Posted tagged ‘Corinne L. Casazza’

Swabbed and Swiped from Both Ends

August 18, 2016
Swabbed and Swiped

Swabbed and Swiped

This week I discovered I have strep throat. I also went to the gynecologist for my annual exam. So, I’ve been swabbed and swiped from both ends and haven’t liked it very much.

I ate nothing but saltines and soda for four days while my throat burned and I felt like my head was in a vice. That was nothing compared to my visit to the gyno.

She told me I’m peri-menopausal – as if I didn’t already know. “Do you still get a period?” she asked. I felt like a fossil. I told her I feel like I’m losing muscle tone. She laughed and told me that’s a symptom of menopause. The rest of the symptoms weren’t much fun either: hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, memory loss, vaginal dryness, irritability. Yeah, I’ll bet vaginal dryness would make me irritable.

I joked with my sister later that evening, “So, what, I’m just gonna be this dried up, doughy person from now on? I guess the upside is I won’t remember how good I used to look.”

Luckily before I went headlong down the rat hole of despair, I talked to a Canadian friend of mine. “Corinne,” she said, “You teach removing limiting beliefs, this is like anything else, make up your mind to have an easy time of it and you will.”

Duh. Of course. Here’s another example of getting overwhelmed and completely forgetting all the tools in my toolbox.

My friend also recommended Christian Northrup’s “Wisdom of Menopause.” I started reading it and feel much better about things. Dr. Northrup says this is a great time of creativity and fulfillment. A great time to change careers and do what you’re meant to be doing. A time to have the best sex of your life.

I didn’t realize a woman’s entire brain is rewired during this time. It’s more of an event than a mere transition. A life-changing event that sets you up for the second half of life. The best half. Believe the best is yet to be and it will be.

You can bet my attitude has shifted this week. Yup. I am breezing through an easy, symptom-free menopause. I can’t wait to see what miracles my new rewired brain creates in my life. And, oh by the way, I’ve never believed I’d have vaginal dryness.

Corinne and her Canadian friend are co-facilitating “Accessing the Writer Within” in Sedona next year. Of course, it contains a module on removing limiting beliefs! You can check it out here:

http://stellarproductionslive.com/PreRetreatSeminars.html

Corinne L. Casazza was sitting atop a camel next to the Sphinx, when her guide told her after this she’d “Walk Like an Egyptian.” This was a great synchronicity since it’s the name of Corinne’s second novel, written long before she ever went to Egypt.

Corinne is an international best-selling author based in Massachusetts. She’s published three novels, a best-selling book on relationship and dozens of magazine articles. Her marketing copy has helped almost a dozen people become best-selling authors on Amazon, including herself!

Corinne strongly believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

For more information, visit her:

 

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Top Ten Mistakes New Writers Make

November 18, 2014

I’ve worked with a lot of beginning writers and I find we all make the same mistakes. I’ve compiled what I consider to be the top 10 mistakes I’ve made and I’ve witnessed new writers doing. We can all break the rules and we should – once we know what they are. Take a look at my list below. Do you see yourself anywhere?

  1. Not using contractions – Do not, cannot, is not; don’t use these in your writing, especially not in dialogue. You don’t speak this way, so why would you write this way? Contractions make your writing sound stilted. You want your writing to sound as natural as possible.
  2. Beginning a sentence with “And” – And is a “joiner” is connects two things like “high-heeled shoes and short skirts” or “Godzilla and Tokyo.” It doesn’t belong at the start of your sentences.
  3. The compound verb is not your friend – Be careful of long verb phrases and long wordy phrases. Instead of “He was not able to find a way to go” say “He couldn’t go.” In general, less is always more when it comes to words. Find the shortest, most precise way to express what you mean.
  4. Pick a tense any tense – Then stick with it! Be sure if you are writing in the past tense to use that tense for the entire story. You can use present tense to tell a story if that is a conscious choice, and again, be faithful to it; have your characters speak in present tense for the whole telling of the story.
  5. Point of View (POV) – Be clear about it. If you’re in one character’s head, stay there for at least an entire scene. Be careful of head hopping (going from one character’s point of view to another) in the middle of a scene. This can be very confusing for your reader. You can switch from one character to another in different chapters or even in the same chapter if you leave a few lines of space between paragraphs.
  6. Use Short sentences – Whether you are describing the landscape or expressing the thoughts or actions of your characters, stick with short sentences. They’re easier for the reader to grasp. They’re also impactful.
  7. Showing vs. Telling – This is a big issue for most newbie writers. Instead of using an adjective like “afraid” to tell us how your character feels, try using body language: “Carol’s breathing was shallow. Her hands were sweating. She wondered if anyone could see her legs shaking as she stood at the microphone.” Body language is very important because it makes the event more palpable to the reader, they can feel this in their own body and it evokes emotion.
  8. A word about dialogue – OK, actually I have more than a word about dialogue because new writers have difficulty with it. The first thing to know is the ONLY word to use as a dialogue tag is “said.” This is because the reader’s eye glides right over it. You want to use body language to convey the emotion your character is feeling.
  9. Adverbs are strictly forbidden – Again, this relates to dialogue. Never use an adverb in a dialogue attribution i.e. “she said vehemently.” It’s the job of the author to create body language that shows what the character is feeling.
  10. Leaving out emotion – Emotion is the MOST difficult thing to get onto the page. Even humor is easier to capture. When your character is going through angst, your reader needs to feel it too. We can’t get to it if you are unwilling to feel it and get it on the page. Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen in the first draft. You may just get down the nuts and bolts of a scene in the first draft and go back for subsequent revisions to add body language, actions and dialogue that really convey the emotions of your characters and evokes them in your readers. When you get right down to it, this is what writing is all about – making your readers feel.

Try these suggestions and see if your writing feels cleaner and more honest. If you’d like to work with me on getting to the essence of your story, you can contact me at CorinneCasazza@gmail.com

Corinne L. Casazza is an international best-selling author based in Boston, Massachusetts. She’s currently at work on her third novel. Corinne believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

Corinne’s best-selling ebook: “Break These Chains of Love: A New Paradigm for Relationship” is available here: http://ow.ly/Brook

Check out Corinne’s Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/author/corinnecasazza

Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page includes tips for beginning writers.

For more information about Corinne including classes and speaking events, visit her Web site at CorinneCasazza.com

On Goals and Becoming a best-selling author

August 31, 2014
my new best-selling ebook

My new best-selling ebook!

It is with great joy and humility that I write this line: I became a best-selling author this week. Yes, I am so amazed, excited, elated and grateful. I achieved a goal that has been a dream of mine for almost four decades. Truly, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. When I received the news that my latest ebook: “Break These Chains of Love: A New Paradigm for Relationship” hit best-seller status on Amazon, I was overjoyed! I felt like someone should pinch me. I cried tears of joy for about a half hour.

I knew that someday this would happen. I’ve been writing since I was eight years old. It’s only been in the last six years that I began to believe it. I had been in the energy of and interviewed so many best-selling authors during my time in Sedona and I’d also written copy that helped eight other people become best-selling authors on Amazon: this finally made me believe it would one day be my destiny too.

Although this had been a dream of mine almost all my life, I had never written it down! When I teach classes on manifestation, the first thing I tell people is to write down their dreams, what they want to manifest. The act of writing it down brings the wish from the world of spirit and the ethers, into the material world of form.

I always have a list of goals I’m working on and “becoming a best-selling author” was never on it! I finally put it in writing only a few months ago.  Why? I had so much fear around this goal and a huge story to go with it!

I worried that if I were a best-selling author, I’d have to take responsibility for my gifts and actually USE them! Oh no! And people would want to talk to me. They’d want to hear what I had to say. For someone who was painfully shy as a child, this is a huge fear. I had to be willing to be seen and heard: no more hiding. And, there was a whole pile of the unknown – that wonderful mystery we need to step into to create the life of our dreams – that went along with it.

The other thing that happened prior to my hitting best-seller status was a change in my attitude. I moved from selfish to service. Instead of simply wanting people to read my work (selfish), I shifted to feeling and believing that my experience could actually help someone (service). I told myself if I helped just one person with my new book, my job was done.

There were two days this week, the two days that just preceded my best-seller status, where I actually felt deeply what it would feel like to be of service with my writing. This feeling brought me to tears on both of those days.

So, my conclusion here is to advise you to write down your goals. Even the big, scary ones – in fact, especially those. The Universe has a way of bringing up and clearing all your limiting beliefs that get in the way – IF you are paying attention and willing to change.

________________________________

Corinne L. Casazza is a best-selling author based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently at work on her third novel. Corinne believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

Corinne’s best-selling ebook: “Break These Chains of Love: A New Paradigm for Relationship” is available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N1F8TL8

Check out Corinne’s Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/author/corinnecasazza

Learn more about Corinne’s class on Removing Limiting Beliefs on Sunday, September 21st.

Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page includes tips for beginning writers.

For more information about Corinne including classes and speaking events, visit her Web site at CorinneCasazza.com

 

I’ll Get You My Pretty OR Why Temporary Triumphs and Reversals are Critical to Story

June 27, 2014
Wicked Witch

I’ll Get You My Pretty

I am addicted to USA Network’s drama “Suits.” I’ve been mesmerized by the show and can’t stop watching. Why? Because there’s a constant back and forth of temporary triumphs and reversals. It’s like a ping pong game and I can’t look away. I can’t wait to see what happens next. How will the character get out of this jam? Will they?

A temporary triumph is just that — it looks like a character has won something. For instance, in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and company score a temporary triumph when they reach Oz and ring the bell. They’ve finally made it to Oz – they’ve been journeying there for half the movie. Their success is short lived when they’re told to come back tomorrow – there’s the reversal.  Following that is another temporary triumph — they get in. But, then they’re told they need to return with the witches shoes – another reversal.

Most stories have one or two temporary triumphs and reversals, but the most successful have many more. These are very compelling to your reader – they are really pulling for the character, so much so that they can’t stop reading, which is exactly what you want. It also gives you as the author a chance to more deeply reveal the inner workings of the character – how resourceful are they? How honest? How devious?

After Dorothy and friends defeat the witch, marking the climax of the story, they return to the Wizard. He, an old carny man from Kansas, says he’ll take Dorothy home in his balloon – another temporary triumph. Drats, the balloon takes off without her – another reversal. Good witch Glenda shows up and tells Dorothy she had the power to get home all along. And she does. Finally. The turnabouts that happen even after the climax make the story compelling, and a classic.

In “Suits,” the lawyers are always trading insults, skirting the edge of the law, trying to convince a hostile witness to testify on their behalf, all this makes for very interesting storytelling. One minute they have a witness in custody – triumph. The next minute he escapes – reversal. They get the witness back – triumph. He’s shot and killed – reversal. And so on. Not every trial turns out the way we think it might and not all the wins are fulfilling, but this is also true in life.

Temporary triumphs and reversals are the stuff of true life. They give your characters depth and humanity – or not. The reader feels rewarded every time the character triumphs and roots them on whenever a reversal, particularly a stinging one from an arch rival, comes along.  So, pepper your stories with triumphs and reversals and keep your readers hooked!

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Corinne L. Casazza is a freelance writer based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently at work on her third novel. Corinne believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Visit Corinne’s Web site at CasazzaWriting.com

 

Travel to Sacred Sites: Vulnerability

September 24, 2013
Corinne on top of the Pyramid of the Moon

The author atop the Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacan, Mexico

The following is a chapter excerpt from my upcoming book: “Break These Chains of Love: A New Paradigm for Relationship”

You may be wondering how traveling to sacred sites can improve your relationship. There are power spots all over the world: Areas of the earth that hold a higher vibration of energy which helps us to release whatever we desire to let go of – thus revealing more of our True Selves. But don’t worry if your passport isn’t in order, or you’re not a fan of travel – any site can be sacred if that’s your intention.

                Since I woke up in 2001, despite my initial, significant fear of traveling, I’ve made it a point to travel to a different sacred site each year. I love trekking to ancient places and discovering new things about myself.

               My most recent trip was to Teotihuacan, Mexico – a place known for opening the heart space. It means, “the place where man recognizes he is God.” Teo was very transformational for me, in fact it may have marked me for life.

 Our group of 17 pilgrims was told we’d begin the morning with yoga before heading out on the land. Yoga was not optional. I had great resistance to this. After all, it was my vacation, I didn’t want to get up early and exercise. I do that the rest of the year. I complained to my roommate about it. I whined so much she told me to just get over it. I wasn’t over it. I should have recognized my resistance, but I didn’t. Over the years, I’ve learned that when I experience great resistance, it means there’s something important for me to know. I also find in the midst of resistance I stop all my spiritual practices that would actually help. When I’m irritated and resisting, there is no meditation, no breathing in and out of my heart space, and no giving gratitude for all I have. My stubborn personality wins and continues resisting. It really doesn’t make much sense when I’m aware these practices would make me feel much better and end my resistance. Still, it continues to be my choice much of the time.

Even though I was personally opposed to yoga, I didn’t want to let the rest of my group down.  We are a team; a family, and I wanted to be a part of this, so I got into my favorite black spandex workout pants and a red sweatshirt I bought as a tourist in Sedona, and headed out to join my team.

Even in my resistance, the stretching felt good. Okay, the sweet Mexican coffee with cinnamon and molasses may have lifted my mood a bit before I hit the floor. As I relaxed on the floor,  stretching and feeling into the energy of Mother Earth, I kept hearing the message in my head over and over, “It’s safe to be vulnerable. It’s safe to be vulnerable.”

I had been told this before I left Boston, and here it was in the present moment.

At first I thought it was just related to the stretch, since having your body flat on the ground with your neck and arms outstretched and your legs wide open is definitely a vulnerable position, especially for a woman. As I lay there, deepening the stretch and my contemplation, I realized it was more than that. It was a definitely a message and affirmation from the Universe.

                It allowed me to recognize that in the past, I had never wanted to be vulnerable, especially in my relationships with men. I felt it was a weakness that opened me to the rejection I was so afraid of. I remembered a reaction I’d had in dance class when a troupe of male belly dancers joined us for an afternoon. I thought, Who wants to be vulnerable in front of men? Not me!  Funny, I knew I must be vulnerable to dance and was open to it, but wasn’t willing to risk it in relationship.

I had so often felt completely powerless in relationship. It was my habit to come from a place of fear, lack and neediness. This choice was so ingrained in me, I wasn’t even aware I was doing it! Neither did I realize, at first, that another way was available to me.

Choosing fear created a space where I could never get what I wanted in relationship. Asking to have my needs met from this space was never even an option. The control freak that I was would never deign to ask for fear of rejection and abandonment. It seemed to me that no matter what I said or did it was always the wrong thing and I ended up alone. I became so frustrated with my relationships with men that I wondered to myself, “Am I just stupid? How come everyone else can do this and I can’t?”

Lying on the floor that morning with the Mexican sunshine streaming in through the windows, I understood that choosing to be vulnerable was something I must do to create the intimate relationship I deeply desired. I understood I needed to choose love, not fear.  I needed the courage to speak my truth with compassion and ask for my needs to be met. It occurred to me that I was always thinking, scheming, trying to manipulate and force things into place like puzzle pieces that didn’t fit. Instead, I realized, it’s possible to feel into a situation and just allow things to fall into place. I was also aware that knowing it and doing it are two different things.

                We left yoga class and headed out to the Avenue of the Dead. The avenue is comprised of several plazas and the pyramids of Quetzalcoatl, the Sun and the Moon. It’s a place of death and rebirth. Toltec warriors came here to bury their fears and be swallowed whole by Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent God. If they were ready, Quetzalcoatl would give them new life. If they weren’t, they would be spit out by the serpent and have to begin their quest all over again. Many warriors met their deaths in these initiations.

The plazas serve as places of contemplation before the initiation. It was in the plaza of fire that the true depth of my morning yoga message was revealed to me.  As I sat in meditation, I was pouring fire on my heart, fanning the flames of my heart’s desires, my passion and my purpose. Feeling into all the things I wanted to be, do and have. Breathing in and out of my heart space.

I felt my heart opening and receiving more and more heat as I did this. My heart was expanding with every breath. It was as if my breath were a bellows increasing the fire inside. The flames grew higher and higher. I saw them glow white hot – an all-consuming fire. I felt the heated expansion and the connection with my Divine Wisdom. I didn’t understand until much later that I was hearing my soul. Hearing its wishes and what it is (I AM) capable of. The flames licked at the core of my Being, and I knew that true vulnerability is a place of Divine Power, an expression of Divine Strength.

I felt the heat, the fire, continue to rise within me. With Divine Power as expression, I finally felt safe enough to be authentically vulnerable. I knew from the core of my being that vulnerability is the space I need to be in relationship from. I could feel that I had to let my desires, my wishes and goals lead me to allow my vulnerability. From this place of power, I could dream into existence all that I longed for in this lifetime. All I had to do was ask. All I had to do is co-create with Divine Source.  I felt this knowingness deep in my heart center, and felt tears of joy flow down my cheeks! It felt so good to finally know that authentic relationship was accessible to me. …

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com

Return to the Temple: A Baptism into Love and Joy

January 27, 2013
Ceiling mural at temple of Dendera

Ceiling mural at temple of Dendera

My trip to Egypt in November 2010 was priceless. It was the trip of a lifetime and I know setting foot on that ancient soil has changed me in ways I may never be consciously aware of. I do know that I received an initiation when I was there which opened me to love and joy in a whole new way.

In ancient Egypt, initiations were life-threatening. They were serve or suffer, sink or swim. Initiates were thrown into situations (like spending an entire night in a sealed sarcophagus) and if they couldn’t face their fears they risked death. It was a way of surrendering to pain and fear and then being able to render more of your true self to service. While my life was never in jeopardy, my initiation still required surrendering.

I was on a bus traveling from Abydos to Dendera – two sacred temples, the last two on our journey. Dendera is the Goddess Hathor’s temple dedicated to love and joy. While on the bus, I was overcome with motion sickness. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Oh, there was the usual dizziness and nausea, but my whole body was convulsing uncontrollably. I was aware of what was being said around me, I just couldn’t move. I was so nauseous I knew I’d have to get sick before I felt better. I didn’t want to focus on that. I especially didn’t want to think about the flight back to Cairo I’d have to board later that night… as the bus careened and thumped along a bumpy dirt road and the driver blared his horn every two seconds, I had to focus on letting go. Just relaxing into the moment.

When we arrived in Dendera, the air conditioning on the bus shut off. The other 44 people all walked past my seat. The combination of the heat and the sudden movement was just enough to push me over the edge. I lost my lunch in a plastic bag.

Once you toss your cookies on a bus full of people, all vanity pretty much goes out the window. I did start to feel a bit better though. Emil, the Egyptologist on our tour, told me I had to see the temple.

“I don’t want to,” I said my head slumped against the multi-colored bus seat in front of me.

“You must come,” he insisted, waving his hands around.

I knew I had to go. I didn’t want to miss the temple of love and joy. I had come so far to be here. I got off the bus and walked out into the 100 degree heat. Emil took my hand and led me away from the group.

“Come,” he said. “I give you good medicine, local medicine.”

He pulled me by the hand up to the front of the line where people with tickets were waiting to get into the temple. He shouted something in Arabic to the guard and pulled me right past the line.  I looked back in amazement at all the people we’d just cut. It was just so surreal.

Emil kept dragging me by the hand. We ran up to the front of the temple and he said, “Tip your head over.”

“What?” It was the last thing I felt like doing. I still felt slightly dizzy and nauseous and moving my head didn’t help.

“Tip your head over, I give you medicine.”

I did as I was told and Emil poured a bottle of cold water over my head. It cooled me down and I felt a bit better.

I entered the temple and the guard put down his automatic weapon to spread a cloth at the base of one of the columns for me to sit. He smiled and I could feel his compassion as he pointed me to my prepared place. I barely listened to the tour Emil was giving. I was still pretty out of it.

Then Nicki Scully, one of our tour guides and an incredible shaman, came over to me and held out her hand. She led me further into the temple.

Nicki was dressed in one of her ceremonial vestments – a beautiful black velvet robe with silk inlays. I kept stepping on her robe as we walked.

She led me into an interior room and sat me in the corner. “Sit here,” she said, “and let her heal you.” She pointed to the ceiling which was covered in a relief.

“This is my favorite room in all of Egypt. Just sit here and take it in.”

With that, Nicki was gone leaving me to stare up at the ceiling and sip the warm coke Emil had given me to settle my stomach. The ancient wall of the temple was cool behind my head and I wondered what had transpired in this room through the ages. What kinds of rituals and initiations had gone on here? Who served? Who suffered? Who lived to praise the Goddess another day?

I turned my attention to the ceiling, letting go of the pain in my body. The ceiling mural was still somewhat colorized. Different hues of blue still partially covered the stone. Part of the mural depicted Hathor surrounded by the rays of the sun. The rays were represented by carved triangles arranged in a pyramid shape around the Goddess. The stars of the sky were also present. They looked like little asterisks on a blue background.

Various tour groups entered the room as I was huddled in the corner. I learned this was the Divine Birthing room. The mural depicted the Goddess Nut swallowing the sun in the evening and giving birth to it in the morning.

I sat there with my head against the ancient wall staring at the stars on the ceiling, wondering what I was birthing. I could feel the presence of the Goddess all around me. She was beckoning me to relax into me. To melt into myself. To feel who I truly am – my power, my authority, my True Self, my expression. And I felt it, this energy, my energy. It was so calm but SO strong.

I could feel the energy coming off me in waves, emanating from me as if I were giving off my own light and heat; my own special brand of sunshine. And isn’t that what we do when we bring our gifts out into the world?

The energy was so strong. It made my head feel light. I kept breathing down through my feet to stay grounded. The Goddess was with me. I could feel two sets of hands over my heart chakra and another at my throat. She was showing me how safe it is to be in my heart, telling me this is where my true wisdom comes from; my authentic expression, my love and my joy.

This energy was all knowing. It encompassed the entire emotional spectrum. Here I was so vulnerable as to bare my throat to be slashed while simultaneously being so powerful I was invincible. From this state, I could tell you anything, bare my soul and not be concerned about judgment or condemnation. I felt completely blissful; knowing I had everything I needed. This was freedom!

The Goddess was holding me gently and lovingly. She was bringing me to my own wisdom. She was telling me this is the state I need to write from. From that love and joy, I could connect with my truth and trust, with my courage and contentment, with my bliss. From here I could reach the hearts and souls of others to rejoice in our sameness and our differences.

She was also showing me how strong my mental body is and that I needed to relinquish control. Stop thinking and start feeling. I had believed that all my safety was in my mental body and I didn’t feel safe outside it. Goddess had to take me to my core to show me true safety is in the heart.

It wasn’t until later that I realized I’d been baptized at the temple of love and joy. By pouring that water over my head outside the temple, Emil had symbolically prepared me to open to receive love and joy in a whole new way. By letting go of pain and fear and opening my heart to love and joy, I had passed my initiation.

I created a meditation from this experience. It’s designed to help you create from your love and joy. You can find it here on my web site, CasazzaWriting.com. It’s a free download. A gift from my heart and the heart of the Goddess to you.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Follow Corinne on Twitter @CorinneCasazza

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com