Sorting out the Editing!

The weather has been so beautiful in the UK this week, that I decided to spend the day editing my new novel, I’m Here, in the sunshine. Increasing the brightness of my screen solved the visibility issue, but the sun was getting a bit too bright for my eyes, and seeing as I don’t own any prescription sunglasses, a hat was needed.

Well, this was all I could find…

wpid-20140418_104104.jpg

Sat in the sun, wrapped in a blanket and wearing a sorting hat. Can editing get any better than this?

Yes, it is a leather sorting hat. I created it for the Harry Potter parties that I did last year for friends, and my own in January. I thought it would get too heavy after a while, but I have worn it for the morning, and thanks to the amazing hat, I have finished the first edit of my novel. Because of writing the novel over such a long period of time, there were a few inconsistencies that needed clearing up, as well as a couple of threads that needed tying up at the end. I’m ready now to pass it over to my editor and my trusty beta readers, to get their feedback. As yet, no one else has read it, so the jury is still out on whether it is any good. Seeing as I plan to publish it by the end of May, I’m crossing my fingers that it is!

Joking aside, I cannot stress how important the editing stage is. It still amazes me when authors put their work out without having it edited or proofread by someone other than themselves. I do edit my books quite a lot, but I know that having another pair of eyes, (or two or three pairs) is invaluable. I’m not saying that my books will be completely error-free, but I do strive to get them as good as humanly possible before releasing them into the world.

Very, very soon, I will be revealing the new covers for the Visionary Collection, including the cover for I’m Here. I absolutely adore them, and I cannot wait for you to see them. But until then, have a giggle at my mad editing selfie :)

 wpid-20140418_113851.jpg

When will I meet my Twin Flame?

It’s been a while since I did an oracle reading, partly because I’ve been so busy, but mainly because I haven’t had any questions sent in for a while. So if you would like to ask Amethyst, Aria or Velvet a question, please do email it to me – theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk.

A lovely Earth Angel called Ana sent me a question, and I recorded Velvet’s answer last week. You can see the video below:

Ana then sent me a very long email in reply to the reading, telling me how she had related to it and how it had helped her to see things in a different light. I do love to receive feedback and to hear how a reading might have had an impact. Looking forward to receiving more questions!

A Fabulous Weekend!

title page

This weekend I was in Cirencester, taking part in the Wellness Symposium. The British Dowsing Society had a shop there, and there were a few other stands, including Shelly Sishton and myself. In the morning there were various speakers, and in the afternoon there was a choice of workshops. On Saturday, I listened to a couple of the talks and then attended Adrian Incledon-Webber’s workshop in the afternoon. Then on Sunday, after listening to Shelly Sishton’s talk about essences in the morning, I then held my workshop/talk on how to publish independently. It’s the first time I have done a talk of that length (75 mins) but there was so much to pack into it, I could probably have talked for another couple of hours! It was also my first ever stab at doing a powerpoint presentation, which thanks to Scapple, was not only fun to create, but also fun to present! The attendees asked lots of great questions, and gave me a nice round of applause at the end, so all in all, I think it went quite well!

I had a great time chatting to people, and selling books, and made the interesting discovery that the majority of dowsers there were StarPeople! It was also the first time I had given out my shiny new brochure, which was designed by the awesome madappledesigns, to showcase the new structure of my business, The Amethyst Angel. There will be a PDF version of the brochure on my website very soon, but here’s a sneaky peak!

brochurev 1brochure

 

Kindred Spirit Awards

I received an email toks_awards_2014day from one of my readers, to say that they had just nominated me for ‘Spiritual Writer’ in the Kindred Spirit Awards. There are 6 awards, and for each category, there is a list of nominees, then a box labelled ‘other’. She entered my name in the ‘other’ box, and suggested that I reach out to my readers and ask them to do the same!

I must admit, when I saw the other names nominated in the category, I felt like it would be silly to even try to compete, but even to just be nominated means a lot to me, and I want to ask you, that if you feel like you have benefited in any way from reading my words, whether its my novels or my blog, then you will vote for me, and bring my work to the awareness of even more people. Because that is why I write, to help as many people as possible.

So, the link to vote is here, on the Kindred Spirit website, and the deadline to vote has been extended to the 30th April. If you feel that my work deserves the award, then please do nominate me, and also vote for the other amazing people and organisations in the other categories too.

 Thank you so much, for you love and support, it means a lot to me. And thank you, Helen, for nominating me first!

The Wellness Symposium

eeg

On the 12th and 13th April (next weekend!) The Earth Energies Group are holding the Wellness Symposium in Cirencester. I will be there on the Saturday, selling my books and then on the Sunday, I will be doing a workshop/talk on how to publish independently. I only have an hour or so in which to fit in the process of Indie publishing, so it will be an interesting challenge!

Adrian Incledon-Webber will be there, selling the awesome Heal Your Home and also doing talks and workshops. It should be great weekend, with some fab speakers, so if you are interested, check out the British Dowsing Society website for more info and for the booking forms.

I look forward to seeing you there!

5 Years Ago Today…

… I was sat in JFK airport, waiting to board a flight back home. And it was while sat in the waiting area that I got a notebook out and started to write The Earth Angel Training Academy. I wrote the first 900 words in that notebook, then wrote the rest of the book in the two months following, on my old laptop that had no ‘L’ key.

original eata

The handwritten beginning of The Earth Angel Training Academy

I still have my original notes from before I began writing. Most of my ideas didn’t make it into the final book. Once I started writing, I really had no control over the story, or the characters. I was merely a bystander, writing down what they were doing and saying.

wpid-20140331_230940.jpgnotesnotes2

After those initial two months of writing, it took me a further two years to edit it and get it into print, after a brief attempt at entering the traditional publishing world. Originally, I called the book ‘The Angels Calling’ and even printed and hand-bound in leather a copy for my dad. After a handful of rejections, I decided to take the Indie route, having used print on demand services to publish Heaven Dot Com back in 2007.

The first edition of The Earth Angel Training Academy was published and launched in July 2011, at the Heart of the Dragon Festival in West Wales.

The Earth Angel Training Academy

Original Cover

New Cover

New Cover

 

Since writing the book, I have actually met several of the characters in real life, including Shelly, the mermaid, who I met in California last year.

Mermaid Shelly

 

In November 2010, I wrote The Earth Angel Awakening, which I then published in the summer of 2012. Then just last year, I wrote and published The Other Side.

AWAKENING COVER WHITE FINAL small

Print

 

In some ways, it feels like a lifetime since I wrote those first words in JFK, and in others, it feels like just yesterday. As you can see from my scribbles, Velvet was originally called Mulberry. Because the lady sat opposite me in the waiting lounge was wearing mulberry-coloured shoes. I can still see her shoes, and hear the noise of the airport, and see the planes taking off. Though I had been writing for many years by that point, and had self-published my novella, that moment in the airport was the very beginning of my journey as an independently published author, and a visionary fiction novelist. And in that moment in time, I had absolutely no idea what the next five years would bring. There have been awesome times, crappy times, frustrating times and absolutely ecstatic times. And I wouldn’t change a single moment, because it has all brought me to where I am right now.

Do you remember where you were five years ago today?

 

Scapple, the Chronodex and a Breakthrough

It has been a very interesting 10 days indeed! Just wanted to write a little update on a couple of developments that have occurred, that have had quite an impact on me and my life. On the weekend of the 22nd March, I happened to come across a nifty bit of software called Scapple. It was created by the same folks as Scrivener, which as you know is my favourite piece of writing software ever.

Scapple is a mind-mapping tool. No, scrap that. It is THE mind-mapping tool. When trying to organise my thoughts and ideas, I often mind-map on paper. But things are always in the wrong place and other things get deleted and it looks like a mess in the end. Enter Scapple. On Saturday, I was actually attempting to mind-map on paper, and was getting quite frustrated. When I discovered, and then bought and downloaded Scapple, I was totally hooked, and got the mind-map done speedily and efficiently (and it looks way better than my scribbles!) It’s also given me a new way to do my talks and workshops, as I can use them as prompts instead of using notes or a script, which I don’t like to do. If you are even vaguely curious, I would urge you to download the trial version and have a go!

On the same day, through the blog of a lady called Julie who followed my blog, I found the Chronodex. For years, I have bought diaries, used them for a few days into the year, only to lose them until October. Planning my time and recording my time, has been something that I have not been able to do easily, but something that I wanted to be able to do. Well, for the last ten days, I have been using the Chronodex daily, and it is completely changing the way I look at my days, and is enabling me to schedule my time and to see when things are taking up too much time. The Chronodex was created by a guy called Patrick Ng, and he is happy for people to download the Chronodex diaries he posts on his blog, all they cost is a prayer for the good health of his family. I just copied the image from Julie’s blog and printed, cut and paste them into a notebook, so that I could record other things on the page too. But I made sure I sent a prayer to his family too.

chronodex

The Chronodex in action!

On Thursday last week, I had a visit from the fabulous George Hardwick, and his wife and baby girl. He had come to see me so that we could have a session together, working out what I should focus on, where I should go next. For the next few hours, we went through what I had already created, what I needed to do to make that more successful, and also what I really enjoyed doing. To have someone like George speak so passionately and get so excited about my work, made me really look at what I have created in a new light. It’s been a while since I really stepped back and looked at what I have achieved in the last few years, and actually, it’s quite a lot! I sometimes get so wrapped up in worrying about all the things I still need to do, that I forget to celebrate and appreciate what I have already done. After our session, I was talking to my partner about some of the ideas, and a little later, the vision of what I should be doing and how it should work, came into my mind, and I suddenly understood what George had meant when he said that at the moment of breakthrough, you will have tears of joy in your eyes. To have it all make so much sense, and to feel so right, was just amazing. I bounced around for the rest of the evening, and though the last three days have been crazy, that feeling hasn’t gone away. I know what to do now. I know what my next step is, and I know it will all work out perfectly.

So if you find yourself stuck, if you cannot see the next step, and if you want to make a living giving your gift and being the creative soul you truly are, than please get in touch with George!

On Taking Advice

blue butterfly

I don’t know about you, but as a writer and a creative, I often find it difficult to take advice. Oh, I have no problems in giving advice, I could do that all day. Accepting and actioning advice from others? Hmmm, well, uhh, yeah, maybe.

As an avid advice-giver, I know how frustrating it is, when you offer something advice, or even when they ask you for advice, and then when you give it – they ignore it completely. *cue screaming into a pillow*

First of all, I would like to apologise to anyone who has given me advice in my life which I have ignored, I’m sorry for being stubborn, I’m sorry for thinking I knew best, I’m sorry if it upset you. Of course, I don’t regret a single choice I have ever made in my life, because it has brought me to where I am right now, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. But there is a chance that had I heeded some of the advice along the way, I could have got here without so many obstacles.

Conversely, I have been given advice over the last few years, that I HAVE followed, only to realise later that perhaps the person dispensing said advice did not have the best intentions for me. So, I have decided that there must be some kind of method, some sort of formula for which advice should be followed, and which should be ignored.

The criteria that should be met by someone whose advice I will give serious consideration to, is as follows:

1. They genuinely want me to succeed in whatever the advice is given for (whether it’s my business, relationship etc.)

2. They’re not profiting from the advice they’re giving (this is a tricky one, will address this further below.)

3. They are an expert in that field, and they have tested out their own advice.

4. I would trust them with my life. (or at least with my livelihood and happiness!)

(I believe that advice that comes from a source that does not meet the above criteria, should be treated with caution.)

In the past few years, I have taken advice from people who have not met the above criteria, and it has not been good advice for me. I took relationship advice from someone who I found out later, did not want my relationship to succeed, and though I don’t regret what happened as a result, it made me realise that perhaps I was just a little too trusting, and didn’t listen to my intuition.

The part on profiting from the advice, well, that is tricky. Because someone might be advising me to do a course or buy a product, that will genuinely help me. Yes, they might be making money from the transaction, but it could be exactly what I need to change my life. But there are so many just trying to make money, who aren’t really interested in me or my success, and that’s why I need to look at all four of the points above before deciding.

I run a small Indie Publishing business, called The Amethyst Angel, and I get queries from authors who want me to work with them to independently publish their books. Often they say they just want formatting, or proofreading, as they don’t feel it needs any editing work, they’re happy with it they way it is. The first thing I will do (which I don’t charge for) is to read the manuscript. And I warn them that I will be completely and utterly honest about what I think. I have told some authors that I think they need to completely re-write the book before considering having it edited, and I have told some authors that it needs editing before it can be proofread and formatted. Sometimes, they listen, and we work together and produce awesome books, and also become very good friends, after all, I genuinely want them to succeed. And sometimes, they don’t like my advice, and they go and find someone who will just format it and publish it, as it is, with no further work done on it.

Being an Independent Author means that it’s entirely your choice. It’s their choice to ignore my advice, and that’s fine, after all, my opinion may not be the same as others, and I accept that. But what I want them to know, if that I’m not giving them that advice so I can make money from them. I am giving them that advice so that the standard of Indie books is raised up just a little more. At the end of the day, I am an Indie Author. I am on the author’s side. I would never tell an author that a book needs work when it doesn’t because it would be a waste of my time and their money. And I will not work on a book that isn’t even ready to be edited, because it would end up costing the author too much. I would always advise them to re-write, revise, and find willing beta readers who will help them first.

I apologise for my rant. But I do feel very strongly that this is an important issue. If Indie Authors want to be seen as professionals, if they want to be taken seriously in the publishing world, then it’s time they started producing professional pieces of work. Now, I’m not saying that as an Indie Author, I have it all figured out, because I don’t. In fact, I’m currently re-branding three of my books because my original covers and blurbs aren’t cutting it. I created the covers myself, and though I thought they were good, and others seemed to agree, I realise now that they do not do the books justice. Because whether we like it or not, a large percentage of people do still judge a book by its cover!

I will keep you updated on the new covers, they should be ready to be revealed very soon, and I hope that my advice on taking and ignoring advice was useful to you! Have a wonderful week :)

Wise Words of Buddha

It’s been a quiet week on the blog front as I have been busy editing and also spring cleaning the house. I’ve also been working with the madly talented madappledesigns on the new covers for Heaven Dot Com, The Doorway to PAM and The Elphite, as well as the cover for my new novel, I’m Here.

The title of this post is referring to the quote on my calendar right now, which says -’ Do not speak – unless it improves on silence.’ And I guess that’s why my blog posts are a little sporadic, because as a rule, I do not post unless I have something to say, that I think is worth saying, and worthy of my readers’ time.

Rocking with my firewalking buddies at last year's UPW.

Rocking with my firewalking buddies at last year’s UPW.

So why am I writing this post? Because at this very moment in time, a whole group of my favourite people are at Tony Robbins’ Unleash Your Power, in London. I attended the event last year, and it was amazing. I can honestly say that it changed my perspective on life completely, and made me realise that I could in fact live the life I wanted to live. Walking on fire was one of the scariest things I have ever done (even more so than breaking an arrow with my neck) and it made me feel like anything was possible. Since then I have been doing work I love, full time. I haven’t yet got everything sorted, but I know that I am so very lucky to live in such beautiful surroundings, to have an awesome partner and to be living my life’s purpose.

I have had times where I’ve wanted to give up. When it looked like things weren’t working out, or when the finances start to freak me out. And I would start thinking about what I should do instead. Perhaps I should go and get a job, it might be a boring 9-5, and I might only get minimum wage – but it would be a regular income! Surely that would be better? I’d get stuck in these ruts for sometimes days at a time, where I’d scour the job pages, send out CVs, etc etc. And do you know what? Usually I ended up giving up on that and going back to the task at hand – making a living as an author and a publisher.

It came to my awareness recently that I was never going to make Plan A work, if I was focusing on Plan B. If I truly believed in my Plan A of being a successful author, then I didn’t need a Plan B. Just having a Plan B makes Plan A destined to fail. I remembered these words from a talk that Brad Burton gave at a 4Networking meeting I attended, 18 months ago. He knew that his Plan A was going to work. Even when his family and friends thought he was crazy, even when he suffered setbacks and financial problems. He just knew. And he believed in it. I believe that it was his belief that made it work. His single-minded determination made his business successful. But it wasn’t an easy path for him, and I also believe that anything worth doing, anything worth creating, will require a decent amount of hard work, sweat and tears.

So I have thrown away all Plan B’s. There is no other path for me. My path is to do my writing and publishing, and anything related to it. Normal jobs are no longer on the agenda.

It doesn’t just apply to career, either. When you have a relationship back up plan, then your relationship is destined to fail. If all you can think of is what you will do, where you will go, or how you will cope when the relationship breaks down, then inevitably, it will indeed break down. You have to give 100% of yourself to the relationship you are in, and believe that it is ‘forever’. If you don’t want to do that, then it may be time to leave.

So what is your Plan A? What will it take for you to commit to it? Let me know in the comments :)

I hope that this post improved on the silence, if it didn’t, my apologies to you!

Choosing My Reality

Last week, I finished the first draft of my latest novel, which I have called ‘I’m Here’. The big push to finally finish it was provided by my sister, as we challenged each other to finish the first drafts of our projects by the 11th March, and both of us made it! In the last few days leading up to the deadline, I was writing anything from 3000 to 5500 words a day. I could have just written 1500 words a day for two weeks, but instead I preferred to leave it all to the last minute and write 15,000 words in just a few days. Anybody who has done Nanowrimo and loves the last minute, will understand this!

It was weird to finally finish the book, because unlike many of my other novels, this one took a considerable amount of time to come into being. I wrote down the idea for the book more than a year prior to beginning it. I then started to write the book during Nanowrimo in November 2012. But I hit a block and found myself unable to continue writing it. So I stopped and decided to write The Other Side instead. Then in November 2013, during Nanowrimo, I decided it was time to finish it. I cut the last chapter I had written the previous year, and started to write. But again, I hit blocks during that month and set it aside again. I was struggling to get it finished, and it was only the deadline imposed by my sister (and the promise of a homemade prize!) that got me to finish it.

One of the reasons I think I found it difficult to finish the book, was because over the last few years, I have noticed that many of the events that I have written about in my books, have actually come to pass. It might sound totally crazy, but not only have I met some of my characters in real life (with the same names, characteristics, appearances, personality etc.) but I have also experienced some of the situations I have created in my novels. So when writing this book, I had a vague idea of where it was going, and I didn’t want to write it, because I didn’t want it to happen in my own life.

Now, if you are into the law of attraction, or believe in saying or writing affirmations, you might not find this concept to be so crazy. After all, with every word we think or say, we are creating our own reality. We are choosing what we are going to experience. And when I write these scenes, these stories, I am in effect, calling them forth to me. This idea was brought home to me when I read the story of the author Iain Banks, who died of cancer shortly after writing a novel about a man who dies of cancer. In this article it is said that he had written 90% of the novel before finding out his own diagnosis, so it wasn’t based on his own experiences. Some people may be offended by the idea that by writing the book, he chose to experience the same fate as his character. And I do honestly hope that is not the case. But what if we do have the power to choose our own reality in that way? My new book explores that idea, that we do actually have a choice in what we experience in life. That our intentions become our reality.

When I was a child, I loved the cartoon Penny Crayon. She was a girl who had the ability to create anything – places, people, objects, by drawing them with her special crayon. I was fascinated by the idea as a child, because it somehow made perfect sense to me. Over the years, I have manifested many things, often with the help of vision boards or through writing down my desires in the form of a simple sentence – I choose to tune into the reality where… I have lost count of the number of times I have read back through notebooks and diaries only to find what I had chosen and written down, had actually become my reality.

I have also lost count of the number of times people have asked me to write a book about them winning the lotto…

The thing is, with this knowledge, you would think I would just write about the things I would like to experience, that I would craft the stories to reflect what I wish for in my life. But it doesn’t work that way for me. When I write, I have no real say in what happens in the story. I am merely recording, writing down, the story of the characters. I have joked before now about not being an author, but a spiritual secretary, just taking dictation from above. So I decided that whether I wanted to create the reality or not, the book needed to be written. I’m now in the editing stages, and am planning to publish it by April/May. I will post updates on the progress of it, and plan to post excerpts from it very soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to choose the reality where I have a cup of tea and a cake in front of me, and I hope you choose the reality where you have a fabulous Monday!

Doorway to PAM

Wow, look what I manifested!!