Friday, December 30, 2011

Testing blog online

The blogger app for the ipad crashed and i have no idea how to get it to work. Maybe i need to reconnect to my laptop which is not in india with me. So, until i figure that out, blogposts will be words...or links to youtube videos whenever i upload.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Two initial pics




Frost on window of Air India while flying over the desert at sunrise.


The desert was just sand at first then was snowcovered.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Arrived safely

Arrived safely in London yesterday morning. British Airways service was fantastic. Readjusting to time zone and preparing for the next time zone...India. Leaving tonight from Heathrow. Not sure how often I will update the blog, but will whenever I can. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 26, 2011

I'm going to India

Today I am leaving for London en route to India. It will be my first time there. I am going to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), also known as City of Joy, Cultural Capital of India, Literary Capital of India, City of Furious Creative Energy, City of Palaces, City of All Cities, City of Processions, City of Bridges ... (among other things). 

I will update when I am there . . .

Thursday, December 22, 2011

40 copies of Daisy Chain

Yesterday I went to deliver the 40 copies of Daisy Chain which NALIS purchased. 4 will go to the Heritage Library and the rest will be distributed through other NALIS branches in T & T.

I sat at the desk of the person I was dealing with and personalized each copy with a word or short message and my signature. The young lady told me that most authors just drop off their books and go, and that it was a nice touch to sign them. She had a copy of her own on the desk and got me to sign that as well.

I love signing Daisy Chain. I love the the thought of some unknown person picking it up, seeing the signature and the message and feeling as though they are being personally invited through a little door in the paper. . . "Come in. I've been waiting for you . . ." or in the case of Daisy Chain:  "we've been waiting for you."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What are the secrets of packing light?


Maybe having a smaller suitcase is the best answer. That leaves no choice but to take bare essentials.

Maybe the secret is also to pack enough clothes for 2 to 3 days and, if possible, buy new clothing, as needed, at the destination.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 19, 2011

Practising and preparing for my journey





Now testing with my camera connection kit, which allows me to attach the usb from my camera to the ipad and download images to the photo folder. It works seamlessly. There's also another attachment into which i can directly insert the SD card from the camera.

Then I experimented with a photo app I downloaded. Photostudio HD. That accounts for the slight effect on the image of the flower. The article i was reading said the app was really good, that it had all these effects and there were even favourable reviews to back it up. I think its effects are a bit cheesy, but then again, it's not the pro version. Anyway, I am a firm believer in "it's not what you have, it's what you do with what you have ..." I'm going to see if I find something more like photoshop . . . Or maybe there is even a photoshop app?

Gradually getting used to the ipad, making sure blogpress isn't crashing (which it hasn't since I reinstalled it), making sure i can upload pics, have my email account set up, etc . . . All in preparation for my travels.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Trying this again . . .

Yesterday a friend advised me to use the blogpress app to make blogging to Blogger easier. It is indeed easier, but last night when testing it out, it crashed. In reading about it, there were many bloggers complaining about it crashing with IO5.

When I tried it this morning it came up fine. In fact I am writing this post with it. In a while I will see if it posts successfully.

Now to upload a pic and see how that works. Same pic of bedroom window from yesterday since I don't have any other shots of the iPad right now.




- Posted using BlogPress from my ipad2

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hello from my new ipad2

This is my first blogpost from my new iPad. Very compact and great for traveling. The only thing is, I can't upload photos directly to blogspot, or even to Facebook. I have to use photo bucket and paste a link in order to see the image

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The above shot is just a random one of the bedroom window, to test how the pasting of the code works. I'm sure there's a more direct way. I'll figure it out.

There is also an app for uploading images to fbook. Everything is 'an app'. Why not just keep it simple and direct? Oh well, anything to get consumers to spend . . .

The other thing is, safari browser doesn't allow me to blog in compose mode, only in HTML mode. Too confusing for me when it comes to changing font, etc . . . Certain things will take getting used to. So, in time to come, the blog posts you get from me may be quite basic,as I will be traveling and using my iPad.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Evolution of Now

A friend of mine, Gregory Sloane-Seale
"We do have the power to influence now...We must be awake & conscious of the fact that every interaction, every utterance, every time we stop to allow someone to cross the road, every time we do something that's going to assist someone, uplift someone...If you could do it, do it. Evolve in that moment. That is what feeds us. That is what sustains us & that is what we need to be focused on...Let the process be us living in the now, evolving in the now, moving forward. Peace, Love & Possibilities. (Gregory Sloane-Seale, The Evolution of Now).

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Who are you out there?

Early morning sun through my bedroom window
This blog is like a window. You can see in to me (as much as I reveal on any given day) but I don't really see you. I "see" some people, like Lynn and Param Atma . . . and I know there are people who read the blog but don't leave comments here. They may email or say something in person.

But I often think it would be nice to know something of whoever else is out there checking in regularly or from time to time. Even if just for today, will you introduce yourself and say a little something?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Going with the flow of life


I'm beginning to feel as busy as the fireflies look in the above image. Time is moving swiftly and life is getting busier. One day soon I will update you as to why.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The weekend was wonderful

The Daisy Chain reading at Kariwak was fantastic. I couldn't have asked for more. The ajoupa was neatly set up with intimate rows of chairs and a few padded yoga mats for those who wanted to sit on the floor. To the front was a chair for me, a small table with a reading lamp and a microphone. The simplicity and peaceful energy of the space, along with the trickle of the nearby fountain and the bird song, gave the feel of a late afternoon meditation as I sat waiting for audience members to arrive.

Despite it being a fairly overcast Saturday evening, there was a good turn out. It felt cozy, reading in the muted lighting of the ajoupa which, as I learned over breakfast on Sunday, was first ever used by the Dalia Lama when he visited Tobago some years ago.

I had put the names of 14 of my favourite characters from the novel into miniscule zip-lock bags with hearts on them (purchased once on a visit to Toronto). The white paper bag they were in was passed around and different members of the audience chose one name at a time. I would then read an excerpt from that character's chapter. I didn't count, but I probably read about 7 or 8 in all—ending with a full reading of the PHILIPPINE chapter.


We ended with questions, comments, book sales and signing and cups of Kariwak's delicious spice tea! I would recommend going to Kariwak if even just to drink that. The taste lingers in my throat even now . . .

Quite like the women in the book, every Daisy Chain reading event so far has had its own personality. I have loved them all and I look forward to more. In fact, offers to do more readings in different geographical locations came up this weekend. I am definitely following up on those. It would be great to do readings all over the world.

It is a heartwarming feeling to look up and see recognition and enjoyment in people's eyes as a character resonates with something in them . . . and to have people eager to buy novels after a reading—for themselves and as gifts for others. It is lovely to hear someone say "My friend________ would love this." It makes me think that they think specially of that person. It's also lovely to think that people not only in TT, but in different parts of the world will be receiving Daisy Chain as gifts, sitting and reading it on airplanes, subways, in bed, while waiting, in parks, reading alone or reading together as friends or as a couple, etc.

Teaching yoga the next morning in the ajoupa was also intimate and meaningful. This was followed by a delicious Kariwak breakfast. Also worth experiencing!

I took my camera but unfortunately didn't think about it. It remained in my knapsack. Hence no photos.

To sum up: really glad I went and did this. It was perfect timing and everything fell into place exactly as it was meant to. The Universe was at work.

Many thanks to Kariwak, in particular Tanya Clovis, who organized and set up everything for me so beautifully, so that it was all smooth sailing. Thanks to everyone who attended the reading, bought books and gave encouraging feedback . . . and also to those who came to yoga and shared conversations and breakfast after.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Beautiful Stranger


On Friday morning as I sat at my laptop, something caught my attention through the side of my eye—a small shadow flapping behind the curtain. It looked like a feather. On closer inspection, I noticed it was a butterfly. Liking the way its shadow looked through the blue voile-like material, I quickly got my Canon Elph from my bag and began to shoot the above video.

As you read this post, I am in Tobago without my laptop. But I am writing it now (Saturday morning) and scheduling it to appear on Sunday morning.



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Flying out

Today I leave for Tobago—less than half an hour away by plane, but I feel as though I'm going much further.  Somewhat of a world tour feeling, since it's the first time I'll be getting on a plane to go anywhere and read from my novel and teach yoga. My suitcase is small but heavy, containing white clothes (for yoga) and white books (Daisy Chain). 

Come and join us if you will be in Tobago this weekend. It so happens, as I was told yesterday, that there's a literary festival currently going on in Tobago. Well-timed choice of taking Daisy Chain across the waters.

This evening, the Daisy Chain reading will begin at 5:00 p.m. at Kariwak Hotel. Normally I have different women reading the parts of select women from the novel. This time I'll be reading everything on my own. I've come up with a simple way of making the experience interactive, since I like the audience to feel more involved than simply being "listeners".

Sunday morning from 7:00 a.m. I'll be teaching a Kundalini Yoga class, also at Kariwak. Looking forward to that as well. All are welcome, including beginners. (Click on the "Come and join us" link in the second paragraph for details).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Following fireflies

The other night when I went to Mt St Benedict to shoot star trails, my two friends and I were saying that when next there's a power outage it would be a great time for me to experiment. There would be less light pollution.

Last night electricity went off for quite a while and even though there was light cloud cover, the stars were more visible than usual. But because my cable release isn't working, I was unable to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Earlier in the evening I experimented once more with the fireflies in the field next door. Instead of leaving the camera on the tripod and depending on the fireflies to move in front of the lens, I followed them with the camera (20 second exposure). The above image is what I got.

Interesting that the resulting streaks are multi-coloured, when all fireflies are green.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rephrasing

I want to rephrase something I wrote on my blog post last night about having to order and then "waaaaaaaaaaaaait" for a new cable release for my camera.

I woke up this morning and Florence Scovel Shinn popped into my mind. I blogged about her a few days ago. She is all about the power of the word. "Your word is your wand," she says. This is very true. We aren't always aware of the impact of our words in shaping our life's reality. There are some phrases we utter, often habitually, which can negate us, negate others, negate situations . . . often without us even realizing it.

Becoming more conscious of our words (and our thoughts), we begin to transform our existence. This may be easier for some than for others. It takes varying degrees of conscious effort and repetition to make the shift and start seeing changes.

Instead of saying "I have to waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait" for my cable release, I'm saying: "I look forward to receiving a wonderful new cable release for my camera before the end of 2011."

If you are interested in having mp3s of one of Florence's books, check out this link.  You can download the audio files and burn them to CD or put them on your ipod—to listen while walking, jogging, while stuck in traffic, while doing things around the house, cooking, etc.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Firefly trails


Tonight I used the timer on the camera and experimented with firefly trails (instead of star trails)—from fireflies in the field next door. I couldn't use my cable release. It has conked out on me ... just as I'm getting hooked on long exposure photography. I need to get a new one pronto.

However . . . one of the frustrating things about living in Trinidad is that nowhere really sells a wide range of professional camera equipment and accessories. As far as I know, David's Filmvue is the closest you can get, but they rarely have what I need.

I order all of my equipment from B&H Photo Video. Because we have to pay on camera equipment being brought in to Trinidad, usually I wait until I travel or someone I know is traveling and can bring in the equipment. Otherwise I would end up paying a massive amount on top of the actual price.

Today was a grey, dark day and I wanted to go and experiment with long exposures. But for this I would have wanted my cable release and a neutral density filter (I want a 10+). Had I been in Toronto I could have nipped around to Henry's and bought them.

But . . . now I have to order online and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jesus catching stars

Click on image to see it in more detail.

Practice makes perfect. I would love to truly understand how to get great star trail shots.

Last night I went to take more star trail photos, up at Mount St. Benedict. Here's an account of my first star trail attempt (on Sunday night in Santa Cruz), if you missed it.

Last night's attempt didn't yield much. But I got two photos of a Jesus statue against the sky. It was a hazy, somewhat cloudy night and, even though we were up on the mountain with the lights of the monastery at a distance, there was still some light pollution from the lowlands, etc. It's hard to escape light pollution nowadays.

When I close my eyes now I see star trails. Imagine, even if we stood completely still, we would still be moving . . . simply because the earth is.

On a completely different note, lately I've been getting lots of spam comments. I notified Blogger about it but it hasn't stopped. In fact it has increased.

If anyone is reading this and knows how to  get rid of the spam/spammers, please let me know.

Thanks.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nocturnal Experiments

(Click on images to enlarge)

I've always wanted to shoot star trails. Last night was my first attempt at it. Star trails are not formed by stars moving, but by the earth moving while the camera is fixed on a certain point in the sky for X amount of time. The trails I captured last night were short because my exposures weren't that long. If you click here and look at these images online you'll see some more dramatic examples.

N.B. For the above shot I applied some contrast in Photoshop to emphasize the trails a bit. This altered the sky colour somewhat. There was some cloud cover and even though far from "civilization", there was still a bit of light pollution. A darker, clearer sky with longer exposure times would have produced more definite results.
Also tried my hand at some light drawing, using a long enough camera exposure to allow me to trace outlines around friends using a small torchlight. As you can see, my body wasn't picked up in the image because I was moving fairly quickly.
I'm going to keep practising, so stay tuned to see me get better at this.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The mouth of babes

Yesterday I was at my friend Dion's home studio and we were editing some short videos. His daughter, age 6, came into the room and was chatting with me.

At one point . . .

Me: So what's your favourite subject at school?

Zuri (in all seriousness): Breaktime, Lunchtime, maths, science, penmanship.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Readings with Tea and Music

This afternoon I will be one of a few authors reading from our novels, at Paper Based Bookstore's event:"Readings with Tea and Music"($100 per ticket) at Hotel Normandie. It starts at 5 p.m. 

An afternoon with Five Authors and a Poet - Lisa Allen-Agostini; Rhoda Bharath; Elspeth Duncan; Barbara Jenkins; Sharon Millar; Vladimir Lucien. Music by Ruth Osman. 


Paper Based Bookstore, Hotel Normandie, 10 Nook Avenue, St. Anns.



 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Divine, Intuition, Intelligence and Guidance






Recently a friend lent me a book—The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder. Some of her quotes/affirmations are featured in the above video.

Her writing reminds me somewhat of the work of Florence Scovel-Shinn, who was a New Thought Teacher, a Truth Student. Born in the late 19th century, she was active in the realm of positive thought long before the current New Age surge of books like The Secret, etc. I like those old time writers for their down to earth simplicity and straightforwardness. With all due respect to Oprah's Book Club, no book club was needed to make them popular. Florence's books, in my opinion, are the best I've read on affirmations, positive thinking, ridding the mind of negatives, improving life through the power of using the right words and thoughts, etc. Truly life transforming.

This book (at amazon), The Wisdom of Florence Scovel-Shinn is a collection of her four books. I would advise you to get this one. It's the one I have. I re-read it recently and just in talking to a few friends about it, they all got it and are now into Florence, reaping the rewards of her words and application of the simple techniques.

If interested, you can begin to read some of her work online here.


Monday, November 21, 2011

NEW: Yoga Photo-voucher Christmas gifts!

 THOU ART YOGA Photo-voucher option 1
Photography: Elspeth Duncan
THOU ART YOGA Photo-voucher option 2
Photography: Elspeth Duncan

A unique Christmas gift:
"REFLECT. CONNECT. PROJECT."
(Voucher for one Kundalini Yoga class)


Give your loved ones the gift of transformation with this Thou Art Yoga photo-voucher for one Kundalini Yoga class.

$60TT

This keepsake voucher (suitable for beginning, intermediate or advanced students) comes in the form of a greeting card featuring an original Thou Art Yoga photograph. Class details are written inside the card, with ample space for you to add your own message.

Vouchers valid January to end of March 2012

For more information and to order your Thou Art Yoga photo-vouchers by 15 December contact me:
786-2539
Email Me
Click here for general Thou Art Yoga class details.

Thank you.

Elspeth

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Special Yoga & Toys classes this week

Click on image to enlarge flier and see details.

More on the organization requesting support:
Mothers 2 Mothers (founded by HIV+ mother of 3, Lorna Hamilton-Henry) is a nonprofit organization aimed at
• Having babies be born HIV free
• Educating mothers on how to care for themselves and their children
• Providing psycho-social support

Mothers 2 Mothers Trinidad and Tobago, is hosting their 1st Annual Christmas party for mothers living with HIV and their children. The board of M2M T&T would like to bring joy to these special mothers and their children and are requesting assistance to sponsor this event.
  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Daisy Chain & Kundalini Yoga in Tobago

Thinking of taking a break and doing something a little different? How about a December weekend of Daisy Chain readings and signings and a special Kundalini Yoga class in Tobago? Click to enlarge fliers below and see details. And please share the link with your Tobago contacts.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Soon

Through divine channels, the prayer of your heart comes to pass.
Give thanks now before seeing evidence.
Prepare for the celebration.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Daisy Love . . . and stay tuned!


I have an exciting announcement to make re Daisy Chain. Stay tuned to find out on Friday.

Meanwhile, here's a new review posted on amazon.com by one reader, Shireen:

Truly a magical experience from cover to cover. The author links each character to the next in a seamless transition, ensuring that you never want to put this book down. 

The Daisy Chain kept me company for a few minutes each morning, the chapters are kept short, so you can enjoy them a couple at a time, sometimes unable to just read so few of them. Elspeth has a magical way of letting you truly "live" the essence of each character and directly identify with some of them. A great companion and a must read! My only complaint is that it ended.  Definitely 2 thumbs up and I can't wait for more from this creative and unique author!
Cheers. 


To purchase Daisy Chain at amazon.com please click here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Trini shack meets Canadian flag

I've driven by this shack many times on the way to the Mount, but never really noticed it until yesterday with the unexpected sight of a brand new Canadian flag hanging in front of it.

I wonder who lives there and what the story is behind their display of the flag.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

T & T, advertise online for free

I recently placed an ad for yoga classes and my photo portrait special on this site http://www.trinidadforsale.com

I'm letting you know because you may live in TT and have a business, service or product you want to promote. This is worth a try. You never know who will be browsing through and will give you great business.

Monday, November 7, 2011

One-Hour Wonders: Photo Portrait Special

 "I believe in the photographer's magic — the ability to stir the soul with light and shape and colour. To create grand visual moments out of small and simple things, and to infuse big and complicated subjects with unpretentious elegance."

(Amyn Nasser)

Click on image to enlarge

ONE-HOUR WONDERS

Professional photo portraits of you, or you and loved ones—outdoors, natural lighting.

SPECIAL includes:
* One hour shoot for 1 - 6 people (ask about rates for larger groups)
* CD of high quality images.

Special valid until December 23rd 2011.

For details and to book your session, contact Elspeth:
786-2539
645-5832



 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Unique Christmas Gift

Please click on image to enlarge flier and see details.

N.B. Price of $100 quoted in TT dollars, for copies of the book available in Trinidad & Tobago.
Those living abroad can purchase their copies of Daisy Chain from amazon.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Animation can be very inspiring

Last night I went to the opening of the Animae Caribe Animation and New Media Festival. They are celebrating 10 years of the art of animation. Check the schedule. There is an interesting line up of films and workshops.

Last night a few fantastic short animated pieces were screened. One in particular, Teclopolis, was a work of genius, using simple household objects, old magazines and old computer parts to make an environmental statement. Look at the short clip below. I particularly love how they represented the ocean.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Message from the dream archives

There was a time when I used to write down my dreams every morning upon waking. While cleaning out a chest of drawers today I found a book in which I had written a few.

I like this particular short one, dated 27-06-99:

There was a large thick purple candle Everyone was trying to break it in half and couldn't. A little child said: "Let me do it." When they gave it to her she said a little prayer and instantly, easily, snapped the candle in her little hands.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Haven't yet got your Daisy Chain copy?


If you haven't yet got your copy of Daisy Chain, now's your chance.  The second and last shipment for the year is in.

Call me at 786-2539 to order your autographed copy.

Below are some reviews from readers who purchased via amazon.com 

Elspeth Duncan has peopled Daisy Chain with a series of unforgettable characters. We get to share a small taste of each of their lives in these short stories linked to each other by a character in the previous story. In some cases we see aspects of ourselves, sisters, mothers or friends in them. The author's genius lies in always making you want more while reading each piece. Yet when I finished this collection I felt satisfied. This is a truly refreshing and original read and deserves to be shared widely. 
(Jo Ann, London)

I chose to read this book during a recent long-haul flight. I was truly grateful that I made the right choice, because it proved to be an excellent travel companion! As soon as I read the first page, I was transported from the not-so-comfortable economy class to the worlds of all those women, whose stories Elspeth tells with insights, humour, and grace. Elspeth's ability in connecting the characters - yet offering each of them their own personality - is ingenious and outstanding. This book speaks directly to the heart. Reading it is like listening to a good friend telling a chain of fascinating stories - and you don't want her to stop. It's heart-warming and thought-provoking.  
(Andrew, England)

This is a short book and could be finished in less than a weekend, but I have chosen to read it more slowly, as each character is developed and then a new one is added that will come to life in the next chapter and it is fun to meet them each this way and give them their full weight. Some make you smile, some leave a bit of sadness and most make you think! They are snippets that are yummy to read over lunch or right before falling to sleep and maybe even dream about as you don't really want to stop knowing any one of them for long. I like Elspeth Duncan's style and wit. Daisy chain makes a great girlfriend gift too! 
(Lynn C, California)

I read your book and found it amazing. Some passages resonated completely with me, while others did not at all, but always left me anxious to find out what comes next! There is indeed something for everyone in your book. Some of the phrases were extremely helpful and inspiring to me at this exciting, transitional time in my life. Thank you for writing this book! 
(Param, Oregon)

I recently returned from six days of camping in an all-woman festival and found Daisy Chain's rich female characters an extension of my experience at the festival. To be transported back into women's lives through a series of short stories all connected to each other was a deeply spiritual gift. I was entertained, moved, saddened, uplifted and connected to women and myself throughout the pages. There is just once section of the book that felt out of place for me -- the chapter about the author in the middle of the book. The writing style is quite different from the other chapters and broke the flow for me. I would have preferred to have had this section at the beginning or end of the book. Other than that, I found it a gem.  
(Kimberlie, Illinois)

If you're looking for a delightful and refreshing read that is as well-written as it is well-conceived, DAISY CHAIN delivers. Elspeth Duncan has conjured 53 individuals, each with a tenuous connection to the next, and allows us to eavesdrop momentarily on their lives. We soon realise that these sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, always resourceful women in part reflect ourselves. Although choosing a favourite from among these vignettes is difficult, Philomene returns to mind most often. I can't decide whether in her situation, appearance or reality is preferable. Another favourite is Mena, an unforgettable little tyrant whose parents can unwittingly take full credit for her obnoxious behaviour. I particularly liked the hilarious rendition of the newlyweds increasingly ominous journey to their remote honeymoon destination. Best of all is Duncan's knack for elevating to an inspirational level tales that might be merely entertaining from another author's keyboard. 
(Darby, Arkansas)

DAISY CHAIN is an ingenious piece of writing. As the title suggests, the fifty-three characters into whose lives the reader gets a brief glimpse are linked one to the next by a "teaser" from the author, thus creating a chain effect. This technique serves as a vehicle for the threaded philosophy of life that runs throughout the work. More than the links in the "chain", i.e., the individual characters whose narratives connect one to the next, the virtue of the work is the subliminal narrative that IS itself the chain. The [literal] chain that is introduced in the first narrative serves as a metaphor for the subliminal narrative, underscoring the fact that we are all inextricably linked to our destiny. 
(Esmerelda, Minnesota)



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Your best selling novel is waiting to be born



NaNoWriMo, the challenge I took on in Nov 2006, which resulted in Daisy Chain, will be starting off its 2011 run in a few days (on Nov 1st).

"I am too busy" . . . "I don't have time for that". These are easy excuses. Give it a go. Rise to the challenge. Stretch yourself beyond limitations. You never know what you will end up with.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Royalties

How exciting to receive a Daisy Chain royalty cheque in the mailbox . . . and to know that there will be many more.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Funny how your feet know where to land

My feet on a heart-shaped rock in a river, 6-10-11
Listening to this fantastic song this morning (Do You Hear The Music - by Kirtana), I realised that the above photo says it all . . .

Here are the lyrics:
Your Beloved calls you here today
to ask you for this dance; what will you say?
Are you going to throw the chance away?
And do you hear the music?

I know you've got a lot of things to do,
but I think the world could turn a time or two
without all your precious plans
and you could stop to hear the music
in your heart, in your heart

Maybe you should give your mind a rest
and put its main assumption to the test;
just let go and see who leads the best,
surrender to the music

Maybe you don't need to understand
Maybe these are steps that can't be planned
Funny how your feet know where to land
when you listen to the music
in your heart, in your heart

Your Beloved calls you here today
to ask you for this dance; what will you say?
Are you going to throw the chance away? --
or listen to the music, listen to the music
in your heart....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What happened on this morning's walk . . .

This morning when it was still cool, and fairly dark, I went for a walk. Along the way I passed several people, each of whom I told "Good morning". Some of them responded verbally, some nodded silently, some didn't look up or respond at all, but most couldn't even hear me. Their ears were stuffed with headphones, blocking out the world. Only those who looked up at me as I passed were able to lip read the greeting and respond with a glaze-eyed nod.

Further along, as I walked through campus, I saw a pale, chubby young man sitting on a bench by the lockers near the library. He was hunched over, biting into a sandwich. As I passed, I said "Good morning." He looked up and said "Good morning."

At that moment, I heard something in me say "Have a successful day". I didn't consciously think those words, yet it was my own voice saying them to the young man. My momentum kept me walking forward, but I felt an irresistible pull to go back to him.

When he saw that I had turned back and was heading straight in his direction, he stopped chewing and looked momentarily scared. I suppose in this day and age . . . quiet young man alone on an empty campus, early morning, strange woman turns and heads directly for him. What weapon does she have tucked in her track pants?

He dropped his defenses when I smiled and spoke. "I came back to tell you that I hope you have a successful day."

Immediately his presence changed. He straightened up, burst into a massive smile and said "Thank you!" I saw and felt him glowing brightly. The hunched man furtively biting into his breakfast was gone.

"Is there something important about today for you?" I asked him.

He thought for a while: "No. Today isn't really important."

"Well, it is," I said. "Every day is."

"True," he said.

We smiled and parted.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Click on image to enlarge my birthday potato, which let up my birthday morning yoga session.
Here's to a magnificent life now and up ahead.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dear Libra . . .

Your Beauty is astounding
Your Gifts are abounding
Your Truth is resounding
Your Love is surrounding

(E.D.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Libra Lime

Last night I was invited to go out with a few friends for a Libra Lime. (For those who aren't from Trinidad and don't know what 'Lime' means, click here).

The Librans in the group of nine were:
Richard - 26 September
Fazal - 1 October
Nisha - 4 October
Me - 7 October

(Other signs of the zodiac at the table were Leo, Sagittarius . . . and not sure of the other two).

The very talkative and entertaining-bordering-on-attention-grabbing waitress at our table also turned out to be Libran (can't remember what date). In addition to praising Librans whenever she came to our table, she had a few good jabs at the one Virgo at the table (her ex husband was a Virgo).

"Virgos tink dey always right!" she commented (half joking, half from experience) as she walked off to get an order.

Later in the evening she offered we four Librans free Haagen Dazs birthday ice cream—Vanilla or Chocolate. When the Virgo asked if he could have some too, she retorted: "This is for the Librans."

Virgo: Earlier I told you I was born on 9 September, but it's really 9 October.

Waitress: Doh try dat. My ex was born on 7 September. I remember your birthday is just two days after.

She then walked off with another joking-yet-probably-from-experience comment: "Dem Virgos not only tink they always right, dey also jealous!"

Eventually the Virgo did get his ice cream, which he had to pay for.

 Happy Birthday if you're Libran and your birthday is today.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Daisy Chain article in today's Womanwise magazine

Published: Sun, 2011-10-02 19:57
“I didn’t think it out at all…I just wrote it! Like a stream of consciousness” says Elspeth Duncan, author of The Daisy Chain in response to my surprise about penning a 50,000 word novel in just 7 days! Yes, 7 days! The first-time published novelist recently hosted her book launch at NALIS on September 10th to great reviews from readers, evidenced by the sold out response at her book signing. 

(continued . . .)

Click here to read the rest of the Daisy Chain article in today's Womanwise section of the Trinidad Guardian.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Love of Your Life: Kundalini Yoga Workshop for Beginners

Click on image to enlarge flyer
*
LOVE OF YOUR LIFE
Kundalini Yoga workshop for beginners

Saturday 15 October 2011
9 a.m. - midday
Luna Surya Studios
119 Golf Course Road, Fairways, Maraval

Learn powerful yogic techniques to help you heal body, mind and spirit and awaken to Love—with the Divine, your Self and Others:

Breath of the Beloved (Pranayama)
Song of the Beloved (Mantras)
Touch of the Beloved (Mudras)
Devotion in Motion (Kriya)
Infinite Embrace (Relaxation)
Soul Connection (Meditation)


$250

Please bring your own yoga mat, a bottle of water and wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Register early to secure your space
Call 786-2539 or 681-7576
Click here to email

Registration closes Friday 14th October 2011

***

Elspeth Duncan (Tek Har Kaur) is a multimedia artist and Kundalini Yoga instructor who has been practising Kundalini Yoga since 2000. In 2010 she founded Thou Art Yoga, a movement for the global upliftment of all people, the awakening of consciousness through Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) and the creation of conscious music, art, products and events.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Librans of the world unite!


That magical time of the year is here yet again. The Zodiacal Pinnacle—Libra.

This hallowed time makes all other signs of the zodiac wish that their parents had put some more thought about timing into the moment of copulation. What foetus doesn't want to come into this existence knowing that when it passes through the vaginal portal it will emerge as . . . a Libran?

Celebrate, my Libran friends. Reap the rewards of being who we are.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Elspeth Duncan launches first novel

(In yesterday's Newsday)

On September 10, Elspeth Duncan launched her first novel, Daisy Chain, at the NALIS AV Room in Port-of-Spain.
Guests were invited to arrive early for the chance to be one of 53 people to win an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime door prize. The nature of the prize, a trip for two inspired by one of the chapters of the novel, was not revealed until the end of the show.

Following an opening speech by Garfield King of Radio 97.1FM and a thought-provoking review by Dr Marjorie Thorpe, guests in the packed NALIS AV Room were treated to a cinematic experience. Duncan, also a film-maker, had created striking short filmed sequences, relating to each novel excerpt. These were projected onto the screen to introduce each related reading. In keeping with the novel’s eclectic thread of vignettes featuring 53 different women, Duncan invited different women to read excerpts from the diverse chapters. The launch featured Patti-Anne Ali reading the hilarious “Mona”, Jamela Khan reading the sensual “Mrs C” and Vanessa Duncan reading the deeply moving “Philippine”.

All 90 copies of Daisy Chain, available for sale after the launch through Paper Based Bookshop, were sold out that night. The author was present to sign each book with a personal message.

Those who missed the launch can experience the filmed excerpts and Daisy Chain readings on Wednesday September 28 from midday, as IGDS (Institute for Gender and Development Studies), UWI features Daisy Chain at their first lunchtime seminar of the term at SALISES building, UWI. Copies of the novel will be available for purchase and will be signed by the author. For information on this seminar, contact Deborah Mc Fee, outreach and research officer, IGDS, Phone: 662 2002 Ext 83573, 83577. E-mail: igds@sta.uwi.edu

Daisy Chain is available locally from Paper Based Bookshop, 10 Nook Avenue, Hotel Normandie, St Ann’s and internationally from amazon.com.

Monday, September 19, 2011

IGDS features Daisy Chain at lunchtime seminar at UWI





You are invited to the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Unit) Lunchtime Seminar Series, 2011-12

Our first Lunchtime Seminar for the academic year 2011-12 is
Daisy Chain
presented by Elspeth Duncan


Wednesday September 28th
12:00 - 3:00 p.m.

SALISES Conference Room
UWI, St. Augustine
St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago


53 women, each linked to the next in a chain of eclectic vignettes. Think, imagine, embrace and wonder not only about their lives . . . but about your own.
In this remarkable collection of vignettes, Elspeth Duncan spins tales to draw the reader into the creative process. She gives us characters who are at once familiar and yet strangely unfamiliar, whetting our curiosity just enough that we find ourselves imagining endings for her tales, creating stories for the characters that tell as much about them as about ourselves. This is the genius of Daisy Chain. After one story, the reader is hooked. It's an exhilarating ride to self knowledge through the stream of consciousness of fictive characters.
—Elizabeth Nunez, Anna In-Between, Prospero's Daughter and other novels

Elspeth Duncan is an award-winning Trinidadian writer, photographer, film maker, musician and a Kundalini Yoga instructor with a BA in English Literature and M. Phil in Criminology. Her writing experience has included a decade as an advertising copywriter, in addition to poetry, song lyrics, articles for Caribbean and International publications and scripts for film and theatre. Daisy Chain is her first published work of fiction.

Copies of Daisy Chain will be on sale at the lunchtime seminar ($100 each) and will be autographed.
Daisy Chain is available at Paperbased Bookstore, The Normandie, Port of Spain, Trinidad
or online on amazon.com (Search under "Books" for "Daisy Chain Elspeth Duncan")
or use the link http://tinyurl.com/3tkqg38

Look out for excerpts from the novel by email and on Facebook in the lead up to the IGDS lunchtime seminar.

For further information:
Deborah Mc Fee
Outreach and Research Officer
Institute for Gender and Development Studies
Phone: 662 2002 Ext. 83573, 83577
Email: igds@sta.uwi.edu

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First Daisy Chain amazon review from a male reader

I chose to read this book during a recent long-haul flight. I was truly grateful that I made the right choice, because it proved to be an excellent travel companion! As soon as I read the first page, I was transported from the not-so-comfortable economy class to the worlds of all those women, whose stories Elspeth tells with insights, humour, and grace. Elspeth's ability in connecting the characters - yet offering each of them their own personality - is ingenious and outstanding. This book speaks directly to the heart. Reading it is like listening to a good friend telling a chain of fascinating stories - and you don't want her to stop. It's heart-warming and thought-provoking.

(Andrew)

Daisy Chain is available in Trinidad at Paper Based Bookstore, Normandie (625-3197) . . . or internationally from Amazon. Click here to purchase from amazon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beyond words

If living abroad, you can purchase your copy of Daisy Chain from amazon. If you are in T & T you can purchase from Paper Based Bookstore in the Normandie. More copies are being ordered.
 *
The Daisy Chain launch was super fantastic—successful, enjoyable and aligned with the Divine. So far it was the best night of my life. It's hard to put into words because it was more of an experience. Being there physically would be the best description possible. Because the interior of the hall was in darkness for the majority of the launch (to enable the video projections that preceded each reading) there aren't really many indoor shots, other than those of the readers in the lamp light. The selected below images were taken by Curtis Khan. You can click on them to enlarge, if desired.
 Patti Anne Ali reads an excerpt from MONA 
Jamela Khan reads an excerpt from MRS. C.
Vanessa Duncan reads an excerpt from PHILIPPINE
 Autographing copies of Daisy Chain after the event.  The owner of Paper Based bookstore (who shipped in the books and had them for sale on the night) said it's the first time all of the books have sold out at a book launch (almost 90).

Standing with two friends at the end. The sign on the water says: "Water your inner daisy and you will flourish"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I love these women!!!!

(Review by Lynn C. on amazon.com)

This is a short book and could be finished in less than a weekend, but I have chosen to read it more slowly, as each character is developed and then a new one is added that will come to life in the next chapter and it is fun to meet them each this way and give them their full weight. Some make you smile, some leave a bit of sadness and most make you think! They are snippets that are yummy to read over lunch or right before falling to sleep and maybe even dream about as you don't really want to stop knowing any one of them for long. I like Elspeth Duncan's style and wit. Daisy chain makes a great girlfriend gift too!

To get your copy of Daisy Chain at amazon, please click here