Ethereal Seals Blog Update 4/12/21

It’s been a while since I shared an update. Editing book one of Ethereal Seals, working on the manuscript for book two, a long beta read, lots of health and healing research, plus increasing hours at my day job—I’ve been quite busy.

Edits and Revisions

After another read through of Blade of Dragons, I’ve finished edits as they relate to changes made in book two: Heart of Dragons. Most noticeable was Gerald Highmane’s character arc, changed from a minor villain to an antihero with his own story.

I’ve added breadcrumbs and Easter eggs—messages if you will—from certain authors I admire, like Arnold Ehret and David Hawkins. The majority of these messages relate to spirituality and health. Needless to say, Ethereal Seals is a New Age life improvement book disguised as a science fantasy.

Publication

I am satisfied with how the book reads. After passing it along to a professional editor and/or proofreader, the manuscript should be set for publication. Then I’ll need to find a cover artist to polish up the book cover.

I’m hoping to expand upon my mailinglist and perhaps hire a freelance agent to help spread word of mouth before I officially publish. This may take a while, but I’m in no hurry. Book two—and perhaps book three—will be well on its way by the time book one is released.

Exploring Atläs

It’s been fun revising the manuscript from its older self. I’ve realized there’s too much worldbuilding potential to squeeze the story into a trilogy. Four or five books is what I’m aiming for. If I could describe Heart of Dragons in one word it would be thus:

Exploration.

There’s plenty of worldbuilding with new kingdoms, villains, and protagonists. I delve into Gerald’s backstory more and explore his connection to the other characters. Tarie Beyworth and Pepper Slyhart also see a sizable degree of character growth. The prose retains its rich worldbuilding, coupled with tense action scenes and romantic feel.

Maps and Word Count

I’ve also finished the beta map for book two. I use a program called Wonderdraft, an excellent program for DIY fantasy maps. I’ll plan to do an article on the program soon.

Unlike Blade of Dragons, set at 130k words, book two will hover closer to 150k. The theory behind the word length is: if your readers loved book one, they won’t mind—and may love—the content in the second installment. Many writers have told me you can take more risks with book two. Whether or not it works, we’ll see.

I’ve enjoyed helping my beta with his second installment of his Eternal Defenders series, a classic fantasy story. As I may have mentioned, sci-fi and fantasy are among my favorite genres to read. There’s something about Thomas’ series that grips me, perhaps the way he structures his world. It also reminds me of some older video games, like Warcraft, Zelda, and Morrowind. He’s come a long way in improving his writing, so be sure to check him out here.

The past several weeks have been brutal for me, from a healing perspective. I’ve finished several short water fasts, plus a nigh 3-day water and salt only fast. My gut felt all twisted up, aching, yet by the time I finished, I felt renewed. Reborn. I’ve also hired a trainer at a local gym to help me rebuild my body on feeding days.

Though still a neophyte to cleansing, the more I read about it, the more I realize how crucial it is. For everyone. We’ve been inundated with so many toxins, poor lifestyles, and childhood traumas that it takes effort to dig through it all. The more I detox, the better my creativity and ability to brainstorm and worldbuild.

Some of the books I’ve read through recently on healing and nutrition are up on my Goodreads page.

It isn’t my passion, but I’m grateful that it’s a low-stress retail job—with a health food niche added in. I’ve applied for additional hours in other departments. With the added income, I’ll manage my expenses better and pay off my worthless college degree student loans.

Thanks for reading. May your cup overflow with abundance, creativity, and joy.


Interested in joining my mailing list? Members will receive free poetry, special deals, messages to inspire and empower your life, and short stories. You’ll also get the latest news on projects.
Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, and thanks again for reading!
—Ed R. White

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Postures for Better Creativity, Health for Writers and Artists

As writers, we often sit in front of a laptop or a book to hone our craft. Whether its reading, writing, or something between, the art requires a significant amount of sitting. However, sitting for lengthy periods can strain the nervous system and thought process. Over the years, I’ve discovered several postures that have helped me endured long writing sessions. If you’re curious about the connection between writing, reading, creativity, and movement, read on!

After my previous post on creativity, I thought I’d elaborate on how best to optimize it. It’s hard to enjoy a sore back, or that feeling of stiffness from long periods of sitting. With biohacking as one of my passions next to writing, I’ve listed some of my favorite sitting postures. Feel free to add your own modifications to these.

1. Vajrasana, Rock Pose, Thunderbolt Pose

One of my favorite sitting poses, vajrasana, otherwise known as thunderbolt or rock, stretches the lower body as you rest. You perform this pose by kneeling and sitting on your feet. This shifts the weight away from the back and onto the knees and ankles. This pose is excellent for concentration and creativity. You can make the pose easier by placing a cushion between your buttocks and your feet.

I’ve written several articles, stories, and blog posts while in this pose. It’s reliable and powerful.

2. Malasana, Garland Pose

Malasana, also known as garland squat, is excellent for the hips and lower body. After long bouts of sitting, I usually do this pose to stretch any stiff joints. You come into a deep resting squat and allow your pelvic floor to relax towards the ground. Press your elbows between your knees. This can be a tricky pose for most people to do after decades of sitting in a chair. You can place a blanket under your heels to make it easier.

Definitely one of my favorites, as the benefits of this biohacking pose, or squatting in general, are numerous.

3. Headstand

The headstand hold is a new posture I’ve adopted for creativity and biohacking. Inversions are incredible for the body, especially the brain. Headstands improve focus, balance hormones, boost creativity, among other things. I use a wall to support myself, but eventually I’ll progress to unassisted headstands.

The awe and euphoria of a headstand cannot be expressed in words, and it’s led to some major boosts to creativity. Not to mention, it helps me problem solve plot and character issues in my stories and in real life.

4. Deadhang

A simple stretch that isn’t a yoga pose as much as it is a calisthenic exercise. Hanging from a bar, as if to do a pullup, has great benefits. For one, it decompresses the spine, good after long periods of sitting. A few seconds is enough to reap the benefits; my calisthenics mentor suggests at least 30 to 60 seconds.

5. Spinning

When you were a kid, you probably played ‘merry-go-round’ with a partner. Spinning clockwise promotes vitality, and children know it all too well. It helps remove any stagnation that may have built up during long bouts of sitting. Begin slowly, maybe 8 revolutions a day. I do about 13, my palms facing downwards to ground myself, and will gradually progress to 33 revolutions.

6. Inclined Bed Rest

Even when I sleep, I stretch my body. Sleeping at an incline does wonders for the brain and spinal cord. It reduces pressure on the organs and improves sleep, while allowing the lymphatic system to drain. Elevate the pillow-side of the bed a few inches to get the benefits. Since adopting this practice, my creativity has seen tremendous improvements.

7. Rebounding

Jumping on a trampoline or rebounder is fun, and excellent for the lymphatic system. It comes as no surprise, as we all hopped on beds when we were children. Rebounding, along with headstands and spinning, should dramatically improve one’s spatial awareness and blood flow to the brain. A biohacking miracle. Better circulation means better creativity, more energy, and stronger ambitions to complete that creative project in mind.

Sometimes staring at a blank page doesn’t solve the issue of writers’ block. We, as humans beings, are creative creatures and we love to design. But we also like to move. To bend, stretch, and test our limits.

To feel human, as many yogis do.

Remember, have inspiration in all things, from taking a walk to writing a story, journaling, biohacking, or painting a canvas. After all, we are the authors of our own life stories. When we lie on our deathbed, let’s remember all the fun we had: the creation, the movement, and the joy that comes with it all.

Do your practice and all is coming.

– Sri K Patthabi Jois

Interested in joining my mailing list? Members will receive free poetry, special deals, messages to inspire and empower your life, and short stories. You’ll also get the latest news on projects.
Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, and thanks for reading!
—Ed R. White

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Book Review: Beyond Training

I’ve been reading more lately, delving into the world of nonfiction. And boy, what a dive it was…

Beyond Training by Ben Greenfield was a hell of a trip, a good one at that. The book was well worth the read, and I’ll share the details of my experience below.

Premise

The book starts fast and hits hard. The author covers everything from weight lifting, athletic programs, nutrition, detox, lifestyle hacking, even spiritual science, yoga, and meditation. There’s a lot here, and I was initially overwhelmed at the depth Greenfield goes into. Some of the material I skipped over, but most of it was helpful and easily applied to my own life.

The book is catered to athletes and weightlifters, but most of the information can be applied to anyone, even those seeking to optimize their IQ.

Length

The book is bulky, clocking in at around 500 pages. Each chapter contains subsections for the sake of organization. Thanks to this, I never got truly lost throughout the book. Greenfield keeps the text simple and to the point, but he also included sciencey bits for us nerds.

Information

As mentioned above, Greenfield’s chapters focus on athletes and weightlifters. Things like eating a clean, wholefood diet, living ancestrally, squatting, staying organized and in the moments—these are a few of the things he covers, and so much more. I even picked up parenting tips and advice on biohacking technology.

For this reason, not everything in the book will cater to a specific reader. Instead, the book should be read as a reference guide, with certain sections skimmed if needed. That’s what I did, and I still got a lot out of the book.

Greenfield begins with chapters on fitness, training secrets, and recovery protocols. He then branches out to lifestyle and nutrition, hormone balancing with habits like cold showers, saunas. Greenfield ends with a chapter on optimizing the brain and IQ.

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The Good

Beyond Training is a worthwhile read for anyone, with its plethora of tips about getting the most out of life. A reader can take what resonates and apply it, reaping the rewards.

The Bad

The book’s strength is also its flaw. Information overload is rampant in Beyond Training, and this might turn off some readers. Other sections are tougher to read with science jargon thrown in.

The Ugly

Some of the lifestyle tips border on either unfeasible or unaffordable. For most people, a $700 Earthpulse isn’t a likely purchase. Granted, I haven’t tried this technology myself, so it may be worth the investment. But that’s the thing: investing in one’s health is a journey, involving pitfalls, rewards, pain and suffering, joy and surrender.

Beyond Training is a fantastic read, though it may appear daunting at first. It can apply to a wide niche of readers, and due to its organized sections and chapters, a reader can find what he or she needs with ease. I will certainly reread it over the coming years—and I encourage you, dear reader, to do the same.


Interested in joining my mailing list? Members will receive free poetry, special deals, messages to inspire and empower your life, and short stories. You’ll also get the latest news on projects.
Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, and thanks for reading!
—Ed R. White

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Nutrients for Writers: My Crazy Health Protocol

An avid reader requested this post a while ago, so I’m finally doing it. The farther I’ve gone along my writing journey, the more I’ve realized how connected writing and creative ability is to one’s health. Throughout the years, several health protocols have come my way. In this post, I’m sharing what I do currently.

There are several vitamins that I take, though I prefer to get them through high-vitamin super foods. Sadly, many mainstream foods like apples, blueberries, lettuce, and bananas don’t cut it anymore with our deficient soils. These foods/vitamins aren’t listed in any particular order.

  1. Magnesium: Many of us are deficient in this macro-nutrient, as our bodies require large doses of it daily. Since taking it, I’ve noticed improved energy and the ability to think better while writing. I’m more optimistic and grounded. The magnesium I take is a glycinate chelate, known for its high bioavailability. I also use a transdermal magnesium chloride spray. I get about 500+ mg daily.
  2. Vitamin D: Another important nutrient, known as the “sunshine” vitamin. Our bodies naturally produce this vitamin, but not in sufficient amounts. While I take a high quality cod liver oil for my D, my body feels even better when I supplement with an additional 2,000 IUs of D3 with fat.
  3. Vitamin K2: A lesser known vitamin found in raw butter, offal meats, raw dairy, natto, and egg yolks. This nutrient helps with brain function, calcium absorption, among with many, many other things. I take high vitamin butter oil along with a diet of the above foods. A 100 mcg supplement also helps. This usually clocks me at 150-300 mcg daily.
  4. Zinc: Another nutrient that is lacking in modern soils, zinc is great for immune function, cognition, mood, and hormone balance. I take a 15 mg supplement in my green juice 5 times a week. With foods like nutritional yeast—I use non-fortified for no synthetics—eggs, raw dairy, offal meats, and other foods, I usually get around 20 mg daily.
  5. Iodine: After reading testimonials and through self-experimentation, I’ve concluded that the daily dose of 150 mcg isn’t close to what the human brain needs. I’ve only just started iodine, but since ramping up, my mind has grown sharper, and I have more energy and inspiration to write. I am unsure what dose my body will prefer after it replenishes itself. According to Dr. Brownstein, a guru on iodine, iodine sufficiency can take up to a year at lower dosages.
  6. Boron: A co-factor with iodine for body detox. Many of the chemicals in our society (fluoride, bromide, and other heavy metals) dull our creative ability—and are therefore anathema to writers. Due to commercial fertilizers, soils are stripped of boron, leaving little to none in crops. Boron also balances hormones and regulates magnesium/calcium. Walter Last has an excellent protocol that I follow. I ingest 10-20 mg daily.
  7. Silica: Silica, like boron and iodine, is in short supply. It is one of the few nutrients that cleanses aluminum from the brain. Another powerhouse mineral for clear thinking and overall skin health. Some foods contain silica, but only a fraction of it is bioavailable. You want the living, organic variety, like in diatameous earth.
  8. B Vitamins (especially Thiamine and B12): I was shocked to read that thiamine and b12 help regulate the nervous system making them crucial for creative potential. The B vitamins also work with iodine to improve IQ and heal the body. As I mentioned, I use a non-fortified form of nutritional yeast. I also eat lots of avocados, leafy greens like kale, and fruits like mangoes.
  9. Fulvic Minerals: To round myself out, I take plant-based fulvic and humic minerals. They do wonders for my body and shore up any deficiencies in the diet.

I also practice daily meditation, rebounding, and yoga to center myself, to keep my lymph and neurons flowing. A little stretching goes a long while in stimulating your creative juices. The meditation helps overcome mental blocks, solves writing issues, and offers ideas on your story from your subconscious. I practice about one hour daily.

It’s no secret that our soils are deficient, that many of us are lacking in nutrients. To rise to our creative potential, health is paramount. I continue to discover more information everyday in my research, and my writing ability has improved. Sadly, many bloggers and writers never touch this subject with depth. There are entities in our society that don’t want us to be creative or with higher IQs.

It’s up to us if we wish to claim the creative power inherent in all human beings. Mother Nature has given us the tools, through super foods and supplements. The road is hard being a health conscious individual, as much as it is being a writer. The two paths are intimately woven, and one cannot achieve maximum writing potential without the other.


Interested in joining my mailing list? Members will receive free poetry, special deals, messages to inspire and empower your life, and short stories. You’ll also get the latest news on projects.
Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, thanks for reading.
—Ed R. White

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Some thoughts on Spring creativity

cool_hd_spring_wallpapers

We are in mid to late Spring now, but I thought I’d share a couple thoughts I had about what this season is about.

This time of year brings new flowers and with it new ideas and modalities to life. While some see New Years as a starting point, Spring is also an excellent period to begin fresh or check on how the year has progressed. The days are longer and the weather nicer; this makes for ideal productivity and outdoor activities.

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”

– a quote by Lewis Grizzard
That said, I’ve developed a few pointers that have helped with my reading/writing life, even while outdoors enjoying the sun:

  1. Take a small notepad and pencil with you, not a smartphone as that will distract you. When ideas arise (which they will) jot them down on paper for later consideration.
  2. If your book/script is your own, don’t feel afraid to make notations or underlines where you deem appropriate. This too can be a medium to incorporate ideas. Reading while outside is an ideal way to enjoy a book, especially when it engrosses you in a quiet and relaxing environment.
  3. Engross yourself in nature’s splendor. Allow the river to whisper its secrets in your ear.  Ground your fears in the bare rock of the Earth. Hear the beautiful inspiration on the wind. Absorb the sun’s intelligent rays. Be mindful of the present beauty around you and the future will magnify your productivity. A scientific study suggested that four days out in nature without electronics improved overall creativity by 50%.
  4. Practice light to moderate exercise (like a brisk walk) through a park or trail. This practice boosts creativity. Other types of exercise such as yoga also show promising results.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all a happy remainder of Spring. Much love and gratitude to my readers. ❤

 

 

 

How does meditation affect us?

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Meditation: this new age trend grows by the year. Know formerly as a form of Eastern medicine for the mind and soul, scientific studies show meditation has a positive impact on the cells of the practitioner. Western medicine now considers this practice as a form of therapy.

American scientists held a study that examined what’s coined the meditation effect. Similar to going on a relaxing vacation, the research showed changed gene expression in those who participated. Long-term effects suggested a reduction in stress or age-related genes.

Another study by Harvard held an eight-week practice of mindfulness meditation. Participants showed an increased tendency towards memory, empathy, and patience. Scans showed the ritual changed the gray matter in the brain.

A second study at Harvard suggested meditation could improve ailments, particularly digestive disorders like IBS and IBD. This practice slows breathing, thereby regulating oxygen intake, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Could meditation be the next life hack? Hard research suggests this may be the case.

Three simple ways to activate your inner joy:

  1. Surrender your ego’s limitations, and listen to the inner calm. Pranayama is a great way to start.
  2. Practice compassion and gratitude towards yourself and others.
  3. Do things that invoke your bliss. Whether this is writing, reading, hiking, yoga, cooking, or chatting with people. 

As a part of Ethereal Seals and Pepper Slyhart’s journey, I wished to introduce this useful ritual to readers so that they might research and practice it on their own. Destruction begets destruction, and mindfulness could be the key to our war-like and fast-paced society. The next time you have a little free time, consider slowing down and trying meditation. You might be surprised at the results and the hidden potential within you, just as Pepper was.

Thank you for reading. 🙂