They tell you about the dangers of riptide but no one warns you that you could be swept down into the riptide of who someone else is.
-Drowning In An Ocean of No Tomorrows
In Sticks and Stones, DeVries uses poetry to paint a poetic picture of her experience working in a toxic workplace, toxicity and bullying she faced in her youth, her struggles with anxiety and depression due to undiagnosed Asperger’s, and turning the pain of love and heartbreak into poetry to help any reader find the strength to overcome whatever is pulling them under. The book is available in hardcover and ebook wherever books are sold but in the US at Amazon, Etsy, Barnes and Noble, Walmart.com, and Target.com.
About the Book: In Sticks and Stones, DeVries paints a poetic picture of rising above toxicity, love found and love lost, and delves into what it means to find strength in the human spirit. Through poetry, the reader finds a voice of strength and the rebuilding of one’s heart a home with all the sticks and stones thrown upon it. Newly expanded with more full color photos, 41 new poems, and a rewrite of Drowning in An Ocean of No Tomorrows, DeVries shows a full poetic picture of turning pain into poetry in order so you can rise above whatever is pulling you under.About the Author: Chelsea DeVries wanted to be a writer at the age of 7. Her first publishing credit came at the age of 14 with a poem in a student anthology. She then wrote nonstop while doing IB classes in high school. She published two YA novels while still in high school which after over 10 years she rewrote as a NA romance that she looks to put out as her next publication. She is a seeker of justice and uses her words to free this world’s outcasted, peculiar, and underdogs from the chains that bind them. When not writing she runs and does PR for authors and musicians with her bookish brand The Smart Cookie Philes. Though she’s Florida born and raised, she has New Jersey in her veins. She currently lives in Port Richey, FL with her squad of three dogs.You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @onegirlrevolution26_, and her squad at @dasquad26. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.
If you are looking for greatness, where would you picture you would find it?
Most people picture greatness as Olympic athletes and during Sunday night football but I’ve been visiting a place that’s full of greatness all year long.
William Shakespeare is famously known for the quote from his play The 12th Night, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.”
Greatness is easy to see and spot at the Skatepark of Tampa specifically during the annual Tampa Pro contest.
Each year for the past 27 years, the Skatepark of Tampa has hosted the Tampa Pro skateboard contest. The prize has greatly increased since the first one, and both the sport and the venue have evolved with the constant progression of the times but you can expect to go to the local skatepark on the West Coast of Florida and be inspired, be handed a free beer, and a chance to tell your favorite skater how much that backside smith grind down the hubba they did in their last run, stoked you from head to toe.
Here is what a weekend at the Skatepark of Tampa looks like during Tampa Pro weekend. Welcome To Town parties start Thursday evening followed by trivia usually at the Bricks in Ybor City. Yes, that means you can share a pitcher of beer with Mark Appleyard or Mike Valleley, it’s a free country and you can do it.
As an avid 17 year fan of street skateboarding who doesn’t actually skate, people ask me all the time what I love about skateboarding or about the Tampa Pro.
For me, this year I was insanely moved by Felipe Nunes. Seeing out there on the course killing it made me feel that this is a place and an event where anyone can come and feel like they are a part of something greater than what they are currently facing in their day to day life. Sure, books, music, and movies are a great escape but hands down, I’d rather be at the skatepark during Tampa Pro weekend.
Whether it’s your first time or you’ve been here 10 times, Tampa Pro is an event that’s high vibrational, continuously gets better every year, and even allows women skateboarders to compete. One thing is for sure, it certainly will have you coming back again next year because everyone who’s anyone can come and just hang loose.
Thanks Paul and all who put on such a fun time down in hot and sunny Tampa, FL. I can’t wait for next year’s event in April.
It happened. The dreaded moment in an author’s book launch when social media was no longer pushing sales.. so i took a page out of the book I always use for my clients as their publicist and said: you need to be out in the open and meet people in real life. So I found […]
The Festival’s Author Expo will feature books by authors of many genres from around the country, as well as indie presses and literacy organizations. The Main Stage will boast several excellent panels like Framing History through Fiction, Middle Grade Magic, and Get Lucky: Romance, featuring authors like Amanda Quick and Simon Van Booy. The Kids’ Stage will feature book readings all day long, while the Poet-tree Stage will explore some spoken word, readings, panels, and more, emceed by Virginia’s first ever…
For Immediate Release April 13, 2021 Chelsea DeVries, Publicist email@example.com Sticks and Stones currently #1 in Drama and Poetry Sticks and stones by Chelsea DeVries, which is a collection of prose and poetry for anyone healing from a painful experience bringing up themes of mental health, suicide, and love and heartbreak. It is currently nominated […]
As most of you know, I love my dogs more than anything. They are my world and basically give my life both meaning and purpose.
Yet, so many dogs and cats are killed in shelters around the USA and I don’t think any furry friend should have to die just because it hasn’t found a home. About 3 or 4 years ago, I came across Best Friends Animal Society. They are a non-profit that advocates entirely for both dogs and cats to be rescued from kill shelters so that they have a chance at a decent and humane life. Every animal has it’s purpose, right?!
In order to help them in their no-kill 2025 initiative, every hoodie and dog bandana will 100% benefit Best Friends Animal Society and their life-saving work for this planet’s most precious and vulnerable creatures.
The Hooman Hoodie is available in a selection of primary colors and runs at $48 with $20 being donated to Best Friends Animal Society.
The dog merchandise has the same “fur-ever friends” design and is available in my new Squad shop but also still benefits Best Friends Animal Society. I will be adding more designs from past squad days in the shop soon but for now get a matching Dog Bandana here. The Dog Bandana is only available in white but is very large to fit any size furbaby. It is priced at $15.97 with 10% of that going to Best Friends Animal Society.
If you or someone you know is an animal advocate, please share this with them.
Until next time, We wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!
It all started with a dream five years ago…just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was not going to let anything come between me and my dream of helping authors and artists get the right exposure for their project.
Like a fairy dust kiss from above, only one month after launching the site, I got the news that I was selected as a member of Rachel Platten’s Wildfire Tour Crew.
And I will never forget her words before she sang her anthem “Fight Song” the night of the concert. They had me tearing up and I knew without a doubt that this was what I wanted to do, where I belonged, and I wanted others to feel this way too.
So I began by building my audience. I started posting book and music reviews that nobody paid me for. And I launched both my Twitter and Facebook page so I could network with the people in my niche: other writers, musicians, and people who were just looking for a place to express themselves freely without any judgement.
I created a hashtag game to get people aware of my brand messaging without cramming it down their throat.
#ESPRESSOYOURSELF was a trending hashtag on Twitter when the game launched and it was fun for a while.
Yet, it became more of a burden than a blessing and I ended it in 2018. Yet, the site began to get offers for affiliates, brands that wanted to work with us, and even a queue filled to the brim with review requests.
I took a leap of faith the following year and launched my PR firm in hopes that I could be paid to do the work that I earned a college degree in. Turns out, authors were willing to work with me because they knew me to be a genuine supporter of all things creative and especially authors. (I am a bibliophile to my core).
Today, my first ever signed client is still with my firm!
In 2018, I wanted to begin giving back in a new way so I created a merchandise line through Teespring that is 100% cause based. Each design is created with love for a cause that I believe in. And I felt like maybe there were other people who would believe in them too. In 2021, we now have over 19 products currently available and 6 cookie based designs that 100% came from my brain, although I hired an artist to create them for me, and 7 causes that they 100% support.
In 2019, I gained the most clients I ever had at one time in my firm but sadly lost most of them at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. Yet, do to supportive donations and an ad campaign featuring my dogs, I was able to withstand the stormy weather and I learned how freeing it is to dance in the rain.
My reviews and marketing services are sought after from traditionally published authors, independent authors, other publicists, and even independent music blogs and musicians. My clientele and brands that we’ve worked with span from small to huge but it hasn’t at all changed the reason why I began this site: if I have a dream and a vision, chances are other people like me do too so why not work together to create a community that is inclusive and welcomes art and projects from people of all walks of life.
This year I am excited to announce that my goal for 2021 was to READ MORE and Worry Less.
With that being said, I am making reading a daily priority this year because books are the world I choose to live in, and I refuse to apologize for that. Yet, this is a business that I truly care about and want to continue to see it succeed which is why I am revamping all my services this year.
First I am launching my review service for a nominal fee and you get a lot for a little chunk of change (As always). And this week only, if you request a review for your book, I will guarantee you I will get it done in 20 days or less or it’s free. For me, I want to be accountable this year and every year to come so this guarantee will allow me to do that to start. The guarantee is only good for this week only. After 1/24/21, it’s $40 regardless of how long it takes me to read your work. Sign up here today! This unfortunately means I will no longer offer free reviews so please let people know that I no longer offer those.
Second, I am re-launching my PR services. There will be two types I offer: freelance and contract.
My freelance services are perfect for artists or authors on a limited budget or local businesses looking for marketing assistance.
Lastly, I am pleased to announce that I am raising my publicist fees. Anyone who now signs with my firm will now be required to sign an annual contract and agree to the monthly retainer fee to secure me as your publicist. Big time agencies charge way more than I am but I am willing to believe the value of my work is worth every single dollar. And besides, every dollar earned is always re-invested in making my services or my brand more curated to fit the needs of any and all clientele, and with these new prices I hope to do that but I honestly also hope to attract clients that value my services 100% and want to grow together, and trust me above anything else.
Before I end this rather long personal statement, I wanted to announce that The Smart Cookie Philes is featured in a Book Promotion Directory for 2021. It includes 180 bloggers who will feature your book as well as 40 companies (mine included) who want to help you promote your work at affordable efficient rates.
As always, you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org 24 hours a day!
And thank you to everyone who has allowed me the chance to work with you, given you a safe haven to belong to, and supported me and this dream for five years!
I am so glad I took a page out of Dr. King’s book and boldly declared “I HAVE A DREAM…”
To the unicorns, the outcasts, and the dreamers,
We welcome you and I just want to say thank you all so much for sticking around.
2020 was a rough year for everyone for various reasons but I never felt so far away from everyone myself but thankfully within the book community, we always end up meeting people who are both on the same page and also inspire us to share more of our story on blank pages..
Kriti from Armed With a Book is one of those people who I came into connection with through a client but I also really liked her review style as well as her professionalism. She has a unique way of sharing about authors, creators, and even about the people who support them such as myself as a publicist. Honestly, as I come up to my 5th year as a publicist and my own boss, it felt like such a nice way to cement that into being.
You can read her amazing post by clicking my custom creative roulette wheel below.
When I graduated college, I knew without a doubt I wanted to be a publicist.
Not for all the perks but because I wanted to use marketing in a fun way.
As someone who made a career since her teens as a fangirl, I have a gift for encouraging others and highlighting the good that others say and do.
Some within the writing and music community, especially indie artists, are unfamiliar with the term “publicist.”
A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a company, a brand, or public figure or for a work such as a book, film or album. Publicists are public relations specialists who have the role to maintain and represent the images of individuals, rather than representing an entire corporation or business.
Publicists are also hired by public figures who want to maintain or protect their image.
Publicists brand their clients by getting magazine, TV, newspaper, and website coverage. Most top-level publicists work in private practice, handling multiple clients.
One of the publicist’s main functions is to generate press coverage on behalf of their clients and serve as the bridge between clients, their public and media outlets. A publicist manages campaigns and performs other public relations functions. It usually takes many years to develop the media contacts, experience and relationships necessary to be an effective publicist.
The main role of publicists is to get good press coverage for their clients. One way that publicists can do this is by sending press releases to journalists. A press release is written like a news story; including a headline, and attention grabbing quotes. However, because of the high traffic of e-mails, today, many press releases sent by publicists are lost within the other e-mails that journalists receive.
Publicists tend to have good working relationships with journalists, TV news producers, and producers. In order to have these relationships, publicists usually network with these media professionals.
To protect a client’s image, publicists will often ask journalists what questions will be asked during interviews to prevent any surprises and discussion of any unwanted topics.Publicists determine how to manage a person’s or brand’s image by what is being said about them in the media. This pertains to websites and social media. More recently, publicists have the need to network with bloggers and scope out their websites to make sure the content on their client is appropriate.
A typical day for a publicist consists of being on the phone, networking through e-mails, and can make themselves available at all times of the day for when conflict arises.
Out of the office, publicists go to gatherings to network with media professionals.
The #1 I became a publicist is because I wanted to use my gift for writing from a marketing standpoint. And as someone who published novels before without an ally, I wanted to be that specifically for authors and musicians.
Publicists always do the work with the best interests of the client being served, and most of the times, it is a very thankless job.
If you’ve stumbled upon this post, and you believe you need a publicist with a heart for writers and artists who the world has tried to silence, let me be your voice. Let me help you shine.
It is difficult to discuss enlightenment in general because enlightenment means something different to everyone and because it is paradoxical. Most people think enlightenment is a peaceful, blissful, formless realm beyond the manifest world and outside of space and time. This is only partially correct because it is a paradox.
It is paradoxical because enlightenment includes duality and is simultaneously beyond it.
A lot of people who study Eastern religions are busily quieting their minds and emotions and are waiting for “enlightening” to strike. This is what the Buddha and Shankara taught and what I meditated on for almost 20 years. I have friends who are professional meditators. They can sit without a single thought appearing in their minds for hours at a time. However, I have rocks in my backyard that can do the same thing. Is this the apex of life on this planet? The Oneness as Emptiness is only part of the story. The manifest realm is also an expression of the great Oneness. Our task now is to figure out how best to manifest that ground of being in the evolving, material world. We must merge the transcendent with the immanent.
The analogy of the Ocean with its waves is the best way I know to describe the paradox of being both at the same time. Waves provide a good analogy for people because each wave has a discernible, separate existence. Each has a unique size, direction, speed, and shape – and they make a lot of noise, just as I do! There is also no real separation between them and the totality of the Ocean.
So, imagine yourself as an average wave rolling along, minding your own business, and some guru wave tells you, “You are the entirety of the ocean, and you can experience yourself as such.” All you have to do is meditate your ass off, become a vegetarian, and take up Tai Ji, or, if you are the trusting, devotional type, you can surrender to Yahweh, Jesus, or Allah.
So now they become a seeker with a mission! A wave in search of wetness! Nothing like a little meaning in life to actually get a person to do something other than consume stuff to compensate for that endless dark pit of need in the middle of one’s chest. The fanatic edge that sometimes comes with a little meaning in one’s life can drive a seeker for several thousand lifetimes; in spite of a few setbacks such as exhaustion, depression, and the sneaky feeling you are wasting a lot of time.
Some people start wave hopping to find the wetness, and others start perfecting their own wave to get wetter than the other waves. What keeps that cycle going is the fact that every time someone gets weary, another spiritual teacher comes along with the perfect technique for experiencing wetness, and off they go again until they finally drop. And then, “POW,” a moment of unity consciousness.
If you stop striving for wetness in order to succeed in experiencing it, it will not work. You have to stop everything, which includes stopping everything. That is why not too many people actually do it. It is scary to surrender everything you think you are and allow the great Oneness to continue running the show.
Some of the best “strivers” I have ever met are the Zen folks. They tirelessly scale that “enlightenment” mountain going straight up the slopes, while most people meander around the well-worn paths, smelling the flowers and eating the strawberries at every turn.
You would expect the Buddhist religion to turn out a lot of enlightened individuals every year, wouldn’t you? I didn’t find that to be the case. So, what is wrong with this picture? The more a wave pursues its own wetness as a goal, the further away the wave gets from being its wetness.
As I mentioned before, the tendency to take up spirituality as a cure for your psychological problems is called “spiritual bypassing.” You try to bypass all your problems with the magic bullet of meditation. It sounds good and looks good and actually works to some degree, but without doing the foundational psychological work along the way, nothing much is going to change, in my opinion.
Too many people and meditation teachers in particular, honestly think every problem can be solved with meditation. If you are out of work and depressed, and your guru tells you to meditate more, it is probably time to get another teacher and to find a job.
On the other hand (there is always another “on the other hand” when dealing with paradox), I often see people busying themselves by digging into their childhood traumas in self-help workshops or with their psychiatrist or therapist. Those “archeological digs” can sometimes lead to greater insight into why we do what we do, but far too often, it is simply another expression of narcissism.
I had a client who washed her hands a hundred times a day and knew exactly why she did it, but she still could not stop. I sometimes think some folks would be a lot better off if they spent their day helping people in a homeless shelter instead of incessantly talking about their problems.
The most common expression of narcissistic behavior I see is the incessant striving for enlightenment. The deep reason you don’t make much progress even after decades of meditation and self-help workshops is that you are doing it for yourself. When people take the focus off themselves for even a short time, they find their personal problems miraculously dissolving. That’s due to their no longer giving little obsessions the energy needed to perpetuate. Try it. Don’t think about yourself for an entire day and see what happens.
Let’s say that while indulging in narcissistic pursuits, a person accidentally experiences a spiritual awakening. After all, even a blind squirrel will find an acorn occasionally. It is like a wave briefly glimpsing itself as the entirety of the Ocean. You think you have arrived! But then, the memory fades, and you are back identifying with your old familiar ego/wave again – warts and all.
What good is a spiritual awakening if the wave that experienced it is distorted after experiencing itself as the Ocean? This is often what happens. This means the person must continue to work hard on psychological evolution in order to sustain the awakening. Your personal evolution will continue smoothly if you allow it to happen naturally and don’t force anything with your obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
It is more important to be integrated and authentic at whatever stage you find yourself than to hotly pursue enlightenment with a distorted and desperate psyche.
Few Westerners have training in the multitude of Chinese disciplines that Mark Johnson has. In addition to Tai Chi instruction, Mark specializes in Qigong (which is self-healing through moving high frequency energies throughout the body.) He also taught three styles of Feng Shui (which is the study of the energies of an area) and he was also involved in writing one of the most popular versions of the E Jing (which is China’s ancient classic on how things change). He also teaches Chinese calligraphy to his students on his many trips to China. Mark has integrated these disciplines in creative ways for over fifty years. He has also founded Integral Tao Centers in Taos New Mexico, Tulsa Oklahoma, New York, and California where he now resides.
Mark Johnson’s decades-long global spiritual journey culminated with his book, “Life As Play”
Live Compassionately, Intuitively, Spontaneously, and Miracles Will Happen!,“ an initiation into a life of Play. Mark encourages you to take the plunge into the unknown and mystery of your own life where every action becomes an effortless, appropriate response to whatever life brings you.
“Life As Play” is available for purchase at Amazon. Audiobook coming soon to Audible.
This post was shared to bring awareness to the prevalence of mental health and it’s importance to any person’s overall health. It was also shared to help end the stigma on Mental Health in collaboration with Farrow Communications @FARROWCOMMS.