Trust the Tea



photo (9)I just did a wonderful class on Yogaglo called ‘Trust the Yoga’.  Apparently, a student was keen to know when effects would be seen (she was just starting yoga).  The teacher asked how she felt after her yoga class, and she said ‘Oh, wonderful!’  He pointed out effects were already seen and felt.

I thought of this in terms of my own yoga and meditation practice.  Perhaps I am not sure what long term effects they are having, although occasionally I am made aware of those on my body and mind.  But an element of trust goes into it.  I like how I feel after yoga or meditation- clearer, more positive, cleaner in a way, and more relaxed.  (Well, normally.  Not always!)  So I have this trust that it’s doing something good … and that trust allows me to relax and enjoy doing it without worrying too much about what measurable outcomes I might gain.

And yes, that relaxing cup of tea, the moment of unwinding- I trust that as well, as being beneficial to me.  I suppose the take-home message for me is- relax and enjoy those moments- give myself to yoga, mediation, and tea breaks and don’t worry too much about ‘what exactly it is I’m getting out of them.’

So relax and enjoy, whatever way you go about finding inner peace!


Writing, coffee and list poems



When I started out as a writer, I used to get in the “zone” after a cup of black coffee, or by staying up long into the demented hours of the night, when all turns magical and moonlit.

But in the last two years I learned to create the zone; not wait around for inspiration to hit.  How do I open the gate into that flowy writing feeling?  Three methods work for me: stream of consciousness writing (or timed writing), list poems, and meditation.


What happens?  One theory is these tap into our subconscious mind.  We swim through and past all the noisy thoughts we know about into deeper, more hidden kernels. Some of these transform themselves into stories.

How to get into the flow?  Give it a try.  Even if you’re not a writer, these exercises can be very revealing to you about what’s “really” going on in your mind.

“Stream of Consciousness” or “Timed Writing” – literally just write.  Set the timer for something like 10 minutes, and start writing.  Rules are, you can’t cross out anything, and try not to pause.  If you are already panicking, you can start with a sentence or phrase like “today I walked”.

“List Poem” – make a list. What can happen: at the beginning I knew what would come out, because it echoed what was in my conscious mind.  After awhile the repetition lulled part of my brain to sleep, and more interesting and deep things surfaced.  You can start with something like:

“I wake up to ..” or “I believe …” or “I hope to …”

For example:

“I wake up to the alarm. I wake up to children laughing.  I wake up to coffee.  I wake up to a missing sense of purpose …”

In my case, a mix of trivial things along with something to look at, a little dragon in my mind.

I can also recommend “Writing Your Way” by Manjusvara, for unlocking the gate to flowing ink.  Enjoy using those pens!

Hopefully Hot

Cool snowI enjoyed participating in BTGN‘s blog hop, especially because I got to hear wishes from over 30 commenters! Among my favorite were for house-cleaning kids, cooler weather, luck for moving into a new house, and noble hope for healthy family and good jobs for others. I hope this year brings all these things- and meanwhile, cool thoughts to our overheated friends!

The tea towel is currently on its way to Latvia- congratulations to Karina who wishes to repair her kitchen. The tea towel might not be much help in that- but at least it might spice up the look! =)

My wish is to finish the children’s book I’m currently working on- and that it may be a fun read for little folk.

Wishes, Elves and … Sun?


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Imagine it’s true- Christmas in July!  Now is the time for spiced cake, good cheer, love towards one another, and … presents.

So no matter what our religion or country, let’s for a moment imagine there is a friendly bearded Claus up north who might grant a wish or two. What would you want?

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I’m finding it hard to think of anything myself. I wished my new YA Fantasy Novel, Fireheart would get published. BTGN has done it! I wished for love, a wonderful partner who’s kind and considerate …

Guess what?

So I would feel greedy wishing for anything else, especially since England has been graced with an actual hot summer this July!

Rather than wish, I would rather hear your wishes and maybe, just maybe, a little elf will be able to deliver a dream or two.  If you enter a comment in here regarding a July wish, you are eligible for BTGN’s grand prizes (Amazon gift cards at either $100 or $25 value). And of course you can win a few more things.  My own gifts to a visitor here- a Literary Tea Towel, some tea straight from Cambridge, and a free electronic copy of Fireheart!

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I and the elves are looking forward to hearing some wishes! 

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Overcoming Dragons



We all have that moment where we feel held back by something.  Maybe we can see a way to grow, but an injury, a loved-one being sick, not having enough money, or another life event becomes an obstacle.  In a way, my newest book presents this connundrum in the form of … a dragon.

Meet Ariana, an eighteen year old girl with health, strength, capabilities- she’s living in the forest in a fantastical world.  And she’s chained to a dragon.

How does she deal with this?  Adventures transpire that change the course of her life.  And of course the dragon’s … because it’s holding him back to be chained to a girl.

Find out more here:

You can read it for free on KDP:

August 16-18
Sept. 13, 14
Drop me a line if you have any thoughts.
And may you defeat any fierce dragon in your path … and learn to let the beautiful ones go.

Dust and creatures


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I am starting up a new blog.  Fireheart, my Fantasy novel for Young Adults, is coming out soon on Bookstogonow.  So keep your eye out for it!  I also write children’s stories under the pen name Julie Sandpiper.

I thought of the title of my blog when I consider how uncontainable and indescribable the writing process is.  For a long time I wrote when inspired, moved, bored or just randomly hit with a screaming pen wishing to be used.  The last years have mellowed my writing practice into more often with more editing, revising, and all that … well … less inspiring stuff.

How do I write?  It’s not straight-forward, it’s not according to plan.  It’s like wandering through rooms in a fantastic villa with expensive chandeliers, dust, windows to different worlds, and creatures in every corner.  Strange winds blow through the halls.  And that’s where my stories come from.

I write sideways.  Perhaps we all do.