Manifesting The Mansion

Martin Luther King said “I have a dream…”

(His dream was greater, and more altruistic, than mine! Although, I do have an altruistic dream, and that is, one day, in the UK, all childcare will be tax deductable. Watch out, whoever, is in Government, because when I have all my ducks in a row, I am coming for you with this, and it will happen.)

Anyway, back to my dream. We, currently, live in military quarters. It’s great. I have a magnificent view from my bedroom window. A coveted view, which is nearly shared with Darren Anderton, and Teddy Sheringham, or whoever is renting their mansions, down the road. We pay a fraction of the rent that they pay. However, each winter, I do spend a colossal amount of money, heating the great outdoors. I know the double glazing is a flawed, because the curtains billow when the window is closed.

We love living in quarters; rent is cheap, hubby’s commute is minutes few, I am surrounded by folk who know what it’s like to love, and loathe, your husband, and they never say ‘I don’t know how you do it?’

(By this, they are referring to the prolonged absences, sans husband, while, he either, flies into the face of certain death, or practices, at irregular hours, how to fly into the face of certain death.)

But, I am 37 years old, and husband has hit the big 40, so it’s time to summon the mansion. We, simply, can’t live in quarters forever, and, we both want to live in a gorgeous, big house, with lots of rooms and storage, with a bit of land.

We are property spotters; avid Kirsty and Phil fans. My husband is in love with Sarah Beeney, partly because of her incredibly impressive rack, but, also, because of her dulcet tones, which lull him (and me a bit, but not quite as much) into yearning for property ownership and re-development.

We watch her show, with our head in our hands, screaming to the tv, ‘why don’t you listen to her you crazy fools!’. (Why do they never listen to her? It is a genuine mystery. Mind you after yesterday, I received some sage advice from my literary agents, which I don’t want to take, and they are very sage indeed, so I do get it, a bit. I am still in inner conflict, so I haven’t, technically, not yet taken their advice! Plus, I might have to close the chapters, and learn the lesson. I can’t let people down.)

Dan Brown’s, The Lost Symbol brought radical change into to my life. My neighbour is working with an eccentric entrepreneur, called Harry Massey. The LA premiere of his film called The Living Matrix was about to happen.

It focuses on the principles of Noetic Science,
(Noetic sciences are explorations into the nature and potentials of consciousness using multiple ways of knowing—including intuition, feeling, reason, and the senses. Noetic sciences explore the “inner cosmos” of the mind such as consciousness, soul, spirit, and how it relates to the “outer cosmos” of the physical world.)

including, explanations from five experts in the field, all of which, had been named in Dan Brown’s latest tome. One of these experts was a writer, called Lynne Mactaggart.

A flurry of excitement ensued, and I began providing PR support for the premiere of the film. As a result of this work, I was lucky enough to meet Lynne Mactaggart, and to learn more about her wisdom and writing. She has written a book called ‘The Intention Experiment’, which was also featured in The Lost Symbol.

The basic principle of intention is, that everything starts with an idea, and then you focus on realising that idea.

This is not Aladdin. It’s not possible to rub the lamp, summon the Genie, make the wish and ‘poof’, the wish is granted. The intention has to be devised, implemented and executed. Some may call it a strategy.

However, for the intention to manifest the idea needs to be cast into the cosmos. Today, I am official and publicly manifesting the mansion, with the lots of rooms, a kitchen garden, grounds and staff. I am summoning it. I do have a plan to get it, but I am officially putting it out there, to see what happens. I am joining the intention experiment.

There are seven things on the blues skies table, to date.

(I have to be careful, so some may be cryptically described. They are still in a ‘prior to the 12 week scan’ stage of development.)

On the blue skies table is:

1.) Immediate Response by Major Mark Hammond RM DFC with Clare Macnaughton
a. Hardback to sell out
b. Paperback to be a stellar international success
c. To secure a US rights deal
d. To be made in a film, screenplay by William Burroughs, directed by Susanna White, produced by Sam Mendes, Hammond played by Daniel Craig

2.) Kristal Waters by Alice Carroll
a non fiction, Superyacht expose; a Hotel Babylon with teeth
to be picked up by Transworld

3.) Brothers by Alan Rind
(mentored by Clare Macnaughton)
‘two Islamic, British, Pakistani brothers put loyalty to the ultimate test’
to be picked up by Transworld

4.) The Penguin Conspiracy by Alex Pratt
(mentored by Clare Macnaughton)
‘two children escape their vile parents, into another dimension ruled by pirates, where the Penguins are trying take over the world’
to be picked by Bloomsbury

5.) Our fabulous online magazine to be an international and lucrative success

6.) To collectively redefine communication in the UK military

7.) To collaboratively change global consciousness to alternative health

If, all of the above, could please happen, then the Universe can you please manifest me a mansion.

In the immortal words of The Lion King…’It is time’….

(GULP!! Right..I have said it now. It’s out there. Watch this space.)


Reach For The Skies

by Clare Macnaughton

When I was 9 years old I read a book called Little Ed by Ed Tully, and from the moment I had finished it I knew that I wanted to be a writer. When I was 8 years old, we moved from the north of England to the south. I had a little typewriter and I would correspond to Toni Smith, my northern best friend, who I have known since I was 5 years old (and we are still writing to each other 30 years on but via email now) using my clumsy fingers on my clumsy machine.

As I got older my passion for writing grew but I it was always underpinned by a need to make money from it. I have never been very good at writing creatively just for the joy of self-expression. In fact, when I do such endeavours invariably the result makes my toes curl, and I hope and pray that they are never discovered. If they are, then at the very earliest, after I am dead and ideally completely dead, and not hanging around in some transitional plane having to endure the criticism, but not having the means to defend my intentions. A bit like Joe Orton’s diaries, I am sure that he never expected to have his shorthand decoded and the world to read about how often he bashed one out. In my teens I had heard that you could make £200 per Mills and Boon novel so I thought this was an ideal way of writing to formula and earning some easy cash. My friend’s mum was a Mills and Boon member and had hundreds of them, so I read a few, which was very entertaining and then began my first draft. The problem was I just couldn’t take it seriously and it always ended up as some stupid parody, full of sexual debauchery and drunken frolics that amused me, and my school chums, but didn’t really stand any chance of earning me the coveted £200.

While I was at university, my housemates and I, on rainy, cash strapped days, would pen erotic fiction stories about each of us in compromising positions with celebrities of our choice. Again, they just turned into stupid parodies, which were hilarious. The olives and the pool table were a nice touch. Anyone who has seen Priscilla Queen of the Desert will know what I mean. As I was studying a PR degree we thought it would be funny to try and sell them to men’s magazine Maxim. It was my first pitch into a features editor and it wasn’t my crowning glory. It went something along the lines of, “Hi, we have written these really funny erotic fictions stories and as Maxim is a glorified porn mag with words we thought they might be your cup of tea.” Click, as the features editor put the phone down.

After graduation I started working and was given the opportunity to work with the press photographer for Lawrie Smith’s yacht racing team, Silk Cut, who were participating in the 1998 Whitbread Round the World Race. I became privy to an inside look at these globetrotting, womanising, yachtsmen. At a summer bbq at my parents, I was introduced to a literary agent who had given up the big smoke for life in Middle Earth. I pitched the idea ‘Silk Sluts – The Inside Tale’ to her and we began the proposal writing process. The book looked like a winning combination and Silk Cut were definitely the team to watch when it came to debauched behaviour. It wasn’t long before they made the tabloid front pages when boat driver, super sexy Gordon Maguire, left his wife, and began a year-long affair with Page 3 hottie Jo Guest. However, my literary dreams were once again shattered, when I broke my leg, while watching the start of the race, onboard a speed-boat and spent the next year learning to walk again.

I next came into contact with the world of publishing when I was managing the communications programme for, British yachtsman, Mike Golding. He was competing in a yacht race called the Vendee Globe, a non-stop, circumnavigation of the world. As he approached Cape Horn his winning strategy looked like it might deliver, and so, in-conjunction with The Daily Telegraph sailing correspondent, Kate Laven, we began drafting a book proposal. She introduced me to literary agent David Luxton, from Luxton Harris ltd, and he agreed to represent Mike, with Kate Laven as the co-writer. Kate wrote a great proposal and David managed to muster some interest from publishers. Mike eventually, after a dramatic finish, secured a brilliant third place but he felt that third didn’t warrant a book so once again my brush with publishing dissipated.

However, I stayed in touch with David Luxton and kept my ear to the ground. On another gig as Communications Director of the Velux 5 Oceans, a global solo yacht race with stopovers, the sailing legend Sir Robin Knox Johnston, who in 1969 became the first man ever to successfully complete a solo circumnavigation of the globe, decided to enter. He was going to be a big media pull and was in a severely under funded campaign. In order to boost his income and on the back of a front cover of the Sunday Times magazine, it was time once again to pull in the dynamic trio of Luxton, Laven and Macnaughton. Before the proposal was even drafted we were beginning to get offers from publishers. I managed the relationship between Kate, David and RKJ, just because of the complex logistics involved with RKJ trying to co-ordinate his sailing campaign. Kate drafted a fantastic proposal and it went out to tender. There was huge interest and the book finished in a bidding war between two publishers. In the end, in a nail biting board level sign off, a six-figure advance was offered which secured the book deal for ‘Force of Nature’, with Penguin. Our editor was to be Rowland White, the author of bestselling aviation non-fiction novel, ‘Vulcan 607’. Before Kate got stuck into the writing we all went up to London to meet Rowland, I shook his hand, we chatted a little and I mentioned that I had married a Chinook pilot in the RAF. Rowland, who obviously has a keen interest in aviation, he mentioned another Chinook pilot, who was a mutual friend and it was all very jolly. I then walked away from the publishing world once more to get on with my very time-consuming day job.

After the race had finished, and Force of Nature had been published, Kate, David and I met up for a celebratory lunch at Soho House. David and I were talking and he mentioned that non-fiction military history was very much the books of the moment. He asked that if I got a sniff of a tale in this field, knowing I lived amongst the military, in a military house, as I was married to a Chinook pilot, that he wanted first refusal. I didn’t think much of it but agreed that I would only do so if I got to write it.

About six months later I was having a cup of tea in the living room of a fellow wife, who lived two doors up the street from me, and her husband, a Major in the Royal Marines, on an exchange tour with RAF, came home with a book in his hand called, In Foreign Fields by Dan Collins. He threw the book at me and said, “read that – it’s about me” alluding to a chapter in it. Her husband had earned a gallantry medal, called the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in Afghanistan, and his endeavours were described in it. I said to him that I thought that I could get him a book deal. He agreed to let me try but only because he didn’t believe that it would ever happen. I contacted David and the machinations began. We, in-conjunction, with the Major drafted the proposal and then it was submitted. Somehow it ended up in front of Rowland at Penguin. At first, he turned us down, but he did agree to a meeting to see if we could expand the story a bit further to give it more substance. At this meeting we did so, I then wrote a sample chapter, and it was with great jubilation that I received a call from David to say that we had an offer from Penguin.

The contract was signed and I was the co-writer. I couldn’t believe that finally my dream to write a book was finally going to come to fruition. Then I found out that I was pregnant and we were being posted to Dorset. Penguin gave me a deadline of March 1st, this gave me time to grow the baby, move, have the baby, get the baby to nursery age and then have 6 months to research and write the book. No problem. Thankfully, the world had invented Skype and I was very resourceful. On the 1st January 2009 I declared myself teetotal until handover and began my writing marathon. Against all odds, and under some pretty extreme endurance writing sessions, ‘Immediate Response’ by Major Mark Hammond was drafted.

After a series of edits and a faff with the MOD, it was released on the 6th August. In it’s second week of sales it debuted in The Sunday Times bestseller non-fiction chart, at number 9, making it an official bestseller. The next job for me is now to publish a book in my own name. I am working on a non-fiction look at life onboard a superyacht, through the eyes of a stewardess. It’s going to be like Hotel Babylon but with teeth and I am loving every minute of it. It is a comedy noir and I guarantee it will be a page turner. However, I am currently still looking for a publisher to agree to take it on so watch this space. One day my dream will come true and I am not going to give up trying.

Immediate Response by Major Mark Hammond DFC RM with Clare Macnaughton Michael Josesph 2009 ISBN 0718154746