I’m sharing this blog post as much for myself as for you. How’s that for self-awareness 😀 There are some great insights in it that I’d like to look at again from time to time as my perspectives change.
This is a beautifully written post that I feel sure you’ll enjoy.

read on

When I read some books about meditation or mindfulness earlier. I often come across a key word – awareness. I’m curious to know what exactly awareness is. Does awareness mean knowing what I’m doing or how I feel at the moment? Is awareness a state that only guru like Yoda can get there? Am I ever aware for a nanosecond?

I find a simple answer from the book Awareness by Anthony de Mello. In Anthony’s spiritual point of view, awareness is suddenly you get another perspective on life. Wow, that sounds effortless and all of a sudden. My follow up question is: how to get there SUDDENLY?

Anthony’s 4 steps to wisdom might be the pathway to get there. From his book Awareness, he said “Put this program into action, a thousand times: (a) identify the negative feelings in you; (b) understand that they are in you, not in…

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Why Do You Write?

I’ve been rather busy lately, what with one thing and another, and have been neglecting my blog, I’m afraid, so it was interesting to read this post on Kate’s. I had half prepared one on the same subject.

Why do you write?

I have been asking other authors. The answers have been many and varied, and some of them are echoed here in Kate M. Colby’s heartfelt answer. These answers have been duly noted down and will be shared with you in another post soon, honest! Just as soon as I get my WIP off to the publisher.

(Yes, I really am at that stage with Traces of Red. How exciting is that?)

As for me, why do I write?
How could I not?
For me, writing is an extension of talking and I could talk for Scotland!
Everything’s a story and there’s a story in everything.
If I didn’t tell them or write them I do believe I’d go mad.

All my novels are available on Amazon Kindle or as Paperbacks here.

Kate M. Colby

Why do you write? What I love about this question is that there are infinite answers. Every writer has his/her unique reasons and those reasons can change based on mood, a phase in life, and/or the particular writing piece.

On one level, this can be a practical question. Seriously, why do you write when it is such a difficult field to succeed in? It can also be a spiritual question. What in your soul calls you to this creative outlet? From other writers, it can be a call for help or community. Why do we do this when it is so hard and it dredges up such painful insecuritiesMy favorite is when it is a question of wonderment and fascination. How in the world do you think up these ideas and what magical force compels you to see them through?

I’ve been going through a bit of a…

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Taking a Book for a Walk

In case you were wondering, I do intend to round up my Food in Fiction series, and I set out to do that, but I got sidetracked.

Here’s what I wrote before I wandered off topic:

‘Having looked at how others have used it, and the reasons why it might work for us, let’s think about the mechanics of how to do it: how to put Food in your Fiction.

I suppose we could just mention what a character had for their dinner, as in, “So-and-so sat down to steak pie and chips.” But would that really add anything to our narrative?

Better to give us a taste of the steak pie and chips, figuratively speaking, of course.’

… and that’s where I got sidetracked.

Thinking about a figurative taste of Food in Fiction reminded me of the fun book my friend Jane gave me when we were on our writers’ retreat week, and I decided to tell you that story instead, because you’ll enjoy it. I know you will.

Jane brought us lots of goodies for our week away, and one of them was the rather unusual and marvellous book Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.

Have you seen it?

Its product description on Amazon tells us,

“Think of Wreck This Journal as the anarchist’s Artist’s Way — the book for those who’ve always wanted to draw outside the lines but were afraid to do it. … With Keri Smith’s unique sensibility, readers are introduced to a new way of art and journal making, discovering novel ways to escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process.”

 Jane had given Sharon and I each one of these journals, but she didn’t know how we would react, if we could really do it. Deface these brand new books? Books we had been gifted? It seemed like sacrilege to true book lovers such as we three. We had gone to our retreat to write novels, not destroy books.

Hadn’t we?

But could it do what it says on the label? Could it help us ‘fully engage in the creative process?’

Our first reactions to the books involved a lot of laughter and, “Yeah, that’ll be right!” as we read some of the instructions. But it seemed like such a fun idea.

I knew I could ‘add my own page numbers.’ That was fun. Random numbers in the bottom corners of every page. Hang on, that’s not truly entering into the spirit of the thing. Random numbers all over the pages. Better.

‘Make a sudden, destructive, unpredictable movement with the journal.’ Easy! I threw it across the room to smash against the wall.


Then we were asked to, ‘Crack the Spine.’ A tricky one for some, but I was okay with that. I’m a crack the spine kind of girl.

 ‘Stand here. Wipe your feet up and down,’ ON THE PAGE! well I wasn’t quite so sure, but after some deep breathing and gritted teeth, I had a go.

‘Poke holes in this page using a pencil.’ Building up steam now. Woo-hoo! ‘Scribble wildly, violently, with reckless abandon,’


On a roll.

Now, you may wonder what on earth such a journal has to do with Food in Fiction. I shall tell you. There is a page in the journal that invites the reader to ‘Document your dinner.’ with instructions to ‘rub, smear, splatter your food.’ and the suggestion to ‘use this page as a napkin.’

Crazy, yes?

Now we were getting to the hard core stuff. No way I could ever deliberately smear food on a book. No way! Never! Wasn’t going to happen.

Then we had Champagne.


After Sharon popped the cork, aiming at the target on this page of my book, I was up for the challenge. Well, technically, not just after she’d hit the target with the cork, but after the Champagne hit the target…

Chilli Nachos feature on the pages of my journal.


It is revolting, truly revolting. It looks bad enough here, but, believe me, it is so much worse in three dimensional, glorious technicolor.

But incredibly liberating.

Incredibly liberating! I had crossed the line. I was working outside the lines. Writing flowed after that. Some of it to be discarded on the cutting room floor when I got home, but some of it the best, most flowing writing I had done in a long time, to be retained and included in my next novel.

Unlike the Chilli Nachos.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this book, Wreck This Journal. It provided so much fun throughout our week. We ripped pages, wiped them on dirty cars, made a page into a paper boat and sailed it in a dirty puddle, and glued pages together. SO much fun. I wouldn’t have believed it. We were given permission to be naughty children and the only consequences were lots of laughter and a very bedraggled journal.

I even took the book for a walk on the end of a string, as instructed.

click the link if you want to see how that went!

A sidetrack, yes.

But almost relevant to the topic of Food in Fiction.

Next time, I’ll write the post I set out to write. We’ll talk about how you can use Food in your Fiction. There’ll be tips and treats and writing prompts.

But, meanwhile, why don’t you see if you can meet the challenges set you in  Wreck This Journal

All in the name of setting your creativity free.

The Beauty of Marketing

Love this post. I’m not sure which parts of it I’ll succeed in implementing, but it certainly gets my creative juices flowing. Thank you Chris McMullen.



Book Marketing

There isn’t just one way to do it. The fact that there are many different book marketing strategies is your opportunity. Find a way to look at marketing in a way that you can enjoy it.

You want to be successful, right?

  • It’s not about embracing someone else’s idea of marketing and carrying it out with due diligence.
  • It’s about finding an effective marketing method that you can embrace with a passion and make it your own.

Most indie writers are artists at heart, not businesspeople. Yet self-publishing success, both on and off Amazon, depends on effective book marketing.

  • That doesn’t mean that you have to switch from artist to salesman to sell books. That’s like hammering a square peg through a round hole.
  • It means you have to view marketing as an art or craft to master, and pursue it with passion. That will fuel your

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