Going Old-School

As a writer who relies heavily on technology to write and publish books, I am a massive fan of all the advances in technology that we’ve seen over the last twenty years. I write my books on my iPad, edit and format them on my laptop, publish them on Createspace and Kindle, and then market them on Facebook and Twitter. Every step of my process relies on technology. None of it can be done without gadgets and electricity.

But despite all of these things making my craft much quicker and easier to do, there is something quite magical about creating something using old-school methods. I used to love my old typewriter, and would happily do my school work on it, taking care not to make too many mistakes, otherwise it would be covered in tip-ex, or I’d have to begin again. And I used to love sitting on the beach, or with a torch under my covers, scribbling in notebooks with a pencil. I absolutely love stationery, pens and pencils and notebooks – I have so many, yet most of the notebooks lie empty, unused.

I do treasure the pieces of writing that I have written with pen, and one of my favourite writing moments was when I was living in New York, and was sat in a diner with a friend who kept saying the most hilarious things. Not having any paper to hand, I grabbed a napkin and penned one of my favourite poems, titled – Musings over Milkshake. I still have the napkin, seven years later! I found it the other day:

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To read the poem in its entirety, click here.

Who knows, I may even go completely old-school and write a whole novel on the typewriter, or even a pack of 200 napkins – now that would be an interesting challenge!

 

The War of Art

Image from Amazon

Image from Amazon

Having come across the title of this book a few times, I decided to pick up a copy on Kindle and have a read, and I have to admit, I am halfway through reading it again, after having stayed up most of the night the first time I read it.

To begin with, the super-short sections and simplicity and brevity of the passages put me off – after all how could such simple paragraphs really be very effective? But when relaying some of the messages to my mum, the deeper messages started to sink in and I had some pretty big insights into my own ways of working, and into my own life and mindset.

The first part of the book is all about Resistance. About what it looks like, what it feels like, and how it stops us from achieving our true potential. Much of the ideas I had seen before, but compiled in this way, made me realise that truly, resistance is the only things that holds us back – it just has many guises. I love the fact that the author is honest about that fact that there is no way to permanently get rid of resistance, but all we can do is to keep going, and not let it win.

The second part of the book is all about the differences between the professional and the amateur. Of course I have read all of the usual comments on professional writers or successful writers being those who write every day, who have a routine, who treat it like a job, etc, and of course, being the creative, sometimes lazy person that I am, I have always ignored such advice. But the way it is presented in the War of Art, made much more sense to me, and changed my perspective entirely. He says that the professional (by which he means someone who makes a living from what they do)  treats their art, their vocation as though it were their job, in that they show up every day, they put in the hours and they don’t over-identify with what they create. I realised then, that when I have a normal job, I of course turn up on time, do my hours and I don’t take it personally when things I do are criticised. So why can I not apply those same abilities in myself to my writing?

I had a lightbulb moment then. I realised that I was programmed to take my work more seriously when I was being paid by the hour, than when I was creating my books. So instead of fighting that, instead of trying to reprogram myself and get rid of my conditioning, I figured – why not just pay myself to write? And not only that, but why not create a contract with myself, outlining the projects I want to do, the amount of hours I need to write per week and how much I will pay myself? Seems a little bit like the kind of playing I used to do as a kid, when I had my own shop or library, and used to stamp the books my friends borrowed, but I think that doing this, even if it is a little bit like playing, will change the way I view my writing completely.

The last part of the book is about the mystical side of creation. About our genius, our muse. It reminded me very much of my favourite TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert which I mentioned in my post of favourite TED talks. I do very much believe that when we create, we are plugged into a source of inspiration outside of ourselves, and I feel very honoured to be able to plug into that source on a regular basis.

Overall, I would recommend this book because I got some amazing insights into my own ways through reading it, and not to be put off by the simplicity of it – it really does have genius within those simple words.

Beginner’s Luck

As a follow-up to my previous post on self-development seminars reminding me of casinos, I wanted to look at the idea from a slightly different perspective.

My first post looked mainly at the angle that perhaps the organisers and hosts of some of the events, did not have the best of intentions when it came to the participants. That they were unscrupulously making money from people who were in a vulnerable stage in their lives, looking for their purpose.

In this post, I want to look at the intentions and point of view of the participants, and perhaps how they may be searching for the magic ‘key’ and how that may not be very realistic. After all, the seminars and workshops wouldn’t exist if there weren’t scores of people looking for the magic formula to make their lives amazing.

I feel that quite often, beginner’s luck comes into play, when someone goes to a seminar for the first time ever (or indeed buys a lotto ticket or visits a casino for the first time) and they go through a transformation that changes their life for the better. Suddenly, they’re telling everyone they know, and they start attending more and more seminars, hoping to improve their lives even further. But then things plateau out. The changes become less dramatic, and the person then starts spending more, upgrading to the more advanced packages and seeks out the next big win desperately, unaware that they are gambling away more than they can afford.

playing cards 2

Image from Shutterstock

The thing is, that first bit of luck may have happened in order to encourage the person to improve their lives, but as with anything, no one can expect to make big changes and improvements without actually doing some hard work.

Yes, that’s right – the magic key really is just hard work. As well as passion, perseverance and determination. Of course there will still be the jackpot winners who appear to magically manifest all they desire with very little effort, but I bet if you were to delve deeper you would find that they too, struggled before that win.

As they say, all over-night successes have been ten years in the making. So if you find yourself voraciously attending seminars and workshops, and yet your life is not working out the way you would like, please do ask yourself why you are doing it, what you are looking for. You may find you already have all the information you need, all the support you need, and really all there is left to do, is put in the hard work.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, please do comment if anything I’ve said has struck a chord with you.

A Self-Development Gamble

I love self-development. I love the idea of people caring enough about themselves and their lives to read books, watch DVDs and attend seminars with the idea of finding their true purpose in this lifetime and becoming the best version of themselves that they can be.

What I’m not so keen on, is people who have realised that this upward trend could make them a lot of money. I haven’t attended lots of seminars, but I have been to a few, and it’s easy to tell which ones are hosted by people who genuinely wish to help you, and which ones are simply trying to make money out of you.

It occurred to me the other day, that there is a similarity between the latter types of workshops and seminars, and casinos. People go to casinos hoping to improve their lives by winning lots of money. They go in with a certain amount they want to spend, but then they get seduced by the promises of a bigger and bigger bounty, and so they start to spend more than they planned, thinking that the rewards will be bigger still. But despite the few jackpot winners – the success stories whose testimonials sold the course to the rest of the punters in the first place – most will leave either in the same place they were when they went in, or much, much worse off.

The worst part of it all, I feel, with a lot of seminars, is that they actually use NLP and hypnosis techniques and tricks to not only get you to part with more money than you planned to, but to also make you feel amazing for having ‘invested’ so much in yourself, whereas the ones who don’t ‘invest’ are made to feel like worthless losers who don’t care enough about themselves and loved ones.

Sound harsh? Maybe, but I have been to seminars where this is their exact wording. There are even apparently some workshops that take it a step further and put their participants into a trance in order to plant the suggestions that they need to upgrade to the next package. Much like the way that the bright lights, scantily clad women and clever advertising in casinos hypnotises the players to keep spending, and keep upping their stakes.

playing cards

Image from Shutterstock

Ultimately, the casino owners and the ones who hold the seminars and workshops – are the only ones who are guaranteed to make money. For those participating, it is literally a gamble, and it may well pay off, or you may find that you will have to return to the job that you hate and are desperate to leave, in order to pay off the debts created by promises of something better.

My advice? Go to the seminars, but be wary of being ‘upsold’ to. Leave your credit cards at home, and don’t make quick decisions about thousands of pounds, that will take months to repay. There may well be things you need to learn and hear from the hosts or organisers, but if they are pitching ‘special offers’ that run out at the end of the course, think before you commit – they are just trying to create a feeling of scarcity, to make you think that you will miss out if you don’t act quickly.

But ask yourself this – do you want to take a course from, or learn from, or work with, someone who operates from a place of scarcity? Of not enough? I know I don’t. I want to work with people who believe there is an abundance of everything for everyone. And who can help me to believe that too.

What are your thoughts?

 

Twin Flame Retreat Launches

On Saturday the 25th April, I was in Peace of Stone in Monmouth all day offering Oracle Card readings. I met some lovely new Earth Angels, and was pleased to see some who had attended the talk at Harts Barn! Have had some wonderful feedback so far and am pleased to have helped. Sold a few copies of the new book, and caught up with my lovely Faerie friend, Niki, before I leave for Scotland.

Peace of Stone

Fun-loving Earth Angels!

My beautiful Angel friend and editor, Liz Lockwood, also joined me for the day, and it was brilliant to have a good catch up and to present her with a signed copy of the book that she now jointly owns the copyright of.

Me & Liz

Me & Liz

Then yesterday I spent the day and evening in Zenith in Leominster. I did several Oracle Card readings, met some wonderful Earth Angels and then had a fantastic evening chatting about Twin Flames. One lady who had a reading with me in March has now read all of the books in the Earth Angel series! I said I’d better get on with the next one!

 

 

All in all, I’ve had a great time this month launching my new book, and have had some great reviews and thoughts on it so far.  The biggest question I’ve had so far is ‘When is the next one being released?!’

I promise I will let you know the answer to that as soon as I know!

A huge thank you to everyone who has hosted me this month, I really appreciate it.

Adventures with Astrid – April 2015

It’s been a while since I posted about how I am getting on with my organiser, who I called Astrid. But it’s not because I have stopped using it every day, on the contrary, Astrid is my daily companion! Admittedly, most days, it houses my to-do lists, but having my addresses, notes, and plans for the coming weeks all in the same place is very useful, and I think this may well be the first time ever that I have started a diary in January and am still using it in April.

I used to keep a journal-style diary when I was younger. At first, it was just an occasional thing, when I wanted to rant about something or express my feelings when I was upset. Then in 1999, my sister gave me a ‘last year of the millenium’ diary, which had a metal cover, and the idea was to write something every day. And I did. Then the following year, I got another one, this time, a whole page for each day. And for several years, I wrote a journal entry every single day.

I have all of these notebooks and diaries tucked away in the loft, and I have no idea what I will do with them, maybe one day I will put them in a pile and burn them, or perhaps I will go through them and see if there is anything useful or funny, who knows, maybe they’ll even inspire a series of blog posts.

The funny thing is, I would always write in my diary when I felt upset or down, but as soon as I got happy, I stopped writing diaries. I was too busy being in the moment of happiness to write my thoughts and feelings down. So some of the happiest moments of my life have gone completely unrecorded, and yet some of the most painful moments of my life will live forever through my written words.

It’s probably because writing has always been my form of therapy. But it makes me a little sad to think that I can more easily recall the bad times than the good. And it makes me a little more determined to change that, and also to release the old stuff.

This little rambling reminds me of a scene in The Elphite, where Ellie is encouraged to burn her diary, which contains all her many memories, in order for her to release her past and create a new future. I think perhaps having a bonfire may be a good idea after all!

I am alive. I am awake. I am loved.

Please do comment below if you write diaries, and if you think it’s a good idea to burn old ones in order to create a better future, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Twin Flame Retreat is Now Available!

You can now purchase your copy of The Twin Flame Retreat on Amazon! It’s available on Kindle and in paperback, and I’ve signed it up to Matchbook – so if you buy the paperback directly from Amazon, you can download the Kindle version for free!

Just today I have taken delivery of the first printing of the new book and the copies look awesome:

 

 

book 1

book 2

I am celebrating the official release on the 25th April by doing Oracle Readings in Peace of Stone in Monmouth between 11am and 5pm, and then will be talking about Earth Angels and Twin Flames and having some nibbles in the evening! I am very excited because my incredible editor and friend Liz Lockwood will be there! For those of you who have read the books so far, she is very much the Angel called Beryl, who is a main character called Beatrice in The Twin Flame Retreat!

All the details of the launch event are on the poster:

twin flame talk poster 25th

 

Spending Time with Starlight

Velvet & Starlight

I’ve just spent the last few days with my soul sister, Sarah Rebecca Vine, founder of the Earth Angel Sanctuary, and I have to say, it was amazing. Though it was the first time for us meeting in real life in this incarnation, we felt as though we’d known each other forever, which considering we realised that she is Starlight (in the Earth Angel series) and Velvet is based on myself, then it’s true, we have known each other forever!

On Thursday, we recorded the Twin Flame hangout, and we have had so much wonderful feedback, that we’re really glad we were able to do it. A lot of intuitive knowledge came through during it, and I think it will help those seeking their Flames, or who are currently separated from their Flames.

Sarah also recorded a review of the Earth Angel series, and if you have loved the Earth Angel books and want to win a signed copy of the latest one, then there’s still time to enter the video competition with a simple video review of one or all of the books.

If you are an Earth Angel and you need help and guidance, then I would highly recommend checking out Sarah’s channel on YouTube which has so many helpful videos, and also becoming a member of the Earth Angel Sanctuary, where she has so many useful videos and also interviews and other products. Her mission is to help as many Earth Angels as possible with their missions, and I feel very blessed to have spent time with her, and connecting with her.

 

 

Live Hangout- All About Twin Flames

Here is the link to the google hangout which is now tomorrow (9th) at 12pm. Hope you can join us!

https://plus.google.com/app/basic/events/cvb0thgf695adcpkjcn0tgoqloc

Sarah Rebecca Vine and I will cover what Twin Flames are, how to recognise them, what the general stages of the relationship are, how to let go and cut the cords when you are separated, and how to stay on course and follow our own purpose!
I will also be leading you through a short meditation to find a clue about your Twin Flame.

The Twin Flame Retreat Book Launch

I have been a whirlwind of activity these last few days, creating a schedule for April of events to celebrate the launch of The Twin Flame Retreat. I have released the schedule, and I will post updates if anything changes!

launch schedule

 

I would love to see you there! The link to the official event page on Facebook is here, please do join in if you can. Here are the details for the video competition if you want to enter:

Video Competition

To enter, all you need to do is record a video review of your favourite Earth Angel Series book! Or about the whole series if you have read them all!

The video must be at least one minute long, and posted as a public video on youtube. To submit your entry, post the URL to the video in the comments below when it is live. If you have a paperback copy, please do hold it up in the video.

The winner will be chosen at random, and will receive a signed paperback copy of The Twin Flame Retreat! This competition is open to everyone, I will mail it to any country.

I look forward to watching them all.

This competition is not connected to Facebook in any way, there is only the one prize and you may only submit one entry per person.