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Temples of Light--A Review


Last week, I shared with you information from The Temples of Light by Danielle Rama Hoffman. If you recall, Temples of Light, is being offered, along with $3000 in bonus gifts. Please visit www.thetemplesoflight.com/promotion and then click on the “order” link, order the book on Amazon and return to the promotional page. Enter your name and email address to reach the bonus page.

In the words of Danielle Rama Hoffman, in the introduction to Temples of Light:

"These heart teachings are in response to questions you have been asking throughout time and space about the mystery—about who you are and why you are here. They provide guidance regarding your relationship to the Divine and ways of manifesting greater happiness, health, abundance, and love in your life."

Temples of Light
is so much more than a mere book--it is a journey. Ms. Hoffman takes your hand gently and guides you throughout this journey. As you visit each of the sacred temples along the journey, you first learn what each stands for. Then, using guided meditation, writing exercises and the power of your mind, you are present at each temple.

As I followed along this path she laid out, I could feel an internal truth unfolding. Your soul will cling to the words tightly, feeling that it has at last found the path for which it has searched an eternity. Each person will find the journey personally designed for them as Danielle Rama Hoffman guides but does not demand; she leads but encourages individual exploration.

This book is not one you can read through once and set aside. It is meant to be experienced one chapter at a time, allowing the power of the words to seep deep within. Taking this time to savor the journey will allow you to join with a force that can only be described as Life--for you feel yourself acknowledging your connection with all that lives.

I can't give this book a rating on my Rainbow Scale, for it surpasses the seven colors--it is all colors. To experience this wondrous journey for yourself, please visit http://www.thetemplesoflight.com/promotion/

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The Story Behind Hard by Jamieson Wolf

I was going to post an excerpt from Hard today, but Jamieson was kind enough to provide the story behind this story--and I know many of you, like me, love to hear how a story came about. Enjoy!

Behind the Story – The True Life Story of Hard

My new novella, HARD, is actually based off of a true story.

When I was a randy young lad, I did indeed look at pornography magazines with my male chums. Name one guy that doesn’t when he’s younger (never mind when he’s older). But I always found myself looking at the guys in porno magazines.

I knew at a fairly young age that I was gay. I was brought around to this realization with a little help from my best friend at the time, a young man I will call Jason (that’s not his real name, in case you were wondering).

As young men are wont to do, we did explore each others bodies. We even pressed our crotches together, much like Owen and Daniel in HARD. But the true-life story ended much more horribly than the novel I wrote.

One afternoon, while Jason and I engaged in what could loosely be called an extra curricular activity, I got hard. Even worse, I got hard while we were rubbing crotches together.

I remember the look on Jason’s face when he realized I was hard. And the way the look deepened when he realized it was not the pornography magazines that were making me hard; it was him.

“Your hard.” He said. There was a note of accusation in his voice.

”No I’m not.” But he knew that wasn’t true. So did I.

The damage was done. Jason and I kind of drifted apart. We no longer hung out after school, we no longer talked. But I would see him from time to time in the hallways of our high school. Each time I saw him, I got a feeling that made me warm inside and slightly sad at the same time.

Years later, I realized that I was more than likely in love with Jason at the time. But I didn’t really know what love was. Heck, I didn’t even know what being gay was, not really. I just knew I was different; I just didn’t know how different.

When I sat down to write HARD, I had only one thought in my mind: what would have happened if my own story had gotten a happy ending? What would have happened if things had gone differently?

And the story of HARD was born.

While I was writing it, it was impossible not to think of Jason. I think of him every now and again and wonder what ever happened to him. He was the first boy I ever loved but, thankfully, not the last.

I can only hope that he’s found happiness as I have; and that he thinks of me every once in a while not with shame, but with pleasure.

You can read HARD to find out if Owen and Daniel get a happy ending. Get your copy from the lovely folks over at Breathless Press right here: www.breathlesspress.com



Jamieson Wolf
Words that satisfy every need…

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A Fun Break

I promised everyone a little fun today, so here it is....

Click to Mix and Solve

Click on the picture above to scatter the pieces, then enjoy!

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Hard by Jamieson Wolf--A Review and More

Best friends share many things, but sometimes feel the need to keep a secret. What happens when it turns out both have the same secret--and it is revealed? Sometimes, you end up with more than you ever dreamed.

Jamieson Wolf writes in a variety of genres, but his m/m erotic is some of his best work. This story is no exception. In down-to-Earth language (translation--intended for adults) Jamieson once again has created a story that arouses passion in both the gay and straight reader.

His language may be blunt, but the feeling of passion is clear and you walk away with the same feeling you have upon reading a sweet romance--that of wonder that true love can and does happen. I have never read any other author that can effectively combine these two emotions.

This is for all those who remember the feeling of first love becoming reality. This is not one to read while you are alone!

Hard is being released on December 11 from Breathless Press

In the meantime,why not check out the Hard Blog ? It has tons of free stuff including a free soundtrack to the novel, a free ebook, a free podcast and more!

You can watch the book trailer here

Come back tomorrow, when I will have a fun surprise for everyone--something to give you a much-needed break in the middle of your day!

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An Excerpt from The Temples of Light--and a special video

Yesterday, I introduced you to the book, The Temples of Light. Yoday, I wanted to share with you a small portion of what this book has to offer. Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy...and don't forget to watch the video that follows, it is breathtaking! Tomorrow, I will be sharing yet more from this book. Please come back and check it out!
Cosmic Oneness

The Great Pyramid is an initiation chamber that provides access to the unified consciousness that is within you. Entering into the Great Pyramid activates the universal truths of unity consciousness: as above, so below; everything in the universe is made of the same matter; you are eternal; you are source energy; and the law of attraction—like attracts like. These are all aspects of oneness consciousness. It is whole consciousness and inherent within it reside the sacred truths of the universe. Within the sacred truths of the universe are the divine qualities such as abundance, truth, harmony, love, and joy.

Breathing Exercise

Breathe with the Pyramid

Breathe deeply and connect to the consciousness that resides within the Great Pyramid. Do not focus on a specific location within the structure but on an energetic seed of consciousness within the pyramid. As you read these words connect more deeply to the seed of consciousness that resides within the Great Pyramid. Move into a place of receptivity. Breathe in through the back of your shoulders and into your heart. Give yourself permission to receive, remember, and accelerate your evolution.

The Great Pyramid assists you in rediscovering the innate knowledge that you are whole, abundant, and one with all there is. Oneness wisdom—unity consciousness—is beyond the perceived limitations of separation consciousness. In the Great Pyramid initiation you reconnect to this unified consciousness.

Take a few moments to breathe with the pyramid. Focus on this seed of oneness consciousness that exists within the pyramid. Spend a few minutes connecting to it.

Unity Consciousness

Unity consciousness pulses through the Great Pyramid...As you enter into the Great Pyramid there is only oneness, only unity; your being remembers fully this oneness nature, this oneness wisdom.

The benefits are profound and can range from restoring physical well-being and your connection to yourself, to all there is. At the pyramid you can remember that you are a star; that you are divine. In the pyramid you can unify with the abundance of all there is, in the consciousness of truth, love, joy, and ecstasy.

Yet you receive much more through connecting to oneness wisdom than these surface outcomes or benefits; you receive the full restoration that comes from being plugged back in completely to source. Not as spirit in form, but as pure source. You are not spirit in matter, for matter is spirit. There is no separation at all. Your body and totality are source energy.

As you walk into the Great Pyramid you ignite and all of you remembers that you are source. It is encoded within you that you are one with your source; not a vessel of your source, not reaching for your source, but source itself. All of you is source.

As you expand into this bubble of source, held in this knowledge that you are source, your gifts and talents are switched on and become accessible. You remember how powerful you are. Source hums in the wholeness of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, mind, and body…

Temples of Light by Danielle Rama Hoffman, is being offered, along with $3000 in bonus gifts, beginning on December 8th at 12:01 am. We invite you to visit - www.thetemplesoflight.com/promotion and then click on the “order” link, order the book on Amazon and return to the promotional page. Enter your name and email address to reach the bonus page. The bonuses are not available until December 8th.

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The Temples of Light -- Egypt's Enlightenment


From my earliest memories, Egypt has held my fascination. This being the case, I was naturally interested in The Temples of Light by Danielle Rama Hoffman.

The Temples of Light is a guide to the open-heart wisdom and secret rites of passage of thirteen sacred temples in Egypt

• Provides information on how to thrive as we move from the Piscean to the Aquarian age

• Offers guided meditations and rituals that connect to the ancient power of the Flower of Life, the Djed Pillar, the Ka, the energy body, and more

• Includes a 60-minute CD of a guided journey to the Sphinx and to The Temples of Light

The Temples of Light guides the reader, as the initiate, on a spiritual journey through thirteen of Egypt’s sacred temples--a journey into the sanctuary of the open heart. Each sacred site is a portal to ancient wisdom that can assist the modern-day pilgrim with everyday life issues and struggles--love, purpose, money, and health--and the deeper questions of enlightenment and our divine origin.

Danielle Rama Hoffman opens up sacred rites of passage that historically have been kept secret to forge a relationship with the temples of Egypt as allies and spirit guides. For example, the temple of Sakkara is associated with abundance; the temple of Abydos with remembering. The initiations in this book awaken intuition and the Sahu--the fully realized self--allowing connections to the power, magic, and wisdom of such sacred symbols as the Flower of Life, the Djed Pillar (the backbone of Osiris), the Ka, and the energy body. Hoffman’s guided meditations, rituals, and exercises also raise the reader’s vibration level, as we move from the Piscean to the Aquarian age. Embodying the wisdom of the open heart of these temples imparts a shift in consciousness from fear to bliss, from powerlessness to empowerment, opening the body, mind, and spirit to the infinite possibilities within. The book also includes a 60-minute CD of a guided journey of the Sphinx

Here is a breakdown of the information included:

1. Memphis—Empowerment

Offers the opportunity to move from any feelings of disempowerment to empowerment, by engaging your power as a creator being and awakening your ability to access higher realms of consciousness, directly without an intercessor. Includes a spoken and written exercise to facilitate acceptance and forgiveness of your life up to this point.

2. Sakkara—Sacred Symbology

Ignites your birthright of unlimited abundance and provides exercises to increase your prosperity and your level of fulfillment in life (helps overcome addictions, feelings of scarcity and emptiness). Also awakens your gift of Symbology, your intuition and your ability to understand the synchronicities and symbols in your life (overcomes feelings of confusion and overwhelm).

3. Abydos—Fully Engage into Life

Works with the sacred geometry of the ancient symbol of the Flower of Life to alleviate any sense of apathy, confusion, hopelessness, depression, or not wanting to be incarnate. This allows you to become accustomed to aligning your body with higher frequencies of consciousness, which is part of the Shift in consciousness from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age.

4. The Sphinx—Infinity Download

The CD that comes with this book includes a guided journey to the Sphinx, which works with movement, sacred postures, written exercises and guided imagery to assist you in unlocking a blueprint/download to draw to you certain experiences, people, and places that are in alignment with your essence and life purpose. Elicits a deeper understanding of who you are and why you are here, your purpose.

5. The Great Pyramid—Cosmic Oneness

Taps into the universal principles that comprise the essence of becoming the open heart: “as above, so below;” “as within, so without;” and the law of attraction and eternal life. From a spiritual perspective, becoming the open heart is aligning with unity consciousness as a divine being.

6. Philae—Divine Love

Works with Isis, the Egyptian goddess of divine love to connect to the high frequency energy of pure love consciousness. Awakens and harmonizes your body, mind and spirit so they work together as one unit.

7.. Kom Ombo—Neutral Energy

Restores the optimal functioning of your body and health while enhancing feelings of self-love, by merging the polarity of positive and negative into a neutral field of oneness. Includes a daily practice for living from the open heart and emotional freedom.

8. Dendera—Instinctual Bliss

Shifts your default pattern from fear, survival and obligation to joy and instinctual bliss—that innate aspect of you that is blissful. As you operate from a state of bliss and joy and automatically align your life with that which brings you more joy, you are able to manifest your heart’s desires because you are in such a heightened state of consciousness and vibration.

9. Elephantine Island—Soul Evolution

Completes your negative thoughts and repetitive thinking patterns. Reconnects your root to your source. The consciousness of Elephantine Island assists your soul in completing incomplete patterns from not only this lifetime, but also from past lives.

10. Karnak—Inner Resonance

Connects to your signature energy, your soul’s purpose. Offers the experience of complete self-acceptance and inner resonance. You unify and become harmonious with all of who you are.

11. Abu Simbel—Divine Mind

Provides access to the divine, unified mind and is a key to your evolution as a heart-mind being. Connect to your sahu, one of the five Egyptian bodies. The radiant sahu is the awakened, activated, enlightened self that is already a part of you.

12. Luxor Temple—Osiris Awakened

Transcends the deeply ingrained habits of being asleep and unconscious. Awakens your multidimensionality and the parts of you that are sleeping. Activate divinity codes and turn on your inner light, express your brilliance.

13. St. Catherine’s Star Gate—Rhythmic Peace

Engages the ability to be at peace regardless of outside circumstances. St. Catherine’s also offers the ability to live from your heart. Deep within your heart exists a portal through which unlimited peace is available.

14. The Living Temple—Conscious Choice

Discusses the concept that there is much to be experienced, learned, and gained from living from the heart. Engages your free will to make a conscious choice to live from the heart and unity consciousness or not.

The CD Included with This Book—Selected Initiations from The Temples of Light—includes a welcome and introduction to the CD, a recording of the first initiation in the book, “Journey to the Temples of Light—Joining Heaven and Earth,” and a recording of the second Sphinx initiation from chapter 4, “Journey to the Sphinx—Infinity Download.”

Danielle Rama Hoffman is a spiritual teacher, author, energy intuitive and ancient wisdom keeper. Her passion is to transmit innovative and ancient wisdoms that inspire personal growth and elevate consciousness. Her areas of expertise include moving into and living from the Aquarian age of the open heart, initiatory rites and passages from ancient Egypt and manifesting health, wealth and happiness.

Danielle is a conduit of infinite intelligence and divine transmissions that create a quantum field of
infinite possibility. Since 1994 she has shared her expertise in the areas of metaphysics, the healing arts, energy medicine, massage therapy, counseling and the Egyptian Mysteries to assist 1000’s of people to enhance their quality of life. Danielle provides high vibrational wisdom and cutting edge practical tools that uplift consciousness and inspire you to lead your best life.


2001 Member of a Lineage of Thoth
2000 Certified Alchemical Healing Practitioner/Teacher through Nicki Scully
1999 Kundalini Yoga Instructor
1998 Flower Remedy Practitioner
1996 Reiki Master
1994 Massage Therapist
1991 BA in Pyschology & Women’s Studies/Counseling Practice

Temples of Light by Danielle Rama Hoffman, is being offered, along with $3000 in bonus gifts, beginning on December 8th at 12:01 am. We invite you to visit - www.thetemplesoflight.com/promotion and then click on the “order” link, order the book on Amazon and return to the promotional page. Enter your name and email address to reach the bonus page. The bonuses are not available until December 8th.
Please come back over the next few days as I share excerpts from this book, as well as pictures and a special video.
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A Talk With Deborah DeNicola

As we finish up the week, I'd like to share with you an interview I had with Deborah DeNicola, author of The Future That Brought Her Here--Enjoy!

1. Deborah, can you tell us a bit about why you wrote this book?

First of all I am a poet and though I’ve written a lot of reviews, I wasn’t inclined to write a prose book until I began having uncalled for, spontaneous, metaphysical experiences. I took a lot of notes in my journal for months and months, not knowing what was going on. All I knew was I’d been a normal person for 47 years and suddenly I was aware of other presences around me and could see through my closed eyes. Eventually I decided, I am a writer, this strange thing is happening to me and it only makes sense that I should write about it.

I did actually write a number of poems on some of the experiences but the more I learned about the growing global spiritual movement and the reasons for it, the more I felt a responsibility to report on it using a more accessible genre than poetry.

The fact is that the human species is evolving. We are on the verge of some huge changes as three great cycles cross one another early in our new century. As I joined the vanguard of the movement and found thousands of people there, I also found my story was unique. It only seemed logical that the next step was to write it. I feel a personal responsibility to share what I know. Many people are not ready to resonate with my thoughts, but enough are out there with the germ of the seed in their unconscious collective memories. I worried about risking my reputation as professional writer and teacher, but it became apparent that I myself was crossing into new territory and needed to have the courage of my convictions.

2. If readers gain only one thing by reading this book, what is it you hope they gain?

I hope that readers will remain open to my suggestions and investigate for themselves the idea that we are all part of the godhead, that we create our reality and that we can change what we have experienced as reality, that we can change the world with the power of our collective thoughts and our perceptions, that most of what we were taught to believe about how reality works, is false and wrong, that our religions have misconstrued our powerful place in creation. That if we adjust our attitudes, have faith and rely on our intuition, we will usher in the greatest shift our planet has ever known.

3. Deborah, I see you are offering those who purchase this book some very special gifts--would you like to tell us what they are and how readers can take advantage of this offer?

Unfortunately, the offers are no longer available, although I am still offering on my web site, www.intuitivegateways.com, a free article on dream recall and an MP3 of my reading “Poetry of the Beloved,” a mix of love poems, both individual and spiritual. If people join my mailing list, they will be emailed articles now and then, both by me and if I come across one that I feel is terribly important, I will email that also.

4. What projects do you have planned for the future?

I have some workshops scheduled. Nov 11th at The Crystal Garden in Boynton Beach Florida, I’m teaching a class called “Rumi’s Path of Love; on the Philosophy Faith and Poetry of Rumi.” And I have a four week class in January on “Demystifying Your Dreams With Dream Image Work.” Both of these can be found at Calendar of Events Complete Date Order . Aside from some readings and talks I have in the works, I am writing a book of essays on dream image work called Cinderella Rocketing. A few of these are available on my web site. I am about half way through this book. Each essay offers a closer look at a different aspect of dream image work. The essays are about personal experiences and subjects such as dream amplification, day residue. archetypes, and active imagination, utilizing mostly my own dreams.

I don't’ believe we can heal by means of our will alone. We need access to our unconscious minds which have been coerced by our negative experiences. We need to create new neural pathways, stop responding automatically to stimuli. So many of our complexes exist below the radar. But Dream work allows us direct confrontation with the unconscious. Dreams are readily there and available for inner work. You can have good intentions, say affirmations, and take steps to put your manifestation into process, but if you haven’t cleared your unconscious beliefs, all your conscious intentions are for naught.

I know how to let meaning form and rise in the process of dream work. Healing the unconscious is absolutely necessary for the transformation of our civilization. I wish to share what I know and can teach about messages in our dreams.

5. Is there any special message you would like to leave our readers with?

Despite the grim look of the world and perhaps some chaotic episodes ahead regarding the economy, earth changes, climate crises etc., we, as a species, are manifesting a new civilization, as hokey as it sounds-- one of hope and peace and universal love.

Once people begin to realize that what we do to our neighbors we do to our selves, a great shift will occur. Many have already undergone this shift and are teaching others about it. It involves a new way of thinking about ourselves, our relationships, our work, our material and environmental concerns, our educational institutions and our justice and medical systems. Change is the operative word right now. We have passed into several new cycles, one being out of the age of Pisces, into Aquarius. Aquarius is about new systems, team effort, collective values, community, technology, freedom, equality and consensus thinking outside the box. Slowly we will overhaul the whole workings of our world. The big institutions, like dinosaurs, will be the last to fall. If we focus on them for security, we will be lost to the raving media and spinmeisters who have either unknowingly or knowingly colluded with the power cartel that benefits only a few at the top.

We are living in a time of breakdown of many of our reliable supports, but there is no reason to go into fear. It will be the end of our world as we have known it, but it will be eventually a better world, the return of esoteric power, peace and universal abundance.

My advice is to learn everything you can about the natural laws of manifestation and attraction. Take back your projections, understand who you are, accept nothing less of yourself than your most idealistic aspirations. Retract your projections.

Find work where you can do what you love. Find community. Share. Stop complaining. Visualize what you want, no holds barred. Don’t focus on the negative. Forgive everyone for everything including yourself. Express gratitude for what you have. Find joy within. Keep the faith. Hold to the highest good for all. Be patient. Love yourself and others. Trust in higher powers.

Deborah DeNicola


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The Future That Brought Her Here -- A Review


Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Ibis (June 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0892541482
ISBN-13: 978-0892541485

To purchase a copy of The Future That Brought Her Here and receive up to 20 bonus gifts, please visit: http://www.thefuturethatbroughtherhere.com/bonusoffers/

We all are seekers on this Earth. Some seem to naturally be drawn toward our necessary path, but most have a long, twisting journey to spiritual awakening. This was the case with Deborah DeNicola. Unlike most, however, Deborah has willingly shared her journey with us--giving us a chance to travel with her on her journey.
Ms. DeNicola writes with a poetic tone that brings forth all the intricacies of feeling within each paragraph. You will feel her confusion, her excitement, her pain and her joy. This is not a book that you can read cover to cover in one sitting. It needs to be savored and examined for the messages that she has entwined between the written words, so delicately that one can't fully comprehend one without the other.
While reading The Future That Brought Her Here, I found my own soul become fully involved and voice its agreement and understanding. Deborah's journey was one we will all recognize deeply. You will have a nagging sense of deja vu, not because you have read the words before, but because she speaks to your soul--from her own.
I would highly recommend The Future That Brought Her Here to anyone who is working on their own journey to enlightenment. It will most certainly help clear the path for you--providing a light that will bring a feeling of home to your soul.
I give The Future That Brought Her Here a solid seven colors--A Perfect Rainbow.

Deborah DeNicola - Guest Author

Last week, I introduced you to Deborah DeNicola, author of The Future That Brought Here Here. Today, I'd like to share with you an article Ms. DeNicola wrote that first appeared in Entelchy: A Journal of Mind & Culture, summer/fall 2007, issue no. 9. For more essays by Deborah, please visit http://www.intuitivegateways.com/ Now, sit back and be prepared to think deeply --and I'd love to hear your opinions on this essay! This, like much of Deborah DeNicola's writing isn't meant for a quick read, but to be savored, turned over in your mind and processed slowly.

Intersecting Worlds: On Grief, Clair-Sentience, and Place

The sun was just coming up at five a.m., the sky, a finger-painting of mauve and tangerine, when my guide deposited me at a lone cabin atop a hill. My expansive vista included overgrown and wind-torn grasses as well as the churning sea below, the few other buildings so far as to be almost out of view. Finally, after several cancellations and delays due to the unusual storm season in the first days of January 1996, my plane had landed in Seattle. We had just driven the two hours to Port Townsend through a raging wind jostling the compact car from lane to lane, passing huge downed trees and sodden areas of flooding. Flashing a weary smile, the young
woman handed me some maps and papers, a check for the month’s food and we said good night, or more appropriately, we laughed, good morning! I had traveled from Boston and she had waited up patiently more than half the night to deliver me to The Centrum Foundation for the Arts where I had been offered a month long writing residency.

The complex of Centrum’s buildings and land is located on the grounds of an old W.W.II fort which looks out over the Pacific ocean. From my cabin window I could see the edges of a small town a mile away in the distance tucked into the fanned curl of beach. I flicked on the electric space heater recessed into the knotty pine wall and hastily unpacked. Disregarding the hour, I set up my computer, determined to dive into my writing after some decent sleep, despite the howling winds outside.

I hadn’t been asleep very long that first night when I awakened to a crash in the next room and crept out of bed with my flashlight, tiptoeing into the living room to find the drapes and curtain rod had blown off the four small windows of the front of the cabin. The gusts were so strong the thin little house was shaken to its foundations. Briefly I connected this crash with another a few years back. The glass suction-cup vase, in which I kept a few ivy cuttings, shattered one night, having fallen from a mirror in my dining room. That night I had been dreaming of my deceased father when I was abruptly brought to consciousness. And so this night, 3,000 miles from home, half-asleep I barely noted my unbidden thought: Well, Daddy’s here, and maybe this time I’m ready. I went back to bed and slept until mid-afternoon.

I had come across country to the state where I was born with the intention of writing poetry about the subject I had avoided since my sixteenth birthday. At Centrum I entered one of those seamless zones which transcend time. Within the first few days I submerged myself in my interior world for long periods, sustaining a waking dream where my psyche was emptied and replenished. I’d look up and see the windows darkened when I’d planned an afternoon walk and lost track of myself. I was solitary, not lonely, experiencing one of my most nourishing phases.

For thirty years I have meditated twice a day. This practice has opened many channels, the most powerful, a clair-sentience to my environment, I dare say an extrasensory intuition where I can feel shifts in the energy of a room. This new sensation arrived slowly over the years but I noticed how much it intensified from the moment of my arrival on the west coast. I believe there were multiple intelligences around me, the spirit of living organisms, perhaps other writers who’d occupied this cabin, perhaps the ancestors of the land, insects in the walls, my father himself, or maybe it was only my belief in these correspondences that eased my writing. Still, I was conscious of subtle changes in my immediate external environment too. I wished I could test the validity of these newfound senses like Darwin playing piano notes for the earthworms to test their sensitivity to sound. Yet I had only my personal reality and the phenomena of my humming ears, my breathing skin.

I needed to recall my own trauma around my father’s sudden death, and though the fragments, ribbons and confetti that tossed about deep in my memory well were bittersweet, when they surfaced they found forms within the poems and left me free. And there was also something more occurring at Centrum, something primordial in my tactile senses, something beyond my usual creative process.

I think now the spaciousness of the west was more conducive to stirring these dazzling, already open senses. Somehow the silence, the sudden communions with nature which took place on my daily walks in synch with the unraveling of poems all provided a private covenant with otherness that transcended my own subjectivity. In my heart and mind, a shift in consciousness, an intimacy with the inhuman as well as a heightened sensitivity to the biosphere will forever be intertwined with the green grounds of Fort Worden.

Every morning over my oatmeal out my kitchen window I’d watch five or six deer still as statues on the chartreuse lawns. It seemed I never saw them move, though I would look back minutes later and they’d be gone. Evidently they knew when the world around them slept and like dreamy apparitions they disappeared into the dawn. Beyond that bluff, the distant blue-black waters slowly cinched in the January breakers lapping the shore, leaving a six foot wide path of tangled seaweed. If I left the cabin at the right time I could walk all the way to town along the scrubby beach.

Port Townsend was a bedroom community and reminded me of villages in northern Massachusetts and southern Maine. There were several wonderful bookstores, cafes and whole-food grocers I could explore. Every few days I’d follow the tide into town, do my marketing and return on the bus laden with bags of organic veggies and grains, corn pasta and different pastes. Though the village was "quaint," it was upscale. And as in Maine, I noticed the gap between the picture-perfect postcard of the men on the wharves hauling their nets, and the wealthy denizens of the town who had modernized it.

I’d sit on a bench overlooking the fishermen with my parka open, my scarf loose, warmed by the sun on the waterfront which was often radiant despite what I had heard about Washington winters. Slicing kiwi fruit over rice cakes, I nibbled on goat cheese and almonds, red peppers and pita pockets. The beach stones, the winter ocean, the hills and gulls put me in a mindful state. I was so pleased just to be, and realized how rarely I experienced peace in my quotidian routine at home, running to survive my schedule, weekends meted out as if two days of rest could even penetrate the shutdown senses, or alleviate accumulated layers of city-stress. Here a sensory reciprocity enveloped solitude. I could simply look and listen, allowing the sounds and images to hover in my subtle body; later words would appear.

I couldn’t avoid my sorrowful thoughts about the fact that Richland, Washington, the town beyond the mountains in the desert area of the state where I had spent the first six years of my life, due to the burial of radioactive waste, had since become dangerously polluted. Many of my parents’ friends made permanent homes there after 1945. And many died of cancer in their fifties and sixties. Some of my siblings and I have been contacted regarding our health by the corporation, Hanford Industries, a plutonium production complex which is involved in law suits with the Department of Energy and the EPA.

The physicists of Richland had a role in the production of the atomic bomb and there was something incongruent now about my reverberations with the natural landscape and my knowledge of the contaminated land where I was born. Like many, I have adapted to cement beneath my shoes, and in imperceptible increments, lost actual contact with the land itself, the potent power pulsed along the ley lines beneath the soles of our feet. Like the natives of many primitive cultures, I believe the land holds the field of the stories and emotions of all the creatures who had ever inhabited it. I had only slowly become aware that the powers of our conscious earth are at stake in modern civilization.

At different moments on the quiet paths around Fort Worden I stilled myself like the deer, focusing with all my senses opened, grounding this new energy. I tried to tune in on the faint buzzing I was becoming accustomed to in my body, attune to currents sprung along my own acupuncture meridians. For the first time I could relate physically to the interdependence between humanity and the living organisms of soil and rock. Though I’m not sure I understand the phenomenon I experienced, I know that in that place at that time new senses arrived within me.

And I thought a lot about my father’s life, how he had come out here to Washington as a young doctor before the climax of W.W. II, uninformed of the secret atomic project he was assigned to. How he and my mother in their mid-twenties made lifelong friendships with the physicists and physicians who lived next door in government housing, a makeshift village in the desert. How when he revealed his suspicion to one of the physicists, he was told never to mention it. How my East coast parents, still young and adventurous, and in no hurry to leave their new friends, extended their stay for ten years after the war ended. My brother and sister and I were all born there.

In the late forties and early fifties my parents skied at Sun Valley and summered in Priest Lake, Idaho as the town of Richland grew up around them. There were barbecues overlooking the Columbia River which bordered our back yard. I remembered the coyotes howling at night and how Kayo, our collie, learned to mimic them. I recalled the witchy tumbleweeds that frightened me, and the cowboys who yodeled from my parents’ monophonic console. How I would hold the album covers in my small hands and how delighted my father was when I memorized the words and gurgled the sounds. I remembered the blue and yellow snapdragons and my father’s rose bushes of all types and colors. How the corals were my favorite, how careful I was not to touch the thorns, and how I picked bouquets for my mother, prancing around the lawn in my lavender sun suit while she raised her freckled arms to hang the wash. It seemed there were fairies there too among the evening fireflies and when my family still teases me about the "imaginary" friends of my early childhood, I am forced to think twice about the ambiguity of my experience. We still have the home movies and slides that helped imprint these images, and I felt during this writing retreat, that I was reawakening to the magical child I was.

In 1954 my family came east to New York where my father’s Italian clan were rooted. Until my stay at Centrum, the closest I’d felt to nature was on the beaches of Maine, in the other far northern tip of the country. I’d married a "Maine-iac" and in my twenties I’d spent many summers with my butt in the sand, drawing with a stick, playing with my son, a toddler then. I sometimes needed to sit on the actual earth, not the blanket or towel. I didn’t mind the sand stuck up my bathing suit and I’d take my son into the shower with me where we’d peel off our suits, rinsing our limbs, watching the sand clog the drain.

In the blustery turbulence on the plane from Boston, I’d called on the keepers of the universe to steady the wings, and I addressed my deceased father personally, pledging to set us both free. Two years after recovering from a breakdown, he died unexpectedly in 1963, three weeks after JFK, a week before Christmas and my sixteenth birthday. I came to Centrum with an intention to confront the subject that intimidated me. I had read Plath of course, and who could say it better? Yet it no longer mattered to me how well I could say it. I must say it, whatever fears came up. I visualized him from a number of images that have always remained with me, casual snapshots; Daddy talking on the phone; Daddy paying bills; Daddy on the den couch watching live television with me the morning Lee Harvey Oswald was shot; Daddy driving and crooning Sinatra on our many family road trips; Daddy leading a family march through the living room to the soundtrack of The Music Man. I reveled in these happier times before my father’s breakdown, before I entertained the darker images I felt I must penetrate as well.

After each writing session, I imaginatively drew a figure eight of white light around his head and slowly enlarged it, cranking it brighter and brighter until it spun around the complete image. I had used this technique over the years after attending a workshop on healing with imagery and energy. When I did the visualization on my father, I would discover swells of sorrow trapped in my chest, as if unexpressed grief were incarcerated in the cells of my body. I’d tear up, sigh and breathe deeply. I knew the "pain-body" existed and I knew my own troubled relationships with men were somehow activated by my father’s passage during my adolescence. In 1963 I knew nothing of the need to mourn but followed my stoic mother who had courageously gone on. Although in therapy twenty years later, I intellectually explored my past, I needed emotional repercussions to rattle me physically into healing. We do not heal psychologically through our "understanding" but by reexperiencing emotions through concrete images shifting the ingrained neuron paths or thought processes. I believed I could alter the images that had wounded me, or at least put them to rest.

There was only one other resident at Centrum, a visual artist from Seattle. I visited her studio where she was working with silk screen prints of glyphs and spiritual symbols, birds, hearts, the palms of hands. I knew a lot of poets and artists back East who lived perfectly well without sharing my interest in evolutionary consciousness or energy bodies, yet surprisingly she actually spoke my language. Together we enjoyed an evening poetry reading by Sam Hamill, the publisher of Copper Canyon Press which is housed on the fort grounds. Poet, translator, practicing Buddhist, social activist, Sam is brilliant and committed. I had lunch with him in an old fisherman’s restaurant on the waterfront the next week. But other than those few activities, I immersed myself in Centrum’s natural world, long walks through the damp, gamey woods around the fort, the warm January light, splendid rows of poplars and pines.

One day in the thicket of paths, I stumbled upon "Memory’s Vault," the sculpture installation Sam told me about. A misty afternoon, fog skirting my feet, grace hovering in the atmosphere--I was astonished by the site. It’s a meditation in itself. There before me lay a Zen garden on a bedding of green and tawny rocks. Two imperious stone thrones preside adjacent to a modern Stonehenge a few yards beyond. Here five monolithic slabs are engraved with beautiful human longing: Sam Hamill’s five poems of sea and rain, animals and air. I felt his call to the sacred, suddenly deeply grateful for the central tragedy of my life, my father’s passing. I realized it had gifted me with an unconscious treasury and made me a poet. I thanked him, and Sam, and the quiet wind of this deeply luscious world, the air, rich in texture even in January. The trails zithered and chirped with invisible creatures. Light drifted across clusters of fresh holly, wild pachysandra and patches of lime, mosses draped in the crannies of bald branches clinging to bark in the storm-downed birch.

The woods, having been beaten by winds due to the unusual storm season, now seemed to savor its own existence. Its worn paths were obscured by the tangled foliage, but I was beckoned in farther by huge ferns, gloss on wet leaves, scurrying ants carrying cargo. Once I stopped dead before the distant end of a passage where a cylindrical crystal seemed to shine in the dying sunlight. But as I approached closer, I saw a spider web beaded with dewdrops, a deep pocket with a numinous glow rimming it inside and out. A cup I felt I could drink from, a spider web grail. I changed direction and found the steps of the fort’s banks, climbed them and peered into the ghostly dungeons, rooms where old admirals kept their plans. Descending the stairwells that led to a crossroads on the bluff, I walked and I walked, lost for awhile in the scent of mud, the fertile climate nesting its breath in my hair. I knew I couldn’t wander forever as the sea would appear on one side or another eventually, so there was a freedom in getting lost I found exhilarating. These woods were a sanctuary for emptying my day-world mind, a kinship with the communal mind of nature, that realm where the unconscious rejoins its first organic source, its home before civilization’s forgetfulness and alienation.

When the sun lowered itself and the clouds were tinted violet, I headed back to the cabin to meditate. Once I stilled myself, I was immediately aware that the chi around my body had thickened and I underwent a fresh sensation, as if a whole blanket of stretchy, netted energy surrounded me. I could extend my hand out in front of me and push the field of air around my palm almost like static from a balloon stuck to my hand. I have no way of truly understanding these sensations. I merely felt them.

Once, for only a few seconds during the meditation an image appeared. In one quick flash, I remember seeing an intricate, complicated machine precisely zoom into focus; strangely, I saw it in black and white. It looked like an M.C. Escher sketch. There were pulleys and ropes elaborately laid out, something we might see in a surreal manufacturing plant. I couldn’t find any associative meaning and I can only speculate about its symbolism. Was this my projection of the moving energy field around me, one based upon quantum physics, that hypothesized connection between science and faith, the machinations that made me aware of invisible dimensions? Could my unconscious mind have given me an image of "The Butterfly Effect" with its understructure showing the interdependencies of intersecting worlds? Was I influencing my own reality by projecting British physicist Rupert Sheldrake’s idea of "morphic resonance," where the present overlays the past? Einstein helped us understand that time is only a construct, past, present and future are all happening at once in the Now.

"String Theory," or the "Unified Theory of Everything" (as a recent Nova program on Brian Greene’s book The Elegant Universe called it) posits that we may live on a membrane surrounded by parallel universes inside higher dimensions. These strings vibrate in patterns like those of a cello or violin and there appear to be worm holes where there is access between the dimensions. These physicists theorize that the Big Bang stretched the fabric of space and that layers of reality may be piled up in "super symmetry." Or was my mind merely selecting from the store of familiar images I knew from art? What the BLEEP do I know? . . . But I couldn’t help but think there were relationships between my uncanny experiences, my intentions, and the fields of power around me which were both tactile and visual, both intimate and impersonal.

My sensations continued daily and I’d like to think my father was among a team of energies processing my dormant grief into pictures and words. I was closer to my father’s spirit here in the west where he had grown into his prime, his artistry, his surgery. He wrote poetry as I do. And here in Washington, ironically on an assignment from the government, he’d been both successful and happy. I wondered if the charged density in my chi had to do with my long overdue receptivity to the writing. I suspected also that the rainstorms had charged the air with more negative ions which helped produce my sensations. Mystics would agree that all that is is interconnected. I knew that many factors must coincide to produce what psychologist Stanislaw Grof calls a "spiritual emergency," where one is initiated to a world within the world.

When I recall this miraculous place, I see the rows of aspen lining the paths of the grounds against the blues of Puget Sound. Ferry boats trudging towards the sprinkling of islands in the distance, their triangular white wakes like veils trailing behind. Even under the overcast skies there was a kind of cleansing. And when the clouds did clear, the days were warm, the sun magnificent. Tucked away in a northwest corner of the country, standing on land closer to my birthplace than I’d been in forty years, I felt mutually rooted, both literally and metaphorically, with my young father. And through my perception of an associative empathy, I felt I was offered a palpable connection to the most basic nurturing sources.

The physicists tell us energy cannot be created or destroyed but only changes form. They speculate about parallel worlds, and I would swear my father’s spirit was among the layers of energy I encountered in that phenomenological field. Before I left my small cabin I improvised a ceremony to release the blaming, the selfpity and the longing that had haunted me, and possibly, my father as well. I lit candles and sage and invited him in while I read my poems aloud. Though I’m now distant from the traditional Catholicism I grew up with, I have always had a deep faith, an a priori knowledge of eternal existence. Though muted for many years, I had extrasensory intimations since childhood. The homemade ritual helped ground my intentions.

On the flight back I thought about my father’s transition into the afterlife. Since his death was induced by what appeared to be an unintended overdose, I viewed the crossing as rough. I wondered if my own pain had held him back through the years. I had read about near-death experiences, how unresolved grieving could, for a time, keep a soul tethered to its most recent earthly identity. The second year after his death my mother and younger siblings each had a separate vision of him on the same night. I told myself he heard my call and we could now
free ourselves from pain. I believe that psychic poet William Blake’s "doors of perception" will open the more we unconsciously inhabit the belief that they will. That the sacredness of our environment can speak to us. That by developing intuition in stillness we allow our bodies to relay information.

The search for the lost father is archetypal, and many of us who’ve lost a parent early in life are marked forever. Some of us are turned into artist and writers attempting to express what is bottomless. Perhaps there is no difference between what we do and what we imagine to do with the presence of that absence.

Editor’s note: The following year DeNicola was awarded a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for the poems she had written while at Centrum.

This essay first appeared in Entelchy: A Journal of Mind & Culture, summer/fall 2007, issue no. 9.

© Copyright Deborah DeNicola. All rights reserved.

Please come back Friday to read my review of The Future That Brought Her Here.

Deborah DeNicola is the author of five poetry collections and she edited the anthology Orpheus & Company; Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology.

Among other awards she won a Poetry Fellowship in 1997 from the National Endowment for the Arts. Deborah has been a recipient of many writing colony residencies. She also teaches dream image work and mentors writers online at her web site www.intuitivegateways.com .

To purchase a copy of The Future That Brought Her Here and receive up to 20 bonus gifts, please visit: http://www.thefuturethatbroughtherhere.com/bonusoffers/

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Our Nano Brigade Checks In

Unfortunately, it seems we've lost almost half of our participants already. That is about how the whole of NaNo goes. Let's check in with our remaining crew and see how everyone is doing as the first week draws to a close.

April Schmidt

1. Has the week seen you keeping up your enthusiasm?

I'm still pretty enthused . But I am getting worried on opposite sides. I am worried I am to behind in my word count . also worried I am focusing on catching up with the amount of words and not really focusing enough on the words that I want to come out. (this make sense?)

2. What methods have you used to keep up with your writing?

I guess I am simply determined to write a certain time every day come hell or high water.

3. If you've fallen a bit behind, has this discouraged you or made you more determined to keep going?

Nano has actually gave me the incentive to get this 'story' out.

4. How co-operative have other household members been so far?

My husband has been very co-operative . My oldest daughter is great for a pat on the back . My youngest to however are a little perturbed that I am hogging the PC

5. Have you devised any shortcuts in other areas to allow you time to write this month?

LOL Well I have a Mt. of laundry and since the time during the week that I have set aside to write is just prior to supper time the meals have been pretty skimpy or thrown together haphazardly.

6. Any words of encouragement for our readers??

Keep on truckin !


Donna "Kai" Wilson

1. Has the week seen you keeping up your enthusiasm?

I dunno if it's because the whole house is sick, or if I'm really trying to challenge myself this year (neither 'main' story is anything like my usual type of story) or a mix of that and the fact that we're in the middle of dealing with several huge issues here, plus Uni, plus I'm applying for jobs etc, but my enthusiasm isn't as high as I've had every year previously. But it's getting better.

2. What methods have you used to keep up with your writing?

I'm behind, so the methods haven't worked much, but I'm making sure that I do work hard to catch up on the ground I lost. I'm also making sure that I'm focused on my Nano - I'm ignoring other story concepts for the moment, and doing a brain dump every morning - when I'm out I always make sure I've got access to a way to email my ideas, and I take my note taking systems with me everywhere.

3. If you've fallen a bit behind, has this discouraged you or made you more determined to keep going?

It's made me more determined to be honest - I've only ever 'lost' one Nano, and only because I ended up in hospital, so I'm picking up my pace next month.

4. How co-operative have other household members been so far?

My household are great - the kids brag that their mom is a writer and are always asking how my stories are going - my partner has bought my favorite treats, and is always offering to talk to me if I need to brainstorm.

5. Have you devised any shortcuts in other areas to allow you time to write this month?

I'm using some of my Nano as my assignment that I'm handing in for my assignments, and most of the rest of it is my dissertation this year, which is taking about 12k off my count this month, and has freed up my time to focus on the Nanowrimo. other than that, I'm double dutying *everything* - when I'm doing the washing, I'm doing the dishes and thinking about my nano - when I'm running the meets, I've got my laptop with me. WHen I'm in the bath, I'm writing on my ipod (and the wonderful evernote app).

6. Any words of encouragement for our readers??

Just keep going. There's absolutely NO point that you could be at, that would need you to give in. And if you're struggling to find time to write, remember that you get the choice to procrastinate, you get the choice to write - you get the choice to watch TV. Choose your Nano!


Katie-Anne Gustaffson

1. Has the week seen you keeping up your enthusiasm?

Enthusiasm remains high, as does expectation to complete.

2. What methods have you used to keep up with your writing?

Go with the flow! Exerting pressure on myself is counterproductive to my productivity.

3. If you've fallen a bit behind, has this discouraged you or made you more determined to keep going?

No. At this stage I know I have plenty of wriggle room.

4. How co-operative have other household members been so far?

Oh, are they supposed to be co-operative? Hmmmm, I'll have to work on that next week.

5. Have you devised any shortcuts in other areas to allow you time to write this month?

Nothing other than keeping NaNo firmly in my mind when booking my schedule this month.

6. Any words of encouragement for our readers??

Don't stress yourself out if you're behind. This is only week 1. The main thing here is to get back on track.


Linda Dupie

1. Has the week seen you keeping up your enthusiasm?

The first week I 've never had a problem with enthusiasm. I start having problems toward the end of the second week.

2. What methods have you used to keep up with your writing?

I have to share my writing time with the before and after school program I run, so I use a schedule. I write from 4 am to 5 am and then again from about 9 am to Noon. I also try to meet a daily word count goal of 3K but no less than 1667.

3. If you've fallen a bit behind, has this discouraged you or made you more determined to keep going?

Falling behind makes me more determined to catch up and exceed my goal for the day.

4. How co-operative have other household members been so far?

My family is great during NaNo, though I've tried to keep their sacrifice to a minimum by not writing when they're home during the week and on the weekends. Though I will write on a Sunday If I am behind.

5. Have you devised any shortcuts in other areas to allow you time to write this month?

I cook meals ahead and freeze them, it makes it so much easier after a long day of working and writing.

6. Any words of encouragement for our readers??

Write as fast as you can and turn off that internal editor. And if you must change something don't rewrite use a Post It to mark the spot and jot down your notes and when it's time to rewrite you'll have what you need.


Megan Schwartz

1. Has the week seen you keeping up your enthusiasm?

Not so much. I’m realizing suddenly what a daunting task this all is. As a freelance and essay writer, I focus a lot on being concise. So having to spread out scenes for 50,000 words is surprisingly hard. It feels sort of wrong to say more than I normally would.

2. What methods have you used to keep up with your writing?

It’s been pretty easy to wake up early for some reason, so I use that time to write. My justification is that I’m not going to give up sleep just to surf Facebook, I might as well get something done!

3. If you've fallen a bit behind, has this discouraged you or made you more determined to keep going?

I am behind and it is discouraging. We had some family matters come up this week, too, which has been a real distraction. I am determined to muscle through, even though I know being behind is going to mean some seriously hard days in this next week.

4. How co-operative have other household members been so far?

Totally cooperative. Well, as cooperative as a 2 and 5 year old can be, I guess. J My husband has been enormously supportive, he’s waiting for me to support us on my writerly laurels.

5. Have you devised any shortcuts in other areas to allow you time to write this month?

I’m letting household stuff slide, I’ve cancelled some activities and playdates, but mostly I’m just trying to squeeze it in where I can. The past few days I haven’t written at all, so tonight after the kids go to bed is going to be a marathon for sure.

6. Any words of encouragement for our readers??

It’s hard, it really, actually, is hard. But there’s something so gratifying about seeing that number count. I realized it’s not about, at all, writing a perfect or cohesive of even comprehensible novel at this point. It’s about writing something, anything, and then looking for the good bits later on. Maybe it’ll only be a paragraph out of 50,000 words but that paragraph could just be the perfect start to something even better.

Maria Connor

1. Has the week seen you keeping up your enthusiasm?

Enthusiasm has not waned, but frustrations with interruptions has.

2. What methods have you used to keep up with your writing?

Even if I can't work on my manuscript, I jot plot notes, think about characterization, outline, etc.

3. If you've fallen a bit behind, has this discouraged you or made you more determined to keep going?

It's still early in the month. Plenty of time to catch up.

4. How co-operative have other household members been so far?

My family members and friends have been cooperative; I think I'm my own worst enemy. I can't seem to say no to anything, even though I'm already crazy-busy.

5. Have you devised any shortcuts in other areas to allow you time to write this month?

Getting up early isn't working. Sticking around work for an extra hour is one option, as is working off-site (like the library, coffee shop, etc.) There are too many distractions (aka excuses) at home!

6. Any words of encouragement for our readers??

I recently read a suggestion from another NaNo-er. She said when she sits down to write, she tells herself she only has to do 100 words. Usually it's enough to get the ball rolling. I'm going to try that!

Ron Berry

1. Has the week seen you keeping up your enthusiasm?

So far, so good. Now if I’d finish shopping…

2. What methods have you used to keep up with your writing?

I’ll let you know when I find one…

3. If you've fallen a bit behind, has this discouraged you or made you more determined to keep going?

I’m not discouraged a bit. I’ll go as far as I can.

4. How co-operative have other household members been so far?

Well, the only other household members here, for the most part, are the furkids and they haven’t said much.

5. Have you devised any shortcuts in other areas to allow you time to write this month?

I hope so. I now have the laptop.

6. Any words of encouragement for our readers??

Keep writing


Kim Francis

1. Has the week seen you keeping up your enthusiasm?

This week has been a roller coaster. I started out excited, but then lost steam when both my Nano ideas fell flat. But then I found a manuscript that I thought was lost forever, so now I’m excited to be working on it again. Sure it’s cheating, but it’s cheating of the best kind!

2. What methods have you used to keep up with your writing?

Butt in chair, fingers on keys, Babylon 5 or music on in the background and Facebook as a reward for lots of words written.

3. If you've fallen a bit behind, has this discouraged you or made you more determined to keep going?

I am behind since I changed stories three times, but I don’t think it’s anything I can’t overcome.

4. How co-operative have other household members been so far?

I live with teens…so long as there is food in the fridge or a twenty dollar bill clipped to the pizza coupons, they leave me alone. Sometimes they even leave me a slice of pizza. Ha ha

5. Have you devised any shortcuts in other areas to allow you time to write this month?

It was the impetus to set up my office…finally. Before this, I was working wherever the mood struck. But now, my office is setup in my bedroom so I can roll into bed exhausted and get up, stumble back to my desk and go back to work. I even moved my small coffee maker into the room. If I had a dorm refrigerator and a microwave, I’d never have to leave the room!

6. Any words of encouragement for our readers??

If you’re doing Nano…keep going! Even if you’re stuck…even if you don’t like the story…write around the part you don’t like and write through the block. You never know what you might come up with if you stop writing. Don’t Think…WRITE!


There they are, folks--How about some encouraging words!! Check back next Sunday to see how all is going by the halfway point.

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Poems From The Future That Brought Her Here

The other day, I introduced you to a new book titled The Future That Brought Her Here. Deborah DeNicola is first and foremost a poet and she has given me permission to share with you two wonderful poems from this book.

While the book is "a memoir of a call to awaken", there are some wonderful poetry pieces that have found their way into the book. I chose two of my favorites to share with you!

The Future that Brought Her Here
She's still discovering injury.
The childhood doll
with its cobalt eyes stuck open,
ginger lashes greasy with years,
a death in her retina
where only an absence appears.
The woman blinks
into the dawning, violet
light of her bedroom
rinsed in hallucinations--
Wrapped in the quilt
of her flowering sorrow,
she arranges the cumulative rain.
Birds swoop and crop her terrain
in a scree of time
and the room slides through iys layered history,
bookcase into fireplace,
latex into lacy paper,
the same hydrangeas bluing the air.
And she is years back, masked
to an earlier sensation, married
to memory that blunts her senses
the way hunter's headlights stun
deer. And she falls
through the future
that brought her here.
Not a cat, not a leopard, a lioness
walked out of my eye, halted
on furred paws. They covered
her claws, turning.
Her orange mane
swung like drapery
and when she opened her jaws,
I fell into darkness and close quarters.
Ripening fullness
inside her mouth. Her musk
was weighted, a cloud,
like the misty refusal of rain.
She licked my chin, my den
a warm furnace, heaved
in the height of her throat.
Heat ticked somewhere below
in the baseboards.
And the hands
of the dream held me
entranced in its print,
like a pinned insect
under amber. Sheltered
beneficence, brutal--
attractive, something
like love.
I will leave you with these poems to savor, examine and contemplate. I'd love to have comments on your interpretations :-)

Deborah DeNicola is the author of five poetry collections and she edited the anthology Orpheus & Company; Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology.

Among other awards she won a Poetry Fellowship in 1997 from the National Endowment for the Arts. Deborah has been a recipient of many writing colony residencies. She also teaches dream image work and mentors writers online at her web site www.intuitivegateways.com .

To purchase a copy of The Future That Brought Her Here and receive up to 20 bonus gifts, please visit: http://www.thefuturethatbroughtherhere.com/bonusoffers/

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The Future That Brought Her Here


I am excited to be sharing a unique book with you over the coming two weeks. Today, I'll give you general information, but watch for an interview with the author, a review--and hopefully a couple of excerpts :-)

A dynamic blend of history, science, psychology, dreams, and visions, Deborah DeNicola's memoir is a compelling account of self-discovery that is provocative and humble.

A poet, dream analyst, and college professor DeNicola writes about her struggle to live in the ordinary world of academia while honoring the competing call of the creative and the spiritual. DeNicola's memoir shows her range of intellectual pursuits and spiritual experiences as she battles an inner war between depressive cynicism and faith and shares her lifelong search to heal the trauma of her father's tragic death when she was a teenager.

Struggles between skepticism and faith, depression and hope, independence and attachment, creativity and financial security in the midst of spiritual searching, motherhood, teaching and writing are inextricably woven into the fabric of her story. Sharing the process of her awakening and how dreams and visions guide her, DeNicola stirs readers to listen courageously to their own inner voices. Her visionary quest takes her to the American West, Israel, and Southern France. Along the way she weaves together references from the Bible and the Gnostic Gospels, the story of Mary Magdalene, medieval history, the Templar Knights, the Black Madonnas, String Theory and quantum physics to find the repeated linkage between divinity and humanity.

Deborah DeNicola’s most recent publication is Inside Light, a chapbook from Finishing Line Press and her spiritual memoir The Future That Brought Her Here, is from Nicolas Hays /Ibis Press. A full collection of poetry, Original Human, is also scheduled for publication in 2010 from Custom Words Press. Deborah edited the anthology Orpheus & Company; Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology, from The University Press of New England.

She was awarded a Poetry Fellowship in 1997 from the National Endowment for the Arts, received The Paul Hoover Critical Essay Award from The Packingtown Review 2009, Best of the Net Anthology Award 2008, chosen by Dorianne Laux, The William T. Foley Award in 2000 from America, The Barbara Bradley Award in 1996 from The New England Poetry Club, and a Special Mention from The Pushcart Prizes 1992. She is the author of Where Divinity Begins (Alice James Press) and three chapbooks, Harmony of the Next which won the Riverstone Chapbook Award, Psyche Revisited (1992), which won the Embers Magazine Chapbook Contest, and Rainmakers (Coyote Love Press).

A Bread Loaf Scholar (1993), a recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony (1994), The Centrum Foundation (1995), The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (1997), and The Vermont Studios (1999). Deborah DeNicola was trained by the Dutch Jungian Analyst Robert Bosnak who coined the term “Embodied” dream work. She teaches poetry and dream image workshops in South Florida and reviews poetry for The Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.

To purchase a copy of The Future That Brought Her Here and receive up to 20 bonus gifts, please visit: http://www.thefuturethatbroughtherhere.com/bonusoffers/

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November NaNoWriMo Our Journey

November finds many of us joining in the madness of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo). During the month of November, participants pledge to write a minimum of 50,000 words on a brand new fiction piece. We give our internal editors a vacation and just write--often not even sure what is going to show up next.

This year, I thought I'd give everyone a chance to see how participating in this yearly writing frenzy feels. I have asked twelve volunteers--both new to NaNo and first year participants--to join us on Sundays to share their journey this month! We'll get a glimpse into the varied moods, what methods seem to work and what ones don't--but most of all, you will meet a dozen very dedicated writers who are willing to share with you.

Today, I want to introduce you to our participants. Please keep stopping by throughout the month and leave a comment of support. One of the things that helps each participant succeed is encouragement. I know each of you can do that! Now, let's meet our writers:

April, tell us a little about yourself

April Lee Schmidt – I’m originally from Michigan . I’ve been living in Alabama for nearly 11 years.

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo?

This is my 3rd time doing Nano

What project are you working on this year?

I’m actually working on more of a journal this year as opposed to a novel . I got the idea from reading Isabel Allende’s “ The Sum of Our Days” It was a gift from my daughter who thought it might help me through the grief of losing my son . Ironically Nov. 1st is the anniversary of his death . I would like to honor his life with this work.

How much planning have you done?

Not much . Although I have been thinking about this for a while I only just decided to go ahead with it the last week or so.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

In terms of a time set apart for writing yes . But not on the amount of words I’m going to write each session . I’m just going to let them flow.

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

Apprehensive but also determined

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

I guess I would have to ‘blame ‘ momwriters for that . Reading about all of my fellow MW’s reasons for doing it or not got me excited to try it again

Cathy, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Cathy Brownfield. I have been a writer forever. I raised four daughters with my husband of 37 years. I graduated from college May 2009 with a BA in English with the writing minor. I did it for a lot of reasons, including finishing something I started a LONG time ago. I wanted my grandchildren to see that finishing what you start may take some time, but it can be done.

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo?

My first participation in NaNoWriMo was 2006 and I was a winner that year. I didn’t even try it in 2007 because I was buried in school work. In 2008 I signed up, but quickly fell behind, again because I was buried in school work. I don’t anticipate any insurmountable problems with this year’s NaNo. Of course, we all know God has a sense of humor and everything could change in a heartbeat.

What project are you working on this year?

I wrote my honors thesis last year. It was a novel in journal form. When I submitted it to a publisher I was advised that it is an important story that needs to be told but it needs a lot of work. I decided to rewrite the novel in narrative form. With all of my studies behind me and grad school a dream ahead of me for next year, I feel ready to tackle the rewriting of my novel, Ramblings.

How much planning have you done?

During the month of October I worked with the BIAM plan to write a novel in 30 days. I haven’t finished the novel, but I feel this has given me the preparation I need to proceed with NaNo 2009.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

I will have by the time we start writing on Sunday.

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

I really want to get started. I have a pretty good idea what I want to do with my novel. But I also told myself this time I have before we begin NaNo 2009 should be spent with my family so they will be willing to give me writing time during the next 30 days.

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

Connecting with my writerly type friends and getting energy from the high energy of my writing compadres that should keep me going the 30 days. Being accountable to someone beyond myself also is a positive motivation. It’s just a thing that writers do, right?

Kim, tell us a little about yourself

My name is Kim Francis. I’m a writer, jewelry designer, full-time student, mom and now I’m pretty sure, certifiable. J

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo

This is my eighth year doing NaNo.

What project are you working on this year?

It’s a novel idea I’ve had floating around in my head for over a year now. But it’s not going to be a traditional novel…thinking it’s gonna be a diary-type book…written either as the protagonist’s journal or blog.

How much planning have you done?

I’ve got a rough outline and some main character ideas. That’s about it.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

My schedule is…
a. When I can squeeze it in, I’ll write.
b. When the mood strikes me, I’ll write.
c. When I’ve finished my homework, I’ll write.
d. When someone guilts me into writing I’ll write.
e. When I’m not feeling all that creative jewelry-wise (or I’m all caught up supply-wise...three guesses which will happen more often!) I’ll write.
f. When I’m waiting for crops to mature on Farmville or my energy to regenerate on Mafia Wars…I’ll write.

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

Excited and as if I’ve lost my ever lovin’ mind for even attempting it this year!

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

History, guilt, peer pressure and the need to add to my chaos. November just isn’t the same without NaNo.

Kai, tell us a little about yourself

My name is D Kai Wilson – my username on most places is Kaiberie (including the Nano). I’m a third year undergrad in Creative Writing and Psychology, and I’m really interested in linguistics, specifically plagiarism tracking and am doing a paper on that. I talk about lots of stuff that I do at my blog –

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo

No – I’m delighted to say that this is my seventh year. I’ve won all bar 2004, when I was in hospital, and have ML’d for all of the years that I’ve participated, three years in Scotland, and four years in Gloucestershire, when we moved in 2006.

What project are you working on this year?

I’m doing three books – Change (sci fi), Value (literary), and Glass Block – which is a complete rewrite of my first ever Nano. Because ‘Change’ is also my third year Dissertation, I’ve also done lots of reflection on the planning process which gave me some insight into what I needed to do to strengthen it.

How much planning have you done?

I’ve done the 30 day plan for Change, and half of it for Value. Glass Block has been planned, replanned, written four times and is my ‘third’ book in this year.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

Not really – I write when I feel like writing, and work best after 2pm – up until then I tend to procrastinate on Facebook, or other networking sites. Beyond that, no plans really J

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

As always, I’m inexplicably excited, and really looking forward to getting through it – I’m a bit worried because I’m still not better from my fall, and find it difficult to write as much, but if I can’t challenge myself now, I don’t know when I’m going to ;)

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

Honestly, I can’t remember. I think it came up in several conversations on lists I was on. I signed up, and then discovered that there was no one ‘running’ the meets in the area. I asked if I could, and the rest, I guess, is history.

Katie, tell us a little about yourself

Katie-Anne Gustafsson. I’m mother two young boys, Jake and Connor, and wife to Mikael. An expat Brit I live in my husband’s homeland of Sweden. Professionally I’m a freelance writer who loves fiction writing but unfortunately never seem to find the time to fit it into my schedule.

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo

No, but hopefully it will be the first year I actually complete it!

What project are you working on this year?

A slight detour from my usual sweet romance genre into the world of women’s fiction. The storyline tells of a friendship between two girls that spans the decades from sandbox to courtroom as one of them stands trial for murdering her husband.

How much planning have you done?

Not a great deal. I have a tendency to write scenes as I plan and that’s not allowed for NaNo so I have little more than a sketchy idea, and my opening scene on paper!

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

Nope. Tried that in other years and when the schedule fell apart, so did I! This year I will fit in NaNo where I have time in my day and hopefully keep on the word count schedule at least!

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

Confident, excited, and so ready to nail it this year!

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

Each year the possibility of completing a novel in a month is new and fresh. That’s what excites me about it, the possibility and the challenge. So far I haven’t managed to live up to the promise that each NaNo year brings but that makes me even more motivated to succeed this year.

Katrina, tell us a little about yourself

Katrina L Wampler. I am the single mom to three children ages 11,12,13. We reside in central NC with our blind dog and two cats. I am the author of A Hope and a Future, released 2008 and On Butterfly Faith to be released early 2010. I am currently in school pursuing a PhD in child Psychology with the dream of helping young girls overcome sexual abuse.

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo

This is my very first NaNoWriMo. I'm excited … and nervous at the same time.

What project are you working on this year?

“The Voices We Hear” Destined love speaks to the heart of those brave enough to listen.

How much planning have you done?

I've done quite a bit of research and the entire outline. I've plotted the characters and all the tiny details.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

Does, “write until my eyeballs fall out of my head” count?

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

I'm very anxious to get going. I'm a bit nervous that I haven't outlined enough but I don't normally use an outline anyway. I tend to let the story take me where it will. So, we'll see how this works out for me.

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

I've always wanted to join but have been involved in other projects or had personal issues going on. This year, I just finished my latest novel and the timing felt perfect.


Kelly, tell us a little about yourself:

Kelly (Writing Fiction I use my Pen Name: M. Jordan Renee). I am a freelance writer, help a friend run his business, mom to 3 girls (19, 18 and 16), amateur photographer, soon to be grandma, college student

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo:

No, I think this is actually my 5th year, have won twice. November seems to be the month when “the world falls apart”

What project are you working on this year?

I am working on a Fiction piece, working title – “House of Windows”

How much planning have you done?

I have been planning this for quite some time, but has been on the back burner. I figured this was the right time to dust off the cobwebs.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

I want to write first thing in the morning, while everyone is still sleeping and it’s quiet. Once the day starts……..

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

Above all nervous, the past couple years have been a disaster and have nearly given up hope.

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

Determination and proving to myself that I can do this! I will not be defeated!


Linda, tell us a little about yourself

I am wife, mom to two children 12 an 16, artist, writer and a whole host of other things.

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo

No, this is my seventh year participating in NaNo and if all goes well it will be my seventh win. I’ve produced two halfway decent manuscripts from the past Nano's.

What project are you working on this year?

I working on a project that is the polar opposite to the horror/suspense I normally write. It falls between the literary and chick lit genre. Hopefully it will turn out as humorous as it is inside my head.

How much planning have you done?

I’ve done more planning than I have in the past. Usually I write by the tip of my pen with the sketches of the characters. This year I’ve spent the two weeks before NaNo sketching basic scenes, characters, outlining the plot and sub plots using index cards.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

Yes. I usually write from 9 am to 12 pm and again in the evening after the family have gone to bed. However I go for word count rather than hours writing during NaNo. I try to write at least 3K each day during because I don’t write on the weekends.

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

I’m nervous that this will be the year I don’t reach 50K, if I was nervous than it wouldn’t be NaNo.

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

I love the creative aspect and the freedom to write whether it’s great or crap is my motivation during November and it’s also my vacation from Mom duty even though I’m still home.

Megan, tell us a little about yourself

My name is Megan Schwartz, I'm a stay-at-home-mom with two girls, 2 and 5. In my spare time, when I can, I work to build my freelance writing career.

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo?

This is my first year of doing Nanowrimo. I signed up last year and never even got through the first day. This year I'm committed to getting right through it.

What project are you working on this year?

I'm working on a fiction novel about a SAHM mom, I think.

How much planning have you done?

I have done almost no planning— I'm a stream of consciousness kind of girl!

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

My basic goal is to get up early (I'm hoping the time change this weekend helps with that!) and get down as much as I can in that hour and a half before the kids get up.

What are you feeling as you get ready to begin and what motivated you to sign up?

I'm nervous about the project but I keep telling myself it doesn't have to be perfect of even good, it just has to be the first step. I'm also looking forward to the motivation for writing consistently every day, no matter what. That's why I signed up for NaNo and hopefully that will pull me through to the finish line!

Maria, tell us a little about yourself

My NaNoWriMo ID is MariaConnor. I’m a freelance writer and prepublished romance author.

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo

This is my second year to fully commit to NaNoWriMo. The first year I got sidetracked by volunteering to coordinate social activities for the other participants. This year I’m just writing.

What project are you working on this year?

After recently completing two manuscripts, I’m eager to try a new approach. It’s a combination of Book-in-a-Month and The Spew Method. (The former is similar to NaNoWriMo in that the intent is to complete a manuscript in 30 days; the second means “to flow out forcefully,” followed by an intensive revision process.) With zero focus on the quality of what I’m generating, I hope to unleash my creativity and ramp up productivity.

How much planning have you done?

I have a general plot outline completed and have identified the main characters. I’ve also written a couple of blubs about the storyline (the equivalent of what might appear on the back of the book) and a three page synopsis.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

My goal is to get up at 6 a.m. and write for an hour before beginning my regular day. As I’m not much of a morning person, it will be interesting to see how this works. I’d like to develop this as a consistent writing habit. If my subconscious thinks we only have to do this for 30 days, it might work.

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

At the start of any new writing project, I’m filled with enthusiasm, energy, creativity and curiosity to see where these characters will take me. The added bonus to participating in NaNoWriMo is that pretty much everyone is up for the adventure. There’s a tremendous sense of camaraderie, which is rare because writing is such a solitary pursuit.

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

To me, NaNo is like New Year’s Eve. It’s a new start, an opportunity to let go of past attempts, old manuscripts and begin anew. There is a sense of anticipation, as well as the thrill of challenging one’s self. It’s also a fantastic excuse to indulge yourself as a writer; for one whole month NaNo provides an excuse to lock yourself up in your office, hide out at a coffee shop, gather with other writers or stay up late at night. It’s like eating a dozen donuts but without the guilt and calories

Nicole, tell us a little about yourself

My name is Nicole Zoltack and I'm a romance author. I've written many stories: some fantasy, paranormal, horror, YA, but all have elements of romance. I've published one novel, Woman of Honor, a medieval fantasy romance from Desert Breeze Publishing about a girl who wants to become a knight to take her fallen brother's place. I've also sold two short stories for anthologies and am almost done the rough draft of Knight of Glory, the sequel to Woman of Honor.

Is this your first year doing NaNo?

No. I started Nano back in college and won the first four years. Last year, I didn't attempt because I had a one-month old but I'm more than ready to tackle it again this year.

What project are you working on this year?

I am going to try to do two. Crazy I know and I might just end up doing one but we'll just have to wait and see. The first is called Magic's Origins, a fantasy YA, about four teens and the results of magic suddenly occuring within the world. The second, From the Brink of Insanity, is about a woman of accidentally kills a child during a game of hide and seek and her guilt and paranoia causes her to kill again and again.

How much planning have you done?

I don't do a lot of planning. I work best when I let the characters dictate the story. My stories tend to be character-driven versus plot-driven.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

I'm going to write when Nicholas naps and after he and hubby are in bed sleeping. And even spare moment and thought will be about the stories so that when I do have time to type, I won't be sitting there and staring at the keyboard, not sure what to type.

What are you feeling as you get ready to begin?

I'm really excited. I love Nano, the rush, the excitement and I can't wait to get started!

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

I've always wanted to be an author since I first learned how to write. Being an author has been a lifetime goal for me and I will make it a reality.

Ron, tell us a little about yourself

Ron Berry. I write kritter stories, humorous pieces bringing inanimate objects to life and some nonfiction. I spend a lot of time with Kadence, my wondrous granddaughter. My writing is allowed to be corny because I am, after all, from Iowa.

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo

This is my third year doing Nano.

What project are you working on this year?

The Wild Bunch goes on a tour. At least that is the tentative name.

How much planning have you done?

I’ve written many Amanda stories, the basis for the wild bunch. Based on their antics, I’ve actually outlined who they are and how they react to various situations.

Do you have a writing schedule set up?

Not really. I write as much as I can, when I can.

What are you feeling as you are getting ready to begin?

Apprehensive. What is my opening line? How do I start their tour?

What motivated you to sign up for NaNo?

I signed up the first time to see if I could write that many words. I did it again for the same reason. This year however, I signed up to get back to writing. It’s been an off year for me. I know I can do it and I want the Amanda story in book form. This is my opportunity to do that.


There they are, folks--give them an encouraging word--and come back each Sunday to see how everyone is doing and what they have to say about their experience!!!

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