Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Kicking Horse River and the Way of Water

The Kicking Horse River and the Way of Water

Last evening (May 27), I attended another performance of the Kitchener Waterloo Teachers Choir. My son and daughter-in-law are members of this amateur choir. Each Christmas and Spring they give a concert. This year’s Spring Concert included the song, “Kicking Horse River”. The lyric of this song is based on a poem of the same name by the Canadian poet Pauline Johnson. The music is composed by Jeff Smallman. This song is strongly evocative of the power and personality of the Kicking Horse River as it cuts its way through the Canadian Rockies.kickinghorsemapKickinghorseRiver

The music and words “grabbed me” and tugged at the heart of a man who loves the mountains of British Columbia and the wild rivers that emanate from their glaciers and a myriad of springs on high. The words of the immortal Pauline Johnson, mated with Smallman’s composition, and the sounds of the human voice, conjured up the Taoist ideas related to the power and qualities of water, sometimes known as the Water Way.

If you go into the natural world and observe water or you experiment with it, water reveals its qualities: [Quoted from Tao and Water – The Real Spiritual Lesson]

– Water is relentless.  It never stops exerting its force.

– Its force is a manifestation of its nature.  It does not try to be something it is not, applying neither morality nor immorality.

– When it is restricted, Water seeks the weakest spot of any obstruction and applies constant force until it is free.

– When it is pressed or attacked, it changes form and repositions itself.  It exerts constant counter force to search for weakness.

– Water is opportunistic.  Given the slightest opening it will pass through.  It will do so while the opening is present.  It will widen the opening if possible.

– Water always seeks to do the easiest thing as long as it can.

-Water does not complain about the path it follows.  It simply follows the path.

– Water has a wide range of energetic expressions but continues to be Water.  It can be still.  It can be sluggish.  It can be swift.  It can be pounding.  It can be vapor.

When you compare the words and feelings expressed in Johnson’s poem to the qualities of water, the similarities are striking. Pauline Johnson was no Taoist, but she was a First Nation’s person who lived in the late 19th Century and on into the beginning of the 20th..PaulineJohnsonThe First Nation traditional view of the natural world is very close to the Taoist concept of the unity of man and nature. The Way of Water and the Unity of Man and Nature, are two significant themes found in Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity and Contentment.

Water plays an important role in all lives as an essential basic need. Beyond that, when the Way of Water in all its manifestations and qualities, becomes part of one’s way of living, he cannot help but seek the Tao. I look for evidence of the Tao in all peoples, in all cultures, and in all things. Of course, I do not always find it, but that’s not surprising. Sometimes you just cannot see the Tao (which cannot be seen), but one can always feel the Tao when he is on the right path.

There are times when one is so moved by an experience, sharing it with others is the only thing he can do. The rendition of “Kicking Horse River”, and the words of Pauline Johnson created just such an experience for me. Have you had a similar experience. Please share it through the comment section.

As always, your faithful blogger,

L Alan Weiss – Author – “Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity and Contentment.”

http://www.lalanweiss.com

 

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Marketing a Book #6 – A First Author Interview in Print

Marketing a Book #6 – A First Author Interview in Print

I was excited, and just a bit nervous to see the interview article in print. How would the photo of me holding my book look? Would the sense of the interview be reflected in the text? Those questions and others were answered this past Friday (May 8) when my first author interview appeared in our local newspaper, the Flamborough Review. FlamboroughReviewThe photograph was fine, and the published interview was fairly written and of reasonable quality. Over the years, my editorial eye is often cast on text as I read, so when I say reasonable, it is in the context of my editing methodology. It is quite an experience to be the subject of someone else’s writing and editing.

I’m still living the life of the début author, virtually unknown as a writer, with no established readership. This interview was guaranteed to happen since local authors are always interviewed. The interview was conducted at a local coffee house in Waterdown, Ontario about four weeks ago and finally appeared in print. A link to the article appears below.waterdown-ontario-historic-core-area-resize1[1]

Waterdown is the largest town in Flamborough, but it is still a village in style. Most of the rural residents of Flamborough receive a copy of the Review gratis, along with lots of local advertising. They are full of information about what’s on sale at stores in the area and lots of coupons for the food markets. Everyone else needs to purchase a copy if they want one. The paper has a circulation of 10000+. It is impossible to know what proportion of its readers actually read the paper from front to back.Waterdown's_Pub_The_Royal_Coachman[1]

If you have been following these blogs on marketing a book, or have just chanced upon this post, I hope you will click on the link at the end of this post and read the actual article. I would appreciate any comments you might have regarding it. .

I’m thankful for having had two opportunities to be interviewed. This recent article, like the Cable 14 television interview, reaches only limited numbers of people. However, even though the audience is limited, each opportunity gave me the chance to experience an interview based on questions generated by others. It is interesting to hear what interviewers choose to ask, and equally interesting to answer each question sincerely.

shoutingSince I act as my own agent, I continue attempting to generate additional interview opportunities and look for ways to present myself to the public. Currently, I’m working a few more angles to land interviews and a few public speaking opportunities (that’s the literary agent persona speaking), while the author persona tends to shy away from aggressively seeking publicity.

Kermit the Frog says it best, “It’s not easy being green… ” In my case, it’s not easy being a “green” author with no public profile and as yet, undiscovered by his audience.

The interview can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/qzxhud6. Let me know what you think of the published interview in the comment space below. If you have had a similar early interview experience, I’d like to hear about it too.

As always, your faithful blogger,

L Alan Weiss – Author – Through a Lens of Emptiness  –   www.lalanweiss.com

Please visit me at my fan page http://tinyurl.com/mz3tsoz

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Marketing a Book #5 – Keeping Pace with Social Media

steeplearning2lMarketing a Book #5 – Keeping Pace with Social Media

I began working with my social media publicist about seven weeks ago. The first few weeks were dedicated to organizing the campaign to come. This Wednesday marks the fourth week of the official relationship between the publicist and me, and I find myself climbing an ever steepening learning curve week by week.

steeplearning1

Holy Moly, this is really steep.

Each successive week’s session begins with a review of progress based on the previous session and then we move on to a new topic. The first session focused on blog and twitter strategies, The second week focused on Facebook and the third on differentiating the role of a personal Facebook page and a fan page. This week we will look at Hootsuite: mechanics and strategies, and how to incorporate Sway into a strategy. I have been working away at building up a LinkedIn presence at the same time.

The only way one can learn about social media is to work with it. In my case, I’m a generation or two out of step with how these various social media channels function. I’m learning a great deal and making some progress, but I often feel like I need to catch my breath. Even this post will become a Twitter and Facebook entry because that sort of thing is the essence of social media strategies. I’ve also signed up for something called classmates.com with the intent of connecting with people I knew in the past. So far, I have linked up with one individual and started a conversation.

Trying to stay on track

Trying to stay on track

Social media coaching is certainly beneficial, particularly for a novice. It is impossible to say how effective social media networking will be as a marketing tool, but I certainly believe I’m getting the word out about my book Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life. Longevity and Contentment through many channels. Some individuals may even become familiar with my Nom de Plume – L Alan Weiss, part of my regular blog post sign off. I’ll continue to blog on my book marketing experiences as they unfold, including any progress made in the area of social media.

As always, your faithful blogger,

L Alan Weiss – Author

Please vista me at www.lalanweiss.com or on my newly created Facebook fan page

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