Monday, 31 December 2012

Moving house.

I was a big fan of A A Milne's Winnie the Pooh when I was growing up.  Recently I chose Pooh as an avatar; a delightful picture of him sitting down with a huge frown, with the words Think, think, think! as a caption.  I have since farewelled Pooh as an avatar, because people were starting to call me Pooh, as if I had morphed into a furry round male bear! I happen to think that Pooh is a very wise bear ... not the bear of 'very little brain' that he gives himself credit for!  And it is lovely to sit down and have a conversation with him, because inevitably, he comes up with some very wise observations!  This particular talk took place when I was feeling a bit sorry for myself ... (I am over it now - and very much looking forward to our next challenge - knowing that my friends are only a phone call or text or email away!)

Mandy and Pooh sat together at the bottom of the garden; each thinking their separate thoughts, but somehow feeling connected to each other, happy just to be .  They did this for a while, Pooh humming a little tune, and listening to the echoes inside his empty honey pot.

Something - Pooh wasn’t sure what - made him suddenly look up.  “Mandy,” he said.  “Why are you looking so sad?”

A tear rolled down Mandy’s face and she wiped it away with the back of her hand.

“It’s nothing Pooh.  I’m ok.”

“Oh,” said Pooh, in a troubled kind of way.  “That’s a very sad sort of nothing Mandy.”

Mandy’s eyes began to fill.  “I’m sorry Pooh; it’s just … just… well I am going away.  To another place.”

Pooh licked some honey off his paw.  “That could be fun Mandy.  When are you coming back?”

“That’s just it, Pooh,” said Mandy sadly.  “I’m not coming back.  I shall live somewhere else. Far Away.”

“How far is Far Away, Mandy?  Will I still be able to see you?”

“Well no Pooh.  It would take you ages in a car.  Not so long in a plane.”

“Then that’s ok Mandy.  I’ll come and visit you.  With all our friends.”

Mandy looked sadly at Pooh.  “People say that Pooh, but often they never do.”

Pooh sniffed and felt something stir inside his tummy.  Perhaps he was hungry. He eyed the bottom of his honey pot but it was still empty.  So he decided to think.

“Mandy,” he said.  “What did you say you had to do to fill up your honey pot with the most delicious honey that ever existed?”

“Um, I think I said you had you use your imagination, Pooh.  Honey never runs out when you use your imagination.”

“That’s right,” said Pooh happily.  “How ‘bout if you imagine YOU are a honey pot and fill it with your friends!  Then you will always carry them around inside you … and they will never run out!”

Mandy thought about that for a minute.  She wasn’t sure if she wanted to look like a big, round honey pot! Then she gave Pooh her biggest and best hug ever.  “Oh thank you, dearest Pooh.  You are so right.  You will always be with me, no matter how far away I go.  If I keep a picture of you inside my head and one right next to my heart, we can still talk to each other, anywhere and anytime."

“Yes,” said Pooh.  “No matter how far, Far Away is, I will always manage to find you and you will always find me.  Will you keep an extra big honey pot for me … filled with especially yummy honey.”

“Definitely,” said Mandy happily.  “The biggest pot you ever did see … big enough for you and all the friends in the world!”

“Where did you say you were going Mandy?”

“To a place I’ve ever only dreamed about.  A slice of heaven – right here on earth.”

“Ah!” signed Pooh.  “You must be going to the Bee Hive … “
(The Bee-Hive houses New Zealand's ministers of parliament ... a building shaped very much like a bee hive - if only they could be as industrious as real bees!)

"If there comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever."

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Your inner child

If you write from the heart and soul, you will touch the life of someone else ... and maybe make a difference. Perhaps that is all you ever need from 'telling a story,' or writing a poem, or painting a picture ... or taking a photograph that inspires you. If you just let it flow, you are more likely to find that special magic from the soul ... just let it go. You can hug it to yourself, or you can share it with a friend; a non- judgemental friend. Or you can open yourself to positive criticism, polish it up, and send it out into the world. Either way, is okay ... as long as you are true to yourself.

This poem was inspired by reading Louise Hay’s, ‘You can heal your Life,’ recommended to me by Phil Linklater, Life Coach extraordinaire, whose life coaching course at the New Zealand Institute of Business Studies, ( continues to inspire people from all walks of life, to learn about themselves and make a difference to the lives of others. Louise talks about the importance of cherishing your inner child; do not berate yourself, for somehow ‘not being good enough,’ do not continue to criticise and blame yourself for things that happened long ago – imagine you are still that little child; in need of love and reassurance that it is indeed okay to get things wrong sometimes. Be kind to yourself and your inner child.

Dare to dream

We sit together (you and me)
cracking nuts
way up high in our favourite walnut tree
digging out the flesh

with earthy fingers
preserving the shell
for infinite possibility

A little boat darting in and out of eddies
catching the current

racing to the finish line
a pool for fairy folk, dancing at midnight
round and round the magic fairy ring
a speckled necklace that springs


We whisper to each other
our deepest, darkest secrets
Let the cool green leaves hide our faces
Only the sparrows know we are here
Nodding wisely to each other
flitting here
          and ... there!

We reach out trembling fingers - but alas!
they dart away, sensing danger.


You look at me with huge blue eyes
And I am touched, that you would share with me
your thoughts, your fears

your yearning
to be free.

I cradle you in my arms,
long to soothe the ache
that fills your Soul
for you are part of me,
we are connected.

I promise to keep you safe!
remind you, of those happy, joyful times
long ago
when nothing else mattered
but to sit alone, cracking nuts
in your favourite walnut tree

And daring to dream.

Amanda Edwards (c) 2012



Thursday, 27 December 2012

A brief history of New Zealand (Aotearoa)

This posting is for my 'international' friends I have met through various writing groups on LinkedIn.  I hope you enjoy my version of New Zealand's history!

Island Spirit

They say no man’s an island
and I believe this to be true
For we are all connected
Land, sky, sea, me and you

Aotearoa lay shrouded
obscured by long white cloud
A silent untouched paradise
Until its shores were found.

A young but turbulent history
Torn apart from Gondwanaland
Sanctuary for native species
 Until the coming of man.

First the legendary Morioris
placed their footprint on our shores
and then the Polynesian Maori
In our waters dipped their oars.

Seeking an island sanctuary
to transplant culture and their dreams
folk tales, myths and legends
wove tight the island’s seams

Then came sealers and whalers
to bludgeon, kill and maim
so much blood spilled on our shores
no innocence left to claim.

The missionaries preached religion
and tried to pave the way
for an English way of thinking
that Maori gods could not hold sway.

More bloodshed over land rights
a clash of cultures and beliefs
to protect them from each other
a Treaty signed by troubled Chiefs.

And so our island’s history
became a partnership of sorts
for people of all nations
a multicultural mix of thoughts

An island thrust into being
from earth’s inner core
tremendous force and fire
which even now we watch in awe

For Nature in an instant
can crumble our lives to dust
yet remind us we are connected
to a world that cares for Us.

No man is an island
No matter how we wish it so
for we are all connected
The only certainty we know.

we are

land of long white cloud
torn from Gondwanaland

born of pressure and fire

Island Paradise
rugged mountain spine
connecting Earth and Sky

first the Moriori
stepped upon our shores
then Polynesian Maori
dipped their oars

sealers and whalers
bludgeoned, maimed and killed

sands awash with blood
all innocence destroyed.

missionaries preached
their ‘foreign’ God

no understanding
of the umbilical cord
connecting Maori
with the land

waves of settlers; farmers, miners
British soldiers; land wars
native bush, slashed and burned

a legacy of greed
perhaps it's not too late
to save what we have left

a conscious awakening
reconnects us with our roots

Oh Island Paradise!
let your rugged mountain spine

help us reach the stars
yet keep our feet upon the ground.

Amanda Edwards (c) 2012


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Being connected

The ancient Greek Philosopher Epictetus wrote: "the Universe is but one great city, full of beloved ones, divine and human by nature, endeared to each other.  Caring for each other is a cosmic  obligation that we all share. We each are an individual fragment of a collective soul and are called to help each other, to live with a compassionate awareness of all of humanity."

(Invisible Acts of Power, Carolyn Myss)

If we are all part of a 'collective soul' then it makes a lot of sense to do all that we can to help each other, because one small act of kindness or compassion, will have a ripple effect throughout the Universe.  At Christmas, we all reach out to our family and friends to celebrate the day, no matter what our beliefs. It can be a time of great joy, but also sadness, when the people we love are no longer here to celebrate with us.  How wonderful if we could hold out our hand, and reach out to people who need a bit of extra love at Christmas. I wrote a poem a while back with this idea in mind. If we hold hands, and feel that connection with each other, we could spread a bit of love, right around the world.


Oh, how I wish
I could hold your hand
and feel the love
flow from you to me
Just once.

Perhaps then
I would have no doubt
That when the gloom
settles around my heart
I can remember your touch

And know ...

Your light will always
penetrate my darkness
No matter what.

Amanda Edwards (c) 2012

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Mystery at Dead Man's Ridge

A big thank you to Janis van der Laan ( who has just finished editing my first manuscript Mystery at Dead Man's Ridge, to a publishable standard, ready for the next step ... either self publishing as an e-book, or looking for a 'traditional publisher.'  Very exciting times! Janis is busy completing the Proof reading and Editing Course at NZIBS, and is aiming to specialise in children's stories.  She is keen, though, to proof read all kinds of writing to develop her already considerable skills.  Janis has been amazing; as a proof reader, researcher of suitable publishers, illustrator and confidence booster!  I thoroughly recommend her.

I have also received help from a very successful children's author, Des Hunt, whose latest e book, Crown Park is now available to be purchased.  It is a wonderful story which I have reviewed on Amazon.  Check it out!  My first review!  Des has a number of fabulous books for children; all of which I have devoured; each one satisfying for both adults and children alike. I can't thank him (or Janis) enough for the work they have put in on my behalf.  It is very humbling.

During my writing course with Janice Marriott, at NZIBS,  I was asked to write a letter from the point of view of a main character; a task designed to help me 'step inside their shoes' for a while.  This letter I wrote is quite a useful 'preview' if you like, of what you can expect from my novel Mystery at Dead Man's Ridge.

Dear Tom.

            I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I kind of miss the farm!  I know you’re always going on (and on) about me being a ‘city girl’ and all, but I have to admit, life in town is boring after the mystery at Dead Man’s Ridge!  I mean, how many city girls do you know, get caught up in sheep rustling and cannabis growing?  My friends back here just don’t believe me!

            Seriously, I hope you’re taking good care of Rascal and Billy for me. I so miss them but I guess our apartment would be a little crowded with a dog and a lamb!  Mum’s doing much better.  They think they’ve got all the cancer and so far there’s no sign of it coming back.  Thank god.  I was so scared. So was Mum I think, but she’s not admitting it. Anyhow, she says I can come back next summer; I can’t wait.  She’s going to come too, I think.  ‘Time to heal old wounds’, she says.  I guess she means about Dad.  He’s been emailing me heaps and I’m looking forward to seeing him again.

            Write back if you can be bothered, little cuz, or maybe send me an e-mail ... you know, modern technology and all that. Hope you haven’t been doing any brown eyes lately!  Could be a little cold riding your bike to school in the winter!

            See ya.  Hugs to Aunty Liz and Uncle Ted.

            Love Maggie.  PS, have ya seen Luke around at all?
Keep a look out for Mystery at Dead Man's Ridge.  Hopefully it will be unleashed soon!!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A poem to share

This is my very first  post!  I love the idea of an on line journal where I can share the things I write with like minded people.  I am a graduate of the New Zealand Institute of Business Studies, where I completed a Course in Writing for Children, with Janice Marriott as my tutor.  As a result of this, I have rekindled my desire to write and express myself in the best way I can. As a member of the Student Discussion Board, with NZIBS I am in touch daily with friends who love to write, edit, proofread, take photographs, and some who are learning to be journalists, life coaches and be successful in business.  It is a wonderful community to be part of.  I have also joined LinkedIn and have met many interesting people who also love to share their thoughts and dreams for themselves and the world.  It has been amazing to make connections so quickly and I can feel the difference in myself already ... more self confidence, a desire to make a difference, somehow... and an expansion of my heart and soul to include so many other people in my life.

I have been experiementing with poetry over the last few weeks, trying to express how I feel about things, and trying to make a 'connection' with others, who have experienced similar feelings in their own lives.  As I share stuff, I realise just how interconnected we all are, with a whole raft of emotions, experiences and understandings about life that we can all relate to. Sharing my writing has also brought a wealth of feedback; positive and affirming, constructive criticism that has made me look carefully at what I have written and how it could be 'improved.'  Writing is such a joyful experience ... and as I write more, I become much more in tune with my Self ... working out who I am and what my purpose in life is.  A work in progress!

Here is a poem that caused a bit of a stirr recently.  A poem I wrote in response to a friend who told us about her 'retreats' - where each session begins with the participants looking deeply into the eyes of another person for 15 minutes or so .... silently.  It brings tears and emotions and helps you look right into the soul of another ... and your own. (Not that I have tried it!) This idea inspired me to write the following - with a little help from my friends in the editing process.


Look into my eyes
what do you see?
a reflection of you
inside of me

Look at me closely
let the tears flow
feel the compassion
the emotions below

Dive in a bit further
look into my soul
feel the connection
for this is your goal

Look to the child
who lives in your heart
reassure her again
that you'll never part

Find your own courage
believe in your Self
you have the answers
but if you need help –

Gaze into my eyes
hold on to my hand
build up your strength
until you understand

We are connected
you're never alone
trust in your power
fear not the unknown.
It is definitely my 'time to write.'  I hope you will enjoy my blogs and you are welcome to join me in my writing and spiritual journey ... lots of wonderful, magical discoveries ahead.
Aroha nui