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Guest Post: Christina Hollis - Saying Yes to Every New Opportunity

This week's guest is author Christina Hollis, sharing her story about facing her fears when she decided to stick to her new year's resolution: Until recently, I couldn’t say boo to a koala, let alone a goose. That all changed when I discovered — after it was far too late to back out! — that keeping one of my New Year’s Resolutions meant facing several of my fears all at once. I’d been writing romance for a long time and loving it when Pen and Sword Books asked me to write a non-fiction book about the women of Bristol. Much as I enjoy the romance genre, I agreed to the Pen and Sword offer as a few weeks earlier, I’d made a New Year’s Resolution to say “yes” to every new opportunity. This commission was my chance to get back to my roots in more ways than one. I began my career by writing non-fiction articles for magazines, and I’d be revisiting my family’s origins, too. I was born on the Somerset side of Bristol. Every Saturday we visited my grandparents who lived on the
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Guest Blog: Karen King - If At First You Don’t Succeed….

This week I am delighted to welcome the lovely  Karen King to the blog to share her Chasing Dreams story. If At First You Don’t Succeed…. I’ve always admired those people who go off on motorbike treks across Europe or drive off into the sunset with just a suitcase in the back of the car. I love the idea of being able to jump on my bike/motorbike or get in my car and take off but having my own transport has always being a difficult one for me. When my childhood attempts at learning to ride a bike ended up with me being thrown off and landing headfirst in a litter bin, I decided that cycling wasn’t for me. A couple of years later, riding on the back of my then boyfriend’s motor bike, the wind blowing against my face, I decided that I’d like a motorbike of my own, but an early marriage and family put paid to that. Later, as my children got older and finances weren’t so tight, I decided to learn to drive so that I could ferry the children around and go shopping without getting a taxi hom

Chasing Dreams: Part 2 – Facing My Fears

It’s funny how one event can cause you to change your plans for the future.  When I was little I had always dreamed of being a musician.  I played three instruments (flute, clarinet and piano), I was part of the school orchestra and the community wind band. Whilst my friends were busy chasing one another around the playground, I was chasing after my dream.  However, after my singing career failed to launch I discovered something new about myself... I suffered from stage fright. I was fine during rehearsals.   I was reasonably okay performing on stage in the orchestra, (there were enough of us to be fairly confident that I wouldn’t be abandoned in a solo again). But as a solo performer, even when I intended upfront to be one, stage fright kicked in. I revised my plans as a result.   Performance was no longer a realistic career objective. Instead I decided I wanted to teach others how to play. It seemed the ideal solution, enabling me to continue to play the music I loved and e

Guest Post: Jane Cable - Business Plan or Butterfly Net?

Today I'm excited to welcome Jane Cable to the blog to share her journey chasing her dreams. Business Plan or Butterfly Net? I was amused a few months ago when I found a worksheet from a course I attended in 2001, and discovered I had written down that my life goal was to write a best-selling novel. At the time, like Elaina, I was working as an accountant. I had just started my own business and even finding the time to write a book seemed pretty much impossible. But three years later, I did find myself writing. There had always been stories in my head, but this one seemed to need to find its way onto my computer. And somehow I did find the time; first thing in the mornings, and when my husband was working late. Odd hours opened up around me and I was on my way. The phrase ‘chasing dreams’ implies a certain randomness, and for me conjures images of running around with a butterfly net. Yet hunting down your dreams sounds decidedly unromantic, although to the business strategist

Guest Blog: Morton Gray - Chasing Dreams / Facing Fears

Today's guest is the lovely Morton Gray. Morton was the first person I met when I joined the Romantic Novelists' Association. We chatted on the RNA facebook group and in a strange coincidence it turned out she was also a member of the Birmingham chapter, so when I attended my very first meeting I already had a wonderful and supportive friend. I'm so happy to welcome Morton to the blog to share her amazing and inspirational journey: I am a firm believer that if you have a dream and are willing to face your fears you can achieve it. Acquaintances probably see me as a confident individual, who has changed direction at least twice in her life. Little do they know about the lurking insecurities. Rewind to 1990 and I was facing divorce and thus solo parenthood. I had worked hard at my career and earned a good salary, thankfully had a wonderful childminder to look after my son, but as you can imagine I felt pretty low and stressed with the juggling of parenthood, house and caree

Guest Post: Kim Nash - You Are Never Too Old To Follow Your Dreams

Today I have great pleasure in welcoming the talented Kim Nash to the blog to launch the first in my guest blog series on Chasing Dreams. You Are Never Too Old To Follow Your Dreams  I was 50 years old when my debut novel was published. I was the little girl who dreamed of being an author one day, but thought that to be an author, you had to live in a big house by the coast, and your writing desk had a delightful view over a beautifully tended garden with masses of vibrant, multi-coloured flowers and close-cut, emerald-green grass which looked out over the sea.   That’s where I thought the muse would strike.   When my Mom died, I wrote my things down. I found it cathartic and I wrote about my innermost feelings that I couldn’t share with my family at that time, because I didn’t want to upset them anymore than they already were. I wrote what I thought Mom would say to me if she could talk to me from heaven.   I kept it on my computer and years later I showed it to my sister.   It made h

Chasing Dreams: Part 1 – My Grand Debut

In 2016 I was proud and honored to be a 3 month guest blogger for Mslexia with my series on Chasing Dreams. Sadly the old blogs are no longer available on their site, so over the next few weeks I am going to be republishing them here, and inviting guest bloggers to come and share their own stories.  I hope you'll join me as I share my journey as a writer, with all the bumps and surprises along the way. Chasing Dreams: Part 1 - My Grand Debut I first discovered my love of writing when I was a child.  Like most kids I spent my time living in a fantasy world, and I loved to try and capture that exciting place in the pages of my pale pink notebook.  In addition to the frequent tea parties on my bedroom floor and the impromptu dance performances on an imaginary stage in our lounge, my parents were subjected to hearing random tales of buried treasure and magic houses. Aside from my parents and teachers, whose gold stars for imagination adorned my creations within my school books, no on