Come play inside a writer's brain, scary!

With less than a month left of 2020, I don’t know anyone who’ll be sorry to see the year end. Except perhaps we writers.

We’re not only used to spending long hours by ourselves, but we can escape to our own invented worlds, whether they be C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, Tolkien’s Middle Earth, or my own island kingdom of Carramer.

This year my ‘escape’ was indie publishing 34 Million Books. Part memoir and part how-to, it took me way outside my comfort zone, while lifting my spirits and my readers’ during our troubling times.

Having discovered (with a lot of help from my friends) that I could self-publish and be proud of the result. I embarked on writing a Christmas story set in Carramer. Here I’ve set over 23 books in several genres. Her Royal Secret Santa was written in a month, very fast for me. It’s out as an ebook, see buying link below.

This morning I awoke with a sequel spinning through my head, Royal Right-Hand Man. I’ll attach a brief excerpt at the end of this. Warning, if you haven’t read Secret Santa, it contains a spoiler. Starting out to answer a question from Her Royal Secret Santa, instead it turned into a guide to the next story, catching me by surprise. Don’t you love it when your characters do that?

Among my mood lifters are inspirational books and posters. A favourite is The Desiderata. For many years it was believed found in an old Baltimore church and dated 1692. We now know it was written by American poet, Max Ehrman.

I wrote this version to inspire writers. The italic lines are from the original poem. The interpretations are mine.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.

How else can we listen to our inner voices and tune out the chaos of modern life? By avoiding ‘loud and aggressive persons’ you avoid hurting your spirit and thus, your creative source.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Comparisons are everywhere. Social media is filled with them, making you wonder how your own writing journey compares. The answer is, it doesn’t. Aim only to exceed your own highest standards.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Celebrate small milestones as well as major successes. Content yourself with sharing your stories, even if the prizes elude you for the time being.

Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of trickery.

Any writer looking at a publishing contract knows this only too well. Indies also have many pitfalls to avoid.

Let this not blind you to what virtue there is: many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

A fortunate truth, providing us with much to write about.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass.

A cynic cannot write convincingly about love or any other emotion. Only genuine emotion felt by the writer can move readers to laughter, tears and other vicarious experiences.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Age confers many blessings on writers, among them time to follow your craft and a wealth of lived experiences from which to draw.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Two occupational hazards of writing. Nowhere is strength of spirit more needed than right now as we face the challenges of the world around us.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.

Even if no-one else understands your drive to write, you owe it to yourself to respect, nurture and explore your gift as fully as you can.

…whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.

All writers share a common aspiration – to communicate. By sharing your stories you not only keep peace with your soul, you contribute to the pool of human understanding.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Have a happy holiday, however you celebrate. Best wishes,


OUT NOW for Christmas – Her Royal Secret Santa

on ebook universal link

takes you to your nearest Amazon site

OUT NOW Valerie’s latest title: 34 Million Books,

Australia’s Queen of Romance shares her life and writing tips

Ordering links at

And the ‘bonus bit’ from Her Royal Secret Santa

Warning – spoiler alert spoiler alert spoiler alert

  • Christmas Day, what a time to find yourself unemployed.

Still, Dian felt relieved as the security chief escorted her to her car. Not the black SUV she’d driven in the prince’s employ, but a yellow Citroen C4. The children’s car seats had already been transferred along with a box of personal effects from her office.

A certain nostalgia accompanied the sight, but there were also benefits. No more bowing and scraping to royalty, no more pretending to be who she wasn’t. That wretched Australian woman had taken the prince off her hands. No more feigning an attraction Dian didn’t feel.

“A farewell committee of one?” she asked the woman waiting by the car.

“I just heard. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I’ll find another job soon enough.”

The other woman hugged her. “I wish I could come home with you.”

After ensuring the guard had gone back inside, Dian shook her head. “We need you on the inside.”

“I know. Martin and Nicole will love having you at home.”

“Me, too. Go inside and do your job. We’ll talk when you get off.”

Cherie reached up and kissed her partner deeply. “Can’t wait. Have the champers ready on ice when I get there.”                                    © Valerie Parv 2020

Now you know the other parent to Dian’s children. But we don’t know why having Cherie “on the inside” is important and who is “we?” Answers in Royal Right-HandMan coming in the New Year.

Comments on: "First Monday Mentoring Dec 2020 – on striving to be a happy writer" (2)

  1. Waving to Valerie!!!!! I’m here it is worth the hassel to post for me and the other writers and readers out there. Never give up without a fight. ❤

    Writerly question is it hassel or hassle?

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