Discover more from The Dalai Lama's Cat & Other Intrigues by David Michie
Book update - and your opinion please!
I just wanted to let you have a quick update now that I’m back in Perth, Australia, after my African adventures.
I always love returning to my homeland. I never fail to be inspired by the land, the animals and the people. And I’m really so thrilled that you, my readers, are responding with such appreciation to my new book set in Africa. I did a fair bit of work on it in my Writer’s Hut, and once I’ve given the latest instalment a chance to breathe – I never like rushing to print on an important project – I will share it with you. This will probably be in early October.
Serbian cover for Instant Karma
In the meantime, I received an email from my marvellous agent, Monica Meehan at DropCap, sharing the Serbian cover of Instant Karma: The day it happened, which was published in the English language last November. The Mid-Eastern exoticism of the Serbian edition really appeals to me, and the book designers seem to have drawn for extra inspiration on icons of the sun and moon, which appear on some Tibetan Buddhist thangkas.
As most Substack readers live in the Anglosphere, you are unlikely to see the cover, so I wanted to share it with you (above) along with the striking, original English language design by Sue Campbell (below), which you voted as your favourite last year.
Monica and the DropCap team have been quite busy with Instant Karma, which has been sold to publishers in France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Portugal, Czech Republic, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Romania and Korea. It seems that the idea of a day when karma turns instant appeals to people across a wide variety of cultures.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat & The Claw of Attraction
Sticking with books, my new novel The Claw of Attraction, which is number six in The Dalai Lama’s Cat series is to be published on 10 November this year.
If you are a Kindle reader, you can pre-order it right here.
For some bizarre reason, this year Amazon is saying that the paperback edition can’t be pre-ordered, and will be made available only from publication day.
As you may recall, we’ve had many hassles with print copies since the time of the pandemic, and supply disruptions have continued since then. So who knows what is going on?
But rest assured that I’ll put out an update on publication day so that all the print copy aficionados can get a copy as quickly as possible.
And for my paid Substack subscribers, also on publication day I will send a link to my website where you can download a free PDF of the book by way of a heartfelt “thank you” for all your support over the past year.
Mindful Safari 2024: Only three rooms left
My wife, Koala, who liaises with all guests on our Mindful Safaris, recently advised people on our Priority List about dates for next year’s visit: Monday 29 July to Sunday 4 August 2024. As a result, we have confirmed bookings for seven of the ten available rooms.
Africa is at the end of a long haul flight for most of us, so people tend to plan and confirm their bookings quite far in advance.
If you are wanting to join us next year, please be in touch with Koala as soon as possible.
You will find information on Mindful Safari here.
Donation to ROKPA Support Network
Visiting Harare, Zimbabwe, I was invited to speak at the Harare Buddhist Centre: what a wonderful group of people and a beautiful, welcoming campus! While there, I spent some time with Vivienne Kernohan who heads up the ROKPA Support Network, which helps vulnerable families, especially those with children with disabilities. In a country where there is no state support, the work of organisations like ROKPA is a lifeline to those in need.
(With Vivienne Kernohan at the Harare Buddhist Centre)
In the past I have written about the relative rarity of Buddhist charities – compared to those of other spiritual traditions – in supporting those in need. While teaching shunyata may be the only ultimate escape from suffering, as the Dalai Lama himself says, that need not stop us offering practical support to other sentient beings in the meanwhile.
With that in mind, and thanks ONLY to all you wonderful, loyal paying subscribers, I have just transferred $5,000 to ROKPA Support Network to help them on the ground. Vivienne will keep us posted on their activities and I will share any updates she provides with you.
By way of context, the Harare Buddhist Centre is part of the Kargu Samye Ling organisation, which founded the very first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the West at Samye Ling in Scotland. The abbot of Samye Ling, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, is the author of a book I shared with you ‘From a Mountain in Tibet’ – you can read my review here.
I still vividly remember being so engrossed in the book that it didn’t last the weekend. Little did I know, when I was reading it, that I would soon meet its author, Lama Yeshe, at Meltingpot Forum, where we both gave presentations last year. So, some interesting karmic links.
(With Lama Yeshe Losel Rinpoche in the Czech Republic)
Your opinion please
The creators of Substack are constantly creating new features, with such things as Notes – a social media-style feed; Chat – I’m not sure exactly how this is different from comments; etc etc. So much of my time is occupied with writing that I find it hard to process what all of these developments are about and whether or not they would suit our little community.
One new feature is called ‘Subscriber referrals.’ The idea here is to incentivise you, my subscribers, to refer my posts to people you know who may be interested in what I write about. If you are responsible for one new subscriber’s email being added to my list, you will get X. Five new subscribers, and you get Y. And so on.
I have mixed feelings about this feature. On the one hand, I like to think we’re the kind of community who would refer interesting posts to other people anyway. Why wouldn’t you want to share an article you know would help someone?
On the other hand, am I being naïve? I would love more subscribers of both the free and paying variety, so that I can touch more hearts and minds, and generate more income to support more good causes. There may be subscribers who have large numbers of friends and associates potentially interested in my work, but who don’t share my posts for any number of reasons such as time. Effort. Mental bandwidth. The offer of a free PDF or complimentary subscription for X months may be just the thing for such a person to get around to doing what they have been meaning to do for a while.
What do you think, dear readers? Should I turn on ‘Subscriber referrals’ or leave it off?
Just as my book cover choices are determined by you, I am happy to handball this decision – whatever the outcome may be - to you also.
Also, if you have any other thoughts about Substack features like Notes and Chat, feel free to share them with me.
As always, I look forward very much to any comments, reflections, or advice you may care to offer!
About half the money you help me raise through your subscription goes to the following four charities. Feel free to click on the underlined links to read more about them:
Wild is Life - home to endangered wildlife and the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery; Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary - supporting indigenous animals as well as pets in extremely disadvantaged communities; Dongyu Gyatsal Ling Nunnery - supporting Buddhist nuns from the Himalaya regions; Gaden Relief - supporting Buddhist communities in Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and India.
If you’re fairly new to my Substack page and would like to explore further, you can read my previous posts under the Archive button here.