Friday, January 26, 2007

Realizing the Quest

Tuesday, January 23 ~ Ojai, California

I'm walking along the Ojai Valley trail in town, taking a break from books, agents, computers and cats. And suddenly I have an Aha! moment.

Agents and publishers like to know that the book they're considering has an existing buzz, something that's hard to generate with an unpublished novel. But what if, an angel whispers in my ear, I were to create a MoonQuest web site and generate a mailing list of people eager to know when the book (and movie!?) are available?

That wouldn't guarantee a deal. But if the list were big enough, it could make a difference...

The wheels in my head start spinning. I already own How hard could it be to throw up a simple web site offering a few choice excerpts? Perhaps even a sound clip of me reading from the book?

It would be even easier to set up a parallel e-mail list just for The MoonQuest...

And what a gift that I'm actually off the road for a bit, with time to do things like this...

Speaking of buzz, my mind won't be still. I detour to Ojai Coffee Roasters, where I excitedly jot down plans and ideas for this MoonQuest list and site before heading home to start putting it into action.

No web site yet, but the list is up and running. No one's on it yet, of course, because you're the first to hear about it. And as the first to hear about it, I have a rare favor to ask: Please sign up!! And encourage your friends to do likewise!!

I guarantee you'll get very little e-mail until the book has a publisher and publishing date. But in signing up, your energetic assistance will, I know, bring those dates closer. It may also bring you some special offers and promotions, the first of which could be announced in the next newsletter.

Signing up for The MoonQuest list is as simple as clicking on this link and adding your email address. If you're already a newsletter subscriber, all you have to do is check off the MoonQuest list box on the subscription form. Thank you!

DON'T uncheck the newsletter box, or you will be removed from that list!!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Vision of Possibility

Monday, January 22 ~ San Luis Obispo, California

I'm sitting in the cafe at Borders Books watching the timer on my new computer as it takes in data from the old one. What I was assured would take no more than an hour is now looking as though it might take two.

I've had lunch. I've read for a bit. And now I'm bored. I can't stray too far with two computers on my cafe table. But I figure it's safe to run to the writing section and see if they have any interesting directories of literary agents.

They do. And what a find!

Jeff Herman's 2007 Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, which wasn't in stock at my local bookstores, offers quirky details no other directory has. It also lists agents I haven't seen elsewhere. One of those, it turns out, not only welcomes fantasy but lists in its mission statement the desire to publish books that transform consciousness.

Wow! It feels like a perfect match!!

Is that why I drove more than two hours north from Ojai to deal with this particular computer store? I thought I came to SLO because this is where I bought my last computer and they gave me a really good trade-in deal. This time, though, the deal isn't quite as attractive and I've been wondering why I felt so called to drive all the way up here.

Of course, I still have to approach the agency, and they still have like my pitch enough to want to see the book and the book enough to want to represent me...

What if they don't? Acid-like trickles of fear and self-doubt eat into my joyful confidence.

And then I realize the Greater Truth: whether or not this agency is a match, I have been gifted with the Vision of Possibility. I have seen that there are agencies specifically interested in this kind of book. And if there agencies, there must be publishers.

I breathe again. This agency is still my first choice. But even if they give it a pass, this is the year of The MoonQuest. I claim it and see it as done.

Drawing by Mark David Gerson: "Freeing & Expanding Your Vision"

Unlimited Expansion

Friday, January 19 ~ Oxnard, California

I'm in Fry's Electronics, standing in front of a brand-new 17" MacBook Pro laptop computer. And it's making me uncomfortable.

Let me explain.

I've known since before the holidays that, come January, it would be time to upgrade my computer, whose hard drive is so jam-packed it's hard to wedge in anything new.

On Wednesday, I finally made my way to the nearest Apple Store to explore my options. Although several laptop models could conceivably meet my needs, I have kept feeling drawn to the top-of-the-line model with its large screen and capacious hard drive.

Probably something to do with the New Year's Resolution not to settle that I described in my December 30 post.

But as I start to play with the floor models, I'm stunned. The extra-high-resolution screen shinks text to lilliputian proportions, at least compared to what I'm used to.

Immediately, I start to second-guess my knowingness. When I finally leave the store, I'm profoundly confused.

Yesterday, I visited the Apple section of CompUSA and left equally indecisive.

Now I'm at Fry's, scurrying back and forth between the 15" and 17" models, which, inconveniently, are not side-by-side.

To my surprise, I'm noticing that the high resolution compensates for type that no longer seems quite so tiny. It's like with eyeglasses, I realize: the stronger the prescription (when you're nearsighted), the smaller (yet clearer) everything appears.

Okay. Now I'm focused on the 17" again.

I'm suddenly aware of all this space that's available on a screen that's nearly 18% bigger than the one I now have.

Do I need all that extra space? Is the computer just too big?

And then, like one of those mythical thunderbolts crashing in on me from the heavens, I get it: My discomfort has nothing to do with an expanded computer screen and/or body. It has to do with an expanded Mark David.


What I'm resisting is my own expansion. The empty space is all my empty space, waiting to be filled with new and wonderful expressions of my divinity.

The song lyric from my December 30 post races through my head once again:

With all there is
Why settle for
Just a piece of sky?

Why, indeed?

Drawing by Mark David Gerson:
Unlimited Expansion to Meet Your God Potential (Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque, NM)

An Eye for the Right Life

Wednesday, January 17 ~ Thousand Oaks, California

I'm sitting in the car, rain streaking down the windshield. The building in front of me houses my optometrist (chosen largely because he calls his clinic "Agape"). I've just completed an eye checkup that has left me stunned...and pleased.

Some ten years ago when I was living in Toronto, I embarked on a personal campaign to improve my physical vision. With one eye conventionally uncorrectable and the other severely myopic, I was determined to take off my glasses and see, to borrow the title of optometrist Jacob Liberman's powerful primer on vision improvement (Take Off Your Glasses and See).

Over the years, first by working with Toronto vision educator Elizabeth Abraham and later on my own, I have steadily improved my vision and been able to weaken my prescription.

Last year, for the first time in nearly a decade, my eyes weakened. And this past year, having experienced frequent eye strain, I expected to need another strengthening of my prescription.

Although disappointed, I wasn't surprised. I've spent so much time behind a wheel or in front of a computer screen over the past two years that my eyes could easily have suffered. Besides, it's been quite some time since I maintained a regular regime of eye exercises.

So imagine my surprise when the doctor said, "Your eye strain isn't because you're glasses are too weak. It's because they're too strong."

They had improved!

But how?

As I sit in the car pondering that question, I'm reminded of the philosophies I try to live and model. Call them Mark David's 10 Rules for Living:

Rule #1: There are no rules
Rule #2: What works today may not work tomorrow
Rule #3:
Listen to your heart; it speaks with the voice of God
Rules #4: Treat yourself as you would your best friend: with love and respect
Rule #5:
It's not what you do, it's how you live
Rule #6: It's not how often you meditate, it's whether you live your life as a meditation
Rule #7: It's not what you shed, it's what you embrace
Rule #8:
It's not how hard you push, it's how fully you surrender
Rule #9: It's not about being perfect, it's about being human
Rule #10: There are no rules

Through all the stresses and strains of the past two years, I have done little exercise, taken few supplements and eaten pretty much anything -- a function of life on the road. Yet I'm healthier than I've been in a long time. I even look better (and younger), according to many.

I'm not advocating a couch-potato, fast-food lifestyle. What I am saying is that activity, meditation and diet -- what you do -- will always be secondary to what you are.

If, ultimately, everything is vibration, then it's the vibration you live that is the ultimate arbiter of your health. The highest vibration is the one closest to your divinity, your passion, your light...the one that loves your humanity while living your divinity.

I haven't done it perfectly, but it's not about being perfect. It's about being human.

Drawing by Mark David Gerson: "Freeing the Voice of Your Vision"

Write Time, Write Place

Monday, January 8 ~ Ojai, California

I'm sitting outside, my MoonQuest manuscript on my lap, working through my first revision in a few years. This is the energetic recharge that's going to get the book its agent and publisher this year. I know it. However, it's an intense job from which I take frequent breaks.

This break takes me back into the house, to the computer, where I pull up today's online edition of Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper.

Before I go on, I have to explain something. I have this friend in L.A. I'm not sure how it happened, but one day a while back we rechristened God. We now call that nameless, ineffable energy Fred. It sort of humanizes it, makes it more accessible, forces us not to take it too seriously.

Back to The Globe...

As I'm scrolling through the headlines, one takes my breath away.

Write, said Fred

I'm too stunned to read the article, whose headline is a take-off on the '90s British pop band. Instead, I follow Fred's guidance and return to my manuscript.

Truly, Fred moves in mysterious ways...

Right Time, Right Place

Monday, January 8 ~ Ojai, California

I hear Debbie, my downstairs neighbor starting her car and run outside to say hi. She was in Hawai'i when I moved in and we've barely seen each other since her return.

"I just thought it would be a good idea for you to have my phone number," I say, passing her my business card.

Moments later, I'm back in the house and there's a knock at the door.

It's Debbie. Clutching my card (which reads Writer • Inspirational Speaker & Mentor • Shamanic Sound Master/Healer • Visionary Artist), she exclaims, "God sent you here."

"God sends me wherever I go," I reply.

And it's true. As I've traveled the country over the past 25 months, I'm so often reminded of the perfection of where I am. Sometimes, it's the place. Sometimes, the people. Sometimes, I recognize that perfection. Often, I don't.

Today, even as I can't know why Debbie said what she said, even as I can't grasp all the reasons I'm in Ojai in this house at this time, her words remind me once again that I'm in the right place at the right time.