Guest Author Susan Scott

 

Today our guest is Susan Scott, author of yesterday’s book In Praise Of Lilith, Eve And The Serpent In The Garden Of Eden And Other Stories. Here is a link to the post http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5oo

Susan Scott

Let’s find out more about Susan and her writing.

* Where is your home town?

 – I live in Johannesburg South Africa.
* What inspired you to put together this collection of essays?
– 5 of them are personal, 2 are quasi academic and as you know they are deeply psychological. From my studies in clinical psychology at university and ongoing study of C.G. Jung and other in-depth psychologists and writers, I realised more and more the value of self. I wanted to show how the seemingly mundane contains the sacred within and that there is universality in this.
* Can you briefly tell the readers what you learnt from creating your secret garden?
– When I committed to this project, it was very interesting to me how it began to unfold. In my instance I said ‘yes’ to the call of the yearning of creating my own secret space and began the action of implementing it. It is like saying ‘yes’ to the psyche and then experiencing the support that comes. As I cleared weeds and brush, sticks and stones, deadwood and dug deeper to prepare the soil and space, I thought how akin this was to clearing the psyche – getting rid of deadwood that no longer serves one and making way for new life, new energy and room for other things to grow – in the psyche. The ego took a back seat while I was doing this hard, physical, yet meditative work, and I found it liberating clearing useless deadwood in my psyche which made room for new energy to emerge.
* What sort of rubbish were you finding on the beach? How did it make you feel?
– the same sort of rubbish that one finds on pavements in towns and cities and even out in the country. Broken glass, plastic bottles and bags, fishing line caught up in rocks, rusting tins, cigarette ends, bottle caps, styrofoam containers. I felt pretty despairing about this care-less, thoughtless and destructive acts of discarding unwanted, non-biodegradable trash onto erstwhile pristine beaches or anywhere else. I wondered why it is that there is so little respect for Nature and all she gives us. Why make ugly what is beautiful? Is it some sort of destructive act against our own selves, this thoughtlessness and un-caring?
* Can you tell the readers who Lilith was?
– According to the Midrash (early middle ages exposition of the Bible by Jewish scholars), she was the first wife of Adam in the Garden of Eden, made from the same dust and clay and at same time as he, therefore they were equal. She was expelled from the Garden for refusing to be subordinate to Adam. She has both divine and demonic powers. Folk lore sees her as a demon, wreaking revenge for her banishment wherever she passes. In our contemporary lives and as women she is seen as daimon, or inner wise voice.  She’s been likened to the Black Madonna. Her repression still reverberates – as does her return. She needs to be redeemed through conscious awareness of her. We each have a light and dark side in simplistic terms and much of the wounding that comes from repression inter alia needs healing in order to be as whole as possible.
* What do you believe her role was in connection to Eve?
– Lilith spent a long long time in the depths of the Red Sea lamenting her repression and exile. Anything that is repressed will re-appear. Lilith appears in disguise as the serpent, and approached Eve in the garden when she saw Eve languishing against the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (the first appearance of the opposites, central to in-depth psychology – and all of us). She offered Eve the apple, which Eve accepted. In psychological terms this can be seen as the way of rising from that undifferentiated state of unconsciousness, and into another world, albeit it a world of pain and pleasure, joy and grief, light and dark – a world of opposites, contained within us all. Our task is to find a way of uniting or finding a balance between those opposites. Lilith gave Eve the opportunity for consciousness, away from unconsciousness, blissful it may have been in Paradise. Both women said ‘no’ to injunctions, and both were consequently banished and repressed. Both were trailblazers whose trails are still deeply felt.
* Can you tell us briefly where our dreams come from?
– They come from the very person having the dream. And more specifically from the dreamer’s unconscious, that deep limitless reservoir. An ordinary event may be the hook on which the dream is hung, but they are worthy of deep consideration no matter in which way they present themselves to the dreamer. I like the saying from The Talmud: ‘An unexamined dream is like an unopened letter’.
* What made you decide to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?
– I didn’t decide, it was decided for me. I signed a document in a wonderfully reckless moment at a birthday lunch. The hostess put a pen in my hand with a document in front of me stating the intention to climb the highest mountain in Africa the following year. My name along with hers and one or two others was at the bottom of the document. The hostess said ‘SIGN!’. So I did, little knowing …
* What were the worst/best bits of the mountain climb?
– There were so many bests. Without doubt, summitting! Actually being there at the top! Such an expansive feeling! Doing this with friends and the camaraderie among us, while each struggled in unique ways, is paradoxical in its way and is a lasting memory. The most difficult was for me coming down the mountain. For me that was unbelievably tricky. I’d forgotten that once you get up, you have to come down …
* Where can readers find out more about you?
– my website is probably the best bet. I’d love to connect with your readers. And thank you very much Rosie for this opportunity to express myself. It’s such a kind gesture to widen the field. I know we’re all very grateful.
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Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Thank you Susan your book is full of deep and interesting topics.

In Praise Of Lilith, Eve And The Serpent In The Garden Of Eden And Other Stories by Susan Scott

In Praise Of Lilith, Eve And The Serpent In The Garden Of Eden And Other StoriesIn Praise Of Lilith, Eve And The Serpent In The Garden Of Eden And Other Stories by Susan Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book comes in the form of a series of essays which look deeply into author Susan Scott’s life and how she feels about herself and the power of womankind. It will take you on the highs and lows of some of the basic meanings of life and even goes beyond the veil in the world of dreams.

I particularly enjoyed the essay about Susan’s garden, finding a new treasure, nurturing the life and finding the reflection on life by clearing away the rubbish. In fact it inspired me to get up and go and clean my own house from top to bottom and then start on my own garden. And yes it felt really good afterwards.

I also liked the story about picking up rubbish on the beach. I too pick up litter and I understood where Susan was coming from in her belief that people have lost their connection to all that is nature.

The Essay about Lilith , Eve and the serpent in the garden taught me much about blame, rejection and repression and how these feelings become banished emotions within us but bubble to the surface in all sorts of illnesses unless we learn to deal with them.

There was also much to ponder and face in the essay about dreams. Looking deeply at the symbols and finding a balance in our lives. The last essay is about a momentous trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and we follow Susan and her fellow climbers through pain and hardship as they complete the trip and reflect on what it meant to them.

When reading this book I went though many sets of emotions, I was inspired, lost and humbled. It’s not an easy read at times, but I think it will affect each reader in a very different way.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Susan is our guest author tomorrow, do come back and find out more about her and her writing.

Good Deeds Challenge, Year 2, Week 10

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year.

New Good DeedsDuring my week I’ll also being updating you on My Kindness Challenge which I’m also doing. I read about a new challenge to make the world a better place to live in. “Speak Kind Words, Receive Kind Echoes” see the inspiration on  The Kindness blog . During my learning process I’m donating money to charity for my slip-ups to make me work harder to achieve results. I earn no money from any of my book reviews, so having little to spare should focus my mind.

This week I’ve been doing the following;

June 22nd – Last night we went to the 25th Wedding Anniversary of dear friends. It stirred up so many past memories, they’ve been churning in my mind all night, bringing more and more names from the past that I haven’t thought about for several years. So first thing, I wrote a long Thank you e-mail to my friends and added all those names we couldn’t remember last evening and added our love and wishes for another 25 happy years of marriage.

People are signing up for the Book review Challenge, it’s marvellous the support I’m getting.

Good Deeds received, had a e-mail this morning from a computer wiz who inputs all data that moves at the cricket matches our son plays in. Our son’s a bowler and bats very low down in the order, often not batting at all, but yesterday he got to bat and scored a very handsome 21 runs. The e-mail contains all the data of both his batting and bowling, every ball bowled or faced and a fancy wagon wheel diagram of just where he hit those balls to. I just know he’s going to be over the moon when he gets up and will spend hours over the information. He’s a stats boy and it’s all stored away in his brain ready for the next game.

Another Good Deed received, this morning I’m a guest over with Seumas Gallacher

June 23rd – My morning helping out at school, listening to the young ones reading. Good Deeds received; I’m a guest on Lizzie Lamb’s blog this morning. A Woman’s Wisdom has done a lovely post to help promote the Book review Challenge and people all over the world are working their butt’s off to help spread the news and prepare post pieces and get books ready to send out to readers. BIG THANKS to everyone.

June 24th –  A day of challenges today. I’m thrilled with all the support I’ve got for the Book review Challenge. I had to work this morning so when I got home at lunchtime I was eager to get back on the computer to keep on top of all the mail. Blah! The internet was down! So I looked at the opportunities this gave me, a quick lunch and out to the supermarket for bread and milk hoping the internet would be back up and running when I got home. No luck, phoned the supplier to get a message that it could be another 7 hours. 7 hours without the internet this gal can’t have that. Rang my Mum, “I’m coming over I need your computer”. Dashed over taking a few things with me that needed dropping off and managed to get on-line and get through all the mail and social media that needed attention. Phew!

Back home and we have internet for another 2 hours before it breaks down again in the middle of the England World Cup match (we have cable TV) So my son’s mad and I’m chucked off the internet again. I’m adding money to my Kindness pot like a slot machine as very unkind words escape my mouth. Wait patiently! ha ha. Phone the provider again, they do love a joke! Internet may be off for another 6 hours! Do they realise the significance of (Rosie Amber being off of the internet? Oops!) The England match? Back on after a couple of hours, missed most of an uneventful game of football, but made it just in time to see England beaten at the cricket. There’s quite a lot of gloom looming over this house.

Book Review Challenge

Can’t wait for the Book review Challenge to start tomorrow, there are so many people helping out all doing Good deeds to help promote and support it, that the love is spreading.

June 25th – Day 1 of the book review challenge. I’m also trying to sort out a night out for a group of friends, so it’s a round of e-mails to check everyone’s availability.Phew! What a busy day on the blog. Still need more people to read and review the books, but lots of kind comments about the post.

June 26th – The July issue of Fleet Life has just dropped through the door. This month’s books and authors are Business As Usual by E. L. Lindley Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler Derek’s In Trouble by Mac Black Secrets of The Unaltered by Leti Del Mar and  The Hollow Heart by Adrienne Vaughan The online version will go out around July 1st.

Day 2 of the book review challenge and we are joined by Bodicia from A Woman’s Wisdom and later in the post we discuss, Non-fiction reviews.

Just got back from the weekly Tesco supermarket shop to re-fill the cupboards for the hungry hoards. Got chatting to the lady on the checkout about a fellow worker who had suddenly died a few weeks ago. A much loved co-worker he also played a big role in the running club that my oldest child belongs to.  She’s involved in an athletics project at the club and the group of the athletes are getting together to organise a competition event and they intend to make call it The John Hewitt memorable. Apparently John was always whistling “Always look on the bright side of life” by Eric Idle which was originally featured in the Monty Python film “The Life of Brian.” The song has been in my head playing since I left the supermarket and it brings a smile to my face. I’ll suggest to the group that the local Tesco might be happy to provide some sponsorship for the event.

Enjoy this clip from the 2012 Olympics (Eric begins after a couple of minutes, it brought back lots of fun and should make you all smile)

Life really is for living isn’t it? Got completely lost in youtube videos of the Olympics after I’d researched the Eric Idle video for you all. I’d forgotten the way that Britain pulled together and got behind the whole Olympic dream. I watched a couple of more clips; the Mr Bean one to The Chariots of Fire theme tune and the Queen’s arrival at the Olympic Stadium with oo7 James Bond, such showmanship. Thne I just had to watch the clip from The Life of Brian and the original “Always  look on the bright side of life” song, just so funny!

June 27th – Posted a book review for Susan Scott’s book on Goodreads and Amazon In Praise Of Lilith, Eve And The Serpent In The Garden Of Eden And Other Stories . Day 3 of the Book review challenge and we heard from author Terry Tyler on the importance of book reviews, we looked at Goodreads and I talked about writing bad book reviews.

Went for a walk and picked up litter, my walk took me along the canal, there was so much litter, a dead pigeon, a dead fish, a rat crossing my path. Smells of dog excrement (Bags of it left for others to pick up – I do draw the line there)  and rotting rubbish spoiled my enjoyment of the nature.

Sent a long over-due e-mail to a friend in Australia.

June 28th – Day 4 of my book review challenge and today we heard from fellow book reviewer Diane Coto, I gave an overview of Shelfari and I wrote piece about going deeply into a book review.

E-mailed a friend to check on her daughter’s twisted ankle.

Think I need a rest, anyone else exhausted just reading this? Go and watch that video for a few minutes then.

Good Deeds Year 2, Week 9

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year.

New Good DeedsDuring my week I’ll also being updating you on My Kindness Challenge which I’m also doing. I read about a new challenge to make the world a better place to live in. “Speak Kind Words, Receive Kind Echoes” see the inspiration on  The Kindness blog . During my learning process I’m donating money to charity for my slip-ups to make me work harder to achieve results. I earn no money from any of my book reviews, so having little to spare should focus my mind.

This week I’ve been doing the following;

June 15th – Met a friend at the shops and asked after her mother who had recently broken her hip. Visited my parents and helped Mum with a little computer question. Discussed with my Dad, how to collect a swarm of bees should I ever find one and he’s not around. (He keeps bees)

June 16th – My morning helping out at school. Then a NEW mad capped idea to run a series on book reviewing ending with a challenge to readers getting them to read and review a book and get it posted here on the blog. Drafted up my review of Dispassionate Lies by Eileen Schuh.

June 17th – Mad blogger syndrome still taking hold as I badger people to help me with the book review series challenge,  giving bloggers and authors a chance to promote themselves.

Made my friend’s day when I saw her new picture on Twitter and sent her a compliment. Thought she looked a “Super hot Mamma”!

June 18th – This spontaneous idea stuff is a bit scary sometimes! I am having so much FUN. Who would have thought that my week would turn out like this? Back story here, when I came home at lunchtime on Monday the day was dreary and I felt low and depressed. Not wanting to feel this way I asked myself how I wanted to feel. I wanted to be happy and bubbly, so I asked what made me happy and bubbly? The answer came; Having fun on my blog and helping people. So I thought, what do I do on my blog? I do book reviews, why? Because I think they’re really important to authors and readers. So I literally started weaving a plan around that one idea, now look at it. I’ve got loads of FREE books from authors, I’ve got friends and fellow bloggers writing articles for me, people are signing up to the review challenge and it’s complete madness and I’m loving every minute of it.

The winner of a copy of Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb was delighted to receive her copy of the book today.

Finished reading The Mystery Box by Eva Pohler,

June 19th – Am reading The Agben School by Jo Sparkes, second book in The Legend of the Gamesmen series, which will soon be coming hot off the presses. Adding more books to my book review challenge and drafting up pieces of advice on book reviewing. Discussed with fellow author Stephanie Hurt the possibility of running our very successful Romancing September Tour again this year. Let us know if you’d be interested, last year we did author interviews, book promos and talked about writing romance in 2 locations around the world each day for 30 days. Haven’t discussed if we’ll follow the same format or make a few changes, will keep you all posted.

June 20th – Still busy with the Book review Challenge posts. Walked to the post box at lunchtime and picked up litter on my way home. Here’s a link to one of the posts about the challenge http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5kG

Left a little comment on a fellow blogger’s site to help cheer her up and I hoped it helped.

June 21st – Tonight we’re off out bearing gifts to help celebrate our friends 25th Wedding Anniversary. Had a great time and donated money to The Children’s Cancer Trust as the bar was free, but asked for donations. Started reading In Praise Of Lilith, Eve And The Serpent In The Garden Of Eden And Other Stories by Susan Scott. Got inspired by the first essay to clean my house as a reflection of cleaning up my life. Such a good book.