Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some Other Influences

     Other than The Da Vinci Code, I found some other influences on how I wrote The Gemini Bond.  Although I'm not a big follower, the TV series called The Medium, I think, shows its sway in how I portrayed Rissa and her psychic abilities.  I wish I could like The Medium more, but every time I watch it, my mind shrieks, "THAT'S NOT HOW PHOENIX LOOKS!"  Lush lawns, bright green deciduous trees . . . ?  Nope, nope, nope. 

     I also like the writings of J. A. Jance, especially her novels set in the southwest.  Her fast pacing and quick plot turns make her stories a joy to read.  I tried to incorporate those qualities in my writing as well.

     Finally, I like the spiritual novels of Dan Millman and Paulo Coelho.  They both led the way in how to explore spirituality within a novel format.  I personally like their first books the best (Millman's Way of the Peaceful Warrior and Coelho's The Alchemist), and am grateful for their courage to put their spiritual quest out there for all to see.  They charted the way, and continue to do so.  I am honored to follow in their path.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

. . . . and Some Things I Didn't Like

     Continuing with the subject of The Da Vinci Code, there were a couple of teensy little things that I didn't like. 

     Not to bash Mr. Brown or anything, but sometimes there were some details that made my mind think about how much the author knew rather than getting on with the story.  Also, the part where they had the "big reveal" at the Englishman's house, having to stop the action in order to explain the hidden meanings of The Last Supper along with other symbols, well, for me that really stopped things.  I think it was necessary for the novel, but I learned from that to try to give information by teaspoonfuls rather than by the gallon-sized mug. 

     Overall, though, I think The Da Vince Code had a huge impact on my writing The Gemini Bond.  I combined Brown's usage of short, fast-paced chapters along with an underlying message about, in this case, Twin Souls.

     And if you have a couple of teensy little things you didn't care for, let me know and I'll keep them in mind while finishing the second novel in this series.  Thanks!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shh! Don't Tell . . .

     I know, this book has sold like a gazillion copies and has been bashed by all sorts of critics, then made into a movie which was bashed again by a whole different set of critics, but, between you and me, I kind of liked The Da Vinci Code.

     Here's why:  it was fast-paced, the chapters were short but kept you hanging, and, most important for me, it had a spiritual/metaphysical point to make.  Sorry, but I'm just not a meaningless murder-and-mayhem kind of girl.  I like things that have a deeper meaning, I guess.

     These factors had a big influence on me when I wrote The Gemini Bond.  I liked to keep the chapters short, with fast pacing, interesting characters, and different scenery.  Best of all, it has a deeper meaning, which, as you know, is exploring what Twin Souls are all about. 

     In other words, I transformed some of the elements of my own experience in learning about Twin Souls into a fun read.  I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Searching for a Mate

     I posted a while back about getting a Tibetan singing bowl.  It is way cool, very old, and hypnotically beautiful to listen to.  It's also mind-boggling to consider how many hands have held it and meditated to its pulsing sound.

     I had in mind that I'd get a second one to harmonize with it, and I went to my favorite singing bowl site to check out their selection.  I looked at one after another, playing their mp3 samples while comparing it to the sound of my own bowl.  Nothing harmonized exactly.  I finally exited the site, feeling a little disappointed.

     This, to me, is a metaphor for how we search for our Twin Souls.  We send out our soul-signal, if you will, and hope to find the right soul-signal out there that harmonizes with our own.  Sometimes we search for a long time (lifetimes!) before recognizing the sound of our other half.

     I hope that my bowl won't have to wait another couple of centuries before I find its match. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Back at the Ranch

     All is well back at the homestead.  Thank you for your good vibes -- they've made a positive difference. 

     You may have been thinking that perhaps I am a person who can't own up to my own negative emotions.  Perhaps I blame others for when I'm feeling angry or sad, and don't allow my self-image to be tainted by the darker feelings we humans experience.

      That is a possibility.

      But I'm going to stick with my original idea that when I'm extra tired or stressed, or when hormones kick in (oh, yes . . . ), that's when I'm extra vulnerable to other people's emotions.  And I can actually feel my mind try to manufacture reasons to match the feelings I'm having.  In other words, often times the feeling comes first, (though not always -- because yes, I do have occasions to be mad or sad or irritated beyond belief), and the reasons are conjured afterward in my busy mind.  That's when I know I'm acting out on another person's emotions. 

     Life is an interesting game, especially when you're an empath.  I'll just keep the baling wire handy.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Dark Side of Being an Empath

     I used to have more trouble with this when I was younger (not that I'm old, of course) and less aware of how to detect the difference between my emotions and others' emotions.  The issue I'm talking of is picking up other people's emotions and then having my mind chatter come up with reasons why I'm feeling that way.  I was mixing up my own emotions and other people's.  And my mind became quite good at finding reasons to be mad or depressed or whatever, when, really, there was no cause.

     Over time, I became better at telling the difference between my emotions and the emotions I was picking up from other people because the imported emotions felt a little like an ill-fitting sweater.  A little itchy and not shaped for the real me.  Once I learned that, I could consciously identify the foreign invader and let it go. 

     The reason I'm bringing this up is that since I'm under a teensy bit of stress lately (Significant Other has had major surgery, I'm nursemaid as well as working full time and trying to keep on top of the chores), I've been less able to tell the difference between my emotions and S.O.'s.  Dear S.O. is on some pretty powerful painkillers, which I think cause some major mood swings.  Enter Nurse Empath.  She unwittingly picks up those emotions, most prominently anger and frustration, and then her tired, overworked mind starts creating all sorts of reasons why she feels angry and frustrated.  Then, S.O., who is angry and frustrated and in pain meets Nurse Empath, and the potential for really loud sessions of venting anger and frustrations can occur.  Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.  No, nothing like that.  This is all hypothetical.  Really.

     Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I think I'll pick up my pliers and baling wire and go mend some fences.  Adios, pardner.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Walking Through the Dark Valley

     Lately I've been playing nursemaid to the Significant Other, who underwent a major surgical procedure recently.  It has meant that I'm doing all of my normal duties (plus working full time) as well as S.O.'s duties, plus fetch-and-carry for the dear S.O.  I'm so tired sometimes my bones hurt, but while I was ruminating on my own tiredness this morning, a little voice in my ear quietly reminded me that this is a wonderful lesson.  Yes, I am learning some invaluable things.  Compassion.  Selflessness.  Patience.  A greater empathy. 

     While I wouldn't wish any pain on my S.O., still, these lessons have deepened me somehow.  And that makes it all (almost) worth it. 

     I'm off -- duty calls. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

An Empathic Vampire?

     It was funny that yesterday I was talking to a retired nurse who admitted that she, too, was an empath.  She recalled that when she was first starting out as a nurse, one of her first experiences was with a woman who, shall we say, was spewing forth violently from both ends.  Poor young nurse had to pull herself together in the supply closet, telling herself that it had to be mind over matter, do or die, get it together, I'm from a long line of doctors and nurses, get over it and so on.  Finally, she did, but her father, also a doctor, later said that she was the queasiest nurse he had ever met.

     On the plus side, though, her empathic abilities helped her do procedures like drawing blood without causing too much pain.  That was because she, like me, could feel what the other felt.  She could also sense when a patient wasn't telling her everything (some people like to hide things because they don't want to seem like a complainer or are embarrassed).  That endeared her to the doctors.

     Nowadays, she works as an alternative medicine therapist, and brings only healing and joy when she works.  Bless this fellow empath!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

An Empath and a Vampire

     No, this is not the title of my new novel.  Rather, it's a way of explaining what it's like for an empath like me to watch someone else have to give blood.

     First of all, I'm a real weenie when it comes to giving blood.  My medical chart probably says "Difficult!" in big red letters somewhere.  My veins roll, they collapse, they run the 40-yard dash in the opposite direction of the coming needle, and it all makes me cry.  Yep, big grown-up me is reduced to a puddle of tears after the second poke.  That's why I think of phlebotomists as vampires.  I'm sure they're wonderful people, but their job makes me sob.

     So yesterday I had to accompany my Significant Other as S.O. gave blood.  S.O. is really lucky -- those veins are usually up and ready and standing at attention for the nearest needle.  Not so yesterday.  I think S.O. was dehydrated, so those wonderful veins were shriveled little spaghetti lines.  The nurse tried once, and I felt that in my own hand, then the nurse tried twice, and I really felt that in my arm when the vein blew.  The tears started to spring to my eyes and I had to bite my lip.  Finally, the nurse wisely called the head nurse and that blessed soul found a decent vein and all was well.  Still, my arms and hand ached for a couple of hours afterward.  Another interesting day in the life of an empath.  Blast those vampires!