Monday, January 12, 2015

Synchronicity

Hozier. Great music and wonderfully inspirational.  I am on the penultimate scene of the first draft.  I warm up with a bit of singing along, then dance around till the ideas starting flowing and away I go.

I've been reading a lot the last couple of weeks. We always gift each other with books for the holidays. For some reason this year mine were science based.  Then yesterday we went to see Imitation Game about Alan Turing. It was heart-breaking, brilliant and incredible to realize how much the world has changed, how much it has not and how fortunate we are to recognize both facts.

My friends and I went out afterwards to discuss the movie and life.  Again, a bit of science discussion that helped me realize that despite it being a subject in which I did not do well at school, my brain absorbs so much more than for which it's given credit.  While describing something completely unrelated to the movie or my story, it hit me.  The end of my book was right there in front of my face all this time.

I went to sleep with the ending in mind. I work up with it still there. When I came home from work today, Hozier and I made beautiful music together and I wrote.

Sometimes you need something unrelated to show you what you already know.

I hope this year is full of wonderful surprises, scientific or otherwise, for all of us.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Music!

This past year I discovered several new-to-me artists.  I also used my standing desk more often than not.You put the two elements together and voila - happy writer. Or productive writer.But if one of those elements is missing, I struggle to put words on the page.

I let a lot of stuff get in my own way.  My responsibilities and obligations are more than some people's and less than others. It was more a matter of putting it all first. Now my stuff is a priority as well.  (You'll get the hang of it, Susan, I slowly am)

Music is a distraction for some but it motivates me.  Right now, I'm listening to Hozier while typing at my standing desk. I'm further into the current scene than I have been in weeks.  Partly because I remembered to just let the story out instead of worrying about how it all fits together. But also because I can lose myself in the music.  It keeps one part of my brain busy while another part creates.
May you find the things in life that bring you pleasure.  There's always something that will block that if you allow it but it's okay to put yourself and your needs first once in a while. Crank up the music and dance or turn it on low and let it mellow you out. Whatever suits your current mood and need.

Happy New Year, Friends!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

I don't send cards, I wrap with gift bags and I find that I buy less and less stuff every year. I bake. A lot. And I share enough of it to feel like I'm not overindulging. It's good to have illusions this time of year.

My favourite gift - to give as well as receive - is the gift of presence.  The nieces and nephew get to pick one day out of the year that is devoted to them and them alone. We eat what they want to eat, spend the time however they most wish to spend it. They don't have to share with their siblings or parents. The day is theirs and we build memories. It's difficult to wrap so I occasionally hand out gift certificates or make a little toy or item of clothing.

I had tea with a dear friend yesterday and neither one of us could remember the presents from our childhood, apart some big earth-shattering gifts, but we remember family, goofy moments and food.

Boy, do we ever remember food. Oranges, apples, Toblerone and those sticky ribbon candies. Shortbread, Hello Dollys, and fudge. Tortieres, stuffing, and turkey basted with scotch. Cooking disasters like gravy made with baking soda instead of corn starch, scorched potatoes, raw turkey because the oven died on Christmas Day (the only time we grilled a turkey on the BBQ) .

What's your favourite Christmas memory?


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Surprise!

I'd love to say that I finished the rough draft of the wip but that would be a lie. It's close though.

I've just been overwhelmed with a restless feeling for the last five or six weeks. I've scrubbed my house, finished up lots of little projects, started some others and focused on purging stuff.

A lot of it was mental. Somewhere over the last few years my self-image had eroded. Chipped at by other people's needs, it lost all semblance of familiarity.  My identity had been reduced to that of other people's context.  I let go of the things important to me in order to do what desperately needed to be done for those I love. My time was spent on their stuff instead of my own. I saw myself in terms of other people instead of myself (except for when I was feeling sorry for myself)

About two weeks ago, I ran face first into my past and the life I thought I always wanted. It hurt. Holy smokes, the pain reverberated throughout my body.  A giant Toblerone and smaller chocolate cake later, I took a good hard look at what I'd done to myself. I was fixated on what I didn't achieve instead of all that I have accomplished.

I like who I am now, at the life I've built for myself over the years. Yeah, there are some things that need tweaking and my self-image was terribly skewed.

As I've rebuilt it, I've been reminded how much I like my own company. Odd, that. I won't list all the things that are admirable or amazing about me. Some of you have been telling me those things for years and I've ignored you.  Suffice it to say that I do like who I am and the choices I've made.  Some of them were shaky but made for the right reasons and that's important.

Intent counts.

All the reflection and re-evaluating has made me a better writer. I looked at my characters, at my scenes and realized that they were all moving towards a goal they didn't really want but thought they should.  That breakthrough is a game changer for this story and the reason I can say I'm close to the end of the rough draft.

Art and life are interconnected. You can have one without the other but it is so much better when you have both.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Little things

Because there have been so many overwhelming things demanding my attention, I've focused on little things.

Emptying the sewing basket of items in need of mending



Reclaiming a cast iron pan




Replacing the clasp on my bracelet



And adding sentences one or three at a time to the wip.



How do you cope with large demands?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

come hither

I've been problem solving some serious RL issues. There wasn't anything left in my brain between that and work. Yesterday, I got some excellent solutions in place. And last night, my brain played with the penultimate scene in my story. I have some heavy commitments over the next two days but my notebook will be with me. The imagination beckons. What a relief!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dufferin Islands

I was sitting in the sun, waiting for a good friend and her wonderful husband to stroll through the Autumn leaves. This tiny flower was beneath my hand.




This was my view.



Breathe deep, my friends, the air is restorative.