The Week of Procrastination.

Jeepers when procrastination takes hold, its like a goanna that just holds on with everything it has. This past week has been nothing than the world of procrastination and life situations getting in the way of writing.

Son, needs a laptop for University, and I am having to give my beloved laptop to him. Which has lead me to researching new laptops, and cost wise it will be a little while before I will get a new one for myself. So I have started by putting OneNote onto my work iPad, and as it is only in a ‘read only’ mode I will have to take the following step…Pen and paper. I can work that way for the time being, and there is something a little whimsy about hand writing a novel, the ‘old fashioned’ way. This is how I actually started writing my first draft for my manuscript. I guess it is fitting that I will finish the manuscript the same way, and then type it up on my husbands desk top computer in a word doc.

So what else have I been procrastinating over, well lets put it this way. I have a full time job, and I was working extra hours. I actually sat and watched kookaburra in one of our gum trees for a while yesterday, the constant interruptions of family wanting my attention for something, and I got to go and watch my beloved Perth Wildcats play their first game for the grand final series, which I can happily say we won, it was an awesome game to watch. Then when I got home I was having to help with dinner, then do the dishes and well by that time my temper was fraying very quickly and I put myself to bed. So I can say last week was a writers, write off.

So to a new week. As I can’t do too much about my job, I will make sure I get as much writing done this week to make up for last week, though I have my back yard garden calling to me through my window…”come and play with us” I have to plant out some new bougainvillea’s later today, after I return from a seminar with Candice Fox, which I am really looking forward to seeing.

Ok have just returned from seeing Candice Fox, author of Never Never (co-authored with James Patterson), Crimson Lake (latest release) and other titles. She is hilarious, such a beautiful and down to earth person. Her story of her childhood and how she came to be a writer even in the early years of her life. Its interesting to listen to published authors about where they started and how many times they got rejection letters, the way they collect ideas and inspiration for their novels. Its given me a fresh dash of inspiration for my own writing. Even on the drive down to the Kelmscott Library I got a visual and base for a number of books with a particular theme, but with different inner stories. Now with time I will be able to write, write and write some more.

So less procrastination and more writing ahead, with a fresh new look on things.

Until next time….oh and I only have to give up my laptop for a couple of weeks….Yay…happy me.

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Come to a trickle

Frustration…when you want the words for your first draft to flow, even gently, not gushing out, but just enough to stay with the story, the world has other ideas. The flow of words has come to just a little trickle, like if you turn the tap completely off, but the water just drips out of the tap. This is where I am at.

I have not had my normal ‘working week’. Just one day off so far for my weekend (Monday), usually I have Tuesday off if I work a Sunday, but not this week. Tuesday (yesterday) ended up being a 12 hour day at work, then yesterday at a course and then back to work, so about another 12 hour day, which included travel. Today saw a normal 8 hour day and then Friday the other part of my weekend for this week before I get back to a split shift for Saturday. I just feel my flow of words, but they are just not there.

I want to write I have a target number of words to reach each week, but its not happening, well not this week, it seems so many distractions are happening and I am just not able to sit in peace and let myself wonder off into my story. I really just need a day to myself in my home with no one else around, other than my beautiful german shepherd Abbie to keep me company. Hopefully that will come on Monday when I have my family members either at university or at work and the house to myself.

Since I have started writing my first novel, last year, I have craved the time alone to write. I procrastinate I am sure with the best of them, but there are those days and times where I can sit at the computer, fall in to my story and the words flow with ease, this is where I wish to return to. I guess as my weekends come back to some normality after Saturday.

So tonight I won’t write, I will crawl into my bed with my book “The Lovely Bones” and read, after a day of sad news and emotions running high among colleagues. So a good sleep ahead (I hope) and an afternoon tomorrow of solid writing.

Until next time, have a great day…

The Writers Den…

The last few weeks I keep coming back to Google Images looking at design ideas for home offices. There is something that I find highly attractive when it comes to office space. The desks, chairs, bookshelves, accessories and so on. I guess as a child I loved my desk and furniture in my bedroom, I had a corner desk with a shelving hutch, stand alone wardrobe, that had the double doors and two draws under the cupboards and a single robe that had a smaller cupboard space and more smaller drawers and a small chest of drawers for all my ‘stuff’. I would sit at my desk and do homework or just ponder life and what I wanted to do when I finished school, I guess my room was my sanctuary .

These days I am lucky to have a large room in my house that I can call my ‘writers den’. Its only recently that I have cleaned it all up, thrown a lot of rubbish out and really made it a piece of me. I sit at my desk every day, its large, long and tall. Made from pine and MDF, sturdy and solid. The right hand end faces the larger window of the room, leaning back out to the centre of the room, which allows me to sit and have a view of my back garden (another work in progress). I have a cube bookshelf now full of books on many different subjects and genres. I have two road bicycles, a couple of pine shelves with other ‘bits’ on them. I like it, its more like me these days, definitely a work in progress.

So why do I still look at images on home offices? Well, as someone who did an interior design and decorating course many years ago, I still love looking and finding new ideas and ways to do things. I have recently spent time drawing up my ideas for my 20 year old daughters room. As a writer and aspiring secondary English teacher, she needs a room that is her space, but creative as well, and hold all her ‘stuff’ and there is a lot of her ‘stuff’. Also having a husband that is very handy in the ‘Shed’ making fine furniture as a hobby and small business I can get him to make my design come to life, well I hope so.

I love storage ideas, containers, boxes, shelves, and the list goes on. Style wise I like modern though I have a love for country and old world as well. So really all styles, as long as they are functional. My own writers den has a lot more work to do to it. I look forward to finding more interesting ideas for storage, you can never have too much storage…

I guess my question tonight is; where in your home is your ‘writers den’ or home office and what would you like your writer’s den to look like if you could design and have what ever furniture you wanted?

Till next time have a great day…

AAARRGH…

With four days into my working week (full time retail manager), frustration, tiredness, over summer, and just want the time to write has really kicked in this week, especially today.

Last night while writing my manuscript I got 256 words done then realised I needed a diagram of the house renovations that are happening in my novel to allow me the visual to write, but the universe was not helping, as well as I wanted and yes I was tired after returning home from work at 8:45pm and was trying hard to draw still at 9:45pm. I got part of it done, but still wasn’t happy, though needed to get to bed. Well while in the shower and this happens regularly these days, letting the water run over me and allowing my mind to clear, any new ideas had a clear pathway to my mind, and made themselves known.

I was thinking the base idea to my novel needed a slight change, and when I say slight, I mean almost of full 180 degree turn. All good though as it will make the story itself better. So quickly getting out of the shower and into my PJ’s it was then time to grab my note book and head into the lounge room to write the notes that were swirling around in my mind. I knew if I didn’t, I wouldn’t sleep and I really needed a good night of sleep and rest.

Now comes the time between drawing part of the scene, and writing it to get the story moving again, plus researching the new twist on the base line to have ready for first edit and rewrite to come. My break between my split shift at work tomorrow will be busy trying to sort my drawing and furthering the story.

drawing-renovation

I am happy though to see on my calendar three days of writing this week with a total of 1349 words so far for the week, with a target of about 2900 each week for the next 13 or so weeks. The plan is to have my ‘shitty’ first draft done by the 14th May, (my 46th Birthday and Mother’s Day).

My question for tonight: Is there any particular strange places where ideas for your writing come you??

Until next time…

As Writers Should We Journal?

Before picking up a pen to start writing my first fictional novel, I would journal, I did for a very long time, though it would happen in spits and spats at different times in my life. I have many journals that I use, and as time has on over the last twelve to eighteen months I have written my thoughts down in my journal, and as I was penning my thoughts, parts of the current story I am writing would end up on the page. I guess more recently my thoughts have allowed my mind to be clear enough for the story to come forward and on to paper.

I have written in my darkest times, and my happiest, I have books on how to journal, and exercises on helping you to journal and even how to make creative journals. During my last space of journaling time I was reading Stephanie Dowrick’s book Creative Journal Writing, the art and heart of reflection. On the back cover of the book a C. Day Lewis quote, ‘We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.’ This is so very true. Though at times I guess we think it is for others to understand us, though I am learning very quickly we write whether it is journaling, writing fiction, or even non fiction to understand ourselves and the world that is around us and even within us.

The novels, stories, non fictions we write are our souls showing us there is more to us, than we and the world sees. During the same time as reading Stephanie Dowrick’s book I was also reading ‘Rising Strong’ by Brene Brown and loved her quotes on the pages of the book, one in particular that stands out for me as an aspiring writer is ‘We are born makers. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands’ this is more than true for writers and artists of all sorts. Just like the lolly, we are layers of sweet soft sugar between firm dark layers of liquorice.

brene-brown-quote

So my question for today is; Do you journal as well?

Until next time, have a wonderful day….

Busselton Jetty Swim 2017

My training partner and I made our way to Busselton yesterday afternoon, and enjoyed a leisurely 3 hour drive down. Busselton to me is a home away from home, and could see myself happily retired down there writing novels and stories for the rest of my life (maybe one day). We did our registration, walked the jetty (1.8km one way), dropped our gear where we were staying (a great friend of mines house), then headed out for a quiet dinner before a good nights rest.

busso-2017_2

This year I submitted my entry and estimated again 1 hour 30 minutes as I had not done as much swim training as the previous time, plus I had pretty much lost my swimming mojo after attempting the Cottesloe to Rottnest Island (19.7km) last year in February.

We woke at 6am to get organised and head down to the water front to have our race numbers put on, head over to a space along the pathway to drop our bag and put our sun-cream on (even being over cast we would still get sunburnt). Relaxed for a little while before heading to the starting area for a briefing and then the start line itself. The breeze was up and not to bad by 8am, but very quickly as we stood at the starting area and waiting for our wave to head into the water, we could see the wind was picking up a bit faster than we liked.

busso-2017

It was our turn to put our goggles on, and feet into the water…yes it was blinking cold, colder than I thought it was going to be. Now what went through my head was, I don’t want to get hyperthermia. Now above I had said I attempted Cottesloe to Rottnest Island swim (19.7km), I ended up being sick on the swim from the 9km mark and by 15.5km I had hyperthermia symptoms, and made the hard decision to pull myself out, and I new that this could be a possibility again today. The gun went off and we were out in the cold water, by the 300m mark I realised the water temp was good and my body was dealing with it well. I pushed on, then the winds came up even more, and the waves were getting bigger and coming in on us from the South which would and could push us into the jetty if we weren’t vigilant enough to stay focused on our positioning in the water and making sure we sighted well.

I saw the 1km mark sign on the jetty, feeling good, but knowing the waves were getting bigger still and that it was getting tougher out in the water, I was not going to give in knowing I had another 800m till the turning point around the top of the jetty, and then the home straight on the other side. Seeing the 1.4km sign on the jetty and I could see the end in sight though it was taking longer than I thought it would. There were patches where I felt strong and push and others where the waves were big pushed me around like a rag-doll. Pushing on and staying strong in mind, I hit the tip of the jetty and made the turn to the left and let the waves carry me forward more than my arms.

The home straight, another 1.8km of pushing through rough seas and waves that would crash on you and fill your mouth with salty water if you didn’t manage to get a good breath in, and there were quite a few of those on the way to the finish line. Being thrown around more and more, with other swimmers around and coming through you would get a tap on the feet, leg, and all the up to your head at times. Its all part of the sport, and you do get used to it after a while. We were getting pushed south even more on the way to the finish and when you know you are swimming on a decent angle its going to take a fair bit of energy and stamina to keep from heading too far south of the finish line. I monitored my body temperature and was feeling good and stable. No feeling of sea sickness even with the large amounts of sea water being taken in. We were getting closer and closer to the finish, and I wanted the finish line to come to me so much faster. I looked up and could see people standing in the water the finish line…woohooo…yay I made it, now to just stand up and get out of the water without falling over.

My feet touch the sand, my googles were off and so was my cap… I was done, I had finished oh and I turned my watch off as well. Known as a tough day at the office, I was happy with my official time of 1 hour 33 minutes and 28 seconds. It was the roughest weather conditions in the 22 years the event has been running.

So until 2018 Busselton Jetty Swim, I thank all the volunteers for the event as with out them it wouldn’t happen.

Till next time…its time for me to go and rest a weary body.

Weekend = Writing Time

Part 1:

Sunday 5th February 2017, I had set myself the target of 1500 words for the day moving the story forward. I have spent the last 4-5 hours trying to get the words down. Lets talk about procrastination for a moment. Have heard of an author (Allison Tait) that calls her puppy, Procrasty Pup, well I don’t quite have that as much as I have a beautiful 2 year old German Shepherd in my house that keeps me entertained, though usually when I am writing she sleeps. Though my issue is my garden. The photo I have above is my view from my desk. As it is a work in progress, I have birds land on my bird bath and bathe themselves, bees that drink from the bird bath that I see in the sunshine. Plus my thoughts on what other plants I need to get to fill in gaps, what plant is best for shaded areas and open sunny spots.

Good news is I did it. It might have taken longer than I first anticipated, but I got my 1500 word count target, the plus is I actually past it as well…with a total for today of 1684 plus the other added bonus is I designed from my mind the floor plans of one of my characters homes, so I can stay on track with the story and her home. So I am a little chuffed with myself to being able to do the floor plan as it has been a very long time since I have drawn one, even though its not to scale, it suits my characters personality.

georges-house

So with the design done I will be able to move further tomorrow on the novel and know which direction I am to write in, and another 1500 – 2000 words.

Part 2: Monday 6th February 2017

Happy days…I have had a great day, caught up with a good friend and had lunch at my favourite book café, discussing our past couple of weeks of writing, procrastination (me), workshops (Marie), family and where we are at with our writing projects. With a new book in hand “Jane Eyre” Charlotte Bronte, a full stomach, I drove back to the hills of Perth from the stunning City scape that was Perth and the Swan River. On my drive home I had no music on in the car and by half way home, had a new idea for a new story. Yep the ‘new story voices’ were having a chat with me. (yes I am very strange).

On returning home, I switched my computer on, though didn’t actually start on my word count straight away on my novel, instead the new story idea that I was chatting to myself about on the way home, was penned and tucked away for another day. Then on to the job at hand. Target 1500 – 2000 words with a shorter time period than yesterday.

No dilly-dallying around today, fingers to the keyboard keys and lets fly with words. And way I went. A couple of stops along the way to check the phone for messages, though I was strong enough not to have Facebook open on my computer to deter me from my writing. In a matter of a couple of hours I had two things accomplished…1554 words and a total of 60,016 words so far on my first manuscript. Now the big target is to have the shitty first draft completed in the next 14 weeks, which means a break down of 2858 words per week, which is more than doable. So with little word count targets for each night I write the quicker it will happen.

Till next time have an awesome week…

My Weekend Starts Now:

I thought I would start with a little trivia tonight:

The number 7 is a very magickal number, and is considered sacred in many traditions. You may sometimes see the points on the star labeled as follows: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Above, Below, Within. 

I have had a fascination with stars for a long time, and especially recently and for some reason the 7 pointed star is my favourite. I believe in the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and the Above and Below. We all see things so differently and have different beliefs. I am a believer in Angels, spirits, and that dreams mean more than just being a dream. I have seen, I have heard. Its an interesting feeling and sensation and it helps me with my writing and other aspects of my life.

Ok now on to what is a head of me this weekend. So my goal is to spend tomorrow afternoon writing my novel and with a word count target of 1500 words. I am sure once I get moving with it again, the words will flow, (well I hope so.) Then time for some more reading, as I have a new book, oh yes we all know what that feeling of excitement is when a new book arrives in the mail. This one is not a novel, but a non fiction, about magazine article writing. An area of interest to myself, and even just starting it today has prompted some great writing ideas.

magazine-article-writing

I took this photo this morning before I started work. I walked to my favourite coffee shop that is right next door to my place of work (love the coffee), so with my much needed morning kick start cuppa and a half an hour to read, it was great to relax into the start of another working day for me, though this one is a split shift that also included a swim during my break. So with ideas already rolling around in my mind and yes they are all written down in my notes on my phone, I have more work ahead of me that is going to be super interesting as it is an area different to writing fiction, though just as interesting and exciting to learn about.

In the beginning of the book it says “Write what you know–or what you want to know.” This statement alone which I have heard many times just opened up a door or ideas that I didn’t think before would be interesting to write about, but looking at them now in a different light, makes it all more interesting to myself and I hope one day to others.

Monday is my (Sunday), and usually a day to catch up with friends and have coffee, yes I love coffee, and learn from other writers (Marie). Plus getting some much needed rest and yep, writing, which my work count target will be another 1500 – 2000 words for my novel.

So with my weekend planned out and fingers crossed for no interruptions. I will bid you all a good night and will up date on Monday night to how it has all been. I hope everyone has an awesome weekend as well no matter what you are doing.

Till next time…

Silence…

The need for silence is different for everyone. I am needing more and more silence in my life. The need to have noise around me all the time is no longer, the sound of the radio when I drive, yep, no thank you, I would rather the peaceful hum of the car engine, and the availability to listen to my soul and the universe, to hearing possible new ideas and more. The tone of certain music grinds me at the moment and I find it hard to keep an even temper.

I love my family and friends, but it seems more and more I need to be alone. I need to be able to retract in to myself and my thoughts. I am currently redesigning my back yard to allow the space to be a more tranquil garden that allows me to sit in amongst the trees and plants to listen to the birds and watch the world sweep past me. Wrapping myself up in my writing of my novel, my memoir, and even with the view of looking into a course in freelance writing, I just wish more and more for my space and silence.

The song, “Sound Of Silence” is always one that I hold close to my heart from the original by Simon and Garfunkel, and my favourite version by Disturbed. The first verse just says it all, that is with in me at this point of my journey.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains within the Sound of Silence.

Over the past week I have come to learn more about myself and the direction of my path in life. From reading, writing, the things that unsettle me and block me with my writing, and even the dreams that I have had very recently. I am a true believer that dreams that we have, is the universe showing us ways in which we need to head within our waking lives. As long as we see what the dreams are showing us, not as literal meanings of what we see, but how we interpret them within what is happening with in our waking lives we are guided to amazing experiences that with noise we might not have seen.

The more we fill ourselves with the noise of all that is around us, we don’t have the access to hear the universe and our own soul speaking with us. I want to take more time to be able to listen to them both to live a life that is full of excitement in the activities I am supposed to be doing in my life, its only taken me 35 years to come to this conclusion, and the more I come to hear and see the more I want to be in a world where I have my own space that is silent from the outside world noise, but filled with natures songs, whispers and conversations.

soul-speaks

Till next time, enjoy your day…