Wednesday, 22 August 2012

ASCENDED MASTERS

Ascended Masters: What is Ascension? And who cares anyway!


I've been thinking about that ---- that's always a mistake -- thinking -- but this is what came to me; Could it be that the 1st law of Ascension is; "When Nothing Works - Do Nothing!"


There! You see! For a moment I didn't think --- and there he was!  ---  just popped into my head.

If you're thinking what I'm thinking, it's 'Haven't we seen this fellow somewhere before? And not all that long ago either. Let me guess! That Swami's your idea of an ascended master, is he? He's certainly a bit ungrounded -  somewhat up in the air - Celestial, even, but hardly one's idea of the Great Spiritual Teacher. Shouldn't the sudden appearance of an Ascended Master fill us with awe, or at least something close to awe; deep reverence, knee-trembling respect, stupefaction - - - ?' 

Well, maybe; but maybe this is why we find the whole Master concept so difficult, and the question of Ascension so unapproachable. We tend to be very hung up with old ideas of arduousness and suffering when we consider what the personal spiritual journey entails. Asceticism, celibacy, denial or repression of our sexuality - and look where that's got the Catholic Church. Denial of pleasure, abstention from food and water, music, colour, imagery  - and look where that's got Islam, (and judging by an item in the BBC news this morning on the draconian blasphemy laws in Pakistan, I'd be stoned to death before being executed for saying anything critical about Islam.) 

But that aside, I wont go on; this is old ground, and you've probably got the picture already. But just to turn my statement on its head, I'm about to do just that -- go over ground I've covered already --- and the reason for that is to pick up on the Part Two section of a previous post.

I originally posted Part Two in my April 2012 post under Part One of 'AN EVERYDAY MIRACLE'. I did that so that anyone who wanted to read it in its chronological wholeness could do so there. But that was then, and since then, there have been further developments. In 'Life As We Know It,' nothing stands still; events happen; consequences, sequels, appendices are added, only to be followed by further happenings, aftermaths, outcomes and events. And as in 'real' life, so in dreams.

Except that in dreams, past/present/future linearity is suspended. Is this a contradiction - a paradox, or what?

"Fear not," said the angel.

Hello Angel, there you are! Nice to see you again, but who said I was bothered by all that? I take it in my stride. OK? I'm not afraid.

"OK, but people have come to expect the 'Fear not.' It's my signature, my greeting. Been saying it down the ages and folk seem to find it reassuring when I suddenly pop up out of the blue and startle them. By the way, in case of confusion, my appearance is altogether distinct from that lower-class Swami fellow who dropped in/popped up - a few moments ago. We patronise a very different cut of costumier, you know."

I think I'd noticed that, but if we could change the subject, bring it back to me, you see, I'm trying to do something serious here. I want to introduce a sequel dream, and link it with this earlier post of April 2012. Maybe you'd like to chip in -  help me out. It doesn't have to be too serious. By the way, don't you think 2012 has been an astonishing year  - weatherise? Disturbing, to say the least, alarming even. Torrential rain as it would never stop, month after month all through the so-called summer, and then, as if by magic, out came the sun for the whole period of the Olympics!  Astonishing and Golden. Opening Ceremony astonishing; medalists astounding; Team Britannica coming third! Never was there seen anything like it. And back in April none of these signs and wonders had happened. Don't suppose you had a hand in any of this, did you? But I digress....

"Fear not," said the Angel again, comfortingly. This particular angel being that part of myself we variously call, our Higher Self or our Divine Self, Soul Self, Angelic Self. "Why don't you tell us all about that dream, then?" he went on. "I'm sure your readers are getting impatient for you to begin -- as am I."

OK. But first I must remind myself - and not only myself, but anyone who didn't read the April post in its fullness, right to the end - of what transpired in the initial dream where I saw, what I have called My New Self - and at the cost of sounding repetitive --- I'll now repeat myself.

(I wrote this down in my journal at periods in the middle of the two or three nights following the dream where I saw the complete stranger, my New Self. 

If you feel like skipping this repeated passage, perhaps because you've read it before, then go straight to the dream in green, below.)

*   *   *
"And so," said my angel at this point, sounding more serious, "let us continue on this journey of ours, and this conversation where you commune with your divine self.

You dream once again of the New person, a not-yourself woman, (an Esme not as you've know her and identified with all your life,) and waking, you find your body reacting by seizing up. I have told you many time before that this painful and extremely uncomfortable sensation is a reaction to fear, and we have been trying out a few exercises to help you develop your own understanding of the phenomena you are meeting. A simple exercise -- we gave you an example of two people, let's call them ...  it doesn't matter, it could be X and Y or whatever you choose.

X is the Old you, the familiar, everyday you. She has your identity, (which, by the way, is just another illusion,) she has your memories, all your past in this life, the family, friends, events and incidents - everything that shaped your present life. X is constantly remembering details from the past, comparing and contrasting herself with others, "This is what happened to me; I made such mistakes;  if I do this I'll miss out on that; if I don't do that I'll be sorry because look what happened last time; he is much better than me at blah blah... ; she has the advantage of a better whatever...  better luck, better body, more attractiveness, greater talent... " on and on it goes. I'm not saying this picture is exactly you, you've more sense, more balance than that, haven't you! but just giving an illustration. X, the old you, lives in the present but is fearful of the future because of her experience of the past. You see the linearity of that? Yes, living this way we do create our reality, but we have created it out of our past experience and it is biased towards victimisation and lack - insufficiency of some kind, be it self-worth or health or wealth.

Let's carry on with this exercise and look now at Y.

Y is the same person but she looks at the past that she created and takes responsibility for it. She knows she gave her permission at some level for all that she experienced as she travelled her pathway. And what a lot of experience she did gain! Now she has arrived at that place where she looks in the mirror and sees herself, values herself, loves herself, and feels much better about herself all round. Her future is now filled with promise; new potentials are there on the table ready to be picked up. She lives in the Now, but it is a Now filled with compassion, love, understanding and self-awareness.

Think of it this way: This New Person lives now in the centre of a circle, no longer in the old linear manner with the Past behind, the Future ahead, and the Present You restricted by that continuum. Instead, by being in the Now, you're in the centre of a circle where you move on and up from level to level as your consciousness expands, and it's like being in a living, spinning spiral  -  a circle which is a spiral - hard to describe - but because everything around you moves at the same time and at the same rate, so you don't notice yourself changing. You feel the same Self to yourself, but we see you as we've always seen you, from outside the illusion of linearity. With delight we see you 'becoming' - not the right word, but for now....taking up more and more of your real self - expanding into your Divine Self.

Out of this realisation a new Creativity flows in, and it is an energy which is changing the planet -  for you can't separate your human self from your planet. As your consciousness shifts and expands, so does the Earth's. Even though the Earth shakes, as it does - I'm sure you've all noticed - at the moment, weatherise -- extremes of heat or cold, rain or drought, fire and flood --  these are but her rebirthing contractions that you feel. But now you feel safe within your own knowing that You are the Creator. You have moved from Victim to Creator.

You stand upright in this New situation about to step forward - you take a step into unknown territory. You are about to encounter something you've never seen before, The Great Unknown - full of promise - a wonderful revelation. But there is no map drawn out for this new territory which opens up at your feet as you go forward into it. This shows what a powerful person you are. You forge ahead, and it comes to you that you have just given birth to something  - but at this moment you can't see what it is you've given birth to. And suddenly all your fears come flooding back - all the dangers, the traps, the sharp snags that you imaging you might encounter. Your fear of making mistakes. You are not done with the Old You yet. But this is as it should be. These are unknown waters, and the unknown is your creative territory - your playground. Step into it  - dive in - and discover the wealth of resources awaiting you, Shaman, Alchemist, Artist. There is more and more to come....."


*   *   *
Well, that was where the angel came to a stop. Several days and nights passed, days in which I had ventured out into decidedly unknown- for-me, territory. Way out beyond my comfort zone. I began taking lessons on website building and attempting to learn HTML code. Stressful, but exciting at the same time. And then came this new dream.

DREAM.
I am in a large, light room. Big windows. A lot of space. I'm sitting at a desk or table in the centre of the room and there are other people around me at desks of their own. It feels like a place where a lot of creative activity goes on, but I seem to be using a larger than usual, big-screen computer and am intent on some important, but difficult work. It's in unfamiliar code - rather over-my-head technically, and it's making me a bit tense. I feel concerned that if I make a mistake, do something wrong by accident, I'll lose some extremely important work.

I have to make a decision: there's no-one to ask 'Shall I or shan't?' so I must take a huge risk and act. I press 'Enter' --- and the whole *****!!! thing disappears! Not just the work. The ****!!!***  computer disappears!!!!  Blank space where it sat. I'm horrified! Lost! What am I going to do? I look frantically around the room, but it's no-where to be seen. I look under the table - get down on my hands and knees --- Nothing! I try to calm myself. I realise that panic will get me nowhere, but this is something inexplicable and I know I can't retrieve the situation myself.

At that moment an old friend (who actually died many years ago) comes into the room, and we greet one another. He, I realise, will have the answer. But he walks past me casually, telling me he's busy with something else. He goes off into a side room with a client, turning to smile and wave at me as he goes. I'm getting the feeling now that I have to take charge of myself, my panicky emotions, and be aware of what my internal energy is doing. I also know that this male figure represents my Male Self, and that his appearance signals that I am calling him in to help me, but in reality he is part of me. If I centre myself in this sudden knowledge the problem will be solved. I also realise that by centring myself I am also calling in my Higher Self, (or Divine Self) and it is from this point of realisation - Self Realisation, actually - that any appropriate solutions will come. 

The door of the side room opens and my male friend comes out and walks casually over to my side. I feel his benevolent helpful, male-mind presence and tell him what happened to the computer - and he tells me, and I tell him, simultaneously that I only have to look across the room and the computer will have re-appeared. Dare I belief it? Yes!  AND THERE IT IS!

But there is a wonderful, deeper meaning to this dream which I will go into later.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

VISIONARY FICTION: A DISCUSSION.

FOUR YEARS AGO MY SECOND BOOK OF FICTION, 'THIS STRANGE AND PRECIOUS THING' WAS PUBLISHED. I WAS ASKED BY BOOKSHOP MANAGERS TO CATEGORISE IT; WHICH SHELF IN THEIR STORE TO PUT IT ON. WAS IT NEW AGE, FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION? I WASNT SURE. THE 'NEW AGE' TAG DIDNT SUIT; NEW AGE AS FAS AS I WAS CONCERNED HAD MOVE ON, AND ME WITH IT. I WASN'T COMFORTABLE WITH 'FANTASY' EITHER. A LOT OF RESEARCH HAD GONE INTO IT AND QUITE SOME  EXPERIENTIAL  EXPLORATION OF CUTTING-EDGE SCIENCE.

TO MY MIND IT WAS PARTLY SCI-FI, YET MOST WRITERS IN THAT GENRE WOULD PROBABLY HAVE FELT UNEASY HAVING MY BOOK INCLUDED ALONG-SIDE THEIR OWN WORK. 


One male friend at my launch, picking up the book and inspecting the cover, turned to me with a wry look, and said 'I guess This Strange and Precious Thing is love.' Is he wary of taking home a Romance? I wondered. I assured him the strange and precious thing which found its way into my title didn't refer to Love, nice as that though might be; it was in fact a nick-name given to Finn, one of the main characters in his childhood - a childhood, in this case, set two hundred and fifty years in the future.

Eventually I came up with a category suggested to me some years ago, Visionary Fiction, but wasn't sure. What exactly is the definition of this new genre? There has been some discussion in the last few days on writer's groups I subscribe to of that very question. On writer Eleni Papanou's website I found a great definition that says it well: -----


Visionary Fiction embraces spiritual and esoteric wisdom, often from ancient sources,  and makes it relevant for our modern life. These gems of wisdom are brought forth in story form and in a way that readers can experience the wisdom from within themselves. It emphasizes the future and envisions  humanity’s transition into evolved consciousness. While there is a strong theme, it in no way proselytizes or preaches. 

Visionary is a tone as well as a genre. The ‘visionary’ element can be present in any genre and set in any time. The emphasis is on our limitless human potential, where transformation and evolution are  entirely possible.


This is a definition I can aspire to - one, I hope, that I come close to reaching within the pages of
 This Strange and Precious Thing. By the time I dotted my final chapter with its final full stop, and agreed with my editor that I was happy  - or happy enough - to send it off to the printer for publication, I felt it embodied, as near as possible, most of the elements present in Eleni's definition above.

In 2008 when the book was first published, I hadn't read  a definition of Visionary Fiction. However, this preliminary review below, (from which I've removed sections where  the reviewer points out places where I need to rewrite and make changes,) seems to me to come close to the same conclusions. I regard this book, not only as an entertaining read, not only as a vehicle for teaching, both of which I hope it includes, but as something more. Transformational, certainly. But something else, perhaps indefinable. As my celestial friend and ascended master  Kuthumi told me; in the new genre we call New Writing, New Consciousness, New Energy, this kind of creation carries an energy which goes beyond the words on the page, an energy of transformation that is absorbed, breathed in, and which goes on expanding within the consciousness of your readers long after they've put down the book.

Although, at the time I was writing Strange and Precious, I had not yet met Kuthumi, and the later book I wrote, Dreaming Worlds Awake, and which to some extent was co-written with him, had not been consciously envisioned, I think that his observations were never-the-less coming to birth.

This below, is the review by Crysse Morrison; Writer, Dramatist, Performance Poet and Novel Mentor, from which I have removed several lines where she made invaluable suggestions for improvement. Having followed her good advice and implemented them, I feel it OK to show the main body of her review. 

This is an invitation for comments on the discussion or on how you see this review as Visionary Fiction. The comments button is at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, please comment on Writers who believe in supporting Writers, Writers doing what they do best, Twitter, Goodreads, or any other venue.



THIS STRANGE AND PRECIOUS THING
(working title)
by Esme Ellis
Genre Adult fantasy
Aim Publication - commercial or individual
Length 95,000 words (est.)
Central characters Annya, Manfred, Finn, Mandlebrot - alternating viewpoints
Theme Possibilities of resolution in human and environmental relationships, through supernatural and elemental energies of which we are currently unaware.
Overview

As I'm more familiar with the genre of psychological realism in fiction I was unsure whether I'd find aspects of this difficult, but the contemporary setting and character portrayal ensured enjoyable reading. I found the descriptions of setting superb - visually graphic and hauntingly evocative. Dialogue is, for the most part, credible and effective to move the story forward. The underlying messages are subtly clarified, and I liked the mood shifts and the lightness of touch, so profound points are made without overt moralising.

Initially I was wary of a novel without a clear protagonist, but as the story progressed I felt the balance between Annya and Finn is important, and has been well maintained. The love story at the heart of the book is beautifully expressed and moving in its inference of hope for us all, gods and humans alike.

The narrative pace is very good, varied and with great cliff-hanger endings to most chapters. .... sections describing Finn's experience do benefit from slow(ish) assimilation, as this is unfamiliar territory to the reader,..... in those chapters describing Annya's responses .... we can readily empathise with her - very human - reactions.
My final reservation is regarding the viewpoint itself. While in a book of this length, where several perceptions and timescales are involved, it is quite acceptable to use different points of view in narrating, it is better practice to maintain one for as long a section as is possible. Towards the end of the book there are lots of short edit cuts as Simon is rescued by Finn and Mandlebrot through the intervention of Jamil, Khaled, and Ahmed, while Annya worries at a distance; here I think the constant viewpoint shifts work well, creating a pattern almost like that of the carpet as the loose threads are gathered up. 
(Refers to key scene in carpet weaver Ahmed's workshop. E.E.)
I really liked the opening -- very filmic and sensual also, visual and kinaesthetic and with a sense of the pulsing of the ocean. This sets the scene at a profound level, as elemental energies will become as important as characters in the unfolding tale.

Finn is well introduced, but there is an inevitable difficulty in leaving Annya's drama on pause while his backstory is unfolded, which means that the main interest lies in beautiful writing and the power of the theories articulated and implied. These are both strengths, but tightening the early sections would enhance the narrative energy too. (DId do. E.E.)

Much of the dialogue -  especially in later section - is great: interesting, imaginative, informative and often humourous. I really like the sensuous moments between Annya and both her lovers - especially Finn. I did wonder whether as a love story this would work even better if Simon was Annya's brother rather than lover, but by the end was convinced; the second, more human act of love is important.

In conclusion: The complex layering is carried successfully by a strong and simple plot: Finn recalled to earth to help humanity - and ironically bring about the train of events that will lead to his own conception - combined with a 'Chekhov's gun' sub-plot - a dramatic hook (Simon's mission) which comes into significant focus towards the end of the story. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have an early look, and I hope you find these comments helpful and encouraging.
Crysse

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

AN EVERYDAY MIRACLE



In my last post I wrote ‘Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.’ A few days later - today, in fact - I report something rather different.              

 
I dreamed a dream last night. Nothing unusual in that. I dream a lot; I keep a dream journal; I share some of my most interesting dreams with friends - mutually, because they reciprocate in the sharing; and I write about dreams. I even wrote a book with Dreaming as part of the title. So maybe it’s not so much of a stretch to call myself something of an expert in dreams. 
I studied way back when - back then - in the 60s with a Jungian, himself an ‘expert’ in that he had studied with the great man, C G Jung himself. But even well before that I intuitively understood that dreams, though sometimes trivial or muddled, were capable of bringing vital insights into our consciousness from a part of ourselves which is free from the control of our waking mind. And being free, they are likely to deliver vitally important messages - messages  which our everyday self has censored. Our ego self likes to see us in a more idealistic light and develops strategies which deny or avoid its more unpleasant aspects. Many of the monsters of fiction arose from the world of the unconscious; Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and his Creature, as examples from past literature, with our multimedia today constantly throwing up ever more exotic visions for our delectation.


On the other hand dreams may also reveal parts of ourselves that are more courageous, smart, talented, or spiritual than our every-day self. Their scope is endless, revealing glimpses both too brilliant to see clearly, or so deep in the shade we can't see that aspect either. 
Then of course there is Lucid dreaming. This is where, with a part of our mind still on the edge of sleep we train ourselves to capture elements of a dream and manipulate it, thereby taking back control again. And there may be something in this approach which could benefit us. But this opens up a whole new area for discussion. Maybe one for another day.


But returning to this day and the dream I dreamed last night.......

In last night’s dream ‘Everything that could go right, went right.’


How did I move from 'Everything that could go wrong' to Everything that could go right? What happened? I need to retrace my steps ........


My dreams of late have changed .... in the last few nights they no-longer carry messages from my unconscious which need to be interpreted by my conscious mind. There's a subtle but important difference.


Finding myself now a nightly traveller knowing myself as a new person. I have left the old me behind, and with her, all the old stuff she has carried from the past. And not only from her life of yesterday, but all the yesterdays down the ages, along with their karmic baggage. I observe myself, this new woman, a complete stranger, with interest -- fascination even. She is quietly confident, competent, taking everything she meets in her stride. Intellectually sharp and technologically savvy, yet she is relaxed and serene, soft, warm hearted. As I observe her in this moment, she is in the midst of a highly complex piece of work. This, she has either undertaken herself to been commissioned to carry out.


The me, Esme, the self who observes her, knows she would be out of her depth if she had been given this task. So she looks on in awe, marvelling that a woman so young and normal-looking has been entrusted with such a commission. We exchange glances. I understand from this that she is as aware of me as I am of her, and this look somehow fixes in me a 'knowing' that I am being challenged about what I hold onto as my identity and my 'reality'.


I wake soon after this and feel slightly troubled that I haven't been able to capture the full extent of what I understood whilst dreaming.


The following night I dream it again, and wake in the same way. Several nights in a row I dream the same dream, waking with a sense of frustration because I haven't 'got it,' but letting it go as I connect with the 'reality' of today and my need to get on with that. It's so comforting to return to my old self and the day-to-day reality I've always known. I don't have to bother with disturbing and incomprehensible challenges. I can let this strange new woman continue with whatever she's doing. At the same time I realise I will have to take up the challenge soon, and this creates a painful tension in my body. 


I won't run away from it, yet even acknowledging it intensifies the pain.

___________________________________________________________________________              




HERE IS PART TWO FOR ANYONE WHO'D LIKE TO READ THE WHOLE PIECE (WHICH I FIRST POSTED IN THE BLOG OF JULY 22nd.)

"Fear not," said the angel.


(This particular angel being that part of myself we variously call, our Higher Self or our Divine Self, Soul Self, Angelic Self. I wrote this down in my journal at periods in the middle of the two or three nights following the dream where I saw the complete stranger, my New Self.)

'And so, let us continue on this journey of ours, and this conversation where you commune with your divine self.

You dream once again of the New person, a not-yourself woman, and waking, you find your body reacting by seizing up. I have told you many time before that this painful and extremely uncomfortable sensation is a reaction to fear, and we have been trying out a few exercises to help you develop your own understanding of the phenomena you are meeting. A simple exercise -- we gave you an example of two people, let's call them ...  it doesn't matter, it could be X and Y or whatever you choose.

X is the Old you, the familiar, everyday you. She has your identity, (which, by the way, is just another illusion,) she has your memories, all your past in this life, the family, friends, events and incidents - everything that shaped your present life. X is constantly remembering details from the past, comparing and contrasting herself with others, "This is what happened to me; I made such mistakes;  if I do this I'll miss out on that; if I don't do that I'll be sorry because look what happened last time; he is much better than me at... ; she has the advantage of a better...  better luck, better body, more attractiveness, greater talent... " on and on it goes. I'm not saying this picture is exactly you, you've more sense, more balance that that, haven't you! but just giving an illustration. X, the old you, lives in the present but is fearful of the future because of her experience of the past. You see the linearity of that? Yes, living this way we do create our reality, but we have created it out of our past experience and it is biased towards victimisation and lack - insufficiency of some kind, be it self-worth or health or wealth.

Let's carry on with this exercise and look now at Y.

Y is the same person but she looks at the past that she created and takes responsibility for it. She knows she gave her permission at some level for all that she experienced as she travelled her pathway. And what a lot of experience she did gain! Now she has arrived at that place where she looks in the mirror and sees herself, values herself, loves herself, and feels much better about herself all round. Her future is now filled with promise; new potentials are there on the table ready to be picked up. She lives in the Now, but it is a Now filled with compassion, love, understanding and self-awareness.

Think of it this way: This New Person lives now in the centre of a circle, no longer in the old linear manner with the Past behind, the Future ahead, and the Present You restricted by that continuum. Instead, by being in the Now, you're in the centre of a circle where you move on and up from level to level as your consciousness expands, and it's like being in a living, spinning spiral  -  a circle which is a spiral - hard to describe - but because everything around you moves at the same time and at the same rate, you don't notice yourself changing. You feel the same Self to yourself, but we see you as we've always seen you, from outside the illusion of linearity. With delight we see you 'becoming' - not the right word, but for now....taking up more and more of your real self - expanding into your Divinity, the I AM.

Out of this realisation a new Creativity flows in, and it is an energy which is changing the planet -  for you can't separate your human self from your planet. As your consciousness shifts and expands, so does the Earth's. Even though the Earth shakes, as it does - I'm sure you've all noticed - at the moment, weatherise -- extremes of heat or cold, rain or drought, fire and flood --  these are but her rebirthing contractions that you feel. But now you feel safe within your own knowing that You are the Creator. You have moved from Victim to Creator.

You stand upright in this New situation about to step forward - you take a step into unknown territory. You are about to encounter something you've never seen before, The Great Unknown - full of promise - a wonderful revelation. But there is no map drawn out for this new territory which opens up at your feet as you go forward into it. This shows what a powerful person you are. You forge ahead, and it comes to you that you have just given birth to something  - but at this moment you can't see what it is you've given birth to. And suddenly all your fears come flooding back - all the dangers, the traps, the sharp snags that you imaging you might encounter. Your fear of making mistakes. You are not done with the Old You yet. But this is as it should be. These are unknown waters, and the unknown is your creative territory - your playground. Step into it  - dive in - and discover the wealth of resources awaiting you, Shaman, Alchemist, Artist. There is more and more to come.....'



Friday, 29 June 2012

ANOTHER DAY------ ANOTHER and Another .....

When nothing works ---  do nothing.

I broke into smile. For this last week- and longer - I've been hitting a brick wall - smashing into the buffers - everything that could go wrong, went wrong. My creativity stifled and the universe is not co-operating. I want to get on and DO, but everywhere I turn I'm met with non-cooperation and stupid, automated, non-human systems, or if there's an actual human lurking behind the system, they're behaving like a stupid automaton just to wind me up. I want to do things with my website - make changes, bring it unto date, add some new art and take away some of the older stuff;

I want to revise my book, Dreaming Worlds Awake, on Lulu - improve the colour quality and proportions of the cover design plus add the dollar price to the UK price. Also I want to include a new illustration to the interior and a new poem. But after going through all the steps, successfully uploading all the revised content and improved cover, when I went in to actually buy a couple of review copies I discover that Lulu have somehow upped my cover price by quite some. It's now priced something like $2.50 higher than the price on my cover -- the price which I entered as I went through the revision procedure -  and the figure which it had been priced at before, the UK £ price, is nowhere to be seen.

The whole reason I decided to give Lulu a try and go Self-Publishing, was so that I could be solely in charge of the procedure. It would give me the freedom as an artist to make these new additions and improvements as and when I felt prompted by my creative urge to do so. And I have to say, until now, I have been very pleased with my Lulu experience. But something has happened. I didn't ask for this hike in cover price - I don't want it. It doesn't match the price stated on the back cover. If someone buys it and sees the cover price they'll wonder who's ripping them off --- and it isn't me.

Is this happening to anyone else? No-one but me seems to have noticed. Or if they have no-one has brought it up on Lulu's system. It's a system where you don't get answers easily. You're given all those FAQs to look at, and a list of virtual 'experts' who, it turns out, shower you with a load more of other poor  b******s unsatisfactorily answered questions, plus an email help, which again no-one ever responds to -- or was that just my experience?

I went back through the 'revision' process and tried again -- and again - to get it to accept the dollar price I wanted. Made sure I'd entered UK and not US as my country of residence and entered my UK cover price as priority. Still nothing changed. Then eventually I managed to do an online chat in which I was told that because production costs in the US are higher than in England, that would probably account for the hike in price. YET, and tell me if I'm wrong -- when my revised copy arrived, it seems to have been printed and despatched from within the UK. Am I being ripped off? It feels like it, and if Lulu's policy has changed, no-one told me. I can't get through this barrier and I can't get any sensible information.

This is just one of the barriers I've crashed into these last few days. My webpage inaccessibility is another. My Amazon Author page another. And there are others I won't go into (including a hellish bout of cramp, my whole body seizing up.)

All of this happening down at the physical level, the real-life in-the-body everyday existence level. But this is not the whole story. This is not the whole ME. My whole reason and purpose -- call it what you will - in living and writing and creating art, is a spiritual one. Whenever I hit brick walls I talk to my 'friends in higher places'. Not only when I crash and dive, of course; I talk to them every day come whatever. I have many such friends. A large family of guides, helpers, healers and advisers  on 'the other side'.  Some of them I have known in this lifetime, others from lifetimes in the past, as well as my Soul-Self, Divine Self. One of these friends, ascended master Kuthumi, last night reminded me of something he'd told me months ago. ' Whenever you're feeling stuck and unable to move forward, things are not always as they seem. A lot is going on beneath the surface. Let go the feeling that your not doing enough and can't move on. It's time for an energetic Time Out with your self. Rest and recuperate, let go.'

And this is why I smiled this morning. I opened a book lying beside my computer, 'Duck Soup for the Soul' by Celestial comedian, Swami Beyondanander who I'd met staring on stage at a Mind and Consciousness conference in Albuquerque some years ago. Top of the page it said, When Nothing Works --- Do Nothing. I'd suddenly seen the double meaning. Nothing Works!





(By the way if anyone is interested in buying my book(s) at cover price plus P&P, they can still be got from my website www.esmeellis.co.uk  or email me at esme.ellis@btinternet.com )

Sunday, 10 June 2012

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER CAVE. My blue heaven!

This time I was in Rome - or this is where it started. Back in about 1958/9 after leaving the RCA, (Royal College of Art) I'd applied for a prestigious scholarship, The Prix de Rome. And I'd been accepted as one of 12 post grad. art students and given 6 months to complete a life-sized sculpture with the title, Youth. Hiring a furniture van was the only way to get the finished work to the venue in South Kensington, (Imperial College) where it was to be exhibited and judged. Nail-biting days went by until we were informed who had won. Unlike the several scholarships available to students from the Painting School, there was only one prize for sculpture, and I was bitterly disappointed to find I'd been placed 2nd. (I'll make this short and to the point, but I'd been told this by my tutor who'd been on the judging committee. I'd tied for 1st place with a student from the Salde School of Fine Art, and my tutor had tried his best, arguing for me, but the R.C. had won the year before and the view of the committee was that it was the Slade's turn this year.)

Eventually, though, I'd travelled to Rome with Rose, my friend from the painting school who'd been given an Abbey Major (or Minor, can't remember, anyway a scholarship for one year.) She was later to marry the much older-than-herself, well established painter Roger Hilton. Rose, a fine artist, lived for years in his shadow, although teaching herself at Falmouth College of Art in Cornwall. Roger is now dead and Rose has now blossomed forth in her own right.

Back then and long before Roger came on the scene, she and I shared a flat for some time, right by the Spanish Steps. We lived there together until September when her studio in the British School at Rome became vacant, at which point I would find another flat for myself. I would then try to get a part-time job, and continue with my studies. In the meantime, in what was left of the summer, we decided to adventure, taking several trips hitch-hiking around southern Italy. At a youth hostel in Sorrento, we were picked up by 2 Italian male students from Naples university and asked out for a whole day. They planned to hire a rowing boat and take us down the coast, stopping off mid-day at a beach restaurant, where they would buy us a meal and continue down along the coast. There was something special they wanted to show us.

Sorrento was near Capri, noted for its Blue Grotto, but these two could show us something better and what's more it wouldn't cost us a lira! After leaving the pleasant stretch of beach where we'd stopped for a slap-up lunch, far more luxurious then we could have afford of ourselves, we set off once more rowing southwards along the coast line. This fine, sandy bay left behind, we were soon travelling beneath a stretch of towering, high, very high cliffs with no further landing places or beaches in sight. On and on we went. Beautiful day, blue as blue sea, but where were they taking us? Rock-face, after forbidding rock-face reared up, and no let up. Not a soul in sight. Were we mad to trust them? Oh, my God! If they had something untoward in mind, even if we jumped over board and made a swim for it, there wouldn't be a snowball in Hell's chance of escape.

They stopped rowing. "This is it."

Did they say that, or did we think it out loud? We two girls smiled at each other uneasily. They shipped the oars. "Now what?"

"This is the place,' they said. "our secret. You can both swim, can't you?" they asked. "Just follow us. Swim until you see us disappear, and then dive down. Follow our legs, keep close. OK?"

They dived in -- we followed suit. Swimming fast towards the towering cliff before us, panting hard we tried to keep up. The boys disappeared from sight, and we gulped a big breath and dived down after them. A trail of bubbles in the bluest of blue water, and two pairs of thrashing feet. Breath running out, feet in front getting fainter as they seemed to dissolve into an indigo underwater blur. Follow, follow. Then....

I can see it now. Feel it, sense it. It all comes alive. We're surrounded by the most luminous, ethereal blue. An underwater heaven. A cavern filled with great Breath of sighing, singing Light, and we gulped it, filling our lungs with something indescribably Celestial. We had been taken into a secret Blue Grotto. Our smiling faces a luminous cerulean blue; blue mermaid hair streaming out; we'd become transparent, more areal than solid flesh. We lifted our arms into the air, spread wide out fingers in a gesture of pure rapture.

Dive in in Faith and Trust. Many years later, writing the Fish tale/tail at the end of my book, Dreaming Worlds Awake, the same thing was said to me by the ascended master, Kuthumi."Dive into your creativity. Dive even deeper. Like the fish being released into unknown waters - keep moving because you know your surrounds intimately even though you have never been in them before. There are just more resources and more to explore. The gates are open and you are stepping through. Namaste."

Friday, 8 June 2012

INTERLUDE 2

STILL WITH THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE Theme, of this week's Jubilee, there was a discussion on BBC radio 4 a couple of days ago about our national anthem and should we pack it off to the knackers yard and look for a more appropriate, up-to-date one. One suggestion was that people attending another of our nation institutions went wild every year at the last day of the PROMS, frantically waving union jacks and singing en mass the words of Rule Britannia. Hardly less arcane and Imperial than God Save, I'd have thought. But moderated slightly when we learn the original words were Britannia rule the waves, a maxim, not Britannia rules, an assertion. In spite of its doubtful and un Politically Correct words the gathered multitude, it seems, partakes with gusto in its much catchy, festive tune.  Away with the Old, and on with the er.. slightly less Old?
Yet my mind went back...

Some years ago I went to a concert put on by the Bath Natural Theatre Co. led by the eccentrically talented, cross-dressng Ralph Oswick. We were issued at the door with small Union Jacks, and guessed we were in for a good time. A trio of musicians struck up the famous rollicking overture theme from William Tell -  and we were off....  joining in with whatever make-believe instruments we could fashion. Dum-de-dum-de-drum, drum, drum. The climactic end to the evening was the waving of flags and the audience singing tops of voices, 'Rule Britannia, Britannia Waives the Rules, Britons never, never, never shall be Fools.'

Well, that's good enough for me. I'll vote for that.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

INTERLUDE JUNE 6th

Since my last post the Queen's Jubilee has come and gone. I also went and came back again. A few days away for a well deserver break, we found a cottage in the White Peak of Derbyshire. Every village and small town, every front garden, pub, shop front and street we encountered was decked out with red, white and blue bunting. 20,000 miles of bunting sold, so they say. 



Cottage with yours truly peeping out of it.
And a peep at Wolfsdale down deep in the dale with sheep grazing safely beside the River Dove.

Then home again, I watched the flotilla of thousands of boats sailing down the Thames in London, everyone, including Her Maj braving the cold, wind and pouring rain. Then on TV again I saw the last hour or so of that concert in the Mall and gasped with genuine amazed pleasure to see the electronic lazier show transforming Buck Palace into a mundane, but hilariously audacious block of red brick Council flats where every so often virtual windows opened to reveal parties of virtual London revellers dancing and singing inside. What Fun! Truly, this was the best street party I've ever virtually been present at. Tech magic at it best ever yet. And even our dear 'monarch in waiting,' Charles 111, managed to out-do the comics on stage with a bit of warm, wry humour of his own. Almost makes one proud to be British. Anyway - enough of that....

Regretfully, no red, white or blue to illustrate any of the above. It simply didn't occur to me to take a photo of the decked-out streets. Altho' possibly we shall never see their likes quite like it again. Or so they say. England is changing, or has changed irrevocably. In the South, in London, certainly - even here in Conservative Bath I only saw one house with bunting -- but maybe I don't look hard enough. The rural villages up in the north midlands though were an eye-opener. Derbyshire: my own back yard. Though Sheffield born and bred, my city has its toes well and truly in Derbyshire, and in my youth and early 20s as an art student, I spent nearly every week-end climbing, walking and sometimes caving in Derbyshire. The Derbyshire edges in the Black Peak; Froggatt Edge, Burbage, Curbar, left by the receding Ice Age glaciers are of Mill Sone Grit and more appropriately linked with gritty steely Sheffield. These were the nursery edges we practiced on as a warm-up to the mountains of North Wales. Shorter in height, yet, in places, just as demanding in severity of challenge.

Memory. How far to trust it. The mention of caving triggered an urge to recapture one of the admittedly few caving experiences of my life. If I told you it took place in the Giant's Hole there's a good chance that was it. But I know I did some of my underworld delving in other Derbyshire caves - so it could have taken place elsewhere. But let's say Giant's Hole (or as it was known in times less proper, Giant's Arse.) 

Imagine if you will a lot of Black. I don't have a picture to illustrate blackness, but I can safely leave it to you I think to conjure up. We've entered at the mouth of the cave and at this moment it is still normal daylight - but we've come prepared. Prepared as far as amateurs in those far off days of my youth could be. Several other more professional groups were assembled at the cave mouth, but these were clad in proper boots, waterproofs and helmets with safety lamps attached. These people called themselves, Speleologists, and they went in first. I'd never been on such an expedition, so the two male companions who'd tried this cave out before, kind of updated us on what we were in for. At some point, they told us, after following the underground stream for some way, travelling downwards all the time, yet still able to stand upright, the tunnel would begin to narrow and we would be faced with a huge rock-face blocking our way. Standing there in our comparatively primitive gear; basic boots, cut off father's raincoats as anorak, clutching the candles and matches we'd brought with us to light our progress, we sized up then next step. Obviously we weren't meant to turn round and go back. The pros., the speleologists by this time well ahead, had gone under the rock, and we must follow. Their waterproof head lights had shown them the way, but candlelight was all we had, and these life-saving essentials must now be protected. 

We'd equipped ourselves with metal Oxo tins with tight fitting lids. Our candles, now must be extinguished, blown out and placed with our box or matches in the Oxo tin and tightly closed.  Then in utter darkness we must go down into the water, feeling our way with our hands, sensing with our feet the river bed, and prepare to dive under the rock-face which had seemed to block the passage. A deep breath -- and dive in faith and trust, until we bobbed up again on the other side, ready to continue further along the passage of our adventure.
                   _______________________________________________


Since asking you to imagine a lot of black at the beginning, you may be wondering why I've wandered off - and maybe left you and blackness hanging in the air. Candlelight may not be the last word in illumination, but it's not exactly dead of night BLACK. But stick with me. More to come. The passage continues and so did ours. I can't quite remember if among our equipment items I mentioned climbing ropes, but we must have had them with us, for the next stretch of the journey underground necessitated a bit of rock climbing. Leaving the river/stream behind or below, we began to climb up the sides of the underground cave system and onto a narrow ledge, from which a new passage opened onwards. More exploration lay ahead, but soon we began to notice a certain flickering of the light. Checking our supplies, we realised that we were almost out of candles. The boys, determined to carry on as far as possible suggested that we two girls sat it out while they forged on further. Only this meant taking the candles with them. 


Promising not to be too long, and that they'd tell us all about their discoveries on return, we agreed to wait in the dark. Off they went and we sat tight on the very narrow ledge while the light from the boy's candles grew ever fainter. With their disappearance, light and sounds of crawling menfolk fading and dwindling into nothing, the rock-face pressure at our backs and our narrow seat seeming to grow skimpier and less secure by the minute, blackness descended. A blackness like no other I have experienced. Outer blackness even at dead of night and sans moon or stars had never been like this. This was ABSOLUTE.  Absolute black. 


A long time passed; our feet dangling into space, a strange sensation overtook us; we could no longer tell up from down, right from left. Time lost its meaning too in this extraordinary world of sensory deprivation, similar I believe to that experienced by trainee astronaughts before they're allowed to fly weightless into space for the first time. The boys had their experience; we had ours. A bonding of sorts. Two girls on a ledge holding hands, exchanging thoughts, seeing it though together. Rite of Passage? 



Saturday, 19 May 2012

SEPTEMBER IN WALES

I'D LIKE TO CALL THIS FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE, although having to use myself and one shot of Michael as the figures. Past experience has been that trying to add text to pictures is a time-consuming, frustrating business, takes 3-4 times longer that text and uploading pics separately, and I'm hoping to avoid this in some way I haven't devised as yet.

First pic. right, in no chronological order, is me at the far end of the promontory at Little Haven breathing it all in.






What I love about this part of Wales, which we return to again and again, is, the SPACE; the vastness of sky and sea with no-one to be seen. Walking, the two of us, and never a soul in sight - maybe the odd farmer patrolling his land who's glad to nod and exchange a few words, or some other lonely walker.

So this picture, right, is an example of a view from Saint Non's. I pointed the camera just as the sun caught a sliver of yellow green on the distant hill top, but before I could press the button the magical effect had disappeared. Nevertheless, the open sky felt too good to ignore.

The black cow beneath a small mountain is the typical Welsh breed of cattle. We met, presumable it owner, on the way across the fields where we noticed a group of standing stones lying flat, (not shown) in this field of cut hay. At the top of the field we could see the sea on the right and the same sea on the left.






Here I am gazing back at the same mountain.
And in the next picture, seconds later, sitting on same rock, but Michael has moved to take the shot from the front. The sea so bright that the camera can't cope with the dazzle and I seem to be blotted out by a cloud.
Either that or night has descended unexpectedly!

















Two more. Facing both ways.
One I took of the sea inlet quay with boats at Porthclais looking inland, and the one below Micheal took looking seawards.



















Typical scene in this west coast part of Wales; a plain farmhouse structure, but with windows which suggest it has also been used as a chaple.
Situalted in the same field as the standing stones and the cattle.









Something different. Faint distant view of oil refinery at Pembroke Docks beyond oyster beds near Dale, and looking the other way onto the inland brackish water lake. A flock of wild Brent? geese.























Friday, 20 April 2012

A NEW LOOK.

CODA: THE TALE/TAIL OF THE LION.   MAY 23rd


There I was, book finished, all ready to put to bed, or send to ed i.e. my editor, when I had the most extraordinary Dream. (I capitalise dream only because Dreaming Worlds Awake is the title and the very essence and being of the project I'd thrown myself into. As it says on the back cover, 'the thread which unites the whole is the magic and transformative power of Dreams.') I had finished the last chapter, illustrated it with my fish drawing complete with Fin, celebrated its completion with a nice glass of red wine - feet up  - sigh of relief - when I had this Dream. It had to go in: no question. But how could I get round my Fin, end of tail/tale dilemma?  Sleep on it. I did. And then, like the dream itself, it came to me in the night: Coda; a short passage added at the end of a composition to round it off. A tail. My early musical training had supplied the solution. What a wonderful thing is The Unconscious! and this is the essence and being of Dreams.


The dream which precipitated the Lion Story was the heart of the matter, the drama out of which it arose. I wonder how others experience their own dreams? Have you for instance ever woken in the dead of night, your heart thumping in your chest so loud you fear it may have woken neighbouring sleepers? Fear, raw and existential mortal fear! For some time you sit there in the dark, hands pressed to breast, trying to still that lump of biological matter which leaps and kicks against your ribs, and only slowly coming to the realisation that even if that vital organ itself may be signaling immanent arrest, you, your essential self, are safe. All you need do now is stay calm, sit tight and wait - because you are in your own bed, and there’s nothing in the room with you. At least, nothing that's going to do you harm. 


The power and magic of dreams, did I say? Running for one's life in mortal terror? Yet -- and yet? Facing our greatest fear there within the darkest place it hides, and making the greatest discovery. What is that quote from Rilke? I forget its exact words, but something like; 'Our fears are like dragons guarding our most precious treasures.' Lion or Dragon; Esdragon or Esme, I discover aspects of my self which, coming to consciousness, become part of the greater whole of who I AM.


P.S. By focusing on the 'fear' element of this particular dream is not to suggest that all dreams are nightmares - nor even, that this one was a nightmare: it wasn't. Dream, rather like the word Film, or Drama is a generic term covering a multitude of possibilities. Rather as in Film or Drama themselves, possibilities and potentials are endless, and just as in these other theatres of human expression, dreams are a vehicle for our creativity. Yet unlike these other areas of artistic endeavour, in our dreams, when properly understood, we get to be director, actor, audience and any other character which our unconscious throws up. The only character that doesn't get to play a part is Ego. Mind. That ever-wakeful, intellectual censor which lies and denies and struts the stage pompous and posturing, quailing and wailing, in every-day life.



THE TALE OF A FISH


Tale -  tail? or maybe, in this case Fin. Playing about with words. It was the last tale in the book, or meant to be the last, and the French word for End came into my mind, so I placed the little image of a fish I had drawn, (complete with the word 'Fin' worked into its dorsal  er... fin,)  as illustration for the story, right at the end -- on the last page in the book. Clever me! Too ***** clever as it turned out. -- But that's another story.


I was playing about with words from the start - 'stream of consciousness'. My first paragraph reflected in some way the sort of prose used by the 'Beat Poets', Jack Kerouac et al.  But the story itself stemmed from a dream I'd recently had - a dream which opened up a realisation of an actually experienced shift of reality inside myself -- a consciousness change. And this is why I write about the power and magic of Dreams: They actually have the power to change our reality and the consciousness of the World.
                                As I've said, all comments, thoughts and question gratefully received.


THE INCIDENT OF THE FLYING CAT.  MAY 16th


The second of my stories BLACKBIRD SINGING is also a magical story. I don't mean by that that it is a fantasy or imaginary; it is actual and true, and once again it happened to me - in my garden - at home, this time. Unfortunately I don't have a blackbird picture to hand - I didn't even think of drawing one for my book. After all, I told myself, everyone knows what a blackbird looks like. It's one of the commonest birds in an English garden, (maybe you don't live in England? sorry!) It's also, along with the Thrush and Nightingale, candidate for the most beautiful, sweetest singer. 

The magic is, this time, over several Spring days, Mr Blackbird and myself, had a singing competition, and if I had some recording equipment I might have captured my garden blackbird's song. Unfortunately without that for evidence, you'll have to take my word for this unlikely impromptu concert: Mr highly professional songster Blackbird, and myself, the hopelessly incompetent whistling act. 

The year moved on into nesting season, and the concerts dwindled and ceased. Mr Blackbird's mind turned to his main motive for his outpourings, courtship. This quickly resulted in him attracting a mate. Nest-building then became top priority, soon to be followed by egg-laying and chick-feeding - the two birds taking equal shares in the later. Little time or energy left for music, now. But then there was another  amazing incident. Mr Blackbird got the better of a neighbour's cat who was bent on stealing his chicks. The Incident of the Flying Cat and the Dive-Bombing Bird.

And even more magically, the ascended master, Kuthumi, whose wise, inspirational and humorous words feature strongly in this book, (Dreaming Worlds Awake, as mentioned below,) informed me that in one of his incarnations as St. Francis of Assisi, he had many similar experiences.


                                                                                (Any comments gratefully received.)


ANOTHER NEW DAY,  MAY 12th


Having decided - more or less - that this (below in blue, previous post,) will be the text for my revised back cover for Dreaming Worlds Awake, and having sent it to my editor for his impressions, I've spent a lot of time these last days in discussions with a group of writers on LinkedIn. Almost all are centred around the various social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and LinkedIn itself, and how effective these are at attracting 'customers,' i.e. Readers. People out there who hopefully will want to read our books. One of the main suggestions to strike me has been the importance of giving our potential customers something to look at, listen to, as well as presenting them with 'blocks of text.' At first I was dismayed: Are people these days so childish they have to have the story-book treatment? Are we incapable of reading and enjoying writing for its own sake? However...  on second thoughts, am I being too stuffy and conventional? I certainly dropped a few pictures onto my blog in the past;  too many sometimes I feel when indulging my 'show-off' tendency to post the brilliant exploits of my grandchildren.


As a matter of fact I was just about to add a few images of my own to illustrate my text right now. Every picture tells a story, after all, so they say, and I might get as much fun out of the venture as anyone else who happens to alight on my page. And so...


This little creature features already on the back cover. He is the subject of my first story, ABOUT A TORTOISE, and also as an illustration on P33. This chapter begins as a true story, an incident which actually happened to me while on my very first trip to the African continent, North African Morocco, and my very first encounter with Islam on its home territory. I was in for many surprises, not the least of which was the magnificence of our apartments in the Riad we had chosen for our holiday, nor the wonderful attention and curtesy we received from our hosts during our stay.


It is a magical story and told in part to illustrate another of my themes, Synchronicity. And yes, I'm not going to give it all away here and now: You'll have to read it in full in the book. All I'll say now, is, that this particular Tortoise in my illustration is my interpretation of one in a children's book, which our host, Abdel, brought to my attention at one of our illuminating discussions, but which in some very mysterious way connected with me personally.


A NEW DAY - ANOTHER NEW LOOK. WORK IN PROGRESS. April 27th.

What I came up with a few days ago needs further thought. How difficult can it be to succinctly say what your book is about? Such a slim volume; so much varied content. Yet each chapter, each story, each character appearing within it, however disparate each may seem, connects, links and moves the adventure on, so that it is possible to experience a sense of having taken a journey of Self Awakening. (I'll spare you alternative words like 'Enlightenment' to express the same thing!) How then to define such a book was the question I asked myself. I'm still trying to answer it.

My first sentence  'Present-day science largely dismisses the intuitive, visionary, sensual and feeling-based perspective as no longer relevant; it ignores the language by which Dreams communicate - the irrational, beyond-the-mind perceptions which give access, not only to our higher wisdom but connects us with nature and non-human, intelligent beings.'   that I feel, is OK - so I'll keep it. But I then go on to introduce the concept of Expanded Consciousness. Too much of a jump. And one I suspect which will leave most potential readers scratching their heads. Yet attempting to define it would mean adding a lot more words, and a book blurb has to be short, pithy and to the point.

Expand -  go beyond. In this case, go beyond the mind and connect with your Creative Energy, your Wisdom; letting your mind go free, to go beyond its shackles, connect with that endless, limitless pool of resources that is within you. Some Concept! This is going to scare 'em all off, these potential readers of yours. Better steer clear and keep it simple - most of all, let there be fun. After all, isn't that what Kuthumi, the ascended master, the one who took such a major part in your book, said, right at the start?

Ascended Masters; how will your potential readers react to that? There's quite a market in ascended masters these days, or so I'm told. And having one of your own on tap, so to speak ... can't be all that bad. So that 2nd paragraph could stand as is, perhaps. All I need now is link it with the first para.

DREAMING WORLDS AWAKE celebrates the physical along with science, yet opening its pages is to step through a door into a New World. Consciousness expands; our perceptions become Awakened. We journey through a series of stories about gods and goddesses, beautiful priestesses and wondrous animal beings all drawn from personal experience. We're invited into the studios and minds of the great and renowned, including a master sculptor who died 50 years ago and an ascended master whose last earthly life was in the 19th Century, yet whose humorous and inspirational words come tumbling freshly from the pages today. We discover too if Dreams can actually Awaken us; if visiting the Past could open up vistas into a Future of unlimited potentials and the exciting realisation of who we really are.


Having decided to settle for that, more or less, I'll now add two little reviews which will also go on the back cover.

'What a delightful collection of poems, stories and reflections, all written from the heart. I doubt if  anyone could read this and not be touched or have something awakened in some way. To read this now and feel the beauty you allowed yourself to experience is beyond words for me.'            Marisa Calvi, author


'Thank heavens for humans like you, Esme! It is one thing to choose to open your heart and creativity - but entirely another to share it with the world. This is the mark of a new energy teacher, and I bow to you! and thanks for letting me be a part of it.'                                 Kuthumi Lal Singh, Ascended Master.


                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------

April 24th
I am about to do a new edition of DREAMING WORLDS AWAKE. Or if not exactly a new edition, a new look. The upside of being your own publisher, and the great thing with the independent publisher LULU, is it allows this freedom. (I could go into the downsides later, at some point!) I like freedom!
(link: www.lulu.com/Esme Ellis/Dreaming Worlds Awake)

So, the reason for a new look? 1/ Although I designed my own cover, (another of the upsides; you can be in charge of the whole show,) the first print-run came out nowhere near the colour of my original design; the background was 'pinkish' rather than russety red and it had other small flaws. So we made an adjustment and tried again. The 2nd try was nearer, but this time rather too dull and browny. So we're having another go. Since this has allowed time for a rethink about the blurb on the back, I've also decided to have another look at that.

My first back cover blurb was aimed at a particular audience - I should say, readership, those who I hoped would respond to the spiritual and artistic masters, who because I had met them personally, I had included in the form of stories in my book; the renowned sculptor, Sir Jacob Epstein; the celebrated Ascended Master Kuthumi Lal Singh, for instance. But their appeal I knew would be limited - a niche market. So a year on, and having received some good advice in the meantime from Terry Whalin, who generously offers from time to time, tutorials and chapters from his own books for free, I began to consider who exactly I was aiming my book at in the first place and if I could extend its appeal to a wider readership. Secondly consider how to go about defining it clearly. And a propo of this Terry had suggested, as an editor and publisher himself, that I should write as if I was composing a book proposal for a publisher. Quite an exercise in itself, and needing quite a lot of thought. 

This is what I have come up with: -- Present-day science largely dismisses the intuitive, the visionary, sensual and feeling-based perspective as no longer relevant to our needs; it ignores the language by which Dreams communicate - the irrational, beyond-the-mind perceptions which give access, not only to our higher wisdom but connect us with nature and non-human, intelligent beings. How then to define a book which introduces the concept of Expanded Consciousness?

Opening the pages of DREAMING WORLDS AWAKE is like stepping through a door into a New World. Our perceptions become Awakened as we journey through a series of stories, drawn from personal experience, to meet some amazing real-life characters along with gods and goddesses and wondrous animal beings.

Encounter within it a master sculptor who died 50 years ago; dialogue with an ascended master whose last earthly life was in the 19th Century, yet whose humorous and inspirational words come tumbling freshly from the pages today. Discover if Dreams can actually Awaken us; if visiting the Past could open up vistas into a Future of unlimited potentials and the exciting realisation of who we really are.


www.esmeellis.co.uk