Category Archives: Writing Works

All about writing – updates, tips and inspirations.

Lost in Light

I wonder if I’ll ever cease to be amazed by the power of meditation. Reading Eckhart Tolle’s Stillness Speaks – another transformational book of his – has drawn me deeper into the practice, with joyful results! The complete concept for my next novel Lost in Light and sequel to Out of Air (see My Books) has arrived in technicolour. You know how it goes: weeks, months, years of living occasionally converge into a point of perfect clarity.

If you’re interested in the storyline, please click on that last link. In the meantime, the following image, poem and quotes encapsulate its heartbeat:



Embraced by love
beyond her dreams,
a formless fear
arises inside

What if it all
vanished tomorrow,
never to return her
into the light?

Yet love’s power
beckons her deeper
towards the heart
of the sun

Where she feels the fear
but has to follow,
in order to learn
that there is no loss

Only change –
and pain is caused by
the simple illusion
of holding on

is the answer
to receiving the gift
of grace.

©Naomi Estment

“Throughout history, there have been women and men who, in the face of great loss, illness, imprisonment, or impending death, accepted the seemingly unacceptable and thus found “the peace that passeth all understanding'”.” – Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

“Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.” – Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

My thanks again to Amanda Patterson of The Write Co., whose two novel-writing courses I’ve completed in the past. They continue to teach me, profoundly, along with the downloads from the phenomenal Writers Telesummit and Your Creative Career Telesummit. One of the things I’ve learnt regarding the nature of chick lit (my natural genre, mixed with romance) are the three primary themes – betrayal, revenge and loss.

If you’re familiar with Out of Air, you’ll know it involves some juicy betrayal. Dust on Fire gets down and dirty with revenge, while Lost in Light explores loss. Nevertheless, being chick lit, they’re all a light read 🙂 Nothing like variety to spice up the challenge of keeping pen to paper, and consistent meditation to keep it real. In line with that thought, here’s a final quote from Stillness Speaks:

“Artistic creation, sports, dance, teaching, counseling – mastery in any field of endeavor implies that the thinking mind is either no longer involved at all or at least taking second place. A power and intelligence greater than you and yet one with you in essence takes over. There is no decision-making process anymore; spontaneous right action happens, and “you” are not doing it. Mastery of life is the opposite of control. You become aligned with the greater consciousness. It acts, speaks, does the works.” – Eckhart Tolle

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Timely Message from the Writing Stratosphere

Wintry warmth soothes my bones, spreading Sunday laziness through my body. Indistinct doggie sounds decorate the background. A yap here, gallop there, punctuated by noisy chewing, which I’m determinedly ignoring. I mean, really, how much damage can they do out here? The first whiffs of Spring float her pending arrival on the still air. O The Oprah Magazine is pleasant company, serving up some inspiring women’s stories and stunning images. What’s this? The sparkle of our nearby pool reflects sweetly off the page.

INSPIRING ARTICLE – O, The Oprah Magazine South Africa


Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat Pray Love shares some timely insight. ‘Nearly all the women I know,’ she writes, ‘are stressing themselves sick over the pathological fear that they simply aren’t doing enough with their lives.’ Despite the fact that each and every one is doing ‘a lot’. Doesn’t that ring a clanging bell? It does for me 🙂 Elizabeth confides something enlightening: after writing 5 books, never mind the millions of copies sold and the movie just launched, she worries that she hasn’t written the right kinds of books, or that she’s maybe dedicated too much of her life to writing, thereby neglecting other aspects of her being. She asks: ‘Can we all lighten up a little bit?’

Brilliant point, corroborated by my primary muse, our gorgeous Jina. She’s a staunch believer that when all else fails, and even when it doesn’t, the best thing to do is RELAX!


And when you’re done with relaxing, PLAY!

JINA AS A KITTEN: ‘Please can we play?’

Uh-oh, hysterical barking. A silver-grey streak catches the corner of my eye. Okay, so even Jina falls short sometimes. Composure be damned, I rush to her rescue. Guess all we can manage is our best in each moment. Or for a fresh change, a little less than our best!
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Outlook is unique.

VIEW FROM THE DECK – Welgevonden Game Reserve, South Africa

Ah, the lure of a warm wooden deck, with a view of infinity! Squinting into the morning sunlight, I let it’s rays lick my throat. Vampires flirt with my mind. In particular, Edward Cullen. It’s all Sam’s fault. She’s the one who got me infected. Right here in this vivid piece of heaven. So I skip an early game drive – only one – to luxuriate in bed with my electric blanket. The bushveld runs on African time, which means there’s plenty to treasure.

I struggle a little to get into Twilight. There’s a challenge in diverting attention from nature. Birds twitter their greetings, while the scent of thatch cosies around me. It’s not compulsory, of course, but I’m curious about these books, being a novelist. What is it that makes them wing off the shelves? Can’t say I’m much the wiser by the ‘blood-slurping’ end, but it’s been entertaining. Thanks Sammy. I’ll read the next one, for interest’s sake. One thing I know anew, though, is that my novels will remain tailored to my own unique outlook. That’s just the way it is 🙂

Quotes to consider:

“Life… It tends to respond to our outlook, to shape itself to meet our expectations.” – Richard M. DeVos

“It is in literature that the concrete outlook of humanity receives its expression.” – Alfred North Whitehead

“Love…doesn’t allow any room for pettiness or narrow outlook.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Here’s a pic of the culprit, just for the record:

LODGE BEDROOM – Welgevonden Game Reserve, South Africa
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Loafing is a necessary luxury.

It gives rise to inspiration.

Quotes to consider:

“To loaf is a science, to loaf is to live” – Honore de Balzac

“Loafing needs no explanation and is its own excuse.” – Christopher Morley

“It is better to have loafed and lost, than never to have loafed at all” – James Thurber

“In producers, loafing is productive; and no creator, of whatever magnitude, has ever been able to skip that stage, any more than a mother can skip gestation.” – Jacques Barzun
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Uniqueness contributes colour.

Its celebration brightens the world.

Quotes to consider:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss

“It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else.” – Henri Matisse

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams
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Personality is provocative.

It’s no co-incidence that The Lion King‘s Zazu is one of these!

Quotes to consider:

“Personality is everything in art and poetry.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.” – Mae West

“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” – Albert Einstein
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Texture entices touch.

It graces the world with depth and dimension.

Quotes to consider:

“Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.” – Ralph Fiennes

“The past becomes a texture, an ambience to our present.” – Paul Scott

“Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory.” – Kazuo Ishiguro

“Carob works on the principle that, when mixed with the right combination of fats and sugar, it can duplicate chocolate in color and texture. Of course, the same can be said of dirt.” – Sandra Boynton
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Authenticity is about being.

JINA as a kitten

Too much doing can lead to undoing.

Quotes to consider:

“What we are looking for is what is looking.” – St. Francis of Assisi

“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.” – W. H. Auden

“Serve others for they are reflections of the same Entity of which you are yourself another reflection. No one of you has any authenticity, except in reference to the Original. Feel always kinship with all creation.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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“Writers Write”

Sincere thanks to Amanda Patterson of The Write Co., since I completed her Writers Write 2 novel-writing course today. This is the follow-on to the first course, Writers Write, which helped immensely with my first novel, OUT OF AIR. It’s … Continue reading

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One of the most precious gifts of yoga is the mindfulness of breath, and its deep flow into and out of the body. This is not only incredibly relaxing, but cleansing and energizing as well. Above all, it helps to bring your awareness into the present moment. The crazy thing is that I’ve been isolating the experience to the actual classes, without practising it in the rest of my life. When in fact, each and every moment we are free to breathe however we choose!

Apparently us women especially have a tendency to breathe shallowly, something I certainly do, as I’ve discovered while scuba diving. So much so that I often unconsciously skip-breathe underwater. While this can increase dive-time considerably, it leads to a splitting headache on surfacing, which is attributable to raised carbon-dioxide levels. This brings my novel, OUT OF AIR, to mind. As the title suggests, it explores the topic, in a literal and metaphorical way (see My Books page). Of course, we all know that oxygen is important for optimal brain function – all the more reason to breathe better, in order to write better 🙂

Here’s a photo that Dave took of me at Ponta Do Ouro, to help illustrate the scene:

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