Today’s Life Lesson

Over the years of trying to grow my own food, I have discovered that the only things that don’t get eaten by the possums, grasshoppers, caterpillars & native rats (which chewed through the nets I’d put up to try & stop the grasshoppers & caterpillars) are turmeric, lemongrass & ginger. Even the chili bush was stripped of every chili & leaf by the possums last year.

Oh, and I have a very happy bay tree growing in a pot. I’ve even supplied my organic bay leaves to a local restaurant for free.

Fortunately, The Hubby & I love ginger & turmeric & have some every day, so having all the garden beds planted out with these two, and one very enthusiastic lemongrass bush, is a win-win. I’m starting to harvest the latest bumper crop little by little according to our needs. What a joy it is after all those years of failure & frustration.

It’s a life lesson really, isn’t it? For years I battled to do what I thought I should do no matter how stressful it was and no matter how much it cost me emotionally, physically and financially. Mind you, as far as growing my own food is concerned I was also passionate about it and really, really wanted to be able to make it work. But no matter how hard I tried and how much money I threw at it, nature always won. All I ended up doing was feeding the neighbourhood possums, bugs and native rats. There was nothing ever left for our table. 

So now I’ve let go of that dream and support my local organic store and farmers markets instead. In so doing I’ve discovered the delights of growing the things that really thrive in my garden, things that even those voracious native rats leave in peace.

So here’s to a bumper harvest of ginger and turmeric. And here’s to celebrating the delicious things we will make together and the health they will bring – physically and emotionally.

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How to Get Into Writers Festivals for Nothing

Love writers festivals but can’t afford to go? This one’s for you.

writers festival

I worked in radio for 18 years. It was a great gig and I loved it, most of the time. I also loved all the free stuff that would come my way, anything from books and CDs to food and tickets to events. I’ve attended many festivals over the years as a radio presenter, musician, and writer, and never had to pay. In fact most of the time they paid me.

But all that has changed. I resigned from my radio job, I haven’t played in a band for years and I don’t have a new book out…yet. And now I’m no longer working I don’t have much spare cash to spend on luxuries like writers festivals – even though I love them.

So, what’s a girl to do? Easy. When I heard about a brand new writers festival starting up on the Sunshine Coast I got in touch with them and offered my services, not as an author (because I don’t have a new book out….yet) but as a volunteer. Festivals always need volunteers, they couldn’t exist without them. Everything from checking tickets to looking after the authors is usually done by volunteers. And in return, we get free tickets. Hooray!

If you want to get involved here’s the website to the Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival.

http://sunshinecoastreadersandwritersfestival.com  

Or if you’re on the Coast come along to the Program Launch on Wednesday 6th July, 10am at Tickle Park Coolum Beach. Introduce yourself and offer your services. It’s that easy.

The Byron Writers Festival is still looking for people to help set up parking bays and the Brisbane Writers Festival will be doing a volunteer call out soon. For other areas just keep an eye on their websites. Before too long you’ll be swanning about at the festivals, listening to fascinating authors and being helpful to boot. That’s a win-win in anyone’s language.

Happy freebies.

xx Mary-Lou

How To Stay Married – Book Launch

How to Stay Married 2Mary-Lou Stephen’s first book Sex, Drugs and Meditation told the story of how meditation changed her life, saved her job and helped her find a husband. How To Stay Married, is the truth behind the happy ending. How to Stay Married takes us around the world; from the glitter and glare of Las Vegas to the sub-zero temperatures of the French Alps and the tropical heat of Thailand, all with cabin luggage only. The discoveries Mary-Lou makes regarding herself and her marriage are a modern-day parable about learning to travel light in life, love and relationships.

While How to Stay Married isn’t your regular ‘how-to’ book, it is about creating the kind of relationship you want. This is the story of a marriage; a journey from fear, resentment and financial devastation, to a place of love, joy and trust.
Mary-Lou Stephens studied acting and played in bands before she got a proper job – in radio. She writes whenever she’s not behind the microphone or heading off to a meditation retreat.

Mary-Lou has garnered rave reviews for her memoir Sex, Drugs and Meditation, the true story of how she changed her life, saved her job and found a husband, all with the help of meditation. She lives on the Sunshine Coast with that very same husband, their dog and a hive of killer native bees. Mary-Lou is a blogger for The Huffington Post, a columnist for Holistic Bliss and a regular at writing festivals and events. She is presenter for ABC Sunshine Coast and a wonderful friend of us all at Annie’s Books.

The Launch of  How to Stay Married
In conversation with Annie Gaffney

TUESDAY 24th MARCH – 6.00pm  

Annie’s Books on Peregian 8 Kingfisher Drive, Peregian Beach,
Queensland 4573 Australia

WINE & CHEESE – This is a free event, but notice of your intention to attend would be appreciated – (07) 5448 2053

How To Stay Married – Free

How To Stay Married

Do you love free stuff? I know I do. Now’s your chance to get a free review copy of my new book How To Stay Married. Just click on this link and we’ll get better acquainted. If you’re worried about giving me your email address please don’t be. I’m too lazy to spam anyone.

The review copy is just for the first 100 but don’t worry. Everyone will get my Seven Tips For a Happy Marriage (and one tip from my mum).

How to Stay Married will be available for sale from the 6th of November which just happens to be my 10th wedding anniversary. There were times I never thought we’d make it but here we are, The Hubby and I, happier than ever.

My first book Sex, Drugs and Meditation chronicled how meditation changed my life, savedSex, Drugs and Meditation Front cover my job and helped me find a husband. How To Stay Married, is the truth behind the happy ending; a journey from fear, resentment and financial devastation, to a place of love, joy and trust.

How to Stay Married takes us around the world; from the glitter and glare of Las Vegas to the sub-zero temperatures of the French Alps and the tropical heat of Thailand, all with cabin luggage only.

The discoveries I made about myself and my marriage are a modern day parable about learning to travel light in life, love and relationships.

I hope you love it and write a review on Amazon for me. Just a line or two will do.

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey.

Lots of love

Mary-Lou