Back to the Plan

The other day when I sat down at a cafe to edit a paper for my studies at University, I couldn’t because I hadn’t brought all the notes I needed. I completed a different writing task, so all wasn’t lost. But then it became difficult to find the time to get back to this particular project, because of course other jobs now got in the way.

Today, I got to go to a cafe and get back to the editing I needed to do. It felt good to be finally getting on with this task, and making progress.

 

Lilliana Rose

clip art coffee heart

www.lillianarose.com

In a year from now…

First day of holidays and it’s time for self reflection and thoughts of the future.

It’s hard to think what my life will be like in a year’s time, but I do know that it will be very different from now. I look forward to sealing the letter and opening it in a year’s time. I wonder how much will have come true? And if I care if it hasn’t? Will something better have happened in my life?

I’ve also taken the time to write a letter to myself about the highlights of this year so far. There have been a lot. It will be a joy and perfect reminder to also open this letter in a year’s time to remind me how much I’ve traveled, to show how far I’ve journeyed, and that I have grown even though at times it might not feel like it.

Time for some dreaming as I write.

Lilliana Rose 🌹

www.lillianarose.com

Ruminating Time

Well it’s been a decade or so since I’ve had to use a laundrette (not counting when travelling!). I’ve been collecting coins, brought along my computer and using the short 25 minuets to be on social media.

A good time to ruminate? I’m not sure it’s long enough! All I remember from the past is spending at least an hour waiting for the wash cycle to complete. And reading lots.

Plus today is going to be a scorcher (way too hot) and it’s already a bit unpleasant in here. At least puppies blankets will be cleaned and ready for use once more. The cycle continues! Pun intended!

I just saw the sign saying don’t add detergent as it’s included in the wash…😬 I can ruminate now how signs are often ignored! 😉 and that I need to slow done and read them instead of guessing what to do! Is an unexpected sign 😉

So in a short 25 minutes I can ponder about signs, and cycles. And then be satisfied the puppies blankets are clean. Not bad for 25 minutes 😉 and all done in a laundrette not a cafe! A little unexpected, but I’ll go with it. And now my wash cycle is finished and it’s time I find a cafe.

Lilliana Rose 🌹

www.lillianarose.com

Late, late, late!

I’m a bit late this morning so not much time to write, so little I think getting my notebook and pen out is really a token effort!

But between sips of coffee I opened my notebook. For the precious few minutes available I planned part of a workshop I hope to present in the new year. Just goes to show sometimes all you need is a few minutes! And to give it a go instead of focussing on the lack of time available.

Where to Start?

Where to start a story may seem a stupid question to ask. Of course you need to start at the beginning when telling or writing a story. It’s important because this is when you hook your audience. The problem is, the beginning may not always be clear, or there could be multiple places where a story can start.

Writing isn’t like drawing or painting, where you can start at the top, middle or bottom of the canvas. On a canvas, you can see where you are going, and the space to be creatively filled is clearly defined. It doesn’t work like that with writing. With a story, there’s the start, middle and end, and you can begin at any of these points and write out of order. Sure, writers usually start writing at the top left hand side of a page, moving across to the right (when writing in English) then down to the next line and so on. But this top of the page could be in the middle of a story, or a new scene, or the start of a chapter. There are so many more choices when constructing a story, many which are hidden. The writer is working with the unknown, and may have an idea where to go, but there could be multiple ways to get there.

At some point, the only decision that can be made is to choose a point in the story and write. The structure will become clear the more that is written. Like all good travellers, the writer might get lost, have to back track and take another path. I’ve thrown away 30-40,000 words before in a story and re-written those words, and now I’m planning on doing a complete re-write of these 70,000 words. What a waste?! Not really. I needed to write in order to find the start and I was learning about my writing style that was best suited for this particular story (I have a different one for each story). It had to be done. This is going with the flow, my inner creative flow, and writing to see what takes shape. If the story ends up not going in a direction I feel is suitable for the story or characters, then I change. I may even abandon the story for a while to retrieve later, or use some parts in a different story.

That’s writing, a lot of hard work, persistence, trying new approaches, changing direction and not giving up. There can be times to persevere, but if it begins to feel like a block then I might jump ahead to another scene, or write another story, or take time to journal, or have a break. I never know what creative paths I’ll end up going down if I let go (just a little) and relax, trust myself that I’ll find a creative solution.

The more I write, the more I become aware of my journey, what is working, what isn’t and then I can adjust accordingly. Some loose suggestion of where to start will involve emotion, action, and a hook to draw in the reader. Once I’m writing, then I’ll begin to connect to the setting, characters, and emotion, then I will have a better idea of the direction the story is going in. At this point, I can reflect if this is the best place for the start, or if there’s somewhere else. The story can be re-structured when editing, but first there needs to be words on the page.

Finding the best start to a new story becomes a matter of jumping in, get writing, stop thinking of the outcome, and don’t question yourself. And that in itself is a very good place to begin a story.

The Perspective of Art

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We’ve all heard this saying and something similar can be said about art and the creation of art. During the first lesson of my intermediate art class, the teacher took us through mixing colours to create tones, tints, and shades. The mixed colours were used to create a colour palette on canvas and then to paint a small image, the purpose to attempt to create the colours seen.

I’m very nervous in art classes. For me, I’m not so good, I’m learning and trying to develop my own skill in its intuitive uniqueness. I’m more of a free-from artist, even when I write, so it was natural for me to add my own approach to what I was painting. When the teacher came by and asked me what I was doing, I answered I was making it up. She re-illiterate the task, and left me to it. Re-create the colours you see in the still life. At one point I had to add more blue to the purple and something about high or low tones. But why, if what I was doing was painting what I was seeing?

I was painting the colours in my own perspective, which was unique to me – just as I do when writing. If describing a scene or an object, I use my perspective and so my words would be different to someone else who saw the same scene or object. The point here for me, is that I gained an insight to my creative expression which is similar in both writing and painting. I create what I see, but I don’t always see what everyone else sees.

This makes it tricky to teach art. How can art be taught when it’s down to the personal perspective and expression of the creator? There needs to be a basic understanding, which of course that’s what the teacher was trying to teach me. I don’t want to mix colours and always get brown, but it’s in the creativity where the perspective changes right from the first brush stroke. Once the basics are learnt, then it’s about bringing alive my own perspective, whether hidden or intuitive. It’s about valuing the perspective of art, the creating, applying intuition, adding a little logical thought, and then simply letting it be to shine out in the world.

Desktop Clutter

I’ve been meaning to de-clutter my desktop on my computer for years. Uh-um. Many years. Over time the clutter; countless sticky notes, files I didn’t know where to put, images I needed quickly, the odd e-book on my tbr list, and Excel spread sheets that looked lost in the multiple files.

And it annoyed me, a lot.

Every time I logged on to my laptop I couldn’t face dealing with the clutter of information that at one point I deemed important, maybe even vital for my life. Turns out this information wasn’t that important, or it had been superseded by new files, or with new information in the ever changing world we live in. A lot of the information had lost its value. I had more recent photographs of myself to use in posts. I’d written new stories and increased the number of new releases on my tbr pile. So it sort of became easier to ignore the mess on my desktop and not deal with my filing. But it was silently irritating me. I’d become an electronic hoarder! Unused files sat on my computer, like an unworn dress in my wardrobe waiting to go to that party where there was no invite ever coming.

I’ve tackled clutter in my home, and regularly set aside clothes or items to sell, donate or throw away. Yet on my computer it gradually became more difficult to see the background image and even the files as they began to cover each other.

I needed help! But this was a job that only I could face. I had to otherwise the clutter would build up again. There’s so much electronic information to manage and I didn’t have the system in place nor could I work out one to implement.

What changed this situation around for me? I got a new computer. I had actually gone to the length of putting off getting a new computer because I needed to clean up my desktop. With my computer failing I was given the push I needed. For years I’d put off the job because I thought it would take too long, I didn’t have the time or filing system I needed to address the issue.

De-cluttering my desktop didn’t take long, especially considering the number of files and sticky notes I had to sort through. The task was made easier because having waited so long some files simply went straight to the trash. I wanted to do the job now because I knew the clutter was causing a noise in my head and mixing up my thoughts. I needed to clear the files to give myself some head space. Plus I needed to migrate files from the old to the new computer and I wanted this to be organised and not a chaotic mess. After all, when starting on a new computer I didn’t want to bring over the files that were no longer useful. I wanted to use this as a fresh start.

Even though I’ve spent a lot of time de-cluttering my house I was blocked with my computer. Instead of dealing with it I ignored and avoided the situation even when I knew better. It happens, things sneak up and stay with us not necessarily even hiding in our blind spots.

It took me a while, but I got there. I found the time and motivation to help me get the job done. Of course, now I’ve de-cluttered my desktop, I have extra head space, clearer thinking and feel more inspired every time I log on to my computer. Hopefully this will last and I won’t revert back to old habits!