Blog: Lisa the Ghost Hunter!

What the heck is that? Hello!

Waitomo Cave ghost.

I think I’ve found my new vocation. GHOST HUNTING! 😛

A few weeks ago I went to visit the Waitomo caves, famous for amazing glow worms. As part of that trip, eight of us stayed at the Waitomo Caves Hotel. When I told someone about it, they told me it was supposedly haunted.

My eyes lit up! Awesome!

Do I believe in ghosts? Yes. I believe in God. God is spirit. I believe in angels. I believe in the afterlife. No question in my mind there is life after death. But, is this hotel really haunted or, is it hype?

I’m an avid fan of ghost hunter and most haunted TV shows. Now I get a real live chance to try this ghost hunting lark for myself. I don’t have a thermal camera, voice recorder or those weird gadgets but I’ll take my camera along and hunt the halls at night, trying not to scream too loud.

When I arrived I felt nothing. The place is old and if there was a ghost wandering around I wouldn’t be surprised. I spoke to two of the staff and they said they had worked there for years but had never seen anything. That’s very cool they were honest about it and not trying to sell the hotel as haunted. I found that interesting. It would be a great money spinner! 😉

It was 9pm by the time we had finished our glow worm tour and had dinner. I got my camera and start taking shots. The idea was to take as many as I could and then just look for anything strange. I didn’t have to look hard.

As I walked around I kept saying: “Come on. I’m here. Please say hello!”

Even though I’m a believer, it’s important you know, I am also very analytical. So the photos I’m showing you, I’ve really thought a lot about. I looked at the scene at the time, and the before and after shots, and I simply cannot explain them.

My very first photo, looking down the stairs from our room, showed a white ball of light. I saw it immediately in my viewer, dropped the camera down and looked at the scene. Nothing could explain it. I took a second shot and the circle of light was now smaller, more defined and in a different location. I took other photos from the same location. Nothing in them.

Orb in the hallway

I whispered “Hello, thanks.”

I went outside, where everyone was having drinks, and took more photos. Lights appeared, like orbs. I thought they could be flying bugs catching the flash of my camera but some cannot be explained as they are quite a distance away and very well defined. Also, a rather large round light was very close to the side of one of the photos.

Then many others of the same scene, have no lights at all.

Unexplained lights outside

I walked to the front of the hotel entrance and took five photos. The first two show nothing, the third shows a figure in light, the last two, nothing. I didn’t notice the figure until I returned to the table and was scrolling through the photos.

What the heck is that? Hello!

Everybody looked through the view finder and we couldn’t explain it. So I immediately returned to the spot and tried to duplicate it. I couldn’t. I know people will be sceptical but I cannot explain it. What I find the most amazing, is that after I was saying “Please say hello,” the figure looks like it’s waving at me :-d

I like to think it’s my 11:11 guardian angel saying hello. Just let me believe that 🙂

What do you think?

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SPAM vs Promotion #writetip #amwriting

I am a letterbox SPAMophobic! (Is there even such a word?) I have a NO JUNK MAIL sign displayed. It wasn’t only the constant stream of “buy me, buy me now!” mail I used to receive that made me put that sign up. It’s the fact that I would nearly weep when I had to throw away a vast amount of papers, flyers and pamphlets!

PAPER WASTAGE = Cut down trees 

It really did wind me up!

I can handle twitter spam. It’s not so bad. I can just choose to ignore it and it doesn’t waste paper 😉  The truth is that many of the people I follow on facebook or twitter are also first time, or experienced writers trying to sell their product and that’s okay with me. I often go and have a look. I’m a reader too, so I’m interested in other peoples work.

There are examples of novels that have caught my eye through tweets. Their messages worked for the author because I purchased! But why did I? It was because of the genre, the description, the cover or the author. The person is really interesting, fun and engages with me. I like them. That makes me interested in their work, so I buy the book.

However, from some, I receive the same message over and over again. My Facebook and Twitter walls are a stream of advertising. If these posts becomes too much, I simply un-follow them (twitter) or unlike their page (Facebook). Mostly, I tolerate these commercial interludes, as interspersed in their “I have written a book – go buy it” messages, are inspiring, funny and moving posts that I enjoy reading.

So my problem is, as a first time author, I now also have a product to sell

“Oh no,” I gasp in horror  😮

What do I do? I can’t spam. It goes against the grain. I can’t cope doing it. I don’t like it. It’s just not me.

I spam and then I can’t stand myself!

So, how does someone like me then sell their own product?

I have tried a couple of techniques:

  • SPAM – I feel guilty and barf into a paper bag.
  • Don’t bother, the book will sell itself. Mmm mm, yeah right!  There is no doubt about it, talking about my book definitely increases sales.

Anyone out there who is currently writing a novel will have to face this when your own book is published. There are some things I have learnt along the way:

  1. Don’t spam the same message over and over – it just annoys people. Vary the messages promoting your book as much as possible not just repeat the same one. Once your followers have seen it once, they don’t want to see it another 100 times.
  2. Be interesting and show people the real you, so they want to follow you and hear what you have to say about life, and not continuous spam about your product.
  3. All writers, traditional or self-published, need to find that unique marketing factor, and target the right audience with the right message. OK, so twitter makes it impossible to target just some of your followers, but point 2 addresses this, in that you can provide something for all of the people who follow you. In my case, my 11:11 fetish, writing experiences, my interest in 2012 and just being my normal silly self.
  4. The main thing I have learnt is that, at the end of the day, when people tweet about a book, I want to know “What’s in it for me?” “If I’m going to pay money for something then how will reading this book benefit me?” “Does the subject interest me?” “Does the writer interest me?”

Let’s look at point 4 a little closer. How about I change my marketing plan and think through the eyes of the consumer:

  • The story took many years to write and has been professionally edited. It is 124,000 words, 39 chapters, 220 pages – Value for money
  • It is a unique telling of a familiar topic – 2012, archaeological discovery, end of mankind, apocalypse based story – Originality
  • It contains factual, interesting information about the Maya civilization,  Maya Calendar, archaeology, solar system, 2012, religion, survival – Knowledge building
  • The genre is wide, a combination of thriller, mystery with an underlying love story. It is set in New Zealand, Palenque, New Yorkand Mexico City– Suitable for a wide audience
  • Hope reins supreme and our human will and ability to survive is paramount. Even in our darkest hour the light is always there. It describes how people suffer grief and survive through it – Inspirational  
  • There are some good Amazon reviews up (thank goodness!) – Reviews

Now I have to figure out how I convey these messages to people, only using 140 twitter characters. Any ideas? As a follower of authors (or other marketers), what tweets catch your eye? What makes you interested in their products?

If you are a writer, either published or about to publish your own book, what are your techniques and marketing plans? Do they work for you?

Have you thought about your own consumer or customer and how your product will meet their needs?

Meanwhile, I think I’ll do a tweet about my cat. She’s really funny 😉

Lisa 🙂

2012 – #Maya the #Bible and the 144,000 Connection

During research for my novel, 2012 The Final Revelation, I studied, among other things, the Maya Calendar and the Holy Bible. I wanted to understand the end times from a biblical perspective and see if I could find a link between the two subjects.

It was a long shot, but I found a connection – the 144,000.

The Bible – Revelation 7, 3-4 says:

“The angel said, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees, until we mark the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads. And I was told that number of those who were marked with God’s seal on their foreheads was 144,000’.”

The Maya Calendar

The famous Maya Calendar, also known as the Aztec Calendar or Stone of the Sun, sits prominently in the NationalMuseumof Anthropology & History in Mexico City. This museum plays an important part in my novel and is a key location and setting.

It is from this stone, and the ancients’ incredible time keeping abilities, that weird and wonderful theories about 2012 have emerged over the years. The story told in my own novel is just one of countless books on the subject.

The connection to 144,000

Here is a short excerpt from my novel to explain the 144,000 connection:

“Ben explained further. “The ancients had many ways of counting time. They had two yearly cycles—the Tzolkin which is two hundred sixty days, and the three hundred sixty-five Haab. Then they had months called Uinals, which are twenty days, and years or tuns of three hundred sixty days. They had even longer periods of time, like seventy-two hundred days, called the K’atun,” Ben stopped talking and looked at Andrew, eyebrows raised.

“That makes so much more sense!” Andrew quipped.

Ben smiled. “The baktun is one hundred forty-four thousand days long, hence the long count,” Ben continued. “The culture believed that, starting from the birth of Venus, after thirteen baktuns, the world would come to an end. It ends on 0.0.0.0.0.”

“How do we know it ends on the twenty-first of December?” Andrew asked. “I mean exactly that date?”

“Well, if you work backwards, they ended the calendar on the thirteenth baktun. The last baktun ended on September 18, 1618, or around that date. Because the period of time for one baktun is about three hundred ninety-four solar years, the next one is December 2012.”

Andrew made a face. “So 2012 minus 1618 is three hundred ninety-four solar years,” Andrew said.

“Perfect,” Ben grinned back.

“How long ago did they come up with the number?” Andrew asked enquiringly.

“About twenty-three hundred years ago.”

“OK so let’s see if I have this right,” Andrew said. “One baktun year is three hundred ninety-four Solar years. Those are made up of twenty K’atuns.”

“Yes,” Ben responded.

“Then one baktun equals twenty K’atun, which equals one hundred forty-four thousand days or around three hundred ninety-four solar years,” Andrew continued.

“You got it,” Ben replied.

“One number is familiar,” Andrew said, his eyebrows furrowed. “The same number you just mentioned at breakfast.”

“What number?”

“One hundred forty-four thousand days on the baktun…same as the figure in Revelation.”

Ben made a face. “You’re right! I never made that connection before!” He scratched his head, pondering. “It is exactly one hundred forty-four thousand days, the same as the number of survivors men­tioned in Revelation!”

“Coincidence,” Andrew mused.

“Weird though.”

Is it just a co-incidence? Possibly yes.

But, I believe, sometimes a simple discovery can be part of a larger picture. Put all the jigsaw pieces together and one day we may know the answer.

Plus, co-incidence or not, this subject still makes for a great story!

What do you think?

Lisa Flaus

My novel

The 11:11 Phenomena

I was thirteen years old when I began to see the number 11. I thought it was strange.

I would wake up through the night and turn to see the time: 1:11, 2:11, 3:11… It became a game. I would wake and not look at the clock. I’d wait a few minutes then, sure enough, it would be 4.11, 5:11… It always won.

I see 11:11 morning and night. I see 11 on car number plates, receipts, book page numbers and clocks, especially clocks.

Even as a child, I have always been a very analytical person. It took me nearly a year to analyse the situation and know it was more than “just a co-incidence”.

It meant something.

I remember the day I finally said to my mother, “I keep seeing the number 11.”

She kinda sniggered.

I asked friends if they ever see the same number?

They sniggered too.

So, I just kept it to myself, my private secret in my own little world. In those ‘old days’ I didn’t have a computer so I couldn’t talk to anyone about it or research it.

20+ years passed.

Then, one day, I was researching for my novel, 2012 The Final Revelation and I came across a conversation about 2012. Buried in the middle, was one small comment; “Does anyone ever see 11:11? I see it all the time!

I froze.

Someone else sees it! Then I did a google search and was amazed. This experience, which I believed was so unique to me, is shared by thousands of other people all over the world. In the last five years, the subject has grown and, personally, I am seeing 11 more frequently.

It’s getting stronger.

Why?

Over the years I’ve heard many weird, wacky and wonderful reasons people believe why we see 11:11. I’ve also had many debates and discussions with skeptics who claim it’s a load of rubbish and only a co-incidence.

It is no co-incidence. As a normal, sane person 😉 I can tell you that this phenomenon is real. I do not ‘actively’ look for the number.

I do not search for 11, it finds me.

Why?

Why do only some people see it?

What else might we all have in common?

Do other unusual things happen to us?

Will 11/11/2011 have any significance? What about December, 21st 2012 (1+2+2+1+2+0+1+2 = 11)? At 11:11am on that date, the winter solstice sun hitsStonehenge. Is that significant?

I believe, one day soon, we will finally find out.

What are your thoughts and experiences?

My tattoo 🙂 Spot the 11:11!

Spot 11:11 on my book cover

My 14th Novel Review! Thank you!

I noticed this morning I have another Amazon review. Oooooh, it’s a goodie! I’ve re-read it about 25 times!

After spending so many years writing my novel, to have it out in the world and getting reviews is an amazing feeling. Would I blog about them if they were bad reviews? I’m not sure *laughs nervously*.

I’ve had 10 five star reviews and 4 four stars. This is my latest from “reddy11.”  I’m curious, is the “11” in your name because you see the number 11 or does it have another meaning? Anyway, whoever you are, wherever you are in the world, if you are reading my blog THANK YOU a million times -) I’m so grateful for your feedback and thrilled that you liked my story. I have pasted it here on my blog because I’m so excited! I hope you don’t mind xx

“I purchased this book because the cover caught my eye and the blurb sounded good. I’m so glad I did because it was fantastic. The only one negative thing I can say about it is it didn’t need “2012” on the title. It nearly put me off because I don’t believe in all that hype. In saying that, the book combines archaeology, code breaking, end of the world concepts, dystopia, survival and has an underlying love story. The concept is so original for an apocalyptic tale it made me think about it in a whole new light. The story is amazing and it is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I read alot. I’d give it 10 stars if I was able. Reddy11”

My u-tube clip :-)

Oh wow. I can’t believe I’m more excited about posting up my u-tube clip than I was when my novel went up on Amazon. I think it’s the music, it’s SO beautiful!

www.Music4YourVids.co.uk

I created a story board first then purchased the clips I needed and the music. I might do another one about 2012 and 11:11 😉

Check out the clip and let me know what you think…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b-fI8yZB1Y

#11:11

I see #11:11 even more frequently now…  It’s tattooed on my arm 😉

11:11

I’m interested in 11:11 and meeting others who experience it. Apart from that, are there other things that we may have in common? I am currently researching it and determined to find out what it means. Why do only some people see this and other’s dont?  This may, or may not 😉 form part of my second book.