Jasmine Snippet #102

These continuing snippets are due to the patronage of a group of lovely people who are helping me make The Story of Jasmine saga complete for publishing.

Jasmine Faction card of Ahearn from the “Jasmine: The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game.

Somewhere off to the right of the trail, sun beams illuminated a small grassy plateau. Rogan and Ahearn noticed some shadows milling slowly within that small meadow-like enclosure and realized they’d located the horses of Bardulf’s hapless, but well-supplied men. Unlike their masters, the horses were very much alive, happily trampling the dewy grasses glistening in the growing light. Rogan and Ahearn quickly took this opportunity to select from among them, the two most suitable beasts and riding equipment for Jasmine and Glynn. When Glynn arrived, he collected whatever might be of use from the saddlebags, packs and containers.

By the time they were prepared to leave, the sun had already replaced the night’s cold, blue-gray mist with a warm, rosy haze, which hung thickly over the grass, turning more golden as the dew began to evaporate.

Rogan and Ahearn expected the women to have shown up already. So, with a horse in tow, they returned to the ruins to collect them. Glynn stayed behind to finish his foraging. After he found a store of tobacco and heavy sacks of wine, he’d decided to take another horse to serve as a pack animal. After loading the second horse, he released the rest of the horses from the make-shift enclosure.

Rogan and Ahearn reached the ruin. Even from a distance, both noticed Thorne’s normally paled cheeks were hot red. Both knew not to utter a word. They already guessed that Thorne was livid with impatience and consternation at having had to keep waiting so long. Finally, they saw Jasmine climbing up and out of the dark. Thorne nearly grabbed Jasmine’s hair but she quickly checked herself and grabbed the large bundle Jasmine handed her instead.

Thorne turned to notice the men brought an extra horse. She signaled to Rogan. Nodding, he quickly dismounted and rushed Jasmine onto the saddle of that horse. With bundle in hand, Thorne leapt onto her own horse. In no time, Jasmine came to be perched, precariously high upon a horse, carrying her wrapped staff. Rogan steadied Jasmine for as long as he could before Thorne, in haste, quickly snatched the reins of Jasmine’s horse, making them lunge forward as Thorne lead them swiftly away.

As the sound of their hooves disappeared into the distance, the wind picked up. Swirls of leaves savagely chased each other in spinning battles. Crows called out a warning. Rogan instantly froze in position to open his senses and became hyper-aware.

Within this deceptively beautiful morning, the nature of the cawing sounds was a dark harbinger of change. All at once, Rogan knew they’d lingered too long. Being on the western loop of the trail, they had completely missed the group striding up the eastern trail. Thorne must have known the danger, she hurried too much not to have known.

Rogan then noticed some not-so-distant flashes of colors and flickering movement, accompanied by the dull thud of hooves upon rock and ground and the uneven hum of conversation. Rogan turned to Ahearn who also heard it, and whispered hoarsely, “Soldiers are nearly upon us. I will buy you some time to escape. Wait for me beyond the first outpost, at Flint Hill! My signal…” Then Rogan made a shrill, bird-like warbling sound. Ahearn nodded an acknowledgment, immediately whirled his horse around, and fled down the trail after Thorne and Jasmine.

Rogan calmly moved his horse out of sight, into the shadows of a thicket at the edge of the ruin. Out of his saddle-pack, he pulled out a simple muslin robe, dyed black. He put it on and belted it at the waist. After he dusted away some of the footprints, he located a small vantage point, nestled himself within it, and waited. If he were to be discovered, he was sure that his attire, along with the story he rehearsed in his head, would be convincing.

© 2018 DARLENE

It’s been about a month since I last posted–Did you miss the snippets?

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Jasmine Snippet 101

I’m filling in the empty parts of Book One of The Story of Jasmine:

Original Story of Jasmine title from 1981

The Group flees White Throne Mountain:

The temple ruins were tucked snugly within the folds of the mountain. The ancient road–now overgrown into a trail–leading to it was shaped like a giant horseshoe. Both sides ran up the mountainside from the main road, both lead equally to and away from a once-glorious Temple, situated at the top point where both trail ends met to become one.

Gazing down from the temple ruins, Glynn pointed out they had arrived using the trail’s eastern entrance – the one closest to Norram. Pointing to the trail in front of them, Glynn recommended they not go back the way they came, “We’d be some twenty miles further west along the main road if we take this side down to the main road instead.”

“And just how do you know this?” Ahearn asked.

“Common knowledge.” Glynn countered, “This place has existed since the beginning of time. We once knew it as ‘Fool’s Hope.’ Like all old places, it is considered to be haunted by the old spirits of people who used to live there. In this case, the spirits of ladies dressed in white… All but the curious know to stay away.”

“Haunted? Ahhh… What? Is that what they meant!?” Rogan said thoughtfully and tried to explain, “I could not understand why the local tavern folk were all snickering about the soldiers who left to spend the night here. In the tavern, the bar keeper had been regaling everyone with his local folk stories and accounts of people who claimed to have seen one or more white-haired ladies dancing near The White Throne. That’s when the soldiers perked up and demanded to know where this place is. Naturally, the bartender explained to the commander that these stories were just very old tales.

Nevertheless, the soldiers were still ordered to leave at once for the landmark. The soldiers were warned, several times not to stay here after nightfall, especially not at the full moon. Then the commander sez, ‘sounds like you don’t want us to go there and that’s reason enough…” When they left, the inn people kept repeating, ‘they was warned about them spirit maidens,’ as, indeed, they were. And now, look at ’em…” Rogan gestured towards the newly formed statues all frozen in different attitudes of terror, “this is now their new story. This is what happens to the disrespectful … being turned to stone because they did not heed a warning. This new tale will put a permanent crown on the old stories. People will really avoid this place!”

“No,” Glynn disagreed, “People would probably flock here to gloat. The Inn Keeper will have a great increase in customers. Has anybody checked if any of the statuary can be moved? Or are they fused to the bedrock?”

Before anyone could check, Thorne interjected loudly, “So, can we p-p-please leave – now!” Everyone agreed, it was indeed time to go. But they were waiting on Jasmine. Before she disappeared, Jasmine told Glynn, she needed to retrieve some woven materials to properly wrap the staff for safe travel. He let her go, bidding her to return promptly, but she had not yet emerged.

The men were antsy to get off the mountain and decided to go on ahead, down the western side of the path. They noticed that this used to be a very fine, well-groomed road. But for the exuberance of nature, long ago the road had shrunk into a trail. Glynn followed the horsemen on foot. The trail was easy to move along, even at the steep downward angle. The wideness of the trail was just one of the many indications, the trail had been recently traveled by many on horseback.

At first, Thorne started after them, then decided to stay behind to carry whatever Jasmine collected. Her tingling senses bade her to leave. She was angry at Glynn. Why did he allow Jasmine to disappear underground and become inaccessible within the temple? Thorne became uneasy whenever she glanced at the frozen positions of the stone men. She stood, stiff and unmoving, like another statue among the stone ones speckling the grounds. She shifted her stance, trying hard not to stare at the last looks of terror etched upon their stony faces. She could only imagine what Rogan and Glynn had gone through, actually witnessing the spectacle. She had never seen Rogan so unnerved. He had heard their cries.

© 2018 DARLENE

It’s been about a month since I last posted–Did you miss the snippets?

These continuing snippets are due to the patronage of a group of lovely people who are helping me make The Story of Jasmine suitable for publishing.

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The Problem with Beauty

I just watched “Bombshell,” on Netflix. It’s about the life of Hedy Lamarr, the actress I always maintained was the most beautiful one of all. It turns out that she possessed a discerning, scientific mind. For instance, during WWII, she invented a communications system that today’s WIFI is based on. But always, her breath-taking beauty got in the way of people taking her intellectual mind seriously.

All sorts of judgments and assumptions are made about people who are good looking. In the cinema, beautiful people are usually depicted as conniving and underhanded. With an air of superiority, they manipulate people to gain advantage. The beautiful woman is often shown gazing fondly at herself in a mirror. While admiring herself as she primps, she plans the details of her next conquest. What kind of role-model is this?

Beauty and intellect are accidents of one’s genes. The same doors that opened because of Hedy Lamarr’s beauty, also imprisoned her in a narrower definition of who she was. But she accepted her beauty and all it brought. In my experience, being fair to look at has not opened any doors. That’s probably because, unlike Hedy, I’ve always been ill-at-ease with being attractive.

My looks seemed always to target me for unwanted aggressive advances, often putting me in danger (boundary and abuse issues). I never flaunted my looks and seldom went out in public alone. I took pains to be nice and unassuming, but insecure girl friends or wives still considered me a threat. Jealousy made them regard me with suspicion and they made me feel unwelcome in their company.

I mostly kept to myself, or huddled underneath the protective arm of a boy friend and later, husband. Professionally, I did not fare much better. As an artist, it’s always challenging to find work, but if I landed a good freelance job, it must have been because I had slept around. Untrue stories questioning my morality cropped up that were very hurtful. The meanness of the gossip really got to me. What had I ever done to deserve the treatment I received in my younger, socially awkward days?

As a consequence, I retreated and spent my life hidden away as an introvert. I covered myself in frumpy, oversized clothes, and wore baggy sweaters. I did not embellish. I used no make-up. I covered my body like I was apologizing for my existence. I totally hid my radiance, my beauty, my light.

Never again do I want to be a victim of lust, jealousy or lies by people who cannot take responsibility for their own feelings, who claim it’s my fault for making them feel whatever they feel. The only time I felt safe enough to dress up, look great, be radiant and dance in public was within the company of my husband.

  *   *   *    *   *

Now it’s 2018. I realize I have never owned my beauty.

Now that age has given me wrinkles and whitening hair, with gravity tugging my less-resilient skin, it’s time I take a look in the mirror to have a peek at the truth. What has my all-natural, tattered jeans, baggy sweater, no-make-up style ever done for me (besides saving me an ton in cosmetic and clothing costs)?

I now perceive, the “all natural” hippie persona I chose to embrace has just been another way of remaining invisible. I’ve been using it as a shield, of playing small, and not owning the spotlight.

To achieve my soul’s purpose, Spirit needs me to actively embrace my totality. I’ve always been quite willing to look at the negative aspects of myself, but beauty… not so much. Now, it’s time to take the next step, even if that step means to jump into the fire.

Jumping into the fire — I suddenly know what that means — to have the courage to face something that truly terrifies me! My fear of being seen makes me camera shy and explains my reluctance to video record myself. (My gosh — people will actually see me…) Video pod-casting is my next hurdle.

To totally embrace my feminine self means to acknowledge my natural beauty and all that entails. That would automatically make it impossible to remain unseen. It’s an odyssey.

“Beauty is an asset, just like physical prowess, charisma, brains or emotional intelligence. The key with any gift is in the way that you use it. It doesn’t define you as a person. Rather, it’s an asset to be used judiciously and with an understanding of how it is just a small part of who you are.” Dale Archer

______________________

As I’m writing, I suddenly realize it’s a little before noon on the summer solstice. Maybe these words have more significance than I thought. Thus, my challenge becomes my gift.

© 2018 DARLENE

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A Message To Me from the Marketing God. 

In my last e-mail newsletter, I introduced the concept of “Spiritual Marketing.” The writing was mostly tongue in cheek, but now I am taking the idea a little more seriously. Let me tell you about a recent visit I had from none other than the Marketing God.

As well as a visual thinker, I’m also a spatial thinker. I’m able to turn images around in my mind and view them from different angles and perspectives. I use this capacity to visualize what a client describes to me and can usually get a close approximate to what is desired (if they are articulate). In addition to seeing different spatial orientations, a time element can get involved for projects more complex than a logo. Those times I have to give considerable thought to visualizing how separate graphic units fit together synergistically and throughout time.

A Spiritual Strategy Session

Just recently, I sat myself down in a quiet spot to mull over some design possibilities on behalf of a new client. In a meditation, I tapped into a huge marketing strategy involving the client, me and our project. It was pretty amazing: a 10-month strategy plan, which involved a brilliant way to re-engage the client’s existing e-list. The answer was to beckon or entice the e-list to become a part of my artistic process. As the project’s artist, I would periodically provide updates on my creative progress.

The plan was fairly brilliant. I wasn’t aware that Spirit knew anything about marketing timelines. My client’s first e-list engagement would involve the use of a survey. The client would solicit the e-list’s opinions about certain matters in an up-coming event (happening in the fall,10 months away) that is somehow related to a project/product, which I am working on (that is timed to be released at the event).

Producing Win-Win-Wins

Using the survey results, the e-list would be given monthly updates on how the art is progressing along. Updates will keep the list’s attention on the subject, generating interest and value. There would be a build-up, so that by the time of the event, people are charged up about acquiring the product. Happy people feel they have had a hand in creating something, or feel more involved in its creation. Everyone is satisfied, a win-win-win for all concerned. Win for e-listers who get the product; Win with client being associated with something positive & creative and finally; a Win for me in that I have work and can increase my presence.

But Gone in an Instant

I mean, I “saw” the whole thing unfold so beautifully in my mind’s eye! This time, I tried my best to explain the plan to my client. Maybe I got into too much detail. I don’t know. This time, I owned the fact that the information was spirit-derived. At other times, when the same spiritual download happened, I kept that fact to myself, thinking it would be best. But just like all the other times, when I divulged the vision, my client gave excuses and scrammed. Poof. Gone.

Amazing, but confounding. What is happening here? What good are these grand revelations if they scare clients away? What are my responsibilities? Do I ever divulge what I see/ feel /experience on their behalf or always keep this inspired information to myself? Or maybe I’m wrong about the entire experience. Maybe it’s simply an idea in my own genius brain, I mistook for a revelation?

Wait a moment – what’s the matter with me? If I was an ad agency, the marketing plan I presented has enormous value and costs gobs of money! Didn’t my client realize it was a tremendous gift that I had bestowed … for free? Is that the problem? I didn’t charge or built up enough anticipation?

Another Possibility

I’ve often wondered if the idea of truly being successful is what actually drives people off. Why do they hesitate? Is it because they already know the status-quo but success seems so elusive and unpredictable…?

Most people prepare themselves for failure. Few people prepare for success. They may think they are prepared, but are they? Just look at how happy the million dollar winners of the lotto end up being in the long run. Most were not emotionally prepared, over indulged their neediness, and faced some hard lessons.

Pretend I’m the Wish-Fulfilling Jewel and that I could grant to you everything you wanted your business to be — in the form of a logo. Could you immediately accept the gift without your shadow interfering and wondering if there is a catch? Used to the status quo, your shadow would most likely put the brakes on. It’s not sure what changes and challenges success may impose. If you don’t know what success looks like, you will not be prepared to plunge into these waters.

The Fear of Success

So… to extrapolate, if the people I interact with are a reflection of myself, and if they are all afraid of success (even thought they’d swear otherwise), that can only mean that I, myself, am not willing to face my own attainment of prosperity.

The message ultimately means I should actively prepare myself to embrace success. That means I need to consciously open a space in my life for success to thrive. That means I have to become the kind of person who can accept success and everything that comes with it, without reserve.

The Spiritual message for me from the non-existent, but all wise Marketing God thus becomes, “Plan for Success” and plan well.

© 2018 DARLENE

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Thank You.

Jasmine Snippet 100?

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your interest.

The She-Demon of Melantha’s Faction from JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm collector card game.

People have been waiting and asking for Jasmine Snippet #100. I’m gratified to know that there is enough interest to generate anticipation. How great is that?

I believe we are at the climax of the first book of The Story of Jasmine.

I have halted at the point when Jasmine is being tested by the winds; her comrades captured by cannibals, a faery dragon is wounded, a magician is angered… It would be nice and poetic to be able to wrap that all up in a nice long post for Snippet #100. But there are too many scenes, to accomplish that feat.

This is far from the ending of the Original Jasmine story; it’s merely a stop along Jasmine’s arduous journey North. My notes continue well past this point. But I don’t want to get beyond myself. I think I have a book here and so it behooves me to go back, edit, and fill in the missing details. If I’m moving too much ahead by publishing more snippets beyond Book I, I will not be able to place the needed focus on preparing for publication, the 1st part of The Story of Jasmine.

This is something my Patreon champions are helping me to accomplish. I still intend to be posting more of The Story of Jasmine, but my patrons will get dibs on seeing it first.

If you want to consider becoming a patron to get an inside glimpse of a work in progress, please visit Darlene’s patreon page.

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Jasmine Snippet #99

Four cards from JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm Collector Card Game.

The Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

“My dear,” Sud addressed her, “now that introductions are over, it is time to address a disagreement between the West Wind and myself about your possible use of the faery crown to cheat on our tests…”

“Cheating? Tests? What? You tested me?” Jasmine asked.

Sud answered, “Oh yes, from the moment you arrived on our doorstep… you have been ours to play with…” Sud paused, to address the West Wind, “Ah, Wein, dear, the entertainment value alone grants enormous points!”

“What were these tests?” Jasmine asked.

All four Winds halted their interactions and faced Jasmine. One after another, in rapid succession, they took turns answering her: “Many times, we tested you… We tested your courage to open up and your courage to be vulnerable. We tested your reaction when shown the truth of history. We tested your ability to become lighter than air, and we dared you to think with your heart. Maybe the crown made opening the gateway of ecstasy more accessible…”

Ost interrupted the litany and spoke loudly, “or maybe the difference is her birthright and not the crown at all! You two just don’t want her to succeed. Since you are not in a position to provide her with aid anyway, your opinions in this case really don’t count, do they?”

The West Wind blew, a cold blast of fury at Ost, who quickly pushed himself away. Wein followed. Both took the forms of nasty, fast-moving, funnel-shaped spirals. Right after Wein’s blast of frigid air circled Jasmine, another energetic blast knocked her off her feet, as Noird left to join the windy fray. Out in the dense forest, two mighty winds chased and abutted each other in the form of tornados, wreaking havoc on the local weather and on the land below. In their beds, the people below crouched in fear. They will long remember the terrible winds that visited them on this day.

Sud suspended Jasmine from her fall and pushed her gently back to her feet. “Ost and I believe you have passed all of our tests,” she said, sweetly. “And everyone knows Ost will win. He’s the strongest at the moment. I would guess they are putting on a show for you, my dear.” She mused.

“Why would they do that?” Jasmine asked.

“Don’t you know you are only half mortal?” Sud explained, “Your mother is a well-respected air elemental. You exist because of Erlkyng’s magic. This crown, err-r-r ring, is a curious thing. It easily pulls you into the awesome beauty of the Faery Realm. Right now, you are standing on a portal in a spot between two worlds. But, with that device on your finger, you have your own portal into Faery.”

“Then, when I see stunningly beautiful vistas…”

“You’ve wandered into the Faery Realm.”

“And the voices I heard talking to me?”

“Denizens of Faery. They’ve been very concerned. That’s why they directed you to us. That you listened and made your way here is astounding. I noticed last night that when you visit the Faery Realms, your substance lightened and you easily took on the qualities of an air elemental. You were also able to fly under your own soul power. I was with you but you did not need my help. You did fine, until you left Faery…”

“Things have become so complicated since I left home.”

“Things are much more complicated than you can guess. It’s not your fault, but you have enemies. There are factions that strongly disagreed with Erlkyng’s plotting and tried to prevent it. That’s why you were born in the Crystal Caverns. But the moment your mother left the underground, Aria was abducted and whisked away from the Mid-Realm… Well, all I can say is of all your enemies, the West Wind is one of the worst. Always be on your guard in the afternoons. Try to stay in doors. Wain means you no good.”

“Thank You, I don’t know what to say.”

“As a reward for being worthy, you have earned the right to use this spot, the Meeting Place of the Winds, to go to any place you desire within the Mid-Realm and probably Faery. You might want to use it now…”

© 2018 DARLENE

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Jasmine Snippet #98

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

The North and South Wind cards from JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm Collector Card Game.

Two Wind Special Cards from “The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game.

Jasmine looked down at her hand and inspected the ring. So, it’s not a ring after all, it was a Faery King’s Crown. How strange. Then she looked up at the brilliant luminescence of the sky. It seemed to her there were only deep, saturated colors. There was no blackness in the night sky at all.

“Where am I?” she marveled. A Wind came up from behind and blew her hair forward.

The Wind answered, “Welcome to the Meeting Place of the Winds. Allow me to introduce everyone. I am Ost, the East Wind.” He spun around delightfully as he spoke, “I am the first wind–the breeze of the morning. As herald of the day, I bring hope and brightness.” He stopped and moved closer to her and whispered, “At the moment, I am the strongest here as it is just about to dawn.” Ost landed lightly by Jasmine’s side and took Jasmine’s hand. She clearly felt Ost’s firm grasp and wondered how this could be. Ost introduced her to the other three winds. Each one’s sharp, undulating features refracted in and out of invisibility.

Ost paused. “This is Wein, the West Wind.” he introduced, “He shall be the strongest wind this afternoon.” Next to Ost’s warm feel, Wein was cold. He seemed bluer than the other winds and his voice had an unfriendly edge to it.

“I shall chill you and never leave you in peace.” Wein said.

“Lovely.” Jasmine sighed a bit too loudly.

“Miss, that is my nature.” Wein replied. “I came out of courtesy to meet you, though I’m bidden to do but a single service for the Sorceress of Medrylthorn. Know, oh haughty one, until I have dispatched my obligation, I cannot do you any favors.”

Jasmine nodded her acknowledgment as Ost ushered her quickly away. “This is Noird, the blinding wind of the North. His strength is in the evening and he’s sometimes hot and sometimes cold, but he is always full of energy. Noird has promised a service to the Ice King, Thorgall. So like Wein, Noird is unable to help you at the moment.”

Noird blew a kiss at her. “I sincerely hope you will be around when I am able to serve you…” Jasmine blushed, then acknowledged him with a nod of her head.

Ost took her to meet the last wind, “Sud is the hot wind of the night. Her strength envelopes and protects.” Sud displayed more of a purplish cast. Her vibration seemed faster than the other winds. Strangely, the faster undulations gave Sud’s sharp features more definition. With Sud’s form, she could make out a body beyond her face.

From what Jasmine could tell, Sud had the general shape of a horse with great wings, but also, instead of a horse’s head, there was a woman’s torso. Jasmine thought Sud looked exquisite and stunning.

Ost added, “Oh, deep into the night, you traveled on an excursion with Sud, since she was the strongest at that time.”

“Oh.” Jasmine said, “thank you.” It seemed to Jasmine that Sud winked at her and she chuckled.

© 2018 DARLENE

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My Hermit’s Journey into Advertising

If the idea that Advertising / Marketing / Sales can be used as a spiritual metaphor, I must unlearn my tremendous aversion to it. I hate sales with a passion … to the core. The idea of selling makes me cringe.

Boring Sales

That’s probably because I associate selling with being dragged as a child, along with my siblings, to fairs, conventions, and flea markets. My father expected us to help make sales of whatever new thing he was offering that year. Of course, for us was an exercise in futility. We just did not have “the touch.” While my father delighted in talking to prospects, our prime summer days were spent languishing in dusty halls, or out in the glaring hot sun or in the ear-numbing cold.

We counted the hours for the day to end, hoping desperately to relieve the boredom. We cringed when anybody came by to inquire about some feature of the product we did not know how to answer. Worse still, if dad saw people walk away from us. He knew we’d lost a sale…

Exhibiting at art fairs is not much fun either. I’d be sitting at the exhibitor’s booth, pretty much bored and noticing all the blank faces of people meandering mindlessly past. I’d be passively available, if anyone noticed me. I was virtuously non-intrusive.

On the other hand, the booths that demanded attention received it. I watched the gimmicks of the successful vendors, witnessed the little tricks they used to engage interest. Most of them did what I could never manage–engaging in banter. I silently observed how they used energy to attract energy.

E-marketing

In e-marketing, I can see how an e-mail’s attention-getting headline would correspond to the competing calls of different merchants offering their wares for sale in the marketplace. If opened, the e-mail succeeded in getting past the bored eyes of their recipient. Whether or not the prospect lingers to look at an image or read the content of an e-mail, or moves on depends upon many factors. It’s very subjective.

The spiritual side of advertising challenges this old hermit by asking if I’m being arrogant in my poverty. Do I compensate for and perpetuate having little by feeling spiritually superior to rich people? Is it really a badge of purity not to make a buck?

Updating Old Attitudes

My old attitudes concerning artists and spiritually-oriented people accepting money have resurfaced. For an artist to do very well implies they’ve “sold out” and selling out is considered a bad thing for an artist. With money in the equation, the artist’s work is deemed to be tainted.

I’ve always balked at the practice of placing sales offers at the end of articles in e-mails. To me, it lessens the article. It’s not a true gift if there’s a price tag attached. No, not a gift, a ploy. It’s deceitful. The advertiser pretends they are giving you something for free. Here, take it! But nothing’s free. They are always seeking something in return. They want you to buy something.

Reversing Assumptions

The spiritual side of Marketing challenges me to reverse my assumptions. It asks me: how am I different from anybody else? Is my hunger any less? Don’t I deserve to tout my wares unapologetically, at the top of my lungs, if I choose to?

Like every human being, I have value. I am deserving. So in the end, it’s me I’m selling.

OK. Here I am! Notice me!? I’m the introvert in the corner…

If you opt in below, every two weeks, I’ll offer up some cool observations and insights from my hermit’s perspective and let you enjoy some of my seldom seen Darlene Art (I’m getting better at not hiding the links).

 

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Jasmine Snippet #97

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

The Special Card, “Ring of Emeth” from the JASMINE: The Battle of the Mid-Realm Collector Card game.

Jasmine closed her eyes and kept her eyes shut as she concentrated on blowing into her makeshift flute. It surely felt as if she was suspended in the air but she preferred to believe the feeling was illusory. She felt safe from harm as long as she kept her mind occupied with playing. So she fought the temptation to reach out one of her hands to confirm there was ground beneath her. In case it wasn’t an illusion, she did not want to fall to her death.

After a while, she decided to get bold enough to trust her bodily sensations. She trusted gravity would not claim her. If she was being suspended in the air, she’d make the best of it. But she still kept her eyes shut. Jasmine moved her body in a way that placed less stress on her muscles.

To be aware of her orientation, to know up and down, she had to be aware of her center of gravity. She instinctively did this by imagining herself in the middle of a bubble that would always right itself. Creating her bubble cushion helped make her flute playing easier. The winds picked up and tossed her higher and higher. She could control how fast she tumbled by spreading out her arms and legs. To do this, she had to stop playing.

When she stopped playing, she opened her eyes. Darn, she knew this would happen.She was in free fall. “This is not my imagination.” Jasmine said to herself. There was nothing for her to do but to accept her situation. She was falling. How could she fight gravity? Sooner or later, she will hit the ground. So she decided to relax her muscles and welcome every sensation she felt during her last moments alive. Indeed, as she fell, she noticed the customary colors of the night had changed into an intense blue purple.

She did not hit the ground. Instead, she was buoyed up, suspended, and gently placed on a circular bowl etched in a rock near the edge of a cliff. As soon as her feet touched rock, she stumbled as if she had forgotten how gravity worked. The Winds immediately manifested before her. There was much mirth between them. Their laughter sounded like high whistling. “See!” one was saying to another, “didn’t I tell you? Aria’s daughter could not help but to succeed, and brilliantly!”

“W-What?” Jasmine asked, as she got up, “who is Aria?”

“Oh, you can hear us speak?” asked one who appeared directly in front of her. He was see-thorough, but his features were sharp and piercing. His image kept distorting as it flickered between invisibility and shades of blue and white.

“Yes, I understand you.” Jasmine answered. The winds quickly ushered themselves away to confer among themselves. Jasmine felt nothing but an abysmal stillness during their absence. But it gave her time to consider her situation. She was here basically because the ghostly voices connected with the ring had brought her to this spot.

“This spot.” That phrase kept echoing in her head. “This spot. This spot. This-s-s-p… Of course! This very spot is where the Winds meet. I’m here!” Jasmine felt elated. She spun and danced within the circular depression in the rock. Somehow, she arrived at the place the ring voices advised her to find.

When she thought about it, she became puzzled that she had not encountered the voices emanating from the ring for a long while. They were silent still. Then Jasmine heard the word  “Doorway” in her head. She reasoned that this was why the colors were so deep and marvelous! Jasmine smiled. She was on the doorstep of elementals who could take her precisely where she wanted to go.

One of the winds returned.

This one also had sharp features and was almost indistinguishable from the first, except the voice differed, “Winds are able to converse quite freely with the denizens of the faery realm. We think you can understand us because you wear the Crown of the Faery King Emeth on your finger.”

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Become a PATRON to Continue the story.

Jasmine Snippet #96

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Special card in the deck of JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm collector card game

Jasmine awakened. She was by a mountain stream in an area where some tall reeds grew. She heard them rustling as they shimmered in the breeze. Her muscles felt stiff and ached. She stretched, and wondered how she got there. It was still dark. She could not tell how long she slept or dreamt. Absently, she reached for one of the dried golden reeds, pulled it to her, broke off the stem and fidgeted with it as she thought about her visionary excursions.

As with her experience with her sisters at the ancient temple on White Throne Mountain, she could not tell if she actually traveled to these majestic places, or if she just had one fantastic dream. She had dreamt of flying before, so the sensation of moving through the air high above the ground was somewhat familiar. And flying would explain how she arrived at this spot.

She became aware of the golden reed she was turning in her hands and inspected it. There was some fibrous material on the inside. So she started the process of hollowing the reed using whatever sharp sticks or natural tools presented themselves.

After she hollowed the dried reed, she found a rock just the right shape and sharpness to fashion little holes in the stem. She found a way to produce a nice round hole, if she twisted the rock back and forth the right way. The next time she blew into the reed, she produced a sound. After a little more work, she was able to improve the tone. Using the same technique, she worked on other holes, until at last, she’d fashioned a flute.

It took considerable effort to produce even a raspy and barely audible sound when she tried to play it. She found another rock with a sharper edge she could use to better define the holes and further refine the inside. It was hard because it was still dark and she did these tasks more with feel than sight. Jasmine worked on it single-mindedly until the sound produced became cleaner. As she improved the sound, she hummed a melody that got stuck in her brain. And as she hummed, the winds picked up.

So focused was Jasmine on finishing her task, she did not immediately notice when the winds picked her up. Still seated, her body hovered three inches off the ground. At last, when she blew into the finished reed, and made a strong pure note, the winds lifted her higher into the air.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Become a PATRON to Continue the story.