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 

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


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


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.