No Lights!

I was just getting into my editing of my academic paper in a cafe when of all things there was a power failure! It’s sort of exciting but also frustrating. It’s now a little too dark to edit on paper and I was just in the flow!

The unexpected things which disrupt the flow! But the question is has this been beneficial or detrimental? Or neither?

I did consider leaving, but then a few lights came on nearby, so I had a bit of light to continue. I kept editing, mainly because I was so close to finishing this task! And I wanted to not just finish but continue what I was doing. And I couldn’t help think no his people would write in the most difficult situations and poor lighting. So why not keep going?!

All sorts of events and things can disrupt the flow, it’s how you react that matters. I could’ve gone home, but I stayed, wanting to keep connected to even a little of the flow I was in. And it helped. Round one of editing done!

Final Farewell to 2017

To assit in saying farewell to 2017, I’ve been working through the booklet by my friend at A Blissful Existence.

I’ve coloured in the mandala, and then arranged crystals over it as a way to release the past year. I find this process is a gentle, yet powerful way to release the emotions and events that shaped 2017 for me. By answering a series of questions I can focus on how I’m feeling about the past year, in a conscious process so that sneaky emotions don’t slip past without processing. mandala release 2017

It’s also a meditative process colouring in the manadal, with a scented candle burning, and relaxing music playing. It helps me to honour the year that was in all aspects not just the good, and then to say farewell. This is my little party to celebrate the past year and to welcome in the new year.

This might look like simple colouring in, but to me, this is much more. The colours chosen tell me something about the hidden thoughts in my mind, and how I’ve coloured the shapes  tells me that there are things in my life which have previously been hidden but are now coming to the surface. This allows me to look at parts of my life which perhaps I’ve not given enough attention, perfect timing as I make way for the new year.

This makes room for the new year, which is very exciting!

Happy New Year! How have you farewelled 2017?

Lilliana Rose heart clipart

www.lillianarose.com

coffee clip art steam

Running Out of Ink

I’m particular about the pen I use and the journal I write in, so when I’m mid-sentence or heaven help me, mid-word, and my pen runs out of ink it’s more than an inconvenience. I might only have half a sentence written on the page, the remainder of the thought is then etched into the paper in a desperate attempt not to lose it. That is only part of the problem. Before losing the incomplete thought, and the next one blossoming in my mind, I need to get another pen and quick (would you believe my pen just ran out! Not only did I have to stop to find another pen from my handbag as naturally I’m writing in a café, I had to take a photo for proof! And to irritate me a little further I’m now having to write in black ink, not blue, and it feels all wrong.)

ink running out

It’s not as simple as the ink running out, the result is a series of distractions. I’ve now got to stop, and pick up the trail I was following or decide on the new one which is now presenting itself for me.

To prevent the annoyance of having a pen run out of ink, I might have about five pens in my handbag as insurance to ensure I keep on writing, especially if I’ve just been struck by inspiration, but it’s not really a safe guard.

I have pens stashed around my home so that if an idea spontaneously bursts into my mind I don’t have to reach far for a pen to write it down and capture the idea permanently. The fear of losing an idea motivates me to keep an over stock of pens. I want to be ready when an idea comes and I want the pen to be full of ink because partial ideas are of no use. No matter how organised I am and how much planning I’ve done, there’s no escaping an interruption like this. Unless when I think a pen is low on ink and I throw it out. But that is wasteful, plus if I keep stopping to look at the pen to see the ink level I won’t write. Distractions need to be minimised when writing.

When I’m forced to stop it’s like I was following my own yellow brick road in my head, skipping along, chasing an unfolding idea, next thing I stumble and wham, no road to follow, and instead I’ve got to stop and make choices. All forced on me by the process of running out of ink.

While frustrating at the time it’s something that unexpectedly influences my writing and redirects my creative expression, like when the wind changes direction, in the back of your mind you know it will happen you just don’t know exactly when or the changes it might bring. I could be in the flow of writing, capturing the creativity in the moment, being forced to stop is almost like some divine intervention and not just ink running out. The resulting direction changes the thoughts, or unfolding ideas, or the speed of creative flow, or completely sends me down another road in search for ideas, this is all part of the process of creative expression I’ve learnt to embrace.

So may your ink flow and sometimes may it also run out.

 

A Thing for Journals

It could be said that you can never have too many blank journals ready to be written in but I suspect I would be an exception.

I can’t walk past a new journal – crisp untouched pages, a cute image on the front, inspiring messages scattered throughout, glitter on the cover. The blank pages call out to me wanting to be written on and I can’t refuse the call. Ideas already pop into my head demanding to be written, right then and there. It becomes almost like if I don’t buy the journal the ideas will abandon me and be lost forever. Not quite but the joy that sparks through me when looking at a new journal is delightful.

journalsStanding there in the shop holding it in my hand it becomes a conduit for my creative writing. A new potential seeds in my mind and begins to take root and its like this new journal, still yet unopened, is the fertiliser, water, soil and sun all rolled into one and the perfect balance to help this idea grow and blossom. I want to do everything possible to nurture this idea so it reaches its full potential.

When writing it’s more than sitting down churning out the words, there is also fun and play as part of my process. Buying journals is just that, it’s my fun, its my play and it’s a magical time when my imagination can open new doors because I’m not actually looking for ideas or inspiration.

I use these journal to write poetry, to journal through my thoughts or events in life, to plan stories, to write first drafts but more importantly I use these journals to play with ideas, to try new story lines to have fun exploring what I might discover if I’ve set myself a writing exercise – to have fun with words.

This is what the journals provide for me and so I cherish them, even before I’ve written in them – right then those blank pages are reminding me of my potential and what I could do on their pages if I dare.

And so I buy another journal.journal

Which Pen?

I never realised how important it was choosing a pen to write with. I’d always been a little fussy, and I had a love for stationary, but I didn’t realise how deep this passion went, right down to the point of having to decide what pen I would write with for a particular story.

When I come to write with pen and paper I had developed a ritual on choosing the pen to use – without realising it until taking photos of my coffee and writing implements and noticing the different pens that featured. So it got me thinking about this process and what it might reflect about my approach to writing and creative expression.

The pen chosen depends on what I’m writing; poetry, journaling, first draft of a prose piece, or what pen happens to be in my handbag. But it’s more than what I’m writing.

When I started writing more seriously, I decided to treat myself and buy a modern fountain pen. I enjoyed writing in ink, more so when I was journaling or writing poems. The fountain pen was easy to move, and the ink flowed, helping the words to come into existence on the page forming their own type of imagery. I couldn’t help feeling like a scribe of old, and it provided some of the magical energy needed to create.

It’s not all romantic-like when writing, there’s also a practical side to consider. The ink cartridges for the fountain pens weren’t cheap and I would use them quickly. Also I had some cheaper journals and the ink would seep through making it difficult to read what was on the other side. At the time I was being mindful of money so I retired the fountain pen and returned to my cheap ball point biro. I can write quickly with this pen when I need to. When the images come, and the creativity flows, it’s important to catch the words, and not have to be concerned with a pen that’s not handling the heavy duty workout.

I’ve also discovered coloured ball point pens to mix it up, but I always return to my blue coloured pens. And black pens just don’t work for me. I like to see the blue ink on the white paper.

Thinking about the pen I use to write with gave me an insight to how I approach my writing and how choosing a pen is part of my creative expression, even if I’m the only person who reads rough draft. This process of pen selection revealed a hidden aspect of my creative expression that I hadn’t previously noticed.

The equipment you use to express your self is important. It’s not enough just to grab a pen and book. At least it’s not for me. I want to be using a pen that is like me; fits well in my hand, moves with my fast strokes to create word after word. After all it’s an extension of my arm, it’s the movement from neurone pathways directing the dance on the blank page, which in parts creates my story. And that’s why the pen used is important.

pen and journal

 

Light and Shadow

Recently, I decided to change over the out dated light pendants in my home from the previous owner to something more my style. How hard could it be? Just find a design I like, which is also in my price range. I’m not fussy. While there are thousands of designs out there I wasn’t going to agonise, “which one am I going to buy?”

My plan was to go in, follow my heart and allow my intuition to guide me. I’d know if it’s the right light for me or not, because of a gut feeling. Even though I walked in and was slightly overwhelmed by the variety of choices I still managed to make a few decisions, made easier as I was combining a ceiling fan with a light.

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Then I hit a wall.

All because the sale assistant pointed out how I needed to take in to account the hanging length and where the shadows would fall. This stopped me in my tracks.

Shadows? But I’m buying a light, there won’t be any shadows. It wasn’t something I’d considered and it meant the pendant lights I’d fallen in love with weren’t suitable. Now, it seems obvious this is something I should’ve thought about. I was changing a frosted glass pendant for one that was solid and so would cast shadows on the ceiling, or my cupboards depending on how high I could hang it. I just hadn’t thought it through enough. Lucky the lady spoke up.

It got me thinking about how light pushes the shadows away, but there are constraints with this and while I might try to bring parts of my life out of the shadows for reflection, the area of light I bring it into may not be as large or bright as I’d have anticipated. Even in the light things aren’t what they seem and perspectives can still be overlooked or simply not seen.

I left the light shop with no pendants and my mind thinking of light and shadows, what will work and how the hell did this task get so complicated, especially when I didn’t have the time or head space for this. The task was meant to be straight forward, easy and fun and a cheaper way to make my home mine. I was rather pensive at how a simple task could be more involved and would take more energy I had planned to give. But it’s important. It comes back to light and dark. I don’t want shadows in my home, and I don’t want too much bright light, and I want beautiful pendants to feature in my rooms. I thought about the balance I wanted in my home and where I’d be comfortable for the shadows to fall so they wouldn’t hinder my lifestyle – because I came to the conclusion I’d needed some shadows so as not to be blinded by the light. I didn’t realise how symbolic changing the lights in my home would be.

I went back to the shop and again using my intuition, but with the help of a few weeks of thinking, I selected the pendants, taking into account the shadows that would be cast into the room. Because there will always be shadows in my life.

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