Month: March 2016

Show me love!

From my published book, the Theater of Dusk. Wonderful picture/ word combination by Katherine. 🙂

Do you remember the SF romance I told you about? Well, I’m almost done with editing! Soon I’ll send the manuscript to my editor, and I really, desperately, urgently need all the help I can get. What do I need? I need all the sales and reviews you can give me. If you planned on buying my book, now is a good time. If you felt like writing a review, this is an excellent time to do it. I don’t mind negative reviews if they are honest opinions on my book and not personal attacks on me. The latter is not reviewing; it’s slander. It doesn’t help other readers decide and doesn’t paint a flattering picture of the reviewer either. 

If I want to be honest, it is not a coincidence I haven’t got a single negative review so far. It’s not because my friends are reviewing me because this isn’t the case. I owe it to two facts. The first is pretty straightforward: I haven’t had enough exposure to get negative reviews. I do have in mind a list of possible negative reviewers if I hit a bigger audience. Homophobes will bash me, the overly religious will throw fits, the women-hating crowd will get their panties in a bunch… Well, I’ll live. I mean the world is a big place and there’s space for everyone. Live and let live.

The second reason is even stranger. For some reason, people like my writing. Believe me, I am surprised. When your friends like your writing, there is always a nagging suspition at the back of your head: they say they enjoy it because they are your friends. They don’t want to hurt you. It’s vastly different when random strangers enjoy your book. I casually browse my Goodreads Author page and a complete stranger has left a four or five star review for my published book, the Theater of Dusk. It wows me completely and utterly. It mystifies me. It doesn’t surprise me because I consider myself a bad writer, but because my subject matter isn’t easy. I write about loss, deceit, self-doubt, betrayal, suicide, killers… My writing is intimate, unusual, sad and weird, and what do you know, someone else out there, a person I’ve never met, read it and liked it. They identified with my stories and my heroes and got something out of it. I don’t know what and it doesn’t matter. I hid a message in a bottle and threw it in the sea. The bottle reached a shore and someone found it and read it. The bottle could have been lost, broken, and yet… it wasn’t. It’s a small miracle.

I need more small miracles to happen. Miracles like a review, or telling a friend you enjoyed my book, or sharing one of my blog entries. Here are some suggestions:

 

Please give me a chance to continue writing. Help me get my second book out. I need a very handsome amount for the editor, and every single penny counts. I need reviewers and reviews for my work, and every review makes a difference. It’s been an uphill struggle with nothing to show for my efforts except for the books themselves. For me, that is a reward in itself. Please help me. I honestly, truly need it. And for those of you who already bought my book, reviewed it or promoted me, thank you so so much. I am deeply grateful. It means more than I can explain. You are my small miracles, and you give me the strength to continue. Thank you.

Here is my book:
http://www.amazon.com/Lizbeth-Gabriel/e/B00HVCOFMY/

Create Space: (an Amazon company)
https://www.createspace.com/5204932

Attention: This is for buying physical copies of my book, not the ebook version. For the ebook version please go to Amazon.

Occult reading: how to do a number on your head, no hammer needed.

So here are two reviews… Liber Null is a Chaos Magick classic. As I’ve said before, I am always wary of the classics.

Liber Null and Psychonaut by Peter J. Carroll (3 out of 5 stars)*

My head hurts. It really hurts. Also, my copy is missing a page of text and half its contents table. Damn to demise all marshmallows in existence and some theoretical ones.

How can someone actively choose to experiment on everything that makes them who they are AND work 9-5? The advice is pretty clear: change your personality, change your sexuality, do all the things that normally you would not do, try a different lifestyle, support a point of view you don’t agree with and so on. Keep doing that that until you manage to disentangle your inner core from your present personality, because personality is essentially a completely arbitrary construction based on experience and chance. Once you stop identifying with your personality/ ego, magick can happen because you don’t identify with any desire, and consequently don’t sabotage your own efforts by fear or need. Also, by deconstructing your personality you peel away all those superficial/ ego gratification needs that don’t originate from your inner core, but from your fears, complexes and so on. What remains is aligned with the portion of you that is transcendent, in other words, with the needs of your soul. Yep, do all that AND at the same time hold down a job, maintain your relationships, practice magick and try to see life for the cosmic joke it is. Excellent theory, but I am afraid that this can only be done by not having to work, not being in a relationship and not having a family of any kind. And probably having friends who don’t mind dealing with a person whose completely inconsistent and erratic behavior changes from day to day.

It’s an interesting book with some excellent ideas but very little practical application for the practitioner who also wants to have a life outside the occult. It’s also difficult to follow at parts. Still a good read for someone who wants to be introduced to Chaos Magick. One of the classics. As with all classics, pick and choose the elements that suit you and ignore the rest.

 The Pseudonomicon by Phil Hine (4 out of 5 stars)*
 

I read this one many years ago, and back then I did not fully appreciate it. Now that I re-read it, I can say it is one of the best of its kind. I am not particularly interested in becoming acquainted with the Old Ones on a personal level, let alone going mad. (Or at least, not madder than I already am. 😉 However this little volume gives a plethora of information on how the Old Ones can be understood in relation to our human perception of the world, as well as some very valid observations on the way magickal experience cannot be explained or communicated. The writing is crystal clear, avoids metaphysical jargon, has an excellent sense of humour and offers interesting hints/ information if someone wants to get personally involved. Though short in length, it can be used as a solid introduction for someone who is tickled by the idea of the Old Ones in magickal work, and they can expand from there. Highly recommended.

*My star rating and what it means: 
 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren’t really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won’t be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh… I didn’t like it and won’t be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I’ll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don’t remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour… Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.