The Mystical Hexagram – Countdown Deal

For the first week of December, we have set up an Amazon countdown deal for the kindle version of The Mystical Hexagram. It will start at 50% off on the 1st December.

hexagramfrontcvr

The book explores a symbol. Not from some scholarly or deeply complex perspective, but seeing it as a representation relating to life and living. The forces and pressures that are associated with the hexagram are, after all the forces of life at both practical and Universal levels. By exploring and beginning to understand the symbol, we are able to learn and discover more about ourselves.

The meditations throughout the book take you on an inner journey of exploration, discovering the parallels between the self and the greater reality within which we live our lives. They illustrate the connection between the inner and outer world of the self and the cosmic forces of Creation. Having traced that connecting path, the meditations offer a practical way of applying that understanding.
In addition to the exercises the book includes two very special meditations, The Garden of Remembrance and the Circle of Healing. These two, we feel, you will want to revisit many times, taking away from the experience a sense of peace and beauty.
“Part intellectual journey, part esoteric exploration, at all times eminently readable, this short book takes us on a voyage of discovery through the deep seas of The Tree of Life, symbolism, Tarot, planets/metals, numerology, astrology, psychology, and alchemy.”
“Amazing book, a work of passion and dedication. This book isn’t simply another in a long line of books, but a true work of Art. A pure love for the¬†subject,”
“Although I will, no doubt, be unraveling its many mysteries for some time, this book has helped shed light on a symbol that has, over the last few years, been a key player in leading me to mysteries of the Universe and my own Truth. For all seekers of truth, put this on your reading list!”
The kindle version can purchased here.
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Finally, A Hit?

Recently, I decided to experiment a bit with writing and publishing. I decided to try to broaden my audience a bit and see what worked in terms of covers and content and so on. In writing this blog, I actually generate a lot of material that eventually gets buried and lost in time but is eminently re-usable. I also had the weirdest experiences growing up with ghosts, poltergeist and all sorts of strange paranormal phenomena. I hit upon an idea and wrote My Haunted Life as a small book, primarily designed for the Kindle paranormal and supernatural market. I took some blog articles and turned them into short stories and added several new short stories – all true. I topped and tailed it with some thoughts about reality as it relates to the supernatural and then put it out. It was also meant to double as a bit of a commercial for my earlier books.

At first, it didn’t get much attention. We changed the cover. That helped. We did a one-day free giveaway. That helped a lot. I send it to a review site on Facebook and got 5 reviews – that also helped. Finally, I understood that people looking at the free preview were only seeing an advertisement for The Last Observer and the Introduction which isn’t about ghosts initially anyway. So I edited the content and added a new pre-intro page with bullet points of what was in the book along with a few endorsements. We also did a banner across the cover for today – Black Friday and set it at 99 cents. It will go up in price in a week or so.

Interestingly, it seems to have started to sell. It is also being lent. OK, so its only a minor hit at the moment but it seems to have momentum. Amazon seems to have found it too and is actively merchandising it. Additionally, my other books seem to have started to move too. I think I have learned a lot in this exercise about publishing perhaps as opposed to writing. Thanks in large part to book publicist and fast becoming a friend – Nick Wale. I won’t say exactly what the secret sauces are but I am excited that finally something is happening with my books and My Haunted Life is on the best seller lists (not in the top 10 but still).

The next step in all of this is that in early December, My Haunted Life Too will appear. Probably on Kindle only at first. Let’s see if the momentum can be maintained and even made greater by the new book. The new book has a rather eye catching cover too. Just wait until we reveal it. It will scare the pants off you all! Meanwhile, I have discovered a new interest in the supernatural so expect more in the vein.

Meanwhile, The Lord of the Elements is still being worked on. Hopefully, by the time it comes out, it will have an audience. black friday gary cover new

A Year Has Gone

A year seems like along time but looking back to this time last year, it seems to have passed in a flash. This time last year, I was living in Prague and I was worried about my weight gain having quit smoking months earlier. I remember buying the indoor bike and with good intentions, starting a weight loss and exercise program. Today, I weighed myself and blast it, I weigh exactly the same as I did a year ago! The bike has been well used and still is and if anything, my diet is better than ever yet I have not shed a pound. I suppose looking on the bright side, I haven’t gained any weight either!

Of course, we are now back in Brno too. I packed all of those trousers and shirts that didn’t fit me but would soon and they now have been unworn for a year. I even bought a shirt saying that I would slim into it! Well, I won’t give up. If anything, my waistline seems more rotund even though I am the same weight.

Feeling rather cheated that despite increasing exercise, decreasing food intake and so on, I went to the doctors recently. Blood tests came back all normal so there is no glandular excuse for my larger girth unfortunately. She recommended liposuction! I challenged her on that and she backed off and said to keep trying. Liposuction? I’m guessing she has a paid relationship with a plastic surgeon somewhere in town.

Despite this weight issue, I am alive and I think well. I have not gone back to smoking. The company we founded is thriving. Hell, even my books are selling (slowly). This time last year, perhaps 2-6 books sold a month and recently its been in excess of a book a day….if I can keep this up, I will be a best selling author in what – 50 years?

It is thanksgiving. I have a lot to give thanks for and I do. It’s been a good year overall and if my only complaint is that I don’t like my waistline then I am probably doing fine.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and family and indeed to you all.

year

Tall Story

Afloat and at sea
Bobbing like a cork
On the widest of widest ocean
Comedy in perpetual motion
White tips go surfing by
Water, lots of bloody water and
Yet not a drop to drink
Only time to sit and think
A rocky shore lies off to the west
Fiery dragons reside to the north
Things are going south though
Thats not a place I want to go
Tall ships passing me by
Rowing now faster and ever faster
Tidal currents are hard to beat
Especially where pressures meet
Directionless, I move onwards east
I am following a lonely star
Shining brightly in the night sky
All I can do now is sit and sigh
As we drift on inner currents
Mapping the inner tides
Charting uncharted territory
Writing Act 2 of this sorry sordid story
To be read shortly on Jackanory
Another very very tall story

Lost in the Sea by O-Maryo-O

Lost in the Sea by O-Maryo-O

Cosmic Dancer

On Friday I will be going to see Slade. Yes – Slade. Without Noddy Holder but the rest of them including slimy Dave Hill will be playing.

I didn’t much like Slade back in the 1970’s. I was into the more gentle magic of Marc Bolan and T.Rex and Slade seemed raucous and too down to earth. There was no magic, no white swans or Wizards with Slade – just poor spelling and loud music. I moved from T.Rex to Status Quo. Corkscrew hair and spandex was replaced by greasy hair and denim. Fantasy was replaced with a gritty, monotonous reality of life in the north.

Of course, now I look back and enjoy a lot of the music of that era. Even stuff I detested at the time now has a certain nostalgia about it. I’m not sure the music has got better just that it takes me back to a simpler time, a more innocent time for me. I shall enjoy Slade on Friday night and I may try to take in Suzi Quattro next year when she visits Brno too.

I have said before how for me music can evoke memory, mood and magic. The opening bars of Hotel California always send me back to an outdoor bar in the south of France and a wonderful holiday, and The Jean Genie always puts me in a schoolroom for some reason.

Even as I type this I am listening to music – Blackfield. The whole of their first CD reminds me of a day in Austin, TX. The whole of their second album makes me want to write poetry and every single line of every poem in Moon Whispers was written listening to that CD. I use music for mood. I can relax or energize with music and everything in between.

Marc Bolan captured a bit of how music works for me in Cosmic Dancer….So here he is to explain…

I was dancing when I was twelve
I was dancing when I was aah
I danced myself right out the womb
Is it strange to dance so soon
I danced myself right out the womb

I was dancing when I was eight
Is it strange to dance so late
I danced myself into the tomb
Is it strange to dance so soon
I danced myself into the tomb

Marc Bolan.

dancer

The Art

In the silence I can hear
As I watch my heartfelt prayer
In the stillness of the inner
I ask forgiveness and renewal
The Sea is still and deep
Reflections there to keep
Aqua fluidly accepts ideas
Smoothes and refines, purifies
And throws them on the Fire
Flaming through intense desire
To work the Art of magic
The inner to the outer flows
Water steams as ember glows
I see, I hope, I know
That from my uttered words will grow
The qualities that I seek
I am, stillness, eternal
A presence in the space
A fluctuating lighted face
Flickering half-formed in the first light
I imagine that it will grow so very bright
Consuming, boiling, generating
Between the darkness and the light
And everything is simply just right
As it is meant to be
An eternal uttered prayer
The Word is spoken
The speaker is content
The magic is now spent

art

A Tale of Two Cities

I was born in the city of Kingston Upon Hull known by all and sundry as just plain Hull (‘Ull). In 2011, the population of Hull was 256,000 although the Hull area must be significantly more. Today, I live in the city of Brno in the Czech Republic. It too is a working-class city with a heavily industrialized past and it is a bit bigger coming in at 371,000.

I like both cities in terms of their location, attractions and so on. Brno is a bit more attractive but likely that is simply because it is a bit more varied in its architectural styles and it has many more green spaces and parks. What utterly amazes me is the difference in an aspect of city life and that is personal safety.

One of my abiding memories of growing up and even visiting England and Hull in particular, is how easy it is to attract physical violence. The number of times I have been asked to explain who I am looking at are countless and the number of times I have observed all out drunkenness and violence in Hull cannot be counted. I actually get the Hull Daily Mail feed on Facebook and it is a constant stream of murder, violence, street gangs, assaults, robberies and so on.

Meanwhile, I have lived in Brno 6-years and 8-years in the Czech Republic. Public intoxication is rare despite the fact beer is preferred to water as a drink and slivovice, a distilled spirit, is knocked back with every beer. I have never seen any violence here. No fights, no stabbings – nothing. Perhaps it is the Communist background where their was no state tolerance for such activities or maybe it is just in the Czech character I do not know but I feel safe walking home with a skinful at 4am here. Hell, I don’t worry about my partner walking home a bit typsy at 4am either and that isn’t something I would feel good about in the UK.

This contrast and comparison isn’t something just I have noticed either. Other British exPats say the same.

Yes, there are homeless people, there are drunks on the street. Yes, there is poverty and low incomes. Yes, the political system here is no better at producing results than that in the UK. But, there is no culture of violence nor of binge drinking. It would not be tolerated by the people. There is a culture of drinking and being happy. There are more pubs and bars in Brno per capita than I have seen anywhere in the UK. There is a much healthier attitude to sex here too….. but thats another article.

It’s a sad reflection really but it’s true. The question is why?

CZECH REPUBLIC - PRAGUE PUB