Hearing Voices?

right and left brin best

 The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.  Pablo Picasso

Ok, now that I have your attention I am going to launch out into the world of channeling. Maybe I will simply, first, debunk what is now such a common term that it is entirely misunderstood.  And before you say to yourself, “this is not relevant to me as a writer or even a person”  please keep reading.

For a hundred years or so the idea of channeling was associated with mediums who heard information from the dead. Our world was made better by people like Edgar Cayce, who was a groundbreaker and healer. Then thirty years ago people like Darryl Anka and Esther Hicks came on the scene and rocked the world with messages for interstellar beings and trans-dimensional beings. People all over the world now post greetings and information from aliens, angels, and even their version of God, as in Neale Donald Walsh. These “voices” are all talking through the individual and about the shift in human consciousness.

photo of Edgar Cayce Darryl anka  esther hicks   mary Jonaitis

But, this is a rich a fertile discussion that I will not be having here. What I am talking about in this post is the link or the channel between our minds and our high self, our essential self. Shifting from thinking to feeling and realizing that feelings are the palette you create from is key to writing that is only good to writing that is timeless. And without that communication line open and flowing, a writer has a pretty tough time tapping into his or her muse. The mind is a steel vice to pure creativity. The heart is the bridge and the road to all-knowing, to endless creativity and to the world of feelings.

A work of art, which did not begin in emotion, is not art.
Paul Cezanne

Let’s rethink this idea of channeling. I think the best illustration is that if we can understand that as humans we vibrate at a certain frequency when we think, a different frequency when we are in love and yet another frequency when we are meditating, then we have choices about where we dial into ourselves.

Like an old-fashioned radio we have many channels that we can tune into within our own being.   We can choose lower frequencies, which are mind centered, about over thinking and worry, comparing and jealousy, mental agitation, over planning and over editing our stories as writers. But not one writer would say that these lower vibrational states makes writing good or even fun. It is a give away that we are in our solution based, over working mind if we have any of the following experiences when we write: Self-criticism, doubt, over-thinking our story, going back over and over to read the paragraph we just crafted, worry about edits, boredom. Oh, I can write a whole post on either boredom or getting up to do the laundry, the cat box, or needing a nap.

And here I am not referring to needed timelines, outlines, editing or the blooming second, third or tenth draft requirements once you get your story down. These are places where our left-brain is a mastermind. I am talking about the creative process that leaves a mark on what you write that lingers with the world. I am talking about tapping into the voice that is your true voice as a writer.

We can change the channel to a heart centered one, to an open flow of intuition, instinctive writing, allowing the characters to write themselves, the story to unfold and all we have to do is navigate the weather that higher vibrational frequencies offer us in the creation of art and story.

So, unlike the medium or the channelers of Angels like Doreen Virtue, of Abraham an entity group of souls who speak through Esther Hicks, or the entity called Michael who have been guiding me for thirty years through my friend Mary Jonaitis, we can channel our high self, our deepest knowing every minute of every day. We can each cultivate the skill of changing channels, thus changing vibrational frequency to allow the floodgates to the Universe to open to us as writers.

And just like a radio, when you change the channel to a new program the other programs are still there, still broadcasting, still entertaining other people in the world tuned to that channel. We are simply choosing to shift the channel out of the mind and the lower vibrational realms of the mind and elevate our frequency to the other voices in us that are there all the time: Intuition, Spirit, Past Lives, Inner Child, Spirit Guides and the Source of who we are. When we allow this shift to occur as a writer…well the story will write you so hang on to your hat.

And of course in the culture that is addicted to the “10 steps to our higher self” or the “4 keys to channeling”, there is no hard and fast answer to how to shift into a state of higher vibration and channel the innate knowledge and abilities that are part of who your are. Each of us has to come to the place of discovering what it takes for you to make the leap out of the mind as a writer to cultivating a heart frequency that will allow you to journey anywhere and hear many voices. Here are my three favorite practices in my life that reboots my creative juice.   These will help you find your own process of changing the channel as a writer.

meditating cat

Meditate – For twenty minutes before you sit to write, meditate. I don’t mean empty your mind I mean calm it down. Shift from left-brain planning to simply focusing on things you love. You can walk, garden, meditate in the shower for that matter. But make a conscious shift from the solution oriented brain energy to the love in you. Think of what you are grateful for, for the animals who protect you, the children that you either have or want and anything that stimulates your heart. Create your own spiritual practice to unleash the amazing writer in you.

dance to joy

Music – I posted about Beethoven last week and that 30 min loop of C sharp music will activate the right brain and the heart. But you have favorite music that puts you in a great mood, makes you want to dance, brings you to tears and fills you with joy. Joy is the love frequency, so crank up the music and dance. Then light a candle, say a prayer, pour a cup of tea and write.

automatic writing best

Automatic Writing – This form of writing, which I will do an entire post on, is where you allow yourself to write about anything and everything and don’t stop to read, punctuate, edit. In fact you don’t stop at all.  Start with a question like: “How am I today” or “Where does my heart want to go in this next chapter I am writing?” Then let it rip. Don’t stop, allow the muses to do the work for you. You will be astonished at what your muse, your higher self, tells you if you only listen to the voice.

Ok, these are my top three favorite ways to start my day even if I am not facing a five-hour stent at the computer, a deadline or being seized by inspiration to write to you about channeling. We have a dozen channels to tune to in our life and most of us know two of them, maybe. Explore and find out how vast you are and how much support is in your inner realms for your writing.

Your Magic Bullet: Beethoven

beethoven gary oldman

This unusual post is going to share with you a tool that will help you as a writer to deal with blocks, fears, doubt and procrastination. It will become your favorite tool in you writer’s toolbox. All of the familiar roadblocks as a writer come from thoughts that lower your vibrational frequency. When you are in this “state” you stall out and can’t move forward with your writing let alone live a fulfilling life.

So what’s a writer to do? Something quite out of the box, is my answer.

Music raises our vibrational frequency. But, not every kind of music. The lower we vibrate the more anxious, paralyzed, angry or unconscious we become. There are studies done of certain kinds of music like Metallica, which have whipped people into a state of being able to do violence. That is one extreme. Feelings that reflect low states of vibrational frequency are reactive anger, unrelenting sorrow, regret, hate, blame, self-judgment, constant worry; well you get the picture. The feelings, the experiences and energy that raise your vibrational frequency is being in love, loving, being loved. That about covers that. But, more specifically being in your heart, your passion, feeling joy and gratitude are the elixirs that will change our world and your inner world.  Then it will change your writing exponentially. But the issue is we cannot simply be loving and in a loving state on demand.  We need to be in the right energetic place to both feel and receive love.  The right vibrational field.  Change your field change your experience.

These feelings and states of being each carry a vibrational signature.   And who else but Beethoven knew this and created music that carried the vibrational frequencies that would be a mathematical equation to create harmony, forgiveness and letting go. Beethoven’s Seventh, Movement 2, and just the first three min, is a magical, mystical combination of perfectly crafted vibrational frequencies that when you are in a state of meditation and listen to it, you will shift your state of being and be able to manifest:

A high vibrational state

Better Health

Forgiveness

Letting go of:

Regret

Doubt

Fear

These emotions cannot foster in a high vibrational field. We then are open to ill-health, inertia, unhappiness. But what is the outcome of this shift in how we vibrate? You will be able then to manifest everything you need. Or more precisely you will be a magnet for the experiences that resonate or match the frequency you are vibration at. Click.  Did your lightbulb just go off?  This is really the key to the entire concept of the law of attraction: Change how you vibrate. Get what you want and what matches where you are.

So here is the magic bullet. I would recommend the link below which is a 30 min loop of the first few min of Beethoven’s 7th movement 2.

Every time you sit down to write start here, put the headphones on, pull up the link on YouTube, close your eyes and let it wash over you. Clear your mind the best you can, sit where you want to do your writing, turn off your cell phone and while you do this thirty minute meditation and are listening to Beethoven, allow yourself to feel, the word is feel, the passion for the story you are telling, the joy you will have writing it, the joy people will feel when they read what you have written, the utter success of your book, the happiness that comes with success and the gratitude you have for the privilege of being able to be a writer. Writing is a privilege.

Then start writing.

vbrational quote

Erotica Revisited

 anais nin

“I with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me innocent or naïve, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.” Anais Nin 1903-1977

To gaze or leer may be a question in the field of erotica that I could write about for pages. But I am here to mention erotica because, basically, I hated 50 Shades of Grey, when most of America loved it. Or at least most of American women did.  50 Shades of Grey, for me, felt a little like taking a spectacular tricked out Harley, stripping it down, removing all the curves of the chrome and calling it a motorcycle. But that’s just me. Since I grew up with Anais Nin, who by 1925 was busting down all the sexual doors as a writer and redefining erotica, I imprinted on a level of sensuality and eroticism that seems, well, either too hard for writers to capture on the page or just not the “quickie” that so much romantic and erotic storytelling seems to focus on.

The world of erotic writing crossed over into the pornographic realms long ago. Sex became the central focus of much erotica, and most of it pretty badly written along the way. I mean how many ways can you describe a penis, or fucking or body parts? E.L James worked overtime to find as many ways not to repeat herself when describing sex, but in the end ripped the heartbeat out of her story. But who cares, if the object of a sex scene is to arouse the reader? If the reader is satisfied, then it worked. But working and inspiring are two vastly different objectives in eroticism.

Erotica used to be considered art, and fine art, like painters who used the human figure as a subject to create a rich and beautiful sexual landscape. Erotica a while back did too. So sexual writing isn’t necessarily the same as erotica. Gazing can be just a big a turn on as someone leering or lusting after their object of desire, if it is written well. But, it is simply harder to write, and requires a depth of emotion that current erotica seems to have abandoned.

anais nin 2

Anais Nin changed literature with a handful of others as she took herself into the world of erotic exploration and at the height of our provincial 20th century decided to break down the barriers receiving great criticism along the way.

Anais wrote journals which spanned more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death in 1977: novels, critical studies, essaysshort stories, and erotica. A great deal of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously because she was a bit of an infamous woman for her time. But Anais Nin tore through the world of erotica and changed writing for and by women forever. Her passionate love affair with the notorious bohemian writer, Henry Miller fueled much of her writing. Here is a letter she wrote in Delta of Venus, in defense of a kind of erotica we do not see much any more. I will let my case rest with her searing words.

“Dear Collector: We hate you. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities.

“You do not know what you are missing by your microscopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it: Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood.

If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity and passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, moods, no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry Cut the poetry.

No two skins have the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gesture; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, perversity and art . . . We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperament, you must be by now completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.”

― Anais Nin, Delta of Venus.

 

 

 

True Crime and True Grit

Ted Bundy

Why did she do it?  Why did Ann Rule write about Ted Bundy, murder and mayhem and become so popular in true crime?  I want to warn potential victims. Many of them are women, and many of them are battered women. It’s a cause for me. When I look back, though, so many of the books I’ve written are about wives who just couldn’t get away.” said Ann Rule before her death.

In honor of author Ann Rule, who just died, I am focusing this post on writers interested in stories about True Crime. And I say that because I can relate to the story below of how Ann Rule unwillingly found herself writing about a serial killer, Ted Bundy, a man she knew and a story which launched her fame as a true crime writer. She never wanted to write true crime but she became known as one of the very best in her field.  Many writers  start out going in one direction and find themselves down the line writing stories they never set out to write.

I have found this past year I have been approached by more people writing true crime than memoir, novels, science fiction or comedy put together. Serial killing, corporate crime, political assassinations and stories about sociopathy, psychopathy and legal annihilations that make Gone Girl a walk in the park have crossed my desk more than any other genre. So, as a psychologist, true criminals pique my interest. Getting into the head of someone who is unthinkably inhumane has a curiosity factor that draws readers from every demographic. Is it voyeurism? Is it the perennial draw of the dark side of human behavior that makes true crime an unstoppable genre? These are complex questions.

So in honor of those who write true crime what better advise to take but what Ann Rule points out is needed to break into true crime writing. Below is a little about her life, and some tips for those writers who aren’t faint of heart and will stay up till the wee hours staging a courtroom, dusting a crime scene, observing at trials and flirting with the pathology of a Dexter, Hannibal or Ted Bundy.

ann rule

Ann Rule in 1984 with "The Stranger Beside Me," her best-selling 1980 study of the serial killer Ted Bundy.

Ann Rule, 83, Dies: Wrote About Ted Bundy and Other Killers    

By William Grimes

Ann Rule, whose 1980 study of the serial killer Ted Bundy, “The Stranger Beside Me,” set her on the road to writing dozens of best-selling true-crime books praised for their insight into criminal psychology, died on Sunday at a medical center in Burien, Wash. She was 83.

Ms. Rule’s articles had been appearing in the magazine True Detective for more than a decade when, in the mid-1970s, fate delivered her biggest subject to her doorstep. She was working on a book about a series of unsolved murders in the Seattle area when the police in Utah arrested the man they believed to be the killer, a former law student named Theodore Robert Bundy.

The name did more than ring a bell. In the early 1970s Bundy had been a close friend and colleague, answering the suicide hotline with her on the night shift at the Seattle crisis center where they both volunteered. The rest is history.

 

best ann rule

Breaking Into True Crime: Ann Rule’s 9 Tips for Studying Courtroom Trials

By: Zachary Petit —written by former WD managing editor Zachary Petit—that’s full of tips and advice delivered by Rule.

Bestseller Ann Rule had a heck of a journey to becoming a writer—something she never really wanted to be in the first place. “All I ever wanted to be was a police officer,” she told the crowd in her ThrillerFest session “How to Stalk a Serial Killer and Tell the Gruesome Tale: All You Need to Know to Write Great True Crime.” “The one thing I knew I didn’t want to be was a writer.” Rule thought it was all too hard—heck, you’d have to rewrite what you already wrote.

As a kid, she would visit her grandpa, who was a sheriff, but to see him she’d have to go to the jail. There, she was given the job of bringing prisoners their meals. From an early age, she was fascinated by crime—not the how, but the why.

“I think that we come to our genre naturally,” she said.

Following her passions over the years, she took any ridealong with law enforcement she could get. Attended classes. Got an associate’s degree in criminal science.

And along the way, she began writing, collected innumerable rejections, and penned pieces for true detective magazines, which she realized could pay the bills.

“You have to write about what you know about,” she said.

Back then, not even her children slowed her down. “Unless the kids were actually fighting on top of the typewriter, I could keep writing.”

And then there’s the famous story that led her to her first book, her breakout The Stranger Beside Me.

Her brother had committed suicide, so she decided to volunteer at the crisis clinic in Seattle. The clinic paired volunteers with work-study students. At night, they’d be locked up in the building all alone together. Her partner was a psychology student getting paid $2 per hour.

His name was Ted Bundy.

After his crimes became apparent, Rule attended Bundy’s trial, and the rest of the story is history, amazingly documented in The Stranger Beside Me.

Her writing passion went on to encompass documenting the suspects and victims involved in crimes, and describing their lives before their paths crossed—along the lines of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

In her presentation, Rule pointed out that pros are always saying that you only have a 1/10 of 1 percent shot at becoming a professional writer. But she decided that she was going to be in that 1/10 of 1 percent.

“You can’t let the naysayers make think you can’t make it, because you can,” she said.

If you want to be a true crime writer, Rule said the best thing you can be is immensely curious. And, you should go to trials—something anyone can do. From a life spent in courtrooms, here are Rule’s tips and etiquette for doing just that.

  1. You can usually get a press pass, but there’s often a deluge of writers trying to obtain one. Rule calls the prosecutor’s assistant.
  2. Study the witnesses, watch the jury, and soak up the entire experience.
  3. Try to obtain the court documents from the court reporter or the prosecutor, or purchase them.
  4. Observe the other reporters in the room, and analyze what they’re doing.
  5. If you’re sitting out in the hall with potential witnesses, don’t ask them about anything. You can comment on the weather or the courtroom benches being hard, but “Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth pretty shut.”
  6. Don’t take newspapers into the courtroom.
  7. Know what you’re getting yourself into. “You don’t want to start a nonfiction unless you’re really in love with it, and usually you want a go-ahead from an editor.”
  8. Absorb detail. “When I’m writing a true-crime book I want the reader to walk along with me.” Rule describes the temperature, how the air feels—“I think it’s very important to set the scene.” As far as the writing, you can novelize, but keep all of your facts straight.
  9. Don’t use the real name of a rape or sexual crime victim in your writing. (Though Rule has written about a few who have asked to have their names included.) As Rule said of her subjects at large.

“I always care about my people. And if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.” Ann Rule