Friday, November 30, 2012

Joy pockets

Little pockets of gratitude in the midst of living... 

Feeling like me for pretty much the first time in a month.

More exciting women on board with The Rainbow Way book

Painting again!

Walking through a winter wonderland on my way to work

Meals with my dada, love that we are both writing books!

Baking chocolate butterfly cakes with Ash

Watching Materchef en famille, with Mr DA's superb Greg impressions, that Timmy says sound like Burglar Bill!

Erin Darcy, for giving me so many great leads on contacts for my book and for generally being an inspiration

Letting rip, in writing, to the teacher about the amounts of homework, take it to the man. Lucy!

Christmas month tomorrow!

Freshly squeezed orange and pink grapefruit juice

My son trying to get the whole school to do a Gangnam Style flash mob, chip off the old block!

Another post accepted for Tiny Buddha, am very pleased with it!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Rainbow Way - a progress report

The Rainbow Way ... "book" is too small a word to contain its depth and breadth, words insufficient to express the magic that I am weaving into it!

Oh how it stretches and grows, as new connections are made, with creative mothers around the globe, who hear my call, and forgiving my typos  and dodgy grammar, can see the vision that I hold, and come on board, hearts open wide and shining. This project speaks of the generosity of women, their desire to make their stories heard, to support other women whom they have never met.

The book currently has contributions from over fifty creative mothers: Jennifer Louden, Pat Allen, Ariel Gore, Julie Daley, Pam England, Darina and Rachel Allen, a forward by Goddess Leonie, and the blessings of Dr Christiane Northrup and Lynn V Andrews to quote from their work and build on their ideas. And, for those of you who missed the announcement, it has a publisher, the aptly named Soul Rocks! Do let me know if you would like to contribute, and haven't yet.

I cannot tell you how many hours I have worked on it at this stage. It started over 18 months ago. And there is still another year of work, before I will hold it in my hands. Often I wonder, I hope, I pray, that it will be worth it all. That our words will change lives, will inspire, support. And will pay for my time!

But often I just worry that my words will be readable! That the bigness that it is, will translate into a book of clarity and interest.

As I summon my energy for the final push of writing and editing, I sent it out to a few friends to take a look at, to see if this thing, that is sucking my life force and concentration is actually readable.  The feedback has been sustaining, rewarding. As has the response from all the new creative mothers that I have contacted in the last week, each one, newly discovered who seems to hold a golden key, a nugget of truth, of knowing that calls to be contained within the book. 

But it’s not that it needs any more words. At 84,000 words, it is the same length as 100 of my Dreaming Aloud columns, 84 feature articles, three times the length of Moon Time, and 4,000 words over what my publisher is expecting. In reality it will be closer to 90,000 words and it could stretch on and on. But I need to include all these voices, as what started out as my book, has morphed into a virtual women’s circle, a talking circle of creative mothers – me, I’m not so wise, but together… together we know.

This book is an honouring
It is an honouring of my path
It is an honouring of my muse, a note taking of her voice, her habits, her ways,
It is an honouring of women, of mothers now and through the ages
It is an honouring of the creative spirit that lives in us all
It is an honouring of the mystery which courses through our veins, lights our darkness, inspires us, and flows out in dripping colours and heartfelt poems
It is an honouring of the lives we yearn for, the dreams we hardly dare to dream, the freedom and colour we crave
It is an honouring of the sacredness that happens when women gather in a circle and share their deepest truths
It is an honouring of that which we were not told, that which was kept silent, that which must be shared
It is an honouring of our lost selves, our madness, our sadness, the crazy woman in us all
It is an honouring of the liminal, the barely seen, the unknowable
It is an honouring of the secrets of a woman’s heart and soul which are unspeakable, which society thinks are ignorable, unimportant, irrelevant
It is an honouring of words and language to make clear what is in our hearts and heads
It is an honouring of our multiplicity, our colours, our potential.
It is an honouring of my soul sisters, heroines, fellow creative mamas all
It is an honouring of the dreams of our grandmothers and great grandmothers if we live it
It is an honouring of all the mothers about to be born into the land of creative motherhood, that they might have a guide, a circle, a friend.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Roll upon roll of ickiness, sickness, blackness, veils of negativity that have shrouded my body and soul are rolled away, peeled away. Little by little. I can almost smell the scent of my soul again. Catch a glimpse of my energy in the corner of my eye.

Thick and sticky phlegm from my lungs... Out, out, out, month after month. Wanting to work, having to rest. I turn out uninspired stuff. Obliged to serve, to play my part, speak to my audience. When really, truly there is nothing to be said. No words in this mouth worth listening to. My ideas muddy as a pond.

In bed again. And again. Who am I when I'm not racing round, not doing or being? Not mindful or kind. That it seems requires motivation and energy. I'm nothing fun, profound or even pleasant. Dull, tiresome, moaning, cranky, bored. Infected with darkness and slime. Toxic. I am she who has nothing to give. She who demands and requires. She that lets you down.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Scum of the Universe

I take a break from my usual sweetness and light to go on an all out attack on the scum of the universe.


Numerous times a day I have to delete their gobbledegook, badly spelled, ungrammatical insults from my inbox.

Take the most recent one which came through when I was at lunch. Let me share the delights of it:
I belіve everything published made a lot of sense. (of course it did, I rock!)
Ηoωever, think аbоut thіѕ, what if you аddeԁ a little content? (um, dick wad, you added this comment to a post which is 800 words long with multiple images)
Ι mean, I dοn't wish to tell you how to run your website, (then fuck off and stop annoying me, as my father would say) but suppose you added something that makes people desire more? I mean "Craft-Tea Christmas Celebrations" is kinda plain. (no, thicko, it's actually a clever play on words)
Υοu might add a video or a рic or tωo to grab readerѕ intеrested about
evеrythіng've got to say. (oh thank you, for gracing me with your wisdom, oh spammer, I'd never considered that) Just my opinion, it would make your website a little bit more interesting.(You know my opinion? Get yourself a job and stop annoying us all.)
Also see my web page www.i'm a
Fucking, wanking, irritating cyber scum, with no purpose except wasting everybody's time.

Not only do they block up my spam filters, cos their spam is so crap that it can't get past them. I have to read their shite. They seem incapable of writing. Man spammer grammar bugs me.They're scum because not only are they spamming, but they always do it in a negative way "have you seen what people are saying about you?", "your content is poor".

And even though you know it's probably spam, you just have to check, in case some poor unfortunate real human reader has fallen foul of the spam filters and needs fishing out. And even though you know its spam, you pick up the negative energy.

I make no exceptions. They are scum. Wasting peoples' time, money and emotional energy, for little gain.
  • There are the spammers who leave random links on your blog. 
  • Spammers that send you shite about Viagra and African inheritances to your email address. 
  • Spammers that hack into your email account and send all your friends desperate stories and try to get them to send money, this has happened to three friends in the past couple of months. 
  • Spammers who try to get you to place their guest post plus dubious links up on your site for the princely sum of $10. 
  • There are the spammers who hack into email servers and hijack them to send shite from your business address to their own mailing lists, as happened to my poor husband this week, causing him days of stress and costing my father's company his week's wages trying to rectify it.
Sorry, I've been too hasty, I'm sure there's some great, sexy James Bond types out there - and if they're reading - my bank details are 1493042466 Sort Code: Kiss My Ass.

Umm, I think I might be premenstrual!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's nothing personal!

I like to think that I'm a unique individual. Whilst I give a certain amount of credit to my parents for all my bad bits (!!), I tend to believe that my hope and dreams are very personal. My flaws and foibles mine to erase (and feel badly about). My glories, mine to celebrate. I think we all do. In a culture which does not have ancestoral worship and which deifies the individual, we tend to try to distance ourselves from our families, from our lineage. We have lost a sense of perspective of ourselves as being a ring in the tree of our family's life, in a great forest.

Yesterday I read the first draft of my father's autobiography and I was humbled. Perhaps for the first time I really felt my place in the flow of life, my position in a family line which lives through me. I have always known in my head what my grandparents and parents were interested in, the work they did, the values that drove them, but to see it written out, I felt the stream of life that courses through the years, pulling us all along with it, in such sharp relief. For perhaps the first time, I lost my sense of them and me, and really felt the "us" of our family. The spirit that expresses itself through us all, generation after generation, each doing our bit, playing our part, being unique, and yet part of the same strong flow.

I never really felt this, because I never knew them. My grandmother, Lucy Helen, for whom I was named, died seven years before I was born. My grandfather was ill and barely knew me and my father doesn't talk a huge amount about them.

I see the books running through our veins, our love of the written word, our need to drink in the progressive ideas of others, and then live it out. And our love of good food, learning, creativity, mindfulness and beauty. It's all there. Generation after generation. Our vocations calling us, demanding to be lived through us, an incessant urge which has made us dance our lives to its tune.

My grandmother was a teacher of the most progressive kind, a free thinking educationalist who helped to found and run The Peckham Experiment, a revolutionary approach to family health, wellbeing and education which influenced the founding of the NHS. And of course she wrote a book on it! A career woman first, she had her first (living) child when she was 43.  My grandfather, like his father before him, was a printer by trade and antiquarian bookshop owner. Their bookshelves, in rural Ireland of the 1950s were full of Sufism, cutting edge educational tracts, and mysticism.

It feels wonderful to get this perspective, of the tides that course through us. This combined with other insights that I have had this week, makes it all a lot less personal - my life, my work. All I need to do is play my part in the dance, not stress or worry. The spirit that moved my ancestors, moves me too. It's nothing personal!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sick of being sick

Off to the doctors. For a second round of antibiotics for a persistent chest infection. Was only there two weeks ago. Had a cough in various forms of hideous hackingness since early July. Endless nights up multiple times with girls. Who also have/ have had cough. As does Mr Dreaming Aloud. I have managed to get an ordinary cold layered on top for extra sickly pleasure this time.

I am SO fed up with being sick and lying low. I am taking care of myself, not over doing it, taking as much time in bed as I can, eating well, before you all start mother henning me.

I long to be well.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Joy Pockets

My little pockets of gratitude in the midst of this week...

Goddess Leonie agreeing to write the Forward for my book on creative mamas (The Rainbow Way).
So many of you sharing your thoughts on my provocative art journalling post! Thank you.
Yellow leaves on the road.
A note to the tooth fairy: "My tooth fell out but it's in my tummy."
Discovering a Zumba class 5 mins down the road, which I'll be going to after Xmas.
Women and men, at home and abroad rallying round and taking action in response to the needless death of Savita. We stand united in our grief and anger at this senseless loss. We are calling on our government in one voice to make legislative changes to give women the right to life.
Spiced pear butter cake
Being a budding WordPress tech genius (in my own little way!!)
Interviewing two of my heroines for The Rainbow Way - Jen Louden and Julie Daley.
Blogging with Darina Allen - a living legend.
Cycling to work.
Reading through the current draft of The Rainbow Way - it's really getting there!
Little Ash doing gang nam style by herself.

Please do share your Joy Pockets below, or link up your post. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 reasons why art journaling is BAD for women

OK - odd title for someone who has recently proclaimed love for this form -  but bear with me here. Let me explain myself a little more, before you run at me with your glitter-tipped calligraphy pens!

I am admittedly a little slow on the uptake here, as art journaling (do check out my Pinterest board, to see the sort of stuff that I love... and that drives me nuts all at the same time) has been hot stuff for the past few years now. I have been a little preoccupied with something called "having babies" to be a fully signed up embossing goddess complete with heat gun and die cutter.

I have just started art journalling, having gotten over my fear of the unknown and taking part in a uber creative women's course at - wait for it, y'all - the Cosmic Cowgirls University!!!! (Where else but on the interweb!)

There is so much I want to love, even do love about the CONCEPT of art journaling. I'm loving doodling, drawing and adding paint to my journal. I love adding color and images. I love freeing myself up from just writing - the creative mind and subconscious adore to have less linear forms of expression.

BUT ...

and this is a big but (t!!!)...

The more examples of it I see out there, the more I get this sick feeling in my stomach. It suddenly occurred to me that art journaling, whilst an art form that seeks self expression and is propounded by well-meaning women as a form of much needed "therapy" for so many women, is actually NOT a good thing, and here's why...

1) It's all so cutesy - we're women, not girls... yet art journaling fashions seem to be creating a Disnification of our imagery and feelings, endless cute little girls and hearts and butterflies.

2) It's material intensive - which costs lots of money and gets women into building up stashes, not that different to building up wardrobes or make up collections, it just another way of commodifying women's desire for beauty.

3) It's time intensive - art journaling techniques take a long time to create something personal - taking time that could be used for more "productive" creativity, creativity that can make you money, that you can hang on your wall, give to your friend... put your work out there ladies, rather than keeping it all in your journals.

4) They don't seem about writing - in fact many of the techniques I have seen suggest gessoing over your writing and just using a couple of pithy phrases - as though the words don't matter.

5)Journals are supposed to be private - art journals seem made for show - and therefore lack real depth.

6) So much of the "wisdom" in them is trite Facebook type quotes, nice aphorisms that don't hold much personal truth.

7) It's very "perfectionist" - the lettering, images etc are all "perfect", not doodles or works in progress.

8) Homogenity - journals are supposed to be individual expressions of our inner journey - most art journaling is not.

9) Self-absorption - spending THAT much time obsessing with your diary aint healthy. There's a whole world out there.

10) Have I mentioned all the hearts and flowers and cutesy girls? They REALLY get me. We are more than that.

In sum, my problem is this: that much art journaling seems to keep women small, rather than supporting them in their bigness. It seeks to prettify, rather than encourage the messy and the true. It seeks to commodify, and to nicen a woman's voice. This makes me very uncomfortable. But let me state here, that it may well not be the teachers of this art, but women doing this TO THEMSELVES. They are so used to making things good, happy, nice and right, that nothing else is deemed possible or desirable...

In my view, women's journals should be... (ouch, I know, "should", but, in for a penny, in for a pound)...

1) Personal

2) Exploratory

3) Allowed to be messy

4) Places for questions, more than answers

5) Full of real women's imagery (see my board on feminine symbology)

6) Full of real women's words, thoughts and feelings...

7) Places for speaking the unspeakable, thinking the unthinkable, drawing the taboo, challenging our own status quo, deep inquiry...

8) They should be places where women get to be women - not little girls.

9) Private - although I'm going to break that rule, as all the images in this post are from my journal!

(Did you spot the vagina? Do you think I got away with it?!!!!)

Rant over.

Your thoughts? Has art journaling saved your life, or is it all a bit twee? Is it keeping women small and girly, rather than helping to empower them?

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Voice of the Child... Really?

Tomorrow we get to vote. In another flipping referendum. Ostensibly for 'the voice of the child'.

Who would oppose that, right?

But what ARE we voting on? And why? And why now?  In the midst of economic meltdown. On something that no one knew needed changing. And most importantly, why are ALL the political parties and large non-state agencies united in their support for it. That's just super-freaky!

We will be voting on a subtle change of words. The meaning of which none of us really knows. The power of which none of us understands.

All we know is that we don't trust the state. Don't want to sign any more potential power over to them.

Because, potentially, in the eyes of the state, mamas like me are suspicious and irresponsible. Mamas who choose to birth at home, to co-sleep, to long-term breastfeed. Mamas who question the current education system and are frequently late for school.  How hard would it be for the state to prove that those of us who follow the current findings of educational experts and brain scientists and our hearts, rather than half truths and blind prejudice which guide our institutions, are fit to be parents to our beloved offspring?

I asked one of the official yes campaigners what the point of it all was. She said it was partly to ensure that situations like the endemic abuse at the hands of the Religious and care homes in this country could never happen again.

But to be honest neither the law of the land, nor the Holy Bible said that beating and buggering innocent children was alright, was a lack of care and accountability, which tends to happen far more when children are separated from those who love them.
I don't know, but something smells fishy to me...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Joy pockets

My pockets of joy in the midst of mundanity this week...

Jennifer Louden, Julie Daley, Indigo Bacal and Ariel Gore signed up to contribute to my next book, The Rainbow Way, - all complete heroines of mine!
Bonfire night sparklers and stories by candlelight
My boy going off with his school on a big bus to watch the older girls team in a football final
Our whole family doing the Gangnam style dance - such fun! 
(Don't know what it is? Then check out the original video!!)
My friend Laura - she's just so special... check out her blog and see why
This exchange:

Ash, in a fierce mad two year old singing voice: "My am a gummy bear...and my blow your house down!"

Timmy "Mum, I don't have any more mayonnaise."

Ash, in 'grown up, auntie Ash' mode:" Yes you do, sweetheart, it's there!"
Colouring mandalas with my Meli girl
Watching George of the Jungle with the kids and hearing them warn him every time he's about to crash into a tree
A wonderful five-year-old's birthday party, like proper parties should be!

What are yours this week? Please do share them below and come by to Holistic Mama to link up.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hot off the press - my new book!

I am excited to share with you the publication of my second book, Moods of Motherhood, just in time to mark the second birthday of Dreaming Aloud. 

Hurray for me, hurray for you - so glad you're here, dearest dreamers!

So what about this book, Lucy, I hear you ask, what's it about???

Well, dear reader, it is a compilation of my best-loved posts on motherhood from Dreaming Aloud, my columns from JUNO magazine and many new pieces, never before published. This is a book full of my trademark searing honesty and raw emotions. It will make you laugh and cry - wherever on your mothering journey you may be.

Topics include: tenderness, pregnancy and birth, happy days, anger and fierceness, playfulness, love, patience, homemaking and much, much more... it is illustrated throughout with beautiful black and white photographs.

I really wanted to put all the glory stuff that I have written about motherhood into one place, so that you can hold me in your hands, so that you can snuggle up with all the best bits in the cosy warmth of your bed, rather than the cold blue light of your computer screen.

I have put it together by topic so that you can dip in and out, wherever you are in your mothering journey. Pick it up for wisdom, reassurance, a laugh, some empathy. Take me to the park in your bag, keep me by your bed, or on your bookshelf... what a funny concept! See a review here and here.

Perhaps you have a friend or sister who isn't into blogs, but you wanted to share Dreaming Aloud with her... well now you can!

You can buy it from me at The Happy Womb - all copies are signed and come with one of my brand new bookmarks! It is also available in Kindle and Paperback from and Please do leave me a review on Amazon!

Let me share with you the introduction...
My grandmother always said: “You are your baby’s weather.” How true that is! There is nothing more remarkable about the act of mothering than the changing moods. The weather of motherhood can seemingly alter from moment to moment, day to day, a rollercoaster of emotions stronger than one has ever experienced before. The stakes, after all, are far higher than anything we have ever played for before: the very life, health and happiness of a creature that is our own flesh and blood.

On reading back over my blog, I noticed how contrasting posts follow one day after the other – all so real, yet so intangible. Like the weather we are only left with vague memories and snapshots of how hot or cold it was, no real yardstick of the tempests and sunshine of our mothering years.

Other mothers were drawn to these posts, these outpourings of emotion, frustration, joy and despondency. It seems we are all yearning for a reflection of our own tumultuous experiences, a validation of the endless emotional turmoil and physical exhaustion which motherhood reeks in our lives. We seem to lack a language to share both the mundane repetitiveness of our daily mothering lives, as well as a forum for sharing the deeper emotional parts. For perhaps the first time in history, the mothers of the twentieth and twenty first centuries mothered alone, in separate houses, often far from family support. The job of parenting is not meant to be handled by one adult, it takes a tribe.

Few of us entered the role prepared, though we might have been expecting (some) sleepless nights and smelly nappies, the all-consuming nature of motherhood lay hidden, until we were well and truly embarked on our maiden voyage. The sweetness of a first baby’s smile did not reveal the cacophony of demands which another child - or three - would bring.

Most knew how they wanted to be, and what they most certainly would not do. And then after the first glow of motherhood had worn off, the disappointments begin stacking up: the ideals which had fallen by the wayside, the perfection not achieved, due to lack of energy, experience, insight or something else.

And at that point we can despair and see ourselves as failing. But the mothering journey, does not, cannot stop that day, even though we feel we cannot continue. And it is in overcoming these moments that we find ourselves as the mothers we truly are. In this moment we let the perfect mother die, and embrace our quirky, impatient, silly, messy, deeply loving mother selves.

This book is far from a parenting manual written by an objective expert. Rather it is the life of a mother – warts and all. It is compiled from posts written for my blog, Dreaming Aloud, published articles and previously unpublished work. So here, for you, is a journey through the emotional terrain of a mother, from humour to heartbreak, though the story is mine, it could be yours.

When I was the mother of one, I thought I was an expert. Which is why I became a writer on parenting issues!  As the mother of three, I have been humbled to my core. I have realised just how much I don’t know or can’t do – and just how little I am “in control”. And yet ironically with that knowledge and acceptance, comes a little more wisdom, and a lot more experience.

I see new friends starting out on the road to motherhood with mixed feelings. Immense joy at the ecstasy of love they are about to experience, great protectiveness, wishing to shield them from the scars it will make on their souls, the pain, the heart ache, the worry, the exhaustion, the touching of anger which they had been able to keep hidden all these years. But this is the journey. The one that makes us the mothers that we will be. The mothers that our children will live with every day, yet barely know.

Becoming a mother brings with it such a vast raft of complications for the psyche, before you add the momentous task of caring for a small and ever-changing child to the mix. Becoming a mother reawakens our own feelings, good and bad, about our own mothers. It changes our relationship with our partner forever: suddenly we are not just lovers but parents. And it shifts us instantaneously into the next generation, causing potentially seismic shifts in friendships where one set are not parents and we now are. Not to mention the adjustment between us and our families of origin. And that is before we even consider the massive shift in roles for most modern women from full time work or study out in the world, to suddenly being at home, if only for the first weeks, with a small being who needs you all the time. Ideas of women’s roles in society suddenly become less abstract or idealised, and the whole dilemma of who cares for the child, who works, who pays the bills and how suddenly become pressing realities with few ideal answers.

Very often I find it hard to be really mentally present with my children – though I aspire to be. I find the demands of motherhood too intense, their needs too much. And so I do what I know, what I love: I write. In writing I capture the mood, the moment in a more effective way than my whirling thoughts and fuzzy memory could ever hope to. And so I find that even in my moments of despair, distraction and elation I was present. And in these vignettes of mothering life, and the images which accompany them, I have captured the whole process of motherhood which was at times almost unbearable in the actual living of it.

And so I have it here in all its preciousness to savour, and give thanks for, from the safe distance of time and the security of the written word. Yet, as I read back, I realise with great poignancy that these babies who I am capturing have grown, without me noticing, despite my almost daily writing about them. They are bigger and stronger, little rugged human beings out in the world. Little humans that I co-created, that I carried in my belly and fed from my breast. I feel like I need to pinch myself, it doesn’t seem real, or even possible. And yet it is. And that is the miracle of motherhood.

The most important thing about this motherhood lark is that we know that we are not alone. That we are not the only ones feeling these feelings and living these experiences. Surround yourself with like-minded allies to laugh and cry with, to confide in and gratefully accept support from.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you and hope that it might give you insight and support in your own.
Lucy Pearce

From the back cover...

"Moods of Motherhood traces the life of a mother: her tenderness, joy, anger, love, frustration, grief and gratitude. Compiled from posts written for her popular blog, Dreaming Aloud, her best-loved columns from JUNO magazine and many new pieces. This is a book full of Lucy Pearce's trademark searing honesty and raw emotions. It will make you laugh and cry - wherever on your mothering journey you may be. Though the story is hers, it could be yours."
*(Discount valid to midnight (GMT), this Sunday, 4th November, use valid to one product per customer).


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