Dolphin Medicine includes change, balance, harmony, communication, freedom, trust, understanding, the power of rhythm in life, the use of breath to release emotion and significant water power.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Dolphin Medicine includes change, balance, harmony, communication, freedom, trust, understanding, the power of rhythm in life, the use of breath to release emotion and significant water power.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Two good articles I know of online are at the Manataka American Indian Council, and AnimalSpirits.com. There are also several books. Two decent examples are ANIMAL-SPEAK: The Spiritual and magical powers of creatures great and small by Ted Andrews, and POWER ANIMAL MEDITATIONS: Shamanic Journeys with Your Spirit Allies by Nicki Scully. There is a fun quiz, that can tell you a little more about Spirit Animals, but is also meant to promote a book and should not be taken wholly seriously, here at Jeri Smith-Ready.com.
Dog: Among many tribes Dog was the sentinel who guarded the tribe’s home and protected them from attack and warned them of coming danger. He helped during the hunt and gave them warmth when it was cold. Dog is a symbol of loyalty, unconditional love, and protection, so if Dog is your Spirit Guide I would guess that you are a good, fast friend when you grow close to someone.
Dog’s Medicine incorporates the loving kindness of the best friend and the protective energy of the guardian. If Dog is your Spirit Animal then you’re a very kind and giving person whose devotion to their family and friends is unwavering. However, you must be careful not to be too trusting or be taken in by those who would take advantage of you. Make sure you always give your loyalty to those who are right and true.
Snake's Medicine includes elusiveness, transmutation, goddess energy, exploration of the mysteries of life and connection to the magic cord by which the shaman travels to the spirit world.
Bear’s Medicine includes introspection, healing, solitude, wisdom, change, communication with Spirit, the cycle of death and rebirth, transformation, and being the creature of dreams, shamans and mystics.
Monday, December 20, 2010
The Vision Quest is a somewhat nebulous thing, and the traditions can vary a great deal from culture to culture, but I think it is summarized well at the Crystal Links article here, which I will borrow from:
A vision quest is a rite of passage, similiar to an initiation, in some Native American cultures. It is a turning point in life taken before puberty to find oneself and the intended spiritual and life direction. When an older child is ready, he or she will go on a personal, spiritual quest alone in the wilderness, often in conjunction with a period of fasting. This usually lasts for a number of days while the child is tuned into the spirit world. Usually, a Guardian animal will come in a vision or dream, and the child's life direction will appear at some point. The child returns to the tribe, and once the child has grown, will pursue that direction in life. After a vision quest, the child may apprentice an adult in the tribe of the shown direction (Medicine Man, boatmaker, etc).
I don't want to disrespect the tradition or culture behind these ideas in any way, so I'm not going to pretend that what I experienced should be considered as powerful as a true Vision Quest, but it was important experience for me as a young man, so I will share some of it with you.
Friday, December 17, 2010
So anyway, hopefully you've all read the Harry Potter novels, more specifically Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where the Patronus Charm first appears. For those of you who haven't, here is the description from the Harry Potter Wiki:
A Patronus Charm is an insubstantial animal protector created by the advanced Patronus Charm spell, and one way to defend against Dementors and certain other Dark creatures. The spell requires the use of a wand, concentration on a powerfully happy memory, and the incantation "Expecto Patronum".
A Patronus that is fully formed, or corporeal, takes the shape of fairly solid-looking animal; a non-corporeal Patronus appears only as wisps of silvery mist. It is a very complex charm and many qualified wizards and witches have trouble with it. Harry Potter is one of the youngest known wizards to cast a Patronus. The Patronus Charm, like Animagus forms, has been said to reflect the personality or feelings of the witch or wizard. They are, however, subject to change if the caster goes through an emotional upheaval of some sort.
Anyway, before I go on any longer about the awesomeness that is All Things Harry Potter the point of this post is: what kind of animal do you think your patronus (assuming it manifested itself as fully corporeal) would show up as?
Lydia, being both a doctor and a clever writer, argued first that hers would be a Paramecium, then she selected a Kiwi (the bird, not the fruit) for a moment before finally settling on a Platypus.
My own Patronus would manifest itself as a Mountain Lion, also known as a Cougar, I'm quite confident. How do I know this, you ask? Because as a teenager I went on a Vision Quest, and discovered that the Mountain Lion is my Spirit-Animal.
I fully realize that may sound crazy, but I'm not joking.
More on Vision Quests and Spirit-Animals next week (although if you name your Patronus Animal in the comments, I promise to break down what that would mean as your Spirit Animal, in another post).
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I feel like my head is full of cotton candy that's sat rotting in the mud for days after the carnival closed and all the freaky carnies have long since gone bumping down the road in their garish wagons. I feel like my nose is stuffed with that quick dry spray foam that they use to make fake rocks on stage in the theater. I feel like I can't come up with one more silly simile without my skull crashing down against the hard, uncaring surface of my desk.
Snore. Sorry guys, I've got nothing for you today, but I still love you all (no energy for exclamation points though).
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
So instead I'm going to talk about Winter Weather (yes that deserves capitalization, but probably not capitolization). I was born in Seattle, and while it rains a lot it never really gets cold or snows unless you go up into the mountains. But, when I was 11, I moved to White Bear Lake Minnesota, and you can believe it gets very cold AND snows there, all the time (there is a reason it's not called Brown Bear Lake). Now I live in Georgia (don't ask me why), and I almost never get to enjoy cold weather.
This morning I took our dog outside to pee at 5:15. Yes, 5:15. It's just not right, I know, don't get me started. Anyway either a pipe had burst or a neighbor across the street had left their hose on, because our street was full of ice all the way down to the sewer grate. I suppose I could have gotten irritated by this, but instead I chose to relish all the things I love about cold weather:
- I love the way your breath steams up the instant it leaves your mouth and you can play choo-choo train, even as a fully responsible, if slightly insane adult.
- I love the way my shoes crunch against the frosted ground and the way that sound echoes in the still morning.
- I love the way my nostrils freeze together when I breathe through my nose and despite the minor pain it makes the air feel fresh and clean and pure.
- I love that every snowflake is utterly unique, just like the soul of every person, and when you catch one on your tongue it melts into warm comfort just like holding the hand of someone you love.
- I love how when the winds whips uninhibited across a frozen lake it can sound like spirits wailing at the living.
- I love how Nesta (our puppy) doesn't take 15 minutes to handle her business when she is freezing her @$$ off!
- I love how all these southern drivers are so terrified of non-existent but highly touted black ice that they all get into the right lane, cringing in fear as I pass them in my front wheel drive Honda Civic.
- I love how a fresh snowfall can make even the most dilapidated urban ghetto look full of innocence, peace and purity, even if only for a moment.
- I love rockin jeans and a hoody, and how they camouflage my ample middle.
- I love all the activities that only snow and ice can provide: Skiing, Ice-Skating, Snow-Boarding, Hockey, Sledding, Snow Ball Fights, Broom-Ball, Snow-Men, Snow-Angels, Instant Slurpies ....
- But most of all ... I love the Silence.
Am I a sentimental fool? Sure, probably, but I'm not the least bit ashamed of who I am. Have a great Tuesday readers!
Monday, December 13, 2010
In case you hadn't already heard or you had no idea what it meant, the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis Minnesota collapsed on Sunday. It had been leaking since two feet of snow were dumped over the area on Friday. I lived in Minnesota for years, and am a huge fan of the Minnesota Vikings, the principal professional sports team that uses the facilities at the Dome (the Minnesota Twins played there until Target Field was built last year).
I'm not shocked in the least bit. Why? You might ask. Because, I would tell you, whatever engineer designed that building was a moron. The roof is made of Teflon cloth, which is space age enough, I suppose, but what supports it? What keeps it from sagging in the middle? You would think steel girders of some kind would provide the structural integrity to hold the roof up in adverse conditions, or at least some kind of flying butress system that would support the weight from outside, using steel cabling to connect to the panels. But no. The roof of the Metrodome is supported by air pressure. This brilliant idea means that the roof has collapsed no less than 5 times since the Dome was built.
I could go on about this a lot longer, because there are many implications behind this newest occurrence, some good, some bad. Hopefully it means the Vikings will get a new stadium with a retractable roof that can support its own weight. The terrible thing, for now, is that the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants that was supposed to be played at the Metrodome on Sunday will now be played tonight, in Detroit. Anyone who knows anything about football knows what a huge unfair advantage that is for the Giants. And how badly it screws other teams over. The Vikings don't really matter because they are essentially mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but what about NFC East teams like Philadelphia and Dallas? Or teams with better records than the Giants, like New Orleans and Atlanta? Suddenly the Giants have to play one less away game than everybody else.
Not fair. Anyway, here endeth the rant. Enjoy this aerial photo of the Dome's collapsed roof for a moment before you head to the next blog:
Friday, December 10, 2010
So anyway, peep this craziness, and let my random helpfulness and innocent confusion be a lesson to all scam artists!
how are you doing
Author Matthew Rush
"I'm good, you?"
"Am not too good"
Author Matthew Rush
"oh no, why's that?"
"i'm in kind of terrible problem at the moment
just that i have a big problem regarding my travel
are you aware that am in Scotland"
"No I wasn't what's going on?"
"i had to visit a resort on a short vacation but got mugged at a gun point
it was a brutal experience"
Interjection: this is (obvisouly) where I knew exactly what was up. I wanted to see how much fun I could have before they mentioned Western Union. I mean who in the hell "has to" visit a resort. Like what, your company said they'd fire you if you wouldn't go? Yeah right.
"all cash credit card cell phone and my wallet were stolen off me by the muggers"
But clearly not your laptop, right?
"my goodness, what are you going to do?"
"really need your help
am freaked out here"
"So you're stuck in Scotland? Where?"
Full of Crappy
"am left with just my life and my passport
"Did you go to the police?"
"i have been to the consulate but they are not helping issue"
What consulate? What American would use that term anyway? Technically a Consulate is like an embassy, except not in a Capitol city, right Ted? I mean come on Scammy, you need to up your game, woman!
"What part of Scotland are you in?"
Full of it It
"Location: 30 Oban Drive, North Kelvinside,
Scotland (United Kingdom)"
Hilarious Me (sometimes I kill myself)
"Did you visit Hogwart's?"
He/she/it ignored that one. Or didn't get it.
"the problem is our return flight leaves in few hours time, but am having problem sulting my hotel bills"
Me (a writer)
"pay my bills"
"The hotel Bill? But you've got you're plane ticket?"
"wondering if i can get a quick loan from you ....
would def refund it to you once we arrive! Hopefully tomorrow"
We? Who the eff is we? You have a mouse in your pocket? I thought you said Steve had rowed to Fiji? Which, BTW, happens to be in the South Pacific, on the opposite side of the world from the Highland Moors of upper Scotland. I'm just sayin.
"So you need money for your hotel bill and a plane ticket?"
Getting a little desperate they
Me (a writer can still make typos)
Me (I looked up the name of my friend's Significant Other)
"Is Steve there?"
"am all alone
Sorry. My previous interjection was premature. Hard to keep track of all these lies.
"what happened to Steve? Is he OK?"
"he travel to fijil island"
Okay, I must admit, I didn't see THAT coming.
Me (testing her texting skillz)
Her, not giving up
"should i give you the info you need when you get t
Me, getting bored, want to push the envelope a little
"Wait. Why did Steve go to Fiji? And what is Western Union?"
"Western union is were you
can wire or send me the money i need to sort my bill"
Me, trying to get creative here
"What will you do while they send money? How will you eat? How many weeks does it take them to send money across the ocean?"
"just a 5 minit"
Me, running out of cleverness
"You'll be back in 5? Okay, I'll be here."
"i mean you can search for
western union now and send me the money it will be available in 5 minute
Ready to push "her" over the edge
"Oh. Wow! That's amazing!"
"Don't you think? I mean where do they get the money from?"
"What does that mean?"
"I NEED YOUR HELP .......CANT YOU LOAN ME?"
And then I was done. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE ALL CAPS, but I can't stand when the verb doesn't match the subject.
"How do I know you again?"
"YOU POOR THING"
"What do you mean? Am I in trouble too?"
"SO WHY WASTING OUR TIME THEN ..........YOU ANIMAL"
After your incredibly poor attempt, using horrible grammar and English, at scamming some chump change out of me ... I'm the animal? If you spent this much time and effort getting a damn job, you wouldn't need these scams, my man.
UR MAMA CRAZY.............YOU POOR LITTLE BOY
GO TO BED DEAD"
I had no idea what that meant. My Author profile does not talk about kids or family or anything.
And that was where the scammer could take no more. I should have wrote back "here endeth the lesson."
Thanks for playing everyone, and have a great weekend!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
- I've added comments to the pages on my blog that are in addition to the current post/main page. They are my writing, and my query. I've only written the one novel, so the one query is all I have. Please feel free to visit those pages if you like, but there is no obligation whatsoever. However, the query did win a contest at WriteOnCon (I guess for being somewhat good) and the three flash fiction pieces will all be published next year (so they are hopefully not shite). I would love to hear what all of you think.
- My wonderful daughter Kylie, who is one of the two best kids who have even been born as humans, and dreams of one day being an author, will be doing a Guestanista/Bookanista Junior post over at Lisa and Laura Roecker's blog today. She's reviewing Personal Demons. These are three of my very favorite women in the world, plus this is an ACTUAL real life YA, reviewing a YA novel in her own words, so please check it out and throw your thoughts into the mamma jammin mix.
- Finally, my good bud Shannon McMahon has recently started one of the coolest blogging ideas I have ever heard of. Today is the third installment of her anonymous critique posts, so be there. All the cool kids will.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Just kidding. Anyway, I've got a lot of reading that I owe my crit group, and I'm really behind on it. So I won't be doing a real post or reading many blogs today. Instead you should visit the blogs of the other members of my crit group.
Ted Cross is the original member. Ted and I met, where else, on Nathan's forums and have been friends and writing buddies ever since. We connected as soon as I found out that not only does Ted love Fantasy as much as I do, but unlike me, has the courage to write it.
Simon C. Larter was a silent partner for a long time, then he got more involved, and now he's back to less again. We're not mad at him at all though, because even when he doesn't have pages to share with us he still critiques our work. Can you imagine a nicer thing to do? Plus he's hilarious, even if a little surly when he's out of vodka.
Ryan Z. Nock is the newest member, and the youngest, but he's a damn fine writer and came highly recommended by my mentor, Bryan Russell. Ryan actually lives in Atlanta, well just outside, but a lot closer than me, and we still haven't actually met yet. We need to get on that.
Anyway, please go visit their blogs and follow them, you won't regret it!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Anyway, the whole thing also reminded me of an awesome group of bloggers I know. The Bookanistas. Well, I don't actually know all of them, but I do know some of them. Here is a list of links to their blogs in case somehow, for some crazy unknown reason, you haven't heard of them:
Monday, December 6, 2010
Anyway, this is the author's first young adult novel, but Paolo's writing has appeared in High Country News, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Salon.com, and Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. He is a Hugo and Nebula Award winner, and a National Book Award finalist.
From Booklist: This YA debut by Bacigalupi, a rising star in adult science fiction, presents a dystopian future like so many YA sf novels. What is uncommon, though, is that although Bacigalupi's future earth is brilliantly imagined and its genesis anchored in contemporary issues, it is secondary to the memorable characters. In a world in which society has stratified, fossil fuels have been consumed, and the seas have risen and drowned coastal cities, Nailer, 17, scavenges beached tankers for scrap metals on the Gulf Coast. Every day, he tries to “make quota” and avoid his violent, drug-addicted father. After he discovers a modern clipper ship washed up on the beach, Nailer thinks his fortune is made, but then he discovers a survivor trapped in the wreckage—the “swank” daughter of a shipping-company owner. Should he slit the girl's throat and sell her for parts or take a chance and help her? Clearly respecting his audience, Bacigalupi skillfully integrates his world building into the compelling narrative, threading the backstory into the pulsing action. The characters are layered and complex, and their almost unthinkable actions and choices seem totally credible. Vivid, brutal, and thematically rich, this captivating title is sure to win teen fans for the award-winning Bacigalupi. Grades 8-12.
Title: Ship Breaker
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
First published: 2010
The QQQE take: I certainly won't disagree with any of that, and the characters are in fact very compelling, but the thing that really drew me into this tale was the voice of the narrator, and the language of the world in which Nailer lived. Instead of injecting these very real characters full of foul language that honestly would have been perfectly believable, Bacigalupi gives them their own unique slang. Phrases like "grind that," "blood and rust," "sliding high," and "crew up" replace contemporary oaths and exclamations.
The writing is pretty straight forward, not too literary, but the description does have a few very lovely moments. Just the kind of stuff I like to read. Here is a passage that was selected for the inside jacket flap:
Even at night, the wrecks glowed with work. The torch lights flickered, bobbing and moving. Sledge noise rang across the water. Comforting sounds of work and activity, the air tanged with the coal reek of smelters and the salft fresh breeze coming off the water. It was beautiful.
There are also some underlying themes about the environment, socio-economic issues, human rights and other things, which although I found them very interesting, I won't have time to go into here. I did find an excellent review on another blog if you are interested in reading more: Val's Random Comments.
Anyway I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA, and even many who don't. Let me know if you have any questions.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Help Talli Roland's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.
No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.
Coming soon in paperback.
Keep up with the latest at www.talliroland.com.
About THE HATING GAME:
When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?