At last, my fourth book is in its final months of preparation and I look forward to having it in hand before this Spring, 2015, is over. That would be very appropriate, since my book’s title is the title of this blog posting: “Millennial Springtime: Love In The Vast Lane.” Rather than merely a few months in our calendar year, this title refers to the first quarter of a thousand-year millennium, or a full 250 years. We are now so early in that vast time period, that we don’t even think in those terms yet. I’m hoping to examine the brand-new, long-term cycle which we’ve entered without even noticing it.
As I described in my last post, I experienced the very productive Tom Bird’s Writer’s Retreat in Sedona, Arizona, last week, where some very personal material about my Spiritual Awakening in the form of Hearing Voices all came spilling out. This as a How It Feels To Go Crazy But Know You’re Not! kind of a revelation. How can one qualify for a diagnosis of Schizophrenia in 1980…. and probably still today? Just confess that you hear Voices in your head! My Voices began in 1980 when my kids were in high school; and I didn’t want to let them down, so I managed to turn off the noisy brain chatter through the use of Sony Walkman tape players. All was quiet for fifteen years.
Then, they came back, speaking again in my head, in 1995, when I no longer had a family at home, and I stayed with them. I have learned a great deal through my happy conversations with the Upper Realm since then and have published the results in my second book: “In Secret Diffusion: The Upper Realm Answers Questions About Earth” and through an ongoing website/blogsite www.insecretdiffusion.com where I solicit cosmic questions from the public. Then, interview The Holy Spirit for the answers.
My new book is a collection of many of these blog posts, written over a four-year period. The material I wrote in the Arizona Writing Retreat rounds it out by explaining how and why My Voices began and the life story behind that. A lot of the material centers upon this Millennial Rollover period and why there were such public expectations about what it meant to mankind. Remember how concerned everyone was, back then, in the decades before the year 2000? Some religions claimed the end of the world and some scientists worried that the lights would go out because of the Y2k bug.
And then, nothing happened! Apparently, anyway.
So, nobody talks about it any more. At all! Like a highly-anticipated party that nobody attended, after all. Well, my new book does talk about it and I make some highly original statements and conduct some very pertinent interviews with The Holy Spirit on the subject of this New Millennium and what it means to mankind. And the new things that are possible because of it.
One of which is that many people, all over the world, are hearing Voices and are organizing themselves to compare notes. There is a Hearing Voices Network, which I just learned about and intend to join. More about that soon. As I explain in this new book, God is now freely trying to initiate this conversational exchange with humankind. It’s not easy to break through to us. We become afraid. We get lost in the negative band that circles this planet and think that we’re going crazy. We don’t realize that God will literally “answer” our prayers and we are not sure whether we should talk to Whoever that is, in there, calling us by name. So much confusion these days. The medical profession doesn’t help in this instance. I believe that this is a new minority emerging from the closet and I hope to help all I can. This book shall address these issues.
The Vast Lane awaits when your inner hearing channels open up!
So, please hold your breath and wait just a little longer and Millennial Springtime will be yours for the ordering!
Three hundred copies of my new book, In Secret Diffusion: The Upper Realm Answers Questions About Earth have come to my house, after a long nine months in the making. So, things have grown very busy around here and I now feel like a busy traffic cop, directing lots and lots of vehicles….all driven by me.
Suddenly, I’m awash with duties brought on by the responsibilities of doing the best thing for this newborn book. I’m sending out copies of this book to those who have been waiting for it, as well as reviewers and whoever might be able to help it get where it is going. So, it’s back and forth to the post office.
There is another website, www.insecretdiffusion.com to bring into full bloom and being. It is started but not yet finished, so you can peek a tiny bit, but come back soon.
There are marketing plans to be made with my newly-recruited crew of talented marketeers, who are just learning what to do about internet promotion. We are all going to learn together but I’m thrilled to have so many helping hands. Talk about training courses, and dowloads, and confusing details! We’re like a bunch of clowns throwing papers in the air, right about now, corresponding like crazy in emails every day, giving each other lots of extra work just to digest and answer those, but having a learning extravaganza in the process.
I’m working away at the writing and production of my next two books, which I mentioned in the previous blog and have just sent one of them off to a copyeditor. The other has been reviewed by some sailing experts and is well under weigh, as they say at sea.
BUT, the sun is shining brightly during this week of storm and rain, so I am off to the beach right now to swim and walk along the sandy shore! I’m too hard a taskmaster on myself and so I’ve insisted on a little time off. She sells seashells by the seashore!!!
Unexpectedly, things were changing, one after the other. It did start with my sister’s sudden death and Valentine’s Day week filled with funeral arrangements and a quickly-called family reunion. But, since Kippy didn’t live with me, it’s hard to see any connection to the continuing frenetic activity. Let’s see if I can figure this out myself…why I still haven’t caught my breath after almost a month of a life in rearrangement mode:
My book, IN SECRET DIFFUSION, has been at the publishers for three weeks now. The final version of the manuscript was sent out on Valentine’s Day, the same weekend that Kippy died. I wanted it to be finished by the time she visited me so that I could concentrate on our activities, though she died before we got together. The cover took a week or two longer to finalize, but that amounted to bouncing versions back and forth between me and the artist, until we got a wonderful, most beautiful, result. Now, that artwork is being married to the entire front and back cover template and any day, I will receive an electronic version to approve or tweak. But it’s in good hands and I know that I will love our final result. Also in competent professional hands is the interior of the book which is being formatted to industry standards. At some unknown date in the near future, I’ll be sent an electronic proof copy of the entire formatted book which I must then carefully read and either correct or give my final approval. When I sign off on it, my book will go to press and I will wait eagerly for my first bound copies. Once we have such a lift-off, my application will wend its way through the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, and many other online booksellers, as well as the vast catalogs and distributors of books to bookstores, libraries, and public outlets. This will possibly culminate around the middle of April and I will be listed for everyone to see.
Right now, most of that operation is out of my hands and requires only short bursts of attention.
But back in January, I had initiated the marketing efforts for this new book, having learned that things happen slowly, or not at all, if one does not put great effort into publicizing and marketing a book. For my first one, HEY BOOMERS, DUST OFF YOUR BACKPACKS, I did a bit of marketing but mostly took my own advice and dusted off my own backpack for a four-month exploration of South America. Even so, that little book has climbed to #100 in the Senior Travel category on Amazon.com all by itself. Where would it be if I had given it the attention it deserved?
This time for this book, which has required me to ‘fess up about a long-hidden secret of mine: the fact that I (gasp!) Hear Voices…and that (double gasp!!)… I insist that it is The Holy Spirit to Whom I speak… This time, I am stepping onto the gangplank and am willing to jump into the unknown sea of having to quantify what it is that I’m talking about; while learning how to say anything at all about it; to possibly my greatest nightmare of Doubting Thomas’s, which I will deliberately attract to myself through these very marketing efforts. It is a weird and strange, self-shooting circle of which I have already experienced the briefest glimmer of someone’s rude behavior.
Anyway, I’ve joined a very competent group of authors taking a highly-intensive online training course from a proven marketing coach who teaches the ins and outs of modern internet marketing…definitely NOT spam…and my first few weeks of lessons taught me one thing that wasn’t in the course. I needed a dedicated work/study space for this, that was separate from my writing desk. There was just no room for both operations on the same desk. That realization led to a trip to my favorite thrift shop in the whole wide world on a mission to find the right furniture to get myself into business mode.
For years now, I have bemoaned the space-hogging sleep sofa that dominated my small living room and the large round dining table that fought constantly for primacy. Both had to go! The first tug on this sweater-thread came in the form of a lovely rectangular oak dining table that could also double as a desk. The second, third and fourth tug followed soon after in the form of a marble-topped corner cabinet, a rolltop desk and a smaller sleep sofa. Kaboom! Delivery was set for the first of last week. The old sofa and table would be carted away when the new ones arrived.
But I didn’t leave that sweater-unraveling alone at that. No, I had to go all the way down the pike to an injured knee and a remodeled kitchen. You see, there was this fine, double-doored freezer/fridge there for only $200, when they sell for $2000 originally. I’d long been wanting to get rid of my old refrigerator, if only to be able to clean behind it. It was wedged into a cramped place, but also its motor always seemed to be revving high and that was suspicious. The new one was an inch and a half too wide, but my dear neighbors, Walt & Dottie, came with me to inspect it and Walt declared that he could saw my cabinet and help me install the new one. Deal!
However, I got the bright idea that as long as the refrigerator was out of its spot, why didn’t I take the lifetime opportunity to re-tile the dark brown kitchen floor? I had done that years ago on another house. Self-stick tile makes it sooooo easy, as I recalled. And then, of course, once the old fridge was out it became obvious that I was going to have to paint the walls as well. My sweater-unthreading went on all last week, with kitchen stuff piled in the living room and cleaning, painting, floor preparing going on rapidly so that we’d be ready for the furniture delivery truck last Tuesday.
Working on the floor so long, albeit perched on a small stool, caused my right knee to flare up and get water on its little old brain. It does this now and then, but this time, Nurse Dottie insisted on a doctor’s visit and that led to an MRI. The doctor rarely sees me and took that opportunity to put me back in her diagnostic system, which is already starting to consume time. Meanwhile, Walt finished laying my tile. Bless him. Bless both of them – the best neighbors in the world.
By Thursday, my Business Kingdom was remarkably together. My kitchen is gorgeous; my floor is shiny celery green, and the fridge works perfectly. Thank goodness…it’s always a gamble when you buy second-hand. I sit at my new desk, aka my oak dining table, and survey a serene and happy space. I feel good about myself. I’m ready to take on my first radio interviewer: a forty-minute taped session with Rob McConnell of the Xzone Radio, in Canada, who has been interviewing the paranormal for many, many years. Surely, he won’t think I’m so strange. I had already sent material about my book and myself and a few suggestions for questions. I was psyched and looking forward to it, so glad that my heavy-duty house conversion was behind me and my knee could now be pampered. Talking on a phoned interview about my favorite subject would be a piece of cake. Right?
Wrong! I think I rattled poor Rob’s little brain. He wound up practically yelling at me when I said, quite honestly, that I couldn’t prove that I was talking to The Holy Spirit. “How are you going to sell any books if you can’t PROVE that fact?” Ummmm, I’m not going to sell any books anyway with this interview because they won’t even be available for six weeks. He rattled my little brain though because I didn’t think of the many good comebacks until after he had suspiciously-quickly terminated the interview. Now, if I can’t even talk to the liberal-minded, what a rocky ride I’m in for here. I have some homework to do to try to figure out how to handle these blind alleys.
Hey, has anybody ever been able to even prove the existence of God yet? I don’t think so. Why didn’t I say that to him? Ah well, he taught me a lot anyway.
But serendipity came to my rescue yesterday when I got into a long conversation at the beauty parlor with a lovely lady named Margarita who absolutely GOT what I was saying and can’t wait to buy the book. I never chat with the other customers while I get my hair cut! She didn’t have an appointment, but got in for a permanent anyway. Timing. Serendipity. A new InterGalactic Friend discovered.
And again, we’re off to the races.
For many posts now, I have been relying upon my journal of old writings which are finally able to see the light of day, thanks to this blog. These have been on the woo-woo side. Or, had you noticed?
I figured that they would be much more interesting than blog-style reports about the home front. My own daily life proceeds quietly with great purpose because I’m working steadily away on my second book manuscript and am now in the first read-through, after pulling all of the chapters together. I’m hoping to have it ready to send to my copy editor soon. Once that happens, things will become very purposeful, indeed, as the drill is quite clear from there on out.
Getting the material written is the most vital part of any book. Duh!?? Well, having something original to say in the first place, actually ranks above the writing. Double Duh!
Then comes the first proofing and cleanup-up, so that everything reads well and correctly. In my case, that means taking out lots of commas and checking my spelling, plus just applying common sense. Have I stated things clearly enough? Do I really want to reveal myself to this extent? All the hard questions.
Then, getting trusted others to read the manuscript, with the general public in mind. How will this play in Peoria? In the case of this book, that’s anybody’s guess.
Next, comes more time at the computer making changes, cleaning things up, clarifying sentences, catching more mistakes; whipping the whole into the best shape I can before sending the manuscript, electronically, to my professional copy editor.
This creates a lull in the writing stage, but allows more time for cover design. I’ve been thinking on it, all along, especially about what in the world to name this book. My titles always go through many morphings and manifestations before finally settling in to the magical one which will do the trick. At last, this has settled down to a real beauty of a name, which I’m happy with and can easily pronounce. Some potential titles run on for a whole sentence, eight or ten words long.
It’s such a temptation to write a mini-essay with the cover name and sub-title, trying to explain yourself and all your motives, right there on the spine. Begging someone to pluck your book off of the shelf in that literary beauty contest constantly conducted in a book store. At last, I’ve overcome that temptation. I figured out a two word title.
You may have noticed by now, that I’m not introducing this new book to you, yet. That will come; that will come. We are focusing on the process today.
Next, I’ll hire my cover designers. I happen to know exactly what I want it to look like. At least, I think I do. I’ve sketched my current idea and will send it to my artist to see how it comes out. If it doesn’t look so great, I have a second suggestion, or I’ll put it into his hands for new ideas. This is a back-and-forth operation which continues until everyone is pleased. My first book cover took many months between me and a graphics firm in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Second time around should be a dream.
Then, my editor will send my electronic copy back to me, full of yellow lines suggesting changes. I generally follow all expert corrections. When the manuscript is as finished as it can possibly be, I will convert it to a PDF file and submit it to Outskirts Press.
My new publisher will take care of some of the inside design features which I had to do myself last year and that will also speed things up. Basically, once I send this manuscript out to others, my role shifts to that of a tinkering onlooker.
Then, I’ll consult with their marketing department for the widest possible commercial distribution. We will also concentrate on the creation of an audio book and an ebook version of this title, and all sorts of newly-developing things… such as those Espresso book machines, just now cropping up around the country.You’ll find them in all sorts or odd, unbooky locations, such as hotel lobbies, eateries, and regular stores. The size of an ATM machine, Espressos contain thousands of book titles. You drop your money in the slot and within minutes, your on-the-spot-printed book pops out. Cool! Just like those little plastic dinosaurs when we were kids. Double cool!
After the first of the year, God willing, my finished book will fly out of my hands, and into others. Yay! It’s a great feeling to finally let go of a creation and see what happens next.
Guess what? You all, my dear readers, have helped me greatly as a part of an informal marketing survey I’ve been conducting these past few months. You might have noticed that I have been alternating regular, everyday, “here’s-what’s-going-on-in-my-life” postings (like this one), with the woo-woo subjects, such as the Humanity Mankind series.
On one of my blog sites, I have a way to peek behind the scenes and see which posts get the most hits.
Bigtime, you are voting for the way-out ones. That pattern has been consistent for many months now. Well, this is a great relief, because my second book is very woo-woo. Yes, it’s New Age. Yes, it’s spiritual; and if the public reacts the way you did, the book should do very well.
No, I don’t have 12 million hits a month, the way I noticed yesterday that a city girl/country girl cookbook blog has. But that’s okay with me. I guess, everybody likes food better than they like God! Just kidding.
However, I have “scientifically proved” that a great many of you are extremely curious about the sort of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not information concerning the Upper Levels, which I like to throw at you.
So, keep the hits coming. More soon.
I’m beginning to catch sight of my next book now that I’ve transcribed five out of the six journals I wrote on my last trip, backpacking throughout six countries of South America earlier this year. My title has already changed three or four times, so I know that things are developing very normally for me.
So much steady typing can be a pain in the hind end, quite literally, and exercise usually suffers in the name of art. Well, pre-art, to be honest. What I’ll have on my table when I finish carving out the story narration from all the other material in these rather well-documented fragments of life, will be an entire cow. My last book taught me this. The totality of my report is a whole cow that would not fit into anybody’s oven. As a writer, I must get out the carving knives and start isolating the roasts and the steaks. The challenge will be to make lively and interesting chapters out of a trip that didn’t have any desperate and dangerous scenes.
But, maybe I wouldn’t have survived to write another day…if I had, say… been flying through a thunderstorm between Brazil and France during that journey. Hey, if I’d been going around the world on that trip, it could have happened!
So, what do I do with the scenes I did wind up with?
Well, the other day I read a published article by a woman who had spent a mere week and a day in four wildlife locations of Belize with the express purpose of sighting a wild jaguar in the jungle. I’ve never been to Belize, but I have been to Central American jungles in Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua; as well as in the Peruvian Amazon, and I’m here to tell you that actual jungles are not quite as exciting as our celluloid medium would have us believe. In fact, they can look like my Florida front yard did when I first moved here…only the plants are ten times larger and much more tangled. But still, more or less, familiar.
This woman wanted to escape the asphalt jungle where stocks were crashing like falling coconuts and everybody was going bananas, so she decided that the cure would be to lay eyes on a very elusive prize – a big cat, specifically a jaguar, in its natural environment. It didn’t happen. She did see some jaguar poop on the trail, and she did get to pet a jaguar in a local zoo. But it had been raised in captivity.
Did she go home without a story? Heck no! She had a lot of great photos; she could write really well, and she put a clever spin on the story so that we didn’t feel cheated at all. In fact, we had to agree that “Life is just like that…and there will always be a tomorrow…when you least expect it.” Maybe the jaguar will come to her. Maybe one day when she’s jogging in Central Park…..
Anyway, I’m kidding around, because as I work on all this good stuff, written and half-forgotten, I can’t wait until I get to the real book-writing stages which are coming up next. I, optimistically, expect that portion of the work to whiz by. But then, I always do. Can I live with the fact that I didn’t even set foot into Chile, when that is such an important chunk of the Andean Spinal Column which I went down there to investigate? I’m not sure that I can, but perhaps that will turn out to be my elusive jaguar.
Plus, I took a great leap of faith last Sunday. I signed on with Outskirts Press (http://www.outskirtspress.com) to publish this new print-On-demand book of mine. I signed up at such an early point in the game because they offered 20% off to anybody willing to take the plunge during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. This decision wasn’t actually all that sudden because I’ve been considering going with them for many, many months and have long been studying their website and pondering the possibilities. They will now become my middleman publishing house because they offer lots of services which I farmed out the last time when I formed my own publishing house and dealt directly with the printer. I loved my experience then, and could, happily, do it again, but I particularly like the ease of formatting and of cover design that I’ll have with Outskirts, as well as a whole lot of marketing and distribution services, which I don’t have going for me now.
As I did before, throughout all the stages of book production, I’ll be sharing the adventure with you. Some authors might want you to believe that they’re being published by a big New York Publishing House. That’s so 1950’s! Self-publishing is the wave of the future, as far as producing books in any form – printed, digital, and who knows what else to come. This is not vanity press, and it never will be, but for a long time that’s the only alternative we writers had. I never got in on that; but I didn’t do the big boys either. Let’s just say my hands were tied and my words were stifled, until now. Plus, this is really fun! It’s a bandwagon, folks, and I’m sitting high up there on top of it, chronicalling my progress in this blog as I go. The view is fine!
I produce my books just like I backpack. Put it on and try it out! Get in the game and see where you wind up! Since I have a whole stable of manuscripts waiting to shoot through the starting gate, this experiment will show me which method works best for me. I plan to be doing this for years, so I’ve gotta get this business figured out. Okay! It’s off to the races!
STARTING A NEW BUSINESS AS A SENIOR CITIZEN – BLOGGING ABOUT SOLO WORLD TRAVEL
This is Takeoff Day and, as always, I’m a little nervous and am filled with wonder and suspense as to how the trip will turn out. Though this blog is to be, primarily, about around the world travel, I’m speaking right now about launching out into the Blogosphere and learning to fly right here in public. One good thing is that I didn’t need shots; I have no luggage; and no costly airline tickets leading to long waits in lines, crying babies and carry-on snacks. Plus, this blog flies me everywhere at once, while I sit here at home. Neat! Your living room is my parallel universe. So are your thoughts. Let’s explore each other’s lives!