The week that was last…

The week that was last, was full of drawing, thinking, planning, and working. I have still been spending time with my third character building a story around her, and with her. We have spent time drawing simple drawings as you would in an art class, and building on ideas and practicing a new creative discipline. Felicia has found that drawing has given her a new chapter in her life, as her children are now young adults and at college/university, her late husband is no longer with her to run the business, and her decision is about to be made.

As I pack, ready for a trip of a life time, to New York to catch the Queen Mary II transatlantic voyage to London, I pack with me, my manuscript to date, a note book to write more of the story, my drawing gear, Natasha Lester’s book “A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald. This trip is a little more special as my three characters are all from the three main places I am visiting. New York (USA), England (not sure if that will change), and my home country of Australia. I will be visiting Scotland and Ireland (the possible change to). Though I started to write my novel about six months prior to notice of this trip, it still surprises me of the locations I will be visiting and the locations that are in my novel.

hibiscus

I have come to enjoy the process of drawing. As it has been a very long time since I had done anything creative, its a time now where I can love whole heartedly finding pictures of flowers, dream catchers and more to copy and add my own touch to each design as well. I love how I feel when I am being creative and seeing things differently in every day. The simplicity of a rose, is not just about the colour, or the scent, its about the structure of the rose its self and the depth of how the tones of the colour blend.

moon catcher

Like Felicia is making new decisions for herself I have had to do the same. As I allowed one door to reopen recently, I have had to take a step back and realise its actually time to close that door forever, and to take on something else that is more gentle on my body and mind. I am going to reopen the door to marathon swimming in time, after a disappointment that hit me a little harder than I expected it had, I was ready to give it up, when really I need to go back to it, not leave it and learn from the disappointment. As my characters have all had to do the same, in one way of another, I am doing it as well.

So with just a week till I leave home for 33 days of exciting new experiences I look back on this past week, and feel grateful that I have now gotten to a point in my mind for the rest of the story, future ideas for drawing and my own art and creative learning.

Mr owl

How our characters show us the way…

Over the past few weeks I have not written my manuscript, so with still 78+ thousand words and a target of 110,000 words till I finish the shitty first draft, I have spent the these past weeks drawing, scrolling through Pinterest looking at lots of different things, from interior design and decorating, to storage ideas, to writing tips, recipes, and lots of drawing ideas. I have even spent time drawing myself and learning to relax and enjoy the moments of putting my pencil to paper and letting the creativeness flow.

My third character in my novel has been showing me her future path, and helping me with ideas for the words to the rest of her chapters, and her life in the novel. I have also been able to sit back and see just how much each character has shown me bits of myself in so many ways. This particular novel has stuck with me for the last 18 months since is started writing it, as much as I take time off from tapping my fingers across the keyboard of my laptop, I am forever researching. I am seeing things I wouldn’t have seen or started again if I hadn’t been writing my novel.

I am super excited, in 15 sleeps I will be boarding a plane for New York, before embarking on a cruise on the Queen Mary II ship for a transatlantic journey, then spending time in London, Scotland and Ireland before returning to Perth, Australia. Its interesting as my three characters are from three different parts of the world, Blythe is from England, Georgina from Australia and Felicia from USA. I will be trying to take in so much of the places I visit and learn so much to bring richness to my characters, and to myself in learning so much in a short time.

My manuscript is packed and ready to take on the plane with me, I have my notebook ready to go, pens, pencils and more to be going long haul with me, to write, learn and take in all that surrounds me. So with just a little time to go I am super excited.

 

creativity has thought

Building a Character

Over the past couple of weeks I have not added any words to my manuscript, and have hit the skids on writing. I hit 78635 words on 26th April, and nothing since, though I have found myself drawing again after many years of not doing any drawing, painting or anything else like that. Its been lovely to come home from work and relax with my journal, my pencils; both sketch and colour, finding something to copy from Pinterest and letting my mind wonder in a different way.

drawing 1

I have come back to see that I have a structured way of drawing, not very flowy or anything like that, so I would say I am not a natural drawer, but I can draw. My love of gardening has extended to my drawing with lilies, roses, fuchsias and a little whimsy from one of my most favourite folk-art designers/artist; Annie Lang.  Drawing has become a staple in my day, where I can just sit and sketch something that catches my eye and see what I can do and see how I am progressing.

drawing 3

Now here is the thing, I have my third character in my manuscript, whom is an interior decorator and architect, after her beloved husband has passed she is unable to find her way back to architecture, and designing. She finds herself one day with the house completely quiet, herself in her studio at home and starts designing this wonderful home. Her mind runs, her thoughts, her guilt, her worry, her grief. Though she was able to feel at home again drawing. Unsure of whether to continue the business her and husband ran before his death, or to find something else that she can do and enjoy just as much on her own now.  She stumbles across an art class that is being run in town and she decides to attend to see if she likes it, under the pressure from her twin daughters, to try something….which then leads into more of the story.

drawing 4

So what does this have to do with my drawing and writing and building a character? Well, for myself to start drawing again after a long time, I have found for myself something that I am enjoying and can see that art helps to heal, relax, smile, and enjoy more of what you see, as you see things slightly different.  Whether colours are brighter, or if shapes are more defined in your mind, art, drawing for my character will help her to see a new part of her, that she hasn’t seen for such a long time and leads her on a new journey of her own.

I love how my manuscript is unfolding before me, as I have had the beginning and the end, in my mind as I started, and my characters are filling in the middle. My characters are strong women whom have had loss recently in their lives and how they deal with it in their own ways, to then come together, become friends and share a journey as friends and as single women.  I am a married woman with adult children and can see a little bit of myself in each character. I am in awe of how these women take tragedy, and rebuild their lives, and find their inner strength to continue on.

drawing 2

Creative

The world of a creative is always full, ideas, thoughts, words, colour, descriptions, pictures, photo’s, stories, people, paper, pens, computers, colours, and the list goes on. Our minds are always on the go, never time to stop thinking, designing, working on ideas, and more. How do we as creatives slow our minds down? We do what we love, whether that be writing our stories, designing homes and buildings, decorating, drawing, painting, gardening, teaching, making….when we are amidst the very creative drive that is within us we are the happiest, where we can loss ourselves within our own worlds.

canvas

Even going for a walk in the morning, isn’t about just getting fresh air and moving our legs, its a time when ideas come to mind and we are able to quietly contemplate these ideas sent to us from the universe, or where ever you believe those ideas come from. Is there a block of time in the 24 hours of a day that we don’t stop thinking, some would say when we sleep, but how many of us are dreaming, our bodies might be resting, but our minds keep moving. I know for me I dream very vividly and some mornings feel like I haven’t slept.

Some creatives thrive with loud music playing around them, some need the stillness of silence to create. The daily cycle of a creative is so vastly artistic and prolific. The next time you get to watch someone create something watch them, when they work and you will see a place they can go to that is mind blowing, when you see their finished piece.

creativity has thought

Second Chances in Life

There are times in our lives where we wouldn’t get a second chance to do things, or redo things from our past. Is that because we don’t allow ourselves that option, or is that because we see it as our past and we shouldn’t be looking back? When I have come to crossroads in my life, like now, I have learnt that there are times when you do need to look back, see just how far you have come, and to even be able to just see that little bit into the future.

Ten years ago my life was only six hours from passing me by. I was lucky as I made it to the hospital in time. Even to this day I remember every part of that day down to each detail, and my week stay in hospital, and understanding just how close I came to leaving earth and my family. I returned home, I would say in ways a different person, but in other ways the same. I stopped taking a lot of things for granted and made the decision to be more active and enjoy my life and find some purpose in it.

I took up martial arts with my kids and husband, until about two to three years later I ended up doing knee damage and had to give it up. Then I followed with Triathlon, which I fell so deeply in love with. I loved the idea of three different sports all wrapped into one. The variation in training and so much more. My goal was to complete the Busselton Half Ironman, which I did in May 2014. Come August 2014 I couldn’t run any more and by October 2015 was told it wouldn’t be going to happen, the running that is. March 2016 was told never to run ever again. Though cycling was a good possibility and definitely swimming.

never let go

Driving back from Busselton Jetty Swim February 2017, I told a friend of just how much I missed triathlon. There was frustration within me as I wouldn’t be able to run the run leg ever again. Every weekend I would look at my road bike and wonder if I should sell her, as I wasn’t going to go back to triathlon again, but there was something inside me that couldn’t let her go, I couldn’t sell her. This past Friday, I had my physiotherapy appointment, and my physio is an awesome guy and knows his stuff, and especially when it comes to sport, and triathlon itself. I asked would it be possible to walk/power walk a half marathon? I was told yes, though some changes would need to be made. I would need to slowly build my walking distances, if there was any sign of foot issues to see him and to stop. He also gave me two little foam pads to attach to my feet where my sesamoid bones are below my big toes (issue areas). Look at some good shoes as the ones I had on were very much well worn (approximately 2900km over a year of wearing.)

I have the go ahead to start training with conditions to be careful and pay attention to how the body goes. So here is where my second chance comes into play. Three years ago, I did my last Triathlon, finished with some bad injuries. This week I have started with some basic fitness building until I got the green light, I now can commence my triathlon training again. I have the big plan of completing Busselton Half Ironman in December 2019, with multiple smaller events from swimming, walking and triathlon before hand.

if you don't go after

The interesting part to what lies ahead of me, is also my attitude to my training. When I trained for Busselton 2014 I was in the start of recovering from anorexia, that I had for more than 30 years. Now that I am recovered I have put conditions on myself for the journey that is ahead of me. If I drop below 56kg, I will not compete. If I do not pay attention to my nutrition I will not compete. If I start to get into a cycle of obsessing I will not compete. This is the new journey to a love with a healthy attitude and out look.

This time round, I have more to balance in my life. I have a full time job, a novel in progress that I don’t want to stop, a great family life and social life. By paying attention to the other aspects of my life and putting my training into what time I have available, is a better balance than putting everything else around my training.

So, second chances can be very positive things in our lives as long as we can see that they are for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. Finding the balance in our lives to allow for second chances is also key. The biggest is enjoying the journey that you take, not the end result, as there could be a chance that, what the big, end result isn’t what you think it will be, when the journey is more than you think it is.

no regrets

The Moment of AHA

When you have that ‘AHA’ moment, you think, you analyse and then you go “well why not!” Yesterday as I drove to Officeworks for a ‘look’ $30 later, I had a wonderful ‘AHA’ moment. The thought…’instead of running, why not walk a half marathon’, if you can still cycle, why not go back to triathlon?

Lexi ready to rumble

Its been almost three years to the day that I did what I thought would be my last Half Ironman Triathlon. It was the first weekend in May 2014, I had been training for eight months, ready to take on a dream. I had a few niggles with my right foot and calf, but managed to ignore it and take on the dream. Was I really ready for it, looking back now, I shouldn’t have done it. I wasn’t listening to my body hard enough leading in to it, I was listening to my head, and heart about making sure I got to that finish line before the cut off. I came away from the Busselton Half Ironman happy that I finished, though sad, the finish wasn’t what I had pictured. Come August 2014 I had found out I had a repairing calf tear, that had happened prior to the race (more likely to have happened in March 2014), October 2014 was the first real sign there was an issue with my right foot. Fast forward 1st August 2015 a day I remember extremely well. The loss of my grandmother, and the first cortisone injection into the bottom of my right foot, with the hope it would help it heal.

believe_in_yourself_thumb

Leaping to January 2016, with weeks till my first tempt of swimming Rottnest Channel (unfortunately 15.5km and ended with hypothermia) with another twelve months which included surgery on right foot, in which my surgeon told me that I wouldn’t be able to run again, walking would be good, and possibly cycling, but NO running!! So with time past and recovery done, and lots of frustration, jealousy and more, I am now looking out through the window of positive thoughts and new but old dreams.

So on returning home from my drive and look at Officeworks, I cleaned my work room up, which is large enough to have my writing area and bike set up on the wind-trainer to make the slow start back to triathlon. With my bike now set and ready to go, I spent the rest of my evening, at my desk, journaling my goals. I have taken a long term goal of Busselton Half Ironman 2019 (December) and broken it all down into smaller pieces. February 2018 Duo Swim Rottnest Channel; August 2018 Half Marathon, City to Surf, Perth; September 2018 The bloody Long Walk, 35km South Perth to Cottesloe Beach. December 2019 Busselton Half Ironman. There is an even bigger dream, though until I can complete the above with no further injuries or problems I won’t bank on the Biggest Event, until I know its more than do-able. If it is, December 2020 will be it.

Believe in yourself

Journaling and Learning

In the past few days I have started bullet journaling. I am using a Quill Sketch Book as my journal, something very simple. This is a place where I keep my word counts for when I write my manuscript, thoughts, drawings, ideas and more, a work in progress.

-just-being-me-quotesYesterday while I was writing my manuscript I put three heading on the page of my journal: The Past Me; Me Now; The Future Me. The past me has shown me where I have come from, to the ‘Me Now’ to where I am right now. I also wrote this:

I AM ME

I AM NOT WHO I WAS

AND PROBABLY NOT WHO I WILL BE

I have come to see that so much of my past that was negative, and at times had positives, but the big one was low confidence, which I felt every day, though I could hide that in showing others that I had more confidence than I really had. Then I look at myself now, I am the happiest I think I have ever been. I am doing the real things that I love, not what I thought I loved.

The part about Bullet Journaling is that its quick, its simple and its effective, in ways that are creative, and open to ones self. It doesn’t have to be perfect, its a safe place that I can put thoughts, whether they are good or bad, happy or sad. I can watch as I reach my goal of 110,000 words for my first draft of my manuscript. I can watch my progression of my drawing, as I have just reunited with my pencils after seven plus years. Its a time in my life that I am enjoying and look forward to see what unfolds.

NamasteLilium

Bringing Past Loves Back

tree of life

Yesterday I had a split shift at work, I had a few hours to sit and either draw, journal, or write my manuscript. With my beloved German Shepherd, Abbie at my feet sleeping, I was able to click away at the keys for a couple of hours an with 1600 words done, I was happy to save and close my manuscript document and head back to work feeling like I have accomplished a little more of my story. I have even started bullet journaling as well, which is interesting as I am able to add some creative thinking with everything that runs through my head, and believe me there is a lot at times.

creative writing novel

I am finding part of my own coming back to drawing, is similar to my character Felicia in my novel, where she has had time away from what she loves to do, and unsure if she should continue with her love, or to let it go and find something else to fill the gap, as the person she spent the most time with doing what she loved was no longer with her, and the loss she felt, was feeding her lack of confidence to carry on. In the past I had such passion for drawing, learning how to, and craft. Though I gave it all up when a business I had, I had to close due to lack of customers and high over heads, and the GFC. It did take a toll on my confidence as I felt like I had failed. It has taken me over seven years to come to this point of being happy to try again. I am not drawing to

 

mariners compass

Mariners Compass

 

make money, I am drawing to enjoy the relaxation and the creative outlet. I am even looking to pick up the paint brush again. I remember the days when my children were young and I would sit for hours while they were at school painting (folk art)bears, flowers and so much more. I loved the whimsy of the bears, and so much more. Its time to relive those days of playing. Its time to enjoy being creative and not just with my writing, but seeing I guess from the inside out how my character enjoys getting back to what she truly loves and finding herself again.

 

abbie and me writing

Abbie sleeping as I write

 

So here is to finding old loves new again. Have a lovely day.

Creative Journey 2017

Tonight for the first time in approximately seven years I have picked up a pencil and started drawing again. I have been contemplating different forms of creativity over the past couple of weeks. I am loving my writing, and now my reunion with drawing. I have looked at doing architecture, but after speaking with a friend of mine who is an architect, I have come to the decision that its not a career path for me. I think I have found where I might need to be. I feel its time to do a bit of playing in interior design and decorating again and also getting back into some drawing and painting again.

creative journey 2017

Looking at what I have done tonight has brought a big smile and feeling of accomplishment for the first time in along time. My novel is a work in progress and will be for some time to come. Going back to interior design is allowing me to do something I have studied before and really do some hands on work with my ideas. Drawing will be my down time, with what ever the universe will make with it.

I wish to spend time nurturing my creativity, in many ways. I will be journaling every day using the technique of bullet journaling which will also allow my creativity to come through as well, I have always journaled most of my life, usually the traditional way, of  writing what ever is on my mind and answering my own questions and doing mind dumps. Doing bullet journaling  will have a more creative flare. I will share some pages as I go.

Until next we meet here. Happy Easter and have a wonderful week.

Universal Whispers

With writing my novel, I have slowly, and I mean slowly come to see that the words I have written in my manuscript are starting to be a reality in my own life. Not the story line itself, but the things my characters love and do. I have always believed that the universe will help us through life, and that we are to listen closely, though there are times when we go off on our own tangents thinking its the path we should be following. Then you hit a dead-end and turn around and head back to where you had started. Its doesn’t mean you have wasted time, you have learnt some interesting lessons along the way, but the universe has the right path for you to follow.

Now some will see the path that is the right one for them from the start, others like myself can take 30 plus years before we see our path. Is it the ‘yellow brick road’ we are to follow or is it a different colour? I think mine has been a rainbow of colours, even though I am only just finding certain parts of the path to be amazing and interesting and talk about learning things, and seeing things for what they should be, not what we want to see them for.

The past two days I have spent cleaning (deep clean) my house and rearranging furniture in a couple of rooms (Kitchen, Dining and Family room). My home to me for a long time was just a house to be in and sleep in, I didn’t really feel like it was a home, until recently when I came to realise so much in my life has changed for the positive, and just how much of my characters are parts of my soul coming to life. I have always been creatively minded, I just couldn’t put my finger on the long term creative flame. I studied interior design and decorating in the past and never really took it any further, I have quilted/patchworked, folkart painted, embroidered, drawn, painted, and more. Today I can see a future in my writing and also in interior design and decorating and also designing houses.

Diy-If-You-Can-Dream-It-You-Can-Do-It-Kids-Room-Vinyl-font-b-Decorative

I can now sit down to write my third character more deeply now, with some changes made to her past situation which will be a better lead to where she is in her life now. To be able to feel just a part of what she does for her architecture, interior design and decorating business has rubbed off onto myself to look further into study for myself in a reality that is mine, with a twist of Felicia to keep me creatively minded and heading in the right direction.

Interior design

It has taken a little more than a universal whisper for me to see which path is my path, but now that I see it a little clearer, I can start the journey and see what excitement and lessons that will be before me.

Till next we write, have a great week…