Book I of the Adventures of Isabelle is here! If you have been following this chronicle you know that I have been working on books I and II for some time now. It’s been an exciting and at times arduous journey but the book is finally here!
Order your copy today and be entered in a drawing for tickets to the VIP Book Launch & Birthday Bash taking place Saturday May 30th in Potomac, MD!
Welcome to the “Write Your Own Heroine’s Quest” Course. Please watch the introductory video below and see pre-work resources below the vid. (PLEASE NOTE You can start this course at ANY TIME)
Thank you for joining us for this fun course of self-discovery! Please work through the below lessons IN ORDER and please contact me if you have any questions/comments/or feedback at anytime. Dr.Cutts@CuttsConsulting.com or find me on Facebook at Vision Quest Retreats with Dr. Nicole Cutts.
4) Watch the movie Finding Joe (an inspirational movie that takes you on the ultimate heroes journey: the journey of self discovery. As you slay dragons and uncover treasures, you just may find that the holy grail you seek is closer than you think.)
*Want a FREE Sample of The Adventures of Isabelle Book I? Click Chapter I Excerpt
If at any time you have any questions about the pre-work or the course please feel free to email me at Dr.Cutts@CuttsConsulting.com or at any of my social media sites below.
Lesson 1: Character Sketches
Hopefully by now you have completed the above pre-work. (The rest of the course will make a lot more sense if you have.) This first lesson is fairly easy. Think of the people in your life who have had a great impact on you and played pivotal roles in your story. Use the Hero’s Journey/Monomyth as reference; looking for people who have been helpers, mentors and even dragons. Think of events that shaped your life’s paths and recall the people that were involved. These people may be your parents, siblings, teachers, friends or spiritual guides.
The Old Woman in the Tower from “The Adventures of Isabelle Book I”
Next… just write a list of these people (no big deal, just write their names down) You may already have character names for them or they might just still have their real names.
Next…Answer the following questions about each of your characters in your journal, on your legal pad, PC or whatever you use to write. A) What does he/she look like physically? B) How would you describe his/her personality? C) In what ways did he/she shape your life (you don’t have to write out long stories here, just jot down notes)
Once you have done the above pat yourself on the back and get ready for lesson 2. If you haven’t completed all the pre-work this would be a great time to go back and do it!
Questions/Comments? Drop me a line at the places below.
Lesson 2: Plot Outline Journal Exercise
Welcome Back! Hopefully by now you have completed the required pre-work and Lesson 1. This lesson involves plot development. Don’t worry you don’t have to write your whole plot in one sitting. This is a preparatory exercise or journal exercise (if you prefer). Return to this article on Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth/Hero’s Journey. Look specifically at eleven stages of the journey and their attendant narrative happenings (see below). Once you have reviewed them closely take each stage, one at a time and just write about any similarities or differences that you see in relation to your life and these narrative stages. Don’t worry if you don’t feel as if this is giving you your entire plot. This exercise is like gathering research from which you will later write your story. This exercise may take a few sittings so just take your time with it.
I. Departure Stages
1. The Call to Adventure, 2. Refusal of the Call, 3. Supernatural Aid, 4. Crossing the Threshold, 5. Belly of the Whale
Princess Isabelle Setting Out on Her Journey from The Adventures of Isabelle Book I. Illustrations By: Wayne Rodney
II. Initiation Stages
6. The Road of Trials, 7. The Meeting with the Goddess, 8. Woman/Man as Temptress, 9. Atonement with the Father, 10. Apotheosis, 11. The Ultimate Boon
If you have ANY questions or comments feel free to drop me a line at any of the places at the end of this post.
Welcome Back! Hopefully by now you have completed the required pre-work and Lessons 1 and 2. I also hope you are enjoying the course thus far and uncovering some valuable insights about yourself and your life as a heroine’s quest. Feel free to share any insights, reactions, comments or questions with me other members of the Vision Quest Retreats Tribeon Facebook or in the comments for this blog.
In this lesson you will be writing a draft of your introduction to your story or taking a stab at your first chapter (whichever appeals to you more). It might be a good time to remind you that this is more of a course of self discover and less of a writing course. In other words don’t stress about the writing aspect. Just let that flow.
Start out by writing the story of your origins. You may want to start with your birth story or your earliest memory. This is a creative process so there are no real rules. If you want to read a model download excerpt from Chapter I of The Adventures of Isabelle Book I.
Write as much or as little as you need to in order to feel that you have a ROUGH draft. Don’t worry about trying to hook your reader or introduce all the major themes and characters yet. This is an exercise that will give you fodder for your story later (should you choose to write a story for others to read) but for now this is for YOU so just sit there and WRITE. If you feel you need more direction give a shout and I will come running.
After you complete the above exercise just kick back and congratulate yourself and rest up for the next installment.
Lesson 4: Write a First Draft of Your Story
Welcome back to the fifth and final installment of this course. I hope you have been getting a lot out of it thus far! Today you start writing your story. We don’t expect you to finish it all in one day, but today is when you sit down to write. You can do this in a journal, with a word processor or if you are a hipster, with a typewriter! I wrote my first draft of Book I of The Adventures of Isabelle long hand on a legal pad and loose leaf paper. I found it helped me to flow faster and better than typing, but by the time I was writing book II I was typing on my laptop because it saved time. Whenever I got stuck though I often went back to long hand to get my juices flowing. Again this is your creative process so do what makes sense for you!
To get started you may want to re-read your intro and just pick up where you left off. Since the story is based on your actual life devising the plot and new characters should pose no problem. This isn’t to say that you can’t add characters and plot points from your imagination. This is like writing your own mythology so whatever makes sense to advance your heroine’s quest should enter your story. There are many examples of this in my tale i.e. the enchanted cuirass that appears in Chapter II of Book I. You will have your own unique elements and characters and narrative. The point is to let it flow keeping in mind that you are viewing your “ordinary life” through the extraordinary lense of the heroine’s quest.
How long should your story be? As long or as short as it needs to be to tell your life story in the context of the awesome mission that you are on. Where does it end? Good question. It’s up to you! If you want to end your story with your plot mirroring your real life to date that’s groovy. If you want to write your own fabulous fairy tale ending…GO FOR IT! I chose to end book I after Princess Isabelle’s formative years, and the attendant adventures she had and right after her major call to adventure which launches her into Book II. Book III is writing itself as I live, grow and experience my amazing life!
Ok so the above should be enough to get you started on the first draft. If you are doing this as the course is intended, for self discovery you can revise if it makes sense for you. If you plan to turn this into a book for sale revising and editing is a must. If you have questions on this or any aspect of the course please reach out via any of the below links.
I’m happy to announce that after 4 yrs I’m publishing Book I of the Adventures of Isabelle! If you have been following this chronicle you know that I have been working on books I and II for some time now. It’s been an exciting and at times arduous journey but the final proof has been approved and the books will be here any day!
Pre-Order your copy today and be entered in a drawing for tickets to the VIP Book Launch & Birthday Bash taking place Saturday May 30th in Potomac, MD!
I remember the first time I was told I had a “good enough mother” I was in my early 20s in my then therapist’s office going on and on about the ways in which my mother had failed me as a child when my therapist said “It sounds like you had a ‘good enough mother*.'” At the time, not already a clinical psychologist and the more mature person I am today I begged to differ! Today I know differently and I will tell you how.
Tomorrow is mother’s day, the day we honor mom, but also the day many of us compare our own moms against OUR perfect image of mom and wind up feeling lacking. I don’t know about you but my mom was not perfect. At times our relationship has been kinda tough but today I am extremely grateful to have the mom that I have. Somewhat like the mother Queen Cythona in my new novel “The Adventures of Isabelle Book I: The Embryo Goddess and the Morpho” my mother could be quite an imperious and demanding figure. Also a brilliant and very practical woman this artistic, very sensitive, artistic Gemini baby gave her a run for her money. Needless to say heads often butted, hard battles fought and resentments accrued. At one point my perception was so bad that I thought I was in fact damaged by this relationship!
Queen Cythona of Xamayca
The turning point in this perception came in the office of a very different therapist. He was a psychiatrist but atypical in that he was very spiritual. When I tried to complain about mom he just told me that on a spiritual level I had wished for and gotten the PERFECT mom for me! By the time I heard him say that I was mature enough to know it was the truth. I stopped complaining about mom and got down to my other spiritual work.
Today I’m so grateful that my mom and I have lived as long as we have to get to know and understand each other better. I’m also grateful I had the mom I had because it’s in large part why I am the woman that I am today (and I really like this woman).
Today I can I can look at all my mother DID for me versus wishing for what she DIDN’T do. I can view her as a necessity on my heroine’s quest, providing me with very important lessons and I can stop wishing for a different childhood.
Maybe Most Important! I have stopped haranguing her about stuff I didn’t appreciate and now take time to tell her thanks for all the things she did i.e. educating me, exposing me to the world. I sat down one day and wrote her a letter with all the things for which I’m grateful (she treasures this letter and probably pulls it out when I get on her nerves).
I know some people may read this and disagree. You may have had a horrible mom or you may have thought your mommy was perfect from the start. This is just my experience and understanding. If you are in the category of those who think you had a pretty bad mom I will suggest something that really helped me gain a new perspective.
Here’s a video of Neale Donald Walsch’s parable “The Little Soul and the Sun”
Happy Mother’s Day to All Mother’s out there (yes even the imperfect ones),
*Good Enough Mother-a term coined by pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott meaning a term for the ordinary and devoted mother who provides an adequate and good enough environment for the growth of the infant’s ego to be able to express its true self.
I really enjoyed my quiet time in the tank. I love water anyway but this was different; so warm and I was almost weightless. I felt very quiet for some time after and slept like a baby that night. I look forward to my next session. What did I learn? The importance of just being still.
Listen to Daily Drum Host, Harold T. Fisher and guests Dr. Nicole Cutts, Clinical Psychologist and Success Coach and William Rolack President & CEO, National Association of African Americans In Human Resources www.naaahr.org as they discuss procrastination, where it stems from and tips to end it.
From WHUR 96.3 FM Howard University Radio in Washington, DC (4.15.15)
It feels really good when I know that the work I do has helped someone to realize aspects of their vision of success. I recently received the following email from a woman who attended the “Create Your Ideal Life” workshop that I co-facilitated with Megan Tyson King of Making Travel Happen on Feb. 8 and I wanted to share it because there is a lot of hope in it and it makes me feel very grateful.
“Good afternoon Nicole. I wanted to thank you so much for inviting me to the create your ideal life workshop. It really helped me to put together my plan of action and implement my goals. As I mentioned at the workshop, I had been wanting to organize my life and specifically my house for a long time. It has been my New Year’s resolution for the past few years but I was stuck and could not find a clear path forward. After going to your workshop, I put things into action to tackle my mental block. Creating my vision board and the other exercises released something in me.
R. Hunter’s vision board
The junk they hauled away!
my new bedroom
my daughters new room
I implemented the techniques I learned, which included asking for help when I needed it. I was able to turn my clutter into organization. I faced my fears of failure and being overwhelmed and I came up with a plan to bring about my vision. I hired a company to help me haul away junk and I stayed focused on the desires I wrote on my vision board. I knew I had wanted to make changes for years. Your workshop helped me to find the way to a better me. I am loving my home and so happy now. I am looking forward to the next workshop where I learn other useful techniques to continue to turn my vision into a reality. Thank you again.
See pics attached of my vision board, the junk they hauled away, and our newly pained and cleared bedrooms!” –R. Hunter
Thanks for letting me share,
P.S. If you want info about our next event; an one-day retreat on March 28 click “Power Breakthrough Day” (Early Bird Pricing Ends March 9)
Dr. Nicole Cutts Host/Producer of Inside Out on WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington, DC and guests Raychelle Leblanc co-author of “How the Fierce Handle Fear” comedian/producer Elizabeth Croydon & Dr. Mary Brittain, survivor and healer share their success stories; overcoming fear to live fabulous lives. For more tips on how to live your visions of success please visit my You Tube channel at TheSuccessDoc