Sunday 21 July 2013

Sun, Seats and Sangria... well, almost

I've spent the last few days making a patio garden/seating area.  I recently discovered that the end of my house is a real sun-trap and after my friend Helen gave me a couple of chairs, I thought it really needed 'beautifying'.  Eventually, I bought a couple of rolls of fence material and then wondered where I could get some wood from.  In the end, I discovered the perfect solution. All the wood is reclaimed and was given to me by my farmer friend Rob and another friend, Lynette.  When I drove home after my wood collecting, the Jeep was crammed to the roof - I actually wondered if I'd ended up with too much!

After removing nails and sawing off rough edges, I had to buy some screws (since I couldn't remember where I'd put the ones I had from a few years back).  Once I had screws and tools sorted out, I started by making a few planters.  They had to be free-standing and durable enough to take the weight of soil and plants... and not get blown over on windy days.  A further complication was the multidirectional sloping of the paving. All the legs had to be cut to different lengths for everything to appear level.

I wanted to have different levels to add interest and an arrangement that would give a cosy, private and enclosed feel.  Another friend donated a little 'Turkey Oak' tree (shown left).

With the last of the wood, I decided to make a personal chair...

Notice the folding drinks table on the arm

The shaped back spars were originally used to keep clay drainage pipes apart when stacked. After doing a sketch to show my friend George, he said it reminded him of an Adirondack chair design.  (I'd never heard of them, but a web search brings up loads). Here's another view of the layout:

Amazingly, I ended up with exactly the right amount of wood for the whole project.  All I had left at the end was one small bin bag of sawn-off rough bits - which my neighbour said he would take for kindling to light a steam traction engine's boiler.

So... Time to think about the next phase...

I have a cunning plan...

Wednesday 17 July 2013

The Art of Allowing

It's been an interesting few days - but they almost didn't happen!  

I finally gave up using Hotmail after 18 years after the version of Outlook provided ground to a stop and several times I couldn't access my account.  I'd put in a 'forward' to another of my accounts, expecting everything to come through.  However, when I went to check my Hotmail, the spam folder was unusually full and some items hadn't been forwarded.  Given that I had 465 items to go through, I wondered about simply emptying the whole lot.  However, I knew there were a few things I diverted there and occasionally viewed, so I started going through them.  On the third of four pages, I suddenly noticed a message from my author contact form:

Comment or enquiry: Would like to talk to you about your books. I am a radio talk show host on the Law of Attraction Radio Network.

Sometimes when I receive messages through my websites, it's people simply wanting to increase my search ratings or offer some service I don't require.  However, when I get something like the above, I go and check it out.  I arrived at Fulfilling Your Purpose and found the Law of Attraction Radio Network talk show page.  The first person I recognised was Jack Canfield (from "The Secret" film and author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul")  which certainly added credibility.  I then replied to the host, Constance Arnold, and apologised for my late reply - since her initial contact had been made a week previous and I usually reply to people on the same day as receiving messages.

Constance Arnold

We arranged an initial Skype video chat and got on really well.  Constance informed me that she "has millions of regular listeners" and people who contact her requesting to go on her show - but in my case, she had simply come across my author site through her own searching and she liked what she found on 'law of attraction' - a topic her listeners are most interested in.

We talked for about 45 minutes and arranged to do a proper interview for the show this weekend - which could go out live either Sunday 21 or 28 July at 7:00 EST (4:00 PST - 12:00 GMT).

Interestingly, what I forgot to mention to Constance, was how 'law of attraction' had brought us together from my perspective.  As mentioned in a previous blog, I had spent the last 30 years of my life practising invisibility - not wanting to draw attention to myself in any way.  However, since developing my writing full-time, being invisible hasn't helped people to find my books!  After almost a year's effort in self-promotion, followed by some thoughtful consideration, I decided that conventional methods to regain visibility were falling short of expectation and when I really thought about it, I'd need a very expansive and potentially costly, marketing campaign to get anywhere near started!  At this point, I decided to hand over the task to the universe, along the lines of: 

"I need to stop being invisible; I need people to know I exist.  Please help me to attract the right people who will be interested in my books and help me to become more noticed."

Following my own practice with 'law of attraction', I then removed myself from 'interfering' in the process or outcome, made a coffee and sat in the sun for a while.  Over the next days, I relaxed and let go of concerning myself with publicity and potential wealth generation, since I finally admitted the truth to myself:  

"Cold marketing is not something that comes naturally to you; you don't have to be good at everything; and you don't have to kill yourself with strenuous effort to "make" yourself good at something if it really doesn't interest you!"