In any process, we are told acknowledgement of the issues at hand is the first step to solving, resolving or recovering.
What is it we need to solve, resolve or recover?
Looking at my list, I found it covered several issues and challenges. In moments like this, all the self-help advice thunders through your brain and in minutes you have a tension headache trying to wrap your head around everything that needs attending.
In my minds-eye, I look up seeing myself back at that space on the well-used road in the feel-good, don’t care world. Strangling the feeling of fear and anxiety welling up inside and making me want to reach for a crutch, I breathe. Deeply. In and out. Close my eyes and repeat until I feel in control.
No, that technique is not just for yoga classes. It helps.
Looking at my list once more, I recite my rule list. Reminding myself to take one day at a time.
Live moment by moment.
Take one challenge at a time.

I look at my list again

Always being sick or injured
Frustration with constant clutter and mess
Overweight and feeling self-conscious about myself
Unorganised and continually trying to get organised
No fun or inspiration – bored
Feel unsuccessful with my passion
Need to earn enough money

One challenge at a time.
Picking up my clipboard, I look at my form with three columns.
Problem. Solution. Daily Tasks.
On my laptop, I open the table. Date it. Then I look at my list of overwhelming challenges. I only have to pick one, just one for today.
Around me is clutter, every surface has way too much on it. It’s a practical place to start, and it will give a sense of having control.
In the modern age we live, households should be beyond the archaic view of the woman does everything, or since you work at home, you can keep everything clean and tidy. The overwhelming task of ploughing through the constant housework, washing and cooking of meals leaves very little time for my passion, Writing. Deadlines loom, and the creativity that needs to flow disappears under the constant drudge of the daily requirements of being left alone in running a home. The consistent expectation of serving with a smile and not complain. Seeing the laundry and dishes pile up unattended because you don’t get to it, meals not cooked because you are busy with other things or trying to get to work that is so behind you push yourself until you have nothing left.
You find yourself sitting alone, on the living room couch, sipping a drink that is not always non-alcoholic, holding tightly to your emotions and swallowing the tears of frustration. Your Super Woman cape hangs shredded, and you are so tired you are wired. Sleep and food don’t seem to make a regular appearance in your daily life. You feel their absence and reach for a crutch to help you through the moment.
Just the thought of this makes me want to hyperventilate.
Again, I breathe deeply, long and allow the tension to evaporate. Procrastination is a constant companion as I look at the frustrations and challenges that need attending.
Today I need to put together a dairy or work plan or calendar showing what needs to happen at what time during the day.
My problem for today … Balance.
It is necessary to be restoring balance while I get to the long list of everything that makes my life overwhelming to live, to cope with and to enjoy.


We hear about it in life-work-balance. It becomes a quest to find it when we’re in School, College and University. The saying “everything in moderation” is flung around in all areas but no one explains the “how-to” of obtaining the tricky art form of balance.
After reading articles on the internet and reading medical blogs all about balance, which give me a headache, I came to a conclusion finding it for me is up to me.
To begin with, I wrote down everything I do during each day over a week. Remembering I needed to rest and breathe, have time for fun I left out Saturday and run my week from Sunday to Friday. Now for the tricky art of finding enough time for everything on the list that needs to fit into six days, remembering I need at least nine hours of sleep. Time to try it out for a week or two.

It didn’t go well.
I was doing a lot, which felt fantastic, but I was either starving all the time, thirsty or exhausted after eating. The rollercoaster either made me wired or too tired to function.
Now that I had the “to do” part sorted out the quest for balance continued into the menu, types of food, and when I ate.
During this time of finding my feet with this journey for balance, I realised we need it in every area of our lives. Not just those that society dictates.

Every area of my life. That sound like a few projects I could jot down.

Reminding myself of the rules once more, I begin with Sunday and start with the time I wake up. In Cape Town, South Africa, the sun rises as early as 5am and goes down as late as 8:30pm. Keeping this in mind I slowly going through each hour of the day before moving to the next day.
The weekly calendar/planner looks ready for use with the addition of food options for meals, including times for enjoying.
Yes, it does sound profoundly anal. You forget life to this point in my life has been a chaotic rush from one point to point with little to no intention.
Looking at the list once more, I highlight the issues addressed today.

Finding more balance in:
Daily living
Food – what can and should be eaten daily
Organising the time available to me for attending to matters which arrive in my life.
Finding control for what I put into my body and how
Making time to exercise even though recovering from a torn ankle tendon.
Looking at possibilities and opportunities to better my environment and reduce the clutter

Taking one day at a time is important. Make it count.

It’s terrific to address the subjects above, but the follow-through is in the day to day living. Other things need to be worked on and maintained.
Knowing how dedicated you are to the journey.
Follow through.
All of these are necessary to keep you going through the hard times ahead. Even while procrastination sits on your shoulder like an evil version of yourself telling you all of this can be done tomorrow. Perhaps it is time to put him or her back on the train back to where you came from.
Determine what your goals are … find a way you can achieve them that is obtainable and stick to it.
Yep, that is my chant for today … I’m going to make a song out of it somewhere along the line, I have no problem with that. It’s creative. I need creative.
Today I have control over the process.
Today I can make some changes.
Today I can look at myself and affirm my beauty, my brains, my determination and resolve.
Today I shall succeed.

During the day, I waver a little. Breathing deeply, I remind myself that a journey such as this is a path to be found in the jungle of life. It is uncharted waters or a forest requiring bushwacking. A scene from those movies where the characters take a “wrong turn” and need to go back to find their way.
This journey is mine, and I shall find ways to make a path to the goals I require to a better me.


Life is never sterile. Be authentic in reaching the better version of you.

In everyone’s lives, there comes the point in time where you look at yourself, literally or figuratively and know there is a better version somewhere out there. Some call it a resolution starting a new year with new intentions. It could be at a certain point in your life. Others may say they are affirming their lives and changes that are needed. While others look at themselves and say “I don’t like what I’ve let happen here. I can be better. I can do better. I can feel better.”
Regardless of where you’re looking from the reality is you want a better you, a healthier you, a sweeter or kinder you. Whether that is in the physical, the mental, the psychological or simply feeling better. Whatever you decide the journey to be, you start from where you are, moving to that point of where you need to be, something like this is not for the faint of heart.

Ending the Gregorian Calander with several issues piling on from mid-September different frustrations and challenges seemed to find me. Not shy to generously spend time with me. I found myself working through many things, from immobilising injuries keeping me from my daily life, routines and enjoyments, to business issues and the dreaded writer’s block.
One early Summer morning, I found myself sitting in the early hours, sipping a hot cup of green tea watching the sunrise over the horizon. My mind kept going in circles, pondering where the life-loving, bubbly, gentle soul had gone.
Somewhere along the line, I had lost … me.

At that moment, I knew that something needed to change. It is easy to follow the path everyone else has, its wide, well used, full of bad habits everyone condones. It’s effortless to be in this area, no one has to be held accountable for their bad choices and decisions made. Nor do they need to care about themselves or the effect they have on others around them.
The selfish highway of life seems to be fun, but it really is not. Its noise sounds like everyone is having a good time and the endless feel-good events never give you an opportunity for silence.
In the silence, you can hear your heartbeat, your soul speak, and your body tells you what it truly needs. It is in these times we can connect once more with ourselves.
My early morning pondering made me realise I had not had the opportunity for any of this. If I didn’t like what I was looking at within myself, it was up to me to make the changes. It is up to me to look at my immediate world and craft it to what I desired and needed it to be.
Purpose bloomed. Instead of being frustrated and finding a crutch to get through it, it was time to throw the crutch away and define my way forward.

Firstly, when coming to a decision this monumental in your life, there are a few things you need to do.
One is, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Start the process of finding your way immediately.
Reaching over I picked up one of my ever-present notebooks. On the plus side of writing, you are never short of something to write on or with. Some girls buy shoes, Writers buy notebooks and stationery.
By the light of the rising sun, I jotted down everything I found a frustration, hinderance or something I needed to improve.
When doing something like this, take your time. Allow yourself to think, formulate expressions, notice and comprehend emotions and where they are coming from. Once you have the source, find the root and jot everything down, including what it is that makes you feel the way you do.
Recognise your crutches and examine and understand why you have them. Jot down the areas of your life where they are needed and what needs to be done for them to be unnecessary.

When the immediate task is done. Hug yourself. Love yourself and let you know that things will get better, that you will be able to work through all that is wrong to be a better version of who you presently are. 

Make a list of daily rules. 

  1. Be gentle on you. 
  2. Love yourself unconditionally
  3. Accept yourself as you are … right now.
  4. Do not judge yourself. 
  5. Live one day at a time.
  6. Live moment by moment to get through and address challenges.
  7. Speak to yourself daily. Tell yourself how beautiful/handsome you are. Tell yourself today is going to be a good day. Today you shall succeed in everything you do. 
  8. Remind yourself this is a process and is obtainable. 
  9. Rest and breathe. Disconnect from the world. 
  10. If you fall, get up, dust yourself off and determine to do better tomorrow.

Looking at my pages of negative information I had written about myself, realisation slammed into me, leaving me breathless. My mission this year is to save myself from destruction.
In my writing genre, every mission needs a plan of execution to change the negative into a positive. Depending on the enormity of the task, the method of execution differed.
It was time.
Time to look at what needed to change in every area of my life and plan my mission in chewable daily bite-size chunks.

A sense of renewed life flowed through me. I held the power of change for my life in my hands. This was something I could control. Something I could define, mould and be proud of. No longer did I feel limited by another’s expectations of who I should be. No longer did I sense I needed to be someone else’s idea of perfection.
This journey, this mission of saving me was for me, by me and no one else had a say in anything I did on this road.
Stopping on that wide road of everyone being and doing whatever supposedly made them happy at that moment. I stepped to the pavement hailing a ride to the entrance where I lingered a while, looking around at what it was like not to conform, not to follow the crowd. It is much less noisy and crowded. Much less travelled.
There is no need to hurry anywhere. The false sense of “needing” to do something or be somewhere or always thinking that success is in as much as you do, or what you wear, or who you know, or what car you drive. All of that fell away. Leaving me to breathe, feel, think, be, and look around.
I have time. Time to decide what is best for me. What is it that I need to be the best, happier and more centred version of me?
What is needed for me to blossom into a more beautiful me?

Inspiration, Coffee and Sunshine

The sun shines off the water as I push my toes into the sand under my feet. Closing my eyes my lungs expand sucking in the salty, chilled ocean breeze. My imagination fills, my creative soul stirs … inspiration … it can come from anywhere.

Writing is an art. An art which brings a picture to the imagination. An art which brings a world, story or character to life. An art which makes a place for others to escape to.

In preparing to begin another story many questions arise. How do you know what to write?

How do you stay inspired? Do you need to be inspired or should you just write?

What exactly it is you want to write?

Do you plan a story or go with the flow?

How do you find the drive to move forward?

When you’re writing how do you stay on point, not having to go back and have to re-read what you have written?

Every writer has a different way of being creative. Although someone may have a way writing doesn’t mean it will work for you. It doesn’t mean that parts of what they do won’t work for you. Don’t close your mind to what others say even when everything inside you objects to the words being uttered. Resolutions to problems come with various viewpoints.

In this time of preparation it is important to have moments when nothing is on your mind but your next book or writing project.

Carving out time to focus and work is important. Make sure you have days where there is nothing to distract you.

Make sure that although you will be writing … a lot … there are times when you can step away, out into the sunshine and experience the world with you.

Find what fills you to the brim so you can go back to work and express yourself.

Make sure there is healthy food and drink to eat even if you find yourself stress eating while writing and reaching for those potato chips, popcorn, biscuits, soda’s etc. It makes no sense to feel bogged down while trying to be creative and write.

November month is worldwide National Writers Month or we call it NanoWriMo. It is a month where writers all around the world go online and dive into a month of committed writing. The goal … first draft in a thirty days. That is not easy, for anyone to achieve but in November many writers embrace the hysteria, the excitement, the heart-stopping panic, the moments of writers-block, the moments where only coffee, sunshine and finding inspiration save not only the stories needing to be told but also the sanity of many. At the end of thirty gruelling days, writers all over the world emerge with smiles of relief, joy, achievement knowing they have the dedication and drive to accomplish their goals.

It sounds easy to sit down and put words on paper … so here is a challenge to those who are thinking about writing … join NaNoWriMo and see if you can meet the goal and put your story on paper.

Find your way through even if it is with Coffee, Sunshine and Inspiration.

Words to the Page

The sun rises over the horizon, a beautiful blue – orange stripe across the top of the mountains, filling my view from the lounge window. Nestled in the couch under a comforter, a hot coffee and my cat, Felicity, who burrows next to me. The solitude and early morning beauty is an inspiration to put words to a page.

In the quiet characters spring to life., worlds explode, begging to be visible. Stories of lives pop up. Putting all of this together is an adventure that comes to life on paper, giving a place to escape. The adventure is to experience living with the characters that come to life.

Breathing in, I start typing and let the words flow. The story twists and turns, meshing together and when it is done the sun is high in the sky, rain falls softly, my flask of coffee is empty. The clock says its lunchtime, and my stomach rumbles in agreement. Something quick is eaten. My mind goes through the storyline, and possibilities come to life.

Another flask is ready, this time … hot chocolate … a big bowl of popcorn to go with it, and back to putting a story on paper. When I looked up, it is dark, and the only light is from my laptop. The first two and a half chapters are down on paper; the flask is nearly empty, the popcorn is gone. Time for dinner. I am watching a bunch of Hallmark movies. All feel good and nothing to do with the genre I’m writing.

Tomorrow is another day to meet my characters. But for now … its goodnight.

When Life Makes Lemons …

Once over the procrastination course life seems to throw everything your way. All those lovely distractions that look so … wonderful …. is seen for what they are … distractions.

When the story starts to flow a storyteller lives at that moment. Focuses and so it has been for the past two weeks. The patience of my family has been amazing as the winter darkness has fallen and meals have been late or washing of clothes has been put on hold and draped all over the interior of our abode due to the amazing rain falling outside.

The end of the year is coming closer, social events start to pack up in the calendar, and the storyteller becomes overwhelmed to fit it all in. To the storyteller, not writing is like a pile of “lemons”. Let’s make lemonade!!!

Using the technology of the day this storyteller sets alarms to remind her of simple things like … Eat Lunch … Coffee / tea break … Do Laundry … but does it really work?

There are times when you are so involved in a scene that not every the jangle of an automated alarm penetrates the world you are in. Making Lemonade takes work …. so when there is silence in the house and no one is around this is the time for the storyteller makes a schedule of her own.

We all know that every good plan doesn’t always work out. Just when you have it working like you need it the lemons get added some more. Water goes off during the day and back on in the evening. Changing sleeping patterns, allowing work to be done during the night, and sleeping during the day is never easy and when writing becomes spontaneous … sleep becomes erratic.

Being a storyteller means life is not neat, predictable, easy or stacked in categories … it means taking a stack of lemonade and creating a type of lemonade that brightens the world around you, touches hearts and souls … and makes tomorrow something worth looking forward to.

Getting Back Into the Groove

When you finished a book, its out in the world and you’re hoping that someone likes your story … you look around … the first thing you do is breathe in deep and exhale. You get into the living of life and sorting of what was not seen to and still you mind is not truly back in this world. Its living in another world, with other people, doing what do, seeing what they see and somewhere inside you start to plan how to “escape” this world so you can write about the other.

Finding a place to disappear to, a place where there is silence … inside and out … a place where nature fills and inspire you to be the best in that moment. Passion to write the story on the page makes a writer retreat from the reality of life … for a few moments. But in those few moments worlds can be built, characters can be born, life can be lived in a different place and time. Cities can be built and destroyed in a moment. Love can be found, lost and found once more with a flip of a page and still,the writer scribbles on.

Getting back to the wonder of putting a story to a page is the reward for facing life around us. We do the piles of laundry, we de-clutter the shelves, cupboards and rooms that have somehow gotten out of hand and we face therapeutic tasks such as cleaning the greasy oven and fridge that would win a science fair. We do all of this so when we sit once more to spill our story to a page our minds are rested, de-cluttered and clear, our bodies have been worked, rested, walked and loved but most of all our souls have had time to reconnect with why we love doing what we do.

When the shelves are clear … the kitchen scrubbed until it sparkles … the cupboards sorted and the clothes clean. There is one more obstacle to battle…

The Procrastination Course!!

The door to the course beckons sweetly and tantalizes the writer to come in, take a class or two and even has the Excuse Manual on hand for you as you walk through the door. The challenge is to make sure you don’t linger in the comfortable chairs, play the games, read the books and watch the TV shows … well … not for too long. You may get an A, but the writer in you yearns to get back to the world it loves … to begin the journey once again.

Success on the journey, to begin the chapter of the story, or capture the new idea is always to remember where to find your groove, without it, the writer stumbles to a discordant tune and misses the beats needed to find the rhythm. So, here I am sitting at the beautiful seaside, listening to the waves crash, the gulls cry, the warm Winter sun wrapping me gently as the slight chill from the ocean fills my senses and wakes me to the possibilities of where my storybook life can go.

Let the music play, the dancers dance, I begin another journey of the heart.

The Feeling of Success

The day arrived. Self publishing accomplished. The Publish button has been pushed …. it is out there.

The journey has been completed. My dream of writing a novel has finally come true and it is out there.

Those haunting words … it is out there … makes my breath catch in my throat and my heart pound faster. At the same time excitement flows through me and I’m ready for the next adventure.

The adventure of my first complete novel has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. Excitement, determination, inspiration, frustration, amazement, fear, self-doubt and exhilaration. The spectrum of a writer who has a passion for the written word and a story or two to tell.

Seeing my book available for sale does not take away the feeling that some may not like it. I am reminded of my writing mentors words … your story is not for everyone, its for those who find it entertaining, for those to whom it speaks and for those who fall in love with your world and your characters. A writer cannot please everyone … we are writers to tell stories we are inspired to tell.

For the Writer out there that wishes to become an Author. Never give up. Never give in. Drink the drink that gets you there, eat the food that keeps you going, find that place that inspires you, the muse that keeps your creative juices going and continue to write your story.

One day … it will be out there.

Tears, Tissues and Tenacity

The clock shows twenty minutes to twelve at night, and here I am wondering when the supposed inspiration will strike. I’m putting words on paper and have been, for what seems like a century, but in reality, it is only three months. Heavens, its seems so long.

I crave release from the tension in my shoulders, neck and brain but a deadline is a deadline. The tedious journey of getting the story down continues. The necessity of discipline to achieve goals rattles once more in the back of my mind. Reaching for a tissue I swipe at the tears of frustration, bite down on the perseverance and take a swig of my cold coffee. Flex my aching shoulders, and onward I go.

Somewhere around two in the morning I finally get the section down and although I’m not happy with the quality of sentences I know the journey has just begun on this new piece of work and it will hopefully be a work of art to someone when it goes into print. Even though I have gone through many tissue boxes and mood swings while getting my stories down, I understand that without tenacity it could not be done. While holding on tightly to the journey never forget that tears make every writer human, and tissues are there to remind us that no matter where you are on your path of writing, everything can be cleaned up.

Excitement of a New Venture …

The feeling of being so close to the end product after the hard work of getting a story to a point where it can be read is something not many people understand or can imagine. It is with great excitement that I am at this point. Even more excited that I’m taking this breathtaking step of looking into self-publishing. When publishing there is always the question of how to do it. Sometimes you need the traditional publishing route and other times the creative adventure of putting together something others can immerse themselves in, simply fills you with a nerve-racking, chest tightening feeling of awesome and fear. The next question you ask yourself … do I let this chest tightening fear stop me? If a Writer can take another step forward and realise that dreams that scare you into paralysis, are dreams worth chasing and working toward, there is a chance of succeeding.

This kind of fear sits with anyone and everyone. Yes, definitely something that makes everyone who is at this point of stepping up onto the big stage of writing life feels or rather chokes on. Its that moving forward into another world. The realisation that being “out there” is so very close, and is compounded by the natural human sensation of not wanting to be a failure. Being an Author is the next step in the evolution of the writing world. It is up to the Writer to push through the breathtaking, chest squeezing fear and step onto to that stage of life to become an Author. It all starts with the decision on how one wishes to publish. When that decision is made the march forward needs to be relentless, determined and continuous.

A deep breath, the long exhale, the reminders that Writers will remain Writers unless their work is put in print … these run on a loop inside the mind. It is with courage, determination and perseverance that the Writer steps onto the stage and into the professional world, sending their work to others to read, criticise and hopefully put in print.

The Glamorous Life of a Writer

The chapter is finally finished!!

It has been hours of crouching over the laptop keyboard, ducking the flying fur of playing cats and reaching out and eating or drinking without thinking of what it actually is. The focus of living in another world comes with startling disorientation as my surroundings sink in and I look around.

The first of my senses returning is my sight. The startling sensation of mess has me keeping very still, in case an unknown rodent pokes its head out of the pile of plates, cups and other take out containers I don’t remember being there. I move my eyes side to side.

What happened to my neat, organised writing space?

When did it happen?

Blinking my eyes quickly I realise I’m still wearing my contact lenses. The gritty, dry feeling indicates I haven’t taken them out for a number of hours, which means I probably haven’t washed my face either. Apart from the food and beverage mess on the surface and cascading to the floor and under the desk, balled up paper is added to the mess along with something that looks like stationery and… where did the paperweight come from? If it is indeed a paperweight.

Sitting back in my chair it is in that moment when my sense of smell kicks in and I’m smelling a cacophony of assaulting smells. My natural breathing becomes one of frantic sniffing as I try to find out the different whiff’s and odours are. I discover the whiffs of stale food containers, the weird whiffs of the remains of the beverages I don’t remember getting or drinking, then…. there it is.

That odour.

The one odour that seems to be close but I cannot figure out what it is. Suddenly it dawns on me. Looking up at my calendar I look for the last pink X marked in a left-hand corner. Three days ago. Just before I started with my latest writing session. I need to shower. Quickly moving into the bathroom I do what I need to, returning my world to a form of normality that can be related to. At my writing spot, which miraculously hasn’t been needed by anyone in the last three days, I stack everything that needs to go to the kitchen and put my space back in order. While walking to the kitchen to dispose of what has currently been part of my life I hear … nothing. Silence meets my ears. Deafening silence. A streak of dawn meets my tired eyes as I walk past a window. What time is it?

In the kitchen, I move through the shadows putting everything where it needs to be and quickly take in the time. Three o’clock in the morning. That makes sense on so many levels. I yawn widely. My eyes catch up with everything as they try to close. The writing high is melting away and the bone-wracking exhaustion seeps through my body. Slowly I make my way to the bedroom where I slowly sink to the pillows.

“You finished your chapter,” my beloved other half mutters, “what time is it?”

“Yep, its three in the morning,” I mutter back, “how long have I been writing?”

“About forty-eight hours,” he mutters while gathering me against his side, “you were in the zone so tightly you didn’t hear very much, I hope you don’t mind all the take out.”

“You fed me, babe,” I sigh as I nestle on his shoulder and feel his warmth seep into my body, “thank you.”

“Sleep beautiful,” he sighs contently, “you’ve been working hard.”

My eyes close against the sudden heavy tiredness. A small smile tugs at my lips as I realise that without the support and encouragement of this precious man, who holds me as I sleep, my passion for the written word would not be as far as it is … right now … at this moment in time.