Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chit-chat Wednesday and Celebrate the Light


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas/Summer/Winter Solstice season wherever you are in the world. I believe life should be celebrated and I love ritual. And so this time of year never fails to make me happy. I have the Summer Solstice and then following close behind Christmas. On the Summer Solstice I decorated my backyard with candles and shells to cast my wishes and secrets to the universe. And at Christmas, I shall be watching as my daughter perform as an angel in the Christmas Mass.

I've listened to far more runs of the Chipmunks singing Jingle Bells than any sane person should, but I still love this crazy season. Here's a selection of some of my favourite Christmas albums below. I love seeing The Wishing Tree in our local shopping centre heaped with gifts for those less fortunate and my daughter's joy in selecting a Barbie doll for a little girl to place under the tree.

The harvest is stored. The light is returning.

I have a fridge stocked with essentials such as Tasmanian cheeses, figs, French Champagne, and nostalgic treats such as Milk Tray and good old frozen chocolate Bavarian. The latter treats are essential as they always make me remember my old Nanny.  We have queued for three hours to see Santa at David Jones but the end shot was worth the wait. And the window display is always a joy to witness.

We  made a Christmas pudding and chutney. Once again, the amazing Jamie Oliver has got me through with his organised approach to Christmas. This DVD is highly recommended.

Family, friends, feasting and celebration of new life - it's a glorious time of year. The air feels sprinkled with pixie magic dust.
Merry Christmas to you. Celebrate life, light, family, and home. And in the eloquent words of Charles Dickens:
'I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come around - apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave."

From A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

vintage christmas images via google image search

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fabbo Friday and Lady on a Train for Christmas Telly

Lady on a Train is a great 1940s movie that I highly recommend for Christmas. It's a mystery which stars the wonderfully perky Deanna Durbin, lover of detective novels and witness to a murder whilst on a train. Yes, shades of Agatha Christie here but a lighter romp than anything the Duchess of Crime came up with.

It's a lot of good fun and is set in New York at Christmas time, making it an ideal Christmas flick.

The movie had the potential to be a lot darker in a Daphne du Maurier or film noir way but it plays it safe with a good frolic. But still, totally fab viewing and Deanna wears some out-there hats throughout.

Deanna also performs a beautiful version of Silent Night which, as Bill Collins said, is well worth watching this great old classic for.

However, Mr Collins failed to mention in his introduction on Foxtel that one of the stars, David Bruce, bears an almost uncanny resemblance to JOHNNY DEPP. And he plays his character like an early Ed Wood. Bruce plays Wayne Morgan, the very likeable and slightly bumbling mystery writer who Deanna's character, Nicki, enlists to help her solve the murder.

 I'd love to see a remake of this one starring Johnny Depp as Wayne Morgan. And so in place of my usual Johnny Depp image today, I shall leave you with a photo of his early doppelganger (see below).

Enjoy your weekend as we head towards the Summer Solstice and Christmas. xx
images source

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chit-chat Wednesday and Allison Dubois Talk to Me

Recently I went with a friend to see Allison Dubois (world-famous medium who inspired the hit TV show Medium) work her craft in front of a Sydney audience. We were VIP members which meant we got to meet Allison first, have a chat and she signed our books. We also chatted with other VIP members of the audience which was a hoot.

My friend and I were lucky enough to sit next to quite well-known Australian psychic, who went straight into an impromptu channelling session for both of us, pulling out a pack of Tarot cards shortly after we introduced ourselves. This psychic was a total character. Larger than life and very entertaining. (I was very happy with hearing a large sum of money was on its way as you can imagine.)

Then Allison Dubois entered and the mood swiftly changed.

She introduced herself in a very Sassy, way with 'don't ask, if you don't want to know because I'm good.'

My hand was in the air instantly. I wanted to know the works. Were my books going to sell well? How about the health problems of my father? Our house, were we going to move to the house of my dreams?
You know. All the questions you want reassurance to and would love to have answered.
Then Allison began asking who was present for murder or suicide and my hand started to sink back.
I shortly realised that out of nearly 200 people, some who had children die, some who came seeking answers to why loved partners killed themselves, some who wanted to contact deceased fathers. My questions on my book weren't going to cut the mustard.

There was an enormous need in the room and I can only say Allison did her best as a tiny-sized woman to fill it.

She sat with a pencil in one hand, a slight look of concentration on her face as a person (picked from the audience by her husband Joe) asked their question. Then Allison would contact the dead.

In the audience, we were left gasping and clapping many times at the accuracy of what Allison was getting through for people. Sometimes it was words that the dead person used to always say: 'You are my princess. You'll always be my princess.'

Sometimes it was definite instructions: ' you can stop wearing my shoes now’ to a young boy who had come about his father's suicide and was wearing his boots.

She replied to questions on whether a death had been suicide or murder and also the one murder case channelled a new possible lead for the person who had come seeking closure.

In the audience, we wept many times watching the living reach out to their dead. Yet there was also a mood of celebration as if there were spirits around overjoyed to have found a way to communicate.

The overwhelming theme of the night was Fathers. There were many daughters who had come seeking a message from their father. They were very poignant channelings. Allison herself has lost her father which she writes of so movingly in her books.

Yes, I'm a believer. I don't know exactly who Allison Dubois is talking to but I do know that she is receiving accurate information from somewhere.

It would be wonderful to think that the dead still have an interest in us and are around in us some form, although I don't know if it's quite the form that people think of.

Allison claims after death you revert to the person you were happiest as, and so people often present to her with perfect teeth and at an age they felt happy. Suicides revert to childhood a lot, which is interesting.

I've already spoken to my parents about getting a message through to me when Allison returns, if they happen to depart into the spirit worlds in the meantime.

And Allison is a very spunky, totally sparkly lady. The sort of person you feel you would like to go for a drink with and hang out for awhile. She wears killer shoes and seems to be a no-nonsense sort of person.

I liked her a lot. I was just a teensy bit nervous meeting her because I've heard she can see if you are about to die or have serious health problems. She didn't seem to react when I met her. Except she laughed a bit. I don't like to think too much on that one...

You can read more about the lovely, Ms Dubois here and her books are highly recommended.
allison dubois image source
medium image source

Monday, December 13, 2010

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Kate Morton Never Gave Up

Kate Morton has been a huge international publishing success. Her books sold in the millions to 38 countries. Recently she was interviewed by Mariella Frostrup on one of my favourite shows, The UK Book Show with Nigella Lawson and another guest. She has struck publishing gold.

I've known Kate for years as we share the same agent the wonderful Selwa Anthony. Below is a photograph taken at the Sydney Launch of Kate's debut book, The Shifting Fog (released in the UK as The House At Riverton). This photo always makes me smile as it looks as if I"m trying to rub some of Kate's success off on me.

From left: Kate, me wearing the purple chook feather, Kate Forsyth (who has previously written an Inspiration post for Tale Peddler), and the very Sassy Leigh Redhead.

The reason why Kate is my pick for an Inspiration post is not her great success but rather her tenacity. She had previously written two books which were both turned down by publishers before she wrote The Shifting Fog.

I just love stories like this. I believe when it comes to writing, you have to have the hide of an elephant and be able to pick yourself up off the floor after many crushing disappointments.

We all know stories of people like JK Rowling, Louisa May Alcott (who had to work as a servant when Little Women was being floated around) or Stephen King (Carrie received 30 rejections before it went onto enormous success). The English crime writer John Creasey received 753 rejection slips and went on to publish over 500 books.

I know personally how tough it can get in the world of publishing. You can spend years investing all your being into one book that can go nowhere.

You can possess the talent, the discipline, the marketing appeal, the best ideas in the world in spades. But if you don't have tenacity and determination – well, publishing is a game of snakes and ladders, often with more snakes on the board than ladders.

You have to keep rolling that dice, stay pure to the work and never give in. If you need a dose of stamina power, here's a link to an article of some great souls who refused to give up.
Enjoy your week. Keep creative.

Flops are a part of life's menu

and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses."

~ Rosalind Russell

image of Kate Morton Source