and so it goes,

and so another day passes. And another day. And another … And a week. And another week. And another … And a month. And another month. And …  And then it’s a year. And another year. And another … And so it goes.

Annie Dillard says “as we live our days, so we live our lives.” I hate to think that.

I’ve been out, doing some errands, both over due; apologising, explaining and now I’m home, flaked on my co-houser’s bed, chatting; thinking : “another day, another day when I planned and hoped … but…”

And then I think “another day passes, and so it goes.”  Wait a moment.  This is how I’ve been thinking for … I’m not going to say how long, I don’t want to admit to it. Doesn’t get me anywhere.

I pull myself up. Instead of thinking it, write it! And here I am! The quotes may not be verified, but I can fix that later.

There are always reasons; adequate reasons. I am becoming more compassionate and more understanding of my younger self and of my present self as I deepen my self awareness. I am amazing. I have lived with obstacles for many years and I have ignored them and carried on regardless. It is now as I learn more and understand more and reflect back that I am filled with compassion for myself and with forgiveness.

But those reasons can become crippling,  I think of Annie Dillard and  of Elizabeth Gilbert who reminds me to be active, to do anything, but break out of the passivity ( in Deep Magic).

So here I am. Not needing to say anything else, simply being present.

I salute so many bloggers who have continued on, who inspire me and who encourage me.

I acknowledger the truth of Annie Dillard and that scares me. Many of my days are spent – how? resting, being. Each day is fine, but is that enough? The sum total of my being?

On my wall,  above the computer I have reminders:

be good stewards of your gifts.

Protect your time.

Feed your inner life.

Avoid too much noise.

Read good books, have good sentences in your ears.

Be by yourself as often as you can.

Walk.

Take the phone off the hook.

Work regular hours.

from Jane Kenyon’s,  “A Hundred white daffodils,” a companion volume to her poetry,  a collection of her prose about the writing life, her spiritual life, her country community, her garden, and more.

I feel the truth of these, deep in my being.

the courage to speak 

the wisdom to write

the power to change.

Are also on my wall, challenge me. Why? Because it’s too easy to be irresponsible, to ignore my heart’s yearning.

And a question from Gratefulness( http://www.gratefulness.org ) to ponder:

“What are the riches in my life that cannot be lost?

If I were to write a post today, what …?

If I were to write a post today, what would I write?

It’s a grey day, almost winter, cool, windy. I’ve been pondering blogging,  I’m so out of touch and it’s so long since I wrote regularly. I’ve been reading the Daily Post, thinking about one of the short courses, anything that will move me to action.

As I think about writing, consider ideas and glance through old posts, my mind wanders to the garden.

The garden

After so many years of waiting I now have a garden- my second, a source of joy and concern and frustration and pleasure.     Yesterday we planted some bearded irises, one of my very favourites  and I’m anxious about how we should plant them. My brother advises to keep some of the rhizome out of the soil, but how much?  One rhizome has rotted and died in an earlier planting. I don’t want to lose any,  I have been wanting to grow them for so long. So I have just checked youtube- lots of videos, but now I’m worried that we may not have spread out the roots, the rhizome may be too exposed and we haven’t planted them in groups …  one expert suggests they are very social plants. Mine may be lonely.

not enough soil?

This is the second year for our roses, such splendid plants! They flowered abundantly last year, even being baby roses. This year they have grown very tall. My cousin, the rose expert, tells me these are rain shoots. We had a long and hot summer, then suddenly lots of rain. She tells me roses love such conditions. And here it is, almost the end of May and I haven’t finished pruning them. Another rose expert advised not pruning early as there could be a second flush of flowering- there was! They look gorgeous and smell so wonderful. I love   walking outside and picking a bunch of roses.

more roses- such pleasure.

joy- a bunch of roses!

Oriental lilies are another favourite and I have grown them for two years now. The plants from last year haven’t done well, so another question for youtube. Was it too hot? too dry? Should I have lifted them? What is their ideal climate?

Oriental lilies- if only you could smell their fragrance!

Such a lot to worry about when you garden. My co-houser says that she thought gardening was all about digging and weeding and planting, then flowers and vegetables and trees would happen and … a garden! Instead she says it’s all killing and chopping and  destroying … the aphids love our plants, there are various other sucking insects, black spot, rust … and several varieties of grasshoppers  … how do you get rid of grasshoppers? big brown ones? even baby greens? You can’t spray a grasshopper. The garden books suggest catching and squashing or vacuuming them up. I can’t quite see how to vacuum without sucking up the plant. And squashing? the big brown ones?!? Yuk!

I remember one afternoon, sitting on the ground and weeding, it occurred to me that gardening was like life. I realised how ridiculous such an idea was- gardening isn’t like living, it is life. Isn’t my life whatever I am doing at that moment? Watching Grantchester last night, Sydney’s sermon concluded with “This is our life. Not yesterday or tomorrow, but today. We owe it to ourselves to live it.”

And writing? blogging? Pondering, reading, reflecting … I owe it to myself. In spite of aphids and grasshoppers I will keep on gardening; in spite of disruptions and long interruptions I will keep on.

and maybe I’ll have a friend to help.

 

Writing lessons.

It’s staring me in the face.

After months of not writing no matter how much I beat myself up, promise myself I’ll do it tomorrow, set unrealistic goals and timetables …

Something shifts.

Finally.

I’ll never write if I keep going the way I am.

I have done almost no writing for? twelve months? longer? I can’t blame anyone; No one has stopped me; there are always plenty of excuses and reasons.

I’m feeling discontented and dissatisfied. In the back of my mind there’s the niggling thought “Is this all my life is to be?” The day-to-day of life- friends, conversations, visits, gardening, reading … all those things that make up our lives.

Too busy? Then stop!

Too busy? Then stop!

I don’t write to make money, to be famous or to be published. I write because it satisfies something within me. I feel complete, content, grounded; when I don’t write I’m discontented and miserable, my life has less meaning, I’m purposeless. Sitting at my computer – writing, pondering, researching, reading – I feel focussed, centred, content.  Clicking that button to “publish” gives me such satisfaction and finding a comment on a post or a “like” has me leaping for joy.

Joy!

Joy!

I have been trying to fit my writing time in around all the other things that happen. It worked sort of, when I lived here by myself because not so many other things happened. I did have lots of time to myself. But with another person in the house there’s always a conversation, something interesting one of us has just seen or read or heard, or work to be done, or shopping to be sorted or dinner or … then there’s the friendships that have developed and I want to nurture and enjoy … then there’s “being” time and …so many things.

If I want to write, if I want to blog regularly, if I want to keep learning and pushing the boundaries, then I must do more than commit.  I must act and practise. And that means, setting aside the time. I don’t work full-time so I have flexibility. I can take my diary each week and block out my working times. And I can act so that nothing takes those times away. There’s plenty of time for other things. For more than twelve months I have acted on the assumption that I could fit writing in. After I’d been out for lunch, after we planned the garden, after I went to the gym, after  the housework … then I would write or I could have an early dinner and write in the evening.

Jobs!

Jobs!

Guess what? It hasn’t happened. It hasn’t worked. Not for a very long time.

I’ve been thinking about giving up – you know those moments of “common sense” when you preach the “face the facts and be realistic” lectures. Or could I hold the dream without doing anything much? Live with the vagueness of I’d do it tomorrow, or when I felt like it or when I had some space or ..? That’s how I lived for many years. One day when I have more time, one day when I’m better, one day… I have a house full of one days. One day I’ll use that wool, one day I’ll get back to the piano, one day I’ll go kayaking, one day I’ll garden, one day I’ll…

(Some of those one days won’t happen- more truths to face, to grieve and to accept, but that’s another story.)

I have read all the writers who say essentially the same thing: Writing has to be your job. You have to sit at your writing space for those prescribed hours.  It is a discipline and it’s hard work. It requires commitment.

You can have what you want, but you can’t have everything.

I want to be all that I am capable of becoming.

I want to be all that I am capable of becoming.

This morning, the final piece slid into place. Something shifted in me.

If I’m serious about it then writing must come first and that means making choices. There will be times when I have to say no. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? The challenge is to take myself seriously as a writer. And that’s the hard bit. I might have to acknowledge some of my dreams and if I do, then I might have to do something about them. And that scares me, throws me right up against myself, my fears and my lack of self- belief. I remember my tutor saying at my first ever writing workshop: “You must begin calling yourself a writer. If you write regularly, even if no one else ever sees it, even if you have no plans for publishing, then you are a writer.” Oh how difficult it was, when people asked me what I was doing, to say “I’m writing.” At the moment, if someone asks me what I’m doing, my answer is vague,  because I feel ashamed. If people ask for my blog details I don’t want to give them, I’m ashamed of how little I’ve done and how neglected it is.

How did this get finally get home to me?

My friend was travelling home and it was an opportunity to spend time with him. I’d love it. But I’d just returned from a few days in Melbourne, last month a few days’ holiday and yesterday I spent most of the day at the beach. Yes, they’re wonderful things to do, yes it’s good to relax and have fun and yes they’re all necessary …

I saw what I was doing and how I was continuing to sabotage myself. At some point I must say “No”, make a choice. Remember – you can have what you want but you can’t have everything.

I met my friend and we had a lovely time, but I haven’t forgotten.  Let’s see how I go.

It’s been a while, Kate, maybe it’s time for a review.

a very long time ago.

a very long time ago.

Who am I ? Why do I blog?  What am I on about?

It’s time to review,  recharge the batteries, re-connect and go back to the basics. A time to remember what drives me.

I blog because I must. For many years I lived with an urge to write.  Something inside  kept on pushing me to write. Web 2 happened and with it blogging. That vague, constant “I want to write,” became “I could write a blog.” It’s taken a very long time but I’ve finally started, instead of merely thinking about it.

This year I have had several months when I haven’t written and I said to one of my friends, in a moment of misery, “If I don’t write, then I might as well be dead.” Not because I’m accomplished, not because I think I’m good but because I must. Without writing, I lose a sense of purpose

in writing mode.

in writing mode.

Years ago I used to write a column in a small magazine. Come the deadline and I would sit at my computer and ask myself “What’s in my heart today?” That’s how I want to write.

Cheryl Strayed (author of “Wild: A journey from lost to found”, now a movie) says “When you’re speaking in the truest, most intimate voice about your life, you are speaking with the universal voice.”

You  probably know that feeling when you strike a chord in the heart of the person to whom you are speaking. That’s what I want to do.

Most likely these are some of the things I write about:

  • I love and cherish this Earth, our home. I care about what we have done and am committed to living in a way that is least damaging. That means living simply and sustainably. I was a city dweller and now live in a small rural town in Australia. The garden beds are begun so we can grow some of our own food.
  • the garden begins.

    the garden begins.

    I’m a woman, a single woman. For many reasons I have little financial security, but I am one of the fortunate ones. I live in my own home, paying neither rent nor mortgage. To do this, I have chosen to buy a house with one of my friends and become a co-houser. I have been fortunate. The spectre of homelessness as an older woman no longer looms so close. However, I remain passionate about the plight of many older women.

  • I love ideas and reading, listening to and watching stimulating programs. Favourite activitiesof mine include discussing ideas endlessly with friends, thinking and pondering  things I’ve heard, read or seen. Ideas fill me with enthusiasm and I want to share them, to pass them on, to let others know.
  • Illness has affected my life. I understand exhaustion, fatigue, insomnia and extreme illness because I’ve been there. I am alive because I have a stoma and ileostomy. Many times I have longed for another person who understood, really understood what I was experiencing. If someone who is exhausted, can’t sleep or been ill for a very long time, reads something I have written and feels the relief that comes with finally being understood, then I’ll be happy. And I want to show how it is to you who may not have been there, to deepen your understanding and empathy.
  • I need to feel I belong. It’s one of our most basic needs- to belong and be part of a group. One of my aims in this community, as always is to help to bring people together, to do what I can to make sure no one is isolated and alone. Community matters.
  • One of my kookaburras yesterday. A simple pleasure and a delight.

    One of my kookaburras yesterday. A simple pleasure and a delight.

    And sometimes I write about nothing very much, because life is mostly ordinary and nothing very much, but greatly to be treasured.

Image? What image?

My essence?

My essence?

“Kathryn, you need to be careful. You don’t want to present the wrong image,”

so advised one of my friends. I couldn’t disagree. He went on to say, “Be careful you’re not coming across as untidy or disorganized or chaotic or…” Umm, where was he going with this?

Then “The image you want,” he continued “is of the well groomed woman, sitting with a drink in her hand, beautifully dressed…” I could understand what he was getting at. That I needed  a certain look, a look that conveyed the successful, affluent career woman. At least, I think that’s what he meant.

Yes, but I’m not like that! I’m not arguing against the successful and confident. I’m questioning how that’s presented. And I’m questioning that whole idea of  choosing a deliberate “image”. I want authenticity. I want whatever I write or present to come from my heart, to be as authentically me as I can. I want you to see me as I truly am, not some manufactured version.

That's more like it!

That’s more like it!

And I’m not always well-groomed. I’m seldom dressed in leisurewear, lounging somewhere picturesque, sipping a drink. I’m more often grubby, dirt under my nails because I’ve been working in the garden; or it’s mid-afternoon and I’m in my pyjamas- or what passes for my sleepwear; or I’m wearing my oldest, daggiest and favourite clothes (often hand-me-downs from this friend).

A Blogging 101 prompt is to write a post to my ideal reader. I’ve been thinking about that. My ideal image of myself? My ideal reader? The introduction to blogging workshop I went to, advised us to have a narrow focus. This makes sense. It’s easy then to imagine my ideal reader- someone who shares that narrow focus. I would know who to aim at.

You know, I’m not sure I want agreement always. I want to encourage discussion, I want to swap ideas and experiences. I want to encounter mentors, people who will challenge me and I want to connect with people who may have shared similar experiences. I find it difficult to narrow my focus. When I think about doing that I can’t choose what to focus on. Country living? Sustainable lifestyle? Co-housing? Illness? Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Insomnia and continual exhaustion? Life with a stoma? Joy? Gratitude? the issues facing older, single women? Fun? Books? Whatever  it is I’m thinking about at the time?

I want to share my life, my thoughts, the insights I’ve gained along the way. I want to connect with others who live with a stoma or with insomnia so we can support each other, whinge to people who will understand and share any wisdoms we may have. I want to talk with older women who worry about facing a future alone or fear homelessness because I understand and share these anxieties.

And I want to share my co-housing adventure with you, the gardening challenges and attempts to live a simple lifestyle. I might learn something from you and I hope that sometimes you might learn something from me.

This is how I want to be- happy and full of life.

Ideal image? I know some of the qualities I want to have. I want to be compassionate and kind. I’d like to be a wise elder, but I also want to be funny and silly and passionate and intemperate. I want to live every moment of my life with gratitude and be fully present, no matter what that moment may be. I want to be me.

Image? Who cares? Let’s just get on and live.

Turkey, Cranberries, Pumpkin Pie and BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

I adore books. I have a Kindle but it’s astonishing how many times I buy the book, rather than the e-version. And I have too many, at least when I move house!
I adore Ann Patchett. I want to visit her bookshop- it helps that I also want to visit Nashville. So I’m reblogging this for all such reasons, but mostly I’m reblogging this post because I wanted to send the list to all my friends…and this is an easy way to do it!
I’ve read The Cuckoo’s Calling and I liked it a lot. I know Jon Scieszka from his retellings for children- “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, told by A. Wolf”, “The Frog Prince Continued” and others. They are hilarious and clever.
I plan to read several of these titles and I’d really like to hear if you have read some already, or your response to any you do read.
Have you read Ann Patchett?

musing

IMG_8553

Let’s start out this rendition of Staff Picks with a few words from Ann:

View original post 1,695 more words

The Creative flow.

My creativity needs some attention, as does my garden!

My creativity needs some attention, as does my garden!

Somehow, it’s just not happening! the creative flow seems to have dried up. As I drive or wash up or garden the writing happens in my head. It flows, the ideas keep coming and EACH time I feel sure I’ll remember it. But when I sit at the computer or take my writing pen and paper, it’s gone.

I take some responsibility for this. I believe that writing in the morning as soon as I get up (and make a cup of coffee!) is as necessary as breathing. But have I been practicing this lately? No. Do I have a reason for this? No. I’m reminded of the statement of St Paul (and you must remember I had a most religious upbringing) that the good that we would, we do not. Too true. I was pleased to discover that a paradox in mindfulness simply says this another way ” We often practice things that are unhelpful and  avoid practicing things that helpful.” We humans are strange beings.

So the days go by. I start writing. It’s something I care about, but it doesn’t hang together. I leave it unfinished and walk away, dissatisfied. I eat something, have another cup of tea. I’d go for a walk or weed the garden, but it’s too hot.

Maybe it's good enough?

Maybe it’s good enough?

I have a little bubble of enthusiasm, go to the computer, start writing. Frustration, it sounds awkward, doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Is this a moment when I persevere, doggedly? Push through this dullness? In this humour, of course I don’t!

Barbara Kingsolver, one of my writing heroes, describes putting her daughter on the school bus, going to her desk and staying there for the next six hours. When does she do the shopping? keep appointments? see her friends? I’ve spent most of my life in full-time work. When did I fit in all those other demands? Where does my day go? How does time fritter away so easily?

Anne Lamott, another writing hero, describes how, even when she was hung over from both alcohol and drugs, still struggled to her writing, every afternoon. Her book “Bird by Bird” says that’s exactly how you do it- bird by bird, or, bit by bit.

I confess. I have been neglecting my practice. I have let any discipline slide. Any excuse has been acceptable, or, no excuse at all. I’m finding it hard to live with myself. This Kathryn I don’t like all that much. I guess it’s what they say about riding a horse- so, you fell off? get right back on again. So, I’ve had a moment of slackness? Get over it, keep going.

Peanuts can always cheer me up.

Peanuts can always cheer me up.

I remember back last year when I was going to write a blog. I worried over a name. Asked everyone’s opinion. Couldn’t settle on a theme. What colour? What picture? How would it be best to introduce myself? What was my voice? The tone? Then one day I sat down and wrote something. And clicked on “publish.” What a moment. It wasn’t perfect, not any of it. In fact it wasn’t even good enough, depending on your point of view. But there had to be an end to the dithering.

And one day I’ll rewrite my “about”. I’ll change the header; I have plans to customize; I aim to go back and edit early posts. I remember my mantra

NEVER GIVE UP.

Perhaps I need another pink bridge in my life.

Perhaps I need another pink bridge in my life.

I’m not giving up. I’m not going away. I wrote this morning and I’ll write tomorrow morning. If I miss one day or even more, I’ll start again, but I won’t give up.

I remember another paradox: “Self blame will slow the process of self development, not speed it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Letters straight from the Heart.

Remember letters? You wrote to someone on paper, put it in an envelope, addressed, stamped  and posted it.

A bundle of friends.

A bundle of friends.

Remember the feeling when you get a letter? Remember the feeling of anticipation, trying to guess who it may be from if you don’t recognize the writing. How long since you wrote a letter or since someone wrote a letter to you?

I don’t mean emails. I love emails. They’re quick, can be brief, are great for making arrangements and for staying in touch with a lot of people.

So far, I haven’t used Facebook much, but I can see how  useful it is for sharing stuff with lots of people.

But real letters, think about them for a moment. Think about letters you’ve received that mattered to you. Do you have a bundle of kept letters? If you’re young, you may never have received one. Do you still get birthday cards in the mail or is an email good enough?

Treasured letters.

Treasured letters.

I have a letter from my grandmother so old the paper is worn away in some of its folds. There’s a note my father sent me when I was seventeen and had just left home. A box of cards from  people I have never met sent to me in hospital, a very ill girl far away from home. They gave me the courage to keep going.  Do I keep emails?

Well yes, sometimes I do, but…do I re-read them? Do I hold them in my hand and treasure them? Do they bring back memories of that person as I see her beloved handwriting? Do I remember the moment I found them in the letter box?

There’s discussion here in Australia about ending a daily mail delivery. I had been thinking about letters, prompted by the rarity of my receiving any before this discussion began. Somehow it now seems more urgent. One of my friends is diligent about sending cards and my mother was known and appreciated for sending notes to her friends to let them know she was thinking of them. I’m slack at sending birthday cards- first I have to find one I like, then I resist the cost.. often I end up with a card I haven’t managed to post. I have several August birthdays I meant to…

If I like getting a letter, won’t other people enjoy it too?

Letters provide us with history. They fill in the detail. Cronechronicler is blogging the letters she sent her small sons while she and their father were abroad. Fortunately she had kept them. I have a letter my mother had kept for more than fifty years- I wrote it to her when she was away in hospital and I was twelve. I don’t remember writing it and that twelve year old self is a distant echo. You can imagine my feelings when I found it, after her death. I was so glad that twelve year old had written it.

Maybe they're full of letters!

Maybe they’re full of letters!

While I’ve been pondering getting mail and writing letters and as we Australians may lose our regular mail delivery, I discovered a movement to send a letter to a stranger through a TED talk (God bless TED!). Hannah Bencher, whose mother wrote regularly to her, became depressed after college, so she did what came naturally- she wrote love letters to strangers and left them wherever she went. She blogged about this and promised “if you ask me for a hand-written letter, I will write you one.” Overnight she was inundated with requests. As she says “her inbox morphed into this harbor of heartbreak”.

This simple beginning is now a global initiative- “The world  needs more love letters.”  Her talk is moving and inspiring and the stories she tells will warm your  heart. I am determined to take paper and pen and write! I have bought some sheets of beautiful paper, I have stacks of cards…maybe my neighbour would like a letter in her box? In the meantime, I have those August birthdays. It’s not too late to write.

 

 

 

 

 

By the dots.

Daily Prompt: We all have strange relationships with punctuation- do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without?

What are my punctuation quirks?

I used to work in an inner-city, multicultural suburb and loved it. One of my favourite shop signs was outside the Greek butcher’s (there was only one Greek butcher),  advertising “lambs’ legs”. It was one of my favourites because it showed so clearly the subtleties of our language. I couldn’t buy, however. A leg of lamb is impersonal, several steps away from being a living creature, or in this case, a wriggling and cute bundle of fluff. A lamb’s leg, belongs to that wriggling bundle. Consider the difference between chicken drumsticks and a chicken’s drumstick. I love language! It’s so clever.

Apostrophes!!!! and exclamation marks.

Apostrophes!!!! and exclamation marks.

While I’m on apostrophes, I confess now that I may one day turn into that eccentric woman who goes around with a large, red, permanent marker correcting apostrophes on public signs. Here in Australia it has become almost the accepted practice that if there is an “s” on the end then it has an apostrophe. No, no, no! and again, no!! You can probably tell it more than irritates me, I can become obsessed about it. I think I’ll buy that permanent marker today and get started.

You may have guessed already that one of my weaknesses is for exclamation marks. Yes, I have read, is it Elmore Leonard’s criticism of their use? I flicked that article to my niece, but found myself unable to stop myself from using these little marks in my accompanying email. (My niece uses them too, so there!)

In another life, very long ago, I taught Primary school and every day included a grammar lesson. I hope those children have never been guilty of an apostrophe whenever they felt like it, or a comma put anywhere. Last time I worked in a school I had to point out to someone ( he had authority and could get it changed) the use of a comma in a simple sentence; this on a notice that was to be placed all around the school. How could we as educators, publish a grammatical mistake? The person concerned refused to change it and there was a limit to how far I could push it.  She insisted that there was a verb and a phrase, therefore there must be a comma. So, nowadays we teach them the ungrammatical. The fact that language is meaning and that our thinking can never be precise if we can’t express ourselves accurately causes me great concern. Bertrand Russell, years ago, feared we were becoming a civilization of barbarians with the tools of technology. The loss of sophisticated language is part of that.

I confess: I need to re-visit the use of colons and semi-colons and I promise I will.

I do recommend Jane Strauss and her Blue Grammar Book.

I wonder what your quirks are? What makes you want a large, red, permanent marker? (Do I put commas between each of those adjectives? Does quirks have an apostrophe?…Only joking!)

 

 

 

 

A Pen and some paper

Daily prompt: Writing space.

Where do you produce your best writing-  at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy café?

Essential take with me equipment.

Essential take with me equipment.

Writing…If I could write while I’m driving or while I’m walking or when I’m gardening…or sometimes when I’m listening to the radio – to an interview or discussion,  a report or an in depth study…or sometimes when I’m talking with a friend… That’s when the ideas come and I find myself writing in my head. That’s when I need to grab them. So I’ve bought a digital recorder but it’s more complicated than turn it on, press a button and “we’re on air’ although I’m getting to be  proficient with it. ( Note to myself: practice using the recorder.)  (Second note to myself: always carry a notebook! When the ideas come, stop whatever I’m doing and write it down, doesn’t matter if it gets dirt from the garden.)

Doing something else seems to release the mind. Maybe my writing process will become something like…walking, laptop in backpack…sudden inspiration…stop…sit at side of road…write feverishly…continue walking…

Most of my writing process tends to take place at the table where the computers are set up. Although you could say I’m “spoilt for choice.” The dining room is my temporary study. It feels good and is spacious. Then I have the very large, open sunroom and kitchen, with another large farmhouse table and not one, but two capacious sofas. There’s the lounge room, the roomy back and front decks, complete with tables and chairs… the river bank is not too far away: tables, green grass just perfect for a blanket and a few pillows, wandering ducks, water hens…

Truly, I took this photo two minutes ago!

Truly, I took this photo two minutes ago!

This is how my day tends to go: get up and make coffee, curl up on a sofa in the sun with notebook and pen and write for at least half an hour, not stopping, however it comes. Then breakfast, some pottering, get dressed or not and to the computer. If it’s Daily Prompt, look at the day’s prompt…( don’t check too many emails!!!!)  If I’m already working on something, read it, play with it…I’ll often print something if I want to edit and I usually take that somewhere else. If I want to start something new, I’ll take it to the other table and handwrite the ideas. It’s as if each stage needs a different place. Some of that’s physical. My computer table (that is , the dining room table) has a clutter of equipment: laptop; wonderful, ergonomic keyboard and large screen monitor; there’s always pieces of paper, notebooks, post-its, textas, pens, pencils, maybe a computer manual; there’s not much space for writing with a pen and paper. (Thanks to my generous benefactor for the setup.)  Right now it also has a cat. (How do you teach them not to sit on the keyboard?)

Regular writing is a new process for me. In the past it’s always been an “I’m going to…”. Finally, at last, I have started!  I’m learning what works and how I work. As I’ve been writing this post I’ve become aware of how much more I could do and how much more disciplined I could be. Thinking about how I write has helped me clarify what does work for me. From this daily prompt I know exactly what I now need to focus on. More output! More words on paper, or screen, or whatever. More time spent just writing. Time to get going!