OK, when I finished my last blog, I had no idea it would take so long to do the next one - I would like to start by saying a massive thank you to those of you who have continued to visit the site during this time, even leaving encouraging messages, asking me to update it.  Your support has been greatly appreciated.

As to why the long silence (and I'm aware I need to update the reviews - never fear, that is in hand!), it's been a rough, tumultuous few months, culminating in a terrible bereavement which left me devastated.  I still continued doing some things but mostly I needed time to reflect and recuperate.  I'm still very sad, have really bad days, but I'm slowly getting there.

I think what has helped is that I have had many things distract me which have demanded my time and attention.  There were times I resented the intrusion of the things I had to do, simply wanting to hide away, but I came to realise that it was beneficial.  You cannot cope if you continuously focus on the devastation - you need a distraction.

Mine came in a number of forms - not least, friends.  I won't name them, but some have been particularly kind and generous, allowing me time and space, but also taking me out of myself.   At first I felt guilty for laughing, but not now - it's a release and I know that grandad would approve. 

Then came my voluntary work in the school - some of the teachers knew him and have said lovely things about him (all of which have been appreciated, even if I didn't say so at the time).  Sometimes it is very hard to talk ... I have to be professional in the school and that helps enormously.  

What has helped most has been that I've thrown myself into YoCW (working in the background, not on the boards) - with surprising results.  I now have my own radio show which is due to start shortly (a chance to get back to my first love of interviewing people - I may use some of my old ones to get me going, but I have interviews with the likes of Jodi Picoult and Peter James lined up - very exciting.   We will be videoing some of the interviews, whether via Skype or through a camcorder, which will be fun because it will give the feel of a chat show!  A YoCW first! :-)  The show is called "Continuous Chat with Mel and Amanda" and will feature many authors - some who have released their debut work and others who are more experienced, not forgetting a "Book at Bedtime", starting with Leap of Faith, a children's story written by the multi talented Daniel M Warloch.  We will discuss every subject under the sun - everything from writing to spiritualism, to subjects that evoke strong feelings ... if something has happened in the news that week, which has been controversial, we will almost certainly be discussing that, too!!  

Something that has proved surprisingly popular has been the competition (run by Michael Rowland).  Remember, whether or not you are a member of YoCW, you can still join in.  Email me for further details via the contact page.  The closing date is 30th June 2013.

I said at the end of the last blog that I would be talking about fear holding you back.  

How often have you had a golden opportunity and been too afraid to take it?  I certainly have ...

Most of us lack confidence in our own abilities, preferring to stay cocooned in our safety zone rather than risk failing, no matter what the potential benefits are.

Take someone who is desperately unhappy in work?  Feels like a square peg in a round hole.  In many (if not most) cases, they will continue to stay in the job despite being unhappy, even though they know there is a job out there that will suit them better.  Why not take that leap?  

An accountant might sigh,  "I'd love to be a chef but ...," for example.  Rather than sit and complain, wish and wonder, why not take a deep breath and try?  "Well there are no jobs ... probably wouldn't really cut it ..."  All of these are excuses.  There's no need to rush into things, just take baby steps..  Start by finding out about courses in the area so you can get the right qualifications (in many cases you can continue to work while at college - either via a day release or going to night school), look at work opportunities in your area, conventions that may be taking place where you can make connections and network ...

How do you know if you don't try?!  

I have been in this situation myself and it took a huge leap of faith but I decided to chance it - and I'm so glad I did.  I may not have a job, but I'm the happiest I've ever been.  I'm a qualified counsellor, and in my spare time I'm doing what I love most - writing and helping people.  

The counselling course was the toughest thing I've ever done - but it taught me so much about myself.  Instead of being unhappy, I faced my fears - the very worst that could happen was that I failed - so I had a bruised ego (nothing new there!)  I'm currently looking for a placement, then a job - then I'll train to be a supervisor.  If I had looked into the future 10 years ago, I could never have thought I'd have had the courage to do this course and take my life in my own hands.

Yes, it's scary and there are times I wonder if I'm really up to a particular challenge, but the truth is, life is what you make it.  If you don't try, you'll never know.  We've all had those experiences where we think, "No matter how much I want to, I can't do this ..." but if we push ourselves just that little bit harder, we discover that in fact, we CAN do it.  This goes for every situation we face in life ... all it takes is a little bit of courage.  That sounds glib (finding that courage can be like finding a needle in a haystack if we really lack confidence) but it's so worth the effort if you are willing to push yourself.

One of my favourite songs has become a mantra and I'm going to quote from that to end this blog:

Hoping to fly I fall 
Oh how I wish, I just didn't care at all
Cos when you don't care, you don't cry
It won't hurt if you don't try!
But I STILL believe 
In ALL my dreams 
And all that I can be
I'll learn from mistakes
Do all that it takes 
To make it eventually
Cos I still believe
I still believe
Oh yes, I STILL believe in me!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time!

5/18/2013 05:38:58 am

Love, love, love your stories. Love your site. Love you. What a great place this is, Melanie.

I'm honored to know you. :)

5/18/2013 06:24:37 am

Well, well, well. It's amazing what one can learn when one takes the time to read EVERYTHING.

I'm kind of a old/newcomer to the world of publishing. I have lived two lives. One where I was free to create, go on press tours, go to book signings and game signings (yes, a game - long story)

In my prior life I was riding high with 13 painting books, a family board game and a variety of short stories published.

Then I had to have surgery that went terribly wrong.

Suffice it to say that I was on Life Support for several days and because of that and lack of oxygen to my brain, I had to learn everything all over again. Ya, that's right. Everything - walking, reading, writing, painting (still struggle with that one)

Now I am living another life. A life with a disability. My lungs were burned by anesthesia so badly, that I have to have supplemental oxygen 24/7 to live. Ya, I know. That really bites the big one.

But . . . aha! Even though I don't move very well anymore, my brain still works, (that's debatable, depending on whom you ask).

I'm so delighted to be able to get lost into an imaginary world and write about it. What flabbergasts me, is that people are willing to read what I write!

Thank you. I hope I live long enough to write all the stories I have in mind. I thank Melanie for having such a receptive heart to be willing to read my debut novel even with the typos. (grrrrr)

The next book won't have any, er, not as many. I promise.

Hugs to all
LaRae Parry

10/6/2013 03:21:41 am

Talent never ends for you. Pull of bright ideas and information. Keep it going dear friend.


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