Saturday, December 26, 2009

Omnivorous Vegetarian

Okay, so I am being a bit facetious. As the title of this blog implies, I eat nearly anything that does not walk, fly, crawl, swim, slither or slide across the land, water or air. For that matter, I do not eat the products of such: eggs, milk, etc. My one exception that proves the rule is honey.

I’ve found that contrary to common belief, a vegan eats a much greater variety of food than do most omnivores and carnivores. We also consume a larger amount of concentrated protein. Many Olympic athletes also ascribe to the vegan/vegetarian diet due to the increased stamina it provides over that of other diets. (One such study can be found at . But that is not the focus of this blog.

One of the most difficult things for a vegan is eating out or at a friends’ home. It is not that there is a lack of consciousness regarding those who choose such a diet, it is that there is little comprehension of what effects even a slight amount of animal fat causes a vegan.
Take, for instance, a large restaurant change offers a black-bean burger as a replacement for their beef burger for their diet conscious customers. This is a wonderful recent addition to many menus. However, if it is fried on the same grill on which a meat product was previously cooked, often the residues from the meat get soaked up into the vegetable patty.

The problem occurs in the digestive tract of the vegan. As they do not have the enzymes necessary to digest the animal products, this quickly results in a severe case of the ‘Runs’, often before the meal is finished. This can also be the case when an animal (or fish) stock is used in soups and sauces or even with potatoes cooked in the same fryer as chicken or fish.
Then there are the many dishes where meat products are added as a seasoning or garnish. Potato salad, vegetables, green salad, macaroni salad, vegetable soup, etc. all can contain meat.

I have been told to ‘Just take the meat out and it will be vegetarian.’ That does not work as the residues send my system into an overdrive rejection. No, it is not a psychosomatic response. Even when I am completely unaware of animal products in my food, my body responds in the same manner.

My belief is that you should eat whatever you desire. I am not on a crusade and in my books, most characters are omnivores. However, I do take issue with the manner in which most of animals we consume are treated. Their quality of life is abysmal and, add to that the hormones, drugs, and even cannibal feeds they receive, it is surprising that more of us are not sick.

What I like the least is that we do not honor the creatures that provide sustenance for us. Most people never hunt, slaughter or prepare the animals that they eat. There is no real connection to the klo of the creature. In fact, many people do not want to know how their food was raised, killed, butchered and stored as it would detract from their consumptive pleasure.

I do not limit the quality of life argument to the animal kingdom. I also believe that organic, natural, non-bioengineered, raised without the use of pesticides fruits, grains, vegetables and nuts are the ultimate, healthy diet. But if one does choose to consume animals, it should be done with full knowledge of their sacrifice and with rèterís.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Warp and Weave

The other evening four of us went out on a double date to a very nice restaurant, one where they expect you to spend three hours on dinner. As is often the case when we get together, our conversations become animated and cover topics that most others never discuss. As an empath, if I do not shield from those around me, I spend most of my time processing other people's emotions. So I usually erect an 'energy shield of water' around our table to deflect the incoming feelings.

Dinner was no exception and when our conversation turned to power exchange within relationships over an exquisite spinach artichoke cheese fondue appetizer, I was unaware of the cessation of talking at nearby tables until Matt suggested that we speak more softly.

I glanced around and then responded. “You know, if what we are saying is so much more interesting than what is going on at their tables, and if they wish to eavesdrop, why should I limit my freedom of speech just because they might overhear something that offends their sensibilities?” In the past I would have censored my comments but this time I realized that the only rudeness here would be if a stranger criticized me for something overheard.

This got me to thinking about the similarities between those who go to a movie or read a book, go all the way through it, and then complain about the fantasy being presented because it conflicts with their personal morality or view of reality. If they do not like it, why do they spend so much time on it?

Susan shared one possibility. It is that many people's beliefs are not founded on personal experience, but on unconfirmed theories, and the only way to validate what is 'right' in their view of life is to have everyone else agree with them. Those who are secure in their understanding of consensual reality, at least what it means to them, do not see alternate points of view as a challenge, but simply another skein feeding into the warp and weave of reality, creating a more interesting and strong fabric.

Perhaps the best response that I can give to those who are threatened by compelling ideas in conversations, books, movies and music is: “If you don't like it, you can't have any!” And then just walk away.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Writer’s Sellout

“You are the spawn of Satan and your writings his tool!” Sharon of Knoxville screamed in her email to me. Jacky from Atlanta said, “It is clear that you have never known true love or you would never have written that Eliseyan [sic] enjoyed sex with anyone else but her husband.” “Your book has no basis in reality.” Claimed John from Salt Lake City.

When I first received these and other emails of a similar vein, I was hurt. And then, I realized that the story I shared had made an impact on another. I wondered. If they hated my book so much, why did they bother to comment on it? It must have struck a chord within them, one that did not harmonize with their view of reality. But, what difference would that make? This is a fantasy novel and its setting is not even here on Earth let alone the culture of their homes. With that in mind, I looked to other authors’ writings, those of whom inspired me, and I noticed a pattern.

The first few books written by these authors are edgy and cause the reader to rethink their preconceptions and values. This is what hooks them in the first place. But, it seems that as an author becomes more popular, their writings become more mainstream. This is most likely due to the drive to sell more books because, in part, in our society, quantity is the definitive measure of success.

In one series in particular, in the first three books the main character (a female) is bisexual, has multiple partners and defines her own life. This series developed a cult following among the alternative young adult crowd which gradually spilled over into the mainstream market. There was a hiatus of over five years between the third and fourth books. I suspect that it was due to the pressures of the author needing to earn a living. When the next book in the series was published, the heroine becomes more conservative.

By book number six, all of the proclivities of the ‘younger’ character had been marginalized and portrayed as the foolishness of youth. The woman/girl/lady that I had found so compelling, now espoused the norm of this culture. I did not continue reading the series. It had become boring. Why do I want to read about the way things are here? I wondered aloud to a friend over lunch one day.

His response startled me. “Have you noticed how those who were the most radical in your high school are now the most conservative?”

I sat in silence for several minutes. He was right! “So, are you saying that as we age we buy into the status quo?”

“Who runs the world today?” he asked quietly and then answered his own question. “It was the hippies of the sixties… and they certainly do not want the younger generations to experience the freedoms that they did because it would threaten their situation.”

I thrashed his opinions in my head. I thought that those who had lived in defiance of authority would honor their heritage by encouraging others to follow in their footsteps. Instead, the opposite had occurred because they knew how to suppress the very same actions they had done.

I come back now to the topic of my blog, ‘Writer’s Sellout’. I believe that authors begin to bow to their audience in an attempt to be popular, to make the fans happy. This results in greater sales of their books while their stories no longer hold true. That is the reason I lost interest in a number of series! I realized.

The books I write are not about this planet or any society that exists here. Vastly different physical, cultural and spiritual laws apply. The stories are those of the characters and are not subject to the limitations that popular opinion may hold. If I acquiesced to that norm, I would be doing them a disservice. No, I would be making their lives a lie. I hope that I never fall to writer’s sellout. I share stories to take one out of this space and to, for a brief time, allow one to live a life with a different set of rules.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stockings… Plesálwer

I’m taking several minutes tonight, after dressing to go out dancing and before leaving the house, to share thoughts about lingerie. When I dance, I prefer to wear a set of underthings, a matching bra, garter belt and thong. Tonight it’s black with hot pink roses. For some reason I am feeling quite the Rús and since I do not own dark red lingerie, this is the best I can do. Hot pink skirt, black heels, and a black velvet top round out the ensemble.

But what I want to talk about are the stockings. They are black and as I donned them, I enjoyed the feel of the stretching over my calves and thighs. However, the beginning was not so easy. So, here’s the question I am asking the ladies. Why is it that every other color, except black, of stocking has a black stripe on the inside of the front of the stocking top? I expect that black stockings would sport the same indicator, perhaps in beige or burgundy.

Maybe it is because black stockings are considered higher class, like plesálwer in Nórland, and they require assistance to be appropriately applied. The main reason why a woman is dressed in plesálwer by others is its presentation. Much like a runway model, to be presented in the best light, others must attach the clothing. The woman is gift wrapped so to speak. With that being the case, maybe I shouldn’t wear black stockings unless I have a friend to dress me. What do you think?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Power and Sexuality

In this paradigm, that of the USA in the beginning of the 21st century, there is a disconnect between power and survival. I write not of the dynamic in the national-military-corporate-citizen reality, but that of the interaction between the sexes. Our culture eschews the man who controls a woman while idolizing the one who rapes the economic model. Girls are taught to seek boys who are sensitive, yet secretly desire the ones who take them out of control. Boys are taught that their proclivity for dominance is evil and that they must defer.

It is due to this dichotomy between our natures and the requirements of society that dissatisfaction, frustration and depression are rampant. Roles are being foisted upon people without regard to the natural order of things. I am not claiming that all women are submissive nor all men are dominant. Nor am I stating that being one way or the other has any bearing on being good or bad. Any behavior can be used for positive or negative results.
I am strongly attracted to the culture of Nórland due to its acknowledgment of the roles between men and women of the ruling class, the Sékdiset or Blessed. Even with its current (in the story) abuse of power, the responsibilities of the sexes are well defined.

Power without heart by the men is the reason the balance has been corrupted with the result being the lessening of the power of the women and the land. Had the pendulum swung the other way, heart denying power, the land would be rampant and out of control. The objective is the balance of heart and power which results in the greatest good for all.

Rús (Sékdiset) women in Nórland are a primal extension of the land to which they are bound (known as their landbond). Without control, the life of the land and its creatures overwhelms them and they give freely of themselves until they wither away. With over control, the land suffers and is unable to reach its potential. The Lórg (Sékdiset) men in Nórland are connected to the celestial energies. This allows them the ability to dominate the Rús.
The domination of a Rús by a Lórg runs the gamut from nearly nonexistent to total control. When a Lórg does not provide enough guidance, his Rús literally burns her lifeforce at an incredible rate, severely reducing her lifespan. The opposite spectrum shortens her life even more quickly, but it is due to denying her the ability to regenerate from the vibrancy of her landbond. Both of these extremes denies her the ability to conceive or, with a less significant imbalance, carry a pregnancy to kónbir (delivery). It is when power is guided by heart that everyone and everything benefits.

The expression of this culminates in sexuality, the connection of the primal and spiritual. By being dominant the Lórg allows the Rús the freedom to fully express without worry of causing harm because her partner ensures that the energies released did not destroy her.

In our culture, my experience is that I must never completely let go during sexuality because the man has been taught to deny the fullness of his dominance. It is a loss that I keenly feel and hope that someday understanding of the interplay of power and heart will manifest and I can truly be free. Until then, I will be fulfilled within the limitless vistas of my writings.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I’ve noticed that in our culture the term ‘disillusionment’ is considered negative. In my books, in many cases the illusions that a character has about a situation or person are simply incorrect. Thus the use of the term ‘illusion’ is to signify disinformation or deceptions that are believed. I find that characters must deal with a number of assumptions, many of which turn out to be illusions. It is when the character is disillusioned that he or she can move forward and make the best judgments. Thus ‘disillusionment’ is a very positive force and one that we each should embrace.

Authoring, writing, editing and publishing a book (as does living life) necessitates many disillusions. It is the spirit in which I accept those which allowed me to become more than self-absorbed and to look at the world in new ways. My enjoyment of reading is very much enhanced when my assumptions are challenged and the ‘fiction’ forces me to look at the world in a new way. In that way, the characters I share teach me about myself and others, and change my reality.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What Triggered My Writing ‘The Hunter’?

Now a little of how I came to write Pùqest Book 1: The Hunter. I was in a long distance relationship several years ago and as a surprise gift, he wrote a short story (five pages) and sent it to me via email. I liked it a lot but the female character kept niggling at me to correct some of his misperceptions. Well, I did, returned it to him with a continuation of the original short story, and three long books later, I was encouraged to publish the results. I sought advice from a couple who are friends (and prolific authors of more than 50 published books) and their recommendation was to write a much shorter, initial novel to introduce my writing style and set the stage for the much longer trilogy. The Hunter is the fruit of that labor.

As for the story ideas, they come from the characters. I know that many authors get an idea, create an outline to guide the plot and then fill in the details, always knowing exactly where things are going and how it all ends. I create differently. A character, such as Ellíséyan, comes to me and begins to share her tale and it unfolds as I type. I often think that I know where it is leading but most times I am incorrect and surprised by the twists and outcomes. In this regard, the initial writing is as much fun as reading another author’s book for the first time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How Did It Come to This?

Hi! I'm Amber Carez, pronounced 'caress', and I am a writer of fantasy… thus the name of my blog "Amber's Fantasy Caress".

Blogging is something I never considered doing before and I find that sitting down to blog is much scarier than writing a book. However, since my first novel has been published, I realized that I wanted to connect with those also love fantasy fiction and who have read or might read my work. So, here I am, revealing my thoughts rather than those of the characters who share their stories through me. I can pretty much guarantee that the characters will sometimes speak out through my voice and I will attempt to identify that when it happens.

The name of my first published book is Pùqest Book 1: The Hunter and it is available at major booksellers and online venues.

One of the authors who inspires me is Jacqueline Carey with her depiction of Kushiel in the Kushiel’s Legacy series. She showed that a strong woman need not be dominant in the manner of a man.

I will be sharing my thoughts of many fantasy books and I hope to dialog with you.

Please send me any questions you might have. What would you like to know?