My blog began for several reasons. One of them being an attempt to find an outlet/balance for some of the abuse I was witnessing and experiencing. I seldom write on this topic any more, but when I come across a tidbit or insight that helps me, I like to pass it on.
Abusers do not use truth.
Abusers do not use facts.
What abusers do use is propaganda – an unrelenting, unremitting release of a message that may or may not have any basis in reality.
Inherent in this use of propaganda is the explicit command that you will believe this material,
despite any counter information, instincts, awareness or knowledge on your behalf.
Many of us enter conversations and interactions looking for common ground. We realize perceptions vary between individuals and thus, we may agree to disagree. We may not always be happy with one another but we can approach life with a “live and let live” approach.
This, of course, is not only foreign to a Narcissist/Sociopath, it completely grates on their nerves.
Narcissists/Sociopaths are not looking for common ground, they are looking to ground you down until you acquiesce and say they are “right”.
They do not share truth or facts or information- they pulverize you with their thoughts.
I picture a war plane flying over head, dropping one propaganda leaflet after another.
If the Narcissist/Sociopath has isolated you, you may not have other feedback on which to base your awareness. The German population in WWII thought they were winning the war, long past the point it was even slightly feasible due to the propaganda leaflets they received.
This propaganda-making also explains why Narcissists/Sociopaths can change course and reverse their message at a moment’s notice, while you suffer psychological whiplash trying to keep up. The message can change easily because it is all false propaganda anyway.
Truth and basic information mean nothing to a narcissist/sociopath. They are too busy metaphorically printing off their propaganda pages and spewing them out to the world.
If you are dealing with a Narcissist/Sociopath- realize what “information” you are really dealing with. You are not dealing with truth. You are not dealing with facts. You are dealing with an insane message in the form of propaganda.
No wonder, as the Narcissist/Sociopath has likely accused you, you have never “understood” what they are saying.
You have never understood it because it is all a made up lies, dropped into your life. Being inherently untrue, and thus un-real, there has been nothing of substance for you to understand.
As your instincts have tried to tell you- You have been right all along.
It’s funny the fantasies we can bring into certain endeavors. When my book was accepted by Createspace, I was ecstatic.
After the upload and information about when the book would be available, I was asked if I would like to submit my book to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
Oh heck yes! I am one woman who loves her Kindle.
I had researched enough to realize Createspace and KDP were separate entities (although both associated with Amazon). (I.e. just because you publish on Createspace, your book is not automatically just accepted into KDP and ready for Kindle. You actually create separate accounts and so on, but Createspace will “send” your book to KDP)
Once, I clicked “Yes”, I was taken to the KDP site, created a log-in, and my book from Createspace was listed there.
Wonderful! How easy was this going to be, I thought to myself, as clicked onto my book anxiously, so excited to get it listed for Kindles. (One of the things I really like about myself is my optimism, no matter how misguided it is at some moments.)
Then, I read the larger-than-fine print. I submitted my file through Createspace as a pdf. Not a problem, as pdf’s are great for moving a lot of information.
When I scrolled the list of accepted file formats for the Kindle, it began with a strong, encouraging statement that .DOC/.DOCX (MS Word) was the preferred format. What?
I had worked to create a good, stable pdf and now I had to go back to MS Word and a document with images??
(Note:KDP will accept pdf’s but they are not the preferred format. I can actually see why. PDF’s use some strange formats. IN addition, I had overlooked this, Kindles and other ereaders provide readers with options, such as changing font size and so on. It is very difficult for users to have this manipulation with a pdf. Although I was disappointed, I did understand this point.)
So, on to converting my Pdf back to MS Word.
Got the file converted and saw the option of previewing my book in the “Kindle Previewer” provided by KDP. I have to tell you – this is SO COOL. The previewer shows you how your book will look in Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite, ipad, iphone, landscape and portrait views.
For a minute I was so struck by the awesome-ness of this service I did not clearly register the horror-inducing display of my book on the Kindle Previewer. (THANK GOODNESS i HAD NOT HIT “PUBLISH” BEFORE DOING THIS STEP)
Going from PDF to MS Word for electronic purposes- how shall I put this- does not a pretty picture create when images, poems, etc are involved. The formatting signs between the two programs ended up creating some “wonky” formats.
My “pages” in the Kindle appeared as the following;
e” (page 1)
Spirit (page 2)
hin…” (page 3)
and so on. Did I mention- It was NOT pretty.
I ended up having to re-format the MS WORD document. In my mind MS WORD can be like the “helpful” child in the kitchen. Yes, if the child is “helping” you, you are getting some eggs beaten together and so on, but you really do not need the help. This is what MS WORD does. It tries to “help” you with auto-formatting, slightly altering spacing between letters as needed and so on.
You would never notice this on your MS Word document, put it on an ereader though and suddenly a new world opens to you (By the way, I now have a new level of understanding and patience when I come across a “typo” in a book on my Kindle. It is easy to overlook these formatting glitches.)
One way around these formatting issues is to choose the correct font. You need to select an “ereader friendly” font. This is key. The first font I chose had the ereader smashing together every “s” and “w” with the following letter. (You can find lists of the best fonts on various websites.)
Once I reformatted the book, I uploaded it again and used the Kindle Previewer to check everything out. It was fine, and I am so thankful the previewer was available.
I have to say other than the glitches with formatting, publishing through KDP was so very easy.
If you do create a book, please consider somehow getting it into electronic format.
The only other thing I had to do is to contact KDP (very easy) to have my print and Kindle versions linked on Amazon. Sometimes this happens automatically, for me it did not, but they corrected it within 24 hours.
May I recognize the Eternal Greatness within Me.
You are a manifestation of all that is right and glorious in this world.
Never once forget the Crown of Love and Hope You carry upon Your head.
The crown is Yours and You only must believe-
when I look at you and see-
how well you wear it.
…a place of love and Heart
our beautiful lights
This past weekend, we had a family dynamic that had me sliding into insane thinking.
I had asked my husband and stepkids to do something for me. I actually classified this as a “NEED” of mine. It was that important. And they failed to get this thing done.
And this is where it got frightening in a “what am I thinking?” aspect. When they did not complete this thing, here is where my mind went on its glorious arc of insane thinking:
I had the thought “Am I not lovable? Is there something wrong with me that someone does not want to do something important for me? Is there some type of defect I carry that someone who cares about me does not care enough to put my need first?” (Actually, the question was not “Is there a defect…” My mind assumed there was. The real question was: “What defect is there within me that make me unlovable?” )
Those of you who struggle with a sense of self will have no problem understanding what I am writing about. The old childhood fears has moved front and center to whack me upside the head with their whisper of “Kim, you simply are not lovable…enough….If you were, then these things would not happen to you.”
I could spend this blog psycho-analyzing this, but I prefer my art do it for me. And the image above is what came to me.
It represents in some weird way to me, a creation myth. (Yes, entire cultures are built around creation myths, and I think it is fine to sit in my office and come up with my own ).
Anyway, the world is built and supported by the bull’s horns. But the horns, to me, also look like a ship underneath a red moon (1st chakra, survival). IN the boat are 8 blue circles (blue= spiritual, 8 is a sacred number- 7 chakras plus the Divine. ) Ships with passengers are very common in creation myths and I liked the symbolism of building a complete life to travel across the horizons.
The sides of the bull’s heads are “fish” symbols. I was thinking of the symbol for Pisces, also associated with yin-yang.
The snake in the middle is kundalini energy, the energy of life.
Here is what I took from the image:
The bull is my gatekeeper- strong, solid, protective. It is balanced by the energy of Pisces. However, this balancing does not make it weak, it makes it stronger because it is balanced. The bull has no problem protecting and carrying my world (self) on its horns.
What the bull does, though, is decide what life energy (snake) gets to rise up to touch my life. In this picture, the snake is moving upward to touch the 8 circles of my life, but this is not always the case.
I GET TO DECIDE WHAT ENERGY to let into my life. The fact my husband and stepkids let me down is their energy not mine. And the bull knows this.
Most of us who have been deeply wounded know how sincerely difficult it is to be gatekeepers in our own lives. We let our defenses go years ago, and have been building them ever since.
I hope this image inspires you to protect that which is most dear to you- your sense of self.
The quote below appeared on a blog recently: I LOVE IT! Most of our neurotic behavior is due to avoidance of legitimate pain. – John Bradshaw
Some of us have lived in tremendous fear in our lives. Some of us still do.
I want to speak a little bit about what fear does to us and some images that may help you as they have helped me.
One things fear does is narrow our focus- completely- to ensure our survival.
Fear activates the sympathetic nervous systems (SNS). Now, the SNS is wonderful, awesome and a key component of survival. The SNS handles your “fight or flight” system. And it is designed to do one thing and one thing only to the best of its ability- keep you alive. Such a clear, bottom-line goal, and it will not deviate from it.
The SNS integrates with almost every system of the body. When it is activated, it is all systems go: Pupils dilate, HR increases, bronchioles dilates, blood sugar increases, blood flow to the digestive organs and kidneys lessen and so on.
There is no in-between state here. You don’t get to choose to dilate the pupils but not elevate the HR or blood sugar. Such options are removed.
Think about it- have you ever been frightened by something silly- a book falling off a table or something? What happens? Before you know it- you’re breathing heavy, your eyes are wide, you are pale for a moment and so on. Your SNS is doing its job.
But this single-pointed focus costs you. It does not deal with gray areas, states of in-between, or nuance. When it is “On” it is “On” full-force. So committed to its goal, it removes many options from the table.
The SNS and single-pointed focus is fine in survival situations, but what of “normal” life. Life is not meant to be lived in this state of activation, because what happens when you activate the SNS is that you lose many of your options. You don’t get to ebb and flow and adapt to life on varying levels. It is either all “on” or not.
And this is what I feel fear does to us symbolically. When we are in a fear-ful state, we do not see we are surrounded by options. Fear constricts us and our sense of choices. Options are removed to reduce everything to single-pointedness- survival. This is how I draw it.
You are the vesica pisces in the center (divine integration), but half the light/color options are removed. In fear, you only operate with a portion of your available options. The rest seems as if they are mentally removed into the darkness.
But, truly in life, we are surrounded by 360 degrees of light and options. I drew it this way:
It has a red spiral in the middle indicating generation and the 1st chakra (survival), spinning a person around so you can see all 360 degrees of potential that surround you in any moment.
I don’t know if these images help or not, but I have thought of them so many times during the past days, as I have whispered to myself “Kim, you always have options, all of them are available to you all of the time.” )
From my other blog, you know what I felt was key to move from idea to actually self-publishing. I want to talk a little bit then about the service I eventually chose.
Because my objectives were no upfront costs and to have my book on Amazon, I chose to use Amazon’s self-publishing service – Createspace.
Createspace does offer some pay services- cover design, formatting, etc. BUT you do not NEED to pay for any of these.
Because Createspace is set-up for authors to do everything on their own for free, there are many, many tutorials available on-line which will show you step-by-step the Createspace process.
Here are some basics about some of the FREE things I took advantage of.
ISBN and Listing on Amazon:
Createspace assigns you an ISBN! Yeah!! You do not have to pay for this If you want to sell your book through a bookstore or Amazon, you must have an ISBN. If you buy your own- one costs $125!
Once your book is done and finished, it is immediately posted on the Amazon site.
FREE BOOK FORMATTING “HELP”:
Okay, “help” may be a strong word here (a really strong word, in fact). But, life is the result of how you look at things and I chose to look at these opportunities as “Help”.
Formatting your book for printing is probably the most the tricky part of Createspace. If you are doing this all on your own, this can be the place that trips you up and makes you want to stop. Don’t stop, though, help is available.
It is one thing to type something out on MS word or some other program. It is another thing to get something in publishable format.
Createspace has several FREE MS word templates that you can use. Several book sizes are offered- please check to see what book size is most typical for your type of book- i.e. fiction vs. nonfiction and so on.
If you are like me, there are several things you will overlook in this process:
Correct page numbering. Seems ridiculously obvious, but the first version of the book I uploaded began at page 5. I had deleted some front material and I had forgotten to reformat the page numbering.
Right and left page numbering. Take a book from your shelf and see how it is numbered. Look at how chapters end and new chapters begin. All of this must be taken into account by you when you are formatting your book. Again, there are many helpful sites about these specific issues (i.e. don’t simply use spacing to get to a new page in MS word, you must you Page and Sections breaks.)
Trim size- your work must be oriented on the page so nothing is cut off in the printing process. What looks “fine” on MS word on your computer may go a bit horribly wrong when you upload the file and they show you how it will appear on a book, printed page.
The templates and videos/forums can help you address all of this.
FREE CHECKS AND BALANCES
When you are doing something all on your own, it is easy to make mistakes. Createspace offers two free services to help you avoid a book printing disaster.
As I wrote, formatting the book is the biggest challenge and you can overlook a lot of things. But never fear! On Createspace, once you uplaod your file, they have something called “Interior Reviewer”. The Interior Reviewer shows how your book will look when it is printed- page by page.
This is where I had “99+” formatting issues, because my first file had the pictures too close to the inner margin. Lesson learned and disaster prevented. This process is so critical. It can help you see if you have extra pages or are missing a page break and so on.
You have to keep reworking the file until it eventually has no critical errors related to printing.
CHECK AND BALANCE #2
Createspace MUST approve your book before you can actually have it printed and uploaded to Amazon.
The turn around only takes 24 hours and this service is INVALUABLE and again is free! (I had no idea this step was required.)
With my first attempt, they sent me an e-mail informing me of the page numbering issues I had, as well as some of my images lacked the resolution required.
Such feedback may be frustrating to hear, but isn’t it wonderful there is a check system in place before you launch your book?
Had this service not been provided I would have produced a book that looked as if it were missing the first 5 pages.
If you want to pay for a cover design, Createspace suggests a service to use. However, you can also go the cheap route and create your own- BUT you don’t have to do this from scratch (unless you want to).
Createspace has some basic cover options, which you can manipulate some on your own and create your unique cover completely for free.
This is what I did for my cover. The basic design was set and I just inserted my own picture.
The Createspace site takes you through each step of creating the cover. You complete one aspect at a time- i.e. add title, add information on author, etc.
I realize Createspace is not for everyone. But, for me, I could not believe, as long as I was doing the work, I could get all of this for free.
Where you see fear, shame,
and a desperate need to cover
God simply sees your “darkness” as this:
A place of most rich fertile-ness
for growth you have yet to discover.
We look at ourselves and see what may be labeled as “darkness” within us- our pettiness, our frustrations, our angers, our irritabilities, our selfishness and more.
Your God sees none of this.
Where you see darkness, your God only sees a place fertile for growth.
Perhaps we should try looking at ourselves and one another with such a God’s eye view.
As most of you know, I published a book recently. I mentioned that I would write a blog or two about my process.
Before I lay out my journey, I want to let you know that I learned so much from the various blogs, forums and tutorial videos that I checked out during my transition from idea or completion.
I guarantee that whatever concept you have, whatever format you are dreaming about, someone else has likely tried it and you can learn from them. Don’t waste a lot of time trying to “figure things out” and re-invent the wheel. Whenever or where ever you are stuck, do a quick search and you will be surprised at how much work has already been done.
The most important piece of advice I can give you is this: Be clear about YOUR objectives.
If you can do this, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration.
When I say be clear about your objectives, with so many options out there, I suggest you pick your two top priorities. (yes, we would all like to choose the route of the large advancement from a major publishing house with guaranteed placement on the NY Times bestseller list- I am assuming if you reading my blog, you are not quite at that level ).
My top two priorities were this:
1. Limited (no) upfront costs.
2. Book listed on Amazon
That was it and those two points drove most of my decisions.
(A VERY key note: Please notice my objectives are things under MY control. I would not recommend choosing objectives that you can NOT control – i.e. “I want to sell 500 copies in the first month.” You do not have control over such a manifestation. Your objectives should be things you are deciding because they are YOUR decision to make (i.e. under your control). )
Your thoughts may be different about your objectives.
You may not mind upfront costs. You may appreciate the service you receive for those costs. For me, to think about following this option just created a sense of stress, so I knew it was not a good fit.
I felt if I spent $600 to use a certain self-publishing process, it would take away my enjoyment. I would be worried if it was a waste of money, and how could I ever sell enough books to cover the cost. So I limited a number of publishers based on this concern.
As for selling on Amazon, this was ESSENTIAL to me. I don’t know why, but it was.
For example, I set my book up on Blurb books- wonderful, wonderful service. There is actually a Blurb Bookstore where you can sell your books. I could have done that and finished the project there. HOwever, this would not fulfill my goal, as BLurb is not linked to Amazon in any way. Thus, in my mind the Blurb option for selling was eliminated for me.
In future posts, I will take you through the services that I did end up using. But after researching self-publishing for what seemed like years, I thought it was important to let you know what finally “did it” for me.
Really what enabled the idea to move from idea to product was that I was clear about what I wanted AND I could find services to fulfill that need. Otherwise, it is much too easy to get lost in the self-publishing jungle out there- examining one option after another and never deciding because they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
Until next time…choose your main two objectives and keep writing!