New Places, Old Friends

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I’ve just moved home rather suddenly and speedily, and naively believed that Telkom couldn’t take more than a week to transfer my internet. Hah! Anyway, after much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair they’ve done the deed, and I’m very nicely back online. One of the very many reasons they had not to move my line was that the new area I’m living in can’t get ten meg broadband – only four, which sounded great to me as long as I was connected. Interestingly enough, for whatever strange reason, this new connection is a whole lot better, steadier, and faster than the old one, so I’m a happy bunny.

I want to say a very, very big thank you to my lovely author clients for waiting so patiently for me to get through this without zooming off elsewhere, and a very very VERY big thank you to my beloved friends Sally Cronin, Chris, The Story Reading Ape , and our dear Ronovan Hester of Lit World Interviews fame for their staunch and awesome support during the past two crazy, terrifying months. It’s done now, and the crazy terrifying is too – I’m very sure of that now, and boy is there a book in there!

Anyway. I have some fabulous jobs to do now, and am having a ball getting paid for doing what I love to do – illustrating and generally doing anything writing and publishing related really take me to my happy place. Also, as I settle into my new routine, I’m starting to get some urges to get back to my scribbling again. It was so surreal in the beginning of this trip. I was one hundred percent convinced that I was going to totally crash and burn – the end. I’ve learned though, that it really is true that doors don’t just close without others being opened for you. Fair enough, you have to get over the fear of going through them, but when you do you may just find nothing at all scary on the other side.

I had to find homes for Bella and Freddie, which started off with a whole lot of tears, but ended up perfectly after all. Their new humans are fabulous farmers not too far out of town whose daughter just happens to be a vet. They have hectares to romp around in, and new doggy family too. Both also very happy bunnies now. The feathered horde is with me, of course, and after initially having their beaks well out of joint at having to go in the car again, they’re back to their happy zooming and using my monitor as their personal toilet.



I’ve got a lot to share in the future. I’ve learned so much already, but I know that I still have a whole lot more to learn. For now I’m happy to immerse myself in work till I feel a little less raw, but I think that there can be so much more to our lives than we allow ourselves to enjoy. So many lives are wasted living in fear of one thing or another. So many of us spend years living in regret or anger at some horrible thing that happened to us, and I see now that we not only don’t have to do that, we shouldn’t do that. We should be leaving the most joyful footprints that we can behind us, and making as much as we can of every minute that we have left. Obviously life is never going to be all unicorns and flowers, but maybe with a bit of thought quite a bit of it can be. Right – now I’m off to add some more fire to a hairdo and play with badgers and frogs. I shall see you on your blogs shortly my much loved friends of the screen.

Moving On

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Sorry I’ve been gone so long. I didn’t want to share a whole lot of self-pity and grief here, and after today I’m not going to in the future either. It’s been six weeks since Angus passed away, but it feels like a lifetime ago, so much has changed. I’ve discovered that emotions I’ve believed I’ve fully felt before were really just the tips of icebergs, and that sometimes when you fall and think that no one can halt your plummet, and that you’ll never stop going down, that there are hands that will catch you, and hold you tight until you find the strength to stand again. So now here I am – standing again.
I’m not afraid of dying anymore, because now I know for sure that that isn’t the end at all, and I also know without a doubt that after all my years of intellectually studying the religions of the world, and referring to whatever lay beyond as “The Universe” that I was wrong. God is all around, and so are a whole lot of His angels. I can honestly tell you that He buys you books, finds you parking, and fixes broken washing machines, and a whole lot more that you wouldn’t expect from Him. Don’t worry – I’m not going to start preaching at you. It’s just nice to know, and I’m truly grateful for His very direct and impossible to call coincidence approach these past weeks. It’s all been a bit miraculous.
Angus passed instantly, and I’m absolutely positive that he felt no pain. We had no inkling that he had any problems with his heart, and he generally bounced around like a horse. He was sitting on the chair next to mine drinking his coffee when he said that he felt faint and that was literally the end. I “felt” him leave, and I knew that he never left alone. There is absolutely no doubt in my heart and mind that he is alive and well in another room in this incredible realm of our existence with a whole lot of others already there. There you go – end of preaching.
And now on with living – because it’s important, and we’re supposed to enjoy it. I think that every little thing that we do is important in the grand old scheme of things. We spend so much of our time worrying about things that may never happen. M Scott Peck had a thing that he’d say to his patients when they were fearful or worried. He said that when those feelings arose that they should ask themselves what they’d be doing right then if they weren’t really busy being scared. The answers were always doing something that brought pleasure. The solution, he said, was to just start doing the happy thing.
Right now I’m trying to find my bearings as far as earning my crust is concerned – not overly keen on doing the whole starving and camping out under a tree thing with my feathered and furred horde – but I’m getting there as far as ideas go, so hold thumbs. I’m sure that I have more emails than the Dalai Lama, so please be patient with me while I get stuck in and catch up again. It’s good to be back here with you lovely guys again – I’ve missed you all and hope to be back to zooming.
Farewell my Angus – till we meet again.


Not Dead Yet

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Right. Moving on. The last couple of days have been really interesting – not interesting in a great way though. Directly after the eyeball incident, I cleverly sliced the whole top of my knuckle off with my very strong and sharp kitchen scissors. It was still attached by a thread of skin, so I stuck it back on again and plastered it up with a big pile of Betadine. It’s finally stopped popping open now, so that’s out of the way, but now I have an awesome toothache and I look like a chipmunk, so…. whoever’s sticking pins in a doll that looks just like me, kindly desist.

I missed posting my Ode to Terry Pratchett, and now I just want to catch up again, preferably without incurring any further injuries. All part of this weird collection of tiny injuries coming my way, and Terry Pratchett departing this old rock on my mother’s birthday, and me normally being sad on her birthday because she died so young got me thinking that Terry’s life – my mom’s too – should be celebrated with laughter, quaffing, and ….. stuff….. rather than too much sadness. Death is a trip we’re all going to have to take, and there’s no point in railing against it when it happens. Death is a natural part of life.


What happens on the other side? I’m sure that something happens. I know that a lot of people think that the end is the end – life extinguished – nada. Not me. I don’t believe that our lives are senseless, and I would be well chuffed to be collected by Discworld’s DEATH when it’s my turn to depart this mortal coil. Hey Ho Binky!

We all run from it – avoid it – fear it, and mourn those who are taken by it, often forgetting to appreciate the life that we have right now. Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in seemingly huge problems that we forget to live. Right now I’m grateful to be alive – I plan on having as much fun as I can too. After decades of giving me laughter and comfort, both in good times and bad, Sir Terry Pratchett’s final gift to me seems to be the gift of gratitude. Not only gratitude that I’m alive and well (sort of), but also that by his example I realise that anything is possible if you set out to do it. So in honour of my best loved writerly person, I pledge to appreciate all the days I have left, to do the best that I can, and be the best I can be, and to always remember to laugh. And to scribble – a lot. His having published seventy books is definitely a goal to aim for.

Bon voyage Sir Terry – you’ll be with us always – in laughter, joy, risqué bits and fabulous wisdom. See you on the other side. Rock on.

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Now – back to living – I’ll be in catch up mode for a couple of days zooming around your blogs – much safer here at my desk – I hope.


Image Credit: Paul Kidby

The Willies

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Firstly I have to say that I’m not in any way religious. Not in the normal way at any rate. I do believe in a greater power, and I also believe that each of us has a purpose – something or things that we have to learn, do, or share along the way. So. I research a lot of old myths and legends for my Shadow People books, as well as ancient building sites and so on. I’ve been doing a lot of digging around about free will, death, the afterlife, reincarnation, angels and demons again too, and now I’ve given myself the proper willies. When I was writing Echoes of Narcissus I kept on thinking that some malignant narcissists are actually demonic entities inside. Having known my own, and seeing a couple of videos online they very often look and sound the part. Even if they’re physically gorgeous, it’s always in the eyes and the voice that you’ll see or hear those glimmers of darkness.

Some people believe that after you die you become pure spirit again, but I don’t reckon that sounds very logical. If you’ve been an evil sod during your life on Earth, why should you stop being an evil sod after popping your cork? No. You’ll enter your next incarnation with that evil remaining within you somewhere. I think that souls can be blackened by your choices, and once blackened you have to choose to unblacken them or they’ll just keep getting darker. I know that a lot of people don’t believe in any sort of life after death or spirits and that sort of thing, and that’s fine, and probably a lot less creepy, but I do believe in these things, and the more I research, the more I wonder about payback.

There is good and there is evil. It’s pretty obvious if you look around the world these days. Seeing good in any form gives you a good vibe, and seeing evil makes you feel bad – or angry or guilty. I like to think of myself as mostly as good as I can be these days, but I still do things that I know are wrong. Like those things we use in our daily lives that are produced to the detriment, pain, or deaths of others. I do try not to contribute to harm too much as I zoom along, but sometimes I’ve chosen to take the easy way and look away instead.

None of us know with any certainty whether there will be payback or not, but if there is some of us are in for a rather nasty surprise. Throughout history there have been people who have risen to greatness who shared pretty much the same messages of striving to be and do good. To do no harm and so on. While we as a species have raised them up and often worshipped them, as a whole we are all either doing, or allowing to be done, the opposite of all those things they said that we so strongly agree with.

We all appear to be watching helplessly as our world and all who sail on it are destroyed, but unless you are physically at the mercy of a stronger physical force I think that our helplessness is a choice. Free will. We are all able to be as good or as bad as we choose to be. Fair enough, heading off to have a stern talking to with those who somehow we’ve crazily allowed to rule the planet along the way isn’t going to happen (although really cool plot for a book!), but every single day we have choices that will either add or remove a black spot from our soul. Every little thing that we do is important I think, and life shouldn’t only be about self-gratification.

All of this research has me thinking now that all the bad you do, maybe you get to take that with you, and you get to stay that way until you exercise your right to free will. So those evil killers and torturers that have come and gone over the years. If they weren’t tossed into the deepest pits of hell, and if reincarnation is true, well then, they’re back with us today in some form or another, and they’ll either choose good or bad. Or maybe they’re just so bad that it’s too late for good. Or is it ever too late? Either way, there really are some evil buggers out there these days. Some pretty creepy photos of spooks too, never mind dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight.


Image Credit: Paul Rubens