‘The eBook sensation, with over 165,000 copies sold.’
About ‘The Dress’.
‘When Ella and her mother Fabia Moreno arrive in York one cold January day to set up a vintage dress shop, little do they know what the future holds for them. The flamboyant Fabia wants to sell beautiful dresses and move on from her difficult past. Her daughter only wants to fit in. But the owner of York’s new vintage dress shop is not quite what she seems… and not everyone is on their side.
Will Fabia overcome the prejudices she encounters? What’s that dark secret she’s hiding? And do the silk linings and concealed seams of her dresses contain real spells or is it all just ‘everyday magic’? Among the leopard-print shoes, tea-gowns and costume jewellery in Fabia’s shop are many different stories – and the story of one particular dress.’
It is such an honour to be able to kick this blog tour off for such a BEAUTIFUL book! I was rather excited when I received the e-mail from the publishers Twenty7 asking me if I wanted to take part in the tour. Can you keep a secret? I hugged the book when it arrived. I mean, just look at that cover!
My stop on Sophie Nicholl’s tour isn’t a book review (stay tuned though as there will be one soon!), I have a magical post centered around a character from ‘The Dress’ and her ‘Everyday Magic’. Enjoy!
Everyday magic: Three ways to rediscover the magic in your everyday life.
by Sophie Nicholls.
‘The world is full of magic when you know where to look, tesora,’ says Fabia, the main character in my novel, The Dress. ‘It’s in the river, the way it moves and in that pot of basil on the windowsill, the way the leaves know exactly how to grow, how to create themselves… and it’s in this fabric here, the way it has a flow and a feeling all of its own when I move my needle through it…’
Fabia’s life is full of ‘everyday magic’ – and she sprinkles it liberally everywhere she goes, transforming the lives of her customers when she opens her very special vintage dress shop in York. For Fabia, magic is about noticing the good that is always present in our everyday lives, taking pleasure in the small details that are so easily overlooked, the little acts of kindness.
How many of us, in the middle of the commute, the school run, the supermarket shop, have time to really notice the magic that is all around us? And when we’re feeling low or exhausted, we know that we should make time for something beautiful but it all just feels a bit too difficult, too self-indulgent.
The following three tips, borrowed from Fabia, might help you, in the smallest of ways, to rediscover a little ‘everyday magic’ in your life.
Take a deep breath. Feel your feet firmly on the ground. Whether you live and work in a crowded city or open countryside, make time to get outside for a walk. Allow yourself to reconnect with your senses. What do you feel right now? Whereabouts do you feel it in your body? What can you taste on your tongue? What can you smell? Let yourself luxuriate in the here and now, just for a moment, without worrying about what might happen in the future or re-running the past. Look up from your desk from time to time. Look outside the window and notice what you see. Allow yourself a moment to be fully present to the ‘magic’ all around you.
Harness the power of simple rituals
Fabia uses rituals – simple household ‘spells,’ for want of a better word – to conjure the right atmosphere of warmth and welcome in her vintage dress shop. She washes her floors with lavender-scented water, polishes them with beeswax, sprinkles salt and lights candles. She uses her special brand of ‘everyday magic’ to sew new futures for her customers, hiding secret words in the hem of a skirt or the pocket of a dress, and she keeps the snipped ends of her embroidery threads in a special jar.
Your rituals don’t need to be so elaborate. I like to light a candle at the end of the day, to help me to make the transition from the world of work to one of slowing down and preparing for sleep. Sometimes, when my daughter is tucked up in bed and the house is quiet, I light a candle before I start to write.
What rituals might you use to help yourself to make a little time for you, to open up a breathing space where you can just be for a while?
A friend of mine wears a particular pair of red shoes every time she has to do something that feels difficult, such as giving a presentation or running a difficult meeting. What rituals might you use to give yourself confidence in a certain situation at work or at home; or to help you to focus on a task?
Pick a card
Like me, Fabia uses tarot cards to help her to make decisions. I have several different sets, from the traditional Rider Waite pack to decks of oracle cards. I keep my cards in a drawer by my writing desk and I like to choose one at the beginning of each day and prop it up against the vase on my windowsill so that I can see it when I write. Alternatively, you can carry a card around in your pocket all day and let its ‘magic’ rub off on you. Sometimes, I choose a card for the online writing class that I teach and I email it to the students at the beginning of the week.
The words and images on a card will mean different things to different people at different times in their lives. They can be instantly clarifying. They may speak directly to something that you’ve been mulling over in your subconscious. Often, the relevance of the card might not be immediately clear, but its meaning has a habit of making itself known to you.
One way of working with the ‘magic’ of the cards is to choose a card and use it as a starting point for a piece of journaling or free writing. By scribbling down what comes up for you as you look at the card – just writing without thinking or analysing too much and without pausing or editing – you might discover all sorts of things about your life and yourself that you didn’t know you knew.
What will you do to begin to rediscover the little fragments of everyday magic in your life? Like Fabia, I believe passionately in the power of women coming together and sharing their experiences. I’d love to share in your everyday magic, the little things that you notice when you slow down for a moment or create a breathing space for yourself. Tag your pictures #everydaymagic on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and let’s spread some sparkle.
Thank you Sophie for writing that piece for us here at TWG! My lovely readers, as soon as you have read this post, take Fabia’s advice. Stop, look around you, and breathe. What do you see? Do you see something that may have gone unnoticed if you hadn’t taken the time to stop? Take a photo, and like Sophie says, put them on social media with the tag #everydaymagic. I will encourage the theme of this post throughout the rest of the week, so please do get involved. Sprinkle your fairydust like Tinkerbell….or Tinkerdude if you’re a guy ;).
About the author Sophie Nicholls.
Sophie Nicholls is an Amazon bestselling author. The Dress is her first novel – which hit the Kindle Top 5 in 2012, and is followed by two further books in the well-loved ‘The Dress Trilogy”. She is an award-winning poet and leads the MA Creative Writing Distance Learning at Teesside University. She lives in North Yorkshire, in the North of England with