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Monday, December 19, 2011

Send me an Angel…Right now.

Do you believe in Heaven above?  Do you believe in Love?  I do and I'd love to find an angel.
I believe that there are more people that feel the same as I do about angels but are afraid to admit it.  They are afraid to admit how they admire them or how they wish they could meet one or see one, even if they could be creepy.
And why not?  Angels are perfect.  They don’t judge, taunt or whine and they are the closest beings to God. How could you NOT want to believe?
But who are these beings?  And why do I refer to them as creepy?  Are they spiritual?  or physical? or both?  Do they really watch over us?  And if they do, is that a weird creepy or endearingly creepy? 
Well, if we think about it, they have seen us at our best and at our worst.  They were made privy to our most intimate moments, no matter how serious or silly those moments may have been.   Yes, like the time you had diarrhea or drooled on your pillow while sleeping, or tripped over yourself for no reason.  That alone would make the angels not just endearing  but also very romantic.  There is nothing hidden from them and yet they still love us unconditionally.  How often do you meet someone that can love you unconditionally where you can speak openly without fear or judgment?  Not many, I say .  The angel is a true romantic, a pure heart, a deep love despite it's tortured sourl by the forbidden love with a human.  This my friends, is a fact, look it up, it's in Deuteronomy.
And that is how and why the story of BELOVED was born.  A story of a tortured soul, (NOT A VAMPIRE), who falls in love with a human girl; a girl that he has watched and protected since her birth.  Tortured because of his essence and  yet his inability to leave her.  We all crave that, both women and men.  We yearn for that someone to watch over us, to guide us, to support us, never leaving us all the while, having fun and enjoying life with us.   The perfect mate- an angel; the forbidden love.  
Can it happen?  Probably not.  But BELOVED dreams it and lets us in to witness it.   Enjoy BELOVED , brought to you by the wonderful people at Fantasy Island Book Publishing.  Come check it out along with all their best sellers at http://notthemainblog.blogspot.com/
Good night peeps and say your prayers tonight- never know who is listening…watching…creepin’!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Watch out for those looks..that Evil Eye!

In this day of modern science and technology, you would think that old wives tales, myths and legends told by our grandparents and their parents would be things of the past.  But, I have found that there is so much known about the unknown, especially in matters that come to Italian witchcraft and spells.
Yes, you read it correctly…witchcraft.  I grew up in an Italian family where these traditions are still thriving.   In fact, many Italians today continue to believe and   I have found a huge following of these beliefs throughout all of Italy but especially prevalent in Rome and further South.  Ironic isn’t it?  Rome, the capital of Catholicism, is still entrenched with medieval and pagan traditions to ward off evil and how to remove or cast spells, in particular, the Malocchio or Evil Eye.
Malocchio, in literal terms, means bad (mal) eye (occhio).  It is a longstanding traditional spell thought to influence the lives of people by casting looks of bad thoughts or envy.  The evil eye giver either does this intentionally or involuntary, with the latter being the most popular in order for their “victim” to experience sickness, misfortune or loss of property and/or money.  I know a lot about this because you see, I have been a victim myself, having had the evil eye cast on me, several times.  How do I know?  I had all the signs: sickness without reason or cause, misfortune, bad luck and downright misery.  Nothing I did helped to ease all this influx of bad tidings following me and entering my home.   So, I did what every good Italian girl would do...I called my mom.  Thankfully, my mother is very familiar with the malocchio; she can recognize it but more importantly, remove it.
So, one night, we began the ritual.  The bowl of water with the olive oil drops.  I had to look away so that the evil does not bounce back on me as my mother observed the oil and water mixing.  Then, she began her quiet chant and suddenly, she exclaimed, “YOU HAVE IT!  SEVEN WOMEN AND THREE MEN GAVE IT TO YOU!” 
Seven women and three men… wtf?   Well, that could be anybody! It could have been the cashier at the supermarket or maybe my friend’s cousin or her husband…anyone!    But, with the malocchio, the acknowledgement of who cast the spell is sometimes enough to remove it, but in my case, since there were so many, it wasn’t and my mother had to continue with the ritual.  She restarted chanting a prayer as she continued with the drops of oil in the water.  Then,  she took matches and burned the evil eye in the bowl…some use scissors or a knife to go through,  the eye and I think it depends on what part of Italy the family is from but the idea is  all the same …kill the eye and remove the spell.  After killing the eye, she took a wine bottle outside and smashed it, spilling it all over my driveway, “for extra protection” she stated along with instructions to my husband to clean up the wine for the wine needed to be washed away from our home. 
Right about now, you may be thinking how kooky all this is but truth be told, after all was said and done, the headache and nausea I had for a solid week immediately lightened up and was completely gone within two hours.  Issues that were happening in my house were fixed or resolved and my son won $50 bucks off a lottery ticket…all within that same day.  Coincidence?  Maybe,  but the timing of it all leaves one to wonder.  Yes, I am one of those that hold some belief in it, only because of past experiences through me and other family members.  So, while I wait for Christmas eve, the only day that one is allowed to learn it so that I could carry on the tradition in my family, I will keep wearing the Italian horn or devil’s tooth on my chain, ensure that salt is located in the four corners of my home and bless my children with red amulets for them to carry for their protection.   Oh, and it’s OK if you don’t believe, just don’t let me catch you looking at me, I know how to give it too!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Is It More than just White Noise?

On April 19, 2004, my father called me at 7:30pm even though he was pronounced dead at 11:30am that morning.   My father’s sudden death was caused by a massive heart attack that no one saw coming.  He died instantly, or so the coroner explained.  I guess for the dying, that may be the better way to go rather than endure a long and suffering death caused by disease but for the living that remain, the pain is much more intense.  The opportunity to have said goodbye was never offered; closure became a nonfactor and still is to this day.   
On that night and for the next two consecutive nights, I received the same call.  I was still distraught from the entire goings on of the past days that I really didn’t pay too much attention but looking back today, I wonder.  I still remember those calls vividly:  the phone rings and I happened to be near it each time.   I hazily say “hello?” and all I hear is static with a faint voice in the background. 
The first night, I thought it was a bad connection or a crossed line so I just shrugged it off and not give it a second thought.  The second night, the phone rings again at the exact same time as the previous night.  Interestingly  that I happened to be there for I had swung by my house for only five minutes just to pick up various papers and pictures as I was meeting the rest of my family at my mother’s house.  I picked up the phone and abruptly answered with a rushed “hello.”   
Once again, I heard the static but this time, with various voices faintly in the background.  At first, I thought the call was coming from Italy where the majority of my parent’s relatives still live and given the fact that I had made a call to Italy that morning to break the news.  I even spoke in Italian to whoever was on the line indicating that  I could not hear them well.  I waited to see if the line would clear or if the party would hang up but neither happened.    Rather, the static on the line grew more intense as it began drowning out the voices I initially heard.  I began to grow impatient and since I did not have the time to wait, I rudely hung up and left the house.
The third night, all was done.  The arrangements for the wake, the funeral, the church, the flowers and all else on the task list was completed.  It was late, my husband and my children had already gone to bed but I could not sleep.  I was exhausted but my mind was racing, awake, imagining.  I sat in a dark living room with wandering eyes about, hoping to catch a shadow of something, anything- hoping, praying for a haunt…anything that could be a sign from my dad  (I envisioned a Hollywood-like appearance of some kind).  But I got nothing and as I laid my head to rest on the back of the rocker, I was abruptly shaken by the phone ringing.  I thought it was my mom needing something so I quickly ran to grab the phone.  Once again, I heard the static but this time, it was faint and appeared that a voice was whispering through that static.  As exhausted as I was on this night, I was also crabby and moving towards angry…at my situation, for my mother and at my father.  This time, I was feeling ticked that someone keeps calling, playing games with me so, I didn’t bother to wait for the person on the other line.  I didn’t wait for the line to clear; I just simply clicked the OFF button on the receiver and ended it for good.   I did have caller-id so I scrolled through the past calls to look for the owner of those three mysterious calls and interestingly enough, they all originated from a number called UNKNOWN. 
I have heard about the EVP topic from paranormal investigations on TV but never really paid much attention to it, till now that is.  EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon and thought to be electronically generated noises that resemble speech, but are not the result of intentional voice recordings or renderings but rather of paranormal origin. 
OK, so now you are thinking that all of this is either hokey or you are completely enthralled.  I choose to be enthralled for today, I really believe it was my father, trying to reach me in order to give me that closure that I so yearned.    It was on April 22, 2004 at 11:52pm that I received that last phone call and I have never had one like that since.  So, you tell me, is it really more than just white noise?  I think it is.  Oh, excuse me, I must be going now, my phone is ringing….odd. 
Let me hear your side!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

EPublishing…is it the new “Slush Pile?

So, I am lurking around various author sites on the web and Facebook and I have found common questions among many of them…Literary Agents.  Where are they? Are they part of the groups?  Do they have their own FB pages?  Well, like me, I am pretty sure that many of them are lurking our pages, blogs, and sites.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they are the main group that is downloading free samples of our work to their kindle, iphone, ipad, or pc.   But then what?  Do they mark those they like and watch them, to see their progress?  How well they do?  The reviews, the rankings?   I bet they do!  And then, just like Ebay, right before the auction ends, there they are making a bid for it. 
And why not?  At this stage, all the major work has been done for them: sales, trends, target audience, reviews and rankings, cover art, etc.  All they now need to do is gather that data and use it as mere backup for an easy sale to one of the Big 6 Publishers, that is, if one of their agents didn’t come in first and “steal” that bid away.  So, if that is the case and the ebooks out there become the new “slush” pile of agents and publishers, then can we finally say Farewell to that dreaded Query letter?  That 250 word essay that can make or break a life?  In hindsight, how crazy are we to rely on the opinion of someone who may prefer sci fi to romance or romance to mystery or nonfiction to paranormal, and etc.   Why do we kill ourselves to impress someone whom we have never met and keeps a carrot dangling over us simply because they have “connections”?  I say with smiling sarcasm, so what.  We are slowly moving to an era of the death of the literary agent.  Take Amanda Hocking, for example;   I admire what she has done.  She loves to write and she did.  She loved to tell stories and she did.  So, she put it out there for anyone to come and enjoy her work and boy, did they ever!  Over a million of them did!  And then, with an ironic twist, Amanda’s agent found her AFTER her readers found her.   Am I impressed with that agent?  NO!  Why should that impress me?  That agent did nothing to merit being part of Amanda’s success; this agent nor any others that rejected her previously had any cojones.  Instead, I’m impressed with Stephanie Meyer’s agent who gave her a shot even if it was against the rules of YA novels of that day; I’m impressed with JK Rowling’s agent who saw something in a children’s book and gave it a shot…those are the agents that deserve kudos and should relish in the success of those books but definitely, not the agents of today.  Today, they are all running scared as they sell out to the Big 6.  They see it- their slush piles are getting smaller, their query letters are decreasing and writers are no longer bowing and rewriting their novels as per their demands.   Writers, like true artists that they are, are taking their works into their own hands and controlling the outputs themselves.  Just look at Fantasy Island Book Publishing for example.  A co-op group made up of not just a publisher but also editors, illustrators and writers who collaborate with each other in complete support for the success of the books in the group.  And this model has proved successful with the international best sellers currently in their lineup. 
So, is epublishing the new slush pile?  Well of course it is…that is, for the new readers out there.  Those with whom we want to share our stories as they patiently wait for us to get them out via the new wonderful world of the internet.  Publishing will become digitally commercial with the populus controlling the outputs and success, not a select few with huge egos and small minds.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Don't Quit your Day Job!

So, here I am with my very first blog post…POP!   Welcome everyone and feel free to jump right in and share your thoughts.
I wanted to start out by briefly introducing myself as an artist that authors stories.  I say artist because I accept that not everyone will like my work.  It will not be because of quality or effort but more because of personal tastes.   And I’m OK with that.  I don’t like all the art out there either, but maybe you do.  That doesn’t mean it’s bad or good; it just means it’s there and ready for whoever wants to appreciate it, embrace it, love it or hate it.  There, the stage is set so let’s move on.
 I have been fortunate enough to meet a wonderful group of talented artists and authors with whom we all share a common goal.  We are all committed to a new kind of indie publishing affectionately termed as co-op publishing under the brand name of Fantasy Island Book Publishing (FIBP).   FIBP has not only taken epublishing to a new level but it has also provided the ability to bypass so much of the mundane and tedious work associated with self-publishing.  At this level, we authors work together to “push” our books for success.  When one succeeds, we all succeed and one by one, we focus on each other.  Our books are magnificent, with beautifully designed covers that accompany well-crafted stories from talented writers that make this company proud.  Here, you will find engaging tales that span so many genres and tastes; from horror to steampunk to fantasy to paranormal, this group and our fearless leader/publisher is your one stop shop for all your reading pleasures and desires.   Take a look and follow us below!
So, what’s the point of my ranting blog, you may be thinking?  Well, don’t think too much for the point is, when an author hits it big, it is not due to a stroke of luck- nah-uh; it is due to the many hours of hard work that were devoted and invested by each writer.  Hours that were removed from other activities such as family, friends or… sleep.  I can’t tell you how many countless nights I have been functioning on caffeine and 3 hours of sleep.  But notice I didn’t say work (meaning employed).  For those fortunate enough not to need a full time employer, good for them, I envy you very much.  You are already one step ahead of all of us and hopefully, will share your key learnings with the rest of us as we try to catch up during our “off-hours”.   For the rest of us, we get up and go to work and dream about  that special date in the future when we can make a living with our art and writing and until that date arrives,  all I can say now is don’t quite your day job…yet.        Later…P

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