Blog: Mel's Muse

Showing posts categorised as 'Personal Growth'

Book Club: Sensible Shoes - Who Are You & Where Have You Come From?

WHO ARE YOU?  GUILT RIDDEN?

You pick up the phone, an unknown voice asks: ‘Is that the owner of the house?’  Indeed, sometimes they may address you by name.  And what is your immediate response?  Mine is never to affirm the query but to ask, ‘Who are you?’

This, however, is not...

Posted at 17:55pm on 10th September 2018

Suicide Prevention Day: The Trauma For Those Left Behind

THE TRAUMA FOR THOSE LEFT BEHIND

I spent the morning speaking with a male friend, of longstanding, whose mother took her own life when he was in his mid-teens.  Coincidence?  I had no idea that today, Monday 10th September, 2018 is World Suicide Prevention Day.  Nor that my daily newspaper was...

Posted at 16:04pm on 10th September 2018

Book Club: Sensible Shoes - Whose Do You Walk In? Who Are You?

Who are you?  Whose shoes do you walk in?  Is this a question you’ve ever ask?  No.  I don’t mean do you ask it of other people.  That’s not British!  Downright rude, in fact.  So - who are you?  Is this something you have ever asked of yourself?  And if...

Posted at 12:27pm on 13th July 2018

Archbishop By Michele Guinness: Book Club Discussion On Personal Discipleship & Service

Personal Discipleship & Service

(Quotes from the book - with permission from Michele Guinness, below -  are in italics)

There were a number of salient points in Michele Guinness’s book when it came to personal discipleship in these troubled times, and we all agreed with Archbishop Vicky that it is only ‘In...

Posted at 12:53pm on 13th November 2017

Archbishop By Michele Guinness: Book Club Discussion On What Constitutes Church?

WHAT CONSTITUTES CHURCH?  (Quotes from the book are in italics)

With some members of our Readers’ Group being Street Pastors and School Pastors, and all of us attending churches involved in outreach, the issue of whether church is a building or a people was one that resonated.  Faced with a barrage...

Posted at 15:42pm on 12th November 2017

Holy Habits By Andrew Roberts

What a great book!  When I first suggested that we read it for Book Club, one of the members thought it looked somewhat ‘heavy-going’.   On the contrary, when we met to discuss it, we all felt it was an easy read and had much to say to us about following...

Posted at 14:02pm on 4th December 2016

National Poetry Day: My Poem, Picked For A Purpose

A seed, a weed, is sown and grown, This is your life, you know! The soil, the toil till it’s full blown Bring happiness and woe.   The root, the shoot, the stem and leaf The pain the rain of life, The sun, your joy, gives way to grief As struggles become rife.   Nipped in the bud you wonder...
Posted at 11:49am on 6th October 2016

Picked For A Purpose 3: Seeds Sown

SEEDS SOWN

Sometimes people of faith speak of coincidence as being God-incidents.  So while a coincidence might be described as random - an accident, chance, luck, fluke, or twist of fate - a God-incident is thought to be an unexpected occurrence in which God is perceived to have had an influence. ...

Posted at 17:34pm on 8th September 2016

Picked For A Purpose 2: Seeds & Weeds

SEEDS & WEEDS

Have you ever felt useless?  As if nothing you do has any meaning or purpose?  Ever thought you didn’t fit in?  In your family?  At school?  At work?  Or that everyone else was more successful?  While you . . .?  Well!


These are the questions I ask when...
Posted at 13:49pm on 6th September 2016

Picked For A Purpose 1 - Me And Daddy, Daddy And Me

ME AND DADDY, DADDY AND ME

I suppose it was the letters that were the trigger – first for my depression, then for my understanding.  Small blue folded airmails that bore my mother’s name on them, plus whatever address happened to be relevant at the time.  She had kept them all...

Posted at 12:52pm on 6th September 2016

What Makes A Writer Write?

I was reading a blog post on Women Writers, Women’s Books which posed the query, Do you have to suffer to write?

It’s a valid and interesting question.

LESLEY PEARSE: A NAUGHTY LITTLE LIAR?

I attended a World Book Night event yesterday, at which Lesley Pearse, bestselling novelist, was speaking.  She had us...

Posted at 15:39pm on 24th April 2016

Book Club Discussion Summary: Naturally Supernatural By Wendy Mann

A good deal of laughter accompanied our Readers’ Group discussion last week.  The book we had been reading, which I had suggested some two months earlier, was titled Naturally Supernatural, and was written by Wendy Mann.  With a new senior minister joining us, in the meantime, we felt sure -...

Posted at 14:19pm on 18th November 2015

Mel's Online Book Club Discussion: The Fight By Luke Wordley

I had the pleasure of meeting with author, Luke Wordley, and received a signed copy of his book.  In choosing to read The Fight for Book Club, we felt we were moving outside our comfort zone.  It was with some surprise, therefore, that all our members enjoyed reading it.  Some...

Posted at 20:07pm on 11th September 2015

A Hint Of An American Romance Blooming In Time To Shine?

And another excerpt from my latest novel, Time to Shine, which has gained more 5* reviews since the last taster on my blog.  Sorry that the photos of the sky don't quite match the description in the book.

Here, Evie Adams, with a broken marriage behind her, takes some time out...

Posted at 20:28pm on 17th July 2015

Time To Shine - A Taster Of My New Book

I thought you might like to read a taster of my new book - a gentle psychological mystery - and see a photograph of the setting in Exeter.  The protagonist, Evie Adams, is the narrator in this passage, taken from Chapter 2

Arriving for work early one morning soon after my...

Posted at 12:20pm on 29th June 2015

Big Book Sale: Stepfamilies - Practical Help To Build A Stable, Happy Stepfamily

How do you tell your children they are going to have a step-parent? How do you handle disagreements about access and money? How do you deal with past hurts and fears?

All families have their difficulties, but stepfamilies often face special problems. And with nearly a million of them in the...

Posted at 21:22pm on 7th February 2015

Creative Writing: Book Launch & Signing For Time To Shine

Not the best of photographs, but this is me telling my audience, at my Book Launch, yesterday, about my creative writing journey.  My love of books began at the age of five, when my father used to read my favourite bedtime story, Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant from the leather-bound...

Posted at 22:59pm on 29th November 2014

Time To Shine - A Mystery. A Marriage Mender. And A Mary Berry Style Bake Off

First in the Evie Adams series: Page one of my new book

Sometimes, when you're counselling a client and she lobs a direct question at you, protocol requires that you bounce it back to her. A case in point is my two-o'clock this Friday afternoon, a mother of three, early-forties, by the...

Posted at 07:25am on 10th November 2014

Mel's Online Book Club: Questions For: Faith In The Fog: Believing In What You Cannot See By Jeff Lucas

FAITH IN THE FOG: by Jeff Lucas NB: Page numbers below relate to Kindle pages
Click here for Discussion Summary of Faith in the Fog   1. Time Trapped. 31-46 ·        Do we wish we could go back in time as the disciples went back to Galilee to fish? If so why? Isn’t our past shame washed...
Posted at 17:53pm on 28th June 2014

Mel's Online Book Club: Discussion Summary Of Faith In The Fog: Believing In What You Cannot See By Jeff Lucas

Having prayed for absent book club members, particularly one, who is back in hospital on a second course of chemo, we started the evening with a general overview of Jeff Lucas’ book, Faith in the Fog. Without exception the group professed to having enjoyed it, though one person found his self-deprecation...

Posted at 17:36pm on 28th June 2014

God On Mute - The Problem Of Unanswered Prayers: Mel's Online Book Club

As book club questions were included in the book, I did not compile any for my real-time reading group, who met last week.

A book on unanswered prayer is never going to be an exhilarating read, but God On Mute, by Pete Greig, surpassed expectation for all but two of...

Posted at 22:31pm on 17th April 2011

Understanding The Drama Triangle In Personal Relationships & Fictional Characters

The theory of transactional analysis is a subject of never-ending fascination - both to those who find themselves participating in the Drama Triangle, and to aspiring authors involved in writing and publishing a book! Last week I met up with the friend of a friend and, during the course of...

Posted at 19:54pm on 25th August 2010

Empowering Solutions: Lift Up Your Eyes; Enlarge Your Vision!

Have you ever felt weighed down in an emotionally draining situation – as if someone had thrown a heavy, wet, cape around your shoulders; as if the effort of having to drag it around drained you of energy for anything else? Especially anything inspirational, like creative writing.

Of course you have! Most of us have...

Posted at 17:02pm on 8th June 2010

Does Your Creative Writing Style Encourage A Relationship With Your Readers?

Is it ever a good idea, as a book author, to stop writing? This isn’t a trick question: I have a genuine interest in your views – especially those of you who subscribe to my blog and are regular readers of my articles – plus it may be something you should be asking yourselves....

Posted at 03:21am on 4th June 2010

A Personality Test: Can It Define Blog Brand, Niche & Writing Content?

Does it ever occur to you that who you are might define not only your blog brand and niche, but also the content and style of your writing? One of my readers wrote to me recently and, as part of her e-mail, made the following statements:

Just did the personality test on your website...
Posted at 02:30am on 14th May 2010

Teen Drug Abuse: Peer Education Training Challenges Misconceptions

INTRODUCTION TO GUEST BLOG BY LUCY CRIPPS

My novel, A Painful Post Mortem, has been selling now for sometime, and has raised a substantial sum of money for the two charities I chose to support with the proceeds. This month, in addition to the print edition, I decided to make it available as an e-book....
Posted at 20:07pm on 30th March 2010

Negative Personality Traits: How Do You Confront Them?

Many of you have taken the free Personality Test here, on my website, so I hope you will understand when I tell you that I woke up this morning feeling somewhat at the mercy of my Type. Actually, what I thought, was that I must be turning into my father! He would tell you...

Posted at 04:45am on 28th March 2010

Transactional Analysis: Getting Off The Drama Triangle Part 2

The Drama Triangle is a model of dysfunctional relationships, in which I might see myself as occupying one of three roles: Victim; Rescuer; or Persecutor. As Victim I require you to become my Rescuer. If you don’t comply, I may become a Persecutor, accusing you of neglecting my needs. If you choose not to...

Posted at 02:33am on 5th February 2010

The Drama Triangle & The Games People Play

I looked, a couple of days ago, at Transactional Analysis – the Drama Triangle in particular:

First as a means of conflict resolution for those experiencing problems with their personal relationships. And second – for writers and aspiring authors – as an innovative way of creating fictional characters. THE GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

The theory of transactional analysis...

Posted at 22:30pm on 11th January 2010

Conflict Resolution: Relationship Psychology - And Creating Fictional Characters

What I’m about to tell you will revolutionise the way you perceive your personal relationships. It will also give you immense insight when it comes to creative writing and publishing a book and, in particular, when you’re creating fictional characters. So, whether you are attempting to make sense of your own relationships, or looking for...

Posted at 01:28am on 7th January 2010

A Christmas Gift For All Year Round

I was reading, this week, a short piece titled: Right People Get It Wrong. The writer cited two extremes in the range of good and evil: those who appear to live selfless, sacrificial lives; and those who are utterly unconcerned about the damage that they do to others. But the gist, the moral, of...

Posted at 23:56pm on 24th December 2009

Free Psychometric Profiling Switch On As The Power Of Positive Thinking Is Unplugged

The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale, has electrified society for over half a century as the means of feeling valued and attaining success in life. Now, it appears, to have been unplugged – or at least to have suffered power failure and fizzled out! Despite an epidemic of positive thinking for the last...

Posted at 17:53pm on 22nd July 2009

A Fear Of Speaking In Public: Five Practical Ways To Overcome It

You’ve been asked to do some public speaking for the Gardening Club, or Mums & Toddlers and frankly, you’re terrified. In fact your fear of speaking in public is enough to make you want to hang up your trowel and green wellies forever. And as for mums and toddlers, well your two-year-old is going...

Posted at 00:47am on 18th July 2009

Public Speaking As A Means To Enlarge My Vision: Part 2 - Receiving

I wrote, last week, about public speaking as being an act of investing in people, and suggested that it had a three dimensional nature: I give; I receive; I am filled. Having put in the effort to find out something about your audience, assembled your public speaking ideas and arranged them into a coherent...

Posted at 01:52am on 14th July 2009

Public Speaking As A Means To Enlarge My Vision: Part 1 - Preparing To Give

Public speaking for the dedicated communicator is so three dimensional. I give; I receive; I am filled. Or perhaps that should be: I am filled; I give; I receive. Let me explain.

Setting up a keynote address requires a huge effort. Especially if it includes visuals such as a Power Point Presentation. Hours of work...

Posted at 03:01am on 6th July 2009

Make The World A Better Place: Be A Cookie

One of the seminars I attended at the Conference at which I was speaking last week was about seeing your life as a cookie. Kathy See is the editor of Revive magazine and she wanted us to focus on our self-perception and what we might be able to offer in terms of writing a...

Posted at 03:57am on 3rd July 2009

The Shack By William Young: Uv Readers' Group Discussion Summary

Is The Shack A True Story?

This was one of the issues raised when twenty-one of us met on Thursday to share our impressions of William Young’s debut novel. Many of us found ourselves thinking of Madeleine McCann, the four year old who disappeared in Portugal whilst holidaying with her parents...

Posted at 06:50am on 26th April 2009

Right Brain Dominant: How To Make Your Writing Flow

A comment on my post The Structure Of A Novel: 12 Tips, complimented me for my articles on writing fiction, but asked when you should give up the brainstorming and simply sit down and let the narrative flow? It’s a good question and one which I thought deserving of more attention than I could give...

Posted at 00:00am on 25th April 2009

Creative Writing As A Means Of Illustrating Compulsive And Obsessive Behaviour

I hope you’re not going to lose patience with me, but I’m so impressed with Friedman’s Fables that, yet again, I’m going to apply one of them to a real-life situation, in what I call a ‘combi-blog’. Because it addresses not only a real life relationship problem but is also of relevance to writing fiction.

DO...
Posted at 20:54pm on 15th April 2009

Reviewing Techniques When Resolving Conflict

This is the first Post on my shiny new laptop. As I wrote, yesterday on my Twitter wall (I think that’s the correct jargon) setting up a new computer is a nightmare of mistakes, misunderstandings and misapprehension. Hence the lack of time to add anything to my blog for a few days.

So I thought, today,...

Posted at 06:22am on 16th January 2009

Thirteen Things To Boost Your Morale

On the last day of 2008, I posted a blog titled Let This New Year Be Your New Beginning, and suggested that if you’ve been having a tough time in 2008, or are facing hard times as the New Year dawns, you might try a writing exercise. Exercise is probably the wrong word to...

Posted at 01:01am on 6th January 2009

Let This New Year Be Your New Beginning

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope that 2009 will bring you good health and happiness. If you’re an aspiring author, let this be the year that you achieve success in publishing terms. And if you’re simply in need of a little love and understanding, may you find it where you least expect it. Read on ....

Posted at 00:44am on 1st January 2009

14 Ways To Avoid Stress - And The Breakdown Of A Relationship At Christmas

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN PRE-CHRISTMAS 2008, THE FOLLOWING POINTS MAY BE ADAPTED, AND ARE VALID AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR

The effects on children when parents are separating are immense. They are quick to pick up on the cracks and strains that appear between warring parents, and it is the adults’ responsibility to protect them, as...

Posted at 03:55am on 13th December 2008

Advent: A Time To Reflect Between Thanksgiving & Gift Giving - Ten Tips To Happiness

I woke, yesterday morning, feeling bad-tempered. This is a rare occurrence and is almost alwaysas a result of my husband’s snoring! There’s something deeply offensive about lying next to someone whose somnolence – loudly and bed-tremblingly declared - is the sole reason for your inability to sleep. Don’t you think?

A FEELING OF CONTENTMENT WAS MARKEDLY...
Posted at 18:37pm on 2nd December 2008

Sex Or Chocolate? Chocolate Or Sex? How Would You Define Happiness?

Revised: NEW YEAR'S EVE, 31st December, 2009 Much has changed since I first wrote this article, so it seemed to me that it deserved to be revised, amended and added to, with quotes, suggestions and advice. I hope, that in following some of the ideas, you might find yourself stumbling on happiness, without, perhaps, ever...
Posted at 20:20pm on 15th October 2008

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BBC Radio Devon Interview

Listen to me chatting to Dave Fitzgerald about my latest release, Chosen, on BBC local radio.

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