For frazzled days
Calm Elegance for the Mama at Home
This book started off as notes hastily scribbled in cab rides to and from hospital when my second baby was born preemie at 31 weeks, during Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. I was having to 'hit the ground running' each day with trying to be a calm presence for my toddler at home and baby in hospital.
It is about enjoying life at home with babies and toddlers, getting comfortable in one's "mama skin", making the most of the day-to-day and managing difficult thoughts and emotions which can crop up in stressful times. I wrote down my own 'coping strategies' out of my own desperate need for them.
These are some things I found helpful and perhaps you will find something in there that will help you too.
My personal story
How to love with a healing heart
Everyone has a story, and I have several, yet untold. But this is one that I wrote as a new-ish wife and a very new mama. I was living in a season of fire, a season of joy; a season of pain, and a season of faith. It was an experience I wanted to write down.
When I shared it I was so glad to hear back from readers who shared their own stories with me, and thanked me for encouraging them. That's the true beauty of memoir, I think; reading the words of a stranger—or even a friend, finding out that you aren't alone, and awakening to the beauty of your own story.
Marriage and motherhood form the backdrop of my book, but in a wider way this book explores things that are common to us all. Mysteries of the heart, transitions, growing pains and inner healing. It is an honest and uplifting read for women, especially new mothers.
An excerpt from this book was printed in The Kiwi Diary 2021.
My first eBook!
Write from the Start
Get inspired to write!
I had long dreamed of writing a book, but it wasn’t till 2012 when I got a paid offer to ghostwrite a book for someone—that I was pushed to stop making excuses and actually finish at least one book. I decided that I should write my own, as a practice run for my ‘real’ assignment. At this stage I had worked as a writer before, but never had I completed a whole book, from start to finish.
Once I got going, I wrote in a bit of a feverish haze and finished the bones of this eBook in about 5 days. Margaret Haughey whipped my words into shape with her sharp and artistic editor’s touch and Miranda Lees made it all look better than I had dreamed it could look.
In Write from the Start you will find a budding writer’s thoughts on writing, my best tips to inspire yourself and get started ... think of this book as your personal cheerleader companion saying to you, YES fellow budding writer, you CAN do this!
Note: This book was published under my maiden name Melanie Tan.
Rather than blowing out 26 candles on a cake, I decided to pen 26 vignettes.
Turning 26 in the windy capital of New Zealand, Wellington, I decided to write 26 poems/vignettes to mark the occasion. There is no central theme to them; I just followed my curiosity.
A few of these are included on Poetic Prose.
Mini coffee table book
Take a peek into my relationship with food, love and various kitchens which have nourished me along the way.
Printed in January 2018, this 6″ X 8″ glossy photo book celebrates the journey of my food blog treehousekitchen, the blog in which I journaled about friends, dinner parties, kitchen experiments and winning tickets to Rick Stein’s show.
People who bought this at the time it was released also received a 12-page Christmas letter PDF from me. In it I paid tribute to members of my family and included my recipe for a dish beloved in my husband’s Maori culture, the “boil up”.
There are limited copies of this book available for sale.