BOOKS ....... FREE STORIES ....... TALES OF TAM YS ....... ARCHIVE ....... EDITING ....... SARAH

Home is where the heart is

I have just returned from almost a month away on a personal writer retreat. My goal was to work hard and finish my current manuscript, but I fell very sick with the flu within the first two days and only really came mostly right after a fortnight. I'm still not all better. At least I was in a quiet space, and could spend all day in bed reading and sleeping. I got through a dozen books in a week. By the end, I was all read out and couldn't focus on it any more. All the stories began to blur into one.

Being in the countryside in autumn is a beautiful thing. The world was radiant, once the morning mists floated away. But I missed my city, and funnily enough since I've been back I've noticed birdsong more. As I type this, a flock of wild parakeets is making a glorious raucous mess of noise outside my window.

I will try to write more at this space, but I still have no idea what to actually write here. I also promise to add more to Tam Ys now I have internet access again.

Many warm blessings to you all.

Dreaming under the autumn trees

I have been sick for a week and in addition to that have reduced my internet access for a while. This means that I haven't been able to add anything lately to the Tam Ys website. I apologise, I will continue there in a couple of weeks' time. In the meanwhile, I hope all is lovely for you in your part of the world. Mine is full of gold and sighs as the trees change colour and their leaves drift on misty breezes.

The trees are a beautiful new colour now

I am on reduced internet access at the moment as I work on finishing my current novel. But I wanted to write a quick post because I have been neglecting this space too much. Hi everyone!

My corner of the world is beautiful at the moment. The trees are exuberant with autumn colour, and mist swathes the distant hills. I walk through it all rather quietly. I no longer look at those trees with wonder for what stories they may be dreaming ... I no longer listen for the song of the earth. I can't decide if my mythic imagination is threadbare from over-using it through these past few years, or if trauma has changed my brain patterns, or if it's normal in life to develop a whole new inner way of being in the world. Or another possibility: if I had a moderate interest in earthsong and hill murmur for a while, which I over-emphasised through writing about it too long, too exclusively, because I had an audience for it, and now I can't stretch my interest in it any further.

I've been fascinated to see that it's not just my writing style and genre that has changed but my actual way of relating to the world. I believe with all my heart about songlines and dirt spirits and ancient grandmother dreams ... but I don't want to think about them any more. I want to be more in the ordinary human world.

Perhaps it's a midlife crisis! It doesn't feel like a crisis though. It feels okay, and I know the only misery it will cause me is that which I could imagine for myself by worrying about it - rather like how stress is only bad for you when you stress about being stressed.

Have you ever undergone a similar transition? Feel welcome to discuss it in the combox, although I might not be able to see your responses for a few days or so. And blessings to you, warm hugs to you, rich loamy reddish earth comfort to you, from the autumn of the world.

The writer emerges briefly from her silence

Dear friends,

I never thought I would be that blogger who writes after a long absence to apologise and assure readers she still cares about them. But here I am.

I really do apologise for not writing here lately. I've been tremendously busy and simply haven't had the time or mental energy to construct blog posts.

I began this year thinking that I'd move forward with enthusiasm on the path I'd been taking for years. I had many exciting plans for it! But each of those plans fizzled soon into the attempt, and I've had to decide how to perceive and manage that.

I also owe Tam Ys readers some new stories. I've neglected that site for a couple of weeks, and feel very guilty about doing so. Hopefully this weekend I will have time to write there again. I haven't abandoned it! The storyline is almost at its natural end, but I want to put true heart into it, rather than just dashing something off when I get a spare few moments. Tam Ys is the gathering of years' worth of dreaming, and I hope it is enjoyable for those of you who subscribe. (Subscriptions still remain open, and the website will stay there indefinitely even when I finish adding stories.)

If you're looking for me elsewhere, I'm not on facebook. I post at instagram but don't really engage much there. I'm mostly on twitter, chatting around the virtual water cooler with other writers. I haven't forgotten you though, dear readers. I will try to return here as soon as time allows!

In the meanwhile, may you be blessed with happiness and peace.

Twenty-Five Ideas for Self Care of Stress & Anxiety

I am just home from a morning stroll which was intended to last half an hour, but became two. I wandered to the lake and watched swans and rowers glide on the gently sunlit water. I visited a garden and browsed some quaint little shops. Once or twice I worried about the time I was "wasting" but then let that go. It felt luxurious to amble through the morning in this way, surrendering to peace and beauty. 

charles courtney curran

The Lecture
skip this if you like and go straight down to the ideas

I am doubtful that stress and anxiety can be fully treated by fixing one's thought processes alone. I believe self-care and self-comfort are key. Creating a safe internal environment (ie, a habit) of loving ourselves and tending to ourselves is so important. Obviously having non-self-harming thoughts is part of this, but the process must begin with the fundamentals. You can't reformulate faulty thinking if your body is a jittery mess, your instincts tending towards negativity, your systems in panic mode, your community unsafe, and your environment not embracing your essential needs. Often, when you have tended to all of these things, so that you develop inner and outer supports, your faulty thoughts will naturally slide into better sense. 

alexander averin

Twenty-Five Ideas
to soothe and comfort your stressed body & spirit

Massage gently scented lotion into your hands and wrists
Go for a stroll amongst trees or flowers, or if that's not available, amongst quiet streets
Smell the pages of a favourite old book
Have a warm soothing drink to help you slow your breathing
Wrap yourself tightly in a soft blanket
Hold a cushion or hot water bottle against your middle
Hug someone
Rest your thoughts by watching a funny movie or playing a computer game
Hold your wrists under cool, gently running water
Browse your favourite pinterest boards, soaking in the beauty
Swim in warm water
Let the wind drift against your uplifted face
Sit in the rejuvenating warmth of sunshine
Brush your hair
Bake something delicious which you can eat for afternoon tea
Twist a tea towel, bash a cushion, link your fingers tight, expel your breath forcefully
Talk to a friend either about your troubles or something happy
Have a warm shower then dry yourself with a comfy towel
Rub your upper arms or brush them with a soft hairbrush
Do some knitting with needles or fingers
Draw lovely designs on your hands or feet
Drum your feelings
Visit your favourite place, be it the seaside or woods or a bookstore
Put on cosy thick socks and your softest clothes
Sing lullabies to yourself

Please feel welcome to add your own ideas in the comments section

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Thanks & Blessings.