In part, the article says:
What I experienced was that the big traditional publishing companies had gotten mired in the quicksand of conventional thinking and groupthink. They had forgotten the importance of nurturing a midlist author through a few books to build a readership. They overlooked the appeal of richness and diversity in a book list and so refused to invest in truly original, unorthodox projects.
Worst of all, they had taken the selection of books away from people who love books—editors—and turned it over to people desperately searching for a business school algorithm to make every book a bestseller out of the starting gate—the marketing department.
Not that some wonderful books don’t sneak past the eyes of the marketing department. But, increasingly, legacy publishers emulate corporate Hollywood studios: turning out branded, franchise entertainment, mindless drivel that appeals to the horny, nerdy teenager in us all.
The great books and movies that make it past gatekeepers usually do so because they are spearheaded by someone passionate about the project. These projects come from the creative heart and soul of a dedicated individual. They require perseverance and vision in order to unfold in the world.
With no luck but bad luck with the legacy publishers, I embarked on my own passion process. I founded Parvati Press. I started independently publishing my own books and recently other authors.
I’m fortunate to have two strong-minded individualists in my life as models for my journey: my husband Sabin Howard, and my friend dancer Lori Belilove, Founder and Artistic Director of the Isadora Duncan Dance Company and Foundation.
Catch the whole article here on the HuffPo.
Though I did realize this morning that there is one thing I forgot to mention explicitly in the post: the pleasure inherent in this path. It’s just fun to think ‘outside the box’ and to operate outside the confines of corporate mentality. It’s scary, yes, because it’s insecure. But it is ever so delicious.
This one made me giggle. I envisioned the reader tilting her head… I do love the thought of this novel being “strangely addicting”!!
Outlet: Kawehi’s Book Blog
Although the story is a little strange and includes no erotic elements like one would think, the plot-line was original and the characters were interesting.
I found myself reading “The Love of My (Other) Life” with my head tilted upside down to the side with an eyebrow quirked upward since that’s literally how I felt while reading it.
I don’t believe it will be everyone’s cup of tea but I do believe that it will have your attention to the last page. It’s that strangely addicting and intriguing! haha
Desiree Watson interviewed me on her VoiceAmerica radio show Wellness Lounge, A Step Further.
Life in its multifarious impishness is both funny and fun. Recently I started a BlogTalkRadio show, Independent Artists & Thinkers. I’ve been booking guests and thinking about people I’d enjoy having on the show.
A friend of many years came to mind, a woman of vision and great energy: Desiree Watson. Back in the day when I was a healer, Desiree was interested in holistic health and wellness, and we had done some things together. So I googled around and found her Wellness Interactive site. Desiree has been a busy lady, I thought, and promptly emailed her.
A few hours later, my cell phone rang. It was Desiree herself. What a delight to hear her warm voice!
I had meant to invite her to be a guest on my show, but she beat me to it and invited me to be a guest on her VoiceAmerica Radio Show: Wellness Lounge, A Step Further. Her show is focused on empowering listeners, body mind and soul.
Here’s what the show has to say about itself:
THE WELLNESS LOUNGE-A STEP FURTHER empowers you with the benefits of a wellness lifestyle. Desiree Watson, a pioneer in the wellness lifestyle movement, guides you toward incorporating wellness into your life through commentary and interviews with exemplary personalities from such diverse fields as professional sports, corporate management, government, and health care. Our topics embrace the interconnections of mind, body and spirit, while offering in-depth analyses of the wellness lifestyle movement and its impact on the health care system, politics and international aid. Related topics will spark awareness of the positive impact of the wellness lifestyle movement and how a wellness lifestyle commitment can successfully empower the individual and influence educational and political processes on a local, national and international scale. The Wellness Lounge – A Step Further airs Mondays at 6 AM Pacific on VoiceAmerica Empowerment and Saturdays at 7 AM Pacific on VoiceAmerica Variety.
This morning we aired. It was a delight to be a guest; Desiree has a talent for supporting and encouraging her guests to open up and be eloquent. What fun!
Here’s the show link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/85279/empowerment-of-self
You can listen here, too.
Business in Milan with my Italian publisher, Marco Tropea Editore, afforded me a timely opportunity to take a train into Bavaria.
I’m working on a new novel set in Munich and Berlin during the Second World War. For detail and realism, I need to experience a place. Reading books, listening to on-line lectures, and watching videos are no substitute for trudging through a city, absorbing through my pores the buildings and people and language, the smell of wurst and rich taste of Augustiner beer and slant of light through chestnut trees.
Munich is a lovely city in which to practice the writerly art of osmosis. Its buildings rollick through the ages, from the Romanesque Peterskirche to the neo-Baroque Justizpalast to the modern skyscraper Hypo-Haus. In the center of town, the Marienplatz bustles with a heterogeneous mix of people. It’s easy to get around because of the dazzling array of public transportation choices: the bus, the tram, the S-bahn, and the U-bahn–all very efficient.
In this world of dialectic, dichotomy, and duality, where there is beauty, there is found ugliness, and where there is light, comes the darkness. Lovely Munich’s history harbors astonishing cruelty. Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp and the deadly prototype for all others, lies twenty kilometers outside of town.
A story set in Germany during this time necessarily references concentration camps. Germans seem to agree. When I joined a tour to Dachau, which had been a munitions factory during the First World War, Tom the Welsh tour guide commented, “Germans study what happened here, they face it honestly. I regularly see school classes.”
Indeed, I spied a group of young people who looked like high school students. They listened carefully to their teacher, a bespectacled woman who spoke with a fierce thoughtfulness that elicited from them a corresponding intensity of focus.
A post contemplating Brené Brown on Love.
Of late I have been thinking deeply about these issues of the human heart. It’s partly because of a dark and difficult book I’m writing, and partly because someone to whom I’d turned for help, someone I trusted and respected and liked, has let me down.
This person is powerfully and deeply defended, and isn’t the kind of person who can own their own stuff. Rather, it would be a situation of lack of truthfulness and unacknowledged projection—as it has been for a long while.
So there will be no resolution for me with this person. There will never be a moment when that person can look me in the eyes and own having taken advantage of my trust and vulnerability. It’s not going to happen. And that’s life, so often unresolved.
It happens, right? I sometimes think that we’ve all been subtly trained by sappy television shows and trite movies to believe that there’s always a neat ending that fits our preconceived notions of right and wrong. I also see in our culture a growing entitlement and refusal to take personal responsibility. It dismays me.
Then this morning I encountered this quote:
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
I took from this passage that I can continue to nurture and grow love, trust, and respect within myself. I can soften and I can open my heart, even when the other person doesn’t. I can own that in myself: my willingness to be vulnerable, respectful, and kind.
It doesn’t mean I have to be vulnerable to everyone I meet.
There’s a myth that’s prevalent in our society that blames both parties for the behavior of one party, as if two parties equally participate in one person’s treatment of another. All you have to do to understand the falsity of that notion is read history. Categorically, the Jews had nothing to do with the way Nazis treated them. It works in the microcosm, too, in dyad. One person can behave well and the other not so much.
There’s another liberal culture myth that I call the Great Narcissism, which goes like this: If we are tolerant of them, they will be tolerant of us. People want to believe that. They want to think that the world is a mirror that will reflect back their own kindness and tolerance. It’s just not so. It’s a very dangerous myth, in fact.
Plenty of extremist groups will use tolerance to hurt the more tolerant groups.
But Brown has a point: we can each nurture love within ourselves, not demanding and expecting that it will be universally reflected back. But sometimes it is, sometimes the other person can and will nurture their own inner love, kindness, respect, and trust, with mutuality and reciprocity.
Then there is transformation and healing.
TOXIC YOGA MATS
- Cleaning supplies are some of the most toxic products and certain chemicals can pose health and/or environmental risks. There are “less toxic” commercial cleaning products now available. However, because manufacturers are not required to list all of their ingredients, unless they are active disinfectants or known to be potentially hazardous, it can be challenging to sort through all of these products.
- Read the labels and avoid harmful ingredients whenever possible. Some of these ingredients are: Nonyphenol ethoxylates (NPE’s) which, when released into the environment, break down into toxic substances that can act as hormone disrupters, potentially interfering with reproduction. Antibacterials in cleaners may cause local (skin and eye) irritation, and certain types, such as triclosan, may contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria. Some studies also suggest that triclosan could form dioxin, a carcinogen in the presence of sunlight and chloroform, a probable human carcinogen, in the presence of chlorinated water.
- Ammonia is poisonous when swallowed, extremely irritating to respiratory passages when inhaled, and can burn the skin on contact. Butyl cellosolve(butyl glycol, ethylene glycol, monobutyl) is a lung tissue irritant and is poisonous when swallowed. Chlorine Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorate) causes irritation to lungs and eyes. If chlorine and bleach are mixed, they can form a dangerous gas that can severely damage the lungs. D-limonene can cause skin irritation. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) can produce carcinogenic compounds which can penetrate the skin when combined with nitrosomes (many times used as an undisclosed preservative).
- The term ‘disinfectants’ includes a wide variety of ingredients (such as chlorine bleach, alcohol, quaternary compounds, pine oil, ethyl alcohol), some of which are regulated by the EPA as pesticides. Hydrochloric acid can severely burn skin and irritate the eyes and respiratory tract. Naptha can cause headache, nausea, central nervous system symptoms with overexposure. Petroleum based ingredients (surfactants), also includes formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Phosphatesare toxic to the environment.
- Best advice is to research the products or better yet—make your own cleaning products.
But the bottom line is: bring your own yoga mat. Even a studio that takes pains to promote its purity may well be hiding something toxic.