Blog: Mel's Muse

Showing posts categorised as 'Inspirational'

Dealing With The Loss Of A Loved One

With so many young people being coerced into selling drugs, or, like Elianne Andam, being stabbed to death, I can't help but think back to the loss of my own daughter. It was some years ago, for exactly that reason, though she wasn't stabbed, but died as the result of...

Posted at 15:56pm on 30th September 2023

The Eleventh Hour - It's Never Too Late!

Do you, or your nearest and dearest, know where they're going when end-time sets in? No, I don't mean whether they'll be buried or cremated, though that is a good subject to discuss, so you know their wishes before they die. What I'm thinking of is rather more momentous. Let...

Posted at 15:08pm on 6th September 2023

. . . To New Life

Diana completed the record of her last client, switched off her computer, and leaned back in her chair. Counselling Michael – Mike, as he liked to be known – was not without complications. Never before had she been called upon to resolve the difficulties faced by a farmer, despite the...

Posted at 12:09pm on 24th August 2023

Misinterpreting The Specification: Two Halves Don't Make A Whole

Most marriages don’t add two people together. They subtract one from the other.

From: Diamonds are Forever, by Ian Fleming

This cynical view of marriage, once considered exclusively a male bastion for bachelorhood, is fast gaining credence amongst post-feminist women - if certain American TV chat shows are to...

Posted at 17:53pm on 6th August 2023

From Near Death . . .

“I'm sorry, Mrs Livingstone, but I'm afraid your daughter is going to have to stay in hospital. She has encephalitis.”

Sharon screwed up her eyes and shook her head. Seated opposite the consultant, she had no idea what he was talking about.

“It is a rare disease,” the consultant said, “and it...

Posted at 11:06am on 8th July 2023

Filling The Void

Have you – or perhaps a loved one – ever had to face the problem of addiction? How on earth, if you're desperate to do so, can you go about giving it up, be it sugar cravings, alcohol, or even drugs? Or, better still, how do you prevent an addiction...

Posted at 14:32pm on 18th June 2023

Shining Forth Despite The Darkness

I wrote, a few weeks ago, asking Who Inspired You To Be You? showing how you can often trace your gifts and aspirations back to childhood. For me, it was the trauma of ill-health and an abusive marriage that initially lit up my life, leading to my becoming a bestselling...

Posted at 10:45am on 19th May 2023

Who Inspired You To Be You?

Who inspired you to be who you are? And how did that come about? Being a bestselling author, this is a question I've often been asked. But whether or not you're a writer, secretary, nurse, or whatever, this is a question, and answer, that could apply to any and all.


Posted at 12:34pm on 27th April 2023

Who Inspired You To Be You?

Who inspired you to be who you are? And how did that come about? Being a bestselling author, this is a question I've often been asked. But whether or not you're a writer, secretary, nurse, or whatever, this is a question, and answer, that could apply to any and all.


Posted at 15:24pm on 22nd April 2023

Miracles In The Making

Have you ever been faced with traumatic circumstances and wondered how on earth you would cope? Physically? Mentally? Medicinally? Financially? Of course you have! With the Covid pandemic, Russian assault on Ukraine and resulting economic set-backs, who hasn't!


I had to bring my thirty-five year writing career to an...

Posted at 15:49pm on 29th March 2023

From Near Death. . .

“I'm sorry, Mrs Livingstone, but I'm afraid your daughter is going to have to stay in hospital. She has encephalitis.”

Sharon screwed up her eyes and shook her head. Seated opposite the consultant, she had no idea what he was talking about.

“It is a rare disease,” the consultant said, “and it...

Posted at 15:33pm on 29th March 2023

You Are Picked For A Purpose: Despite Rainy Days


In my last post I asked What Were The Seeds Sown In Your life? This was in respect of the gifts and purpose for which you are known, As we have been told in John 15:16 I chose you and appointed...

Posted at 16:09pm on 5th August 2022

You Are Picked For A Purpose: What Were The Seeds Sown In Your Life?

What are the seeds that were sown in your life? And did those seeds eventually bear fruit? In other words, how did you first hear about God's love and purpose for you? Can you remember when that was? Or whether it made any difference to your way of...

Posted at 11:38am on 27th July 2022

Diary Of An Introvert: Laid Low By Day

I recently wrote a post on the subject of wearing a 'mask' to convince others that we're feeling fine when, in fact, we are not - Facing Up To The Face Beneath The Mask. And I wonder, is the 'new normality' brought on by Covid 19 having a good...

Posted at 07:56am on 4th August 2020

Three 'light Bulb' Insights From The Screwtape Letters By David Trim

What follows are the 'light bulb' insights from The Screwtape Letters, written by David Trim, a much valued member of the Book Club I lead.

1. To consciously direct our prayers to God "Not to what I think thou art, but to what thou knowest...

Posted at 07:46am on 25th July 2020

Book Club Discussion: The Screwtape Letters By C.s.lewis

Click here for the List of Questions

Suggested by a member of my Book Club, despite the fact that most of us had read it many years ago, The Screwtape Letters proved to have lost none of its appeal. Apart from one lady, that is, who abandoned it on page thirty,...

Posted at 11:36am on 14th July 2020

Book Club Questions: The Screwtape Letters By C.s.lewis

The questions below are those I raised for the Book Club I lead. Click here for the discussion we had subsequently. Quotes from the book are in bold italics.

CHURCH: Chapter II
One of our greatest allies at present is Church itself. Screwtape goes on to...
Posted at 11:28am on 14th July 2020

Following The Funeral: Living With The Loss Of A Loved One

With nearly 40,000 deaths due to Coronavirus in past years, and more to come with the junior doctors' and nurses' strikes, there must be hundreds of thousands of friends and family having to live with the reality of loss. You may have been through Coping With The Initial Shock, learned,...

Posted at 07:37am on 3rd June 2020

Come Holy Spirit

The aim of my book, Picked For A Purpose is to show each one of us the purpose that God has for us, which is to bear fruit for him. That fruit is to show love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. But he doesn't...

Posted at 03:38am on 31st May 2020

Excerpt From My Latest Book, Picked For A Purpose - Showing We All Have A Worthwhile Part To Play

Are you wondering what your life is all about during the lockdown due to Covid 19? Then read on. My latest book, Picked for a Purpose shows that whatever the adversity, we all have value, and a worthwhile part to play. Here is a complete chapter for...
Posted at 03:40am on 6th April 2020

Persistence Pays

Have you ever had a book proposal turned down? You've slogged away, and you felt sure you'd done a good job - then this. I'm sure most of us will have been through many situations like this. It's pretty devastating isn't it? But it shouldn't be...

Posted at 02:49am on 25th January 2020

In Her Words By Patricia St John - My Book Club Discussion

Although slightly reduced in number when my Book Club met this week, there was no less lively conversation and laughter. Especially when they discovered I'd bought Orange Club biscuits! The bottom line, though, was that we loved this book! A light, easy read, it nevertheless had plenty...

Posted at 09:34am on 15th November 2019

Is Kayne West Boasting? Or Shining A Light?

Have you ever thought, on Remembrance Day, about how you would like to be known? Perhaps as who you are: husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter? Or by what you do accountant/shopkeeper, secretary/ lawyer, nurse/charity worker/singer? Or possibly, by what you've achieved?


According to Premier Media, American music artist,...

Posted at 09:50am on 10th November 2019

Blossom In Season? A Guest Blog By Helen Elliott

"Why am I getting angry at a tree?"

A question definitely worthy of consideration, I decided, as I stared out of my window for the third or fourth time that week.

It was a huge tree, surrounded by apartments, all in facing and it was Springtime.

The tree was supposed...

Posted at 04:35am on 16th October 2019

What's Wrong With Human Rights? By David Cross - Book Club Summary

Quotes from the book are in italics.

Never, before, have I made so many highlights in a book! As my Book Club members said when we met yesterday evening, this was certainly a narrative that opened up debate, on a subject not often discussed. With so much material to...

Posted at 10:20am on 13th July 2019

The Making Of Us By Sheridan Voysey - Book Review


I love Sheridan's lyrical style of writing - so inviting, so personal, so picturesque. Right from the first page, I found myself enthralled, as if I were meeting someone whom I knew, instantly, was going to become a friend. Likewise, when grappling with sorrow...

Posted at 07:43am on 23rd March 2019

Catching Contentment By Liz Carter - Book Club Discussion

I first heard of Liz Carter's book, Catching Contentment, when I read, somewhere, that she had suffered a lifelong illness. Instantly, that resonated with me. Having undergone a similar experience, myself, I felt a closeness with Liz that belied the fact that we had never met, nor communicated...

Posted at 10:45am on 15th March 2019

Catching Contentment - A Guest Blog

I lay on a trolley in A and E, my breathing coming in rapid gasps. My oxygen sats were too low and the pain clamped me in a vice grip, leaving me crying out. 'It's a pneumococcal infection in both lungs,' the consultant said, and admitted me for intensive...

Posted at 01:58am on 9th November 2018

Thomas's Story: Overcoming Physical & Mental Struggles

My next book, Picked for a Purpose, with the strapline Bearing fruit through times of hardship, was written at the request of my publisher. Each short chapter contains a story from my life, followed by a page or two of reflections, in which I look back, with the wisdom...

Posted at 08:08am on 20th October 2018

World Mental Health Day: Don't Chase The World


Why do I feel such a waste of space?

Why is life always such a race -

To emulate, or, better yet

To surpass the success with which others have met?

Is this the world in which I live?

Is this the future I wish to give

To those who follow on...

Posted at 00:33am on 10th October 2018

Book Club: Sensible Shoes - Who Are You & Where Have You Come From?


You pick up the phone, an unknown voice asks: 'Is that the owner of the house?' Indeed, sometimes they may address you by name. And what is your immediate response? Mine is never to affirm the query but to ask, 'Who are...

Posted at 09:55am on 10th September 2018

Book Club: Sensible Shoes - Whose Do You Walk In? Who Are You?

Who are you? Whose shoes do you walk in? Is this a question you've ever ask? No. I don't mean do you ask it of other people. That's not British! Downright rude, in fact. So - who are you? Is this something...

Posted at 04:27am on 13th July 2018

Archbishop By Michele Guinness: Book Club Discussion On Personal Discipleship & Service

Personal Discipleship & Service

(Quotes from the book - with permission from Michele Guinness, below - are in italics)

There were a number of salient points in Michele Guinness's book when it came to personal discipleship in these troubled times, and we all agreed with Archbishop Vicky that it is only...

Posted at 04:53am on 13th November 2017

Mel's Online Book Club: When We Can't, God Can By Catherine Campbell

When We Can't, God Can by Catherine Campbell was the book under discussion when we met for Book Club last night. Having met Catherine on several occasions at Christian Resources Together conferences at Swanwick, I was not surprised to see how well her lovely, caring personality came across in...

Posted at 05:51am on 9th March 2017

Holy Habits By Andrew Roberts

What a great book! When I first suggested that we read it for Book Club, one of the members thought it looked somewhat 'heavy-going'. On the contrary, when we met to discuss it, we all felt it was an easy read and had much to say to...

Posted at 06:02am on 4th December 2016

National Poetry Day: My Poem, Picked For A Purpose

A seed, a weed, is sown and grown, This is your life, you know! The soil, the toil till it's full blown Bring happiness and woe. The root, the shoot, the stem and leaf The pain the rain of life, The sun, your joy, gives way to grief As struggles become rife. Nipped in the bud...
Posted at 03:49am on 6th October 2016

Picked For A Purpose 3: Seeds Sown


Sometimes people of faith speak of coincidence as being God-incidents. So while a coincidence might be described as random - an accident, chance, luck, fluke, or twist of fate - a God-incident is thought to be an unexpected occurrence in which God is perceived to have had an...

Posted at 09:34am on 8th September 2016

Picked For A Purpose 2: Seeds & Weeds


Have you ever felt useless? As if nothing you do has any meaning or purpose? Ever thought you didn't fit in? In your family? At school? At work? Or that everyone else was more successful? While you . . .? ...

Posted at 05:49am on 6th September 2016

Picked For A Purpose 1 - Me And Daddy, Daddy And Me


I suppose it was the letters that were the trigger - first for my depression, then for my understanding. Small blue folded airmails that bore my mother's name on them, plus whatever address happened to be relevant at the time. She had kept...

Posted at 04:52am on 6th September 2016

Break Loose (2015) Fly Free (2016)

What are your New Year’s resolutions?  How likely are you to achieve them?

I read an article recently, which said that 95% of diets fail.  Why?  Precisely because they are diets!   Counting calories or eliminating certain categories of food focuses your mind on the very thing you want to...

Posted at 04:34am on 4th January 2016

Book Club Discussion Summary: Naturally Supernatural By Wendy Mann

A good deal of laughter accompanied our Readers’ Group discussion last week.  The book we had been reading, which I had suggested some two months earlier, was titled Naturally Supernatural, and was written by Wendy Mann.  With a new senior minister joining us, in the meantime, we felt sure -...

Posted at 06:19am on 18th November 2015

A Hint Of An American Romance Blooming In Time To Shine?

And another excerpt from my latest novel, Time to Shine, which has gained more 5* reviews since the last taster on my blog.  Sorry that the photos of the sky don't quite match the description in the book.

Here, Evie Adams, with a broken marriage behind her, takes some time out...

Posted at 12:28pm on 17th July 2015

Time To Shine - A Taster Of My New Book

I thought you might like to read a taster of my new book - a gentle psychological mystery - and see a photograph of the setting in Exeter.  The protagonist, Evie Adams, is the narrator in this passage, taken from Chapter 2

Arriving for work early one morning soon after my...

Posted at 04:20am on 29th June 2015

Mel's Online Book Club: Questions For: Faith In The Fog: Believing In What You Cannot See By Jeff Lucas

FAITH IN THE FOG: by Jeff Lucas NB: Page numbers below relate to Kindle pages
Click here for Discussion Summary of Faith in the Fog   1. Time Trapped. 31-46 ·        Do we wish we could go back in time as the disciples went back to Galilee to fish? If so why? Isn’t our past shame washed...
Posted at 09:53am on 28th June 2014

Mel's Online Book Club: Discussion Summary Of Faith In The Fog: Believing In What You Cannot See By Jeff Lucas

Having prayed for absent book club members, particularly one, who is back in hospital on a second course of chemo, we started the evening with a general overview of Jeff Lucas’ book, Faith in the Fog. Without exception the group professed to having enjoyed it, though one person found his self-deprecation...

Posted at 09:36am on 28th June 2014

My Daughter's Tribute To Her Grandfather

My grandfather, Bill, 97 and ¾ Photograph taken approx. 1941

I started to call him Billy when I was little and he replied with Milly (even though my name was Amanda).  He was the only one that was allowed to call me Milly and Millicent when he was cross with me...

Posted at 21:26pm on 24th January 2012

Online Book Club - Showing Of Love By Julian Of Norwich - Discussion Summary

Showing of Love, a book written by Julian of Norwich in the 15th Century, is not an easy read! OK. I admit it. Mea culpa. With much laughter, when nine of us met last week for Book Club, I was roundly - but affectionately - condemned...

Posted at 15:46pm on 6th December 2011

How To Be An Author: Facing Discouragement

If you are an aspiring author and are contemplating self-publishing your book, there are various issues to be considered.  I received an e-mail from a visitor to my website last month which highlighted some of these.

She recently self-published her book and has encountered several problems.  So over the next few...

Posted at 08:55am on 15th November 2011

Dealing With Depression Caused By False Accusations

Photo: Desolation: An Empty Beach

In Dealing With Depression: An Author's Look At Life I stated that, as an author, writing is not what I do but who I am.  I went on to say that while writing and publishing a book is quite beyond me at present because I'm battling...

Posted at 17:30pm on 15th July 2011

How To Be A Writer Of Christian Fiction Books

Are you an established writer or aspiring author who is also a Christian?  Is there a novel you want to write (or have written) for which you are unable to find a publisher?  Do you enjoy reading mainstream fiction but find that Christian fiction books leave you cold?  How does...

Posted at 15:50pm on 24th June 2011

Why My Marriage Bucks The One In Four Trend For Divorce

I’m sitting in the lounge after lunch, about to resume writing my new book, when I hear Paul coming down the stairs.

“Could you let me have my bank card back, please,” I call out.

He has borrowed it to take to the Post Office, because the Sub Postmaster forgot to write my number on...

Posted at 20:05pm on 24th July 2010

Empowering Solutions: Lift Up Your Eyes; Enlarge Your Vision!

Have you ever felt weighed down in an emotionally draining situation – as if someone had thrown a heavy, wet, cape around your shoulders; as if the effort of having to drag it around drained you of energy for anything else? Especially anything inspirational, like creative writing.

Of course you have! Most of us have...

Posted at 09:02am on 8th June 2010

Does Your Creative Writing Style Encourage A Relationship With Your Readers?

Is it ever a good idea, as a book author, to stop writing? This isn’t a trick question: I have a genuine interest in your views – especially those of you who subscribe to my blog and are regular readers of my articles – plus it may be something you should be asking yourselves....

Posted at 19:21pm on 3rd June 2010

A Christmas Gift For All Year Round

I was reading, this week, a short piece titled: Right People Get It Wrong. The writer cited two extremes in the range of good and evil: those who appear to live selfless, sacrificial lives; and those who are utterly unconcerned about the damage that they do to others. But the gist, the moral, of...

Posted at 15:56pm on 24th December 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Chapter 3 Part 2 - The Tug Of Two Loves

Catch up with the story so far in Part 1:1 The Inner Yearning. It will be posted, in parts, two or three times a week. For a free prompt to follow the story to its conclusion click the Subscribe button on the right.


Early one winter evening, as...

Posted at 14:26pm on 9th December 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Chapter 3 Part 1 - The Tug Of Two Loves

Catch up with the story so far in Part 1:1 The Inner Yearning. It will be posted, in parts, two or three times a week. For a free prompt to follow the story to its conclusion click the Subscribe button on the right.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you...

Posted at 14:45pm on 29th November 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 2:2 Lost & Found

Arguing a case against Jesus’ claims about eternal life, Megan is brought face to face with the truth that it is her pride which prevents fulfilment of her inner yearning. A second visit to a Billy Graham rally sees her accepting that even a good friend is no substitute for faith. Only a life...

Posted at 09:15am on 19th November 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 2:1 Lost & Found

With marriage, babies and moving house having failed to still the inner yearning in Megan’s life, she feels sure that her new friendship with Eileen must be the answer. Especially when Eileen invites her to hear Billy Graham. Eileen has a faith in God which Megan finds enviable. Eileen knows Jesus as her Saviour...

Posted at 10:25am on 12th November 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 1:3 The Inner Yearning

With two babies only a year apart in age, Meg is as lonely as ever. Will moving house be the answer? For a while it seems a possibility. But as James’ career ambitions take him away from home once more, it seems that only a new friendship might fill that inner yearning.

Catch up with...

Posted at 09:48am on 9th November 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 1:2 The Inner Yearning

Less than a year into Megan’s marriage to James, with her baby born and motherhood now a reality, the cracks which were apparent from the outset, are beginning to widen. As the swinging sixties begin to make themselves felt, the over-riding question is: can Megan find, in James, the love she craves?

Catch up with...

Posted at 00:00am on 4th November 2009

Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 1:1 The Inner Yearning

What follows is a true story, the real life story of a woman named Megan, who was raised in an era when to be married, to be a wife, was the pinnacle of aspiration for a woman. The expectation that you shopped, cooked, cleaned and raised children whilst your husband worked, played and waited...

Posted at 14:25pm on 2nd November 2009

Creative Writing: Tips For Novelists On Priming The Pump

Authors of books are urged, by writing pundits, to identify the genre and market for which they are aiming before they commit to print. This is for good reason; not least that if you are engaged in writing and publishing a book, knowing who you are writing for will affect how seriously a publisher...

Posted at 14:27pm on 28th October 2009

Creative Writing Style: Do You Have One?

We talk about certain novelists as having “style”, or say that we like "the style" of this author, but not that. But what does it actually mean to have writing style and is this something we can acquire, or foster in ourselves as writers? Or is it something that just happens?

Posted at 16:40pm on 26th October 2009

Authors: Tellers Of Tales, Weavers Of Dreams? Tap Into Your Childhood To Reveal And Nourish Hidden Emotional Creativity

Why do writers exist? What is it about the human race that makes us want to be authors and readers? Tellers of tales, serialisers of stories, weavers of dreams: what compels us? Scriptwriters, dramatists, actors, theatre-goers, radio broadcasters and listeners? Why? What inner compulsion urges us on – those of us who share our inner...

Posted at 01:00am on 23rd October 2009

The Shack By William Young: Uv Readers' Group Discussion Summary

Is The Shack A True Story?

This was one of the issues raised when twenty-one of us met on Thursday to share our impressions of William Young's debut novel. Many of us found ourselves thinking of Madeleine McCann, the four year old who disappeared in Portugal whilst holidaying with her parents...

Posted at 22:50pm on 25th April 2009

Sex Or Chocolate? Chocolate Or Sex? How Would You Define Happiness?

Revised: NEW YEAR'S EVE, 31st December, 2009 Much has changed since I first wrote this article, so it seemed to me that it deserved to be revised, amended and added to, with quotes, suggestions and advice. I hope, that in following some of the ideas, you might find yourself stumbling on happiness, without, perhaps, ever...
Posted at 12:20pm on 15th October 2008

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