Monday, 18 November 2013

Find out what it takes to continue applying some positive spin to your life when it is tested by adversity - Glass Half Full - our Australian adventure is available now

New release!! Glass Half Full by Sarah Jane Butfield

I have just published my debut novel about our triumph over adversity during our Australian adventure. If you want to read about moving from the UK to Outback Australia, family relationships, the aftermath for our family of the Brisbane floods in 2011, then this book has something for you. Find out what it takes to continue applying some positive spin to your life when it is tested by bereavement, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, illness and losing our home to the Brisbane floods in 2011.
I hope Glass Half Full will inspire and motivate people who are facing challenging life events. To give just one person a sense of hope, that there is always a way out, an answer will be amazing.
If you can view your glass as half full even in the toughest times you have the best chance of moving forward.
I hope you enjoy our story.

Glass Half Full is available now:

US link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GP1T7GQ
UK link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00GP1T7GQ
Australia link: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00GP1T7GQ

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Everyone has a story: There are times to stay put, and what you want wil...

Everyone has a story: There are times to stay put, and what you want wil...: 'It's has been said that in life, there are two types of people: those who look at the glass as half empty, and those who see it as ...

There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.” ― Lemony Snicket

'It's has been said that in life, there are two types of people: those who look at the glass as half empty, and those who see it as half full. Ironically sometimes life influences our view and changes our perception.

Glass Half Full by Sarah Jane Butfield

Over the last six weeks I have been busy editing the prologue and first five chapters of Glass Half Full, which are available to read on authonomy. 


I have been overwhelmed by the positive and helpful advice, feedback and assistance from the readers and authors on the site. They have helped me add anecdotes and back-story to the first chapters to give my readers a more in-depth view of our journey.

I have now loaded a further two chapters called:-

'Educating Jaime in Alice Springs' and 'It’s Christmas, but not as we know it.'

As a sneak preview of things to come, I have posted some photographs and extracts from later in the book.

Thanks for reading and following my progress and feel free to leave a comment on the blog or on authonomy.

                                          Chapter 8 - 'I do'

Our wedding day 14th August 2009
Gretna Green, Scotland.

Extract chapter 8

'The photographs and memories of our wedding in Gretna Green, and the UK holiday afterwards, will stay with us forever. It was a turning point for us, as we both realised that life has no guarantees, none of us know how long we have on this planet and we should live each day to the fullest. We decided that now was the time to say “I do” not only to each other but to life.'

                                      Chapter 11  Grieving Bushman
Millmerran,Queensland the perfect retreat for my grieving bushman Oct 2009 

  Extract from chapter 11.

'For Nigel, living a solitary existence in the middle of rural Queensland, on our piece of woodland, would not only give him time to think, remember and evaluate, but also it would give him the perfect distraction. This piece of woodland was to be our future idyllic retreat. It needed him to spend time there; to get to know the land, the wildlife, the way the rain flows through the naturally formed tracks and importantly how to cope and find ways to live with the intense heat and humidity.'
                         Chapter 12 - New beginnings in Queensland

Extract from chapter 12

'Who would or could have known that what was to be the ultimate achievement of our Australian dream; to buy and renovate a house in Queensland, would be shaken to its core, before it had even begun. An attack of road rage, by a middle aged, impatient bogan, who rammed into the back of our hire car, on the fourth day of our visit, threatened to halt 
our plans in their tracks. With minor physical damage to the car, the physical and psychological impact of his actions resulted in whiplash, post-traumatic stress disorder and driving anxiety, the latter of which I am still trying to combat today. This changed our plans, time-frames and me, as a nurse, mother and wife.
Our renovation house in Ipswich, Queensland 2010 before the floods        

                                 Chapter 13 The Good Life

Pedigree cat walks into our 20 acres of woodland.

The Good Life - growing our own veg in the woods in rural Queensland

 Extract from chapter 13

'Living the good life, from our perspective on a practical level, meant aiming to live a simple existence. Therefore in a quest to fulfill another of our bucket list dreams, we wanted to pursue a version of The Good life, inspired by the 1970's UK sit com of the same name.
“The Good Life.” for those unfamiliar with its television origins, focused on a suburban couple, Tom and Barbara, who opted out of the traditional suburban lifestyle, which consisted of commuting, office work, and keeping up with the neighbours. They embarked on achieving self-sufficiency  by producing, growing and eating their own produce.' 

                           Chapter 17 - Restarting our Australian adventure  

Dave and Buster on their first camping expedition in Tasmania

Extract from chapter 17 

'We took advantage of some of the many, free sight-seeing attractions including Snug falls – where Nigel took some amazing water fall photographs, Marion Bay, Wine glass Bay and Mayfield conservation reserve. Mayfield offers a free camp site, located adjacent to the beach. From here you can see seals and dolphins, when in season, from your tent or caravan door. Our boys, Dave and Buster, loved going camping there. It is dog friendly and the beach lends itself as a great area for dog exercising in specified areas to protect the wildlife' 
                           Chapter 19 Homesick - its decision time.
The view from Enzo's beach front cafe in Hervey Bay, Queensland - Valentines day 2012

Extract chapter 19
'What were we trying to achieve by staying in Australia? Were we trying to prove a point, that our initial decision to emigrate was justified, that we had made the right decision then? To us none of that mattered now. We had emigrated; we had achieved and experienced wonderful things during our four and half years in Australia, and we had experienced good and challenging times. Despite this we were a family unit; still together, still wanting more adventures, more challenges, but at this point in time we felt stifled, we felt trapped and the free spirit and unpredictability that was our life was tamed. We did not feel like we were the same people anymore.'

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Conceive, believe and achieve.

        Since my last post my inner strength, determination and perseverance have been well and truly tested. If it was New Year's Eve I would be saying now - my resolution is to achieve all my goals, love life and go for it - whilst gritting my teeth about the things that annoy me!!

        To demonstrate this I have to own up to that fact that I started writing this blog update whilst working on assignment 10 in my creative writing diploma course at the end of April (and I am only now completing it grrrr.) The subject - screenplays, which was way outside my comfort zone. I was determined to finish it, partly to be able to move on, but partly to prove that I could do it - I can do it - and I did it.

       I have always prided myself on demonstrating this positive attitude to our children in the hope that they would grow into independent, self-assured individuals who would embrace life with all of its imperfections but enjoy it none the less.  My determination to be successful in my writing career is escalating also and I find myself thinking and working on little else despite being time poor.

         I received a distinction for my screenplay assignment which was amazing and I am now on the penultimate assignment of my course. Currently I am inspired and motivated by debut novelist Amanda Hodgkinson and her novel 22 Britannia Road. An amazing story and inspiring to see a new writer achieve her dreams. You can check out her website at; http://www.amandahodgkinson.com/about-amanda/

       My 'One for the road' project stepped up a level last week. As I continue to lose weight - 8kgs in total now and 28 cm's from my overall physique, my leg strength has improved greatly. I got the all clear to take to the road in an 11km race - the 'City to Casino' in Hobart. Extremely excited to be able to run again, but apprehensive of injury, my strategy was take it steady, not to go for a fast time but to run with the aim of completing the course.  I completed it in 1 hour and 18 minutes and the buzz from finishing was immense. That elation of completing it after believing for a year that I would never run again drove me through the week where despite aching legs my fitness training was awesome. 

     I believe in dreaming big, working hard to ensure success and having fun. So as we move forward in our personal and family dreams and ambitions, our daily mantra is, ' you have to conceive it, and believe it, to ensure you achieve it.' This remains posted to our dream board as our daily inspiration and as we tick off our achievements the words gain momentum. Watch this space!!!!


Monday, 26 March 2012

'One for the road'

   And so it begins.

    I have commenced my journey- 'one step' at a time, 'one kilo' a week and 'one healthier choice' every day, hence 'One for the road' my latest creation in progress.
    My journey is taking me to a healthier mind, body and soul, because the road I want to achieve is both physical and metaphorical. I want to run on the road again - even if it has to be on the flat for my ageing knees.  I want to embrace the roads of my life, and take all the twists, turns and detours it has to offer, even if I am unsure of my final destination.     
     My life truly resembles a map. The biggest thrill is coming to a cross roads, closing my eyes and putting a pin in to decide the direction. I know to some this will sound hap hazard, thwart with danger and risk and generally irresponsible, however I learnt some years ago that you have to follow your heart, and make the most of any opportunity that comes your way.  The future is uncertain both in length and direction. Therefore when opportunity knocks, I open that door, and not only have a peek inside but go in for a good look round!

     So my journey continues, and the biggest bonus of all,  apart from being extremely exciting and unpredictable, is that everyday I am inspired to write , to seek and to learn something new about myself and my world, and I love it.

    Stay tuned.........
Progress report - I have lost 4kgs to date and I have six chapters of my novel in draft, and the my 'One for the road' journal is growing with thoughts and experiences of how to push through the painful knees, change for the better and grow with the experience.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Everyone has a story: Making it happen

Everyone has a story: Making it happen:             As my regular followers will know I have been studying hard for my diplomas in journalism and creative writing for the past year...

Making it happen

            As my regular followers will know I have been studying hard for my diplomas in journalism and creative writing for the past year. This is no mean feat combining working full time with all the other normal daily activities. To study the art of writing in its many forms I feel will add to the depth and range of my writing career, which is ahead of me. Therefore I am so excited to announce that I have received my first award - my Diploma in Journalism.
           I am so grateful for the support of my husband, friends and family who never fail to meet my requests for being story ideas, interviews, questions about issues I am researching etc.
So what now - well I have three more assignments to complete in my creative writing course and I have my novel in progress and I have a few feature articles ideas in the research stage, so plenty to keep me out of mischief for now.
            I have discovered a few things about myself on this journey to achieve a new direction in my life, and one of the most important is that - 'I can do whatever I put my mind to,' however far out of my comfort zone it may at first appear.' This is inspiring me to step up without fear and say 'I can'  instead of 'I'll try' that tiny word 'can' truly does influence your mindset. Therefore I have introduced a new physical challenge to keep my body in tune with my overly active mind.  I have joined the gym, for the first time in my life and OMG it's great, that recognition of what your body can really do is awesome. My fitness goal is to be able to run again. Since finding out I have degenerative joint disease in both knees I have been unable to run for over a year, but now I working on a program to strengthen my legs and lose some weight, so that 'I can' hit the road again and guess what, I am writing a journal recording my journey back to fitness - its called,  'One for the road' and it will be an open, and I hope inspirational account of what it takes to achieve my goal.
          So its onwards and upwards - watch this space because you just never know what I will do next!