Posts Tagged ‘Schizandra’

Writing, Writer’s Block & Editing

Traci Moore, my editor for Schizandra and the Gates of Mu just interviewed me for her website. We cover a bit about my writing process, along with how I knew when to hire an editor, and what inspired the Schizandra Series. If you know me primarily as a Medical Intuitive and Life Coach, my nerdy English major side might surprise and/or amuse you. Enjoy!

Raw Foods Witch Reviews Schizandra and the Gates of Mu

Nathalie Lussier, aka “The Raw Foods Witch.” just made a cute video review of “Schizandra and the Gates of Mu.”

Thanks, Nathalie!

“Fasten Your Seat Belts” … Reader Views Reviews Schizandra

Schizandra and the Gates of Mu
Laura Bruno
International Renaissance Press (2009)
ISBN 9780615301334

Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (8/09)

There are books that should come with a warning label. If I think of some of the books I’ve read recently, there was definitely at least one that should have had an “Attention! Might put you to sleep!” sticker. “Handle with care! Incendiary!” would have been the right one for another recently read book. “Schizandra and the Gates of Mu” by Laura Bruno should come with a brightly colored label saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat belts…”

The story of a 13-year-old named Schizandra starts with a bang. She’s recently orphaned and has to move to Sedona, where her grandmother lives. On a seemingly ordinary school day she faints during a biology class and enters a coma-like state. And so the wild ride begins. While they are trying to take her out of Sedona, it seems that Sedona does not want to let her go. Two helicopters malfunction, and so does an ambulance. It looks as if Schizandra is meant to stay. An incredible cast of wonderfully colorful characters gathers around Schizandra, all trying to help her wake up, since the future of the entire human race depends on that — her grandmother, the midwife; twin maiden aunts, whose chosen profession is reflexology; a handsome, brave and intuitive pilot; a Navajo, speaking of curses; a Japanese-Native American schoolboy. While they are trying to bring her back, Schizandra is in a different world, meeting and encountering some really vibrant creatures — shape-shifting strange frogs, drinking chocolate and munching on cocoa pods; talking crystals; a healer rabbit; a yellow, dancing hummingbird. And there’s talk about all kinds of extraordinary matters — Lemuria, also known as Mu; evolution of human race; people as portals; the true meaning of 2012. The list is never ending…

I’ve enormously enjoyed this book. The characters were unique, quirky and likeable. The dialogue was fresh, fluid and captivating. The storyline was compelling and moved at a fast, yet not frenetic pace. The subjects discussed in the book were diverse, and several made me interested in learning more about them, particularly the “end of the world” according to the Mayan calendar and the true meaning of it.

Mystical, magical and totally enchanting, this story opened up a world that I was not ready to leave behind yet. I am truly looking forward to the sequel, and hoping there will be several of those coming out shortly. I highly recommend “Schizandra and the Gates of Mu” to readers of all ages who are interested in true mysteries, New Age, astrology, fantasy worlds and prophesies, as well as to anybody who simply enjoys a well-written story. Laura Bruno will not disappoint you.

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“Tingles from Head to Toes”

“It is not very often that I read a book that literally gives me tingles from head to toes and captures me with deep, inner truths and enlightenment. Schizandra and the Gates of Mu, by Laura Bruno is a rare gem of a novel, taking the reader through a journey of self discovery and infinite potential. …”

You can read Cassandra Margraf’s full review here.

More Schizandra Praise from the UK

Wow, I am honored and deeply touched! Here’s what Ruth Allen of Harmonious Living just posted about Schizandra and the Gates of Mu:

“Beautiful book, touched my heart, soul and my Inner child loved it.

The author Laura Bruno takes us into the centre of our knowing as we journey with Schizandra through her ‘other dimensional adventures.’
When I read Harry Potter, I felt WHY cant there be a book like this that comes from a deeper place of knowing, that also guides and teaches us inwards and upwards towards a higher frequency. This book does just that.

Thankyou for such a brilliant read. Look forward to the next one. I am addicted! grin!

For me personally it was leaps and bounds better than the Anastasia books.”

Ruth is a Natural Therapeutic Counsellor, Yoga Teacher and Living Foods Practitioner in Cornwall, England. You can follow her on Twitter here. Thank you, Ruth!

Podcast: Laura Bruno on KZYX

Hi there! I’ve finally gotten this uploaded from its original CD. Please click here to listen to a radio interview of me on May 11, 2009 by Kristin Suratt of Women’s Voices. This is one of my favorite interviews to date due to the amount Kristin managed to squeeze into one hour! Topics covered:

1. Synchronicities that lead me to write If I Only Had a Brain Injury, including Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”

2. What it felt like to go from Type A multi-tasker to single-focused (if that) brain injury survivor.

3. How I became a Medical Intuitive.

4. Agnosia and hypersensitivity after trauma.

5. The value of Chopin for brain waves.

6. Information on a raw food diet for healing, plus how and why I made the switch.

7. A sneak preview of my new novel, Schizandra and the Gates of Mu. Please note that the publishing information has changed since the recording of this podcast. The book is now available through International Renaissance Press and can be found in both bookstores and online. It will also soon be available through Shazzie.

8. Myth and healing.

9. Herbs for Lyme Disease, Migraines and Vision.

Kristin’s a fabulous interviewer with a knack for incorporating just the right musical interludes and questions. Many, many thanks both to Kristin and also to Dhrumil Purohit for helping me convert this into MP3. Enjoy!

If you’d like to link to this podcast, the link is: http://files.welikeitraw.com/audio/laura-bruno-kzyx.mp3

http://www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com
http://www.lazyrawfoodist.com
http://www.ifionlyhadabraininjury.com

Shazzie Reviews Schizandra

Schizandra and the Gates of Mu

Schizandra and the Gates of Mu

Review by Shazzie
I’ve always wondered where the novels were that I’d want to read! With more people waking up every day, the need for switched-on fiction is growing ever more pressing. Laura’s ability to write a book like this without everything becoming a raw-vegan-yoga-cliche is notable. She achieves this because she truly lives this lifestyle, fluttering from dimension to dimension, pulling it all back into 3D words. And happily, though the characters are also flitting from dimension to dimension, they are all very interesting and funny, with not a trace of brown rice and sandals to them. It’s like reading about people we know doing things we do: drinking yerba mate, ignoring phone calls, ’80s pop music, drowning in spam and emails, 2012, feeling ascension, finding crystals to heal instead of calling your GP, tarot card readings, synchronicities, modern classic literature, the history of the future and of course yoga. Laura even mentions the non-leather seats of a Jaguar, and all us vegans know how frustrating it is to have to buy half a cow when we just want a nice car.

With lines like “I will love you forever for thirteen cacao nibs”, “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay in paying it. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and then not pay” and “Give me liberty or give me death”, we are blissed with profound realisations coated in chocolate fun. And, yes, Laura squeezes the history of cacao, real chocolate into the novel. The novel draws us into the desert and its desolation, weirdness and otherworldliness so well you start to feel the cold odd nature of the place, despite its heat. Telepathy, teleporting, all we want and need to make a quantum leap to the next level of communication manifests in this work.

Laura skillfully weaves a tapestry of an orphan’s magical journey, the prophecies of 2012, a mystic grandmother descended from witches, twin maiden reflexologist great aunts and alien-like cacao guzzling frog creatures. The orphan, Schizandra, has an ability to see pain and illness in others, but she doesn’t really understand her power. However, it’s clear she is a metaphor for being the centre of the universe, a portal for transformation. And as with our personal growth, we can only truly heal when we become the centre of our own universe, creating life from our thoughts. We come to realise why so many have a foot in both worlds, afraid to truly let go: because this is the “time of no time” according to the Mayans. As she rebirths, we realise that we all have to do the same and leave the old world for once and for all.

The work we do on ourselves reflects perfectly in Schizandra’s condition. While reading tarot cards, Tom explains that Schizandra’s very reason for incarnation is to trigger evolution and ascension of the species. “This Ascension process would only occur in a calm and loving heart.” Yes! It’s all about the love, love. Laura pulls together the stories of all involved at the same time, as everyone works in their own way to save and rebirth Schizandra, which in turn does the same for all of humanity.

This unique work of heart is so fast paced it almost reads like a short story, yet it’s a full-sized flesh on vegan bone novel. I furiously flicked through the pages wanting to know how our own end will spark our own beginning, in rebirth.

Review by Shazzie.

You can find Schizandra and the Gates of Mu here, immediately on Kindle, or order an autographed copy here.

Schizandra’s on Kindle and Amazon!

Well, that was speedy! Schizandra and the Gates of Mu just launched in the Amazon Kindle store for $9.99. For those of you who prefer Kindle to paper, you can actually receive your copy even before I receive my preordered paperbacks.

Those who prefer Barnes&Noble and Amazon can also find it available there for preorders with online discounts. I will be getting my first batch of paperbacks to autograph and mail out either late this week or early next week. If you’d like a personal inscription and/or autograph, please click here.

A number of people have already reviewed Schizandra and the Gates of Mu, and those reviews will start to run next week, as soon as I know Amazon will have them consistently in stock.

Thanks to everyone for your excitement and support. In celebration of this release, I’m also offering a “Schizandra Special,” which is a 60-minute Soul Reading for $111. (That’s a $64 savings off my normal price. What can I say, Schizandra likes those 111’s and 11:11’s.) In order to take advantage of this discount, your session must be prepaid and at least scheduled between July 4, 2009 and July, 14, 2009. Ten days of exceptional Liberation energy!

Cheers!

Laura Bruno

Independence and Liberation Celebration

July features two holidays with a focus on Independence and Liberation: the US’s Fourth of July and France’s Bastille Day. As a child, I celebrated both days with great fanfare — holding the entire ten day period as a mystical tribute to the idea of Liberation. This mostly involved fireworks, a series of quirky red-white-blue-and-black outfits, and singing the French National Anthem several times per day. No, I’m not French and yeah, I was kind of a weird kid. 😉

As I grew older I realized this fascination with Liberation resonated deep inside my soul to the point of aligning itself with my life purpose. It wasn’t about the fireworks and kooky costumes! It was about shaking off shackles that society and our own souls lock onto us at an early age.

I never in a million years expected to offer past life readings or workshops, but the concept nagged me since 1998. Even as a practicing medical intuitive, I avoided the topic unless absolutely necessary in a session. I just felt like we could never prove the existence of past lives, and even if we could, who cared? Didn’t this life matter much more than what happened long ago?

Fast forward to November 2006: I needed to wear glasses and desperately wanted to get rid of them by year’s end. If I failed to wear them, I suffered severe migraine headaches and sometimes vertigo, and contacts were not an option for this particular vision problem. I meditated on how to get rid of the glasses by January 1, 2007, and the following message came: “Embrace All Past Lives.”

“Fine,” I thought, “I have past lives. Great, I embrace them. Let’s move on.”

But no, the message continued that I needed to bring this awareness into my medical intuitive and coaching sessions. “Oh, man!” I thought. “Come on! These people will think I’ve lost it.” But the message remained firm, and I REALLY wanted to get rid of those glasses!

As an experiment, that afternoon, I let myself tune into my clients’ past life issues, shared the information, put multiple lifetimes into context, and thought little more of it. Later that day, I got a terrible headache. It throbbed like migraines from the old days of my head injury. I took off my glasses, and the pain immediately subsided. I noticed that I could read without strain without my glasses, and I have never worn them since!

The next week, I asked those clients if they wanted to discuss the usual issues we’d been working on. They all said, “Oh, I’m done with that. After you put things into context, I realized I could move on.” These were people who had done counseling on such issues for 10 years or more, plus coaching with me for several months. Poof! No more issue.

While not everyone drops patterns quite so quickly, over the years, I have seen enough dramatic and fast shifts through past life work to recognize the value of exploring these alternate realities.

My new novel, Schizandra and the Gates of Mu shares these and many other things I’ve learned in a fun, fictional form. Schizandra should go live on Amazon and in catalogs for bookstore orders sometime this week. I have a limited number of autographed copies available beginning next week, too.

The Schizandra Special is a July 2009 promotion running in honor of the Independence and Liberation themes of Schizandra and the Gates of Mu. Receive a one-hour Soul Reading for only $111.

This special runs from July 4, 2009-July 14,2009. All sessions must be paid and scheduled by July 14, 2009. You can do so by emailing brunoleaf @ yahoo.com or clicking here.

The Schizandra Special is a one-hour Soul Reading designed to help you receive greater understanding and/or closure regarding stuck relationships and past life patterns. A $64 savings from my regular hourly rate. Anyone who reads Schizandra and the Gates of Mu will realize the significance of $111 and the dates. (One per person.)

Blessings and Joy!
Laura

Finding Time to Write

I coach a fair amount of writers and would-be writers, and lately many have asked me how I found the time to write Schizandra and the Gates of Mu while running a busy coaching practice, blogging and creating The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide. I thought I’d share some of my secrets here and also invite any aspiring writers to join me and some of my clients on a special challenge we created yesterday.

1 ) Find Your Most Productive Writing Time in the Day. For me and a lot of other people, that happens to be first thing in the morning. If I turn on the computer, open up Word, and leave my email off, I can write some good quality stuff at a faster pace than later in the day when distractions have begun to mount. It also helps me to have that connection with dream time, since I often dream of my characters or plot solutions. As the day wears on, those details lose their freshness, but first thing in the morning, they come out strong.

Some people just aren’t morning people, though. My husband writes best between 1 and 4 a.m., and I’ve had a number of clients who “thought” they should write in the morning because they read that some famous novelist got up really early to complete his draft. Unfortunately, for these clients, writing in the morning created more frustration than inspired writing. They needed massive amounts of coffee or cacao just to open their eyelids, and the words simply did not flow. Some of them had given up on writing altogether by the time they contacted me. When we discovered their most productive writing time, though, their writing began to flourish — even if that meant eating dinner an hour later or spending two hours on the computer before bed.

It doesn’t matter what other people do. If you’re trying to squeeze in writing time, then doesn’t it make sense to maximize that time as the most productive possible?

2 ) Decide What You Want to Write. No, you don’t need to know exactly how things will turn out. Few, if any, authors truly know that when they begin a project. But it definitely helps to have some idea of what you’d like to create, along with your most deeply desired timeline.

I got the idea for Schizandra and the Gates of Mu in October 2001. At the time, I thought it would be a short story, because I still couldn’t read after my 1998 brain injury. The story percolated in my mind as the brain damage healed.

By 2003, I realized it would be a novel, but I still hadn’t started it. In 2004, my husband and I spent two months in Sedona, and that’s when I really began writing Schizandra because I suddenly knew the story’s setting.

It was my dream to write a novel (OK, many novels), but from a goal standpoint, I sensed that was much further away. I decided to finish my non-fiction book If I Only Had a Brain Injury and just let Schizandra continue percolating. Because I felt clear on my writing priorities — finish the brain injury book, write some helpful articles, then work on the novel — I felt satisfied and fulfilled by the writing I produced.

Yesterday I spoke with two aspiring writers. Really, they are already writers; they’re just aspiring to finish and make something of their projects. Both struggle with finding time and discipline to write. We took some time in sessions to discover what would feel like an accomplishment in terms of weekly, monthly and seasonal writing. One wants to write a short story by summer’s end. The other wants to finish a book review, write an article and then get started on her own novel, which she would like completed by April 2010. By vocalizing those goals, both were able to step back from an amorphous “I need to write more” and see what they actually need to do.

When Stephen and I moved to Petaluma, CA in May 2008, we did so with the goal of me finishing Schizandra during our 13-month lease. I vocalized this goal every time someone asked me, “Why Petaluma? Why now? You really seem to love Sedona.” (We moved to Sedona again in October 2007 for my research.)

Why yes, I did love Sedona and still do, but I did not even open the Schizandra file the entire second time we lived there! In Petaluma, I couldn’t walk to two raw food restaurants, two juice bars, two natural food stores and three crystal shops/metaphysical bookstores. Nor do I drive, so I was pretty much stuck in our little condo with no excuses or distractions. My tummy was not the happiest camper, but, boy did I write! I figured I had 13 months to finish, and I uploaded the final draft to the printer literally the day before we left Petaluma!

3 ) Create Some Supportive Accountability. This can be from someone who totally believes in your writing gifts, a friend who thinks you’re a fantastic manifestor who gets everything you desire, a life coach, or a writing group/partner.

Having others know my novel goal helped keep me on track. I took a two month total break from Schizandra after I wrote The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide. I figured I had earned this break and I might have just rested on my laurels a whole lot longer. I had a blog; I’d written two books. Come on, wasn’t I pushing myself a little too hard with this whole novel in a year thing?

I really owe Cecilia of http://www.rawglow.com for her big kick in the butt! We were walking one day and in the nicest way possible she mentioned how it amazing it was that I had made peace with not finishing Schizandra before our lease ended. “When do you think you’ll finish it? Two years? Three years from now? Isn’t it a series? How will that work with the 2012 theme?” I admit, I got a bit defensive — at least inside (Cecilia claims not to have noticed my reaction) — but her comments really got me thinking. The next day, I hauled myself out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and started writing. With the exception of Christmas week, I think I spent about 6-10 hours per day at least five days a week writing or editing Schizandra and the Gates of Mu until we moved.

Does everyone need to do that? Nope, but I really wanted that novel done in Petaluma.

4 ) Commit to Something. It need not be as ambitious or demanding as finishing a novel by 2010. Maybe you want to journal three times a week. Maybe you want to write five articles. Maybe you want a short story to show for your efforts.

Take that goal and break it down into tiny bites. What does it ultimately take to write? Um, some time spent writing. 🙂 So, commit to that. I’ve found for myself and coaching clients that it’s more effective to commit to something small and keep it than to commit to something huge and feel like a big loser for not meeting your obligation.

5 ) Don’t Edit While you Write. You will have a hard time flowing from your right brain if your left brain won’t stop criticizing your grammar, style and concepts. Leave the editing for an editing time and the writing for writing. They are vastly different processes, both important, but both better off kept apart, especially in the beginning. Especially if you have a history of writer’s block or getting discouraged with your early drafts.

Let the drafts come out. If you want to compromise, you can read books on writing in your free time so that your first drafts come out better and better. I particularly like Elements of Style and The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes. If you know how to create good writing from the beginning, you’ll feel happier with your drafts.

Seriously, though, don’t edit while you’re inspired to get things onto paper or into the computer. The muse can be fickle. Honor her and celebrate when she graces you with her presence. She will visit more often!

6 ) Create Some Community. Writing can be lonely work, especially if it means 4 a.m. dates with the computer before heading to the gym or out to work. The idea that other people — somewhere — are also committing to their craft can help you feel a sense of community and joy. That’s one reason National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has become so popular. Thousands of people set themselves the “impossible” task of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Does everyone finish? No way! But they have fun doing it, and they get a heckuva lot more writing done than they would have on their own. The insanity of the quest creates bonds that last beyond the month, and many people participate year after year.

7 ) Get Creative. At least two of my clients and I have decided to apply the above principles in our own lives. We have each committed that on five days per week we will begin our days with thirty minutes of writing. One of those five thirty-minute periods can be for editing, but the other four must be straight writing. We can write for longer than thirty minutes, but we must commit to at least thirty minutes per day, five days per week, starting today. In our cases, that writing will occur first thing in the morning.

I meditate before I write and consider that part of my process, but today I hopped on the computer right afterwards and began this post. My personal goal is to finish the first draft of Schizandra and the Peruvian Jaguar by January. There, it’s public. Oh, Lordy, that will be quite the feat, but with the commitment I feel towards my clients and my readers and myself, I know it’s etched in my brain now as an intention.

So … are you an aspiring writer? Do you wish you had more time to write? Always wanted to release a cookbook? A novel? A memoir? Start a blog? You’re welcome to join us. At least three of us will be writing first thing in the morning for at least thirty minutes for five days per week. Whether you tell us your goals or not, we’ll be holding that space for you!

Cheers and Blessings,
Laura Bruno
http://www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com