So I Published a Book, or Two…

So I Published a Book, or Two…

happy danceGuess what! Last month, I was finally able to achieve a dream of mine – a dream I’ve had since…since forever, actually. I finally published my books, and they are now on Amazon!

Yay! Happy Dance! Happy Song! Happy Times!

Back in August 2015, I ended up putting a zip file on a server and setting up an e-store on my site (and did all sorts of interesting techie stuff that I won’t bore you with), so I could started selling what I like to call ‘My Tarot Book’. I wasn’t really expecting much. Except of course, the satisfaction of having written a Tarot book that was ‘different‘, and then putting it up on my site for sale. Honest. I then shared this information on my FaceBook and email list.

chart-1296049_960_720Boom! People came over to my site, and started downloading the sample chapter. And then they even ended up buying the book! As the days passed, I saw the sales numbers creep up steadily and I kept looking at them in awe. I mean, how in the world…

And, I started getting emails from people wondering if they could buy a paperback version of my book. Wowzers!

The emails weren’t just a one or two, but quite a few.

So I took a huge, massive, deep breath and made my way over to Amazon’s Createspace website and started the process of figuring out what to do, and how to do it, and so on and so forth. I’m not going to bore you with the details of all the nitty-gritty stuff that I had to tackle during the process (because that stuff will go on my writing site at some point, get it?). But I had two saviors during this entire time, and both of them were superb apps. mac-733178_960_720One was of course, the love of my life, Scrivener. And the other was Pages – not the watered-down Pages as we know it today, but Pages from iWork ’09 when Apple was still doing cool stuff and setting standards for the rest of us.

And ‘coz gutter margins are an actual thing, people!

Both these apps did so much work for me, and ended up saving me tons of $s which I would have otherwise spent on stuff like formatting, converting, and layouting of the text and images of the book. Of course, all of this was wayyy simpler with the fiction book that I was also working on, because that one didn’t have  ton of images in it – but that’s another story, really.

I uploaded stuff, and I ended up ordering a couple of rounds of proof copies as well. I even ended up meeting an angel online, who spent a lot of his time reading through my book and emailing me suggestions and edits. books-1082942_960_720I also got my covers professionally designed from this awesome duo of designers that I found online.

All of this, naturally, made me feel that the Universe was sending me the helpers I needed as and when they were needed. And that meant only one thing: I was meant to do this. It is part of the grand plan that the Universe has for my life. I felt it deep in my bones. It felt…just right7749078932_c476055cdf

I set it up so people could buy the paperback book all over the world – wherever there was an amazon site for them. I also put the kindle version of my book up there, and I made it available for their unlimited library subscription bit. I spent a fair bit of time debating the price that I wanted to set – because I wanted to make it reasonably priced (so everyone could buy it even while on a budget).

The response of that move was mind-blowing! I would never-in-a-million-years have seen this coming. Wow! Not only did people end up buying copies of the paperback version, but the kindle version and the library version both have been racking up sales as well. Putting my books on Amazon and making them available as a paperback truly did give my books a bigger exposure than before!

The journey of the novel that I published around the same time is slightly different. All these years, while I did build a bit of an ‘audience‘ for my Tarot stuff, I never really created any for my story writing stuff. Still, the eBook version of my novel is doing pretty ok. I hadn’t really expected that. I wasnt really thinking of that one much, and so when expectations were zero, seeing these good results was an eye opener for me. Because, every step of the way, I’m learning so much!

Back when I hadn’t even written a single chapter, I used to think that writing my first draft was going to be the main event. Turns out, when I started to edit my book, I had to reassess my thoughts. Editing was the big toughie. Then, when I decided to figure out the publishing, I had to change my thoughts once again. Pre-Publishing stuff was super hard. Of course, after I hit the ‘Publish’ button, I realized, Post-Publishing Publicity was the hardest bit.

LOL

Ultimately, ‘hard’ is as ‘hard’ gets. With the second book, the novel, things went a bit smoother – because I already knew what to expect.

So this means, that I’ll only get used to this as I do it more often. And this also means, that when I keep doing it over and over, I will find my pattern, and my process, and improve them and all that good stuff as I keep doing it again, and again, and again.

I plan to. 😎 I so totally plan to.

This post today is a sort of an acknowledgement really. I am so much in awe. I feel so much gratitude. This is my way of saying: “Thank You, Universe”.

In my mind, I flashback to the day when I first started my blog (and it was on blogger, not here tbh), and I remember how I felt. I had only one thought: keeping an online journal of my thoughts and stuff. I had no idea people would even stop by to read my stuff. I wasn’t expecting it. And even today, it doesn’t really matter if they do or they don’t. This blog here is not a “commercial” venture for me.

Of course, there were times when I ended up logging my thoughts the old-fashioned way, in a paper-pen journal. But no matter what, I always keep coming back here, and posting stuff.

So, today, as I transition into the next wonderful phase of my life, I wanted to stop by and document it. I wanted to say “Hi” and say “Thank You” – because this blog was the first time I shared my deepest thoughts on the internet. This was where it all sort of began for me.

And although my journey has taken another turn, and a new chapter of my life has begun, I will always keep coming back here. Here’s where my roots are. This right here is where I planted the seed. This is my touchstone, the place where I realign myself, and remember the beginning.

So much wonder and so much adventure.

Life really begins every time you say it begins. 

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

The Art of Letting Sh*t Go

The Art of Letting Sh*t Go

Many of us hear the phrases “let it go”, “let go of it”, “don’t hold on to it”, and the endless varieties of that concept. And then we wonder: exactly how am I supposed to let it go?

How? What is the process? How do I make it happen?

Continue reading “The Art of Letting Sh*t Go”

Hello 2016!

Hello 2016!

It has been quite an interesting 2015 for me, given that all sorts of ups and downs happened, and I managed not just to survive through it, but to thrive through it!

Continue reading “Hello 2016!”

Discovering And Loving Yourself – Its A Choice You Make

Discovering And Loving Yourself – Its A Choice You Make

Life is really not very complicated. But we certainly leave no stone unturned to making it that way. We give ourselves ideas, complexes, shoulds, and coulds that destroy us from within, and make us defensive and vulnerable for no real reason.

I am an ardent student of the ways of destiny, fate, and free will. I have observed patterns and trends as a Tarot Card Reader, and I have studied these through the observations of Vedic Astrology as well. While I am not so good with the Vedic Astrology, the Tarot is second nature to me. I also believe in Reincarnation, and it is my belief that we are born and re-born not just to work out some random karmic accounts, but also to learn and discover what drives us.

Why do we, as souls (who are inherently perfect, btw), have this burning desire to keep coming back in some form or the other? Why can’t we just stay in our enlightened state and bliss out for the rest of forever? Why do we power the universe to create itself and us, over and over and over again?

It is because we need to feel alive. We need to feel flawed. And we need to express ourselves.

Unless we do so, all that bliss becomes meaningless.

Perhaps that is why the concept of Utopia fails over and over again.

Perfection is something we aspire to, but can never achieve – should never achieve. And it is good that it is that way. Otherwise, we would all get bored within no time. I know I would.

In any case, coming back to topic: I’ve studied patterns and trends of life, and I’ve seen a few things.

  • Life always ensures a balance. If something is taken away from you, you have already received something else in its exchange.
  • If you don’t learn how to see what’s been given, and what’s taken away, then you really are going to end up being a whiny brat.
  • And No. You can’t quite choose what is given and what is taken away. That is one of the main rules of this game. You can only choose how to react to it.
  • Most times, depending on what you focus on, you can make your life feel better or shittier. Your situation in life remains what it is – but how you feel about it can define how you allow yourself to experience it.

These are a few of my observations.

In a reading I’ve had recently, I asked about my love life. And to my utter surprise, I finally heard someone tell me things that I have actually experienced in my life. Not something that was close enough, or something that I was approximately correct. But this one was absolutely spot on.

I discovered that it was part of a karmic choice that I don’t end up in long lasting romantic relationships. And it was my choice.

Sometimes romance or romantic love can be something truly powerful. It is nice to love and to be loved. It is affirming to feel special, to have that someone special. One can totally lose oneself in the bliss that this sort of love generates.

But…

Love can also hinder you. It can blind you to yourself. It can make you lose your perspective. You can’t see things clearly because you see them through the eyes of your lover. You perceive reality through your lover’s senses. While you lose yourself in the bliss, you truly lose your self awareness.

Sometimes, it is essential, to discover who you truly are, you need to isolate yourself. You need to put yourself through trials and tribulations, and hard times and rough patches.

When you love yourself just for who and what you are – flaws and all – then that love is as close to perfect as can be. And only when you are this close, can you be in a position where you are worthy to love another.

It is only after you discover yourself that you can even attempt to try discovering another.

Do you know why so many relationships fail? Why sometimes long term relationships feel empty? Why you can sense a deep river of discontent hidden under the layers of happy domesticity?

It may be a result of not truly appreciating the other, sure. But more than that, it is a result of not truly appreciating yourself.

I know for a fact that I’ve been loved before – deeply and strongly – through so many of my past lives. The comfort of that love still echoes in this lifetime. Perhaps that explains why I am in love with the idea of falling in love.

But I’ve chosen, through a few of my lives, to experience being alone. I have wanted to know who and what I am. I have longed to discover what it is that constitutes my being.

I’ve been sad, and listless, and allowed myself to be hurt, betrayed, and defeated – perhaps because I have wanted to experience these feelings. Or perhaps because I was plain stupid.

In either case, I seem to have recovered now, thank you very much.🙂

I have been left alone, kept alone, and have chosen to remain alone throughout my life. It was hard, and sad, going through it in the past. But now, I seem to have come to terms with it. Perhaps because I now understand.

Even though you may have the love of your lifetime within your reach, sometimes you need to step away from all that so you can find a way to first love yourself.

Because, unless you love yourself, there is no way you are capable of loving another person. It is that simple.

Destiny isn’t all that random after all. What you have been given is exactly what you need at that time – not what you want but what you need, mind you. You are supposed to learn to appreciate it. Because only then will you be able to embark on a journey of self discovery and self love.

Whining about what wasn’t given to you, or what was taken away from you, or what never came your way to begin with, is simply just a major waste of time.

As I’ve said before – it all comes down to a matter of choosing. You can look at the things that you haven’t received and keep crying and whining about it, OR, you can look at the things that you have actually received, and rejoice in those.

What will you choose?

Settling Down

Settling Down

This phrase has always evoked some strange feelings within me.

Somehow, when I hear these words I feel as if it calls me to just accept whatever deal fate has dealt me, and to just go with it. By settling, and by settling down(wards), I would be choosing to just stop. I would be just telling myself that I ought not to expect, or to aim higher than what I’ve managed to get at this point. To me, it represents a point where I tell myself:

This is it. This is as far as you go. You can’t expect yourself to go beyond this point. This is all you are made of. This is all you are capable of. This is all you are worthy of. Nothing more than this is ever going to come your way. You are ensuring that nothing better that this will ever come your way.

Somehow, I can’t reconcile myself to think this way. Settling and settling down(wards) to me makes me feel as if I’ve chosen a point beyond which I don’t expect anything in my life to get any better. It also feels as if I am choosing not to even strive for, or wait for, or expect any better.

To me, that is as good as giving up. To me, that is failure.

And while failure is acceptable in certain areas of life, it is not acceptable in certain other areas.

Prisons We Make

Prisons We Make

7 of SwordsThe prisons we make are the ones we’ve built from the ground up. These are our precious comfort zones. We feel safe here. Secure. Warm. Protected.

But we also end up shutting out the rest of the world here. We don’t get hurt. But we don’t feel anything too. After a while, we even forget that we’ve become numb.

It feels like we’ve taken anesthesia to kill the passion that burned within ourselves. We don’t want to feel anything anymore.

If we stay here too long, we end up forgetting that there is another world out there. We end up trapped in this prison of our own making. We don’t even know it, but we are slowly being suffocated in this place.

Major 11 JusticeWe must break these walls down and walk away. We must set ourselves free. We must triumph over these obstacles. We must. Or else we perish. We fail. Miserably.

As the words fall free from my fingers, tap dance upon the keyboard, and appear on the screen, the whispers in the shadows begin.

“Come onnn!” they urge. “Lets go back! Its more fun back there!”

The Cheshire cat grin beckons. The gnarled fingers reach out and gently caress. The breath hitches. The heart beats faster. The steam rises in wispy tendrils.

This game has gone on for far too long. I recognize all the traps now.

Major 20 JudgementDid I tell you that I found the trap door. I’ve discovered the loophole. And no – I’m NOT sharing. Its my secret after all. I’ve become smarter you see..

I’ve become a shadow among the shadows. I’ve embraced this stealth. I go back and feed my Monster. I need my monster. He is my strength and my weakness. Like a drug. Like the high.

1 Major The MagicianBut this time no one knows of it. And it’s not like anyone cared anyway. I feed my secret monster when no ones looking. And my monster – well, he takes care of me. He protects me.

He stirs the fires of my passions. He pushes me on. He powers the tap dance of the words on the keyboard. He gives them the relentless energy to keep dancing even as the fingers bleed and the keyboard is a sticky mess.

Then, when the dance is all done, he does help me clean it up. He holds my hands in his. He licks the blood and makes them shiny again. He wipes they keyboard carefully between all the keys. When I wake up in the morning, the keyboard is shiny again. Fresh and ready to go.

11 Page of SwordsIts our pact. Our secret. The Deal we made. This is what we negotiated. Have I told you I’ve become smarter now? I can negotiate better than before, I think.

I can see him smirking in the corner as I say this. But he should know better by now.

He thinks I am his slave. But the reality is that even he can’t live without me. Who will take care of him like I do? Who will hold him close the way I do? Who will growl with him like I do? Who will be able to keep up with his fiery urges like I do?

They call it Win-Win. I like that title. I lick my lips and keep typing. The heavy breathing dries them up quicker than normal. The fevered heat burns me inside out. I feel like I am melting into my bloody, sticky mess of words.

No one really knows of this. But now you do. Keep this secret and you will be well rewarded. I promise. We promisssssss….

The Tarot Card images are from the Prisma Vision TarotThey are copyrighted with their publishers. No copyright infringement is intended.

The Second Lead

The Second Lead

The second lead. This is the character who doesn’t get the main character in the end. This is the person who basically just gives up and walks away.

There are all sorts of second leads. The second leads who’ve been trying to get the attention of the main lead since day one. The second leads who dumped the main lead and then returned, only to find that the main lead has moved on. The second lead who does all that he can to help and support the main lead, only to discover that the main lead’s heart belonged to someone else all along.

I may have missed out on a couple I think. But these are the second leads I do recall right at this moment.

These days I’ve been feeling a bit sad for these second leads. I want to stand up and scream at them that the main lead isn’t going to be worth it in the end. I want to urge them to not make such grand fools of themselves and to just leave. I want to go hug them, and hold them close, and tell them that its not their fault – and its not their main lead either.

I want to just go and tell them that the whole point of their existence is to discover that they are worth so much more than what the main lead is offering.

Maybe it is a personal thing, but I am starting to feel a tad more sensitive about the second leads.no regrets

“What is wrong in going after what one wants? What is wrong in doing what it takes to get what one wants?” – one of the second leads asks this to one of her friends in the episode I was watching. And I tend to agree with her. Unless you truly try all possible alternatives, you leave room for regret to walk in.

Of course, all this makes sense if you know when and where to stop. Greed is good, but only to a certain point. After that, it becomes an obsessive compulsion, a need for posession – and that is not love.

The second lead who doesn’t understand that, doesn’t understand the truth and the value of real love. This second lead inevitably ends up in disaster. The one who walks away sooner than that, still treasures the love. And remains a winner.

Now love becomes important, the lover is inevitably soon forgotten. Suddenly, the lover becomes replaceable. Maybe not easily, but the person isn’t as important as the feeling. That love – that feeling – that is always precious, and always treasured.

Sometimes the second lead realizes that she has made the wrong choice after all, and who she thought was the main lead wasn’t who she was supposed to be with.

Over a period of time, the second lead moves on, and finds a better life for herself.

She becomes the main lead for someone else.

This is an ending I would love to see.