Let your inner goose loose. Because few expect you to.


As odd as that sounds, there’s an inspirational story behind why I chose ‘a goose’ as an introduction for today’s blog. The coolest part is that I’m writing this entry in London, and the tale dates back all the way to the 1800’s where early death was a certainty, especially if you were a goose! The goose in this story was named Old Tom who lived in Leadenhall Market.

Like every other goose that was brought to this trade arcade, his fate was set: he was to be slaughtered along with 34 000 other geese over two days. Because, that’s what geese were meant for – to be born, raised, killed, plucked and eaten. That was the ‘goose life’. But this goose had other plans.

Now, all of us come up to ‘chopping blocks’ in our lives. These are moments where we become aware of the expectancies set for us. And if we don’t fulfill these pre-designed prospects, there’s a whole string of consequences.

These expectations can vary dramatically. It can be expectations set by society as a whole, friends, family, children, clients, employees and colleagues. Moms are ‘expected’ to be a certain ‘mom way’. Men are expected to act in a particular ‘man way’. And actually, both men and women are challenged in the modern world, because you’re judged for choosing to ‘just be a mom’, but then you’re also judged for being ‘a professional woman’ who doesn’t want to be a mom. And it’s no easier for men! You’re judged for being chivalrous but then judged just as quickly if you’re not. Either way, both genders are set up for expectation failures these days.

Not only does society set out expectations, this ‘social entity’ (in my mind it looks like a gigantic red octopus with hundreds of tentacles) sends out whole conflicting batches of expectations that none of us can possibly ever live up to. That’s when feelings of failure and confusion hit. Even depression. Identity crises. The ridiculous need to ‘catch up’ and be accepted possesses decision making systems. But, working hard to fit in and appease the gigantic red octopus doesn’t guarantee your head won’t land up on the chopping block. That moment is inevitable for all of us.

So, when the moment arrives where you realise your head is on that cold wooden block, what do you do? Do you look at that expectation-cleaver and conform before it’s brought down by the giant red octopus tentacle? In order to avoid the block, do you always dance to other peoples’ selfish drums so that they can remain happy at your cost?

Or. Do you let your inner goose loose and remember what Old Tom did to make him a legend;

Old Tom, realising his expected fate as a goose, made a decision. He escaped. He CHOSE to NOT become another number. This goose went on the loose and no one could catch him. He chose life so strongly that the humans gave up on seeing him as a possible meal and pillow stuffing. Instead, he became a market favourite, a hero, a legend. He was fed and looked after. Then at the good old age of 38 he passed away in the very square where he was supposed to be executed, and buried in state with respect. In the end, he was treasured for choosing to live HIS life HIS way.

Now, if a goose can choose a better life, what’s stopping you?

And these choices don’t have to be huge dramatic ones. It can be smaller choices, little ones you make daily, that assemble into a bigger, better happiness. Like, choosing to rather walk to work and grab a coffee on the way over having to drive to work and sit in the cesspool of road rage. OR, choose to NOT listen to a so-called friend’s narcissistic one-sided conversation dripping with negativity, and instead, rather take your dog for a walk where there’s a two-sided contentment. Choose love over money. Choose your joy over emotional vampires’ need for your energy. Choose to look up good news rather than lapping up the constant drone of doom and gloom fed to you via major news networks. If you’re feeling grumpy with no idea why, choose to find something that will make you smile. Even if it means hitting a punch bag really hard while imagining your boss’s face or that guy at gym that makes you feel inferior. Choose to look for the good in everyone, and if you really can’t find it, walk away from that person and find someone filled with goodness.

The examples are endless and completely based on individual perspective. But whatever you do, aim to choose BETTER.

And when you find your head on the chopping block again, just think: What Would Old Tom Do (WWOTD) 😉

Chat/blog/think soon! And remember, all these views are my own 🙂












Friends can be awesome souls, or total assholes


Or. Just human. With faults. And we sometimes forget this about them due to our own expectations and models of reality. There’s a saying out there about friends being like seasons, they come and go. When I Googled to find the exact quote, I actually found something that made me smile:

“Friends are like underwear…. Some crawl up your ass… Some snap under pressure… Some don’t have the strength to hold you up… Some get a little twisted… Some are your favourite… Some are cheap and just plain nasty… And some actually do cover your ass when u need them to.” (Unknown quote on searchquotes.com)

I couldn’t have said it better.

We’ve all had good and bad experiences with friends. And lately I’ve been talking to a lot of people whose friendships are going through ‘friend-shifts’. It’s actually happened to me too. And the common denominator was that these friend-shifts happened after one or the other friend’s life changed. Or, the person changed.

Some of us are loyal friends. I know I adore my friends and accept their idiosyncrasies. I can’t always see them as much, because: LIFE (the thing and word that gets all the blame and deserves a blog post later on). And when a friend suddenly turns weird or judgmental, it hurts. You tumble into that immediate inward soul investigation, dissecting all the “why’s” followed by the visceral feels-rollercoaster.

But, if one removes the emotion out of it and take a few steps back, a flashing reminder blinks back at you: we all change. Even if we think we don’t. I like to think most of us evolve, but jeez, some fall into dramatic backslides that leave skid marks on people’s timelines (we’ll focus on the evolving bit though). And as we grow, develop and literally take on new traits from new environments, we’re bound to lose people in our lives. Yet some of us have the ability to love the ‘core’ of a friend’s personality and adapt as they grow. But that also takes a level of maturity and selflessness which is becoming equally scarce in our society, let alone friendships.

Another reminder is that when a friend changes towards you – especially after a big life shift like marriage, career, kids, coming out as LGBTQ, moving to another country, divorce, illness etc. – it’s not always about you. Their loyalty didn’t change towards you, but rather, their loyalty towards what they need from you changed. And that’s not always something within your power to control. You can only control how you react to their role in your friend-shift. And how they react, tells you everything you need to know about that person.

Should we work at maintaining friendships while we grow and evolve? Yes! Having friends is awesome. They can be fun drinking buddies, fellow political commentators, or the close-like-family member you got to choose. People just need to be bit more understanding of each other, because friendships will change. People’s roles in our lives will change. The key is to knowing and loving the core of that person, allowing them to go through their phases of life just like you will, and then meeting each other at life’s pit stops while you freshen up, have a beer, summarize, and take on the next phase.

We need more altruism… And if you look at the meaning it says: “altruism is when we act to promote someone else’s welfare.” It’s the opposite of egoism. And no, you don’t need to be so altruistic that you’re taken advantage of! Not at all. As soon as someone abuses your unselfishness and sucks your energy dry, you don’t just friend-shift, you get the hell outta there.

However, if we can step outside of our ‘precious selves’ more frequently and be aware of our own expectations, I think more friendships will stand the test of time. Friend-shifts will become a team thing as we shift and grow together. Unless that friend becomes a real asshole. Then of course you shift away and allow yourself to attract that underwear-friend willing to cover your ass in this complex world we live in.

Chat/blog/think soon! And remember, all these views are my own 🙂


Fresh… New… Real


Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be. ~ Eckhart Tolle

True words from a master thinker. And here I am – reinventing my personal blog, and getting all serious about it, EVEN THOUGH I’m purposefully using Eckhart’s wisdom to remind myself not to. I guess…when one truly cares, one tends to take things seriously.

I started this site probably about five years ago. It has had a few incarnations, mostly to promote my heart and soul’s work – a trilogy I’d written. I’m still proud of the books and in no way do I feel I should remove ‘older’ posts. I choose to rather see the old posts – leading up to this one – as a journey.

So what’s my intention with this new manifestation?

To share. To think. And to share some more. And to do it all without pretense or the need to ‘impress’ or gain ‘Likes’ or hashtags or whatever the catch-phrases for 2018 will be.

I’ve been an illustrator, designer and writer for 20 years. My clients, friends and family receive the best I can possibly give in talent, energy and guidance. And in return, I receive all of that back in abundance.

But I want to give more. And to do so, I need to write more. Yes of course more books are in the pipeline, however, sometimes I just want to write a brief blog on ‘something’. Whether it’s about life, society (oh gods there can be SO much written about the modern world!), love, existence, spirituality, motivation, questioning, thinking, challenging and then wrapping it all up and redoing it again.

Because I can. And I will.

Along the way I hope to advance a few readers and even receive some input from creative thinkers… And if not. Well. I won’t take it too seriously (I promise, Eckhart!)

Chat/blog/think soon! And remember, all these views are my own 🙂



Nhakira flies again! RE-RELEASE

As many know, The Nhakira Trilogy was launched in 2012 with the release of Book 1.

However, things were placed on unfortunate pause, when shortly after, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. Everything in my world came to a very abrupt stand still, as I chose to stand by my mom in her battle to overcome what awaited…

BUT, all of that is now in the past! My very strong and courageous mom beat the “C”, and we’re all regaining our lives full speed ahead! And that goes for Nhakira too 😉

The Nhakira Trilogy will see a re-release in 2016, starting with a newly polished box set containing the all three books! Oh, and new covers have been designed of course. Much more stylish and befitting to our rebelious acid-tongued heroine.

I will have the trilogy available in print on CreateSpace shortly too, and truly look forward to reignite this adventure with all her readers who have been patiently waiting! Much love to you all.

Keep checking in for release dates everyone!

xxx Jen


The Nhakira Trilogy

The Dissection of Nhakira… Wow, dramatic…

Ok, so a few people have been asking me “who is Nhakira?” And, “where does her name come from?”

Let’s start in the birthing canal of a character… Sorry, that was a vivid metaphor… but fitting. As writer, I believe in writing with honesty. I want to create characters that say something I believe in – or stand against. I deliver a message, opinion or question inside my characters, and wrap it all up inside a cloak of fantasy, overdose of imagination, and trickery of magic…

So let’s strip away all the newness of my fantasy world, all the magic and spells, crystal staffs and evil bad guys…

Nhakira can be you.  She is anyone who is ‘stuck’ in life and want change. She is everyone who wants to ‘break out’ and be who they really are. She hides what she feels, underneath. She is the person fighting for liberty and equality. She’s the girl experiencing ‘first love’. She is the leader of a group that has to ensure success, and every person who has to face life’s challenges. She is the ambitious guy in a new job that has to outsmart others who have been in the game much longer. She is every person who has been discriminated against. She is the one that rises up against all odds to fight back.

Her universe is filled with magic, adventure, dark sorcery, rising of the dead, amazing creatures, demons, prophecies, secrets and enchanted kingdoms. But, her world is also a metaphor for our world. Everything in Nhakira’s story is a symbol that can be related right back to your world. Yes, as reader I want you to escape into her world and get away from your reality. Though, remember, her challenges are much more similar to your real challenges than you might think… But she overcomes them all through friendship, courage, love – and loads upon loads of ass-kicking!

“But she’s a slave, and I’m not a slave,” you’ll say. In some form or another, we’re all slaves to something, are we not? Some are slaves to their husbands and children. Quite a few are slaves to love – or the seeking of it. Many are slaves to work. I’m a slave to my passion and determination to write. Too many are slaves to materialism and money. And a precious few are slaves to bringing ‘good’ into this world… We’re all slaves to something. It’s both a negative and positive term, relative to application and interpretation.

Where does her name come from? Well… She gave it to me. Or rather, that subconscious corner of my brain that created her, made her whisper her name to me one night… Why exactly “Nhakira”… Not even I know. All I know for sure – is that Nhakira came with a unique message for everyone. Every reader will find a message, answer or inspiration they’re looking for in Nhakira’s story. Whether it’s just the seeking of fantasy, magic and fun – you’ll find it! If you want a darker side of fantasy, oh yes, my characters Mathus and Rothgylde will give you plenty of evil and even torture… Or, if you wish to find a few life lessons to ignite your thoughts, you will most definitely receive it through Nhakira, or Sal the Dreamcharmer – and especially through Lady Lalaigne, the ruler of a hidden kingdom…

Who did I write Nhakira for? Easy… I wrote her for YOU. The person reading my words, right here, right now… Nhakira has magic inside her, as do all of us, and she will remind you to rekindle your magic – and create a little for others around you too.

Enjoy her, and her journey. But I must apologize for Nhakira’s behavior through most of the trilogy in advance… She is sarcastic, complex, misunderstood, irrational and very stubborn! She has to be, because how else will we learn? 😉

Now, go experience her for yourself.

Much magic to you all!


Nhakira on Goodreads.com http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16003185-nhakira

US Kindle for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA

UK Kindle for Amzon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA

Moms Who Spawned Writers And Artists… I Applaud You

Being a creative person, i.e artist and writer, I’m the first to admit: being talented can be tough. It’s a privileged blessing and fun first and foremost! And I would choose to be a creative again in my next lifetime. But, to rise above so many other talents and be seen by a very large world of art and book buyers – is tough.

The highs of selling the first art piece or book is often very quickly followed by the lows of sustaining sales – or even just getting a foot in the door, or a little bit of recognition. Almost every artist, illustrator, designer, writer, author – any creative person – will agree to this.

In my world, the one person who has kicked my creative butt out the ‘this is tough gutter’ – is my mom. Yes of course friends and siblings have done the same. But moms just know how to make you knock that ‘tortured artist’ hat right off! Moms know exactly when to have a ‘take no prisoners’ approach to a sorry sod artist, or when to be completely sympathetic when a writing block hits.

The first person to see my art or a new book, is my mom. Not because I seek approval, quite the opposite. My mom can be brutally honest! Recently I read a book summary to her… and she yawned! Rude? No, not really. Honest. That yawn alone saved me from posting a boring summary! I wrote a new summary that same night, and guess what? Sales went up.

Moms, we creatives need you. We won’t always say it, but we do. Many of us are complicated beings who see the world from very different perspectives. In fact, we create whole new realities! My mom keeps my escapist behind firmly on the ground. Her advice is worldly, and I apply it in my business, books and art clients. Her common sense very often adds reality to my ambitious dreamscapes.

All you moms with artists and writers as children – your kids are architects of new universes. We bring new worlds, thoughts and experiences to the readers and art buyers of the world. And that’s quite a job, being such an architect. We often times hit the ‘weird’ button or do something completely inexplicable. But, that’s why we have our maternal units – to just smile and accept us. Or, maybe pull us back in line (I for one sometimes need that! ;)).

So! Mothers of the world (especially my own) – I salute you! This blog post is totally dedicated to every mother who loves her creative child! Even though you may sometimes wonder what alien pod we crawled from… 😉

Many hugs and thanks to you all!





A Few Sneak Peek Pages From NHAKIRA: “Chosen” (Book 1)

I thought I’d share a few pages to allow readers the opportunity to “peek inside” more than what’s viewable on Amazon 🙂 I want to share Nhakira with the world, and one way of doing so is to allow readers to ‘meet’ her!

Below I’m giving you an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 29. Enjoy!

Something awful was coming into the room along with the evening breeze.

    “No… Please no.” Nhakira could only whisper.

    Fear had taken her voice.

Although she couldn’t see anything except for a disturbance in the air, she recognized the evil and predatory presence.

The demons were there, directly in front of her. One by one their bodies took shape and it was the most terrifying countenance she’d ever witnessed. If she was ever to see death’s face, this was it. The four Seeker Demons didn’t materialize instantly.

Their bodies sculpted themselves with their intricately shaped skeletons materializing first. Long tails swayed threateningly as the elongated spine and smaller bones twitched and clicked into place.

The whole scene resembled a macabre marionette show. The rest of their frightening bodies took shape; first the veins, arteries and organs slithered over bone. Muscle materialized, swiftly covering their legs all the way up to their heads.

Reptilian skin completed the horrifying pack of Seeker Demons, flexing claws and hissing out deathly breaths. They were huge and towered above Nhakira. Their high-pitched sound was earsplitting loud and made her cringe.

Complete silence fell over the barn.

The Seeker Demons stood perfectly still and poised in predatory positions. One of the Seekers bent forward and opened its snake-like jaw right in front of Nhakira’s face. A long, smooth and shiny black tongue flickered out. It licked her face probingly around her brow, cheek and neck. Nhakira gagged and bit back a scream of revulsion. She could smell decay and death on its foul breath.

The first demon’s head snapped back. It opened its jaw further with a vicious hiss and Nhakira could see at least four rows of razor sharp teeth receding into its throat. It was going to attack. The demon hissed again and Nhakira watched as its jaw opened further. Pungent saliva dripped on her face in thick blobs, and its tongue flicked excitedly when its head dove down straight at her.

The last thing Nhakira saw before closing her eyes was the Seeker’s open mouth right in front of her face with the horrible smell of death engulfing her.

But before the Seeker Demon could bite into Nhakira’s face, a blinding blue bolt struck the demon and drove it through the wall next to her. The other Seeker Demons turned around to see where the attack had come from. Nhakira also peered between their long legs.

A black silhouette stood in the hole through which the Seeker Demons had entered. He was aiming a glowing staff from the shoulder, ready for another blast.

The remaining three Seekers hissed and growled, tongues flicking anxiously. They broke up and started approaching the Dreamcharmer from the front and sides. Jaws opened and horrible snarls escaped the demonic beasts.

Nhakira got up from where she’d been cowering. She couldn’t let the Dreamcharmer get hurt, or worse, die because of her. She had to do something to help him, even if it meant poking one of the bastards with the Srekaw Guard staff.

As if reading her mind, one of the Seeker Demons turned back and growled fiercely. When it lunged for her, another bolt hit the Seeker, blasting it through the same wall as the previous demon. The other two attackers hesitated. They were shaking their heads, communicating. Nhakira could ‘hear’ their sounds again and she sensed they were discussing the best plan of attack, unsure of the Dreamcharmer’s power.

One of them insisted that they attack simultaneously, but the other disagreed saying they should attack from opposite sides as not to give their intended prey a chance to escape. One thing was clear; they intended to butcher both her and the Dreamcharmer.

Nhakira listened to them. Panic and fear mixed to become a disturbing turmoil in her stomach. She had to do something right now, even if it meant sacrificing her life in order to save the Dreamcharmer. He was special, a magical creature who obviously harbored a good, pure heart.

At least her soul would leave this world knowing she’d saved another being. Her stubbornness had brought the Dreamcharmer here to this death trap.

At that exact moment, something shifted inside her. A sensation of power surged through her entire body in a warm sizzling rush. It flowed into every limb and filled her with a force so strong that she felt lightheaded.