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Waiting for Autumn Book Group Discussion
Waiting for Autumn Book Group Discussion|
Marie-Claire Wilson for Oracle 20/20
2009/04/11 07:15 AM
Scott Blum is the co-founder of the popular inspirational website www.dailyom.com He is also a successful multimedia artist who has collaborated with several popular authors, musicians, and visual artists and has produced many critically acclaimed works, including a series featuring ancient meditation music from around the world. Scott lives in the mountains of Ashland, Oregon, with Madisyn Taylor - his wife, business partner and soul mate.
This wonderful novel is semi-autobiographical, and it presents a main character whose first name is also Scott, like the author. Overall, this novel introduces us to a fascinating journey of self-discovery. Scott, the protagonist, explores various healing and spiritual methods and modalities including shamanic soul retrieval, ancestral healing, manifesting and working with light.
Self-discovery themes are of particular interest to me, especially when there is an artfully developed element of the spiritual guidebook to it, giving it meaning and purpose. The author succeeds in making this story a very compelling and moving one with his style.
A truly tender experience is told when the author describes a poignant encounter with a down-and-out homeless man named Robert and his dog, Don.
The big surprise for Scott is that an extraordinary spiritual lesson is about to unfold. Robert is the on-point, living demonstration of the fact that happiness does not come from outside events or from other people. Happiness comes from the divine spark that is inside.
Robert, as a spiritual guide, is a true wise man who observes life and learns continually. It would seem that nothing effects his equanimity. He has a response to every subject and he never gets thrown off. He is always in balance. Balance is another key spiritual element. My favorite chapter is the part where the author talks about an important decision that he must make. Here’s an excerpt:
"I spent the next week and a half meditating on the most important decision I'd ever have to make in this lifetime. I’d finally discovered my soul's purpose, and found I was really good at it. But I had to decide between following my calling in the spirit world and raising my unborn daughter. The more I meditated, the more I felt that either decision was probably the right one. I knew my work would still be waiting for me after I was done with this planet, and I also knew in my heart that Autumn would understand If I continued on my journey before having the opportunity to see her in this dimension.
And although I was honored that she had chosen me, I had to do what was right for myself because I didn’t want to resent her if I decided to have a family out of obligation. I wanted to ask Autumn what she thought I should do, but she had completely stopped visiting my dreams. I could definitely feel her presence in the physical world, however, I sensed she wanted me to reach my own conclusion."
Robert, who is terminally ill, is absolutely serene and without fear even though this ultimate transition is very near. He is ready to die. This is something most of us would wish to accomplish, to overcome the fear of death and to be completely ready and peaceful about it. The protagonist, Scott, is captivated by the tranquil way that Robert is handling himself on the tragic subject of his impending death. Scott asks Robert if he is ready for another new life, for whatever comes next. Robert answers that he is not so sure if he is ready for that part. Then, Scott asks Robert when he will be leaving this planet, and Robert calmly responds: Tonight! He said with a smile that broke Scott’s heart. Scott promised Robert that when he is gone, he will take good care of Don. This is the one thing that Scott feels that he can do to repay this man for his words of wisdom.
I was so touched by this book. Each word seemed to have come directly from the heart - full of compassion. Anyone who has ever thought about searching for the light will enjoy this book! This is the kind of book to keep read a second time.
Marie-Claire Wilson, author of The Spiritual Tarot: The Keys to The Divine Temple, is a bilingual writer and poet. She has been a practicing medium for 26 years using direct clairvoyance, the Tarot, numerology and palmistry. To make an appointment for a phone reading call: 1-877-847-7330
Edward Mills for Evolving Times
2009/04/11 07:11 AM
I recently finished reading Waiting for Autumn, the new novel from Scott Blum, the founder of the popular personal growth website, the Daily Om. The semi-autobiographical book follows the narrator, Scott, through a period of intense personal development and the awakening of powerful insights and awareness.
Anyone who has been through - or is going through - times of great spiritual growth will relate to the questioning, confusion and uncertainty that Scott experiences on his journey of discovery.
In the tradition of other books of awakening - The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Conversations with God - Scott Blum weaves together a compelling story with deep insights to draw you into the book.
And for those just embarking on a spiritual journey, a time that can lead to a great deal of stress and even fear, you will get to look over the shoulder of another person and watch as he steps onto a spiritual path for the first time.
This is a book that is much needed in these times of confusion and uncertainty. And while each of our journeys will lead us down different paths, this book provides a road map for the journey of awakening. We may not follow the same road or use the same tools, but the feelings and experiences will be very similar for all of us who walk on the path of the spiritual seeker.
I definitely recommend Waiting for Autumn, and if you order it now, you will be entered to win some great prizes in addition to receiving over 175 free gifts.
Karen Beard, Atlanta, GA
2009/04/03 11:12 AM
I just finished Waiting for Autumn after ordering a pre-release copy of the book through Hay House. Finding the book at all was one of those little miracles that have been a part of my life over the last 2 years. After my husband and high school sweet heart died suddenly of a pulmonary embolus after an auto accident, I had been running from the grief of that which also added to a store other past tragedies.
All of these I had handled by swallowing hard and moving forward without allowing my self to acknowledge the feeling of those experiences. I was spent.
One Saturday I accompanied my sister to a beautiful metaphysical bookstore in Atlanta I had never visited before. At the time I had let the weight of all these experiences send me into a deep spiritual, physical and emotional deterioration. There I was also greeted by a simple sign - "Introduction to Meditation." I enrolled. It was led by a man named Don who would become my Robert. And over the next 2 years my old, too logical, "I can handle it all myself" brain was exposed to the power of stilling the mind, shamanic journeys, past life regressions and encounters with "just the right" persons at the right time for my progress.
I learned of this book because one of these new angels forwarded me a perfect message for me from "The Dailey Ohm." That day's message had a link to the synopsis of Waiting for Autumn and the opportunity to get an early copy. The timing of this too was perfect as I have been questioning myself on the many changes that sometimes had me distracted from the day to day existence I was leading trying to pay the bills. My priorities were changing, "mental downloads" were occuring and I felt like an awkward adolescent trying to adjust to a sudden physical growth spurt and the awakening of new and scary emotions. I found myself withdrawing.
That is where this book was like a healing oil poured over tender flesh. It helped cool the heat of my doubt and I knew I was not alone in my travels. Here was another of my soul's new companions speaking to me from the pages. The process of spiritual rebirth is not so unlike experiencing labor with your own child. Sometimes you need a compassionate partner to help you push through the pain so you can be delivered of an great new joy. After such an experience your life will never be the same.
Thank you Scott for the encouragement and this precious new work. Karen Beard, Atlanta, GA
MJ Daspit for Ashland Daily Tidings
2009/03/23 10:05 AM
The book behind the movie "Field of Dreams" (W.P. Kinsella's "Shoeless Joe") starts with a few mysterious words: "If you build it, he will come." With hardly more exposition than that, an ordinary Iowa cornfield is transformed into a magical diamond where the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson plays left field once again.
In Scott Blum's "Waiting for Autumn," the words that launch the protagonist on a journey of self-discovery are, "Always receive with grace printed on a piece of cardboard held by a homeless guy in the parking lot of Ashland's Food Co-op."
In both cases, the transition from concrete reality to another plane is so seamless it feels like sleight of hand.
Like Kinsella, Blum is both author and character whose narrative of spiritual awakening blurs genre lines. But in "Waiting for Autumn," Blum goes Kinsella one better, stating that he actually lived the journey he writes about as a succession of disparate spiritual experiences that gave rise to his novel.
Enhanced by fictional elements including a dead fiancée, Blum the character arrives in Ashland in serious need of a spiritual make-over. What ensues is a well-plotted, other-worldly story of psychic recovery that will keep readers turning the pages in anticipation of the next manifestation.
In a recent interview at the B Street office of DailyOM, Blum the author answered several questions, among them, "Why Ashland?" The answer, he said, lies in what spiritualists call the vortex, a triangular area of positive energy created by lines connecting the Ashland, McLoughlin and Shasta mountains.
Some believe Ashland exerts a strong pull on residents and visitors alike because the energy trapped between the mountains creates an environment of safety and comfort. According to Blum, Ashland was also a sacred spot for Native Americans who would come to the Wellsprings for healing events and rituals. As a result of these influences, Ashland has historically attracted healers and those with spiritual work to do.
DailyOM, by the way, is a Web site founded by Blum and his wife/soul mate Madisyn Taylor. It features inspirational articles, music, a gift shop, discussion groups and a page called Meet Nice People, where users can make like-minded friends. Taylor is a published author in her own right, with a volume of meditations titled DailyOM derived from the Web site.
Speaking of his writing process, Blum explained that his spiritual experiences were not unified as a narrative until he received a storyline "as a download" from a spiritual muse. He states the whole book came into his mind in about 10 seconds. In spite of having no ambition to be a writer, he got up at 4 a.m. for the next several weeks while his house was undergoing renovation, producing his first draft in the hours before the construction crew showed up.
As a result of being "open to this gift from the universe," Blum has a handsome hardcover first novel published by Hay House, a giant in the self-help/inspirational field, hitting bookstores on April 7. For anyone who has tried to break into print, that alone will make you believe in miracles. And, as if that weren't miracle enough, the unintentional author even has a publicist.
If you're a writer green with envy stop reading now. The next paragraph contains the word "series."
By the time Blum met with his Hay House book team in Las Vegas he envisioned a cycle of books coinciding with the seasons. He pitched the idea of a prequel to "Waiting for Autumn," as a free e-book available on his Web site, www.scottblum.net.
The publisher was enthusiastic — so much so, that the prequel was scheduled for on-line release in early 2009, leaving Blum only three months to write it. The deadline evidently didn't impact its quality, as it debuted on Feb. 20 at No. 1 on Amazon's Overall Bestseller List for the Kindle.
The book, "Summer's Path," is the story of Don, a jobless engineer with a terminal disease who decides to seek alternative treatment from Robert, an angel of death. Robert then appears in "Waiting for Autumn" with Don in tow.
What will winter's book be about? Blum isn't sure yet, but says whatever the universe brings, he'll be thankful for the gift and do his best.
Laura Lee Carter aka Midlife Crisis Queen
2009/03/23 09:37 AM
I just finished reading an amazing tale of spiritual emergence! It won’t be released until April 2009, but here’s the scoop:
I got a pre-printed manuscript to write a review for The Healing Path which will be published in the March/April issue. I occasionally also write articles for them. This month they published my article on SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
Scott Blum is a very interesting character no matter what your take on spiritual issues. He will not reveal whether his new book: Waiting for Autumn is autobiographical. If it is or isn’t, it still shows a powerful imagination, and provides plenty of food for thought!
This is the story of a man who feels completely lost in his life. After numerous job losses in L.A. he decides to leave town and drive up north. When his car dies near Ashland, Oregon, he decides that is “a sign”, sells his car and settles down in Ashland for the summer to regroup.
There he meets a homeless man near the front door of his local food co-op and his spiritual journey begins by talking to Robert and trusting his guidance. Get ready for a wild ride of grief, soul retrieval, ancestral healing, personal transformation, renewed trust, and some parallel universe wanderings.
This book is not my usual reading fare, but I loved experiencing Scott’s adventure with him. He made it easy for me to let go of my attachment to “reality” for just a few hours, and imagine a world so much larger than what we see in the here and now.
For unexplainable reasons, he gave me new hope for my future and set my spirit free!
Michou Landon for Mount Shasta Magazine
2008/12/31 2:20 PM
Waiting for Autumn is a sweet, simple novel in purpose and in prose, yet endearing for any of us who have swam the moody river of spiritual unfolding, with its mind-bending and heart-melting twists and trajectory. Like so many contemporary narrative offerings with inspirational focus, it forgoes the structural and linguistic sophistication and flourish of classic literary craft for more streamlined conversational reportage that lets the wisdom conveyed ignite the reader's recognition and engagement.
It may not be high literature, but it's much better written than more than one blockbuster new age novel I could name. Moreover, its purpose and content do effectively illuminate truths about the human condition of spirits remembering that they chose to accept this mission, and, upon remembering, are compelled to affirm that choice (and even redouble their commitment).
Professedly semi-autobiographical, Waiting for Autumn is a modern narrative about one man's waking up and the invitation we all receive to say "Yes!" It takes place in Ashland, Oregon, which serves as a benevolent character in the story and a nostalgic reunion for those of us who know and love the city as much as the protagonist, Scott (a recently transplant from L.A.). Scott has a lot of support, which fleshes out the multi-dimensional cast of characters; and with each experience of Scott's that reminds us of our own, we are cajoled into acknowledging that in not being as alone as he thought he is not alone! That is, none of us are as alone as we once thought.
By the end of the book, I was interested enough in the characters and their story to be heartened that there is a prequel (Summer's Path) available on the Hay House website, and that we may expect sequels to Waiting for Autumn, either on line or in print.
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