Tag Archives: author

nanowrimo begins

This is the month where I tend to let all things slide.  I give my writing validation to take precedence over all my other chores because, you know, its Nanowrimo season.  Of course, I still need to go to work and tend to the kids and pets and such, but the gym?  Nah, not as important as getting the word count in for the day.  It’s easy some days, where the words roll off my fingers and through the keyboard like butter melting on a fresh, hot croissant.  Other days, it’s a painful venture, because the characters are rebelling against me and just don’t want to do what I think they should.  Or they give me the silent treatment.  Either way, they frustrate me when they get in the way of my 50,000 word count goal.

No matter which way it goes though, November is synonymous with Nanowrimo.  Unleash your creativity and join us.  It’s fun to find your inner author.

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developing your style

I was told this past week that my photography had become identifiable; that I had developed a style.  I found this to be interesting as I felt like I was still working on that.  Perhaps I have developed a certain style, and I can see where he was coming from when I went back to review my own work.

I believe that in many ways, I have developed a style within a lot of facets in my life.  I have my own writing style, I am drawn to certain clothing styles, I have a hippie/boho chic decorating style, and my jewelry designs seem to follow a similar style as well.

Being unique, as all of us are, we should develop our own style.  We should not feel compelled to follow another exactly.  Learn to create something unique to yourself and leave your own footprint for the world to see.  Develop your own style in whatever it is you do.

love for the library

I love libraries.  I love the smell of books, and seeing row upon row of books in the stacks.  I love the nostalgia I feel when I enter a library and think back to my days as a preteen girl, spending my summer holidays amongst the millions of stories that lived within the library walls.

Libraries, I am afraid, seem to be losing their appeal.  With the advent of ebooks, ereaders, and google, libraries seem to be less frequented by society as a whole.  It saddened me recently when there was a vote in my community where a new library was proposed to be built, and more than half the votes declined building the new branch library.  A part of my heart broke when the results were posted.  It seemed to signal the end of an era: an era where everyday life could be escaped and instead lived in the adventures awaiting in the library stacks.

But libraries still do amazing things.  They house audiobooks and videos alongside traditional paper books.  They house events for writers and readers, programs for preschool, children and teenagers.  They host author readings and interviews.  I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to photograph three published authors for my local library this past week.  It was an honour to do so, and my nervousness quickly melted away as I had the chance to learn just a little bit of each author as a person, not just a master of the written word.

For those who still strive for simplicity in their lives, don’t forget about all the pleasures the library still provides.  Revel in the books and stories still available within your reach without adding to the clutter in your minimalist home.  Take in a book club discussion, or volunteer with other programs your library provides.  It is worth it.

what’s your story?

Everyone has a story inside of them just waiting to get out.  I truly believe that.  We may not all feel like authors, but we all have a story to tell.  The question is, how will you tell the world your tale?  Will it be a written novel? A short story?  Poetry?  Will it be through dance?  Or do you tell a story with painting or other forms of visual art?  Perhaps your story gets told traditionally, being passed down through generations by word of mouth until someone commits the verbal word to text.

No matter how you choose to tell your story, take the opportunity to do it your way.  Every story is worth hearing.

inspiring youth

I don’t get star struck with actors or people on the big screen.  To me, they were just in the right place at the right time, or born into the right family. Those who have forged their own way and created their own success are the ones that I am in awe of.

Chris Hadfield spoke to a rather small community last night at their Equinox Festival.  This was a free event dealing with dark sky and celebrating the fall equinox.  Appropriately enough, last night was the equal hour point between daylight and night. Very fitting.

Chris Hadfield is a phenomenal speaker.  He chose questions from the audience, and really just focused on the children.  I like that.  He came off the stage and into the crowd.  He asked the names of those asking the questions.  All signs of a charismatic leader.  He is grounded even though he has done some of the most amazing things of anyone on our planet.  I mean, he not only was an astronaut, he was the commander of the International Space Station! You don’t meet someone like that every day.

This man didn’t do all of this for himself.  That is what impresses me the most.  He knew going up into space that he had the opportunity to do more with it than just be the cool astronaut in space.  He found a way to create an interest in students.  He performed science experiments requested from those on earth, recorded them and posted them on YouTube for the world to access.  He co-wrote a song with one of the members of Barenaked Ladies, recorded it, and distributed it to all the school music programs.  Then, once on the ISS, he sang it LIVE with students all over!  Amazing.

Back on Earth, Chris Hadfield authored and published several books.  Assuming this is an income generator for himself based on his unique experiences, I was sure he was able to retire on his royalties alone.  I have even greater respect for this man after learning that all the profits from his books go to designated charities.  And he told us what they were.  The Red Cross was one of them.  He didn’t write those books for himself.  He wrote them for us. So we can experience what he experienced through his words and images.  And so the money those books made could be put back into community programs where they are needed.  An absolutely incredible individual.

But I think I am still in awe of the fact that he came to this small community that probably most of Canada has never heard of.  The fact that sitting there right in front, being able to see him so very clearly at an event that I didn’t have to pay any money for.  I didn’t even have to pay for parking!  This.  This is what makes him worthy of awe.  He came to a place so very small.  For an event they were hoping might draw in maybe 6000 people.  And he said yes.

Respect.  On so many levels.

So thank you, Chris Hadfield.  Thank you for coming to Nowhere Alberta.  Thank you for being down to Earth.  Thank you for the inspiration and the motivation you provided so many children and adults alike last night.  And thank you for being ever so patient and gracious, greeting all those who wanted their 30 seconds to meet you and say hello.  Thank you for inspiring our next generation.

fear

The theme of my week has been fear.  I began reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles this week. For those who are unfamiliar with her work, Ms. Bernstein is a life coach who has written several books on happiness, spirituality…basically everything I have been attempting to achieve lately.  This book is a slow read.  Each chapter will take you through a week at a time, with morning and evening passages to read and little exercises to do.  In essence, the book will take six weeks to complete. I’m ok with that.  Slow and steady.

This week the book focuses on recognizing and acknowledging fear, and the role fear has in your life.  Fear of what?  Well, that is all quite a personal question since we all have different fears in our lives.  Fear of not having enough financial security, fear of not being loved, fear of…well, you can fill in the blank for yourself.   We choose the job we have because we are afraid that if we take a risk on that creative career that we may be broke.  We stick with the wrong partner because we are afraid of being alone for the rest of our lives.  We play things safe because we have fear of the unknown.

I, for one, am tired of allowing fear to rule my life. I’m ready for these little miracles to start cropping up in my life.  I have noticed time and time again how people or situations arise just as I need them. I know in my soul that these things are not coincidence. How many times do I allow my fear to let things slip away?  How many times do I ignore that inner voice telling me that something is wrong simply because of my fear of not having a partner in my life?  Especially when I look back in hindsight and know what knew all along but was just ignoring all that I saw?

Do you know what I’m afraid of?  Living out my life, looking back from my death bed and realizing that I played it safe because of fear. That I didn’t live my life to its potential because I was afraid of the consequences of living the life I truly wanted. That is what I am afraid of.

What are you afraid of?

living a creative life

january blog image.jpgReading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic hasn’t been prolifically profound for me, but more of a reaffirmation of what I have been feeling as I return to the creative being I was before having my individuality swallowed up by the man I was attached to for 25 years (and now still in the process of divorcing). Creative living is possible for everyone. I have a creative life because now I do what I choose. As Ms. Gilbert wrote, “…the golden rule in my family is this: If you’re supporting yourself financially and you’re not bothering anyone else, then you’re free to do whatever you want with your life.” 

Of course, society has placed its boundaries that we must live within. Don’t break the law, follow the commandments, etc., however there is still much room for flexibility and creative life. I have my career, but once I put in my time, the rest of my day is up to me and how I choose to live it. So, what do I do?

That depends.

Some days, not much. Some days are filled with road trips and photography, hiking and wanderlust. Other days are spent crocheting little characters for my kids. Some are spent writing or drawing or painting. Rarely is time wasted on television. In fact, all I have is Netflix for those particular times when all I want is to fall asleep with something mindnumbing in the background that I know I will never pay attention to full through to the end. We all have those days, right?

Creativity was a way of life for me when I was younger. I lost that when my exhusband chose to be lame and depend on my working like a workhorse, spending countless hours working overtime simply for him to be able to sit on his ass and play computer games for two decades. I lost my creativity because I lost me. 

I suppose that begs the question “what have I done to facilitate creative living?”  Well, a good part of that is clearing space. Physical space, mental space, emotional space.  I’ve been working on the emotional space issue for a while. It’s better, but like anything, there is still work to be done.  Clearing mental space and physical space to me are fairly synonymous. As I deep clean and go through boxes of things, those things that have a negative memory or feeling attached to it have to go.  I don’t care what it is.  A vase that I loved dearly for years gets donated because all I remember when I look at it was how my soon-to-be exhusband complained how I wasted money on useless things like that. Christmas decorations that signified events in my former life, like getting married or moving to a new home…gone. Anything that does not bring joy to my mental space has to go.  As I work through this task, my physical space clears up too.  And while I’m at it, the basement needs a new coat of paint to cover the god-awful brown that my entire house was painted with when I bought it nearly three years ago.

What is being created is a new space in that freshly painted and repurposed basement.  A creative space with an easel for painting, a table for drawing and other creative projects like polymer clay and whatever else comes to mind. An area for my computer desk so it no longer occupies space in my bedroom. Maybe some chalkboard paint on the wall, framed, just for fun.

I am certain there will be more to do.  It’s always a work in progress, isn’t it?