Thursday, April 7, 2011

The elders teach, that our ancestors walk by our sides all the time. Mostly, they lend the whispered voice of wisdom and support. When those ancestors are not-healed, the whispers bring anger, fear, aggression. Those whispers creep insidiously into the nooks of our lives, changing who we are into something we no longer recognise. We look into the mirror and wonder 
who we have become. Why did we say this, or do that? 

This is the case for Carly, an uneventful twenty-something, who works in an office, plays softball and likes to drink beer with friends. Then she begins to find herself making comments that are out of character. Comments escalate, threatening her friendships and even her job.

Carly feels her hold on Life slipping away. She pulls further away from her friends and can no longer even go into the office to work without emotional incidents. Carly has no idea what is going on, as the world around her is unraveling. Finally, she is pushed to lengths she would never have imagined, which set her on a path she wouldn't have imagined only weeks before.

Teri spends most of her time, hanging out on a small farm in Vermont with 3 horses, a dog and a cat. Her latest addition is with 3 dairy goats who have been determined to eat the entire garden as often as possible!

Teri has a deep and strong connection to horses, having ridden and owned horses for over 30 years. She works mainly with thoroughbred horses, rescue and rehab, on her small farm in Vermont. Teri now teaches summer camps and holistic equitation. Her goal is to develop a "horsewise" program that teaches kids how to approach the world with relaxed confidence and respect, to recognize their strengths and acknowledge their weaknesses, and have compassion for all things. This is done through developing intuition and awareness that can be learned from working with horses.

When not working or writing, Teri is an avid and unrepentant science fiction junkie. She enjoys most outdoor activities, from hiking to skiing, to good company around a bonfire.
Teri combines her literature background with anthropology and M.ed, to construct
good solid writing and express information effectively. Teri is adept at creating meaningful and powerful learning experiences.

What will readers like about your book?

I think readers may like a totally different approach and perspective to how to perceive and resolve the supernatural. Most horror stories and speculative fiction make the unseen realms a terrifying place. They don't have to be that way. Those realms can and should be more like an amusement park ride. We agree to allow ourselves to be scared. That part we all have down. the difference is in the resolution. My stories bring an insight as to WHY invisible worlds bleed into our own, and what is going on, and how to step out of those energetic "traps." the point of scary stories should be to learn something about who we are, individually and culturally. But also, to grow a bit wiser as a result. Fear without resolution, creates a heightened sense of a dangerous world. It is not a bad world we live in. And we can and should be able to journey into the invisible worlds with that same informed curiosity rather than fear and lack of knowledge. these stories show us what that can look like.

I think they might also like a feature I am experimenting with- an organic writing process. Share your questions thoughts and ideas through one of my blogs. What did you like, what would you want to see more of, what questions do you have about a certain topic or character. I want to evolve these stories in response to what my readers are interested in, in relation to the subject at hand. This is the absolute benefit of the kindle and digital publishing process. No work has to ever be finished forever: writing can grow and evolve.

Why did you self publish?

I chose to self-publish for several reasons. There were 1-2 small independent publishers interested in my first book, Dancing in Your Bubble. I wrestled with the question of whether to self-publish for quite a while. But, during my submission process, I came to several conclusions. First, I did not want to relinquish creative or legal ownership of my work. I had heard stories from some other published authors, who ended up revising their titles enough to re-publish the work under a different title, just to reclaim it. Also, I got the very strong sense that publishing houses are not working on the author's behalf- only on the behalf of a very select few top-tier authors. I found they wanted me to produce all of the leg work, regarding demographics, target audiences, statistics etc. Based on these facts, and that the internet and POD has made it much easier to take control of the process from beginning through marketing; I felt I could manage this as successfully as any publishing house. And while I do not have the resources or the many years of experience with the professional aspects of publishing and marketing, I do have a greater interest and investment, and am therefore more likely to dig in deeply, follow through, and persevere- beyond a 1-3 year book contract obligation!

What is your writing process?
I am not sure I have a "writing process"... I am either fortunate, or unfortunate, to have the ability to write fairly well and fairly quickly- when I am in gear and focused. Particularly when an idea is fresh. Sometimes I hve to intentionally block out time and be meticulous and "professional." Most of the time, I try to let writing be an aspect of imagination and child-like play. When it is work, the creativity is not the same. ( btw- there is a great book called playing by heart- on this subject. great resource for anyone that does creative mediums:)

How long does it take you to write your first draft? 

Anywhere from a week, to a month: usually. I have one story I started 20 years ago.. it still has never gotten finished. Maybe one day I will return to it, I honestly don't know.
I wrote both of my recent short stories in under a week. I also wrote out, from original idea to edited copy- Dancing in Your Bubble, in a week. In the long run, this works for me; as I do better when an idea is fresh and new. Over time, I have a harder time re-finding a flow. Writing can be like remembering a dream- after a while, all the rich detail fades away, and only the main points remain. And it is all those details, complexity and depth that makes writing rich. I often try to let a work sit for a little bit, back burner. From that, I start to have other ideas, or details for clarification, emphasis or complexity. the story is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. I complete it, and then play with it like a rubics cube, turning different aspects this way or that way. the one focusing aspect for my stories though- is that they are an extension of much of the shamanic healing and teaching work I have done. Because of this, I have a very broad base to draw on, and due to the nature of working with invisible realms, the imaginative elements is intrinsically present:)

What inspired you to write this particular story?
The goal of my writing is to tell a story that illustrates some aspect of a shamanic, supernatural, indigenous concept that is relevant to modern culture and our daily lives. There is so much obsession with dark energy ( not the kind in physics, which is pretty cool:), but vampires, werewolves, ghosts and such. I find it very interesting and slightly disturbing. The interest reflects so many things about where we are at, as a culture and society. Indigenous work addresses how we heal those darker impulses. it doesn't think of the world in terms of good and evil, good and bad. Rather, are things in balance with each other. Energy like vampires- while interesting- is a reflection of an out of balance dynamic: things which live off of other things. Being haunted, doing drugs- which open portals to other dimensions in our energy fields.. there is SO much interest and experimentation with the invisible worlds/ occult, etc- but so little real solid information about WHAT those worlds are, what they reflect and represent, and how to interact with them with integrity.


How long could it be before Carly started to miss spending time with her friends, playing ball and hanging out with Tyler? Locking herself away from everyone she called her friends was not a solution to the problem. She was aware of that.

Wednesday morning, she went back into the doctors office. As Carly expected, the blood tests showed absolutely nothing. Doh! She didn't feel sick. She knew that much. After a brief conversation, where the doctor asked if she was sleeping okay, if there were any other changes in her life, her workplace, friends, sex life etc... the doctor seemed to conclude that this was emotional. The doctor wrote a prescription for an anti-depressant medication, and something for anxiety. Anxiety? What the hell was that supposed to mean? She was anxious BECAUSE she was flipping out.. what kind of medical degree did this doctor have, anyway?!

After leaving the doctor's office, Carly headed to her office. She had work to drop off, and she had felt relaxed enough that she thought she would work for the afternoon at the office. On her way in she stopped by to say hi to Dawn and Barb. She let them know she was feeling better. No, the doctor hadn't found anything wrong. Yes, they should go out after work for dinner and hang out.

Carly swung by the break room to grab come coffee and a bagel. One of the perks of working in a small local company was that the company was good to its employees. The owner was very considerate and believed in providing the little things that made the office a warmer, friendlier place. In terms of business-sense, it paid for itself. Everyone liked working there and was always willing to go the extra distance when needed. She saw Colin as she headed out, and apologised to him for being out of line. Then, coffee and bagel in hand, she headed back to her cubby/ office to work on promotional material for a downtown partnership event.

Within an hour, she found she was tapping her pencil. A sign of nominal annoyance and distraction. She found she got distracted every time someone walked by; she would look up, to see who it was, and felt annoyed. Somehow the simple act of walking by must be a deliberate and personal disruption. By lunchtime she was decidedly on edge. She grabbed lunch quickly and took it back to her cubicle, ostensibly to catch up on work. In reality, she just didn't want to be near anyone. They bugged her, and she didn't want to lose her temper at work again. As if by some unspoken agreement, everyone was giving her a very wide birth, walking on tiptoe. Everyone was on eggshells, more or less, trying to accommodate a friend that they sensed was going through something difficult. That was one of the other benefits of working for a small company. For good or bad, there were very few office secrets. Small space, people knew each other pretty well. What didn't carry over the cubicles, got passed around via the break room.

In the midst of Carly's outburst turned meltdown, Betsy happened to be passing by. Betsy was absolutely stunned. She took one look at Carly and knew this was not anything ordinary.

Carly, you are not okay. 'This'.. is not normal. You are not even sane right now. Are you in control at all?” She asked, without accusation, but with something akin to prescience. “You need to be out of here,” she asserted, taking Carly by the arm and leading her outside. By this point, Carly was so out of her element that she followed Betsy silently, disheveled, tears smudging her cheeks.

I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm really sorry, about all of this.” Tears began to leak their way out. Carly was not normally an overly emotional person. But the changes of the last few weeks had put her in totally foreign territory. The person she thought she was, didn't scream at friends, wasn't critical of people she worked with and didn't freak out over little things, either. She was emotionally exhausted and scared, at a deep level, simply because she couldn't understand what was making he behave so awfully.

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