September 2015…

September 30, 2015 at 2:06 pm (Uncategorized)

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The Into the Mists Trilogy…

The previous month passed in a blur of extra work at the magazines, but things got back to (sort of) normal on September 1st 🙂 Which was the day I started Steptember, a month of walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day to raise money for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. I’m grateful to everyone who sponsored me – and happy that I ended up walking 398,188 steps over the month, an average of 13,273 steps a day, without missing a single Pump or Combat workout…

September was also the month for festivals! I shared a stand at Festival of Dreams with my friend Trudie from One Grounded Angel, and caught up with lots of friends, and sold some books, and kept up my step count, and was very grateful to my sweet husbee for all his help…

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Sharing the Spidey-love…

And at the end of September it was Comic-Con, which was lots of fun. I shared a booth with amazing artist Selina Fenech, and we had a great time. I dressed up as Carlie on the first day (a few people did actually pick it!), and as Spider-Man/Woman/Faery on the second day. I’ve always loved the sense of freedom in dressing up, the illusion of being in disguise so you are free to be as silly as you like. Not that the lack of a costume usually stops my silliness 🙂 My hubby and I did joke about how grown-up and mature we are (not!), when we saw this pic, but I’ve never really aspired to that 🙂

It was interesting that a few friends said they couldn’t believe that I’m shy because I was dressed as Spidey at a hugely public event – but in a strange way dressing up makes me more confident, and makes talking to so many people a little bit easier. Playing a role, acting, being able to express more perhaps. It’s the basis of the whole super hero gig I guess, to be someone braver than you are, to step outside yourself and your fears and the things that limit you…

And of course there was also lots of magic amongst the festivals…

September 12: Dark Moon blessings… Wishing everyone much love, and blessings of the dark moon, as we approach tomorrow’s new moon. Now is a time to reflect, and to be brave and look within, before embracing the new energy, passion and inspiration of tomorrow xx

September 13: New Moon blessings… Wishing everyone much love and magic on this new moon day. Tap into the new energies and all the potential swirling around us today, for new growth and new ideas and new dreams. Make a wish for this magical month to come, and dive in and make it come true. Lots of love bright blessings xx

September 19: My hubby has stocktake on our 10th wedding anniversary, so we celebrated a little early and had a beautiful ritual on the Saturday night – and chose the same card for each other again 🙂

September 22: Today I’m grateful for a beautiful morning with my hubby for our tenth wedding anniversary, before he had to leave for another late night stocktake night. We hung out together at home, then headed into town, wandering through gorgeous Hyde Park in the sunshine, smiling at the fountain that reminds us of the one in New York’s Central Park, where we got married, and reminiscing about our honeymoon in Glastonbury… And I’m grateful for ten years of love, support, encouragement, fun, adventure and joy. I’m not sure I would have written all the books I have if I was with anyone else, for while I have diminished myself in previous relationships to make them feel better about themselves, my sweet husbee is happy to let me follow my heart, to sacrifice some of our time together to write, to help me see my own strength when I sometimes doubt it, and to make me endless ups of tea when I’m working madly in my little purple office. And it works both ways – I am so proud of all he has achieved musically and creatively, and of his drive and determination, and his refusal to let obstacles stop him or define him. It’s been a love-filled, adventure-filled and creative ten years for both of us…

September 23: Ostara blessings… Wishing everyone in the Southern Hemisphere a magical spring equinox, and everyone in the north an enchanted autumn equinox. Enjoy this beautiful day of light and dark in balance, of night and day of equal length, and of inner and outer in harmony. Lots of love xx

September 28: Full Moon blessings… Wishing everyone a wonderful, magic-filled full moon and eclipse. May all the wishes you whisper to the moon come true, and you be blessed with love, passion, inspiration – and the dedication to birth all you hope for into being xx

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August 2015…

August 31, 2015 at 1:37 pm (Uncategorized)

blogimbolcAugust made me grateful that Camp NaNoWriMo was in July, because I ended up working six days a week instead of three all month at my day job, which severely affected the time I had for my own writing projects… And my migraine hell continued, which didn’t exactly leave me happy, or inspired…

But I still worked out every day (Body Pump and Body Combat, with a little bit of Jillian thrown in), since it keeps me sane, and strong enough to cope with the extra stress, and stole a couple of hours here and there to work on a mini project, and went to a naturopath for a hemaview test, which was fascinating but not especially helpful, and my sweet hubby did the 40 Hour Famine with me 🙂

And no matter how busy or distracted you are, there is still beauty and magic in the world…

August 7: Imbolc blessings to my friends in the south, and Lughnasadh love to those in the north… Imbolc celebrates the fact that the days are lengthening and the light is returning, illuminating the land and our own hearts. It’s a time of awakening, renewal and re-emergence, as nature fills with life force and begins to quiver with the energy to grow again, and we too start to emerge from the chill of winter, shaking off our inertia and lack of motivation and beginning to re-engage with the world. It’s also a time of purification and cleansing after the long dark of the winter months, of stripping away the old so the new can emerge…

August 14: Sending dark moon blessings and love to all. Look within, at this magical time, and get in touch with your inner wisdom and hidden truths, and the passion that can fuel tomorrow’s new moon wishes.

August 15: New moon blessings! Wishing you love, joy and the excitement and passion of new beginnings, and the refocusing of intent on something that’s already underway if that is what you need. Love and lunar wishes…

August 29: Wishing everyone an enchanted full moon, and the inspiration to make all your wishes comes true 🙂 Bright blessings at this magical time! xx

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July 2015…

July 31, 2015 at 1:14 pm (Uncategorized)

thanksmoon2This July I decided to sign up for my first Camp NaNoWriMo, a slightly less frantically, frenetically based version of the November project. It was fun to do it with some friends, to encourage each other and push ourselves to get lots written. I committed to 25,000 words for the month, half of the November word count goal, as work was busy and I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself… But I passed 32,000 by the final day, which made me happy.

With thanks… Friday July 31… Pump/Combat day 68… Camp NaNoWriMo final day (700 words)… Full moon blessings…

Woo hoo! Camp NaNoWriMo is complete! I wrote 32,279 words this month, of what looks like becoming an Into the Mists Chronicle 🙂 I could have done more, especially tonight, but I’m so sleepy, and wanted to post about the full moon and validate my novel instead 🙂 I also read ten books this month – for fun! – rather than banning myself as I do in November – Kate Forsyth’s amazing six-book Witches of Eileanan series, plus some random novels I’d bought on my Kindle… Plus the usual work craziness, and working out every day, and having a stupid migraine that lingered for more than two weeks…

I’m very grateful to my NaNo buddies for sharing the adventure – the highs and lows, the hard work and dedication, the exhaustion, the inspiration, the camaraderie – and so proud of them too, for their amazing writing journeys…

Tonight I am grateful for the beauty of the full moon, which rose so big and golden in the beautiful twilight sky, highlighted between skyscrapers, and looking so magical. From our office it was breathtaking, so I was a little disappointed when I ran downstairs and couldn’t see it any more, but weaving my way home it revealed itself in enchanting ways…

I’m grateful that I could leave work on time and walk home in the beautiful gloaming time, with Saturn (I think!) glowing so big and bright in the western sky, and the moon peeking out between urban landscapes and leafy trees. The contrast of the gorgeous moon and the city streets was incredible – my crappy phone pics don’t do it justice, but they’ll remind me of the moments of awe…

I’m happy that I got up super early to work out before work – I did Pump 79 for the first time, and it was awesome! Really tough, but awesome. I think I’ll be feeling it tomorrow!

I’m glad I got heaps done at the magazines, despite my stupid migraines and several meetings, and happy that I wrote 600 words on the bus on the way to work…

And I’m grateful for a beautiful night with Juz…

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June 2015…

June 30, 2015 at 12:40 pm (Uncategorized)

eBook_Cover_LightJune was a month full of the beauty of Sydney winters, all blue skies and sunshine, with a chill in the air – so pretty and vivid and crisp.

It was also a month of book adventures:

– The awesome online launch of Into the Light, with friend and magical author Felicity Pulman, who was also celebrating the conclusion of her series, book six of her gorgeous Janna Chronicles…

– The approving of the ebook and US versions of Into the Light…

– Three days of kooky fun at Supanova, with amazing artist Selina Fenech, whose artworks adorn the covers of the Into the Mists Trilogy and Witchy Magic, and who is a brilliant writer as well as artist…

– And amazing feedback from readers that made all the insane stress of finishing the book totally worth it. One was a beautiful email from someone eading Into the Light: “It’s touching my heart so much I have to have my tissues. I’ve never cried reading a book before… OMG this is such an excellent book…” It touches my heart that people are enjoying Carlie’s journey so much…

And it was a month of magical days:

June 2: Full moon blessings… Wishing everyone an enchanted full moon tonight! May it bring you much love, joy and inspiration, and a heart filled with passion and creativity. Bright blessings for the coming month…

June 16: Dark moon blessings… Sending dark moon blessings and love to all. At this introspective and magical time, look within and get in touch with your inner wisdom and hidden truths, release anything you want to let go of, and harness the passion that will fuel tomorrow’s new moon wishes xxx

June 17: New moon blessings… Wishing you love, joy and the excitement and passion of new beginnings, and the refocusing of intent on something that’s already underway if that is what you need. Love and lunar wishes as we approach the solstice and the return of the light…

blogyuleLJune 22: Solstice blessings… Wishing all my friends in the south a magical, blessed Yule, and those in the north an inspiring, energising Litha. The winter solstice is about the re-emergence of light from the dark, so it is a celebration of the earth – and our – renewal. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the past year, to acknowledge the good and the bad, the dreams you fulfilled and the ones you let die, and the things you still hope to achieve. To celebrate your potential and start dreaming of all the things you want to make happen in the coming year. It’s a time for nurturing your heart and soul, listening to its wisdom, tapping in to the subconscious thoughts that have been buried and learning the lessons of the past so you can emerge from your wintry cocoon and take action to manifest your hopes into reality in the new light and energy to come…

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May 2015…

May 31, 2015 at 8:24 pm (Uncategorized)

Trilogy_smallerThe beginning of this year was a bit of a blur – I was finishing Into the Light, the third book in the Into the Mists Trilogy, and suffering my usual self-doubt over it being boring (my poor hubby just rolls his eyes now when I ask how anyone could want to read it), interspersed with many late nights and early mornings, and my usual stubbornness that compels me to keep writing even when I’m not sure I’ll ever publish it – I can’t start something and not finish it 🙂

I still kept up my daily workouts – the end of Shaun T’s T25 in January, two months of Jillian Michaels’s new BodyShred program after that, then two months of Tony Horton’s P90X3 with add-ons…

And on May 27 the Into the Light books arrived, just in time for launching at the Mind Body Spirit Festival the next morning (nothing like a tight deadline to keep me on my toes!). The book looked so pretty, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude that so many people were excited to read it, and happily surprised by how many took a leap of faith and bought the trilogy… It was fun to catch up with lots of friends during the festival, and to take a moment to just breathe after the stress of the previous month, and as always I was very grateful to my sweet husbee for all his amazing love, support and help…

And my “reward” for finishing this book was a barbell set and step/deck for Pump – I kicked off a Body Combat/Body Pump hybrid at the end of May, and LOVE it! xx

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Sunday Specials…

March 22, 2015 at 12:34 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve had a few queries about my books over the last few days, so I thought I’d offer a few Sunday Specials for Australian readers… Pop on over to SereneConneeley.com to order…

(International readers can find the books at Amazon, in paperback or ebook format, or email BlessedBeeBooks@yahoo.com.au for postage options.)

sundayspecialshttp://sereneconneeley.com/sunday.html

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The 7K Report

March 28, 2014 at 12:47 am (Uncategorized) (, )

I’m posting this here so I can read it properly later, but a brief skim shows it’s a very interesting read!

The 7K Report – Author Earnings by Hugh Howey

It’s no great secret that the world of publishing is changing. What is a secret is how much. Is it changing a lot? Has most of the change already happened? What does the future look like?

Read the full report here.

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Dear Mr Morrison (an open letter to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection)

March 9, 2014 at 7:12 pm (Uncategorized)

So beautifully, eloquently and intelligently written – I hope everyone in Australia will read this, and demand that Scott Morrison answer the questions raised. And stop saying asylum seekers are illegal!

Article 31 of the UN Refugee Convention says that, while it is usually illegal to enter a country without a valid visa, it is NOT to be considered as illegal, if it is for the purpose of seeking asylum. Yet, you continue to use the words “illegal maritime arrivals” and “entering illegally” in reference to people who are seeking asylum.

via Dear Mr Morrison (an open letter to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection).

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We’re doing the MS Walk…

February 14, 2014 at 1:55 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Juz and I will be doing the MS Walk on June 1st, to raise money to help people living with multiple sclerosis. If anyone would like to sponsor us that would be awesome – or maybe you want to do the walk too – it runs in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra… The MS Walk and Fun Run is organised by MS Australia – ACT/NSW/VIC.

 

Here’s my fundraising page, since the widget doesn’t seem to be working…

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With thanks… Our beautiful week in Glastonbury…

November 29, 2013 at 10:49 am (Uncategorized)

With thanks… Friday November 22… last day in Scotland…

Today I am grateful for fun Harry Potter moments 🙂 We drove along the shores of Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil, which was so beautiful, all shining mirror calm surface and sunshine and autumn leaves, to Glenfinnan Viaduct, the awesome old bridge that the Hogwarts Express goes over, and Harry and Ron fly their car through…

And I’m grateful for the pretty drive from Fort William to Moffat, along many gorgeous lochs, and through snow-covered mountains, stopping for a sandwich and a pot of tea at Orchy Bridge, laughing as the temperature dropped to zero degrees, and driving through Aberfoyle – the famous faery town – just before sunset. It was amazing, approaching the town it was all gnarled old trees that looked like little old men crossed with the darker Brian Froud fae folk, which lit up into a beautiful faery forest when the sun shone on the autumn coloured leaves, but looked altogether more dark and unwelcoming when she sun hid behind a cloud. Aberfoyle was gorgeous, all old stone building and tea rooms and medieval charm, and it was cool to drive past Doon Hill (Reverend Kirk’s reputed faery hill), although unfortunately night was pressing in by then – that spooky liminal time – and we had to press on, manoeuvring our way through Glasgow and heading down to Moffat and a cute B&B… Funnily enough, I chose Moffat because of its location, somewhere we could easily get to from Fort William, but far enough south that our drive the next day to Glastonbury wouldn’t be too arduous – but the owners of our cottages in both Orkney and the Outer Hebrides love it there, and had been recently, the first to see friends I think, and the second because of the touching memorial there both to the Lockerbie victims and the men of Lewis and other Scottish places who died in the wars.

I’m not so grateful for the shocking migraine I woke up with at 2am, which wouldn’t budge all day, despite lots of painkillers, and made everything  harder to deal with. Nor for the tomato poisoning at an Indian restaurant (or their surprising rudeness). It stopped me doing Jillian yoga, and kept me up half the night with stabbing tummy pains and mark two of the all-day migraine – but it’s a footnote, not my whole day, and I’ll focus only on the fun stuff…

 

With thanks… Saturday November 23… Scotland to Glastonbury…

Tonight I am grateful that we crossed through the mists into Glastonbury, such a magical place for us both… It was so beautiful, driving towards the town as the sun was preparing to set, the sky all pink and gold, mists shrouding the valleys, and the Tor becoming visible when we were still quite far away, lit up against a pink that perfectly matched the cover of A Magical Journey. We found our little cottage while it was still light, then wandered up the High Street to buy groceries (I was so happy to find sprouts for my salad for the first time on our England/Scotland travels). It was gorgeous, all Christmasy and festive, with decorations and trees and lights, and the air chilly against the fading late sunset glow. Then we settled down with cups of tea and cookies to watch The Day of the Doctor, the special 50th anniversary show for Doctor Who, which was so amazing and sweet and touching and happy/sad…

Today I’m also glad I got up early to do Jillian yoga before our last Scottish B&B brekkie, and grateful for the new Michael Monroe CD, and a Terrorvision best of I bought (I was reminded of them and how much I liked them while driving past Bradford and Leeds on the way north, as they were from there). It was a long drive today, from Scotland into the top of England then almost to the bottom, but we turned up the music and stopped here and there for chai (we’re not fond of Costa coffee, but they do great chai), and made it to our destination just in time to see the sky aflame. And now I’m looking forward to spending our last five days here, climbing the Tor, hanging out at Chalice Well Gardens, and catching up on my novel writing…

 

With thanks… Sunday November 24… NaNoWriMo – 3100 words… Glastonbury…

Today I am grateful for a lazy day, and rare time that I chose to curl up on the couch and read a book rather than madly writing. I’ve been rationing myself on reading, since I still have a way to go to catch up on my own novel, but today I decided I could relax for a little while – and that we kind of needed to. I’ve LOVED every single thing we’ve seen and done while on this journey, but it has been a little on the frantic side. So it was bliss to decide to just chill out today, and soak up the Glastonbury vibes from our little cottage 🙂

So I’m grateful for a fun day with Cutes, making each other cups of tea, having a few choc chip cookies, reading a bit of online news together, and finally working out how to hook up the dvd player…

And I’m glad that I got motivated in the afternoon – I did Jillian yoga level two, then half of level one just to add a few more sequences – then after grocery shopping and town wandering, dinner and Green Lantern (such a random collection on dvds in the cottage, but it was pretty cool), I sat down and wrote more than three thousand words before falling into bed… I’m getting there!

 

With thanks… Monday November 25… NaNowriMo – 7000 words… Glastonbury…

Today I am grateful for the beauty of the Tor, and the joy of climbing it and sitting at the summit, and the incredible views off in every direction – such a pretty and green and gentle landscape, where we both feel so at home and at peace… It’s the one place of everywhere we’ve been that Juz has felt a real connection to, he respects the history and the awe-inspiring nature of all the stones and cairns and mountains and Neolithic villages we’ve seen, but the place he really feels the energy and the magic is here, in my favourite place, the place where we came on our honeymoon and he surprised himself by falling in love with it. And it was so beautiful to see it weaving its way around him again – and so cute to see a raven walking up the path in front of him, hopping up the steps rather than flying, keeping to his pace, as if guiding him into the heart of the mystery. 

We sat up there for a while, just soaking it all in, then we drank some water from the White Spring, and wandered around town again too, and hung out in a café for a while, and I fell in love with a dress and Juz bought it for me for Christmas 🙂 And I ate raspberries and we drank tea and chilled out and just felt happy to be alive!

I’m glad too that I set my alarm and got up early and started writing – nothing like an impending deadline to get me motivated and get me focused 🙂 I wrote close to three thousand words before brekkie and Jillian yoga, then another thousand odd in the afternoon, then another few thousand working into the night. So I am grateful to Juz for his patience and encouragement, and that we still got to do lots together – it’s amazing how focused I can be when I have to be!

 

With thanks… Tuesday November 26… NaNoWriMo – 2100 words… Glastonbury…

Today I am so so grateful to a dear friend for coming down from Stratford to spend the day with us. We had a beautiful afternoon, meeting for lunch after the Well, then coming back to our place and drinking tea and talking and sharing and marvelling at friendship despite distance. So many beautiful moments, and such simple ones, just enjoying each other’s company, and talking, and drinking tea and eating cookies… It was so sad to say goodbye at the end of the night, but so wonderful to have shared some more precious moments…

And I’m glad I set the alarm again, and got up early to write just over two thousand words before I did Jillian yoga then wandered around town with Juz before meeting our friend. I was feeling more tired, less inspired by late tonight, so was happy I’d written enough in the morning to be happy with for my daily word count. I’m nearly there! It has been a bit harder than I anticipated, doing NaNoWriMo while travelling, partly because there were quite  few days where I didn’t write a single word, so the days when I did required far more words to keep up. But I always love a challenge, and I honestly don’t feel that I’ve missed out on anything because I was writing. And I think some of my travels have woven themselves into my tale…

 

With thanks… Wednesday November 27… NaNoWriMo – 5000 words… Glastonbury…

Today I am grateful for time at Chalice Well, sitting by the Well, walking through the gardens, admiring the beauty of the grounds in the winter – new colours, less flowers, but still just as much magic. The sky was a bit grey, but it just seemed to make everything even more vivid than usual. So peaceful and nurturing…

And I’m grateful to Juz for a very cute present. When we got to the Well at the back of the gardens, there was a little black jewellery box sitting on the stones around the lid. I figured maybe someone had left it there as an offering to the spirits of the Well, so I didn’t move it. But it turns out it was the beautiful necklace I’d really loved in one of the Glastonbury shops – a cute sneaky present for me from Juz.

I got up early and wrote two thousand words (NaNoWriMo is coming to an end, and I’m nearly there!), then did Jillian yoga, then we headed out for lunch in a sweet café, then wandered around town before going to the gardens. Then we had a lovely night at home in our little cottage, before I wrote another three thousand words… We’re sad that tomorrow is our last day, but we’ve had such an awesome time…

 

With thanks… Thursday November 28… Avebury and Stonehenge, and last night in Glastonbury…

Tonight I am grateful for our night-time walk up the Tor, which was so beautiful. We didn’t get back from our day-time adventure until long after sunset, but we figured we couldn’t leave without one last climb. I was a bit nervous (it would have sucked to fall over and break my leg, since we have to drive back to London early tomorrow, and I am clumsy), but I really wanted to do it. It was cool walking along the ivy-covered faery forest walkway to the base, then it all opened out in front of us, and there was just enough of a glow to make our way up the slopes to the misty top. So beautiful.

And I’m grateful for our little adventure to Stonehenge and Avebury today, and so happy that they are both still so amazingly impressive and awe-inspiring, even when we’ve been so many times in the past. And even when it was just a normal visit to the Henge, walking around the outside with everyone else rather than inside the circle, the stones were still beautiful, still so imposing. It was a bit odd getting there – they’re building the new visitor centre, a long way from the stones, so that eventually they can close down the road that runs right past them, and let them have a bit more space to breathe. It looks like it might take a while though 🙂 And Avebury was still gorgeous too. The sky was grey, but it just gave the whole place a more mysterious air. Such a pretty drive too, all green fields and gentle slopes…

And now home to our little cottage for our last night in Glastonbury. We’re sad to be heading home, but we’ll be back again one day… And we’re so grateful for our magical journey, for all the amazing things we’ve seen and the cool things we’ve experienced over the last month, for time together, away from work and stuff, for time with a sweet friend, for scones and cups of tea, and for working out every day even though we were on holiday. And I’m happy that I managed to write my fifty thousand words for NaNoWriMo. It was a bit of a struggle (although that’s kind of the point), but I was determined…  

 

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