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Another 25 days of 365 Days of Gratitude – Days 166-190


Another 25 days of 365 Days of Gratitude – June 15th – July 9th

Keeping this blog up-to-date when so many things are going on in my life (particularly writing) has put me behind 25 days. In those 25 days I’ve had loads more than 25 things to be grateful for. I’m more than grateful for the 24th June (my book launch) and birthday. Of course it’s a day I will never forget and one I am humbly appreciative of. You can read about it at an earlier post Top 10 Book Launch Moments.

The Zanzibar Moon author book launch poster.

The framed The Zanzibar Moon author poster given to me by my family to remember my first published book and the book launch.

Rather than going through every one of the 25 days I’ll just list the wonderful things I am grateful for during that time (and there’s probably plenty more). They are:

  • The Zanzibar Moon reviews so far (all positive and definitely a boost to my writer’s self-worth)
  • The Book Launch being a huge success and selling out of books
  • My family for gifting me the framed The Zanzibar Moon author poster (unexpected and perfect). My brother organised that and Mum picked the ideal beachy frame. Plus, my brother (and his business partner Viki) also printed my bookmarks so I could give them out as gifts to readers.
  • My health – with viruses and flues going around I’ve kept my health. We should never take our health for granted.
  • Awesome friends who’ve been so supportive of The Zanzibar Moon, particularly those reposting on social media, selling at their businesses and spreading the word.
  • Darci’s book-themed The Zanzibar Moon cup cakes for my book launch.
  • Beautiful friends who went over the top at the book launch by bringing me gifts, bottles of champagne, words of congratulations and flowers. You made my day that much more special. Thank you.
  • My best friends for organising the venue and bringing so much food (there were enough leftovers to feed a footy club).
  • Meeting the Palm Beach Erotic Book Club women, by chance, at Currumbin RSL. I did my first public reading from The Zanzibar Moon. Serendipity at its best made me feel very blessed.
  • My husband and son, though stunned by my success, not really surprised. The love they give me makes me grateful and happy. I feel cherished.
  • A near full moon last night. It will be a full moon tonight (yes I will be looking up).
  • Starting the prequel ‘Kendwa’s Secret’ and the muse is with me.
  • Having author connections that fulfill my needs as a writer, with collaboration, networking, advice, inspiration, encouragement – my tribe!
  • Starting another exciting writing project.
  • My dog snuggling on my lap now that the winter chill has set in (okay she even does that in summer, but it’s nice).
  • Gloriously sunny winter days.
  • Readers. Thank you all for giving The Zanzibar Moon and this début author a go.
Flowers, gifts, The Zanzibar Moon, champagne, Amarula.

The unusual and beautiful flowers from my friends during my book launch. They still look like this two weeks later. Plus one of the bottles of champagne and the Amarula my mum gave me (yum yum).

Enough of me. What are you grateful for today?

What is beauty anyway? You’ll probably won’t find it social media.


What is beauty anyway? You’ll probably won’t find it on social media.

What is beauty? Is it truly in the eyes of the beholder or is there more to it? Have we been conditioned to believe certain aspects of beauty exist when perhaps they don’t? Is our perception of beauty distorted by watching excessive news and social media?

Beauty in the eyes of the beholder - Graphic Stock

Picture from Graphic Stock.

I sat in the hairdressers the other day. They had a hair magazine or Harpers Bazaar. I don’t buy this kind of publication so thought it was a treat to have a peek (I’m more the fitness or home beautiful kinda girl). Not only were the fashions only for the runway (or perhaps the streets of Milan, but not Coolangatta), but didn’t make the models look pretty, let alone beautiful (only my opinion). Seriously, the models were so thin that in one of the photo shoots it’s a wonder the camera could even capture them.

What happened to the fashion industry taking body image seriously? I know there are naturally thin women, but there was no depiction of a mix of women and no curvy women, except for Elle McPherson on the cover (and let’s face it she’s a freak by any standard of beauty). No depiction of normality at all. Okay I know Harpers Bazaar and other fashion magazine are about the fashion ‘art’ and I appreciate that, but I felt annoyed. I know for fans of Harpers, I don’t have to read it. I’m just pointing out how I felt, and even if I were rich one day I’d still prefer comfortable, beach Aussie clothing (even a bit of feminine floaty boho) to runway artwork. Do the people who read these magazines actually think that inside the pages are beautiful? Did they always think that way or did it happen the longer they looked at those images? Is the media influencing how we see things?

To me beauty isn’t size or what you wear, or how you wear it and it’s not someone taking a selfie and photoshopping it beyond recognition (no really your lips aren’t that pouty and your cheeks aren’t that hollow, but if they are good for you). Beauty by definition is; a mix of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. Beauty is something that makes you feel good when you see it. We need to see things not only with our eyes but also with our heart and mind and then we’ll find what’s really beautiful.

I believe in observing the beauty outside the media influencers. I love a heartfelt smile on any shape age or size face. I love twinkling eyes and mischievous grins of any colour, culture or religion. I see beauty in any size woman (or man for that matter) that loves their own body and embraces what they have, from tiny Linda Hunt to fun-time Rebel Wilson. I see and old man with watery eyes as he looks adoringly at his wife as beautiful. I see the tiny down’s syndrome girl playing with other kids as just another cute child and so is the redhead with freckles (or not like Ed Sheran). A Digger in a wheelchair with a big smile on his face because he’s playing  basketball at the Invictus Games; that’s beautiful. Three children walking hand-in-hand; one Christian, one Asian, one Muslim; black, cream, white – beautiful! A baby cuddling a puppy and giggling as it licks his face (do I even have to say, “That’s beautiful”?).

It’s not just people either. While I’m smiling at a sunny day, someone out west, waiting for a drought to break, is grinning at a bunch of rain clouds greying the day. My gorgeous white sandy beach with turquoise blue water isn’t as beautiful to the person who loves snow, ski slopes and winter. To an overworked uni student a pile of books is an ugly chore; to the bookworm all books are beautiful.

There’s enough ugly in the world at the moment (terrorism, domestic violence, racism, sexism, ice; to name a few), so let’s find the beauty all around us, not the stuff on social media, news or magazines, but the real stuff in our lives.

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