Irish Mother’s Day, and a St. Patrick’sDay Special on P’kaboo

First of all, all Moms in Ireland: Happy Mother’s Day!

Also, in memory of St Patrick’s Day celebrations, P’kaboo is offering a St Patrick’s Day Special: But you have to be quick, because it is literally for one day only, it’s only on the 17th of March, St Patrick’s Day.

http://www.pkaboo.net

Burning bridges, and Beautiful Ireland

Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” has long been a favourite for me.

But today for the first time I actually read the history of the song, and I was – slightly taken aback. For the first time I understand what they mean with “you wore out your welcome with random precision”. Well, that ties right in with one of my three words for 2021: Boundaries.

[Here’s the link; educate yourselves! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shine_On_You_Crazy_Diamond]

It also ties in well with the audiobook I’m listening to – Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. The habit I’m revising right now is “Win-Win – or No Deal”.

This is interesting, because while most people tend to think just “win”, they don’t really care if they hurt or benefit another as long as they win, of course in the long run win-win is the only stable strategy. But there are enough people who don’t want to play; they either want to see you lose (or they don’t feel they have won), or they want to sacrifice themselves to see you win. Neither is healthy. So “Win-win, or no deal at all” is a position one can take and be pretty immovable about it.

And “or no deal” is about setting boundaries. Nobody sacrifices themselves. Nobody pushes another over.

Rare sight: You don’t often spot them courting

Regarding “Karen”

People, really!

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie, and discovered that the villain shared YOUR NAME?

What did you do with that book or movie? Did you put it aside, switch it off, give it away – or did you read or watch to the end, cringing every time and trying to associate with the villain? Or trying to defend the villain? Or having to add “not me” in your mind every time the name was mentioned?

Now imagine this is not a movie: It’s Real Life.

Someone has decided that YOUR NAME, which happens to be Karen, an insanely common name, stands for everything they hate about white women. From bad hairstyles to bad attitudes to whatever, you name it.

Every time someone says “she’s a real Karen”, you, who are a genuine Karen, cringe. It hurts. You know what they mean. They are hating on the name, piling manure on it. All over social media, wherever you look.

Every Karen I personally ever encountered, is a nice person. Karen means “beloved”. If you are privileged to have that beautiful name, hold your head up high and remember you were given it by your parents who love you. Not by some brainless little twits on social media.

It is worse than that tough: A whole demographic ( young to middle-aged white women) is being maligned here. People, have you learnt nothing??

Here is my wish:

May every last brainless little twit who references a “real Karen” that way, experience the same level of bullying about something that is genuinely about them. Something they can’t change. Like, their name. Or their face. Or possibly, their (brand-new, never used) brain.

That would be Karma.

Be ashamed! Be very ashamed.

(The deep irony of this is that the original “Karen” from the meme isn’t actually even a Karen. She goes by another name. But neither is it ok to take that other name and drag it through the mud, because there are thousands of women by that name too who haven’t done anything. — A few years back there was something similar about “Steve”. Some brain-dead company vilified the name in an advert. It turned into a meme. They had to face a class action suit by people named Steve.)

(Disclaimer: I’m not mad often. But when I am, I’m hoping to make Waves!)

St Valentine’s Special – Smashwords

In remembrance of LOVE, we decided to honour St Valentine’s Day at P’kaboo.

The way we do this is by offering all our titles for the nominal price of $1.

The coupon code is SK83F; the link is:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/pkaboo

OR visit:

http://www.pkaboo.net/

and contact us (via the options on “Contact” page) to organize yourself $1 copies of any of the ebooks we have on our site (which are more than on Smashwords).

The offer is open until end of February, and is a definite direct result of Lockdown Fatigue

Filters and Paradigms

According to Deepak Chopra, ageing is a mistake our body makes. Or rather, a mistake we make and our body expresses.

Have you come across those memes with a square block packed with letters, and the first four words you see are supposed to have special meaning?

Well maybe they do! If you look on 2 different days, you’ll see two different sets of words. Have you considered why?

It’s the filter through which we look at the letter scramble. Two people can listen to the same speech and get completely different messages; depending on how they interpret what the speaker is saying, with their own world view.

Now: Don’t get defensive: We all do this! Each brain is such a unique combination of neurons and light flickering; each person has such a unique history of growing up and learning, and even genetic predisposition. If one considers genetic variety, and how it differentiates all of us into individuals, and then overlays every person’s unique history, family set and what they have been exposed to, the differences become practically infinite.

So, there is no such thing as objectivity. There is a Truth that is “out there”; but consider that we can only perceive it (perceive every fact about the solid world) through our unique senses, and then have it involuntarily filtered through our perfectly unique brain that is in a constant state of flux and (hopefully) still learning every day…

(by now the readers that haven’t wandered off to raid the fridge, have possibly fallen asleep)

to get to the point:

If your mind shows you a Swan, in context of sending you a life message you should pay attention to, it isn’t because the swan quite by accident swam into view. (Or the owl nearly hit your windscreen.)

Of course it did that. But that is not the point.

In the same picture there may be a wren; a boat; a seagull; a mouse; there may even be a seal (but you failed to spot it). There may be a salmon breaching (significant image in Irish mythology). But your mind didn’t pay attention to any of them, it fixated on the swan.

Clearly, it is your mind trying to send itself a life message by reaching into your own subconscious mind, and using whatever is at hand – a cloud shaped like Arch Michael, or the Swan. It is a message, from yourself to yourself, trying to get your attention.

It is significant. For you.

Do pay attention.

… gipsika …

Happy New Year

Sitting here with the Angels as company, listening to the silence – and to my youngest, sleepless like me, pacing, pacing, pacing in her bedroom upstairs as she listens to her music over the headphones.

It is otherwise so quiet, I can hear them – the high zinging voices of the Angels (no, it’s not tinnitus 😀 ). If she weren’t pacing, it might get quiet enough that I could also hear the twittering of the Little Folk, the pixies and other little nature spirits living with us. There are nights that I do.

2020 despite Covid was not a bad year for us. It was filled with unexpected new friendship, and beautiful new experiences (between lockdowns). Also, I made massive progress on the path towards my most important current goals. Which included working very hard at the day job and taking every opportunity that presented itself.

It is winter again though, and, a year wiser than last, I have chosen my words for the year again – Observe And Listen. Last year it was simply “Listen”, and I realized that I also need to observe. Another important concept here is “Boundaries”. Especially where time, responsibilities, work load sharing, giving and taking, budgeting vs spending, in short, everything is concerned.

Four spirit animals were sent my way in close encounters this past year. They were: Fox; Dolphins; Otter, and lastly, to me alone, Owl. I have googled all their meanings, but I am still left thinking, no, the message is more personal than common lore about spirit animals. Once again by listening, I will figure it out.

I have also by now firmly established that the Darkness of this time of year does not only affect me; and its effect on me is probably not even very deep as compared to many people. I remember writing about Darkness madness, in Solar Wind 2 (Antarctic winter) and again in 5, when they head out to space. I’m encountering it here first-hand. To my fellow seasonal moodswing troupers: It’s not just the Vitamin D, though that plays a role. It’s the actual amount of light, and sunlight in particular. This winter, I feel especially sorry for everyone who is on their own, locked down.

On the work front: As I am not relenting with my quest for excellence in the day-job and journey of self-development (to recover and help establish the children’s futures), there is not much time and energy left for books. Nevertheless I am determined to put out at least the books we have been working on for the last 18 months now, within this coming year. There are more that I would like to prepare and publish, but I will not make promises at this point because of the time limitations mentioned above.

I’m for once not entirely sure which audience I’m writing this post for. I know you peeps are watching for P’kaboo posts, which this is not; it’s more of a post-midnight ramble and a wish that all of you may have a good year 2021. I do believe we can’t be kept in lock-down forever, and that things will swing back up in every way. I do believe that humankind will get a grip on how to deal with pandemics.

With that, I’m signing off, see you all later.

*** gipsika ***

Proudly launching – but not on Wednesday.

After a long preparation period, we’re finally launching a title that has been waiting…

After a test-copy was released for beta-testing, issues have come to light which will need to be taken care of first, but despair not, you will see this title become available soon!

Just not this coming Wednesday.

Well, I for one have a suggestion to make to Amazon. A little service they could add for authors and publishers.

Keep watching this space………….

Thoughts on Change, and comfort zones

As we move closer to launching a few titles again, I recall how I used to run P’kaboo in South Africa. And in pre-Lockdown times.

There were books and paper proofs all over the place. There was going out with Iain looking for more bookshops to show our printed copies to. There were music shops to deliver to and people to speak to. Driving to the printing companies and quality-checking our covers, and our runs, on site. Setting up live events: Book launches, signings and promotions (that included music, of course). There was me locked behind my laptop day in, day out, exploring how to program a website, how to create a cover in GIMP, editing, writing, and blogging. Yes, and blogging was a huge comfort zone, a social network ideal for the introvert I was, as contrasted to larger-than-life, fun-packed Iain with his enormous extroversion, charm and charisma.

All of it interlaced seamlessly with homeschooling and the music school we were running.

Somewhere a Grim Reaper stomped a massive intergalactic bony foot, and there was a Universe-quake, and when the plasma-vibrations settled, everything had changed…

We were in survival mode, with one of us dead, and we fled.

It takes long to find one’s emotional balance in a new country. The biggest culture shock was how everything is simply functional here. Ireland is amazing. The Irish people are amazing. The system is amazing. The mind-boggling thing is the amount of help that is offered.

A vastly different place

Ireland is a civilized country. It’s an eye-opener to live in a safe, non-life-threatening place and move around freely without having to presume a mugger or hijacker on every street corner.

In South Africa, living fearlessly is a choice you make. You can cower in a corner (and it doesn’t make a difference, they will still come for you), or you can refuse to be intimidated, and step out and live your life until you die anyway. Dying by crime is a very high likelihood.

In Ireland, a much, much gentler place, they have a difficult time understanding why you are so defensive and brassy.

Ireland is also known as the Land of the Young. Tir na nOg. We have found Tir na nOg. Ireland is fanatical about looking after our young people.

Intergalactic Reaper, you were right shooing us to Ireland – but did you have to take our Iain??

(Iain. Not a day goes by that we don’t miss you!)

Moving here, a whole lot of concerns have fallen away.

But I’m back at the start of my money journey. I’m back in the first quadrant, employment.

Being employed is well-rewarded here. There is no comparison. From our current perspective, the way we struggled financially in SA, we look like we used to be poor pathetic losers – even though, step by step, what we did was a winning plan.

The biggest enemy to personal progress in a beautiful country like this is actually the Comfort Zone. But: Comfort zones don’t exist to stagnate you. They are what describes your life.

We all strive naturally for comfort zones. We are really very basic creatures, humans: Food in tummy, warm and cozy place, loved ones around us, and something to keep our curious monkey mind entertained. Most things we strive for fall into one of those four categories, and if we have all those checked, there is only one more to tick:

Reduce Fear.

Comfort is built around “what is”. Fear is built around “what if”.

There are entire industries built around fear. What if tomorrow there won’t be enough money? What if lightning strikes and burns down my house? What if I get sick and die? What if our house gets broken into and one of us gets shot dead? What if… one of us dies?

Here’s the kicker. Lightning strikes anyway. If they want to break in, they’ll find a way in. They always outsmart your alarm system. If you get sick, you get sick anyway. One can spend one’s life living in fear – or one can choose to live in joy / happiness / comfort.

What drives you?

Once your basics are covered (food, home, loved ones), is your focus on feeding your curious monkey mind and creating something, or is it on the gloomy doomy future of what if?

All of us die.

Death is the inevitable outcome of life.

But you are alive now. What are you choosing to do with the time you have? At point of death, what will be your biggest regret (apart from not living longer)?