Dear wanderer,

Perhaps you grew up dreaming of receiving your Hogwarts letter, or stumbling upon Narnia. Perhaps you long to visit Pemberley, to Defy Gravity, or to go to the ball. I will write you that letter, and build you that wardrobe. [A metaphorical wardrobe, that is.] Here you will find step-by-step lesson plans with takeaway homework assignments that show you how to embody fictional heroines in the everyday. This means chasing your dreams and making the impossible happen with your own inner magic.

For the full experience, you can Own Your Story, or join me for a literary tea party.

You have the potential. Heroine Training provides the tools.

Welcome to our headquarters, where dreams meet reality, where fiction is cherished, where magic is real.

Sincerely, your guide on this journey,

P.S. Read more about Heroine Training

A Spell for Feeling Well

A Spell for Feeling Well

On those days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed…

What if you could cast a spell and feel better?

Of course, even wizards don’t have such a spell. Feeling better is not a simple fix. It’s a challenge for magic and non-magic people alike. 

I’ve had many a difficult day, sometimes due to depression, and many more times not. Here’s the thing:

Most likely you already know what makes you feel better, but when you’re feeling down it’s hard to remember. 

That’s why it’s important to take the time to map it out a self care plan, and keep adjusting as you notice what helps. And this is exactly what I’ve done.

A guide to Self Care, inspired by Harry Potter

I’ve created A Spell for Feeling Well, a step-by-step list to follow, so that all you have to do when you need it is cast the incantation to reveal your personal map to wellness.

You many have read about my ‘at the very least’ and ‘in case of emergency’ lists – A Spell for Feeling well combines these practices and puts them in a logical order, so all you have to follow the footsteps it lays out for you. 

In this book, I’ve compiled the most common causes of feeling down, and the most common ways to combat them – all told through Wizarding examples of course. 

You can print it out and fold it up, like the actual Marauder’s Map, or you can copy-paste into a note on your muggle phone.

What’s inside this free, 9-page ebook:

  • What the Dursleys can teach us about wellness
  • An original way to summon your Patronus
  • Why you should channel your inner House Elf when you’re feeling down
  • A recipe for your personal pepper-up potion
  • How to make the Room of Requirement appear

When to use this:

  • When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or groggy
  • When you’re not feeling like yourself
  • When you just want to lie in bed all day

When not to use this:

This Spell is about maintaining your foundation. It’s not for thriving for greatness. It is the first step, the bare minimum. But when you are feeling well, you can reach beyond this. Lumos Your Life, my signature programme on lighting up your daily rituals and crafting your magical mission, will be available soon.

Are you ready to feel well? Request your complimentary copy of A Spell for Feeling Well.

How to Keep in Touch with Long-Distance Friends

How to Keep in Touch with Long-Distance Friends

One of the woes of being an international heroine is that my closest companions are scattered across the globe. 

Alas! Instead of bemoan the difficulties of being so cosmopolitan, I take long-distance friendships as a creative challenge. 

Especially as an introvert, favouring intimate connections in short bursts, a global girl gang is the way to go.

How to Keep in Touch with Long-Distance Friends

Make a friendship map.

At the back of my Passion Planner, I have a page headlined friends friends friends [inspired by Luna Lovegood’s bedroom wall]. I keep an orderly list, arranged by city and country, so that when I happen to be in town I can run down the list to get in touch. Much simpler than scrolling through my mental rolodex. 

Celebrate friendship.

Taylor Swift keeps black and white portraits of her besties in her hallway. I started a portable collection of black and white portraits in a folder on my iPod called Hallway. 

Recently I upgraded the project to a private Instagram account, posting my beloved portraits on friends’ birthdays, and when I’m thinking of them. 

I wanted a place to celebrate my friends privately, without unwanted exposure to the blogosphere. Maybe this is a Gryffindor thing. look how awesome my friends are!!!

Related: How your friends can help you based on their Hogwarts houses

Keep in touch the old fashioned way.

When Steve and I were living distantly, my favourite tradition was writing him a letter every Sunday. Communication through letters is uniquely intimate, something more deliberate than in-person conversation, and more thoughtful than email or text. 

I love writing friends letters, often on a weekend, usually on holiday, when I have time to spread out. 

I always seal the envelope with stickers or washi tape, and I usually enclose little trinkets, like a free postcard from the coffeeshop in which I scribed the note, or a torn page from a magazine. Can’t include such delights in an email!

Play a Game.

Another thing Steve and I did when we were apart was play Words with Friends. The sentiment was in the right place, but he complained that I took too long thinking of words. Sooo I’m taking suggestions for more suitable games.

Lately I’ve been enjoying Dots & Co, which is single-player, but you can see your friends’ progress and send each other free energy. Get in touch if you’re playing too!

Ping an out-of-the-blue thinking-of-you.

Sometimes it feels weird to reconnect with someone I haven’t spoken to in years without a full catch up: How are you? Where are you? What have you been up to? But such pleasantries are not always necessary, in truth. 

I often send a quick ‘thinking of you’ message when something I come across reminds me of them. On my end I know it’s delightful to receive an out-of-the-blue “I’m at MUJI. Thought of you.” 

These exchanges usually happen over Facebook Messenger (because my phone doesn’t do emojis), where I enjoy pairing each contact with the perfect colour and emoji [did you know you can do this? Tap your friend’s name at the top of your screen on mobile!], and I enjoy exchanging Stickers. All about the stickers, digital and physical.

How to Keep in Touch with Long-Distance Friends

Related: 21 Things to do on a Pomodoro Break [yes this is one of them!]

Schedule a digital Lunch Date.

I started using Calendly to schedule business appointments, but I have a separate calendar just for ‘lunch dates’ with faraway friends on Skype, whether they’re also having lunch, or an east coast breakfast. 

Even a half hour catch up is wonderful – I actually prefer it to a few hours every few months – and much more manageable and fun than going back and forth about time zones.

Visit them in person!

The great thing about having friends around the world is that I have a marvellous excuse to visit my favourite people in new places. My preferred travel activity is to collect glimpses of my friends’ daily lives around the world. 

Encourage friends to visit you as well – not just ‘come any time’, but suggest a specific itinerary and time of year.

Or, meet in the middle. Kat and I forgo birthday presents in exchange for the promise to meet up whenever Taylor Swift is on tour.

Related: How to Get the Best Travel Advice for YOU

When will I see you again?

Whether a friend lives down the street or on the other side of the planet, I like to close each gathering by gauging when we’ll next see each other. Asking the question reaffirms the intention to keep in touch, and could lead to unexpected crossings of paths!

How do you keep in touch with faraway friends?

P.S. I founded the Heroine Training traveling tea party tour to meet even more friends around the world. Put in a vote for your hometown, and receive a personal invitation when I’m nearby [when I say personal I mean personal!].

Sunday Sampling / 062

What have I been up to? It seems that summer in Edinburgh doesn’t begin until the Festival season in August. Posters have been appearing around the city this week, and I am bracing myself for full-on theatregoing. 

In the midst of all of this, I have an announcement! I’m one of the authors of No Filter, an essay collection about what it means to be a millennial today. My essay is called “Millennial, You’re a Wizard: Hopefulness and the Harry Potter Generation”.

The book is being crowdfunded and published by Unbound, as soon as funds are raised! 

One of the ways you can support the project AND guarantee a spot on this autumn’s Lumos Your Life course is to pledge. There are just two Lumos Your Life spaces available, at a $100 discount, plus you get a copy of the book when it comes out. Pretty good, right?

My Favourite Reads Lately

📖  I’ll admit: when my favourite bookshop, Golden Hare Books, announced their upcoming podcast, I was like, oh no, not another podcast for my feed. But Bibliophile is that good, heroines. After each episode I can’t reach for my pleasure reading fast enough.

💖  How are you spending your life-minutes?

🌟 I’ve watched this like 5 times already and it always fills me with delight. [and peggy!]

💕 I am all for combining your seemingly disparate passions on your blog [I mean look at my blog.]. Sarah breaks down the practicalities of blogging about two different things.

📚 9 books to read to fill the Pretty Little Liars-shaped hole in your heart, aka 9 books I absolutely need right now.

💸  Decide to bring in more money, and more interesting advice from doing a spending diet and earning spree!

❤️  I am totally guilty of fixating too much on my narrative [I mean look at my blog], and not noticing pure experience.

👑  And on Heroine Training, choose where you wish to explore: the Edinburgh Fringe Festival or Barcelona, Spain.