Lockdown, Shutdown.

Ready for a new adventure!

I took the month of September to draw aside and seek wisdom as to where we are going and what we are doing next. I felt discontent in my heart over many things, especially the publishing business. Somewhere along the way, it ceased being a joy, and became a drudge. There are a few reasons for this, but mainly one that is glaringly obvious – I am NOT cut out to be a publisher for other people. I am NOT a business savy person, or someone who likes networking. I did all I set out to do, and I am proud of what I’ve achieved, but I must lay that hat down and move on to the next adventure.

As I am writing this, we in the Auckland area, are still in level three lockdown. We can go outside and exercise, we can go to the petrol station and supermarket, but that is our lot. Having homeschooled Sammy for over a month now, and having no time to myself, I am spent.

The night that we went into lockdown, was Mum’s 80th birthday. We had a lovely dinner cooking, decorations up and were excited to help her ring her this new decade – until. I had been warned by the Lord two weeks prior that it was coming – but not tonight, not on Mum’s birthday!! I went outside and shouted as loud as I could, then came inside and poured us another wine. Hmmm.

The next day, Mum and I came down with the worst cold that either us have had in probably a decade. I was in bed for five days, and Neil took over running the house. Interestingly, I tried speaking to people during that five days on the phone, but all my words were garbled and non-sensical. However, the Lord got my attention. As is his way, he’d given me a dream a couple of months prior, which I had shared with a handful of people; but they’d all interpreted it incorrectly. I knew instinctively what was required of me, but I hesitated. Whilst laying in bed and enquiring of the Lord, I knew it was time to surrender.

Someone asked me, ‘what next?’ In truth, I am enjoying being a homemaker, sowing my summer garden, doing alot of baking and cooking for the family, and taking care of my own. I don’t need a name out there, I don’t desire fame or fortune. I desire to be obedient to my Lord and do his will – it’s really that simple. How that takes shape, is his business and he will let me know!

So in the meantime, thanks to all of you who have encouraged me in this publishing journey, and have supported the work I have done.

Much blessings
Sandi xx

Remembrance…Seven Years On

Sandi 2021.

I was sitting thinking about many things that have transpired lately, and then suddenly I remembered the beginnings of this journey, and why I started this blog. Today is the seventh anniversary of this little journey….!

I never had the intention of writing for anyone, or to anyone. That the Lord sees my words and knows my heart, is a no-brainer. I wrote originally, to allow myself the space to process, grieve and make peace with some harrowing events that happened upon myself and my family.

That was back in late (our Spring) 2014. I wrote about my daughters, Stephanie and Julianna both leaving home within the space of ten days. I wrote about Julianna’s pyschotic breakdown. I wrote about Dad’s entry into the world of Dementia and the journey I took with him. I wrote poetry, and about my relationship with the Yeshua, and of course, I wrote about my beloved Israel. All of this I did openly, without apology and without shame.

Now, what a terribly different story. Because I am an author, there is an expectation. Now, I am supposedly writing as I apparently have an audience. I write because I am supposed to. I write because I feel obligated too. I am apparently meant to keep people up to date with the goings on surrounding our publishing business and the like. Why? Even typing those words in italics, makes me cringe. Who cares if I’m an author, who cares if we have a publishing business? I am in reality, just Sandi – isn’t that enough?

The pressure I feel to release something – anything actually, is palpable. Yes, I have followers, and yes I do have some kind of small influence (mainly on Instagram), but I never asked for or wanted that. I wanted the freedom of expression. A place where I could share the joys and sorrows of this human existence, wrapped in the tendrils of faith, hope and love.

What I want, is to be able to freely share my heart on here, and release it into the ether, if I so choose.

So today, I choose. Today, I just want to express some of what I am facing and sensing, and to do that without judgement or fear.

Thank you.
Sandi.

The Father

I knew walking into the theatre, that I was setting myself up for an abundance of emotion and tears. And I wasn’t wrong. But it turns out, they weren’t mine. Well, not till the last five minutes, and then I felt myself crack.

To my left was a young couple, who found the content too much, and left part way through the movie, utterly sobbing. With all of the best intentions, I wanted to go to that young lady and tell her it was ok, that she wasn’t alone. I wanted to give her a hug and tell her I completely understand; but I actually don’t.

You see, for each of us who are the child of a Dementia sufferer, there are coping mechanisms we have formed; there are emotions we won’t show; there are areas where our experiential expertise don’t cover. And therefore, whilst we should have empathy and compassion for all concerned, we shouldn’t go butting our imposter noses into other’s suffering. We need to be invited into the suffering, then offer ourselves to the one hurting.

The movie, ‘The Father’ is a brilliant portrayal of a Dementia sufferer, through his own eyes. I clicked onto that notion with a couple of scenes at the beginning of the movie. As the storyline unfolded, evidence of my own Dad, came raring to the forefront, and I was left feeling somewhat vindicated.

The non stop comparisons. The nit picking. The angry outbursts of swearing and cursing. The silent treatment. The endless demands. The accusations of being up to no good. These are all things that my Dad heaped on me, time and time again. Fortunately I have a wonderful husband, great brothers and a mother with the patience of a Saint – although since long divorced from my Dad – still a loving friend and a great listening ear for me.

If any of you are either curious, or have a loved one battling Dementia or Alzheimer’s, then I thoroughly encourage you to go and see this movie. It helps tremendously. It gives such a compelling insight into the mind of a former intellect, who now is at the mercy of this dreaded affliction. Anthony Hopkins gives a stellar performance, bringing all the pain, emotion and frustration right towards you.


I walked into Dad’s Dementia unit the other day, and there he was, sitting having a cup of tea and biscuits. His hair sticking up like a scarecrow, runny nose and scruffy jumper aside, the smile that greets you, is immense. He’s like a kid in a candy store, and he knows he’s about to have a lot of candy! Always the question, ‘are we going out now for something to eat then a drive up north?’ Always, a kiss and hug and the words, ‘you’re the best thing in the world.’ Of course I am; I’m the Sugar Fairy and Taxi operator! 🙂

Coming back from our afternoon excursion, I was shocked to see a formerly vibrant and active resident, now needing a carer on both sides, to assist her walking. Colleen, was a gummy bear, who refused to wear her teeth; could swear like a trooper; and propositioned my husband on our first day there, asking him to meet her in the laundry afterwards! She loved dancing, and could flirt up a storm; if only in her own mind. It was nothing for her to stroke my arm and do a little jig with me, then start weeping. On the flipside, she could spot me across the room and start marching towards yelling expletives, and promising to ‘get me!’

My heart is saddened, for I know the day will come when my Dad will need that kind of help too.

In the meantime, when he sits in the café with us, his latest fixation is on the ‘fire exit’ sign, alongside the ‘toilets’ sign. His most recent revelation? Toilets are where you go poos and wees!!

In the meantime, be blessed and take care.
Sandi


A Sneak Peek….

So I thought I’d be really smart and privatize this site just so that you guys could have the first look at my secret project – but that didn’t work! It turned out that you had to login or register via email, and that caused some issues, by some of the language I could hear in the other room!

Well, before I go ahead and do my reveal, I just wanted to give you a background on who Mirabelle is and why this book is important to me.

Mirabelle is based on a woman who was a dear friend for many years. She underwent most of her cancer journey before I met her, and over the course of getting to know her, the story she shared really impacted me.

I didn’t know many people who have had significant body parts removed in order for them to survive, but she is one of them. A large softball size tumour was discovered inside her that encompassed her bladder, bowel and internal genitalia. She had to have all three reconstructed over the period of a few years, and still to this day she doesn’t function fully. But you would never know. You wouldn’t know that her bladder is made from pigskin. You wouldn’t know that her bowel is made from some of her large intestine. You wouldn’t know that her internal genitalia were the last thing to be constructed, and she went without those organs for eighteen months.

So yes, to me she is one of the most inspirational women I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

Unfortunately, our friendship went south not long after I got married. My dear friend is someone who has an incredibly stubborn streak and if you seemingly wrong her, she cuts you off in the most powerful way. You don’t even know, she won’t even tell you, but slowly and surely, she backs off, like she did to me. And she will hurt you on purpose. Because so far, she has been able too.

It took me nine months to process the demise of this once incredibly close relationship. I’d never had a friend where things were shared so openly and honestly, so brutally and with so much humour! We were a dynamic duo when we went anywhere, and behaving wasn’t something that either of us thought to do 🙂 Going to Israel with her and with Neil was fantastic; I did feel sorry for the Tour Guide though – I don’t think he’s ever met a duo like us!

In amongst the pain, the despair I felt and the anger that would rise in wave upon wave, the Lord came to me one morning and gave me such love for this friend. Ex friend. I never call her that, but I guess that is what I am to her now. She has this book, and my guess is that she’s darn angry with me, but as I said to her, what started out writing about her, turned into a greater story that the Father wouldn’t let me leave alone.

I know that she loves Yeshua incredibly deeply, and I know one day we will reconcile. I also know that it will be different.

The character of Alex is based on me. It was with fear and trepidation that I wrote so much of my own personal story within these pages. To bare my soul so openly, I did query the Lord on this? But sometimes in order for others to heal, they need to know that some have been through the same thing. They need to know that they can reach out and touch someone who is similar to them. I know I am just a chick from Snells Beach, New Zealand, but God sees me differently to others.

When Mirabelle was released just over two years ago, we had just come back from a disastrous trip to Israel, and I was suffering from depression. I wasn’t in the right place to own this novel, or to accept the path that the Lord was leading me down, but somehow it seems right to do so now.

So, with all that background in mind, I am so pleased to show you the new cover that my brother (a 100+ Award winning Creative Director) has designed for when we re-release Mirabelle back out into the public!

We are currently working to get me out of my old contract with the Publisher in London, so that soon I can release this on our own logo.

Well, there you have it!

Until next time

Shalom
Sandi 🙂

Utterly Unbelievable

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

I have sat here these past few days just scratching my head and marveling at what seems a miracle to me 🙏 Since the announcement of our first SparkleMoon Publishing book coming out over on that blog (www.sparklemoonpublishing.net), we have been viewed over 500 times!! That is something a small time Blogger dreams about, and yet here we are. Thank you Lord!

I have spent more hours than I can count, editing and proofreading, working out a new system online, making sure all the vocabulary is in American, as that is how the Author has written it. Dealing with creative types (myself included) has had me in tears, praying for abundant grace and answering dozens of texts! Internet crashes, school holidays, uninstalling and reinstalling the right apps, computer crashes, marketing, advertising, collaboration with my Authors, correcting overseen errors. Where is the time going?

I know. I have absolutely no right to complain, and I am not, not at all. But I am sharing what this crazy life has become of recent weeks.

Saturday night just past, saw me submit all the approved files and covers, to the printing press. Phew! That has been a journey and a half, and it’s not over yet. This I guess is the calm before the storm – but I am enjoying this moment of respite.

These past few weeks have had me learning new ways and pushing myself in ways I didn’t know I could. I’ve learnt so much and realised I am far more capable than I give myself credit for! I’ve also come to realise that I am incredibly hard on myself, and have a high expectation, regarding myself as a Publisher. But that’s not the point. The point is at 50, I finally feel like I am in my element. I love being a wife and mum – nothing compares to that – but there’s something incredibly gratifying about stepping into your calling and stepping up to the plate. It’s either sink or swim, and I am learning to go beyond doggy paddling!!!

In other news: the New Zealand elections are fast approaching us here. Saturday 17 October, will be the deciding factor between life and death. We have two referendums along with out national election: legalizing marijuana; and euthanasia. Personally my views have been God, life, Israel. I’ll stand on that mountain and there I shall stay. But I fear what is coming. Many of my elderly relatives believe in the right to choose when they die – I believe that is God’s choice alone. And I say so. Respectfully of course.

Currently, we are finally back down to Level One here in the open border compound of New Zealand! Yes I’m being sarcastic 🙂 Our borders remain ‘shut’ but they never have been really. We have ‘crushed covid’ a second time, but of course it’s at the borders, just not in the community. Or maybe it is; I’ve had other priorities these past few weeks.

I was able to go and see my Dad two weeks ago, but now they have an outbreak of Gastroenteritis in the home. Thankfully Dad is ok, but the whole compound is on full lockdown/quarantine until things get back under control.

People say that 2020 has been a nightmare of a year; I disagree! I turned 50 back in January, and I was told this was my Jubilee Year, and whilst bad things have happened, the Lord has been so good and magnificent to me. I will write a bit more about that shortly, but in the meantime, as Believers in Yeshua, let’s stop looking to government to fix us, and keep our eyes upward – He IS coming soon. Of this I am most certain.

Much blessing

Sandi xx

Introducing…..

Hi folks

Well after the utter deluge of crazy that ensued after posting the cover for SparkleMoon Publishing’s newest release, I thought I’d put it up here for you to have a looksy!

As you are aware, we’ve been collaborating with my brother Tony. We love what he has accomplished, and look forward to further collaborations in the future. To check out more about Tony, go to http://www.clewey.com to see his work and read his many accomplishments.

Also, we have started a FB page for our Publishing company, so it’d be great if you like the page and repost please 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/SparkleMoon-Publishing-105293494578984/?modal=admin_todo_tour

A MASSIVE thanks to those of you who have been thinking and praying for us all. It’s been amazing the messages etc that have come through and meant the world to us as we faced the loss of our family members. Heartfelt thanks from Steph, Juju, Sammy, Neil and myself <3

We have started a new business! Our third in less than a year…..wonders never cease!! I will blog about that soon.

It seems to be time to get moving and keep going on – ‘occupy until He comes.’

Hugs always

Sandi

SparkleMoon Arising….!

Check out our website http://www.sparklemoonpublishing.net for more details.

It’s been a while in the making, but suddenly we are off and starting to push forward in the artistic direction of one of my authors and the first of her series of six books.

What a blast!

Suffice to say that I never dreamt that I would be helping other authors in this magnitude, or that I would be working with family!

Much to my surprise, I am currently working alongside my brother who is a Master in the world of Advertising and Graphic Art. I didn’t know if my suggestion to collaborate would manifest in anything, and yet here we are meeting and chatting about artwork, book covers, marketing, advertising, photoshoots and all things literary!

To that end, I have made a decision that seems to be a natural progression for me: I am going to rebrand and remarket my novel Mirabelle. I am not completely satisfied that the artwork or the blurb were the best design for me, nor was I happy with my Publisher taking out two important pages in the beginning. Having a Publisher over in the UK whilst I am here in NZ, is not ideal. Whilst I was naive, green and eager three years ago when I landed my Publishing deal, I have learnt a great deal since, and am alot less eager to please. My desire to have part of my story out there in fictional form is good, but it should be more than that. The picture of myself on the inside of the book is a far cry from who I am today, and the profile of me is not me at all now! Gosh how my life has changed, and how things have gained more clarity as the years have passed.

I still am ridiculously excited that I get to help others publish their beautiful literary masterpieces, but I also haven’t finished writing mine either.

I am looking forward to the next few weeks and months and all the decisions that have to be made, the work that has to be done, but also holding that precious first book in the series, in my hands!

The last thing I thought I’d mention, is that we are fundraising towards the cost of the artist and the marketing genius. Please check out our page on Givealittle, and see if you would be willing to donate any amount, towards these important outlays.

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/helping-nz-authors-be-published

Till next time Dear Ones, be blessed and keep on rocking!

Sandi