Fruition of Creation

Such an exciting week last week as the culmination of over two years work came to life. Finally, I have published my book Out of the Blue on Amazon Kindle.

I think not having an actual physical book felt a bit strange but that may come. Feedback so far is promising and I am now well into my second book.

It brought home to me the realisation of something ,my mum used to regularly say to me. ‘Perseverance pays off” Pushing yourself, when you have lost the will to make any sense of what you are trying to achieve. Rejections from agents who say ‘ lovely read but not for us.’ What does that really mean? It’s too banal? It has no heart? No one seems to know but plenty say it along with many other ambiguous phrases.

The frustration builds because you think you have written something worth a read. Professionals help but each have their own take on how your story should flow.

Taking matters into my own hands, believing the story I have constructed is interesting and uplifting takes a great deal of confidence. Someone asked me what would I feel like if I got bad reviews? Well I guess I shall feel disappointed but everyone has an opinion and you have to harden yourself to the slings and arrows. Being an optimist I am hopeful more readers will enjoy it than loathe it.

In all matters of creating the artist, poet, writer, potter, the list is endless, all have to pull on something deep within them to take the next step.

Yet where would be without creators? Inventors? Risk takers? Striving for something new and innovative, to further strides in medicine, sustainability, a better way of living.

My head is above the parapet. Nettie Anderson has boldly gone where many others have gone before. Exhilarating and at the same full of doubt and anxiety. Much like my heroine Daisy.

She found her way into the light and I am ever hopeful that my writing finds its way into the light. I shall keep up with persevering because that was a great piece of advice my mother gave me.

Thank you for stopping by

Creating Inspiration

I love creating. Writing and building stories. I enjoy making things, cards, art work, knitting, gardening.

Someone asked me the other day where my inspiration came from and how come I did so many different things?

My answer was simple, why not? A window in my life opened up and has given me the freedom and fresh air to do all of these things. It’s always been there, since I was a child. Having to make my own entertainment and parents who encouraged me to follow my dreams.

I realise as I have grown older my mother particularly recognised my creative streak and did her best to encourage it and nurture it. Her only by-line was gaining a good education.

The writing perhaps takes priority because I overflow with ideas and stories. My inspiration comes from many sources. However, I grew up living above a shop my mother owned. At a certain age, I was allowed to help and it is from here the world began to open up.

I was a sixties child, free flowing and brought up by free flowing parents. There were rules, a strictness, a need to learn to be polite and well mannered but there was a recognition we are all individuals. It is this which I think was the greatest hurdle to overcome. Not everyone thought like that and there was a hesitation if you were slightly out of kelter with others.

These days, we can be like that. At least we can try to strive to grow into our own personalities and characters. In my writing I hope I attain a little of that. There is still a long way to go to enhance how diverse life is but I am hopeful we will get there.

As for my other creative crafts well, my garden ebbs and flows as does the paint which covers my canvas.

It is not being afraid to step out of the shadows and try. Even if it is just to prove to yourself you can do it. There doesn’t have to be a grand plan. Just a desire to do something and see where it takes you. Isn’t that how great art works have been created and wonderful stories told?

Art is a wonderful expression of what we sometimes find hard to vocalise. Words are often easier to write than say. Gardening is a way of nurturing and finding peace and harmony with nature. Knitting is a therapy for focus and making something from a ball of wool.

Yet something as simple as the sun setting and the sun rising bring joy to the heart as well. Often it is just the simple things which create the most value.

Thanks for taking time to stop by.

RE-SET

Ever had that feeling you are lurching through a season of crisis? I am just coming through one of those.

These kind of events in life remind me that sometimes we need to take a breath and and step back. A moment of contemplation.

I have grown more reflective as the years have progressed. I have also learned that during my reflections, it is when I am at my most creative. My writing has flowed like a young stream gushing over rocks. I have ignored the rocks and battled on. Thus finishing a piece of work two years in it’s making.

A sense of apprehension has gathered pace as I realised there was nothing else could be given to my work, no more tweeks, the editing has been relentless but it is done. Now I am clinging to it because the next stage is even more scary.

Like seeing your baby take their first step, and all the milestones which follow.

My fingers have hovered over the self publish button for sometime now and I shall know when the moment is right to release it into the world beyond.

It is the ‘what next?’ which is rather more elusive. Plenty pending, notes scribbled, ideas chugging away in the back of my brain.

Then I pause for a while to consider all that has happened in the last two months and think wow, life just steams on regardless. My life has pushed on over the rocks and flowed perhaps more slowly and painfully but still I have maintained some kind of fluid action.

Last year, there were many who were taking the time to reflect on life and what was happening all around us. Perhaps re-evaluating and considering what was important. Though sometimes in doing so we realise that no matter how important some things, people are, we all need to work, pay the bills and strive to survive.

I have known much loss in my life. Each time I experience a loss there is a little part of my history which disappears too. I still have my memories, but sharing them when the focus of that memory is no longer around is hard to process.

Someone once told me a long time ago, that all these episodes in life serve to strengthen and build a foundation for what is to come. I always thought it seemed glib or an easy to way to placate the ache in my heart. I have since come to the conclusion, my episodes have served my creativity and the well of emotion I use when writing.

Come what may, I’m taking a deep breath, waiting for what does come next and hopefully pressing the publish button.

Stay safe and thanks for dropping by.

Dreamy Days

I have a hut at the bottom of my garden, it’s my space to meditate and reflect. It started out as a place to work but has morphed into a restful haven from the frenzy of life. During the lockdown I sat each day and counted my blessings that I had such a space.

It has become a place to for all the family to sit and just be.

It occupies a small spot amongst the fruit trees. In such an environment we welcome birds, hedgehogs and an occasional fox. Not to mention the insects.

At this time of year the Swifts and Swallows and House Martins dive and fly, feeding their young and building nests. Not so many swallows this year. Terrible storms last year have had an effect on their numbers I understand.

My garden is my place to dream and become lost in thought. Planning my writing, my next piece of artwork.

In my remote part of Yorkshire, we are privy to changeable weather at the drop of a hat. Watching the calamitous clouds roll in from the hills is always a warning. Yet there are moments when the ensuing storm holds you captive and you close the doors and huddle away waiting.

In those moments, it is you and nature. Often the wind can gather pace and the disappearance of the wildlife is usually a good indicator of how bad the onset of the storm will be.

The howls of the wind shaking the bones of the buildings and the dancing of the bamboo turning into a shuddery rock & roll jive can be frightening.

Lashing rain beating the delicate flowers I have nurtured through seedlings stand no chance. Helpless as I am through out the tirade, I still take the time to reflect and dream.

We live through many storms in life some we survive and some leave scars. The scars may fade as the years advance but they are still part of us. The veins of experience which shape and inform us.

As the storm moves away, I gently open the doors and feel the cool, fresh breeze brush across me and I feel rejuvenated and blessed to be here.

Upon inspection my flowers are battered but a little care to support them with canes and a few kind words may help them grow strong again.

How much of gardening reflects the rigours of life. As I glance around my sanctuary, it is as if the plants and trees are straightening themselves up. Ready to receive the wildlife which inhabits them and ready to face whatever onslaught from the skies may strike next.

Breathing in the damp and clear air, I spread my arms and dance.

Thanks for stopping by

Stay safe

A Road to Where?

I live in a sleepy little hamlet in a remote corner of Yorkshire. Moving here was to escape an extremely busy working life and begin a new chapter of rest, restorative healing and a chance to follow the creative streaks which run through me.

Naturally, nothing goes according to plan. Life still throws curve balls and just when you think you are back on track, whoosh you are taking another turn from the main road.

I’ve never really been a planner, I have been optimistic that things will always work out. The cosmos has a way of steering you when you need it most. It’s difficult though for those who need a plan. For them there is a need to know a little of the road ahead. Opportunities have been put in my path and I have taken them or left them depending on circumstances. I’ve made some dreadful decisions. We are not perfect.

However, I have come this far and whilst I recall my own trepidations and anxious moments, my strength in my belief that it will work out has held me. Growing older, my belief is ever thus strong and I find I have become more spiritual. My grandsons call them my life lessons. Whatever they may be they sustain and strengthen my inner self.

None more so than when I am writing. Forging characters and stories from the depths of your mind. It’s like being a wordologist. Is that a new word? My stories have yet to published and yet last week I was thrilled to learn I was a runner up in a short story competition. I received some wonderful comments.

The creative streak is ever present and my belief is ever strong that it will happen. I find when letting my mind empty and allow the freedom of energy to pulse, I create a river of words that I wonder where they came from. Losing myself in the moment. Capturing the images floating through my brain and bringing those characters to life. Carving a backdrop to the story which I bring to life.

However you sustain yourself, it is the belief you can which I find the hardest. Others may tell you to plod on, keep going but when you have a moment that validates all of the hours you have put in somehow that joy rises up and you can do anything.

Spring is upon us and whilst the crazy weather is confusing, it is a re birth of nature and who knows of ourselves. As we plot our way out of the crisis which has held us all, maybe it is about believing.

Whatever you are working on, dreaming of, considering, may you find the road ahead has few bends.

Stay safe and thank you for dropping by.

Pondering Meandering

There has been much to ponder on in my life of late. Family matters, creative cramps, plus the world out there.

This last week I have been meandering my memories of my mother. Her untimely demise happened thirty years ago. A woman born before her time, with amazing strength and kindness. Strict and unswerving often of her opinions and the need to observe certain standards or perhaps these days they would be known as protocols.

With the death of Prince Philip it brought to my mind the loss and bewilderment my father experienced when my mum died, unexpectedly in his presence. He was a broken man and he lived only a couple of years after. He had lost his sparring partner, his companion and the one person who held us all together.

I make no apologises for the tears in my eyes as I write. My parents were formidable characters and their legacy, they may be surprised at, was their belief in anything was possible with hard work and application. Never give up, but be kind and compassionate. Their often volatile partnership gave way to great capacity for love. The world was to be explored but home would always be waiting.

As a race we are often connected by the natural events which take place in our lives. Loss being one of the big events we can never ignore. My heart sits heavily that my grandchildren will never know the remarkable people my parents were. Yet we bring them to life through stories, photos and the fact we all bear some resemblance.

I think that is why I love writing and creating so much. Much of my writing has it’s foundations in the experiences I have lived and witnessed. A bit like preparing the ground for new plants. We nurture the soil, the seeds and plant them, urging them on to grow in a foundation we have prepared.

Life is slowly rising again, we hope for much longer this time. The ebb and flow of the days building and growing into some sort of new normality.

For me, my thoughts have meandered along a somewhat melancholy musing. Yet it reminds me of the richness of lives well lived and the voids that are never really filled after. My mother lived in the moment. She didn’t believe in planning and her mantra was always ‘what will be will be.’ A greater force would guide us.

New dawn’s are beckoning and with it an eternal hope that new shoots will give way to brightness and beckon us all into the sunlight.

Stay safe and thanks for passing by.

Dreams

I was raised on a belief of aspiration and that anything was possible if you tried. There are times in our lives when it feels a step to far to have those aspirations. The fatigue of life sets in and you deflate and settle for whatever is the most comfortable. During the last year I have found it has focused my mind on being reflective. Considering all those ideas I have had about developing my garden and being more driven with my writing. Experimenting with my art techniques and exploring just what can I do. Though often the more time you have the more, I have discovered, you can drift. Like a boat bobbing along aimless with no set route.

This has not been the case for a close member of my family who is about to turn her aspiration into a reality. What started out as a seed of desire to escape the rat race has germinated into growth and movement. A love of cooking and wanting to share this alongside cultivating a kitchen garden to accompany her recipes, is about to come to fruition. Buying a place in the country, with some land and room for her young family to roam and grown unimpeded by busy roads is almost there. It is within touching distance.

As a family, we have shared the drama, the tears of frustration and finally we will celebrate the sheer joy, albeit from a distance.

Personally, the emotion has been over whelming. Seeing someone achieve something that has been long held is a privilege and rather special. In these current times it lifts us from a place of gloom and reminds me that life is not all being lived in the shadows.

It has restored my belief that we can still dream and still make things happen. For my own personal aspirations it has acted as an energy. Fuelling those day dreams and saying to myself, don’t hold back, just go for it, is a kind of renewal. Asserting the foundation of aspiration doesn’t mean I am not anxious, apprehensive but it does create a path for the renewed energy to flow.

No matter what you are creating be it carving, painting, knitting, to name but three, creating comes in many guises. without the flow of energy to cause the creation of something where would we be without the amazing inventions etc that have occurred over time.

Long may we be galavnized by thoughts and ideas and motivated to to have a go.

Thanks for dropping by.

Stay Safe

Storm Surges

I used to live by the sea, part of the day was often spent staring out to the horizon and watching the weather roll in.

There was a day, which lives vividly etched in my mind. A memory I don’t often recall but seems appropriate in the world we live in.

A storm was approaching and our family home was on the cliff edge. Near enough to be wonderful and scary all at the same time. When the knock came on the door for us to evacuate it was beyond frightening.

As the evening progressed, the skies darkened and the surge came. The noise was thunderous, harrowing and for my parents their lives were shaken beyond anything we could have comprehended.

The following morning, the house, remarkably was still standing, or hanging should I say. It was as if a great pair of teeth had bitten into the cliff and taken it out to sea leaving the house behind.

Bereft of a foundation, the house hovered between two worlds. As did we. Homeless, but the kindness of friends and neighbours comforted us all.

Life now feels like living through a storm surge. Then the clouds clear and there is a glimmer of expectancy, a small sliver of a blue sky, the warmth of the winter sun.

The energy flows anew and reminds us that somehow life goes on albeit differently.

My father cried that day, the one and only time I witnessed his emotion. My parents were quite amazing. Picking themselves up eventually and re building their lives. when I thought everything was lost, I realised we still had each other. Yes life was different, life was harder, sadder but resilience surged and we grew from that.

The clouds will clear from our current storm, the future looks bleak but lurking under the clouds, and the storm light is always there.

Stay safe, and thankyou for dropping by

New Energy

Happy New Year to all who read this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read my words and thoughts.

We are living through so much at the moment. It’s hard some days to take it all in. In more normal, familiar times, this is when holidays are planned, visits to family and friends are put in the diary. Yet still we are living with the uncertainty of when that may happen.

For me, change has been around most of my life. It has enabled me to go with the flow. Accepting of the things I cannot change and concern myself with those I have some control over. However, I realise for some that change is not so easy to accept and the normal routines which escape us are difficult to regain.

Change for me, feeds my creative thoughts and whilst some of those changes can be bring about melancholy, I work hard to counter that shadow side. Changes do not have to be all negative. They can bring about new challenges which can lead to new beginnings and new ways of being. For me I have encountered new crafts, new authors to read and learning more about how technology can be an aid.

Fresh energy, coursing through the neural pathways can bring about a spark of something…

It is that something which to me is exhilarating and drives my day forward. Being an eternal optimist can often be exhausting but I strive to maintain the will that positive vibes harness positive thoughts.

Life is not straight forward and on the days where there is a straight line and I can walk it I celebrate those as much as the ones which have curves and kinks.

There is no telling what the coming months may bring but hope it is better. Without hope where we would be? It is such a small word but big in its meaning. Its energy radiates from those four letters.

I hope for us all 2021 brings change for the good and much energy

Thank you for taking time to read.