Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

End of November.....

Tonight's big news is that I made it to the enf of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and achieved the goal of writing 50,000 words of a novel (50098, in fact). It's not pretty. It's not smart. It's not a lot of things, but it's 50,000 words more than I would have done had I not taken the challenge. Through home redecoration, and a bout of illness, I wrote, and I am proud of myself for coming through my first attempt at this challenge. There is nothing about it that I regret! Hurrah!

One other thing --- I am sorry that I've had to turn on comment verification, but there was too much spam appearing, and I realised it's not just a nuisance to me, but to anyone wishing to read the comments or to leave one, too.

Taking a break from the keyboard tonight, celebrating my BIRTHDAY tomorrow, and I'll be back to "normal" over the weekend! Thanks to everyone who offered encouragement and support during November. This Blogging community is just wonderful, and I count myself very lucky to have stumbled in here.

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday Scribblings - Nemesis

After last week's look at heroes, this week, Sunday Scribblings' theme is Nemesis.


She dwells within, her with the long, bony finger, always pointing; Her, with the sharp eyes and the shaking head. No, No, No, she will intone. You can't do that, can't chance that, You can't risk that. What will they say? What will happen? You will get laughed at, you will fail. You will make a fool of yourself. You will end up despondent and depressed. You can't, you shouldn't, you mustn't, you needn't. She says everything is ok as it is, She figures change isn't a good idea. Staying just where we are is comfortable for her. She allows me to argue, up to a point, and then she shakes the head again. But, But, But, she will chant. She is the sprinkler of doubts, she has a way of being there, just turning up whenever there's an idea afoot, a new something in the air. There she will be, with her chorus of doubters to back her up.

But, now that I have come to know her, now that I understand her fears, she holds less fear for me. I can let her have her say, and sometimes, having assured her that I'm listening, that she has put a stop to my madness, I just go ahead and do what I wanted anyway. See? I'll say to her, - See? I made a change, and the world didn't collapse after all!

Will I ever manage to silence her entirely? Probably not, but at least we can live together now. At least I am not afraid of her. At least I know her face, and know when she is active, there's every chance of an exciting change happening!


Meet other's nemesis (ses?) HERE

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Scribblings --- Heroes

They are everywhere in my life, and always have been – people going about their lives in a heroic fashion. No, they were not slaying dragons or climbing the highest mountains, but in their own ways, I have seen so many people do what would seem impossible to me. In the face of grief, pain or hopeless situations, they would pick themselves up, and find a path through the hopelessness, a way of putting one foot in front of the other as they got on with the business of living. Beyond that, the true heroism has always been for me in being able to find beauty and art along the hopeless and hard path, finding a way to make of this life a better place for those around them. Who are the heroes? My grandmother, who would make clothes from flour-sacks when there was no money for fabric, who made of the water in which vegetables were cooked a delicacy for which her children would vie. This woman still maintained a parlour, she still painted her garden railings white every year, and there were still sweet-peas and aquilegias to be seen inside those railings. My Auntie Imelda, her spine bent from a childhood accident – tiny and deformed to many eyes, I saw her as beautiful, and wanted to be like her when I grew up – book-loving and musical, with perfect eyebrows and a shine to her skin; knitting for nieces, not the practical, keep-you-warm jumpers that mothers would knit, but cardigans with a touch of glitter or fluff, in a shade not designed to hide the dirt, with pearly buttons. I saw all my aunts carry on through illness, grief and set-back, find laughter and joy still in life. These were the heroic ones. Between them, they took paralysis, abuse, widowhood, cancer, loss of a child, childlessness, and went on. They, each and every one, lived until they died. There was Esther, making a decision against more surgery, more “treatments” and choosing to relish her last trip to the sea, choosing to plant bulbs for the spring she would not see, choosing to make sure that next year, the wisteria she had pruned in her pain would bloom ever more abundantly and beautifully.

My mother, my father. These are two more heroes in my life, though I choose not to say more of their heroism here right now. I am blessed in the lives my parents have lived.

There are friends, there have been friends, who have offered me a model of heroism I hope I would be able to follow should I be faced with the same paths. Those who have come to tell their stories in their last days. There was Maureen, delighting in my successes, offering her wisdom. There was Peggy, who vowed to swim with the dolphins. I see her now, perpetually floating in the waters she loved, smilingly playing and calling out to us “Come on in! The water’s fine!” There have been heroes who went suddenly, without warning. After Jamshid’s death, so many people told me of how their lives had been changed by the practical wisdom he offered along with his healing herbs. He was a quiet hero.

No. The ‘heroes’ conjured for me by the word are not those who slay dragons, but those who battle the nipping rats of daily struggles, and keep on; not those who climb mountains, but those who stay hour by hour, day by day, on a stony path, with blisters on their heels and toes, and who still have a spirit that delights in a stream’s babble and the breeze’s fingers playing with the golden leaves of a birch. God bless the heroes.

Find more Sunday Scribblings on the topic of Heroes HERE

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Back in BlogLand

Just a brief post to say I'm still here. It's so strange what the Universe will do in order to get you what you want. There I was... having committed to the madness of writing 50,000 words in the month of November, and right at the beginning, my house was upside-down in the aftermath of being repainted, and in preparation for new flooring coming in (next week, next week!), and what happened? My internet connection "went away", leaving me with no excuse to spend time at blogs or email. So I got off to a good word-count start, didn't I?

And then... knowing I would have a few days away last week, I'd gone to the extremes of buying myself a laptop in hopes of keeping my wordcount up. What happened? It worked. There I was, settled in my Dad's house, finding hours, half-hours, TIME, in which to get going. So I maintained my wordcount. And managed to do the poetry-reading I was there for, AND recorded some poems for national radio. THAT was a lovely surprise - the call asking would I do that, and it was arranged so quickly. Just when I'd been wondering was I going stale in the poetry area - how did I know whether my recent work had any merit - I got the call, and that said to me "Someone sees merit in it. Believe in it!"

By the time I got home Sunday, though, something strange was happening. I was feeling distinctly unwell. So, off to the doctor on Monday, and will spare you all the details, but here I am, housebound for the week, tired, but with enough energy to bash a keyboard now and then.... So, half-way through the month, here I am, half-way through my 50,000 words. Wow! I'm surprising myself! All I need to do now is keep that up!

Wish me luck!


Friday, November 03, 2006

Gone (word-)Fishing

The Universe took charge, and made sure that distractions would be minimised during these first days of NaNoWriMo - the madness that is an effort to write a 50,000 novel in the 30 days of this month. It jinxed my Internet connection. I'm taking advantage of an hour at a borrowed PC to just post this. I haven't gone off in a sulk. I'm just unconnected - and luckily, apart from internet access, now have two functioning computers, both happily sucking up words to add to my novel. Count stands at 4200 or thereabouts, and my house is awash with cloaked characters drifting about leaving bog-water on my floors! I'm enjoying these early days. Catch ye all later!