by Editor on April 12, 2017

Guest blog written by, Mar García

We used to obsess about things we consider important: “that” mistake, doubting about a concrete decision, your discomfort with your own body or mind, a diet, workout, work goals, keeping in anger to someone, regret … they take away our sleep.

But ah … life is much more immense and volatile than you will ever be able to imagine. I have my own statistic saying that the 90% are blessings, but we take them for granted, just because they have always been there. Only when you have a severe disease, appreciate your health; when you are poor, little caprices; when you’re alone, someone by your side; when you’re at the city, the mountains. When you’re at the seaside, the mountains. The list never ends.

It must be very difficult to appreciate things around us because we hardly do it. Being thankful is not about regretting or a religious fact, it’s just knowing the value life/Universe/fate have given you to run your life and open ways. Or close them, which is as important. Whether a privileged mind, a loving circle of people, a beautiful homeland, financial stability, strong health, boldness, kindness…

Our mind runs “comfort ruts” we’ve been building along our lives. Influenced by a million factors. But sometimes, it only takes a right word, a perfect thought to break into pieces the way your mind complains about something, torturing you and making you miserable. Sometimes, you only need to put down (slowly…) your ego and accept you are the owner of your mind, and so the way you face and react to every rock in the way.

Stop looking around. Stop blaming life. Blaming people. Stop blaming yourself. You can only learn from your own mistakes, your own fears and demons. There, right there in the darkest and deepest private room of your soul, you’ll find the answer. The key to love yourself, to forgive your failures. The reason to fight to death. The beat keeping you alive. Once you have opened that door, no storm can demolish you, you become the storm.


About the author:

From Spain(born in Barcelona), now residing in Michigan. An illustrator and columnist focused on introspection, self-knowledge, psychology, and parenting.

 Mar Garcia has a watercolor published book for little children titled, “ESTRELLAS ¿DÓNDE ESTÁIS?”

She is also a columnist for The Evolutionary Mind and The Millionaire’s Digest. You can find her personal work at The Bold Mom, where she tries to empower broken people to put their pieces back together; single parents, lonely riders, OCD lost people.


Online illustration portfolio

Watercolor illustrated book for children ¿Estrellas donde estais?

Twitter: @mar_watercolor


A Perfectly Silent Community

by Editor on March 17, 2017

Guest blog written by, Narin

I have been back home in the UK for a year, give or take a few days. When I look back it has been much harder readjusting to life than I thought it would be. It was hard being back with my family. It was hard finding a job; and it was especially hard on my relationship. I thought things would be easier, that I would find a decent job fairly quickly and that I would somehow slot back into this western way of life that I had grown up in.

There is a lot that I miss about living in South Korea; the beautiful cherry blossoms with their pink petals and how for only two weeks they would bloom; the friendliness of the locals as well as a massive language gap, a simple bow and nod of the head was all that was needed; the Korean cuisine, and my favourite soup restaurant that I would visit often. The thing that I miss most, and that I felt was so lacking in London, was the close community of wanderers that was unique to the city I lived. Ulsan had a thriving ‘foreign’ community – it was full of people from so many different walks of life: English eccentrics, Australian Catholics, Texan cat-lovers, and even somebody that went to school down the road from where I grew up. These characters, and the many others I met, all had this openness that made them brave enough to leave their homes and create, some temporarily and others permanently, a new kind of home. It was this loss of community that I have now realised I missed on my return.

I spent much of my time back in London at home, desperately applying for jobs – often being ignored, and sometimes receiving rejections. I did not see it then, but now I do, I was a completely different person; a shadow of myself, a different version, someone that I did not recognise, let alone like.

I cannot pinpoint exactly the date that things changed but gradually I stopped being aimless. I got back to me. I started reading and writing more, listening to the type of music that I really like, cutting out television, learning to play a musical instrument – doing all of the things that make me me. The more I read, the better I started to feel. My blog, narinreads, has materialised into a representation of my reading journey.

I have been to Afghanistan, nineteenth century London, twentieth century London (the 1950s to be exact), and America during the Great Depression (1930s) – to name a few. I have learnt so much about the world through these novels, but most importantly, I have also learnt so much about myself through the characters that I have gotten to know.

I have done what I needed to do to get my life back on track. I am content, extremely so, but…there is still this idea of community that I have been yearning for. Reading, typically, is not a communal activity. You sit down, most of the time, alone and read quietly to yourself. If you are feeling really passionate about what you are reading you just might mention it to a loved one. At first I felt quite lonely, I wanted someone real to talk to about the books. I wanted someone who shared my love of novels in my real life, someone that is tangible and that I can actually hear talking about these stories and their characters and intricacies, over a coffee or (and) cake preferably.

As time has gone I have been paying much more attention to my surroundings (instead of having my nose stuck in my latest read) and seen something special. All around the London Underground is a silent community. We rarely lift our heads up to converse, we do not make plans to go out for a drink after work, and we do not even know each other’s names, but we know that we are there. There is an entire network of book lovers travelling every single morning under London. There is always someone reading, sometimes you see the same people, most of the time you do not. Sometimes, on the rare special occasion, you bump into someone who loves the book that you are reading, and a conversation is struck. A lot of the time you see people engrossed in literature, not even aware of the miserable faces around them.

This morning as I stood crammed into a carriage, in the middle of London’s rush-hour, I saw three people, their eyes transfixed onto the page. All of them were different (stereotypically speaking), one was a young man, scruffy hair and beard, baggy dark clothing, and a rucksack – he was reading sci-fi. Another was an older woman, her hair neat and elegant, she sat reading a beautifully bound book, wearing a smart coat. Finally, another man, someone with thick-rimmed, circular fashionable glasses and an outfit that much thought had obviously gone into. His blonde beard had been trimmed to perfection. He was too far away for me to see what he was reading. All of them poles apart and each of them clearly living different ‘types’ of lives. But, each of them had the same look on their faces; the look of relaxed concentration you only see from someone reading a good book.

And there they were. There we were. All of us content with our own books and all of us a small part of our perfectly silent community.

I smiled and went back to reading On the Road.


About the author:

After completing her Masters in History, Narin worked in South Korea as an ESL Teacher for just over a year. On her return to London she started Narin Reads as a way to recapture her love of literature. Narin also blogs about museums, and special exhibitions, and her yearly ‘bucket lists’. You’re most likely to find her wandering in an unknown city, strolling through a museum, or reading some form of fiction published in the eighteenth or nineteenth century. If you’re lucky you might even see her sat in front of a piano, badly attempting to play it.

Blog address:

Twitter: @narinreads

Instagram: narinreads


Mind State: A personal project about mental illness

March 2, 2017

Guest blog written by, James Tarry For years now I have been trying and failing to come up with a visual project about mental illness. In fact I’ve also written several blog posts about this topic after seeing a slew of creatives all discussing how they struggle with mental illness online, but I have always deleted […]

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O Muse, Where Art Thou?

February 24, 2017

Guest blog written by, Natalina Reis I’m stuck! Actually I’ve been stuck for a couple weeks now. The novel I’m writing is not flowing like all my others. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am seriously annoyed and depressed about it, I would laugh. I’m a pantser, who does very little planning and […]

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Have Tea with Your Past

January 10, 2017

Guest blog written by, Kelly Smith I woke up early on Sunday morning, to a slight knock at my front door. As I laid in my bed, groggy with sleep still on the forefront of my mind and dreams still lingering in the back, I got up, pulled my robe on tight, and walked downstairs. […]

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My Daughter’s Voice & Wings

December 22, 2016

Guest blog written by, Jolene Summer  So what is our legacy as mothers? What is the lesson that I learned after being a mom for over 11 years? A while back, I was part of a class outing with the kids and all parents and we walked through an interactive music park. My daughter banged […]

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Not Your Typical Writer

December 16, 2016

Guest blog written by, Kelly Smith I feel like a fake. Fraud. Impostor. Phony. Artificial. Bogus. I feel I am not a real writer. What is a writer? I feel stupid at times saying I am a writer because I think my art form is at best, decent. A few months ago my editor suggested […]

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NEW RELEASE! A Little Boy’s World

December 7, 2016

A Little Boy’s World, by Melissa Staehli, is filled with many things every little boy loves to do as he is growing, learning, exploring nature, and most of all, having fun!   To Purchase: A Little Boy’s World

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Purple’s New Meaning

November 28, 2016

Guest blog written by, Ellen A. Leamon, M.A., Art Therapy On September 5, 2016 my father passed from the final stages of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. I was exhausted, numb, and emotionally drained from the journey he and our family experienced for the previous 8 years. Our journey took many twists and turns along […]

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NEW RELEASE! Charlie’s Gingerbread House

November 21, 2016

Charlie’s Gingerbread House by, Melissa Staehli, has arrived just in time for the holidays. It is a cute little tale of a mouse, and his fortune of finding a gingerbread house.  Read along as he indulges in all of its delights. It’s sure to become a Christmas favorite. To Purchase: Charlie’s Gingerbread House

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