Sunday, 30 August 2009

Flying high for freedom

I watched him from my study-cum-spare room for ten minutes as he swooped, dived and glided across the sky.
Alone and free and without a care in the world .... so it seemed.
The red kite glided with such elegance and ease,
oblivious to those of us who watched him in awe and admiration.
And then after minutes of mesmerising us with his skytime choreography,
he flew off into the distance unaware of the moments of magic he had created with his visit.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Ready for Hemingway time?

I've been giving some thought to Tom's comment on my blog (12.08.09) about Hemingway getting up before 5.00am to write every morning. I would really like to try that a few times to see if it would work for me and find out how it might enhance my writing. Could be interesting. Truth is, I can be a 'bit of a grump' early mornings. My Man will vouch for that, he's more of an early bird than me. I'm sure that comes from years of early morning rowing on the river Thames, before he goes to work, before everyone is awake, before most of the traffic hits the roads, before the rats in the rat race start running.

As for me, well I know that I can DO early mornings, yes even a 5.00am start! There have been the occasional early morning flights to the Emerald Isle to visit family when I've wanted to extend a weekend trip. There were times (some time ago) when I organised business breakfast meetings with a colleague of mine. Last October I completed 'The Sunrise Walk', fundraising for the local hospice. The registration time was 5.00am! I remember it well, a very dark, wet, autumnal morning with hundreds of other ladies. We walked through Great Windsor Park and surrounding areas suitably attired in black and orange tee shirts wearing gold and silver glitter wigs! What a sight that was to behold when the dawn broke. Goodness knows what the royal family thought as they viewed us from Windsor Castle over breakfast - hundreds of us, marching through their estate. Despite the very wet day and the early morning start, each of us felt a great sense of achievement when we completed the 13k walk. Delighted we raised £24,000 for the hospice. A personal achievement and one that benefitted others too.

I'm giving serious consideration to an early morning write - registration time ... 5.00am! Hemingway time. I've put a date in my diary and if you wish to join me, let me know. I may not be at my most communicative first thing but after the dawn breaks, we can compare notes. I'm sure Hemingway time can accommodate international time zones ... I'll meet you there!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Beautiful Knoydart

I’m back! The man and me escaped for several days to Scotland for our summer vacation. There were no guarantees or promises of glorious sunshine heading north so I didn’t feel it necessary to pack copious amounts of sunscreen with the usual holiday gear. Although there were only two of us, we managed to jam pack the car with the essential fair-weather clothes, walking boots, fishing rod, camera, a laptop (a well intentioned plan that I would be inspired to write lots!) and enough food and drink to start us off in our self catering accommodation for the next few days.

Despite initial showers of soft rain (not the usual biting your face type of rain!), we enjoyed the first couple of days travelling through the awesome Glen Coe and surrounding areas. We Celts aren’t deterred by a few showers. As a result of the heavy rain, the mountain waterfalls were quite spectacular and we were often rewarded with a beautiful rainbow when the rain stopped. Our accommodation turned out to be rather disappointing so we moved on after a couple of days with a plan to follow the sun and that took us to several beautiful areas - Strontian, Glenuig, Morar, Mallaig and eventually northwards to the delightful Dornoch. The sun shone and the accommodation improved greatly. From west coast to east coast … there was no stopping us now.

A stopover in Mallaig provided us with a great opportunity to take a boat trip to the Knoydart estate, now managed by the Knoydart Foundation. A special mention should be made of a welcoming boatman with great patter … he certainly gets my vote for best customer service … friendly, helpful and entertaining too! I recommend including this boat trip to your ‘must do’ list. You’ll enjoy the activity of curious seals, the amazing scenery as the boat sails into the area that harbours (literally) ‘mainland Britain’s remotest pub’! Probably a long way to go for a beer, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy the trip there and back. Good food, friendly folk and several musical instruments available to play if you’ve forgotten to bring your own! Of course, if you’re better organised than us, you can actually stay in the area for several days. There is a great sense of having escaped ‘far from the madding crowd’.

Overall, a very relaxing holiday and yes the sun did come out, and the walking boots, and the camera and the fishing rod. The laptop … well it travelled all the way to Scotland and back … unopened. Creative writing moments were captured in that good old fashioned way – a notepad and pen!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

How does your writing grow?

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your writing grow? Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing. At the end of last month I made a commitment to myself to form a new habit of writing something everyday for a whole month. The idea was that writing would become one of my daily habits, like having a shower or brushing my teeth. My aim is to write something worthwhile and of substance and perhaps even publish it on my blog. As you will note I didn’t commit to publishing every day, quite frankly some of the writing has been rubbish!

Today is day 13 of the daily writing and I’ve just realised that there are 31 days in August and not 30 as I scribbled initially. Don’t know how I missed that extra day; I guess that in my haste to start daily writing the enthusiasm was so great that I simply overlooked the fact that August has 31 days. How could I do that? August 31 is a celebratory day, every year, my birthday! In celebration of a potential great writer one day, (ha!), who knows …I have been told that ‘we have within us all the resources we ever need’. At present I’m exploring what ‘writing resources’ I have within me. I encourage you to try. At times I’m quite surprised about what comes about in the early morning write. For me this is a good time to write, although sometimes work breaks the early morning writing routine. I have found that when that happens, the late night scribble before I retire for the evening is just not as satisfying for me. By then my head is so full of stuff that it quashes any form of creativity and free thinking and there’s a little internal voice tweeting ‘time for bed, time for bed’.

I wonder if the great writers, poets and playwrights of today and yesteryear had these issues when compiling their manuscripts and musings. What writing tips would they pass on to us novice writers about daily writing or even writing in general?

Sunday, 9 August 2009

What's your choice?

'You choose to create of your life: an accident or an adventure.'

I love inspirational quotes, sayings, books, anything that makes me stop and wonder for a minute or two.

Life - an accident or an adventure? For me, I like to look upon life as an adventure. I do believe that life is a lovely gift we have and we can influence or maybe I should say choose how we decide to view it and use it. Although at times it may be a little challenging, I find that the challenge and the unknowing makes the living all the more interesting. From the changes and challenges I found that I've learned - about the situation, the people I've encountered and even the experience of the time and situation of that time. Life experiences can be happy, joyous occasions and sometimes sad and painful too. Change often brings with it different emotions and sometimes this is instrumental in shaping the people we are or perhaps I should say, the person I am ... and that's okay.

Life teaches many lessons. It teaches that I don't always need to understand, have all the answers and know everything. That it's really okay 'not to know' or to be unsure or uncertain, as new learning helps personal growth and development. It teaches that it's okay to be overwhelmed every now and again, the learning - sometimes we need to take life a little slower and nurture ourselves. Sometimes we get so busy looking after someone else's needs and requirements, our own needs fall prey to neglect and being ignored.

And you, how are you choosing to create your life?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

What would happen if

I wonder what would happen if ...

we danced 'til the cows came home

we laughed ourselves silly

we painted the town red

we ran like the wind

just wondered, that's all!

What are you wondering?

Monday, 3 August 2009

Inspirational thought for today

Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path
and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson