A Note from Tim

In May 2018, I came up with this fancy idea, that was to have Tim write a note, or a preface for my book, without him reading it first.

I thought the entire book is about him, in and out of this life, it just made sense for him to have a say, at the beginning of the book. And without being too much influenced by my points of view, which are the tone of the book, it would be a great idea to put his original points of view into the book.

Tim gracefully cooperated and wrote the following piece. When you read the book, you will find, this “note” or the “preface” is not actually included in the book.  After this note was written, we discovered most of his “points of view” were already covered in my “points of view”. What a coincidence!  (wink)

Kemila told me about her idea for this book and asked me if I was okay with it. I am a private person and this book talks about events of my life, contains expressions of my personal feelings, and portrays experiences that I had while in a hypnotic trance. So this request made me deeply uncomfortable.

But then there is the story that the book would tell. At its core that is a story about love. And the person wanting to write it is the love of my life. So of course I gave her my blessing and encouragement and helped in any way that I could.

A core facet of the book involves my experiences while in a hypnotic trance and regressed (or progressed) to different points in time. What are those experiences? I certainly visualize events when guided through a regression process. Some events are easier than others to visualize and some questions easier to answer. Often, although not always, events become more clear and the experience becomes more tangible as the regression progresses. Feelings and emotions are almost always easier to identify than concrete details though sometimes those details are extremely vivid.

And afterward, coming out of a trance, opening my eyes, and re-joining the world that I generally inhabit, I feel a sense of dislocation much more pronounced than when waking from a powerful dream.

But did those things I experienced while in trance actually happen? Or are they instead an invention of my imagination, a fantasy? My professional background is computer science and science and logic ground my thinking. To my knowledge, there is no scientific basis to believe in reincarnation. Yet of all the world’s great belief systems, Buddhism makes the most sense to me. So even though it is almost impossible to prove a negative, I am skeptical that what I experienced in trance was a manifestation of actual past events.

I am inclined to think of those trance experiences as originating from my imagination. This makes sharing them with the world seem more troubling to me than if they had actually occurred. Why did my imagination take those specific forms? What, if anything, do those trance experiences say about me as a real person?

I try and content myself in the thought that giving light to my trance experiences says no more about me than creative works say about their creators. Authors write fiction, and although their stories and novels may be informed by their life experiences, we generally do not think the stories reflect on the authors. Yet my experiences differ in that they were not shaped by conscious thought and hence are more like dreams. So I wonder, what do these “dreams” say about me?

Behind the Scene Is a Heroine

It took me a while to find an editor for the book, but after I found Melanie Christian, I’m very glad that she is my editor. She does predominantly a line-by-line edit of each chapter, making amendments to follow The Canadian Press Stylebook, as she told me, it’s required formatting guide for published works. Editing the book this way must be tedious work but Melanie has taken it so diligently.

Adding her intuition to her dedication, Melanie sends me a few chapters at a time, and I found her work establishes a more clear and fluid narrative. I know I will look and sound better because of her.

At Forward Muse Solutions, she’s holding it so true to her statement:

Continue to do what you love with the peace of mind that your content needs are inspired & running smoothly!

The sweet thing about Melanie is that she always inserts positive energies in each editing note she sends me.

And am so enjoying this story and your journey. You are an engaging storyteller!

Thank you again for your patience with my process. I hope you enjoy reading my revisions? And look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments. It really is wonderful. Believe me, I recognize that you have entrusted me with something precious. So, I’m handling with great care 🙂

Thank you again for such a fun opportunity of editing your book. You and Tim truly do have such a sweet story. And there are wonderful moments when I laugh out loud, because your sense of humour shines through. I hope you are happy with my revisions? And look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

I must say, I am really appreciating how you’ve chosen to divide up the chapters of Carol’s Lives. And the chapter titles are very captivating.

You can also find Melanie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelanieCWriter/

The City

This book is coming along. It really is.

I have promised myself to focus on finalizing the book this summer, which means, no travel until September.

Some days, my hypnotherapy client work can be intense, in both its depth and the volume. I try blocking at least one day per week to dedicate my time to the book.

A long way to come, but it has come to the last round of editing.

Today I had a last-minute cancellation with a client, and it gave me some room to reorganize where I’m at on the journey of this book-writing time-travelling project.

It brought my mind to New York again. Tim and I were visiting it in April, for his birthday.

Struggling to remain objective, I am aware of a strong and ridiculously comforting sense of familiarity, in New York, even though it’s only my second time visiting it, in this life.

I have judged the city, before I even came here. Now I’m madly in love with New York.

I am standing in a portal between memory and reality; it was clear at last that the only gap between the two was of time, of past and present.

Let me bridge the gap now by presenting a book, of me and Tim, in the present, and Carol and Rick, in the past.

P.S. I have made a little video on memory recalls in this city full of memories, for me.

History Drifts by the River

Standing by the Richelieu River flowing to NY

Looking back, I truly couldn’t have asked for a better place to finish off the first draft of the book Carol’s Lives.

The Richelieu River can be as still as a mirror

It was in late May, 2018, invited by Lorraine and Daniel, I went to a small riverside community called Saint-Paul-de-L’île-aux-Noix in Quebec for two weeks, a perfect place and length of time to finish the book that had taken me too long to finish.

Enchanted Canal of Richelieu River

On the shore of the Richelieu River, 45 minutes away from Montreal, I got up every morning, settled in the screened gazebo, and opened my laptop. It felt like a boathouse, with an enchanted canal and the Richelieu River all around me. Here I was 10 kilometers away from U.S border and 500 kilometers away from New York, writing about that hectic and sentimental life in Manhattan, in a peaceful and quiet setting. It felt surreal. A lifetime had come to an end. Here I was again.


For two weeks I did nothing else but write. My body and mind felt quite relaxed sitting and writing by the riverside everyday, yet my heart could ache with the darkness and hardship in the life of Carol and Rick. Like the wide river itself, peaceful and calm in the morning and evening, often full of waves following the whims of the wind in the afternoon, yet never giving any indication of the direction it flowed.

Sunrise over Fort Lennox

The act of writing was very smooth and inspirational. Words flew onto my computer screen as I watched the ever-changing sunlight drifting over the water and the procession of boats going in and out of the canal and down the river.

Across the river I could see Fort Lennox on the island called Ile-aux-Noix, a fortification still standing on a structure that was completed in 1829. History must have witnessed battles here. But right now, it has all come back into this single moment of peace where my finger hit the last key on the first draft of my book.

Final pages of Carol’s Lives
So close to New York

The Birthing of the Book Cover

One Vancouver summer’s afternoon, Tim and I met Silmara, our photographer and book cover designer, in Kitsilano (Don’t you like the sound of that name? So soft but firm, nearly romantic.)

We were to take some benching pictures overlooking the water for the book cover, to illustrate Tim and I, sitting in Vancouver in this life, looking ahead, through time, into New York City in the 20’s.

That was a relaxing afternoon. Silmara was working at her own pacing, directing and instructing us occasionally. At the same time, Tim and I had our conversations going on sitting on two different benches without being interrupted by Silmara’s work.

Silmara is the owner of The Orange Lamp studio in Kitsilano. We trusted her. Even though the original idea was mine, we had no idea what the final look of the book cover would be. But I could feel the excitement knowing Silmara was going to do the work.

A few weeks later, Silmara delivered three versions.

  

I liked them all for different reasons. Hard to decide, I put all three cover designs to my FaceBook page asking for opinions. And people say:

Through the covers we can almost read the book.. Great feeling I got from it.
Thank you for sharing yourself with the world my friend.
Despite the third also being great, I feel that the first is “closer” to the story.

Aesthetically the 3rd option pulls my attention more readily. The 1st is more subtle yet feels like you’re stepping into a private moment. Exciting times Kemila.

I am drawn to the third one (post cards).

Sitting with the designed covers for a couple of weeks, I knew I wanted something closer to the content to represent the book. And I knew Silmara hadn’t had the chance to read the book.

So we had another meeting with Silmara. Tim came up with the idea of ocean background, as in one of Carol’s lives, Sijo is living in a pristine ocean island. Tim sent an ocean picture that he took when we were visiting Oregon coast last summer.

And Silmara turned it into a beautiful cover background. Voila, our final cover was born. Even though Silmara went further designed another almost abstract version of the ocean bubbles, the moment I saw them coming into my email inbox, I knew which one I was going to take.

                  

Now what do you think?