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 260 ~ Solve A Tree Mystery

whitebeamEarlier in the Summer, I undertook a series of tree identification adventures and really enjoyed them. After those adventures, my tree radar was on high alert and I began to notice different types of trees in all sorts of places. I had a lot of fun identifying them and it felt good to know more about my natural surroundings.

One tree stumped me though. I noticed it in the summer when its blossom was white. Now it has red berries and large lobed leaves. And then a piece of the jigsaw dropped into place that would narrow down my search for its identity : I have seen this tree in parks, along streets and very occasionally in people’s gardens. Only twice have I noticed it in hedges .. so it seems that it is rare in the wild.

With my trusty tree book in hand, I visited one of the local mystery trees and I think I have solved the mystery : it’s a whitebeam!

It feels really exciting to have solved the mystery – and this adventure has reminded me how much I love working things out for myself (even thought it’s taken me months to work this one out, it’s been fun 🙂 )

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 249 ~ Go Mushroom Hunting

Portglenone Forest was the setting for a fabulous impromptu adventure today! The forest was leaping with mushrooms large and small, and a walk that usually takes 30 minutes to complete with the dog, took almost an hour and a half today. It was really exciting to hunt for different types of fungi, even though I didn’t have a name for anything I saw.

I took pictures of all the different types I spotted. When I got home, I used the Wild Food UK website to help with identification. It was so much fun comparing my pictures with the images on the website and learning more about each one of them.

Here’s what I came up with!  If you click  on the name of each one, you’ll be able to see why I came to the conclusion I did. Do you think I identified them correctly? I’m not sure about the last one ~ I think it’s a type of bracket fungus though! (Do let me know if you know what it is 🙂 ).

 

 

Bracket Fungus

Bracket Fungus

 

 

 

 

 

I am just going outside and may be some time 🙂 .

JT

Adventure 246 ~ Write A Collection Of Haiku Poems [14]

poem about school uniformFor me, the things that really mark the changing of the season are the end of the summer holidays and the beginning of the school term. The first full day of school for my son was this monday and seeing him in his uniform again reminded me :

  • How quickly we, as humans, move through our own seasons
  • How tied I really am to my own heritage (I come from a family of school teachers)
  • How I can already see in my son’s Spring, the seeds of his Autumn (I think the leaves will be spectacular)

For today’s poetic adventure, I’ve written a haiku called “Back to school”. You can read it here , and I read it out loud in today’s video-blog too.

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 245 ~ Create My Very First Newsletter

Add a little adventure to your in-box

I had a lot of fun today creating (and sending out) my very first newsletter! I used Mailchimp for this , and I capitalised on last week’s “techy” adventure too : I used Canva to create the header image.

I wrote a short article and then added share buttons and links … okay, I added pretty much everything I could work out how to use!

You can take a peek here  ~ I think you’ll like the article (it’s a harvest metaphor 🙂 ).

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 242 ~ Buy A Domain Name For A New Project

book cover Jane TalbotNow then 🙂 . If you’ve been following my adventures for a while, you might have seen today’s adventure coming!

I’ve had an idea for a book project (and an accompanying experiential programme ~ well, “experiential programme” isn’t exactly the right phrase, but it’ll have to do for now 😛 ) that seems to have taken root way back in my earlier adventures. My summer adventures have accelerated the growing process, and today’s adventure is a step further towards bringing this project to life.

The Invisible Counsellors adventures (adventures 89 – 92) helped me to explore how I might do something worthwhile with all my adventuring experiences. My writing adventures (a gruesome piece of romantic fiction, my children’s story “The Faerie Thorn”, and my haikus) have toned my writing muscle. My webinar adventures have encouraged me to really reflect on the value of living adventurously ~ and to reach out to others who might want to reconnect with their own adventurous spirit.

241 previous adventures have led me to this point : the purchase of a domain name for my book and for it’s associated learning programme (nope, that’s not the right word either : I’m sure it will come to me at some point!)

It felt really good to take this small step today. In fact, it felt like quite a big step ; it made the whole idea feel more concrete. I sense it’s going to be a big part of 2015 for me – and it just couldn’t have happened without 2014, my year of Everyday Adventures.

Sometimes, it’s so good to realise how everything we plant today makes for tomorrow’s harvest. It’s almost September : the harvest is right on time. (Oh yeah…  what I also wanted to say is that this is me “putting it out there”, setting the intention, making the commitment – and you can call me on that 🙂 ).

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 241 ~ Write A Collection Of Haiku Poems [11]

owlFor today’s poetic adventure, I had to do quite a bit of detective work. With the help of “Birdwatching For Beginners” and BBC Radio 4’s Tweet Of The Day archives, I was able to work out which bird I’ve been hearing at dusk throughout the summer : it’s the long-eared owl!

You can hear the call of the elusive long-eared owl here; you can read today’s haiku about this nocturnal bird here; and you can listen to me read my haiku out loud in today’s video- blog too 🙂 .

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 239 ~ Tackle The Tech

live your adventure by Jane TalbotOne HUGE thing that my adventuring has given to me is a playful attitude towards technology! Before I started my 365 Days Of Adventure project, I think I was actually afraid of technology ; I was in awe of all those folks who has “mastered the modern”, and I think that awe (and the  belief that technology is “hard”) really held me (and my business) back.

As I look back over the last 8 months, I’ve learned to edit videos, manage my WordPress site (and many of its widgets), set up a mailing list, link my mailing list to a “home-made” sign-up box on my website, set up and run webinars, use Facebook advertising (I was REALLY scared of that, oddly enough!), use Google Hangouts On Air, I’ve launched my first digital product, and I’ve mastered a range of image-making tools too!  And I’ve done this all by playing ~ it’s really worked for me, and I’m so glad I’ve done it because I really do think that it’s helped my business no end.

By working through my fears of technology, I’ve now arrived at a very new state of readiness. I’m ready to go self-hosted with my website, I’m ready for the world of plug-ins and customisation, I’m up for learning more about Search Engine Optimisation, and I’m up for developing on-line learning programmes. Yup ~ I’m up for it all because I realised something that’s really important to me : it’s not really about technology, it’s really about playful creativity, connection and  self-expression. And those are things  that light me right up!

For today’s techy adventure, I tried out Canva (a brilliant image creation website which is mostly free. Today’s blog post image was created for FREE on Canva today 🙂 ). The other websites I mention in today’s video are iPiccy and Pixlr . All three of these sites are incredibly easy to use.

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 235 ~ Write A Collection Of Haiku Poems [8]

hedera helixSummer is coming to an end : my son has just returned from spending his school holidays with his father, and the leaves are turning on the trees.

Today I was drawn to ivy . Evergreen, it feels like something to “cling on to” as Autumn no longer lurks at the edges of the day : it’s making a confident advance. The Turning Time is striding in, blowing cool, damp breezes on the last of Summer’s embers.

In Irish folklore, ivy is associated with fidelity and immortality. Druids used to wear “crowns” of ivy to encourage clarity of thinking. The latin name for ivy is hedera helix ~ “hedera” is derived from the Celtic word for cord, and “helix” means twining. I tried to capture all these elements in today’s haiku.

You can read today’s haiku here, and I read it out loud in today’s video-blog.

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 234 ~ Write To Joan Aiken’s Daughter

I’ve been trying to remember Joan Aiken’s name for about 3 months, and last night I sat up in bed and exclaimed it out loud!

The reason I was so keen to remember it is that Joan wrote a book that I loved in the 1970s : it was a book of Eastern European folk-tales. The book was beautifully written and wonderfully illustrated, and I was trying to explain to an artist friend of mine the kind of feel I wanted to create in a book I was thinking about writing. I wanted to use Joan’s book as an example, but the author, illustrator and title eluded me (until last night!)

This morning, I Googled Joan and found that, although she died in 2004, her daughter, Lizza, has created a website in her memory, celebrating her life, her work and her illustrators. I was able to find the book from my childhood (and the illustrator) with ease.

The book was called “The Kingdom Under The Sea And Other Stories” and the illustrator was none other than Jan Pieńkowski . I’d call it a magic book : I don’t know where it came from, I’m not exactly sure when I got it, and I don’t know where it went. All I know is, it left a footprint that has remained after all these years.

For today’s adventure, I emailed Lizza to let her know how I had loved her mother’s book and how that book has remained with me for such a long time.

(Oh – and when I fell back to sleep , I had a dream-and-a-half! … You can hear all about it in today’s video-blog 🙂 ).

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT