Archive Page 2

Sail your way on Patreon….

Image courtesy of Pixabay (danielbuescher)

Many times lately my eyes have crossed in confusion and forehead lines have deepened, as I hit the trail of ‘indie’ publishing. There is an abundance of information out there because (as many of you have discovered) it is not enough to write a book, you also have to learn how to promote and craft its wings.

Blessings are plentiful in the wonderful Global Village we all share here, the Twitter community, Facebook groups and kind authors who have trodden the independent publishing path. There are so many avenues available and I have chosen a few, and hopefully, to flow without getting overwhelmed. This seems wise as crevice like facial lines are not a good look at any age!

My unicorn buddy Debby Gies shared a helpful post on Writer’s Tips and that led me to the generous Deborah Jay, who shares her personal writing wisdom and knowledge gained from different writer’s conferences. Deborah wrote about merchandising and mentioned building a community at Patreon. My technical saviour Grandfathersky also mentioned Patreon a few weeks ago. Two mentions and I take it as a sign to research it. Patreon offers creatives a platform to showcase their work, where tiered benefits are offered to people who kindly become patrons to support your work. So, I’ve done it and made my progress transparent, so that anyone can see how I am faring on there.

Three things have become crystal clear to me lately and one is to be myself as I sail along, whilst holding deep gratitude for others’ generosity and to also keep things as simple as possible. ❤

Writing on Water Competition

Photo credit: antoniojuan2 on Pixabay

I am starting to run a weekly competition for a copy of my eBook Self-awareness in the Writing on Water series, or a half-hour coaching session with me as the winner can choose. I will make and post a handmade gift to complete the prize.

To enter just click on this link and subscribe to my monthly newsletter with your name and email.

I will never share your details and the winner will be notified privately by email.

Sparkly luck to everyone. ❤

Writing on Water…

My bank of dreams has held a precious one for over forty years and during the last few months I have been getting up early to sit and write. A loving friend Pete (grandfathersky) suggested I put a board up on my wall, so I could pin all the ideas and titles for the pieces I was writing. He had the feeling it would all come together in that way and he was right.

Over the past few months, as I sat creating with my sewing, an inner drive to reach out and offer practical support to others grew. The dream became more than writing and it evolved into offering a service uniquely tailored to individual needs. Over the years I have held various training and therapy roles under different corporate umbrellas and I now wish to do it in my natural style. I felt by writing a series of books in an open and heartfelt way, that others in need would feel ‘seen’ and able to ask for support.

Pete (grandfathersky) stepped in and formatted the chapters for me and dug me out of a few technical holes, for which I am so grateful. I was in such a pickle that I was tempted to eat my own body weight in chocolate and his encouraging suggestions came from the heart and were ‘spot on’. ❤

So, here I am with my first eBook published on Lulu:

Writing on Water; Self-awareness

With a web site to support it

Jane Sturgeon

Feet on the ground…

Blakemere at Delamere Forest

Staying grounded has been a challenge in the last few days and as I am about to bring a project forward into daylight, the pressure has certainly been intense. Loving connections have been welcome and I’m going to write about them, in no order of importance, because they are all held in my heart.

The loving soul who gently transported me to the forest on Sunday and listened as I found my feet.

The buddy I worked with for a long time, who still sails with me every working day as we message back and forth. With just one word or picture, the understanding, support and shared laughter are heart-warming.

My Mum as we sorted a fair few things out and were faced with a few ‘WTH’ moments! May I just mention, that these moments came from others’ bright suggestions, so Mum and I have made a pact going forward. Next time someone suggests something that they breezily say is a doddle to organise we respond with;

‘Ohh, that sounds wonderful. Thanks for sorting that out.’

I also suggested to Mum that we play a new game. Now, brace yourselves, because it is rude. You ask people to play a new version of ‘Hide and Seek’ and it’s called ‘**** off.’ Feel free to insert your own personal choice of word. You ask them if they would like to play and then invite them to go first……..

My soul sister in the Yorkshire Dales who took the time to talk on the phone, listen with awareness, make me laugh and then read some of my new project. Her feedback and support is a loving gift.

And my lifelong friend, from when we were both nineteen years old and working together in the telex room of a well-known petroleum company in Johannesburg. Our bond has never wavered (even though we are now on different continents) and she created a golden moment today that had us both helpless with laughter. I do have her permission to share it.

She messaged ‘I am crocheting a chicken. I have managed to make the legs, but I am stuck on the body. By the way, the pattern is in Russian. Can I email it over?’

How did you find a pattern in Russian???

Well, bless Google translate as we sorted it between us and she’s creating again. It was no surprise to either of us that the title of the pattern was ‘Cock’.

Dreams…

Over thirty years ago, far away in Johannesburg, I watched my sister in law carve a headboard for their home out of wood. She had been to a workshop and was hooked, admitting that it was addictive as she found herself staying up into the wee hours carving after her family had long gone to bed. This memory took root and became a dream.

Over the years I spotted classes and courses, and when life gifted a gap, I signed up only to have them cancelled because not enough people were interested. Various creatives have offered to teach me in exchange for paintings and other creativity and for a multitude of reasons, their promises disappeared on the wind.

A few years ago I met a lovely lady called Marie, who weaves basketry in a shared studio not far from here, called The Wellington Road Art Studios and we stayed in touch. I had an email from Marie recently and she invited me to join them for a workshop with her talented woodcarver friend Jo. I didn’t hesitate and on Saturday we all had a magic day.

Jo is a gifted carver and a natural teacher. The peace of the studios gave us a foundation to create and Jo’s gentle encouragement and knowledge soon had us absorbed. Nothing is a mistake to Jo and wood can be carved around anything to restore balance. ‘I’ve lost my stem’ I called out, as my chisel removed an important piece of the ivy I was practising on. ‘Nothing is a mistake, Jane’ Jo soothed as she showed me how to carve down and raise it up again. When you are carving all else falls away, even the constant mind chatter. Feeling neglected at one point my mind chirped up with something I had forgotten to do that day and I found myself saying ‘Shhhhhh, later’ as I went back to carving the undulations on my dragon’s wings.

A heartfelt thanks to Jo for her loving care, Marie for sharing her space, the kindred spirits I created with and the moments that birthed a long-awaited dream. It was a gift to do something for the sheer joy of it and I loved every second. ❤

Love, or Fear?

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Every day I walk up to the Post Office to send creativity to my customers and then pop into the local grocery store for fresh supplies. There is a beautiful poppy growing through the gravel and railings on the way and I found myself saying ‘You are so beautiful’ out loud.

My Post Office buddy and I asked each other how we were and he looked distressed and commented that his morning had been horrible and he thought it best not to say why. I took his cue and said ‘Your hair looks good, have you had it cut?’ He hadn’t and I discovered that his new look had been achieved by running his hands constantly through his locks from stress. He started to do ‘the usual with my parcels’ as he calls it and I looked at him and said ‘Tell me.’ He’d made a mistake on the system, which involved a lot of zeros, and when he’d turned to HQ for help, their response had been to say ‘That will take at least 18 weeks to put right’ along with a few other comments. I listened till the end of the story and watched him explain to me how useless he was and how he always made big mistakes. My response was: ‘We all make so called mistakes. I doubt that the 18 weeks is accurate given modern technology and even if it does, they are aware of it and the necessary actions can be taken. This is management by fear, so please don’t paint yourself with their colours.’ He had tears in his eyes and we switched the conversation to all the other lovely things we normally talk about and I left pondering.

That’s when I saw the pink Poppy.

In the grocery store I was chatting to my buddies at the checkout and asked after another buddy of mine who works there. They pressed a bell and he winged his way through from the back and joined in our conversation. I discovered that he was cooking lunch for all of his colleagues and putting loving care into it. Chicken and bacon pasta in white wine sauce with rocket salad. I looked at the girls and they said ‘He always makes lunch for us.’ ❤

Feelings, feelings and yet more feelings…

A cruise ship left port the other evening against the backdrop of a dramatic sky. It was drizzling from a dark sky first thing this morning as a new ship came in and she had all her twinkly lights on. I was reluctant to disturb the moment and find my phone to capture the image.

There has been a sharp awareness lately of feelings and how they can steer the ship. A loving friend became concerned that I was alone a lot and asked why. I appreciate that she asked and didn’t immediately judge, or try to fix. I created the aloneness, as my engine room needed a thorough service and new oil. The peace from turning off distractions, saying ‘No’ and relishing the silence meant I could just be. Acknowledging what actions I was allowing, the choices I was making and where my parts were seizing.

Another loving friend asked when I had last had a paddle? Goodness, it had been a while, so I flowed that into my daily round a few days ago. The tide was in and I happily pottered at the edge of the water, discovering a new piece of sea glass and a heart shaped pebble. Making my way back up the slipway I met a Granny, her daughter and little granddaughter making their way down to the beach. Well, Gran and Mum were, little Ava was swinging on the Coastguard’s gate and showing reluctance to move. I opened my hand and showed her my treasures. We started chatting and walked back down to the sand. There was a small scallop shell that was perfect for her little hand and we set about filling it with shells and sea glass. Then we found a stick and a Seagull’s feather and started to draw hearts on the wet sand and chat about fairies. Her Gran called out to Ava to drop the feather, as she said it was dirty. No blame, but our joy disappeared in an instant. The energy changed and Ava ran to her Mum and I listened to Gran for a while. She and her husband had recently moved back to this area, after living in a very different place. Her unhappiness poured out. I replied that I moved up here a few years ago because when the souls here ask how you are, their hearts listen to the answer.

Being alone has sparked much creativity. I’ve made tunic tops from men’s shirts, tote bags from denim jeans and lined them with vintage frock material, crocheted tote bags, knitted throws and baby matinee jackets. I am blessed to be gifted many items of clothing, yarn and all sorts of bits and bobs. They ‘speak’ and I create from their energy. ❤



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