Tag Archives: dancing

Giving up is hard to do

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I’m giving up. I won’t be formatting my own books. Why is giving up so hard to do? Admitting one can’t do something is seen as a sign of failure by others but, for me, I’m giving up because it’s the right thing to do.

I’m a lucky girl. I live in an amazing place. DSC_013813083146_1733798136878675_2778952018034820534_nNow the weather is dryer, we’ve work to do on the house and byre. Last year, the farmer who bought the rest of the land originally attached to our house grubbed out the old hedges and laid new ones, dumping half the wood in our field. We’re working through that to keep us warm next winter. DSC_0155My partner chainsaws the wood and I follow behind, picking up the logs, stripping off the branches and loading them into the car. A drive from the field to our drying barn and then the wood is barrowed to its new home. Our beech tree had to be taken down last year and much of the wood became grassed over as we battled to get a roof on our house and save the byre. DSC_0157Stripping away the old grass and twigs for the bonfire and making piles for my partner to chainsaw has become a priority to stop brambles and nettles spreading across the field. Once clear and the old broken fencing dug out, this area can be mowed. DSC_0159We’ve old baths to make raised planters and an old conservatory to recycle into a greenhouse. On top of all this, I teach dance which I love and write the stories in my head that insist on being told and attempt to market them to readers to enjoy.

So is giving up and paying someone to format my books a sign of my failure? A month ago I read a blog post about what you need to do to be a successful writer and it made me angry. The gist of the post was that if you don’t give up your life, put aside the things you enjoy and spend every waking moment on social media, you don’t care about your writing.

12998745_1725523984372757_3935931874685187204_nMy life makes me the person I am, the person whose head is full of stories and who loves to inspire others with books and dance. Working on my house and land is a challenge and I’ve learned many new skills. So you won’t find me on social media all the time and I won’t be formatting my own books. I will be living my life, inspired by my environment and the people I meet and focussing on what I do best.

 

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One year on….missing you

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Approaching the end of the pagan year, it’s time to look back at both achievements and disappointments. Where have I been? Who came with me? Could I have handled that better? What did I learn? How have I grown from these experiences?

In November 2014 I launched a new book, the first of a new series, The Standing Stone books.

Standing Stone Home For Christmas Cover drop shadowMy eldest son came to visit at the Midwinter Solstice. DSC_1200

I danced my feet off with my fabulous ladies of Tribal Unity Wales…we even danced for the eclipse! 17005_1637467316511758_8560746038090504212_n11705339_1637467806511709_6336127877735496573_n11875606_10153165243553867_114847764_o11012386_10153650985507802_1147847422645631772_nOur little house finally has a roof!11150930_1600818576843299_7145038719453612890_n

I worked hard clearing to the end of Bramble Avenue, along our riverbank DSC_000811947900_1654664588125364_5441217376693406600_o(1)Tribal Unity came from Essex to visit and we danced on our outdoor stage

On the beach with my home girls

On the beach with my home girls

I introduced juicing into my diet and changed the balance of vegetables on my plate DSC_1436and published another book!DSC_1413

But my strongest feeling about this year is missing those I love. I’ve missed my children, a constant pain in my heart that though appeased a little by phone calls is only alleviated once I hold them in my arms. I’ve missed my friends, women who have loved and supported me through the best and worst of times. But most of all, I’ve missed my mum and dad. While mum was alive, my promise to dad to look after her kept him alive for me but now they are both gone, I grieve for them both. All year I’ve carried the pain of their loss, silently held within me, only let out in great gulping sobs and screams when I’m alone or the odd persistent tear I cannot restrain.

As the wheel of the year turns, moving us on towards winter, I must let go. My ritual on the riverbank tomorrow night will help me move forward, helping me leave the negative behind while I spend the winter months with my thoughts, working through emotions and emerging anew in the spring.

Samhein blessings xx

In search of the sun

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Wales to 1 August 2014 005It’s been a wet, grey summer spattered with a few glorious days.

From the moment spring arrives and crocus takes her first breath, I use the momentum of new life to begin new projects and look forward to the sunshine. DSC_1234 I look forward to the prospect of hot, sunny days to fuel my passion and drive my intentions to fulfillment. Living with depression, this concept has served me well.

We had two hot days at the end of May 11053065_1610337169224773_4219450298485072431_n but Midsummer’s Day was a wash out when it should have been the peak of the sun. Four days of solid rain led to a sunny day for the Lampeter Food Festival 17005_1637467316511758_8560746038090504212_n

and the momentum of this fabulous dancing day carried me on to the Cardigan Bellydance Festival 11875606_10153165243553867_114847764_obut I’ve struggled.

We’ve made the most of every glimpse of sunshine, spending time on the riverbank and working on the land but I’ve found cold, grey mornings a real damper on motivation. On the days I’ve rallied, I’ve been writing and the third Standing Stone book, The Gathering, is finished and being edited. I’ve attempted to cook new food, create new recipes and put good food in to get the best energy out. It’s been hard work.

So now I need to get to December 21st, where the Holly King passes the crown to the Oak King and his strength uplifts and inspires me to look forward to spring.

At Mabon, 21st September, the day and night are of equal length all over our amazing planet. It is the time to think of and support our wonderful ‘world family’. Where people live in fear and without basic rights and needs, I shall support and give wherever I can.

As we wend our way to Samhein, a time of change and of choices and a time to look back as well as forward, I shall focus on the aspects of my life that make me smile. I shall surround myself with family and friends, indulge in dancing, sharing, cake and writing. I hope to bring the sun into my life and warm and brighten the days of others.

Wales to end June 2014 014

If you need help and inspiration at this time, Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles gives 100 ideas, used by me to enable me to live my life with depression, rather than suffer from it:

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Woos-Year-Pocketful-ebook/dp/B00AAVPXVU/ref=la_B007VZ1P06_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1354202723&sr=1-5http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Woos-Year-Pocketful-ebook/dp/B00AAVPXVU/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354202865&sr=1-3

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Woos-Year-Pocketful-ebook/dp/B00AAVPXVU/ref=la_B007VZ1P06_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1354202723&sr=1-5 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Woos-Year-Pocketful-ebook/dp/B00AAVPXVU/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354202865&sr=1-3

The Standing Stone book series is inspired by the beauty of Wales, allowing the reader to connect with the forces and elements of nature. It’s easy to lose sight of where we came from, who we are and where we fit in this amazing world but the Standing Stone brings people together, to support each other and to look within themselves to the beauty and power that lies within.
http://www.amazon.com/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414328713&sr=1-1&keywords=wendy+steele
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas/dp/150272278X/ref=asap_B007VZ1P06_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415177277&sr=1-1

Standing Stone Home For Christmas Cover drop shadow

A life less sensible

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Sensible has two definitions in the dictionary:

1. done or chosen in accordance with wisdom or prudence; likely to be of benefit.
2. (of an object) practical and functional rather than decorative.
My mother was a practical, prudent woman but whether by nature or because of living through WWII and the following eight years of rationing, I will never know. Either way, her parenting was of a very strict, sensible nature and I learned how to manage money from her. Living a ‘sensible’ life, however, did not sit well with me.
My first marriage was to a ‘sensible’ young man, training to be an accountant with his own car and with aspirations to own his own home….I was beaten on my honeymoon.
My second marriage was to a less ‘sensible’ man, who made me laugh and was kind and generous. We were friends first and it was the arrival of our first child that pushed us to do the ‘sensible’ thing and buy a home together. We got on well but, like many friends, we had different ideas about many things. His new job in the City boosted his aspirations to make money and though I tried to be the executive wife (I even bought the blazer!) after twelve years together, this relationship ended.
Now I was torn….I needed to be ‘sensible’ as three young lives depended on me being their rock and supporting them and yet, having been married the first time at nineteen years old, I longed for the pressure to be lifted. Meeting my present partner gave me times of bliss, laughter and naughtiness which helped me maintain my ‘sensible’ parent status, seeing the children through school.
Turning fifty was a landmark moment, a time a lot of women dread but for me, with a new, exciting adventure in Wales to look forward to and my children through school and University, for the first time in my life, I felt carefree. Antonyms of sensible include foolish and stupid but for me, carefree means not automatically taking the prudent option but sometimes just ‘going for it’!
This last weekend I partied in a yurt in a field on Friday night, dancing of course, before performing at the Cardigan Bellydance Festival on the Saturday.
On Sunday, I taught morning and afternoon workshops. On Monday, I barrowed logs, made up two boxes of kindling, cooked, baked, washed and cleared up after the weekend. None of this was ‘sensible’ but I loved every second! Today, Tuesday, I’m spending the day writing as my body gave me a nudge to say it needed a rest.
Organising a building site requires me to be sensible with resources and time and organising the household, the same but for the rest of the time, I enjoy a less sensible life….paddling in the sea on Christmas day, getting my first tattoes Wales 2014 020

Eight pointed star, one of the symbols of Ishtar

Eight pointed star, one of the symbols of Ishtar

Dancing with my friends in the sunshine…..11053065_1610337169224773_4219450298485072431_ntaking time to dress and make up for a performance….10556448_727027910700917_1801320681454343591_n

welcoming the sun and moon in the sky….11012386_10153650985507802_1147847422645631772_n ….drawing pictures in the sand and writing the books I care passionately about….books for women….m_DSC01109 about strong, fabulous real women….Wales to 21st June 2014 013books to bring magic into your life every day, books about the beauty of Nature and the part women play as the goddesses of the world….Standing Stone Home For Christmas Cover drop shadow….as they deal with real life (including all the ‘sensible’ bits that make others lives run so smoothly) while embracing the women they really are….DSC_1413

Let go your inhibitions and join me, living a life less sensible.

You can find out more about ATS® Belly Dance at http://www.tribalunity.co.uk.

For links to all my books, please visit my author pages: http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1365459567&sr=1-2-ent

Love and light xx

A Tour Through Blogland and Synergy in our Blogging Community!

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I was delighted to be invited to take part in ‘A Tour Through Blogland’ also called ‘The Virtual Blog Tour Award’.

Wales to 21st June 2014 013

My nominator is Wanda Hartzenberg. She extended the hand of friendship across the water to me when I first joined Facebook three years ago as a brand new Indie author. A prolific reader and reviewer, she supports Indie authors with a passion. Last year, she joined us with her first solo book Suicide Song, a poignant and deeply moving read.

Link up with Wanda here http://tattlet.blogspot.com/

The rules for this project:

1. Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers.
2. Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post.
3. Answer 4 questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.
4. The last part of Tour Through Blogland is to write a one-time article which is to be posted on a Monday (the date supplied by your nominator). This article can be in the same post in which you answered the 4 questions. The article can be anything of your choosing.

The date supplied by my nominator was Monday 9th February 2015. And I have opted for these two dates for my nominee. Either Monday 16th February 2015 or 23rd February 2015.

 

My nominee is Hayley Addis http://www.haloquin.com/

http://www.aworldenchanted.com

Hayley is a writer and storyteller and this year is launching ‘The Goblin Circus’ at The Spirit of Brigid Conference in Cardiff. Inspired by the world around her, Hayley’s writing guides the reader to enchanted places, meeting strange and beautiful creatures along the way. Be sure to visit her websites and be inspired by this beautiful, magical lady.

Here are my answers to my four questions:

1- Why write? Why not sing, dance or figure skate?
I write because I always have and I can’t imagine not writing but I’m lucky enough to dance as well. When I was 10 years old, I returned from the Tutankhamen exhibition in London and wrote my first poem. Ever since, if a day out, a place or a person inspires me, I come home and write about it.

My first piece of published writing was in the Dancing Times, after attending my first belly dance workshops. I didn’t start dancing until I was forty and once I began teaching and dancing most days, the writing became a perfect way to rest my weary body. It gave me the opportunity to sit down and use my mind.

2- Do you have a musical play list or do you need to write in absolute silence? If you have a play list would we recognize any of the songs or artists on it?
I don’t have a play list and prefer to write in silence. One day I will have a straw bale writing room on our land, surrounded by nature. I do have inspiring music though and one of my favourites is the soundtrack to Baraka.

http://www.soundtrack.net/album/baraka/
3- Can you see a future for yourself in which writing forms no part of your day to day life?
No, I just can’t imagine it. My bag always contains my trusty fountain pen and a few notebooks. Being invited to the writer’s group in the next village has helped ensure that I write something new at least one day each week and even when I’m up to my elbows in lime mortar, mud or both, my mind is always following a story line or exploring a new idea.
4- Which author/s inspire you currently? I am not talking about some of the greats but departed. Authors alive today, which of them inspire you?
I am a Terry Pratchett fan and regularly reread his books. I aspire to construct beautiful sentences and create characters like his.

Since joining Wanda’s group and receiving a kindle from my children for a big birthday, I’ve read far more widely than I did before and I’ve discovered new authors on the way in different genres. Paula Lofting’s Sons of the Wolf sticks in my mind as a particular favourite and Christoph Fischer’s Luck of the Weissensteiners. Both informed me about parts of history that I knew little about while providing a cracking story. To Tame a Highland Earl by Tarah Scott was a fast paced riot of a read while Waiting for Harvey by Lydia North was my first venture into ghost stories and I loved it.

I’m daily inspired by the dedication of Indie authors. It’s so easy for anyone to publish a book now so it takes grit, determination and belief in ones story, to keep fighting and get ones books read.

And now for my article….
A Time to Shine

Now is the time. As wind, rain and snow batter the Northern Hemisphere, make plans for bright new beginnings in the Spring. Do it today. Do it now.

Like hamsters caught on a wheel, the daily routine keeps us existing and unless we jump off, we’ll never find that path or door that offers new opportunities.

My Mum loved her sayings and one of her favourites was ‘Never put off ’til tomorrow, what you can do today.’ She lived a busy and varied life, learning to drive at the age of fifty three, starring in church pantomimes and regularly thrashing me at tennis. Her adage is summed up with another, ‘Seize the day’ and following this good advice leads to fresh, new experiences.
For me, new experiences are about facing my fears. So often, fear of failure restricts us. Moving to Wales, from idea to inception, took over ten years, but we made it and it’s scary…but I love it!

Having no time is a much used excuse for not trying something new or following an idea you’ve wanted to explore. It took me three years in half hour sessions in the car waiting to pick up my children from school, to write my first novel. Working part time and teaching belly dance most evenings restricted my time further so I began my day earlier (much earlier!), had an hour power nap in the day and still had the energy to work, teach and write and be Mum to three children.

My Mum was an influence but the person who changed my life was my best friend from school. When Sally died at the age of forty, I promised to live my life to the full in memory of her. It shouldn’t have taken such a sad time to make me realise how precious every second of life is but from then on, I’m happy to say, I’ve truly lived. I am happy. I’m shining.

What will you do? Will you write the biography of an axolotl that’s been buzzing around in your head for years? Will you join a dance class, maybe give your tap shoes a dusting off? Join the local amateur dramatics group or take flying lessons? Volunteer at your local charity shop or foster a puppy?

As the cold earth stirs and the first buds prick the surface, it’s Time to Shine.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog and will visit again. Kettle’s always on, there’s cake in the tin but bring your slippers as it can be chilly in our little cottage in Wales.

If you would like to find out more about my books you can find me and all my books here:

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1365459567&sr=1-2-ent

My latest work, The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas, is a novella about three women linked across time by a standing stone.

http://www.amazon.com/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414328713&sr=1-1&keywords=wendy+steele

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas/dp/150272278X/ref=asap_B007VZ1P06_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415177277&sr=1-1