summertime

7 Nov

Summertime is spreading her wings.  Rehearsing for the change of seasons which is almost upon us, and giving us a teasing taste of days to come.

The air is heady with the living green scent of the world.  It is thick to breathe in, and full of heat and steamy summer smells.

The days are longer, and the mornings are brighter, and somehow you have more hours in every single day.

Everywhere the atmosphere is changing, preparing, livening.  People on the streets wear flip-flops and singlets and they bare their legs.  The smell of cooking barbeques wafts in the evening air.  And the slightest breeze is a sighing relief.

Aaah, summer!  Time to watch the world ripen, and to covet the luxury of cool fresh water and to squeeze every extra minute out of every extra day.

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NaNo beginnings

3 Nov

So NaNoWriMo 2011 http://www.nanowrimo.org/ has officially begun.

All those hours spent daydreaming with a purpose has led to these days working to manifest the story.  There is an extra energy in the air and a sense of ‘needing’ to achieve your goal, there is also a sense that you may have been mad to commit to this when there’s, you know, life.

My first moment of NaNo madness came in my dreams after day one…  By the end of Day One I had written chapter one and 2,368 words; my imagination was spinning with where the story would go next and in this mind I fell asleep.  In my nightmare the words I had written went through the ‘official’ count and came back with only 892 words because all the words with three letters or less were discounted…

There are an awful lot of words with three letters or less…

And now the first day excitement is wearing down and it is time for the real test: can I change my habits for the month and sustain a daily writing regime?  I confess my daily word count is dipping after some long draining days at work… still 27 days to go and 4 weekends to make up some ground.

Surely this is where the ‘persistence’ mentality must kick in… https://emilyelst.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/living-in-flux/    ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence…’

There are 27 more days of possibility to go.

If I truly believe I can do anything then I can surely do this!  I wish my fellow NaNoWriMos out there all the best of luck for their storytelling and their sanity in this month.

 

plotting…

26 Oct

Every idea is a seed.  Sometimes seeds don’t germinate and they either hibernate until the conditions are right, or they break down and become part of the earth.

When a seed is planted in the right ground at the right time it will grow.  How well the plant (or idea) flourishes depends on the care it is given.  You can let it run wild and grow organically into it’s own shape.  Or you can prune it and train it into the shape you desire.

Nourishing new growth will make it stronger.  Fertilising plants and feeding ideas, especially in the beginning, gives you the best opportunity for a robust result.  Eventually you will need to trust the elements will sustain the life you have started, and just remember to appreciate how fragile this balance can be.

I have firmly planted the seed of my idea.  Now I need to decide how to let it grow and feed it daily.

we are made of

23 Oct
Devour my mind
Awaken my body
Softly in shadows
Meld our flesh
I take you
To feed the fire
Consume my heart
Renew my sight
As one we expand
To envelop everything
Ocean, trees, creatures
All lives inside us
We are made of
Laughter, tears, light

the eye of the beholder

17 Oct

Beauty, horror and truth are in the eye of the beholder.

How do we each define these concepts, and how do we immediately recognise them in the barrage of sensory stimulation we face each day. What makes one scene, one song, one face in the crowd beautiful to us and yet dull to another? There are some agreed social conventions of beauty, and yet these change continually, each age with its own definition.

  And then horror again can be different  things to different people. The daily job of a surgeon would be horrifying to  others, and yet we rely on their ability to see us cut open, understand us  through our gore and put us back together as though inside we are beautiful and not terrifying.

Finally truth.  A concept intrinsically designed to be unique for each person who identifies with it.

Just find three people who witness the same event from roughly the same perspective, and they will all have slightly different versions of the truth to tell.  And really, we are all just interpreting the world around us from our vantage at any given time, and every beholder is a constantly evolving and shifting lens.

All these perceptions, we are storytellers to our core.  Every moment of every day we are seeing a little piece of life and filtering it through our ideas of the world.  This is our source of imagination and creation: it is this observation and fantasy and our busy minds defining what we believe and how we perceive it.

brainstorming for NaNoWriMo

11 Oct

So I have discovered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) http://www.nanowrimo.org/ which in its essence is ‘thirty days and nights of literary abandon’.  So between the 1st and 30th of November participants try to write a 50,000 word fiction novel (roughly 1,667 words every day).  And, I figured why not?

This leaves me with a few weeks to settle on an idea for a story which I can visit every day in November with motivation.  Sounds easier in theory than it is in practice.

Do you go the Mark Twain route and ‘write what you know’; or on the premise of having no time for research do you go for wild fantasy where the world is tailored to your tale?

So many ideas, so little time…  And then, you start to think “it’s all been done before” and “how can this be different” and then you reach your worst fear: “what if I get halfway through and I don’t like it anymore?”  It is astonishing how much easier it is to entertain your doubts than it is to commit to creating.

The next couple of weeks I can luxuriate in all the possibilities.  The hundred and one tales I could possibly tell.  Then on the 1st of November, one way or another, I will put pen to paper (or finger to keystroke!) and one of those stories will begin.

And really, in the end, what have I got to lose except for the disappointment of not even trying.

  

mountain vistas

6 Oct

There’s nothing like a drive up the mountain to remind you of the magic and mystery in the world which you recognised as a child.

The winding green drive; bordered by tree-ferns and mountain ash.  And those tantalising peeks to the vast land that stretches out beyond the mountain range.  Even the light is different, charged with vitality and secret life.

I remember wonder.  I remember possibility…

waste not want not

2 Oct

There’s nothing like being on a budget to make you appreciate the value of every little thing you consume.  Every mouthful of food, the electricity that plays your music and powers your computer, each sip of wine and the roof above your head.

And it’s not just the dollar value but the energy that has gone into making the things you enjoy in life.  The energy to dig the garden and nourish the soil, to plant to nurture and to harvest.  Then the energy to chop and flavour and cook.

Given everything that goes into providing you sustenance, building your home, creating your technology and your entertainment, how can we waste any scrap of it?  Why do we buy food we don’t need and then throw it away because it is past it’s prime, or buy a dress because it’s ‘on sale’ and then never wear it?  What is it that makes us feel so indulgent that we think we can waste anything and still expect to have an abundance available to us at our whim?

So, suddenly when we have little or no money we become thrifty and careful.  We count every item we put into our shopping cart and we plan our meals.  We only buy clothes we need, and we sew the holes in our shirt before we get a new one.  We turn off the lights when we leave the room, and only use the heater when wearing a jumper is not enough.

Imagine if we lived like this all the time, even when we are going through a feast phase and have money enough for whatever we want.  Imagine if we were always thoughtful about what we consume and before every purchase asked ourselves “do I really need this?”  Imagine if we never wasted our food, or our water or any of our resources.  What a different more balanced world we would be living in.

So, the question is: what can you do to be less wasteful and more productive in your everyday life?

For me, I am going to try living like I am on a budget even if that is no longer the case.  I will grow any food I can, plan my meals and only buy food I know I am going to eat.  I will compost my waste wherever I can, and recycle everything I can (both in my own home and in my rubbish).  I will chose to buy things that use less packaging and wherever possible things that are made locally and sustainably.  I will turn off the light when I leave a room, and wear a jacket before I turn on the heater.  And I will make a considered effort to think before I buy and to always appreciate the true value of the things I consume.

I hope that we can all change the way we live either a little or a lot, and  I really hope that is enough to make a difference in the world.  I want to live in balance and I want to appreciate that life.  Here’s hoping that consciousness can spread.

imagine…

26 Sep

I want to imagine a world where the impossible is possible.

I want to believe that fantastical creatures can exist, that life can go on, and that I can make miracles happen with the power of my mind.  I want to live in a world where all the best stories are really true.  Where anything you can conceive can be real and we can overcome any and all odds.  I want magic happens to be reality and not just an old hippie’s bumper sticker.

Someday…

simple pleasures

18 Sep

sunshine after rain

long breakfasts

a book that makes you laugh out loud

a song that gives you shivers

smiles from strangers

art that you would not have imagined

a hug from a friend

waking up to a new day

smells that remind you of childhood

the wind in your hair

the way the world looks in the light after a storm

dangling your toes in water on a summers day

the first flower to bloom before spring

getting your hands dirty

memories that make you smile

feeling loved

sharing a good meal

the sound of the ocean

learning something new and discovering your good at it

birdsong

freshly picked herbs

music that moves you