Tag Archives: Mum

Finding myself

Standard

Since welcoming the Goddess Brigid at Imbolc, looking forward to the new shoots of spring and new ideas and projects, I’ve struggled to hang onto me.

DSC_1234

Within the safe circle of our ritual, we shared our hopes and love, there to support each other through the coming months and from that evening onwards, I’ve dreamed every night. No big deal, you might say but I haven’t knowlingly dreamed since my mum died, over a year ago.

At first, they were comforting, almost supporting my days. Opportunities became known to me and I wanted to do them all. Having already made plans at Samhein, my diary expanded at a rapid rate so two weeks ago, I called a halt. I needed time to reflect, time to assess what I really wanted to do but every day, though I’d planned yoga and reiki, writing and meditation, demands of others shook my resolve.

And then, I dreamed the big dream. It was a nightmare, waking me three or four times in the night but when I shut my eyes, I returned to it, vivid and real until I hauled myself, weeping from the duvet to stop the pain.

I walked arm in arm with my dad, pointing out the daffodils opening their yellow trumpets to the sun. I held is hand, felt the soft, crepey skin and he told me he loved me. I carried my mum, first on my back and then in my arms, through landscapes, up stairs and along corridors, all the while knowing she was no longer alive, part of me basking in the feeling of her heart beating against me and the other half knowing this couldn’t be true. As she rested on her bed, I held her hand and she squeezed mine back, her last act before she died.

m_100_0991

I was wobbly the following day, tearful, emotional and confused but then I began to understand…to know myself, to find the person I really am, I needed to go back to my roots…I began with mum and dad. I remembered their hopes for me, the skills and life lessons they had taught me and knew my time had come to truly grieve.

It’s been a tearful week but out of my sadness has come strength I was not aware I had. On Wednesday, I was bombarded with phone calls and emails, ‘do this now’ requests from all sides and I did them, keeping the work on the byre moving, ordering skylights, transferring money, making calls. On Thursday, I caught up with my work and on Friday, I planned a writing day….not a ‘do stuff for everyone else and then if there’s time, do some writing’ day. I said ‘no’ to two people with no apology, only that I would meet their requests the following day….you should have seen their faces! Two short stories emerged from seven hours of writing….one is a cracker that needs a little work while the other may well be rewritten in the first person but I don’t care. I’m happy that I valued my own work as equal to others.

The invitations I’ve received have been considered. Some I will attend because I want to, others I won’t because they are not what is best for me…so many times in the past I have said ‘yes’ because of others feelings but my feelings are important too. I’m deciding as me, for me and it feels wonderful.

These decisions do not come from ego but from a sense of myself within this amazing world. Understanding my place in it, defines me as a person and as the sun shines this week, I shall visit the riverbank and say ‘thank you’ for being alive, for my mum and dad, friends and family and for the opportunity to dance, heal, write and love.

 

Advertisements

A Tour Through Blogland and Synergy in our Blogging Community!

Standard

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