Posted tagged ‘writing’

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

 

Advertisements

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!

——————–

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

A Yellow Portulaca OR Follow the Signs

November 21, 2012

You may have heard me say when I don’t know what happens next, I write description. Description should be lyrical and visual. It should not only include what’s palpable to the five senses, but also what feelings it evokes in your main character(s). Used in this way, setting becomes a character itself.

As I thought about this tip, a memory from writing Walk Like an Egyptian came to mind. I was describing my father’s garden at home in Boston where I grew up. I talked about the gray cement fence that was a barrier between our yard and the neighbors behind us. My Dad has a very green thumb and every inch of our yard was planted with vegetables, herbs and flowers. The fence was no exception. It had holes in the top of it. My Dad filled the holes with dirt and planted portulacas there. They sprouted up multi-colored from the top of the wall for all to see. Portulacas are small flowers that come in a rainbow of colors.

After I finished this description, I walked out of my house in Sedona to pick up my mail. I walked past a large cement flower pot that was at the top of my fence. As I walked by, I thought I saw a yellow flower in the pot. I did a double take. I had never planted anything there and had never seen anything grow there.

I looked into the planter again and rubbed my eyes. There, in the middle of this previously empty flower pot, was a single yellow portulaca! I couldn’t believe it. I even went so far as to go back inside and Google the flower to be sure I remembered it correctly.

Yup. There was a yellow portulaca in my flower pot! I took that as a sign that my story was progressing in the right direction. The Universe can give us some pretty unmistakable signs if we are paying attention. So… keep writing and look for those signs around you that tell you you’re on the right track.

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

Go Within to Manifest Outwardly

October 31, 2012

Corinne L. Casazza

If you want things to change, go within. There’s a Universal law that states once things change on the inner, they MUST change on the outer. This means when you go into meditation, and make a shift internally, your outer world MUST shift to match.

Here’s my experience of how it works. I fill my sphere (aura, body and the space around it) with all that I want to manifest in my life – particularly those situations or qualities I feel are missing.

Last week I was having difficulty speaking my truth and being my own authority. I hate confrontation – who doesn’t? Still, it’s necessary to stand up for ourselves and speak our truth. I went into meditation and filled my sphere with the qualities I felt surrounding in this situation: being valued, trusted, respected, speaking with authority and owning my truth, with a capital T.

To fill your sphere, all you have to do is relax, quiet your mind, pay attention to your breathing and think of these qualities. Say them silently to yourself. Most importantly, feel what it feels like to be these things. I felt the energy of being loved, valued, trusted and respected. I felt the energy of being an authority. I sat and reveled in that energy. It felt great.

What happened in my outer life? I was speaking to a friend about something he said that I didn’t like or agree with. Another friend overheard and told me, “Wow, Corinne, you said that with authority.” I had to smile. My outer world was reflecting back these inner changes; the qualities that I filled my sphere with were manifesting. As for the friend I spoke my truth to, he was very respectful, loving and even nurturing for the rest of the time we spent together. Gotta love that!

I know this is a small example, but it’s just the most recent one. I began this practice by filling my sphere with gratitude. The first week I did this, three people at work wrote to my Vice President to tell her how great I am to work with and how happy they are that I’m on the team – yup, they expressed gratitude in a big way.

This stuff works! It has to; it’s Universal law! It works for everything: big or small. I invite you to try it for yourself. I use this practice nightly before bed. You can fill your sphere with anything – call forth what you choose to manifest. Sit in it and really feel the energy, then watch your life change! Write to me and tell me what you created.

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

Why Writing Heals Your Readers

June 22, 2012
Corinne Casazza

Corinne Casazza

Somewhere in my being, I’ve always known that writing is healing. I believe it heals both the writer and the reader. I say ‘somewhere in my being’ because on some level I knew it, but I didn’t believe it consciously. I’d think, this can help people. Then, Nah, I don’t know why that would work.

I had this internal conflict going on about what I’m working on now, so I’ve had GREAT resistance to writing it. The other night before bed I asked in meditation what the purpose of my new book is. The answer came, “To speak my truth in a heartfelt way that helps people heal.”

The next day I had a session with my spiritual teacher. He took me through a meditation to heal one of my past lives in Egypt (if you read “Walk Like an Egyptian,” it’s in there). I rewrote the ending to this life as meeting my mentor who taught me empowered communication. She taught me to write and my writing was healing people.

I said, “I know storytelling is supposed to be healing, but I just don’t get it.”

“Corinne,” he said to me, “when you read, everything goes straight into your unconscious.”

And just like that I got it! I heard that little “ding, ding, ding!” in my head and felt the knowing that it’s  the truth.

“Oh my God! Of course that’s how it works,” I said. “Talk about a captive audience.”

“That’s right,” my teacher cautioned, “You’re putting stuff in people’s heads, so you better be in integrity with what you’re telling them.”

OK, one more writing block out of the way!

If you want to know more about how writing heals the writer, read my post “Writing as Healing.” I discuss how during the writing of my first book, I recalled conversations from the dinner table 30 years earlier – ver batim! Yep. Word. For. Word. Talk about healing!

If you want to learn more about Kevin Michael, my incredible teacher, check out his Facebook page.

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