Friday, November 14, 2014

Where to find me...

UPDATE:  May, 2016    I've been blogging on  for the past year.  My book links are there, my social commentary is there, and I'm still VERY active on Twitter.  Hardly on FB lately, but ZiaLink is current, or check out 1Zenwoman on Twitter.  Thanks!!

Even though I dislike Facebook's prying policies, I have pages there. My ZenWoman personal page,  the AKS Book page  and even a page for ZiaLink Ink, my publishing biz.  Sometimes I'm active on Fbook without anyone knowing, because I'm involved in what is called "secret" groups for PKD fans, writing, and some other secret stuff ;)  ha!  Some of the groups are not so secret, but still require a request to join.

I love twitter and the idea of micro-blogging. I can't resist commenting on political matters, climate, and should post more of my spiritual insights--  at least promote my eBooks and writing there.  I have a personal and book page there, and Izzi even has a K9 Twitter account!

Sometimes in November, I hang out on the NaNoWriMo writing site.   Some year I may blog my 50,000 words.  (just deleted a bunch of old links here...)

I don't use Google circles, nor do I like or use Linked In.)  Forget the AKS book website, which only links to my Author profile page on  I've got quite an online presence ;) Of course, I always have since the old BBS days in the 1980s.  I think I still have my old, original blog, too...  over on Xanga (dates back to 2001), but I'm not going to reactivate that! 

Now, please comment and tell me how or where to find YOU!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

TOO many books!

the actual "library" room
Contrary to this T-shirt on my library room futon, surrounded by books that need to be shelved or stored, YES there is such a thing as too many. I just spent over two hours trying to count how many books I own.

The real shock, is that I have more books in other rooms (and in bins, bags and boxes) than in my library!  I've been on record for at least two years now, that I prefer eBooks over paper books. HA! Who could tell! The exception to this should be specialty books like rare, antiquarian, collectibles, art books, or in my case my PKD collection, right?  And of course the first edition of my own novel ;) (Oh, look it just happens to be here on the right, a click away in "e" or paper.)  This book analysis began when I decided today was the day to clean up the loose, unshelved books around the house. OMG, I can't even tell you how many-- I stopped counting at around 150! That's when I decided to count all the books in my house. I was blown away to find 250 in my bedroom!
They aren't just on these shelves (left), a niche in the wall-- they're in drawers, on the night stand (of course), stacked in and on my bookcase bed... and sadly, on the bed. PLUS, I found another 335 lurking in the living room (crammed in small shelves), the computer room (more shelves) and hidden in drawers in those rooms!

I quit counting at 1425, because I knew there were those bins and boxes in my storage areas. That is just TOO damn many books. Oh, I know, some of you are laughing at this pittance because you know you have even more! But, look at this through the eyes of a post-millennial who rarely sees paper books. Shocking.  

I actually felt this way when I went to a bookstore the other day. I realized I hadn't been in one for nearly a year.  My new books are eBooks and my music is downloaded, so it was shocking to see a huge store full of what is on the verge of extinction. I must thin the herd here at home!  SPIT OUT a number. What is reasonable?  I think 500 is more than enough...  I have a lot of work to do. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Okay, I've been blogging and grappling over on a new site:  (which for now uses a new blog format called Ghost.)  It's a pay-for place, so I may move that content back over here in February, but for now,  ENJOY!  As Pema says,  "May it be of benefit." 

Monday, January 6, 2014

First Light

In Tibetan Buddhism (at least in our Kagyu tradition) we bring in the new year and new energies with a celebration called "First Light." For U.S. "Westerners" this is held pre-dawn on New Year's Day. It is a puja, meaning a special ceremony with offerings and chanting.   At our local KTC (Karma Tegsum Choling) Center we lit 108 candles, in addition to the usual alter candles and regular rituals associated with our Vajrayana practices.
It was a beautiful ceremony and I'm really glad I attended. However...

I have been grappling with my practice, particularly with the aspects of being part of an organized "religion." And there's no way around it, the KTC is very structured and organized. So much so that I declined the generous offer to be on the board of directors for 2014.  Serving on the board requires an oath of office, basically "pledging allegiance" to the Karmapa (the head of our lineage who represents the embodiment of all buddha activity), the pecepts and tenets of the Kagyu lineage. To take that oath means upholding and always representing the views of the KTD and KTC. I just can't do that.  As I said, I'm still grappling. 

After years of seeking and dharma study, I felt (and still feel) that Vajrayana is as close as I can come to finding a set of practices that are meaningful and beneficial to me. I discovered His Holiness the Dalai Lama twenty five years ago and since then I've considered myself a student of his teachings and his brand of Buddhism. (Before that I dabbled in Zen and other Mahayana practices.) Buddhism is complicated with many variations.

There are about 20 million people who claim to follow Tibetan Buddhism, but there are several schools and sects. Even though you might hear of four major schools (of Vajrayana), within the   Kagyu "school" there are 12 Dagpo Kagyu lineages, and as that wiki link shows there is disagreement about the number of major schools.  After all this time, I just learned this past weekend that our Karma Kagyu is actually part of the Drubgyu Karma Kamstang sect that falls under the Dagpo branch.

You can see the similarity to Christian churches--  one on every corner in America, each with their own set of precepts and peccadillos. Which brings me to the crux of my issue and angst. It was this kind of nitpicking and divisiveness that drove me away from Christianity as a teenager. While I must admit that in general Buddhism is more tolerant and forgiving than my "bible belt" experiences, this oath-taking and pledging of loyalty to one sect is more than I can handle.

We could have a lively discussion about why lineages and traditions are so important. In general I have great confidence in our "whispered transmissions" that have been passed down for over a thousand years. But, I still think blue deities (as seen here in my favorite Medicine Buddha iconography)  might be ancient aliens. Even HHDL has laughed with a twinkle in his eye when asked about that possibility, and did not dismiss it! Namaste!!

PS --  I'm about to embark on a new blogging process called  Still Grappling and may do that on a new site or platform.  I will link here for those who read or care ;)  It's mostly for my own sake, as is all my blogging and writing. But I always love and appreciate feedback.  "May it be of benefit," as my dear Pema Chodron says.  (Acharya Ani Pema strongly admonishes fundamentalist views -- yay!  And, beloved Thrangu Rinpoche is her Abbot. She also takes spiritual direction from Shambhala Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, who isn't KTD, or even Kagyu. My kind of gal! ;) ) 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Yep, another trip to the Bosque del Apache (New Mexico's bird sanctuary.)  This is my third visit with the Van (not seen here, just Snow Geese.)  And, this is just a few of the geese that actually come to the 57-thousand acre refuge each fall. 

I enjoy the trip, usually my last of the season with the RV Van before I have to winterize the water pipes (kitchen/bathroom sinks and such.)

So, on this 11-12-13 I talked with Brother Jeff for a couple of hours. His birthday was the 10th while I was hibernating with the birds.  I sent him a Higgs-Boson watch, which he just opened and enjoyed.  Earlier I was working on a short story which I hope to finish this week and submit to Writer's Digest. 

Short stories have not been my forte, but during this cycle of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)  I am not interested in writing a novel or nonfiction, so I've settled on a couple of short stories.  If one grabs me I could expand to a novella, but I'm not even trying to make the 50K goal this cycle. It's my tenth time  (even tho the Nano site says 9th.)  You can do the math.  I started in 2004, so 2013 makes ten events. I've proven several times I can write fifty thousand words in a month.  But, doing so creates a messy word pile that takes a year or more to edit into something coherent.  Been there, done that, not doing it this time.

If I sound disinterested, it's because I'm tired of promoting my writing. I didn't want to be a sales person, constantly begging people to buy or read my books. It's extremely uncomfortable.  

Anyway, I wanted to blog on this auspicious date.

Friday, September 27, 2013

On the "other side"

Ha! Now there's a double entendre for me!  I actually meant on the other side of publishing, but I'm soooo on the Other Side, as well. 

I simply couldn't blog when I was writing the new book.  I published Seeing Clearly in late August, and thanks to my Sangha friend, Barbara Stout, we quickly issued an updated Version 2.0 correcting my typos and errors. I'm told that Amazon sent out updates to everyone who bought it that first week.  I'm optimistic I'll see more reviews soon, as I've been hearing from readers.  Thank you so much to everyone who has, or will, support my writing career by buying the book (only $5.95, such a deal!)  The new book is "e Only" as I  explained in the latest issue of PKD Otaku  (Issue #29, and that's a big PDF 'zine download, for my 2 page article.)  Basically, I explain and defend why I think eBooks are the only way to go from here on out.  Unless you have some over-sized art book, or particular reason to create a hard copy, let's save the trees, clean out the clutter, be light and portable, and go "e."  After all, they don't call me "e. Jamelle" for nothing ;)

Now, that's the other side of publishing, but why the "Other Side?" Well, if you know me, you pretty much already know that answer. I've been obsessed with all things metaphysical my entire life. Starting with my mom's interest in ESP, Houdini, Edgar Cayce, and Ouija board, not to mention my Great Aunt Lorene the psychic Vaudville accordion player.  I was raised on weirdness. My novel was full of it, and the new book explores those topics and more! But, for the past couple of weeks I've been totally preoccupied with OOBEs -- out-of-body experiences. That will be in my next post. For now, I'm laughing at some tweets with the NaNos (national novel writers) about my search for alien plasmatic Sirian spores being one of the wierder Wiki novel searches ;) Me on Twitter:  (   Thanks for sticking with me during the drought (and the flood!)  Welcome back!