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Thursday, 27 November 2014

How to be Thankful Every Day of the Year

Being thankful is a full time challenge.  When I was building my life back up following my divorce I spent a lot of time thinking about all the things I was thankful for.  It was tough.  Those days were very dark and finding a sliver of hope needed work. 

Photo courtesy of Nurture Store
 

Ten years later I find it easy to be thankful every day.  Each evening my children and I sit down to dinner and we go around the table asking what our best and worst things are of that day.  This is also a wonderful way to find out what's going with your family.  I've discovered test results and arguments with friends this way (teens can be so guarded!)  They feel safe to voice their concerns as part of their 'worst' bit and we can discuss it as a family.  We then turn this into a positive by saying what our 'best' thing was.  This could be a simple as a sunny day or as monumental as an A* exam result.

Journaling is one of my favourite self-help tools, and jotting down three things you are thankful for can do so much for your well-being.  I write my list just before bed. Last night I wrote:

Thursday, 20 November 2014

My Great Great Grandad Was Who? Genealogy for Beginners.

 
Genealogy is a fascinating subject and as a beginner I can lose hours, if not days surfing the net for long lost relatives.  I’m sure there are quicker ways to get results, but I’m having so much fun on my detective mission nonetheless.

As it happens, I discovered this week that my Great-Great-Grandfather on my mother’s side was in the Royal Engineers 223rd Field Company in WW1.  Having visited the incredible memorial at Tower Bridge in London, I found the realisation that one of my ancestors was in the thick of it quite overwhelming.  Tears were shed.  God help me if I watch the Sainsbury’s advert again!

During the same session, I found out that my other set of Great-Great-Grandparents were born in Dublin and Mayo and travelled over to the UK in the 1800’s.  That must have been quite a trip.

The storyteller in me was buzzing with the; who, what, where, when and how’s of it all.  To work in this field and be able to piece together the puzzle of someone’s life must be so rewarding. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Taking a Step from Motivational Non-Fiction to Magical Fantasy

This week I watched my non-fiction book How I Changed My Life in a Year reach the number four spot on Amazon's Best Seller list for self-help. 

I hit the 'screenshot' button so fast I nearly dislocated my finger.  Within thirty seconds I had uploaded the photo to my Facebook page to share my news with the incredible people who have supported me throughout my writing journey.

The experience of self-publishing this book has been so rewarding.  I continue to receive emails, tweets and messages from people telling me how much they enjoyed reading it and how it has helped them in their life.  Priceless.

On Thursday I hit my 50,000 word target for NaNoWriMo and I had to switch my writing brain from motivational non-fiction to young adult fantasy. 

I have always had a passion for fantasy books, films and TV shows.  During the lowest point of my life there was one young adult in particular who taught me I could survive to live another day - Buffy Summers, Vampire Slayer.  She certainly knew where to shove the pointy end of a stake!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Guest Author Interview - Douglas McPherson

Today I am joined by journalist and author, Douglas McPherson.  Douglas was the man I turned to for advice on turning my Resolution Challenge blog into a book.  His response and subsequent support were a huge factor in building my confidence.  I am thrilled that he was able to join me for a chat.  Over to Douglas.
 
The Fun Five:
 
1.  What part of the world do you come from?
 
I grew up in South London, not far from Wimbledon Common.  I currently live out in the countryside beneath the big Norfolk skies.
 
2.  What did you want to be when you grew up?
 
I always wanted to do something creative and actually began my working life as a graphic designer.
 
3.  List three words to describe yourself.
 
Nearly always writing.