Me and My Work:ingrid-renfrew-forest1

Ingrid Koivukangas, Environmental Artist, Writer, Designer

My top three values are:

Love, authenticity, creativity

I do the work I do because:

My soul is called to bring forth reminders of our interconnectedness to all beings.

If I could invite two or three people to dinner to discuss his/her life journey and career, I’d invite:

Oprah Winfrey, Dalia Lama, J.K. Rowling

The next big challenge for me around my work is:

Getting Hunters of the Dream, Book One ‘out there’ and finishing Books Two and Three

If my clients/colleagues hold on to only one piece of advice from me, I hope it’s:

Be true to yourself and never give up on your dreams they can become reality.

If I couldn’t do the work I’m doing now, I’d be:

In the studio painting, or designing jewellery, or creating new essential oil blends, or creating a new environmental art exhibition, or working in the garden.

I can never get enough of:

Creating, whether it’s through writing or art making.

A person in my field I admire greatly is:

J.K. Rowling – I love her story to becoming a writer!

A famous person I admire is:

Jack Canfield – I love his commitment to bringing more light and awareness into the world and how he encourages you to believe in yourself and to never give up on your dreams.

My favorite question to ask people is:

If you could do anything you wanted to do, what would it be? Why aren’t you doing it?

If an hour suddenly opened up in my schedule I would:

Take a walk on our property, Alchemy Farm. Tramping through the fields is a great way to take a break.

The biggest compliment someone could pay me is:

They get what I’m doing with my work; that somehow the work has brought them a new understanding of their interconnectedness with all beings; a new awareness of the unseen worlds of magic and wonder. That they are hearing their inner child again, and they are remembering that they were once filled with wonder, hope and dreams.

My biggest accomplishment so far is:

Writing Hunters of the Dream–my first book!

My top three bucket list items are:

1) Plant the Eco Heart Forest one book at a time – I love the idea that readers can visit a forest that they helped to create through buying a print book.

2) Found the Eco Heart Schools, where spirituality and our connections to the natural and unseen worlds are shared and taught.

3) Be the best human I can possibly be, on all levels–creative, spiritual, physical.

I would love my name to be synonymous with (or when people hear my name I want them to think):

There’s someone who believe in a really big dream and took steps to create it. If she can do, then I can do it.

My favorite work of fiction is:

I don’t have just one favourite! My answer would depend upon what day it was. There are so many amazing storytellers both past and present.

My favorite nonfiction book is:

Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles.

 

My Book: (Links to Amazon.com)

Hunters of the Dream Book One: The Gathering (Links to Amazon.ca)

Hunters3DCover

What was the deciding factor that propelled you to write your book?

Six years ago a story found me…no, it was long before that–it was in 1994! But it wasn’t the right time for the story to be released yet…I had clearly been told that when the time was right I was to share the message that was given to me. I carried the story with me everywhere in my heart and wondered when I was supposed to bring it forward. (See the Earth Mother chapter–it’s not really all fiction.) The first characters began to arrive six years ago. And then just over a year ago, the Eco Heart Oracle, with its channeled messages from Spirit and the natural world–the Oracle is a key component in the Hunters of the Dream Trilogy. All of the elements were lining up in preparation for my next work, writing. The first book waited impatiently as I, the conduit, cleared personal blocks I had around writing.

In August 2014 I attended Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough to Success Training. During the training Jack led us through a meditation to discover our gift. During the meditation I received the most beautiful gift inside a special box meant just for me. I received the Earth, with a flaming heart of fire, overlaid on top of a book. I have long known about the power of story. I have been a writer since I wrote my first story at six years old and ‘novel’ at twelve. It is truly my first love. Being a writer is my biggest dream–and my biggest fear. I always knew I was going to be a writer. I just didn’t think I deserved to be a writer.

What was your experience of the writing process?

My first response to your question: Joy and the feeling that I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing. Discovery as I meet the characters and bring forth their story. Amazement as the story leads me on a journey of creation. Trust, trusting that the story will find its voice.

My second response: hard work, tenacity, long hours, withdrawal from the everyday world, deep concentration, faith and total belief in what I’m doing.

Do you have any advice for anyone struggling with the writing process?

Take a break. Go for a walk. Go do something fun–get out of your head. While you’re giving yourself permission to go and play, the story can revive itself and begin communicating in a different way, a way that’s easier for you to understand and hear.

What has been the feedback from clients and your community since publishing?

The number one response has been: when, and where, can I get Book Two??

How has your book affected or changed your business?

Hunters of the Dream, is allowing me to see my other creative work as an environmental artist through different eyes. I am seeing how everything I’ve done is interconnected. What on the surface may seem like separate art projects are really pieces of a larger body of life work. Every site that I’ve worked with on an intuitive level, has informed, enlightened and impacted my writing, and in particular the Eco Heart Oracle which is an integral ‘character’ in the Hunters of the Dream Trilogy.

How has publishing your book given you a bigger voice as an expert in your field?

I’m not sure that writing a young adult fantasy trilogy adds anything to my credentials in the Art World. I’m not actually sure what my field is!

How/where did you publish?

I self-published through Amazon and IngramSpark.

Why did you choose this route?

I have helped people self-publish their own books so I understood the process and knew that I could do it myself.

Were there any obstacles along the way?

Receiving my first edited manuscript, while surrounded by moving boxes, in a house needing renos was daunting. During breaks between renos and unpacking, I did the first round of edits on a make shift desk, on a tiny screen, literally surrounded with packing boxes. It felt insurmountable at the time. Many times I was in tears and ready to give up. I had a lot of: I can’t do this, thoughts. Then I remembered what I told my children as they were growing up: There’s no such word as can’t, it’s won’t. Once I reminded myself that I could change how I felt about the process simply by choosing to change my thinking, I was able to move forward quickly. Every time I felt frustrated and ready to give up I changed my thoughts to: The book editing is going quickly and easily.

Do you have any suggestions or words of advice for others considering self-publishing (independent publishing) for the first time?

Do it!! Believe in yourself. If you can dream it, you can make it happen! Surround yourself with people who believe in you and will help you create the best book you possibly can. Get a good editor and designer–do not try to do this yourself. You want your book to be as professional as possible.

What is the best advice you can offer authors-in-waiting?

Write. Just write. Then find a good editor. Re-write. Then re-write some more. Find early readers. Re-write yet again, and again if necessary. Don’t’ give up.

Never give up on your dream.

You become what you believe. ~ Oprah Winfrey