Last year I had an itch that needed scratching. I had been thinking a lot about what it takes to belong; that sense of place and a feeling that says ‘this feels right to me’. And, conversely, the feeling that says ‘this is not right for you; a hundred years could go by and it still wouldn’t be right’. A sense of belonging is a feeling felt at the spiritual level that can’t be ignored, I believe.

I also believe that when something is felt on a spiritual level, and that tug is strong and unwavering, the universe conspires to let you know that there is not only something you must confront, but there is also another path for you to fobelonging places tour bannerllow. These watershed moments set you on a journey back to self.

I have a favourite quote that has been with me for years. It belongs to TS Eliot and around 25 years ago I discovered it, not really understanding its significance. Now I know that it means the journey is always towards self-discovery and back to self.

“We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know that place for the first time.”

And so with something that needed to be said on my chest, I began writing Belonging Places. I broke it into three stories to represent a woman’s life stages: Young Liliana – a girl at odds with the world and moving from the desolate city to a small country town where she finds herself; Estelle the up and coming career woman and mother feeling the tug of war that most working mums confront; and Jill, the elderly lady who loses her life partner and must find her way back to herself and a new life.

These three stories will not be unfamiliar to women, indeed they may have experienced similar circumstances, patterns and, ultimately, decisions. I know I did. But the external journeys these women take are overshadowed by the enormous internal processes they undergo. Through confronting their feelings and finding the courage to change their lives, they find a way through their spiritual crises.

Once I finished writing Belonging Places, I felt much better. The itch had gone and I could look at my characters and, through them, understand my own journeys and decisions over the years. In one way Belonging Places was an intense period of reflection for me that brought with it renewed understanding of what it means to be belong. As a result, I don’t get taken in by smokescreens anymore because in writing this book, like my characters, I have confronted what I deserve, and that is the right to belong and when that is absent, the courage to step forward to find my belonging place.

 

 

Belonging Places is available through Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1qTWEsU, and beginning on 16 April it will be touring selected blogs with Fire and Ice Book Tours. To celebrate the tour I have reduced the Belonging Places ebook to half price for the month of April only. It is also available in print if you prefer to physically ‘read’ a book.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. I had a wonderful surprise recently when Belonging Places appeared in my Amazon reader’s e-newsletter to which I subscribe. Amazon used my book as the first example of a contemporary ebook readers might find interesting: “Are you looking for something in our Contemporary Fiction eBooks department? If so, you might be interested in these items.” And there was my book, as the first example [and also in the email subject line]. I was ecstatic to have this mention and publicity, so thank you Amazon – you get a thumbs up from me for that unexpected and welcome surprise.

If you would like to contact me, head to the Contact Me tab and get in touch, or leave a comment. And don’t forget to follow my book tour at Fire and Ice Book Tours, http://bit.ly/1hL5lAh

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