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It Saves My Soul

Caroline Allen
Caroline Allen Author Interview

Water follows a young woman that has felt unfilled throughout her life and doesn’t understand why. Learning about her spiritual abilities puts her on a path that will help her find her true self and heal. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Water is the fourth novel in a five-book series called The Elemental Journey Series (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Ether). The first four books are published and are semi-autobiographical, loosely following my journey of growing up in Missouri, living abroad for a decade in Tokyo and London, and finally in WATER repatriating to the U.S. and coming to terms with my mysticism. WATER is based in Seattle and explores my years reading tarot there. The novel isn’t memoir, though, and as fiction, I created characters and scenes to illustrate my main theme of fully owning who you are. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” In reality and in the novel, I am a mystic. I had to learn to channel my visions and did so using the tool of tarot. During the time period of the novel, I read for hundreds of people in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. (Today, that number is in the thousands.) I love the idea of showing in the novel how tarot brings forward higher spiritual truths to apply to the daily tribulations all of us undergo. There are so many unseen forces at work directing our lives in a good way, even when times are difficult. My protagonist Pearl was a journalist and was being called to give it up to become a metaphysical healer. She doesn’t go willingly. Even though the path was difficult, it really was the universe guiding her to a better, more fulfilling life, and one where she could be of greater services to the world. This echoes my own path, and the path of many of the people I now coach as a book coach and a metaphysical healer. So, I wanted the novel to convey this — the path to spiritual awakening may be difficult but ultimately it’s fulfilling especially with the direction the world is going now with pandemics and climate change.

I fictionalized it for two reasons, to help the real people in my life have privacy, and to give me more freedom to explore my themes. I have an active imagination and characters and scenes come to me by the hundreds daily.

I am compelled to write to understand my own life, without writing I don’t know where I’d be. It saves my soul. I hope my writing also informs, entertains and heals the reader.

What were some driving ideals behind Pearl’s character development?

I wanted to show, really show, how much despair we suffer when we don’t accept who we truly are. I show step by step my protagonist coming out of that despair into the light. I demonstrate the resistance and the difficulties involved with being profoundly alternative in mainstream society. I hope I show how owning our power transforms our lives and the lives of others. Pearl, my protagonist, owns her mysticism and takes her second sight — a gift that would have historically gotten her persecuted — and turns it around to help heal herself and others.

I didn’t want to pull the punches on how she resists her path. So, I have Pearl reject everything she builds again and again (this actually happens throughout the series). I wanted to show how long and arduous this path to finding purpose really is.

Gem, her nextdoor neighbor, is a radical on-the-edge artist who helps Pearl accept her radical self. I’m interested in developing characters who don’t fit into the mainstream. I’m interested in a mainstream that is crumbling, and how outsiders might be the wisest people of all.

What are some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Self-acceptance and self-love are the primary themes. As a coach for nearly 30 years now, I’ve found the single biggest stumbling block people have is that they simply don’t want to accept who and what they truly are. The ego drives them to be what society defines as successful, instead of what their soul is calling them to do. This is my life’s work — through writing, visual art (I’m also a visual artist), and coaching, I assist people in owning, living, and loving their authentic selves. It can be a long journey.

To me, the diversity of the human soul is like a tropical rainforest. Each of us is a unique and wild entity in this vast forest of the human experience, and we’re losing that diversity. Our eccentric alternative selves are needed now more than ever. Our creative cores are necessary so that we can come up with radical solutions to today’s problems.

Mysticism is another theme. I wanted to show how the mystical works for those many people who are unfamiliar with it or scared of it. Throughout religious traditions, there have been famous mystics. A mystic is simply someone who has a direct channel to the divine. I wanted to demystify mysticism in WATER.

Water also plays as a theme as the title of the book suggests. Set in the Pacific Northwest, rain and bodies of water permeate the book. More importantly, I’m interested in the notion of water in Jungian psychology. To Jung, water represents the depths of our untapped subconscious. How can we deep dive into our souls and stop skipping the rock over the surface of our lives? That is a profound theme in my work.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on three books now.

ETHER is the fifth book in the Elemental Journey Series. It’s actually a memoir. I’m calling the entire series “Four novels and a memoir.” I was called so strongly to go from semi-autobiographical writing to direct autobiography in this final book in the series. I write in my yurt studio in the woods, and the work is exploding. ETHER explores my further awakening as a healer, my veganism, and my coming full circle back to the earth when I gave up living in cities and moved back to nature. I now live on many acres in the woods in Oregon (after decades living in Tokyo, London, Seattle, and Boston). The memoir process is quite a bit different than writing a novel. As a book coach over the past 20 years, I’ve mentored lots of memoirists, but this is my first time writing the genre. I’m having profound epiphanies and just loving the process. ETHER will be available in 2024.

BLUE is a middle grade novel about a mystical 11-year-old girl named Maisie-Grace whose best friend is an old growth Douglas Fir named Blue. The characters include a Japanese American girl in a wheelchair named Jack who’s an artist, and Macon, a farm girl who’s bullied. The three girls come together to try to save Blue and the forest. This novel is finished and I’m shopping it around to publishers now.

And finally, I’m working on RED, a young adult novel that follows Maisie-Grace, Jack, and Macon as they become teenagers. Maise-Grace loses her magic and becomes embittered. Slowly, she finds her spirit back again through a horse named Red. This is slated for completion in three years.

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Winner of the 2021 Independent Publishers’ Gold Medal for Visionary Fiction. Pearl Swinton is drowning in a dark night of the soul. In the depths, she hears a cry to purpose, but to what? A former journalist who has spent years trying to outrun her psychic visions, Pearl meets a mentor in an urban mystic named Rayne, who introduces her to the concept of the Divine Feminine and sets her afloat on the turbulent waters of healing and self-acceptance. On a spiritual journey, Pearl finds herself navigating Seattle’s metaphysical scene, studying tarot, shamanism, and past-life regression. As a journalist, she gave voice to the voiceless, and in the transformative journey she’s now on, she is being asked to find her own voice. Accepting her new mystical calling finds her at the helm of a rickety folding table in the back of a bookstore reading tarot for the public. Daily she dives deep into the psyches of many, finding inside each person a lushness and a rootlessness, a poetry and a thirst. Still Pearl resists this life. Still she runs away. It will take a national tragedy to break through the walls of her resistance and show Pearl how desperately the world needs women to step into her power, to own the divinity of their feminine voices.

WATER

Water by Caroline Allen takes readers on a spiritual journey following a journalist named Pearl, who has worked jobs in America and Europe. She discovers mysticism when she meets a medium as a way to retake control of her life. Pearl explores the abuse she endured from her parents, nuns in the Catholic school and her nonchalant boyfriends. She fights to find her purpose in life. She is supported by her close friends and spirit guides who advise her on decision-making about career and love life. She becomes a Reiki healer, tarot card reader, dream interpreter and adds more spiritual skills to her bucket of metaphysical abilities.

Water, while a work of fiction, educates readers about various spiritual and metaphysical practices, and shares illuminating experiences, all from a medium’s point of view. From this captivating novel, readers will understand why people choose to embrace their psychic abilities and learn about their grounding principles in communing with the spirits. One of the primary lessons learned is that psychics are averse to drugs, alcohol, violence, abuse, and other forms of negativity. It is for this reason that psychics interpret dreams and act as healers; they have a deep sense of needing to help others. What makes the plot of this intriguing novel interesting and immersive, is how well the characters are created. They are well defined and their experiences are vividly described. Reading this absorbing story will transport readers into the often misunderstood world of psychics.

Author Caroline Allen uses strong symbolism when describing Pearl’s dreams and possessive visions, and premonitions. Flashbacks are used in Peals journalism writing, keeping the plot unpredictable and engaging. It’s impressive to see how she meshes themes of abuse, religion, divinity, career, poverty community, and relationships into a spellbinding but cohesive story. This hodgepodge of themes helps the reader understand the chaotic life that Pearl is living and why she is determined to find peace, even if it means leaving a job she is successful at.

Water by Caroline Allen is a riveting novel that will resonate with readers who are interested in mysticism and spiritually. It will also appeal to readers of women’s fiction and those that have a curiosity about divination and philosophy.

Pages: 414 | ASIN : B08HY1VMY7

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The Ocean Seeks My Sorrow As Its Water

Poetry movie by Gloria Gonsalves

www.gloria-gonsalves

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The Book of Self and How it Interrelates

Have you ever met a person for the first time and upon shaking hands experience a sort of electrical shock? Ever been inexplicably drawn to a particular person or animal? Energy is the chain that connects humans to the planet, heavens, animals, plants and other humans. By sharing the earth, energy is transferred through earth’s beings. Energy is the life force of all things. Water is energy. Water can exist in many different forms, which makes it the best conductor of energy. Water is quintessential to life. Without water, man surely will, for lack of a better word, wither. In the absence of water, plants die, animals perish and air becomes ‘unbreathable’. Water keeps the earth going.

The earth has layers; lithosphere, asthenosphere, upper mantle, lower mantle, outer core and inner core. The inner core is also referred to as the solar plexus, the hot centre of the earth. These layers vary in energy frequencies. Just like the earth, humans also have layers. Layers whose energy levels also vary. The energy that surrounds a person is known as aura. Aura is a worldly womb. The strength of this aura is determined by the mind. One’s thoughts can affect and direct their energy. The earth’s energy field protects it from cosmic disasters and solar flares. By the same principle, a weak aura leaves room for unhappiness and attacks on self. Based on the energy running through a person, they can be completely attuned to the cosmos or in utter incongruence. All these frequencies travel up the body to congregate and project like a beam through the third eye. This is a spot between the eyebrows. What importance is this information to human beings? How does knowing about energy and aura beneficial to the human race?

The Book of Self: A Thesis on Energy and How It Interrelates urges on the importance of following one’s intuition. Intuition is the natural Wi-Fi allowing communication between the mind and the universe to make accurate predictions. Floyd Williams also introduces the idea of sound and color being a language. The seven colors of the rainbow are ingrained in the threads of human psychological make-up. In his opinion, these colors should be integrated in everyday life as much as possible. The author reveals the secret to freeing one’s mind. A clear understanding of energy is essential in the quest to find true selves. A man’s true potential and power lies in their ability to let their mind run free and unencumbered. This book gives a prelude to this journey. The information in this book is a prerequisite in the study of life.

This book uses easily understandable illustrations to unravel the answers to life’s questions. The author properly illustrates how to properly treat life as the gift it is. In Floyd’s terms, “Life is the gift, everything else is a blessing”. The reader’s relationship with self and the earth will be enhanced upon understanding the information in this book.

Pages: 34 | ISBN: 1973368846

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Death by the Jaguar

Death by the Jaguar

Sudden and violent loss is the introduction to this story, a war veteran and his family fall victim to a tragic and yet seemingly deliberate attempt on their lives. Our main character survives, along with the family dog, but we quickly learn the fate of his wife and son was far more grisly. When local law enforcement fail to provide the answers he seeks, our war veteran takes matters into his own hands. Answers alone will not right this; we follow the recently widowed down the rabbit hole of his own thirst for revenge, strongly driven in his pursuit.

Death by the Jaguar piqued my interest right away, a personal fan of sailing and being on the water, and I definitely enjoyed how often it returned to that setting. Either James Ruby is experienced himself or did his research, as his attention to detail regarding many basic mechanics and proper names surrounding the handling of water craft was on point. His technical skill as a writer shined through once more in regards to setting the scene. Ruby paints a picture well, giving enough focus on the characters surroundings to immerse the reader without putting too much weight in to detail. One aspect that continuously distracted me was his over use of commas. The flow of the story remained choppy throughout, thoughts consistently broken up too much by the trip of a comma.

I feel Ruby did a solid job portraying the scattered and distracted mindset of the main character, writing his portions of the story from a first person point of view. Consistently being pulled into the memories of a war veteran while he doggedly pursues justice for his family shows a glimpse of what it is like living with PTSD. I was a little bit back and forth on how I felt overall about just how quickly he gained his thirst for revenge, with little to no mourning and not even attending the funeral. However, I still felt he wrote this broken character with fair knowledge of human psychology. One thing that caught my attention was that we never seem to catch the name of our main character. I could be wrong and just missed it, but I personally find myself relating to a character better when I at least know their name.

Another issue was the repetitive interactions of Sullivan, an arrogant Chief of the local law. It seemed that with every interaction there was so much focus on this characters need to assert his station of power, his need for it to be recognized. The story itself left me wanting; the entire tale is a build up of vengeful actions, but in many respects it lacks the expected action factor, making it somewhat difficult to stay interested.

I was impressed with James Ruby’s ability to set the scene and draw the reader in, as well as his attention to detail regarding areas that the common person wouldn’t be too educated in.

Pages: 291 | ASIN: B0755JWFNR

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