Taking a sabbatical from writing, marketing, and fretting over sales has been the best decision I’ve made in a long while. I do miss the writing part but it was necessary to wipe the creative slate clean. In the past year since my dear husband died, I’ve made several new beginnings, regained my confidence, and have been throwing out the old. I’m sure my neighbors are wondering if a tornado hit my house seeing all the stuff that has been shunted to the curb for pickup.
Ralph and I used to travel a lot, especially to Hawaii. It was tempting to buy a plane ticket to Honolulu and revisit our favorite haunts (we lived there for four years). But then, something in my gut said that wasn’t a good idea. Travel brochures kept arriving in my mailbox, perhaps a hint from the travel gods to look in a different direction. After several hours, okay months, of scanning the possibilities, I broke out of the shell that kept me feeling I couldn’t travel without Ralph. There staring at me was a trip that we had considered but it was always quickly sold out. This trip, Wonders of the Ancients, was in the midst of a brief promotion for early bookings. So now I have two years to look forward to, to plan and pack.
Who out there wouldn’t go on a luxury cruise. In TWO YEARS (yes, crazy far away) I’ll be in Dubai, boarding the Nautica ship with Oceania. Twenty days later I’ll arrive at Rome and head for home. Already, I’m planning my wardrobe. What do you think about this dress (see link below) that I plan to order from my favorite Hawaiian shop, Aloha Outlet http://www.alohaoutlet.com/Shops/108/en/ItemDetail.aspx…
I am offering a special gift to all my followers. If you’re seeking to become more conscious of your spiritual growth, develop a closer relationship with nature, and awaken to your inner guide and wisdom, there is no greater mentor than Wes Gietz.
Introducing Wes Gietz, Windwalker.
Main Areas: Vision Quest, Rites of Passage, Natural Mentoring, EFT Career Focus: Guide, facilitator, Elder
Wes Gietz has studied and practiced natural skills and beliefs for over fifty years, with pauses as required by the necessities of love and life. He has been taught by Tom Brown Jr. and Native teachers the skills of survival and living, awareness, and philosophy, the ceremonies of daily life, and the ceremonies and responsibilities of the sweat lodge. He has studied Coyote Mentoring with Jon Young and Wilderness Awareness School, and is regarded as an elder by many. He honours these ways by keeping them for the generations yet to be born, and has taught them in workshops and at gatherings since 1993.
Wes has guided Rites of Passage for individuals and groups for over 15 years, including the 24-hour Solo and the four-day Vision Quest, for both young people and adults.
He has taught a nature-based path of spiritual awakening and power since 1994, and combines this with the path of the sweatlodge and the Vision Quest.
He practises and teaches EFT, a powerful meridian-based technique for healing emotional disturbances, phobias, addictions and a variety of physical problems.He has worked for seven years with CanAdventure Education, a wilderness-based program for youth at risk, facilitating ceremony and nature awareness for staff and participants.
Wes facilitates the learning of Natural Mentoring and Coyote Mentoring through programs of nature awareness and experiential learning, in both English and French, for individuals and school groups.
He has published numerous articles in various journals and newsletters on topics such as edible and medicinal plants, spirituality, healing, tracking, and Coyote Mentoring, and is contributing author of Peak States of Consciousness, Volume 2: Acquiring Extraordinary Spiritual and Shamanic States (Grant McFetridge with Wes Gietz).
In 1999 he initiated the Firemaker Primitive Skills Gathering, an annual week-long learning and celebration of ancient skills and community held on Vancouver Island.
In his former professional life, he has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Master’s degrees in biochemistry and public administration, and 15 years of consulting experience in training, strategic planning, and human resource management. He has taught at the University of Victoria and North Island College. He is bilingual in French and English, has very little hair on top, and is omnivorous.
Wes Gietz: I am a mentor, coach, guide. My areas of special interest are men, business professionals, older folks, and spiritual coaching. My approach to mentoring and coaching will be an excellent choice for you if you want to grow and expand beyond your current understanding and capabilities in personal growth and development, entrepreneurship and business, your spiritual life – or any combination of these.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Fifteen years ago, I experienced an out of body event. Not my first, but that one shook me to my core. I started to write about it hoping the effort would quiet the recurring memory. It didn’t. Ten pages soon became fifty. Then two hundred. Then it occurred to me that I was writing a novel.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Until it’s perfect. That could mean a week, or years.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
What? There’s supposed to be a schedule. No one told me about that. The fact is, I can skip meals, sleep, even dental appointments when my creative gene is fired up and on a roll. However, I never miss dress shopping or having lunch with friends.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have conversations with my characters – and they answer. When I’m deep in the writing zone, I can feel their presence. Yes, it is odd. I still have control over the story, but it flows so much more smoother if I allow their voice, their passion to blend in with developing the structure of the story. Symbiosis comes to mind.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I’ve spent a lot time wondering the same thing. Sometimes I wonder if God has inspired me to write. Or, maybe the characters are real entities in another dimension who beckon me to tell their story. The one thing I do know. It’s magical.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
You’d have to swear to secrecy. Too old, LOL.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
It would be easier to list what I don’t do. I love adventure, to be challenged physically, mentally and spiritually. I study Shamanism. I’ve won awards for my needlework. Watercolor painting has become my latest challenge. I’ve raced snowmobiles and have many trophies. My husband and I travelled the world and rafted down the Shotover River in New Zealand. I’m most at peace when sitting in silence in my Rocky Mountains, Jasper, Alberta
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned that I write better if I shut off my ego and let the characters tell the story.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I started writing my first, The Guardian’s Wildchild, in 2000. It was not my intent to publish it. Then my dear husband, and very critical reader, said it was good. I took a couple of years off to learn how to write. In 2011, Omnific Publishing bought the rights. I still love that novel. I thought I could get my life back after that. Within two months after TGW was on Amazon, Forbidden became an obsession. It’s my finest work, so far.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
There is no simple answer unless you were born under the ‘writer’s gift’ star. Write as much as possible, even if it’s just to please yourself. It’s like a muscle. The more you use it, then inspirations, visions, wording and phrases will begin to follow you throughout the day and in your dreams. You’ll begin to recognize what pieces add to the story and what is just useless fluff. You may love the fluff, but if it doesn’t move the story forward, it’s garbage.
Be prepared to receive criticism. Take classes in a group setting (it’s amazing how much you learn from each other). Join a writer’s group (on line and in the flesh). The writer’s group I highly recommend is IWSG – Insecure Writers Support Group.
Writing a novel is the hardest work I’ve done. I’ve worked as a paramedic which required me to be brave, strong, controlled, resourceful, intelligent, compassionate, and know when to tell a biker to “F off.” But writing has been ten times harder.
The best advice I can give is this. “Never friggin give up!”
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
One of the best reviews I received for The Guardian’s Wildchild stated, “You took me to a place I’ve never been before.” I floated about for days. The reviews for Forbidden have been ‘over the moon’ amazing. I’m so thrilled when a reader loves my books. Here is the most recent review of Forbidden.
What a thrill a minute ride this book takes you on. The characters are futuristic and totally awesome. I loved that times had allowed for more freedom for women. I kept following the story and each time I would think it was getting to the conclusion I drew, it would slam-bang me into another direction.
The love story part was really well told and I was happy with the relationship of these two different people. I found this to be a creative and unique storyline that kept me intrigued and on pins and needles.
What do you think makes a good story?
Fascinating characters are a must – all of them. Even unforgettable. You must learn what makes a character breathe down a reader’s neck. They can carry a bad plot, even poor editing. If the reader falls in love with the hero / heroine, you’re half way to a best seller. My advice is to following instructions from Writers Helping Writers.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to escape the farm. My father worked from sun up to past sun down 365 days a year. He loved it. I didn’t. It’s quite amusing to realize that as an author I work 365 days a year, all hours day and night. Fate has an odd sense of humor.
What would you like my readers to know?
I want you to know that there is a story that hasn’t yet been written – but you must write it. Every one of you. The story? The characters are unique. The plot is full of twists and turns, ranging from glorious moments to struggles that defy belief. And the title on the cover is YOUR NAME.
Yes, it’s your autobiography. And the best part is there will be no muse directing the story and no editor telling you to delete, delete, delete. You are free from any writing rules or expectations.
Let me explain. Many years ago I began to study my ancestor’s history. Thanks to the internet I had access to records dating back hundreds of years. I became a voracious hunter of even the most minute details. Tracking my lineage was relatively easy. Dates of birth, marriage, death, and sometimes addresses and occupations helped define the lives and struggles of my distant relations. But, like an addict, I wanted more.
Then a wedding photograph of my Great Great Great Aunt in England flipped up on my screen. The thrill sent me on an all-consuming search for their story. I found a few letters.
Tears of rapture filled my eyes. My history began to take shape. My lineage, all that brought me to have my amazing life, formed a map outlining my DNA and probably more than I can conceive.
And yet, I wanted more. I wanted to know about their dreams, failures, defeats, passions. What mattered to each of them? Did they have regrets? What were their darkest thoughts? What brought them to their knees?
I suppose, at the time of managing their daily chores, they would not have thought of their life as not interesting. They wouldn’t have known that if their autobiography had surfaced, I would have fallen to my knees and blessed their bones. I would have cried their name and asked God to give them eternal peace. I would have wept.
This is why, my dear readers, you must write your story. Someone in the future will grasp your manuscript and know he/she has a treasure. If you are an author, write your autobiography. If you have not written anything, write your autobiography. Put it in safe keeping.
One more thing. After writing your autobiography you may awaken a passion that has, so far, remained silent. You may become a best-selling author.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Since the death of my dear husband exactly three months ago, I have been standing in an unrelenting storm. To bank managers, government officials, lawyers, I create a facsimile of strength and tolerance for change. Day by day, meeting after meeting, legal documents and sympathy cards, have driven home the message that I will have to change or the storm will wear me down to become a fragile and incompetent old woman.
In some respects, the storm is still raging. My center is gone. Making decisions has been terrifying. Sometimes, I can’t decide on anything. I wonder, how can I write again. Do I want to write?
Then miracles, those ‘oh my god’ events, gave me hope. Last month I asked for help in getting one hundred reviews for Forbidden. Many of you requested a copy of Forbidden and then posted incredible reviews. Thank you so very much. You made my heart sing.
Recently, Cheryl Masciarelli (CMash Reads), because she loved Forbidden so much, asked if I would agree to being the Author of the Month on her blog. Forbidden will be front and center, avec interviews and guest posts each June 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and June 29th.
And, she encouraged me to feature Forbidden on the Partners in Crime blog starting June 19th to July 7th. Watch this blog for dates and location of interviews, guest posts, giveaways. Doing the happy chicken dance.
I think the main challenge for me is to accept I am going to be different in the months ahead. It is frightening. Most days, I feel like I’m still standing in the storm. And yet, there’s a hint of exhilaration. There may be damage and turmoil, but also a possibility of resurgence of energy and freshness.
I’ve lost my best friend, my soulmate. My husband passed away on Tuesday, March 7th at 4 am. He quietly slipped away in his sleep at the hospital. After a long illness, he is finally at peace. I’m devastated, and feeling guilty for wanting him back. Breakfast is the worst. That empty chair stares back at me. The silence – like a knife.
I shall be absent for a while. If you have someone who is failing in health, touch them, hold their hand, look into their eyes and convey how much they are loved and valued.