Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On the Road Again (sort of!)

When my book Elderwoman was first published, I spent several weeks touring around, giving talks and workshops and signing books. It was all very interesting and enjoyable. I met some great people and saw a lot of places I had never seen before. It was also rather tiring and I was glad to get home again. I am an introvert by nature, so frankly I am more comfortable sitting at home in my slippers and sweatpants than I am dressing up and socializing. (I also wondered whether all the effort and expense had really been worth it.)

But now, there is a much better way to tour around. In terms of spreading the word about a new book it is a lot more effective, as it enables an author to introduce the book to many more people than the old-fashioned book tour. It incurs no cost at all. And best of all, you don’t even have to get out of your old, comfy clothes to do it.

It’s called a blog tour.

So as a way of taking the new book GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness out ‘on the road’, I am now embarking on a blog tour. The tour will take me to a number of interesting places over the next few weeks and I would be delighted if you could come along with me, read my blog posts and meet my hosts. In the process, you will, I am sure, discover blogs that are new to you, and if you like them, please bookmark them and come back to them often. I made the first stop today. So please come and meet my first host, Maddy Harland.
Maddy is the editor of Permaculture Magazine: Solutions for Sustainable Living and a co-founder of Permanent Publications, a publishing company specializing in developing our understanding of permaculture. www.permaculture.co.uk
She is also one of the contributors to the new book. Her chapter, which is one of my favourites as it is so comprehensive and practical and also very thought-provoking is entitled: ‘Permaculture: Bringing Wisdom Down to Earth.’
Here is my post on Maddy’s blog. It's called 'The Web of Connections.' And when you have read it, be sure and check out the rest of her blog and bookmark it. It is great.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Familiarity breeds ...

... no, not contempt. Just a dulling of the senses: a loss of awe and amazement: a gradual failure of the 'wow' response.

I was thinking about this as I got ready to set off on my walk this morning. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. The birds were singing. There are wildflowers everywhere you look at the moment and the trees are waking into their glorious flush of spring green. And yet I knew it was quite likely that I would walk the entire three miles wrapped up in my thoughts, preoccupied with my inner landscapes, oblivious to all the beauty around me.

People come to the Westcountry for the scenery because it is one of the most beautiful areas of England. Over the long weekend just past, our little corner of Devon was full of visitors, especially hikers. I could see their faces as they walked past our kitchen window. They had that same look of awareness and keen enjoyment as I had myself on our hikes in Spain a few weeks ago. But I am so used to living in these surroundings that quite often I find myself walking in them without really seeing them. After nearly eleven years, I take this beauty for granted. It is only when I go away and come back that I realize how blessed I am to live here.

So I made a point, this morning, of turning my hour of walking into an hour of meditative contemplation, opening my senses as fully as I could to the sights and sounds and smells of this familiar piece of countryside, letting it come into me and fill me with its beauty.

And I took the camera with me so that I could take you with me also as I set off down the lane...

... over the bridge ...

... into the woods...

...and up the path to where the bluebells are blooming...

... in all their quiet glory.