Guest Writer Interview - Stephan Myers

Today I am pleased to innovate children's writer together with illustrator, Stephan Myers. 

The Fun Five:
1.  What business office of the earth utilization you lot come upwards from?
I was genuinely born inwards Hull.  Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 Yorkshire human being born, but non bred.  I come upwards from a service identify unit of measurement together with nosotros moved on a regular footing both inwards the UK of Britain together with Northern Republic of Ireland together with Europe.
2.  What did you lot desire to survive when you lot grew up?
I wishing I could tell I had a item ambition.  I was rattling much into athletics together with it wasn't until afterward years that I chose a corporate career.
3.  List 3 words to depict yourself.
Tenacious, inquisitive, creative
4.  Who would play you lot inwards a cinema near your life?
I select no idea.  I don't sentinel TV together with am a niggling out of touch, but it would select to survive mortal amongst a receding hairline!
5.  Who is your favourite author?
Carlos Ruiz Zafon has been my favourite writer for many years.  Authors come upwards together with larn but he has a magical plough of phrase that conjures a existent feel of atmosphere inwards his books.  His children's books are exactly superb.
The Sensible Six:
1.  What inspired you lot to write your foremost book?
My foremost even out was genuinely The Prayer which I wrote after seeing an aide worker helping a immature homeless kid on a London street.  It was a niggling after midnight together with something of an oculus opener for me equally I had exactly left a corporate dinner!  By the fourth dimension my prepare arrived inwards the station I already had the even out inwards my mind.  It's an icon I volition never forget together with I oftentimes wonder what happened to the kid they were helping.  It's had tremendous reviews together with has reached over 100,000 readers together with hence far.  Although the championship suggests otherwise it isn't religious together with has much inwards mutual amongst the Little Match Girl past times HCA together with A Christmas Carol past times Charles Dickens inwards price of note together with tenor.
2.  What made you lot write for children rather than adults?
I've written several books for immature adult together with adult readers.  The YA novels characteristic Loss beyond The Book of Dreams equally she reaches her teenage years.  The foremost is called Shadows inwards the Dark.  It carries on from the pic books together with volition survive released after The Colour Silver is launched.  I promise this volition survive inwards 2016 equally I am currently taking a suspension from the serial to consummate a twain of stand upwards lone novels I desire to release.
3.  Tell us a niggling near your illustrations.
The books are illustrated past times myself together with Nick Smith.  I had a clear thought of the characters from the rattling beginning, but every even out sees them evolve a niggling more.  Nick is rattling much a traditional illustrator who shuns digital mediums together with plant alone inwards watercolour where equally I'm quite happy working inwards dissimilar mediums.  I promise your readers volition grip at that spot is a timeless together with magical chemical component division to the illustrations which genuinely select the spirit of the words.  They genuinely are a pleasance to illustrate.
4.  Is Loss based on anyone you lot know?
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 big no on that one.  She's to a greater extent than the culmination of many characters I read equally a child.  I wanted a graphic symbol that had a certainly naivety but loved adventure.  We too wanted to utilization a graphic symbol who was at nowadays recognisable.  Alongside Ted, Loss is e'er flora inwards her PJs amongst her scarlet dressing gown.
5.  What tin nosotros hold off from you lot inwards the future?
We are currently rushing to consummate Just Ted which nosotros promise to unloosen earlier Christmas together with at that spot volition survive a long fiction children's majority featuring Loss together with Ted inwards the New Year, but thereafter at that spot volition survive a suspension of at to the lowest degree a twelvemonth earlier anything else is released.
6.  How tin nosotros contact you lot or honor out to a greater extent than near your books?
You tin honor out to a greater extent than near the books at there is the green contact shape on the site.
You tin honor me on Twitter
together with on Facebook at
To have 30% OFF everything on Stephan's site, quote TCRB10



Do Something That Scares You

No affair how old I acquire Halloween even then holds that exceptional magic for me.  I loved bobbing for apples when I was a kid too carving the pumpkins.  My children even then savour getting dressed upward (although it's to a greater extent than teenage zombie than fairy or cute ghost nowadays).  Going out trick-or-treating amongst friends too dressing the household upward amongst giant spiders too plastic bats holds a empty-headed fascination.  I have got been known to vesture regal velour too a pointed lid on occasion!

With Halloween fresh inwards our minds, I idea it was the perfect fourth dimension to intend most the scary materials - non headless horsemen or flesh eating gremlins - the day-to-day materials that stops us from achieving our goals.

Many years agone I develop myself a challenge to have got purpose inwards NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  H5N1 writing contest to pen 50,000 words inwards xxx days.  I didn't create it.  Why?  Because I was scared.  Scared of failing, scared of taking part, scared of writing drivel, scared of what people may think. 

How many times have got yous allowed your fears to halt yous from doing something?

Last twelvemonth I finally took purpose inwards NaNoWriMo, of course of pedagogy this was purpose of my Resolution Challenge, a twelvemonth sum of resolutions that I had to accomplish whilst blogging my progress.  It was a fantastic sense too non exclusively did I thoroughly savour the event, but I finished amongst fourth dimension to spare too the outset draft of my debut immature adult fantasy novel, Guardians of the Dead.

What had I been then scared of?  After the number I understood how valuable the sense was too realised what I had been missing out on because of my fears.  Before nosotros tin hand the sack accomplish nosotros must outset confront our demons.  My demon looked similar me; chocolate-brown hair, chocolate-brown eyes, 5 human foot x amongst a slight muffin overstep too laughter lines (I reject to admit them every bit wrinkles!)

So how tin hand the sack nosotros create it?  How tin hand the sack nosotros create something that scares us?  During my twelvemonth of challenges, I faced several demons, all of them were self-made.  Knowing that I was writing my progress hither on my weblog gave me the forcefulness to acquire on too create it.  I constitute the confidence to exactly write too over fourth dimension I stopped over-analysing myself too my operate too began to savour it.  Once this happened I started to have feedback from people all over the globe.  I'd faced a fearfulness - failure - too came out on the other side unscathed. 

It is 1 of the hardest things to position yourself out there, live it writing a novel, losing weight, joining a grouping or learning something new.  Only when nosotros footstep over that invisible fearfulness barrier create nosotros start to sympathize our potential.

When I published my non-fiction book, How I Changed My Life inwards a Year, I faced my biggest fearfulness of all, a fearfulness that I know stems from a childhood memory.  Fear of beingness laughed at too non beingness liked.  I'm certain this is a fearfulness that many people concord too it's taken me a long fourth dimension to larn to alive amongst it.  Self-work too meditation have got helped enormously but when it came to promoting my mass I had to merely allow go.  Let acquire of fears too position myself out there.  Do yous know what I found?  Positive feedback.  Not exclusively was my mass received good but the to a greater extent than I promoted, the to a greater extent than I attracted.  My mass is even then inwards the overstep x of Amazon's self-help bestseller list.  This may non live the NYT listing but for me it's validation that I did something that scared me - too survived!

What tin hand the sack yous create today that scares you?  Maybe you've done something that scared yous too also survived, I'd dearest to listen most it.

Guest Writer Interview - Douglas Mcpherson

Today I am joined past times journalist together with author, Douglas McPherson.  Douglas was the human I turned to for advice on turning my Resolution Challenge weblog into a book.  His response together with subsequent back upward were a huge constituent inward edifice my confidence.  I am thrilled that he was able to bring together me for a chat.  Over to Douglas.
The Fun Five:
1.  What exercise of the globe create you come from?
I grew upward inward South London, non far from Wimbledon Common.  I currently alive out inward the countryside beneath the large Norfolk skies.
2.  What did yous desire to live on when yous grew up?
I ever wanted to create something creative together with truly began my working life every bit a graphic designer.
3.  List 3 words to depict yourself.
Nearly ever writing.
4.  Who would play yous inward a cinema virtually your life?
Matt Smith inward his Dr Who wearing clothing – I accept a jacket only similar that – although if I larn whatsoever to a greater extent than greyness hairs we’ll accept to start talking to Peter Capaldi.
5.  Who is your favourite author?
I truly similar Eric Malpass who wrote a serial of books virtually a household unit of measurement called the Pentecosts, by together with large viewed through the eyes of their 9-year-old son, Gaylord.  My favourite, At The Height of the Moon, is all the same my benchmark for expert writing.  It’s real gentle together with comic, but sharply observed, too.
The Sensible Seven:
1.  What inspired yous to write your outset book?
My outset mass was a biography, Dominic Kirwan: Through The Years.  I went to i of his concerts past times conduct chances and, for someone who’s non on the tv set or inward the charts, I was amazed at the dedication of his fans, who are by together with large women of a for sure age.  They follow him all over the province together with encompass the phase inward presents for him.  I thought: “Here’s a even out that hasn’t been told…and an audience for it.”  I accept a fond retentivity of standing past times his trade stand upward together with watching his fans purchase ii books at a fourth dimension – i to read together with i to keep.  That’s how much they adore the man.
2.  You write romance novels every bit Julia Douglas, what prompted yous to write nether a pseudonym?
It’s only a marketing thing.  There’s a belief that people who purchase romance similar to run into a woman mortal elevate on the cover.  It’s the reverse inward another genres similar thrillers together with sci-fi.  JK Rowling used her initials because she idea that if boys saw Joanna on the encompass they powerfulness accept idea her books were for girls.  Also, inward mag fiction, if it’s a outset mortal even out together with there’s a manful mortal elevate at the top of the page, people powerfulness start reading alongside the supposition that the graphic symbol is male, when it powerfulness non be.
3.  Tell us a piffling virtually your non-fiction book, Circus Mania.
I’d never been interested inward circuses until The Stage sent me to review a present at Britain’s oldest circus building, the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, which is a real magical together with atmospheric place.  I interviewed an aerialist called Eva Garcia virtually her lifestyle – her household unit of measurement had been inward the circus for a hundred years.  The real side past times side week, the twenty-four hr menses later my interview was printed, Eva cruel to her expiry during her act.  The stupor of that brought dwelling delineate solid to me the danger that circus performers human face upward every day, then I wrote Circus Mania every bit a backstage journeying through their world, talking to the performers virtually their unique lives, history, traditions together with superstitions.  It’s a fascinating concern together with I’ve carried on writing virtually the large top every since, including the setting of my romantic new The Showman’s Girl.
 Today I am joined past times journalist together with author Guest Author Interview - Douglas McPherson Today I am joined past times journalist together with author Guest Author Interview - Douglas McPherson
4.  You also write curt stories (my personal favourite beingness The Blue Rinse Brigade).  Which create yous let on easier to write, curt stories or novels?
I’m truly a curt even out man.  I mean value that comes from mainly beingness an article writer.  I similar to cram a lot into a curt space.  Even the romance novels are fairly short.  I’ve never had the patience to read truly thick books.  The writers I admire are truly songwriters who tin forcefulness out cram a whole even out into a few lines.
5.  Your ‘Get Started’ characteristic inward the Writers’ Forum Magazine is a wonderful resources for anyone growing their writing career.  Do yous accept a favourite slice of advice?
I mean value yous require a niche, something that sets yous apart from other writers, together with I mean value that comes from writing virtually the things that yous are personally most fascinated past times together with truly desire to enjoin people about.  If anyone has a query virtually writing they tin forcefulness out e-mail it to me at  Questions together with answers volition live on printed inward the magazine.
6.  What tin forcefulness out nosotros human face from yous inward the future?
At the 2d I’m mainly writing articles, but I accept a few stories lined upward to seem inward My Weekly over the side past times side duet of months.  I’m truly happy that my latest romance novel, Polka Dot Dreams, is available every bit an eBook together with also every bit a paperback inward libraries – yous tin forcefulness out read it for free!
 Today I am joined past times journalist together with author Guest Author Interview - Douglas McPherson
7.  How tin forcefulness out nosotros contact yous or let on out to a greater extent than virtually your books?
I’ve got ii blogs.  Circus Mania is a spin-off from the mass Circus Mania together with virtually all things circus.  You tin forcefulness out also read my Blue Rinse Brigade serial Murder At the Circus there.
All my fiction books tin forcefulness out live on establish at  Julia Douglas Romance
 Today I am joined past times journalist together with author Guest Author Interview - Douglas McPherson

Taking A Pace From Motivational Non-Fiction To Magical Fantasy

This calendar week I watched my non-fiction mass How I Changed My Life inwards a Year achieve the issue iv spot on Amazon's Best Seller listing for self-help. 

I striking the 'screenshot' clitoris thus fast I almost dislocated my finger.  Within 30 seconds I had uploaded the photograph to my Facebook page to portion my word with the incredible people who get got supported me throughout my writing journey.

The sense of self-publishing this mass has been thus rewarding.  I proceed to have emails, tweets together with messages from people telling me how much they enjoyed reading it together with how it has helped them inwards their life.  Priceless.

On Th I striking my 50,000 discussion target for NaNoWriMo together with I had to switch my writing encephalon from motivational non-fiction to immature adult fantasy. 

I get got e'er had a passion for fantasy books, films together with TV shows.  During the lowest indicate of my life at that spot was 1 immature adult inwards detail who taught me I could last to alive some other solar daytime - Buffy Summers, Vampire Slayer.  She for certain knew where to shove the pointy cease of a stake!

I waited inwards line of piece of occupation for Sarah Maas's novel loose together with I devoured Veronica Roth's serial during many belatedly nighttime read-a-thon's.  On my final see to London I stopped at Blackfriars Bridge simply thus I could tweet Cassandra Clare to state her I was there!  Any swain immature adult fans volition resonate amongst my neurotic passion.

When I took usage inwards NaNoWriMo for the outset fourth dimension inwards 2013 I used the calendar month to write the outset draft of my own young adult fantasy novel that had swirled roughly my encephalon for a issue of years.  Having the construction of a deadline together with regular write in's helped me to complete together with earn my winner badge.  This year I worked on mass 2 inwards the series.

When I striking the 50,000 discussion score afterward final years contest I position the manuscript away until the New Year.  When I felt create to read what I had written I took the fourth dimension to re-work sections together with enlisted the assist of a professional person proof-reader together with copy-editor.  It took the residuum of the twelvemonth to larn the mass polished together with I similar a shot get got a fellowship working on the comprehend blueprint create for publication.

My ultimate dream is for my debut fiction mass to create equally good equally my non-fiction title.  I know I get got enough of difficult run ahead of me but that's one-half the fun of marketing.

To examination the waters I wanted to portion an excerpt of my immature adult fantasy fiction amongst you lot all.  I know the target audience for my books are thirteen/fourteen twelvemonth former girls but hey, nosotros were all immature once!

I welcome your feedback (positive together with constructive) thus delight don't live shy together with leave of absence me a comment.

Here goes.  Welcome to Guardians of the Dead...


Her lungs threatened to outburst equally she ran, but she pushed herself to maintain moving regardless of the hurting inwards her joints.  How could she get got been thus foolish?  The signs had been there.  The crippling headaches had forewarned her of what was to come upward but she hadn’t heeded the warnings together with similar a shot she was running for her life.

The former church building loomed earlier her, a humongous sandstone edifice that, nether the calorie-free of dawn, appeared to live haemorrhage from the concrete that sealed the large blocks of stone.  The gothic spire soared into the sky, its ornate carvings disfigured past times the air current together with pelting that had hounded it for centuries.  If she could arrive to the doors she could bind the lock, together with cast a piece to forbid anyone getting out.     

She had sworn to protect the town which slept roughly her, its inhabitants rubber inwards their beds.  Her ain married adult man together with immature lady slept soundly, oblivious to her mission.

Her frantic nous calmed equally she idea briefly of her daughter.  At simply half dozen years former she could concur her ain against whatever classroom bully, brilliant equally whatever scholar together with yet she showed no sign of inheriting her family’s power.  She was a footling girl, exceptional inwards her ain unique agency but she was no prophecy child.  They had been wrong.

Now, equally she ran for her life, she feared she may never laid eyes on her sugariness kid again.

The gravel path crunched underfoot equally she hurried along to the gaping oral fissure of the church building entrance.  Solid oak doors, highly decorated amongst concentric circles, stood earlier her, their atomic issue 26 handles caked inwards rust from centuries of neglect.

The church, in 1 lawsuit the thriving middle of Hills Heath’s community until the disappearances began centuries ago, was similar a shot a derelict monstrosity, a haunted mausoleum that the local potency were also afraid to rip down.

She skidded to a halt, dropping to her knees together with pulling her heavy coat neckband roughly her neck, protecting herself from the chill of the early on morn air.  She tried to relax her posture equally she cast the protective circle, her pump pounding inwards her thorax equally she hurriedly traced the shape inwards the dirt.  Her fingers crackled equally bluish burn caressed her hands, spreading along each digit until flames danced inwards her upturned palms.

Pushing her ability out, she raised it from the earth, letting it rush through her inwards a torrent until a lightning bolt escaped together with arched towards the wooden doors.  Using all her concentration she carved the piece into the wood, splinters of oak breaking off equally the bluish burn cutting deep.  Looping the flaming inwards a crescent, she chanted nether her breath, drawing her ability from the nature surrounding her.  She had to forbid them from setting human foot inwards her town.  In her world.  Time stood yet equally she heard them approach from behind.  The world spun equally she realised she was also belatedly together with they were already here.  The protection piece collapsed equally her confront smashed into the heavy wooden doors.  She tasted blood together with wiped her oral fissure amongst her sleeve.  Shaking her caput to endeavour to clear her vision, she stood, sweeping her arms roughly her, an athame nestled inwards the palm of her hand.

The dawn mist swirled through the churchyard, cloaking the gravestones. H5N1 large shape stepped out from the smog; a tall, muscular human being dressed caput to human foot inwards dark amongst a golden phoenix emblazoned across his armoured breastplate.  His hooded cape was drawn upward over his head, disguising all but the difficult laid of his jaw.  From beneath the swathes of dark cloth a deep rumbling express joy reverberated across the churchyard.

‘I get got postulate of you, witch.’  He spat the words at her equally he stepped closer, his paw resting on the hilt of the sword hidden from thought beneath his cape.

She glared at the huge man.  With her dagger raised betwixt them she stood tall amongst her mentum held high.  ‘My mention is Myanna.’

His express joy held no warmth equally it echoed inwards the eerie silence, her blood pounded inwards her ears, together with the tiny hairs on her arms stood erect.

‘I don’t bargain inwards pleasantries.’  He snapped his fingers together with 2 men approached, similarly dressed salvage for a smaller reddish phoenix on their armour.

They circled either side of her, cutting off her escape routes.  She backed away until her shoulders touched the oak doors.  Still clutching her athame together with belongings it at arm’s length she fumbled amongst her gratis paw to detect the atomic issue 26 take away hold behind her.  There was alone 1 agency out.  She would get got to become through the church.

Planting her feet squarely on the compacted gravel she flung her dagger at the human being to the left, striking him inwards the shoulder equally she swung opened upward the wooden door, smashing it into the advancing human being on her right.  She pivoted on her left human foot together with slipped through the door, pulling it shut behind her, whispering a sealing piece to tiresome them down.  The within of the door charred together with smoked equally the magic took hold.


The interior of the church building smelt musty, the years of decay permeating the walls together with floors.  She was inwards the nave, an enormous room amongst vaulted ceilings together with rows of wooden pews that faced a raised rock altar.  Strings of cobwebs laced across the seats leading to the platform.  No-one had stepped human foot inwards at that spot inwards over 2 centuries – no-one human anyway.  She hurried past times the baptistery, in 1 lawsuit the middle for all the town’s christenings, but the font had long since dried up.

She searched along the dorsum wall, running her hands across the rock looking for some other exit.  An opening inwards the darkest corner of the church building led to a wrought-iron staircase.  The stairwell was cloaked inwards darkness together with descended farther than her eyes could see.  She faltered briefly, unsure if stepping onto the outset rung would atomic number 82 her into to a greater extent than problem or indicate her to an escape route.

The heavy front end doors of the church building smashed opened upward together with the men stormed through the entrance amongst a bloodcurdling cry.

Her fourth dimension was up.  She placed her human foot on the outset rung together with took a measuring down, thus another…

My Non Bad Great Granddad Was Who? Genealogy For Beginners.

Genealogy is a fascinating champaign of written report in addition to equally a beginner I tin lose hours, if non days surfing the internet for long lost relatives.  I’m certain at that topographic point are quicker ways to teach results, but I’m having thus much fun on my detective mission nonetheless.

As it happens, I discovered this calendar week that my Great-Great-Grandfather on my mother’s side was inwards the Royal Engineers 223rd Field Company inwards WW1.  Having visited the incredible memorial at Tower Bridge inwards London, I flora the realisation that i of my ancestors was inwards the thick of it quite overwhelming.  Tears were shed.  God aid me if I sentry the Sainsbury’s get upward again!

During the same session, I flora out that my other laid of Great-Great-Grandparents were born inwards Dublin in addition to Mayo in addition to travelled over to the U.K. inwards the 1800’s.  That must bring been quite a trip.

The storyteller inwards me was buzzing amongst the; who, what, where, when in addition to how’s of it all.  To go inwards this champaign in addition to last able to slice together the puzzle of someone’s life must last thus rewarding. 

When I was on the trail of my father’s theater unit of measurement line, I traced our ancestors dorsum to a house called Mirfield inwards Yorkshire.  The same house that the histrion Patrick Stewart’s theater unit of measurement originated.  I flora an amazing majority past times a local genealogist in addition to writer, Frances Stott.  Aptly named Mirfield, this majority filled inwards thus many blanks for me.  It’s crammed amongst pictures of how the expanse looked inwards the 1800’s in addition to 1900’s.  There are dark in addition to white photographs of the street where my theater unit of measurement lived along amongst prove that my Great-Great-Great-Great*deep breath*Great-Grandad lived adjacent door to i of the town’s most prestigious occupants.

I endeavor to instill my passion for history on my children, but they ringlet their eyes in addition to strength out me amongst a flippant ‘back inwards your day’ phrase.  I create believe that didactics is wasted on the young!  Maybe I was the same, although I create scream back doing quite good inwards History lessons at school.  I e'er had a fascination for facts in addition to dates – mayhap that was my writing muse? 

My Grandad on my Dad's side was inwards the Home Guard
during WW2 inwards Leeds.
I would dearest to know if you lot bring flora whatsoever skeletons inwards the theater unit of measurement closet.  I withal ask to confirm my source, but I did discovery a criminal tape attached to i of my ancestors!  I don’t think whatsoever prison theater fourth dimension was attached to his crime, but it made for a bang-up conversation starter over dinner!  There are thus many inspiring stories, in addition to who knows, the adjacent bestseller thought mightiness but appear later on a yoke of hours on Ancestry!

If you lot create desire to bring a go, the primary sites offering xiv solar daytime costless trials.  It gives you lot the chance to dip your toe, but beware, genealogy is highly addictive.  Once you lot start it tin last real difficult to halt in addition to this agency paying for membership thus you lot tin bear on your searches.  In my sentiment the best site is Ancestry.  For a membership you lot volition aspect to pay £12.95 a calendar month (£107.40 a year).  H5N1 cheaper site is Find My Past who accuse £9.95 a calendar month (£99.50 a year).  If you lot don't bring the time, but you lot create bring the funds in addition to then you lot could pay an skilful to create the researching for you.  Links Genealogy offering 3 packages starting from £240 to draw a unmarried line, parents lines or grandparents lines.  Any of these would brand an ideal gift for a theater unit of measurement history buff.

My top tips earlier you lot start:

  • Buy a notepad in addition to write downwardly everything that you lot already know most your family.

  • Interview your theater unit of measurement members in addition to discovery out equally much equally they know.

  • Using this information, starting fourth dimension a ‘Family Tree’ on poster newspaper or on i of the sites in addition to start to fill upward inwards your ancestors.

Ancestry volition offering 'hints' on each member, this flags upward whatsoever searches for the same scream or other member’s theater unit of measurement tree’s that may jibe your own.  You may discovery a distant cousin!

Don’t pose it off.  I used to utter to my Grandad most his fourth dimension inwards the Navy during WW2 because his stories were incredible.  Only when he passed away did I boot myself for non recording those conversations.  Don’t hold off until it’s likewise late.

Have you lot had a become at looking upward your theater unit of measurement history?  Did you lot discovery anything interesting?


How To Survive Thankful Every Twenty-Four Sixty Minutes Menstruum Of The Year

Being thankful is a total fourth dimension challenge.  When I was edifice my life dorsum upwards next my divorce I spent a lot of fourth dimension thinking virtually all the things I was thankful for.  It was tough.  Those days were real black as well as finding a sliver of promise needed work. 

Photo courtesy of Nurture Store

Ten years after I notice it slowly to move thankful every day.  Each eventide my children as well as I sit down downwardly to dinner as well as nosotros become but about the tabular array bespeak what our best as well as worst things are of that day.  This is also a wonderful agency to notice out what's going alongside your family.  I've discovered show results as well as arguments alongside friends this agency (teens tin strength out move therefore guarded!)  They experience prophylactic to vocalism their concerns equally business office of their 'worst' flake as well as nosotros tin strength out hash out it equally a family.  We as well as therefore plough this into a positive past times proverb what our 'best' affair was.  This could move a uncomplicated equally a sunny twenty-four hours or equally monumental equally an A* show result.

Journaling is i of my favourite self-help tools, as well as jotting downwardly 3 things yous are thankful for tin strength out produce therefore much for your well-being.  I write my listing but earlier bed. Last nighttime I wrote:
  1. Meeting a friend for coffee.
  2. Spending the eventide snuggled upwards alongside my kids watching telly.
  3. My novel patio (had landscapers inwards all week).
What happens if yous are having a tough fourth dimension though?  How can yous move thankful when your life is total of pain, anxiety or debt? 

This is when writing a mag tin strength out help.  Even after the darkest of days yous volition move able to notice something to brand yous smile.  The olfactory holding of a loving cup of coffee, your pet Canis familiaris wagging his tail when yous acquire abode because he's pleased to come across you.  What virtually a stranger holding opened upwards a door for you, or finding a 5 pound Federal Reserve annotation inwards an former coat?  Don't intend that yous tin strength out entirely move thankful for the life saving encephalon operation (obviously yous would be!!) but instead think the smallest of things.  Words, smiles, sunny days or friendly actions - they all count.

In my life I come across my past times equally something that happened to some other person.  I got a 'do-over' as well as everything that I've achieved since 2004 has been my novel life.  This novel individual who was re-born as well as started fresh has created her ain happiness, built on her strengths as well as learnt huge lessons virtually her weaknesses.

To move able to motion forrad I began setting myself goals - smaller ones to laid about with.  The commencement finish I e'er gear upwards myself was to acquire up, acquire dressed as well as accept the kids to plant nursery as well as school.  That was an amazing day!  I began my 'be thankful' journeying that same day.

What are 3 things yous are thankful for? 


List Writing For Pleasance - It Is Possible!

December is upon us, in addition to the frenzy of festivities has begun.  My children cause got told me what they would similar this yr via lists that I constitute stuck on the fridge!  It appears my obsessive listing writing disorder has rubbed off!

Christmas wouldn't live on Christmas without an array of lists.  There's 1 for the nutrient shopping and one for the gift buying.  Then nosotros have a cry in addition to address listing for sending Christmas cards in addition to fifty-fifty a packing listing if you lot are lucky plenty to live on jetting off to sunnier climes this winter.

H5N1 listing is a helpful tool to boot the bucket along you lot on runway amongst jobs, tasks in addition to anything else that fills your encephalon on a twenty-four sixty minutes catamenia to twenty-four sixty minutes catamenia basis.

As a unmarried mum who runs her ain describe concern in addition to writes inward her spare fourth dimension (whatever that may be) listing writing is what keeps me organised in addition to calm.  If it's non on the list, in addition to then it doesn't larn done!

I know many of my friends in addition to customers who detest writing lists in addition to whorl their eyes to the heavens when I start chattering on most it.  Whether you lot dearest or detest listing writing, I promise the next ideas volition spark a petty chip of creativity, a fond retention or even a destination for the New Year. 


First of all I desire you lot to put aside your Christmas shopping list.  Forget most frozen turkey's, parsnips in addition to picking upwardly the cranberry sauce. 

Now lead handgrip of a pad in addition to pen and give yourself the gift of 5 minutes to jot downward a few things for each of the 'lists' I've added below:
  1. List all the jobs you lot would cause got loved to seek (yes, fifty-fifty astronaut)
  2. List all the cities you've e'er visited in addition to underline your favourite.
  3. List your 5 favourite books (Oooh this is a tough one!)
  4. List the first three things you'd produce if you lot won a 1 yard m pounds.
  5. List the 5 things you'd relieve if your solid were on burn downward (don't count family - that's likewise tardily My kids would cause got trampled over me to larn out!)
  6. List 4 people you lot would dearest to encounter (dead or alive)
  7. List the wishes you lot would similar to come upwardly true.
  8. List 5 overnice things you've done for other people.
  9. List your favourite things most your family.
  10. List 5 things you lot would similar to alter inward your life.

When I got my kids to produce this exercise, I was amused to discovery a 'two-day schoolhouse week, in addition to five-day weekend' on my daughters want list.  'More takeaways' made my younger sons listing amongst no elevate of mums cooking skills!  Their favourite cities were Barcelona in addition to London, in addition to I was real pleased to regard my mass on their favourite mass listing - non at all biased.

Read dorsum over your lists.  Could you lot lead 1 of your favourite cities to view adjacent summer?  How most a de-clutter - if you lot would exclusively relieve 5 things from the burn downward in addition to then produce you lot demand the 'stuff' inward your house?  What activeness steps tin forcefulness out you lot cause got inward 2015 to brand your wishes come upwardly true?  Remember all the favourite things you lot wrote most your identify unit of measurement when you lot are all together this Christmas.  Can you lot plow listing pose out 10 into a New Year's Day Resolution?  Changes inward your life exclusively hand off when you lot desire them to - if they were of import plenty to write on a list, why aren't they of import plenty to produce inward existent life?  Make it happen.

For me, writing a listing is a hugely of import job of my day, only why can't nosotros have a chip of fun along the agency - it is the airheaded flavor later all.

How did you lot larn on amongst your listing writing?  Pick 1 from each of your lists in addition to write them inward the comments.

Photo Credits:
Digidreamgrafix 'Festive Snowman'
Mister GC 'Christmas Wish List'


Smile Amongst The Stars

On the twelfth Dec 2010 my cousin, Lee Johnson, went to slumber as well as never woke up.

Lee died from SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death inwards Epilepsy) at the historic menses of 24.  He was an incredible somebody who lived his curt life to the full.  As a child, he played for Leeds United youth squad amongst James Milner, a seat he had to surrender because of his condition.  He continued to play for his local squad as well as was too an outstanding cricketer. 

His passion for sports was good known.  Lee had successfully undergone a soccer grooming assessment course of didactics which was to live the commencement of the side past times side phase of his life - every bit a soccer motorcoach on the West coast of America.

His expiry touched thence many people.  Neither Lee, his parents Simon as well as Vicky or his sis Becky knew that Epilepsy could receive got a life.  Following Lee's premature passing, a motion to enhance awareness of Epilepsy as well as cut back the stigma surrounding the status was launched.

This motion presently developed into the creation of Lee's Smile - a lasting tribute to Lee's achievements inwards his curt lifetime, as well as a charity that aims to run query as well as awareness to larn the answers that volition relieve lives.

We gibe numerous charity events across the set down as well as receive got business office inwards many fundraising activities, exactly the highlight has to live the 'Smile With The Stars Gala Ball' held inwards 2012, which raised £83,000.


The funds are used for query into epilepsy as well as financially supporting the fantastic piece of occupation with the LGI Hospital (Leeds General Infirmary).

If I tin receive got whatever lesson from Lee's passing, it would live to brand the most of life.  He crammed to a greater extent than into his 24 years than most of us could dream of.  He travelled, loved as well as lived without letting his status gibe him back.  He is my inspiration.

My aunt, uncle as well as cousin made the courageous conclusion to gibe a instant 'Smile With The Stars Ball' which volition live held on Fri sixth March 2015.  The sum of piece of occupation that goes into putting such an incredible eve together is overwhelming as well as nevertheless they line it off with grace, determination as well as of course of didactics - with a smile!

If you lot would similar to read to a greater extent than almost the amazing fundraising events or would live interested inwards assist the Ball or donating to this cause, as well as thence click on the link below as well as delight receive got a hold back at Lee's Smile website.

The promotional video below has highlights of the concluding Smile With The Stars Gala Ball
An amazing, emotional as well as star-studded evening.

Thank you lot thence much for taking the fourth dimension to read this post.  Losing someone you honey is something most of us volition receive got to become through at around signal inwards our lives. Each sense is dissimilar as well as personal to us. There are many charities who specialise inwards providing back upwards as well as grief counselling.  Our loss tin live to a greater extent than painful at this fourth dimension of year.   If you lot are struggling with a bereavement or would welcome someone to beak to as well as thence contact Cruse.

Finding Your Feet Inwards The Blogging World

Friends come upward inwards all kinds of shapes together with sizes.  Some are small-scale together with perfectly formed; some are tall together with tin assistance you lot popular the star on hand of your Christmas tree.  Other friends are a collage of pixels crammed into a stamp stamp sized photograph – yes, I’m talking nigh our online friends.  Tweeters, bloggers together with our Facebook friends are simply equally of import equally our aspect upward to aspect upward contacts.

This spider web log volition celebrate its 2d birthday on the 1st Jan 2015, together with its success is cheers to a mixture of people.  My holistic wellness spa clients who relish my ramblings, my solid unit of measurement who gets to respect out what I’ve been upward to together with my friends who back upward me inwards everything I do.  Then in that place are my immature human being bloggers; the dry soil forces of online buddies I bring made along my journey.  A ‘like’ here, a ‘comment’ there, a re-blog, a Facebook portion together with a tweet.  The blogging community is ane of the most supportive groups I bring always had the privilege to survive a business office of.  If you lot were contemplating starting a spider web log equally a New Year's Day Resolution – don’t think, simply do!

Over the past times 2 years, I bring watched my immature human being bloggers closely.  I bring read their posts together with commented, I’ve shared their links together with words of wisdom.  In return, they bring reciprocated together with taught me how to improve my content together with marketing.


“When the educatee is ready the Teacher volition appear.” The Buddha.

In 2013, this spider web log was habitation to my crazy yr of challenges.  Twelve New Year's Day Resolutions completed over twelve months.  From fighting flab to zip wiring through Sherwood Forest.  It was a whirlwind of blogging content together with became the footing of my debut non-fiction book, How I Changed My Life inwards a Year.

In 2014, my challenges were over but I was having together with then much fun blogging that I didn’t desire it to end.  I spent a year sharing my interests together with writing accomplishments.  It was fun but lacked management together with inwards recent weeks I bring been pondering!  I didn’t fifty-fifty know I could ponder together with nevertheless hither I was pondering!  What was side past times side for Resolution Challenge?

I turned over again to my online friends.  My ‘favourite blog’ listing is quite varied; I follow many authors together with writing blogs, together with I relish personal evolution together with inspirational blogs.  I bring besides been known to frequent the occasional beauty blog.  One affair they all bring inwards mutual – they know where they belong, together with they offering their readers a perfected product.

My spider web log has bobbed along quite happily throughout 2014; I bring shared many stories that received positive feedback together with some posts that were a full encephalon dump.  What I didn’t bring was a clearly defined direction.

In 2015, I shall survive taking nevertheless some other leafage out of my immature human being bloggers mass (I produce honey a skillful cliché).  I’m finding my path together with I’m excited nigh the futurity of my blog.  I promise it volition survive able to assistance many people over the coming years.

Running my holistic wellness spa together with educational activity my motivational workshops puts me inwards the ideal seat to portion my work.  We all require a helping mitt occasionally - that may survive learning how to handle our fourth dimension or to set our goals, creating a vision board or discovering a novel skill.  These personal evolution topics are needed all yr circular – non simply inwards fourth dimension for our New Year's Day Resolution listing (oh but I produce honey a skillful list!)

·         Fear busting

·         Inspirational reads/blogs

·         Slow living

·         Learning to express joy more

·         Turning your life around

·         Journaling

·         Me-time

·         Meditation

·         De-stress techniques

These are simply some of the topics I volition survive roofing inwards 2015.  I produce promise you lot volition bring together me for this journeying of discovery. 

Over to you lot – What would you lot similar to run across hither on the Resolution Challenge blog?  Do you lot bring a theme inwards self-help or personal evolution that you lot would similar to know to a greater extent than about?  Maybe I’ve covered something inwards the past times that interested you, together with you’d similar to know more?  Let me know inwards the comments below, together with nosotros tin brand 2015 our best yr yet.

Thank you lot to all my readers for staying amongst me over the terminal 2 years, I expect forrard to sharing to a greater extent than amongst you lot inwards the futurity together with getting to know ane some other better.  You tin besides interact on the Resolution Challenge Facebook PageShelley x

Sink Or Swim? How To Grip The Novel Year.

At this fourth dimension of twelvemonth I experience similar Kate Winslet's graphic symbol from the movie, Titanic.  It's that minute when Rose in addition to Jack are clinging to the railing of the doomed ship, amongst seconds to reflect, before being sucked into the icy depths.

The New Year's Day feels similar.  I'm clinging on to the onetime year, total of its adventures, loves in addition to losses in addition to wondering if I'll live what's to come.

Just similar Rose, I concord my breath in addition to kicking similar crazy for the surface.  What I uncovering each twelvemonth never fails to amaze me.  I larn novel lessons, run into novel mentors in addition to uncovering a piffling fleck to a greater extent than virtually myself amongst each passing moment.

To live able to cling on so difficult to the dorsum of my send I involve to add together a piffling construction into my life.  Writing my book, How I Changed My Life inward a Year taught me the importance of planning.  Nothing changes unless you lot acquire far happen, in addition to to create this you lot involve to kind through your thoughts in addition to catalogue them inward the best agency for you.

Every novel twelvemonth I enquire myself 2 questions:

1.  Why create I kicking so difficult to attain the surface?

The uncomplicated response - Because I'm non done yet!

Surviving a life changing number opens upwardly a hidden business office of the brain.  I lived my life equally a wife, mother, friend in addition to daughter; never doing anything special or giving 100% to my life.  Then my life savage apart, slow at first, so picking upwardly momentum until I striking the bottom of a huge nighttime hole. 

At that moment, the hidden business office of my encephalon woke up, in addition to I began to uncovering the courage to crawl out of the hole.  On my journey, I met others who had either reached the top or were ahead of me on the ladder of life.  They taught me so much.  Of course, I made mistakes - tons of them - but each ane added some other slice of the puzzle.  So, I country it ane time again - I'm non done yet!

2.  How create I conform my thoughts/ideas in addition to attain what I laid out to do?

How create I acquire it all done?  I purpose numerous self-help tools, all of which I've discovered along my novel path.  Never has the phrase, 'when the educatee is ready, the instructor appears,' been so relevant.

I'm going to comprehend each of these topics inward to a greater extent than item throughout 2015, but this is the listing of tools I purpose regularly to kind my jumble of thoughts in addition to flood ideas, and remain balanced. 
  • Meditation
  • Reiki Healing
  • Writing inward my Journal
  • Blogging
  • Vision Boards (read virtually making your ain here)
  • Self-Help Books - I am going to live reviewing a alternative of self-help books over on my WordPress site adjacent year. 
  • Self-Love (Tough One!)
That final ane is a toughie.  We oftentimes have got a employment when it comes to loving who nosotros are.  It's ane of my biggest lessons.  Putting yourself our at that spot equally a author also forces you lot to expression upwardly every fright known to man, particularly the fright of beingness accepted.

I received a review of late on Amazon that said my mass was all 'Me, Me, Me'.  The review made me 2nd gauge myself momentarily, but so I remembered what I had survived in addition to that 'my' lessons - expert in addition to bad - served equally a helping manus for others.

I, therefore, brand no apology for my book, my weblog or my life - it is virtually me; the achievements in addition to the failures, the struggles in addition to the celebrations.  That's why I kicking for the surface, in addition to that's why I brand plans in addition to aim to attain so much.  So many people helped me on my route to recovery, in addition to similar a shot it's fourth dimension to pay it forward.

On New Year's Eve, let's all cling on to our runway in addition to merely earlier nosotros acquire sucked into 2015, let's reverberate on everything we've achieved.  Think about all the high points, in addition to all the lessons nosotros learned from the depression points.  Remember our loved ones in addition to imagine the beautiful relationships that are however to come.

As you kicking for the surface recollect to concord on tight to your dreams, goals, resolutions or whatever you lot select to telephone phone them, but most importantly - don't permit go!

'Happy New Year's Day to you lot all in addition to may 2015 consider all your dreams come upwardly true.' 

I'd dear to listen what plans you lot have got for the New Year, delight percentage them inward the comments, in addition to perchance your thought volition inspire somebody else.

With hugs in addition to kisses
Shelley x



No Require For Destination Setting - Endeavor 'Flow' Setting Instead

Normality has returned to the Wilson household (well, equally normal equally you lot tin give notice larn alongside 3 teenagers nether ane roof!)

We all shuffled dorsum to school, college as well as move this calendar week alongside equally much enthusiasm equally a moisture mop.  I’m non surprised well-nigh the kids – that comes alongside the territory, but I’m a dissimilar story.  I dear my undertaking real much as well as even so I returned alongside a melancholy aura.
My evenings aren’t much better.  At the cease of lastly year, I would complete move to practise my household chores.  I’d feed the kids, build clean the fish as well as so settle downwardly inwards front end of my laptop to bash out a chapter or 2 as well as tackle an article or spider web log post.
Instead, I notice myself staring at the wall alongside a bewildered facial expression plastered to my face.  It’s non writers block.  I know this because my caput is crammed total of story as well as spider web log post ideas that scream at me alongside every waking instant (thank goodness for post-it notes!). 
It finally striking me at 2am the other morn equally I tossed as well as turned inwards bed as well as eventually turned the light on to empty my thoughts onto paper.  I’ve been so busy organising my spider web log content to assistance motivate my readers that I forgot all well-nigh setting my goals!
I experience similar a balloon allow unloose inwards the heaven as well as is floating aimlessly.  That perfect quote, ‘a dream without a innovation is only a wish’ is on repeat inwards my brain.

So, hither I am – destination costless – as well as feeling twitchy, irritable as well as adrift.  All to a greater extent than or less me I take away heed my friends talking well-nigh their ambitions for 2015, as well as I’m jealous.  They are so inwards control, as well as I realise alongside horror that my mojo has been packed away alongside the Christmas decorations.

I resort to an lx minutes of meditation, colouring inwards as well as baking as well as earlier long I start out to experience human in ane trial again (cake helps!).  What I demand to practise side past times side is give myself a damn skillful talking to!

So I lock myself away, (not a hard undertaking equally my 3 children are prone to hibernating inwards their bedrooms) as well as I log on to Pinterest.

Being a visual soul I demand to encounter vivid images of happy, grinning people, it never fails to elevator my spirits.  Armed alongside a mug of tea as well as a notepad I educate well-nigh searching the site for inspiration.

Before long, I stumbled across the board for fine art journals.  These are small-scale steal books total of painted images, watercolours as well as question notes.   The perfect tool for whatever creative soul – I am NOT whatever artist, I am no creative soul at all, but the thought stirs a thought.  The thought triggers a string of ideas as well as earlier I know it I’m plotting a 365 ability give-and-take journal.  (More on this side past times side week).

I’m starting to experience inwards the zone, as well as a few concepts are emerging.  The side past times side Pinterest search pulls upward ane of my favourite pastimes – listing writing.  Turning to my notepad, I jot downwardly several ideas that leap to heed equally I read through the diversity of lists.

·        What makes you lot happy?

·        Favourite ways to relax.

·        Rainy solar daytime ideas.

·        Things I collect.

This petty undertaking opens upward the floodgates, as well as I scribble the menses of destination ideas inwards my notepad.

·        Reading, writing, crafting

·        Bubble baths as well as the beach

·        Colouring inwards as well as watching movies

·        Self-help books as well as crystals

It was similar someone had peered into my caput as well as fished out the bits that matter.

Using this process, I was able to discovery what was of import to me.  Now I only needed to move out how to plow these into goals that would practise goodness me inwards 2015.

Reading, Writing as well as Crafting

I dear reading, as well as whenever possible I volition give an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads.  Including reviews on my author site is something I shall pursue inwards 2015.

Writing is my passion as well as alongside my debut teen fantasy mass due out before long I volition live working hard on book 2 as well as three, along alongside a 2nd non-fiction title.

Crafting is my means of meditating, alongside the bonus of spending fourth dimension alongside my children.  Baking alongside my middle son, drawing alongside my eldest boy as well as making jewellery alongside my immature adult woman volition live weekends good spent.

Bubble Baths as well as Beaches

Once a calendar month I volition care for myself to the luxury of a bubble bathroom alongside meditative music as well as a smelly candle.

The audio of the body of body of water is restorative for the soul, as well as I volition pass to a greater extent than fourth dimension at the beach this year.  If I can’t brand the seaside I volition walk to the local commons as well as sit down past times the duck pond!

Colouring In as well as Movies

Making Mandalas using Zentangle as well as other creative soul techniques tin give notice live implemented into my meditation classes as well as run a workshop at my house of work.  For the skillful of my well-being as well as that of my clients.

Bring dorsum Fri Film black for me as well as the kids.  Popcorn is optional!

Self-help Books as well as Crystals

Refer to reading destination – specialise inwards reviewing self-help books as well as spider web log your findings.

I know a lot well-nigh crystals, but I desire to know more.  Book an advanced class inwards crystal therapy as well as role crystals to a greater extent than ofttimes inwards my holistic work.


On reflection, I realised that past times not setting strategic goals I was able to ‘go alongside the flow’, as well as I industrial plant life the uncomplicated pleasures of life are what are of import to me this year.

If you lot don’t direct maintain a Pinterest trouble organization human relationship so don’t worry – a Google search using ‘Images’ volition choose upward a huge diversity of vibrant pictures to stir your imagination.

Writing a listing volition also assistance to highlight the best bits for your 'flow' setting.  Try jotting downwardly a few answers to the next lists as well as encounter where it takes you: -

·        Jobs you lot powerfulness enjoy

·        If I had to a greater extent than time, I’d…

·        Things to photograph

·        Inventions you lot want existed

Who knows, you lot may notice a destination for 2015 that opens upward a whole novel educate of opportunities, all because you lot went alongside the flow.

Have you lot educate your 2015 goals or did you lot create practise similar me?

Power Word of the Week = Happiness