I've never been a procrastinator. Most of my jobs have been production oriented, heavy with deadlines and I have been efficient. I have gotten the job done on time or before.
But there is something about writing that feels just like meditating. I know I love it. I know it feels good once I get going. But my mind is uncanny in its ability to procrastinate.
Here's how this morning went. I suspect this is a very female type of procrastination.
OK, I’m going to go sit down and write, right now.
Wait - there’s the end of that rotisserie chicken. It has a little meat on it. I should really pick that off, I can use it in the mushroom soup cause the mushrooms need to be used.
OK, here I go - gonna write now.
The cream for the soup. Is it too old? We haven’t been using it. Have to check that or I will forget. Yup—too old. Have to write that on the list if I’m going to make soup.
That’s it - all set.
Oops, didn’t put my earrings on. Let me just put my earrings on-- what is that on the floor? Sand stuck to my bare feet. Get the broom, sweep up the sand.
OK, sitting down.
I’m sitting down—that credit card bill. Is it overdue? I’ll just check that. Almost—better pay it now.
Bill paid, no stamps. Put that on the list.
Now. Really—now. As long as no one interrupts me or needs me--
Whew. Scrivener is open. Now where was I???
Hmm—figuring out what to call the drive for the new mining ships--
Here we go--
I wrote this poem in response to one written by a gen x-er about how the older generation cannot understand his generation. A perennial problem that I've been on both sides of now. The feelings he was expressing were much like I was feeling back in the 1970s. The only difference was the influence of screens and social media that pervaded his poem.
I am putting on my healer’s hat for a minute. I still do energy healing and homeopathy every day for myself and my family as well as a few clients.
Spring has finally sprung in Pennsylvania. Today I'm seeing tiny sprigs of fresh green leaves uncurling on the limbs that lean over my porch balcony. Rain drips from the eaves and birds carry on animated conversations. I'm not a cold weather girl so after a winter of huddling in my covers, watching way too much TV, I am overjoyed.
Molds and Funguses In my energy healing sessions, I'm seeing a trend that I never noticed in years past, but this year it clicked for me just how much of people’s discomfort at the change of seasons is caused by molds and fungus.
Allergies, drippy noses, asthma attacks and the itchy skin and eyes of Spring often have molds and fungus at their root. Persistent sinus issues can often be traced to the same root cause.
Antihistamines and homeopathic allergy remedies can relieve symptoms temporarily. But are they getting to the root of the problem? Probably not. Every year, when the windows open and the rain comes down and the mold spores and funguses spring to life, symptoms return.
Emotional and behavioral symptoms can be traced to molds and fungus as well.
Energy healing and homeopathy are a great way to get to the root of problem and clear it out. If you are more of an herb or essential oil lover, or feel more comfortable with pharmaceuticals, that can do the job too - as long as the emotional energies underlying the pathogens are cleared out.
Energies and emotions associated with molds and fungus that come up when I muscle test:
On a physical level there are skin issues and growths. On an emotional/energetic level you may see someone who has some or all of these characteristics—clingy, hostile, irritable, jittery, confused, obsessive or silly. Their senses may feel too acute or sharp.
The person suffering with these pathogens may feel that their reality is too overwhelming and may have a tendency to self punishment. The underlying triggers for becoming susceptible to molds and funguses, like most pathogens, are traumas and shocks.
A note for energy healers - molds and funguses are very good at hiding their presence from the practitioner. You may need to ask persistently before they reveal themselves. You will often see heavy metal toxicity paired with these pathogens.
And for the homeopaths - some homeopathic remedies that muscle test well for clearing out molds and fungus: Alumina, Borax, Bovista, Calc Carb, Candida, Carbo Veg, Causticum, Carcinosin, Ignatia, Kali Bich, Lyssin, Mercury, Plumbum, Thuja, Saccharum, Silica, Spongia, Stramonium and Zinc.
If you are interested in working with an energy healer or need a referral for a homeopath, just drop me an email and I will send you some ideas.
Here’s to a sneeze free and happy Spring!
Writing a book is only half the battle—or half the joy. Let’s keep it positive. We are talking about hopepunk here.
When I finished writing Seeds of Change, I knew it wasn’t going to easily fit into a genre box—or any box for that matter. It has become very important to shoehorn one’s creative words into a particular genre so that the book can be shelved with other books of its kind or promoted with other books of its kind. This is a marketing problem and a marketing solution. It doesn’t have much to do with creativity or originality.
I knew my book fit loosely into the science fiction genre because the setting takes place on a spaceship and an exoplanet. Beyond that, it doesn’t fulfill some of the expected sci fi tropes.
I stumbled upon an article on the online news and opinion website, Vox about a genre labeled hopepunk. It all started with Alexandra Rowland.
From the Vox article: “The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk,” declared Alexandra Rowland, a Massachusetts writer, in a two-sentence Tumblr post in July 2017. “Pass it on.” This post began a movement of sorts.
It started for me with a similar gut reaction to the grim, dark, dysfunctional stories that I was passing over endlessly in my own search for something to watch, something to read. Having had some grim, dark and dysfunctional moments in my own life, I had not one iota of interest in reading or watching stories that were completely devoid of hope—stories that featured a cast of characters who didn’t even make a feeble attempt at integrity. I didn’t want to fill my psyche with the idea that the entire world, and for that matter, the entire universe was conspiring against me.
The stories that capture me are about the grey areas of life, and about what people do to lift themselves out of dysfunction and despair. I have seen people rise up out of the depths and those are the heroes in my life. They are not perfect people, they are flawed and human, but they continue to fight for every inch of growth.
From the Vox article: “Now, picture that swath of comfy ideas, not as a brightly optimistic state of being, but as an active political choice, made with full self-awareness that things might be bleak or even frankly hopeless, but you’re going to keep hoping, loving, being kind nonetheless.
Through this framing, the idea of choosing hope becomes both an existential act that affirms your humanity, and a form of resistance against cynical worldviews that dismiss hope as a powerful force for change.”
An author friend, Cathleen Townsend, who writes stories in a similar genre labeled Noblebright, commented that “it amuses me that we need a name for what was basically classic fantasy and SF.” She has a point, that perhaps we have fallen so deeply into the trend of pessimism that we now need a name for work that dares to be optimistic. Even though optimism may be a Hopepunk attribute, it is anything but pollyanna. It fully acknowledges the darkness but refuses to stop fighting for the light.
As much as I don't like putting books and people in boxes, I think Seeds of Change fits the hopepunk box well enough, and all its odd angles have found a genre home.
If you would like to read more about hopepunk, here are a couple of articles to get you started.
an opportunity to be an art director for a week!
I love a good image which is why my website is littered with them. I wanted to find a book cover that featured an image that captured the feeling of my story. This was not as easy as I anticipated it to be.
After a few false starts, I participated in a 99 designs contest to find a book cover for Seeds of Change. 99 designs is an online website that allows a client to hire an artist one on one or to launch a contest. A contest allows any artist who is interested to submit one or more designs. I received 153 different versions of a variety of designs.
Why do a design contest? I attempted to create my own cover but my design eye knew that I was not quite getting it. My graphic design skills have not been updated since my days using QuarkXpress for typesetting. That was a long time ago—a very long time ago.
I had an overabundance of ideas about what I wanted and knew that the only way for me to narrow it down was to see a variety of designs. Seeds of Change is a different sort of sci fi story and I wanted to express that in an image. This was quite a challenge. 99 design's brief process helped me to define what I was looking for. It was very comprehensive and forced me to describe what I was looking for in great detail. I was also able to upload other images and covers I liked to give the designers a visual cue to my style.
The good. I received a wide variety of ideas and found five designs that were professional enough that I knew I could use any of them. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the process of refining the designs, though commenting on each design was very time consuming. The other positive was that interacting with each designer and asking for changes quickly demonstrated the designer's ability to take direction and to interpret my ideas.
The not so good. There was nothing truly negative about my experience. I did receive a few copycat designs and more than a few that were very predictable but for the most part, I was impressed with the results. My biggest problem with the whole process was my codependent nature. I worried that I was making the artists work for no money. I winced every time I had to decline a design. I had to remind myself that the choice to enter a contest was theirs and my role was to be the client.
The takeaway. I love the design for Seeds of Change. It captures the soft science fiction, metaphysical, ecological and more female oriented themes of the novel. As a bonus, I have discovered several designers I feel confident would do a great job with future projects.
Tip: There is a star rating system which I quickly abandoned. I found that the artists reacted strongly to it—either by withdrawing a design that received less stars or by submitting designs that resembled the one with the most stars. I removed all the stars and communicated privately with the designers and received a greater variety of ideas.
Please feel free to contact the designers linked above. They were all great to work with! (If you participated in my poll, thank you. The "red lady with the seedling" cover is not shown here by the designer's preference. If you would like her contact information, just drop me an email and I'll give you her name.)