The Moonlight Dreamers’ Guide to being Free

With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?

Oscar Wilde

 

A major theme in the new Moonlight Dreamers novel, Tell it to the Moon, is the importance of being free.

Free to be your true self.

Free to pursue your dreams.

Free to create a life of happiness and adventure.

But there are so many things that can get in the way of that freedom – the biggest of which is fear.

Fear that you’re not good enough.

Fear that other people will judge you.

Fear that you’ll mess up and create a life of disappointment.

So, to help steer you away from fear, and to celebrate the release of Tell it to the Moon, I’ve created this handy ten step guide to being free. Enjoy!

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ONE: Always remember that YOU are the author of your life story

Don’t become a bit-player in someone else’s life. Create a life where you play the lead role. When facing challenges or indecision ask yourself: If my life were a book or movie and I was writing the script, what would I make my character do right now? What would make for an inspiring and uplifting plot twist? Become the kind of hero that you like to read about.

TWO: Turn your wounds into wisdom

When things go wrong – and they sometimes will, it’s a natural part of life – don’t see yourself as a victim. Learn to see your failures as lessons; it’s way more empowering. In Tell it to the Moon all of the Moonlight Dreamers face major challenges but they eventually find the strength to learn from these challenges and move on. If they’d given up it would have made for a really disappointing book – and the same is true for our lives. Don’t give up. When things go wrong ask yourself: What is the lesson I need to learn here? Learn it … then move on.

THREE: Express yourself freely

Fear can make us close up and close off – a big part of living freely is being able to express yourself freely. For most of Tell it to the Moon Amber suffers from ‘blogger’s block’ – unable to write a thing on her Wilde at Heart blog. It’s only when she gives herself the space to really think about herself and her life that she’s able to write the post ‘Defiantly Different’ and express herself with courage and authenticity. Are you expressing yourself freely? Or are you holding back? Brainstorm a list of all the things you wish you could do or say – either about yourself or about the world. How could you channel your thoughts, hopes and ideas? Be as open-minded as possible, you might be surprised at what comes up.

FOUR: Be Wilde at heart

Oscar Wilde is a major inspiration for the Moonlight Dreamers as someone who lived life on his own terms and dared to dream. He also had the wittiest, wisest take on life. When you’re feeling down or confused use his quotes to inspire you. Here are some of my favourites:

‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.’

‘Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much.’

‘Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’

Yes, I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.’

For more Oscar inspiration go to moonlightdreamers.com and have a play on the quote generator: What Would Oscar Say?

FIVE: When other people judge you it says way more about them than you

Bullying is an issue in both the Moonlight Dreamers books because I know that it’s an issue in many people’s lives – and one I feel very strongly about. Although it can be the most painful and scary thing in the world to be picked on or ridiculed, one thing I’ve come to realise and that set me free from fear, is that only the deeply insecure and unhappy feel the need to bully. If other people are horrible to you try to remember this. Take solace in your dreams – and the knowledge that one day you will be free from the bully’s spite but they won’t.

SIX: Use your dreams to guide you

Having a dream is like having a north star to guide you. Dreams light up the dark times and give you hope for the future. If your dreams feel too big, far off and unachievable ask yourself: What small step could I take towards achieving my dream today? (With the emphasis on small). If your dream is to write a novel, maybe the small step could be reading a book about writing or practising by writing a short story. By taking regular small steps towards achieving your dreams you build momentum and stop feeling powerless.

SEVEN: Beware of the dream-busters!

A funny (actually not-so-funny) thing happens when you start pursuing your dreams – dream-busters start crawling out of the woodwork. Dream-busters are people who are expert in making you doubt yourself and your dreams; always quick with a passive-aggressive comment or an outright dig. Don’t let them put you off! Their need to knock you down comes from their own regret and insecurity. Don’t allow their insecurity to infect you. Stay focused and strong and feel proud that you’re doing something positive with your life.

EIGHT: Find a fellow dreamer

I wanted the Moonlight Dreamers books to be a celebration of friendship because I know first-hand how important good friends are. In the social media age there’s an emphasis on the number of friends you have on your lists but the only friends that really count are real-life friends. One true friend, who values you for you and encourages you to live your best life is worth way more than hundreds of online acquaintances. Be open-minded too – sometimes the richest friendships form between the most unlikely people eg; Maali and Rose.

NINE: Be your own best friend

That being said, our friends can’t be there for us 24/7 and sometimes you might find yourself without a true friend. It’s so important that in these times – and at all times – you are your own best friend. It can be all too easy to be hard on yourself and beat yourself up for your so-called shortcomings or imperfections. Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself internally. Ask yourself if you’d talk to a friend in this way. By supporting yourself you strengthen and empower yourself and free yourself from self-doubt and fear.

TEN: Never give up

One of the Moonlight Dreamers’ rules is that they never give up. You will have times when you want to give up – we all do. During those times, allow yourself to feel sad but then pick yourself back up and keep on going. My dad, who is Irish and full of wisdom just like Sky’s dad Liam, always likes to remind me that ‘this too shall pass whenever things get tough. And it’s true. Life is always moving and changing – even when it feels as if everything’s stuck. So, remind yourself that the hard times never last forever, get refocused on your dreams and keep moving forwards, in true Moonlight Dreamers style.

Tell it to the Moon is out now!

Amazing and inspirational. Pocket Full of Pages

This fantastic series addresses the essence of true courage; to fight for what you believe in; to follow your own path in life, and to be true to yourself.” Kids’ Book Review

An amazing and really inspiring young adult novel.” My Peacock Books

A heartwarming, stunning and unique novel. It really did make my heart happy.” Teen Book Hoots

Find out more and order a copy here.

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Be the Change

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.Mahatma Gandhi

 

When I was a teen, there was a real fear that the planet was going to be destroyed by nuclear war.

The UK government even produced a leaflet called Protect and Survive, advising people what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. I seem to remember that it seriously recommended taking shelter beneath your dining room table!

Unsurprisingly, Protect and Survive got lampooned by various commentators and comedians but I was terrified.

I can remember lying in bed at night unable to sleep, haunted by images of radioactive mushroom clouds swallowing up my family.

And my family was big. There was no way we’d all fit beneath our dining room table.

But then something happened that made me feel a whole lot better.

I went on a CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) march.

I’d love to say that this was because I felt a burning desire to change the world for the better and bring about world peace, but actually it was because my best friend and I were chronically bored and we had a burning desire to meet boys.

So – because our local youth club / church disco / school playground were for tragic losers we went on a march against nuclear weapons. As you do, when you’re looking for true love.

Although I didn’t find true love on that CND march I did find something that was to change my life forever.

I found that I felt way better about the things that made me unhappy or scared or angry when I got off my butt and actually did something to try and change them.

Going on that CND march dramatically changed the course of my teenage life.

I’d been feeling so bored and demotivated at school. Getting to know fellow activists led to some incredible life experiences.

I started hanging around with people older and more worldly than me – and I drank in their experience.

When we weren’t out campaigning or fly-posting or marching we’d sit for hours, listening to music by the likes of John Lennon, Black Uhuru and The Clash and talking about politics, books, films and art.

I learned more about life from those nights than I ever did in school.

When the miners went on strike I joined the local support group and collected for the miners’ families every Saturday on my local high street.

Some people walking past shouted insults. ‘Piss off back to Russia‘ was a popular one, but I didn’t care.

I’d found my tribe and I was doing something I believed in – life doesn’t get much better than that.

I saw Billy Bragg play at ULU. I hung out with a band called The Redskins.

I helped organise an anti-apartheid demo at a local supermarket that sold South African goods.

It went badly – hilariously – wrong.

We didn’t bring down apartheid but we did gain yet another an unforgettable memory.

I picketed with the printers against Murdoch at Wapping – and almost got my head caved in by a police truncheon and had to be dragged to safety by a BBC news crew.

I learned that the ‘impartial’ news coverage in this country isn’t.

I shaved my head and dyed what was left of my hair.

Some of my school-mates took the piss but I didn’t care.

I’d found my tribe and I was doing something I believed in – life doesn’t get much better than that.

It seems to me that we have a choice: we can sit around moaning about the things we hate in life OR we can try to make a positive difference.

As Gandhi advised, we can ‘be the change that we wish to see.

We might not always be able to bring about the change we wish to see – or not at first – but at least we’ll feel better for trying.

At least we can take comfort from the fact that we didn’t waste our life bitching and moaning from the sidelines.

We can feel infinitely proud that we picked up our banners and raised our voices and declared to the world: ‘not in my name!’

There are many, many things that need changing in the world today.

In my humble opinion, the world needs activists like never before.

That’s why I’ve made being the change you wish to see in the world a major theme in my new novel, Tell it to the Moon.

If you read the book, I hope it inspires you to take action when it comes to the things you’d like to change about the world.

Here’s to making a positive difference!

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Here’s what some early reviewers have to say about Tell it to the Moon:

Do yourself a favour and pick up this series as it is honestly just so beautiful and relevant to our everyday lives. Its inspirational wisdom will lead you to follow your own dreams.Pocket Full of Pages

‘Yes yes yes yes yes…. this series is so heartfelt. I love it. If you are looking for a book with so much love, diversity and friendship then please read this. It makes my heart feel so happy.’ Goodreads review

Beautifully written. Just So Stories

Find out more and order a copy here.

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