I realized something new about myself today. Learned it through an experience that some would perceive as a negative one but I didn’t take it that way at all. As I have surely mentioned before, I am going through some wild Book Production Stage of Life, where all of my energies seem to be focused on producing one book after another. No sooner had my second book, In Secret Diffusion: The Upper Realm Answers Questions About Earth, finally emerged from its, way-too-long, nine month captivity in the hands of Outskirts Press, than I got out the ingredients of my third book, And Yet A Little While: A Scripted Novel About Pre-Birth Planning, and started slinging hash again.
You might say that I’m using ready-to-go dishes and that this final stage is simply the cooking and serving of them. This is true. All the work is original and completely my own, but most of my writing was done years ago and has simply been marinating in the refrigerator for about a decade…or two. Back then, I could never have predicted becoming an actual Chef, who could produce something enduring with my name attached to it; a piece of work that someone else could taste and savor. But, I had once taken great pleasure in writing my manuscripts and I loved each one every time I stirred it a bit. Naturally, I wondered what would eventually become of all that creative work.
Luckily, I have lived long enough to witness the advent of self-publishing. Not only witness, but to dive in and splash around boisterously in it! This is great fun! Everyone should live so long as to watch their dreams come true!
I have been in this book-cooking kitchen for about three years now. Three years = three books! Wheee! Naturally, I fully expected this third one to clear the proof acceptance process when I received my test copy from Lightning Source, just as the other two had. But it did not. I must revise both the cover and the interior to get it absolutely right.
That is the… some would say… “setback” which is teaching me so much about myself. Was I despondent about the fact that, when I checked out this newborn book, I saw too many flaws to sign off on? No, not in the least. And that’s in spite of the reality that my Type A publishing persona tends to squirm with any sort of delay. Actually, it’s pretty obvious that the Universe has me firmly in the grip of a Slow-Down-Linda-Brown Lesson. After all, this book has taken me less than three months to prepare and I was testing a brand-new publishing genre…that of the scripted novel.
In the past, aside from works by William Shakespeare, we haven’t seen too many scripts appear in regular book form. Scripts are a behind-the-scenes material and are, essentially, throw-aways, after the play or movie is presented. They are sort of a mullet-wrapper, temporary production, unappreciated art form; which might result in a fine movie or theater drama, heard by, but never read by, the general public. The untrained eye is not accustomed to reading location or sound cues and seeing all that white space on the page because of the dialogue columns.
But just lately, screenplay novels are showing up on the book aisles and the internet selling sites. No doubt, other unappreciated filmscript writers like myself, have become frustrated by all the artificial barriers created by both agents and age discrimination. We have decided to take matters into our own hands, now that this self-publishing tool has, so conveniently, presented itself.
Okay, so we can’t produce our own movies yet; but we certainly can circulate our stories to the masses and let their minds create the visuals for us. And that’s exactly what we are doing.
In a way, we’re writing graphic novels using words instead of cartoons. And the public will surely love it and easily adapt to the initial strangeness of the reading experience.
But this particular book’s bread dough “needed” a lot more “kneading!”
Those thoughts were on my mind when I opened the proof copy of my first published script. It looked too crowded. I needed to insert a few blank pages between the opening information and the story itself. My introduction needed to say a little more. I had left out an important thank you. The book needed a dedication. The photograph needed explanation. Plus, as I read through the book, little things jumped out, and happily, it was not too late to change them. More importantly, I realized that I needed another opening scene to set the theme and to insert knowledge gained since I had first conceived the story. I began to get ideas as to how I could write that.
The cover color came out too dark. Well, we can fix that, because I’ll have to redo the cover anyway. Adding a few more pages will change the spine width, so we must get a new template and begin again. The picture of myself, which I chose for the back cover, is pretty bad. No problem, I have others. Oh, and maybe there’s a better word for one of the sentences in those all-important, back cover descriptive paragraphs. No problem, I still have time to edit that, too. What luxury! Sure, it will set me back about a hundred bucks to revise the book at this stage, but that’s a cheap fix to a very tasty dish!
So, I’m in the “kitchen, testing this new recipe” and I’m happy as a clam! Last night, as I opened up the word processing file and got to work making my changes, I analyzed this feeling. At last, I could identify with the cooks I’ve seen on television, handling food, chopping vegetables, pouring and mixing ingredients with a pleasure that was evident in their faces and in the rhythm of their hands matching the special quality of their voices. I never got that. Food preparation has always been a necessary chore to me. Eating is sometimes a sideline and it has to be done far too frequently for my indifferent tastes. But, if the necessity to eat comes around way too often for me; the burden of cooking what I, and others, eat is simply a pain in the neck.
That’s frequently the way other people feel about writing books. I feel that way about all the other arts. But here I am, passionate about this field of making good books. And guess what? I have, at last, begun to receive positive feedback for my efforts. Some people love my books! They rave about them and send them to other people and say good things to me about their continuing enjoyment. Occasionally, someone will quote my words back to me. Now that’s the ultimate compliment!
Now I know how the Chef feels, and all of the frequently anonymous producers of great art, good food, beautiful music. The compliments are great, but the pleasure of creating was even better.
This is part of the previous post reporting a time when I was caught making a judgment about the human tendency to hoard…. actually the phenomenon of a collector-gone-crazy. Hoarding usually becomes serious when our tendency to accumulate begins to rule our life in some way. When a harmless little collection of beloved objects crowds our living space, or begins to cost a whole lot of money depriving a person, or their family, of more basic needs.
It turned out, when I asked The Holy Spirit for His opinion, that it’s not so bad to make judgments, though it might not necessarily be good to sound off on our opinions. Now I’ll share His opinion about hoarding:
Oh my Holy Spirit! Do You have anything to say about hoarding, particularly the emotion that it represents?
“This is not an attractive subject because it represents too much concentration on Earthly matters. It is the opposite of aspiring to Heavenly matters and represents the fastening of the heart onto material substances in a very narrow range and is completely divorced even from the human level of admiration. It is an underground sort of an interest, to put your love and desire into objects made of mineral and inanimate matter, having nothing to do with living substances. It is preferring the basement of possibilities – the tangible over the intangible; the enduring, in a physical sense, over the knowledge that all of this material substance is temporary.
The Hoarder wants to control life and has chosen a very specific handle to grip with his death grip, which gives him some comfort without having to attempt to find that quality with any human being; let alone looking for his comfort in Me, or in any belief in a Higher Existence than his Earth Basement can provide. He stuffs his inner room full of particular objects, slams the door and sits alone with his goodies…whatever they may be. This is his sole reality in his heart of hearts.
I cannot even see anything within these humans, except that they are hiding in a cave filled with trash, which is where their heart has declared their own Kingdom of Matrimony to be. They have married this object and have become a human packrat, a vermin among their fellow man.”
[The sound quality of this Voice transmission was so different from the relaxed one, just before, speaking about the making of judgments. It was squeezed, somehow, as if coming from tense or stressed vocal chords. Obviously, this is not a pleasant subject for Him to talk about.]
Granted, we got a fairly harsh reaction in answer to this particular question, but if you were intrigued by the conversation enough to want to learn other answers given to me by The Holy Spirit, over a long period of time, to many sorts of questions; then you will enjoy reading my new book, IN SECRET DIFFUSION: The Upper Realm Answers Questions About Earth. You can order it from from Amazon.com or come on over to my other website, www.insecretdiffusion.com to learn more and order the book there.
Not long ago, I had a conversation with someone about the subject of Hoarding. We were examining the whole range of folks who become so obsessed with possessions that they might seriously reduce their living space by continuing to accumulate objects without ever being willing to get rid of what they already have. I must admit that my own trip to the thrift shop to clear my drawers and closets is long overdue; but we were speaking mostly of folks who become collectors of certain types of possessions – ceramic roosters, extensive gun collections, old cars, autographs, bric-a-brac. We both knew folks who had built large rooms onto their homes in order to properly house the growing passion to own more and more and more of their beloved objects.
We happened to be speaking about a gun collector who had lots of military munitions in a locked, specially-built room, shown only to a trusted few. This man was one of the town’s best surgeons. I made some comment about his being a secret Rambo, whose day job was saving people’s lives, but whose inner heart space was, apparently stuffed like that room, with life-destroying objects. At that point, our conversation shifted and I was accused of passing judgment on another person’s lifestyle. Since he knew that I regularly communicate with The Holy Spirit and The Great Creative Force, he suggested that I ask my “Sources” what They thought about being judgmental. That was fair and I also agreed to ask if They had any comments about Hoarding, as well. So, this post will cover judging and the next one will take up the subject of collectors-gone-wild.
Oh my Holy Spirit. Was I being judgmental about that wanna-be-Rambo surgeon and do I have that tendency in general?
“Oh My Linda Layli, We know that you judge and that’s a good thing because no one can go through life without taking a position about how they feel on these points. Everything has a moral weight to it. Everything has a point of view. Everybody must decide for himself how he feels about so many points as they arise from time to time in their lifetime. If you don’t do that, you are not forming any sort of character template. You are just staying a blank slate and you will go out of life with nothing accomplished.
These conclusions form notches in your character belt and they are what you have to show for having passed through a plane of physicality. You must think, in order to accomplish these notches. The danger lies in accumulating no notches as you move along the conveyor belt of life. No thought process, equals no notches; no notches, equals a total lack of character formed. Every previous notch, at least gives you a basis for future thinking about that point and perhaps a changing of mind or a deepening of the same notch.
So, judgment-making is necessary for every human to do throughout their long, long life; or even their very short life. We expect to see a very notched-up belt at the end of the roll of every particular life lived by every human being on this planet. Now, the judgment might not be quite fair from another person’s viewpoint, but these notches represent a moral stance, which is what We look for in a human intelligence.”
So, His answer took some of the sting out of the idea of my being judgmental during that conversation. I also believe that we have a responsibility to be kind to others and to keep our pronouncements concerning our judgmental conclusions to ourselves. Obviously, I can’t avoid being judged by others; but I do appreciate their thoughtfulness in leaving me, for the most part, ignorant about their conclusions.
So, if we keep our conclusions mental, (judgmental) while we whittle our notches, we’ll be okay. Next time, we’ll examine the answer He gave about Hoarding.
Here it is, Labor Day Weekend already and I’m about to make a run to the beach to enjoy this very beautiful weather. I can’t take this ability to run around lightly any more, since things were buttoned up very tightly around here for about two weeks this month when my son became very sick. I needed to be right here, 24/7 and even a quick run to the grocery store had to be planned in advance. This meant that not a whole lot of life’s usual duties, such as this blog or the book production activities could move along as they usually do.
But now he is better and life is back to normal. So, I shall run out to the beach before the holiday crowds come in tomorrow.
In spite of the setback, my third book, And Yet A Little While, will be ready to send to the printers right after everybody returns to work from the long weekend. My sister, Ann Sargent, just finished the copy editing process last week and I have taken her advice and fixed things as she saw fit. Now, my recovered son, Randy, is giving the manuscript one last critical read-through. The cover design is in the hands of Creative Graphics, a firm right here in Dunedin and, I ran over there yesterday to check the work at the midway point. I love what they have done and everything is coming along swiftly and beautifully. It’s great not to have to plan a cover with a company in Argentina (my first book) or in Denver (my second book) but just a mile away.
I just realized that it was over the 4th of July holiday that I was submitting my material to Lightning Source Printers in Tennessee, when In Secret Diffusion was finally ready to go. And now, two months later, also a major national holiday, I’m about to finalize another book for publication.
What’s the next three-day weekend I can aim at for book #4? I don’t know, but I’m sure to land on it…. Thanksgiving? Christmas? I have that next manuscript (The Insatiable Sea ) halfway done already and the cover art is finished, so it could very well be possible. Someday maybe I’ll slow down on the cranking out of books and start marketing them. But since I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time or toot my own horn while I’m trying to think, I choose the important stuff. Get these books into life and worry about the small stuff later.