Category: Uncategorized

Recently, I traveled to a different state and through various counties. There were places during our Northern California Central Valley road trip where we did not feel comfortable due to intense heat, heavy traffic, as well as other challenges. On the other hand, we very much loved family visits and good conversations; locations, such as Chico’s Bidwell Park and its refreshing Creek, were particularly enjoyable.

When we took the cooler, coastal drive homeward, we were uplifted by expansive views and ocean air. The final mile before our driveway seemed extra pleasant, perhaps, because of a sense of having survived another adventure. This morning, sitting at the breakfast bar, we saw our first bobcat in a long time instead of our usual deer visitors.

And today, following various trails around the property I resisted taking on unfinished projects lying around the former tack barn area, or dealing with stacks in various rooms waiting to be sorted, realizing I needed more time to readjust. A change of location, once again, has reminded me to value being present over succumbing to external and internal pressures.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

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Speak?

I answer: let me write, how the worst
humans have no compassion. Winds
rise; the ocean rises. We swing back
and forth between drought, fire and deluge.

Memory—of a family displaced,
threatened, in hiding, abused
and starved—does not forget
the sounds of death.

Each of us must find a way
to expose that
which should not
exist.

Gudrun Mouw (c)
December, 2018

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I have been contemplating something I heard on Free Speech TV, “love has no labels.”
I am reminded of a story about an archeologist who interviewed an indigenous Shaman from the Four Corners area. He said, “I have noticed your people chant a lot about water issues. Is it because you have a lack of water in your local environment?”

“True, true,” the Shaman answered. “And I have noticed your people are always singing about love. Is it because you don’t have enough of it?”

I don’t know what the archeologist’s response was, but my answer would have been, true, true. The culture in which I’ve been raised seems to promote (perhaps for commercial reasons) something very different from “love has no labels.”

We are used to hearing, for example, I love this product, or I love that person; I love this religion, or that point of view. There’s nothing wrong with such statements; however, experiencing the pure energy of love without connecting it to a specific object, is a very different thing and does not seem to be valued enough in our modern culture.

Love can be compartmentalized in such a way that, especially during hard times, does not give much comfort. It constrains the broadest, expanding and uplifting power of love to a narrow path which can lead to intolerance where anything we do not love is easily discounted. At the same time, I am also acutely aware that some behaviors, traits, ignorant and unhealthy patterns etc., do need to be set aside so we can focus on what helps us be the best we can be.

 

From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw

Just for Memorial Day Weekend, Gudrun Mouw’s award-winning novel From Ashes Into Light is on sale for $.99 .  This visionary novel is a moving, gut-wrenching read that will transport you. It’s also a hopeful, fantastical tale about overcoming fascism. This one is the top of the genre, winning three awards in Visionary and New Age fiction and was named finalist in two more awards, including the prestigious 2017 Next Generation Indies Book Award for Best First Book. Don’t let this opportunity pass!

From Ashes Into Light ebook deal is available on: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble (Nook)and iTunes (search on iTunes for Gudrun Mouw).

 

The Spiritual Journey Uncategorized

beverlyhillsbookawardsFrom Ashes Into Light, Gudrun Mouw’s debut novel, just won two awards in the same week! In the 2016 Best Book Awards From Ashes Into Light placed as a finalist in two categories: Fiction: New Age and Fiction: Visionary. In the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards Ashes won in the same two categories. In fact if you take the win in each category as a separate award, From Ashes Into Light has won four awards, placed as a finalist in two awards, and received the silver award in another. Phew, seven awards altogether! The author asked me to guest write this post because she was just speechless with the acknowledgment.

best_book_award_badge_whiteHowever, winning awards doesn’t always translate into becoming popular. It’s challenging being an author in a genre that is possibly not well understood. Visionary Fiction and New Age Fiction actually have a wide range of titles that qualify in each genre. So you can get a zombie fantasy as well as literary fiction in both categories.

For From Ashes Into Light, I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. From Ashes Into Light is literary fiction with spiritual, new age (ie. the character believes in reincarnation) and visionary (consciousness-oriented) elements. It’s not exactly mainstream. But anyone interested in Buddhist teachings or spirituality in general should appreciate this well-crafted book.

In fact, the more people find out about these genres the better. Because picture this, you love books about the Dali Lama or this or that Rinpoche, and you love certain self-help books, but you’ve never tried reading fiction that’s spiritual. Now there are many, many options to combine entertainment and spiritual endeavors. Besides From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw, I have read a handful of spiritual fiction that I would recommend.

Spiritual Fiction

From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw

Mystic Tea by Rea Nolan Martin

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Moon Under Her Feet by Clysta Kinstler

Each of these titles explores spirituality in a alternative, entertaining way. And as I immersed myself in these titles, I found myself open to new possibilities in myself, and sometimes feeling a closer connection to the Divine. Give them a try!

rainbowcover44490

Gudrun Mouw should be back to posting her blog sometime in the next two weeks. Stay Tuned. To purchase From Ashes Into Light, go to an online seller, your bookstore to order, or you can call the distributor directly (800-888-4741) to order a copy in paperback or hardcover.

Erika Lunder, publisher

Raincloud Press

 

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FromAshesIntoLightBookReadingSolvangBlog Tour

There were some really great posts last week for the From Ashes Into Light Blog Tour. Gudrun visited several blogs and gave interviews and a guest post herself. Check them out:

There are just a few more stops in the coming week, we will keep you posted either here on Gudrun’s website, or at my website: www.raincloudpress.com. Stayed tuned to a link to Gudrun’s first radio interview, which is playing on the 22nd of April. I hope you have enjoyed following the tour, and learning more about Gudrun and the process of writing her novel From Ashes Into Light. It’s been an honor to help midwife her book into the world! If you’ve finished reading the book, don’t forget to write a honest review on Amazon, it’s a huge help to our marketing goals.

Book Event

You are invited to a book reading, signing and questions and answers with Gudrun Mouw on Saturday, May 7th at 11 am. This event will be held at The Grange at 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave. in Los Olivos, California. This event is cohosted by The Book Loft (Solvang) and the Solvang Public Library. Books will be available for purchase.

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We head east away from cool coastal fog and drive down the rim of the oblong shaped baking dish which is the valley at California’s center. It is triple digit hot, little vegetation grows on either side of the road; the landscape looks beige and dry. By the time we travel north on Highway 5 towards Stockton, Sacramento and Chico, we are blessing the car air conditioner–a small haven of cold inside a huge and relentless hot.

We do not want to leave our artificial climate, but there is more gas, water, food to buy and rest stops to visit. We arrive at our destination more than 8 hours later, collapsing on the bed in our hotel room. Even the pool does not look inviting since evening shade has not yet arrived. Heat has definitely confronted our sense of normalcy.

We had been invited to dinner and re-enter a hot car to visit family. We marvel at the delightful energy of a 5 year old and a 3 year old. I sit with my welcoming ice water feeling a bit weak from potential heat exhaustion but still the proud grandmother. My daughter encourages me to take a cool shower when a wet washcloth doesn’t seem to help.

Afterwards, I notice my younger grandson had discovered a new phrase, “for the rest of my life,” which he repeats several times, and this makes me smile. It also gives me reason to ponder. What can I say is true “for the rest of my life?”grandmaPool

That night, I have a vivid dream. I am giving a talk which is not being well received by my audience. In the dream, I quickly change course. I do not allow myself to become shy or unnerved. I dig deep into myself and bring forth the truth of that moment. Looking back at that dream, I am thinking, I wish adjusting to challenge were always that easy.

I know for the rest of my life that “change” is both a confrontation and an opportunity. The unexpected often requires difficult re-orientation, and traveling is the type of adventure that often tests our capacity to deal with the variabilities of life.

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