Sunday, 29 July 2018
I am so excited to share with you the first of my new creative films.
SOUL INK really is a miracle.
I am currently working on a new Collection called Sacred Songs. In my deepest heart, I knew that I had to nurture some way of capturing my healing inner voice, so I have been developing techniques using Nada & Bhakti Yoga, Chakra Tuning & Reiki, to re-find myself in amongst the internal noise and distortion of my sudden hearing loss, tinnitus and debilitating hyperacusis.
The results have had a truly beautiful effect on my life. It makes me weep to be able to hear and sense my own voice again and I realise that before this, a huge part of my identity had been closed away in a dark cage. That's why it feels important to find ways of sharing my sacred songs, because it might inspire or help others who are facing the same health challenges as I am.
In addition to devising new ways to sing, I then found a handpan maker in Bristol (Tala Handpan) who created an instrument that suits my hearing tolerances. This has opened up a whole new world for me, and enabled me to start writing songs again. I can't tell you what a difference that has made to my heart.
With my lifelong partner, Jeff, I went into our home studio and miraculously, found new hearing- friendly ways of recording, tailored around my disability. The result is a humble, authentic offering from the healing soul of a woman. It is a joy to nurture and watch it grow.
When I came to think about the visuals for the first song of the collection, SOUL INK, I saw a wonderful time lapse of a self portrait by Bill Taylor Beales, who luckily was a facebook friend, so I sent him a photo of the side of my head, showing my hearing aids and commissioned him to time lapse the drawing of the picture, with the hearing aid being drawn in last ... I was so pleased with his work, what a lovely artist. I then edited the film to match the song and I think it is a beautifully creative, yet quiet way of explaining me and my work ... so, I have put it as the explainer video on my newly re-vamped Youtube Film Channel.
I will write my name
With the ink
Of my soul
Every word a sacred promise
Made from the darkness
Every word a ladder
To the light
Take these angels wings
And learn to fly
You can break these angel wings
And I'll still stry
You can see Bill's work here ... www.hushlandcreative.com/bill
You can catch up with Jeff Beer on facebook.
Saturday, 28 July 2018
These past (and coming) weeks, I am completely re-vamping my online presence to match up with my lovely new career as a full time writer & publisher. It's not as easy as it might sound. There are sorts of fiddly measurements for different formats and then photographs are too small, or too big ... and even if you follow the pixel guidelines, it still doesn't seem to look the way you had hoped when you uploaded the pics ... but hey ho, t'is all a learning experience and I like a challenge.
So, today I decided to start having a look at my youtube channel ... well, to be honest, it wasn't really a channel, more a place where I have randomly shared little films that I have made with different projects, collaborations and doodles. I've never really paid it any attention as a whole, but today when I looked, it has had more than 120,000 views! Strewth! At the very least, I should have been directing people back to my website or here, to my blog.
So, today I have learnt how to make playlists and sections. I even managed to design a new logo & upload it to my channel, though it took many attempts because it has to also look right on tablets and phones ... anyway, I am quite pleased with the logo, I think it says humble, loving, quiet, creative, all my core heart words ... even though I have written my name in gold! This is a nod to Kintsukuroi, which I have spoken about before. In Japan, when a valued pot is broken, it is mended with gold, having become more beautiful and treasured for surviving and I think that's very much me. This lovely new career concentrating, on my own writing and publishing, is only happening because of my hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis means. I can no longer earn a living as a musician, and from this desolation, is growing something so very beautiful.
Now that I am getting a grip of developing my new Youtube Channel, I need to do the same with my blogger ... so new art work arriving soon, friends, just as soon as I work out the best way of doing it.
Wednesday, 18 July 2018
As an author, I never feel more nervously excited than when I am wrapping a book up for someone who has invested in me, in my work, in my stories. When someone buys one of my books, it is not just a purchase. It is an emotional attachment. You are enabling me to rebuild my life.
Since being a child, I have lived as a musician, so when I became suddenly deaf, living with debilitating tinnitus and hyperacusis, I thought my life was over. To put it into perspective, sometimes the distortion of my tinnitus is so loud, I cannot even hear my own voice. Writing has saved me. Given me back myself.
Every book sale has a story with it and today I am going to tell you about the book I have just finished wrapping. I will not mention names because it wouldn't be fair on the young woman.
Many years ago, I was working in Community Education designing creative courses to build the confidence of Young Mums. And in she walked, filled with so much beautiful light shining from within her, but she could not see it herself. We worked together as a whole team over the next few years. I was so very proud of her, as we all were. She became such a wonderful Mother, trained in Youth Work and started to make a difference to the life of others.
And then today, she wrote to me, saying how incredibly proud of me she was, that I had taken something that she described as a curse, my hearing loss, and I had turned it around. She said that she admired me for having done this and wanted to buy a book so that she could feel me.
I cannot even begin to describe the emotion that this evoked inside me. I felt authentic, real. Like all the times that I have held the hand of young mums, older people with dementia, people on renal dialysis, those at end of life, every time I have sat with them to design a creative way of lifting their soul through writing, publishing or the arts, consolidated here; I was walking my walk just as I had supported them to do.
And there was she, all grown up and proud of me and I felt taller because of her, likely as tall as I had helped her to feel, all those years ago.
So, you see, when you buy a book from someone like me, it is so much more than a book. No, I am not on the shelves of WH Smith ... but I can be on your shelf, in your heart, part of your world.
If you would like to purchase one of my books, why not pop over to me facebook page. I will put all my love into wrapping it up and sending it to you.
Have you noticed that when you buy a mug from a potter, you can feel that potter's love every time you have a cup of tea. Well, it's the same with books. Yes, you can buy a mug in a supermarket for a couple of quid, but it's just not quite the same as knowing that someone has stayed awake, night after night, making an extension of them self, to gift you part of their being, so that you might be inspired by their story.
That's how it is for me. I am not just making books, I am making memories. I am planting heartfelt seeds within you, sharing stories that will stay with you, help you in darker times. Poems that you might share to lift the hearts of your little ones when they are a bit blue. Bite sized chunks of love, like chocolate for the eyes and the soul.
These are not stories to end up on shelves, but to be assimilated into your being to help you grow.
'Soul Seeds: Planting Heartfelt Stories' is a collection that has been sent to me from my inner being. I know that sounds out there, doesn't it, but it is my truth. Mostly, I woke up in the morning and found them recorded onto my phone during my sleep!
The same with ‘Soul Ink for the Morning’. This beautiful little book has 100 poetic messages that I have awoken with. I open my eyes in the morning, and into my head pops just the right amount of hope to get me through my day and now, you can keep my book by your bed to help you in the mornings, too.
I can honestly say, that my writing has saved me, since becoming suddenly deaf and learning to live with tinnitus and hyperacusis, my stories and poems have lifted me, given me back hope and now I share that light with you. My heartfelt intention is to inspire hope in you, too. In fact, I promised the Universe I would do this; if she could see her way to helping me heal, then I would share that healing with others.
My 3rd little book may be the smallest, but ‘The Truth is in There’ will take you on a personal journey of divine meditation. Not only will you read the profound effect that meeting my inner child had on me, it will give you the tools to take yourself on a similar journey, if you so wish.
Just now, if you would like to buy my books, feel free to come to me direct on Facebook. I am still setting up the infra- structure for Sales. The reason I have waited is because I didn't know what the platform would be or look like, until I held the books in my hands. And now, I can feel them, take joy in them, this inspires the next step of the path we take together, my books and I.
I share with you here, an intimate moment, the morning I opened the boxes as they arrived from the postie. And remember, every time you buy a book from a self- published author, you can be assured that she is skipping around the house doing a happy dance.
It is always lovely to hear from you, feel free to drop me a line.
Tuesday, 3 July 2018
I had such a beautiful afternoon telling stories to those who are at the end of their life and have come for peaceful and loving nurture from the wonderful team of staff and volunteers at Skanda Vale Hospice. It was such a joy to share the healing tales from my new book, Soul Seeds: Planting Heartfelt Stories.
We visualised bunches of wild flowers with essential oils, felt the tactile nature of tree rings, drifted to sea and imagined conversations with our cousins, the trees, finishing our stories with hand printing and connecting with the tree that speaks most to our soul.
'I've told more stories than you have.' One woman said from her bed. I smiled a smile right from my core, for this is the heart of my work. To empower others through life story.
'Your stories are about trees but you know, really they are about life. That's exactly how I feel.' My job here is done.
I know many of you have said kind things about my work with people who are at the end of their life, but truly, we are all either living or dying from the moment we arrive.It is wonderful to bring joy to the living & quietly celebrate life.
I hope each day brings you moments of immense joy & that you are able to weave these silken threads into a cloak that keeps your heart smiling.
If you would like to volunteer at Skanda Vale or find out more about their wonderful work, follow THIS LINK.
If you would like me to tell stories at your bedsides, then feel free to get in touch.
If you would like me to tell stories at your bedsides, then feel free to get in touch.