My eBook IGNITE YOUR LIFE: BURN AWAY NEGATIVE THINKING, DISCOVER YOUR PASSIONS AND EMPOWER YOURSELF will be FREE on Kindle from June 16-18. Enjoy!
I'm proud to have edited The Psychic Twins' new book Died Too Young--and it's now available on Amazon.com.
Terry and Linda Jamison channel messages from eleven dead celebrities, including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Wood, Nicole Brown Simpson, Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) and more.
Get your copy for Kindle here. It's a fascinating read!
Animated portraits, pernicious statues, possessed dolls, haunted hotels, deadly diamonds, lethal bridges, cursed cars—is it possible that things going bump in the night (or in broad daylight) are the dearly departed clinging to earthly objects?
What about the clatter of silverware, thuds of moving furniture, aroma of freshly baked bread, slamming of doors—sounds and smells as real as the nose on your face…but emanating from nothing human (on this plane, at least)?
Long interested in paranormal investigation and spooking scenarios, author Stacey Graham now tackles the inexplicable, eerie and downright shocking in her latest book Haunted Stuff: Demonic Dolls, Screaming Skulls and other Creepy Collectibles.
The spirits of deceased children, murdered prostitutes, brokenhearted lovers, restless pirates, vengeful killers, desperate suicides—according to Graham, intense emotions connected to objects and places may very well be behind what we call hauntings. Are these souls reaching out to the grieving for closure—or to complete some nefarious unfinished business?
And what about malevolent items that some deem “evil” or cursed—ones that leave a trail of terror and death among its owners…sometimes, for centuries?, The doll Annabelle (as featured in the movie The Conjuring), the “Little Bastard” (James Dean’s car), Rudolph Valentino’s jinxed ring, Errol Flynn’s yacht Zaca and a heart-shaped bone pilfered from an Egyptian archaeological dig are but a few of the sinister stories shared in this book.
As one who doesn’t know much about famed ghost sightings, “cursed” objects or haunted places, I found Haunted Stuff to be a fascinating read. I was only familiar with Annabelle through the movie about the Warrens (but I didn’t know a chilling detail connected with the doll until I read this book), as well as the legend of the famed Hope Diamond. Everything else was new to me.
Graham spins these ghastly tales with literary flair (something unusual among what some would call “sensational” occult fare) and a healthy dose of wink-and-nod wit—serving as a truly delightful tour guide to the frightening, the fantastic and the fatal.
I'd like to introdue yuu to a neat lady named Melissa Pilgrim. She's dedicated to getting children moving, and has a book and app to prove it! In fact, the app will soon be free. And, teachers, librarians and homeschoolers can get a free mini-poster and lesson plans. More about that in a bit.
A bit of background on Melissa:
Melissa Pilgrim has over 15 years of experience writing for projects in all mediums—film, TV, theatre, and book publishing. She has had 16 plays for children and teens produced, 4 screenplays optioned, 1 TV series optioned, and has worked on over 12 books with authors from L.A. to N.Y.C. Melissa was the artistic director for The Sheil Park Players, a community theatre in the Wrigleyville area of Chicago, for almost 5 years where she produced and directed 16 original shows and worked with adults and children of all ages. Animal Motions is her first children's book.
And here's more information on the storybook app and free goodies:
Teachers, Librarians, & Parents: Get kids “creatively fit” this school year with Animal Motions, a fun, easy to follow, low-impact movement routine told as a story in a colorful children’s storybook app!
Animal Motions combines imagination, reading, and movement to make fitness fun—at home or in the classroom. Follow Eric as he stretches and moves his body at the start of his day by using his imagination to become 17 of his favorite animals. Travel with him to the jungle, the desert, the forest, the ocean—and don’t forget to keep your body moving!
The app is based on the full, 32 page Animal Motions children’s picture book and features engaging animations, audio hotspots (so children can learn the sounds animals make!), and professional narration with word-by-word highlighting. There are options for “Read To Me,” “Read Myself,” and “Auto Play.” (It’s like getting 3 books in one!)
Inspired from the author’s, Melissa Pilgrim, theatre classes with young children, Animal Motions was written to show kids everywhere how using your imagination can help make moving your body even more fun! The beautiful, full-page watercolor illustrations that help guide the child’s imagination are done by Ira V. Gates.
Teachers, Librarians, & Child Caregivers: 6 FREE LESSON PLANS in the categories of Health & Fitness, Drama, and Biology & Geography (for both preschool and kindergarten) and a FREE MINI-POSTER for the little ones to color are available at AnimalMotions.com!
Note: Visit AnimalMotions.com for more information. And please let all your friends know about the giveaway too—it’s good to share!
Some of my newer readers may not realize that I used to compile monthly releases of new books, decks and audio (mostly in the Mind/Body/Spirit genre)—for 6 ½ years (2005-2011).
It was tons of work—scouring the print catalogues of a dozen or more publishers for appropriate products, looking them up on Amazon, generating direct links so my readers could click for more information (or buy), snagging the item’s cover, carefully laying out the page on my website and so on.
Needless to say, it just got too labor intensive to keep doing my monthly New Releases, especially since our son was getting older (I homeschool) and I began writing my own books.
The cool thing is, though, that there are well over 1,000 books, decks, Tarot bags, CDs and more to be discovered among those pages. I figured you may want to look through all those goodies at your leisure (especially if you’re a book junkie like me!) and perhaps stumble upon something that calls out to you.
Click here for the last New Releases page published on JanetBoyer.com. If you scroll down to the bottom of that page (and all the subsequent release pages) there’s a list of links to the previous months.
Have you enjoyed my reviews, posts, books, radio shows, etc. over the years? Here’s an easy way to support my work: whenever you go to buy something on Amazon.com, use one of the product links on my site (embedded within the New Releases or Reviews)—or here on my blog (my books listed on the left)—and Amazon will throw a few coins my way since I’m an Associate (each link has a special janetboyercom-20 tag on it that identifies me). For example, this URL goes to my Tarot Basics Amazon page.
Neat-o, yes? You can support your favorite Tarot personality (ha!) while shopping at Amazon. Win-win!
Many thanks, and enjoy browsing all those New Releases (that are no longer new, but hidden gems waiting to be discovered by you)!
You are not the car you drive.
You are not your hair color.
You are not your height.
You are not your profession.
You are not your traumatic experience.
You are not your funny remarks.
You are not your achievements.
You ae not your Facebook profile.
You are not your age.
You are not your favorite sports team.
You are not your fears.
You are not your house.
You are not your latest gadget.
You are not your thoughts.
You are not your circle of friends.
You are not your family.
You are not your parents.
You are not your children.
You are not your weight.
You are not your favorite drink.
You are the biggest treasure. But who are you? What are you? What is you purpose in life? The reason you get up in the morning?
You are your potential.
You are your wish.
You are your soul and inspiration.
-- Barbara Sophie Tammes (from her fab book A BLUEPRINT FOR YOUR CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS)
It's always an honor to be mentioned in a book's Acknowledgements. So humbling! The latest one mentiong yours truly is The Gypsy Ribbon, the second book in the Arcana Love series. Huge thanks to my author pal Shannon MacLeod for including me in the acknowledgements!
I have an essay in a new anthology called A Mantle of Stars: A Devotional for the Queen of Heaven, and Ron's paintings of Lucia and Hulda are in there, too. It's published by Neos Alexandria/Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and edited by Jen McConnel. You can get it on Amazon at this link. (I just ordered four, and will be giving one away on my blog sometime in January.) Here's a summary:
Peel back the layers that comprise the Queen of Heaven. She is Mother Mary weeping at the cross, and Hathor dancing in the sky. She is Freyja with her wild eyes, and Frigg with her open arms. She is Yemaya, keeper of the sea; compassionate Kuan Yin; and she is winged Isis. Her starry body stretches across the sky in the guise of Nut, and she is Saraswati’s gentle song. She is Juno, and Hera, and Tanit, and a thousand forgotten names, and she is Inanna, descending to the underworld to be reborn.
The voices in this anthology are as diverse as the different goddesses who have claimed the title Queen of Heaven, but each sparkles like the stars in Our Lady’s mantle.
My essay is called "Queen of Swords, Queen of Heaven".
Below is an excerpt:
When it comes to the Tarot, authors spill the most ink on the 22 Major Arcana cards. The 40 Minor Arcana cards—Aces through Tens—are lucky to get a handful of keywords ascribed to them. Getting the shortest shrift of all are the 16 Court Cards, often relegated to assignations of mere age, gender, eye color, hair hue and elemental Zodiac group.
Many authors explain such emphasis on the Majors for archetypal reasons. They maintain only the Fool through the World reflects the universal “big” picture themes within Tarot. In fact, according to some, the Majors should be more heavily “weighted” in a reading—overshadowing the messages of the number cards (Minors) and face cards (Courts). Minor Arcana cards signify “just” daily minutia, while the Courts represent individuals weaving in and out of our lives.
Allow me to disagree with my colleagues by saying that every card in the Tarot—all 78 images—reflect archetypal motifs found in myth, folklore, religion, literature and song, spanning every era and culture.
Viewed through this expanded cosmic lens, the Minor Arcana and Court Cards shine magnificent, begging for closer examination, deeper exploration and—more importantly—broader application to our earthly journey and nagging questions.
This brings me to the theme of this anthology: the Queen of Heaven.
Of all the cards in the Tarot, the one that best embodies this theme (in my estimation) is a Court Card—the Queen of Swords.
Can't wait to read what the other contributors have written for the A Mantle of Stars: A Devotional for the Queen of Heaven!
I love the teachings and books of Pema Chodron. I just received a quote about laziness in my inbox, excerpted from her book The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times.
This is so timely for me, because I made the crazy statement on Facebook that one of my goals for 2014 (in addition to finishing two Tarot books before summer)--is to blog every day of the year.
WTF was I thinking? I mean, really.
I know that one of my mottos is "Go big or go home", but that was just ridiculous. (Timothy Martin got inspired by my cray cray and said he's going to blog daily for 2014. Go, Timothy!)
I never compete with other people, only myself (hell, I'm too busy to even pay attention what anyone else is doing). So I tend to reach for bigger, longer and better with my creative projects...when, in fact, 2014 is about going deeper and slower.
D'oh! Old habits are hard to break...
So here's the incredibly wise Pema Chodron on the topic of laziness...something I think I should try. Because for me, being brave isn't accomplishing crazy goals (I can do that in my sleep)--but ratcheting down my output in a more focused way. And, daring to be, feel and (gasp!) appear lazy.
Laziness is not particularly terrible or wonderful. Rather it has a basic living quality that deserves to be experienced just as it is. Perhaps we’ll find an irritating, pulsating quality in laziness. We might feel it as dull and heavy or as vulnerable and raw. Whatever we discover, as we explore it further, we find nothing to hold on to, nothing solid, only groundless, wakeful energy.
This process of experiencing laziness directly and nonverbally is transformative. It unlocks a tremendous energy that is usually blocked by our habit of running away. This is because when we stop resisting laziness, our identity as the one who is lazy begins to fall apart completely. Without the blinders of ego, we connect with a fresh outlook, a greater vision. This is how laziness—or any other demon—introduces us to the compassionate life.
What kind of plans are you making for the New Year?
In the video below I share some tips for surrounding your space with empowering words, creating a Blessings of Ideas Jar, coming up with your "3 Words" for the year (ala Chris Brogan's Brave New Year) and more (including a tour of my Zen Room, where I broadcast from during radio shows).
I admit, I had to consult the Tarot to help me with my 3 Words for 2014--but Commitment came up anyway!
I'm sure Mr. Ron will be thrilled that I toured his bathroom, too... (Sorry I tilted the camera at the end. Brand new Christmas gift and I'm trying to get used to it. Teehee!)
Recently, I finished a fantastic book by by Polly Campbell called Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightement for Ordinary People. It contains many great quotes, but this one reminded me of the Completion card in the OSHO Zen Tarot, aka The World:
You don't need to discard, fix, or hide from the pieces that are less than perfect. Notice them, see how they've served you, and give them thanks, or at least a bit of compassion. Then use your courage and creativity to live close to your values, to accept what is and create the beliefs that empower you to find meaning and sacredness in the moments of your life.
Go on now. Pull on those sweats and your favorite old T-shirt and go forward with awareness and curiosity. Connect to your spirit. Tap into your divine energy. Be all that you are, and know that that is enough.
Next summer, Doreen Virtue will be coming out with "the definitive guide to the mystical art of tarot"--titled The Big Book of Angel Tarot. The Amazon.com description goes on to say "By removing the fear, worry, and secrecy, Doreen and Radleigh have reintroduced the world to this language of the Divine without diminishing any of the amazing accuracy and detailed information that tarot is known for."
Thoughts about this? Do you feel Doreen is qualified to write a "definitive" book on Tarot (consisdering she just entered this genre last year)? Did her Angel Tarot "re-introduce the word" to Tarot--or have others already been doing that? Or has she tapped the angel market dry...and now wants to get in on some Tarot action?
Have you filled up on spooky stories yet in time for Halloween? If not, I created, edited (and contributed) to Spooky Tales Volume 1. The neat thing is that all five of us (including Mr. Ron!) wrote a story using the SAME 5 words: Tooth, Rust, Cope, Whippersnapper and Ghost. Get it on Kindle for only $1.99 at this link.
As an editor, it's a fascinating process to read different stories--all required to use the same five words--and watch how each author decides to use those words. It would be easy--lazy, really--to just toss in the mandatory words as one would throw parsley on top of spaghetti as a decorative afterthought.
Not these writers.
From Craig Conley taking amusing liberties with the word whippersnapper in his tale "The Toothsayer" to Jennifer Wheeler's stomach-turning placement of tooth in "A Bird Named Murder", each of these authors offer considered and surprising uses for the five required words.
They read like meat, not like garnish. Something you can sink your tooth into, so to speak.
Speaking of meat, wait until you read about the delicious "meatcakes" in Ron Boyer's "The Discovery"...
Well, I'm getting ahead of myself! As you can see, I'm very excited to present these five short stories to you--five entertaining reads that will leave you feeling off-kilter and, hopefully, spooked enough to want more from these talented writers.
Table of Contents:
"Aggressive Life Partner" by Janet Boyer
"The Toothsayer" by Craig Conley
"A Bird Named Murder" by Jennifer Wheeler
"The Discovery" by Ron Boyer
"Fear" by Michelle Bowser
I'm pleased to report that I've signed another contract with Dodona Books!
This Tarot book will be much different from my other ones, in that it will be a daily devotional, not instructional.
What is that?, you might be asking.
Daily devotionals provide bite-sized thoughts for contemplation, inspiration and encouragement. Once the realm of only biblical passages, devotionals have now expanded to topics like Celtic mythology (366 Celt), Taoism (365 Tao), writing craft (A Year of Writing Dangerously, The Writer’s Devotional, etc.), the Dalai Lama (365 Dalai Lama), Creativity (The Artist’s Way Every Day, 365: A Daily Creativity Journal, etc.), goddesses (Goddesses for Every Day), self help (A Daily Dose of Sanity, 365 Prescriptions for the Soul, etc.) and other themes.
However, one subject for the daily devotional format that has never been attempted by any writer is the Tarot.
Until now. ::curtsies::
Below are three sample chapters from 365 Tarot (estimated release date: Fall 2014):
Assumptions and Paranoia
The untrained mind jumps to conclusions and worst-case scenarios at an alarming rate, setting off a landslide of anxiety, suspicion and paranoia. Convincing, catastrophic images play on a mental loop so realistic, these anticipatory movies cause the same emotional and psychosomatic turmoil as if they were actually happening.
But they’re not.
In the Rider-Waite Smith version of this card, nine horizontal swords crowd the wall above a figure sitting upright in bed. Those swords are not pointing down at the figure in some over-the-top reenactment of Damocles’ sword, so there’s no actual danger.
No, they’re just swords piling upon one another, like a game of Tetris about to “top out”. They represent accumulated fears and anticipatory anxiety.
In the Snowland Tarot, a snowman teen sporting a carrot mohawk loiters under a streetlight while listening to his mp3 player. A paranoid elderly woman—literally “wound tight” (as evidenced by both her hair curlers and the old-fashioned telephone cord coiled around her body)—gasps in horror at his presence, either calling a friend for a gossip session or, worse, the police.
The generation gap begs to be bridged between these two, but her assumption that “different” means “dangerous” or “up to no good” results in the busybody tied up in the knots of her own making.
What are you assuming?
Happy and Burning
Arguably the most utilized symbol for happiness, a bright yellow sun with reaching rays portends clear skies and big smiles. In late spring and summer, the sun’s heat encourages garden growth, picnics and swimming. During fall and winter, the lowering sun almost appears white, offering a brief respite from iron clouds and the hope for the return of longer days. For those who suffer from the traditional version of SAD (Season Affective Disorder), the sun’s rays (or a close facsimile, like a light box) provides literal joy: without the necessary UV rays, life becomes bleak and melancholy.
Interestingly, there’s a “reverse” SAD condition where sufferers prefer rainy days and cooler temperatures. The sun, a colorful balm for their fellows on the other side of the spectrum, becomes a source of irritation, lethargy and anxiety. Individuals with photosensitivity, often caused by medication, also suffer from the sun’s rays…sometimes, with life-threatening symptoms. And, of course, too much sun can result in sunstroke and sunburn, the latter—with repeat performances—causing skin cancer.
This goes to show how even the most glorious of symbols and celestial bodies elicits a range of effects. Likewise, the Sun card, which often indicate supreme gladness and effervescence, may also hint at “too much of a good thing” when reversed or ill-dignified in a Tarot reading.
How do you handle the heat?
Today, my son and I shared the very first strawberry of the season straight from our backyard. The luscious red fruit, puckered with tiny green seeds, tasted delicious. Noah exclaimed that it “tasted just like from the grocery store!” which it did…but even better. There’s something magical about the first fruits of a garden. The first ripe blackberry, the first shiny green pepper, the first bumpy cucumber—all promises of a bountiful harvest to come. Even the first cheerful dandelions of spring make me smile, let alone the flowering dogwoods, blooming crabapples, purple hyacinths, white crocuses and screaming yellow daffodils.
Some say the Aces of Tarot are the seeds of potential, the mere suggestion of what may become under the proper circumstances, encouragement and nourishment. I get what they’re saying, but I can’t help but think such invisible possibilities belong to the domain of The Fool, where nothing has yet to be germinated, let alone gestated.
An Ace, though, is a singular something—one fruit, one coin, one step, one brick—that can be eaten, spent, measured and built upon. It has already penetrated the material realm, especially in the earth suit of pentacles. It’s the tiny, plump, pale green tomato which—given proper nutrients, water and sunlight (and absent any disastrous blight or infestation)—promises to grow into a red, juicy, delectable fruit.
What new fruit do you see?
I hope you enjoyed this preview of 365 Tarot! What did you think of it?
If you'd like to become an early fan of my upcoming book, I have a Facebook page here.
“I was becoming painfully aware that I didn’t understand the Bible, the bedrock that everything in my life was built upon. I had investigated concepts like eternal punishment but I had never broached the idea that the Bible might contradict itself or promulgate ideas that I didn’t believe in… It was like a tornado had torn down every structure I inherited and built upon. I was not even standing on a slab but on bare dirt.” – From Hope After Faith
In his fascinating spiritual memoir Hope After Faith, ex-pastor Jerry DeWitt (along with co-writer Ethan Brown) shares his tumultuous experience as a devout Pentecostal, hungry to be close to God and see the fires of revival sweep the South, and the crash/burn that resulted from witnessing too many unanswered prayers, ineffective ministrations, clergy hypocrisy, denominational infighting and Biblical contradictions.
From a salvation experience in the lush amphitheater of Jimmy Swaggart’s Family Worship Center in its heyday to tiny, destitute churches of Louisiana, the author details the dizzying heights of frenzied revivals—and the crushing lows of personal rejection (after getting saved, his grandmother asked if he spoke in tongues—and because he didn’t, his experience was negated), extreme poverty, dashed expectations and persistent doctrinal doubts.
Jerry’s countless attempts to survive as a traveling evangelist—including trying to “sell” himself to pastors to get a booking, dealing with legalistic ministers with bizarre beliefs and attempting to reconcile the various doctrinal differences between Pentecostals—is heartbreaking to read. As a former Pentecostal minister myself, so much of Hope After Faith mirrored my own experiences—so while I couldn’t put this memoir down, it stirred up some uncomfortable memories.
The first half of the book focuses on the numerous personalities within various churches and the author’s own family—pastors, congregants, cousins, aunts, former schoolteachers, bosses, evangelists, etc.—and how each affected Jerry’s personal doctrine, self-esteem and desire for fierce devotion to God. There’s so many names, not to mention doctrinal minutia, that some readers may feel overwhelmed with details at first.
But stay with the book.
Once Hope After Faith reaches about the halfway mark, I realized why all this information was necessary: to show that Jerry was, indeed, a kind-hearted, servant of humanity who “searched the scriptures” just as the Bible admonished, sacrificed enormously (as did his longsuffering wife, Kelli) and strove for purity.
Except, when Jerry started to investigate the Bible, itself, instead of swallowing the Pentecostal doctrine du jour—going so far to delve into church history and the work of Joseph Campbell—the rational, sensible answers that surfaced shattered his world.
Jerry realized that he was an atheist.
The last half of Hope After Faith chronicles Jerry’s anxiety and confusion as he continues to feel the magnetic pull of evangelism and desire to minister to humanity’s suffering, yet realizes that that he no longer adheres to supernaturalism (the intervention of God or supreme beings in the affairs of men, especially in the form of healing, prophecy and miracles) nor believes the tenants he once cherished.
It then dawns on the author that ministers are “meaning machines”, required to provide a sense and purpose to suffering humanity. When Jerry experiences a series of deaths—including a preacher’s callous attempts to explain it (a beloved, smart teenage boy was killed in a car accident because, had he lived, he would have been tempted by worldliness and eventually lose his soul)—and advises a man to get surgery (he dies the next day, leaving the author wracked with guilt), the final, tenuous connection to Christianity (and its trappings) evaporates.
But what happens when a Pentecostal minister attends a Freethought Convention, gets his picture snapped with prominent atheist author Richard Dawkins and uploads it to Facebook?
Jerry thought he was actually going to get away with atheism in his hometown of DeRidder, Louisiana—but if you know anything about vengeful, shunning Pentecostals…
If you want to know what happens—and believe me, Hope After Faith is one helluva ride—then you must read this book. It’s one of the most engrossing memoirs I’ve ever read (and I’m very picky). If you’re a believer, it will have you reassessing what it means to be an atheist, especially a humanistic one (silly me, I assumed you had to be offensively pugilistic like Christopher Hitchens, Penn Jillette or Ricky Gervais to be one!).
And yes, if you have an open mind, your faith will be challenged…as it should be. Because as Jerry said at a NOSHA (New Orleans Secular Humanist Convention) banquet in October 2011:
“Reason and science have done more to ease human suffering in the last two hundred years than all the sermons put together have done in the last two thousand years.”
“The interviewees share their thoughts on ways to tell the truth of our lives, access creativity, and balance magic and craft.” – Donna Baier Stein (from the Introduction to The Tiferet Talk Interviews)
Featuring edited, transcribed conversations that occurred between host Melissa Studdard and her guests on the Tiferet Talk Radio show between June 15, 2010 and July 24, 2011, The Tiferet Talk Interviews offers a soulful feast for readers.
The idea of transcribed radio interviews may sound like boring stuff for a book, but I assure you that the dynamism of such an outlet translates magnificently in interviewer Melissa Studdard’s thoughtful hands.
It’s evident that Ms. Studdard came to each interview supremely prepared, not only with a thorough knowledge of her guests, but also their work and—perhaps more importantly—how their creative contributions added to the larger conversation of what it means to be human, to be creative, to find meaning, to live our personal truths.
There’s so much ground covered in The Tifert Talk Interviews—each author, artist and poet talking about their books, poetry, music, designs and purpose—and yet, there’s an intimacy here, too. In fact, there’s great depth in this book, which surprised me. I wouldn’t have imagined that transcribed radio interviews could translate so well into book form.
Here are but a few of my favorite passages from the book:
Marc Allen (on dealing with doubts and fears):
“One thing that helped me was the knowledge that a plane is off course over 95% of the time, but a pilot keeps correcting over and over, and they reach their destination…Once you set a goal, once you dare to dream, you set a course, and whatever you do, you move toward it. It’s always just small obvious steps. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step, and then just another small step. There’s no huge leaps you make. You just take the little obvious steps in front of you when you set your course…We can be off course most of the time, but if we just continue to return to our goal, our dream, our plan and take the next obvious little step, over time we will reach our goal.”
Edward Hirsch (on writing poetry):
“You can’t be sure you’ll get hit by lightning, but you need to go out and stand in the rain, or you won’t get hit at all. You need to do your work. So, one of the constants is that you need to fasten your behind in the chair and sit down and do some work and try to consciously practice your craft.”
Robin Rice (on how she does so much):
“I do work from early in the morning until I can’t go any more most days. You could say I’m a workaholic if you really want to be pathological about it, but the truth is that this is what I feel the time is for. We are here now to do all we can. To usher in some kind of change in this world. And it’s desperately needed, and anybody who can do anything I feel should get out there and do it.”
Jeffrey Davis (on how writing is like a self-portrait):
“I don’t have anything in common biographically with these characters, yet there are parts of my personality that I can also explore…I overheard a conversation in the waiting room of the family clinic where we go, and it was just myself and this woman on a cell phone, and I got to hear her half of the conversation, and at first I was annoyed, and then I realized I had something really good, and I pulled out my notebook and acted like I was making my grocery list, but I was really quoting her.”
Bernie Siegel (on behaving like a survivor):
“Do I have a sense of meaning in my daily activities and relationships? And you know, that relates to the mortality rate of Monday. I mean, if you work, your life has meaning in it, and you will be a lot healthier and live longer. Well, I always say, find your way of contributing love to the world. So, it isn’t about what job you take; it’s about how to contribute to the world. Because people are everywhere, whether you are landscaping, plumbing, or a veterinarian, people are attached to what you’re doing and you have to really relate to those people.”
Below is a list of contributors to The Tiferet Talk Interviews:Melissa Studdard (Author)Donna Baier Stein (Introduction)Robert Pinsky (Contributor)Anthony Lawlor(Contributor) Bernie Siegel (Contributor) Lois P. Jones (Contributor)Julia Cameron (Contributor)Robin Rice (Contributor) Edward Hirsch(Contributor) Marc Allen (Contributor) Jude Rittenhouse (Contributor)Floyd Skloot (Contributor)Arielle Ford (Contributor)Jeffrey Davis (Contributor)
The Tiferet Talk Interviews is a fascinating collection of twelve interviews transcribed from the Tiferet Talk Radio show, hosted by Melissa Studdard. Some of the world's most notable writers and spiritual leaders share their thoughts on writing, tolerance, and the world we live in today. Gain incredible insight into their perspective on ways to tell the truth of our lives, access creativity, and balance magic and craft. The Tiferet Talk Interviews includes a special introduction by Donna Baier Stein and interviews with Julia Cameron, Edward Hirsch, Jude Rittenhouse, Marc Allen, Arielle Ford, Robert Pinsky, Dr. Bernie Siegel, Robin Rice, Jeffrey Davis, Floyd Skloot, Anthony Lawlor, and Lois P. Jones.
Melissa Studdard is the author of the bestselling novel Six Weeks to Yehidah, and its companion journal, My Yehidah (both on All Things That Matter Press). Since its August 2011 release, Six Weeks to Yehidah has been the recipient of many accolades, including the Forward National Literature Award, the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and January Magazine's best children's books of 2011. It was also named a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards and the Readers Favorite Awards. Along with Scott Lutz, Melissa is co-author of For the Love of All (Trestle Press), which is the fifth story in the Mark Miller’s One series and debuted in the number one spot for Hot New Releases in Literary Criticism and Theory in the Amazon Kindle store. As well, her poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies. Melissa currently serves as a Reviewer-at-Large for The National Poetry Review, an editorial advisor for The Criterion, and an editor for Tiferet Journal, where she hosts the journal's radio interview program, Tiferet Talk. Melissa received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is a professor for the Lone Star College System and a teaching artist for The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative. She loves anything related to writing and reading, whether it's sitting alone with a book and a cup of hot tea, or attending a large poetry reading or literary festival. She also loves travelling, meditating, going for walks, bicycling, practicing yoga, and spending time with family. She currently resides in Texas with her wonderful daughter and their four sweet but mischievous cats. To learn more, please visit www.melissastuddard.com.
Donna Baier Stein’s writing has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Kansas Quarterly, New York Stories, Prairie Schooner, Washingtonian, many other journals and anthologies from Simon & Schuster and The Spirit That Moves us Press. Her short story collection was a Finalist in the Iowa Fiction Awards and will be published, as Sympathetic People, in 2013 by Serving House Books. She has received the PEN/New England Discovery Award for Fiction, a Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars Fellowship, Bread Loaf Scholarship, a grant from the New Jersey Council of the Arts, prizes from the Poetry Council of Virginia, two Pushcart nominations, and an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Allen E. Ginsberg Poetry Awards. Her poetry chapbook Sometimes You Sense the Difference was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press. One of her stories was performed by Tony-award winning actress Maryann Plunkett at Playwrights Theatre in Madison, NJ. Donna was a Founding Editor of Bellevue Literary Review and founded and currently publishes Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature (www.tiferetjournal.com.) She is also an award-winning copywriter. Her website is www.donnabaierstein.com.
I've already reviewed this book (7 years ago, no less!), but thought I'd share the ten reasons underscoring Cohen's premise of suckage:
Reason 2: You expect it to suck
Reason 3: You get fooled by appearances
Reason 4: You waste your energy on things that suck
Reason 5: You keep trying to prove yourself
Reason 6: You say yes when you mean no
Reason 7: You think you have to do it all yourself
Reason 8: You try to fix other people
Reason 9: You starve your soul
Reason 10: You forgot to enjoy the ride
If there's a Bible to contentment, I'm pretty sure this book is it.
A little while ago, Amazon.com announced that it was acquiring the social reading site, Goodreads.
Author Jami Gold mused:
In their official statement, Goodreads assured users:
It's important to be clear that Goodreads and the awesome team behind it are not going away. Goodreads will continue to be the wonderful community that we all cherish. We plan to continue offering you everything that you love about the site—the ability to track what you read, discover great books, discuss and share them with fellow book lovers, and connect directly with your favorite authors—and your reviews and ratings will remain here on Goodreads. And it's incredibly important to us that we remain a home for all types of readers, no matter if you read on paper, audio, digitally, from scrolls, or even stone tablets.
Going on to say that Goodreads will now be integrated to the Kindle experience, a top priority, they also assured users that Amazon supports growing their vision "as an independent entity under the Goodreads brand and with our unique culture. "
In response, and echoing my thoughts exactly:
Then proceeded to screech:
Tickling my funny bone, Jeff O'Neal (editor at Bookriot.com) tweeted:
Amid the fray, book blogger Jennifer Messner confessed:
Dare I say that I never got into Goodreads, either? Maybe now that Amazon.com has acquired them (a site I do use and enjoy--as a reader, writer and Hall of Fame Reviewer), I may have to take a second look.
So what do you think, dear readers? Is Amazon.com a big dog pissing on everything with words on it? Or are they the salvation of books and reading? Will the merger with Goodreads be a good thing for readers? Traditionally-published authors? Self-pubbed writers? Might it be "incestuous" as Jami Gold suggests...and if so, how?
Speak your mind in the comments section below. I'm listening...and curious about your thoughts.
Why? Because a few self-appointed loudmouths in the online Tarot world think it's awful for me to continue reviewing Tarot books and decks on Amazon after becoming an author. (Never mind that I'm a Hall of Fame Reviewer with over 1,000 reviews to my name who has helped promote many a Tarot author and deck creator via my volunteer efforts.)
Because of this mindless mob, unchallenged by others in the online Tarot community for fear of the same type of reprisals, I've soured on writing Tarot blogs, books or reviews...and am moving away from it altogether.
For you clueless Tarot twits, read what Anne R. Allen has to say about authors reviewing other authors:
If authors weren’t allowed to review, there would be no New York Times Book Review. No New York Review of Books. No Times Literary Supplement.
Can you imagine the San Francisco Chronicle asking some random tourist at Fisherman’s Wharf to review the latest Michael Chabon instead of hiring National Book Award finalist Jess Walter?
Or if the New York Review of Books had told John Updike he would be “unethical” to review Philip Roth?
Or if the New Yorker had banned Dorothy Parker from reviewing The House at Pooh Corner because they suspected she’d be “too nice” to A. A. Milne after meeting him at a cocktail party? (Her famous review under the byline "Constant Reader" said "Tonstant Weader fwowed up.")
Here's the link to the rest of Anne's brilliant, thorough post: Online Book Reviews: Games People Play.
A few months ago, I envisioned an eBook series that would feature quotes or facts about a particular topic.
I got the idea as I was looking through my 100+ writing craft books, noting the passages that were highlighted.
Then, I began considering how I love coming across great quotes--often sharing them on Twitter or Facebook. And, of course, I've been a life-long trivia buff...
With Kindle, you can easily highlight quotes from eBooks and share them with your friends or followers, posting a passage right to Twitter or Facebook.
The rest is, as they say, history. Well, at least, it's history in the making!
I have dozens of topics mapped out for my new Call 111! series, but the first three will be 111 Facts About Christmas (almost done!), 111 Quotes for Writers (halfway done!) and 111 Quotes for Tarot Lovers (30% done!):
Each of these eBooks are meticulously researched from source material. Hey, I have to use my huge personal library for something, right? What this means is that I'm not getting quotes from Bartletts, Bartleby or Oxford.
No, I'm going through all my books--reading up a storm--and culling the very best quotes related to a topic. Most of these won't be one-liners, either. We're talking a decent portion you can really chew on (and which still falls under copyright's "fair use" laws).
With the 111 Facts About Christmas book, I'm doing extensive research into all aspects of Christmas using my personal library and direct sources--symbolism, movies, songs, statistics, myth and more. And how cool is this? All Call 111! eBooks will be priced at only $1.11!
Have a particular topic or focus you'd like to see covered in my Call 111! eBook series? By all means leave your suggestions in the comments section! I'd love to hear what you would like to read.
For now, here are some topics I have on my list:
111 Quotes for:
Finding Your Purpose
Living Your Passion
Banishing Your Fears
Loss and Grief
Getting Back Your Mojo
Dealing with Idiots
"As he walked up the aisle of his church, broken glass crunched beneath his boot. He spotted a brick on a nearby pew. "Not again", he sighed. "Lillie, be careful."
"Why would anyone break our windows?" his daughter asked. "Well, some people don't like our church because we don't believe in slavery", Mr. Pierpont said. "Someone is probably angry because our congregation has four members who once were slaves. Four members who are much more likely to go to heaven than the person who threw that brick, I might add." - From the book Jingle Bells: How the Holiday Classic Came to Be (Peachtree Publishers)
Attempting to recreate the sound of sleigh bells from his native Boston, John Lord Pierpont climbed the stars to the church pipe organ and began to plink out some notes. He begins to sing "jingle bells, jingle bells..." and, recalling that his parishioner Mrs. FitzHugh said "oh what fun", realizes he may have the beginnings of a song.
During the sweltering Georgia heat at Thanksgiving time, undaunted by racist vandalism, Mr. Pierpont and the children's choir introduce a new song to welcome the holidays, as was their yearly custom.
Two girls stroll up the aisle shaking strands of bells, and Mr. Pierpont calls down from the organ loft for the congregation to join him in singing the new song One Horse Open Sleigh. When the song is over, the rest of the children throw white feathers in the air as the congregation bursts out in applause.
Although the story is fictional, author John Harris did extensive research in Savannah, Georgia, including interviewing the folks at the Unitarian Church on Oglethorpe Square where John L. Pierpont served as music director. AT the end of the book is a two-page spread relaying some facts about Pierpont, as well as actual photos.
Sumptuously illustrated by Adam Gustavson (Snow Day!), Jingle Bells: How the Holiday Classic Came to Be is a beautifully told tale that not only brings a slice of Christmas history to life, but also lifts the spirits of readers young and old.
Today, the new Kindle Fire (7" LCD Display, Wi-Fi, 8GB) is $30 off! Instead of $159, it's $129. I just bought our teenager his very own. (The Kindle Fire without special offers is $174, but the $30 off code applies to that one, too).
Click here to go to the Kindle Fire's Amazon page. Don't forget to put FIREDEAL in the "Gift Cards & Promotional Codes" box, then click "Apply".