Archive for August, 2009

Hay House Writer’s Workshop

August 29, 2009

The Hay House Writer’s Workshop was all I expected and more. I had taken a huge leap of faith, followed my heart and spent every last cent of my savings, so my dreams were big! From the very first day on the cruise, I began to do what my therapist had suggested and that was simply to share my story. It was easy when people asked, “What are you writing your book about?”. And in telling my story, the most amazing things began to happen, one after another. Small miracles. Orchastrated perfectly down to the very last detail. I touched people’s lives and they touched mine. Louise Hay signed my well-worn book. I got to spend time with Lisa Fugard, an incredibly talented writer and editor. I had an unexpected session with John Holland. I met the most incredible people, made connections and found soul friends for life. There are many other amazing things I learned from my short time on the seas around Alaska. I was reminded of how far I’ve come. I conquered fears. I learnt to listen to and follow my intuition. I discovered trust.

And then there were the quiet times of reflection that I love, and the majesty of it all, whales, glaciers and the deepest turquoise ice. Breathing, and quietly taking in the beauty and magnificence. Thrilled to be a part of the whole. There was food for nourishment and good red wine, thank you Tara. There were smiles of recognition in people I have never seen before. And there were stories, lots of stories. This is where I was reminded that everyone has a story. And I need to share mine. And all the stories are like a big patchwork that tie us together. Each one of us has experienced love, and each of us has known pain.

And as I have begun to see in my life, nothing is ever only as it seems. I wonder still, what the greater repercussions of this journey at sea will be. If I threw a stone into the expansive ocean and watched the ripples slowly going out, I would have to guess that I am only on the first ripple now. And that there are still so many more to come. The significance of which will unfurl in time.

Picture 259

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It Rains In February – Book Beginnings

August 1, 2009

Everyone has a story. Mine began as a journal. In February 2007, my husband, Stuart, drowned himself at sea. My story begins one year earlier when he arrived home from work one otherwise ordinary day in February 2006 and unexpectedly confessed his love for another woman. In the year that followed, Stuart spiraled downwards into depression and talked persistently about ending his life. I spent that year torn between my heartache and trying to save him. All of this, I documented in a journal. After several suicide attempts, Stuart took his own life, leaving me widowed with our two young daughters, Jane and Rose, aged six and four. After he was gone, I neatly rewrote the scribbled tear-stained pages for my children so that they would one day know the story.

In June 2007, three months after Stuart died, I crept into the dusty little bookshop on Long Street in Cape Town to visit my first psychic. My intention was not to try and contact Stuart, I didn’t really know why I was there, I had simply followed the signs. I sat in the tiny room, across from the jolly faced psychic lady, with a dead pan face so as not to give away any clues. Her reading was long and surprisingly accurate and real. One of the things that stood out to me was when she said, “The book that you want to write, you’ve got to continue, that’s going to be a best seller… Try Hay House Publishers.”

I found the encouragement I needed to continue to write. In the year that followed, more words poured onto paper as the story expanded and became a part of my healing process. Another year went by as I worked for hours every night, the story growing and evolving as I filled in all the spaces. Finally I have a book, a memoir, my story. The first draft of IT RAINS IN FEBRUARY is a memoir of around sixty chapters. I am now working towards getting it published.

Imagine my surprise when after two years, while cruising the internet, I came across a page that had little to do with what I was searching for. It read ‘Hay House invites you to participate in the I CAN DO IT Writers Workshop I CAN PUBLISH MY BOOK’. It was a cruise around Alaska and as I read further I saw ‘One workshop participant will be awarded a contract’. I sat for some time staring at my computer screen. How had this page found me all the way in South Africa and why? I had never forgotten the psychics words. So I headed for my therapist and trusted friend. She laughed about how I always go to her with my crazy ideas only because I know she’s crazy enough to support them wholeheartedly! Three days later, I booked the cruise. I withdrew the last of Stuart’s life insurance from my savings. Every last cent. I had to be on that cruise for whatever reasons would unfold.