I am touched by D.G. Kaye’s heartwarming post on her site. Debby took the care and time to interview me and gather information about my book, Writing on Water: Self-awareness, and then share it. Debby is a prolific and astute author and she generously shares her time and wisdom with others through her books and online presence.
Each Friday, my buddy in France and I ‘sail’ together on Skype as we share our working day. We call Friday’s ‘Le Club’ in honour of a group I was touched to share during my time in France.
Around about sixty creative women gather in a village hall deep in South West France among the hills and farms, where the honeyed stone buildings give out warmth and the peace is palpable. They come bringing easels, sewing machines and bags full of creativity to share a day together. All nationalities with a bond that transcends language as they sit inside nattering, crocheting. knitting, embroidering, quilting, sewing and felting, while outside under the trees are a group painting.
They sit together sharing stories of childhood, love, illness, bereavement, children, grandchildren, retirement, plans gone awry, projects, home renovations, family visits and specials from the food market. I sat next to a lady who creates pictures through exquisite bead embroidery and with hand gestures and smiles we had understanding.
The energy carved a place in my heart and each Friday my buddy and I return together. ❤
As I start to write this there’s a seagull perched on the edge of the roof terrace in the rain and he’s watching the world go by, as the tide goes out.
I have learnt a life gift recently that is a treasure. A loving friend sent me a text message one evening and I sensed that all was far from well with her. I telephoned and she burst into tears. In all the time we have known each other I have never seen or heard her cry and I was shocked. Thank goodness I managed to listen, but then I dropped a howler as I tried to make suggestions to fix what she was dealing with. I mentally have my head in my hands as I share that. What was I thinking!! She wasn’t asking for help, she just needed me to listen. My shock at her distress and love for her propelled me into ‘rescue’ mode and fortunately, I realised what I was doing, apologised and let her speak.
We met up for afternoon tea on Saturday and had a wonderful time, as we always do. Homemade scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream were involved which helped. Away from the heat of that moment on the phone, I quietly said sorry again and we talked about it. Oh, the gift of having someone listen, truly listen and not judge or try to tidy things up. Within a few days she had found her own answers and sorted things out. ❤
Other friends of mine are living through a dark situation that does not have a solution and we met on Saturday evening to spend some time together. We chose a wonderful Italian restaurant and sat there together all cosy and warm, under twinkling fairy lights, as it lashed it down with rain on the pavements and the sea outside.
One of our waiters was obviously Italian and bursting with youth. He looked after us beautifully and after one of his bursts of Italian as he brought yummy bread covered with mozzarella and caramelised onion to our table, I commented as he walked away.
‘Isn’t he lovely?’
Quick as a flash my buddy said;
‘He’s really Jim from Sheffield, Jane!’
I’m still chuckling as I share that.
We shared, cried and laughed through the evening and I was minded to just listen. ❤
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. ❤
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:
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’.
Gosh, getting the hang of the new WP editor is fun (not!!). Sometimes change for change’s sake, at other times because life flows in the unexpected.
A few months ago my phone rang on a Sunday morning and Dad said ‘We’re in trouble, can you come?’ My mum was lying in the back yard with a broken hip and wrist.
What flowed from that was a steep learning curve for all of us, with moments of loving grace, sharpness from ‘front line’ living, organisation, getting to grips with new social terminology, healing, care, the kindness of strangers and keeping the ship afloat. All bonded together with fear, resistance to change, quick decisions, prayers and love.
We’re several months down the road and a new routine has emerged. Mum is healing well (down to her indomitable spirit), Dad is less fearful yet poorly, support is in place and I have returned to my home, with regular visits back to flow care. Mum and I ‘sing from the same hymn sheet’ and cherish our teamwork. ❤
The tide still runs outside the house I call home as I pick up the threads of my life and business. Grateful for this peaceful space and treasured friends, who flow with unquestioning love and support.
As I go back into my clients’ homes I find myself asking the question ‘What do you need now?’ The answers have been varied and surprising. Two lovely souls needed help rediscovering the love of their homes, with each home as different as they are. We’ve had fun planning, exploring in local DIY stores and experimenting. The things we’ve purchased on-line have gifted the most fun. I found myself holding some beautiful dolphin decals yesterday , looking at my client and commenting ‘Gosh, maybe we ought to have checked the measurements!’ They are now leaping across her bathroom window and loo seat, raising smiles for all who need her bathroom.
Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Workweek and Lifestyle Design Blog. Tim is an author of 5 #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers, investor (FB, Uber, Twitter, 50+ more), and host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast (400M+ downloads)