Thursday, 30 July 2009

Roma's Song in Henley

A unexpected telephone call from a friend last Saturday resulted in the purchase of a couple of tickets for a little theatrical production at the Henley Fringe Festival. I love theatre and would go see something every week if my entertainment allowance would permit! The production, 'Roma's Song' (presented by Shadow & Larkin Productions) was set in a restaurant and played in a restaurant too - a novel concept I thought. A great play, well cast and with a good story line about a novice best selling writer. I did quite enjoy the intimate dinner theatre space. A great way to engage the audience almost close enough to be part of the action - thankfully all the cast were well rehearsed so audience participation was not required. The play moves on to the infamous Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, so if you get a chance to go and see it, do!

... a novice best selling author ... ahh day, who knows?

In the meantime, I'll keep up with my blogging and creative writing.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Writer’s block

Ever had one of those days when you just can’t seem to get it together? You sit down to write and …. NOTHING, absolutely nothing comes! You’ve planned into your day to do some writing and well … quite frankly you can’t think of what to write, how to write, where to start. It’s so frustrating because you’re wanting so hard to write something worthwhile, of interest, something maybe even a little motivational. But there’s nothing. A big fat zero! The focus is gone; you’ve had several cups of coffee and nothing is stimulating the ‘writing part’ of the brain. You look at the blank sheet for ages, doodle a little in the open space, try a mind map to see where that goes but no, nothing is flowing today. I wonder if this is what writers refer to as ‘writers block’. I’m pleased that my whole livelihood is not dependent on my writings; otherwise we wouldn’t eat, perhaps not even manage beans on toast! Actually ‘beans on toast’ is not one of my favourite snacks, so I could live without it anyway.

And you know, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to be beaten, that doesn’t want to be slain by the writers block dragon so I’m going to scribble down all the letters of the alphabet and see what comes up. You may get a little of that in future blogs … we’ll see.

Perhaps you would be willing to share one two of your best tips to unblock the block and encourage the free flow of writing? All donations gratefully accepted.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Sweet, sweet the memories

A busy morning at work, most of it spent in front of the computer, necessitated the need to escape, clear my head and get some fresh air. The hunger pangs grumbled and confirmed that it was lunch-time! So off I went in search of sustenance to the local convenience store. It felt good to get out in the fresh air, exercise the legs and do my bit for the environment by leaving my car behind. I like to think that my time management skills are improving (a daily walk in my lunch break … I do try). And for me there’s something about thinking creatively even when it’s only a sandwich (sad I know I heard you say it!). Something healthy? Something hot? Something cold? Followed by a piece of fruit, a yoghurt or a teensy weensy chocolate bar? Oh decisions, decisions, decisions. It was then that I spotted them! Packets of them, all neatly piled on top of each other. To the left ‘sensible non fattening biscuits’ and to the right the ‘double chocolate stuff the calories biscuits’. In between, WAGON WHEELS. Wagon Wheels, my favourite childhood chocolate biscuit.

Do you remember them? I haven’t seen them for years. I’m sure they were much bigger when I ate them as a child. And the wrappers were yellow, more papery than today’s red plastic wrapper. I recalled how my Mum would treat us to Wagon Wheels on a Friday after school and a piece of fruit …. Can’t say I remember too much about the fruit but hey, it was a few years ago . Happy days! Well there was only one big question now … to buy or not to buy? What a question. Come on you didn’t honestly think I left the shop without them, did you? The extra packet … ahh well emergency supplies … just in case!

What took you down memory lane recently?

What was that like?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

All Change

I’m currently reading a book written by a colleague of mine I met some time ago at our local Speakers Club. His book was published recently … I think he has been writing it for some time. I admire Nick’s lifestyle change – 6 months a year as a quantity surveyor in London and six months a year in Cape Town as a tour guide. His book charts the progress of this particular lifestyle change in an engaging and inspirational way. Whilst reading it I found my mind wandering off and thinking about what that would be like to split the work-life balance between two different places, even two different countries. Could I adapt to the change? Would I manage it? What would be different? What would I miss? What would I welcome?

In my opinion Nick appears to be managing it very well. A conversation last week confirmed the positive changes in his lifestyle as a result of taking the risk and trying something new and something different. He generously shared how much he had learned about the whole experience and what he had learned about himself too in the process. He’s not about to give up his day job but I think he has enriched his lifestyle.

His book is called 'Touching the Brake, A tour Guide's Journey to South Africa' by Nick Bailey. It’s available from Amazon and directly from Nick too. It's a reference to his driving whilst guiding as well as meaning slowing down, getting out of life's fast lane.

… Emm it’s got me thinking … What changes would I need to make to enrich my lifestyle? What changes would you make to enrich yours? What would you need to do to make that happen? How might the changes affect lifestyle, business and overall thinking?

Let me leave those thoughts with you today and I look forward to hearing about ‘the changes’.

Friday, 17 July 2009

‘It’s so easy’.

‘It’s so easy’, I hear again and again. But it’s not if you just don’t get it, or struggle to understand how it works or wonder why it causes so much pain when you are trying really hard to make it happen. I’m fascinated with technology, what it can do and how other people can make it sing and dance. However, my fascination doesn’t always lend itself well to my learning of new technology. I wonder why that happens. Why does it do that? It’s almost as if a message scuttles to my brain and switches the OFF button when I need to learn something new that involves technology. Perhaps the 'techno bit' is lying dormant somewhere, or gone off to do some research on what next to write about, or comtemplate what to eat for dinner this evening?

I do enjoy learning new skills and working on new projects. I’m currently disguising my creative writings as blogging posts in the vain attempt to overcome my techno-phobia. Okay, I’ve said it now; maybe that’s what is stalling my progress, not acknowledging the fact that I have a problem with technology. However, not one to be beaten, the little streak of determination within me is growing stronger and stronger and I know that I will succeed and one day soon it will all come together and the OFF button will be jammed on GO GIRL GO!

And who knows, one day it will be my voice saying, ‘It’s so easy’. I can’t wait to hear how that sounds. I imagine the words singing in melodious refrain and touch of pride thrown in for good measure.

All hints and tips for speedy progress greatly received.

Have a good weekend one and all.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Laughter travels for free

‘It’s good to have an end to journey towards but it is the journey that matters in the end’. Ursula Le Guin

On a recent flight to Ireland I met a retired lady who had a great love of the theatre. As we engaged in conversation we found that we both shared this particular interest. We compared notes on various productions and plays we had seen over the years, some professional and several at amateur status. Interestingly, we had both participated in local amateur dramatic productions in our respective towns. We shared the fun we had when productions flowed well and even the laughter moments when schedules went wrong on the night! We laughed a lot together during the flight and found the journey over in no time at all. We met at strangers and parted as friends, names exchanged and a heartfelt hug at the airport of destination. I have a sense that our paths will cross again.

Who have you met on your travels recently? Did he/she make an impact on you? Did you make an impact on them?

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Letting go … of the laptop

I’ve been away for several days visiting family and friends in the Emerald Isle. Before I went I contemplated about whether or not to take my trusty laptop with me. Should I? Would I? ‘Part’ of me wanted to take it and keep up to speed with emails and the day to day work stuff. But the other ‘part’ of me shouted loudly and said, ‘take the time out for yourself and focus on what is important – family, friends and you!’ You know, I’m glad that I listened to the ‘wise words’ part of me because it did allow me additional time to spend with the people I know and care about (time which I may have spent checking email). Strangely enough, all the emails queued up and waited to be acknowledged upon my return and guess what? - The sky didn’t fall in!

How often and how easy it is to get caught up in the ‘indispensable mode’? What happens when we do? What happens when we dispense with ‘indispensable’ every now and again? What do we do with a newly created space?

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Happy Fourth of July

If you’re American and reading my blog – Happy Fourth of July! Have a great day. If you’re not American, take the day off and celebrate anyway! Conjure up an excuse to celebrate. Be creative with it, play with it. I invite you to have fun with your celebratory day! Buy a bottle of your favourite sparkling drink, take a picnic out into your garden, do something new, something different and make a celebration of the whole day. These are just a few minor suggestions.

How do you celebrate? What do you celebrate? Do you wait for a special day? Is every day a special day? Even if it’s not, imagine that it is what then?

Let me know how it goes. And don’t forget the fireworks!