Autumn in Canada… times (and titles) are a-changin’

Hello blog world!

Sorry I haven’t been around for a while. Times have been a changin’ — so autumn seems like the perfect to start blogging again. One of the biggest changes has been the fact that I am now officially a Canadian resident again. After eight years in the UK, it feels good to be here. The temperatures are surely dropping though… maybe in mid-February I will regret this decision!

But with colours like this, how could I be sad?

soph focus in leaves

Long walks in the forest near our cottage are revitalizing… photo by Evan George

The second news is that Madly has made its title jump to The Potion Diaries in the US and Canada – so now it’s the same all over the world! Royal Tour is also out everywhere now. My plea (as always) is if you read it and loved it, please leave me a review somewhere online 🙂

FB Prof Banner_RoyalTour (2)

The last big change is that while I’m writing away feverishly on book 3 (Going Viral!), I’m taking some time for self-care. Autumn is the perfect season for that, isn’t it? Summer is great and high-energy and all (and I’ve had eight months of summer – I know that will get no sympathy but trust me, I’m tired of it!) but I’m ready for the Cosy Season. This isn’t the time for the pressure of new beginnings, but a chance to reflect on the year that’s gone by. And it’s been a tough one, hasn’t it? 2016 has been difficult (to put it mildly) for so many of the people closest to me. I want to wrap us all in a warm duvet, hand out mugs of hot chocolate, and tell us to be kind to ourselves.

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness, and what it looks like for me. I think I’ve figured out what has helped me. First of all, I think most important of all has been…

Establishing a routine

I’m the first one to put my hand up and say I want a different sort of life. A life filled with travel and adventures and experiences that looks nothing like what I’ve been told is ‘normal’. Yet, establishing a routine is part of being kind to myself. I’m balking internally at this realization of mine, but I can’t escape the fact that it’s true. I hadn’t understood how stressful those micro decisions are: what to eat for meals? where to go? how will we get there? Having a routine means taking some of those questions away, giving me more space to breathe and therefore…

Allowing myself the space to be creative

Without a routine, I let my work take the back seat. I also vastly underestimated the stress of an international move. But that’s finished now. It’s time to let writing drive me again, and to remember the joy that creativity brings to my life. And that means that I’m happier when I’m…

Spending time with family

In addition to being closer to my wonderful parents, I’ve been so lucky to have my sister over (she lives in Australia), and getting to see her always restores my soul. Gathering around the people that offer me support – and accepting that support – is all part of being kind to myself. And it also means that I’ve had the courage to start…

Exercising again

I’ve added a 30 minute workout into my routines, whether that’s a run, a Sweat with Kayla workout, an Insanity DVD or a PT session. I’d forgotten how much I valued those 30 minutes of hard work time. Even though it’s a great cliché, exercise does do as much for my mind as it does for my body. It was good to remind myself of that.

So that’s what I’ve been focused on. How about you? What do you do to be kind to yourself?

Leave me a note in the comments below if you want to share 🙂



  1. Diana December 12, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    I’m a big fan of the potion diaries series
    I find this book so mystical and enchanting and such a page turner!!!
    Honestly, since I’ve finished both books it has made my life a bit more boring and I’m impatiently waiting for the next book to come out!
    I hope you make more books relating to this series!
    Could you also tell me when the release date for the next book is?
    Kind regards

  2. S January 18, 2017 / 12:31 am

    Hi Amy. It’s great to hear that you were looking forward to an Ottawa winter. Hopefully that is still the case. It has been an odd winter so far…a bit nasty but it’s part and parcel of living here. You talk about being kind to yourself and it’s so true. Whether it’s a high intensity workout or yoga or meditation…all give you an inner peace. There’s nothing like a run to solve the world’s problems ( or maybe just your own). The endorphins are so good for you. I think more people need to follow your advice and be kind to themselves.

    I know routine is comforting as well and it works with music for me. I have been learning a musical instrument for the past 4 years as an older adult and the feeling of satisfaction I get from a successful practice session is invaluable to my inner wellbeing. It’s not always relaxing as this instrument can require a lot of exertion at times especially if you have been away from it for even a couple of weeks. There are struggles in learning but a feeling of satisfaction and contentment comes from regular practice and improvement.

    Enjoy the remainder of the winter. I think the key is to get out and embrace it. It’ll be spring soon… the days are getting longer, after all.


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