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blogging about my books

12 years slave

Guiding Thoughts Posted on Thu, January 23, 2014 13:21:29

Of course we must not forget tof as well.

Kind regards to you all xx


Guiding Thoughts Posted on Tue, January 14, 2014 15:44:16

Whilst enjoying a leisurely morning
coffee, one of the presenters on the radio station I was tuned into mentioned something
about ‘Happiness Week’ and it got me thinking.

The first month of the year starts
with a bang and then goes downhill rapidly, and not because we’re still coming
down from the fun and frolics of the Christmas festivities. January has always been known as the most miserable
month of the year and seems to stretch on and on and paired with many of us
trying desperately to keep to whichever New Year’s Resolution we have made this
year, no wonder we’re all feeling down in the dumps. We also find out how much the recent
festivities has actually cost us when the bills start dropping through our

So this particular radio station has
decided to help its listeners combat some of the January blues and I thought I’d
add a few of my own to get you smiling.
My first helpful tip is do not, no matter how miserable you are feeling,
give up on your New Year’s Resolution.
It might make you feel better for an instant but once you realise you
have quit two weeks in you will be back feeling miserable again.

Music has always lifted my spirits or
motivated me when I needed a little extra push.
So why not spend some time having a good look at your music
collection. I bet you find plenty of
tunes that can lift your spirits. Why
not make yourself a HAPPY playlist so when you start to feel you mood slipping
all you have to do is hit the play button and let the music lift you up?

For all you pet lovers out there
spending time with your dog, cat, horse, rabbit (insert any other pets you have)
makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. So
why not spend an afternoon snuggled up with your pooch, galloping round the
paddock with your very own black beauty or if you don’t have any pets, why not
go to the local pet store. You could
also add a visit to the zoo or sea life aquarium to your list as there will
surely be one encounter that will bring a smile to your face.

The weather might be cold and
miserable but don’t let it keep you prisoner in your own home. If there is a special place guaranteed to
make you feel happy why not arrange a day out.
Whether it’s a lovely countryside walk, or a stroll along your favourite
promenade being out in the fresh air, and for some, the winter sunshine, gives
your body an added boost.

So what if you don’t have a special
place, don’t like music, or don’t fancy venturing outdoors as where you live it
really is far too cold, or far too wet? I
bet you have a growing collection of films or books that brighten up the
darkest of days. Go on treat yourself to
a duvet day in front of the TV watching all your favourite films or snuggled on
the sofa a good book in your hand.

There are whole heaps of things we
can do to make ourselves feel happy, we just need a little reminder of what
they are. If all else fails pick up the
phone and call the person you think is the most happiest. Let their happiness rub off on you and don’t
forget to return the favour.

New Year’s Resolutions

Guiding Thoughts Posted on Fri, January 03, 2014 18:14:34

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014!

didn’t 2013 go fast and who can believe 2014 is already here, and how many of
you have made New Year’s resolutions? We
all do it, but only a handful will keep it going throughout the year and into
2015. So did yours involve food or
exercise or both? The most popular resolutions
that feature year after year include:

1. Losing
those extra few pounds you seemed to have carried over the year and added to over
the festive period. Visions of a toned
body fill your every thought. Followed
by a bowl of crisps or a really unhealthy portion of chocolate cake.

2. You
seemed to have doubled your alcohol intake in the last six months and with the
festive period only just over, it has reached a level you really don’t want to
be at. New Year’s Eve rolls into New
Year’s Day and you promise to give up drinking for the rest of the year. When the weekend arrives your promise becomes
only drink at the weekends.

3. Another
resolution that is at the top of some people’s list is give up smoking and it
has become a lot easier to do with the help of nicotine patches and fake
cigarettes. Even doctors’ surgeries are
more encouraging and often run a no smoking clinic to help you keep your
resolution in check. This is also one of
the hardest ones to achieve.

4. For
all those who tend to put work before everything else, a New Year can signal a
change in your priorities and time spent with your family and friends a more
regular occurrence. How many of you turn
down a chance to spend the day with your siblings or decline a friend’s kind
offer of dinner?

5. This
resolution is also for all you that spend your life at work and forget there
are other ways to enjoy your weekend.
Work is important and sometimes it needs your full commitment but don’t
make it a habit, get out there and start enjoying life. Even if you start small, like spending an
extra hour in bed, or keeping Sunday evenings work free.

6. Do
you feel as if you don’t do your share of helping others? Some people use the start of a New Year to
change that, even if it is popping into your elderly neighbour for a cup of tea
once a week. You might not think that is
helping but I bet you they are glad of the company. If you really want to take helping others
seriously there are loads of volunteering opportunities you can consider.

7. What
happens if you don’t smoke/drink/work to much/need to lose weight/already
volunteer? How about learning something
new and this can be anything from a learning a new language, to learning how to
paint or take pictures or maybe learning to drive or swim. There are so many new things you can learn,
so why not push the boat out and make 2014 the year you learn two new things.

8. This
is for all the unorganised. You know who
you are? You’re always late, you always
leave that important document at work when it needs to be at home, or at home
when it needs to be at work. You’re
forever misplacing your phone, your keys, your diary. Why not just tackle just one thing and get
that one right before trying to get totally organised. Being punctual goes a long way.

9. So
you over indulged over Christmas and then hit the Boxing Day sales. You pray the postman passes your door every
day and doesn’t deliver the evidence that your spending went a little out of
control. Don’t worry you’re not alone
and it can be fixed. How about you sit
down and take a long hard look at your finances and set yourself a target of
sorting out one thing at a time. See if
you can make any sensible cutbacks, like buying less goodies or walking instead
of driving, that’s if you don’t live in the middle of nowhere. The extra money you save why not put in a jar
and see what a difference it makes.

10. Another
popular resolution is the exercise one and can range from going for a walk to
attempting a charity race. This one
normally goes hand in hand with losing weight and can be as much fun as you
make it. If walking isn’t your thing, how
about swimming, tennis, aerobics, and even golf and why not get your family and
friends involved to keep you motivated.

resolution you have made – good luck and keep at it!

Lucky Charms

Guiding Thoughts Posted on Sun, December 08, 2013 11:53:42

Hands up if you have,
at least once, made sure you had your lucky charm with you when you went for a
dream job, took part in a competition or started a new year? How many times have you heard someone say
they were wearing their ‘lucky’ socks or ‘lucky’ pants? You’d be surprised how many people actually
think a particular piece of clothing will bring them luck. Socks and pants are not the only things
deemed ‘lucky’ with certain ‘lucky’ objects passed down through generations.

A White Rabbit’s Foot is
considered lucky from an ancient belief, which considered the rabbit a close
friend to the god of fertility, due to their field of reproduction. We all know rabbits just keep having little
bunnies. It is believed that rabbits
were blessed with luck and the ability to reproduce, with the blessing
considered extendible to others. So this
charm would come in really handy if you might be thinking of starting a family.

Four leaf clover is not
as common as a three-leaved clover, and if you have been out in the country side
where these grow wild, you will see others looking for the one with that extra
leaf. These leaves, according to
tradition, bring good luck to their finds, especially if you come across them
accidentally. Each leaf is believed to
represent; faith, hope, love with the fourth being luck.

A Laughing Buddha, the pot-bellied
statue that appears to be smiling or laughing is said to be lucky and its
presence is believed to bring good fortune.
Not just practising Buddhist have one of these in their homes, with many
choosing to include this particular statue as part of their home furnishings.

Newly married couples
are commonly given silver horse shoes as a token of good luck, but in the olden days horse shoes were hung in
many homes to protect the family and bring them good fortune.

Not an object, or a
piece of clothing is the action of crossing your fingers ‘for luck’ before you
roll a dice or put your hand into a container of prizes, hoping to pull out the
star prize. I’m sure someone has told
you or texted you ‘fingers crossed’ before am important day, with the action
replaced by a verbal or virtual good luck.

So do you have a
‘lucky’ object you wouldn’t leave home without?
If not, which one is for you?

Nelson Mandela

Guiding Thoughts Posted on Fri, December 06, 2013 10:01:23

The Butler – Is quite an emotive film. Glad the system got fairer in the end. The world still has a bit of a way to go though.

Rest in Peace NELSON MANDELA , you were a great act to follow. @FoleyWestern

Well done to everyone in positions of some power or not who stand for fairness and equality amongst all mankind.

World Leaders take note

Follow Your Dreams

Guiding Thoughts Posted on Tue, November 19, 2013 17:10:27

Do you remember telling
your parents you wanted to be a pop star, football player, model, actor,
writer, fashion designer when you grew up?
I am guessing you grew up and became a teacher, chef, gardener,
hairdresser, secretary instead. So what
happened to the dreams you had? Just
wishful thinking of a child’s mind or did life dictate which path you

A lucky few do follow their
dreams and become exactly who they said they wanted to be. It’s not an easy
path to take and no one would blame them if they choose to give up before they
succeeded. Finding a job can be a hard
task, imagine trying to find your dream job.
Even the bravest would feel a little nervous.

For the older
generation (all of you over 35) I am sure there are plenty of you who sit on
the train or amongst traffic dreaming of writing a book, opening a quaint
little coffee shop, turning your love of pottery into a business or whatever else
you long to do with your life. Is it the
thought of the unknown or the fear of failure that stops you taking the first
steps? But wouldn’t you rather have
tried than just sat each and every day just dreaming.

There is hope for all
you dreamers out there. It is known fact
that when we hit a particular milestone in our life (different for everyone),
or find ourselves going through a dramatic experience we find ourselves
reflecting on our life. This is the most
common time that we decide to make a drastic change in our life. Whether it be going back to college and study
a random subject just for fun, take that long overdue trip around the world, or
turn dreams in to realities.

So if you haven’t yet
reached ‘that’ milestone and life hasn’t thrown any dramas your way, why not
take a look at your life and your dreams anyway. Wouldn’t it be great to know that you made
your own decisions and hadn’t waited until you hit the big 4-0, or when you
took early retirement, or even worse, after a rather tricky divorce?

Whatever you dream,
dream big and don’t let anyone tell you different!

The Art of Conversation

Guiding Thoughts Posted on Fri, October 25, 2013 14:28:29

Is the Art of Conversation slowly fading away and being
overtaken by a brief generic text message, a Facebook status with accompanying image
or a quick tweet of 140 characters or less?
It certainly feels that way sometimes.

You’ll notice your landline rarely rings these days unless
it’s one of those annoying marketing calls and always when you’re running
late. How do they know you haven’t got
time to answer a couple of quick questions?
They never seem to call when you’re at home alone all weekend and eager
to chat to just about anyone.

Can you remember the last time the sound of your latest
mobile ring tone filled the silence? I
can’t either. I can remember three texts
messages being delivered and the chiming of an email being received.

With technology advancing on a daily basis, it has become
possible for people to communicate with almost anyone at the touch of a button
no matter where they are in the world. For
a writer like me, this is fantastic. I
am able to interact with readers all over the world, keep them up to date on my
latest book developments and share my thoughts and inspirations through my

I am sure I am not the only one who thinks this is a good
thing. A friend of mine was able to
communicate with her son whilst he was the other side of the world through the
wonder of Facebook messaging. She was
also able to share his experience via the pictures he posted.

But there is a downside to all this texting, blogging and
social media posting. Can we really
communicate effectively using text speak or tweeting? And do we really need to know what you had
for your dinner? Don’t get me wrong I
wouldn’t be without this new way of communicating but I do miss a good natter
with a friend.

Surely there is room to do both? And what would happen if one day the internet
just stopped working? Would we need to
learn the art of conversation all over again or would it be just like riding a
bike – once you know how to do it, you know how to do it?

So next time you go to text a friend, tweet your work
colleague or post a random message to Facebook why not pick up the phone and
talk to someone too. Let’s not let the
art of conversation be a thing of the past.

My ‘Clearing’ Place

Guiding Thoughts Posted on Fri, October 18, 2013 19:48:47

Before I sit down and start on my next chapter, I like to
clear my mind of all unnecessary thoughts.
My characters need to be free to roam around inside my mind and I need
to be clear of distractions. It’s no
good attempting to write a single word whilst thinking about the new recipe I
might try out for dinner tonight. I don’t
think it would be a great idea if my latest plot took an unexpected change of
direction towards the kitchen.

So what little gem have I found that works wonders clearing
my mind?

For me, it’s a leisurely walk in the countryside with the
sound of nature guiding my every step.
The morning dew is still wet under feet and spider webs gleam in the
early morning sunshine. Thank goodness I
don’t see any spiders. Definitely not something
I’m ready for that early in the morning.

I’m never alone as I walk.
Nature is all around me. I cannot
always see it but I know it is there.
The sounds of the birds high up in the trees. A rustle of the bushes and never really sure
what has just scurried away from me. Dog owners in the distance calling their furry
friends as they head on home. Sometimes
my husband decided to join me and the sound of our chatty gets swept along with
the fallen leaves. This is my ‘clearing’
place and when a new character suddenly pops into my head just as I’ve stopped
to admire the ducks sitting by the small pond, I can’t help but smile.

The countryside is not the only good place to go to clear
you mind. The beach is another great way
of leaving it all behind. I can almost
smell the salty sea air and the feel of the soft sand on my bare feet. Probably a little cold for no socks and shoes
unless you are lucky enough to be on a beach somewhere really, really hot, but I’m
sure you get the picture. The sound of
the waves gently breaking on the shore is a favourite amongst a lot of us.

Others don’t have to go too far to find their ‘clearing’
place, just opening the door and taking a few steps outside and into their own garden. Whether it’s just an old deckchair sitting
under the large oak tree at the bottom of the garden or a tiny summerhouse
nestled in the corner with roses growing up the outside. Their very own place of tranquillity.

It doesn’t matter where your ‘clearing’ place is, what
matters is that your special somewhere will help calm your inner turmoil,
empty your mind and surround your soul with happiness, ready for the day

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