Sunday, 29 May 2016

Inspire Tag: Live Your Now

Inspire. Create. Write.TM


Today I have the immense honor of introducing you to a powerfully spirited and motivated individual. Who's enigmatic presence I've come to respect. Thank You to Kathe for introducing us!

Live Your Now, run by Richie, an almost reluctant "coach" who embarked upon the journey to bring mindfulness to others, because basically it needed doing. Facing his own "am I good enough to do this?" fears, he now encourages others to live mindfully and presently, after spending the majority of his own life hiding the grip of anxiety and locked in his own thoughts, now with the attitude of "Heck, if I can do this, anyone can!" A universal calling, rather than something he would have predicted, he's now submitted entirely to this path in service to bringing peace to people and our world... hopefully... or giving it a good go anyway!

The First Exclusive Interview with Live Your Now

#MindFulTrain 

1. What is the best advice you were ever given?
  • People only ever act from their highest level of present consciousness awareness. Meaning, that generally no matter what people do, it's the highest action they're generally capable of with their present understanding at that time. Doesn't mean you have to agree with the actions, but it can bring some peace and understanding to difficult circumstances. 

2. Who inspires you and why?
  • Eckhart Tolle - Because he challenges, deeply, what my own belief systems had developed into. What he teaches requires a level of acceptance that is extremely difficult to apply in day to day living, without collapsing entirely "into presence". But it truly IS the way into happiness and peace, but it does require, especially initially, a level of discipline and faith in an idea that can be entirely counter-intuitive when fighting against the egoic mind.

3. Everyone has bad days, how do you deal with a bad day?
  • Firstly? Badly. Coffee, cigarette probably, being lost in my own thoughts, until I realise it - then it's down to serious work. There's no shortcuts to this, to push it away, pretend it's not there, just stores it all up for later - not healthy. I do something that, for me personally, was totally the opposite to what I'd become accustomed to doing - being annoyed, anxious, angry, resentful &frustrated - I now bless the situation, and sit within it. Comfortable it is not, at first, but then this is why not many people practice this (as is abundantly obvious by the anger hate and rage present in our world). I can also assure you, if 15 years ago, you'd told me I'd be doing this - I'd have probably had a good chuckle, wished you well, and gone back to my normal habits. 
4. Where do you go/what do you do when you need motivation?
  • YouTube! I will type in something randomly, follow inspiration, just delve in & listen to new speakers, there's always something to learn and try - and so many generous people out there, offering their teaching or guidance. There are many paths available in my opinion, according to what we may need at that specific time. You Tube is an absolute gold mine, even just to listen to people's experiences who are generous, or even at times, brave enough to share so wonderfully. 
5. Failure is a big part of life, what has been your biggest failure to date?
  • I am not sure they're failures anymore. I am moving away from feeling things are failures, and more that they're life lessons that are reflected back to us until we learn something we need to. Or preparing us for something later on. Or indeed as has been my experience, moving you away from something even more catastrophic as was the case in one huge business venture I was involved in! At the time, it seemed utterly, utterly soul destroying to have failed to secure a massive investment (10's of thousands) in a cutting edge publishing company I was working to develop. It was a nailed on investment, literally just crossing t's, dotting i's as they say, however I made an absolute total cock-up of the business plan! I mean epically. I just could not get the information I required to get it together, I can't divulge further details other than to say... something kept me safe from that! It didn't FEEL right, and I assure you, it wasn't. (Didn't come to light until about a year or two later). 
  • Overall, however, I have been super close numerous times to creating something massive and they seemed to have all fallen at the last minute, usually due to decisions other people have taken. That became another life lesson. The energy I put into a project, is mine, I needed to stop relying on other people because essentially I lacked CONFIDENCE to do it by myself, but also I always enjoyed collaborating. I have also had the honour to engage and pick the minds of some of the most successful people on the planet, it was time to take some of that advice on for myself. 
  • Live Your Now is me, only me, and only ever will be me. 
6. What is your biggest achievement?
  • Hmmm, I am a hard taskmaster on myself, whilst I have many experiences, and many "almosts" I tend to view each process as a step, I have had a few articles published, some interesting music promotion, been on/hosted radio, these are things I'm quite personally pleased with, but my visions are huge - go big or go home - so I find it hard to class "achievement" - now I see it as a journey, a flow. Though I do take moments to appreciate more, the things I have experienced, little goals, such as with Live Your Now. I think the greatest thing we can all achieve, is to appreciate the little things in life. 
  • Ultimately, happiness is the greatest achievement anyone can succeed in - and true happiness, I think, is so rare nowadays. 
7. Have you conquered any fears?
  • Seem to face one every day - but who doesn't? This is my first interview in this guise. This made me nervous. I had actual full-blown panic attacks live on BBC radio. That was..interesting! I do laugh about it though, even at the time I was, which may seem peculiar, but I adored radio, and not even that level of nervousness was going to stop me! I still recall my very sensitive friends, whom knew I got "stage fright", falling about the place laughing at me - in empathy, I'm quite sure - and the poor host not having a clue what to do! I have diabolical vertigo, like a couple of steps up a ladder bad, and yet I go on extremely high rollercoasters! Public speaking absolutely terrified me, but I have still got up and done presentations in front of some interesting audiences. Of course, I know now this was all due to anxiety, before I was not aware so had no coping mechanisms. So I do feel, when I "teach" people this sort of thing, I can say with confidence, I haven't come from a natural place of Zen! 
8. Music helps lift our mood, What is your go-to song when you need a pick me up?
  • Orbital - The Girl with Sun in her Head. It's a chill out track, written entirely with power from Greenpeace's mobile solar power generating "Cyrus" back in the 90's - (Solar energy I just find absolutely beautiful). It's incredibly soothing electronica. An absolute masterpiece. But generally, as a musician, I'll listen to quite a lot of different music. If I want an adrenaline rush it'd be Energy 52 - Cafe Del Mar

9. Complete the sentence, Happiness is…
  • Already inside. 
10. What do you do to clear your mind?
  • Brainwave Entrainment, Mindfulness meditations, Pranic Breathing, depends on what's bugging me. 
11. Life can be stressful, what are your top 3 things to unwind?
  • Heart breath/meditations. 
  • Rollercoasters (I am a total rollercoaster fanatic) 
  • Music 
12. Have you watched any inspiring movies? Do you have any favorites? 
  • The Secret 
  • What the Bleep (Down the rabbit hole) 
  • The two Bill and Ted movies! "Be excellent to each other!" - stands the test of time that! 
13. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
  • I don't really have one, quotes mean different things at different times, they have value at differing times in our lives... however, some wisdom, of which there's plenty, from the incredible Tesla - without whom, we'd not likely be engaged in this interview process: 

"...a new world must be born, a world that would justify the sacrifices offered by humanity. This new world must be a world in which there shall be no exploitation of the weak by the strong, of the good by the evil; where there will be no humiliation of the poor by the violence of the rich; where the products of intellect, science and art will serve society for the betterment and beautification of life, and not the individuals for achieving wealth. This new world shall not be a world of the downtrodden and humiliated, but of free men and free nations, equal in dignity and respect for man."

14. Do you listen to motivational speakers?
  • Always. Pretty much every day. Everyone has something to teach us. Even if it's what NOT to do ;) 
15. How do you cope with unpleasant people?
  • As my answer a few questions back. People can only act from their present levels of consciousness, I try to "tune in" and bring love to situations that are fractious. Of course, I am human, and I am not a Zen Monk, so this often takes remembering/effort, especially in the often fraught pace of Western civilisation - it's not easy. 
  • Simple! But not easy. 
16. What is your best piece of advice? 
  • Accept what is, right now, as if you had yourself chosen it. It's possible you did. Not many people (I include myself in that) respond too well to that at first, as it's utterly illogical to the thinking mind. It's not even about it being true, it's about it bringing you relief from suffering. 
  • Your alternative is to continue suffering. Sounds harsh, but it's true. (As far as I see it from my current level of conscious awareness ;) 
17. Complete the sentence “When life gives you lemons…”
  • Make a lemon tea! 
  • Squeeze a lemon in a cup, add some warm water, the smell invigorates our senses, and it's very good for you apparently! It's utterly delicious and so simple... unless you have a cut on your finger of course, then practice mindfulness as you do it ;) 
18. What is the most inspiring book you have ever read?
  • Being truthful, I can't remember. I scan many books, tend not to finish them, and there's so much wisdom in many books that I often use them as reference. More like a dictionary. I really enjoyed "Urban Shaman" by Surge Kahili King however, and "Cosmic Ordering Guide" by Stephen Richards are ones from early on my discovery journey that stay with me. They perhaps have a sentimental place. 
19. Do you have a place to pray or meditate?
  • Everywhere, at all times...when I remember. Including out shopping, doesn't matter. I am dedicating myself toward living in constant (non-denominational/religious) prayer/meditation states (not altered meditation states, for that, bed or chair obviously) 
20. What is your motto in life?

Keep seeking wisdom & improving.

Quick Fire: 

Inspirational Movie or Talk with a friend 

Creating Art or Listening to music 

Making food or Eating Food 

Being alone or Being in a crowd: 

Speaking to a crowd ;) 

Writing or Singing: 

Writing. Have you heard me sing?! 

Sea Vacation or Safari Vacation: 

Safari! The ocean is beautiful of course, and something we should take better care of, but Safari (except the creepy crawlies!) 


If you would like to join in on The Blog Tag, click on the link or the image below

theblogtag

~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Join FanArt Friday

Inspire. Create. Write. TM



Weeks ago, there was a writing prompt on The Blog Tag called, What Is Art to You? 

To me Art is omnipotently omniscient, in that it is all around us, every day, in every which way. 
To breathe is Art
To see is Art 
Yet in the same breath, to Not see, is also Art. 

The mind & soul are unbelievably amazing tools of creativity and we all have it within us to create Art. 

In one aspect I use my Art to transfer my love of something unto a physical manifestation. In other words, I use this aspect to Fan-Boy by sketching/drawing my favorite parts, places and/or characters. 

This post will hopefully by updated weekly, every Friday with my latest Fan Art entries. 

By Descending Order from Newest to Oldest:

Gaming Love

New*** In honor of my supreme fandom of Pokemon
Here is my sketch of the Original Starters
Squirtle, Bulbasaur & my personal favorite Charmander
Read the companion post #PokemonGO - 5 Lessons You Taught Me

2016.07.15
Winner of the Giveaway Announced! 
Benita Govender!*** !
🌟


***
New***Joined a Pokemon GO South Africa Group and found an amazing talent there. 
Crystal Adinaere Auvryund is an adorable cosplayer & digital artist. 
My personal favorite, Epic fanart of Charmander in human form


*
Mysterious Bulbasaur in human form


Follow Her:
Facebook
DeviantArt
Website

***
New***YAY! Shells Bells over at The Deal Is
sketched this awesome Sonic the HedgeHog




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My sketch for the upcoming movie Assassin'S Creed
Starring Michael Fassbender
2016.07.08
Click Here to Retweet
The movie is based on an awesome video game but original characters will be introduced.
So jazzed about this movie, first Warcraft now this.
Keep heading in this direction Filmmakers, keep doing it.

***
 Fanboying so much over this!
Unbelievable Assassin's Artwork by Musiriam
How amazing is this?!
Altair Ibn La'Ahad
Shao Jun
Click Here to Retweet.
She's such an unparalleled artist wow! I'm in love with all her works. Can't wait to add more each week.
Check out the rest of her awesome Assassin'S Creed Gallery

Follow her Artist Journey:
Twitter
DeviantArt
ArtStation
FaceBook

Movie Love

 Fantastical creation by Giselle Wampler
Mad Hatter Hat - Album Holder
This creation Rocks!
Read post here
"Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good." Marcus Aurelius
***
Comic Book Love

 In Honor of my Post Top 10 Best Superheroes of All Time
The Wolverine & X-23
2016.07.01
Click Here to Retweet
Finally got to do a comic book type cover sketch! Was so pleased with the finished result.
I've always dreamed about X-23 coz she's hot, badass & amazing.

***
The Brilliant Artist & Producer RemixThaDon just submitted these:
Elecktra & Venom.
Love the shading and Kanji symbols.




***
Awesome Black Panther FanArt By Finn Chow
SO EXCITED to have people join in.

***
In Honor of my Post Top 10 Best Superheroes of All Time
My Sketch of The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Batman!!!

2016.06.10
Click Here to Retweet
I'm Jazzed over this one. Using the 6B pencil was definitely the right call. My shading improved. 

"Batman is the closest to a realistic superhero for humanity, in fact, it is his very humanity that they cling to. Who doesn't want to see a badass human take on bad guys & win?"


Novelicious Love

 In Honor of one of my all time FAVORITE book series,
The Black Dagger BrotherHood #BDB by J.R Ward
My sketch of Zsadist & Bella with lil' Nalla
2016.06.24
Click Here to Retweet
As I'm sure B will comment below, We've been Fans The BDB series for a long long time.
Yes it's about Vampires, but the author puts such a unique spin on things.
Zsadist's backstory is one of the most trying, saddest storylines I've ever had the privilege of reading.
He's a badass character and to sketch him with his family has been a Dream.
Check out Anyae's amazing BDB gallery

***
In Honor of the AMAZING book, Waiting For You by Melissa Kate 
My sketch of the main character Adam Parker.

2016.06.03
Click Here to Retweet
This one wasn't about detail for me, more about the emotion. After finishing the book, I just had to sketch my version of Adam's Past.
His time with as a Navy SEAL, the covert missions, the scenery, the PTSD that followed.
I hope I have done that justice.

***
In Honor of the AMAZING book, Waiting For You by Melissa Kate 
My sketch of the main characters, Audrey Kelly & Adam Parker

2016.05.27
Twitter Stats: 113 Retweets, 46 Likes, 13396 Impressions
You can find out more about the book & its incredibly talented author, via my post: 
                                         Author Interview on Catching that Golden Snitch

***
In Honor of the AMAZING book, Beyond the Red by Ava Jae.
My Map Sketch as depicted in the first few pages of the book.

2016.05.12
Twitter Stats: 95 Retweets, 69 Likes, 21122 Impressions
I deeply resonated with the male protagonist named Eros, his journey moved me in ways that even I could not have anticipated.

Anime Love

New*** Lightning Mcqueen FanArt I did for my cousin
Disney Cars Movie

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Beautiful Pocahontas sketch by Hakoo Hadalah Haq 
SO EXCITED to have people join in.


***
In honor of the Anime/Manga series Bleach
My character sketch of Kenpachi Zaraki


{Will add the twitter stats here once the tweet is up}
Kenpachi is a badass of note! That smile he has there, rarely falters even in battle. This guy is insanely powerful but I love most is his undeniable spirit in battle, laughing ever more when he is wounded. 
I admin for a Bleach Facebook fan group in SA and we're required to choose an admin Alias. Guess what I chose, haha. Hence the sketch, was my first post as admin on the group :-)

***
In honor of the Anime/Manga series "Fairy Tail"
My character sketch of Mystogan


{Will add the twitter stats here once the tweet is up}
Just like his name, this guy was one Big mystery for a majority of the first few seasons. I loved the character concept & his behavioral traits. 
I admin for a Bleach Facebook fan group in SA and we're required to choose an admin Alias. Guess what I chose, haha. Hence the sketch, was my first post as admin on the group :-) 

***
In honor of the Anime/Manga series Naruto/Naruto Shippuden
My character sketch of Sakura Haruno


{Will add the twitter stats here once the tweet is up}
I sketched this for my best bro's birthday. His favorite female ninja is Sakura. 

***
In honor of the Anime/Manga series DragonBall Z
My character sketch of Goku


{Will add the twitter stats here once the tweet is up}
Haha yes, what would Anime Fan Art be without a DrabonBall Z sketch. My favorite character of the show was Vegeta. He was truly a Legend! Still combing through my archives to try and find my sketch of him. 
I also sketched this one for my best bro's birthday. His favorite DBZ character is Goku. 

***************************
Still combing through the archives to find more of my Fan Art. Will update when I find them. 
Hope you enjoyed, what I could find so far and have done lately. 
Do you paint, sketch, draw & 3D paint? Do you do Fan Art?
Submit your Art to Enaidu710{@}Gmail{dot}com

#FanArtFriday or Just #FanArt

Happy Sharing Y'all
Can't wait to see.

Join the Blog Tag FUN :-) 

~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

The Bi-Polar Bear in the Room

Inspire. Create. Write.TM

"You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously."

Photo Cred: AlfonzoWords
Gilded shadows pool on the floorboards, swirling in the ambient moonlight filtering through from the window. A man sits quietly to the left, watching the patterns forming in fascination. Amazing things really can be found in the quietest of moments, he thinks.

The man sits at his desk, a page out and a pen in hand, he tries for the life of him to form the words he knows need to be said. That familiar nagging tension stands locked within his shoulders, creeping down his spine. As if subtly trying to avoid his attention. Time was inching towards its inevitable climax and he had but one chance to get this right.

The man squares his shoulders in determined dominance, poised over the paper, with a firm grip on the pen. The tremors were thankfully, at a calming pace today. He takes a deep pull of oxygen to re-energize his brain and begins his writing.

Dear Seth

As I write this, you are asleep in the very next room curled up with your favorite teddy, all exhausted and seven kinds of adorable.

You have been born unto a very different time indeed. Humanity now has tolerance & acceptance for things that in my day, were of the ultimate blasphemy. Technology has almost entirely invaded every aspect of our lives and more and more people are becoming "self-taught". With the information all out there on the Internet webs at the touch of your fingertips. People no longer have the excuse of ignorance, when the information is now as easily accessible as just tapping away at their mobile phones.

Yet I feel, as your father, I owe you what needs to be owed. An account, an explanation and a plea. For even in such a world, preparations must be made.

Firstly, understand that your story may not be mine and I sincerely pray to all the gods that, I haven't believed in, that you aren't one of the afflicted in the way that I am. The experts as experts go tell me that you might just be like your old man after all. So it is with a heavy heart that I must convey this to you, in hope that you make a better go of it than I ever have.

Secondly, I would like to tell you just how proud of you I am. Supremely so. Of all that you are and all that I know you will continue be. You are truly the apple of mine eye and I thank all heavens of grace that you come from me.

So without ado, let's get to it.

There will come times when the day is a great, bright myriad of colors full of wonder and sun-touched moments. You will find that in these moments, you are a god in your own right. Able to create the best of experiences with the best of people in the best of exuberant emotional intentions. Such will be your power, such will be your gift. People will look unto thee with renewed motivation and awe. They will flock, oh they will flock.

But alas this is not the happiness that I would give up my soul for you to keep. For their will come times, just as frequent, maybe more so. When the world will swallow you whole, throw you against a mountain of hurt and then spit you back out. Bear with me because this is what I want you to know. You are perfectly normal in this, more so than most. Because what you feel is true and real. Don't let anyone ever tell you different. There were moments in my youth when I was told things like

"Man up."

"Do you just like the attention?"

"I thought you were stronger than this."

You see son, unfortunately, it is easier oh so much easier for people to judge externally than internally. To dish out advice when it is that very same advice their own lives are sorely lacking. It is in these moments that your true self will be defined.

At times, I remained flabbergasted. How could I be so jubilant and flawlessly happy in one moment? Then, like the snap of a whip; feel like all hope had been taken from the world.
The agony of it is almost unbearable, blurring the line between what is sane and what isn't. The anguish and guilt I felt were indescribable. Back then we didn't dare name it, back then we didn't dare justify it. None of it was known for being what was defined as a man. But now, now I tell you this in the wisdom that I urge you to listen to. There are no 1, 2, 3 easy fix steps here son. No magic pill or elegant soliloquy to face this monumental giant of despair for you. The only way through.. is through!

Every day will be a fight, the fight of your life. Every day will feel like an emotional roller coaster with no safety bar holding you down. Stand fast, my son, grip and hold on with maddening anger. For in this life, life itself is the greatest gift.
In the immortal words of John Green, "Pain demands to be felt."

You must, above all else, everything else. FEEL! Feel it all, let it all in. Embrace the darkness with open arms and let her consume you. Find comfort in the abyss, don't wait for that light to shine through or that hand to reach out to pull you through. If you're drowning, learn to swim. If you're falling, build your wings on the way down. Do not be like your old man, bottling it all up until the obvious and eventual explosion.

They will try, oh they will try so very much to "cure" you, change you and otherwise refuse to understand you. Never give this much thought, you are exactly as you were always meant to be. Live in the Helping of others but don't not live For them.
Showing them that there's more than rooted routines and predetermined roles.
It's only the crazy ones who ever change the world.

I am not long for this world now boetie, my journey must continue elsewhere but wherever I am, I want you to know that nothing will ever change. I am your father and you are my son. Such is our relationship that it will even transcend death. I will live on within you, through you and of you.

You have been such a man of the house these last few months, especially when the tremors started. The waking in the dead of night to help me through it all. Taking care of me and your mother without any thought for yourself. I know everyone has been focusing on how your mother is handling all of this. I know that not everyone sees all that you do and all that you are. Because they can't, no one can be with you 24/7. It's much easier, in the hustle and bustle of life, to overlook things. But I do son, I do. I see it all. And that matters above all for I will always be your biggest fan, your biggest supporter. In this life and the next.

Go forth, unto the world, be brave, be you and if you so desire it, help them wake up.

I love you boetie, with everything that I am, I love you.

Sincerely, your father
Emmerson Wailey


A single tear glides down the man’s cheek and falls silently, landing over the word “love”. The ink, not dried yet, smudges the word with deafening significance.

DeviantArt Cred: The BiPolar Bear
By paulhull69

***
Authors Note

One of the most important posts I've ever written, what was said here has deep, deep emotional ties to me. 

This was written in complete support to #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek & the #EndTheStigma campaign. The Blog Tag has been truly inspirational this week, helping their bloggers open up and share their amazing journeys in relation to this topic. I have absolute gratitude for them in this. #SharingIsCaring


Show Heart: Click through to the links above to help raise Awareness & End the Stigma surrounding Mental Health. 

Show Courage: If you have a story to tell, reach out. Whether anonymously or not. Or link us up to your journey posts. All are Welcome :-)


"I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me."

Try It: Create a Collage like this of Your Emotions
~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Author Interview on Catching that Golden Snitch

You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve~ JK Rowling
Release Date: 24.05.2016
Today I have the supreme honor of introducing you to an amazing author from my homeland of South Africa.
Melissa Kate
Melissa & Baxter
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this author from Durban, the home of my forefathers, had been published, internationally.

Eureka! Shannaro! There is Hope, I thought with excessive enthusiasm. She's done it, she's caught the Golden Snitch!

Upon reading some of her work, the intense talent and voice were clearly evident. Her prose style is both elegant and feisty in its unique flow. I am really and truly humbled to be hosting her while she's on her blog tour before the release of the book.

So without further ado, let's get to know this remarkable author and her Journey

Quick Fire

Favorite Book: 
Tangled up in You by Rachel Gibson

Favorite Author: 
Lauren Layne





Favorite Book Boyfriend:
Mark Bressler from Rachel Gibson’s Nothing but Trouble – moody and broody and simply sexy












Favorite Bad Boy Character:
Ty Garrison from Jill Shalvis’s Lucky in Love – there’s just something about a tortured hero







Reading Hard Cover novels or Reading digital novels (i.e on the iPad): 
Nothing beats a paperback but I only read ebooks these days, purely because of the volume that I get through.

Handwriting or Typing: 
Typing! Do people still hand write manuscripts?

If you had to MAKE UP/INVENT one word, what would it be? And what would that word mean? 
Puthiasimine – someone who is being an absolute moron. There can be no greater insult than this (I’m sure my husband will love this)

Let’s get personal:

How long have you been writing for?
  • I have been writing stories and plays from around ten years old. At age fourteen I tried my hand at my very first longer length story and the writing has not stopped since then.
What inspires you most to write?
  • What does not? I love the moment of falling in love. I love the witty banter, the push and pull between my two protagonists and creating that moment of their coming together… is all the more sigh-worthy. I also write to give an outlet to the voices in my head.
The Big Debate of Traditional Vs. Self-Publishing. What made you choose one against the other?
  • I’m an old soul so for me it wasn’t a biggie. Definitely Traditional print. I have always wanted to be a published author through a publishing house with my name in print. It’s harder to get in the door with traditional publishing but there is so much more support with a team of people who know what they are doing when you have a publishing house backing you. And trust me, I needed all the support I could get.
Tell me about your support structure. Who’s on board with you being an author, who doubted you?
  • I kept my writing very private. Even now, all this exposure makes me feel very… exposed. My husband is my greatest support, despite never reading any of my books. He’s always pushing me to get on with it when he can clearly see that I am procrastinating (that happens a lot). He has often threatened to change the WIFI password and let me tell you, that threat works!
  • My bestie, Tharreshnee is also a great support. She reads my stories as I am writing and encourages me along the way. She’s an extremely positive person and can be a real drill sergeant when you’re dipping your toes in the negativity or self-doubt pools.
  • My Dad has always been my GREATEST supporter in life. He passed on three years ago but I know that if he were here today, he would shout my achievements out to ANYONE who would listen.
  • There hasn’t been any real negativity so far… give it time, though. The reviews will be coming in soon. Eeep!
  • Even then, I will take the negativity in my stride – it comes with the territory. Not everyone will enjoy the book. Someone will love it, some will hate it and some will be pretty indifferent. I didn’t set out on this journey to be famous or rich – my goal was to be a published author and that dream has come to fruition. No amount of doubt or negativity can take that away.
So the novel took you about 4 months to write. Walk me through your process of submissions in your search for an agent/publisher.
  • I Googled… A LOT! I researched how to write a query letter and in my opinion, I still didn’t get this right. I made a list of ALL the publishing houses I could find and made a note of their submission requirements. Then I emailed them one by one, customizing my application to their needs. I kept a record of each publisher, their contact details and when I emailed my application to them. And then came the rejection letters. The first few I took in my stride and then they just started to deflate me. I almost gave up when I saw the special call from Fiery Seas Publishing and was so surprised to get an email with a contract inviting me to join their team. It’s been easier now since I have a foot in the door because my publisher is amazing and is always wanting more stories from me.
  • It’s tough to get published in SA because they are usually looking for authentic South African stories. I love sunny South Africa but I also don’t want to be shoved in a mold to write stories just to be published locally. We each have an individual voice and that should be heard.
Rejection letters play a frequent role in any writer’s life during the submission process. How did it feel getting them? What kept you motivated throughout it all?
  • It’s terrible. In the beginning, you take it in your stride. But then they keep coming and it’s really tough to stay positive, particularly when you sacrifice months of your time to get your story out, another few months polishing it and in a single paragraph, your dreams are dashed. My bestie was always a source of great encouragement and would often, at times, remind me that JK Rowling was rejected A LOT before someone gave her an opportunity. Thinking about that kept me on track. Success in any field is not just handed to you – you have to work for it.
Felicidades épicas! You’ve been published internationally. Talk to me about that day, receiving the email. How did it feel? And What have you done to celebrate since?
  • I woke up at 5am one morning and went over my social media messages and then opened the email from Fiery Seas Publishing, expecting another concise rejection letter. I nearly fell off the bed when I read that they wanted to offer me a contract which was attached. I read and reread the email, not quite sure it wasn’t a joke. I shook my husband awake and shoved the phone in his face to see. Of course in his sleepy state, he simply said “That’s wonderful babe!” and went right back to sleep. So I lay awake in the dark of the morning and wondered at what had just happened. For many months I kept my news private – only a select few knew. I still didn’t believe it and I didn’t want to jinx it. But then the cover was revealed and I knew there was no going back.
Walk me through the process from that email to getting the final book signed off for release.
  • It took many months from the time I got the original email till anything started happening. They sent me a questionnaire about what I expected from my cover, dedication, acknowledgments and so on. So Misty, my publisher could understand the vision I had.
  • First Line Edits started - This was simply correcting grammar, spelling and the like.
  • Second Line Edits - Were a bit more in depth, changing sentences so they make more sense and be easier to read. Getting into deep POV was a learning curve but I seem to be getting better at it.
  • Copy Edits – This was Tough. This is really pulling your story together and making sure it makes sense. The suggestions to change sentences made me sit and scratch my head because I didn’t know how else to make it read. I trudged on and learned so much along the way. 
  • To Print - After surviving the copy edits, the book went to print.

Tips & Tricks:

Do you have any great writing resources that you can share with us?
  • Google has been a great help! I also follow my favorite authors on their social platforms so I can learn from them. This worked best for me because my genre was the same.
Melissa Follows:

What would you say to other aspiring writers out there, especially the ones in our homeland of South Africa?
  • Keep working on your manuscripts. Be open to taking direction and advice from those in the field. Learn to take rejection (it will happen a lot). Success is for those who work towards it, keep going, your success is waiting on the horizon.
If there was just one nugget of wisdom you could share, what would that be?
  • Write because it fulfills your soul. It should never be a job to you, it should be your lifestyle, a piece of who you are. I am a writer…
Bonus Tip: Melissa’s written a great post on her Top 10 Writing Tips for the Up and Comer

Best. Answers. Ever. 
Melissa! I thoroughly enjoyed your spirit in this interview and admire your motivated attitude. It has most assuredly been a Highlight for my blog. I have already pre-ordered your book & cannot wait to devour its pages. 

***
Waiting For You
Releases, 24th May 2016

Audrey Kelly finds her way back home to Crystal Valley with her bruised pride and a shattered dangerous past mocking her rear view mirror. What she didn’t expect was to be face-to-face with Adam Parker, resident bad boy, sexy Navy SEAL and one of the reasons that Audrey ran all those years ago.

Audrey was the last person Adam had ever expected to see back in Crystal Valley. Over a decade ago, they shared a sizzling night together before he received the worst news of his life and he hasn’t seen her since…until she’d moved back unexpectedly. She was no longer the sweet innocent girl he once remembered, but Adam has his own problems without having to deal with Audrey’s ice princess recital, no matter how tempting the auburn haired seductress may be.

Sparks begin to ignite between them but can they accept Audrey’s past when it threatens to engage them in a dangerous twist? Can they save each other from themselves and stop running once and for all?

Character Inspiration
        Watch the tantalizing Book Trailer Here



***Breaking News***
The #WaitingForYou HYPE is Real!!
Reached +70,000 Impressions & +300 Retweets, Daily!


It's "Waiting For You" to Order Now.

EPIC fan pic posted by AmazeBlog aka Cassarica Nadas
Enjoying her copy of Waiting For You over a relaxing Bubble Bath
InstaGram Pic


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~Be Kind to one Another~ Ellen Degeneres

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Precipice: The Second Most Important Date of Your Life

Inspire. Create. Write.TM

The Second Most Important Date is...The Proposal.




Mike stood upon a precipice, the winds of change blowing through his sandy blond hair. He'd always been a hard worker, always fighting for his dream to be the best advertiser out there. If he wasn't working, he was not living. His mind aflame with new ideas and slogans, constantly rearranging them like a conundrum until they became something meaningful. After becoming the head of the advertising department at PPC. He afforded himself with maybe too much of an ego boost. In actuality his life was committed to what he was good at, nothing less, that is until this day had arrived....

"Sir, where would you like the ten thousand lilies?" Said the petite florist.

He looked down at her, puzzled and for all he was worth, he could not figure out where on the baseball pitch to put them. Jenna loved lilies, in fact, they had met at a flower shop. This proposal had to go perfectly, it had to be as perfect as the moment they shared their first kiss. The orchestra, the stadium lights, the lilies, the digital board saying ‘Will you marry me?’ It all had to gel together the way his adverts would...harmonious.

"Put the lilies in a half-circle arc around the stadium, the table in the center on the pitchers podium, then add the orchestra near the left field to utilize the acoustics there and top it all off with the ‘Will you marry me?’ appearing on the board when I actually ask the question." He told the stressed looking caterer. She scrambled off to organize his demands. He rubbed his hands together with a smile, everything should run smoothly now. Although maybe a long run on the treadmill might clear his head.

He climbed the stairs to his apartment greeting Buster on the way in. Little Buster had been the dog Mike had grown to love, he'd never been fond of pets before, that is until Jenna ‘liberated’ him from a lab and brought him to stay with them. He was a scruffy little mutt, a mutt that Mike would spend his Sunday afternoons combing through his hair to get rid of any excess. Mike sat at his desk surfing the net and checking the latest ads out. He must have fallen asleep because the next thing he knew he was at the beach with Jenna, Buster and 5 other dogs that she had decided to walk today... As they got to the beach he knew with certainty what was going to happen next. Jenna let all 6 dogs go! Unleashing them on the beach, not knowing, or rather not caring if it would be a mission to leash them all again, especially Buster. She ran with them, hair tossing in the wind, screams high in the air, she ran. The dogs followed her like a pack, barking excitement. Mike laughed, this was one of his favorite memories of her. A memory that illustrated just how free and uninhibited she was. Everything he was not, she was his polar opposite in almost every way. She was life! The very essence itself, life incarnate in all its beauty and terror. Yes, terror. Her ability to be so, so, so down to earth was unnerving. He'd never met anyone so unencumbered. With a jerk, he woke up and felt like the keyboard keys were engraved on the side of his face. He went out onto the balcony as if standing on a precipice, the winds of change blowing through his sandy brown hair. He'd reached his epiphany within that dream, that one very vivid dream. He was going to marry Jenna, he was going to get down on one knee and propose to her.

Racing down the streets, through the busy nightlife of Manhattan, Mike knew exactly where she would be. The one place she had always felt safe, the stock exchange building. An unusual choice but Jenna had once said that it was exactly that chaos and insanity that made her feel safe. She would just sit there and watch people rant and rave over the stock market, voice upon voice each trying to be heard but lost within the echoes. Trying to push through the crowd to find Jenna was impossible, he'd get lost before he made it even a quarter of the way. So he climbed on a desk and took the microphone.

"SHUrrrrrrrrrrrR UP!!!" Silence greeted him back. "Jenna! JENNA!! JEENNNAA!!!!!" There! He spotted her, the crowd parting along the way and there she was. Her hair was all scuffed up and she looked like she'd been crying. He jumped down and ran to her, gripping her against his chest.

"Why are you crying?" He asked tentatively.

"Buster ran away today," She replied into his chest.

He chuckled, "He came home baby, Abdul must have let him in.” She looked up at him with so much hope he couldn't stand it anymore. Adrenaline pumped through him, Jenna must’ve found herself a whole lot taller than him now.

He descended to one knee and looked up into her brown button eyes. "When we first met you told me that I was the most egotistical, power-driven man you'd ever met. Well, I stand before you, not as that man, I stand before you today as… your man. The one you taught how to smile, how to be comfortable in casual clothes, how to laugh at the silliest of things, how to take a day off and the one you taught how to live out his secret dream even if it was just for one night. Jenna your beauty has only one equal, your spirit. You are all that I breathe for and from this day forward you're all that I live for. I don't want money or success or even that award for the best advert. All I want and need is you. Give me an angel as sweet and lovely as you and I'll love her with everything I have. Give me a home and I'd love it with all I have. Give me you, and I will give you my heart and soul. Will you marry me?"

Jenna looked down at him with tears in her eyes, smiling, she uttered a word that galvanized at the very core of his being. "Yes!"

Their lips met passionately somewhere after that, in all the chaos that followed. Cheers and screams rang high in the building. Whether it was to something that happened in the market or to their engagement… no one will ever know.

DeviantArt Cred: LiquidTheoryInc


THE END


***
Authors Note

This is a short story, Cover Reveal can be found Here
The Most Important Date can be found Here

Special Thanks to LiquidTheoryInc for allowing me to use his artwork at the end.

Enjoyed that? Share your thoughts or even better, your personal proposal stories, I love reading those. 

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~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

Monday, 16 May 2016

The First Date

Inspire. Create. Write. TM


This is a excerpt of Chapter Eight from my upcoming novel, The Cured: Rebirth

Novel Tagline:
Teen discovers a Cure for Cancer & has to make the Ultimate Choice. Save his Love or Save the World.

Main Characters:
William Scott: 15yo boy, spiky black hair, dying of stage four lung cancer.

Emma Ornnam: 15yo best friend & girlfriend of Will.

***

At long last though the moment had arrived. Will stood atop the hospital's pebble-stoned roof in his favorite jeans, a plain white T and a black blazer loaned from his father. He was entirely ashamed of how loose they all fit on him now causing him to rub his hands together as if to shake away this nervous knot rooted to his body. He looked out below at the city before him where the lights below dazzled with the motion of the cars. Darkness was illuminated in a transcendent way in such fascinating patterns even though that was never the intention. Somehow, someway, the lights of different colors and shapes blended into this melody that he felt compelled to admire. Will remembered the first time he'd been on a plane at night, looking out below and just in complete awe at the perspective he had. The lights of the cities formed these immaculate patterns that seemed almost frozen in time and he wondered for the first time in a long time if this is what God saw when he looked down at them. Whether He marveled the way Will did at the genius of man and the splendid colors that they had created.

His phone beeped that familiar Whatsapp sound announcing what could only mean that Emma was on her way up. He did a final check on his breath, smoothed out his blazer, pushed his oxygen tank behind his leg and stood there practically burning a hole at the place where she was to appear. The staircase door opened and there she was, like something out of a movie. The pearl dress she wore curved with her body in the most sensual way, while the wind blew through her velvet black hair making her tilt her head ever so slightly and close her eyes as if she was enjoying the sensation. She slowly opened her eyes and looked around. Will could only imagine what she saw, the circular white trestle table, two cloches covering the food, an ice bucket with non-alcoholic champagne and a vase in the middle with a single red rose. She clasped her hands over her mouth, “OH my word Will! You did all of this? It's amazing!"

Will shrugged, "I had a lot of help, especially with the heavy lifting."

She came over to hug him, her vanilla scent wafted over the air before she got to him. The hug was tentative like they both felt shy about the whole thing. Will motioned for her to sit down, then proceeded to reveal their dinner in one fluid motion but his grip on the cloche handle was too weak and the thing went sprawling to the pebbles below. He cursed loudly but Emma grabbed his hand, "Wow this looks amazing, forget the silly thing and come sit down. Are those omelets?"

Will sat down still cursing his clumsiness in front of her but he calmed enough to say, "I never told you this but I don't really know how to cook at all."

"What? You? No… neverdays." She had this knowing grin on her face.

"Anyway I do know one thing and that's how to make an omelet, so I stuck to my strengths and viola, dinner is served."

Emma giggled, slicing up a piece and upon her first bite, she moaned into the fork. "This tastes amazing! I don't ever want any other omelet besides this one."

They spent the rest of their meal talking in general, Emma catching Will up on the scandals at schools, laughing over their favorite Theo moments. All the while, Will sat there as if time stretched on endlessly for this moment. He traced every feature she had while she talked to him. As if cataloging everything to keep close to him forever. From those light brown flakes in her emerald eyes, to the way her whole face reacted when she smiled, to the tiny beauty spot below her left eye that made her so damn sexy. When she titled her head to the side it accentuated her eyes in a most sultry way, like some mysterious goddess. Will wanted so badly to tell her all these things, he'd practiced a thousand times. Things like how it felt to have her in his arms or how at peace he felt when she was with him like his insides weren't at war anymore. That she was his best friend and about how connected he felt to her every time he told her about the darkest parts of him. He tried so hard to will his mouth to say this but instead what came out was about the time he farted and blamed her cousin who she didn't talk to for a week after. She laughed so hard that she choked abit on the champagne and didn't that make him feel for her more than ever.

"So Will, I just have to know who was that hooters woman that rocked up here? You've never mentioned any busty, dark-haired friends to me and I would've definitely heard about it from the guys had they known." There was that mischievous grin again.

Will exhaled, "Damn Emma way to throw a guy on the plank. Sheesh well I mean we met awhile back when I was searching for… something and I helped babysit for her while she studied to complete her engineering degree. She's actually fiercely independent, in fact, she almost broke my nose when I first offered to help her study. She takes a lot of night and weekend classes, so the babysitting helped a lot. Then Billy started with the whole 'daddy' thing and I just didn't have the heart to correct him."

Emma nodded, "Oh ok I see, well that all still doesn't mean I have to particularly like her. What's her name?"

"Monique Velasquez."

"Did you sleep with her?"

"What? No, Emma I've told that I haven't slept with anyone yet."

She muttered under her breath pointedly for him to hear, "That's not my fault."

Will couldn't help but smile at the situation, "Jealously looks cute on you Ems."

Emma huffed "Ha! Me, jealous of her? In your dreams Will Scott, in your dreams."

Will put his phone on the table, unlocking it with a swipe and hit play. Thank Sam for his obsession with movie scores. He stood up and held out his hand, "Ems, you're right she and every other women should be completely jealous of how beautiful you look right now. So stand up and come dance with your boyfriend."

She stood up without a word, placing her hands on his biceps and laying her head to rest on his chest as if listening to his heartbeat. Will wrapped his arms around her lower back pulling her close. He let that vanilla scent flow through him freeing every tense muscle in his body. For what seemed like a lifetime they slow danced there in silence just enjoying the music and each other. Emma looked up at him with purposeful eyes, "Will I know that your perspective on things has changed since you were given this unfair burden. I also know that every decision you've made since has been purely driven by how bad your condition is getting. But I need you to promise me something. I need just this one thing."

Will paused as he studied her eyes, they were pleading with him hoping for his answer. He felt gravel in his throat when he answered, "Anything Ems. Anything."

Emma took a deep breath in and he realized just as he had practiced trying to say all those things, she had been practicing saying this, "No more pushing me away, ok? It's us from here on out Will. I can't keep going through you pushing me away whenever things get serious or your condition gets worse. I need you to promise me that for however long this lasts or for however short it is, that we will go through it together. Whether you die tomorrow or whether you get cured, we're in this together. Forget the world, just you and me."

He answered her in the only way that mattered, with a kiss. Their lips touched and the whole world as messy or beautiful as it was, all faded away.

DeviantArt Cred: SsGirlo
***
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