Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Devotion As Submission

I feel like I'm talking about this all the time but it's still such a huge topic for me. Although I don't subscribe to a religion, I consider myself spiritual. I have the live and let live philosophy and it makes life so much easier. You can avoid so much drama by just letting people be, letting everything just be. But yoga is the piece that adds the juicy bits to that straightforward way of being.

I discovered yoga nine years ago. It was Baron Baptiste who could hold my attention back then and not because he was hot, although that didn't hurt. He just taught a class where the rug was pulled out from under you over and over again and all your bullshit was called out and he wasn't beating around the bush about it. I had (have?) a lot of bullshit.

I used to teach Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga and I firmly believe in the power of something as physical as yoga taking someone to a place so completely not physical. For me, the more challenging the posture, the more it hurt, the more I was in. That physical discomfort forced me to find center, find my breath, stop the chatter in my head and focus and then, if it's a good day, melt into it. Just give over to the pain and let it have me and just maybe, I find some peace there.

I made a joke once that isn't a joke at all really. I think yoga teachers are sadists and students are masochists coming back for more and more. On a side note, I believe the opposite of every truth resides within that same thing - or in this case - person. Did that make sense? 

I was talking with a friend not too long ago and he said something that has stuck with me. Hopefully, I get it right because he wrapped this all up so nicely. He said something like - or maybe I should say I understood something like: "devotion will be the expression of your submission." Those words are some of the loveliest that have ever been strung together in my mind. He managed to bring two very important parts of my life together and just summed it up so neatly. It's still something that requires some exploration from me but I get goose bumps thinking about it. 

Anyhow, my post has turned into rambling again, but I think that's part of it. Ramble and talk and read and listen and really hear and maybe you can uncover another layer and get closer to the core.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Good Girl - Two Word That Make Me Weak at the Knees

I have been obsessed with the song Blurred Lines ever since I first heard it. The tune was catchy, his voice was nice but there was definitely something else about it that just grabbed me. I always have that with music - for me, it's the words - and I know straight away if I'm loving it or it's going to be OK or whatever.

At first, I couldn't figure out what it was I liked about it. It's fairly simple and I quite like something a little heavier, something I can brood over. Mumford and Sons has a song that describes this well:
And the darkness can descend,
We can relish all the pain.
But I know that's what you love,
Cause you know I love the same…"

Mumford and Sons, Where Are You Now
I relish the pain. I like it. I'm drawn to it and it's usually how I connect with people. But here was this simple song and I finally - finally - figured it out. Yes, I'm a little slow.

It was the good girl reference. When he sings 'you're a good girl', it just speaks to me, makes my belly go all soft and really just makes me want to sit up and pay attention and do whatever he says. I'm submissive by nature and this just hits a button - it's a total trigger.

I'm not going to get all broody now - instead I'm off to listen to the song one more time. Maybe do a little dance in my kitchen - consider yourselves lucky you don't have to witness that. I've linked the video above so if you click on the song title, you can enjoy it right along with me. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

One Year In Publishing

I just realized I have an anniversary this week. Pierced, my first short story, was published this month last year. I was on vacation at the time and only had internet access in this one place by the front office of the B&B. I remember going to check it that morning (then 100 times that day) and seeing my book out there. It was very cool. 

It's funny, if I read my older work now, I'm kind of embarrassed! I think a lot of authors must feel that way. Pierced was a fun, sexy story; a total fantasy that was inspired by a tattoo parlor I passed daily on my way to Dutch lessons. The hero didn't really look like that in real life but I've got this fantastically vivid imagination, especially when it comes to anything erotic.

I've learned some lessons in the last year. I've made mistakes but I've also landed just where I was meant to be in some cases so I thought I'd share my top 5 learnings. 

1. Research for publishers in your niche market. This is key. Start by looking at books you like to read - most likely you write similar stories. Find out who publishes these books, talk to authors, see how positive (or negative) they are about their publishers and then do more research. There are a lot of publishing options out there and they take some time to learn. Take the time, you'll be glad you did later. 

2. Ask questions before signing the contract. Ask a lot of them and pay attention to how responsive the publisher is. This is just as important as the answers they give - maybe more so. Talk to other authors and don't be afraid to ask for time to consider before signing, especially if you're not 100%.

3. Find other authors who write what you write. This will develop over time and you'll find your core group, but interact and make friends. They can be an invaluable resource and your ultimate support during difficult times. I've made some really wonderful, generous, supportive friends on line - and it takes trust to earn trust, but I think this is one of the best parts.

4.  Find your niche market. Did I mention this already? Write an excellent book then put it in front of people who will be interested in buying and reading it. 

5.  Be patient. I know, this one is the most difficult and way easier to say than to do. After you've written your book, edited, found a publisher, edited some more and finally have it out there, leave it and get to the next book. Everything takes time so check your expectations and don't get down if you don't hit the bestseller list on your first try. It may come, it may not, but write because you love what writing does to you. All the rest of it is icing, not necessary but absolutely lovely.

6. Be generous and happy for the success of others. What you put out comes back to you twofold. 

That was six things but that last one is important. It's easy to get caught up. Things will go up and down again and again - everything changes, it's the nature of things. Remember what's important and remember who you are. 

Wishing you much success.