Thursday, August 30, 2012

The LOOK Challenge: A Sneak Peek at My Tarot Book!

Hello everyone! My beloved wife, author Jennifer Wells, asked me to be a part of this challenge. I post the first instance of the word LOOK from the novel I am working on. Please go check out her blog to see an excerpt from the new sequel novella in the Magick Charm series, Gypsy Magick.

My book, which currently doesn't have a title, is about a young man named Milo who just finished high school and has been having some weird dreams. He's trying to figure out what they mean, because the same woman keeps appearing in them. This excerpt is from the first chapter. Enjoy! 

The whole thing was totally foolish. He felt like an idiot for even considering telling his parents or anyone else about these nocturnal adventures. At least if he was sneaking out to party, people would understand that. But no—it was the same shit every time. That woman…well, truth be told, she was more like a girl. At least she’s pretty, he mused.
She showed up every night at least once, like clockwork. It wasn't always at the same time, and she wasn't always front and center in his dreams. But he knew she was always hanging around. She didn't make him afraid or alarmed at all, but her constant presence was unnerving. He kept wanting her to say something, but she just looked at him, watching him. 
Once, Milo called out to her. "What do you want?" She smiled a little and winked. "Are you trying to tell me something?" he continued, hoping for some kind of answer. She nodded her head yes. "Don't worry," she whispered to him. "I'll see you soon."
That satisfied Milo for about a week before he tried talking to her again. In this dream, she wouldn't even speak, but dropped a note written on graph paper at his feet before sauntering away, her jet black hair flowing down to her amazing--Milo remembered thinking "glorious"--ass. After taking a long look at her derriere, he scrambled to pick up the note, opened it up and read, "ARE YOU READY? TIME FOR A NEW BEGINNING!" 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An Open Letter to Mercury, Part 2: The Rest of the Story

Dear Mercury,

It's been over a month now since my back decided it needed a few days off. Thankfully, I'm walking around, almost like normal except for the occasional numbness in my legs or hips. I'm glad we've restored the equilibrium for the most part. More tests coming up this week to make sure we're progressing.

I visited a personal trainer yesterday for the first time, and I'm happy to tell you that my nervous system is working very well again. Fucking OUCH! This morning was definitely a rude awakening; my legs, arms, shoulders and back are definitely sore. Luckily, with the help of some ibuprofen and a lot of sitting around, I'm much better. Now to be fair to you, my trainer did tell me that we would be using lots of muscle groups. What he didn't tell me--probably for the best--is that these are muscles that I don't regularly use. 

Technically I should have known that this was not going to be a walk in the park, Mercury. When we did my fitness assessment on Wednesday, my trainer Jon used some cool tools to give me a starting point. While I'm a little embarrassed to put the exact numbers on a public forum--most people have trouble reading scientific notation anyway--I'll summarize it by saying that I have the body of a god. Unfortunately for me, that god is Buddha. No offense to him intended, of course; Buddha's shape and level of fitness are perfect for him, but you see my point. 

Jon was very encouraging, but he did say one thing that I'm going to call bullshit on. He told me that some people get very sore after their first personal training session, but that others "don't feel a thing and bounce right back." I'd like to know who the people in the second group are, and I have to ask myself if these people are fitness professionals. Being Saturn-ruled, I tried to keep a stiff upper lip throughout my session, but I wasn't so good at that. He'd ask, "It gets your heart rate up, doesn't it?" during the session from time to time, and by halfway through I was trying to catch my breath and could barely answer anyway. 

And let's not even talk about beauty in form, because you tell everybody anything, but for the record, I'd rather Venus not know how bad I looked out there. PLEASE. 

Before you ask, I don't know what sign I'm dealing with here. I'll work on getting that information so I can know who I'm dealing with. I have no guess, either, since he's kept me too bust to exchange pleasantries. 

Anyway, I am planning to do some more writing; I'm over 35K on the novel now and working along, but haven't made much progress this week. With Jen still in Florida and waiting out the hurricane, I'll have more time to write this week. For the record, I'd rather have her home, but after last month's fuckery it's probably best she stay out of harm's way.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome to Virgo Sun!

I'm thrilled that the sun went into Virgo recently. Leo sun is nice and all--it's got a nice, lazy, self-indulgent vibe going on in the sign the sun rules naturally--but I much prefer "let's get back to business" Mercury-ruled Virgo.

It's a great time for starting new learning projects. Many of us are going back to school, and the Virgo sun is a gentle reminder that it's time to wake up and put our thinking caps back on. Actually, now is a great time to learn anything; Mercury rules facts and comprehension. So even if "school" isn't in the cards for you now, remember that you don't need to be in a classroom to learn things. Even if it's just a new technique for something you already do well, learning will keep you young, and Virgo sun will help you understand and retain what you're learning. And you are NEVER to old to learn. Say that and you should probably throw in the towel now, because being open to learning new things helps you evolve.

One of the key words for Virgo is health. With my recent hospital stay, the message came a little earlier for me, but the message is the same: Take responsibility for your health and reap the benefits, or don' will see the consequences eventually. And many health problems do NOT crop up overnight, folks. Now we all know the things that we shouldn't do that have a negative impact on our lives, the vast majority of which come from doing things we enjoy to excess. Virgo's message is one of reasonableness and discrimination; sun sign Virgos know that to be choosy is to live long and well. If you're having health problems, now's the time to see a doctor. I know you've been putting off. One of my excuses was, "Well...I thought that would resolve on its own." I'm not suggesting you go to the doctor if you sneeze twice in a day, but if a problem is going on for more than a week, you should probably bite the bullet and go in and have it checked. Many people choose not to see a doctor to avoid the lectures and the judgment, but small problems can become big problems. Smaller ones are easier to fix.

Speaking of health, for those of you who have asked about my health, thanks very much for your concern. I am on the mend and pretty close to being back to normal. No surgery needed but I still have some numbness/tingling in my legs. The only thing that can help me improve the condition is weight loss and strengthening my core muscles. Since I started a new diet plan and am seeing a personal trainer, both of these are already begun. 

Another key area ruled by Virgo is our day-to-day job and other responsibilities. Let's talk about moderation again. Many years ago, I used to spend my personal time looking at work email. My Virgo wife gently reminded me on a great many occasions that I'm not being paid for that time, so why couldn't it wait until I was on the clock? The message finally got through. Are you working too hard, taking work home, or working long hours? Yes, the economy sucks and no one wants to lose a job. But when do you these things you set a precedent, and then you're expected to have your work phone on you all the time so you can read and respond to emails in real time. Go in, work hard, and when your shift is over, come home and relax, and play hard, too. It's always great to get some overtime, but again, working too much can hurt you, too. If you're too sick or tired to spend your money, what good is it? Rest and relaxation are just as important as activity.

I will admit that I am VERY guilty of working too much, and my Virgo wife definitely keeps on top of how much I toil. Some nights I will come home from work, do a reading or two, work on an astrology chart, or write, only finding time for dinner. But that's getting more rare. I'm doing a better job at pacing myself and actually taking the time to sit and watch television or play a game. Over the years, I've gotten better...Saturn is a bastard of a taskmaster and I've finally been able to slowly ease away from working constantly. But when the sun moves into Virgo, it's to remind me to take better care of myself so I can give more effort to the projects that are important to me. If someone calls me for help and I can't stay awake because I got home late for work and it pushed by whole schedule back, then I'm not being very helpful.

Virgo also rules service to others. If you can put your ego on the back burner and understand that Virgos are discriminating--notice I did NOT use words like nit-picking or fussy--and trying to HELP you, I guarantee you will get far in life. They are the troubleshooters of the Zodiac. Got a great plan? A Virgo can make it even better or point out potential stumbling blocks. It's because they step back and look at the DETAILS. We can learn a lot simply by paying attention and not trying to do 27 things at once. Multi-tasking has its place, but I often wonder if we're sacrificing quality for quantity or speed. Gemini folks, I know this will be very difficult for you to understand, but hear me out. Virgo sun reminds us to look carefully at everything. Again, you can pick up a TON of information that will be helpful to you later on.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy Virgo sun. I plan to take advantage of it by doing some more writing; I'm still at 35K and hope that I'll be done a rough draft by Halloween. Am I asking too much of myself again? Possibly. But we shall see. 

While Virgos are usually very humble and don't like tooting their own horns, I'd like to do it for them. VIRGOS ROCK. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tarot Blog Hop--Pentacles: Fruits of the Harvest

Hello everyone...and blessed Lammas to all of you! Hopefully you're coming from Donnaleigh's blog. :)

Lammas is about the first harvest, the idea that we are starting to see the fruits of our labor. I've picked the Seven of Pentacles for this particular blog. This card often comes up when people are starting to assess what is going on, and step back to admire their handiwork. It's also a great time for a course correction; sometimes the things we see "growing" in our lives are not what we want, so we take the time to fix them.

Nearly two weeks ago, I was at work minding my own business and lost control of my legs due to a back problem. Talk about a course correction! I can walk again now, but it's slow going...and I frequently get tired. It's frustrating, but you know, I'm very happy to be able to walk again! I definitely took that ability for granted. But the fruits of the labor--the walking slowly, the using handrails on stairs, resting when I need to--are starting to show, and I'm less tired and more comfortable standing than I was a week ago. My body is taking the time it needs to heal. I'm making another course correction with a new diet plan, hoping to take some of strain off my back; the doctors say that's what will help me the most. But I definitely don't want this to happen again, so it's time for change. That's one of the great things about this card; it's a seven, so whatever we're dealing with is not over yet. You've still got time for a positive outcome. If you don't like what you see, you still have the ability to make changes so your goals can still be met.

This card also epitomizes one of the most difficult realities as a professional reader: Many people fear change, and as such may not be open to the message of change that is part of many tarot readings. It's hard for me to see people come back time and time again with the same concern, only to have the cards provide the same message as last time. In many ways, a good tarot reading is a "checkup". It tells you where you are and if you need to make changes to get the results you seek. So to me, just the act of having a tarot reading--or a psychic reading, rune casting, etc.--represents the Seven of Pentacles. It's your time to step back and evaluate what's happening. Of course, it's up to you to make the changes to be successful, and unless you're ready to embrace change, likely you will have difficulty meeting your goals. I'll admit that I shake my head sometimes and say, "So be it," when I see people refusing to make change. But I can't let my ego get involved and say to clients, "If you'd just to what I'd tell you, your life would be perfect!" Each person must make that decision for himself or herself.

Here's one way to consider change that may make you less hesitant: Think of it as "evolution". Just the word CHANGE makes people run for the hills. But as a Scorpio, I'm a transformation expert. One of the best aspects of my sun sign is the ability to grow and evolve to meet challenges. Life is always changing and nothing is permanent. The Seven of Pentacles is a good reminder of this idea. Sometimes we're surprised by life events--like I was with my back a few weeks ago!--but sometimes we know the score and we resist making necessary adjustments. Like many people, I'm not thrilled when I have to change--especially when it means I have to stop doing something I like--but what's better in the long-term is what it's all about. Change is growth, and we should always be striving for growth and to be just that tiniest bit better--physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

So Lammas is about seeing the fruits of your labor, and it's great when everything is coming up roses. I hope that's true in your life. But if it's not, then the more serious question really becomes, "Are you willing to make changes to achieve your goals?" I throw out this challenge to you this Lammas, and wish you the blessings of the Lord and Lady as you grow.

Thanks for stopping by! Please make sure to visit Chloe's blog, the next stop on the blog hop!

[You can find a master list of all the blogs in the hop here!]