Friday, September 25, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We define Visionary Fiction as stories about shifting, changing, and transforming consciousness. If there was a real-life person whose life exemplified these characteristics of Visionary Fiction, it would be the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

We’re all familiar with, and have read about her accomplishments, especially regarding women’s rights, universal justice, and fairness for all. She embodies integrity, justice, and compassion, crucial qualities in today’s turbulent world. In addition to the long list of achievements and virtues from her inspirational life, I wanted to share the more personal story fellow Visionary Fiction author, Alissa Lukara, tells about Ruth Bader Ginsberg (note the photo of Ruth Bader Ginsberg wearing an ornate neck piece):

“I wanted to mention that this particular ornate necklace came to RBG from my dear departed friend, Suzanna Solomon. Suzanna had a collection of necklaces and artifacts from when she was a child in South Africa and her mother took Suzanna and her sister to the tribal villages to participate in ceremonies and purchase art. She had put some of the pieces on Etsy to sell and Ruth's good friend had bought one for Ruth as a birthday present some years ago. Ruth wore it (and other jabots with significance) with her robes in court and at State of the Union gatherings.” ~ Visionary Fiction author Alissa Lukara


                 May Her Memory Be a Revolution.

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”  

~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself. Something to repair tears in your community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful life is—living not for oneself, but for one’s community.” 

~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true."

~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg


What meaningful legacy do want to exemplify in your life right now?

What meaningful message do you want to impart to your Visionary Fiction readers?

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Autumn Equinox - Balance and Equilibrium

Autumn Equinox is the perfect balance between day and night, light and dark. Shadows lengthen, colors turn, and the smell of fallen leaves and moist earth are underfoot. Looking to the sky above, we see birds migrate. Summer’s harvest has been gathered.

Many earth and land-based spirituality and wisdom traditions, such as the practices of the ancient Celtic people, celebrated the ‘Wheel of the Year.’ The Wheel of the Year acknowledges the annual cycles of the seasons and the natural rhythm of the earth. Recognizing our connection with earth cycles is key to developing embodied love. And embodied love is critical in these tumultuous times.

Our ancestors experienced their lives intricately woven with earth’s seasons and tides. They held awareness for the everyday ebb and flow such as night and day, dusk and dawn. And they aligned with the slower change of the seasons; verdant summer into fall’s harvest, fall into winter’s regeneration, winter into spring’s germination, and spring’s expansion into summer once more. These turning points were considered strong magical portals. Such gateways are opportunities to align with the energies of nature and augment those energies mirrored within ourselves.

These natural crossroads, the ‘in between’ periods, were celebrated with rituals, storytelling, songs, music,

and special seasonal foods. The wisdom of the Wheel of the Year frees us from our more modern linear, driven focus, and reminds us to treasure the physicality of our bodies and the rich sensual gifts of the earth. The Wheel of the Year invites us to pay heed to the unhurried energy of our bodies, and to honor them as the divine within matter, for that is where the Divine Feminine resides. By participating in these natural cycles, we can attune ourselves to the creative forces that flow through us, and learn how to harmonize them with the Earth.

The upcoming seasonal change of the Autumn Equinox occurs today, September 22nd at 6:31 am PDT. The Autumn Equinox is also called the festival of Mabon, named for the ancient Celtic god, the child of light. This is an early Thanksgiving where we can offer appreciation and enjoy the fruits of our labors. It represents a time to consider which aspects of our life we wish to preserve, and which we would prefer to transform. A perfect contemplation for envisioning a better, more loving future.

Water is the element of Autumn. Water indicates the realm of emotions and relationships. Autumn Equinox and its element of water urge us to go deeper and embrace our emotions and the nourishing dark of our psyche with its mysterious teachings. Autumn asks us to prepare by honoring the strengths that will sustain us through the cold winter months. During this time in our human history, it encourages us to take a lesson from autumn’s beautiful falling leaves and find the transformation in letting go of what no longer serves.

Suggestions for how to celebrate the Autumn Equinox:

You can commemorate the Autumn Equinox in small ways:

1.     Enjoy seasonal fruits like pears and apples. Roast the fruits whole in a baking pan for 45 minutes at 350 degrees for a delicious autumn treat.

2.     Peel an apple and sprinkle the peel with the balancing herb, thyme. Roll the peel up after you sprinkle the thyme. Bake in a warm oven of 250 degrees for an hour or so, making sure to breathe in the combination of the sweet apple and the fresh, pungent thyme - it will help bring balance to your home and those who live there. Once dried, the peel can be kept to hold in your hand whenever you need a little balance.

(from Cait Johnson, ‘Witch in the Kitchen’)

Autumn Equinox Ritual:

3.     Fill a small bowl with water as a way to connect with autumn’s element. Set it on your kitchen counter or on your altar. Gather colorful autumn leaves and surround your bowl with the leaves. Hold your bowl of water and name 3 people you are thankful for in your life. Pick up one of the brightly colored fall leaves, and as you float it in the water, name one thing you have learned or transformed in 2020 that has become a strength within you which will sustain you during the winter months ahead.

Happy Autumn Equinox!

Art credit: Orchard by Franz Dvorak

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Marriage of the Muse and the Mess

I was in a writing group for 14 years. They were my first line readers. I truly appreciate
d how their frank critiques helped my manuscripts grow into their best versions. 

During one writer's meeting, we pondered the question, "Who writes?" When we sit down at the computer, who is it that comes forward to communicate the storyconcept, to express the dialogue and scenes, the story, the creative wealth, as well as the consciousness transformational experience so necessary in Visionary Fiction?

After considering what happens when I write, I arrived at an answer to "Who writes?" Simply yet profoundly—the whole of me. Not only the transcendent witnessof my life, outside of me, up there, out of body. And not only my creative muse, or divine guidance and inspiration. These are part of the equation, but they are not the whole. These aspects are disconnected without considering my oftentimes messy human self - my painful grief, raging anger, bottomless despair and struggle. Without my experiences of felt emotion, none of my writing could touch the hearts or souls of my readers. My stories would be void and sterile, written 'about' rather than written to intimately engage.

It is so important to feel—to physically sense, allow, accept, digest and metabolize all of our emotions. The lack of doing so can create writer’s block (among a host of other unpleasant things). While penning “Carry on the Flame: Destiny’s Call” I was stopped short for a few months. Unable to continue writing about my character Sharay’s gut wrenching experiences of loss and injustice until I created the space in my body to process my own personal loss and grief. 

We can all turn the dross of our life experience into gold. Integrating my beautifully messy human self with my muse, my passion, my divine guidance and inspiration—now that is where the spark of creativity truly ignites. In that integration, the compost of the stuff of life is brought to perfected alchemy. Passions flows freely, I express my truth in writing, sentences shine, plot is engaging, characters have sensory depth and they grow from their conflict and tension. Readers feel emotions and experiences alongside the characters. This can only be created from the union of the mess and the muse.

As writers, this alchemical union of mess and muse is much like the process of how characters achieve their goals through their transformational arc within a story. Characters don't start out without flaws. There would be no story there. Characters start their stories with conflicts and obstacles to what they desire. If that is not part of their experience there's not much point in telling the story, now is there? Readers would lose interest.

The muse without the compost of the mess is barren. 


If you write (and we all do in some form or another), how would you answer the question, "Who writes?"

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

No More Band-Aids: A Visionary Fiction Author’s Rant.

(warning: the good, the bad, and the ugly)

“Life feels shitty right now. Life is leading us to a new and better way of living. I hate not seeing loved ones. I am so grateful for what I do have. I miss (fill in the blank).”

I started out this era of Covid feeling concerned, yet calm, philosophical, better future oriented. I still feel that way. 

Then the wildfires started here in California. Terrifying destruction. Anxious evacuations. Two friends’ homes burnt to the ground. Orange, smoky skies, and unhealthy air accompanied by extreme heat waves with temperatures up to 120 degrees. Electrical rolling blackouts to save power. Followed by the pre-planned blackouts, days long blackouts, instigated to protect us when wind and temperature make conditions favorable for more wildfires. These record-breaking raging infernos are the offspring of global warming.

When we got the call yesterday for the electrical outage possibilities in our area I crumbled. Cried. It pushed my mettle. What happens to my expensive refrigerated medicine? What happens to those who suffer with illnesses that over-whelming heat would exacerbate? Like me. Or my neighbor. Or the elderly folks from my Unity community.

All of this atop the usual everyday stressors in our personal lives we all face. Mix in the political chaos, the social unrest, the exposed injustices of our world.

So, the thoughts and feelings I expressed at the opening of my post teeter between acute stress and far vision, between over-whelming anxiety and transpersonal perspective. Between destruction and regeneration. This is normal and common for most everyone nowadays in the era of Covid.


If you’re thinking I’m painting a picture of doom and gloom, I am. If you’re thinking I am focusing on negative thoughts – well, that is only a superficial and not helpful platitude.

We ARE in the phase of destruction. We are in the midst of deaths large and small. It is hellish. And it is a herald. Big changes are coming.

It is time to rip off the band-aids. No more surface healing. It is time for surgery. Heart surgery, gut surgery, psychic surgery, the type of surgery that roots out the underbelly evils. This is the time for exposing, questioning, introspection, contemplation, seeing what we truly want to be real, and healing at the deepest, most secret, most hidden possible levels.

In the place of what does not serve us, what does not serve love, it is time to plant kindness, and hope. And most of all love. 

It is time to embody this love, to take it into our everyday living. To choose it again and again. It is a choice. In order to build a new reality, it is a minute by minute choice. Choose love. It is Love that will meet us, hold us, give us clarity.

One step at a time, we move forward. Our anxiety, fears, and grief can, and will, accompany us. We are human and it is a normal response. Do not shove these emotions aside and under the rug, forcing them to root deep in our bodies in shadowy corners to then ultimately express in unhealthy ways. Welcome all emotions, even uncomfortable ones. Hold them in your heart. And keep going. 

Keep going sometimes looks like hiding in bed or on the couch or in Netflix. Or it means being still and silent, letting heart wisdom emerge. Or helping another. Any and all sorts of fulfilling and rejuvenating actions that work for you.

Feel the gratitude in your heart for what blessings you have, and for the love in your life. Compassion for those who have lost so much; jobs, homes, loved ones, and for those who are victims of injustice. Act and be an activist if this calls to you.

Embrace the greening and restoration of nature. Sleep well. Eat well.

Why? Because we are heading for the rebirth. A new way and better way of living awaits us. We are invited to dive deep and come up with better ways of being and of doing. New ways of rebuilding. New ways of rectifying. New ways of justice.

Visionary Fiction stories offer hope and suggestions for times like these. When I visualized the concepts of my Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series over 25 years ago, I said they were written for those critical junctures in human history, those times of tumult and chaos for humankind. I wrote about past critical junctures such as the demise of Atlantis and the suppression of the Divine Feminine in the Dark Ages (through to now). And today’s world, with my latest publication in January 2020 before I knew what Covid even was. Still, I never imagined the specifics of today’s hellish scenarios. But I knew these kind of times were coming.

Several ancient traditions told us these times were coming, heralding a new golden civilization. My visions told me this. My books wrote about this. 

Now is the time to read Visionary Fiction. Glean and gather the hope and suggestions offered through the character’s experiences in Visionary Fiction. We are all being initiated into the new future. Covid is a portal. Wildfires are a portal. Hurricanes are a portal. Grief and fear are a portal and an initiation. Treat these powerful, ever important initiations with love and respect. Treat yourself with love, kindness, and respect. And treat others with love, kindness, and respect. 

No more band-aids. Go deep. Be love. We are on the threshold. We are moving all together toward this new world, this new vision. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

10 Free Ways to Show Gratitude to the Writers You Love

Authors write in isolation. It is a solitary craft. Perhaps we eventually go on to share our manuscript with trusted friends or family, or perhaps we bring our rough drafts to a critique group or editor. But writing is a basically autonomous craft, and as such, a writer’s life leads us to especially appreciate feedback. In the form of reviews, or contests, or personal correspondences of thanks for our work, as just some examples. 

I was recently notified of two more book awards to add to my credits for “The Hidden Abbey.” I was awarded the Bronze Medal from the Global E-Book awards and Finalist in the American Fiction Awards Contest. I felt that flutter of thrill in my chest to learn my work was validated and appreciated.

Author Andi Cumbo-Floyd wrote a blog in April 2019 about her poignant experience in receiving gratitude from readers. Andi spoke about a year of experiencing dark days, with family deaths and a host of other misfortunes. She went on to say how a new favorite novel captured her heart and saved her from deep despair.

She sent a quick email to the author to say thank you for the book, to tell her how much of a comfort it was in her hard days. The author wrote back to say that was the kindest note she’d ever received. Andi was teary thinking that a note that took one minute to write could be so meaningful to someone whose novel’s words had helped her to heal. 

The kindness and appreciation we can give our fellow writers is not to be underestimated!

Here is Andi’s list of 10 ways you can easily show kindness and love to the writers whose works have mattered to you.

10 FREE Ways to Show Gratitude to the Writers You Love 

1. Write them a note. Say thank you. Tell them what their work meant to you. You can find most people’s email addresses or contact forms on their websites, or you can message them through social media.

2. Follow them on Amazon or BookBub or Goodreads. That little follow means you’ll get notifications about their new work – win for you – but it also helps boost their standing and opportunities on those platforms.

3. Review their books. Reviews matter. They help other readers decide if they want to pick up those books, and they help authors, especially authors who are just starting out, to be able to get other promotional opportunities. You can post a review to Goodreads and then just copy and paste it anywhere that author’s books are sold.

4. Recommend their books to your local public and schools libraries. Many libraries have forms you can fill out to recommend a book. It’ll take you two minutes, but it’ll mean a whole lot to an author.

5. Suggest podcasters you know interview them. If you listen to a podcast that is thematically appropriate for a writer whose work you love, drop that podcaster a line and suggest they check out the book and the author.

6. Share your copies of books. When you tell a friend you loved a book, it makes it more likely that they’ll read it. And more readers means more fans, overall.

7. Post about what you read on social media. Do a quick Instagram story about what you read. Post a link on FB or Twitter. Tag in the writer if you can.

8. Join their launch team. Many writers have launch teams to help spread the word about their new books. It’s easy, and often you get to read the book early.

9. Sign-up for their email list. Sign-ups matter to an author because of future book contracts and marketing opportunities, but they also give you behind-the-scenes access to the author and sometimes special deals on books.

10. Go to their readings. Just be there. Listen. Ask questions. It means the world to see the faces of readers in the flesh.


What forms of support have you most appreciated as an author? 

Perhaps you can thank 30 writers for the next 30 days. Or 5 writers in the next week. Or even your favorite one today. Leave me a comment below and let me know if you plan to do this!