Build Your Own Author Website – Step 3: Domain Name

Build Your Own Author Website: Step ThreeWhen you hear the word “domain,” you likely think of something you own or master like an estate or territory.

In most cases, your domain amounts to your home, to which you attach a name and address so that people can locate you.

When it comes to your website, you, too, need to claim ownership and mastery by giving your “domain” a name and unique address.

In other words, you need to purchase and register the DNS (domain name) portion of a URL (uniform resource locator) that people can type into their browser to get to your website. The URL is the full address to your webpage, which usually starts with http:// followed by www. and your domain name.

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Visionary Fiction and Transhumanism, Part 3

If, to paraphrase Joni Mitchell’s lyrics in “Woodstock,” we are indeed stardust and golden, we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden. When faced with paradox, which our condition inherently is, we humans tend to jump from one extreme to the other. Only after we get dizzy enough from swinging between either/or does it occur to us try both/and. Continue reading

Build Your Own Author Website – Step Two

Building Your Own Author WebsiteIf you’re still with me after Build Your Own Author WebsiteStep One, I assume you agree that, as an author, you need a marketing hub open twenty-four seven as the foundation for your marketing platform.

With an author website as your base, you can incorporate all the strategies available to you as an Internet marketer, such as social media, blogging, and video.

At this point you could hire a website developer to do the job for you, as I initially did—only to regret it later.

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Visionary Fiction and Transhumanism, Part 2

We ended Part 1 stuck between the opposites of Matter, represented by the infernal machines, and Spirit, as epitomized by abstract ideals. Transhumanism, by definition, seems positioned in the former category, the Dalai Lama’s “half machine,” and our visionary viewpoint in the latter, what His Holiness calls “a stream of consciousness.” That these two elements, one inanimate and the other animate, might join in some unnatural marriage to rival or supplant the current human model was seen, to put it kindly, as far out. Continue reading

Build Your Own Author Website – Step One

Build Your Own WebsiteWhen I was asked to speak at the California Writer’s Club/Sacramento  last year about how I’d built my website and decided on my platform and marketing strategy, my first thought was: Hold it! You’re talking to a technological greenhorn here—Miss trial and error, Miss whoops that didn’t work out too well, Miss if you don’t at first succeed, try, try again.

In other words, I’m hardly qualified.

But then I thought: Maybe that’s the point.

It’s no secret that many writers take on website building and marketing strategy because they must, not because they have a talent for it or even remotely want to. So there was a strong possibility that many of the writers attending the CWC meeting would be favorable to hearing how an amateur managed to accomplish a task that at first seemed overwhelming.

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Visionary Fiction and Transhumanism, Part 1

I can’t totally rule out the possibility that, if all the external conditions and the karmic action were there, a stream of consciousness might actually enter a computer. –His Holiness, the Dalai Lama
This startling statement made by the renowned leader of Tibetan Buddhism knocked me off kilter on first reading it. It had a similar effect on the renowned physicist who reported it.
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What Is Women’s Visionary Fiction?  Part I – Guest Post By Mary Mackey

Women’s Visionary Fiction is not a new type of Visionary Fiction. It has been around for decades if not centuries. In fact, for all of recorded history (and thousands of years before writing existed) women have been associated with visions, mystical experiences, spiritual powers, magic, the ability to bring new life into the world, heal the sick, and speak to the dead.

When women authors finally cracked the Paper Ceiling of Publishing in the early 1970’s, they began to draw on their visionary heritage as they struggled for cultural recognition and spiritual identity.

The best of Women’s Visionary Fiction is not preachy or didactic. Mystical, flowing, beautifully crafted, it draws on folk traditions and esoteric sources as it creates new worlds, explores the after-life, and evokes other states of consciousness and other realities. Yet many of the early examples, fine they are, still remain unknown except to a small audience of readers.

Cover of Waterlilly by Ella Deloria

For example, in 1940, Native American author Ella Deloria wrote Waterlilly, a visionary novel that takes as its subject Lakota (Sioux) culture before the Lakota had contact with Europeans. This fascinating recreation of Lakota rituals, culture, and spiritual life, was not published until 1988, nearly twenty years after Deloria’s death.

In the past half century, women have written visionary fiction about witches, midwives, herbal healers, priestesses, goddesses, fairies, oracles, and angels. In fact, sometimes the authors themselves have been witches, midwives, herbal healers, and priestesses. Take for example Starhawk, San Francisco’s most famous witch. Her novel The Fifth Sacred Thing (Bantam, 1993), is a post-apocalyptic vision of the … Continue reading

The Visionary Fiction Revolution – And How Words Can Change the World Part 2 Guest post by Rory Mackay

(Read Part 1 of Rory Mackey’s The Visionary Fiction Revolution here)

We tell stories for a reason 

Mythology, which is storytelling at its most essential level, was not purposeless. It played an important role in shaping and sustaining society and, according to Campbell, had four primary functions. The first was to open the eyes of the individual and awaken a sense of awe, humility and wonder about the very nature of existence; to become aware of an interplay of tangible physical and elusive metaphysical realms.

The second function was cosmological; using stories and metaphor to help people understand the universe around them, making sense of time, space and biology. On a sociological level, mythology was also used as a means of forming and maintaining social connections. Having a shared narrative enabled tribes to stick together, supporting the social order and maintaining customs, beliefs and social norms.

On a more personal level, the tribe’s stories provided signposts for navigating life, sometimes reflected in ritual and rites of passage. The individual was not left to muddle through life without guidance. The epic tales of mythology were used as metaphors for dealing with the challenges and conflicts we face along life’s journey. These stories, properly understood, contained great wisdom and guidance.

Mythological tales were reflections of the human psyche and the conflicts and desires that drive it. The catastrophic battles between heroes and demons, the sacrifices, betrayals, jealously and love were reflections of the forces powering the human mind and heart. Furthermore, as stated before, Campbell believed that they could all be reduced to the same basic pattern, the same essential story: a story of trial, transcendence, rebirth and redemption. It was always a story of overcoming great adversity and conflict and finding that most cherished of all things, the true goal … Continue reading

The Visionary Fiction Revolution – And How Words Can Change the World, Part 1 – Guest post by Rory Mackay

It’s estimated that nearly 130 million books have been published in modern history. 28 million books are currently in print in English alone. When contemplating writing a book, I can’t help but reflect on these staggering statistics, as indeed I think all authors should. Does the world really need another book to add to those 130 million others? In what way is writing a book going to benefit the world and enhance the lives of its readers? Is there a reason for telling a new story – a need, and a purpose for doing so? If not, then why invest the substantial time and effort in writing a book? If it’s just to make money, then there are certainly easier and less labor intensive ways of doing so – particularly with the market as saturated as it is, with more books published than any time in history and an apparently downward trend in readership.

A changing landscape

The publishing industry is in the threshold of a transformation comparable to the advent of the Gutenberg print press over 500 years ago. The way we read is changing substantially, and the way writers release work is also changing. The advent of digital publishing has resulted in an explosion in the number of books being published. I’ve heard it said that we are experiencing an overproduction of books. The scarcer a commodity the more valuable it is, and indeed vice versa. There are more books to choose from than ever before, and to compete in this wild new literary world, authors and publishers must keep prices rock bottom and increase their output to compensate.

Our 21st century civilization is guilty of the crime of excess, if nothing else. In the current information age, we have more information than we’ll ever know what to do … Continue reading

The Scabbard and the Sword Part II – guest post by Marian A. Lee  

Part II: The Purer Archetype and the Warrior King

The second part of this blog explores the warrior king as the Jungian purer archetype with regard to the Qabalistic understanding of the scabbard and sword and its political application.

King_arthur__KarrMost of us know King Arthur as the courageous “once and future king” destined to unite Great Britain and establish the peaceful kingdom of Camelot by creating the Knights of the Round Table. However by examining his shallow understanding of the scabbard and sword, it is clear that he personifies the Jungian archetype of the Purer, and that this more than anything else shapes his destiny. The Purer is the quintessential “innocent” eternal male-child who acts in the world without thoughtful consideration often possessed of an early realization of deeper spiritual truths which are treated in a casual manner without mature judgment and value. Since Arthur chooses the importance of the sword over the scabbard, he acts like the quintessential Purer, unable to relate to the world with mature self-regulation. The Purer has an overly-developed fantasy life; layers of illusion cover the reality of his situation which is perhaps why he is unable to at first realize Morgan’s trickery in switching Excalibur and its scabbard for those of unequal value. According to Kime, the sword serves the psychological function as the “…main means of communication with the material world”. The end result is the misappropriation of the use of the sword.

The sacred task which Arthur must accomplish is to learn how to use the sword and more importantly when to use it. Discrimination comes with maturity, which the Purer never obtains. … Continue reading