Finding our way back to writing on rainy days.

saturday at king and spoon

Saturday afternoons back to split shifts and with rainy days, good time to sit and write and get a little reading done.

Over the last few weeks I seemed to have left the writer in me back in Northern Ireland holidaying and relaxing. While I was back into the thick of reality and not wanting to be here, but was preferring to be back in NI, taking in the scenery, and being able to float away to dream lands of fictional characters and stories that could be written.

Though yesterday amongst my frustration that it has taken three weeks since returning home from holiday to get back into the rhythm of writing, my fictional novel or my life story, which I am still working out how to go about starting. I summonsed my writer-self back home instantly, and soon I was able to put pen to paper and make  forward movement in the story line of Blythe, Georgina and Felicia.

Sunday afternoon I sit in my writers den, cup of tea to my left and my German Shepherd sleeping next to me, I can put fingers to the keys and find the slow walk back to writing regularly, with the sound of rain outside, the crackling of the potbelly stove warming the house and feeling somewhat relaxed and mind ready to write.

 

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local creek, while out for our walk

So as the new week starts and as much as I will be busy with life, I will make sure I find the time to sit and write, it might not be everyday, but I will write .

 

Until next we meet, have a great week…

 

Writing My Life Story

On Friday I was able to head into Perth city centre for business and pleasure, pleasure being able to go into my favourite two bookstores, Boffins Bookshop and Dymocks, with a novel in mind and always a how to book, needed for inspiration and help with my own writing. I initially had a Freelance writing book in mind, then I my eyes came across Patti Miller’s new book, “Writing True Stories”. I have for the past few years wanted to pen my story of my eating disorder, recovery and more. Now I have help in doing this.

I haven’t been able to get my head back into my fictional novel for some time and I am sure in the very near future I will be able to find the link to climb the last part of the story of Blythe, Georgina and Felicia and bringing them all together in Italy and to build new friendships. Though for now I will continue to read Patti Miller’s book, take notes and make notes. I am thinking the best way to start is from now and work my way backwards, wbooks from fridayhich really seems kind of logical, well I think.

 

It seems time is right for me to write through my memories, thoughts and lessons from the last 36 years from the start of anorexia to today, recovery and knowing that there is so much more to my life, that I don’t even know where it will take me. It will be confronting and there will be further healing that I feel is needed, to understand just how far I have come and how far I have still to go.

Do I have a working title? I think I do; “Goodbye, Farewell and Good Riddance” Years of dying to live. So with my weekend ahead of me, and some well needed reading and writing time, I am excited to learn, understand and heal.

Till we meet again….

 

 

Trip of a Life Time:

On Monday 29th May, arriving at Perth International Airport at 3am for the start of a five week work/holiday. My first big trip like this ever. Excited I was most definitely.

Part One: Perth to Dubai connecting to New York.

Duration from Perth to Dubai was approximately 10 hours. In flight movies times 2, breakfast and lunch served, four hours sleep with approximately 1.5 hours of turbulence which I did sleep through most of it. Arriving in Dubai for a two hours stop over, which most of that time was spent walking to departure gate from arrivals and yes it was hot in the terminal. Now I had been checked over, bag and body when leaving Perth IA, well it happened again at Dubai, which looking at it, everyone got checked over. Was a bit scary when your passport is taken by one of their ‘federal officers’ and you aren’t 100% sure of what happens next. So once checked over and allowed through to boarding area, I could relax just a little before we headed onto part two of our trip, New York. I was super excited to be going to New York for many reasons.

 

 

I was able to finally meet face to face with a Facebook friend for the first time in two years, with so much to talk about and learn about each other and to see in New York in one day. I managed 10 hours sleep on the plane to NY which was wonderful and we arrived around 9:45pm New York time, so by the time we arrived at the hotel I had been in transit for approximately 29 hours, yes it was a very long day and a bit. Time to put my head down and be fresh and ready to hit the ground running in the morning. With 24 hours to see as much as possible, I headed out for a look around near the hotel, Knickerbocker Hotel which was next to Times Square. I came back to the hotel and waited in the foyer for Lori.

Lori and I connected over our love or marathon swimming over the past couple of years, and as a newbie to the sport it was wonderful to be encouraged by someone who is a master at long distances. We headed off for lunch of burgers, cheesy chips and a coke, and good conversation about everything New York and everything Australia and swimming and more. After lunch our first port of call was Barnes and Noble bookstore, which took my breath away. As a reader and writer to see three floors of books, journals, music and so much more was like a child walking into a candy store and not knowing which way to turn first, well I started at the beginning. A new book in hand “The Weight of Ink” by Rachel Kadish jumped at me and called my name. Historical fiction it was to be. I could spend an entire day and a lot of money at Barnes and Noble, but as time was short and money well, needed to stay within budget, I wondered a little more and found a beautiful journal for my daughter for when I returned home. Time to pay and head to the next destination.

Ground Zero Memorial, a sombre and moving part of New York that I feel will forever hold so much emotion for thousands of people not just in New York, but for around the world. I didn’t get a chance to go down into the museum, but it was enough to be outside in the drizzle of rain walking around the waterfall that held the names of those whom lost their precious lives on 9/11/2001. I remember the day myself on the other side of the world in Australia where my patio was to be installed and my children were four and six years old. Lori explained the events of that day to me as she was in amongst the people on the streets when it all happened. I could feel her unease as she spoke and in her eye, so with only a short time there, we headed back to my hotel as I was to be attending a function that evening and time was definitely getting away from us. The time we had was just not near enough to sit and talk about everything, so I made a pact that I would visit again, in the near future (maybe a trip in 2018 is on the cards). With a hug goodbye and see you soon, I headed up to my room to get ready for a work function at a local bar for drinks, nibbles and conversation as this was the start to the work side of the holiday (conference). Drinks and nibbles a little conversation and it was time to head out for a feed. We found Red Lobster just near our hotel for dinner, headed up stairs to be seated and order. With a couple of tense moments in conversation and making sure others were going to eat their dinner, we could hear laughter coming from next to and behind us. Three gentlemen were tucking into their desert as we were starting on our wine and mains. We invited them to join us and the night was more relaxed and new friends were made, three young guys from Trinidad. They loved the Aussie accent and wanted to know as much a possible about Australia. With full bellies and the night coming a close time to head back to the hotel, slumber and ready for a bus trip to meet the Queen Mary 2 at the Docks to sail away to London for seven days.

Wednesday morning, waiting down in the foyer for the bus to pick us all up and head to the docks (port). On pulling into the drop off point of the port there she was, and huge stunning lady of magnificence and luxury. My first ever cruise and to be lucky to have the opportunity of sail on this majestic cruise ship was going to be an amazing adventure. Heading into the big shed to check in, boarding pass given and guided to the seating area, ready to be called in to board, the ladies calling the numbers were funny and exciting and kept the atmosphere a happy one, while we waited, which was a brief wait. Our number was called and it was time to party on board and get ready for a wonderful adventure out on the open water. Directed which deck and in which direction to go, I found my room and was introduced to my floor supervisor. I dropped my hand luggage into my room, unpacked my suitcase and made myself at home. I then headed out on to the outer decks and had a look around the ship to see where I could spend my days, pending the weather. The staff were super friendly and exceptionally helpful.

I took myself on a tour of the ship from deck 6 (my room) to deck 7 where the buffet was (yummmmm)  and the Kings Court where you can sit and relax with a drink and nibbles, while looking out over the ocean. An beautiful area to relax and meet new people from all walks of life and countries. I headed out onto the outdoor deck and walked towards to the rear of the ship, finding a pool (heated), plenty of sitting room and a beautiful view of New York, before we were to disembark. There was a delay in leaving New York as we had the FBI on board doing an investigation of a previous passenger (London to New York). After approximately three hours we were informed by Captain Wells that we were to be leaving New York and on our way across the Atlantic Ocean for our destination of Southampton, London, England. So I look forward to seven nights of relaxation, good food, excellent service and much, much more.

A head, part 2 of my trip of a life time…More of Queen Mary 2 Cruise and arriving in Southampton, England.

 

 

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