Another Adventure Begins!

So, remember I went to Belfast last Friday to meet the editors at a publishing house? Well, yesterday I got the call, and it was a “Yes”! The aim will be for a collection of my stories to be published in October, so the next few months are going to be very exciting 🙂 .

Today I applied to joined The Society Of Authors . The brilliant thing about this organisation is that it supports authors in a variety of ways (including offering help with reviewing contracts).

I feel at the start of something very auspicious. A whole new road lies ahead, and I’m itching to get my adventure boots on and to start walking.

I’ll keep you posted.

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

The Further Adventures Of The Everyday Adventurer

Jane celebrationsWell, here we are already 17 days into January! Whilst my 365 Days Of Adventure project is now complete, that doesn’t mean that the adventures have stopped : far from it 🙂 . My year-long project has started an avalanche of new projects, and some of the adventures I started back in 2014 are growing into veritable “expeditions”!

New Projects And New-Old Projects
Thanks to my webinar and TV show adventures, I’ve now developed the technological confidence (yes – actual confidence!) to launch my very first on-line programme. It’s a natural next step for me and for any of you who want to get the hang of doing new stuff (and doing the stuff that you really want to do) without holding yourself back. You can get the full low-down on the Learning To Leap programme here.

Thanks to my SurveyMonkey adventure (Oh, how I wish I’d undertaken this adventure a long time ago!), I’m also launching a live retreat version of my Learning To Leap programme . The retreat is called The Leap and you can jump into all the detail here.

My survey results showed that the programme that most people were interested in was my Telling Stories For A Change training. So, I listened and ,after a few years of rest and recuperation, that course is back on the menu!

The Big Expedition
If you’ve been following my adventures for a while, you may know that I wrote a short faerie story last summer. I sent that story off to a handful of literary agents and one publisher. The publisher was interested and asked for another story, which I submitted in December. They like that too, and yesterday I embarked on the next stage of my writing adventure : a visit to the publishing house!

I really enjoyed meeting the two editors and it was FABULOUS to be able to tell them how I came to write the stories (yes- I even owned up to my fairy-hunting adventure). The meeting was more about getting to know me and about ascertaining whether I had it in me to go the full book-signing, speaking, reading, interviewing hog… and whether I could enthuse about my own work . We also talked about the genre of my book .. which is a little sticky …. because its natural genre (cross-over) is notoriously hard to sell to bookshops because they don’t know where to put the books.

I get to hear whether the publisher wants to go ahead with publishing a collection of short stories early next week 🙂 . Here’s the “live” report >>

If you’re new to my blog, and you want to catch up with my 365 Days Of Adventure project, just click on the Blog Categories button in the right hand column (or under this post if you are reading this on your phone). When you click on the button it will give you a topic menu, so you can pick and choose as the fancy takes you 🙂 .

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 365 ~ Offer A Hogmanay Gift To The Faeries

winter faerie thornWell, it’s here : it’s the final day of my 365 Days Of Adventure project, and I can hardly believe it!

There were so many adventure choices today, but I didn’t hesitate in making a decision to go to visit the faeries at the faerie thorn tree on the farm.

My faerie-hunting adventure in the summer opened up a series of adventures that I would never have imagined myself doing on January 1st this year. Thanks to that adventure, I’ve written two faerie stories … and those stories have brought me closer to the possibility of a publishing deal! (I should hear in mid-January whether the publisher intends to acquire the rights 🙂 )

Since writing my second story, I’ve not slept very well at all. My dreams are full of new storylines – and I’m certain that the faeries have more than a little something to do with that 😛 .

For today’s adventure, I went to the tree and left the faeries the gift of a small bottle of Bushmills whisky.

I’m going to let my experiences settle for a while before drawing out the key learnings and insights, but one thing is for sure : it’s been a life-changing experience.

Thanks so much for your company this last 365 days. I’ve really appreciated all of you who have been following my blog or watching my videos on YouTube : I’m sure our paths will cross again.

(Oh – it was REALLY windy today, so that sound quality isn’t that great. I’m sure you’ll get the gist though!)

In the meantime, I am going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 364 ~ Get Stuff Done

For today’s adventure, I got stuff done : not just any stuff, but the stuff I’d normally avoid like the plague!

Today I paid bills. Today I started work on my tax return (shocker, right?). Today I did some housework 🙂 .

My daily adventures seem to have conditioned action and momentum – and reduced resistance. I am so used to doing stuff on a daily basis, that ALL stuff – ANY stuff – gets done now. And I’m not resisting the stuff I usually don’t like doing. I’m just doing it.

Now, this is good. This is brilliant. This is going to take me places in 2015!

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 363 ~ Read The First Edition Of The Folk And Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm

For Christmas this year, I gifted myself a copy of the first edition Grimms’ kinder- und Hausmärchen [1812-1815], and, for today’s adventure, I’ve spent some time reading it.

If you’re a fan of the Brothers Grimm, it’s likely that the version of the stories you know and love come from the seventh edition of this collection of folk and fairy tales – and not the first.

An American scholar by the name of Jack Zipes set about translating and editing the first edition – and it’s a fascinating read! In the first edition, the Brothers Grimm tried to remain as faithful as they could to the original stories. This means that there are often notable difference between the tales we know today and the originals.

Many of the tales in the first edition don’t shy away from reality. Some are gruesome and almost Kafkaesque. The baddy is not the stepmother – rather the mother. What our childhood memory insists are very long tales are often only  paragraph or two long. Oh – and Rapunzel … well she had a “merry time” with the prince and got herself pregnant!

In the introduction, Jack Zipes does not shy away from giving credit to the Brothers Grimm for prettying up the stories. They are undoubtedly great craftsmen. However, it is also clear that the later tellings bow to the cultural and social pressures of the day.

I like the rawness of the first edition and I like the fact that there isn’t always a happy ending. For me – that is life – and that is how I like to write my stories too. Today’s adventure has helped me to add to the simmering pot of storylines I have on the cooker – and added to a sense of kinship with the people who told those original tales … not the sanitised ones.

You can find The Complete First Edition ~ The Original Folk And Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm on Amazon here.

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 362 ~ Create A Survey Using SurveyMonkey

After yesterday’s business planning adventure, I was feeling rather smug and organised until I realised that it was all very well having a delivery plan from a whole new range of products and services, but what if no-one wanted these new products and services?

This realisation (ie. that just because I think that my products and services are brilliant doesn’t mean that my customers do!) nudged me into today’s adventure : to create an on-line survey for my business.

I think this probably counts as the most sensible adventure of the year. It took a while to get the hang of SurveyMonkey, but it’s free and very professional looking. I’ve devised 10 questions (mostly multiple choice) to get some honest feedback about what I’m offering in 2015. I’m going to send this survey out in a newsletter to my mailing list on Friday.

I think this information is going to be vital!

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 361 ~ Work Through A Year Planner For 2015

For today’s adventure, I had a go at working through a planning process for 2015. I used a workbook I had gifted myself for Christmas : it covered my life in general and my business.

It took me several hours to work through the process, and I have to admit that much of it did not resonate with me at all (and it felt very constricting too). However, the business planning process was enlightening (although, again, I felt  “squeezed” whilst I was doing it!)

2014 has felt like a very expansive and opening year ; my only plan was to have an adventure every single day. And that loose plan has brought untold gifts and rewards. I think that it has really put me back in touch with my deepest desires and talents. I am keen to respect the outcomes of this year – and I intend to follow the threads of adventure that have brought me the most (writing is one of those threads and – it surprises me to be writing this, let me tell you! – technology 😛 . Webinars have been fun to do, and in 2015, I’m going to have a go at podcasting and making some digital products!)

For 2015, my business is going to be changing and I think the planning process in the workbook has helped me to concretise what those changes might look like, how much work will be involved, and what the financial rewards might look like. Going through the process also made me think that it might be quite useful to survey my client-base – especially since I am going to be making some big changes!

I talk more about today’s adventure in this video-blog :

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 360 ~ Learn Old English Greetings

Be Well! In Old EnglishWith only 6 days of my 365 Days Of Adventure remaining, I really want to make the most of every opportunity!

For today’s adventure, I took my very first lesson in Old English (Anglo Saxon) and it was a lot of fun 🙂 . I studied both German and Old Norse at university, and there are huge similarities between these languages and Old English.

Today’s taster session was enough to get me interested in taking my studies further. (And, I think it will help my storytelling too!)

In today’s video you can watch me speaking my very first words in Old English!

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 359 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 25]

Well, we made it! 25 verses in 25 days :). Today is the last day of our collaborative poetry project, and the baton is in my hands.

Under normal renga rules, today’s verse should be a 5-7-5 on autumn (to comply with the continuity rules). However, as it’s the last verse of our poem, we’ve decided to bend the rules and bring the renga full circle,back to winter.

Here’s what I came up with :

The Holly King falls,
bound by age-old promises :
axial tilting

The “Holly King” is my kigo phrase for winter : this king rules until 21st December, falling at the winter solstice. I show continuity by echoing the “yielding” of Mabon in the Holly King’s fall ~ the Holly King yields to the Oak King and to the return of longer days.

The first phrase (12 syllables) refers to the bi-annual “fight” between the Holly King (waning year) and the Oak King (waxing year). The two solstices are always kept promises : the Oak King always wins in December, and the Holly King always wins in June.

After the cutting point, there is both a contrast in imagery AND a thread of connection. The image of a king falling is contrasted with (and connected to) the image of the earth tilting. It is through the phenomenon of axial tilting that we get our seasons.

You can watch the final episode of The Big Renga Round-Up here :

So what’s next? (Good question 😛 )

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 358 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 24]

So, we know it’s going to be autumn today, but do we know what kind of autumn it’s going to be? 😛 Today’s renju, Cara Wilde had the task of providing a 7-7 verse on the theme of autumn.

This is what she came up with :

Sienna rots, dank death calls :
Mabon’s hands held high now yield

This is what Cara says about her verse : ” My autumn kigo word is Mabon*. I continue the themes of fading light (dusk) and everything returning to the earth, leaves ready to rot….but there is the tension between the celebration of the harvest and the pull to go inward (the calling of winter). I  change direction with the notion of yielding…ready to go deep and dark!”

* Reference to the autumnal equinox.

You can watch today’s episode of The Big Renga Round-Up here :

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT