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 firstname.lastname@example.org )