“The Zar Tales” finally published….

“The Zar Tales”, just published by Lulu.com.

From a description:

” “The Zar Tales” is a collection of poetry and short stories  (and some about belly dancers!), and a novella about courageous women and their “Zars” (demons) who stand with them against social and religious oppression. Though the setting is in 1983 when the religious authorities tried to stop the Zar Ritual (an ancient ritual of support and comfort to women)the struggle of women today continues to find support in many areas of the Middle East and Northern Africa for this ritual. There is an essay by the author on Hyperarousal Trance and Creativity closing the book. Jane Kohut-Bartels is a novelist, a poet, a belly dancer and a teacher of belly dance in Atlanta, Georgia.”

Bill Penrose and I have finally finished the corrections on this book, and now it is released to the public.  Again, this new book would have never been published without the serious efforts of Bill. ( nor would the first one.)

I haven’t found Lulu.com easy to use.  I would recommend it, but have a man like Bill to do the heavy stuff of Lulu.  She is a harsh mistress.

The main body of this book is the novella:  “The Zar Tale”.  As mentioned above, the Zar ritual is being attacked all over the Middle East and Africa by religious authorities.  However, it continues to be held because of the social benefits (outlet for mental health issues, etc) but perhaps more because it is a ritual that is ancient and healing.

The novella mixes mysticism in the form of the Zars (demons) and Persian poetry.  All of the poetry (in the novella)  I wrote in the ‘style’ of ancient Persian poetry and this I believe, back then when writing this story two years ago….is where Hyperarousal Trance helped tap into and understand  the natural and beautiful rhythms of these things unknown and unexperienced.  Different cultural colorings flow into the heart and into the mind when writing under the effects of HT.  Or perhaps it’s just that these rituals speak to the  humanity we all share.

And of course, first of all…..it’s a love story.

This new book is as different from the first book  (“A Seasoning of Lust”) as night is to day.  Where “Seasonings” was a kitchen – sink of verse, short story and very short story form called “flasher”….THIS book is united by a common theme:  Zars (demons and a ritual/dance…both from African and Middle Eastern cultures) and the empowerment of women facing oppressive conditions.

Though I am counting my eggs before they hatch, I have considered what to do with any royalties from this book.  The issue of female genital mutilation is a worldwide horror.  It is not isolated to the Middle East.  Nor to Muslims.    My husband and I have decided that any money from royalties will go to a group that opposes such practice.  I hope to do a blog entry later this year on this subject: FGM.  I believe it is called by various names around the world.

And I was pleasantly surprised that there were royalties from the first book.  This is a small incentive to publish…..but the overwhelming one is not the coin, but the ‘place’ to put your writing.  And the great satisfaction when readers communicate how your writing has resonance in their lives.

That weaves the web of humanity for me with important thread.


Lady Nyo

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6 Responses to ““The Zar Tales” finally published….”

  1. margie Says:

    I’m hopping on over to Lulu right now to place my order! So exciting!

    We’ve been busy the past few weeks now that the weather has broken. It’s absolutely gorgeous here in North Carolina – the yard is blooming everywhere. My irises are having a really good year – I have dozens and dozens of blooms – most of them are of a purple variety. I think I’ll need to order some different colors in the fall!

    Talk to you soon, cuz!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Oh! Irises!! Mine are finished blooming, as are the daffs and tulips…but all this rain last year made the difference, don’t you think?

    The pollen count was over 5,000 last week….High is supposed to be 127. Geez! LOL~!

    I had peach/ white and lavender iris a few years ago, but they seem to have disappeared.

    I’m with you….want more color in these lovely flowers!

    Thanks for getting “The Zar Tales”. I’m excited about this book in a very different way than the first. I hope you like it, cuz.



  3. Berowne Says:

    Congratulations on the big event!

    You have another book in the works already, yes?


  4. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Thanks, Berowne.

    Yes…a couple of them….the next one will be a purely poetry venture: “White Cranes of Heaven”…poetry over the last few years. I wrote a lot of it for various reasons….

    Then another mostly poetry book: “Lady Nyo’s Poems and Other Verse”…something like that ….a place to put my series of Japanese flashers (200 word stories) and the haiku, freeverse and tanka together.

    I am grateful for the space and time to write….and this is a combined thankfulness to my husband and Bill Penrose, who makes the publishing…’real’.

    Thanks, Berowne, for reading the blog and the congrats.

    Lady Nyo


  5. Katie Says:

    Jane! I am hopping over to Lulu to order my copy. I am so proud of you! Your writing is so sensual, so elegant, so poetic. The book is sure to be one of my favorites.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Katie!

    It was a long slog, but knowing I had friends like you and Bill made it easier. Bouncing text off you both helped tremendously.

    Bill and I are going to soon run an interview…of moi. About the novella within “The Zar Tales”. It is a very quirky piece of writing, and I think it might be misunderstood.

    However, we do what we think we can…in communication.

    Thank you, again, Katie…for reading the book and the blog.



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