Tag Archives: life

Far Away In Time, Blog Tour

New Release Feature!

Maria Savva was one of the first author-friends I made online. She is a skilled writer and a great woman with a kind soul.

You can check out her interview on this blog from 2010.

It is my pleasure to introduce her latest publication, Far Away In Time.

far_awaymaria_savva_hs

Blurb/Description:

Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories belong to us all.

Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time…

Book Trailer:

Author Bio:

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. She has published five novels, the most recent of which is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller. Far Away In Time is her sixth collection of short stories. You can find out more about her work at her official website: www.mariasavva.com

Buy Links (Far Away In Time):

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon FR | Amazon CA | Amazon JP


Author Interview, Nathan Daniels

Interview #71, with writer/survivor, Nathan Daniels!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Understanding, Respectful, Honest, Strong, Loving.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

fourth

EXCERPT FROM SURVIVING THE FOURTH CYCLE – CHAPTER 32:

“I would fill my torso with long, dripping, lacerations by the dozens. Often, I’d do this while watching the disturbing reflection in my bathroom mirror. I remember Hailey sliding her hand up the front of my shirt one night; only to gasp… shut her eyes… and whisper:

“What did you do?”

On that particular occasion, I had cut myself twenty-eight times. Twice across the throat, and I was aware of myself doing it, even if it was a distant awareness.”

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

EXCERPT FROM STEPHEN KING’S ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT:

“Writing fiction, especially a long work of fiction, can be a difficult, lonely job; it’s like crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub. There’s plenty of opportunity for self-doubt.”

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

For me, the writing comes very natural. I’ve been doing it most of my life and it’s a great creative outlet, as well as being an excellent form of therapy. The entire publication process is new to me, and understanding all the aspects is a challenge, but I enjoy learning more every day.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

Be it a textbook, memoir, or work of fiction the reader should never have to “push” their way through the text. Instead, you should feel “pulled” along by the words on the page.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Read something and write something EVERY day!

Your websites/blogs/etc:

You can visit me at… http://survivingthefourthcycle.com/index.html
Be my friend on Facebook… http://www.facebook.com/Nathan.daniels.56863
Follow me on Twitter… https://twitter.com/NathanDaniels75

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Much thanks to Nathan Daniels for stopping by — do visit Nathan’s Website for more info on him and his projects!

NATHAN’S BIO (in his own words):

My name is Nathan Daniels and I’m a dedicated father, stepfather, partner, and mental health awareness advocate. I’m also a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I have recently overcome a twenty-year battle with suicide, and I currently live with psychological disorders like… Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety, PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, OCD, and Depression.

I have a website dedicated to my experience with these widely misunderstood issues, and I want to share my story with as many people as possible and do my part in raising awareness as well as reducing the stigma associated with these ailments.

My website has 5 pages where you’ll find articles, interviews, photos, videos, quizzes, movies, poetry, books, blogs, and other websites devoted to mental health in general. I would absolutely love it, if you would just check it out… and perhaps pass it along.

Thank you so much :)

P.S. Check out Nathan’s guest post here! (June 2013: Flashback to Abuse)

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Poem by Babaji, Himalayan Saint

I came across this poem in an astrology book by James Braha (fantastic writings — check out his books online!).

I have many favorite lines from this poem. Two of my favorite lines can be inferred from this accompanying image.

angel_and_devil

Anna Ignatieva - Demon and Angel, 2005]

* * *

A Poem by Babaji, A Himalayan Saint

Love and serve all mankind. Assist everyone.
Be cheerful, be courteous.
Be a dynamo of irrepressible happiness.
See God and good in every face.
There is no saint without a past.
There is no sinner without a future.
Praise every soul.
If you cannot praise someone, let them pass out of your life.
Be original, be inventive.
Dare, dare, and then dare more.
Do not imitate. Stand on your own ground.
Do not lean on the borrowed staff of others.
Think your own thoughts. Be yourself.
All perfection and all virtues of the Deity are hidden inside you — reveal them.
The savior also is already within you – reveal Him.
Let his grace emancipate you. Let your life be that of a rose.
Through silence it speaks in the language of fragrance.

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Happiness and Healing

natural_health

Picture from Dr. Michael Lau’s Website

* * *

One of my worst chronic long-time health issues was dealing with acne (pictures here!). I went the natural route in the end because I was fed up of many of the over-the-counter type products which cumulatively seemed to be making the problem worse.

I’ve had high myopia for quite some time too. I’m quite averse to Lasik as I’ve never been comfortable with any surgical instruments going anywhere near my eyes (OMG). My myopia has dropped about a couple of diopters and I hope/aim to keep up with the progress. I take my time with that one since it has a lot to do with mental relaxation (and my mind can be “constantly zipping around” sometimes…). I occasionally post some updates on my improving eyesight naturally blog.

I first got in touch with Simon from Planet Mercury Channel due to our common interest in astrology. Earlier in the year he posted an extensive blog post titled Healing My Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue, Mercury Poisoning and Other Symptoms Using Natural Treatments.

It took him a long time to write it, so I sat down and took my time reading the post. I highly recommend reading the post as it is a lucid as well as polite refusal against conventional medicine (with my Aries rising, I can be a bit more “blunt” at times if I’m really irritated by…whatever). I also like the personal touch in the blog post (that’s something we all need more of the more technology advances).

I particularly liked these two paragraphs in Simon’s blog post:

“Natural healing is a multi-dimensional process. In my experience, as my body is healing, it is (inevitably) shifting my psychological and emotional status as well. For instance, crying has been as much part of my regular (emotional) detox routine as taking supplements or exercising. Again, holistic healing takes into account all parts of an individual, not just the physical body.

Also, true healing takes enormous amount of research, diligence, patience, understanding, hard work, asking questions, reading books, watching videos, doing some more research, and then some more research, and then some more…which is why most people rather not take healing into their own hands — it’s a lot of work!”

I like natural treatments because they don’t mess with the body’s internal system. Over the years, I’ve noticed that my physical body felt sluggish and fatigued whenever I was stressed out about something. I didn’t sleep well for many years too because of various things on my mind. I’ve been making some changes since late last year and I do feel a lot better mentally/emotionally as well as physically.

This is going to sound really “Virgo” of me, but I am an organic person. I like keeping things natural because there is no forced compromise that way. In both my personal life and creative life, I like doing things according to how I feel (i.e. whatever feels good/natural).

There have been times in the past where I could be pretty stressed out and miserable over 101 things at any given time.

Nowadays I’m a bit more go-with-the-flow. I was that way as a young kid right up to tween days. It’s good to return to that state without having to “force” or make myself feel more Zen-like while sacrificing intensity/spontaneity of emotion (for example). To me all four areas are important: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. And since I’m very sexual I suppose that element of me falls into all four areas too (which perhaps explains why I’m very intense sometimes…oh well). What I’m trying to say is that internal balance/peace is important to me.

As Simon concludes towards the end of his blog post: “Happiness and healing are art forms.”

The nice thing is that they’re art forms open to all of us :)

* * *

Thanks to Simon, I was informed that Dr. Joseph Mercola featured one of my quotes on his Facebook page recently:

“A fit, healthy body – that is the best fashion statement.”
– Jess C Scott, author

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SOME LINKS:

’70 is the new 50!’ Martha Stewart on aging gracefully and ‘maintaining a tiny waist’

Happiness Quotes (BrainyQuote)


Happify

1. Interview

I did an interview for Open Brief on “Erotica in Singapore” — click on the link to check it out!

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2. Happify

I had an email from one of the co-founders of Happify to take part in their beta-testing. The description of the website piqued my interest (“Happify is a NYC based company with a vision to bring the science of happiness to mass market in an entirely new way”).

The quizzes can be quite addictive (I took a lot of the personality quizzes back when www.emode.com was still around).

I was clicking around the “social gratitude” section.

These were the instructions for a quick exercise titled “Savor the Small Stuff”:

Are you savoring an incredible meal, a hike through the woods, or a gorgeous sunset? Whatever it is, focus on the details, let yourself get totally immersed, and use all of your senses to intensify and prolong your positive experience.

Here’s a screenshot of my response.

happify

The Plan: A great intimate encounter (physical, mental, spiritual).

How it went: The ultimate bliss in life ;)

P.S. If you’re on Happify, say hi (here’s a link to my profile).

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3. Quotes for each book of Wilde Trilogy (my first psych thriller project)

evil twins

I was looking for three different quotes for the start of each Wilde book (my psych thriller series featuring evil twin serial killers — the trilogy follows them through their lives as kids, teens, adults).

The three books in upcoming series are titled: Playmates, Bedmates, Soulmates.

I might go with these quotes for the opening pages (in order for the 3 books, respectively).

1) “All things truly wicked start from innocence.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

2) “We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.”
~ John Lennon

3) “The older I get, the more I realize how rare it is to meet a kindred spirit.”
~ Ethan Hawke

I selected the quotes based on how closely they summarized/represented the main storyline of each book.

Now to continue with Book02 and Book03 of the series (first drafts).


Astrology 101

astrology-chart

Astrology Chart image from LifeMusicFun.com

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It was mid-2006 when I discovered my Moon sign.

I was born in September, under the Sun sign of Virgo. While I did (and do) identify with several traits associated with this sign, I couldn’t help but feel that I identified with many of the other Zodiac signs too when I read about them. Signs like Pisces and Scorpio, for instance.

I was intrigued when I found out my Moon sign was in Pisces. That was the beginning of my enthusiastic interest in the subject of astrology (beyond the Sun sign).

Our Sun sign represents what our ego/personality aspires to be. Our Moon sign represents our emotional nature. This made perfect sense to me — Virgo and Pisces are opposite signs too. That was the first thing which explained to me why I felt like a nutcase most of the time throughout my teenage years (I’d always be seeking a “balance amidst extremities”). Additionally, I found out that my Venus (love sign) was in Scorpio, which adds an extra layer of depth/intensity to my experiences.

I’ve found astrology to be exceptionally helpful in terms of understanding myself and “organizing” my own personality. While it’s best not to reach the extent where you allow astrology to control you (right down to what you’re going to think/say/do EVERY single minute of the day), it can be a big help in helping enhance self-knowledge, which will also tend to have a positive influence on the other human relationships in your life.

I’ve listed a few websites below where a beginner can get more information on basic astrology.

For greater accuracy, you will need your exact birth time (hour, minute, birth location).

1. Lunarium | Moon Sign Calculator (it all starts from here!)

2. Cafe Astrology (free birth chart and lots of information)

3. Astrodienst (excellent website)

I’ve also included a quick run-down on what each planet in our chart represents (referenced from Cafe Astrology).

Sun: Represents our ego, personality, basic identity.

Moon: Represents our deepest personal needs, basic habits and reactions, and our unconscious.

Mercury: Represents how we think and how we communicate.

Venus: Represents our love style, and pleasure/what makes us happy.

Mars: Represents energy, drive, action, desire, self-assertion.

Jupiter: Represents luck, opportunity, expansiveness. Optimism and spiritual growth come under its rule.

Saturn: Represents restriction, limitations, responsibilities, commitments, and tough lessons to be learned (lessons which make/help us grow).

Uranus: Represents originality, individuality, technology, innovation, discovery.

Neptune: Represents inspiration, dreams, imagination, illusion, and confusion.

Pluto: Represents subconscious forces, ruling all that is “below the surface.”

Knowing your planetary placements (other than your Sun sign) is a great way to start off with basic extended astrology. That’s how it worked for me at least :)

In my own astrological chart, I have a Virgo Sun, Pisces Moon, Libra Mercury, Scorpio Venus, and Capricorn Mars. You can have a rough idea as to how these would make me quite different from a typical strongly Virgo type.

In a future post, I’ll write about how houses and aspects come into the picture re: reading an astrological chart.

That’ll help you understand what phrases like “Venus conjunct Pluto in Scorpio 8th House” mean (that is one of my “very intense” placements).

* * *

By: Jess C Scott
www.jessINK.com

Originally posted at:
www.broodsugar.com/astrology

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Poet Interview, Amber Decker

Interview #58, with the funny, blunt and nerdy: Amber Decker!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Nerdy
Industrious
Romantic
Funny
Blunt

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

amberdecker_lostgirlsbookcover

True Beauty (excerpted from Lost Girls)

Her dead father once told her
that dead things are beautiful
because they have given of themselves
and in their death show the living
the truest form of beauty.

Once, she fell in love deeply enough
to let a boy stretch himself through
the wilderness of her body.

When he surfaced as if from under oceans,
he licked her nectar from the flowers of his fingertips
and told her she was beautiful.

And when she opened her mouth to reply,
only dead things fell out.

That’s deep — well-done! Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

Bluebird (by Charles Bukowski)

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve been writing since I can remember, but I think I really started to take poetry seriously in high school. Someone gave me a copy of Verses that Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets, which was the first poetry anthology I’d ever owned up to that point. Before that, I hadn’t experienced much poetry outside of an English class — mainly Whitman, Poe, Frost and Dickinson.

Verses showed me what poetry could accomplish and how it could be used to take snapshots of places, people and experiences. It taught me about abstract images and how to open up worlds with fresh new language. After that, I was reading anything poetry-related I could get my hands on, and suddenly I was writing my own poetry. Now I can’t seem to stop.

Oh yes, Poe and Dickinson ;) Good thing the Verses anthology somehow founds its way to you. What goal do you seek through your poetry?

My main goal is to take my readers into a moment, to create images that stick in their minds even after the poem is finished. I also try to be as relatable as possible. I don’t want to be one of those elitist, academic poets with no clue how to talk to or write for people who are not also academics. I believe that poetry is like good fiction; it’s meant to be enjoyed — not decoded.

Yes, the best type of art is perhaps memorable as well as accessible. Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

If you want to write poetry (and do it well), you need to READ poetry. There are many fledgling poets out there who just don’t do this…and I’m afraid it’s pretty obvious when a poet hasn’t done their homework. Also, while I think that the classic “master poets” were (and still are) quite fabulous and should certainly be added to a list of poetic “must-reads”, remember that a lot has changed since these poets were alive and writing. POETRY has changed..a lot. Read contemporary journals. There are tons of them out there, and the range of the poets published in those journals is amazing. Try different forms, experiment, and find your own unique voice.

ITA — language is something that evolves along with the human species (for better or worse). Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://roughverse.wordpress.com

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amber decker

[Sweet Relish, by Amber Decker]

Much thanks to Amber Decker for stopping by! Be sure to check out Rough Verse, where she talks about life and poetry :)


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