Lazy days

It’s been a slow start to the new year.
The crows are creaking outside against a background chorus of buzzing insects.
I’m watching tennis with the sound muted because the tv antenna needs fixing and hearing the pop and crackle as the picture fades in and out is way too annoying.
I’ll start reading a new book soon, my kindle is waiting for me on the coffee table.Books waiting in many forms The fan is keeping things cool, but there’s also a nice breeze flowing through the house.
Even though I haven’t been writing much lately, I had two articles published in December.
There’s also another little snippet of mine here.
I’ve been reading hungrily and have worked my way through lots of great books.

Remedy Quarterly - Issue 11 Comfort
MAEVE Magazine - Issue 9 Christmas

I’ve just finished up a course with the Australian Writer’s Centre (highly recommended).
My pursuit of new writing work will begin in earnest again very soon, but for now it’s enough to surround myself with words, even if they’re by other people.
Hopefully my return to the day job for another year won’t be too much of a shock.
Happy new year. :)

A few moments in January …

Sure, I may be a little late in welcoming in this latest year, but perhaps that’s just an indication of how nicely 2012 has been treating me. I’ve been very much enjoying the feeling of ‘space’ the new year has brought with it … space to think, dream and be. Breathing space. Do you feel it too?

With one turn of the calendar, all the rush and hurry at the close of one year is left far behind, replaced by a magical sense of possibility. Apart from it signalling the start of the tennis season, the thing I most like about January is that time slows, creating more opportunities to appreciate the little happenings. With that idea in mind, I thought I’d share a few of my recent moments.

… There’s been flower gazing and cookie baking.

Green and purple blooms

Vegan choc-chip cookies

… Lots of bright sunny days, green grass and one very happy dog … Oh, and there’s always an opportunity to take my favourite sandals out for a relaxing wander.

A doggy roll

Saltwater Sandals (in yellow of course)

But I suppose the most exciting thing about this year for me is that I’m writing again. Actual honest-to-goodness proper writing … and gosh, it feels so fantastic! I’ve pushed all the doubts, negativity and annoying self-criticism to one side (for the moment at least), and I’m trying to just let the words do what they do best.

How about you? Have you experienced any little moments which have you thinking that this year could be quite momentous? xx

My Creative Odyssey for 2011: As Told Through Books

Today it’s my turn to share my ‘Creative Goals for 2011′ as part of the fantastic ‘Creative Odyssey Blog Hop‘ put together by Jess. There are lots of amazing bloggers taking part, so be sure to check out the full schedule. To give you just a little taste of the fine company I’m keeping, yesterday the Blog Hop visited the delights of ‘Tasha Chawner‘ and ‘Sweet Rustic‘, and today Alanna from ‘Bobishi and Suki La‘ will also be sharing her creative goals.

While I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with ideas and projects at the moment, I thought I’d restrict my creative goals to a more manageable number of ‘three’.

No.1 – Finish two manuscripts (one fiction and one non-fiction):

I’ve been a bad writer. Not the writing, the words have been fine … this ‘badness’ is all levelled at me and my undisciplined writing habits. Over the years I’ve started off many pieces of fiction and even a few non-fiction works, but I’ve never pushed myself to completely finish ANY of them. Next year this WILL change, and I’ve already selected which projects I’ll be drafting up first. Perhaps this will mean my bookshelves will one day hold a copy of one of my own books?

No.2 – Be inspired by travel:

The Mr. and I have been planning an overseas adventure for a while now, and next year will be the year that it’s going to happen. Even though we’ve changed our intended destination a few times, the bottom line is that it will be overseas and it will be fabulous. I’ve felt the pull of travel for a very long time and I can’t begin to imagine the ways in which it will influence my writing and change my perspective. Given that my novel is partially set in England, travel will come in very handy indeed for my first goal too!

No.3 – Master some craftiness:

I used to be a very crafty person (not ‘tricky’ you understand, just good with handmade-y things), but then I got a little older and just stopped making. There is such pleasure to discover in making things yourself, and it’s a feeling I’d like to rediscover again. While crafting can sometimes bring challenges and frustrations, the end result of creating something is incredibly rewarding. I’m thinking a little knitting, a little crocheting and (fingers crossed) a little sewing will be just the thing for the new year.

So that’s enough about me for the time being. I hope you’ll be ever so kind to wish me luck with my creative plans. The only challenging part (well apart from staying committed to them of course), is to MAKE the time to achieve them, not just hope I’ll magically FIND the time … Now, who do I need to see about getting some extra hours put into the day?

Do you have some creative goals and dreams of your own for next year?

Sunday night (blog) takeout

With another weekend swiftly drawing to a close, I find myself sitting at the kitchen table and soaking up the last of today’s sun before it slips away to bed. I can hear neighbourhood children calling to eachother as they play outside in the street, the dull roar of a faraway lawnmower hungrily chewing grass, and birds catching up on events of the day as they start to settle in the trees.

After a busy, yet rather low key weekend (with me and Mr Quiet Paws succumbing to yet another round of the flu) … we’re thinking a nice lazy takeout meal may be just the thing for dinner.

This got me thinking that a quick and tasty bite of blog goodness may also work wonders, and be a fine way to wave goodbye to the weekend. Care to join me?

Aside from the weekend, I’m also feeling that the year is quickly drifting away … and with that the new year starts to loom on the horizon. I’m thinking one of these lovely calendars from ‘Ink and Wit’ may make the transition into the new year much less traumatic. Speaking of the passing of time, perhaps you’d like to get submit a postcard or letter to the ‘The PO Box Human Clock‘ project? It’s pretty cool I reckon.

Maybe just finding more time to be creative is your thing? (I know I need help with this). Check out Erika’s Top 5 Tips to Find Time to be Creative … because sometimes you just need to know something’s possible. There are some really creative people in the world, and I’m always a sucker for the work of great photographers. Have a look at ‘Mr Blanc‘, who ‘gives people of all sorts megabytes of fame’ – I particularly love the ‘Captains of Industry‘ series of photographs.

How was your weekend? Is a lazy takeout dinner in your future too?

4 simple goals (… before 2011)

I’ve been meaning to pull together my own list of simple goals for ages, ever since reading about this lovely project over on ‘A Beautiful Mess‘ (the lovely blog of Elsie Flannigan). The idea behind the project is to commit to some personal challenges that, once overcome, will help make your life more beautiful!

  1. Cut my hair short and make it red. I know this is technically two things in one … but they’re related so I figure that’s OK. I’ve gone most colours both light and dark, and most in-between, but never any shade of red. That’s gotta change.
  2. Unsubscribe from unnecessary email lists. I’ve gone through phases of subscribing to lots of different email groups like newsletters and store updates. The reality is that I don’t actually read many of them, so they’re just cluttering up my inbox with junk. Streamlining of information is necessary.
  3. Become a better online ‘citizen’. I want to be more present in the online world. That means a few different things, like being more consistent with my blogging and more connected with my wonderful readers. I am also in desperate need of updating my neglected blogroll.
  4. Shop at the local fruit & veg markets. I pretty much detest everything about supermarket shopping. I recently discovered that I have another, much better option in the form of a local fresh food market. So it’s time to load up the environmentally friendly reusable shopping bags and head to the markets for lovely fresh produce – I’ll be saving money, supporting local growers, and perhaps more importantly, saving my sanity.

If you’d like to get involved with your own list of simple goals, you’ll find the ‘rules’ over on A Beautiful Mess. I do hope you come along and get involved too, it’s sure to be fun and rewarding! I’ll be sure to keep you updated with my progress …