I found my rhythm. I let go and just beat that drum. Drum Trek

We went to a drumming circle because an old friend told us we should. I did not know how to drum. I was really quite nervous. There were children and old folks, all ages in between. All levels of expertise, or not. There were rattles to shake, plastic tubes with the magical pentatonic scale, and of course a van full of drums. Big drums, little drums. Colourful drums, brown drums. Drums to bang with hands or sticks.
I tried to watch the hands of the woman beside me, tried to copy and learn. She was too fast and sure. I tried to watch my child, in front of me, with a big bass drum, beating happily to the lug-dub of her own heart. I tried to mimic the skilled ones. I couldn’t. I had to listen. Had to feel it in my feet, my hands, my body. Had to allow the letting go of brain and thinking it.
It came when the fear of it left. Like everything. I found my rhythm. I let go and just beat that drum.
We drummed and sang. I saw all the wee fears of life lift from the faces of the people there.
Tightness of eyes became smiles. Big wide smiles circled.

A wee girl came and stood just outside the circle. She was oh so shy. Paul Dear saw that shyness and did some magic. She came in, to the centre of the circle and by the end of the session was the conductor of our very noisy orchestra. This image will warm my heart for quite some years to come.

Paul Dear is travelling with a van filled with drums and bang shaky things. He is raising money for the charities underfunded in the latest cutbacks. Please donate anything you can. Please go – and drum your cares away!

The route and project –


Donate here –

Money money money.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Workshops – 2 places free of charge

Please bring your laptop or similar. We are going to set up a WordPress site. You are going to learn all the widgets, gadgets, tools and ultimately how to publish your information on line. You will then learn how to share your information with other bloggers and social media users. You will be setting up networks, in order to be discoverable on line.
This is free advertising. This is how you take charge of your business. This is one way to tell people who you are, what you do and how to buy your book/ artwork/ service.
You are then invited to link with me, and the other people in your group, so that we can all support each other by sharing each others blog content, if it seems appropriate.
I will continue to coach you through the teething issues.
This is empowering. It gives you a platform for your talents and places you in control of your business. it’s fun, once you get the hang of it and it gives you a real sense of achievement.
You can build a selling page. You can earn money. You may even be inspired.

Yesterday I taught my first workshop for Women@Work. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It seems that after a lifetime learning, listening, I developed a skill. I like to teach. I like to pass on the stuff I learned. HI-Arts and Emergents coached me for years and years. I signed up for every course they ran, absorbed everything I could.
My learning was funded, for the most part and that was a gift, a luxury everyone really should be able to enjoy. I wish I could be funded to tutor classes. That may come.

My next workshop will be in the Moray Arts Centre. There are 12 available places. I am offering 2 discretionary free places on this course. If you feel you need to know how to set up a blog site, and then blog, but simply cannot afford to attend, please get in touch and I will choose two people to attend this, free of charge.

That’s The Moray Arts Centre, Findhorn on 9th July at 2pm – 4pm. If you have an artwork, poetry collection, book or something else and you now want an audience and on line discoverability, then come along. There will be tea and coffee, maybe some homemade Irish soda bread, even biscuits!

Any questions, please feel free to email me via the contact form below. I look forward to meeting you. Don’t forget your laptop!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Branding and Blogging your book #2

Blogging is the telling of the story behind the book or artwork. It’s the back story. It’s the stuff that makes the artist tick and the reason we connect with them. Blogging is not just self-promotion. Blogging is a reaching-out to that unknowable cyber community to say hi, how are you? Blogging can be a hug, and we can all use a daily hug.
Blogging could be your diary or your dreams. It could be your reality or your fantasy. It doesn’t matter. It’s a tool to help you engage with your audience.
Often, your readers will read your blog, just to connect with you. They may like the way you write, or your humour. They may even think you are clever and wise. Whatever their motivation, there may be others in the world who also value your own unique insights. When it comes to sales, this is invaluable. It means you have an audience.
If you are an artist, author, poet and you are not regularly blogging, then you need to be. You need to just do it. Think of a thing and write it.

Still a bit stuck? OK, let’s do another workshop. Women and men welcome. Bring your laptops, pens and paper and we’ll set up a WordPress account, figure out the widgets and buttons.

The cost for this is £30 per person. There will be refreshments.
Date (tbc) is 9th July in The Moray Art Centre at 2pm until 4pm in Findhorn. Please use the contact form to book.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Branding and Blogging your product

Women only!

With all thanks to Women@Work, I am delighted to be able to offer you a free workshop. This first session will focus on your unique selling point. That is, finding the fabulous within your product. Whether you have an established sweet shop, a hobby, a book or something completely different, you know you need to sell more in order to survive in this market.
Branding is the personal stamp you create for your product. It’s the packaging and the presentation. It’s the way you present yourself to the world. Branding should be well thought out, planned and professional. It could reflect your own style and personality, but it needs to engage with your audience, your market.
Blogging is the writing of the story around your product. I am going to teach you how to set up a basic wordpress blogging site and coach you through the technicalities. This is a very effective marketing tool. It means you are discoverable on-line. It means you can boast, brag and even complain (some days) about your product. Whether you are selling lettuce or books, you need to find your market, engage with it and keep a tight hold on it.
Join me for lunch at the Nairn Community Centre at 12 Noon on Wednesday 24th June and we’ll talk it through. Bring your laptop and some paper and pens. I look forward to seeing you.
You need to book via the Eventbrite link –

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Thrillers With Attitude Literary Smorgasbord: Orla Broderick


I made a conscious decision many years ago to live as honestly as I could. Sometimes, this can be a tad embarrassing !

Originally posted on thrillers with attitude:

If you have ever been anywhere near a writing group or book festival of any kind, you will know that writers come in all shapes and sizes, from big, robust circles, to tiny, stabby stars. They come in different flavours too, from cool, classic vanilla, to eyeball-exploding, triple-hot chilli sauce. Some of the nicest people around are writers, but some of them truly are mad, bad and dangerous to know.

Thrillers With Attitude has undertaken to meet up with a few of these weirdly-shaped and strangely flavoured writers, some well-established, others emerging, so that you, dear reader, can find out more about them without endangering body or soul.

Welcome then, to the Thrillers With Attitude Literary Smorgasbord. My guest this week is author, Orla Broderick.  

Hi Orla, thank you for agreeing to take part in the Literary Smorgasbord.  Please tell us a little about yourself – what…

View original 811 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Moray Steiner School

“First of all there’s silence. There’s a still calm” she says. She tells me this helps her think. It’s easier to concentrate if all the kids are quiet. She tells me the teacher left the classroom for five minutes and all the children just continued with their work.
“I want to be challenged mum. I don’t want to simply sit down, do as I’m told and learn what everyone else learns. I want more.” That’s what she said after her first taster day up at The Moray Steiner School.
“I don’t want to spend the next six years learning to be a sheep, just doing whatever everyone else does. I don’t want to have to put up with crap.”
She is twelve years old.
“I want to read the books I’m not supposed to read. I want to understand the world. Can I study the stuff I’m interested in?”
The Steiner teacher describes her as “a joy”. She can’t wait to get her hands on her, can’t wait to find out what her passions are, test her knowledge, her perceived boundaries, stretch her beyond her limits and help her discover the world.

We all know mainstream education has issues. The topic is up for discussion in Holyrood this week. It’s no secret that teachers are limited in what they can teach, that the curriculum has little wiggle room for the independent mind, that resources are dwindling. It’s common knowledge that the brightest kids are often overlooked and learn only to keep quiet and do as they are told.
I have a new job. It’s not well paid, but it’s a start. I’ve offered to clean the school, cut the grass, help in any way I can in order to off-set the Steiner school fees. I’ve even asked my estranged parents if they could possibly help us out. This next year will be financially very tough on me. I have to establish myself in a new area. If you can help me out at all, I would really really appreciate it. A fiver, a tenner, anything, please. She deserves it.

After two taster days she began to change. At breakfast time I was told about chemistry experiments and the difference between acids and bases. I was instructed how to write convincing dialogue. I was even taught how to safely build and light a bonfire. At dinner time my education continued with detailed rules of the ball games she had previously avoided. My participation was compulsory.

“I am just me, mum. I am happy about me. I don’t fit in in mainstream school because I am an individual.”

I am trying to raise the money to get her through the next year. I need two thousand pounds. Please talk about this, please tweet and retweet, please tell your friends.

foto 4 copy

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment