Saturday, 1 June 2019

Preparing for Lazzmataz Book Fair

My dear friend, fellow author and musician, Lazarus Carpenter is doing a remarkable thing this weekend. He is holding his AMAZING annual Music Festival in The Castle Hotel in Llandovery, but for tomorrow, he has organised a Book Fair, which I am very happy to be a part of.

 There's lots to do today, in getting ready to go. First of all, what on Earth am I going to wear! 

I am plumping for something loose, cool and cotton. I have new shoes for the occasion, which could be disastrous if they blister. 

It can be a long day at a Book Fair, even though I'll probably be sat down for most of it, so I am going to throw in my good old flat sandals, just in case.

Talking of sitting, I have decided to take my canvas chair with me. It is very comfortable and the colours are very jolly, so when I am not sitting in it, it will look lovely.

Ah yes, and what books to take?

I was going to just take my Children's Books. I have 3 new stories to launch ...

But then I decided to take some of my other books, too. I have about 62 different ones to choose from ... These 2 are written in collaboration with older people living with dementia and raise funds for my work at Sound Memories Radio, so I'll defo take them along.

And then I thought I would take these 2 books. I literally have a handful left of the Special Edition run I did last Summer.

And I am going to take the only sheet music I have ever published, notated for me by my close friend, the late Susan Berry. It will be as if she is with me, in some small way. She would have loved the Book Fair, chatting to everyone, maybe playing her harp.

And I might put a few of these guided meditation booklets out, too.

These are 2 books from way back when I first started Parlour Press Publishing  ... 

I have had some little Special Offer price fliers made for my children's books so peeps know the prices. 

And all I need to do now is a last minute blog about it (which you are reading), share this on my facebook and insta, do my best to drum up some support for all of us that are preparing today to load our cars an pootle off to Llandovery early tomorrow morning to unpack and make our book stalls look lovely for you. There'll be lots of authors of all types there, live readings, storytelling and Spoken Word. 

If you love books , stories & poetry, if you'd like to chat with authors about their work, publishing and the joys of writing ... then come along, you'll have a great time.

Right, best iron my dress ... see you there, folks.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Storytelling & Mindfulness for Adults

In my last post, I spoke about the need for Storytelling & Mindfulness in helping children to better manage their emotions, but grown ups need support, too. With our busy lives and added responsibilities, we seldom find time for ourselves, overlooking our own emotional needs.

              (2019) report that 1:4 people in the UK  experience a mental health per year. That is a quarter of the population, approximately 15 million people!!! It's frightening, isn't it?

That's why I am rolling out my Storytelling & Mindfulness Sessions to adults. I have been delivering and developing them for some time in hospices and mental health hospitals but what we really need is some preventative work, where adults have access to learning new coping strategies through storytelling and mindfulness before reaching crisis, so that they are better able to manage their own emotions, prescribed through the GP. I think this is coming as the medical profession are now acknowledging the benefits of meditation for mental well being.

So, what qualifies me to make such a statement. First and foremost, because I have used Storytelling & Mindfulness as part of my own healing practice and would not be sat here planning to help others without it, but it may be helpful for you to know that I trained as a nurse on leaving school and then went onto University to read a degree in Behavioural Sciences, where I won an Outstanding Achievement Award for my dissertation research in the Rhondda Valley. I went onto read a Masters in Social Science and Economics looking at equal access, alongside this, studying for postgraduate guidance and counselling certificates. 

I have spent my entire career working in Arts and Well Being, developing innovative and inspiring ways of applying my academic background with practical, hands on community work, channelling my passion for creativity into award winning projects that have helped 1000's of people feel better, such as Young Parents, Youth Clubs, Old People's Homes, Hospital Wards, Secure Units, Hospices etc.

In my forties I went back to Uni to do an MA degree in Drama specialising in 3 areas of ethnographic poetics and life story, studying the effects of menopause, empowering people living with dementia and the psychological impact of physical disability on emotional well being. I won an Outstanding Contribution to MA Drama Award from the University of Wales for this research. My work with older people leading from my research has won me a GOLD National Care Award from the Wales Care Forum and this year, an Excellence in Creative Media Award, Significant Contribution to The Arts.

In addition, I have spent part of my life working in other cultures studying how mindfulness and mantra make social change and impact culture.To that end, I have trained as a qualified Sound Therapist, as well as Reiki Practitioner Level 1 & 2.

However, although is is important for you to know that my practice is grounded in a lifetime commitment to making the world a better place, what is more important than any of this is that I really care about you. I think humans are amazing and have the most wonderful potential, given the right support and guidance. Mental and emotional well being is a continuum. We all need support sometimes, to stay connected to the light within us.

If you would like to find out how to make a booking for my Storytelling and Mindfulness Sessions, feel free to get in touch via facebook.

Storytelling & Mindfulness for Children

Recent research shows us that anxiety & stress amongst children is on the increase ( In my heart, I feel strongly that it is our responsibility as grown ups, to teach children nurturing coping strategies, so that they are better equipped in life to deal with their emotions. After all, it is us who have built them this stressful world in which to grow up. Exams, family break down, fear for the planet, political unrest, these are all areas that national research has found concern children, making them feel anxious. Being worried about something shows how deeply they care, they just don't know what to do with that emotion to make it work for them.

My Storytelling & Mindfulness Sessions are based on 30 years in Arts & Health and more specifically, 3 years research in Primary Schools, teaching children how to harness anxious feelings and make positive social change for themselves and others, through presence & self care. Showing them how to create space beyond fear & nurture a more loving way of living, for themselves, each other, the wider community and the global community.

I am now taking bookings for September 2019 onwards to tour my Storytelling & Mindfulness for Children Sessions. If you would like to make a booking for the tour, feel free to get in touch.  Thankyou.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

The Quest for a Deaf Friendly Friendly Shruti Box

 ... And so my journey back to Self continues. Increasingly, I have become more confident in living with my hearing impairments. This is without doubt, due to my own daily healing practice of chanting mantra and listening to gentle devotion music from around the world. 

For instance, right now I am listening to a beautiful Sufi mantra by Dilpreet Bhatia,  based on a profound poem by Baba Bulleh Shah, Kaalam, to remove ego from the heart.

It is in this stillness of Self that the desire to chant and make healing music has returned to my heart ,soul, body and spirit, awakening the very cells of my being.One of the things I miss the most since my hearing deteriorated, is my shruti box. It was too loud for my hearing aids. The sound distorted and was too painful for me, so I re-homed it ... but then today, after 3 years without it, I wondered, would it possible to find a shruti box that could be played quietly? Was there a way to find a sound sensitve shruti box, in a low enough key that my ears and hearing aids could tolerate?

I did a google search, thinking I would spend weeks searching the world for such an instrument but straight away, as if it had been waiting for me, up pops who make customised shruti boxes, sensitive to volume and special foot pedals, which means I could sit away from the box itself.

And where do you think this company is? India, maybe? No, they are in Ceredigion, literally the next County to me. I rang up and spoke with Natasha. Her partner, Stephan, the musician, actually makes the shruti boxes and pedals, right here, in Wales!

Stephan is so busy, I have to wait until July for my visit, but it feels promising that, when the time is right, I will have a shruti box tuned to the tolerance of my hyperacusis and tinnitus, as well as volume sensitive to my hearing aids. It feels like a miracle. Somewhere deep inside me, I can hear my lovely Nan saying to me,' Where there's a will, there's a way.' and indeed, as ever, she is right.

All love dear ones

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Are you Ready to OM?

I am very happy to feature this song from my new album 'Woman Needs a Temple' now available at Bandcamp and today's Meditation Incantation is 'Are You Ready to OM?' 

Recorded during my sacred and personal healing practice, shared now to help and inspire others to heal from within. Here's the track, have a listen and if you like it, why not pop over to Bandcamp to hear the other tracks, too. When you buy a download, it enables me to continue my work, sharing my healing practice to help others. Thank you for your love.

Full details available from my website ... 

Humans are Healers

2 weeks ago, I cut my hand really badly. I had smashed a glass and left it broken in the bottom of the waste paper bin and then stuff had been put on the top of it. When I came to empty the bin, I forgot about the broken glass and it went right through the fleshy part of my hand between my thumb and index finger. It didn't really hurt but there was so much blood, I thought I would pass out. I managed to put the flap back and bandage it back together. Today, you wouldn't even know that my hand has been cut. We have the most remarkable capacity to heal, not just cuts and bruises, but heart, soul, mind and each other. I am a healer and so are you. We Self heal without even knowing. We have this immense super power that we completely take for granted: Humans are Healers. Just imagine what we can achieve when we step into that power.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Womb Song: Woman Needs a Temple

Following a beautifully quiet and graceful launch of my new meditation album, Woman Needs a Temple, I share with you here, one of the tracks entitled, Womb Song, an opening to Mother Earth, a reply to her constant hum, an invitation for her to connect our Divine Spirits ... in the morning or the evening, when the moon falls or the sun rises and all time inbetween.

I love this little film made with Esther Arends, the Founder of Embodiment of Self. Her beautiful  dance with nature, fits so well with Womb Song.

If you would like to hear my whole album, 
please feel free to visit by clicking this link ...

Or you are welcome to visit my website ...

Saturday, 11 May 2019

In search of 9 Extraordinary Ways to Meditate

It's quite a thing, recording personal meditation because the two things don't really sit well together, the spiritual and the technical are in different realms, except that when one is chanting, it is as if this world is transcended and nothing else exists, such is the blissful healing of it. 

In preparation for my new album release, Woman Needs a Temple, I have redesigned my website, my bandcamp and this blog. I have found instruments to heal my ears rather than hurt them, learnt how to play guitar in new ways, made a special drum beater to enable me to play my djembe, re-trained my voice to use other partes of my body, found new keys to chant in and spent time developing techniques that enable recording in the studio. It has taken me 2 years to reach this point. As I explained in my last blog post, having a 'launch' in the traditional sense, did not feel appropriate, but I would like to celebrate the tremendous achievement of actually producing an album as a hearing impaired artist.

And so, to this end, I have decided to explore the possibilities for 9 places within which to Song Meditate and Chant my new album, a song for each space. I want the spaces to be extraordinary places of spiritual connection, so if you have any ideas, it would be so cool if you could please drop me a line via my website.

What I have learnt from this is, that even in moments of complete darkness, we can be assured that the light is ever present.

Woman Needs a Temple Album Launch

It wasn't your ordinary kind of Album Launch. There was venue, no guests, no press release, no fancy marketing, just me and my open heart, letting the bird out of the cage, to fly off to wherever it is supposed to. It will be interesting to see if anyone even notices.

This album is so much more than a collection of Song Meditations. For me, it is a celebration of the almost impossible. Truthfully, I didn't think I would ever record an album again. Not after losing my hearing, my head swamped with tinnitus 24/7 and even my own voice distorted by hyperacusis, but by dedicating myself to a daily practice of chanting, creativity and self care, I have learnt how to sing without hurting my ears, found instruments that soothe instead of soar, developed recording techniques to capture personal moments of inner peace, so that I may lovingly share them with you, because perhaps, in the nourishing of my own temple, I can help you to hear and to heal yours'.

So, you see, I didn't need a fancy launch to blow air into my ego, for this piece of work is the complete opposite of that. It is me and my beautiful imperfections because they are what makes me human. Our authentic scars are what shapes us, carving us into the belly of truth.

I am small, and yet, I am the Universe.

All love to you, dear ones. May your day be blessed with a myriad of moments that bring joy to your heart and fan the light of your soul.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

The Universal Womb

Have you ever noticed what is is in the very centre of the word, womb? Tonight, I was updating my website with some of my Soul Ink Meditation Songs, one of which is called 'Womb Song' and as I typed the word, I realised that tucked away, right in the middle, is OM: an ancient sacred sound that is used across the world for meditation, known generally as the sound or voice of the universe, and if you think about it, that makes perfect sense. I think this realisation will help me to connect more fully with the internal universe, the part of us that is the whole. 

If you would like to hear my Soul Ink Meditation Womb Song, feel free to pop over to my website ... 

Happy Chanting, Dear Ones

Healing with Song Meditations

When I first became hearing impaired, I didn't think I would ever want to chant or sing again. I spent the first 9 months pretty much in silence. It was too painful, but as time progressed,  after a lifetime career as a songwriter, my soul became heavy, so I began singing very quietly and softly to myself. It felt wonderful to feel my voice in my body again. Now a gentle song meditation is my daily practice. I do this by putting the side of my face onto my guitar, so that my ear & hearing aid is very close to the sound hole. I find a drone that I can hear and that does not distort with my hyperacusis, nor interfere with my tinnitus and then I just chant/jam over the top, channelling self healing. It's so quiet, I doubt you'd hear me, unless you were sat right next to me. 

My husband was so moved by my fragile chanting, that he asked if he could record me, so we rigged up our old studio equipment.

It was strange to hear myself back. When music was my job, everything had to be 'perfect' and now, nothing is! My songs are not even really songs, but they are authentic, honest, vulnerable healings from the depth of my soul, calling me to accept myself, just I am.

And now, I share them with you, just incase they offer you hope and acceptance of yourself, as the beautiful being that you are. Let's face it, we all go through tough times. The seas are high and the tides, rough, so if we can share the ways in which we heal, we steady the boat together.

I have been making little films to go with my Soul Ink Song Meditations. If you would like to hear them, feel free to pop over and listen to them at my website

All love, dear ones ... 

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Helping children come to terms with the loss of a parent

As an author of mindful stories, I've had a few requests to write about the loss of a loved one, dying & grief to help grown ups broach the subject in a loving & mindful way with children, so I have written this poem  'On the day that Mummy died.' 

I hope it helps you to ease the heart of children when they are at their saddest. For more details of my work as The Sleeping Storyteller, feel free to click the link below ... 

Friday, 8 March 2019


Today is International Women's Day. With deep respect, I light candles for all women to honour and sustain the flame at our core and I pray for those women whose struggle is still, so great. 

My small, humble offering to you, on this day, is recorded in my studio, during the Song Meditations that have become my personal therapy: Woman Needs A Temple.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

The Best Careers Advice

When I first started learning to write, it was in pencil. Then, once my writing had become 'good enough' I was promoted to pen. At first, it was ink, pouring poems & points to remember but then, Mr Biro took the 70's by storm. From pens on necklaces to hang around our neck to 4 tone pens at the flick of a switch, we were tooled up for writing but it made no odds, for there is no pen greater than the imagination. 

Today, my fingers race around the keyboard or my index finger is tap, tap, tapping on the phone screen, writing stories with and for children, but nothing can replace the delicious ease of pencil to paper or the luxury of ink soaked stories.

Who could have known back then, at such a young age, that my obsession with writing stories, poems and songs would become my life. It is a real lesson. 

If you are lost as to which career to choose, the best advice of all, is to explore what made you happy as a child. What made your heart skip, when were you most content, for this above all things, is what should fill your days. If you loved to be outside as a child, go outside, see how that feels. If you loved to lose yourself in books, if you loved gardening, baking, playing with hair, making doll's clothes, painting ... whatever it was, follow this calling, even as an experiment and see if it connects you to a place you remember.

My Nan would say, 'Be Happy, love, life is short,' and only now do I understand. There is no room in our lives for following anything other than our heart  ... 

The Little Girl who Tip Toed to the End of the Earth

Meet The Little Girl who tip toed to the end of the Earth, looking for the more that she's been searching for. 

This Thursday, on World Book Day, she'll be on my shiny new website talking to you about her book, yes, that's right, we've been sprinkling magic on our book covers so that they come to life and are able to talk with you, themselves. How exciting! is where I'll be housing all my new innovative work in partnership with children, empowering them to mindfully address those things that concern them the most, with stories and storytelling: In just 4 sleeps, The Sleeping Storyteller: A Child Led Story Book Company goes live, HERE! 

On World Book Day, I'll be out and about on a Libraries Tour in Carmarthenshire, meeting lots of children & having great fun, celebrating books & then going live on facebook in the evening. You're welcome to join me ... 

Have a lovely day, dear ones.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Launching A Child Led Book Company on World Book Day ...

This is my new child led & child friendly explainer video for the Official Launch of The Sleeping Storyteller on World Book Day. Please feel free to watch and share.

It's been quite a journey, which all started with me and Jeff sketching out new logo ideas at Christmas for The Sleeping Storyteller, based on feedback from the children at Brynnau Community Primary School, who fell in love with Angharad, my old Welsh Rag doll.

The Head, my lovely friend Vanessa Mccarthy, kindly suggested that I place more of an emphasis on Angharad in the stories and I took this on board, giving us the idea to base our logo designs on Angharad.

I then took our sketches to C'aer Felin Community Primary School to an Author's User Group that I had set up and they kindly gave me some important feedback, advising me to keep everything hand drawn rather than graphics of photographic. They chose the sketched artwork over the graphic design or photographic representation. 

I then double tested this response at Penygaer Community Primary School, whose feedback was the same.

And I go to these lengths because it feels really important that a Book Company focused on Storytelling & Mindfulness for Children, needs to empower children mindfully, at its very core philosophy, as well as in each of the decisions made along the journey about content & design.

You can see the full Child Led Feedback Report at my website when it launches on World Book Day March 7th ... be sure to pop by ...