Finding Balance & Creativity

I have two elements in mind with this post: psychological and physical.

One of the things that has scares me a bit about creativity is getting caught up in it! I remember as a teenager making my own clothes. I would get so carried away I could not stop until I finished the job! Sound familiar to anyone? I think it is being “in the flow” where nothing else matters except what is in front of you. Not such a bad thing in a world full of distractions.

The other element being physical – in this case, in creating an environment that is pleasant and comfortable to work/create in I am faced with the dilemma of having too many books. Some may say we can never have too many books! Books that I am unlikely to read again. I look at them and think, “That was a great book. I may want to share it with someone one day and I will get annoyed that I disposed of it.” Can you relate to that? I could pass them on to our Village Library but I don’t. Is it selfish to hang onto them when others might get pleasure from reading them? I don’t know!

On ‘Women in Love’

While recently reading Women in Love by DH Lawrence I was reminded of a quote by French philosopher Michel de Montaigne:

“I am not prepared to bash my brains for anything, not even for learning’s sake however precious it may be. From books all I seek is to give myself pleasure by an honourable pastime… If I come across difficult passages in my reading I never bite my nails over them: after making a charge or two I let them be… If one book wearies me I take up another.”

But I had a problem as a literary essay by Norman Loftis claims it to be a masterpiece and DH Lawrence’s best book. I read Lady Chatterley’s Lover and had no such difficulty with it so it must be me, right?

couple engagement hands human

Photo by Leah Kelley on

Anyway, I was determined to make it to the end and I also re-read the essay to see if it made more sense and perhaps I could understand what he was getting at – the need for men and women to find a new way of loving and living that was more equal and freer. It was written over 100 years ago at a time when women were seeking emancipation and turning away from subservience.

Anyway, I found it to be pretty tough going. Have you read it and, if so, what did you think of it?


I have written few posts recently about a book about being in the flow. I have finished reading it now but I have noticed my dreams are being more lucid – meaning that I know that I am dreaming and can actually direct what happens in my dreams.

It is a wonderful experience that has happened to me a few times in the past. It is not something I can manufacture. I suspect that the process of trying to understand more about how my mind works has something to do with tapping into this amazing gift.

consciousnessI also believe that when we are ready to learn new things, the opportunities are there for us.

Do you ever think “I can’t do it”?

I am currently reading “The Confidence Gap – from fear to freedom” by Dr Russ Harris and published by Penguin Portfolio.

I bought the book some time ago and read some of it and then left it sitting on the shelf. I have had some confidence issues so I thought I had better read some more. I am getting more out of it this time. I am learning (again) about listening to my thoughts and the chatter that goes on in my head. I sometimes think things like, “I can’t do that as I would get too stressed”, or thoughts along similar lines.

The author suggests we listen to our thoughts and then acknowledge… I just had a thought that said … “I can’t do that as I would get too stressed”. He recommends a range of strategies to help us get unhooked from our thoughts. He says that when we fuse with our thinking we cannot see the difference between who we are and what we think.

The next step is to say to myself … I just noticed I had a thought that said … “I can’t do that as I would get too stressed”.

It is amazing and sometimes alarming to listen to the array of thoughts that go on in my head. It is so easy to undermine our selves by giving credibility to these thoughts. I am not my thoughts however if I get hooked into thinking in a particular way that isn’t helpful then I allow these thoughts to decide how I live my life. I think I will read some more …

Ferguson Valley 046 (Copy)

More thoughts about writing


Recently I read that if fear is blocking us from writing we should write about the fear – merge it into our writing – use it.

In the same way we can deal with anger, anxiety, love and other emotions. So it doesn’t matter what state you are in…



From blogger to author – an interview with Peter Wells (countingducks)

You may know Peter Wells as countingducks on Peter has very kindly followed my blog for a while and I always enjoy reading his. Just recently Peter launched a novel called, Living Life Backwards, published by PDMI.

Peter kindly agreed to be interviewed about his experience of transitioning from blogger to author. Here are my questions and Peter’s responses below …

1. Have you always enjoyed writing?
I’ve always been quietly creative in various formats, and used to write poetry when I was studying for my degree, but never considered it to be a professional ambition. I had no idea how that would be achieved.

2. Did you do lots of research and preparation before you started or did the story grow organically as you wrote it?
I’ve never done a millisecond of research for anything creative, ( Bows his head in shame ). I like to go for walks, and an idea will float into my head.

3. Did you develop your characters before you started writing or did they grow as the story grew?
The main character, and possibly a couple of others come out of my imagination, and then the number of characters can grow, depending on the plot and the need to people it with individuals who give it life.

4. Were you inclined to edit as you wrote or did you just get it all down and go with the flow?
I always try and write a set number of words in a day, although I have struggled with that since having my novel published, and the time pressure that produces. At the weekend, for as much time as possible, I always review what I have written during the week, so that I am always ‘refining on the go’.

5. Is there a connection between your blog writing and the writing of your novel?
There is a connection, in that the novels come out of Blog posts, and the character’s created within them. I tend to change the tone, because the novel is more reflective than comic in tone, thought humour peeps out of the ages at regular intervals.

6. Did you use an agent or go direct to a publisher?
My story is a little unusual as I was “discovered” as they say, by a publisher who came across and then followed my Blog for a time. When they approached me, I had not written a book, so ‘Living Life Backwards’ was written to order. I have to say, the publishers have been quite excellent, and taken away many of the challenges faced by new authors. Step forward Victoria and PDMI and take a bow!

7. Did you have to face some rejections before a publisher agreed to take it on?
Given my previous answer but that is not to say that could not happen. There is no guarantee of any book being published by any one publisher so, if you believe in your craft and your talent, facing rejection is a fact of life. Luckily I have been trained to deal with it over the years as a result of the reception enjoyed by some of the dishes I’ve cooked !

8. It is interesting that you have gone for a paperback book as well as an e-book? Any thoughts on why or was it the publisher’s decision?
All that was the decision of the Publisher: what I can tell you, apart from the words and story of course, is that the cover illustration, the editing, formatting, and the first paragraph of your book are the key to its getting attention. They should all be as good as you can make them, as shoddy execution can often blind the reading public to what might be an excellent story.

Flowers from Jeanne and Lee for my wedding in June.

 Wishing you every success Peter (countingducks) and thank you for taking part in this interview 🙂

Happy Birthday to me :-)

I had a great day yesterday celebrating my birthday. We had lunch with some of the family at Broadwater Bar and Restaurant which is just five minutes walk from home. It was great to speak to each of my three sons as well.

My husband is always spot on when it comes to choosing birthday presents and outdid himself this year.

Since having a WordPress blog for a while now, I am really interested in web design – as long as it is simple! This book seems to hit the spot to help improve my skills in this area. Also, I have thought that I need to expand my writing into a more creative style. I used to be able to write imaginative pieces but I am a bit rusty these days. Finally, the calligraphy set will be fun and also urge me to use my creativity a bit more 🙂

One happy birthday girl here – even if next year’s birthday ends in a zero! Thanks to everyone who contributed in making it a great day.



I hate and love learning

Unique POV 001I am under pressure at the moment to complete five tasks for the second assignment in my unit of study – Production, Editing and Design. I have gone past the point of ‘this is really interesting’ to now feeling ‘am I going to live through this process?’

I received my results this morning from the first assignment and I passed moderately well – a big relief. I didn’t say I did well – but I was happy enough with the outcome.

This is a very technical unit and it is pushing me beyond my limits, however, today I learned so much – that I never would have otherwise. Why does it have to be so painful in the process?

The main part of the assignment is due on 21 October. I hope to send it off this Friday to lessen the torture. The rest is due on 4 November. We are going away for a couple of days after that to celebrate/recover my sanity.

If you have any study tips or suggestions for surviving the pressure, I would love to hear them.