Getting Personal…

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I’m working on a new bio, inspired by Dan Blank. It’s taking shape…here it is:

I design, write and paint to reveal deeper connecting rivers of light that flow through our problems and carry us to solutions. I am interested in the weave of words, images and form as they fix our focus on what we think matters in any moment in time. My work is evolving now: as an architect, in a careful, climate-ready approach to renovating existing and historic buildings; as a writer, in crafting my second novel about creative states of consciousness; as an artist, in a series of paintings aimed at targeting the viewer’s attention to that which is eternal, and of upward motion.

I moved to New York on the strength of two months of dreams: every night the same dream. I was painting large, colorful, abstract images and everywhere I went, things worked out through the kindness of strangers. I took jobs in architecture, my “field” of study, and wrote about the environment, published a novel (my first, visionary eco-fiction). The abstract painting began after over a decade of living in the New York area, for me now expanded to New Jersey, after saying out loud over a game of Scrabble, “drawing for me is like breathing,” and realizing I had work to do in shifting from decades of pen sketching realistic spaces, to translating the essence of what I saw and felt of my meditative experience enhanced through my practice of Reiki. And so I began to paint, and the weave became richer, tighter and more compelling to me as a creator.

I knew I’d be a creator from a young age, and so becoming an architect was not a surprise. Limiting myself to architecture was not a possibility, since I see life too spherically to stay within the boundaries of one traditional discipline. My training in architecture (at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada) and practice in historic restoration (in New York City) gave me a strong foundation (pun intended!) for understanding the fundamentals of form and function, and it was from that vantage point that I branched out into the more visionary aspects of translating experience into art. The work is both grounded and expansive.

I’ve always been a writer. First it came as small stories I wrote for myself, and poems, then articles, published, and poems, published. In the same way that my first novel was more globally about ecology and specifically about fracking, so is my second novel more broadly about creative states of consciousness and more specifically about medical marijuana. There is a third novel, in the ethers, which is generally about transportation, and specifically about high speed rail networks. All of these works are as seen through the lens of architecture, which for me is a focusing device using the skills and vantage point that come easily to me.

I’m lit up by talking about light and color and space, and by hearing what inspires others in their work. I adore teaching others, children in particular, about how to tap into that essence and to find an expression of it in built, sculptural, three-dimensional form. This began long before I had my own children, now entering their teenage years, and it has formed a colorful thread in the larger weave of my work. Sharing what I know at every step is part of my learning and my growth as an architect. As a creator. I continue to work the weave, to find new threads, in design, words and paint – and I am always excited to share that unfolding with people whose flow brings us together.

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

The Erenwine Agenda video is out!

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This inspired video by Finite Visual captures the essence of my visionary ecofiction novel, The Erenwine Agenda. Click the Youtube link to watch in higher resolution. There is also one on Facebook in a lower resolution.

You can see more about the novel here on Amazon and here on Goodreads.

Please enjoy, share, and let me know what you think!

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

One more sleep…

THE ERENWINE RELEASE POSTER WITH REVIEWS (1)

 

The Erenwine Agenda will be available for you to read tomorrow!

For those who have asked:

  • It is available to pre-order now. Pre-ordering counts toward first-day sales figures.
  • It is available on Kindle. As part of the Kindle Unlimited program, I will be paid half a cent (yes) per page you read. So please read to the end and tell everyone to read it too!
  • You can read Kindle on pretty much any device these days including smartphones, laptops, etc. Just need to download the Kindle app.
  • This is the first edition. There will be a second edition in the fall, designed by the multi-talented Lori Dalvi, and it will be a print edition available through distributor Ingram.
  • Yes, this took a long time. Six years! It seems like it happened quickly to those who’ve joined the conversation recently, but – not really. It’s been a long and slow process that has had to do with:
  • researching;
  • writing;
  • editing;
  • connecting with the right people to help it launch;
  • me being personally ready to launch it, and;
  • the world being ready to receive it.

If you enjoy this book, please do put up a starred review on both Amazon and Goodreads. There is an alchemical mix between the algorithms of the two sites that only a few people understand!

Much love to all who follow,

Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

www.aseiarts.com

Call to action before Earth Day!

Social media post The Erenwine Agenda

By now – especially if you already follow me on social media – you’ll have heard I have a book coming out. The Erenwine Agenda is about an intern architectural designer who takes on the natural gas industry. I’m pleased to share these early reviews of The Erenwine Agenda:

on the earth-healing perspective, a review from
shaman Janet StraightArrow:

“The Erenwine Agenda is a modern work of fiction that addresses many of the issues that face our generations today. In the story of Amalia and Mark we move through many layers and perspectives of innocence, science, lifestyle, idealism, environmentalism, romance and realities in being conscious humans living now, and doing business with corporate interests. Fracking and natural gas are the major focus in how they affect us, as other concerns are addressed. Their story has a surprise ending and thought provoking situations and solutions. This book is a journey of awakening and finding positive ways of taking action to assist a world in environmental distress.”

on the multicultural and architectural perspectives, a review from
architect and AIA Middle East President Raya Ani:

“A timely and contemporary novel about love and care for the world—The Erenwine Agenda helps us understand how we might navigate from a place of non-communication to a place of resolution. The primary characters, who are both of mixed ethnicity but of different cultural backgrounds, live a clashing breakdown of the polarities within themselves and in the environment around them. The story skillfully takes the reader from one event to another until Superstorm Sandy shocks the characters into redefining a new position in the world. The story feels very real as it puts us head on in conversation with ourselves, with the corporate structures that govern our lives, and by extension, with our idealism. The Erenwine Agenda crosses disciplines, crosses cultures, and crosses opposing viewpoints to arrive at a more compassionate and empathetic place.”

This is more about the book, and you can pre-order the Kindle version here:

Pre-order The Erenwine Agenda: a novel

Amalia Erenwine—an environmental activist working in New York City as an architectural intern—takes on the natural gas industry in this new book by Maia Kumari Gilman. Amalia rails against the underwriting of her employer’s work by a natural gas company involved with fracking. She clashes with the gas company’s petroleum geologist, executive Mark Stone—and yet, a hurricane of personal and continental proportions triggers the two of them to open their minds to a new world view.

Please share in advance of Earth Day! The more the merrier, as they say. Your kindness thus far in the development and sharing of this project is, quite frankly, amazing. I am both humbled and heartened by your support.

Much love,

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

 

New Book Alert!

Social media post The Erenwine Agenda

I’m excited to announce that my novel, The Erenwine Agenda, is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

This is the short description:

An intern architectural designer takes on the natural gas industry.

This is the little-bit-longer description:

Amalia Erenwine—an environmental activist working in New York City as an architectural intern—takes on the natural gas industry in this new book by Maia Kumari Gilman. Amalia rails against the underwriting of her employer’s work by a natural gas company involved with fracking. She clashes with the gas company’s petroleum geologist, executive Mark Stone—and yet, a hurricane of personal and continental proportions triggers the two of them to open their minds to a new world view.

Have a look, buy, bookmark and share. This is ecofiction that wants to roll out well before Earth Day, so please help the book along with a good word online. And for those who are wondering: the book encompasses a spectrum of politics and possibility. There is room for everyone here. ❤

Thank you!

More information can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/new-book-release-erenwine-agenda-maia-kumari-gilman

I’m excited…did I say that already?!

-Maia 🙂

Crazy Meta Tag Mania!

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I’ve written a crazy long list of possible meta tags for my soon-to-be-released novel, The Erenwine Agenda. Feels like building the base of a good stew, creating a yummy dessert. Rich chocolate. You get the idea. Makes me happy to see it so I thought I’d share. It’s like a reflection back on the past five years of research-writing-editing. 🙂

AMC, animism, Appalachian Mountain Club, AT, ATC, Appalachian Trail, appreciation, architect, architecture, architectural design, architectural intern, Architectural Registration Exam, ARE, asbestos, Avalonian Arc, Binghamton, Boerum Hill, Brecon, Brooklyn, cli-fi, climate change fiction, contemporary fiction, Democratic politics, design, drawing, dreams, East Stroudsberg, Easter Island, eco-fiction, election, energy, environment, environmentalism, environmental love story, EPA, flooding, flood maps, Flower District, fossil fuel, fracking, geodesign, geothermal energy, Glamorgan, global warming, Gowanus Canal, Green politics, Hamilton Heights, heart math, heroine, Highline, hiking, Hudson, Hungarian Pastry Shop, Hurricane Sandy, hydraulic fracturing, historic restoration, hunting, IDP, Intern Development Program, internship, land, leases, Libertarian politics, LNG, love, Manhattan, Marcellus, Marcellus Formation, Marcellus Shale, Meadowlands, meditation, mesothelioma, methylene chloride, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mount Willard, Moultonborough, natural gas, natural resources, Nezuntoz, New York City, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York State, NJ Transit, non-renewable energy, Occupy, Occupy Sandy, OSHA, Papua New Guinea, Pennsylvania, petroleum geologist, Philadelphia, Pussy Riot, Quakertown, quilts, Rapa Nui, Reiki, religion, renewable energy, Republican politics, prayer, Rockaway, romantic elements, roses, Scranton, Secretary of the Interior Standards, SEPTA, shale, shale gas, silk, slate, storm surge modeling, storytelling, straphangers, Superstorm Sandy, sustainable design, sustainability, tea, terrain modeling, tetrachloroethylene, Upper West Side, urban fiction, Usk, visionary fiction, voting, Wales, water, water levels, water line, whales, WIA, women in architecture

Stay tuned for more!

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

 

Draft your Novel in a Day

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Otherwise titled: Draft MY Novel in a Day, because what works for one person might work differently for another. So, take from this what you find helpful and leave the rest for the next person.

Yesterday I felt complete and satisfied with my first novel, and after about 12-14 drafts, submitted it to a visionary fiction publisher. It’s not the first time I’ve submitted the WIP to an agent or publisher, but it IS the first time I’ve submitted this draft. To me, that feels fresh and real and new. And done, for now.

Today, I’m collecting all the notes from my research, outlining and vignette-jotting for my second novel. I’ve decided that by the end of today, I will have a working document that becomes a grid I can fill in over the next few months of first-draft writing. It’s how I planned my first novel, how I planned my wedding, how I plan trips…the one day blitz. And then I enjoy a few more months or years of filling in the details as they flow. It’s not a pantser or plotter perspective. I learned a new label last night: lumper. Lumper versus splitter. Kind of like generalist versus specialist. Today, I lump it all together!

Stay tuned. First novel has a focus on hydraulic fracturing, second novel has a focus on medical marijuana. Of course I always ask myself (and ask of readers): is that what it’s really about? Or is it about something else?

You’ll have to read to find out.

Happy Sunday lumping/planning/generalizing,

Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com