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Daily Prompt: Seven Wonders by Henrietta Maddox
October 28, 2013, 8:36 pm
Filed under: Help Yourself, Love, Mental Well Being, Sex, Writing | Tags:

“Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?”










A belated acceptance of the Versatile Blogger Award
December 14, 2011, 12:11 am
Filed under: Help Yourself, journalism, Mental Well Being, Physical Health, Trivia, Writing

When I received this award in August (would you believe) from the wonderful Chuck Allen, I had no idea what to write. The requirements of accepting the award are to reveal little known facts about yourself and then pass it on to another wonderful blogger.

To check out Chuck Allen’s random little facts click here. To find out facts about me, read on:

1. I would love to be an agony aunt

I’ve always thought I’d make a great agony aunt. After finishing my course in magazine journalism and completing some work experience at Brighton’s eco-mag Rocks, I was lucky enough to get an internship at Scarlet magazine. I hoped the experience with this leading mag in sex & relationships would get me on the route to success. However, it ended up sending me in a very different direction: creative writing.

2. Hot and steamy beginnings

My first short stories were in the genre of erotica. I didn’t attempt to write anything else until 2009. Most of my stories were for Scarlet but I also managed to get one of my stories published in a book called Ultimate Decadence – all proceeds still go to the Macmillan Fund for Breast Cancer. It was part of a sub-charity called Burlesque Against Breast Cancer.

3. Soap maker

Like @chuckallen I enjoy taking up new hobbies and on a constant mission to better myself. I believe this is a typical writer/artist thing to do because we love to experience new things and find new material. At the moment I am learning to make soap using some skills I have picked up over the years from mixing essential oils. So much fun! Next step is sculpting it.

4. Self-help lover

Whether I read the whole thing, the contests page or just the cover, I LOVE self help books. Love bettering myself and finding out new things to help others. My favourite one in the past few years have been A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, expressing the need to live in the moment. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was the first one I read (I think) but I only read half of it because it tends to say the same thing in every chapter: let women talk their stress out, let men have their space. Not much more to it.

5. Secret Cinema obsession

I suddenly get very obsessive when I go to the cinema. I like to get there early so I don’t miss any trailers. Also, I like to sit in the centre of the fifth row because of some advert I saw over 15 years ago when the actor says, “The girl in the middle of the fifth row….” – I can’t even remember why or what he says 😉


I would like to give this award to @Helenscribbles. This will make her a versatile blog award winner THREE times!! Well done Helen. Helen’s website is filled with fascinating and unique stories. All with wonderful twists, interesting scenes and intriguing dialogue. I especially recommend her Flash Fiction and Tuesday Serials.

Right, I’m very tired – so off to bed. Hope this all makes sense. Thanks again Chuck Allen for my award. 🙂

Eat, Pray, Love or Loathe
April 11, 2011, 10:11 am
Filed under: Help Yourself, Love, Writing

Years ago, a few sassy, strong and independent women I know said to me, “Have you heard of Eat, Pray, Love? You must read it, it’s great. It’s like nothing you’ve ever read before”. So, when opportunity arose (I was in a bookshop and had nothing to read), I bought, read, loved. I thought it was such a harmless book of such an epic journey that no-one could dislike it.

It was the seed of a journey of my own. One that didn’t involve travelling, actually. It involved experimenting with meditation, exercise but more often than not, expanding on reading that aimed to guide you to inner peace. But I don’t know if any of that would have happened if it wasn’t for the writing of Elizabeth Gilbert.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s no Aldous Huxley but she’s mildly humourous, never bombastic and writes in a conversational style that’s familiar; with ideas, thoughts and issues that many women can relate to.And a story of how she changed her life for the better rather than staying deeply unhappy in a loveless marriage. Do if you’re interesting in self-discovery, her story could be one of inspiration for you.

Recently (as said in an earlier post) I realised not everyone sees this book in the same way. Here are some of the comments on Amazon:

“It’s awful! Navel-gazing, whingeing, self-pitying, self-obsessed, narcissistic without the charm or humour that might have made it likeable.”

“One can just imagine Ms.Gilbert sniggering as she writes about her ‘spiritual’ experiences, (particularly the appalling self-centred nonsense that is the ‘India’ section) and then laughing all the way to the bank as half-wit readers ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at her every word.
This is a truly self-pitying, self-indulgent and badly written book.”

I’m intrigued to know more about these reviewers. Where they come from. What they have to offer in terms of recommendations. But most of all, how they’ve got themselves into such a tether about the book. You can’t disagree that Gilbert talks about herself a lot. But it’s not exactly moaning, is it? I suspect these women either have a taste for classic literature. Or more likely, have got themselves into lifeless marriages and don’t know how to get themselves out.

A blessed mortality check

No matter what the form, most adults have them. That moment of dread when you realise, “Oh! No – sorry – my bad, it could happen to me. I am not immortal.”

Recently, a television show has come out called The Big C. All about a woman who gets cancer which is already at stage 4. Living with a family of all men (husband, brother, son), she decides to keep it to herself and try to really live life before her time runs out. She experiments with new things that her old, dutiful, mature self would not and begins to have a lust for all things debaucherous. My basic point is she reassesses and I am sure many women who get cancer do.

Last week I was told I have CIN 3, also known as severe dyskaryosis. It’s when you have all abnormal cells in your cervix. And today I am going for a Colposcopy. When I found out I was, of course, immediately petrified. But yesterday morning, walking along the beach, I realised it is such a wonderful thing that has happened:

First of all, it’s not cancer. It’s pre-cancerous cells. And I’ve found it early because I take care of myself.

Second of all, it’s a fantastic mortality check for me. A glimpse at what some women and men go through on a mammoth scale with diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s disease (to name a few).It’s like the ego becomes confused and needs to readjust with its relationship with time. And so the real you can come out for a little while as the stronger self.

I am remembering what is important: right now. The things that usually spur me into the slightest distress, anxiety or depression, have not this week because I know they don’t matter. It’s got me writing again and more interested in new things like twitter and going out to meet new friends. Like a bad break-up it’s left me feeling deflated, but equally grounded.