Extending the hand of friendship

Have you ever developed one of those friendships that come from the most unexpected places? I couple of years ago I was working my way through all the guidance books, websites, etc available to an aspiring writer and stumbled across Holly Lisle‘s website. I can’t remember the particulars of how that happened, I expect someone promoted it as being free advice and regular updates, and I jumped at it! Whatever the case, I did and really loved it! I never really invested as much time in the workshops as I should have, and I know that’s one of the many reasons I haven’t moved forward (this is something I’m addressing this year) but I remember them being super informative!

This post isn’t about promoting Holly (though I’d do so willingly), it’s actually about an email I received from her since I’m on her mailing list that put my brain in a spin. Holly is technically unknown to me, since I’ve never actually had a conversation with her. I was reminded earlier of an update (could have been facebook, not email) which included a brief promotion of her daughter’s jewellery shop however many years ago. It was unrelated to writing, but I was still happy to receive it as I just loved it! I loved the mission statement, I loved the style and Rebecca was incredibly helpful. So, despite having to wait for shipping from the US to the UK, I ordered anyway. I was never disappointed! Each time I did order, I received great customer service, fantastic items and often free gifts or samples because I ordered a bunch of items. Or just because she felt like it.

We started up a conversation about this when I made a comment about her not being able to make as much profit if she gave away so much, but she laughed it off. She’s such an awesome woman! You can’t help but love her for it, and our friendship grew from there. We became casual pen friends and I’d sometimes send her gifts like British chocolate. Though, after a while (I suspect because I moved house), we stopped writing to each other. The emails that used to be quite regular stopped since both of us became really busy, and I haven’t heard from her in over a year.

And then I received a mail out from Holly – Rebecca’s volunteer fire-fighting husband (Tony) is in hospital with multiple injuries to his face, skull, arm and foot! It’s truly a miracle he survived the motorcycle accident because of a woman who ignored ‘right of way’, resulting in Tony and his bike smashing into the side of her vehicle, she then proceeded to drive her SUV and trailer over Tony’s body and his bike until a pedestrian forced her to stop.

As I understand it, Tony is currently healing well but with the help of the treatment he’s receiving. The purpose of the mail out was not to ask for handouts, but to make an appeal to all those who love beautiful, handmade jewellery (or even e-books, since Rebecca is also a writer) to aid her husband’s recovery and ease the financial strain on them by placing an order or sharing her shop. If you are a fan of Holly Lisle, check your inbox as there’s also a 10% voucher code and the opportunity to receive a free book package of Holly’s work if you purchase with the voucher code.

Rebecca’s shop can be found here: http://freehippie.etsy.com

A quote from Rebecca from the mail out:

Furthermore if anyone would like to purchase an Intention Coin from my shop, I am offering a free simple wish bracelet with the Intention Coin (this is in addition to the 10% discount).  


They are my favorite things to make for people.  The Intention Coin is a tool or talisman that helps you focus on your goals.  


I made one for my mom, who has been carrying hers since 2011.  Hers says “Persist,” which is her motto. 


Mine vary from year to year, as I tend to have a theme associated with my years, but I’ve noticed how much of a difference they make in my life.  I have made hundreds of these and have heard back from so many customers about the difference the coins make in their ability to work towards their goals during busy lives.


Thank you so much for reading this.  Whether you purchase something, share the shop or send good vibes, it is all genuinely appreciated.


Rebecca Galardo


We write because…

We write because we want to reach out to others. We write with the hope that our words will mean something to someone else other than ourselves.

This is a quote from Christian Mihai’s blog and the full post can be found at http://cristianmihai.net/2014/01/29/alone/#more-4519. So very true! It is a lonely world but if words can bring people closer simply by sharing feelings, experiences or something that has an impact – I’m jumping in too!

My aims and objectives


This is actually a goal revision post as previously I was posting on Tumblr but decided it would be far easier to migrate to this community instead – it’s definitely a lot easier to interact with members on here!

Previous goals:

*Daily > After my first cup of tea/coffee of the day, commence 10 minute free-write. [Note to self: This is non-negotiable.]

*Daily > Review study plan and check list each morning to ensure I remain up to date and my daily ‘to-do’ list can be adjusted to suit that day’s schedule.

*Daily > Spend 5 minutes making notes at the end of the day for prompt ideas for the morning free-write session.

*Daily > To spend a minimum of 10 minutes before bedtime reading for pleasure.

*Weekly > Read one chapter of my degree textbook and work through supplementary material.

*Weekly > Complete activities and reading as part of the study schedule for FutureLearn courses (currently ‘Sustainability’ but will also be one on Shakespeare’s Hamlet this month).

*Weekly > Create a basic storyboard/outline of an idea developed through the course of the week.

*Weekly > Write a minimum of 700 words in total.

In some ways, I’m disappointed that I haven’t ‘achieved’ much from this list consistently, but a combination of job hunting, work and assignment issues have taken precedence. The internet has certainly been devouring a lot of that free time like the insatiable beast that it is, even if what I have been exploring has been creative pep talks and business ideas, such as the invaluable advice from Marie Forleo and the brutal pep talks from Elliot Hulse. I have also been educating myself through TedTalks – I so love them!

That aside, I have been reading more. I finished the copy of ‘Hamlet’ I was reading, I started ‘I, Zombie’ by Jo Michaels on lunch breaks or travelling (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HQHF7PI/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_ask_PRwnG.0Z7CRWH), I’ve been dipping into ‘A Doll’s House and other plays’ by Ibsen some bedtimes, and I read the sample chapter of ‘Money: A love story’ by Kate Northrup (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00E8NIMP0/ref=rdr_ext_sb_ti_hist_5) today on my way to a job interview.

I would technically be behind on my plans to do freewrite sessions and storyboards but I’ve decided not to beat myself up about it. They’ll happen when they’ll happen as the more I give myself grief, the less likely it is to be re-started. I have, however, come up with more structured ideas for blogging/article writing based on my current set of interests. It really does depend on if I get the job I’m going for as to whether I have the time to fully explore what I want to do, but I have back up plans if it doesn’t work out. Either way, plans to create regular content is currently in the pipeline.

I am also going to push myself to take on board what Marie Forleo has said in her latest video about inspiration: that we should create before we consume (http://www.marieforleo.com/2014/01/when-inspiration-backfires/)!

New Goals

Work on my C:C ratio

Create – before I even open the laptop, I need to write in a journal (creative ideas, finances, life, dreams, ‘to do’ lists… whatever)

Create – Make physical notes from textbooks relevant to current assignment or EMA

Consume – Check emails/social media

Create – Jot down notes and ideas on what to research or expand on for blog post/article and plan for when content is published (the aim: one per week)

Create – Type up hand written notes on creative ideas/pieces and backup

Consume – Use a set chunk of time to do research for a piece through reading or searching for relevant material

Someone on Marie’s site made a comment that new habits have to be placed before something we do already, which is why I think better habits are established when addressing the C:C ratio.

I’m currently trying to go easy on myself now as there is so little time to work on what I want to, so I’m addressing the pattern I currently have and how to improve it to ensure I allow the better habits to grow. These goals are to be done on a daily basis but the amount of time per day will vary depending on what’s happening. The important thing for me is that I work on instilling a sense of discipline in my daily practices (good habits!), rather than the length of time in the beginning.

I have already used this approach with my skincare routine (twice a day I have hot cloth cleansed and toned, without fail!). I have made home-cooked food regularly enough that there is always a supply to eat well and plenty of fruit and vegetables have been consumed. It is now physical activity that is being tackled – pilates daily!

Until next time, folks!

Safari as a Way of Life

“To explore the unknown and the familiar, distant and near and to record in detail with the eyes of a child, any beauty, (of the flesh or otherwise) horror, irony, traces of utopia or Hell. Select your team with care, but when in doubt, take on some new crew and give them a chance. But avoid at all costs fluctuations of sincerity with your best people.” – See more at: http://www.daneldon.org/about/#sthash.VPspGHIu.dpuf

This is ‘Safari as a Way of Life’ by Dan Eldon. Not only was he an incredible young man, but he was so wise beyond his years!