Category Archives: Writing

Are Trees More Than Meets The Eye?

There’s something mysterious about trees if you stop long enough to look, really look.

Do you notice the face in the tree? Eyes and ears, or their bushy brows? Do you see a long proud nose, or a bulbous one? Or do you feel a surge of something-or-other wash over and through you so unexpectedly that your hairs stand on end and goosebumps erupt all over your body?

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Exploring Brisbane’s central business district on foot

Since I last blogged I’ve changed my home office around from the back room to the front, assembled my new desk with my new magnetised screw drivers (who knew those existed?). Written and entered a short story competition with minimal notice and making the deadline by two hours, and flew to Melbourne to spend time with my family. I’ve also been walking…a lot…actually 10,000 plus steps per day for Steptember, a charity initiative of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance – a wonderful and worthy cause helping those with cerebral palsy♥

To make up my daily 10k steps I’ve discovered walking tracks and trails around Brisbane I normally would drive past. Brisbane has lovely greenspaces and boardwalks – just be mindful of cyclists, if you hear bells ringing watch out, most of these walks are along shared laneways.

So far this is where I’ve been and what I’ve seen:

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Brisbane Wheel

As the Wheel kept turning I knew we’d got our money’s worth

The Wheel of Brisbane is a beautiful structure to behold, with its massive white spokes stretching to the outer rim, and where 46 air-conditioned gondolas are elegantly attached.

To ride the wheel with my eldest grandson seemed the perfect way to end our big day out on a warm and windy winter’s day in Brisbane.

What I didn’t realise at the time was, heights make me uncomfortable.

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Australian Flag

Did the ballot paper really have to be that long?

Australia went to the polls last Saturday, 3rd July 2016. Eight days later the (current) breaking news is Labor Party leader Bill Shorten has conceded defeat and Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull remains our leader, at least until the next election.

Politics isn’t what I want to write about though, what I was more interested in was how the local community connected with one another on the school grounds hosting the voting booths.

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Around the narrow circuit of the room
Breast-high the books I love range file on file;
And when, day-weary, I would rest awhile,
As once again slow falls the gathering gloom
Upon the world, I love to pass my hand
Along their serried ranks, and silent stand
In breathless heark’ning to their silent speech.
With rev’rent hand I touch the back of each
Of these my books. How much of their dear selves—
The hand that held the pen, the brain that wrought
The subtle fancies on these pages caught—
Have men immortal left upon my shelves!
~ Charles Washington Coleman (1862–1932), Of My Books, c.1893

Book Blissed

My neat (for today only because I took a photo and have visitors) bookshelf

Blissed out book lover, reader, scribbler from way back, books mysteriously find a spot on my desk, the dining table, coffee table, and heaped on my bedside table. On the rare occasion I spring clean and sort out the bookshelf, I pass them forward, a practice I should cease immediately.

Several weeks ago I rummaged through my books in search of an Enid Blyton book I had since childhood.

Then I remembered.

It had been passed forward. I’m sure it’s sitting safe and well on a bookshelf of another blissed-out book lover.

I read across genres, at the moment I’m reading fiction as I’m writing more of it, because I find just about everything interesting (more on my Book page)

When Fear Comes Knocking

I have a secret.

For almost three months I’ve been out of the workforce on an unintentional writing sabbatical. The secret is that I’m delighted to have this time to concentrate on wordsmithing before another bout of the 9 to 5 begins.

On the other hand I’m not delighted at my current lack of income – far from it.

I’d left a temporary job in December assuming I’d find work again by early February but so far nothing suitable has presented itself. Lack of income does a funny thing to the brain which isn’t funny at all. The brain goes into survival mode and with it the gnawing fear of poverty rears its ugly head.

When fear came knocking at my door I took up my pen and wrote, and continue to write. Since December I’ve entered three short story competitions and onto the fourth, filed a magazine submission, and completed another writing workshop.

Writing resources

These come in handy when the internet doesn’t play nice…

 

What I also learned last month was that there’s a distinction between genre fiction and literary fiction (oh save me from my embarrassment). I discovered this just before I was about to submit to another writing award (*insert screaming halt), then spent the next few hours in edit mode attempting to include greater emotional depth to the story.

 

What did I do?

I shrugged my shoulders and got on with it. I learned something new, I had a go, and I improved my writing (at least I hoped so).

Living in an area with a noisy population of screeching cockatoos, cawing crows, laughing kookaburras, twittering green parakeets and other bird vocalisations (of which there are too many to mention) there’s rarely an opportunity to sleep in. So at dawn this morning, while contemplating the situation I engineered through my decision-making, I decided to do something different.

Travel writing. Something I hadn’t done since completing my Diploma of Freelance Travel Writing and Photography – last century. A new opportunity had landed in my lap and this time I’ll run with it.(see Divine Inspiration is a thought-bubble)

For me writing doesn’t come easily, especially in a literary sense, and have been impatient for results, in my case immediate results. Unfortunately the reality is, it can take a while.

From my perspective, what I’ve come to realise about writing is that:

  • a love of storytelling and wordsmithing fuels motivation
  • it requires an inordinate amount of time and patience to see the project through – accept and make peace with this immediately
  • the saboteur of fear and self-doubt will attempt to sabotage efforts – before turning away from a project ask why not?
  • fear can keep you from writing, or it can fuel a desire to aim for greater earning potential, or other achievement
  • once the fear barrier has been broken, it becomes easier to submit stories
  • rather than compare myself with other writers, continue learning the craft, connect with a like-minded community, improve on the last piece, keep writing, focus on my story, submit, and stop worrying whether it’s good enough (see improve on last piece).

This post isn’t all about me though. When unexpected down times arrive they’re opportunities to catch up with friends, family or get projects off the ground; it’s a time to try something else; discover a new purpose; revisit goals – the possibilities are endless.  Like Billy Ocean sang, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

My goal of freelance writing remains a constant, but until I’m able to support myself through regular commissions, I’ll soon be sitting at someone else’s desk – again. But that’s okay – I’ve got time on my side and have accepted that this might take some time…

Fate, Destiny, and Synchronicity – An Echo through the Ages

It is said some lives are linked across time. Connected by an ancient calling that echoes through the ages. Destiny.

These word are written during the opening scene of the 2010 American action fantasy film Prince of Persia. Mesmerised I slide back in time to a land of parched deserts, scorching heat from an unrelenting sun and waves of ochre sands. And destiny. Romance. Kismet.

The romantic notion of destiny and fate and prod me for answers. Are fate and destiny one? In Homer’s classic The Iliad, fate is often mentioned, destiny not so much. Are there differences? I wondered.

I research fate and destiny in greater detail when coincidence and synchronicity pop up and are duly placed on my research list. Sure there’s the usual short dictionary version, but I wanted to know more.

The following post reflects my thoughts in a nutshell. Continue reading