Thursday, November 30, 2006

Why Don’t You Self-Publish?

I get that a lot. It’s a reasonable question posed by well-meaning folk. They don’t understand that proper self-publishing costs a great deal of money--between $8,000 and $10,000. This doesn’t include distribution. It would be entirely up to me to get my book into stores or to sell it from the back of a room following talks.
One the good side, I’d own outright any book that came off the press. In real self-publishing the author is in charge of every aspect of production from editing to cover art to the physical size of the finished product. I’d make all these decisions, get my ISBN, and hire a short-run printer to make 500 or so copies for the first printing. Then I’d set my cover price, fill the trunk of my car, and start selling.
Even if I could afford this I’m not keen to do it. From what I’ve learned through reputable websites and blogs around the Internet it seems to be rare, though not unheard of, for a book that’s been self-published to be picked up by a commercial trade house.
And I’d have just used up first rights this way. Reprint rights aren’t that enticing.
What about all those others self-publishing outfits? You get royalties from them, right?
Those aren’t really self-publishing outfits. They’re vanity presses trying to pass themselves off as self-publishers or real publishers. I’ve looked at a few of them to see what they’re about. They’re not for me.
Not only would I give up first rights, but I’d sign a contract for X number of years giving said outfit the right to publish, and I’d have paid the company to do it.
Real publishing companies pay their authors, not the other way around.
Vanities are often referred to as PODs because they use print on demand technology. That means copies don’t physically exist until they’re ordered. If five are ordered, then five copies of the book are produced. Commonly, these books cost more than a book from a store shelf.
Vanity presses don’t do any distribution. Books they produce can be ordered through bookstores, but they aren’t likely to be on any shelf beyond the author’s hometown bookstore.
Unlike proper self-publishing, the copies spat out by vanity publishers are owned by the company, not the author. Not only would I have paid the POD to put my golden prose in print, I’d have to buy copies of my own book for resale.
So there I’d be, out a few thousand just to get the thing on a file to be printed out as needed, out hundreds or thousands of dollars more just to have copies on hand to sell, and I’d have to charge a ridiculously high price in a vain effort to get some money back.
I wouldn’t have a publishing credit. No commercial trade publisher will go near it because it’s been published already. All I’ll have to show for it is a trunk load of books and a huge credit card bill.
That said, vanities have their place. If all you want is to have a record of Great-Grandma’s Top 100 Rhubarb Recipes, and you know that all 200 of your cousins will buy a copy, then go ahead.
But if you want to be published author, then write good books and submit them to the commercial trade publishers that accept the kind of books you write.
If–-when--you’re turned down, try again.
I’ve been rejected literally hundreds of times. I keep at it. Maybe I’m hopeful; maybe I just don’t catch on quickly. But I’m still trying.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I Am Not A Tooth

Wisdom teeth get impacted. People don’t. Events have an impact on us, but they do not impact us.
This grating misuse of the word impact had got to stop. Sadly, I don’t believe it will as it’s become so annoyingly commonplace that it’s worming its way into the fabric of the language.
It’s not just used in everyday conversation either. I read it in newspapers and hear it on newscasts. These are people who communicate for a living. They ought to know better.
Years ago I railed about the misuse of access. You don’t access something, you gain access to it, I argued.
It didn’t do any good, of course. Today we’re gleefully accessing all manner of things. I still don’t think it’s correct, but I’ve given up. I say access now, too, and it’s happened so often I don’t feel any pain when I do it. The impact of it is lost.
This is a dangerous post to make. Now that I’ve written it I’ll probably mess up somewhere in public and make the very mistake I’ve complained about or one that’s equally egregious.
Such things happen. I hope the lesson it brings has an impact on me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Conversation With The Earth

The Earth is a sentient being. I hadn’t realized it until I found myself speaking with her one day.
I’d fully relaxed myself and taken the Earth’s energy up through my chakras. Soon I found myself in a small, grassy clearing at the edge of a lovely, deciduous forest. The trees were in mature, dark leaf. It was very early morning and the sun rising in the far northeast behind me. Though I could see grass and trees, a thick blanket of white light, like a low, thick fog, covered everything.
A layer of golden light covered this fog and I could sense amorphous beings within it. On the fog’s underside was a layer of inviting, bright green light hovering just above the dew-darkened grass.
As the fog grew thinner an edge of turquoise began to ribbon through it. The golden layer grew and more ribbons of turquoise appeared and became wider. The layer of green grew upward, and there, through the transforming, dissipating light at the edge of the forest, stood a woman.
The full branches of the tall trees reached over her head forming a protective, yet inviting archway. The forest was a cave, and this was its entrance.
She was clad in a long, white gown and appeared simultaneously as a young maiden, a mature, maternal woman, and a wise crone. Her shoulder length dark hair was edged with dark red and a proud, vibrant streak of gray graced the front.
Her eyes were endless, warm and dark, and spoke of depth and age and knowing. A sash of glorious red ran from one shoulder to the opposite hip and was edged with a thin blade of black. A tinge of harvest gold light surrounded her, as did an aura of expectancy. She sent out a feeling of a great, impending birth filled with the energy of vibrant new life.
“It is me you feel when you feel Earth (my) energy,” she said. “My love.”
“To you in your time my others, the other planets in your known system, are uninhabited. Oh that is a joke! But for you, it is the only way for you now to understand. Too many ‘Others.’ Too much for your way of being. Change. Understand. You will see it as real.”
Our present level of intellectual and spiritual development prevents us from accepting sentient life beyond our own. However, after the Earth and societal changes we would. (My note.)
She went on to talk about the life in other dimensions and under her surface, some of the access points, and the coming changes.
“Entrances and ports. Yes Shasta. Yes Rocky Mountains. Yes China Desert. Yes Pampas. This (Pampas) is a second entrance to Antarctica. (It is) needed because of ease of exit for visiting, like a back door. Are others inside me, long sealed. (Other entrances are not in use at present. (My note.) Too bad.”
“I will cleanse. I am sore and tired . . . wrong word . . . I ache, not just with pain that is felt physical, also hurting of abuse of surface children. But I take you along now that we are ready to go.”
“In your years? Unknown. In seasons. Some cycles yet before entrance to the New Way. Others of my, mine, call, encourage, but I am still. To come, yes it does. Seasons. Cycles. The great new season-cycle, my completion, finish and new. Rested and resting now. Yes.”
Her communication sounded choppy to me, but I think that was a problem at my end. I believe it was due to my surprise at the information and my lack of experience in communicating with her, not a deficiency in her ability to express herself.
It was clear, however, that the Earth is a living thing with her own consciousness. It is difficult for us to accept that the Earth is a living sentient creature, but she is.
We are alive because of the Earth. She grows our food, provides us with water, and her crops clean and create the very air we breathe. In short, she sustains us.
We have to treat the Earth like the living creature she is and not a combination endless mine of riches and garbage dump. We need to assist her by cleaning the water and filling in the holes and scars we leave with our improvements and rapacity.
She is our shelter. She is our constant companion and our reminder of the continuing cycles of rebirth.
She has a voice and it is time to start listening to it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Poisonous People and Energy Thieves

Some people are so toxic that they poison every well they walk by. They have to suck the life force out of everyone they meet because they don’t own their own energy. They steal our positive energy and replace it with their never ending supply of toxins.
They’re in our families. We deal with them at work or know them socially. It doesn’t matter what you do with your life because you’ll never measure up, and they’ll stab a dessert fork in your ego whenever they can to ensure you don’t forget it.
I quit my reporting job to write books. I decided when I was five years old that I’d write a book someday. Someday eventually arrived 37 years later and I set about getting it done. I’ve written three manuscripts in the past five years and have a start on the fourth. They’ve been submitted. They’ve been rejected. I keep at it. But it doesn’t matter to the poisonous ones. It is their delight to needle me that I don't have anything available on a bookstore shelf.
“You haven’t had anything published, right?” I’m reminded.
It’s not that their standards are so high. Usually, I’ve noticed in my own experience, it's because their own accomplishments are so low. So’s their self-esteem.
Maybe they’re hiding away from abuse or neglect and don’t have the strength to face it. They use up all the energy they have in keeping this hidden, and then have to steal from the positive energy of others just to get through the day.
They won’t change until they have no choice. And as long as they can find willing victims to feast on they won’t need to change.
Certainly I feel some sympathy for them, but that’s where it ends. My energy is my own.
They’re difficult to be around. If I know I’m going to be in the same room as one of these poisoners, then a shield of white light is often enough to keep me safe. I ask the Universe to protect me, and then visualize this light around me. I also ask to have any unwanted energy bounce away from this shield and to be dissolved. If it’s a particularly poisonous energy thief, then I send the person some love after I’ve put up my shield. I mentally picture the person enveloped by the love and energy of the Universe.
If I don’t know beforehand and I get drained, then it’s sometimes days before I recover properly.

Monday, November 20, 2006



I have some guides. These lovely spirit beings do their best to set me straight as needed. They are with me when I channel or do Therapeutic Touch, and three of them helped me write my second manuscript.
Here’s what they said about our current state of entitlement.
“Adopt gratefulness in your attitude.” They told me our present ingratitude for all we have has to change, and we need to accept the Earth’s bounty “in gratitude.”
“This is gratitude-–gratefulness in attitude. Be it,” they said.
“Thank God every day. Say your thanks to the Earth for her bounty and to God the Source for all that has been received. Take for your needs in gratitude.”
“You take so much and return so little.”
Acknowledges that the food you’re eating didn’t just appear magically appear on the store shelf.
“No, there was work involved. Raw materials from the Earth had a hand in it, no matter what it was.”
They suggested giving thanks this way:
”Thank You Mother Earth, for providing a womb for this food and allowing it to grow and nurture us. Thank you to the sunshine and the rain and wind and yes, to the Earth for all her bounty.”

“If you follow a conventional religion and you are more comfortable saying grace, then do so,” they said.
“Why do you need to be reminded to be thankful? It should be natural.”

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What's Hypnosis Ever Done For Me?

Have you ever been reluctant to make a phone call?
I have. I was a newspaper reporter for almost 20 years and phone interviews are part of the job. Oh, I still did them. The problem was I hated to bother people.
It should have gotten easier as the years went on. But even after having to phone a local fellow once to ask if it was his dad who was charged with a Southern Alberta murder I still put off the calls.
About a decade later I became a hypnotherapist. I practiced on friends and hypnotized myself literally hundreds of times until one day it occurred to me that I had a wonderful means to make my work easier.
I made a relaxation tape for myself and added suggestions for making work calls right away. Because I really wanted to change, the suggestion was very effective. The next day I when I got an assignment I made the call right away. I was partway through dialing when I realized the difference that one self-hypnosis session had made.
Sometimes all it takes is one hypnosis session. Other times it can take several. It depends on several factors including how motivated and willing the client is to make changes in his or her life. You can't be made to do anything under hypnosis that you wouldn't ordinarily do, and you are always in control.

Friday, November 17, 2006



Welcome to The Goat's Lunch Pail.
It'll take me a bit to work things out. I'm still feeling my way around.
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