Praise for Piu Piu

What Readers Said . . .

after reading my visionary fiction novel, “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu”:

YES!

 I love the way this woman writes! Very descriptive and one of the most unique stories I have ever read.

~ By Karen Moore – 5 Star Review published on Amazon.com on 27 April 2017

What Readers say about Bianca Gubalke Author
Short and sweet and it made my day! I love receiving positive feedback from readers I don’t know!

Spirituality and Inspiration

Sometimes it’s not easy for an author to decide on a category when publishing his or her fiction novel. It’s much easier for those who are writing non-fiction books. Normally, they know right from the start what their specific genre is. The genre is the category under which a title appears say on Amazon – or any other online platform that sells books. And these are growing rapidly . . . no wonder, with so many books being published day after day! In the offline scenario, say in a physical store, it’s the shelf where one would be looking for a book to read. Also think of libraries: where are books catalogued? So, in case you’ve written a recipe book, it’s easy to find it. If your 12-year old kid wants an educational textbook on geography, you know where to look.

It’s not always that easy when we think about literature and fiction. If you are an author and you have written a science fiction story or a thriller – you don’t need to think much. You may want to define it a little more, say as a space opera or a mystery thriller, but these attributes only classify within the main genres, and it is very clear what these are: science fiction and thriller. Bearing that in mind, you’d have no problem to find your favourite Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland. However, especially in the beginning as I hear from many fellow authors – the lines between genres are not that easy to spot and even shifting. Everything moves and changes and new genres and categories pop up all the time. The libraries follow so-called BISAC codes and while Amazon follows that a bit… it’s not a real discipline for them as the follow more what the market dictates.

All this doesn’t make things easier!

If you’ve written a fiction novel that entertains, informs and teaches without being a typical ‘how-to’ book that would belong into the non-fiction category, you may have difficulties in finding your perfect ‘niche’ – not to speak of the overwhelming weight of competing writers, which can be a scary thing! Even if you know your target market, your audience and readers, you still have to choose wisely in order to be ‘searchable’ or rather ‘findable’ for everyone searching for your book or books in your genre. My choice wasn’t easy in that sense, either . . . and while my magical realism  novel, “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu” dives into the mystery of life and death and everything inbetween, with its main female protagonist, Anata, moving along a path of spiritual awakening, personal development and transformation, the writing itself contains many elements of ‘magical realism’ – and that’s the genre it went in. In the beginning . . . but it won’t stay there. writing a book and getting it out there in the world is a steep learning curve and when I realized that all my work – be it in the Fine Arts or Screenplay Writing and now including my fiction novel – has these exact elements, I knew I had to change. It happens to many; we change until everything just gels. For me there’s always a magical side to our real life, and I don’t really bother where to draw the lines, bearing in mind that everything is an illusion anyway. It’s the way I see – and have always seen – our temporary existence here on Earth, as a spiritual being in physical form. I wrote about this in my article during the Magical Realism Bloghop less than a year ago:

“I cannot imagine a reality without magic.” ~ Bianca Gubalke

In the meantime, there’s a surprise for you on the way! I had to reformat my book to get the page count down – which inflated the price of the book as soon as it was sold beyond the Amazon platform – and I will soon publish the second edition. This gave me the opportunity to target more precise . . . So watch this space and I’m looking forward to your valued feedback!

 

#spirituality #biancagubalkeauthor #mysteryfiction

Happy Sunday from Noordhoek

SMILE!

I don’t know about you but . . . it is a warm sunny autumn day here in Noordhoek, South Africa, and we even had a few drops of rain! We’re grateful!

After spending the dark and exciting time before dawn out in the wild, Mutzeputz, our Somali tomcat, is living his dream. He may well be the happiest cat on earth! I mean to say: tiger!

SMILEs with Bianca Gubalke

 

There were quite some requests to continue my Free Fun Cards Online – do you remember? ‘Good Morning from Noordhoek’ it was then. Well, I love funny cats, so this is all about making you smile and starting your Sunday on a high!

So enjoy your weekend and SMILE, CONNECT and SHARE!

 

 

#biancagubalkeauthor #spirituality #mysteryfiction

Have you set up your Facebook Page

How to use Facebook to promote your writing

We just completed the first round of this month’s Ycademy webinar, which focused on the background and creation of professional Facebook pages. This is different from our usual profile page, meaning the one we all start with when we join this immensely popular social media platform. And which author hasn’t heard – or been told – and this regardless of whether he or she are traditionally published or brave indie authors, that it is imperative to “…build a large and forever growing social media following”?

Bianca Gubalke Facebook Author Page

Well, I’m guilty, too . . . I simply didn’t take the time to do it, relying on my profile page, where I could easily communicate with my family and friends. There is just sooo much you can accomplish within 24 hours if you also want to write!

But it’s true, we shouldn’t ignore what Facebook offers us as authors – or any other business oriented person for that matter. There’s a wide range of possibilities to choose from – be it for a local business, to sell products, for artists, authors and photographers etc to present themselves and their work, for entertainment – including books – as well as an option to build communities around certain topics and themes. Depending on our goals and target markets or intentions, it makes a lot of sense to take the time and set up a new Facebook page (it’s like a satellite to our already existing Facebook Profile page), to go through the settings, step-by-step, and implement some really cool publishing tools.

Ask yourself: Is my audience local? Who do I target? The whole world? Only the English speaking world? What is the age group that might be interested in my work, product or service? Male or female? And where do they live?

My new Facebook Author Page

What matters most – even before starting out – is to have a clear vision of what this Facebook Page is all about. What it means to us and to our readers, audience, following.  In this case, my focus is on my work as a writer of visionary fiction and magical realism – hence the choice was a logical one: an author page.

Then you want to create an attractive design, starting with the header image. What do your readers see when they come to your page? What do you want them to see, understand, read or be drawn to? For this we need a header image of 851 x 315 px (desktop version) and in 640 x 360 px  for the mobile version – I show my first example below:

Bianca Gubalke Facebook Author Page

As I love to do digital photography, and I recently captured this dramatic sunset picture during a violent thunderstorm here in Noordhoek, South Africa, this is what I chose. It relates directly to my free downloadable book: “The Magical Garden and my visionary fiction novel The Immortal Life of Piu Piu“. 

Do you like it? Please comment . . . and if you like visionary fiction with a mystery edge that touches your soul and makes you feel real good, go grab a copy!

But back to Facebook: it also allows us to change the header from time to time – or whenever we want – say when we’ve written a new book, hence keeping things fresh and snazzy and giving our visitors and fans always an attractive reading experience. Both on their desktops and on their mobile phones.

Bianca Gubalke Facebook Author Page

Last note: The Ycademy Seminar continues in form of workshops over the following weeks. Once all students have completed the setup, we will dive into Facebook Marketing strategies!

Stay tuned!

#facebookpages #wegotop #howto #sellmorebooks

 

Easter my favourite time

Easter in Namibia

If I look back in time, my favourite feast has always been Easter! In those delightful childhood days in Namibia (South Africa) it was the time when the first rains had arrived – eagerly-awaited – covering the scorched desert sand with a carpet of bright yellow ‘morning stars’, literally overnight, and triggering a symphony of new green leaves sprouting on camelthorn bushes and acacias. A sense of awakening was in the air that raised the earth’s vibrations including everyone, big or small, who dwelled upon her! A new beginning!

Happy Easter 2017 by Bianca Gubalke

“What you are the vibration of, appears.”

~ From the visionary fiction novel  ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’

What fascinated me most was the magic of new animal life that manifested itself within the sudden abundance. Those tiny new-born antelopes hopping to their feet to follow their moms – springbok, wildebeest and kudu – when we kids roamed through the bush to find what the Easter Bunny had hidden for us! But – already then, and that was the secret – it was much more about what we’d discover along the way than what we actually found in the end . . . if we found it at all! Sometimes, the chocolate egg had melted in the glazing sun and had become a welcome alternative to seeds for a whole colony of large marching ants. We never meddled with those. Or it had been discovered and pinched by a clever baboon who smiled at us from high up in a thorny tree, eyes glittering with an air of superiority, and pieces of silver wrappings sailing down. Which we duly collected and carried home like trophies of a new funny story to tell. Sometimes, we found the remains of the Easter Feast a year later . . . or two . . . or we never found it at all!

It is the path that matters

If you think about it, it’s the path itself that matters much more than the goal. And as we dance between worlds, each new beginning reminds us to hold on a moment, to breathe, and then to let go and abandon the chaos outside . . . to turn within.

This is not about escapism, not at all, it’s about choice!  Our free choice, that is. Our choice to look past the illusion and see with our heart. Isn’t it time to – consciously – open ourselves to the Light we all carry within, no matter who we are or where we find ourselves on our journey? No better time than now to trust our divine intuition, to follow the inner guidance that is always present within a sacred space we all share!

I’m wishing you a blessed time!

Book Reviews 2017

Robin Gregory

Every now and then, a special book comes along that just brightens our day; this is the case of “The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman”, a magical realism novel for young adults by Californian author Robin Gregory.

It is a tale born from real life experience that took many years to mature and complete into the multiple award-winning piece of literature it is now.

The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman by Robin Gregory

Book Review by Bianca Gubalke

Even an earthquake responds to love and brings forth a hero

‘The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman’ is a book that stands out.

It’s not a simple quick read, the one you zoom through alongside a gazillion of other things. And it certainly appeals to many readers, young in years or young at heart, who can identify with a battered underdog on his wondrous path to becoming a hero.

Just as the disabled Moojie in his fierce longing to belong, we all are on a journey together – all of us individuals with different virtues and traits, all of us from different environments, and all of us connected as family, community, one species. The difference lies in what drives us! This may be a passion, an inner knowing, our imagination, a dream, an openness to always expect the magical within the real – that sacred space where victims turn into heroes.

If you lean into the meaning, magic, humor and the rhythm of this exquisite tale you’ll find a gem your heart will treasure. And happily recommend.

How to find the Light

It took me a while to read this precious book as I wanted to give the book the space it deserves, and allow myself the time to dive into the author’s world, see the characters come alive and create a story I could resonate with . . . and discover astonishing parallels with  “The Immortal Life of Piu Piu”.

Abandoned. Alone. Lost. Handicapped. Hurt. Looking for family. For connection. LOVE. And finding it DESPITE ALL IMPROBABILITIES . . . because YES! We can! 

The theme seems to be floating in the air. Answers are needed – more than ever before – in a world collapsing in chaos and fear where it’s easy to lose touch with our own inner knowing and magic, within the so-called ‘real’. And yet, that’s what change is all about . . . and if phoenix could and can rise from the ashes, so can we . . . and so did Piu Piu!

Thank you for your interest and do have a look at Robin Gregory’s work.

 

The Life of Honey Bees

ARTEBY Author Interviews

ARTEBY:  In your magical realism novel, ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’, you also write about bees – ‘The Voice of the Infinite in the Small’. Tell us a little bit about it.

BG: Yes, well, that’s what the bushmen of the Kalahari say, when they listen to a mantis. A profound way of expressing the ‘unexplainable’, isn’t it? I read that many, many years ago in The Lost World of the Kalahari” by Sir Laurens van der Post. As we’re living very close to Nature, honey bees are part of our lives, our mundane reality, whatever you may want to call it. In any case, I did not invent the bees for my story. Everything in my book – as magical as it may seem – is deeply rooted in reality and my personal experience thereof. When we planned our magical garden, we paid close attention to what attracted honey bees. The purpose was not to get honey, but to help provide these beautiful and ecologically significant beings with what they needed to live a happy life. Today, after about 20 years, they can choose between fields of lavender, flowering gums, lots of fynbos, wild pear, buddlejas and many acacias – just to name a few. Being from Namibia, I love the sweet fragrance of acacias when they’re in bloom, and as bees love the colour yellow, they’re in heaven when these trees are exploding with soft yellow mimosas . . .

ARTEBY: I love acacia honey! But your story is hardly about honey . . .

My Life with Wild Honey Bees by Bianca Gubalke

The Mantis and the Bee

BG: No, it’s rather about our perceptions and our human conditioning. I assume you refer to the encounter between the praying mantis – the predator, the so-called ‘killer machine’ – and the little innocent honey bee, who spends her life serving others. I posted a 5-minute clip on  The Mantis and the Bee  on exactly that part of the story on YouTube in 2010!  I wasn’t prepared for what I saw when it actually happened – all I had was my Coolpix P90 and I used it. I’m still thrilled that I was part of this scene and could document some of those incredible moments! Very quiet moments . . . very different from the world of instant gratification and noise we live in . . . I called it a meditation. But we know that . . . “What you are the vibration of, appears!”

ARTEBY: What did you expect to happen when you pressed the video button?

BG: Like everyone else, I assumed the predator would catch the bee and devour it . . . It’s something we’ve come to almost expect as that’s the kick most audiences want to see on TV: the kill. . .  Just go and insert ‘mantis vs bee’ on YouTube and you see what I mean. But it taught me a lesson!

Life is so different! Yes, it also includes the inevitable moment of death at some stage, but that is just one moment amongst so many within an otherwise magnificent circle of life, the dance between worlds, filled with beauty and labour and creation – and, as in the case of the honey bee, the production of honey and the pollination of plants that provide us human beings with a passport for life: our daily food!

Remember, we pray “And give us our daily bread…”? Impossible without the honey bee! In fact, the holy honey bee!!!

“If honey bees become extinct, human society will follow in four years.” Albert Einstein said – or rather warned us.

ARTEBY: So are these bees living somewhere in your garden or do you keep them in a commercial hive?

How to provide wild bees with a home

BG: Let’s look at a recent example. We’ve been cutting out dead wood and branches and stapled it to be chipped, when I noticed that a swarm of bees had started to build a nest at the bottom of a huge pile of wood. While bees are deaf – they have no ears – they are very sensitive to vibrations, they sense through their hair and their antennae. So when the wood was removed above their nest and chipped in a major machine, they weren’t too happy. However, we left all the major branches they had used for their nest, and I covered it with the upper part of my boxer’s travel box, for protection against storm, possible overdoses of heat and rain, predators from the air – like eagles and bussards – and from the ground, like the wicked mongoose.

Then we met two knowledgable and dedicated bee conservationists – Jenny Cullinan and Karin Sternberg – who are working on a scientific project in the area, which includes recording existing bee colonies, as well as raising awareness about bees and the importance of keeping wild bees within their natural environment with a minimum of human interference. As our nest was rather large, it was difficult to find a suitable natural home – like the tree stump we thought would be ideal, but it was far too small to hold a swarm of that size. Finding nothing really ideal, we settled for the travel box! A sheltered place close-by was chosen, where we dug a hole big enough for the bottom part of the large box, which was then laid out with pieces of wood and branches – inside and along the edges outside – to keep the environment as natural as possible. The next task was to cut the bee hive free without disturbing them too much, to carry the bulk of the swarm over to their new home, place them as well as possible, and then remove the overhanging branches for a perfect fit – and, finally, to close the lid of the box on top and attach it. It actually worked perfectly, with a safe entrance and even some ventilation inside!

As the place where the bees had been was full of pheromones, many bees stuck around, forming new clusters. These had to be gently collected and carried into the new home to join the swarm. While there was a wild buzz around us all the time, there was no haste – it was a wonderfully peaceful, caring and almost meditative process. No one was stung – and I did not wear any protective clothing apart from simple gardening gloves to handle the logs.

Discovery of the Pseudoscorpion

The Pseudoscorpion

While we were collecting the remaining bees in the blazing midday sun, always trying to provide them with some shadow, Jenny made an amazing discovery, which Karin immediately banned on her camera (see photo above): There were a number of tiiiiny and very speedy little guys running around in the debris left from the original nest, which play a significant role in a healthy honey bee’s nest, the Ellingsenius fulleri!  Called a ‘Pseudo-scorpion’ as it really resembles a microscopic scorpion (2 to 4 mm long!) but lacks the typical stinging tail, it is believed to feed on small mites and other arthropods in the honey bee’s nest, hence playing a vital role in the nest microfauna and the health of the bee colony. WOW!

(See their article on Facebook on “The Microfauna of a Honey Bee Nest“.)

Although they are extremely difficult to spot, we could capture a few and added them to the new home for the bees. The little lattice gate was closed – very practical, too, as while the bees could easily fly in and out, it protected the nest from predators from the air and the ground. Who would ever think of their dog’s travel box as a home for bees?

Just before we met for this interview, I went to give them some water . . . it’s been such a boiling hot day. As they weren’t expecting me, some of the buzzing homecomers promptly bumped into me and one fell into the water bowl. I reached out with my finger . . . the furry being climbed up, whirred its wings, and buzzed off into the nest, just as the sun was setting behind Chapman’s Peak.

ARTEBY: Clearly, you trust them! No fear?

BG: No fear, no, that would change my vibration and attract the same within them. This whole procedure just showed the perfection of Nature, how everything is connected and interdependent. Whole and yet very fragile, too, if we interfere. I’m happy that in our part of the woods the bees are happy and – thanks to the ‘pseudoscorpions – healthy, too. It’s all a matter of vibration. It truly is.

ARTEBY: Another example of a wonderful human-animal bond. Will you be posting a video on YouTube?

BG: If and when I get time, I will put a short video together – we’ll see!

ARTEBY: As a tribute to the bee?

BG: Absolutely! That’s exactly what motivated Pippa to record her video in my story, ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’ – it was to be a tribute to the honey bee!

ARTEBY: For anyone who loves metaphysical fiction – this book is for YOU! Thank you!

The First Day of 2017

New Year Magic

On the last day of 2016, I wish to thank YOU, my friends and loyal readers, for your friendship, comments and unwavering support over the course of  an extraordinary year that saw ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’ take first baby steps on the publishing highway of the Internet – all ready to spread its wings in what promises to be a magical new year 2017! And to be accompanied by Book 2 in the trilogy ‘Dance Between Worlds’!

Actually, as I’m publishing this post, we’re just back from an early morning walk on the beach and saw the first day of 2017 start in a breathtakingly beautiful way! May it be a good omen for 2017!

New Year in Noordhoek, South Afric a

 

The Magical Garden - A photographic journeyShowering you with heaps of sweet flower petals, forever sunshine and positive vibrations from Noordhoek, South Africa – and looking forward to meeting you again in an exciting New Year 2017!

Be safe, be blessed and lots of love!

Bianca

PS: And don’t forget to download my FREE PHOTO BOOK GIVEAWAY HERE! 

The Magical Garden is a photographic journey through 150 pages of gorgeous colour photos – landscapes, flowers, birds, cats, insects, butterflies and bees and much more to introduce you to the so-called ‘richest floral kingdom in the world‘ and, tugged within it, that magic place called Noordhoek, South Africa.