Tag Archives: women writers

One Lovely Blog Award



Blogging is isolated and lonely. I am not writing in a newsroom where I can see writers and editors bustling in a typical newsroom I knew.  In a newsroom, I could discuss my story with an editor or another fellow writer, or work with a photographer.  In this blogger-world sometimes I feel, I am alone. I am reaching out to someone, somewhere, whom my story may appeal to. My story is like fresh bait on a hook, dropped in the middle of the deep, dark ocean.  I want the right fish to bite the hook, not any fish. So, the ‘bait’ has to be right. But how do I know if the bait is right? As writers, we don’t. Well I don’t, not 100 per cent anyway. Unless, we get feedback, research data and see some kind of recognition, we really don’t know if what we write is appreciated.

When my site-visit numbers were increasing recently, there were very few comments and ‘likes’ on each post. I have to admit, I felt doubt. I wondered why I would have many people visit my blog each day, and not interact. I would visit the few writers that “liked’ my post and be astounded by how many followers and hits they have had. I searched through their contents. What makes this blog great?, I asked myself. Some blogs were interesting and it made sense as to why they would have such an audience.  Others did not make sense at all – they were just popular. Like everything else, it really does not matter what you write and how you write it. That ‘bait’ will catch the reader that was meant for it. You have to catch your own niche market. I learnt, and told myself only to worry about my next story.

In the background, I did do some content research, adjusted my theme, and the layout. I took a course on content and UX with Open University and shortened my posts. (This post will not be one of those short ones). I kept on writing; refusing to use popular social networks to get my readers – or lure people who knew me. I covered most topics I loved and cared about. The risk was, that I could lose readers because of the varied topics. I borrowed some hints from Opinionated Man. Jason could scratch himself and blog it to get 400 “likes”. He was always true to himself. I enjoyed his narrative posts the most. I kept writing about the things I loved or believed in. It is real. So, my readership doubled in a month. And, somewhere in that increased number, someone connected with my content. My bait was taken.

I won’t call her the right bait but a friend.

On November 2, a stranger appeared on my blog. She was wearing a China-red dress/top, armed with a natural straw hat with a black band that mysteriously and securely hid her face. I saw this picture after I received the first message from WordPress. It said: “millithom liked your post”.  I have had other “likes’ before so I paid no notice. I thought I would follow-up and view each respond when I had time in the evening. Then there was another ‘like” and another, by the same person. I immediately visited millithom’s blog and was very impressed with what she wrote. I learnt a lot from her. As an aspiring author myself, I was impressed with her book posts on writing in general and helpful advise on publishing. I was really grateful that she could relate to my post and COMMENT! On that same day, after the fourth “like”, millithom was hooked, I think. I say that with no malice. I got a notification that she started “following” me. It was the kind of ‘stalking’ that every blogger loves. The baited hook was taken by that fish. Each day since, this woman I have never seen her face except in an old photo, warmly responds to all my posts. She also writes very encouraging and heart-felt comments. For me and any writer or any blogger who is starting and ‘afraid’, we all need a millithom to put that hope into our doubting minds. I have mine. I also have L.T.Garvin, Poetheart! and Seafarrwide. There is a kind of sisterblog-hood going.

Thank you Millie Thom, blogger, author (Shadow of the Raven), with a gorgeous heart for nominating me for this award. It means a lot to me. I will continue to strive to keep the content of Tribalmystic blog interesting. Thank you Millie, my followers, and returned readers and I would appreciate any feedback to improve this blog. I also appreciate the quiet ones. Your silence and presence are both appreciated and acknowledged.

Wine women and watercolours 264
Self-portrait. JLeahy, Acrylics & Inks on canvas. 2012.

Seven Lovely Things…

As requested by the conditions of this award, I have to tell you seven “lovely” things about me. Ahhhumm.. (I asked my sons and my colleague today) and they made some comments I shall not repeat; so I have to do this task the best I can.

1. I am a queen of surprises. (I am that confident). Even after all these years, I can still surprise my sons in their ‘older age’, family members and friends. I love the intrigue. I love mysteries. I love how happy I make them.

  1. When I was growing up, the children in my village used to call me a spirit. I was lighter skinned but had tanned from hours in the sun. I had straight hair which was blonde from swimming in the sea every day. All that time, I thought I was black. The children kept telling me, I was white. I think it is lovely to be both.

  2.  I easily make friends with strangers and people from all walks of life. I could connect and have a deep conversation with a stranger, that I had just met. It scares my children.

  3. I love nature.  The Ocean, forest, and all life forms. I believe that Earth is in danger. We should all be seriously concerned about what is happening in climate change and each make a commitment to do something about it.

  4. I am who I am because I am the thread that runs in the fabric created by my mother,  grandmother and my people.

  5. I love stories – telling and hearing.

7. I make art from anything..but I love drawing with  pencil and watercolours.

Pencil - Meri Karim Pikinini
Pencil on paper. “Meri Karim Pikinini” JLeahy. 2014


Nominate other blogs I read and like:

1. Millie Thom

2. Seafarrwide

3. MyTwoSentence

  1. Poetheart! 

  2. Notes From An Alien

6. L.T.Garvin 

7. Vera Komnig

  1. Life in Russia

  2. HiMe

  3. When Women Inspire

plus more………




Laisa Taga


If you had asked me if I knew the late Fijian Laisa Taga of the Island Business International I would say “yes”.

Although it may seem strange if I told you that I never met her in person. Last year Eva Arni, head of PR and marketing for Air Niugini, Papua New Guinea suggested that I contact  Laisa about writing some stories for the Paradise In-flight Magazine. When I wrote to Laisa some six months ago, she immediately wrote back with enthusiasm.

After discussing the general understanding of what types of articles to write and the expectations between a writer and an editor were established, we warmed to each other with bits of Fijian words thrown into the conversations. Not long after that, Laisa published my first article on the Kula Trade in the Paradise. I have posted a copy of that article in this blog. I was thrilled. Most of what I had written in the Kula story had been kept meaning Laisa must have liked what I had written. It was true she liked what I wrote because she hounded me after that first story for more.

I had promised Laisa two articles. One on weaving and the other on the Miss South Pacific Quest and the events that unfolded that crowning night.

When I told Laisa I was not feeling very well and would need to send her the articles later to go into the next edition, she accepted graciously and said she would wait. She told me “your health is very important” and I should take care of that first. Tonight as I read an email from Godfrey Scoullar – Publisher & Managing Director Laisa’s colleague, about Laisa’s passing and that she insisted she needed to work until she could work no more I could only cry. Not once did this woman show and make me feel in any way, that she herself was facing the greatest challenge of her life (cancer) which would in the end, take her life. My insides were ripped.

Isn’t it amazing how we take life for granted? And how precious is time?

I had only written to Laisa two weeks ago wondering if she had received my copies. It was unusual for her to take so long to reply. I had taken it for granted that I missed the deadline and I should just wait for her to write back.

And tonight, when I went over our email and how lazy I had become in paying so much attention to other things and not submitting these articles sooner, I feel absolutely hopeless and angry at myself. Jason from A Good Blog is Hard to Find (blog) once asked the question – could you really know someone virtually even though you might have never met them. My answer was “yes” and my answer tonight is “yes”, I do know Laisa. I am so grateful to have known her and especially in her last weeks. Laisa Taga had used her last precious time to continue her work with people like me – to bring stories for enjoyment to thousands of readers like you all over the world. I hope that I had given her something very small in return by what I had written for her editorials.

Farewell Laisa. The angels will rejoice at your glorious spirit that you have shared with us.

Below was the last I heard from her.



Bula vinaka.
Just checking on those two stories promised.

I am now working on the next issue of Paradise – collating pieces.





Islands Business International is touched and comforted by the outpouring of grief and sympathy on the passing of our Group Editor in Chief Laisa Taga who died peacefully surrounded by her close family members at her Suva home on Friday morning.
Quietly and determinedly, Laisa had been battling cancer for some time.

It was her wish she should continue to work until she could work no more.
Her family will announce funeral arrangements once they are finalised.
On behalf of Islands Business International, its staff, clients and its many friends in Fiji, in the Pacific and around the world, I wish to thank you most sincerely for the expressions of sympathy and sorrow on Laisa’s passing.
Laisa was a tower of strength, a hard working and knowledgeable editor with a measured temperament and great sense of humour.
As a regional media figure she was a quiet achiever who downplayed her achievements and never sought recognition.
She has left a vacuum that would be difficult to fill.
May Laisa rest in peace.

Godfrey Scoullar – Publisher & Managing Director
Islands Business International.