Tuesday, June 3, 2014





Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Walk in the Blue

We headed out on an adventure yesterday, down to West Cork... bluebell woods are a spring family tradition...

I remember walking the bluebell woods with MY granny. Now my girls get to do the same.

This ancient woodland is right next to the sea with lots of little coves branching off it...

An ancient holy spring under a tree.

 The breath taking view from the top of the cliff which the walk emerges out onto.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Grandmothers, Paint and Books...

Lots of excitement here.

The new Dreaming Aloud website is moving ever closer, it's being created day by day... lots of lovely colour and fresh white space... I'm loving it and can't wait to show it off... only about 2 weeks to go till I get to share it with you!

Today we were doing a photo shoot for it... so I got to do some painting! Hurray!

Well done clever Mr Dreaming Aloud for the lovely pics. He is quite the right hand man - formatting, designing, photographing, editing... amongst his other rather wonderful skills he shares with me (wink, wink)!

So today I have been sorting through my grandmother Lucy Helen's papers, for a top secret project, and found so many wonderful letters of condolence on her death - she sounds such an incredible woman... I'll share more about her one day... suffice to say she was a paradigm-shifting creative rainbow mother, a fine cook, avid writer and thinker, and always had strong opinions on everything! But synchronistically I found a 5 page handwritten letter from Elizabeth David, the British cookery writer in amongst her letter, I did a little happy dance, as Ms David is one of my all time fav writers - and I am going to hear Jill Norman talk about her this weekend at the Ballymaloe Lit Fest.

Tomorrow I'm taking part in a full day food writing workshop at the LitFest - can't wait!!

PS: Just a reminder to local folk: my paintings are in a group exhibtion for the Mid May Arts Festival this weekend in the Courtyard Gallery, Midleton, and I will be doing a reading from the Rainbow Way and a signing at Midleton Books, 11.45 on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Getting Sidetracked... Overcoming the Distraction Saboteur to Creativity

Getting sidetracked is my number one epic fail... as my dear son would put it.

I caught myself doing it last night. I was attempting to cook dinner. I then realised I had enough pastry to make a second quiche. And then put on sausages as well. I was helping our boy with his homework. Girl on the sofa demanded her tights fixed, and whilst I was looking for a needle in the sewing bag, decided she'd prefer to do weaving. Which I had to set up for her. Whilst our littlest suddenly decided that she needed to needle felt and have a drink of squash. At the same time.

I smelt the sausages singeing.

At THIS point I realised that I needed to say no. To everything bar making dinner. Rather than trying to keep everyone happy and help everyone.

I can only do what one can do... but what one can do, I will do it.

These words are my mantra.

But so often I get pulled off focus, my energy pulled off centre by the demands of others. And being a helpful sort of soul who seems to see their existence on this planet defined by helping as many people as possible, this happens quite a lot.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy May Day

Happy May Day! 

A day to celebrate fertility, and the Earth coming into bloom once more.

To celebrate there's 20% off all my books - paperback and e-books - today only from The Happy Womb - all books come signed and with a bookmark! 

Use code mayday20 at the shopping cart

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On Commitment... And Being a Polygamist.

Marriage is the stupidest, craziest, most sensible, soul opening, frustrating, enlightening, heart opening thing I've ever done.

Hands down.

I doubt it. I doubt myself. Many times.

But because I've made a commitment I have to show up every day. Whether all is plain sailing. Or rather shitty.

And as a child of divorce commitment is the thing in the world that most scares me. Because I know there are no guarantees. No happily ever after.

Sometimes I think I should be committed... in the other sort of way.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Donut Man

My mother emailed me last weekend to tell me the donut man had died.

He was only 53. Just dropped dead.

I only met him a handful of times. All in the short exchange of buying fresh hot donuts. A profession which would naturally endear anyone to me. And I still feel sad that I will never see him again.

Last time I was over in the UK, one of our first stops was the donut man. To introduce my children and tell him how often I reminiced about his donuts with them.

He was a kind man. A caring man. Someone who appeared to do what he loved, with what he had, where he was.

He made great donuts. The best I'd ever eaten. And served them with love. I always felt great having interacted with him. He cared about his customers, what he made... and did it for at least 15 years. He was a part of the high street.

It's rare in this world to come across people who love what they do. Who do it whole heartedly.

We have a man who runs the petrol pumps near us. In his 70s I'd guess. I go away from our interactions with a full tank of petrol. And a full heart. He calls me lovey, and always has a smile and a kind word.

Doing what you do wholeheartedly. Whatever your chosen work.

It fills me up.

I remember you fondly, donut man... your kindness, and your delicious donuts will be missed by many, many more than me, I know. Bless you.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Swimming with Sharks

She sat in the boat. Soaking wet. Hair tousseled. Trying to talk to camera. Her voice starts to shake. Tears welling up.

I realise now I don't need to be scared of the sharks.

They're just getting on with their lives, doing what sharks do. I was always terrified that'd they'd hurt me, eat me. But when I got in the water they were curious. But they had no interest in hurting me.

All my life I've been so close to sharks but never dared to get in with them. I was scared for my life.

But I just did. And it was Ok.

It was exhilarating.

It was the scariest thing I've ever done in my life. But it was so worth it.

And I know that I don't need to be scared of them any more.

This is all true. Something my kids were just watching on TV.

But it's a mighty fine parable for us about fears. Creative fears. Fears of speaking out. Of swimming with sharks...

Prepare... and dive in. Your fears will not consume you.

As I have found again and again...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gatekeepers at the Creative Portal

Have you ever seen a sheelanagig?

These carved female figurines stood as guardians, carved over the thresholds of medieval church doorways in Celtic lands. Hand on their vulvas, holding them open, drawing our focus to the opening... 

They are the strangest discrepancy in a world that is hell bent on covering our womanhood.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Creativity is a cunt

"Whenever a taboo is broken, something good happens, something vitalizing."
~ Henry Miller

I did warn you we were going to be talking sex... and this isn't even the post I had planned...

Cunt... it's been a bad word for too long.

So when I say creativity is a cunt... you may hear "creativity is a bastard, it's hard and mean and out to make your life a misery"...

And that's the way our culture sees it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

OK, sex it is so

Listen there's something I've been holding back...

For a long time now...

And for good reason.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Feminist, pagan, self-help, New Age, hippy...

These are some of the words that come up as people try to define my books...

And I always feel a little weird about them... cos none of them really fit.

Sure part of this is the creative ego yearning to be considered unique... but there is more...

When you write a book... or go about your life... you don't tend to spend too much time trying to fit yourself into categories... specially when you're not into dogma or clubs or labels by nature.

You just do your thing... and it all makes perfect sense. Because you're just being you... in fact you kind of presume that the rest of the world deep down thinks the same way... they've just developed a few strange surface layers which need peeling off before they get down to it.

Then the time comes when you have to try to use pre-existing labels in order to categorise yourself ... and your work... you know, when you do that thing called publishing a book.... or redesigning a website....if you don't no one will ever find you...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Clearing

Every so often I feel the clutter in our house build up to screaming point... or suffocation.

When I have been preoccupied with big creative projects, I don't have the energy or headspace to do anything other than get meals in front of people, keep the mountain of dishes from toppling and burying us alive, and making sure that homework gets done most nights.

But the clutter builds and grows.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Life-changing, paradigm-shifting books by women, for women.

The industry says there’s no money in publishing. They talk about the death of books.

A visit to the London Book Fair tells a very different story.

There is PLENTY of money there. With a couple of thousand stands. Each manned by 2-20 publishers, editors and agents. Suited and booted to the nines. Talking with calculators in hand. Hunched over desks making hushed deals. There is plenty of money changing hands… what they mean is there isn’t much money for authors. All the money is being spent on staff. And offices. And glossy brochures. And dinners. And printing pretty books. And erecting huge stands. And lots of over fed middle aged white men and ladies with very expensive hair. That is where the money is. Not in the pockets of those who created the work. Who were having to grovel to get a place at a table to talk to a powerful editor.

As an author I can’t tell you how wrong this felt. Intentionally intimidating and phony. Corporate yuck.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cherry Blossom Picnic

This weekend saw our annual much-anticipated family celebration of spring, adopted from our soul- heartland Kyoto, Japan: o-hanami, the cherry blossom picnic. We have really made it our own at this stage - we are now on our third one.


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