Friday, May 31, 2013

Life :|

Wow life can sure throw a few doozies at us, usually when least expected. I often think that if only I could see into the future I could make the right decisions when I find myself at a life-altering crossroads. If only I could see where each potential decision would take me I could be sure to choose correctly.

Now I think it doesn't work that way. If I could see that decision (a) would lead me to a certain low point, naturally I would want to avoid that, and so not make that decision. But how far into the future should I see? What about what comes after that point? Perhaps I needed to reach that low point so I could make the next decision that would lead me to where I am supposed to be. And perhaps if I don't reach that point I will never end up where I am supposed to be. And it goes on and on, like ripples on a pond.

Every decision I make, every step I take, affects not only me but the people around me. Maybe some of my decisions are made because some people needed me to be there to help them on their journey through life. Maybe some are just sheer stupidity on my part! But going back to the collective reference in another blog, we are all truly interconnected. Every single thing I do has a ripple effect. There are many songs and stories about this, how one persons seemingly small decision has a flow on effect to all the people around. There is a reason why songs and stories and myths refer to it as the tapestry or the rhythm of life. It's because we are all bound together, whether we know it or not.

As a purely hypothetical exercise - made up on the spot - say I decide to buy my coffee from a different vendor one day. It's a great cup of coffee and I say so to the barista. She is thrilled to get a compliment and passes this onto the next customer by complimenting her hair. That customer is very appreciative because her hair has just grown back after losing it during breast cancer treatment. She tells the barista this, and the barista is reminded that she has not yet had a mammogram so she makes an appointment. The mammogram picks up the early stages of cancer and she is very lucky she made that appointment when she did and didn't put it off. And she made the appointment because I complimented her on her coffee making skills.

This is a sledgehammer type of analogy I know. But there are smaller things playing out every day, because of small decisions and because of big ones. Maybe there was no cancer, maybe it just gave the barista a lift and she passed it on and everyone she passed it onto gave it to others and there was a small swell of good feeling happening all day.

Change, that thing I'm no good at, comes about because of decisions we have made - maybe not the decisions we make today, maybe because of decisions made years ago. And maybe by decisions made by other people that end up affecting us. Change happens, and some change happens whether it is welcome or not. I've written before about change and how I'm learning to accept it and even embrace it, and not be afraid of it.

And that's what I'm doing, on the whole. But wow, sometimes among those steps along the way to effecting the change can be huge hidden and unexpected potholes. And they are bone jarring, soul crushing events that make me just want to go to bed and say "wake me when it's over". Change is a simple word, with a simple meaning. But to make a life altering change is difficult. There are complex threads in the tapestry of one way of living that are so fine you don't even know they are there until they are severed.

They have to go of course, a complete change is impossible until all the ties to the old way of living/thinking are gone. It's like a long and invasive surgery, exhausting and at times extremely painful, but once started has to be completed. So here I am, hopefully more that halfway through the process towards this change that is coming to me, and it's inevitable I know. I can't stop it now, and I don't really want to - I just want to fast forward it!

Letting go of past ways of thinking and living is a process of grief. Letting go of the people who were once a part of that past life is also a process of grief. I'm only just now realising this and allowing it to happen. I know the next stage of my life is going to be exactly right for me, and while yesterday I wondered if it was all worth it, today I know it is. Sometimes we change our lives by choice, and sometimes we are pushed - whether by people, events, or a higher power is a blog for another day.

And while my writing has suffered for a while as I learned another of life's lessons, I'm ready again to get this werewolf story happening. And I have a segment of the Facebook novel in my head that I want to get out and onto my computer. For me, when the writing desire comes back, and my fingers start to itch, I know emotionally I'm back on the right track. For today, that's enough.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

what I meant to write about yesterday

So yesterday I rambled on about road trips and how they are a neat little metaphor for life. It wasn't actually what I intended to write about but it was what came from my fingers. I intended to write about bullying, to be specific school yard bullying.

The thing about bullying is that sometimes there is a fine line between thoughtless immature behaviour and outright bullying. It's easy enough to tell the difference most times. That lout who demands other kids' lunch and or lunch money each day and the kids give it to him because they are afraid of him, that's bullying. The kid who shoves another kid's head down a toilet and flushes and think it's funny, that's bullying. Obviously the kids who terrorise emotionally and physically are bullies.

The reasons behind the bullying will be as varied as the multicoloured M&M's stolen from some kids treat box. The end result will be the same - a terrified kid who starts having multiple sick days or becomes very silent, or goes to school and then sneaks out and hides somewhere until the end of the day and until the school notifies his parents.

But sometimes what is picked up as bullying, what is experienced by the child as bullying, is not actually the intention of the child doing it. Sometimes it is just plain immature foolish behaviour with no thought for consequences. I'm not speaking from the perspective of the parent of such a child here, but as the parent of a child who started having multiple sick days. Eventually it came out that one of his friends was taking friendly rough-housing too far. His friend didn't realise he was being too rough, too mean in his choice of words. And my child, as a friend, was horribly conflicted about what to do.

So the school has stepped in and I don't know how it will go. How do you explain to an only just teen that he is being too impulsive, too immature, too thoughtless. How does a child of that age even process this. The brain goes through one of the fastest and most complex stages of growth in the early teen years. The other time is as a toddler. So there are synapses developing and misfiring, information not being processed correctly or going missing entirely. Decision making is one of the brain processes that is not refined properly until the late teen years. Also, errors in judgement are frequently not noticed. Right at the time in their school life that such skills are pretty useful.

This is why teens can be so irritating and annoying. They actually don't notice their errors in judgement, they take forever to make a decision and when they do it's probably not going to be the right one. They get easily distracted by pleasurable activities - like playing a game on the internet instead of researching for an assignment. Impulsive behaviour is also a result of this rapidly growing brain, teens have difficulty controlling impulses. While they know there will be consequences the impulse and the desire for immediate gratification often over-rides common sense. Like my child spending his pocket money on food and then bemoaning that he can't afford whatever electrical do-dad has become a vital necessity to his life. Every week.

Each child is different, each level of maturity comes at a different age for each child. Some teens cope better with this rapid brain growth than others, who knows why - maybe some brains grow in a more disciplined way and some simply explode with synapses. For that matter, why do some people always have difficulty controlling impulses, and understanding the principle of delayed gratification. I'm not an expert by any means, I don't know why this is or how these particular brains differ from others that are organised and exhibit very little impulsive behaviour.

It is one of those mysteries of life that I like to ponder - because I am a little strange and I lack the education to expound - that the basic model of the brain appears the same in all owners. Yet such different skill sets, such different thought processes, such a varied range of ideas and abilities and knowledge occur in each and every person on the earth. We are all totally unique, nobody else in the world thinks quite like I do, or you, or the person sitting beside you. Nobody else on earth sees the world quite the same as you do; if you were not here that particular perspective would not exist.

Which brings me to a point I had no idea I was going to raise. We are all in our own way special and unique to the world, and at the same time we are all part of the whole. We make a complicated and dazzling hotchpotch of thoughts, ideas, personalities, bodies and souls. Each and every person on this planet is here for a reason and each and every person on this planet is connected. In fact, we all come originally from stardust, literally. We are all part of the whole and yet we hurt, maim, kill each other. It's absurd when you realise that to hurt another is to hurt yourself.

So I guess here's to celebrating our teens in all their irritating weirdness and crazy impulsiveness and annoying thought processes. May the foolish impulsive behaviour be moderated soon - I expect the threat of lunch time detentions will get some of those synapses firing in the right way. Another thing about teens is that they react well to big incentives, either positive or negative. But don't even get me started on waking them in the morning.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another random post

It's been a while since my last post. I've had a few personal issues, and also a trip away for a family gathering. It was a road trip, a full day driving down and back to the area where I grew up. It's always a journey back in time, the area has changed a lot in terms of the roadway - much better quality roads now than when I lived there. (In fact to be a bit sour and political, I can see where my tax dollars go and it's not to the roads where I live! But I digress). It still looks the same, sure the houses have had a few alterations and the trees are taller, but those are only surface changes. The countryside, the entrance to the town, the hills and valleys, they are the same. And it has the same smell, my home town has an indefinable smell to it - I can't describe it but it's there and it says home. Not that I would ever choose to go back there to live, but the place where you grew up holds a special place in your heart.

So it's been a little visit to the past for me. The trip down there is like a time machine, the closer I get the more I feel like the person who left, who of course is not the person I am now. So it can be a little conflicting. And it's a long trip, it's roughly a 10 hour drive, and with stops for fuel and food it usually takes 12 hours. There's plenty of time to think and day dream. Not that I day dream of course, I am totally focused on driving the whole time!!

A road trip is like a lifetime encapsulated. There's the fresh beginning, and the exhausted ending that is relieved to be at the final destination. And along the way a whole host of metaphors for life, if you're a bored driver fed up with the same scenery of emptiness that is most of the journey. There is the road itself, sometimes smooth and seamless and easy to drive on and sometimes rough and windy and requiring a lot of focus to negotiate safely. Clearly just like life, and as unpredictable as to where it will be easy and where it will be difficult.

The other vehicles along the way are like the people you meet along the journey of life. Some are travelling in the same direction, others opposite. Some drive safely, some are reckless, some are so idiotic you yell your opinion at them through the windscreen even though they can't hear you. Some cars are travelling in the same direction at the same speed for so long that you develop an attachment to them, and then when they stop and you don't you feel bereft. So it is with the people in your life of course, nothing lasts forever.

On this trip there were so many roadworks that it felt like there were roadworks for the entire distance. There weren't, in fact a lot more of the trip was clear road than roadworks. But the roadworks slowed me down and were often so confusing trying to follow diversions that they took on a much bigger aspect than they were. Exactly like the obstacles in life, which sometimes take on such a huge aspect that they seem impossible to overcome. How horrible would it be to give up trying to overcome an obstacle just as you were about find a way past it. If I gave up on the journey because of the roadworks I would have had to turn around and go home and the entire day would have been for nothing. Never give up.

Even the boredom of a long trip with little change in the scenery is a lot like life. The internet is littered with memes about living every day like it is the last day of your life. It's a great thought, a wonderful sounding idea, but really it's quite impossible for most people to do this. The reality is of course that we let a lot of days, a lot of our lives, slip by in the day to day routine that we can perform with only a small part of our minds. How many times do we get to the end of a day and just feel relief that it's over. We shouldn't, it's a day we won't ever get back. Don't lose your life in day to day routine so that you don't notice anything about it. There's always something to smile at even if sometimes you have to search for it. Like the tiny yellow flowers on the side of the road that I would not have noticed if I had not been exhorted by the huge sign shouting "SLOW DOWN" to reduce my speed.

There is a Chinese curse that says "May you live in interesting times". It's a curse because interesting times mean a level of intensity that is exhausting. I have lived through a few of my own 'interesting times' and I have always wished during those times for peace. If I drove the entire journey with the intensity required of living as though it was my last day I think I would have an accident, just because of the concentration required to be that intense! Notice your life, find something to like about every day, but don't stress if you don't feel strong emotion about things all of the time. Peace and tranquility are just as vital to a good long life and the small things are sometimes the things we remember.

A long road trip is a blend of intense concentration, distracted boredom, focus on speeds and gears and the other drivers and the state of the road. It is exciting - when a car coming from the opposite direction decides to overtake and is suddenly right in front of you and you're planning your evasive action when it ducks back into the other lane and your heart is still leaping out of your chest. It is boring - miles and miles of the same scenery and no other cars to be seen like you have suddenly been plucked from earth and dropped onto an alien planet, and then another car appears and phew, you're still on earth.

There are the small pleasures - stopping for a break and that first stretch when you get out of the car, and the first sip of tea, or coffee. The road markers steadily counting off the kilometres to the next town until eventually it is your destination that is only 20 kilometres away. Approaching yet another section of road works and watching the little man turn the sign from STOP to SLOW as you approach - worked for me every single time, I have some sort of force field I think ;)

There are small irritations that grow into disproportionately big ones. For me this is those road signs that are supposed to lessen fatigue by asking questions like "Highest Mountain In Queensland?" This annoys me so much, for a start I don't care! Secondly, the tenth time I see this damned sign I want to stop the car and rip it out of the ground, grrrrrr. The only ones more annoying are the ones that say "Still a long way to go kids!" and "Are we there yet?". I guess they do lessen fatigue but they awaken instead in me a massive case of road rage, potentially just as disastrous as fatigue if anyone were to ask me which of course they didn't since the signs litter the road all the way down and up.

So you see, a road trip is a mini life, all the emotions and experiences shrunk down into one day :) Well that was how it seemed for me as I drove home yesterday. Possibly it isn't the same experience for everyone...

Below I will share the signs that annoy me so much, after being confronted with them over and over again on the trip.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

random thoughts

This is going to be one of those blogs where I have no idea what I'm going to write about. I'm just going to let my fingers loose and see what I come up with. Today has been a rather difficult day, for a variety of reasons and the end result is a smashing headache. I have no doubt it is a tension headache, since it has been a rather tense day. I often wonder though, why tension headaches don't happen every time I feel tense. Sometimes I can have a horrible day full of dramas and difficulties, but I don't get a headache or any other physical effect. Other days, like today, my head goes into revolt and I develop a smashing headache and a sick feeling in my stomach.

The brain is a mystery to me, how it functions, how it thinks, how it processes information. Well my brain is a mystery to me anyway. Why is it that sometimes I can have a bad day and suffer no ill effects, and other times I crash and burn. Today I can't write because this headache is muffling my mind, like there is a dark fog inside it - or maybe barbed wire that has curled around my thought processes and every time I try to think it tightens and causes pain.

Yesterday I had a great day, in terms of writing. I sat in my bed and wrote seamlessly for hours last night. Of course since I was working on the werewolf book this meant that I completely freaked myself out and had a little trouble sleeping afterwards! I hope that means it's going well, if what I am writing is giving me the heebie jeebies late at night. But today, not a word. I'm writing this blog in the hopes that if I get some words out my headache might lessen. Vain hope I'm sure, but writing grounds me so it will help to alleviate the tension if nothing else.

For me, I need to get words out of my head by writing. I don't have a need to talk a lot, I can go hours without saying a word to anyone and be quite happy. In fact I need alone time every day or I go a little nuts. Time to myself without having to talk to anyone is very precious to me. My son, however, is a completely different fish. He doesn't need to write, he NEEDS to talk. And talk he does, and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. Drives me completely bananas. We have just watched a movie together and he talked ALL the way through it. He once told a teacher that he needed to talk a lot because his head was full of words and he needed to get them out. Kind of like me but way, way louder.

When he thinks he talks. Before he thinks he talks. While he's thinking he talks. He's sure to be Prime Minister or something where being able to talk about any subject on the fly without actually saying anything is a real asset. He's going to go a long way if he can ever marshal his very active brain into a single direction instead of multiple strands at once. That is of course, if he lives past childhood and some days that's debatable.

Everybody's minds work differently. We all have different ways to relax, different triggers for stress and anxiety, different needs for a peaceful life. In short we are all different and as I have said before that's a good thing as it would be very boring if we were all the same. But tolerance is what I've been thinking about today. If we were all more tolerant of each other surely there would be more peace in the world. With tolerance comes empathy, and empathy would mean kindness, which would surely even out the current terrible imbalance between those who have everything and more than they need, and those who have not even shoes for their feet.

Needs and wants, you can get all you want but if you don't have what you need, those wants are pretty empty. Needs are the things that bring peace and contentment and they are not things like a flash car or huge television. You don't need those things. You do need a roof over your head, enough food, the ability to pay the bills, the people who make you smile, and more than anything, peace and contentment with who and what you are. If you don't like yourself, nothing else will bring happiness, or peace, or contentment.

So I guess that's the subject of this blog, learn to like yourself and everything else will follow :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Words revisited

Words are wonderful things, I love them. I love to play with them, arrange them, learn new ones. Words can be used to explain, to abuse, to cajole, to compliment, to praise. There are so many ways in which words can be used, and misused.
However words are in the end only a tool, and tools are only as good as the person using them. There is more to this though, the effect of words is not the same for each reader.

We all have a unique view of the world, an attitude and mindset and understanding that is shaped by our personalities, experiences and environment. A story that I will find captivating and magical may be considered by someone else to be slow and dull. That is something that I have to keep in mind at all times. No matter how much I adore my offspring - my writing - it will not be appreciated the same way by readers. Some will like it, some will hate it and some will be quite neutral. And that's ok, the world would be a very dull place if we were all the same.

To be sure that I am getting across to readers exactly what I mean I have to be careful in my choice of words. If I choose words that are too ambiguous I may completely change the meaning of what I say and then the whole thing will become confusing for readers. Painting a picture with words requires the use of a sharp and precise verbal brush. But still I will not be completely clear to all readers all the time. However I have the luxury of time and the backspace key - or sometimes highlight/delete. I can read what I said and think oops, and re-write as often as I need to make my meaning clear.

Conversations are not the same. Conversations are quite disturbingly live. There is no backspace button, no chance to say wait, I need to re-write that. Of course I can say no, I didn't mean that the way it sounded. Unfortunately what is said cannot be unsaid and people remember the first statement regardless of whether that is what was meant. Add to that the interpretation that each of us puts onto what is said is also varied. What I say and what you hear may not be the same. You will put your own spin on my words depending on your personality, experience and environment (as I know I said earlier but I'm emphasising an important point).

So misunderstandings arise in conversations regularly. It is important to remember that what you think you heard may not be what was meant, especially if what you heard has upset you or disturbed you. Face to face conversations are easier, we all read body language, tone of voice and facial expressions to more clearly interpret what was meant by the words falling so carelessly from the mouth. But in this digital age more and more conversations occur either by text or voice calls.

There is no body language to interpret and in the case of social media chat, no tone of voice either. We must rely entirely on the words used. That is why those emoticons have become so popular. They are a kind of digital body language. A smiley face at the end of a sentence lifts it, gives it a little ding of sunshine (or maybe it is just me who hears that little ding when I see a smiley face). All those little emoticons help to make a sometimes clunky language more easily interpreted.

But no matter how carefully I choose words, still not everyone will clearly understand what I say. No matter how closely people observe body language misunderstandings arise in a face to face conversation. It only takes a few words meant to say one thing and interpreted to mean another to derail a social media chat and before you know it things are escalating in a most unwelcome direction!

We are all human, we all fail to understand the meaning behind the words at some time or other. We all get emotional over things that turn out to be imagined.  We just need to remember this and be patient with each other. Next time you think someone has said something hurtful to you, unless it is clear and unambiguous (like perhaps you good sir are a most unpleasant toad and I wish to never lay eyes on you again) put aside your pride and ask a few questions. There is nothing to lose, and sometimes a lot to gain.

Sometimes the blue sky is hidden by grey clouds of misunderstanding, but it's still there :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Busy Day

It has been a most productive day today :) I've uploaded the book to Amazon Kindle and it's already live :) :) The link is here, in case you want to go look:

I've also written the outline for the new book, the werewolf book and I'm really excited about it. You may have noticed I don't have a title for either of the books I'm writing - I truly hate having to come up with a title so it's the very last thing I do. The only thing worse than choosing a title is writing a summary of a book. Condensing down 80 000 or so words to a single page (and making it interesting) is purgatory.

Anyway, to get back to it, I've written the outline and I'm in the process of giving the characters suitable names and building a picture of them in my mind. While I'm doing this random things are popping into my head - I already know the final paragraph, I know how the main character is going to discover a pivotal secret (and what the secret is). I know why the main character had to have a name with a particular meaning. It's all there in my head, bursting to get out and it's really very frustrating to have to do the necessary groundwork first.

The other frustrating thing is how SLOW the writing process is. No matter how fast I type, writing is so much slower than thinking or dreaming. To dream, I see the pictures, to write I have to paint the pictures with words. It's fun to do but sometimes the story is in such a hurry to be told that my fingers feel like they have blocks at the end of them.

I've never had writer's block, not yet anyway. But I imagine it must feel like the word police have rushed in and erected miniature thought blocks. I imagine it must be quite painful, because all the thoughts and words would be stuck in the head and cause a traffic snarl of thoughts swirling around and around unable to get out. I imagine it would be quite horrible. I mean it's called writer's block, a nasty description.

It kind of feels like that when I have an entire story that wants to be told and is impatient to be told. My fingers feel clunky and slow, and my head is full of that peculiar writing cloud so that I can't focus on anything else. And still, I can't SEE what I am thinking, what my mind is producing. I don't know what I will write until I write it but I know it's there and I know it needs me to write. So my fingers have been busy doing the groundwork, the framework really. No matter how good the story, it will fall over without strong framework, but the story doesn't want to wait and it is pushing me to hurry up.

And the story won't give me everything, I'm getting random tendrils, or entire paragraphs or snapshots of an event that has to be described - and by snapshots I do mean just that. I get a picture of a character doing something and I know it is part of the story. And it's not chronological, it's all over the place. I really have no idea how it all comes together on the page. But it does, and what a relief it will be when I can get started on the actual story! That's why I think writer's block must be so horrible, to have stories stuck in the brain without being able to access them by any means - thought, dreams, writing - must be so frustrating and exhausting. And I can't imagine how a writer going through writer's block is able to function in day to day life. Maybe they don't.

For me, to function in day to day life, I have to write. It doesn't seem to matter if I write physically (although that is certainly the best way) or if I write a story (that I then forget) while walking/cleaning/trying to sleep or any of the humdrum daily chores. I just need to have an outlet for all these characters and stories. Reading helps too, it makes the constant script and the characters and stories go to the back for a while. But now, I think because I'm writing on a daily basis, the need to write is stronger. Now, I need to write every day, and the more I write the more I need to write.

Maybe that is why I had such a detailed dream. I like this explanation way better than the one I suggested to my bestie. I said to her maybe my dish clattering ghost is a werewolf implanting this story into my head. She said it was very possible which was so not the required or expected response! Thanks for that Ola!

What I have learnt is that when I do what I really want to do I feel energised and fulfilled. Writing is definitely what I am supposed to be doing and I am just sorry I let life get in the way of doing what I really wanted for so long. Women do this a lot, we put our own needs and dreams so far to the back that we forget we even have them. Life, and family, takes up so much of our time and our energy there is often not enough left for ourselves.

It's such a shame that we are not all taught how to balance our lives better as children. We all deserve the chance to find what we should be doing in life and to do it. In the end, we all want to be happy, but so many of us have no idea what it is that makes us happy. And so many of us fail to chase a dream because it is outside of the ordinary. I saw a meme that has been doing the rounds on social media and I loved it. I think we should all chase our dreams, embrace change (yes yes I know, pot kettle black, but I'm opening myself to change!) and live our life the way a child does - with every sense fully engaged and a belief in magic.

Am I a weird person? Damn straight!

Monday, May 13, 2013

I had a dream

The other night I woke from a nightmare. This is not so unusual, I often have nightmares and wake terrified and convinced there is something really really bad in the house. But generally I don't remember much of it, and the little bit that I do remember dissipates into wisps in my minds eye even as I try to catch the edges.

This one however, was quite stunning in complexity, and stayed with me even as I woke fully. Maybe that was because for a split second when I opened my eyes I thought I saw the main subject of the nightmare, a werewolf, striding through my bedroom door. That this was impossible occurred to me almost immediately so I didn't dive under the covers and cower at the bottom of the bed. It's a physical impossibility for me to see anything but vague shadows as my eyesight is so poor that without glasses or contacts the world is foggy, no edges and no real form. I know this only too well so I realised I was still in the dream for that second when I opened my eyes.

Then I began to think through the dream and man, was it complicated. It was about werewolves, and I was a journalist who, along with a few others from around the world, had stumbled onto a link between the weather and a series of gruesome murders. The whole dream was detailed, clear and precise. So detailed in fact that I made notes (and if you've been paying attention you'll know that is something I never do), and in the morning I realised that I had created an entire world in that dream. A clear and precise world with guidelines and parameters.  A world with characters already formed, a story already mostly written. Well, never look a gift horse in the mouth (another thing I love is these old sayings that have come down through the generations), if I have been gifted an outline from my subconscious then I should write it, right? (Homophones, love them too)

Except that this is a paranormal story, and I've never even tried to write one of those. I read them, voraciously, both good and bad (and there's a lot of bad) but I have never felt even the tiniest pull to write one. Plus, I'm deep in my Facebook novel and that is the first of a series of four. I have a quandary here. I'm loving writing the Facebook novel, as yet un-named as you may have guessed. I'm really looking forward to expanding the characters in this book as each one gets to tell her own story in succeeding books. But this werewolf story is sticking in my head, and I know little tendrils are swirling around because every now and then another part of the story will tease the edges of my thoughts. I really have to write it.

So what to do? I don't want to stop writing the others, but I have to write this one too. Well there's only one solution, and it's pretty obvious. I'll have to write them both at the same time. I don't know if I can do it, switch stories and characters smoothly so that each book rings true. I also don't know if I can write a paranormal novel. But I can't focus on one without thinking of the other. So maybe if I write both I can focus on both equally.

Well I won't know if I don't try, so I'm going to give it a go. That's pretty much the story of life really. Just because something has always been done one way, or a life has been lived one way, it doesn't mean change is impossible or infeasible.  So I'm back to the whole bending and flexing with change thing. Every avenue of my life right now is pushing me to be more adaptable to change, more open to change and more welcoming of change. And really, how bad can it be? I'm feeling that something good is just around the corner and all I have to do is relax, go with the flow and accept it, whatever it is. It just may be a change that makes my whole life the way it was meant to be. Who knows? Certainly not me, and not anyone else either. But I'm the only one who can drop my barriers, and let change happen. So what the hell, here's to opening myself to change :)

Friday, May 10, 2013


I love words, lucky since I write I know :) But I do love words. I love how they can be arranged, and then rearranged and changed. I love how a sentence can be changed so that the meaning is the same but the words are different. I love how that can change the whole look of a piece of writing. When I edit I spend a lot of time rearranging words and sentences, changing how paragraphs start and finish.

Writing is about control too, of course. Words can be controlled, changed, arranged just the way you like. Stories can be told as you wish, characters can say exactly what you want them to say. Well, not exactly, my characters frequently surprise me, but more or less.

Real life can't be controlled so easily, people are just pesky the way they insist on being individual and refusing to follow the script prepared for them - of course they don't know they have a script but that's no excuse! So real life, as opposed to the life inside my head, can be quite daunting. I don't know what people will say or do, I don't know what will happen from day to day.

I spent a big part of my life trying to control the people around me, usually with a spectacular fail rating. I was a pretty slow learner, but I finally figured out that it is far too stressful both for me and for the people around me to try to control everything. It's pretty difficult for me to let things happen and unfold as they will, and I have to fight the urge to control it all, but it really doesn't work.

Real life is full of surprises, some good and some bad. The trick is to stay open and willing to allow real life to just happen. You can't write it or plan it or organise it. Well you can plan and organise, but you also have to be able to bend and flex. I'm not good at bending and flexing in my life, if my plans get changed I panic a little bit. I am actually very good at being spontaneous, what I'm not good at is going along with someone else's spontaneity. That is because I've already planned my day and it's hard for me to do what is essentially a re-write.

This stage of my life is about letting go a little bit. Not trying to control everything so that it goes the way I wrote it in my head. Sometimes in life the most wonderful moments and the most wonderful people happen completely unexpectedly. In fact I think that it is those unexpected moments that shine the most brightly. And it is the people who have completely unexpectedly and without any internal scripting come to mean a lot to me who shine the brightest also.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sometimes life gets in the way

I've been de-railed these past few days. Life sometimes gets in the way of plans and dreams. You know how it is, life happens, and keeps on going on even when you would rather it just stopped for a little while.

When I say I've been de-railed of course I mean I de-railed myself. You can only be de-railed if you allow it to happen, and I did. Sure, life sucks sometimes, but when I go into a tailspin and shut down, the only one to suffer is me. So I really have to learn to keep positive no matter what is going on, and to keep my focus on my chosen path.

But, while I dealt with personal stuff, I didn't write although I meant to. I didn't do anything to promote the book, although I wanted to. I didn't make any plans, or dream any dreams. I just wallowed in a self-pity party. It wasn't a fun party. The problem with a self-pity party is that there is nobody else invited, just me. And a me drowning in self-pity is really really really boring. I found myself rolling my eyes at my sad self, so I decided enough is enough.

So I am back in the land of hopes and dreams, back on my path and more determined not to backslide. Luck happens for sure, but sometimes it needs a bit of a push to happen. So here I am, ready to make my own luck.

Well that's not much of a blog, sadly it's where I'm at right now. I'll leave you with the dog, who is never where I am at, she's always happy - she might be about to have a nervous breakdown happy because she's sure it's walk/food time and she's been waiting ALL DAY, or happy because it's FINALLY walk/food time, or ecstatic because she's just had walk/bath/food, but she's always happy!