Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Piracy is the Highest Form of Flattery?

The other day Nance e-mailed me to let me know something disturbing had happened with regard to Psychic Tarot.  Apparently, we've been pirated!

As the author of nine other books (all of them nonfiction educational books for children), this is definitely a first for me.  On  the one hand, I am very hopeful that our wonderful publisher, Llewellyn, grabs these people by the throat and shakes them until their necks snap.  Or perhaps something less violent, more in line with the spirit of the Rule of Three, but nonetheless equally effective.

On the other hand, that the book is popular enough to have drawn pirates is no small matter.  I don't encourage, endorse, or otherwise condone someone going out now and posting .PDF versions of Black Mambas all over the internet, but I am continually proud and grateful to have involved with the Psychic Tarot book and am inspired by the comments we receive back about it.  So far, the book has done more than reach that one poor soul in Montana without access to other Tarot resources that we hoped it would help.

That said, if you're thinking it doesn't hurt us to pirate the book, let me draw you a picture.  I currently work 50 hours a week as a claims adjuster, produce 3-4 other books a year, and still can't afford my own apartment.  Going in, I've always known that for the vast majority of authors, it will always be a labor of love.  The percentage of writers who actually make a living from the trade is very small.  So yes, it does hurt very much when your book gets pirated.  Though, I have to say, it was a rite of authorship passage I'd never expected.

Thank you all for your continued support.  We love that you love Psychic Tarot.  Keep the comments coming, but please, do buy the book (new, used, electronic, Christmas wish list).

We never tire of hearing from you, and wish you great success with your Psychic Tarot journey.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Fire Tends to All

From the moment this topic was posted on the Tarot Blog Hop to this past Sunday, I have been trying to puzzle out my aversion to it.  As always, I watched the trend of my life, asked for guidance, sought synchronicity, and still my brain resisted "The Fire Tends to All."

It's a beautiful sentiment, and desperately I wanted to feel the quiet joy its messenger Andrew McGregor (http://www.thehermitslamp.com/2012/04/beltane-2012-bloghop/) found in it when he chose it for our topic.  (Do go along and thank him for herding the cats this time!)

I stopped at the Facebook page at least three times a week, gritting my teeth and wracking my brain every time I saw it.  The more I saw it, the more by back went up and my teeth gnashed together.  If you can believe it, over this same time, I managed to miss a few important parallels that would have explained my frustration if I hadn't had my nose pressed right up against the tree.  I'd go to work, where it turns out I am so good at my job I will be "laterally" moving into a position with ten times the responsibility and stress.  I'm excited, but I'm sure most of you understand the definition of "lateral" on the pay scale.  Then I'd come home and look at this topic, scowl, and go to bed.

Upon waking, I would return the texts from my cousin wondering if I knew if I had any book deals in the pipeline, as this will basically define whether or not we can move out together, as I will be absorbing 80-90% of the rent and utilities responsibilities.  Then I would fire up ye olde laptop, surf Craigslist for a part-time job I might be able to take on to get me closer to "our" goal, go to Facebook, glower at the blog topic, and wander off to work.

After returning from work, I would listen patiently as my mother tried to convince me the cure for all my ills is a trip with her to Spain.  For which I would not have to pay a cent.  Except that there must be something I can contribute.  And while I tried to tune out the roar in my ears, I went to Facebook, played Bubble Witch, and skated through the Blog Hop topic again, rolling my eyes and kicking myself for it being so difficult for me to figure out.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  For over a month.  And still, the lightbulb did not so much as flicker.

Then Sunday came, and I went out for coffee with a friend I haven't really spoken to for a decade.  She was talking about how she was between jobs, but had used the time to rekindle old passions.

"What are you reading?" she asked, knowing of old that I'd always been an avid reader.

I blinked at her.  "I'm... between genres at the moment.  I don't think I've read anything in...."  I shrugged.  It's been months.

"Oh," she said.  "Well, I'm also getting back into music.  I remember you did music."

When she knew me, I sang and played piano.  "No," I reluctantly admitted.  "I haven't done anything with music in... well...."  It's been over a year since I've touched the piano and I rarely sing, even for my own enjoyment, anymore.

"I'm also biking... and playing pool... and dancing...."  To my abject horror, the list went on and on.

I said the only thing I could.  "Wow."

"What are you doing?" she finally asked, truly curious.

"Uh," I said, "basically I eat, sleep, and work."

It was a stomach-wrenching moment of truth.  The lightbulb in my head fairly exploded, and I could vividly recall several conversations over the past month where I couldn't figure out how people could get so caught up in tending to other people that they completely neglected the basic necessities of self care.

I hated this topic because I knew I'd been tending everyone's fires - except my own.

And I know I'm not the only one.  So if you're reading this and you can feel the niggle of your own "aha" moment, for the love of God go get a massage.  Walk through a park, hug a dog, dance in your livingroom or go have a fancy dinner for absolutely no reason at all.  You deserve it, you're worth it, and above all else, you need it.

Tend the flame, my friends.


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