Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Three author questions answered! "Megachurch Versus Tattoo Studio"

Hello, there! Today is the last day to enter the Goodreads giveaway for my new novel! I jumped out of the shower and thought I'd do a quick author Q&A. Please let me know if you like videos and stuff like this!



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My new book is out! "Megachurch Versus Tattoo Studio"

Megachurch Versus Tattoo Studio is now available in both eBook and paperback form on Amazon! The eBook is free for the next five days (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 until Sunday, July 2, 2017).


And if you live in the United States, there is also going to be a Goodreads Giveaway of three copies of the paperback starting a week from now on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 and ending a week thereafter on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Megachurch Versus Tattoo Studio by Naja Tau

Megachurch Versus Tattoo Studio

by Naja Tau

Giveaway ends July 11, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway


Please leave a review or ask a question if you feel so inclined! I'm always trying to improve my writing and would like to hear your thoughts!

P.S. To anyone who bought the eBook before now, I did a few minor edits earlier, thinking that I was going to get away with sneaking this book onto Weebly, Goodreads and the sidebar of this blog without anyone noticing before doing a blog post about it. If you'd like a slightly more smooth/correct version, please e-mail kdp-support@amazon.com to ask for the most recent edition. It doesn't cost anything for Amazon eBook updates!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I've had a lot going on lately... (rant)

Hello, readers! I have a quick announcement... I just wanted to say that I have been going through a lot of really big changes in the past few months, many of them very unfortunate, but one of the best things about this time in my life is the opportunity to spend more time working on the novels I've wanted to finish for years. I can't say I'm happy with the current body of works I've put out or tried to put out, and I'd like to feel comfortable enough with a version of edits that I would be comfortable physically publishing. But I know that each book or script or story that I put out increases my chances of writing something I do like.

There are two books I'm focusing most of my attention on: Lost Atlantis 2 and a little horror story I haven't talked about yet about a couple who become enmeshed in a gigantic evangelistic church in the 2500's. I'll probably release the first version of these two novels either in August or December, depending on how fast and how well I can polish my drafts and persuade people to be my beta readers (thank you beta readers)! I'm also thinking about lowering my prices to see if it helps generate sales. I am rather broke and sad after the events that happened which have brought me to this point in time, but there are a lot of good things that make me frustrated about what I know I have to do next.

I'm looking for feedback, suggestions and honest opinions, so if you have any comments, I'd love to hear them in the comments below, or on Goodreads, in an e-mail, or on Twitter!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Joker may have had someone kill Batman in Morocco. (dream)


Picture by mconnors at Morguefile.com

DREAM

The camera is omniscient. I'm a detective coming down some stairs into of a building made of adobe. We're in Morocco and I have a couple of local police officers backing me up. We've been summoned to a crisis in a restaurant. We must have arrived at the right spot, and a little too late, because on the floor in front of the bar stools is what appears to be a human body lying under a white, linen sheet.

The Joker is here at the bar among the gawkers. Accompanying him is a soft, gummy rabbit made of soft metal. The bunny's features make him look like a little gummy bear, but a gummy bear the size of a cat with elongated ears.

Several people have stopped to look at a corpse lying on the floor of a very busy corridor. The bunny just  happened to be passing by only recently. The bunny is really cute, but I don't trust it. It seems to have even more vigor and juice than the Joker, its companion. He doesn't match anyone or anything in the building, except the Joker. And the Joker seems to be feeling quite alive and well, just a little bored. Several hours prior, they both went upstairs into the hot noonday sun. I wasn't there to stop them for questioning.

I lift up the thin fabric. The man underneath is dead. He's wearing a Batman mask. There are several holes in his torso with dried blood surrounding holes singed with flesh and dried blood.

There's another criminal investigator in the building, but he's private. I can't expect him to do well. But he looks as though he means business.

The bunny and Joker seem genuinely confused.

"I'm going to regret having compassion, for those two, aren't I?" The police and I leave the crime scene to the private detective and we leave the Joker and the bunny and go back to the station. The bunny immediately starts causing trouble by whipping out a pistol. It seems to be some kind of extension of the Joker.

I go further into a nearby building and weave in and out of darkened, tiled, public showers, which open up into sunny gardens where parties are being held and I have no clothing to wear except for towels.

INTERPRETATION

This dream took place a very long time ago (last summer). The worst thing that was happening around that time was my cat's severe respiratory illness and renal failure. Actually, I wasn't doing much of anything at that time except feeding her meat baby food with a little spoon, finding kitty foods she was capable of eating, helping her in and out of the litter box, playing kitty songs and videos for her, and giving her subcutaneous fluids. It was a very sad time, but I'm glad I could take care of her, and at least I had her with me, alive and taking some enjoyment from her videos of birds and squirrels. At the exact same time, I'd gotten into a pretty serious argument with my best friend of almost 10 years (and we knew each other 10 years prior to that). I thought it was over for two of my very best friends.

The main connections I can think of with the time and the dream is how the seemingly good may or may not be genuine (the guy dressed as Batman wasn't definitely him) and the villains weren't necessarily evil, unstoppable or even large. It wasn't the Joker, but a much less obvious, innocent-seeming bunny that did the most damage. There's no evil to blame for my cat's multiple illnesses, or even (more arguably) the ending of yet one more old friendship from my hometown. And if there was a goodness to the ending of the friendship, well maybe I needed a break and it was good for both of us to get motivated to try something new. The maze may symbolize all of the running around I had to do to take care of my cat: finding affordable IV administrators, visiting her in the vet's boarding room, appointments with the vet, giving her the new medication on top of the old, being told she wouldn't last the night and crying my eyes out for her in and out of the clinic- completely unprepared (without the right clothes).



Saturday, March 4, 2017

I steal a blue, glittering notebook and almost get shot. (dreams)


DREAM

I enter a Barnes & Noble bookstore. The blue notebook I came here for flashes at me out of the corner of my eye. I have to steal it because I know my father will be glad I did after he's dead. So I take it; I put it under my arm and walk out of the store slowly. I try to be cool, but once I'm outside, I can't stop myself from breaking into a run. Ice and snow have turned the entire landscape white, but I manage to get out of the parking lot onto the sidewalk and keep running! But lots of people are walking back and forth on the sidewalks.

Two people in front of me are arguing at the bus stop. Then the one facing me points a gun at the guy in front of him! I'm way too close to them! I can't go back, so I buckle down and run past both of them. I hear a gunshot, but I know I wasn't hit because I'm still running and I'm not going to stop anytime soon! I look behind me and the guy is still pointing the pistol at him. I'm amazed that nothing has stopped me so far, and I'm shocked that I might be stopped by accidents like the weather or street violence instead of something more just, like someone protecting the goods I stole.

INTERPRETATION

I feel as though I'm having this dream kind of late. My father died over a year ago and I went through his affects then. There was one thing he wanted me to do for him when I asked, knowing his illness was terminal... but I've done it already. It worked out quite well. His aspirations for the materials I was given instructions for were realized. But I don't think it would've bothered him too much if I hadn't succeed. There are still a lot of other little things I could do that might have made him a little bit happier. But there was one big thing I was told that he wanted me to do above all else that I absolutely cannot. I can't alter my religious beliefs for anyone, including him.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The case of the missing wife. (dream)

Picture of daddy long legs by bella_domanie on Morguefile.com

DREAM

I'm working for someone who's inspecting the disappearance of a newly-wedded bride. Her husband seems extremely distraught and without hope for our retrieving her, but we aren't discounting the possibility that she's alive. We're also not discounting the possibility that the husband knows more than he's telling. Personally, I have a strong hunch that he's sincere, but I don't trust my hunches.

"Take this to this address," my boss says to me, handing me a small green bottle and a piece of paper.

I don't know my boss yet and I don't trust him. He doesn't seem to have the sort of personality that would be into mine without a lot of effort on his part. I also think he views me as disposable. Just before he handed me this vial, he was privately looking over something sent to him, personally. It had moved him, both viscerally and negatively.

I have a really bad feeling about this, but I'm new and curious, and curiosity is the only real reason I took this job. But now, I just don't feel the way I did when I signed up. I don't feel like myself. I feel sort of flaky and out of it. I go just because I can't think of anything else to say or do. The confrontation doesn't seem worth the effort.

I walk up to a cross-street. There's someone who used to work with me! He comes up to me and I persuade the guy to drop off the vial for me in exchange for some money and a few favors.

I go off to get started on the favors and the camera leaves me and follows him up to 221B Baker Street. A Victorian, lace-collared Mrs. Hudson answers the door and receives the vial. She seems to know exactly where to deliver it. She goes up the stairs and sees a horrifying sight: the corpse of a woman in a bridal dress, face picked open, hanging in a web over a four-poster bed. Over her is a khaki-colored alien that looks like a spider crab with 20-foot-long leg segments.

The spider-alien sees Mrs. Hudson. She screams. The spider quickly steps over to her. It punctures the tube she was delivering, sucks up the fluid inside and injects her with it. I don't know what will happen to her, but the spider scrambles away immediately, the way nearly any venomous animal would unless it was rear-fanged or had to chew in order to get venom into a prey item's bloodstream.

INTERPRETATION

I'm helping to plan a wedding and I'm suddenly extremely interested in how to bake and decorate cakes and design floral arrangements, etc., so I can see hints of why I had this dream. It's a fairly personal thing though, so I debated for a long time about whether or not to post about it. For a long time, I've been of a mind that there's no reason to hold back information. Any attempts to use information against someone willing to be vulnerable enough to share it is... well, a breech of some kind of unspoken social contract to me. It's part of the risk inherent in vulnerability and what makes it valuable, and I know what side I'm on with regard to openness versus being too judgmental or closed-off. But the closer I get to this idea of total disclosure, the more I see how it definitely wouldn't suit how I feel or how I want to plan things a lot of the time.

But on the other hand, and less generally, I don't like the idea of completely forgetting so many events of my life. It's good to have some of it on "paper," because I always wonder where the information I've absorbed goes. Too often, it feels as though it was never really there for me to have. Yet it doesn't belong to anyone else. It just passes straight through me... there and gone. And it seems most likely that it never will have mattered much anyway in the long run, except to me... and I won't even be able to remember so much of it while I'm alive, never mind after I'm dead, so it's probably pointless except to my very temporary survival.

I recognized the bottle in the dream. It was my eyelash glue remover. I don't use fake eyelashes myself, but I have been trying to learn how to use it on other women. I think of it as potentially adding a little bit of  femininity. Lately, I've been reading a lot of diatribe from certain misogynistic groups that have begun to develop online. Mrs. Hudson and the doomed bride were certainly women, and both were killed by a venomous creature that had grown much larger than one would expect. The time of the mystery was also thrown back to the 19th century, before women could even vote. The injection of venom traditionally implies hurtful or harmful verbal injections.

I'm fascinated by these little hate groups, but I wish I weren't. I don't know why it's so easy for me and many others to be so strongly attracted to drama like this. Not even the happy moments of my life, the ones that probably will have made my life worth while, suck me in easily or play back for me at regular intervals the way negative moments tend to. I guess that's just the pragmatism of basic survival. Back in the suburbs, just after graduating from high school, I got so sucked into abnormal psychology and the DSM because it offered that thing that I never understood about people who love to watch horror movies- a quick look at mortality and human frailty. I think about some of my friends who were attracted to horror and gore and how I was (am) so sensitive to it and I laugh. I think I found that same excitement I didn't understand in horror movies in abnormal psychology. There isn't so much difference in terms of an adrenaline output without risk. At least not until you really think about the narratives.

After looking at this website about dream symbols, http://www.dreambible.com/search.php?q=Bride, I also think I must have been feeling anxious about the permanent changes in my life that I feel might be taking place.

I really enjoyed spending as much time as possible flitting about from one activity and one career or subject of interest for a long, long time. But I'm starting to feel that I can't be the way I was with regard to a lack of commitment of interest. That's probably why I keep associating brides with teachers I bump into in my new major. The days only seem to get shorter and the laundry list of things I want to learn and do only lengthens and I know I'll never get to it all, because that would be physically impossible. I suppose it's time to think about "marriage," not so much literally, but figuratively. But perhaps I do also need to start considering if I want a family or not, because time is flying... but it's also flying so fast that I won't notice or care if I never make my own new family. And if I'm dead, I probably won't remember anything about my life or have any  awareness of anything at all anyway. If people have souls, then why can a person's core, automatic responses to stimuli, or even all of their conscious beliefs change so dramatically as a result of physical injuries and drugs? Yep. My current vote is: there's no point to anything.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Building a phone app in Swedish? (dream)

Picture at Morguefile.com
DREAM

I drive to a grocery store. Using my car's windshield, I start using a quick, drag-n-drop builder in order to create an app. The challenge is in that the builder is in Swedish. I have to do searches for Swedish words as I go and both the process and I are incredibly slow.

I've parked in front of a bunch of flowers. I'm waiting for someone inside to finish.

I get tired of waiting, so I go inside. I see who I've been waiting for: myself. I see myself sitting at a craps table getting my fortune told. I don't know why I'm wasting my time like this. I don't see what I hope to gain. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get vague, generalized predictions about my future regarding things that could apply to nearly anyone.

There's a woman dressed like a shill standing next to the table. She turns cards over from a large deck. The two women interpret each card as different possible futures. Each card has a kitten on it with a different silly, cute pose. I like kittens. Who doesn't like kittens? So I stand beside myself and partake in the fortune teller's tarot game.

INTERPRETATION

I do not speak Swedish. I have never programmed an app either. I am, however, partially Scandanavian. I recently took a commercial DNA test and learned more about my various racial divisions. I had a couple of surprises!

Nothing was more surprising than the test result stating that I'm slightly Jewish. I was surprised to feel a little bit afraid of the information.... like it was a secret I should have kept for my own safety, even though it's 2017 and I live in the United States. Perhaps that's why there are two of me in the dream: I self-identify as multi-racial and can pass for several different ethnicities. I hate having to choose other options or to choose just one option on demographic-collecting-forms and such.

I think it would be nice to program an app for android when I get more of my ducks in a row. I don't think anyone is going to care about it, but that's not important. I thought it would be fun to make a choose your own adventure love story. I've also been wishing that I could make a tarot deck! The pictures on tarot decks are usually very interesting. The archetypes in each card provide fertile ground for creative imagery.