iUniverse Blog congratulates Editor’s Choice author, Rio Olesky on his book, A Manual for the Modern Mystic, being accorded the Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Books of 2013 accolade. Now Rio has very kindly provided iUniverse with his insights on the writing process, his writing inspiration, book editing and book publishing. So over to Rio Olesky, another iUniverse Publishing feted author.
iUniverse author Rio Olesky on writing
“I wrote a book. Actually, I’ve written two books. This is quite surprising since I’ve made my living for almost 40 years by using the spoken, not the written word. I am a professional astrologer with a global clientele. I read horoscopes. I have also taught classes in astrology at the beginning as well as the intermediate and advanced levels for over 35 years. I enjoy talking to people. It’s something that has come easy to me.
Writing has always been hard. Although I have written monthly columns for several local newspapers, the idea of writing a book seemed overwhelming.
My first book was fairly easy. It’s called Astrology and Consciousness and was published in 1995. In creating my class in beginning astrology I used a series of 4×6 note cards to write topic sentence outlines to highlight the points I wanted to make. For the book I just expanded the outline. Each sentence became a paragraph or a page. In a sense the book just wrote itself. It was merely me writing what I had been saying in class for years. Of course it helped that I had a strict editor, my wife. Sometimes she would return a typed manuscript that she had edited and it seemed as if there was more red ink than there was typed letters. In the long run, however, I think it’s a good book and I’ve gotten feedback to that end for many years.”
iUniverse author, Rio Olesky, on writing inspiration
“For a long time I thought that that was it. My one book!
Then a student gave me a set of tapes that contained a series of channeled lectures from an entity called Abraham. He talked about universal laws that, when followed, could bring one to a state of higher consciousness. After listening to the first tape I realized that there was a connection between the concept of universal laws and the subject that I had been studying a practicing for decades, astrology.
I am not into astrology for the purpose of predicting the future. I mostly use it as a tool for personal growth, a way to monitor our inner space. While a conventional therapist uses deductive reasoning, based on what they are told by the client, astrology is inductive. The deductive process can take months. When I look at a person’s horoscope it’s obvious fairly quickly where their work lies. Astrology is a remarkable tool that can be applied to personal growth.
In my personal life, spiritual growth and consciousness development has always been priority one since my early 20’s. If understanding my own horoscope can help me work through and release emotional, psychological and behavioral issues or points of confusion, I am freer to pursue my main goal. Likewise, when I give a reading, part of the conversation always focuses on the potential for spiritual growth for my client. I can certainly provide insight and information about more mundane elements of life such as career, relationship, family and health. But to me, those are merely the worldly issues we must address in order to deal with the more important and longer lasting goal of developing our higher self. I often tell my students that we study astrology in order to help develop our spiritual consciousness.”
iUniverse author Rio Olesky makes the connections
“The connection between Abraham’s concept of universal laws and my understanding, usage and practice of astrology was clear and exciting. It was obvious to me almost immediately upon hearing the Abraham tapes discussing universal laws that the 12 signs of the Zodiac did the same thing. It inspired me to write another book. This one, however, was not so easy to write. There was no template that had already been outlined that I simply needed to flesh out. To me there is nothing more intimidating than staring at a blank computer screen and realizing that I have to fill it up. It’s also daunting to relate the ancient art of astrology to a modern reader who may have no knowledge of it. In fact, many people are predisposed to find no value in astrology at all. Some call it superstition that has no relevance. Some claim it is a dark force that emanates from the devil. I’ve studied and practiced it long enough to know that not to be true. My challenge in writing my second book was to be able to define the 12 signs of the Zodiac in terms that were simple enough for anyone to understand yet broad enough to suggest that they pertain so something more than mundane events.”
iUniverse author Rio Olesky faces a new challenge
“The second challenge was even greater. The universal laws are essentially concepts. They are metaphysical theories that, if true, must relate to everybody and everything. Sometimes a person might have an insight or realization about the nature of life that comes during a dream or in meditation or while being in nature or involved in a creative project. Often it is very fleeting and even if it remains, it can be so personal that it seems to defy the ability to share it cogently and effectively with someone else. Yet that was exactly my challenge in writing my new book. How could I penetrate each of the signs of the Zodiac to their deepest, most profound levels of understanding? How could I extrapolate that understanding into a metaphysical concept that accurately described that state of being? How could I do it in a way that would be both understandable and beneficial to the reader regardless of their philosophical or metaphysical background? Even if I were to effectively do all of that, my editor/critic wife was there to ask, “Why should anyone read this book and consider you the one who knows this stuff?”
That question was very helpful because it expanded my research. In addition to striving for clarity about the fundamental principles of life, I could also read, and quote in my book, words and theories written or spoken by well known and highly respected teachers, philosophers and spiritual seekers. In the process of doing that research I wondered what all those men and women had in common. I decided that they were all engaged in the process of striving to understand life from the inside out. They sought to ferret out the truths of reality that are so basic that they are hiding in plain sight and not recognized as being what they truly are. It seemed to me that people seeking answers to questions about the meaning of life were actually involved with pursuing the mystery of life itself. Hence, they were all mystics. One day, early on in the process of writing the first draft the title came clearly to mind: A Manual for the Modern Mystic.”
iUniverse author Rio Olesky’s second book comes together
“Over the years I have frequently gotten feedback from my clients that one of the things they benefited from in my readings is that they are very grounded.
On one hand they deal with what I call “the big three”: work, health and relationship; issues that confront and confound many people. On the other hand my readings provide practical ways out of emotional and psychological dilemmas, including ways of seeking a spiritual connection to life. Writing my book required that I take a similar approach to the spiritual quest. Not only did I have to take a theoretical principle and express it in a way that could be readily understood, but I had to do it in a way that gave the reader practical, readily available ways to do so.
Ultimately, what was the point of the book? Why be a mystic or be in the pursuit of mystic perception or understanding? To me the purpose of life is to develop the consciousness that we are part of the Divine plan. We have each been created in love and out of light. No exceptions. We are here to awaken our consciousness to universal proportions. Everything else that we do can either help or hinder us in that quest. As I sought to integrate that message into my book, the subtitle emerged: How to Practice Being in the Presence of God.”
Author Rio Olesky finds iUniverse
“Altogether the book took me 10 years to write. I took breaks due to various necessities and responsibilities in my personal life. Sometimes I just got so burned out that the ideas just weren’t there. But I persevered.
One of my clients, herself a published author, told me about iUniverse when it was time to find a publisher. They were very helpful in the final editing, done in a very professional way. They also gave me the freedom to choose the graphics for the cover.
Now that’s it’s done I am proud to bring my book to my classes and talks that I give. It wasn’t always easy, but I am comfortable with the idea that I am now an author.”
iUniverse Blog thanks author, Rio Olesky
iUniverse would like to thank iUniverse Editors Choice author, Rio Olesky, for his excellent blog contribution and congratulates him again for his, iUniverse A Manual for the Modern Mystic been chosen as one of Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Books of 2013.
To learn more about his book, or buy it, visit the iUniverse Bookstore