I had that pathetic look on my face this morning. That same one I get each year about this time when I look up at my husband, and say: “I’m not going to be able to cope. I won’t get through another Winter!”

And bless him, he does his annual reply: “Yes, you will. You say it every year, and every year you survive”.

Whether it’s my underactive thyroid or the fact I’m an Aussie girl and would choose 40C over 15C, or worse: freezing, any day of the year, I simply can’t bear being cold. It hurts. I want to cry with the pain.

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Our 300-year-old cottage in Winter

 

And so here we are again. About to step into the long abyss known as Winter. Frankly, I’m still waiting for Summer so I can’t understand how this can possibly be. Wait a minute! Somebody stop this from happening. I haven’t even harvested my courgettes! And my sunflowers aren’t even close to being in bloom. Don’t cheat me!

The nights are drawing in. I wake to thick mists hanging about in my garden as if they own the damn place. Every inch of my being tries to fight the inevitable. I will no longer be able to spend hours outdoors, trying to soak up feeble English rays of sunshine. Within weeks, my favourite chore: hanging washing on the line, will come to an end. My barefoot forays into the garden will become like a long-forgotten dream.

 

 

It is, indeed, a time for gathering in. For these past few months I’ve had the pleasure of having my daughters home. My elder daughter is about to start her second year of university (studying music), and my younger daughter has only one year left before leaving for uni. As they prepare to go back out into the world this week to continue with their chosen education paths, I am mentally and physically preparing myself for the deep, dark days ahead.

What gets me through the damp, dreary, endless grey and ice cold? Being a writer! As a writer, I get to romanticise the Winter. Waking in the dark, I quietly step outside to the porch and gather armfuls of wood to light the woodstove. I set the scene for the writing day. Incense burns, and still dressed in my fleecy pyjamas, I tumble headlong into a world of love, loss, transformation, hope and whatever else my characters have planned.

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My writing room

In my writing life, Winter brings me endless hot drinks (oh wait, that’s my husband!). Thick woolly socks comfort my toes, while I tap at the keyboard willing my cold fingers to thaw out.

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Gifts of Autumn

 

At some point in the day, I go to the gym—fighting the elements that keep me a slave to the indoors—so I can give respite to my chair-bound body. But even then, the writer in me will find something romantic about it.

These seasons for ‘gathering in’ have a purpose. It’s a time to go within ourselves and review our life, our journey, our relationships, and our dreams. We actually need to pull back from the hectic busyness of modern life, and although we can still live 24/7 lives due to electricity, I do believe for many people there is something about the dark time of the year which causes them to slow down (even if only a little).

There is romance to be had when I am snuggled up on the sofa beneath a blanket, hot water bottle in my lap, woodstove roaring, reading by candlelight.

The writer in me creates stories with every apricot-hued sunset and frosty leaf. As I gather in, I gather in Nature too. She continues to feed my soul and my imagination even when to the average eye it might seem that all the world is bare and empty. I am fed by fallow fields and trees bereft of leaves. Red-breasted robins amuse me while I wash the dishes.

I dream of owning a big-arse Aga that keeps every inch of my home warm and toasty. Alas, I’m not likely to own one any time soon. What to do? Give my main character the Aga of my dreams. Given how much time I spend in her kitchen anyway, I am content to keep warm at her expense.

 

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As I gather in my energy, I am so grateful for my imagination and that it is my greatest tool for sustaining me through another British Winter. I also use that same imagination to dream of when I return to Australia for my brother’s wedding in 2017. I can already feel that 40C warming every single cell of my body. In my mind, I gather that heat inside me and use it to warm my heart. My husband is right: I will get through another Winter.

 

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About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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I never imagined (ha!) that I could be a fiction writer. With a background in journalism, and a dozen or so (I keep losing count) non-fiction books under my publishing belt, I was clear that, as a writer, my work was always going to stay that way.

And then I wrote my first novel, Mosaic. It was an amazing experience for me to create worlds where previously unknown characters came to life and had stories to tell. After I wrote it, I was sure: there were no more fiction books inside me. Back to my non-fiction world I went.

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One evening as I was cooking dinner, the entirety of my second novel, Bluey’s Café, came to me in the space of half an hour. It was like the Universe downloaded it into my brain while I was cooking. I spent the next five days typing it up like a crazy woman. A woman who neglected her family, her home, and every other aspect of her life. And even after that book, I was clear: no more fiction books inside me.

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A couple of summers ago, I wrote five romance novels in the space of that one season. I don’t know if they’ll ever see the light of day but what they did do was show me how much I loved the realm of the imagination. From that Summer with ridiculously early morning writing stints, came the growing realisation that I wanted—needed, in fact—to be a fiction writer. Crap! What would this mean? I had spent the best part of twelve years working as a magazine editor, and writing non-fiction parenting and holistic living books alongside that job as well as a being a mother to two home-educated daughters. And now all I wanted to do was write fiction?

I turned life as I knew it upside down to make this dream come true. Unlike non-fiction, I require a completely different writing space and working environment for writing novels. My main requirement is perfect quiet. No husband chatting about sport. No children asking ‘what’s for dinner?’ a few minutes after we’ve had breakfast. And no cat. Although I’m a cat person, I can’t bear the cat being in the room when I write. All that snoring and dreaming of mice just unsettles me.

So, now I’ve created a life where I can write fiction to my heart’s content, and lo and bloody behold, there are non-fiction books screaming to come out. What’s my lesson? I’m a writer, and it is best not to categorise myself too rigidly. Of course, it’s a pain in the butt when it comes to marketing one’s self. Am I novelist? Er, yes. Am I a recipe-book writer? Yes. Do I write books for holistic parents? Yes. Do I write astrology articles? Yes.
I’m a straddler!

 

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As I straddle the worlds of information and pleasure, I trust that the loyal readership I built up through years of my non-fiction work will be just as happy to straddle over to my fiction books and enjoy what I have to offer. And likewise, those readers who have discovered me through my novels, I trust will take a peek at my non-fiction world and try my other books out.

 

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It is my nature to communicate and impart information. As long as non-fiction books ‘ask’ to come out of me, I shall write them. I have, however, found my spiritual home writing novels.

 

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About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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There’s an old Patty Loveless song with lyrics I relate to:
If you don’t count my reckless youth, I came straight to you.

And also: I saw a tender heart, and I came straight to you.

I was in my mid-twenties when I had the pleasure of working with a man called Graham. He was a Minister of Metaphysics. I taught workshops such as “Why is this happening to me again?” and “The Quest”. Together, we made a great team. I loved going to work. Graham was fun, he was passionate, and he was smart. He was also deeply empathetic.

One day Graham said to me “Veronika, you have to stop believing all men are bastards”.

His words hit me hard, but they were just the wake-up call I needed. I did have a strong belief system in place which meant that the guys who turned up in my life were not the sort of men who were good for me. Graham was one of the first men in my life I respected, and my working relationship with him was a turning point in how I saw men.

My experiences with men had me believing that they were generally unavailable in some form, or were just out for one thing.

Graham’s words had me doing some serious soul searching, and whatever it was that I excavated from deep within my murky subconscious clearly did the trick. Just a few weeks later, the man who would become my husband, walked into my life. And, thank the Goddesses, he’s still here.

In my youth, I was a magnet for ‘bad boys’. What was I looking for? Adventure? Fun? From my current vantage point, I simply didn’t know what I was looking for back then. I had a dad who worked overseas for the majority of my childhood, so I didn’t have him around as a role model (for better or worse). What I did have pervading my childhood were men who took advantage of me sexually. When your boundaries (physical and spiritual) are penetrated in such a way you lose any sense of self. Today I’m a different person. Abuse, of course, comes in different forms ~ it’s not just sexual. All those years of having men take advantage of me destroyed something within me. But I didn’t stay a victim. I empowered myself and grew into the woman I am today. The one my husband describes as ‘she doesn’t take sh** from anyone’. I think he means it as a compliment!

Spending the past twenty years with a man who respects me has been deeply healing. In the process, I have also found my feet and my inner power source. No man walks over me. And although I may not be physically strong like a man, I have a strength within that could make a grown man cry.

I have had the good fortune to meet some amazing, caring, talented, loving, kind and wonderful men over the years. To be honest, such men are in the minority. But who is to blame for this lack of decent men? Their mothers? Probably. The culture? Definitely. Women? I’m afraid so.

As long as women allow men to treat them appallingly (on any level), the longer those men have what they consider their god-given right to be disrespectful, thoughtless, uncaring, rude… and you can stick an assortment of other words here.

When I write my novels, I create men that I’d want to have in my life. And, here’s a secret: a lot of their characteristics are based on what I find admirable in my husband. I’m not prepared to share him with anyone, but I would love for women the world over to experience the joy, liberation, well-being and happiness that come from living with a good man. When we are in such a relationship, the depth of emotional intimacy is life-changing. Remember, intimacy = in to me see.

 

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This gorgeous man is the inspiration behind the character Isaac in my novel Sisters of the Silver Moon. You can just tell from his smile that he’s loving, kind, thoughtful, humorous and gentle.

I dated about fifty guys before I met my husband. My daughters are horrified by this. Yeah, I’d like to erase them all from my history, too, but… what I did learn from those experiences is what I don’t want in a man. When Paul walked into my life, I recognised him immediately as someone who was kind, tender and had a good sense of humour. He was unlike any man I’d been out with before. No wonder we moved in together the next day after our first date. Sheesh, I wasn’t letting him go. I often joke that I didn’t marry him; I took him hostage!

So, when my single friends ask me ‘where are all the good men?’ I probably need to enlighten them and break through the myth that they’re already married.

Want a good man to turn up in your life? Then you need to honour yourself enough not to say ‘yes’ to the men who aren’t good for you. Ladies, you’re worth more than crumbs. Don’t accept them! Go for the best, most luscious, delicious cake you can find!  If there isn’t one in sight, then bide your time and grow yourself into the most beautiful and amazing version of you. You are what you eat. Don’t eat the crumbs!

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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Sisters of the Silver Moon, the first in my Gypsy Moon trilogy, is FREE on Kindle for the next five days. Get it while you can.

From midnight, I’m giving away TEN copies (print) of my novel. Go to Goodreads to be in to win.

Please leave a review on Amazon when you’ve finished reading. With thanks, Veronika x

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Sisters of the Silver Moon, by Veronika Sophia Robinson (Book one in the Gypsy Moon trilogy)

Published by Starflower Press

ISBN: 978-0-9931586-1-2

CIP Available in UK libraries

£7.99 pbk

Azaria Linden, the community herbalist, spends her days tending herb gardens, concocting lotions, potions and tinctures, beekeeping, and being a mother to four grown-up daughters who have left home. Her handcrafted life is the envy of many, but when the lives of her children change in dramatic ways, she wonders if she can keep it all together. Is it possible to still live a heart-centred life when everything around you is falling apart

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Available in paperback from Amazon, other online retailers, good bookshops, Starflower Press, and signed copies from the author: www.veronikarobinson.com

Also available on Kindle.

 

About the Author

Veronika Sophia Robinson is an Australian writer living in rural Cumbria. She’s the author of 12 non-fiction books (one translated into Italian), including the popular cookery book The Mystic Cookfire.

She was editor of The Mother magazine for 12 years, and takes her passion for women, community, natural living, health and well-being, family, home, and food, seamlessly into her fiction writing.

“Veronika brings something new and fresh to women’s fiction. She has a gift for allowing her readers to bond with her characters and feel at home in their locations. No matter where her novels are set, she describes the scenes as if she were a native to the area. With a highly distinctive writing style, she has been described as a true storyteller who writes beautifully descriptive narrative which reads easily, and is warm and clear. A writer of our time, she bravely explores cultural taboos, such as menstruation, women’s sexuality, and death.”

Veronika writes novels, mentors women, enjoys barefoot gardening, and runs a thriving international psychological-astrology practice. Sisters of the Silver Moon is her third novel.

 

Reader reviews (from Facebook/Twitter/Amazon/Email):

 

“Heartbreakingly beautiful.”

 

“Your books are unlike any others I’ve read in terms of themes and references.”

 

 

“When you get to the last page you are going to be mighty relieved there is a sequel! Beautiful characters that I totally fell in love with!”

 

 

“A simply beautiful story. It pulls you in, like being drawn into a warm embrace. Can’t wait for part 2!”

 

“I want a beehive after having read this novel.”

“I’m in a full blown love affair with the book. I was right there on that veranda.”

“I’m reading the Kindle version but wishing I had the real book to hold in my hands. It’s just beautiful.”

“I’m sitting in the sunshine with a bowl of your courgette & potato soup from The Mystic Cookfire, and reading Sisters of the Silver Moon.”

“I’ve really been enjoying Sisters of the Silver Moon. It’s my favourite of your novels so far. Wonderful characters, stunning descriptions. I’ve enjoyed/been devastated by the surprises, and it’s given me quite an insight (and yearning!) into a world I’m actually quite unfamiliar with – the world of women! I come from a family dominated my males. I hung out mostly with male friends prior to becoming a mother and unfortunately I don’t have strong relationships with the few females in my family. So thank you for the wonderful and thought-provoking read. The only downside is that I’ve been staying up at night, way later than is good for me, in order to read it.”

 

 

“Truly lovely characters — I miss them this morning– which is always a sign that I have really connected with a book. It is another gorgeous novel.”

 

“Well that was a morning well spent. I’ve just read Sisters of the Silver Moon.”

“A little bit of everything I love in a book – earthenware mugs, tea, bees, tinctures and balms, birth, knitting, love, sex, and did I read a chicken named Fleur?”

“Your books are the only romance novels I read.”

 

“I have a favourite earthenware mug that has the words ‘I Create my Day’ on it. Having read Sisters of the Silver Moon I need a new mug that says ‘Veronika Creates my Day’. I was transported into a reality that I became totally involved in. I was surprised and a little sad, on finishing, that the characters were no longer part of my day. I enjoyed the mix of family conflict, herbalism, community, bees, tea, knitting and a life well lived. This was an easy, pleasurable read that connected me with new friends and I’m impatiently looking forward to the sequel.”

 

 

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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Over the twelve years I edited The Mother magazine, I was blessed to find my community. My sisterhood. Women were spread far and wide across this beautiful Earth but together we shared a passion for holistic living and parenting. We may not have agreed on everything, but at the heart of our values was love. Given I live in rural Cumbria, such soul systers aren’t always easy to find though I am blessed to know heart-centred women here.

 

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Leaving my Eliza in the city for a week!

 

Last weekend my family and I headed down south. My 17-year-old daughter, Eliza, had work experience for a week at Working Title Films in London. She had the best time, and I can see that a week of independence in the city has really helped her to blossom and given her the boost she needs to get through the final year of school before university. The look on her face when we picked her up on Friday night was priceless. She thrived on being in such a creative environment with interesting, passionate people. To share her days with like-minds talking about movie scripts, psychology and politics was food for her soul.

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My daughters, Bethany and Eliza.

We all have a type of ‘soul food’ which nourishes us.

I think it’s fair to say that my soul food is evident in the novels I write. The themes which were important to me when I founded and edited The Mother magazine are still important to me: women, family, home, love, community, nourishing food and conscious lifestyle choices. I’ve been told many times by people who’ve read my novels that they want women like that in their lives! Apparently I write about lovely men, too. I’m saving that bit for another blog, though.

Our week away included me doing two more author readings on my author tour.

 

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En route to London, we stopped at my sister’s pub, The Plough, in Bodicote, Oxfordshire. Heidi recently returned from a five-year stint back in our home country of Australia. It was good to see her again and to laugh so hard we had tears trickling down our cheeks. I also did an author reading while I was there. So lovely to see friends, old and new.

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Me and my sister Heidi.

 

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Paul finished off the evening by singing to the locals!

 

After settling Eliza into her London hotel, Paul and I headed down south to deepest, darkest Surrey, and had the pleasure of staying with a dear friend, Keeley. Don’t you love it when you can turn up to a friend’s house and just feel completely at home? That’s what it’s like when I’m at her place.

We then headed to Hampshire and I did an author reading at the Ringwood Steiner School. Such a joy to meet wonderful people, and feel a deep connection with men and women who were previously strangers. Our hosts were Syenna, Tom, Hugo, Charlie and Rupert, and what a wonderful family to be nurtured by. They arranged for a picnic in the playing field at the Steiner School. Paul and I really enjoyed chatting to everyone, and then spending the night with our host family

 

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Summer picnic for my author reading in Hampshire.

 

About four years ago, I saw a lady walking through a car park in town. She had the most gorgeous, blonde, angelic daughters by her side. I had to stop her and say how beautiful they were. But there was something about this lady, within less than half a minute of interaction, which really touched my soul. It wasn’t anything I could readily put into words. It was an energy force. I came home and said to my husband that I’d just met this woman who radiated something really beautiful, and was just the sort of person I’d love as a friend. I still couldn’t tell you what it was, but I fell in love with her vibration. I really kicked myself for not prolonging the conversation and asking her out for a cuppa! For a long time I looked out for her as I walked through town. Maybe she was just a visitor to the town and we’d never meet up again. As fate would have it, turns out she was a subscriber to my magazine. I didn’t know this until sometime later when she came into my life in another way: through my daughter! Eliza is blessed beyond measure to have this AMAZING woman as her Philosophy teacher. I mean, what are the odds?

In April, Paul and I had our vow renewal ceremony. I woke up one morning in February and just put it out to the Universe: who should I ask to be my celebrant? When Nicola’s name came to me in a nano-second, I smiled but dismissed it. She’d never say yes. We don’t even know each other. But, being the impulsive creature I am, I popped a letter in the post and asked. Because, frankly, if you don’t ask for what you want in life you won’t get it! Anyway, to my immeasurable joy, she said ‘yes’. It took a long time to manifest this person, who at a soul level, feels incredibly beautiful to me, but it gives me hope for other people and experiences I wish to create.

 

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Paul and I with Nicola.

Opposites can attract, and diversity is good, but oh my, when you share common interests with someone, and a similar set of values, it nourishes and nurtures you so much. Finding our sisterhood may be a slow process, but I find that the older I get the more clear I am on the values I hold strongly in friendships. Time is precious. Most people live busy, hectic lives. But those couple of hours when you share a cup of herb tea beneath the shade of a fruit tree in the late summer sunshine are priceless.

I hope that for those people who have yet to find their sisterhood, my novels will give them the faith and courage to hang in there and trust that the women/men who are on your wavelength will be drawn into your life. As you read my novels, I hope you join the characters for a cup of tea and really allow yourself to dream. Your vibe attracts your tribe!

 

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Thank you to everyone who has left a review on Amazon for Sisters of the Silver Moon. REALLY appreciated! Thank you! I hope to get the second book in the trilogy, Behind Closed Doors, out for you by Christmas. And the third book, Flowers in Her Hair, out by Summer 2016.

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About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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I imagine most of us have used a funnel at some time. Do you use the wide, open end to pour your liquid, or the thin, narrow end? Of course you use the open side. It would be silly and pointless to use the other end.

 

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And yet…and yet how many people go through life with the narrow end pointing out to the Universe? To be open to consciously receiving all the good and abundance and joy and love and happiness and riches of this amazing world, we have to open our heart and mind as widely as possible. Our receiving container must have the capacity to receive.

Studies have shown the positive people appear to have luckier lives because, quite simply, they expect to have their container filled. These are the people with the open side of the funnel as their ‘first responder’ to any event in life.

Those who go through life with an aura of pessimism can’t expect to receive more than a few miserly crumbs.

 

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Is it possible to change who you are and start looking for the best in life? Hell yes! Is it possible to change the direction of your funnel? Yes!

The question is: do you want to receive the abundance of this world?

Thank you to my husband Paul for this lovely analogy. Sometimes it’s the simplest images, isn’t it?

Now, my friends, pick up your metaphorical funnel and hold the wide, open end out to the Universe and say YES PLEASE. Thank you!

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Create-My-Day

 

#icreatemyday

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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