June 26, 2013

Interview with Carla Woody

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Carla WoodyCarla Woody has been mentoring people toward conscious living for more than twenty years. In 1999 she established Kenosis LLC to serve human potential and support the vision: “One tribe, one world.” In 2007, she founded Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to help preserve indigenous wisdom ways. Carla is the author of Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness. She also writes articles related to personal growth, natural healing and advocacy of Native traditions, and is a fine artist. She makes her home near Prescott, Arizona.

Christine: How long have you been a writer?

Carla: I’ve been writing off and on since childhood. The first story I can remember writing was called The Empty-Treed Forest. Looking back, this was an environmental piece somewhat strange for a seven-year-old to produce. As a teenager I wrote bad protest poetry, and then set creative writing aside for a long time in favor of the academic reports and theses necessary to acquire degrees. In the early 1990s I picked up the pen again to start writing articles and books in earnest.

Christine: What types of writing do you do?

Carla: The themes have to do with spiritual evolution, natural healing, indigenous cultures, and advocacy related to Native wisdom traditions in danger of decimation. I cover these subjects in journal and magazine articles, as well as narrative nonfiction and fiction books.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Carla: I view my books and articles as vehicles for my lifework, a way folks can be introduced or as an adjunct to my programs. For more than twenty years I’ve been mentoring people toward conscious living. In 1999 I founded Kenosis LLC to support human potential through travel journeys working with Native spiritual leaders and healers in Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and the USA, and mentoring programs integrating Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and sacred world traditions. Then in 2007 I established Kenosis Spirit Keepers, its 501(c)3 nonprofit extension, to help preserve indigenous lifeways through various projects.

Christine: What is your writing experience?

Carla: I have a passion for expression. That’s why I find it so important to, as much as possible, integrate some form of it into my everyday life and live through deeply held values. There were too many years I didn’t do that and felt cut off, which—of course—is how I came to do the work I do with others. In particular, writing and artwork are how I work things out internally and keep the creative juices flowing.

Christine: What have you published recently?

Portals to the Vision SerpentCarla: Portals to the Vision Serpent was just released on June 17, 2013. It’s a coming-of-age novel—a Hero’s Journey—that takes the reader into the realms of shamanism and the Maya world as a young man searches for his lineage and missing father. Interwoven are the struggles of indigenous peoples to preserve their way of life and tragedies that often come from misunderstandings. It’s basically a book about spiritual healing. Readers are likely to see themselves in various ways, the same as reported to me from readers of my nonfiction books Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage (2004) and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness (2000).

My article The Last Spirit Keeper was published in Sacred Fire Magazine in November 2012, Issue 16, about the last Lacandón Maya elder in the rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico still maintaining his traditions against great pressure. My article Acts of Creation was just accepted by Stone Voices, a spiritually oriented, literary arts journal, no date on publication yet.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

Carla: I’m definitely a morning person and have a ritual that sets my day. I usually get up before dawn, feed the cats, have a cup of coffee, and meditate for 20-30 minutes. I’ve been doing it, in that order, for nearly thirty years. Then I start writing if I have a project, or other work. Several years ago I put Joseph Campbell’s writing practice in place: at least three hours a day. It became automatic, and often the time extends itself without me noticing.

Christine: What interests you about writing fiction?

Carla: I’m most interested in teaching stories. The reader learns or resolves something themselves through identifying with different characters, in the course of being entertained. As the writer, the same is true for me. The process is magical to me. It’s like a movie unfolds in front of me, and I just write it down. It’s particularly surprising when a new character appears to take me somewhere I hadn’t imagined.

Christine: How do you come up with an idea for a new novel?

Carla: The ideas present themselves. It may be something I want to explore myself, or a point I want to get across. Right now I’ve got two different ideas vying for my attention, both well developed. I’m not yet sure which one will win out to focus on first. It would be great to be able to split myself in two!

Christine: Are you traditionally published or self-published? Why did you choose that path?

Carla: I’ve published articles through professional journals and magazines since the early 1990s. When it came to my books, I specifically chose to self-publish through Kenosis Press, my own small press, for these important reasons: 1) they never go out of print; 2) the publishing process is truncated; 3) I have control over the content. Since my books are vehicles for my work, I continue to feel this is important.

Christine: Where can we find your books and websites?

Carla: Find Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark, and Calling Our Spirits Home on Amazon, or order through local bookstores.

Please note that I donate 10% of profits from book sales to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the 501(c)3 nonprofit I founded to help us with our projects to preserve Native traditions.

You’re invited to visit Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers to learn more about offerings and sign up for free material and the Kenosis Inspirations ezine. Follow my blog The Lifepath Dialogues.

Christine: Thanks so much for joining us today, Carla. Your work and your books sound so interesting. Best of luck with your articles and books.

May 20, 2013

Great Blog Hop of 2013

Posted in Blog Hop tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Hello everyone,

For a little fun today, I’m participating in a blog hop, which is an interview with myself about my soon-to-be-published book and some fun trivia about myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Book cover image1. Tell us a little bit about the book you’re promoting.

I’m in the editing stage of my memoir – Chronicles of a Troubled Girl. It is a collection of all of my personal journal entries from childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, from the ages of nine to thirty. That was a time in my life when I experienced a lot of changes – internally and in my environment. It reveals my thoughts, emotions, experiences, dreams, and wishes as an independent girl living a challenging life, while learning and growing along the way.

2. How did you come up with the idea for this book?

A friend mentioned to me that she was going to type up her journals. When I thought about what I had written in my journals, I thought it was a great idea to create a book out of them.

3. What can you tell us about your main characters?

I’m the main character in my book. In the beginning, I’m an innocent, carefree girl. But the story quickly takes a turn for the worst. I begin rebelling against my parents and I become angry and depressed. Eventually I move out, but then I find myself in another strict household that leads me to rebel even more. I experience mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, and homelessness. Will things get better for me? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

4. What actors or actresses would play your characters if your book was made into a movie?

Lindsay Lohan would be a good fit for the part of myself, if the book was made into a movie, because she is troubled and rebellious and has addictions, but she’s really a good person deep down.

5. Give us a brief synopsis of your book.

Chronicles of a Troubled Girl is the story of a good girl with a strict upbringing that eventually leads her to rebel and experience addictions, mental illness, an eating disorder, and homelessness as she tries to find herself and learn what life is really about.

6. If you could live anywhere, where would you rather live?

A. Mountains
B. Beach
C. Country XX (I grew up in the country. I didn’t like it then, but I like it now. Ironically, I live in the city now, but I really enjoy the peace of the country.)

7. Which do you prefer?

A. Salty foods
B. Sweets
C. Both XX (Because each taste brings out the taste of the other.)

8. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?

A laptop.

9. Choose one of these books:

A. Pride and Prejudice
B. Alex Cross
C. Twilight XX
D. Snow White and the Huntsman
E. The Shining

10. Which word most suits you?

A. Crazy
B. Funny
C. Carefree
D. Studious XX (I love to learn!)
E. Anxious

11. Tell me something about yourself that might be funny to others (other than writing)?

My legs extend past the straight point of the knee (in other words, they straighten further than straight), and so do my fingers at the knuckles. Not really funny, but weird :)

12. Which group of words best explain what you are like?

A. Fly by the seat of your pants
B. Drama queen
C. Don’t sweat the small stuff XX
D. Footloose and fancy free
E. Too tightly wound

I enjoyed the interview! Thanks for joining me today to learn more about me and my soon-to-be-released book. Please check out these other wonderful authors who are a part of this blog hop:

Katie McKnight- www.writergirlkatie.wordpress.com
Bonnie D Tharp- www.bdtharp.com
Divon Delgado- www.divonville.com
Cinta García de la Rosa- www.authorsyouwanttoread.wordpress.com
Tracy Kauffman- www.tracykauffman.blogspot.com
Julianne Grider- www.jpgrider.com/jps-blog.html
Ruthie Derby- www.madisonpost.wordpress.com
Catalina Egan- www.4covert2overt.blogspot.com
Jack Strandburg- www.jstrandburg.wordpress.com
Kathryn Williams-Platt- www.kathrynwilliamsplatt.blogspot.com

Have a great day!

January 23, 2013

First draft of “Chronicles of a Troubled Girl” finished!

Posted in Books, Editing, Publishing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:57 am by Christine Rice

The day after my last post, which was about how I hadn’t worked on my manuscripts in a few months, I resumed working on my work-in-progress: Chronicles of a Troubled Girl. I wrote for one to two hours a day most days, and I’m happy to say that I finished the first draft the other day! It feels great to have completed the writing part of the book project.

The next step is to edit. Since it is a compilation of my journal entries from childhood to adulthood, and I want the book to be as accurate of the times as possible, I will not be doing a lot of editing. I will just review what I have written for spelling and grammar. Since I did that as I typed the journals, there will not be much editing to do. It will be a fairly quick review process and I will only need to go through the manuscript once, since I am also a professional editor.

Lately, I’ve been trying to spend less time on the computer since my body has been feeling stiff and uncomfortable when I sit for too long – due to previous leg injuries. But I’m sure I will begin editing soon. And since my last post motivated me to finish the first draft, I am hoping this post will inspire me to begin editing. I will just need to spend less time online each day so that I’ll be able to spend time editing the manuscript, and I’ll only be able to work on it for an hour at a time so that I can get up and stretch my legs.

I am looking forward to editing Chronicles of a Troubled Girl and moving on with the publishing process and getting it out to the public. I will not be doing a blog tour, since it is a very personal memoir. I prefer that people I know, and those I announce it to, will be the first to read it, and I will allow word-of-mouth to be the main method of marketing.

I hope you all have a joyous day. Happy writing and reading!

January 19, 2012

Books for writers and writing a book

Posted in Books, Writing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:50 am by Christine Rice

I’ve been reading the articles that are in the beginning of Writer’s Market. I got the 2012 Deluxe Edition because the website subscription that comes with it will be helpful, and I also couldn’t pass up the deal ($26.95 for the book and one-year subscription, while the subscription alone costs $39.99). The articles are helpful and current. Many seem “made” for me according to the place I am on my career path and in my writing endeavors.

Since I’m almost done reading the articles in Writer’s Market, I searched for my next book to read. I decided on a used copy of Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande. It’s an older book, published in 1934, but it’s fitting for my needs. From searching inside the book on Amazon.com, the book seems to be about the struggles writers go through in order to be writers, such as personality and lifestyle challenges. It has a section on developing a schedule of writing every day, which is exactly what I need to read about, as I’m writing a book and want to get in the habit of writing every day so that I will finish writing the book.

I’ve written in my book for the last two consecutive days and I’m proud of myself for it, but I need to keep it up. It’s mentally easier for me to keep writing if I write every day. I’ve had a lighter work schedule lately which is nice. Maybe I’ll try submitting book reviews to a local magazine, or query some of the journals from the Writer’s Market market listing.

I’m really happy to be a full-time writer and author. It’s the best thing in the world!