The Art of Feeling Good (Maggie)

Dozer at 1, Running with an Apple

“If you had one goal, and that was to feel good, you would never again need to hear another word from anyone. You would live successfully and happily and in a way of fulfilling your life’s purpose ever after.

This is one of my favorite quotes. I have many favorite quotes, and I enjoy sharing them far and wide, but more than that, I enjoy picking them apart and trying to figure out how to turn a pithy bit of what sounds like ingenious advice, into a life-enhancing habit.  And this seems like an easy one. Feel good.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But many of us might not think so. How does one go about just feeling good when the things around them are bad?

Well, here’s the thing. It’s not what’s happening around you that makes you feel bad in most cases. It’s not what other people are doing or not doing, or where you live or how much money you have. It’s what you think and feel about those things. Short of a health crisis or the loss of a loved one, nothing else really has the power to make you feel bad. And we’ll come back to those great big things too.  So let’s look at this.

Here are the key things. First, we have to get a very firm handle on the simple truth that it’s

Niblet’s favorite thing: A Mud Facial

not anyone else’s job to make us happy. If we really truly believe that, then the notion of, “I’d be happy if only my husband would change,” or “if only my kids would help out more,” or “if only (anyone) would do or stop doing (anything)” would never occur to you again. You see?

Second, we have to get just as firm a grasp on the concept that it’s not our job to make anyone else happy. First, because it’s impossible to do. No matter how hard we try, we can never do enough to please everyone in our lives because they all want different things and without being in their heads, we can’t even be sure what all those things are. And because no one can make anyone happy. Your one and only job is to choose to be happy yourself.

The third thing is to live in the current moment. It’s cliche, but think about it, pick it apart. What does it mean? When you’re walking or sitting or resting or trying to sleep, what’s going through your mind? A million things, I know. But most of them fall into one of two categories: Past, that is the reliving of what happened yesterday (or last week or last month) and thinking I should have done this or I should have said that. Or future, which is worrying about tomorrow, or next week or next month and thinking I’ll never make that deadline, we’re going to run out of money, that huge bill is due, I’ve got some unpleasant thing I have to do.

Daisy and Niblet’s other Favorite Thing: SNOW!

How often do we really stop to just BE in the present moment? To feel the soft pillow beneath our head, the warm body beside us, the snuggly covers keeping us warm. How often do we look around the room and smile at the colors we picked or the curtains we chose, or take comfort in the pictures on our walls? How many times do we stop what we’re doing to pause and just bask in where we are in that very moment? Almost never.

When you are worrying, you are actively creating your future. The thoughts you think become the beliefs you believe, and what you believe is what comes true for you. If that doesn’t make you want to stop worrying, I don’t know what will.

So when the worries come, ask yourself why you’re thinking about this thing that makes you feel so badly. Can you fix it right now? If so, do it and get it off your mind. If not, then why dwell on it? Why not think about something that makes you feel good instead? You’re in charge of what you dwell on, after all. No one else, just you.

“Selfishly seek joy, for unless you are in your joy, you have nothing to offer anyone else.”

Do you know anyone who is always complaining? About life, their marriage, their bills, their job, their kids, etc? It’s exhausting and draining to be around them, isn’t it?

Do you know anyone who is always upbeat, positive, happy? Do you notice how you always feel better when you’re around them?

So here’s your question. Which person do you want to be? Why not be the person that others feel better around? Why not beam with so much peace, serenity, and calm that everyone around you feels calmer? Why not beam so much joy and giddiness and love of life that everyone around you feels happier?

Now back to those big bad things that life can bring us. Health crises, losses of those we love (we don’t really lose them you know, but that’s another blog post.) Studies of happiness have shown that those people who have a normal state of happiness that’s in the high range, tend to bounce back from tragedies more quickly and deal with them more healthily. Those who are always down, tend to be crippled by the same types of losses. People return to what is their “norm.”  What’s yours?

Dozer (upright) Daisy & Niblet playing in sprinkler.

Dogs don’t worry. Dogs are always, always in the moment. And they find more joy in their short lifespans than humans do in our much longer ones. Be in the moment, and find joy in what is there. Like a dog with an apple or a mud-puddle or new snow or a sprinkler, find something to be utterly giddy about in every moment of your existence. Make happiness be your normal state. And every single thing in your life will improve…not just a little bit–it’ll snowball. And it will begin immediately.

Choose Joy. It takes nothing more than accepting that it is a choice, and realizing that you are the one in control of making it.  And then consistent practice, every day, with every thought, choosing to focus on what feels good and refusing to dwell on what doesn’t.



Canada Goose online FjZR

Sen. With that in mind, Ayotte is eager to tell Granite State voters about her support for criminal background checks before gun purchases.

The Huffington Post reported yesterday on a new Ayotte campaign commercial, “suggesting she voted for new gun background checks,” and featuring a local police chief, Atkinson Al Brackett, praising the GOP senator work.

“When you see those false ads attacking Kelly Ayotte, remember the truth,” Brackettsays [in the ad]. “Kelly voted for background checks, with more prosecutions and tougher penalties on criminals.”

On screen, viewers see a straightforward message: “Kelly Ayotte: Voted For Background Checks.”

The problem with the claim is that the truth keeps getting in the way.

In April 2013, the Senate considered a bipartisan background check proposal, co sponsored by conservative lawmakers: Pennsylvania Pat Toomey and West Virginia Joe Manchin. Canada Goose online Despite overwhelming public support for the legislation, the vote, held just five months after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, didn go well: a 54 member majority supported the Manchin/Toomey amendment, while 46 opposed it. (Technically, it would have been 55 45, but then Majority Leader Harry Reid had to switch his vote for procedural reasons.)

Because of Republican obstructionist tactics, proponents needed a 60 vote supermajority and came up short.

Ayotte was one of the senators who ignored public attitudes and the merits of the bipartisan legislation, choosing instead to side with the NRA and the far right. The record is not in dispute: here the final roll call. Note that four Republicans broke party ranks and supported the measure, but Ayotte wasn one of them. She voted “nay.”

I realize memories are short, but the controversy that followed was severe. Ayotte approval rating took a hit and many of her New Hampshire constituents expressed their deep disappointment with her poor judgment during town hall meetings.

So how is it, exactly, that Ayotte is now running ads bragging about having “voted for background checks”?

Apparently, the Republican senator is playing a little rhetorical game. Ayotte, like many other GOP senators worried about their re election, supported a rival background check billbacked by the NRA and described at the time as “a milquetoast proposal [that] does nothing to make it harder for criminals to buy firearms at private sales or gun shows, where background checks are not required by law.”

In other words, Ayotte and her supporters aren technically lying, so much as the senator is just hoping voters don pay close attention to the details. When her campaign ads claim she “voted for background checks,” Ayotte isn referring to the actual, meaningful bill on background checks the bill the political world watched and considered important but rather some weak knock off that wouldn have had a meaningful policy impact.

Or put another way, Ayotte is embarrassed by her voting record on preventing gun violence, and instead of defending what she done in office, the New Hampshire Republican finds it easier to mislead voters.

The Meaning of Appreciation (Maggie)

During this month of Thanksgiving, everyone is talking about gratitude and appreciation.  Over on my Facebook page, we’re sharing 22 Days of Gratitude, where we all post things for which we are grateful every single day through Thanksgiving Day itself. This sort of habit is a beautiful one to develop, but it can soon become rote. Looking around you, you start listing things you’re really glad you have, and then you’re done.

But that’s not true appreciation.  True appreciation is a lot more, a lot deeper. Let’s look at the word for a minute. Appreciation: To increase in value. You know, as in, the opposite of “depreciation.” Get it? Okay, so let’s apply that now to the things in our lives.

I’m walking the dogs. I notice how pretty the frost looks on the trees way up high on the surrounding hilltops. I think, “I’ll add that to my list of gratitudes for today.” And then I continue walking the dogs.

That’s not true appreciation. That’s noticing. I haven’t made the view any more valuable. I’ve not even observed the value it already has. Not really.

I’m walking the dogs and I see the beauty of the frosty trees on high. And I stop. I stand for a moment, just looking at it, and truly seeing the beauty. As I watch, a hawk launchers herself from one of those frosted limbs and soars off with a loud battle cry that stirs something to life in my heart and feels like a rush of adrenaline. The clouds move a little, and the sun beams directly down onto the hilltop, and suddenly the frosty trees look as if they’re sculpted crystal. It’s like a fairy land. I think for a moment how lucky I am to live amid such breathtaking beauty. I think how some people travel to find views like these, and how when they do, they often express envy of those who get to live there year round. Well I’m one of those, I realize. I mean, my town is not a tourist spot, but I definitely live in a place as beautiful as any destination out there. I am one of those lucky ones who get to see a panoramic photo opp every time I look out my window.

Suddenly, my home’s value has increased to me. The view I saw is no longer just another item to add to my list. I have truly basked in it, truly relished it.  This is true appreciation.

So when you’re giving thanks for things this month, remember to spend a few minutes really appreciating each and every one of them. Stop and notice, and think and feel and experience the blessings in your life, instead of just counting them.

Now, I’d be lax in my duties if I didn’t mention that my new book, DAUGHTER OF THE SPELLCASTER, book 2 of The Portal Series is on sale now in both print and ebook! (Book 1, Mark of the Witch, is an RT Book Review Magazine Nominee for Best Paranormal of 2012.)



And Book 3, Blood of the Sorceress, the third and final (I think) installment in this series, comes out right after the new year, 2nd week in January. More about The Portal Series is at its special site, www.ThePortal

See you next week! Happy Gratitude Month!

Gratitude (Maggie)

An attitude of gratitude is my topic for this week. We’ve been hearing about gratitude for a while now. It’s trendy and new age, and everyone is doing it. It feels like a good thing, seems positive, apparently makes a lot of people feel better, so lots of folks feel funny about questioning it. That would be negative, right?

Wrong. Knowing why this idea is good for you is as important as implementing it. There is science behind this now. There are books and workshops, Ph.D’s, MD’s, and others agreeing that gratitude is important. There is proof that your genes react to your state of mind. To what you believe. Beliefs and ways of thinking that feel good, activate genes that keep your body feeling good, and beliefs that feel bad activate genes that make your body feel bad. Your cells react to your thoughts and feelings. Your immune system. Every part of you. Stress causes measurable negative reactions from every part of you, and stress here, is defined as anything you perceive as “bad.” And the bad thing doesn’t even have to happen to you. You can get the same physical results just by worrying about the bad thing happening to you.

There’s science out there now that proves these claims, and I’m not going to waste time here trying to convince you. When you have an hour, watch this video by Dr. Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Perception, and he’ll explain all the science behind it. The undeniable fact he will prove to you is that feeling good makes you healthy, and feeling bad makes you sick.

So the key is to feel good. And one of the best ways you can do this is to train yourself to be happy where you are, and eager for more. No one has any trouble with the “eager for more” part. But most of us have a lot of trouble being happy where we are, no matter where that is. It’s vital we figure it out, though, because we cannot move up from where we are, until we are okay being there. It’s only when we give up our desperate yearning for improvement and honestly and truly find contentment with our present moment, that we can improve the moments to come.

One of the most powerful tools for finding your way to that contentment, is a sincere and persistent practice of appreciation, or, a juicier word for it, basking. Learn to bask in what you have, and you’ll bring yourself more and more things to bask in. But it has to be sincere.

In honor of our American Thanksgiving holiday (November 22nd) I’m instituting 22 days of Gratitude on my Facebook Page and on Twitter (@MaggieShayne) and I hope you will join me. Every day from November 1st (today) through Thanksgiving Day on November 22nd, I want every participant to post a handful of things in your life right now, for which you are truly, deeply grateful. Things that make you happy, make your life easier or more pleasurable, things you love and honestly appreciate. Get a journal, as I have done, and write these things down.

You can join in our Attitude of Gratitude month at my Facebook page and/or on Twitter by posting with the hashtag #Gratitude so we can all follow along. I encourage you to post pictures of the things you appreciate as well. I know I can hardly wait to get started!

See you tomorrow! Happy Gratitude Month!


Your Health

Along with baby story time and sign language, the Los Altos Library offers other programs that are catching on with the community.

Calm and Color Swapping the baby coos for Enya, the same room in the library reassembles as a haven for older patrons during Calm and Color! events. They invite grownups to gather and just, well, color in adult coloring books an increasingly popular fad associated with relaxation and meditation as much as it is creativity.pandora essence Librarian Pat Oey organized the pilot session this spring and to her surprise, found a following.

El Camino Hospital mental health and addiction services leaders Michael Fitzgerald and Lauren Olaiz, above, review artwork, right, by participants in the After School Program Intervention and Resiliency Education.

The El Camino Hospital therapist spoke of a 15 year old girl who harmed herself and thought about committing suicide. She rarely communicated with her father especially not about traumatic events from her childhood. But then the girl began attending the hospital After School Program Intervention and Resiliency Education.

Photo Courtesy of the Association of California Healthcare Districts

Dennis Chiu, right, received an award last month for his work as an El Camino Healthcare District board director.

The Association of California Healthcare Districts last month gave Dennis W. Chiu of the El Camino Healthcare District Board its Trustee of the Year award.

am humbled and grateful, Chiu said. share this award with my fellow directors at El Camino Healthcare District, and recognize the hard work of other trustees and directors serving California other 78 healthcare districts.

Slowly coming back…. (Maggie)

As many of you probably know, we lost my beloved Mother-in-Love, Lee. Since then we’ve been up north on Black Lake with family for her services and many family gatherings. We’re back now, but gearing up for another memorial service locally this weekend, so we’re still scrambling. Still missing her, still struggling with the hole she left in so many lives, and still feeling her everywhere in all we do. She’s been making sure we know she’s okay and still with us in many ways.

So my blog will be brief today, but I found something today that really made me smile, and I wanted to share it with you, because in the midst of any hard time, anything that makes you smile is a happy big of relief.

These are 28 photos of grooms’ reactions upon first glimpsing their brides on their wedding day.  They’re just wonderful and really smile worthy.  (click the link) I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll be back with a more thorough post next week.

Lots of love,


The Bliss of Surrender (Maggie)

Our family has been struggling for the past seven weeks. It doesn’t seem possible it’s been that long since my partner’s beautiful mom went into Crouse Hospital in Syracuse for a cardiac cath, thinking she’d have a stent put in and be home in a few days.  That revealed bigger issues than a stent could fix, so she was sent to St. Joseph’s Hospital to undergo triple bypass surgery.  Something went terribly wrong, though no one still knows what, and she end up being moved to Strong Memorial in Rochester where she remains on a ventilator, on dialysis, in multi-organ failure.

This isn’t the only such struggling happening at the moment.  My beautiful Aunt recently lost her adult son to a motorcycle accident. My beautiful sister and her family are struggling with my brother in law’s cancer. A dear friend and colleague has an adult niece with two small children, just diagnosed with a dire illness.

So we’ve been struggling. We’ve been praying, vision questing, magicking, shamaning, Reiki-ing, positive thinking, bedside vigiling, and straining in every possible way.  We are fighting to stay hopeful, to stay positive, to share energy with, to stay upbeat, to believe our loved ones will be well again. We’re fighting for miracles here.

But fighting and struggle are never good.  All of this comes from our intuitive human tendency to stave off death at all costs. To see it as the worst possible thing that can happen.  We all kind of believe that deep down.  No matter how philosophical we might be about death the rest of the time, when it comes to us or to someone we love, death becomes the enemy. No longer a natural part of an endless cycle. No longer a blissful passage into ultimate understanding and peace and oneness. We go from viewing the end of a lifetime from the perspective of Touched by an Angel, to viewing it from the perspective of Final Destination. And we do it in the space of time it takes a doctor to utter the words, “We’ve done all we can.”

So now, in the midst of this struggle, I’ve been growing more and more tense. Yesterday I was very near a breaking point as I drove to town to get my oil changed, resenting that life would dare interrupt me in the middle of a family crisis. I was going down the road, with a thousand things racing through my head, and I suddenly heard my inner self shouting “STOP!”

So I stopped. I pulled the car over. I stepped on my mental brakes at the same time. I made the noise in my head go silent. I thought of Eckhart Tolle saying that there is no past and there is no future, there is only NOW.  And when we spend our Now reliving the past or worrying about the future, our Now is being wasted.

 “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
I took a few deep, cleansing breaths, and looked at the blue blue sky, the puffs of white clouds floating lazily by, the way the trees have already begun putting on their Fall display. I put my windows down and breathed the crisp, chilly autumn air. I stopped my mind from racing ahead, stopped my mental reciting of the infinite to-do list, stopped the what if, what if, what if, worry-chant that’s been hammering away inside my head.  I focused on Now. The very moment I was in.  And I realized that it was a good moment.  I opened myself up to the appreciation of this good moment, to really relishing it, smelling it, tasting it, feeling it, experiencing it.  Living it.  Another message came to me. And it was the message of surrender. “Just let it go,” it whispered. “This isn’t your journey, this isn’t your job, stop struggling and straining. Surrender.”
The answer to every impossible problem is simply to surrender to it. Know that it will be as it will be. Every one of us is on this planet until it’s time for us to move on. We can be okay with that, or we can miserable about that. But it is as it is.  We ebb and we flow, we wax and we wane with the cycles of nature. Our human perceptions and emotions, our magnificent brains, like to think they can figure a way out of or around or through those cycles, and we strain and struggle because what we’re fighting against isn’t something that we can change. Trying to change these cycles would be as logical as me going outside and spending my time willing the leaves not to fall from the trees as Autumn unfolds, trying to enforce my will on those leaves to stay put, and fearing that if I look away, even for a second, they’re going to fall because I wasn’t vigilant enough.  But no.  Leaves fall. That’s simply what Autumn is. And it’s not a bad thing, and spring always comes again, and this is the way of nature.
If a person is meant to spend more time on the physical plane, there is nothing anyone can do that will make them leave early. No one dies before their time. No matter how young, no matter how tragic. And if a person has reached the end of their earthly journey, there is nothing anyone can do to keep them around longer. The length of each lifetime was chosen before each of us came into it. Surrendering to that gentle truth allows us to stop struggling, and straining and trying to force our will onto the eternal cycles of nature. It allows us to stop our angry, furious, raging against, and questioning why. Once we know we can’t change it, that it’s not our job to change it, that everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to for reasons we will understand perfectly once we cross the Veil ourselves, once we accept that, we can relax a little more. We can be a little bit easier inside ourselves.
I don’t believe all the prayers and healing and magic we send to our ailing loved ones is ever for nothing. I am convinced the energy reaches those we love and helps them enormously.  But whether they channel that energy into making a more peaceful, easier transition to the other side, or whether they channel it into making their recovery faster and more complete, we cannot know ahead of time. And this is where surrender can bring the nearest thing to comfort in times like these.
Surrender means letting go. Breathing deeply, and letting go, and knowing that the outcome is already decided. It will be as it will be, and it will be as it’s supposed to be. It’s not up to us. It will be as the Divine Source from whence we come, that part of us that IS that Source, knows it must be, because that’s the only way it can be, and it will all make perfect sense to us when our turn comes.
So we continue to pray, to meditate, to send energy in whatever means feels right to us. And we trust that it will be put to the best possible use, and that all will be as it will be. And it eases the struggle a little bit. It takes the pressure off of us to know we’re not in charge of ensuring that the moon continues through her endless cycles. We’re not in charge of ensuring that the sun will rise each morning. We’re not in charge of telling the wild things when it’s time to begin mating season, or when it’s time to give birth. We’re not in charge of how long our fellow creatures choose to romp around in the physical world.
We’re not in charge of how many moments we have in this lifetime.
But we are in charge how we use each and every one of those moments. And that is the most empowering bit of knowing I think we can have.

Young college player with brain tumor fulfills basketball dream

Lauren Hill felt so good after fulfilling her dream that she felt inspired to play another game.

Makes sense, since the freshman forward for Division III Mount St. And she certainly savored her two baskets on a day she will never forget.”This game was amazing,” Hill said. “It was awesome in every way. It’s a dream come true. To play on a college court, to put my foot down on the floor and hear the roar of the crowd I just love it so much. I love basketball.”Everything that happened today was amazing.Moncler Jacket moncleroutletde I’m truly happy, it’s a really good day.”Hill made an uncontested left handed layup for the opening basket off a bounce pass from redshirt sophomore Taylor Brown, who missed last season with a knee injury. Teams and players have signed and sent No. Defensive tackle Devon Still whose daughter, Leah, 4, is also being treated for cancer wore Hill’s name on his eye black; left tackle Andrew Whitworth had the No. Allie Hildebrand was Hill’s “little sister” during the player’s senior year and said handling her friend’s illness was difficult.”You can’t cry in front of her,” Hildebrand said. “You don’t want to get upset in front of her. That makes her upset.”Tears were conspicuously absent in the arena on an upbeat day that celebrated Hill’s perseverance. Mount St. Joseph’s coach Dan Benjamin said things got emotional afterward, but Hill wasn’t having it in a game she has waited for.”She looked tired on the bus,” Benjamin said, “but once she saw that floor, there was a ton of energy.”That was obvious when a smiling Hill entered the floor for warmups. Her mood lifted the spirits of several children enduring various forms of cancer. Encouraged by recent diagnoses for her daughter, Katie Towne said Sunday was nonetheless bittersweet.”I’m happy for the joy of her getting her wish coming true, not only for raising awareness but also for being able to play in this game,” Towne said of Hill. “But there’s also sadness knowing that how much awareness she brings right now, she won’t get to reap the benefits personally.””That’s what’s amazing; she did this, knowing that,” Towne said.

Small World (Maggie)

Maggie’s Mother-in-Love, Lee & hubby Brian

Happy Autumn 2012!

Before I get to today’s topic, I want to ask a favor.  If you’re reading this, please wing a prayer, a spell, some Reiki, a chant, a wish to this beautiful woman.  She’s my Lance’s mom.  I call her my “mother-in-love” cause she’s not exactly a mother-in-law (Lance and cohabit but have no contract.)  Anyway, Lee just had to have a triple bypass due to damage done by the radiation that saved her from cancer twenty some years ago.  Things went bad after the operation and she’s been in the ICU for a full month now. We’ve nearly lost her three times that we know of. This past Monday she was given a 2% chance of surviving by her doctors. And in my head, I saw her put her little hands on her little hips and say, “I’ll show you 2%!”  Just in the last few days she’s begun to improve in teeny tiny bits, but measurable ones. So I’d be eternally grateful if you would take a moment to wish her well, and try to imagine her as you see her here in this very recent photo, happy, healthy, pink, and sassy.  Thank you. You know I’m always happy to reciprocate.

Now, on to today’s post which is ever shrinking size of our world. And the reason for it is this thing you’re surfing right now as you read this. The Internet. I release a book in the US and I get immediate complaints from readers in France, in England, in Australia, in Germany, asking why the heck they can’t find it! That never happened before. I think it’s very cool, too, that when I self-publish my own backlist books, I can release them worldwide all on the same day.  The big publishers take longer to change, because, as my editor recently told me, it’s like turning an ocean liner around. It takes time to move something that big. But everything is shifting from a this nation, that nation point of view, to a global one. Everything.

I believe that we are in the midst of major worldwide change, due largely to the Internet.  The wider its reach, the smaller the world. And one of the biggest changes I’m seeing is the elimination of the middle man.  Many, many people have launched successful businesses with the help of the ‘net. Publishing is a perfect reflection of this shift.  A writer can now create a book, and sell it directly to the reader without anyone else standing in between the two taking a cut. Now that’s always been the case-vanity presses have been around forever.  Writer pays the press to print the book, then tries to sell it by hand.  (And that was still a middle-man.)  But today, the writer can sell thousands, even hundreds of thousands of copies, without ever leaving her home.  And yes, there’s a still a middle man of sorts–Amazon or Nook or iTunes or Sony or Kobo. (Just until someone figures out how to duplicate what they’re doing from their own living room, that is.) It’s only a matter of time before there’s a single agreed upon universal format and from there things get even more personal.  And the cut being taken by these current giant middlemen is a lot smaller than that taken by traditional publishing up to now. And the cut being taken by the genius in his living room is going to be even smaller.

It’s happened in the music industry. We see artists posting their work to Youtube (for free!) and selling CDs independently, and via sites like Amazon, CD Baby, iTunes, and so on. And they get a much bigger share of the cover price than they ever would get from the old giant record labels. I’ve seen it in film. Indy actors & filmmakers are releasing their series on the net, very much like Joss Whedon, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion & company did with Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. I just watched one of these net series: Exorcists Local 667. It has a full 6 or 7 episode season ready for viewing and it’s an absolute RIOT. Here’s the teaser.

So where is this trend going?  I think the balance of power is gradually shifting from the mega-corporations and governments, to the people, and that is a very positive thing. When the women who make baskets and jewelry in a small village in Rwanda can sell them to a dairy farmer in Iowa and a supermodel in Paris within the same five minutes, there will no longer be any reason for poverty. The Internet gives everyone far easier access to the same pool of abundance. All we have to do is give everyone access to the Internet.

There are a lot of philosophers, scientists, spiritual leaders, and mystics, who believe this shift is a big part of what the next “World Age” will bring.  The current “World Age” is ending–not the world itself, just this particular age of it. This is what ends on 12/21/2012, though the change is a very gradual one. It won’t happen in one big boom on the 21st of December. We’re seeing its beginnings, and the death throes of the old way of being as it struggles to hold onto its power. People feel this change, they sense that it is time, and that’s why they’re rebelling against the old way.

I remember when I first started using the Internet. I was amazed at how easy it was to put together groups of people, brainstorm a solution to a problem with them, plot a course of action and then implement it, all while sipping coffee in my jammies.

The world is small and getting smaller.  I can chat in real time with a reviewer in Romania while filing my nails and petting my cat, all from the comfort of my own home. Revolutionaries overthrow governments with help from Twitter.  It’s truly amazing.

The Internet is changing the world.  I’m amazed to watch it all unfold and eager to see where it leads next. It’s certainly excellent fodder for my fiction.

What do you all think is coming next? What are some of the changes you’ve noticed, and what others do you think we can expect?

PS: LEGACY OF THE WITCH is Free right now on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iTunes. Grab yours today!


Avatar Me! (Maggie)

Newsflash!  Within 33 years, we will all be able to upload our brains into a robotic “avatar” and live forever.

Here’s the article about it.

It’s a fascinating read.  Scientists funded by a Russian billionaire (who’s not yet 50, like me, so he doesn’t know any better) are working on this project.  Here’s a tiny excerpt that nutshells the stages of the plan.

2015 – 2020: A robotic copy of a human body remotely controlled by a brain-computer interface

2020 – 2025: An avatar is created into which a human brain can be transplanted at the end of  life

2030 – 2035: An avatar that  can now contain an artificial brain into which a human personality can be transferred at the end of life

2040 – 2045:  A holographic avatar emerges

–Kevin Dovak, ABC News Science

Great plan, right?  But the Russian billionaire and all his scientists are overlooking something that’s pretty obvious to me. It’s already been done.

We, the bigger WE, the huge big blob of…oh, let’s go with my cupcake batter analogy and make this simple.  First, we’re a big bowl of batter known as spirit, only without the bowl.   It’s all one batch.  Some people call it God or Source or The Whole.  The batter turns its attention to becoming physical, and smaller, denser, more focused bits, and the batter pours itself into various shaped cupcake cups.  Those cups are our bodies.  Our “avatars.”  They are created by us, to hold that which is our consciousness.  (Consciousness originates not in the brain, but in the spirit that created the brain. But it’s a wider huger infinite sort of consciousness.  Human-ness allows spirit to narrow its focus to the perspective of one unique individual part of itself.)  Each bit of batter, separated out from the rest, is slightly different.  It has minuscule variations in the amounts of sugar, and flour and vanilla extract and cocoa powder, because no matter how much you blend, you can never get every single droplet to be the same as the next.  Tiny variations.  Like .0001% of a difference, but it’s enough to make each individual cupcake come out slightly different.  The thing is, each cupcake form or mold (body) is specifically created by and for that particular bit of spirit that will fill it.  In fact, it’s more than that.  The spirit doesn’t exactly fill the tin, it becomes it, THEN fills it.  So the body we have in this lifetime is perfect in every way, a perfect reflection of the spirit riding around in it. It can’t be anything else. My crooked nose is the only nose that could have been formed by the spoonful of batter that is my Spirit. That uniqueness is one of the reasons The Whole wanted to become physical in the first place.

So, sorry Russian Billionaire.  You wasted your money.  We are already in our avatars. And they’re better than robots.  They’re biological, like the ones James Cameron made, only, you know, not blue.

No, our amazing beautiful perfect for us bodies don’t last forever.  But neither would the robots.  Eventually, parts wear out.  They would rust. Their warranty would expire.  And the consciousness that was transferred into their mechanical brains would have to leave them behind, just like it does when our biological bodies wear out and we move on.

Where do we go?  Back to the bowl of batter?

No, even better.  Forward, into a new batch of batter that is being made better and better by all the ingredients we collected in our most recent physical journey.  And there it gets remixed with all the other new ingredients brought forward by all the other consciousnesses who’ve left their avatar-bodies behind.  So that by the time it (you, me, WE) decide to go pour itself/ourself out again, to be physical cupcake people again, it/we/The Whole are even better and wiser and older than before.  We come into the next life with more knowledge, more experience, more understanding from all parts of the Whole.

And that’s evolution. It’s the expansion of the Universe. It’s why that expansion is speeding up instead of slowing down.  It’s why death is so scary, because we’re going forward, not backward, into a future that hasn’t yet been created, a future we are actually creating by the act of moving into it.

And I got all of that from seeing that article, and mainly, from writing the Portal Series. The books took me to a deep exploration of what it really means to be human.  They’re my deepest, most important projects to date.

And yes, they’re going on sale very soon.  Legacy of the witch will be free on Saturday.  It’s an ebook prequel to the 3 main books, Mark of the Witch, Daughter of the Spellcaster, and Blood of the Sorceress.

MARK OF THE WITCH goes on sale September 18th in print, October 1st in ebook.

Visit for excerpts, links to buy, free trading cards, book trailer videos and more!

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Make it a great week, folks!  Enjoy the encroaching Autumn.