Maybe it’s just me. Maybe being a more or less house-bound author is to blame. But recently I have discovered that my mood on a Monday has become inextricably bound up with the number of likes I get for the weekly blogs I write. As that number drops, so does my confidence.
Yesterday, my sister and I gave my mum a tape recorder. Yes, it’s like going back twenty, thirty years. The reason is that she has all these tapes that she wants to play again. She phoned last night sounding happy. Her old favourite Don Francisco was blaring in the background.
When life is hard, or even when it’s not, music can transform us, changing the way we get through the day. I always select my music very carefully when I’m writing. Hard scenes need sad songs, resolutions need something uplifting. When I was writing my book set in Nice, I listened to Counting Crows a lot because that was the CD I brought with me when I lived there. When I’m cooking the dinner, there has to be lively music to keep me on my feet.
I’m always eager to find things that lift me out of my MS doldrums. Music is up there without a shadow of a doubt. It has an uncanny way of unlocking tears, daydreams and even prayers. It can make the ‘same old’ feel romantic, exciting or significant. If things seem unremarkable, terrifying, discouraging or just boring, add a little music and find the remarkable, reassuring, exciting key to your survival. Somehow, getting up, going to work or school, doing whatever you do can all be enlivened with music. If you don’t do it already, go hunt out your old songs or discover new ones, and start a more colourful, noisy life.
Please accept my apologies for this interruption to your normal blog based service. It’s time for a commercial break.
I’ve been blogging here for 10 years, and I would like to keep going. As many of you know, I’ve been calling myself an author for the last few years too, and some of you have bought my books.
This year, I am taking two steps to help fund my work. I’ll continue to publish the blog posts on a Monday, and all my fans (you!) can continue to enjoy them at no cost.
If you’ve been benefitting from my weekly posts, and want to show your appreciation, then I’d love it if you became a paying subscriber. How would you like to become one of my patrons?!
It costs £1 a month. And you can do that by clicking the button below. That’ll set up an annual recurring payment of £12. 4 posts a month filled with wisdom and encouragement must be worth at least that!
And the book…
I also have a new book ready for publication. But, I’m going to try a different approach there as well.
It’s called The Lost Things, and you’ll be able to read it by subscription.
For just the cost of a coffee, (£2.50) you can get at least half an hour’s reading material delivered to your inbox every month for a year. At the end of the year, I’ll make the whole book available to you as an e-book, as a thank-you for your support.
So, what is the story and is it worth it?
The Lost Things tells the stories of people who are either lost themselves, or have lost someone or something precious to them. Join them on their treasure hunt and see where they end up. The church, St Anthony’s, is the driving force of the story, but when it comes under threat, who will stand up in its place?
Interested? Keep watching the blog, a formal announcement and a way to sign up will be published in the next few weeks.
Last night when we were catching up on The Greatest Dancer, we saw a 98 year old step forward to tap dance her way into the hearts of the audience. She was frail and yet still able to dance. When the doors opened to confirm she’d been voted through, her face lit up spectacularly. I’ve never seen a brighter smile. There were photographs of her in her younger years. The time when most would say she was ‘in her prime’. She might have argued that in the moment when the audience were revealed she had never felt happier.
I came across a short clip yesterday that was truly remarkable. It showed a man crouching down in a scorched Australian forest to give a koala a drink of water. After a minute, the koala reached out its paws, grabbed the man’s hand and held it.
I remembered this post from November 2013 last night, and thought it was as true today as it had been when I first wrote it seven years ago. So here it is, with a few careful edits…
(First published, Wednesday 13th November 2013)
Every evening, almost without fail, my husband asks me if I want a cup of tea. To this day, after 11 years of asking, I say no every time. I never drink tea at night – it might be all in my head but the one or two times I have, too polite to refuse when I’m out, my mind goes into overdrive. My husband knows this is my reason, thinks it’s ridiculous, and so keeps asking, just on the off-chance I’ll change.