Category Archives: Writing, Blogging etc

Sometimes I write about writing

You’re so sweet for asking…


I’ve had a few requests for an update, since I wrote my blogpost about giving up sugar, almost 5 months ago. So, here you go…

I went off radar when my sugar withdrawal started. Mainly because, as well as dealing with the eating issues, I also had to do something about my sedentary lifestyle. My health and well-being were suffering. I decided that apart from having to sit at a desk to work, anything that kept me in the chair too long HAD TO GO! That included sitting looking at a blank page – not getting any writing done.

amo-in-running-gearSo I ignored the blog for a while and joined a running club. I don’t do real running. I call it ‘enthusiastic walking’. The dark evenings don’t stop me, I’m kitted out with illuminous arm bands and a headlamp, (these do stop me, but only from running into a tree). Most of the time I want to die (of embarrassment and lack of oxygen, alternatively), but I am glad to be doing it and I feel the better for it.

I’ve been asked for ‘before and after’ photos too. I’m always nervous about them. Cos usually they sound the death knell of any efforts to lose weight. I do think I’m in the best frame of mind I’ve ever been though. In a blog post about dieting, which I wrote eons ago, I said the fatal words, ‘I think I have a handle on the eating thing now.’ That signalled a major falling off the wagon. I wonder if a sugar addict like me ever gets a real handle on it. Probably not, but I’m certainly winning at the moment.

amo-1

auntyamo – 1

I wasn’t confident enough to take a ‘progress’ photo until after the first stone had gone.  Already my favourite comfortable top was starting to hang (a little) and I could see my face changing. I can’t even bring myself to post photos from before that. I don’t think I even ‘saw’ them at the time. I see them now and I can’t believe it. I’m not ashamed of them, just very sad that I waited so long to sort myself out.

I know lots of people don’t like to let the scales rule their progress, but I have to have that weekly accountability. The photos are great and the fact that now I’ve had to buy smaller clothes is fantastic, however the numbers still mean something to me. I try not to get hung up on them, but they do help.

amo-3-and-a-half-2So, if I lose 1lb this week, I’ll have lost 3 and a half stone. I’ve been using myfitnesspal since 2012 but never got anywhere near this number until I vamoosed processed food and sugar from my life. I can’t begin to tell you how different I feel, in every way. I have been praying for years about my weight. Asking God to help me and show me what I need to do. I really believe that this is the answer to those many years of prayer. I’m not saying I won’t ever make a blunder, or lose the plot. I just know that this is the way I can conquer my addiction.

And now it feels like time to get my bum back into the chair – but not for too long. I’m looking forward to writing again, and finding a balance between my writing life and my active life.

Thank you so much to those who’ve been with me on this journey. And thank you blog followers for sticking with me. Hopefully… normal service is resumed.

Whatever that is! 🙂 x

 

T is for Thankful


I’ll finish this AtoZ Challenge, if it’s the last thing I do! 🙂

I know i’ve been a bit hit and miss lately and it is frustrating, but rather than go on and on about how busy I am, I want to just stop and take some time to be thankful.

11105483096_d61fc93bff_nMy job is wrecking my head, but I’m grateful for it – it’s a source of provision that I haven’t had for a few years. To be able to pay the basic bills without worrying every month, is such a blessing after the last few years of living week to week for most of the time – thank you God for my job.

We have some issues with our flat AND  our landlord – but I’m grateful for this little haven. It’s a gorgeous little flat. Near to everyone we love and near enough to everywhere we need to be. We’ve been able to host a few fun evenings and dinners here. It’s perfect for us.

I did say I wouldn’t go on about how busy I am. but I AM busy! Lots of the things I have to do are great though. I love my writing, though I’m constantly playing catch up. Meself and himself have attended/taken some meetings at another church which has meant we’ve been going to two churches at the same time really. Will be able to give you the whys and wherefores of that soon, but it’s the best reason in the world to be busy. And though I miss Spirit Radio I still am able to give them a hand with some stuff, from across the water. I thank God for all the interesting things I have to do, as well as my full-time job – see #1 🙂

I seem to be ‘well’ at the moment. Only a short-term cold a few weeks ago, none of the autumn/winter lurgy that usually floors me this time of year. Emotionally, I feel positive, hopeful and excited about the future… as I said… more anon. It’s so nice to love Ireland but not be sad and pining for it; which I did a lot of when I lived here in Wales the last time. I feel really settled and happy to be living here.

Myself and himself, though a lot of our 15 years together have been difficult, we’re happier than we’ve ever been. I don’t shove that in anyone’s face, or feel any sense of superiority about it. I know lots of people who didn’t come out the other side of difficulties as we have; and I don’t take it for granted. But I am thankful.

I’m so grateful to you aswell. I’ve been a most unfaithful blogger, but you readers seem to be very supportive. I don’t have a big audience, but I do have a faithful one, so thanks for that. And thanks for reading my ramblings. I mean it! Thank you

There are some new things coming my way and they may even change the ‘theme’ of this blog – not that it ever had a theme. Not sure what will happen really. But right here and right now, I’m thankful to God for all I have and hoping in Him for all that is to come.

Can’t ask for much more than that really 🙂 x

photo credit: Sign via photopin (license)

Back to busy-ness…


You’d have to wonder what gives a blogger the audacity, nay.. the temerity to wander off the reservation, leave her blog languishing for the want of a post; and then to saunter back and pick up where she left off – all the while expecting her readers to swoon and sigh with relief that she deigned to notice them again.

I reckon it’s my heightened sense of self-importance and a list of dazzlingly weak excuses 🙂 And the knowledge that there’s a lot of love and grace in you lot *imagine here a picture of me with an innocent smile – I don’t have one to post at present…*

For weeks now I’ve said… “as soon as I get settled,” or “as soon as that’s over,” or “as soon as I don’t have to think about that anymore… I’ll start writing again.” I’ve no idea where I got this crazy notion that I can only write when there is nothing else going on in my brain. I don’t normally have a taste for such luxuries. I realise that ‘the quieter day’ isn’t coming. In fact I heard an old lady once say, with great solemnity, “ah sure if it isn’t something, it’s something else.” Dagnabbit the woman was right!

I’ve been complaining to God about how little time and energy I have to write, as well as a lack of ideas, inspiration and you know… words. But instead of things quietening down, God has put me on a path that will make life a whole lot busier (and more exciting). I can’t tell you about it at the mo, but if what I believe is about to happen, actually happens… well I’ll be giving up all hopes of a quieter day, setting the alarm clock at least an hour earlier each day and, I trust, will be busier and more fulfilled than I have ever been. 🙂

Anyway, sorry for disappearing… again. While I wait to tell you about the thing I can’t tell you about yet… I’ll continue with the AtoZ – thanks for letting me know you liked it so far.

Next up is the ‘Omni’s 

A x

 

Creative Christians in Wales


Last night I’d a great evening chatting to some of the Creative Christians in Wales group.

It was a small gathering in a coffee shop in Cardiff, chatting about set up and making some plans. The vision, though still in its formative stage, is to give creative believers an opportunity to share their art, network, encourage each other and pray together.

It’s not often I get to talk about my creative life, within the context of my faith in a Creator God. We talked about how we reflect that part of His nature, as creatives, and the hope that this group will give us more opportunity to do that. You know, I worried when I moved to the UK and lost direct contact with a lot of creative people I was connected with, that I would somehow lose out. This is not the first, but the greatest reassurance that won’t happen.

banner logo

The group on Facebook has artists, writers, poets, graphic designers, photographers, videographers, musicians, and at least one excellent deliverer of the spoken word. Jordan Sheehy… you must check her out.

It’s great to be part of such a group. Last night we discussed potential. There’s so many things the group could be and do. I’m excited to be involved at this early stage. Watch this space, as they say…

You don’t have tick all three boxes to get involved. It’s not an exclusive club. So if you’re a Christian, in Wales, interested in the arts then great, be sure to get in touch. However, if you only fall in to one or two of the categories, please do connect if you’d like to. There’s the Twitter feed, a Facebook page, and keep your eye out for a blog coming soon. It will showcase some of the artists and encourage discussion about faith and the arts.

Oh and in case you’re worried I’ve forgotten I’m Irish…. Lá Fhéile Padraig shona dhuit
(Happy St. Patrick’s Day) 🙂 x

I woke up this morning and guess what… I was alive!


I woke up very early this morning, which I don’t mind – as long as I’ve slept well the night before. A full night’s sleep is a rarity these days; but… I slept all night and was awake well before 7am. (I know that for some of you, that is waking at ‘normal’ time – but it’s early for me!)

Weird thing was that the first thought that came to mind was
“Thank you God, I made it through another night. I am alive.”

This is an old pic of me & I'm only smiling because I had not intentions of leaving my bed that day :)

This is an old pic of me & I’m only smiling because I had not intentions of leaving my bed that day 🙂

I’m sorry to say that I am NOT one of those people who wakes with a prayer in her heart! Usually the first thought I wake with is the horrifying realisation that it’s time to get out of my comfy bed. I wish I was someone who wakes with a prayer on my lips – and maybe a song in my heart and a sparrow on my window sill???
But if you know me – you’ll know that’s just not me.

I hadn’t expected to die in the night by the way, so why I was so urgently thankful for another day of life, I’m not sure… but as I lay in bed pondering it, I remembered something. It happened yesterday as well. I’d been awake in the middle of the night for ages so when I woke I was groggy n’ grumpy, and I forgot immediately that I’d whispered a thanks to God for another day. I had missed it cos it happened before I was awake enough to start complaining.

medium_1476887807I’ve been told that writers should always have a notebook by their bed. Often in that state where you are either falling asleep or waking up – you know that in-between bit where you know what’s going on but you’ve lost the use of all limbs and the the power of speech – you come up with storylines and all sorts of different ideas. It’s said you should write them immediately cos once you are fully awake, you’ll forget them. I wonder if it was a similar thing.

I wonder have if I’ve done it before. Maybe I do it more than I realise. I’ve never been good in the mornings – numerous times in my life I’ve woken up at 6.30 to pray, only to find myself in an Adrian Plass-like* stupor at 8 when I SHOULD be getting up.

Maybe I am in that group who can sing “Early in the morning a song shall rise to thee.” Perhaps I am an early pray-er and didn’t know it.

A girl can dream eh? 🙂

photo #2 credit: jamelah via photopin cc

*Adrian Plass is a somewhat fictional character who tells his story in an Adrian Mole like diary. His story about getting up very early to pray for a few days in a row and ending up zombified having done very little praying, is told very well in ‘The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾’ You can read a sample here

April AtoZ Challenge…


A2Z badgeI’m going to be missing for a while as I take part in the April AtoZ Challenge over on the blog of my new writer’s website. http://www.annmariemiles.com/blog

Hope to see you there 🙂

ps if you sign up to receive regular updates about my writing and as a thank you for trusting me with your email address I’ll send you two brand new stories written just to celebrate launching the website 🙂

Just go to http://www.annmariemiles.com and drop your email address at the nr the bottom of the homepage.

Thanks, A x

More than you could ask or imagine


There’s a series of Christmas stories over on my fiction blog, Fictitious Amo, one each day by a different author. I’m delighted with the contributions. You should take a look… 🙂

In the meantime – my lastest musings…

I’d heard about it lots of times but I don’t remember experiencing it.

pile booksIt’s quite possible that I actually experience it every day and never notice. Maybe having clean air and clean water and a roof over my head… That could well be it and I just never spotted it.

But whether I’ve experienced it before or not, I’ve only noticed it recently. For the first time I know what it’s like to receive more than I could ask or imagine.

I’ve wanted to be great at something for ages and not known if I ever would be. I’ve wanted to shine; not brighter than everyone else, but brighter than I ever had & brighter than I ever thought I could.

I spend so much time swatting the flies of guilt and failure, and it’s very tiring. But after years of being good at things but never quite cutting the mustard, I seem to have found something I’m great at. (Dare I say it…?) Something I’m really really great at.

The process of writing and publishing my first book has been a miracle really. From the financial gift handed to me by a good friend at the very beginning, that basically paid for half of it. To the surprise opportunity to do an extra term of teaching, which paid for the other half. The response of the publisher and her hard work, and now the response of the readers, especially the authors who spoke at my two launch events.
One of them said I “weave magic with words”. About me… he said that about ME!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked God to allow me to be great at something. To fill the space left by the years of longing to be a great mother. To be able to point at something and say, “I did that and it’s bloody good. I’m proud of it.”

God is my ultimate inspiration and I mean it when I say in the book.
‘Though you are not explicitly mentioned in this book, every redemptive moment every opportunity for forgiveness and every glimpse of hope is inspired by your Good News!”

Well… now I know. Now I know what it’s like to receive more than I could ask or imagine.
Nothing to do with money or success. Just something I can give that people enjoy.

My favourite currency.

photo credit: Raoul Luoar via photopin cc