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Ignite Your Creativity…adding spark to your creative life! 

More and more people are becoming aware of the healing powers of creativity.  Human nature makes people want to strive to feel good and keep their bodies free from illness and dysfunction.  Two goals most people hope for are to be creative and to improve/maintain health.  Taking our cue from physics, the first law of thermodynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed but is changed from one form into another. Expressing your creative energy means the energy within you is given an outlet; it is redirected into a more positive energy.  Everyone is inheritably born with the potential for creativity.  Drawing, painting, writing, acting, sculpting, knitting, dancing, cooking and playing an instrument are all creative activities that can ignite that creative spark.  Many people already embrace their creativity while others are in the realm of “I am just not creative”.  The key to being creative is taking action!

“Another word for creativity is courage”  ~ George Prince


© Belinda Witzenhausen & IgniteYourCreativity.net, 2009-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Belinda Witzenhausen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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#BookReview of Gallows Court by Martin Edwards via #NetGalley #Mystery #GoldenAge

Review

Gallows Court Cover

Gallows Court

by Martin Edwards

Release date: September 17th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Gallows Court by Martin Edwards from NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press in order to read and give an honest review.

“…interesting characters, an atmospheric, intricate and extremely clever plot filled with a head-spinning amount of twists, turns and perfectly placed red-herrings.”

New to author Martin Edwards, I am so impressed with Gallows Court! This novel is right out of the Golden Age of Mystery and I loved it! Edwards has created an intriguing and dynamic story to rival those of such greats as Agatha Christie and Ellery Queen but with his own unique twist. 

Set in  London, 1930, ambitious crime writer Jacob Flint tries to work his way up the ladder at a disreputable rag called “The Clarion”. Pursuing a story about a string of mysterious deaths, his path crosses with the late Judge Savernake’s daughter, Rachel Savernake an amateur sleuth, who was capable of solving a crime that had Scotland stymied. Getting a scoop from the infamous and very wealthy Ms Savernake would catapult him to the top of his field. While fed anonymous tips, interviewing witnesses and following bizarre leads Jacob is led into some questionable situations which seem to cast his suspicions on Rachel and makes him realize there is more going on than meets the eye.  

This book had it all, interesting characters, an atmospheric, intricate and extremely clever plot, filled with a head-spinning amount of twists, turns and perfectly placed red-herrings. All in all an extremely satisfying read and one that I highly recommend.

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#BookReview How to #Draw and #Write in #FountainPen A Modern Guide by Ayano Usamura #NetGalley

Review

How to Draw and Write in FountainPen

A Modern Guide

by Ayano Usamura

Release date: September 17th, 2019

How to Draw and Write in Fountain Pen Cover

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of How to Draw and Write in FountainPen
A Modern Guide by Ayano Usamura from NetGalley and The Experiment Publishing Company in order to read and give an honest review.

“a fun, informative well written with great step-by-step illustrations, this book is a must-have for all those who are crafty or  love to add a little creativity to their journals…”

Whether you’re familiar with using a fountain pen or a complete novice this book offers how-to’s, tips and tricks to help you get the most out of writing with a fountain pen.  I have been using a fountain pen since I inherited my grandfather’s old Sheaffer Imperial when I was eight years old (many moons ago). I still have that pen but over the years have added about 15 more to my collection.  Although I have always written with them, I have never used fountain pens favouring technical pens for any inked artistic drawings. 

I have been journaling for years and over the past few have decided to add art and organization to my journalling practice.  My bullet journal has evolved from simple to-do lists into an artistic, fun, motivating and inspiring record of plans, goals and trackers. This book is fantastic in the fact it offers so much that both novice and experienced users will find useful. I for one loved the detailed how-tos for creating quick fun doodles for my bujo spreads which I am now using my fountain pens to create.

I highly recommend this book, it’s a fun, informative well written with great step-by-step illustrations, this book is a must-have for all those who are crafty or love to add a little creativity to their journals.

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#NetGalley #Book #Review of The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow #SciFi #Fantasy #Portals

Review

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

by Alix E. Harrow

Release date: September 10th, 2019

Ten Thousand Doors of January Cover

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
by Alix E. Harrow from NetGalley and Redhook Books in order to read and give an honest review.

Since tales of Narnia and Oz, stories about secret portals to other worlds have been embraced by readers young and old.  The idea of quickly transporting to new and exciting locations always seems to thrill us and the Ten Thousand Doors of January is no exception.  Author Alix E. Harrow beautifully crafts her debut novel to appeal to those who love to escape into the written word.  

The author introduces us to a young January Scaller who is intelligent, well-read and inquisitive.  Her father a treasure hunter of sorts has left January in the care of his employer a rather wealthy and well-respected collector, Mr Locke, after her mother’s disappearance. Being of mixed race at the turn of the century, January has always felt out of place in Mr Locke’s social circle but Mr Locke and his money have always provided her with more than she needs. Well educated, well cared for and lavished with gifts, January has it all but is still unhappy. Her father Julian is always away hunting down artefacts for Mr Locke, leaving January alone much of the time. Although lonely and missing her father she has one friend, the local grocer’s son, Samuel who gives her a pup called Bad (Sinbad) so she never feels alone, cements their friendship which will endure time and the trials which lie ahead.  

January discovers a strange door, which, at the time she doesn’t realize, will change the course of her life forever. When a mysterious friend of her father, Jane, comes to assist Mr Locke in January’s care she gets the friendship of another woman. When she receives a mysterious book on her seventeenth birthday which delves into mysterious doors to new worlds and the intriguing adventures of Adelaid Lee Larson, she discovers much more than she bargained for.   When Mr Locke begins realizing that January is close to discovering a secret, a secret that he has kept at all costs, her kindly old guardian and his friends become her worse nightmare come true. Isolated from her friends and facing insurmountable odds, she realizes what true friendship is when her friends’ rally around her and begin an adventure that will change their lives forever. 

Without giving too much away Ms Harrow has crafted an incredible novel that is full of intelligence, beauty, whimsy, tragedy and just pure entertainment.  Well-written, with unique multi-faceted characters and imaginative plotlines, this is perhaps one of my favourite reads of the year and I highly recommend it!  

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#BookReview A Course in Meditation A 21-Day Workout for Your Consciousness by Osho via #NetGalley #Health #Mindfulness #Meditation

Review

A Course in Meditation

A 21-Day Workout for Your Consciousness

by Osho

Release date: September 3rd, 2019

A Course In Meditation Cover

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Course in Meditation:
A 21-Day Workout for Your Consciousness by Osho from NetGalley and Crown Publishing/Harmony in order to read and give an honest review.

“…well-written, user-friendly and Osho’s experience and wisdom shines through…”

Whether you’re experienced in meditation or new to the practice, A Course in Meditation: A 21-Day Workout for Your Consciousness by Osho is a great book for everyone.

I gravitated towards meditation when I was facing health issues and found it so beneficial but sadly over the spring, I hadn’t been as consistent. I have to admit “A Course in Meditation”, a twenty-one-day course, really helped me get back on track and I am happy to say I am now back to a daily practice.

Each day the book tackles a subject whether it is relating, balance, anger or maturity, just to name a few, you get Osho’s insights, meditations and techniques to help you put the concepts into practice, and each day finishes with a quote to keep you inspired all day.

This is a book I would highly recommend, it’s well-written, user-friendly and Osho’s experience and wisdom shines through! A must-have for all those who would like to have more balance in their lives and enhance their well-being.

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Autumn is Upon Us🍂🍁🍃 ~ #amwriting #studying #revisions #bookreviews #creating

“Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Sept

Time seems to fly by…it’s hard to believe the summer is over and autumn is on its way, replete with, warm blankets, pumpkin spice lattes (yes, I’m a pumpkin person…don’t judge😉 ) and cuddling up in the cosiness reading a book and writing.

Moving forward I have a few months full of studying, working on multiple projects, revising and researching.  Looks like I will be kept extremely busy in the months ahead, as a result, I will be taking a hiatus from my coaching practice at IgniteYourCreativity.net and returning with new programs and classes in Winter of 2020.

Over at Professor Owl’s Book Corner, we recently published our Back-to-School Newsletter. This month features some great book recommendations, literacy tutoring and creative writing inspiration for our young writers. 

On August 30th, we celebrated our twenty-seventh instalment of the “We Are The World Blogfest” #WATWB.  We have been going strong and send a huge thank you to everyone who has been participating.  Our next post is on September 27th, 2019!

Wondering what #WATWB is all about? The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there. We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their positive stories led by five co-hosts. If you are interested in learning more about this or to join us please click here for details. 

Wishing everyone a successful September…wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you are making your fondest dreams a reality!

Live, laugh & love! ❤

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

#amwriting #revisions #rewrites #researching #urbanfantasy #alchemy #mystery #historicalfiction #learning #studying #archaeology #forensicanthropology #manuscriptstudies #palaeography  #codicology #history #art #WATWB #bookreviews #art #volunteering #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling

My Spotify Playlist ~#AmWriting #UrbanFantasy #HistoricalFiction #Archaeological #Mystery~ Secret of Living

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#NetGalley #Review Mythos by Stephen Fry #Greek #Mythology

Review

Mythos Cover

Mythos

by Stephen Fry

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Mythos by Stephen Fry from NetGalley and Chronicle Books  in order to read and give an honest review.

I have been a fan of Stephen Fry for a long time. His books are always enjoyable, packed with flowing prose, interesting stories and rife with Fry’s sardonic wit.

In Mythos, Fry creates an informative, comedic and quirky retelling of Greek Myths the only way he can, brilliantly.   One thing that is evident in Mythos is that Fry not only has a passion for his subject matter but a passion for language and storytelling in general. Fry’s Mythos is like sitting with a friend as he regales you with stories, adding little side notes such as the greek origins of many words and shares poems and plays inspired by the myths.  He starts right at creation and takes us through we meet everyone from Kronus to Midas each brought to life with Fry’s unique storytelling.

I really enjoyed Mythos, although to some it may seem a bit self-indulgent of Fry I thought it was an incredibly unique take on the Greek Myths which many of us have tried and failed to digest. It’s a highly entertaining and informative read that I would highly recommend.

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#BookReview of The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal #HistoricalFiction #Gothic via #NetGalley

Review

The Doll Factory

by Elizabeth Macneal

The Doll Factory Cover

Release date: August 13th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Doll Factory
by Elizabeth Macneal from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada in order to read and give an honest review.

a dark, atmospheric work of gothic historical fiction which chills and thrills right to the very end…”

In this debut novel from Elizabeth Macneal we get a dark, atmospheric work of gothic historical fiction which chills and thrills right to the very end.  Wonderfully written with uniquely written characters and an accurate interpretation of 1850’s London The Doll Factory takes dark unrequited love and obsession to a new level.  

 Our protagonist Iris and her sister, Rose work in a Doll shop for the cruel and intolerant Mrs Salter.  Their life is monotonous to poor Iris who finds painting dolls to be stifling especially when her true desire is to become one of the first respected female artists of the time.  Iris feels it necessary to hide her artwork from the prying eyes of Mrs Salter and her sister Rose.  Rose after being scarred severely by smallpox, becomes jealous and often cruel to her sister after she loses her fiancé due to her looks.  One day through a young street urchin, Albie, Iris meets taxidermist and curiosity shop owner, Silas. At first glance, Silas is besotted with her and his life becomes built around his disturbing obsession with Iris, creating a fantasy about her and their ‘perfect’ future together.  When Iris gets an opportunity to model and be tutored by an up and coming artist, the handsome and debonair Louis Frost, things seem to be turning around for her but Louis is distraught by the news. Louis who a client of Silas, often purchasing taxidermy animals as models for his work has treated Silas poorly, playing cruel pranks on him which Silas will not forget.  Despite being disowned by her sister and parents for choosing a profession not becoming of a lady, Iris decides to quit her job and follow her dreams. When Silas sees how closed she is becoming to Louis his obsession takes a dangerous turn. 

Very dark and disturbing this book might not be for everyone however if you can bet past certain parts it is brilliantly written with well-crafted characters and finishes off with an unexpected but satisfying ending. 
 

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Wishing all a #Wonderful Week!

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”~Ray Bradbury

Wishing all a #WonderfulWeek!
Incredibly busy week ahead brimming with possibility ~ #Coffee ☕ definitely required!

#amwriting #urbanfantasy #gothic #archaeologicalmystery #researching #medievalalchemy #studying #medievalhistory #art #newsletters #creativitycoaching #photography & #bookreviews 📚

Wherever you may be in your day/eve I hope you’re working to make your fondest dreams a reality!
Live, laugh & love!❤

What are your goals this week?

My Writing Playlist

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#Book #Review Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay via #NetGalley #Fantasy #YA

Review

Ever Alice

by H.J. Ramsay

 

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Ever Alice Cover

Published: August 1st, 2019


I received a complimentary ARC copy of Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay from NetGalley and Red Rogue Press

…a wonderfully whimsical and fun story inspired by Alice and Wonderland …

The author has created a brilliant and unique take on Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland. A unique plotline, quirky characters and an interesting interpretation of the characters Carroll is famous for. Ramsay creates a humourous story about 15-year-old Alice whose parents are concerned with her rantings about her friend “the white rabbit”. Her parents fear that after a near-drowning, the trauma has caused her to lose her mind and as a result commit her to an insane asylum for treatment.  Alice endures the asylum and after a while, when just on the verge of being released home, a nasty nurse exposes Alice by sharing her journal filled with rants about the white rabbit and a place called Wonderland. At a loss, the asylum staff decide to take her to see a doctor famous for curing individuals with a surgical procedure.  After seeing other patients Alice realizes this procedure isn’t going to be as easy as she is told, luckily at the direst moment, her friend the “white rabbit” appears and whisks her away to Wonderland where her adventure begins.

Filled with humour, this is a wonderfully whimsical and fun story inspired by Alice in Wonderland and although a YA novel  I would recommend to young and old alike.

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#BookReview of The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd by Robert Davies #fiction #memoir #mystery #paranormal via #NetGalley

Review

Seventh Life Of Aline Lloyd Cover

The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd

Release date: July 11th, 2019

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I received a complimentary copy of The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd
by Robert Davies from NetGalley and BHC Press in order to read and give an honest review.

… In my opinion, it’s a well-written character-driven mystery which slowly unravels…

Publisher’s Description

Although not really what I expected I still enjoyed The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd. Slow-paced, this is more of a memoir told from Evan’s point of view, as we follow his life after the death of his brother and inheriting his estate in Wales.  In my opinion, it’s a well-written character-driven mystery which slowly unravels, first with Evan trying to get to the bottom of his brother Damon’s unusual and concerning behaviour before his death. Then Evan’s obsession of uncovering the truth of who Aline Lloyd really is and what secrets lie behind her intense personality seems to take centre stage.  Although it has a touch of the paranormal, basically a reincarnation story, to me it reads more like a romantic mystery. It does pick up when an elite agency chases after Aline but sadly the action is short lived.

All in all, not a bad book but I think the cover although well done, is the most misleading thing for readers. It’s dark and lends an impression of a darker more paranormal infused story.  I guess this is a good example of when a cover can be misleading and garner a negative impression on an otherwise decent story.