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Showering meant warming water on a gas-powered stove, then pouring it on us.

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Our closest neighbour was half a mile away, which is also the distance I had to walk each day to reach the school bus. I was literally growing up in a forest. For power, we used a surplus US Army generator that used to be in Korea. My dad somehow found the behemoth in his engineering company and brought it home, so that we could have 2 hours of electricity each day — barely enough to warm the heaters, in a year that had us snowed in no less than 6 times.

I studied with normal lamps for a couple of hours, while the generator was running, then used a gas lamp.


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That summer, I saw my first forest fire. It reached less than yards from our home. Oh, we had also been hit by an earthquake during that time, so the whole family an additional 8 people moved in with us for a week. Phone lines were next. The road was the last to be built — we only had a dirt track running up to our place until then. It was just my crazy parents who did that.

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I felt like a caveman, patting snow down my fur coat while the rest of classmates gawked at me through their sunglasses our area is some 20 degrees F colder than downtown Athens. Everyone was dressed in cool, cotton shirts, while I wore military khakis and woollen shirts.

I still hate camping. Growing up in Dionysus with no siblings is definitely part of why I write. Or at least, why I love books. Not much else to do, with no one around. Looking back, what would you say were the repeating patterns, or passions that drove you? What or who influenced you to follow or reject? As I explained, I was a pretty lonely child. And yet, I was reasonably popular at school — I even was class president a couple of times.

I believe that is why I was so keen to form romantic relationships from a relatively early age. It is also why I took to social media and the Internet. I was one of the first people to go online in Greece, back when modems took a minute to download a small image. To me, the computer opened up an amazing way of connecting with people. My blog and my books are an extension of that need to connect; to share my world with others. Was yours a straight path with clear markers to a manageable climb or a crooked hike through woods with a limited view ahead?

Identify the signs you followed, or the boulders you circumnavigated? I would describe my path as anything but straight. It has more turns, twists and dead ends than a David Lynch movie. Then again, something that I completely ignore might just flourish in front of my eyes, unexpectedly and effortlessly. I had agreed with my supervisor on a subject about symbolism in architecture, then he, poor guy, dropped dead a week prior to my arrival. My new advisor professor not only changed my subject, but also asked me to make a website for the department, from scratch.

He gave me three days to do it; days I spent reading a lot, experimented quite a bit and pulling hair, until I did it, and my first website went live at the end of the 3-day period. Then, a couple of years ago, I realized that I had started losing patience: I turned to writing as a relief, and realized, startled, that it was all I wanted to do. Every now and again, I wonder whether my studies and everything I have worked for is going to waste. But I think not: My PhD taught how to properly research topics, question everything, look for new and different ways to achieve a result.

My work has taught me how to market my book, design its cover, create the ebook file. Indie publishing requires the same skills: So, at 45, life has brought me where I am. As a kid, all I could think about was becoming an astronaut. Now, I dream and write about the stars and the adventures to be had among them.

You obviously make loyal on-line friends easily. What would be the qualities most important to you in close friends men or women? I believe that people respond to my openness and honesty. More than anything, I struggle to be honest with myself; to know and accept myself, warts and all. I also struggle to remain aligned to my nature, turning my disadvantages to advantages. For example, I do enjoy being helpful. It does help make friends, though, and then they do buy my books more often than not. Another thing is my belief that one has to give first, before asking for something.

And I think that people respond to that. As being helpful makes me happy, I think I get the better end of the deal. Most people fight against their nature, one way or another. They go against the grain of their personality, and occasionally end up breaking in pieces because of it. For some reason, I find it easy to pick up when people do that, and I find it tiresome. I have noticed that I am unconsciously drawn to people who are at peace with themselves.

In 23 years of work, I have only yelled at a client once, some five years ago. That hurt my professional pride more than I care to admit, and I told him, in no uncertain terms, that I never want to work with him again. Not towards me, but towards God. What took you to Edinburgh?

Can you paint a picture of your first impressions of Britain? Have they modified and if so in what ways? This is a funny story, actually. I met Electra when she was but 16 and I, A few months later, we walked to her parents, who were still struggling to accept me, and told them that, as soon as she finished High School, we would study together in the UK.

Naturally, they shrugged it off, and just nodded, trying to hide their amusement. When we started sending out applications to various UK universities, her parents were alarmed, but said nothing. Two universities — Cardiff and Edinburgh — accepted us both. Cardiff sounded lovely, but they had accepted me as an engineer — and I preferred architecture as my PhD subject.

So, Edinburgh it was. We arrived on what the Scots call a dreich night: Once dilution happens grey is the new black, and the new white. I cannot say very much without introducing spoilers for the reader in the context of the book, except in general terms. It is a journey best not described. It is still rare to read deeply psychological novels that deal with the damage that can be done by children to their parents, or the recognition in a parent that only time will endow the qualities they hoped to impart, while time is running out.

I cannot help feeling that Harper Lee regains her own Watchman by this publication. I refuse to find significant all the conjectures surrounding its publication. Those will be forgotten and do not matter.

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It must be difficult to write the most regaled novel of the century, to be richly rewarded financially without expressing your misgivings, your qualifying caveats, and do so by restoring both Atticus and Scout to humanity. I truly salute her courage, not to want to die before re-stating her independence and restoring the noble Atticus to pre-eminent and frail humanity by stripping away the image imposed upon him. If the public is not adult enough to grow up but wants to retain only black and white and the simple lines of easy virtue they have not begun to understand either of the books, or this compassionate author.

Yes there are the odd grammatical infelicities, and occasional clumsy constructions that a less respectful editor would have ironed out. Few books flow immaculate from the pen, for me, in this case, I applaud them. It means Harper Lee is still one of us.

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I feel rejuvenated by her small and unimportant faults. That brings me to what will provide the next post: This has become the new conformity. Behave as you are expected to behave, write what we expect to read. Books are gifts, not obligations, and words and ideas are dangerous. We must fight to keep them so. We owe readers nothing but the gift of ourselves. I have taken a long silence in the past weeks.

Many loose threads are now waving at me to be woven into some kind of order. Bereft also of much conviction that anything else I could say would have the value that justified saying it. Unlike cooking which presents the necessity at least once daily, there is no appetite for a blog that is reflective, philosophically reflective, or too argumentative, or too long.

I have perhaps twelve faithful friends who read and comment, and some at extravagant length. That is most warming and I can answer at equal length and never write anything else. This might discourage others who prefer to mwah or contrive pithy aphorisms. I have never prompted virtual kisses, probably not cuddly enough. I did start a blog in the hope my books would gain readers, and many of my verbal followers have read one or both- perhaps eight altogether, and given the nature of those books they know me rather well, already.

Yet without those friends life would be lonely indeed. Another thing and I would like to know if others find this. But the salad wilts. It has languished on the table of my blog and been mostly ignored. I cannot make anything with it but a sort of spinach soup. I would much rather shop anew, but since very few read it, that is tantamount to waste. I might do it in time when it has been rinsed under a cold tap of neglect. It occurs to me that on line friendship should never be assumed as having much in common with the stop-in-the-street, have-a-coffee sort. Blog posts are like a brief torch that catches a facet of reflection.

We face one another like crystals briefly stilled because we catch the same light. Another facet fails, or catches another nodding head. For me this is the strength of on-line friendship, we relate to what is important that we share and move along. Many feel that this is indicative of superficiality. There is a great economy in acknowledgment or disagreement. I think where ideas are in the mix it is intimate, and real but perhaps being intimate needs no pursuit, or much time. A firefly should be enough to light up the dark. If one was to meet for coffee it might spoil everything.

One would probably find that we shared only ideas but not tastes, or values, or the use of money. It would spoil it for me if someone I really valued for ideas turned out mean, or vulgar, or emotionally up-tight. I am not saying I suspect my friends of any of those qualities they are all extraordinarily generous but I cannot talk about cricket for long.. Kindness might demand both! She is in every line and between them. I am not venturing to comment on the book but the revelation of someone who took the context of her childhood world and wove Maycomb so discerningly that Maycomb is my backyard and all those citizens, with their idiosyncrasies the aunts I never had, the bus drivers I know to avoid, and the short cuts through the yards I know to take.

Yet she never ventured far afield and still could see them with that Austen eye for minutiae that told the whole story. Whatever is the opinion of the moral defenestration of Atticus Finch and I sense the way we could be headed, but may be rescued? She is a master of time without even bothering to signal what she assumes her readers will intuit.

She flips into the past without even putting on shoes or a comb through her hair, and comes back full tilt through the doorway of the present. Scout always broke the rules, with a finger to her nose and thank God, with the-proper-way-to-write police, she did. She pays all of us the compliment of understanding her deeply and seeing a story through her eyes. Interview with Jane Davis. Featured Guest on Virtual Book Club. This five minute reading illustrates and invites. Rather than board Tardis as previously suggested this is a short journey on a tall ship.

A taster of the journey you might wish to take? This year I intend to write posts on the gulf between Perception and Reality, and how this shapes books, and how we read them, and how we seek to find readers in the melee of false perceptions, pre-conceived , limited, both pre- and proscribed. Almost every writer starts out with an idea of what they want to accomplish. What intervenes, what compromises they make, what barriers they encounter, are the subjects of a blog emphasizing the gulf between perception their own or that of others, or the market for ideas and the reality of a deep sense of identity.

To kick the first high ball into this arena I have asked Alexander M Zoltai to give his responses to some questions that will be related to this theme and its difficulties. Alexander runs a generous blog—exploring Reading, Writing, and Publishing—called Notes from an Alien. Alexander, what is the most important to you activity you engage in on this planet? Well, Philippa, being nearly 69 years old, part of my most important activity is to stop doing certain things that could shorten my time left on earth…. How did you arrive at the point which defined that as your priority?

Notes from an Alien would suggest you feel you have something of value to convey. As far as Notes from An Alien is concerned, that short novel took eleven of those years to be birthed there were about four false starts and is my major contribution toward helping folks, by portraying the struggle for Peace, which can only be attained once Unity is firmly established.

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What survival mechanisms help? One difficulty has already been mentioned—helping people overcome the false idea that a patch-work peace can somehow lead to unity. The other difficulty—what might be better called a challenge—is to promote Notes from An Alien so more folks can experience how Unity leads to Peace. And, that challenge has a supportive challenge—blog five times a week about Writing, Reading, and Publishing and hope folks notice the offer of a free copy of the book in the side-bar naturally, they can also buy the book, if they must….

As far as survival mechanisms, I have to say that staying in the work is a great aid—persistence to provide meaningful and helpful blog posts and getting the second book in the series finished. Have you distilled what you have learned in some kind of personal philosophy, and if so could you outline its essential qualities? Also, one of the root principles of my Faith is The Independent Search for Truth—no borrowed tenets, no inherited rules—individual thought and personal responsibility. I feel I should list a few of the other essential principles that must be put into action for Peace on Earth:.

How easily do you find fellow travellers in sympathy with your philosophy? What draws people to you? Or what do they avoid? Are there things you regret? Or might have done differently? If so what and how? No regrets are left—my actions before I fully woke up to my Mission were a sort of scortched-earth-policy—regrets burned as bridges were consumed—me walking away into my Valuable Years. To what extent do you see yourself as a product of your upbringing or early life either conforming or repudiating?

I was a total and horribly mixed product of my minister-parents and the prevailing society. And, even in my attempts to repudiate my upbringing and its social warping, I was ensnared in both…. As a writer, what do you hope a reader will get from reading your books? What do you look for when you choose a book to read? In general, I seek good fiction—one might call it literary—with real characters living-out some form of Mission. If you had limitless influence how would you use it? Is there anything else you would like to add about this topic or yourself?

I think the reason for ignorance about religion is that folks take at face value what the believers in various religions tell them it is. History shows clearly that every Messenger has had their Message distorted by the believers—one reason there have been so many Messengers….

Please provide links to your books with brief introductions and to your website. My blog is at: Notes from An Alien: Thank you so much Alexander for agreeing to be interviewed, and also for all you do for authors on the lonely road. I am interested in your belief that humanity is approaching maturity and all this strife maybe the pangs of a new birth, and the resistance to it is fighting its final death rattle.

I hope you are right. You - philosophical, thoughtful, witty. Me - still thinks fart jokes are funny. Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general. Writer, Poet, Impudent Philosopher: Pulling the gold thread from the grey weave. Reading, Writing, Roaming and the Experiences that come with. Tips, Tools, Thoughts, and Stories. When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. Interview with Nicholas Rossis. Can you give a sketch of your origins; family, growing up, where?

Please include an impression of the atmosphere of your childhood home. Oh dear, this is going to be a long interview. Hope you have time! After a year, the water pipes finally reached our place. A few months later, power. Sigh… I still hate camping. As a boy what did you want or imagine your life would entail? What would occasion you to do so? A Life in Trees. Here is what happened in the dream , I am late for an important mathematics examination and on my frantic way I realise I have not even looked through the syllabus.

I hand in my story, leave the hall, and wake up. The hero ine of my story I remembered every detail of the story I had written and just to show you the problems it presents I would classify it as a Fantasy- Romance, rose tinted with sci-fi dipped in tragedy, deep fried in fact, with garnish of world redemption. Can we not have a swimming pool? The Jackaranda My next lover hung over the tennis courts of a school in Johannesburg. The Copper Beech This was probably the love of my life, where the others were my playmates and flirtations.

My hidden wood My Collection. Current Friends When a man in a cloth cap gave us the hope of a home, and the possibility of a garden I read a marvellous book. Do I have a garden? Maybe I just have trees. My Calpurnia with Windy my dog Share this: Reflections on the just deserts of the truly talented writer. Some of those threads.

So how to blog without skills to share for no evident appetites? Grander now than then! Yes, I know what you are going to say. A really challenging interview to dissect out a life of writing, and what contributed. Join the Human Odyssey, and welcome the ship back to port? Perception and Redefining Reality in each Individual This year I intend to write posts on the gulf between Perception and Reality, and how this shapes books, and how we read them, and how we seek to find readers in the melee of false perceptions, pre-conceived , limited, both pre- and proscribed.

I shall call these interview posts. Most people have the idea that Peace comes first, then Unity can prevail. Yet, how can even two people have Peace unless they find some common point of Unity? Beyond that, prayer is very important to me… What are the rewards of pursuing your Mission? I feel I should list a few of the other essential principles that must be put into action for Peace on Earth: No regrets are left—my actions before I fully woke up to my Mission were a sort of scortched-earth-policy—regrets burned as bridges were consumed—me walking away into my Valuable Years To what extent do you see yourself as a product of your upbringing or early life either conforming or repudiating?

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Are you ready to challenge your current thoughts, beliefs and assumptions? Are you ready to push beyond your self-imposed boundaries? Are you ready to create outrageous results in every single area of your life?

Harmonic Wealth will help you open up to a life of abundance and contentment, free from feelings of dissatisfaction and insecurity. It's a gratifying way to live, and Are you ready to challenge your current thoughts, beliefs and assumptions? It's a gratifying way to live, and it's within your reach.

James Arthur Ray received international fame for his contribution to the bestselling The Secret and now presents his practical, results driven programme for becoming absolutely unstoppable in achieving what you want in life. Using a combination of ancient wisdom traditions and cutting-edge research, Harmonic Wealth reveals how true wealth can only be achieved when the five key pillars of life - financial, relational, mental, physical, and spiritual - are in harmony with one another. Increase your creativity, intelligence and mental functioning? Strengthen your personal relationships- Achieve financial success- Increase your energy level and invigorate your body- Vanquish the fears that have held you back in your life'James Ray tells you exactly what you need to do to create the life you want.

About the Author James Arthur Ray has devoted more than two decades to studying the thoughts, actions, and habits of a wide diversity of teachings and teachers who create wealth in every area of life. A popular speaker, and featured expert in The Secret, James is a spiritual teacher with unique business credentials as an entrepreneur and also as a top sales manager and personal and business growth expert. His book, Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life Paperback , pages.

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Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want by James Arthur Ray

To ask other readers questions about Harmonic Wealth , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Nov 29, Diane Dutton rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone age 17 and older. James Ray has a unique approach to the Laws of Attraction. It is an approach that works. This book, the latest in his series, moves beyond the laws and takes you to all areas of your life in thoughts, feelings and actions. Go 3 for 3 for your life. Well worth reading or listening to if you like to hear the book in order to assimilate the principles -.

I simply cannot finish this book. He has a lot to say that I think is dead-on accurate, but he focuses WAY too much on financial wealth. It's only one of his "five pillars of harmonic wealth," and yet he devotes nearly half the book to talking about it. Particular I give up. Particularly since he completely devalues formal education in the process he doesn't have any form of college degree , saying that virtually no one will use what they learned in school anyway. I use what I learned every day, even the things I never thought would be useful!

I just don't use them in ways I would have expected when I was I'm sorry--not everyone in this world can be or wants to be a millionaire. In fact, in order for people to hire folks to do all their menial tasks--you know, because they're on their way to becoming "bigger" and therefore richer people--SOMEONE has to work for a pittance. So his logic irritates the living daylights out of me. And admittedly I'm biased, but just because you're rich doesn't mean you provide more service to the world. I can think of a LOT of rich people who do far less to improve this world than a whole lot of less-well-paid folks: I could rant for hours on this book, but I'll spare you the rest.

I hear that one's good--haven't read it yet. Ray does an excellent job of explaining the five pilar a of wealth. His voice makes the book easy and interesting to read. Thought provoking exercises make this book life changing for those willing to put in the work. May 28, Carl rated it it was amazing Shelves: I don't avoid chaos, actually as a warrior I seek it out so that I may bring order to it. Oct 30, Jshawlee marked it as to-read. Can't wait to read this one Aug 05, Alison Condliffe rated it really liked it Shelves: Good motivation for goal setting and interesting way of looking at money.

The author is very self confident and shares his story. Dec 08, Tony Williams rated it really liked it. On the face of it this makes perfect sense as it is pointless in having lots of money if we are in poor health or have nobody to share it with. In order to grasp more of what the book is about it might be a good idea for me to outline the five pillars: Financial — income, savings etc.

These are the obvious things that spring to mind when most people think of wealth; but have you stopped to consider exactly how much you need, or more specifically, want? Relational — your relationship with yourself and those around you. Not just your marriage, your children and family, but also the relationships you have from day to day with everybody you come into contact with; including work colleagues and even the checkout operator at the supermarket.

Mental — are you of the opinion that your education finished when you left school or college? Or perhaps you are a voracious reader and have a constant hunger for knowledge? It seems obvious, but is it really? Physical — It stands to reason that if you are fit and healthy then you will have more potential to make the most of your time.

After all; a person who is in poor health will not have the energy or inclination to enjoy any of the more physical pursuits that life has to offer. Have you paid attention to your physical well-being recently? Spiritual — Just what does it mean to be more spiritual? Do you have to subscribe to one of the long established religions and keep up a structured routine of worship, or is there another way?