Saturday, September 29, 2007

The dark side of the light

Yesterday I had some absolutely spectacular news. If I thought that getting into the Trafford Centre in Manchester was good then this is even better. Waterstones in Piccadilly Circus have ordered some copies of my book. This is the biggest book shop in Europe! I expected it to be really difficult and to be passed from pillar to post when I called, or worse to be told that I had to go through their Head Office (as a few stores have tried to tell me). But no, I got straight through to exactly the right person. This turned out to be a Senior book seller called Nick who works on the 4th floor. I expect this must be where the MBS section is located then - I have only been to that store once and it was a while ago, so to be honest, I could not tell you which floor it is on. What matters though is that I am in there, and the beauty of the Waterstones system is that once they have ordered one and agreed to stock you, then as soon as that one copy sells, it automatically triggers an order for another one, so you do not have to keep following up to see if they need to re-order ! If only all book stores were like this.

Given the time of year though, with Halloween not that far off (it is 1st October on Monday) I felt it was high time that I spoke about exactly why it has taken me so long to get this book off the ground. I don't expect a lot of people will understand what I am about to say, while some will take it with a pinch of salt. I do not write this in order to frighten people, but rather to empower and explain where I am coming from, but also in the hope that it may actually help others who may be or may at some point in their future careers, experience the same. It is my sincere hope that nobody does have to experience this, but if I can help just one person by talking about my experiences, then it will have been worth it.

I was what what you might refer to, the subject of a form of psychic attack. For those who no not know about these things psychic attacks can be defined as the manipulation of supernatural energies and forces in order to cause harm (not necessarily physical harm you understand, but more to disrupt the recipients life). Dark and negative energetic vibrations are sent from one individual to another in order to create a disturbance in the energetic or physical bodies of the person and/or place. These are most commonly sent in the form of dark and negative thought forms and can have a dramatic effect upon the lives of those to which they are sent.

Regular readers of this blog may recall that for some I was involved in the running of an internet discussion site called Sensorium. This was actually the last in a long line of sites that I have been involved in, the others all folding one after the other, either due to server problems, or more commonly due to disputes among the moderators and administrators.

A lady whom I shall refer to as S came on board I suppose round about spring 2006, just before I started to go through the process of publication. Some of us knew her already from another site, but I was not one of these. I must admit then that alarm bells started to go off when they asked her to become a moderator, especially when as a fellow mod, in fact at that time administrator of the site, they did not first ask my opinion re this. Alarm bells started to ring even louder when I discovered that this lady and another male mod whom I shall refer to as O, were both witches. That by itself is not something I would normally be fearful of, as I do know some witches who are the kindest and loveliest people in the world, who would never misuse their power, but there was something about these two that did not feel right. I could not put my finger on what it was, it was just a feeling that all was not what it seemed. I foolishly though allowed myself to ignore these feelings, and so when a dispute broke out between ourselves and another site (it was actually more a dispute between S and this other site thinking back on it), we all allowed her to put a spell on this other site to try and protect us and put a stop to the negative vibes. Not long after that, the person who was the subject of this spell became hospitalised as I recall, with some sort of brain problem. At the time I did not put the two and two together, but thinking back on it all now, the connections become obvious. You will see for yourself later on.

That site eventually collapsed anyway, and in time four of us, myself, S, O and another lady who is not a witch (I shall call her G) started up Sensorium. The name was G's idea, and we all agreed after much discussion, that Coran would be our web master. G was in hospital herself at the time with a nasty bout of some stomach problem (can't remember the name now), so the rest of us wanted the site up and running for when she came out.

It was around this time, last autumn, that I started to do a lot more talks and book fairs in order to promote my book. One of these was for the Tranquility Awareness group in Ewell. I did an excellent talk that was very well received and was sure I would sell some books. However, despite the fact that they all remarked on the books energy, I did not manage to sell even one. I ended the evening in tears as I was so upset. A few weeks later I had a stall at the Questing Conference in London, and sold just 5 copies - three of which were to other speakers. There seemed then to be a pattern developing here and I began to wonder what was going on. It was though very confusing, since our house move seemed to be going very smoothly, and the problems only seemed to be with regard to my book. Everyone I spoke to about the book seemed to be irritated and short, as if they saw me a a nuisance and someone they did not want to be dealing with. It became clear to me that something was going on.

Just before we moved I had a reading from a friend, who confirmed that the book had indeed had a block placed on it, by someone of the darker persuasion who wanted to deliberately sabotage my work. You can imagine how I felt to be given this news. The reader did not specify who it was, but she did say that I was not to mention it on Sensorium, as they might think that I thought it was them. Actually they were the first ones to come into my head, but I did not at that point want to think in those terms. She gave detailed instructions anyway for breaking the spell, and said that it was very important that this this was done by end of the year. I followed those instructions and the energy did begin to lift and feel a lot better.

This though was not the end. As the New Year began and we slowly settled in to our new home, we began to experience problems with the site where it was being attacked by spammers. It got to the point where S wanted to appoint a US based mod who could sit up all night monitoring the site. She persuaded G to agree with her, and since O was her lover, he agreed with pretty much everything she said anyway. Both Coran and I though were against this since we knew that if determined enough the spammers would find a way in regardless. This situation then continued to simmer in the background for a while. We then began to get an influx of new members, which would have been good except for the fact that were all witches. Coran and I were privately quite concerned about this, as I think G was too, but she was manipulated by S and O into thinking that it was not a problem and all was well. All the time though they were the two of them plotting behind the scenes to get rid of Coran and I and take over the site for themselves.

When they started to make accusations against Coran, I naturally sprang to his defence and resigned. They had said some very hurtful things about him, which looking back were designed to get him to leave, with the full knowledge that I would follow. Of course they had to make it look real, and so pleaded with me to come back, but I insisted that I needed time to mull things over. Within a day they had appointed a new webmaster (whom I later found out had been lined up for the job for a while, and was also himself a witch). After a while I did ask if I could come back, as I felt it might be better to work from the inside than the out, but they said no, and then later offered me a position as a kind of liaison between mods and members - with all the duties of a mod but none of the responsibilities or more to the point a say in how the site was run. There was no way I was going to do this, and so I told them where to go and left the site for good.

I had been friends with G for years having known her via other sites that we had worked on together, and so was concerned to see that she appeared to be have been taken in by S and her cronies. They gradually began to change the site more and more until it got to the point where almost all the members were witches and the other ones began to leave because they did not like the energies anymore. It was at this point that S and O split up and O got in touch to say that S had orchestrated the whole thing as a means of forcing Coran and I out, and eventually taking over the site. I showed this to G and she confronted S, demanding an explanation, which of course S was more than ready with. G foolishly continued to believe her.

I do not know the full story because I got it from G later on, but basically S then began to make all sorts of further accusations about not just me and Coran, but also others that they did not like - threatening to put curses on them if they did not do as S wanted. G though did not believe in the power of such things and so chose to ignore it, until one day she woke up and found that they had changed the passwords to the site and locked her out. It was now Sensorium Pagan.

When she later went through her emails she found definitive proof that this lady S had been behind the problems with my book all along, and for reasons best known to her she had chosen to deliberately stop the book from being seen and therefore selling. This then is the reason why I took so long to get going, and why I had to change that cover.

I have tried to explain this in the shortest possible way that I can with the minimum amount of detail, so sorry if this is a bit of tome, but it was I feel necessary in order to explain. For some reason best known to her she must have through of me and what I have written as a threat. In some ways then I should see this as compliment, since it shows how far I must have evolved myself, spiritually at least.

So there you have it, do with the information what you will. I am no longer afraid as I know that I can handle such things and that good will always triumph. My successes in recent months I feel have proved that beyond a doubt.

As for S, shortly after taking over the site she herself was laid low with a double dose of both viral and bacterial meningitis - when you mess with other people's heads then is what you get ! Enough said ....

Thursday, September 27, 2007

You don't have to be mad to do this, but it helps !

I am not sure what has been triggering this (apart from the usual shifts in energy of course), but for the past week or so, both Coran and I have been having the most peculiar dreams. The most annoying thing for me is that although they are very vivid, when I do wake up, I have absolutely no recollection of what they were about, other than the fact they were so vivid! Last night though I do happen to remember that I was reading a great big list of Waterstones stores and ringing them up - starting with the Z's rather than the A's. This is perhaps not surprising, since it is, for the past 6 weeks or so, what I have been doing in real life.

I have worked out that I have now telephoned almost 200 of their stores. That really is a huge amount, and no wonder I feel so bogged down and overloaded by it all. I think any sane person would be - but then again, most sane people wouldn't self publish their book anyway ! What on earth then does that's say about me - you don't have to be mad to do this, but it helps !

I have though around 70 more stores to go, including the ones that I have not been able to get through to, or at least have not as yet managed to talk to the Manager. A lot of the time when you ring you are told, 'so and so is a meeting' or 'it's the Manager's day off, can you call tomorrow'. I always find it very annoying when this happens on a Wednesday, since I cannot call on Thursdays, it being my day for volunteering at the National Trust.

I have been working in the shop as a volunteer for almost six months now, and although it is hard work, it is actually great fun as well. I usually work with Peter, a cheerful Cockney who makes a wonderful cup of tea (milk, two sugars - no sugar for me though please) and always lets me eat the bars of chocolate that are just past their sell by date!

Most of the time is spent either cleaning the shop, helping with deliveries or serving customers at the till. It is very different to my last permanent job in a supermarket. After 2 years in that job, it began to feel as if I was the one on the conveyor belt rather than the food. I knew though that I had to leave the day they left me on the checkout calling for help to say that I needed to go to the toilet for over an hour. It gave a whole new meaning to the term p***** off I can tell you!

Today though the sun is shining and the sky is blue, even if there is a chill in the air. Having just passed the autumn equinox, there is definitely a feeling of change in the air. I love this time of year actually, walking in the crisp, clear air, feeling the cold wind on my face and blowing through my hair, watching the leaves blow as they change from green to red and gold, that lovely crunching sound that the make under your feet as you walk. Yes, my first autumn on the hill will be well and truly spectacular.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not the Jane Austen Festival

Don't you just hate it when you spend ages writing the perfect article to go on your blog site, and then press the wrong key only to find it disappearing into oblivion? That is exactly what happened when I tried to write on here earlier tonight. This then is my second attempt, and I hope it will be a case of second time lucky.

Picking up then where I left off yesterday, I rang a few more stores both yesterday and today with somewhat minor progress. Monday I have come to the conclusion, is not a good day to be doing this, since most Managers are in meetings with sales reps, staff etc and dealing with paperwork and so on. Tuesday is not a good day either, since it seems to be most of their days off ! Wednesday thankfully is a little better, since I managed to secure at least one order - this time from Oban in Scotland. I spoke to a very helpful lady with a delightful Scottish accent, who informed me that she would be ordering 2 copies.

It may seem strange to some that I am chasing all these stores, most of whom are ordering just one or two copies, but then again, with the amount that have ordered, it does add up to some considerable amount. It is of course chicken feed compared to the traditionally published (although even this is no guarantee of shelf space), but excellent for a POD book like mine. Of course I am not naive enough to say that I am doing better than most, but then again, I suppose it is all relative anyway, as it depends on one's personal goals and aspirations. A year ago, or even six months ago, I would not have had the resources or the stamina to do even half the things I am doing now, but then again, perhaps it was not the right time. Everything seems to have changed since we moved, and both Coran and I have found a new inner strength and confidence which I do not think would have been possible in our old home, because we had outgrown the energies of that place. This is definitely where we need to be, and I intend to stay put for some considerable time.

I started a part time evening course in journalism tonight at via Birkbeck in London, and sponsored by Surrey Hills Onward Learning. We need 13 people to make it viable, and there are only 5, possibly 6, so it uncertain as to whether it will continue. It will be a great shame if it has to fold, since the course covers every aspect of journalism from interview techniques to libel and copyright as well as writing press releases and news articles and features. It will then be very good and excellent experience not just for my own writing career, but also for the the newsletter I edit. It is rather costly at over £200, but the commitee have agreed to pay half the fee. Of course, we will get this back should the course be cancelled.

Listening to the news last night though, they happened to mention that the city of Bath is this week celebrating the Jane Austen festival. With a name like mine, I am often the butt of jokes regarding my more famous namesake, so I had the idea to write a spoof press release entitled Not the Jane Austen Festival and post it on a few of those free PR websites, and also send it off to some newspapers and magazines - namely Publishing News, Writers News and Writers Forum. If nothing else I thought it would make them all laugh. While I was at is, I also sent a copy to Waterstones in Bath.

You can then imagine my surprise when I got home from shopping in Redhill to find a message on the answerphone from one of the reporters from Writers News asking to interview me. Well, I rang him back and answered all his questions (he had taken the time first to look at my own website, which is always good), and he tells me that it will be in either the November or December issue. Paul had been saying for a while that they would be featuring the book, so I guess that spoof thing that I sent them might have jogged them into action.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bordering on the Insane

It has been another funny couple of days now the weekend is over. My energy levels seem to be all over the place at the moment - one minute up, one minute down, and I know that I am not the only one going through this, as I see it everywhere, reflected in everybody that I meet. Coran and I are are lucky in that being a little bit spiritually aware, we have at least some idea as to what is going on, and also have resources to help us deal with it. Most people do not have a clue what is happening to them, and so react to this in the only way that they can, with fear and uncertainly.

The roads at the moment then are filled with idiots, taking the most ridiculous and dangerous risks. I seem to be being overtaken by impatient drivers wherever I go. There is always an element of this when ones lives in an area heavily populated by flash 4 x 4's and sports cars, but I fail to see how some of the behaviour I have witnessed in recent months is really necessary. To be honest, it is the sort of thing one expects to see in Ilfracombe in mid summer, not deepest Surrey in the winter. I speak as one who commutes to the west country at least three times a year to visit my beloved island of Lundy.

Speaking of which, I hear that the island has been closed due to an infection. It seems that both the islanders and visitors have been dropping likes flies, as a bug works its way through the island. The island was closed then on Saturday for around 12 days so that they can do a thorough disinfect and try to eradicate whatever it is.

The island is also troubled at the moment with the need to raise funds to reinforce the beach road, which seems to be experiencing a bad case of subsidence and needs to be strengthened. This is a potentially very serious situation for the island, since it is only means of access to and from the landing beach, where MS Oldenburg berths up to four times a week bringing not just visitors, but also all the stores and provisions for the shop and Tavern. If the road crumbles and they have to bring everything in by helicopter then this would cost a small fortune, and also make it impossible to carry on bringing day trippers over in the summer months, which are still the main source of income for the island. I hope they can manage to raise sufficient funds. I will certainly be sending them what I can afford.

I have come to the conclusion then that Monday is not a good day to be ringing book stores, and from now on will use the day for other things - like contacting press, writing blog sites and other articles etc, not to mention doing the dreaded housework ! Today I have not had much luck either. Most of them seemed to be either not available or requested emails and stuff in the post. Various packages then have been sent to Northallerton, Northampton, Nottingham and Old Brompton Road. With a bit of luck I will have finished ringing all the Waterstones by the middle of October and can then get to work once again on Borders.

Talking of Borders, I see from the Bookseller website that they have been sold to Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson's Risk Capital Partners for £10 million with another £10 million deferred. The staff will no doubt breath a sign of relief, although there is talk of some store closures. The Beckton store in East London is to close at the beginning of October, which could explain why they did not get back to me regarding the information I sent through last month...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Exorcising a few ghosts

I think I have successfuly exorcised whatever ghosts I was supposed to be exorcising this weekend regarding my ex employers. It really is though a funny old world. Just when you think you have dealt with something, it comes back to whip you on the backside. I thought actually I had dealt with the whole Mr C thing years ago actually. I thought about them both from time to time, as one does, but not with anger or resentment, just curiosity really. I even saw Mr C Senior or his wife, B once or twice, the last time when they came through my check out at Sainsbury's, which must have been at least two years ago then, since I left there in August 2005. He did seem a bit vague then come to think of it.

I had a long chat this morning though with the mother in law (shop owners Mum) and managed to put a few ghosts to bed. I said to her how strange it was seeing them all again, and did she realise that I actually used to work for the C's. She didn't, as it was a long time ago, when her daughter and Mr C Junior had just met. They kept splitting up and getting back together again, but basically I think did love each other. It was just that they were a lot younger then without the same responsbilities. It is what a lot of young couples do.

Anyway, I won't say too much since this is their personal life that I am dealing with, but they have been married now for four years and have a thirteen year old daughter. She also has a fifteen year old daughter from her first husband. They have obviously been through a lot together then in that time, as couples do. That is normal and to be expected. Apparently though Mr C Senior has been quite ill in recent years (he is certainly not the fit and active mid to late 50's gentleman that I knew and worked for all those years), so he was not ignorng me, but probably genuinely didn't realise who I was.

That put things into perspective though, since I realised that I was staying angry with an old and not very well man, and well, it was all water under the bridge, and I really did have to move on and put this behind me. Stop seeing the daugher in law as well as being married to my ex boss (or the son of), but as an intelligent and charismatic young woman who runs a very successful business and should be applauded for that at having done so well, despite health problems of her own and a broken marriage. So that is what I endeavoured to do, and as a result, I actually had a really good day and a great laugh.

I didn't make much money during the weekend - I sold one new book and one old, plus three second hand books and two boxes of cards, but that is okay. The mind of course tries to tell you otherwise, by playing all these tricks, the usual 'people are spending money on other things, so why not my book', but well, I have been there and heard it all before. I am observing it now in fact, in the background, still trying to get my attention. It is okay though, for it is what it is, and it reminds me that I still have work and a lot more clearing to do. That though is life, and no one is perfect, if I was then what would be the point in my being here.

Tomorrow then I go to the Post Office and pay in the grand sum of £35.81 that I took during the two days, plus the float of course, and then I off to an interview in Reigate. This is actually a second interview for a company that produce shipping guides (information on ports etc) and I will be working three days a week, with a job sharer, updating changes to the guide ob a typesetting system. I am one of two people who has been called in to meet the boss and the job sharer, Ruth, so that means that I have a 50 percent chance of getting the job.

I do need a job now, since despite my successes with the book, royalties do not as yet pay the bills, plus the fact that I cannot live forever on the the funds that I have left from Mum's inheritance, well not at the rate that I am going anyway. Fingers (and everything else) then crossed (might be a bit difficult to type!).