Category Archives for "Writing Inspiration"

The Importance of Physical Nurturing and Intimacy

Talking with my hairdresser the other day, and we go onto the subject of healthy lifestyles after 45.  She’s recently given up coffee, chocolate, and wine!   Yes seriously!   I know some people who would sooner give up lipstick than quit all three of those vices.  However, I then joked with her about…  “but you’re still having sex though right?”  She looked at me and laughed, and said, “hell yes, I’m not about to start playing around with my health in that way!”

Yes, for some of us, we’re wired that way.  Hormones are just busy old soldiers, making sure that we’re aware of our bits in ways that make it hard to concentrate if not scratched from time to time.

How often depends on a number of things, such as being single or part of a couple, and therefore availability, not to mention the libido levels of both partners.    Studies have shown that for some people the wiring is different, and sex is of significantly low or no interest, compared to those of us who believe it’s a necessary part of our lives.

Without sex, do we still have a fair chance of intimacy?

Without love-making first, how well do we engage with each other’s minds to have those poignant, deep, loving conversations about important things.  Some of those important things are simply talking about how we feel about each other – not what the kids are doing, or if we should take note of what ‘Bob and Jenny’ are going through with her parents.  Sometimes we just need to identify the beauty that is ‘us’ and talk about that… just that.

Photo by Oziel Gómez on UnsplashIf we refrain from regular sexual engagement with someone – anyone – because this also applies to those of us who are single – then do we lose the ability to feel a full range of normal emotions?  What it is to be held, stroked, hugged, and to rest in those moments is a normal part of life.  When doing that with a member of the opposite sex we are also attracted to, this can and often would lead to more stroking, caressing, and nurturing, loving holding.   This is why being able to do this with the person you’re already having a sexual relationship with is easier than if you’re single, and trying to get a level of physical intimacy you may need for what ever reason on any given day or night.  It just makes it better when you can, and do, take it to the limits and engage in totally giving yourself to each other as part of that physical nurturing time.

Love making is not about what we do, it’s about a space we choose to enter.   It’s about opening ourselves up to, and making time for it, the ability to do exactly that – physically nurture each other through what ever is going on at the time. Whether it’s a hard day, illness, death of a loved one, bad news, or even on the other side of that a lot of great news, sharing it with physical touch is a natural thing to do. Why do we refrain, or hold back?

How does that actually serve us?

For the sake of our mental and emotional health, we need to remember that touch is important. Without it we shut down, and that eventually will affect us physically too.

Are you nurturing the intimacy aspect of your relationship with regular physical nurturing? 

For more on this subject, pop over and join in the conversation in our FB Group

#thatsexbook   #horizontalhappiness

 

 

Inspiring Change In Your World

While reviewing a lot of Facebook posts lately, I have been interested in noting that the world is definitely changing. From one where people are fairly relaxed about important things in life, to where opinions are rife, videos common to portray things that are either just not right, or totally adorable.  Rappers are making their music mean more, poets are finding a firmer platform to share from, and entertainers are still just as popular as ever.  But – I noticed that even that has changed lately.   Did you see last week that  Rock Star PINK has weighed in on the body image debate for young women by criticizing Kim Kardashian’s attitude towards her own sexuality. And just about everyone from the First Lady of the USA to the woman I saw in the local cafe yesterday is making noise about breast feeding (vs pornography) in public. There’s even a whole lot of mud (yes I’m watching my language) slinging about Donald Trump, the Republicans vs the Democrats, and people’s rights and responsibilities about voting in elections.

Yes the world is changing.

How much are you being part of the change you want to see in your corner of the world?  

Regardless of how big or small your corner may be, if you have something to say about it, there has never been a better time to be heard.  BUT – how many voices do you have to rise above to be heard?

Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Twitter, You Tube, Face Book, Instagram…  the mainstayers of social media are increasingly popular – it’s never ending.  However, there is a flaw with this.   Facebook at least is continuing to update it’s algorithms and affect what you can actually put out into the public domain or even share with your friends without boosting (that means paying for) traction for your messages. Unless you are already someone ‘famous’ enough to feature on enough feeds for your viral-ability to rocket it can be a very hard climb to get to the top of someone’s news feed and create a stir about anything worth mentioning.  Twitter is now dominated by images without which your message is totally lost, and YouTube and Instagram posts are so crowded it’s almost too hard to get there and find what you’re looking for unless you know your way around really well and have the time to surf for a while.

I’ve managed to somehow not see or hear the news channels for nearly three weeks now – mostly by accident, although I don’t make a point of watching the news on a regular basis anyway as I prefer to not hear all the negative reports about shootings, accidents, muggings, and rampaging political agendas as a daily part of my diet.  However, while I used to say that I’d get any serious news on Facebook if I needed to made aware of it, even that is not true any more.  Instead of being made aware of the most devastating tropical storm ever recorded in the South Pacific last week (the one that has devastated Fiji) instead I’ve been inundated with Trump-isms and puppies.  How does that work exactly?

Inspiring change in your world sounds complicated but it’s very simple really

The more people you know, who also know you, and take an interest in your views, your fun-stuff, or your quips and quirks, the further your message will go.  I have a lovely friend who is out there doing a lot of great work towards raising self esteem among women. She posts fun videos, inspirational quotes – many of which are her own original ones – and long conversations with the universe that further balance out reviews of her life and what’s happening there every few days.  She works her social media resources to actively try and make a difference in the corner of her world she has claimed as her own to help change.   She gathers people together in rooms to hear her wisdom, and teaches them to laugh as themselves, and love themselves more every single day.

There are countless people out there doing exactly that.  Identifying a corner of their own world they want to improve, like a gardener finding a whole park that needs weeding a little and taking ownership of it, along side a few others in each plot of land, taking out the pesky and irritable weeds that bring humanity down and replacing them with flowers, vegetables and fruit to serve, nourish, and flourish with colour and positive new ideas and ways to live.

It’s a great time to find a mission, share your passion, and enthusiastically challenge the status quo over something.   So go on – get busy. Inspiring change in your world is far more invigorating than sitting around waiting for the six o’clock news every evening.

And be sure to share your stories as you go…

 

Typewriters and Creativity

Remington Typewriter

My new old Remington Noiseless Typewriter

Last week I brought an old Remington Typewriter – it’s gorgeous – circa 1920s, and clearly once used in banking so probably not one that was ever used by a legendary novelist!  But I started thinking about typewriters and creativity.  I wondered if there was a link to those great old classic stories and brilliant journalism and the invention of the computer.

You see ‘once upon a time’ was penned first with a quill, then we moved to pens with ink in them, and about a hundred years ago, typewriters sped things up a bit.   In actual fact, according to Wikipedia Typewriters had been invented way back in the early 1700s by a man named Henry Mill, then throughout the 1800s various forms were created but the first commercially viable version of the typewriter was invented by three men in Milwalkee Wisconsin, Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule.    But I digress….

Now, the computer has taken over, and one of the side affects of writing on the keyboard is speed.  And this is not always a good thing.

Have you ever started typing so fast that your brain was going faster than your fingers, and you found that your mind was stifled by having to correct what you were typing?  Or that your thoughts were crowding through your fingers so fast that you almost lost them on the way down?   Yeah, I get like that sometimes.  

 

 

The Question of Typewriters and Creativity

The thing with typewriters was that you could type at a reasonable speed, but not at the extraordinary pace that we can now on a laptop. Time to ponder between words may have played out very well for Agatha Christie and Napolean Hill back in the day.

My new old Remington beckoned to me from across the room at an antique show, and I forked over $120 for it (probably many multiples of dollars more than it originally sold for) and carted the very heavy machine away to the car, dreaming of all I might have written on it in another age.  I also pondered what may have been created on it during it’s lifetime of active use.

The reality is, I hated typing at school, because the perfectionist in me couldn’t stand making errors and having to use white-out or typex on the pages.  Cancel and delete before even printing the page is a wonderful thing.  Especially now that I type faster than I think sometimes.

But the question remains in my mind – is creativity the opportunity cost of speed for a writer?

 

 

New Year, New Scripts

New Year’s Eve was spent with friends around a laden table, with much conversation, laughter, and love.   It was a happy time, and marked the end of an extraordinary year of transformation for me.  New Year, New Scripts was the topmost thought for me on New Year’s Day, as I reviewed last year, and contemplated all that I want to achieve in 2016, on top of what developed in 2015.

I recall 4 years ago another New Year’s Day with a good friend, creating my first ever vision board.   It has sat on my bedroom wall for all but the past year, but still readily visible in another room.   To my amazement I can check off every single item on the board – all has come to pass.   Does that mean I have spent the last few days creating a new one? I’d love to say yes, but the answer is no.   Instead I’m contemplating what I want for the rest of my life.

An associate passed away two days before the end of the year – and as she was similarly aged and career oriented as me, I found her death very confronting.  And so the rest of the week was spent thinking about all that I have, had, do, am, and ‘what next’?

One thing I’m noticing more and more is that manifestation is a lot easier than I ever dreamed possible long ago.  I now know with absolute certainty that I can do, have, be anything/anywhere/anyway I really want to be, so long as I really do want it, and truly believe it’s possible.    What does get in the way sometimes is old scripts running through my head about deserving, luck (not that I even believe in luck any more – I do believe in  being ready for opportunities though), and karma.  Is it my fate, or my karma to follow that idea to it’s natural conclusion… my head will argue with my spirit.  

Learning to control the arguments inside that really are a form of sabotage is my mission for now – so that I can focus on manifesting what I want next for my life.   Having experienced ‘all my dreams coming true’ on more than one phase of my life, I know that I can do that again… the challenge is knowing exactly what to ‘put out there’.

More meditation required – I’ll seek to find the answers within my heart.

 

Wrapping Up the Story

I’ve been trying for weeks to find the time to finish the book – The Mistress.   At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.   The Reality is, it was starting to get difficult to find a way to wrap up the storyline and I kept putting it off.  What should have been quite easy, kept being put into the ‘Too Hard’ basket and before I knew it, another month had gone by and no further development of the story had happened at all.

That all changed this week.  I was driving along the highway thinking about the story, and the characters and realised that I needed to have the central character, Delta, take a very firm stand on what was happening to her, and that meant making a few changes to the recent chapters I’d written.  “Groan!”  that was my feeling on any re-writing options.   However, On reaching my destination on Thursday, I talked it over with a psychic friend of mine who helped me through the entire scenario – as though we were talking about real people in a real life and death situation.  It was so good having a fresh perspective by someone who also gets the concept of what I’m trying to do as a writer with this particular story.

Bang – everything just fell into place.

Sometimes talking over the situation and the outcomes we want can have unexpected benefits.  For me, the added bonus of discussing my book with Suzanne was an even deeper understanding of what actually happens when dark spirits are wreaking havoc with us – which does happen on a daily basis.

I’ve seen and experienced various levels of psychic attack over the years, and through that, wanted to help explain this phenomenon to my readers.   And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing this book as I’ve explored the subject.  Sometimes things really do go ‘bump in the night’ in unexplained ways, and it’s good to know that those funny (bad variety) of coincidences do often have some spiritual elements to them that once dealt with can help with our own ability to move forward on goal setting, relationship building, and much more.

Not all ‘dark energies’ are spirits, and not all spirits are poltergeists either.   Some of them are simply that – a dark energy.  Gaining an understanding of how these affect us and our environments is very helpful – don’t you think?

The Mistress is now due for completion in a few days, and then its off to be edited. That hopefully means it will be out and available in time for Christmas and southern hemisphere summer reading.   I’ll keep you posted.  However, if you are keen to know more about pre-ordering, I’ll have these details on my website in late October.

Meantime, enjoy reading the excerpts and feel free to leave any comments.

Thanks,
Dixie

Inspiration in New York City

My challenge was how to create the very best experience over three days in the city of big dreams, New York City.   As a writer, I wanted to do the best job I could of finding a place to develop characters in a new book, from a complete outsider’s point of view.  So I was looking for inspiration in New York City as a first priority. Having never been to NYC before, I was excited about the many possibilities, but aware that three days was never going to be enough to do justice to such a trip.

First things first, I had to make a quick list of what I most wanted to do that were also romantic, and lucky for me, I was traveling with my fiance, and there were practically no restrictions to our budget.  The second part of the planning was to talk to people who had recently been there, and some who lived there.  Many friends had visited, but I called on the delightful and helpful Karen Jacobson, AKA The GPS Girl for her best recommendation.  Singer/songwriter Karen has lived in New York for about a dozen years now, does an online TV series called Navigating New York, and I just knew she’d have some great ideas.

Armed with a hotel reservation, and a couple of advance bookings we arrived late on a Saturday evening in early September.   Flying into Newark Airport was an unimpressive start, made worse by the eventual realisation we’d mixed up our town car booking.   But we then enjoyed our first Yellow Cab ride, and hastened slowly into Manhattan through the Lincoln tunnel, and into the heart of the city.   It was already 10pm when we arrived at the Waldorf Astoria, and checked in with the delightful help of Matthais – a young 20-something graduate with a big smile and a happy attitude that certainly suited his role.

Let me tell you about the Waldorf Astoria – a grand olde dame of an establishment so rich in history it features it’s own mini-museum.   Kings, queens, princes and princesses, along with movie stars and high ranking politicians all stayed there, and he photos on the wall even included a few multi-award winning musicians.   It was inspiring to think we may have been sleeping in a bed once enjoyed by ‘The Boss’ or Elizabeth Taylor, that is until we reached our room and realised that was highly unlikely.

Small, a little cramped and damp, and no view at all.   Off we went first thing in the morning to suggest a few things were not up to expectations, and we were promptly upgraded to a room that really might have been enjoyed by at least a talented millionaire or three through the years.  And of course Elizabeth Taylor would have had a ‘proper suite’. Too rich for us, but by now we had a fabulous view of Park Lane, a king size bed and bathroom, and generous living area to relax in for the next few days. It was expensive but sumptuous and we loved it!

We spent the better part of that first Sunday on a lunch cruise along the Hudson River, where the food was almost as good as the table service, and the views of the city were expansive.  The Statue of Liberty was majestic in the sunshine as she reflected the millions of camera’s pointed at her from the tourists at her feet.   We expected Ellis Island to be eerie and grim, but in fact it resembled an old hospital building and we’d not have known what it was unless it had been pointed out by our ship’s captain.

At the recommendation of some other passengers we headed towards the Chelsea Vintage Markets – not to be confused with the Chelsea Flea Markets, which we ventured into a the following day and found it to be missing a lot of the hype we’d anticipated.   The Vintage Markets were set in a small vacant lot, across the road from a four story upmarket antique store, and the bargains were exceptional to say the least.  So much so we had to be particularly careful we reserved enough money for our cab fair home afterwards.

To say the shopping in NYC is fantastic is a bit like saying Carrie Bradshaw likes shoes.   Not only is the famous Fifth Avenue everything a girl could hope it to be, but the major stores like Macys, Saks, Old Navy, and Bloomingdales are simply outstanding.   A trip to NYC would not have been complete without a few hours spent aimlessly wandering these iconic stores and walking away with a few well chosen wardrobe and gift items.

From the Gondolier outside the Boathouse Cafe, Central Park - HIGHLY Recommended for a special Date!

From the Gondolier outside the Boathouse Cafe, Central Park – HIGHLY Recommended for a special Date!

By the second day there we were hailing cabs like the locals – well almost.  A running tally of who was the most successful at this was and still is a constant source of amusement between us.   But cab rides were nothing compared to two other modes of transport we enjoyed in New York.  Karen Jacobson’s wonderful suggestion of a gondolier ride with an authentic Venetian/Brazilian gondolier named Jose at the Boathouse Cafe in Central Park was simply magic.   We followed this up by a romantic sunset dinner at the Boathouse restaurant overlooking the lake, then a horse and carriage ride around the park after dark, ending our perfect evening at the Plaza Hotel for late drinks.    What could be better than ticking off several bucket list items in one romantic evening with my Honey, who by the way had no idea of my advanced planning for that particular date night.

Our last day in New York dawned as bright and warm as the previous two days, and we decided to amble about the stores again before heading to the home of Liberty Helicopters for a planned 15 minute tour of the city by air.   Unfortunately this was the least exciting part of the trip, as the ride took more than an hour to queue for, and lasted only 12 minutes, with a very rapid view of the same area we’d seen from the Hudson River cruise two days before.  An expensive way to see the city and perhaps a better option would have been to hire a town car for a two or three hours personal tour.

The town cars all looked like they were from the set of Criminal Minds, and the drivers were bold looking blokes with firm attitudes and charming style.  Their willingness to please was the sort of customer service gurus write books about, and the two short trips we did take with Howie’s Limos was in air-conditioned comfort and very reasonably priced.   A certain snobbery exists between the cabbies and the town-car drivers, but then again, what industry doesn’t have an elite version that is protective of it’s status?

Our final evening was spent seeing a Broadway show – The Book of Mormon – which can only be described as the funniest show we’d ever seen and we can’t wait to go back and see it again.  This was followed by dinner two doors down in a charming Italian restaurant featuring a blind piano player serenading patrons with old jazz, and pasta that was out of this world.   The most interesting thing about the place however – aside from the wall of fame with photos of legendary celebrity dinners – was the bathrooms which were decorated to resemble an old Italian sidewalk in a quaint Tuscany village.   I actually went back for a second look and took my camera this time.   Talk about ambience!

The days sped by, and we packed a lot in, and  we chose not to do several things on our list that we’re saving for next time.  Like a Harlem tour with lunch, and museums and the Empire state building… the closest we got to the Rockerfeller Centre was the sidewalk due to Ellen filming there later in the day.   And we’d have surely gone to more Broadway shows had time allowed.

For anyone wondering if you can ‘do New York’ in only three days we say absolutely you can.   By not cramming too much in, and taking the time to really enjoy the spare time we had, book-ended each day with ‘a something’ or two, we managed to get a giant taste of what we want to go back and do again, or differently next time.   Most of all, by spending less time, and increasing our budget for the time we did have, we indulged in all the best ways we could think of, and that included some of the most iconic options such as the Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue, and the Fabulous Boathouse Restaurant.

Would we do it again differently – probably not.   First impressions you only get once. New York made sure our first impressions were the kind of dazzling splendid I’d only ever dreamed about.  And I’m so inspired to ensure some of my experiences make it into my next novel, so stay tuned.   Although I might have to go back to check on place names? That’s a great excuse huh!

 

Builders and their Houses

Ok my hand is up – I’m guilty as charged.  Just like plumbers with leaky taps and builders with doors that stick, I’m guilty of not doing my own work first.  And that’s a big deal for me, because I constantly hear myself guide other writers to commit to writing at least a few words every day, or at least every week… and blogging is a great way of being able to do that with limited pressure to write ‘perfectly’ so it should be so easy.

Well it’s not!

Life takes over, and we get busy.  Stuff happens.  I’m not going to make excuses, but as we are now staring down the barrel of there only being 20 more weeks till the end of the year, I have to reprioritise this writing thing.

You see I have a plan.  It’s a good one. All writers should have a plan right!  My plan involves writing a minimum of five novels over three years and reaching that magical point where I have a real back catalogue of work.  Five being the number where for every book you write, that someone reads and loves, they might be so inclined to see what else I’ve written and buy those too.  (Last year I devoured about 20 Harlan Coben titles – my new favourite author and now I wait impatiently for every title he releases).

My plan is working out – but these last few months have been insanely busy as I’ve gone from being a part time writer to a ‘full time writer’ who is suddenly busier than ever with no excuses not to be writing every day and yet time just flies.

So – I’ve created a challenge for myself to write a minimum number of words every day for 30 days.   And sometimes my words will flow and sometimes they wont.  But overall I’ll get back on that horse and keep riding (writing) until I reach a few necessary destinations (finish at least one of the three books I’m writing!)

Yes THREE. And first off the block will be The Mistress – a chilling thriller romance, with a kick and a twist.  Early reviews are fantastic and I’m dying to finish it but it’s got a life of it’s own and keeps growing. Intended to be a short story, it’s now up to 50,000 words and still a chunk of writing to go yet.  You can read excerpts here if you wish.

Second is a business book I’m co-authoring with a friend who is also a business coach and we’re working on educating small business owners about getting the basics right before expanding and getting distracted.  This will be released very early 2016.

And book number three is a project I’m working on with a wonderful professional speaker friend from the USA who came up with a great idea and together we’re working on a life changing tale that needs to be told about children.  This one has me gripped by the throat and I can’t wait to finish it – as it keeps me awake at night writing in my head.

All three are destined to make readers go ‘wow’ and I’m confident in that.  But – first I have to finish them, edit them, review them, and plan their launches.

I better get busy huh!

Dixie

PS – How do you cope with life getting in the way of your real plans – I’d love to know.

Inspiration to Write a Good Story

Ok I admit it – I’m insatiably curious about all kinds of things that are ooky and spooky, and a little bit wierd.   But – I’m still a regular normal everyday kinda person who most people think when they meet me, that I’m far too ‘regular’ to be ‘into all that stuff’.  But the reality is, I love ghost stories, experiencing spirituality close up, and learning all about life after (this) life too.

This is a world that offers so many stories and opportunities to explore what makes us get goosebumps or cold shivers. And that does not necessarily mean the kind that Stephen King writes about, but everyday things.

I’m talking about widows who keep feeling like their spouse is still lying in bed beside them, or having funny things happen every time you turn on the radio, or being haunted by disgruntled former lovers or friends who just want to finish things properly before they complete their own ‘crossing over’ phase of dying.  this was my inspiration for Beyond the Shadows, but also a chance meeting played a big part in starting that story.

I love helping people to understand how mediums work, what we see, how we experience and interpret interractions, and most of all I love helping to take the ‘woo-woo’ out of the every day ooky spooky stuff that many of us simply put down to weird coincidences or imagination.

For me, inspiration to write stories based on having some element of these things helps me to share what I’ve learned through dealing with death, spiritual residual energies, psychic attack, and friendly mischevous ‘ghosts’ in pretty much every day life.  There are so many curious people, and those who have passed away often do want to let us know they are still around in various ways and thatnearly always makes for a great story.

Inspiration to write is easy.  Writing is easy.  But finding time to write all the many stories I want to be able to share with my reaers… well that’s the real challenge!

Here’s what I have found helps me to write the many stories I start:

  1. Keep a file that is started stories – many are just the first few paragraphs or an outline of something inspired by an event, conversation, person or thing.
  2. Review that file and see what bubbles up when I’m ready to start a new story.
  3. Start writing and see if it flows.

Rinse and Repeat steps one to three.   Something like that anyway.   😉

 

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