TITLE: Victorian Songlight, The Birthings of Magic & Mystery
AUTHOR: Dr. Kathy Martone
PUBLISHER: Dreaming Big Publications, dreamingbigpublications.com
ABOUT THE BOOK: The birth of a magical child at the time of the Devil Moon sets the stage for heartache and misery, magic and supernatural love.Beset by unrelenting obstacles and bestowed with remarkable psychic gifts, Kate is often accompanied by fantastical black ravens who carry her through time and space.Victorian Songlight is a tale of redemption and renewal, death and rebirth, triumph over darkness. But most importantly, it is a love story.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Kathy Martone is currently an author and artist living in a small Victorian town in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. She and her husband also manage two small BnB’s in their charming turn of the century village.
Before retiring in 2015, Dr. Martone was a Jungian psychologist in private practice specializing in dream work, women’s spirituality and shamanic journeys. Prior to this, she was the director of a small mental health clinic and then she served as company psychologist for Southwestern Bell Telephone. She taught classes at Colorado Free University, The Jungian Ministries International, Naropa University, and Iliff School of Theology. For the past 32 years she has studied with Richmond K. Greene, past chair of the New York Jungian Institute.
The magical world of dreams has fascinated and intrigued Kathy for as long as she can remember. Inspired by a dream in 2005, she began making velvet tapestries imprinted with the image of one of her own dream figures and embellished with ribbons, rhinestones, feathers, glass beads, Swarovski crystals, antique jewelry and semi-precious stones. As a Jungian psychologist and shamanic practitioner, energy and depth of meaning are very important to her. So frequently she will accent the tapestries with symbolic objects, such as old pieces of jewelry, the lining from a purse that belonged to her grandmother, or a piece of ribbon she wore as a little girl. Layering these materials into a meaningful image evokes for her the multi-layered realms of dreams, myth and metaphor. Like the magical nets of ancient shamans, these colorful tapestries ensnare the features of her dream spirits as they stare back at her from their watery dimensions. Her work has been displayed in galleries in Denver, Colorado as well as in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
In 2006 Dr. Martone self published her first book titled, Sacred Wounds: A Love Story. The book chronicles the author’s relentless quest for self understanding and provides a blueprint for other seekers who are looking for spiritual enlightenment while grappling with painful life experiences. Written in easy to understand language, the book explains how various spiritual and psychological practices were brought together in an alchemical blend to produce a potion of timeless healing. Weaving its way through such healing practices as psychotherapy, shamanism, Buddhism, Jungian thought and dream work, the reader is given a clear map for psychological and spiritual change.
REVIEWERS: Ebook copies available on request! Please contact Kristi by applying to this email or email email@example.com to request your free review copy today! If you don't have time for a full review, I understand! Reviewers are busy. Consider doing a brief blog spot promotion to let your readers know about the new release! I appreciate all that you do to help get word of our books out there.
What is an author platform?
We get submissions all the time from people who have no clue what an author platform is. Here's a great link that helps explain it - https://www.janefriedman.com/author-platform-definition/
But in short, here's what you need to know.
- DON'T wait until the book is published or about to be. In fact, you should already have a platform before seeking a publisher.
- A platform IS NOT an author website or author social media account. Those fall more along the lines of marketing. However, these things do help your platform.
If you wait until your book is written and you're querying publishers to have a platform, it's way too late. A platform is something you build over a long period of time. It is what you're known for. Think chat groups on facebook or particular websites, or reddit. What topics are you interested in? If you're writing nonfiction, that's easy but even fiction writers can have platforms. Do you write about vampires? Okay, then great! Where do you get the information about vampires? What websites do you use to look up information? Do you chat with people about vampires? Are you a part of any fan groups? Do you run ideas by people on writing websites? What about Quora? That's a great website for asking and for answering questions. I once got a job based on my activity on Quora. You can sign up for Quora and list yourself as being a vampire aficionado, and then when people ask questions about vampires, you can answer them. Obviously, substitute vampire for whatever you write about. BECOME AN EXPERT on your subject, or at least become known as someone who is really into the topic. Group up with other people who also like vampires and talk with them regularly. At first nobody will know who you are, but over time, they will and you will be known in the field that you are interested in because you regularly interact with people on the subject.
When I was into raising poison dart frogs, I was a member of a website called Dendroboard, it was a chat board just for raising poison dart frogs. At first I joined because I wanted to learn about them. Over time, I became one of the top people on the board who knew about poison dart frogs and could answer all the newbie's questions about how to care for their frogs. From there, I got into growing vivariums and was a member of a chat site all about how to build your own vivarium. I became an expert on that and people asked my advice all the time. When I decided to open my own store, I had a ready made group of customers WHO KNEW ME AND TRUSTED ME and therefore bought from me. I was successful at it. I wasn't just a new person who showed up and said "buy from my store". They already knew that I knew what I was talking about. They knew they would get a healthy frog from me. They knew they would get plants that were safe for their frogs not only in the type of plant, but also in the way the plant was grown (no chemicals). They knew they would get good growing advice and good set up advice. They trusted me. Because they had been chatting with me for years about frogs and plants before I ever opened a store. Frogs and plants were a passion of mine, and I turned it into a business.
That was 25 or so years ago, before Facebook became a big thing, before Youtube, and before I knew about blogging. If I were still raising frogs and plants and running my online store now, I would've jumped on the Youtube video bandwagon, and podcasts. That would further expand my knowledge to the masses and would be new ways to not only earn money, but let people know I (or my store) existed. I still talk to those people to this day, even though I got out of frogs when I had to move and went through a nasty divorce. I didn't have the money to keep that up, and I wasn't able to keep up my greenhouse, so I let the store go. But those people are still my friends and I still admire their pictures and I still participate in discussions with them. If I wanted to write a book about plants or frogs, I would have a ready made audience sitting right there waiting to buy my book. THAT'S A PLATFORM.
It takes time. It's who you are and who you know. It's what influence you have about the subject. You can use your platform to market, but a platform is not marketing.
How do you add your platform to your query when approaching a publisher? If you are active on Instagram, you let the publisher know that you have 1 million followers on Instagram, and the pictures with you dressed as a vampire get millions of likes. You can share information about your blog, in which you regularly post articles about vampires, with your potential publisher. If you're on particular chat boards like I was with Dendroboard, tell your publisher you're a moderator on this website where you regularly answer questions about frogs and plants. Let them know about your podcast in which you post regularly your talks about frogs or whatever your subject is. Fill your free time immersing yourself in your topic and becoming known as someone who knows a lot about that topic, and make sure your publisher knows that. It's really easy when you have a nonfiction topic. You can speak at conferences or churches, you can be a part of support groups if your topic is mental health. Facebook and everywhere else basically is full of support groups for everything imaginable. Make friends in these chat forums.
Don't say anything about a book at first or else they will think that you're only there to sell a book, not to learn or to teach about the topic. But even nonfiction writers can be active in online and real world communities. Do you cosplay? Do you go to events? Conventions? Do you LARP? Then you have a platform! For instance, if you write about elves and magic and wizards, playing games and surrounding yourself with people who also are interested in these things is probably something you do already. I play World of Warcraft, and I would definitely let a publisher know that if I was writing a book that fit that genre, because my guildmates and other people I play with are...guess what? My platform! A platform is basically the things you do already (or should be doing) to immerse yourself in your passion, the passion that you also are now writing a book about. Then, you can use that platform to market your book. But waiting to try to build a platform once you have a book to try to sell, you will bomb out.
- Kristi King-Morgan
The Last Five Years: A Discussion
By Blair Hill
The Last Five Years is a semi-autobiographical musical written by Jason Robert Brown. For the purpose of this essay, I will be discussing the music and characterization from the 2014 film starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan as Cathy and Jamie respectively. The musical follows the relationship of Cathy and Jamie: a relationship that lasts five years. The story is told out of chronological order; Cathy begins her tale at the end of their relationship, while Jamie comes from the beginning. I will be discussing major plot points, so a spoiler warning is now in effect.
Who is to blame for the decline and subsequent unraveling of Cathy and Jamie’s relationship? Cathy and Jamie meet as adults, both coming with baggage from previous relationships. Cathy has had one serious relationship while Jamie has had many exploits (which he details in the song Shiksa Goddess). Meanwhile, Cathy mentions that her previous boyfriend broke things off with her in “a heartfelt letter,” claiming that she’s better than that kind of relationship.
At the beginning of their relationship, Cathy and Jamie are both seemingly in love. Jamie expresses concerns that “things are moving too fast,” but Cathy is ready to dive in because she wants to move past her previous relationship. This shows that, from the beginning, Cathy and Jamie are not in the same place. Jamie may be ready for a certain kind of love, but it’s immediately apparent that Cathy is in it for the long haul.
Viewers are fairly divided on who is to blame for the characters’ failed marriage. Many people point to Jamie, who cheats on Cathy in the song Nobody Needs to Know. While it’s easy to say that cheating is never acceptable in a relationship, Jamie also expresses that he feels trapped in his relationship with Cathy, who is constantly in Ohio while Jamie is in New York. Is the distance to blame?
When Cathy and Jamie meet up in See I’m Smiling, which is told from Cathy’s perspective, it’s clear that, once again, Cathy and Jamie are not on the same page. Jamie has come to visit Cathy in Ohio but says he has to leave almost immediately to go to a party in New York. At the end of the song, Cathy says “I swear to God I’ll never understand how you can stand there straight and tall and see I’m crying and not do anything at all.” This song occurs right before Jamie makes the decision to leave Cathy. Was the distance too much for him?
The distance may not have been the issue after all. Jamie is a successful author while Cathy is a struggling actress, taking whatever gigs she can get (even if that means spending summers in Ohio with a former stripper and her snake). This is likely another influence for the issues in their relationship. There are two songs that highlight this issue further: Climbing Uphill and If I Didn’t Believe in You.
Climbing Uphill sees Cathy going through a number of auditions, desperately pursuing success in the acting scene of New York: a path that she admits to regretting in the song. Near the end of the song, Cathy reflects on who she doesn’t want to be in Jamie’s life. She says “I will not be the girl who gets asked how it feels to be trotting along at the genius’ heels. I will not be the girl that requires a man to get by.” Here, we see an issue in the relationship that has little to do with Jamie.
Conversely, in If I Didn’t Believe in You, Jamie is trying to convince Cathy to attend yet another party with him. His novel has recently come out, and he declares that he’s going to the party with or without Cathy. In this song, Jamie bounces between desperation and criticism, working to convince Cathy of his love while also trying to convince her to come to his party. Unfortunately, Jamie’s anger overcomes him: “I will not fail so you can be comfortable, Cathy. I will not lose because you can’t win.” Once again, the inequality in the relationship is notable, as we see Jamie confirming Cathy’s fears about their power dynamic.
Upon examining this dynamic further, it’s clear that these issues have been a common thread in Cathy and Jamie’s relationship. Jamie consistently puts his work and his parties before Cathy, causing her to question her place in the relationship. Her worries are put on display in I’m a Part of That, where she questions the role she has to play in Jamie’s life. Meanwhile, Jamie is focusing on avoiding the temptations that come with being a successful novelist.
In the song A Miracle Would Happen/When You Come Home to Me, Jamie is actively struggling with remaining faithful. He’s narrating these struggles to his friends and wishing that “a miracle would happen” and suddenly other women wouldn’t look appealing to him anymore. Even before Cathy and Jamie are actively fighting all the time, he’s grappling with his temptations. Unfortunately, he gives into these temptations, likely creating the final permanent rift with Cathy.
In Nobody Needs to Know, Jamie sings quietly to his unknown partner (who some may have assumed was Cathy) “Hey, kid. Good morning. You look like an angel. I don’t remember when we fell asleep. We should get up, kid. Cathy is waiting.” It’s this last line that clues the listener/viewer in on the fact that Jamie is with someone who is not Cathy. Some might look at this action and say “this is it. Clearly Jamie is to blame for the end of the relationship.” However, that may or may not be the case.
Similarly to Jamie, Cathy has some issues that begin with her. As mentioned previously, Cathy is struggling at work and in her relationship with Jamie; this leads to low self-esteem and causes her to become increasingly suffocating in her relationship with Jamie. She doesn’t want him going to parties or being exposed to temptation. She wants to succeed, and if she does, she thinks everything else will fall into place, which is likely an idealistic twist on how events might actually unfold.
While Cathy’s idealism can be encouraging to Jamie at times, it also is the root of some of Cathy’s issues with control. She is wholly convinced that she deserves to succeed and will. However, the longer she goes without success (and the more trips she has to take to Ohio), the clearer it becomes that Cathy is not happy with herself, which then translates into a lack of happiness with Jamie.
Finally, Cathy’s unwillingness to admit blame is likely what ultimately causes Jamie to drift away from her. In See I’m Smiling, Cathy tries to convince Jamie to stay with her in Ohio, seeing her show and celebrating her birthday. However, when Jamie refuses to stay, we see Cathy fall apart; all of her statements about compromise and mending things fall out of the picture. It seems that if, in losing Jamie, Cathy loses herself.
In Jamie’s final communication to Cathy, (another unfortunate “heartfelt letter”), Jamie says “I could never rescue you: all you ever wanted, but I could never rescue you, no matter how I tried.” This is it: the underlying issue in Cathy and Jamie’s relationship. Their relationship was built on Cathy’s insecurities and her belief that Jamie’s love would somehow save her. This was not a relationship of equals but a relationship of co-dependence and false idealism. In the beginning, Jamie may have thought that his love would save Cathy, but he realizes too late that entirely supporting someone else is not what he wants.
In the end, it’s hard to fully place the blame on one single party. Both Cathy and Jamie made serious mistakes and missteps throughout their relationship, causing its eventual downfall. This topic is highly debated amongst theater fans, but I’m going to refrain from taking a side and let the reader consider the question: who is more to blame, the dependent idealist or the loving cheater?
“The Last Five Years.” IMDb, 1990-2019, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2474024/. Accessed 12 July 2019.
The Last Five Years. Directed by Richard Lagravenese, performances by Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan, Lucky Monkey Pictures, Sh-K-Boom Records, and Grand Peaks Entertainment, 2014.
Edited by Emily Chance
Easy Halloween Recipes
By Elizabeth Dubos
The spooky Halloween season is quickly approaching. Soon, we will see in our grocery stores, craft stores, and major retailers everything Halloween themed. It’s an exciting time to try to recipes. Have you ever perused around Pinterest, build a recipe board, but then when you tried the recipe it was not what you expected? These Halloween recipes are great for school, work, or parties because the materials are easily accessible and affordable. Here are some easy and delicious treats that you and your family friends can enjoy during the Halloween season.
Disclaimer: These recipes are not my own, but I have tried them and thought they were delicious and easy to make. I will attach the link if anyone has additional questions.
1. Graveyard Brownies
1 bag of Milano cookies
1 tube of black decorating gel
1 brownie box mix
First, you want to bake the brownies in a square or rectangle pan. After the brownies are done cooling cut them into rectangles. Take the Milano cookies out of the bag and with the decorating gel write: R.I.P. (this will be the gravestone). When you’re done decorating the cookies, place them into the rectangle. Once this is complete you can add the candy pumpkins. Now you have a miniature sweet treat graveyard!
Tip: Remember to grease the pan, so it’s easier to get the brownies out!
Recipe Link: https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/halloween-graveyard-brownies/
2. Ghost Strawberries
1 box of strawberries
1 bag of white chocolate
1 tube of black decorating gel
First you want to take the strawberries out of their container and clean them. Second, put the white chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl. Then, you want to melt the white chocolate with 30 second intervals. Remember to stir in between the intervals! This will ensure the chocolate melts and doesn’t burn. When the chocolate is melted it is time for you to dip the strawberries. After you’ve dipped all the strawberries, place them in the refrigerator to cool for 10 minutes. This helps harden the chocolate to make it easier for the next step. After the white chocolate strawberries have hardened use the tube of black decorating gel to place 3 dots on the strawberries. This will give the effect that the ghosts are howling or screaming. When you’ve completed their faces put them back into the refrigerator to harden again for 10 minutes. Now they’re ready to eat!
Tip: If the chocolate starts to get hard, put them back into the microwave for more 30 second intervals until it’s the desired consistency.
Article Link: http://blog.candiquik.com/strawberry-ghosts/#_a5y_p=1006168
3. Ghost Cookies
1 bag of Milano’s cookies
1 bag of white chocolate chips
1 tube of black decorating gel
First, you want to take all the Milano cookies out of the bag. Afterwards, you want to melt the white chocolate. You can use the same instructions for melting the chocolate as mentioned above. When the Milano cookies are covered in white chocolate, place them in the refrigerator to harden for 10 minutes. After the cookies are done hardening, you want to use the tube of black decorating gel to place 3 dots on the one half of the cookie. This will give the effect that the ghosts are howling or screaming. When you’ve completed this step place them in the refrigerator for 10 more minutes. After they’re done hardening, they are ready to be consumed!
Tip: If the Milano cookies get stuck in the white chocolate place a fork under the cookies to scoop them out.
Article Link: https://butterwithasideofbread.com/easy-ghost-halloween-cookies/
4. Mummy Apple Slices
1 bag of apples
1 bag of lollipop sticks
1 bag of white chocolate
1 bag of candy eyes
Instructions: First. you want to cut up the apples to make the slices. Make sure the slices are thick enough for the lollipop stick to fit. After you’ve finished cutting the slices, stick the lollipop stick through the apple slice. Next, put the white chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl. Then, you want to melt the white chocolate with 30 second intervals. Remember to stir in between the intervals! This will ensure the chocolate melts and doesn’t burn. After you’ve dipped all the apple slices, place them in the refrigerator to cool for 10 minutes. After they are done hardening, dip your spoon in the melted chocolate and make lines going back and forth to create streaks. This helps to create a cloth effect for the mummy. Before the chocolate hardened place, the mummy’s eyes. Now put them back into the refrigerator to cool for 10 minutes. It’s time to eat!
Tip: Try to stick the lollipop stick in halfway, so when you’re dipping the apple into the chocolate it does not fall off.
Article Link: https://www.thekeeperofthecheerios.com/2019/07/mummy-apple-slices.html
Edited by: Emily Chance
About the Book: Not long from today the country is finding itself with a question of who to believe; who to follow. An ambitious young man begins his journey to right the many wrongs he sees in the world. His faith guides him to form the vision of the country he feels it should be, but is that vision good or evil?Remy Quint, a former Marine; Emily Samberg, a young woman who has lost her hope for the future; Rayyan Abdullah, a man uncertain with his culture and a host of others sense danger in the up and coming Billy Waters, a zealous Reverend from the Durrell Church. Will they be brought together before their collective fears are realized?
Reviewers: Email Kristi at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free electronic review copy today? Bloggers: Don't have time for a full review? Consider a promotional blog spot instead to let your readers know about the new release.
AUTHOR: Edward Gregory
PUBLISHER: Dreaming Big Publications
Paperback price: $9.99
Ebook price: $2.99
ABOUT THE BOOK: Mico is a boy from a small town called Clifftop and thought his life was really boring. So one day he decides to play a practical joke on the town. But it goes horribly wrong. As punishment, Mico and his family are banished from the town and the only way they can come back is if he can complete six unselfish acts. And so begins the adventures of Mico. Leaving the town, Mico must battle his fears, forces of nature, and enemies all around.Will he and his family get back home?
REVIEWERS: Contact Kristi at email@example.com for your free electronic review copy today!