There’s nothing better than receiving reviews from readers, especially when they are two years old!
A huge thank you to Cecily for sharing her grandson’s review of Moofy and Flo. I hope you enjoy this review as much as I did – I’m still smiling from listening to his little voice! It makes me think of Christmas and curling up by the Christmas tree, watching movies and reading stories to my children (who are to big to fully appreciate that now!).
Ask a child and they’re brutal with the truth. Sometimes it’s not what you want to hear, other times it’s just right. Whatever they tell you, it’s genuine and from the heart. There is so much we can learn from a child. If they like something they’ll show it, usually by their actions. The cuddle, the kiss, the pouting face.
My friend and mentor, and published author, Eloise De Sousa sent me an advance copy of her video book Moofy and Flo to show my grandson, Sebastian, we call him Sebbie.
Sebbie came over to our place on a gorgeous, hot Sunday afternoon.
He dashed around the garden, chasing both my husband and I (oh! the exercise!!)
Come and sit next to me in our Covid-free coffee house. I can reach over and give you a big hug because, in this world, we are away from the madness, away from the social distancing that has kept us imprisoned in our homes and away from the chaos of confusing instructions on what our future holds.
The news of a lift on lock down protocols has sent ripples through our world, no matter where we live. Some of us feel exasperated by the ridiculous conflicting messages of lifting a lock down when we have no cure in sight. But, on the flip side, others are questioning how we are going to keep eating, drinking and switching on the lights and heating in our caves if the economy dies? We could sit here and enjoy the chocolate cake and finger sandwiches, but even this won’t last if the world stops. First world problems compared to those living in developing countries I hear you say – or maybe not.
I was discussing this dilemma the other day. To say that we are a mixed bag of circumstances is not a strong enough statement to capture the worrying conditions of some families locked away in high rise buildings with only the graffiti on dirty walls to entertain children. The conclusion I reached was: humans will always find a way. We are the cockroaches of the earth. Bickering, name calling, finger pointing and wearing impassioned charitable cloaks to cover our self-serving natures are all part and parcel of our nature. But so is our adaptability and enduring natures. What we need is a common enemy – something or someone that will force nations to break down their feeble fences and hold hands with neighbours to battle for our freedom and survival. Will this current destructive force be enough to evolve our muted minds and make us move towards a more cohesive future with our environment? I don’t know. History votes against us. Will our current invisible enemy win? That depends on our attitudes towards authority, their guidance and whether or not we follow it without question.
Last week, during our pregnant pause awaiting the delivery of the newly born protocols on lock down, I noticed a rise in traffic outside my house. Cars and trucks trundled past every few minutes. Residents filled the pavements leading to the forest down the road, chatting and laughing under the warm spring sun. A gentle breeze carried conversations about coping with isolation and home schooling. Joggers took to the street, sparing irritated glances at the congregated socialites littering their paths. People forgot just how dangerous it is to travel around, to meet up with each other and to socialise in close proximity. Their lulled sense of security made me think of the invisible enemy watching them, following them back into their lives, their homes. We won’t see their mistake, not just yet. Give it a week, or two.
As we sip at our cups and wonder at mankind’s dilemma, let’s remember what the unlocking of restrictions without a cure or proper tests will release. Let’s think about the dying economy and families imprisoned in homes that can’t cope with unstable financial futures. Let’s sit here knowing that there will be no sirens to announce the tsunami of cases rising and approaching with speed in the coming weeks. Germany saw this rise less than a week after they lifted their restrictions on lock down. Logically, this means the movement began once the whispers of change drifted on the media wind in the precluding weeks, just like my road told the tale of forgetfulness last week.
With all this in mind, I’d rather sit here, with you, sipping at my Darjeeling tea. What will you do? What choices do you have?
Hi! I won’t hug you today as we are practicing social distancing, but I will say it’s great to see you. At a time when the world is coming to a standstill, having a chance to meet friends makes me think we are far luckier than our ancestors.
While the media fills our heads with information and updates of doom, I take to social media to find my friends and give updates on positive events. Sharing fun ideas on how to keep the children busy has been well received and I am determined to keep it going for as long as I can.
My Writers’ Club has adapted like a chameleon to new vegetation. We’ve had two webex meetings and have managed to collate ideas and start writing projects. Considering some children are as young as six, I’m very impressed at their capabilities and can look at our teething problems as minimal. I will be opening the club to new members who will start in April. If your children enjoy creating worlds and pushing their imagination beyond the obvious, contact me. I’ve attached the flyer below.
At home, the house has been full for about two weeks now. All my children are keeping busy with their schoolwork. I’m trying to supplement their work to encourage further growth while we are in isolation. Never one to waste time, my daughter has enforced school schedules, even if there aren’t any lessons planned by their teachers on the day. Instead, we make use of BBC bitesize and other programmes that offer free lessons to support children studying from home.
My biggest challenge is keeping my large family fed. Food runs have been cut to reduce exposure to the virus. My next run might be done with gloves and a mask. I’m getting paranoid over the chances that I might carry the virus in with the shopping bags or on the packaging. So everything is unpacked, cleaned and my own clothes changed with a complete decontamination of my face and hands. It’s exhausting but necessary if I want to keep the family safe. Are you following any protocols to keep your families or yourselves safe? Are you as paranoid as I am?
We have reached the days when earth’s most toxic inhabitants slow to a rumbling stop. While we complain and worry and fight to survive, remember to take a moment to appreciate all the things around you. Our greed led us here. Let’s hope this world wide experience will make us approach the future in a better way. I’m not holding my breath though.
Pull up a chair and grab your cup. It’s time to relax and find out how your week has been.
Last week was one of the busiest I’ve had in months, even though I don’t have a nine-to-five post anymore. Possibly working way past reasonable hours has meant me popping up in social media at odd times or answering emails when most decent folk are fast asleep! It has been worth it. Not only have I managed to sign up four schools to my Writers’ Club, I’ve re-edited Scat The Black Cat and given the cover and illustrations a face lift. There’s more news to follow about Scat’s projection into the spotlight, so watch this space.
What has been the greatest achievement of your week? Did you manage to complete a project or work on a life goal? I’d love to know, so do share your stories in the comments below.
This week, I’ve launched a new feature on my Instagram page (@eloise_writes) – I’ve started Book of the Week. This feature will help promote indie authors’ books and hopefully share new titles with my audience. If you have a new title that you’d like to be featured, send me a link to your book and I’ll do the rest. Unfortunately I can’t promise to read all the books I promote on a timely basis to produce reviews, but I will endeavour to get to as many as I can.
Later this week, I hope to share some ridiculous clips of my cats talking. Apparently, my cat Kiki realised that if he spoke to me, I would respond. So, when I walk into the room, he meows a greeting. If he requires feeding, he comes up to me and meows with a different pitch, length of meow and slight reverberation of his voice. The other cats have cottoned on to our conditioned response to his voice and have now copied him. If you don’t believe me, look out for the posts on my social media later this week.
Well, my cup is empty and, to be honest, I fancy a take out! So, I’ll love and leave you for this week. Join me for a coffee catch up next week and don’t forget to send in your weekly input.
Well folks, I am now officially working for myself. It’s still sinking in, even after a week of prep work for the next phase. I can’t say it has been an easy ride because my stress levels have been through the roof. Becoming self-employed as a writer is not for the faint hearted.
Before embarking on this adventure, I had to do a lot of research and quite a bit of soul searching. You see, there’s no point in telling yourself that you’re going to become a fabulous, £50k a year author (I’m allowed to dream), if you don’t have anything to eat in the interim. There’s that annoying question of how to put food on the table and pay for essentials, like the car insurance, for example. I was very lucky – I got help. Joining a group of like-minded writers/bloggers who have already crossed the roughest parts of the journey and have shared their experiences has helped immensely. Taking their advice is important too. There are so many pitfalls, it feels like walking through a valley of snakes!
The soul searching comes into play when you actually think of ways of earning money. Do you stick to what you know career-wise or take a leap and start looking for jobs within the writing industry? I decided, after many sleepless nights, that trying to force myself back into an office – be it in the legal, commercial or educational field – would kill me. I escaped the 9-5 a while back and could not envisage living that life again.
Working as a ghost writer, copywriter or academic writer requires skills that I may possess but my confidence refused for me to push myself there.
And so, it came down to finding my own niche market, a place where I feel I belong, something I am truly passionate about: inspiring others to write. So, with that in mind, I offered my services to people from different walks of life who are now on their way to becoming published authors themselves. I have taken my Writers’ Clubs and Book Clubs to other schools and have so many other ways to reach into the community to offer my services and inspire more people. It’s that tingly feeling deep inside when I think of how I can get children and adults to believe in themselves, to see what I can see in their words that got me here. And I hope I will be able to keep going and make my clubs a success.
There’s a long journey ahead and I can’t promise you that it’s going to be easy. From listening to many other adventurers who have taken the big step towards following their dreams, I need to prepare myself for some heartbreak along the way and some back breaking work. I’m ready for it. After all, this is now my dream we’re talking about and I want to keep it alive for as long as I can.
What are your dreams and how can I help you make them come true?