to those people who went to give their thoughts on what Abigail Cottage book cover should look like. You can still give your thoughts here and be entered in a draw to win a copy of the book when it is released.
Those who haven't commented yet or would like to review their comment, go here for a sneak preview of a chapter.
You can leave a comment here, and be entered into a draw to win something very spooky indeed!!!Tweet or facebook me (let me know your user name)and you will be entered in a drawer to win your very own little devil!!!!