Toning my Mind, Body, and a Trip to Bali

Welcome to the second instalment of my Mind Body Series. If you missed the first one, Toning my Mind, Body and Breasts, you can read it here. It provides a basis for the series.

For this post, I’m tackling a few topics: My upcoming trip to Indonesia (specifically Bali); writer’s block; and travel as inspiration.

But first, a few facts about Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation.

map of indonesia

Indonesia is home to more than 17,000 islands in each of its 34 provinces. With a population of 260 million (dated: July 2016), it is the world’s fourth most populous country after China, India, and the United States. My flight to Bali by way of Beijing and Singapore will take about 22 hours from Toronto.

With wait times for connections added in, it will be 33 hours before I land in Denpasar, the capital city of Bali.

I traveled around Indonesia in 1988 as part of a trip I took across Southeast Asia. Here I was on the most exquisite white-sand beach in Lombok.

lombok beach

That was nearly thirty years ago, but I’ve never forgotten the beauty of the country and the people I met there.

I knew I would return to this part of the world someday, but what would call me back?

As it turns out, several things did. In my first post, I talked about health concerns which forced me to make some changes. I started a regimen of Chinese herbs, continued to meditate, and took up yoga. I’m in better shape now than I was twenty years ago; I lost ten pounds without even trying, and I feel terrific.

It was all good, except … my writing was stuck.

Stranger at Sunset released in 2014. It was the first of a 3-book trilogy, but books 2 and 3 are not finished. A bit of introspection uncovered the following thoughts, which of all things, involved the concept of input and output.

My mind is a mystery, even to me.

input output

My thinking went something like this. As with all things that require an ‘output’— correct and adequate ‘input’ must first feed the brain. A series of steps known collectively as a ‘process’ then creates an output. If the output is not as expected, it only makes sense to go back to the source and ask: Is something missing from or wrong with the input?

For example, if my pipes leak, I engage the services of a plumber. If the leak persists, it’s due to bad input. Either the plumber used incorrect or faulty parts, or the problem was misdiagnosed, resulting in a flawed process to fix it. Whatever it is, the desired result is not achieved.

Why am I using this odd plumber analogy?

Because once upon a time, in an over-simplified attempt to dismiss writer’s block, I wrote: “Plumbers don’t have plumber’s block, so why do writers have writer’s block?”

Unlike plumbing though, writing is deeply entangled with an author’s personal identity. The inability to produce undoubtedly creates angst. This in turn, can paralyze the process of writing altogether.

So … as much as I hate to admit it, writer’s block is real. I had to eat my words.

eat your words

I initially treated my block as emotional noise, something I could banish by continuing to write. I produced novellas and short stories, but I could not move forward with my series, no matter how hard I tried.

My block was specific. I couldn’t defeat it with enthusiasm and discipline.

I beat myself up mentally until I realized I had to change my input if I wanted a different outcome.

When I purposely shifted away from negative thoughts, I created space for opportunity. That’s when I came upon a festival—in Ubud, Bali.

ubud writers fest

I was familiar with the festival but had always dismissed it. The cost of airfare and distance to get there made the trip prohibitive. I never gave it a second thought. This time, I thought twice, so I decided to explore the pros and cons of making the journey.


(1) Travel lifts my spirit and imagination to a new high.

(2) Parts of my next two books are set in Asia. Firsthand research is the best, whenever possible.

(3) Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali filled with temples, galleries, and local markets—an inspiring place like no other.

(4) Numerous yoga studios are located in Ubud, so I can keep up my practice while there.

(5) The aforementioned Writers and Readers Festival.


Hmm …

Aside from the cost and distance, I really had no cons.

I chose to make the trip because ultimately, it was an investment in me and my writing. And the two are inextricably linked.

From the moment I booked the trip, my imagination went into overdrive. I won’t make empty promises about when I will finish my books, but I do know this … I’m excited and I’m writing, and I look forward to returning to Bali to recharge my batteries.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of my Mind Body Series when I’ll be writing to you while en route to Beijing. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing on a 16-hour flight.🙂



Filed under Craft of Writing, Revelations & Humor

Music Monday flows with The Traveling Wilburys

Hello from Indonesia!

Here’s my view of coconut trees and rice fields as I write this blog.

rice fields

This is a departure from my previous music series that highlighted songs from my yoga classes.

I’m in Bali for a writers’ festival, yoga, and research for my next book—A Fragile Truce.

While on my recent flight from Toronto to Houston, I scanned the albums available to help me sleep  for the 3 1/2 hour flight. It was night time and the first leg of what was to be a thirty-plus hour journey to Bali.

The only album of interest to me was The Traveling Wilburys, a band which included Bob Dylan. He recently won the Nobel Prize for Literature (in case you didn’t know). I’ll be featuring the music of Mr. Dylan in a future month.

As I sat on that plane leaving the country, these three verses of “End of the Line” spoke to me , even above the roar of the airplane’s engines.

” …Well it’s all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it’s all right, if you got someone to love
Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line

Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive (End of the Line)
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive (End of the Line)
It don’t matter if you’re by my side (End of the Line)
I’m satisfied

Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and gray
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive …”

I hope you find your own meaning in these lyrics. My next blog will be Toning my Mind, Body and Time Travel, which continues my Mind Body series.

Have a wonderful week. I know I will.


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Filed under Musical Mondays

Music Monday flows with @LadyGaga #yoga

As I continue to highlight music from my classes at Union Yoga studio, here is a great song from my Body Tone class.

When it’s playing, we are usually on our backs doing sit-ups, crunches, and working on abdominals.

It’s a motivating tune, and so long as I keep breathing, I really feel like I’m on the edge of glory.

Enjoy the inimitable Lady Gaga.

I’m traveling shortly, and I’ll be in transit to Bali the next time I blog.

Have a super week!



Filed under Musical Mondays

Music Monday flows with @Beyonce #yoga

I never thought I’d feature a Beyoncé song for yoga, but live and learn. This high energy dance song is part of my Body Tone class at  Union Yoga studio.

It’s about girls running the world, and I feel a bit bad for the few guys in the class (it’s 90% women), but they don’t seem to mind.

They’re huffing and puffing along with the song just like the rest of us.

Have an energetic week, and for those of us in Canada, Happy Thanksgiving!



Filed under Musical Mondays

Toning my Mind, Body, and Breasts

I hope you’re here for my mind and not my breasts.😉

The title is a bit misleading, so allow me to elaborate.

Over the next month (possibly longer), I’ll be blogging about my mind, body, and … something else. I’m calling it the Mind Body Series. The “something else” is a by-product of the work I’ve been doing to improve myself mentally and physically.

For this post, I’ll talk about toning my mind and body and only touch on my breasts.

Hmm … that didn’t sound right. What I mean is, I won’t be offering any tips on how to make your breasts perkier or firmer, in case that’s why you stopped by.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (USA | Canada | UK), it’s important that I highlight this worthy cause in any way I can. Since I was diagnosed in 2000, both detection and treatment have improved significantly for those with breast cancer.

It’s encouraging to read about the progress over the years and know this disease may someday be eradicated—in my lifetime.

breast cancer awareness month

The stuttered beginning of this post provides a small indication for how I’ve been feeling the past two years—hesitant and unfocused. It’s affected every area of my life, most notably my writing. I’ve pushed ahead as best as I can, but it’s been a difficult time not knowing how long the lethargy would last.

In essence, when would my mind bounce back to the way it was—to when it was sharp and clear, without the filter of cobwebs behind a thick fog, buried under a rock?

See? I need major help with my metaphors too.

empty brain

On paper, my thoughts were dysfunctional and incomprehensible to me. Others did not seem to think so, but I’ve always been my own worst critic. The words rang hollow. At times, I felt like my brain was empty of thought. This, of course, was impossible. What offered me small comfort was knowing that I can write. I had proof of it in my previous books even though my perception of my writing had changed. When I used to read my old work, I would think: “Ha! I can write better than that now!” and feel good that I had improved.

Now, I did not recognize myself in my writing. I felt like an imposter, which wasn’t all that different from how I felt when I first started writing fulltime. Call it self-doubt or a crisis of confidence, but whatever it was, it gripped me in a headlock and was not letting go.

For the better part of this year, I’ve limited my blog to music posts and author promotions. I figured I couldn’t mess those up too much. Penning an original and personal post had become increasingly difficult. I wrote the last one when I returned from my grandmother’s funeral, and that was nearly ten months ago.

If it were not for R.B. Wood’s WordCount Podcast and Toby Neal’s Lei Crime KindleWorlds series, I would not have done much creative writing at all. Both of them gave me opportunities to write—at least in the short fiction format.

Regardless of how I felt, it was important that I kept up a daily writing ritual, so I turned into a robotic vomiter of words for the sake of meeting word count.

word vomit

I tried to maintain discipline, anchoring myself in the knowledge that these words were not without merit. The problem was, none of them were in the proper order for my next book—A Fragile Truce, which was to follow Stranger at Sunset, released 2014.

I had planned to launch the second book less than a year later, followed by book three shortly after that.

The pressure to meet my deadline prompted me to withdraw from social media for a while, but that didn’t help.

What was happening to me?

Was it the dreaded writer’s block (which I had vehemently denied even existed?)

writer's block

Or was it something more sinister?

Following a couple of trips to see my doctor, he diagnosed me as severely anemic. My iron level was non-existent and my blood pressure so low he was surprised I didn’t faint. I was 50 at the time. It made sense I would be experiencing hormonal fluctuation and other symptoms of life change. Still, I never thought it would affect me with such intensity—to the point where both my mind and body felt foreign to me.

I know every woman goes through this, and some I’ve spoken to have much worse symptoms than me. I was also reminded that fifteen years ago, my oncologist told me there might be lingering effects from my chemo treatment. I guess I had chosen to ignore that little piece of information. Unfortunately, it was impossible to ignore the connection between changes in my body and how it affected my ability to communicate – both verbally and via the written word. I never used to struggle to find the right words. Now, It’s on the tip of my tongue syndrome occurred more often than I cared to admit. My vocabulary plummeted, which meant writing took longer since I needed to consult a Thesaurus more often.

Something had to change, but what?


Since my mid twenties, I’ve meditated regularly, which I owe to saving my mind from becoming even more erratic than it already was. What I didn’t realize was the process of stilling my mind (sitting for long periods in meditation) was not fully serving me at this stage in my life—not physically anyway.

I’ve never really had to exercise. Moderate physical activity was enough to keep me in good shape, but I knew I needed to do more. I felt sluggish and heavy. I couldn’t sleep.

In February, against my doctor’s wishes, I decided not to take iron supplements and instead, started a regimen of Chinese herbs. They have helped me regain much of my energy. I don’t have that lethargic feeling anymore, and best yet, my foggy brain cleared up as well.

chinese herbal concoction

Concoction of dates, goji berries, and dong quai

I also did something opposite to what my doctor recommended. He wanted me to take it easy with exercise. I understood his rationale, but I listened to my body, and my body told me it needed to move. It needed to move A LOT. I felt manic when I made the decision to join a hot yoga studio in the neighbourhood, like I had been on ice for far too long.


I started going to classes two, three, then five times a week. One of the classes is a Body Tone class which is fitness inspired. We work with weights, loud music, and the pace is breakneck. I imagine it’s what “Bootcamp Yoga” would be if there was such a thing. In the beginning, I couldn’t even do half the moves of the hour-long class. I am now happy to say that after eight months, I can complete the full class—with gusto! I’ve even moved up to using 5-lb weights from my original 3-pounders. Though that might not sound like a lot, performing repetitive weight-bearing squats, lifts, and sit-ups in 35C (95F) heat is exhausting. I walk out of the class drenched but feeling happy and invigorated. The workouts have also helped me sleep much better.

I returned to my doctor recently for a follow-up appointment and told him what I had been doing. He was fine with my approach though a bit concerned I had lost 10 pounds since I started yoga. It shocked me, really. I don’t own a scale, so the only time I ever weigh myself is at my doctor’s office. It was never my intention to lose weight, but despite my thinner body, I felt stronger than I have ever felt in my life.

All good news, right?

Well, there is a small downside to the story … and that’s where my breasts enter into the picture.

Or more accurately, it’s where they make their exit.

Those 10 pounds I lost came straight off the top. I didn’t think it was possible to go down a size from a 32A bra, but it is.

The main casualty of this weight loss is now I have to get rid of many of my bras. I love beautiful lingerie, and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I own several push-ups that feel like they could double as a football player’s shoulder pads. They transformed me from a 32A to a 32C—a two-cup increase. Woohoo!


These babies could stop bullets!

When I fitted myself with these push-ups the other day, I laughed my ass off! I thought I was going to topple over. Suffice it to say it looks unnatural for me to have such large breasts now.

Did you ever think you would be so intimate with my intimates? Heh.

It’s been a trying and interesting time. I’m not one who complains, but I wanted to let readers know why I haven’t been able to deliver on my trilogy. At the same time, I also wanted to thank you for reading my meanderings, now and in the past.

The good news is I’m on the mend.

My mind is much improved with Chinese herbs and meditation. My body is leaner and growing stronger with yoga, and last but not least, even though there is less to them now …

love your breasts

Stay tuned for the next instalment of my Mind Body Series when I talk about travel and returning to a magical place—Bali.



Filed under Craft of Writing, Revelations & Humor

Music Monday flows with @MaxFrost #yoga

Over the next weeks, I’ll feature songs and artists who’ve helped me move in my hot yoga classes.

The songs are an eclectic mix, as are the teachers who lead the classes at the wonderful Union Yoga studio, where I’m a member.

I respond to upbeat, lyrical songs when I exercise, as well as to the slow, soothing music usually associated with yoga.

Imagine flowing to “Let Me Down Easy” by Texan songwriter, Max Frost.

Have a super-charged, great week, even if it’s not an easy one,



Filed under Musical Mondays

Author @DMassenzio asks Eden Baylee 20 Questions

I had the pleasure of answering some unique questions for author Don Massenzio. You may recall he was on my blog earlier this year and is an avid supporter of indie authors.

If you’d like to read my responses to Don’s questions, including my answer to:

Q6) Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Then hop over to Don’s site and connect to him. You can read the interview here.


Connect to Don 

Don M

Web Site | Blog | Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page | Goodreads Author Page

Google+ | Twitter @dmassenzio

Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

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Filed under Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews

Music Monday cools down with Summer Soft

Wow, I’ve definitely felt a chill in the air this past week.

It seems autumn and a cool breeze settled into the air the day after summer ended.

Many thanks to my wonderful designer JB Graphics who alerted me to this oldie by Stevie Wonder.

The lyrics speak to the exit of summer like a woman leaves her lover.


“Summer soft…
Wakes you up with a kiss to start the morning off
In the midst of herself playing Santa Claus
She brings gifts through her breeze

Morning rain…
Gently plays her rythms on your window pane
Giving you no clue of when she plans to change
To bring rain or sunshine

And so you wait to see what she’ll do
Is it sun or rain for you
But it breaks your heart in two
When you find it’s October

And she’s gone
And she’s gone
Summer’s gone
Taking with her summer’s play …”


Despite the end of summer, I have much to look forward to. I’m taking time off and will blog about an upcoming trip to Asia in October.

Stay tuned and have a wonderful week,




Filed under Musical Mondays

Eden’s Exchange talks to author Chris Rose (@WritingOnaCloud)

Author Chris Rose and I have crossed paths on several writers’ groups, and I’m happy to finally have him on my blog.

He has a sense of humor, and I think you will enjoy his interview. Please learn more about Chris and all he has to offer.

* * * *

Welcome Chris! Let’s start with a personal question. How would your best friend describe you in 20 words or less?

Shy & outgoing. Black and white. Yin and Yang. And on it goes. But passionate always. Oh, and charming (cough).

Sweet. Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? 

I’m a translator, for now, which, ideally, when the good work’s there, is much the same as writing – it is, indeed, re-writing, rather like editing someone else’s work – so I flit between the two, theirs, mine, theirs, mine…

Sounds like great work for a writer. What part of the world do you live in? 

I live in Norfolk now, Norwich, Europe’s centre of all things literary, and I LOVE it! For its sense of community; for its beautiful coastline, and for all its many cultural and historical aspects.

What is your biggest extravagance?

My clothes. I’ve always been a bit of a dandy.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Well, I’ve recently read a quote by Helen Mirren, at 70, where she says that if she could go back and advise her younger self about how to deal with people, day to day, there would be many more ‘F*ck offs’ in there. I was brought up to employ the old stiff upper lip, and to not let the bastards see they were grinding me down, and to get through matters on wit. Which isn’t the way to go about things.

Helen Mirren is wickedly beautiful and I love her. What profession other than your own would you like to try?

Be a member of the S.A.S, anything that makes me feel alive. May sound silly to compare the two but that’s why I do theatre.

What is one thing you want to do before you die?

Other than indulge in quite a number of sexual fantasies, all involving willing participants, I’d say get my Italian up there with my French and Spanish.

It’s wonderful to know many languages. Do you have favorite curse words, in English or any other language?

If they can be classed as curse words this day and age, I love the old British working class ‘bleedin’’ this and that – ‘Shut up, ya silly bleeder!’ That kind of stuff, very dry and genuine. But I tend to swear in French most of the time, and so get away with it now: you know, like, ‘Putain de bordel de merde !’ I say get away with it, but I can get caught out sometimes.

How about a motto you live by?

I have so many, as trite as they sometimes sound, but I think ‘Nothing ventured’ holds very true.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

My good lady and kids aside, my having become tri-lingual to native level in French and Spanish, having started late on in life, from scratch. It’s what seems to impress people, although I never initiate the question; it’s always due to their curiosity, no cats involved.

🙂 What makes you REALLY laugh?

Wow, where to start! Nothing too intellectual, and it always tends to be quite visual; and it’s something that can catch me completely off guard, all very reactionary and natural. Very basic.

Let’s learn more about the writer in you, Chris.  Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Memory, mainly, I have quite a vivid memory. It’s strange, but I think somewhere, deep down, I always knew I’d become a writer, and it’s as if I’d subconsciously record stuff, from situations right down to something somebody said. And I can go back decades on those alone.

And then there are books I’ve read of course.

What motivates you to write?

The previous question, I think. It’s a need to purge, like most writers, I imagine.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-4-43-13-pmWhat is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?

To write for me, not some 23 year old agent. Or publisher. Hence why I love the route I’ve taken and wouldn’t change it.

Name a few of your favorite authors and books, and why you like them.

The question I feared. Albert Camus. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Truman Capote. Kurt Vonnegut. Christianne Rochefort… I could go on, and on.

Yes, it’s always hard to choose just a few. How do you market yourself?

Twitter and Facebook, generally. I mean to do more by putting myself about with the paperbacks, but life keeps getting in the way.

Do you do much research for your books?

Very little. I write about what I know about. Based on what I like to read personally. I’ve yet to attempt some new area.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of being a writer?

I love the editing part, it’s what I call the real writing, even when it means deleting chunks of text; in fact, I love that part most, clearing away the debris.

The least favourite is the few days after a book has come to completion, and I feel a little lost.

I can relate to that. It’s the anti-climax. Define your style of writing.

Different. Original… hopefully. But to place it somewhere I’d go for poetic prose.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-4-42-48-pmIs it important for you to know the title or ending of a book before you write it?

Fantastic question. The title of a book works as a wonderful catalyst for me. I base a book around it. For the ending, no, that just writes itself… as long as it isn’t a happy one, I don’t like those.

Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?

The second option. Or rather I sit down and bleed😉

So true! Do you have a set schedule for writing? 

Not really. Whenever it’s quiet, mainly. And if the muse isn’t there, I don’t. No rush.

What is your best advice for new authors?

Be you. There’s room for us all. And read when you can.

What are some of your “must-have” tools for writing? 

A thesaurus – sometimes, that is; I don’t like repeating words when I can help it. And my guitar.

Ah, a musician, nice. What is the name and genre of your latest book?

The latest is called Nancy Boy: for one year only…

Although genre is always a tough one with me. Let’s call it ‘contemporary, introspective, family drama, and romance – there are many more, I’m sure, I like to give value for money (cough).

Yes you do! Let’s  learn more about the book.


Buy link: Amazon 

Nancy Boy: for one year only…

It’s a time of great social and political upheaval – industrial disputes… and… hang on, that was the last book, Wood, Talc and Mr. J, which I hope you’ve read; it might help keep you in the loop. This time the upheaval’s personal; less a “Britain on the brink” for more our protagonist being on it, the brink, on Britain’s brink, heading outwards, over the water by way of the odd blunder.

You’ve got it, Phillip Rowlings is back, all grown up (cough…)

A new dawn approaches – “the real out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new,” deems Emmaline; “the shedding of crinkly baggage.” What with a tired and tested Conservative party spiralling downward, and the emergence of a New Labour drawing near, the writing is on the wall; things, as they’d in time say, could only get better. And how better might Britain these “things” than by her ever innovative, her unique, musical sons! Oasis? Blur? The ’80s are gone and good riddance to them, that’s what Phillip thinks!

Or he would, were he to think at all…

He couldn’t give a garlic snail about emerging British dawns; he wants out. And has invested years applying himself to that end – he’s heard the call, you see. Or rather, the calls, conveyed by T.Rex’s Marc Bolan, and Blind Date’s Cilla Black. And if you think that’s weird, how might they inspire our ex-Soul rebel-without-a-clue to… become a Nancy Boy, for the one year only?

France. 1994-’95.

Phillip no longer sees life in black and white, for blue, white, and red, perfect symmetry, height, width. And it all looks lovely on the brochure. Save that – hélas – he’s never been skilled in the shedding of crinkly baggage.

Still, he will encounter the unforeseen, as you do when things come… unforeseen. Poor Phillip, somebody once said. Well, maybe this time it’s more a case of lucky Phillip. Maybe.

Cigarettes are cheaper in France, too.

But let’s get one thing clear from the outset – dès le départ, as they say in the old hexagon. This isn’t A Year in Provence…

Why should people read Nancy Boy?

Because I like to face taboo issues. Or maybe issues people don’t even think to write about, hopefully. They can then, perhaps, find themselves in my books.

How long did it take for you to write it?

Off and on, about two years – with quite a few offs.

What inspired you to write it?

Memory, unresolved issues?

How are you marketing Nancy Boy?

More of the above, really. Which is quite difficult in a paranormal romance dominated world. But as long as someone reads it, I don’t mind… (sniff).

How did you celebrate when you finished the book?

I stopped drinking. I tend to celebrate during.

Ha! Okay. What has the reception been to it?

Great. Initially. And then zilch. Which at least goes to show I have a fan out there (another sniff).

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing Nancy Boy?

Again, self-belief. And it’s a great feeling.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

Its originality.

What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?

That detailed (5 star, cough) review.

What is next for you, Chris?

I’m hoping to write a number of flash fiction stories, perhaps based around the same novel.

Excellent, let’s finish with a fun lightning round! 

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My cashmere coat.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? I love Cortona, in Tuscany. But I guess my heart will always be in France.

Name a food you can eat every day. Eggs.

Salty or sweet? I swing both ways.

Coffee or tea or something else? COFFEE !!

Cat/dog/other pet? Hamster.

Favorite style of music? Why, Soul music, sista !!

The best gift you’ve ever received? A boy and a girl.

Your most guilty pleasure. Chocolate and banana crèpes – that’s when I’m anybody’s…

Favorite season. Autumn.

Name something you cannot go a day without. A cuddle… (please!)

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?


Ps: sorry, but my original website no longer exists (long story, & one I’ll no doubt write about in 20 years or so), so what you have at the moment are the splutterings of a new and basic blog. But just you wait, folks !!

Got it! Thanks again for sharing of yourself with my readers, Chris. It’s been a pleasure to learn more about you.

* * * *

Connect to Chris

chris-roseWebsite | Linkedin | Google +

Facebook | Twitter: @WritingOnACloud

Born and bred in the city of steel: Sheffield.

Spent – or misspent, whichever your viewpoint – the majority of his ‘young’ years on the Northern Soul circuit. It’s around this time and place that his novel is set – ‘Wood, Talc and Mr. J : We never had it so good’, which is the 1st in the ‘The Rowlings Years’ series.

His academic education came much later, from scratch, in a sense.

In time, he fell in love with the idea of languages, French in particular, and went on to get a BA Hons in French Language and Literature with subsidiary Spanish, at The University of Sheffield. He was a ‘mature student’, though maybe not as mature as he would like to think, looking back…

After which, he moved down south – mid 90s – and eventually further still to the South of France for a few years, where he taught English. He then moved up to northern France to do much the same thing.

But it was here where he also began to write, or experiment with writing.

He came back to England in the mid-00s and lived in North London for five years, teaching and writing again.

And for the last four or five years, he’s lived in Norwich, where he’s completed a Masters in Literary Translation, at the UEA – he likes to believe he’s most definitely mature now!

He’s now working his way toward making a living by writing, with a little translation on the side…

He tends to be picky about books, and take his time reading them; he expects each word to count; something he can go back to, read again – and again. Things witty, satirical, poetic… Moving. Favourite writers of late? Maybe Markas Zusak. Anna Funder, her ‘All That I Am’. Actually, he’s only just discovered Kurt Vonnegut, and read ‘The Slaughterhouse Five’.

Soulful writers, and their soulful things. And maybe he tries to emulate them.

Same goes for his taste in films, music… and people



Filed under Author & Artist Interviews

Pre-order THE BODY IN THE SNOW by Christoph Fischer (@cffbooks) #cozymystery

the-body-in-the-snowI’m very happy to announce an upcoming release from prolific author and friend, Christoph Fischer. His latest novel tackles a new genre for him—a cozy mystery called The Body in the Snow. It will be the first in a series.

I received an advanced copy of the book and am loving it so far!

Christoph is an incredible writer, and I think he has a terrific voice for this genre. If you’d like to learn about his inspiration for the book, read his fascinating post here.

The official release date is September 24th, but you can pre-order the book right now.

Please help me in congratulating Christoph on his latest novel!

*   *   *

the body in the snow 2



Fading celebrity Bebe Bollinger is on the wrong side of fifty and dreaming of a return to the limelight. When a TV show offers the chance of a comeback, Bebe grabs it with both hands – not even a lazy agent, her embarrassing daughter, irritating neighbours or a catastrophic snowfall will derail her moment of glory. But when a body is found in her sleepy Welsh hamlet, scandal threatens.

Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper has a string of unsolved cases to her name. Her girlfriend left her and she’s a fish out of water in rural West Wales. Things couldn’t get much worse – until the case of the Body in The Snow lands in her lap.

Can Beth solve the case and save her career and can Bebe make her comeback?  All will be revealed in this light-hearted, cosy murder mystery by best-selling and award winning historical and crime fiction novelist Christoph Fischer.

The Body in the Snow is now available as e-book on Amazon on pre-order via these links:


Connect to Christoph

christoph fischer 2

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline.

“The Luck of The Weissensteiners” was published in November 2012; “Sebastian” in May 2013 and ‘The Black Eagle Inn” in October 2013 – which completes his “Three Nations Trilogy”. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions”, another contemporary novel, in October 2014. The sequel “Conditioned” was published in October 2015. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015 and his second thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015. He published two more historical novels “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and “Ludwika” in December 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

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Filed under Author Promotions

SCENE FROM A BAR ~ My story for @RBwood’s #WordCountPodcast

Congratulations to author, R.B. Wood on his 60th episode of the Wordcount Podcast! 

You can hear me read this story on: Episode #60 of R.B. Wood’s THE WORD COUNT PODCAST.

The prompt asked that we use 3 words in the story:

Charming | Key | Computer

STORY INSPIRATION: I never frequented bars in my single days, but on occasion when I dine out alone, I enjoy sitting at the bar. It’s a great place to “people watch.”

~ eden

* * * *

I hate this place, too noisy, too busy, yet my geeky brother-in-law insisted it was the best bar in town. He should know, he said. He used to work here before he moved on to better things.

In every corner, people are talking fast, acting smart. I feel out of place even though I’ve been here before, but at the time, I knew exactly what I wanted. Today, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

The place caters to all types, though a woman with a halter top that barely covers her ample breasts seems out of place. I was once her age. I probably looked as silly as she does in that get-up, but like her, I must have feigned obliviousness. A twenty-something is now chatting her up, and they’re both laughing. Another man approaches them and asks a question before he moves on. This man is older, full beard, seems a lot more aware. He walks with purpose and his eyes dart across the room behind his Buddy Holly glasses.

Hipster, I think to myself.

A woman catches his eye. She is completely different from halter top girl. Well dressed in a suit and sophisticated, she looks like a banker or a lawyer. You can tell she’s serious too. She knows exactly what she wants and has no time to fool around. I wish I was in her shoes. When the hipster approaches her, they exchange a few words and he is definitely interested. He nods quickly and gestures for her to follow him. They move toward one of the many busy tables occupied by patrons. There is only one free seat and she takes it, setting her briefcase by her feet. They start talking for a bit before she pulls out her cell phone and shows him something on the screen. He gesticulates with his hands, then touches his ear like he’s playing a game of charades. I almost burst out laughing.

Three words.

First word.

Sounds like.


Is it a bird?

Is it a plane?

Wait, now he’s sticking up his index finger while he says “Just a minute, I’ll be right back.”

“Sure,” she says and returns her gaze to her cell, swiping the screen back and forth. She seems content to wait.

My imagination is active today. I must be bored or nervous or both. I’m waiting for my man to return. Unlike the hipster servicing the businesswoman, my guy isn’t quite as committed or attentive to me. He excused himself fifteen minutes ago and has not returned. For the brief time after I shared my story when I sat down in front of him, he nodded and his eyes lit up. He asked a couple of key questions before stepping away.

I want to remain hopeful. That’s all I can do.

“Miss Hermeez?”

I swing around in my chair to face the man pulling up a seat in front of me. His main features are a jutting chin covered in peach fuzz and pretentious wire-rimmed glasses atop a Roman nose. He wants to look older than he is, but it’s not working—not on me anyway.

“Oh … hi, you’re back.” A sigh of relief escapes my lips. “Actually, the “H” is not pronounced.”

“Huh?” He looks at me like I have a third eye.

“My name is Hermes. The ‘H’ is silent. It’s French, like the designer.”

He stiffens his back and takes a deep breath. His vacant eyes tell me he’s never heard of Hermes.

“All righty then,” he says and continues in a robotic tone, “Miss ah … Miss ahhh … Air Meez.”

I decide against correcting him again. Charming, he is not.

So, here I am at the Apple Store genius bar, and across from me is Billy, who can’t even say my name properly. He’s obviously no genius. If he were, I wouldn’t still be sitting here.

“I’m afraid your laptop is now a boat anchor,” Billy says. “There’s nothing we can do. I hope you had everything backed up to an external hard drive.”

I bite down on my lower lip, and the room begins to spin. I see hipster dude walk out from behind the genius bar carrying a box. It looks like the latest iPhone. A wall of colorful accessories expands and contracts like it’s about to explode. The noise inside the store turns to a dead silence. I’m drowning in perspiration. It dots my back and rises to the surface of my forehead, then begins dripping down my face.

If Steve Jobs were still alive …

“Miss?” Billy says.

His voice snaps me back to attention.

“Are you all right?” He suddenly looks concerned.

“No … no, I’m not!” The sound of the room is reawakened by my voice. “This isn’t just my computer, it’s my life. If you’re going to give me bad news, you can’t say it like that. A little small talk at least, but this …”

Billy dips his fuzzy chin, and I half expect something snarky to come out of his over-entitled millennial mouth.

“Yes, Miss Hermes. I’m sorry to be so blunt. I just thought you would want to know. Did you …?” He drops his gaze again. “Were you able to save everything before your computer shut down?”

I swallow hard, shake my head slowly and feel tears welling in my eyes. Billy looks horrified and squirms in his seat. He jumps up, almost knocking his chair over.

“I’m going to call my manager,” he says. “I want a second opinion.” He holds up his palms toward me as if to say Hang tight, help is on the way!

Before I can say another word, he’s run off.

I pull myself together. I’ve never been fond of bars, especially genius bars.

Thank you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.




Filed under Short Stories & Poetry

Music Monday moves with Gregory Porter and The IN Crowd #jazz

It’s the last Monday before summer is over for another year. I’m not happy about the end of summer, but the weather should stay warm for a couple of more weeks.

A girlfriend told me about Gregory Porter, and this song (originally performed by Dobie Gray in 1964) is addictive and catchy. I didn’t want a somber end to my “summer music” series, so I chose this video, filled with warm, happy scenes. It reminds me of all the reasons why summer is my favorite season.

I hope you enjoy being part of the “In” Crowd.

Have a fun-filled, upbeat week,



Filed under Musical Mondays

Author @NedHickson releases PEARLS OF WRITING WISDOM #humor

I interviewed Ned Hickson more than two years ago to highlight his book, Humor at the Speed of Life. If you missed the interview, I encourage you to hop over and read it. Ned was one of my most popular author interviews, and you’ll have a great laugh!

It’s no surprise that Ned is back, and he’s releasing a new book.

PEARLS OF WRITING WISDOM: From 16 Shucking Years as a Columnist is now available.

In addition to his many talents, Ned recently became editor of Siuslaw News, a newspaper published in Florence, Oregon.

Please welcome Ned once again, and congratulate him on his latest accomplishments!

* * * *

pearls of writing wisdom

If you are a writer, or fear you might be one, I wrote this book for you. It contains my pearls of writing wisdom: insights, tips and encouragement shucked from my 16 years as a newspaper columnist and writer. Think of this book as a conversation we’d have about writing if we were sharing a cold beer. We’d talk about tecniques, style, personal experience and hopes. We’d encourage each other and share a few laughs. We might even get a little rowdy and start using air quotation marks. In the end, we’d feel inspired about our love of writing. So pull up a stool, turn the page and let’s talk about writing…

—  Ned Hickson

Pre-order a signed copy from Port Hole Books.

Orders will be shipped out at the end of September, with an e-book available shortly.

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Connect To Ned

ned hickson

Ned’s Blog | Twitter: @nedhickson | Facebook

Amazon Author Page

Ned Hickson is an award-winning humor columnist for Siuslaw News, a small Oregon newspaper where the motto is:

Your dependable source for local news. Twice weekly. Unless we lose count.

Ned has been awarded “Best Local Column” from both the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2002, he took his self-syndicated column online to newspapers and, by 2003, received his first measure of national success: A threatening letter from the Velcro© Corporation for not using the “©” symbol when making fun of its product. That same year, he became a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists — mostly for his own protection.

Currently, his weekly column appears in dozens of newspapers in the U.S. and Canada as a syndicated columnist for News Media Corporation. He writes about daily life and important social issues, such as glow-in-the-dark mice and injuries caused by overheated pickles. Humor at the Speed of Life is a collection of his most popular columns, as opposed to the kinds he usually writes, during his 15 years as a newspaper columnist.

Ned lives on the Oregon coast with his wife, four children, two dogs, a cat and entirely too many seagulls.

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Filed under Author Promotions

Music Monday moves with #summer songs #PrettyFlamingo

A couple of weeks ago, I rode a pretty flamingo on water.

Yes, you read that right.

Some people thought it was a swan, but I’m pretty sure it was a pink flamingo!

It’s all part of the fun of summertime.🙂

Photo by D. Hall

Photo by D. Hall

Let’s hope the heat continues a bit longer before fall descends upon us.

Have a wonderful, warm week and enjoy “Pretty Flamingo” by Manfred Mann,




Filed under Musical Mondays

LUDWIKA by Christoph Fischer (@cffbooks) is nominated – VOTE NOW!

I’m thrilled to announce that LUDWIKA, a book from one of the most hard-working authors, is in the running for the 2016 Summer Indie Book Awards for Historical Fiction. I’ve featured Christoph many times on my blog and would consider it a huge WIN for him AND readers if his book won the prize.

It’s very easy to vote! Just hit this link or his book cover below. Thank you so much for your support of indie authors.  

*   *   *

ludwikaBuy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Audible

It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.


Connect to Christoph

christoph fischer 2

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline.

“The Luck of The Weissensteiners” was published in November 2012; “Sebastian” in May 2013 and ‘The Black Eagle Inn” in October 2013 – which completes his “Three Nations Trilogy”. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions”, another contemporary novel, in October 2014. The sequel “Conditioned” was published in October 2015. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015 and his second thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015. He published two more historical novels “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and “Ludwika” in December 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

* * * *


Filed under Author Promotions

The Convicts of @FictionConvictn interview Eden Baylee

Fiction Conviction is made up of several women, Lily, Sabrina, Ally, and Fenella, bonded by their love of books.  They interviewed me in a recent post.

I’m happy to support their site and you should too!

They asked interesting, quick questions, and I had fun answering all 20 of them.

You can read the interview of me by hitting the graphic below.

fiction conviction

Connect to Fiction Conviction – a great resource for writers! 

Website | Twitter @FictionConvictn | Facebook

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Filed under Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews

Music Monday moves with #summer songs #VanMorrison

August is over, but summer is still with us for a few more weeks.

Let’s keep it going with some *summer* songs. They may or may not be familiar to you, but hopefully, they will stave off the cool weather for the rest of the month.

Enjoy Van Morrison and “Youth of 1000 Summers.”

Have a wonderful, warm week,




Filed under Musical Mondays

New Release by @Maria_Savva ~ THE SPIDER #thriller

The Spider_FB Cover_Coming SoonFriend and author, Maria Savva releases a new book in September, and it’s currently available for pre-order!

Maria is an avid fan of the short story form and poetry, and she’s an excellent writer, so I’m looking forward to reading her latest.

Find out more about The Spider available September 19th!

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The Spider_eCover_Final

Available for pre-order now! 

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

‘No one’s ever come out of that house alive…’

What lurks behind the door of 8 Goldfern Road?

Are you brave enough to step inside?

By entering the sinister house, George and Glen become entangled in a dangerous battle of wills.

The Spider is a story of obsession, infidelity, and broken dreams.

This darkly humorous mystery will appeal to fantasy and romance readers as well as those who love to hate spiders!

* * * *

Connect to Maria

maria savvaWebsite | Goodreads Blog

Twitter @maria_savva | Facebook

Amazon Author page

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in various genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Her short stories have appeared in the BestsellerBound Anthologies and she is a regular contributor to the The Mind’s Eye series of books. Maria is also a music blogger.

You can find out more about her work at her official website:

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Filed under Author Promotions

Music Monday moves with Bridge Over Troubled Water

It’s the last Monday of August, which means my final Simon and Garfunkel song for the month.

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” is my friend, Allison’s favorite song by the duo. This post is a tribute to her and our friendship, and unlike the song, we were near warm and peaceful waters when she took this picture of me.

Thanks, Al. 

eb at millcroft

Meditation at Millcroft Inn

Have a lovely end of August,




Filed under Musical Mondays

Comfortably Numb ~ My story for @RBwood’s #WordCountPodcast

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #59 of R.B. Wood’s THE WORD COUNT PODCAST.

The prompt asked that we use 3 words in the story:


NOTE: This story is excerpted and rewritten from a longer one, which I wrote earlier this year. It is partly inspired by a friend going through a difficult life change, and of course, by Pink Floyd.

~ eden

* * * *

I’ve let go of so much. The kids are gone, moved away to University. They don’t need me anymore. My husband, Mike, still works. Someone has to pay the bills. He doesn’t need me either, but he puts up with me. I suppose it’s better than being alone, but my guess is it’s only marginally better for him. We navigate around each other without saying much. It’s not comfortable, but somehow we put up with each other. Complacency settles in after nearly thirty years of marriage, and with it, a dull ache fills my days.

It wasn’t always this way, but I remember exactly when everything changed. Six months ago, I picked up the Sunday New York Times like I did every week and read another study about climate change. I was a concerned citizen most of the time, but that day I thought: Why the hell should I care anymore? I’ll be long gone when the earth blows up. Even my grandchildren’s children won’t be around.

In that same paper, another article praised the benefits of alcohol and how previous studies had been overly cautious. In fact, scientists now encouraged drinking for middle-aged adults. Three to four glasses a day—beer, wine, liquor—it didn’t matter. Good for the heart and an excellent way to relieve stress. Next thing you know, they’ll be touting cigarettes as the new health fad!

I threw the newspaper across the room.

Garbage! All of it, garbage! I couldn’t believe anything anymore.

Something in me must have snapped because nothing was the same after that.

I was not the same.

*   *   *   *

Hunger wakes me up, but I don’t get out of bed immediately. After drifting in and out of sleep for what seems like hours, I make my way downstairs. It’s already close to noon.

Dishes and a frying pan balance precariously atop the counter next to an empty sink—Mike’s bacon and eggs from last night’s dinner, his cereal from this morning.

The kitchen is in need of a thorough cleaning. Why my husband does not load the dishwasher is beyond me. The appliance does not exist for him. It’s the same with the laundry. He must think clean underwear and shirts just magically appear in his closet. I resent picking up after him, but he’s right about one thing—it’s me who has changed, not him.

I have not wanted to do anything in months. Even the thought of a few household chores hollows me. My brain feels pickled. Most days, I walk around sweaty and lethargic.

The light on the home phone blinks red. It’s been blinking for weeks now. I know the messages are for me, but I don’t want to listen to them. I wish people would stop worrying about me. I don’t dare turn on my computer. The thought of unanswered e-mails in my inbox makes my stomach lurch.

Something burbles to life and I spin in its direction. My feet shuffle in a robotic motion to find the source. The buzz continues, and I register it’s coming from my purse. I snatch the bag off the dining room table and empty its contents on the floor. My cell phone vibrates on the ceramic tile like a small, frightened animal. I grab it in a panic.

“Hello, hello.”

“When did you get up?” says the voice on the other end of the line. Mike’s words jolt me to attention.

“Right after you left for work.” I’m on the defensive already.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure, why?”

A pause. “I called earlier, that’s why.”

“Well … I must have been in the washroom, didn’t hear the phone.” I wonder if my friendly housewife voice fools him. “Did you want something?”

“Yes,” he barks. “Iron a few shirts for me. I need them for meetings this week.”

Please would be nice, I think to myself.

Mike’s words pinch, but I keep my thoughts to myself and somehow manage a cheerful, “Yeah, sure.” That’s how we talk to each other—no nuanced arguments, no fine points to be made.

I hang up and rage nudges up my stomach. It lodges in my chest like indigestion.

“How dare he talk to me that way?” I mutter to myself. Now I have to clean the house and iron. I loathe ironing.

*   *   *   *

It’s Mike’s night out with the boys, and I manage to throw together a dinner of lasagna (from frozen of course) along with a salad (out a bag). He doesn’t seem to care. His mind is on watching the game and drinking with his friends anyway.

Now that he’s gone, I plod to the kitchen and crack an entire tray of ice cubes into the sink. I scoop up a handful, drop them into a tall glass of white wine, and gulp until the cold freezes my brain.

I’ve become an impressive drunk in that way where no one suspects I’m drinking.

My doctor prescribed antidepressants for me. They must be working, as I’m more productive now. I’m cooking again, and the house is clean. I even managed to respond to a few phone messages, and the other day, I fired up my computer. When I saw more than 300 emails in my inbox, I shut it down. Responding to emails would have to wait.

Playing around with what my doctor recommended has been tricky, but it’s one of the few things I do to empower myself. Instead of one pill with food, I take half a pill with a shot of Scotch. Yeah, the alcohol is a no-no, but … I seem to be okay so far.

I even had sex with my husband last night. Afterward, he flopped off me like a giant walrus, a fat limb-less torso. The only thing missing were the tusks. I didn’t enjoy it, but he must have. He seems nicer to me today than he’s been in a while.

As for me, I don’t feel much anymore. Numbness replaces the dull ache. It’s comforting really, much like a warm, cozy blanket.

Thank you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.




Filed under Short Stories & Poetry