Musings

Thank you.

The image above shows just how far of a reach this blog has journeyed. At least one person in each of the yellow and red nations has visited me here online.

This never ceases to humble me.

I can’t thank you enough, each of you, for taking time to read one or more of my blog posts. You are the reason I do this. Thank you again.

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Those Dark Moments, and the Breath of Light

Dark moments.

Everyone has them, some more than others. While there are those who may be in the midst of one right now, there are others who may be emerging.

No matter what, we all have those dark moments in our spiritual and emotional lives.

How do we cope? We all look outside for answers.

Which book to read?

What podcast to listen to?

Who is the best guru?

While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things, the truth of the matter is simple.

Sometimes, we each need to stop, silence ourselves, and look within.

Most people take breathing for granted. However, when stress and worry, depression and doubt, rear their ugly heads, we begin to breathe a bit less deeply. Our entire being suffers because of it.

Breath is life. Breath is love.

That said, the darkest times in my personal life have taught me to use my breath to find a solid space within where I can sit and look at the things that might be bothering me. Usually they are things of which I’m not immediately conscious.

Sounds a bit too simplistic, maybe, but it is a very important thing to make time to inquire within the self. This is especially true during those times when it seems like the sun will never shine upon us again.

Without going into a long, detailed description of how to reach that place within, I will share a simple way I use to focus my attention on my inner self and find that place inside where the darkness is brooding.

Take a moment to get comfortable. Close your eyes. Take three deep breaths, holding each one for as long as possible. Expel the breath slowly.

On the first breath, imagine the light of the universe entering the dark spaces within. Breathe out as much darkness as you can. Sense the burden of that heavy emotion lifting.

On the second breath, imagine more light sweeping into the deepest recesses of your soul. As you hold your breath, see the light filling every corner of your Inner Room. Expel any remaining darkness and hold the emptiness until you simply must take a breath.

This emptiness is the entirety of the Void.

It is the essence and origin of Who You Are.

You are the Universe. Allow that truth to sink into every molecule of your body.

On the third breath, you should feel lighter. Buoyant. Simply breathe in as deeply as you are able, clear your mind of thought, and hold that breath as long as possible. Focus on the light within.

Expel the breath slowly. Open your eyes. If you need to take more breaths, do so. Hold each consecutive breath a little longer than the first. Expel the breath slowly. Hold the resulting emptiness until your lungs demand more oxygen.

By breathing deep, we draw life-giving oxygen deep into our core. And this life-giving breath will heal and nurture you on every level of being.

May peace be in your soul.

Photo credit: Pinterest

That Time When a Rock Star Inspired the Creation of a Character

It was one of those moments I will never forget.

Mr. LaVeaux and I were watching Led Zeppelin’s “Celebration Day” for the first time in December of 2012.

Holy crap, this band.

THIS BAND.

I’d grown up listening to this music but I’d never really seen the band perform before…not until we put the “Celebration Day” DVD on to play.

At this point in time, I’d been working on my first novel and needed a love interest for the book’s protagonist.

Cue Jimmy Page.

What better choice than an elegant, older man with style and English swagger to woo my heroine on the haunted, historic streets of Savannah, Georgia?

Thank you, Jimmy Page. You inspired the character Nigel Blackmore in my novel, Velvet, and all these years later I still think you are amazing.

The point of this short post? Never overlook anything in life. Most anything can be an inspiration for you. Whether you are a writer, artist, poet, chef, sculptor, dancer, musician…keep your eyes and ears open.

You just never know.

Photo credit: jimmypage.co.uk

The Urge to Write: Finding the Time

If you write for a living or – like I do – as a hobby, do you often find yourself struggling to fit in the time? I do, and it can be quite frustrating.

Working a full time job takes most of a person’s energy. It’s so easy to come home from a long day at work and veg out in front of the television or any number of little electronic screens. So many days, the Muse will nudge me to write a little. Just a little. But my body and my spirit do not want to budge.

How do I deal with the urge to write in the midst of exhaustion?

It’s not always an easy thing to answer.

Lately, I have had three novels stewing and brewing in the back of my consciousness. These are stories I’ve planned to write for a very long time. One of them came to me in a dream last year. The others are from ideas conjured up in my head back about 25 years ago.

The problem I’ve had, it seems, is that I have no desire to sit in front of a computer after working in front of one for eight hours a day.

So, instead of writing, I’ve spent a good deal of my time recently reading books by other novelists. Some are classic, some are contemporary, but all are well-written stories that have captured my imagination. They gave me a spark and have inspired me to put something down on paper.

Anything.

So, just last night, I did that very thing.

After my shower, I grabbed a notebook and pen and started scripting out the plot of the dream story.

(It has a title, “Beyond the Blue,” and should be out by the end of the year if all goes well.)

Surprisingly, the fifteen minutes I carved out of my before-bedtime hour yielded a wealth of material from which to work. My scribbles started with one stumbling block after another, blocks I had not noticed until last night.

Questions started forming in my mind:

  1. What is the plot of the book?
  2. You know the dream you had. How are you going to expound on this?
  3. Who are your characters?
  4. You have your protagonist fully fleshed out. Who is the antagonist?

These are questions I had yet to answer. The information flowed from the pen and in a short time I had four handwritten sheets of paper.

Afterward, I laid my head down on the pillow and turned out the light. I felt in some way lighter and focused. Sleep came easy.

I knew I was on my way with this new book.

When I was in the process of writing Velvet, weeks went by where not one word was written. I’d hit the proverbial “wall.” No way out, no idea where to go next. And it was during those times I would read books. Somehow, the act of reading another’s words helped open up my storyline and give me the clarity I’d been seeking.

When you are too close to your project, or you feel in some way unable to write, try reading a book. Anything, fiction or nonfiction, seems to help me get my creative juices flowing. Maybe it will work for you, too.

How do you find time, or make the time, to write? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Photo credit: SelfPublish StreetLib

Read the First Chapters for Free at BookDaily

Curious about my books but haven’t read them yet? Hop on over to BookDaily and read the first chapters of both of my books for free.

Click here for more info. Thanks for visiting me at Echo LaVeaux on BookDaily.

Happy reading!

When You Blog, You Touch the World

 

Today I wandered around my blog and checked the stats page. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what countries were represented by my readership since I launched this blog several years ago.

I was taken aback when I discovered the above image.

This is a visual representation of the scope of my reach.

It took me a moment to wrap my head around the fact that at least one person in each of the shaded nations has read at least one of my blog posts over the years.

That’s a whole lot of countries represented. A whole lot of diverse readers who took the time to check out my blog.

Talk about humbling.

Thank you to everyone who has stumbled upon this little place on the web. It is my hope that you enjoy what you find and are able to take something away from here to benefit your lives.

You have benefited me by being here, and I thank you for that.

Photo screenshot from echolaveaux.com

Hard to Believe it’s Been a Year

Exactly one year ago, I gave Velvet a hug, kissed her on the cheek and sent her out into the universe to be found and embraced by others. That is a bit hard for me to believe. Wow, time does fly fast.

One full year ago, I published my first novel, a project that took three full years to create, write and edit. It is a book of fiction based on my past and a labor of love. My goal in writing is to offer light entertainment for the reader and am grateful for those who choose to read it. I hope that in some way it gives the reader a refreshing break from reality.

Back in April of 2013, I sat on the deck with Mr. LaVeaux and contemplated writing a novel. I asked him what he thought a good setting would be, and immediately he suggested Savannah, Georgia. Of course, I thought. What better place than the city we consider to be our second home.

In Velvet, a lonely divorcee moves from Atlanta to Savannah to start her life anew. She rediscovers old friends, falls into a dark and exciting underground culture, and meets an unlikely mate…all within the historic district of Georgia’s oldest and most haunted city. It is a bit of a love story woven with magical elements, and it is loosely based on my personal life.

The story wrote itself, and over the course of three years it evolved into something that I felt proud to share with the world.

Of course, fiction is just that…fiction…and some people may not enjoy a tale created in the imagination of another. However, for those who do enjoy reading a story, I did my best to create a book worthy of one’s time.

For those who have read Velvet, thank you. For those who haven’t and may be interested, it is free for KindleUnlimited customers at this link here.

If you have written and self-published a novel, please share your link. I would love to see what you have been working on and where your imagination has taken you.

Photo by Echo LaVeaux

Imagine an Open Mind

Yoko Ono is important.

Photo credit: Downtown Music Publishing

Echo LaVeaux at Kindle

Hello friends and fellow readers! Check out my author page where you can find my novel “Velvet” as well as my little “Book of the Moon.” Pick up a book or two while you̵…

Source: Echo LaVeaux at Kindle

Echo LaVeaux at Kindle

Hello friends and fellow readers! Check out my author page where you can find my novel “Velvet” as well as my little “Book of the Moon.” Pick up a book or two while you’re at it.

KindleUnlimited customers will find both books are available online for FREE!

Autographed copies of the paperback versions are available as well. Contact me at echo.laveaux@yahoo.com for more information.

Thank you for your support!