Taking the filter off and listening

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in Fitness and Health, General update, mindfullness | 3 comments

Doesn’t it look beautiful? This was taken this morning at the park I live close to. There is no filter on it – just a crisp, hazy, dewy field in all its glory. I took three photos this morning. The one above and these two:                   Again, no filters have been applied – this is what the world looks like. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in making things ‘perfect’ that I forget just how stunning my surroundings actually are. I spent some time this morning, just walking. I wrapped up in my big coat, scarf and gloves, left my house and just walked. I needed to go into town for some bits and normally i would drive but today I decided to walk. It takes half an hour to walk into my town centre and most of the time I tell myself : I don’t have time to walk, so I drive. I spend most of my year running from one place to another, one task to the next, and I forget to just stop and breathe. But last week I completed my coursework for this year for my university course and at the weekend I finished my edits for my next book so today, I decided to stop telling myself I didn’t have time and be kind to myself. I have learned a lot this year about myself and how to be kinder to my body. I spent the last four months concentrating on improving my health, increasing my fitness and shaping my body – which is great – but I still wasn’t looking after me, I wasn’t listening to my emotional needs. I don’t spend lots of money on my appearance. I don’t get my hair done at the salon, I dont have my nails done and I don’t spend lots of money on clothes, shoes or bags (I spend a fortune on books but lets not talk about that!). But I am high maintenance when it comes to my mind! Sounds funny, right? But it’s true.  It’s almost like I have a hyperactive brain – it never switches off! Like, ever! There are good things and bad things about this fact. I worry about things that I can’t change, I get anxious about things that are yet to happen and I pick apart things that don’t need dissecting. I lie awake at night when It just wont  shut off and I get emotional when I have so many things whizzing round and I can’t articulate any of it. It is tiring and sometimes I struggle with it. This is when I need to learn to try and take a moment like I did today – but then I tell myself ‘I dont have time.‘ However, when you look at it from another angle, being this way is the whole reason I am who I am. My brain might cause me to feel stressed for the above reasons, but my brain also creates. It imagines and it dreams. It takes me to places I have never been before and it helps me to reach people on a whole different level. The words and stories my brain creates gives other people reason to believe. It helps to access things otherwise...

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The Body Coach 90 day SSS plan – My Story

Posted by on Nov 19, 2017 in Fitness and Health, General update | 0 comments

When I turned 31 this year, something changed. I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but I woke up on my 31st birthday and decided it was time to make a decision about my body and my health. That morning I did a Hiit training session and tagged Joe Wicks – The Body Coach – in my tweet. He replied with birthday wishes and acknowledged the hiit session I had done and this gave me a little spark of encouragement because I had been following his Instagram and Twitter account for some time and really enjoyed his whole ethos around food and fitness. The following day I went shopping and bought new workout clothes, a water bottle, a motivational workout diary and meal planner. I was all ideas but no focus, no actual knowledge of what I was doing. I looked at the 90 day SSS plan online and then went on a hen weekend. I felt excited about the prospect of getting my health on track and I even got up at 6am on the hen weekend and went for a run around the grounds of the house we were staying in. Who am I? I thought to myself as all 28 other women were sleeping in after a heavy night and there I was, running round a field in the rain – this was so out of character for me. It was as though I had my birthday and my whole perception of my body was in question. I had been really suffering with a bowel disease over the last few years and was taking 15 tablets everyday just to get through – painkillers, anti-inflammatory’s, immune suppressants… the lot! But I hated putting all those chemicals inside my body and knew my diet wasn’t helping but I just didn’t know what to do. I had tried cutting food groups out, tried vegetarianism, tried restricting my diet to certain foods, but still, I was not able to pinpoint what it was that was setting off my flares. I was constantly bloated, in pain and passing blood on the regular because of tears in my bowel as my body reacted with what I was feeding it. As a result of all this, it affected my mental health too. I wasn’t depressed, but I was feeling low. It was affecting how I saw myself in the mirror – constantly looking pregnant and puffy – it was affecting what I was choosing to do everyday – very little because I was in pain – and it was affecting those around me because I was always refusing to do things and go places. Now I am not going to sit here and tell you that doing this plan is the answer if you have a bowel disease. Crohns and Colitis are complex diseases with varying levels of severity. I can only speak about my own personal experience and for me, diet changes and exercising have been my saviour. Since starting the 90 day sss plan, my health has improved so much that now, three months later, I no longer take medication for my Colitis. I still have flares and symptoms – there is no cure for this so I will never completely eradicate this from my health – but I...

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A Whole New World

Posted by on Oct 22, 2017 in General update, writing | 0 comments

One of the things I love about being a writer, is when an idea sparks and you cannot control where it takes you. The idea begins to unfold at such a speed that you cannot get the words down on the page quick enough and it becomes a frantic mess of scribbles and drawings. This happened to me last night and I was up until 3am getting the basics of this idea down on paper. It felt incredible. But the thing that impressed me the most was the fact that I think I had this idea about five years ago and it has been sitting in the back of my subconscious all that time, waiting for the right time to step forward again. I have heard before when authors have had this happen, but this is a first for me. About five years ago, one evening in my old house, I had a spark of an idea. It seemed completely ridiculous and it was completely different to anything that I have ever written before. I dont even know why I persisted with it, but I did. I spent hours writing down this idea, brainstorming different aspects of it as it unravelled in my mind. However, after a few hours, I came to a standstill. The creativity stopped. My idea had come up against a wall. It was over. I didnt know how to resolve the hole that I had walked myself into and the story seemed like a waste of time. I had spent hours on this idea and it had fallen flat on its face – it wasn’t going to work. So I put the numerous pieces of paper into a folder and put it away. I didn’t look at them again. I have moved house twice since that evening and both times, these sheets of paper have been moved from place to place, but still, they never came out again. Left at the bottom of a drawer as rejects, notes, pointless ideas that will never work. I forgot all about it. A few days ago something happened in my mind and I had an idea. I felt like it was already formed but it was different to anything I had thought about before. A glimmer of a new world but I didn’t fully understand what it was that I was thinking. It niggled at my attention so I wrote a quick note, relaying the snippets of detail that were pushing through my subconscious. A day or so after that day, I began to think about the story I had put in that bottom draw all those years ago. I didnt remember much about it- not much at all – but something was telling me that I needed to look at it again. I cannot even explain it – I knew I needed to find it. Last night I searched for this story and after looking and nearly giving up because I just could not find it, I finally uncovered it. Then something amazing happened. As I read through these notes, i could feel the spark begin to flicker. The story taking up residence in my mind again and everything started falling into place. The notes I wrote five years ago surprising me because of the depth of which...

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Discovering who I am – my life coaching experience

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in General update, Uncategorized | 0 comments

  It is no secret that I have a lot going on in my life. If you follow me on any of my socials, you will know that alongside writing books I am also a mum to a 10 year old, am overhauling my health and fitness with The Body Coach fitness program and am studying full time at university for a degree in Early Childhood. There’s a lot going on. A couple of months ago I started to feel the strain of it all. At the time I was also working at a school on the days that I was not on campus and juggling everything had become tiresome and, at times, impossible. I was no longer enjoying any of the things I was doing, merely rushing through everything to complete tasks and get the job done. That isn’t any way to live. Writing is my whole life. I absolutely adore the written word so reading and writing books is a true passion of mine. Never am I happier than when I am lost in a story – whether that be one of my own or someone else’s. So when the process was draining me because of all the other tasks in my day to day life, I knew I had to act on it. It was at this time that I spotted a post on Instagram by a lady called Sarah who I had started to follow because she was a support coach on the fitness plan I had signed up to. Sarah was starting some training herself but not fitness training, life coaching. She was looking for people to use as case studies for her learning and I instantly thought – this is what I need; guidance and someone to talk to. Someone away from my situation. So I immediately applied for it and I was over the moon when Sarah chose me as one of her clients. Over the weeks that followed, I had regular Skype sessions with Sarah and she, quite frankly, helped me to turn my life around. Life coaching, as Sarah explained to me when we began, wasn’t a case of her telling me what to do and giving me the answers, but more that she was going to listen and guide me to finding the answers myself – because they were there, I just didn’t listen to myself! Sarah’s compassion, patience, expertise and humour guided me through our sessions and I have never once regretted my decision to let someone else into the madness that is my life. When we began, I couldn’t see where I was going wrong. I was achieving my tasks (mostly – lets not think about the housework or sleep) but it was impacting my health – both physically and mentally – and I wasn’t enjoying any of it. Over the weeks we tried many different techniques to find what worked for me, what was going to breathe the life back into what I was doing and also get the jobs done. I have learned that no matter how much I try to force myself to get creative and write during the day, actually in the middle of the night I write my best. There’s no escaping it – I’m a night owl! I have learned that I...

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Summer holidays & YouTube

Posted by on Sep 4, 2017 in General update, YouTube | 0 comments

Hi everyone, I hope you are well? I cannot believe the summer holidays are over. As of 8am tomorrow morning we will officially be back to school and back into a routine. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely loved spending time with my daughter and our friends and family and finding new places to explore and visit, but I have to be honest, I do struggle with the lack of routine during the summer break. During the half terms, I can sort of manage because its only for a week – two max – and then things revert back to normality. But when it is six whole weeks – sometimes even longer – it can feel a little bit like all the days merge into one and towards the end of the summer holidays you can usually find me wandering the streets saying “what day is it? Monday? Friday? Are we even still in August?” And I am not the only one. The parks are full of parents mumbling about not knowing what day it is or where their sanity has been hiding since day four of week two. But I will miss my little lady. She’s at an age where it is fun to have a conversation with her and go out for lunch and run around the park playing tag. And just the fact that she is now going into year six = YEAR SIX – is just enough to make me feel about a zillion years old. I swear last week I was only 21 – how do I have a nearly 11 year old?! Because of the craziness of the summer break, my YouTube channel took a bit of a hit and was neglected. Something had to give and unfortunately, it was that. I prioritised my dissertation research, book two writing and making memories so YouTube took a back seat. But I am pleased to say that I am BACK! Although I am going into my final year at university this month and I have a book deadline, but I am aiming to get back to some sort of regularity with my channel so I would love for you to stay with me along the way. Here’s a link to my new vlog – it is my book reviews vlog for July and August. These have proved popular with you guys and you seem to like my vlog reviews so I hope you enjoy this one. If you have any requests for vlogs that you would like to see from me – anything at all – just give me a message or comment below and I will do my best to accommodate your requests. I want you to enjoy watching my channel as much as I enjoy making it. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here, just click on the subscribe button and turn the bell on for notifications when I post. And if you’re on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you can connect with me there too! Have a lovely evening and for those whose children went back to school today and those who go back tomorrow or Wednesday, I hope you had/have a lovely first day back to normality! Love Lucie xx Share...

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It’s time to write YOUR life story

Posted by on Aug 20, 2017 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Life is tough. There isn’t a guidebook or  manual and, despite what some may think, nobody has all the answers. And most importantly – nobody can live your life for you. I am 31 years old and I have had my fair share of ups and downs in my life so far. That’s normal, right? Everyone has them. But more recently I have completely changed my outlook on life and changed the way in which I choose to view my life. I have started to make small, but noticeable, changes and by making these changes not only am I happier, but my physical and mental health has improved massively. I have a bowel disease called Ulcerative Colitis (UC) which is the same illness group as Crohn’s Disease (a more widely recognised condition). One of the unfortunate things associated with having an inflammatory based condition is that you are more susceptible to develop other inflammatory conditions. Because of my UC, I also now suffer with ankylosing Spondylitis (arthritis) and Psoriasis. It’s all very glamorous! Up until very recently, my medication intake peaked at 15 tablets per day. These were a mix of pain killers, anti inflammatory and immunosuppressant drugs. I absolutely hate putting chemicals into my body however, when I decided to stop taking these tablets a few years ago, I spent 4 days in hospital on intravenous steroids and antibiotics. Stopping the medication wasn’t an option anymore and this upset me. My consultant advised me to look at my diet and after weeks of trawling the internet and finding massively conflicting advice for IBD sufferers, I felt completely overwhelmed and decided that it was easier to just take all the tablets and not worry too much about the food I was putting into my body. So whats changed now? Last month, I turned 31. No big deal, right? But something changed. I couldnt tell you what it was – maybe I was having an early mid life crisis! But I felt different. I kept thinking that there must be a way out of the rut I was in – food making me feel ill and tablets making me pile on weight. I needed to find my way out – and I found it in The Body Coach program. This program is working for me because it isnt your bog standard ‘diet’ quick fix, it is a complete lifestyle overhaul – exactly what I needed. The program doesn’t just tell me what to eat – it tells me WHY I am eating the food and WHAT the food does when it enters my body and is converted into energy, or muscle, or fat. The program, doesn’t just tell me what exercise to do – its tells me WHY I need to do the exercises and WHICH ones will work for different results. But for me, the main draw for this program was the emotional, psychological and self belief element of progression involved. Because all the people I have met through this program really care. And this is the difference between signing up to a diet plan and making a solid change in the way in which you live your life. This plan is working for me – it may not work for you and I am not here to try...

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An open letter to all children, schools and parents on Sports Day

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What does sports day mean to you? Some say winning. Some say taking part – I say sharing the love. Quite often it is easy to forget the true magic that it is to be a child. But for me, whenever I attend sports day to watch my daughter, it is glaringly obvious. I didn’t always see it but now I do, I want to share this with you. To the child that never gives up: Good for you! When you put yourself forward for a task and it goes wrong, to keep going is an admirable trait. When that beanbag falls off your head, you put it back on and keep going. When you fall over, you get back up. When you drop the baton, you pick it up and keep running. This isn’t called failing, this is called Determination and Perseverance. To the child who got injured: Don’t be sad that you can’t carry on. Instead, look around you and listen. Can you hear the clapping? That’s for you. Because you did so well and you tried. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t finish, it matters that you started. And that clapping isn’t just from the parents and the teachers, that’s your friends and other students too. They’re proud of you as well. This isn’t called failing, this is called Compassion and Camaraderie. To the child who needs support: So what! You may have a disability, or struggle to understand what it is you are being asked to do. You might struggle with loud noises or use a wheelchair. But has it stopped you from taking part? No. And look by your side. There’s your LSA. Or another student. Or a parent helper. Do you know why they are running beside you? Because they care about you and they want you as part of their team. And can you hear the parents and children chanting your name? They are proud of you for taking part too. So you came last? This isn’t failing, this is Courage and Encouragement. To the child who is scared to take part because they believe they are rubbish: You are amazing. You may not feel confident running or jumping over hurdles and you might keep dropping the egg off the spoon but, do you know what? It doesn’t matter. Because the second you participate, you are learning how to do all of those things. It takes strength to do something that scares you and you just did it. Can you hear everyone chanting your team colour? That’s for you too. You might not come first, but you conquered your fears and that is ten times more powerful than any sticker telling you that you won. This isn’t failing; this is called being Brave and having Pride. To all the parents who cheer – not just for their own children but for every single child taking part: Your cheers of encouragement might seem trivial to you, but to the children it could mean the world. You could be encouraging a child who, up until now, had a tummy ache because they hate sports. You could be cheering a child who thought they were rubbish but who just came second!! You could be cheering a child who has no friends but now hears chants and clapping because...

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New Vlog

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Good afternoon!   There is a new Vlog up on my YouTube channel – this month’s book reviews! Here’s a link: Alternatively, just click on the YouTube button to the right hand side of the screen.   If you enjoy my vlogs, please click subscribe so that you get notifications when I upload a new one and also, please click like if you enjoy the video 🙂 Happy Friday!   xxx Share...

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Welcome to my new Website

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in General update, Welcome | 2 comments

            Hello and welcome to my new website! Do yo like it? I haven’t blogged properly for nearly two years. How crazy is that? I have written the odd blog post and have written plenty for other websites – mostly for The Romaniacs – but my own blog has been neglected as a result of a hectic lifestyle and no time. Whilst my life is still hectic and I still don’t have very much spare time, I am going to try and blog here at least once a month, just to keep things ticking over. I want to keep in touch with everyone and I think it is important to try and keep that contact open – so I will try my best. I have recently launched my YouTube channel. I think it is easier – and more current – to keep upto date with everyone via Vlogging so I will be vlogging more than I blog. But you will find details and links for my vlogs on here, so dont worry, you will always know where I am! 🙂 And for those who signed up to my blog previously and have maybe missed my most recent news, I signed a two-book deal with Harper Impulse last year and my debut novel, The First Time Mums Club is out this Friday! (5th May). Whoop! I still can’t quite believe it. A few thank you’s: First and foremost, thanks again to Lucy Felthouse of Writer Marketing Services: Lucy has been awesome and is always on the other end of an email when I need help with my website. Lucy has helped with the redesigning of this site and, I hope you agree, she’s done a FAB job. Thanks to my agent, Kate Nash: Kate has been amazing at keeping me going and helping me to achieve what I thought was impossible. Kate is always looking out for what is best for me and how to drive me and my career forward. Having such an understanding agent really helps to make these things happen – I don’t know what I would do without her. Thanks to my editors: Charlotte Ledger and Emily Ruston have been wonderful to work with on The First Time Mums Club over the last year. Both ladies are incredibly patient and focused and the help from both has enabled me to get the story to where it is now. Always there on the end of an email to give advice, guidance and praise, it has been their love for the story that has also kept me going – I hope you are both equally proud of where we are now. Thanks to Samantha Gale: For working so hard to help promote The First Time Mums Club and for responding to all my waffling emails and questions which I send her ALL THE TIME! She is super talented at her job and is the nicest person, taking the time to help me understand the processes of promotion and guiding me every step along the way. And thanks to YOU: For coming back here, to my website, and supporting me as an author. Without your encouragement and support -I wouldn’t be here. There are more book related thanks in the acknowledgements, but I just...

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Writing a book is just making up a story, right?

Posted by on Jul 19, 2015 in General update | 1 comment

Wrong. Of course, writing a novel is about writing a story, however, there is so much more to it. As a writer, you have a responsibility to the reader to make sure that not only are you telling a great story, with amazing characters and a good balance of highs and lows, but you also need to make sure that your facts are correct, that you have exercised all areas of expertise to make sure that everything is authentic and believable and most of all, that your readers can identify with the story and the characters. If it was a case of just writing a story off the top of your head and publishing it, surely everyone would be doing it. But it is hard work. Hard, but incredibly rewarding when you cross that finish line. Take my current book, for example. I deal with the incredibly serious subject of domestic violence. It is so important that I not only handle it with sensitivity and compassion for those who will read it, but also that I show the real side of this terrible subject. I want my readers to see how terrifying it is, how debilitating, how dangerous and how soul destroying it is. I want the reader to see the real lows of experiencing such terror, but also, the way in which, with the right help and support, you CAN get through it and you CAN make a difference. But how do I know all this – I’ve never been in that situation before. This is where research comes into play. Not only do I need to research general novel writing things such as setting, character traits, character jobs, journey times, cab prices from one place to another, how to pull a pint…etc, but I suddenly have to know what happens when someone is in a violent relationship, what support are they given when they report it? Where can they go to be safe? What happens if they are so scared, they drop the charges, and so much more. I have been extremely lucky with the response I have received when asking for help. To help make my novel as authentic and real as possible, I have had input from many professionals. In this book alone, I have spoken with two police officers (one in the Met and one local officer) a victim support police officer, a doctor, a victim of domestic violence, a landlady, various people who live in the area where some of the book is based, a paramedic and the Executive Director of The Acid Survivors Trust International. I am also, through a third person, being put into contact with a women’s refuge and someone from the IDVA service (Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy). It is only because all these professionals are SO KIND to give me some of their precious time to answer my questions and send me links and information, that I am able to make sure that I do the subject matter justice. I want my readers to read my novel and want to help those victims and support them and to get a better understanding of what really goes on behind closed doors. And if any victims of domestic violence read my book, I want them to feel empowered to seek help...

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