#everydayinspiration Day 13: The House

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Lisa stared up, yet again, at the sad and decrepit house she passed every day.  She’d wondered for years why anyone would allow a house to die like that.
Inside the house, looking out of the attic window, he watched, yet again, the sad looking woman who stopped, every day, and gazed up at the house.
He’d wondered for years why she hadn’t come in.  The house was alive with dead souls just like her, partying, laughing, enjoying themselves.
He decided he’d introduce himself and ask her if she’d like to join their party.

#everydayinspiration Day11: A virtual pot of coffee

If we were sharing a pot of coffee right now you’d be sitting on my balcony overlooking the park opposite my house, and the bay with the hills on the opposite shore which are covered in colours of hazy blue, deepening to dark purple in the distance.

You’d see how the water is slowly meandering into the bay, following the channels which cut into the sand, leaving patterns of ice blue criss-crossing the red-brown earth.  It looks so inviting – but it’s deadly.  You’d also see one area already filled with water, the sun reflected in the small wavelets as the light breeze brushes over the surface – creating glints of silver and sparkling as though made of  precious diamonds.

We’d probably not talk very much -the birds are twittering away and their chatter is magical and relaxing.  It’s pleasant to listen and allow their music to soothe the soul.

Help yourself to another cup of coffee and a croissant, they’re lovely and warm, then I’d love to hear about your place – where you live and what you love about your home.

#everydayinspiration Day 10: Observations

Yesterday was such a lovely day we simply had to make the most of it.  Every last Sunday in the month,  from the end of April to the end of September, our little town holds an Arts and Crafts Fair on our promenade.  Gazebos are set up along a quarter mile stretch of the Promenade by artists, jewellery makers, woodworkers, ceramicists, clock makers, photographers, tote bag makers, knitters – you name a craft and it will probably be represented.  It lasts all day and, generally, the weather seems to hold fair for them.

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#everydayinspiration Day 9: Not Writing?

Oh my goodness, what a question today’s challenge is.  What do I do if I’m not writing?  I really had to think about that one – which, of course, meant I wasn’t writing at the time.  One answer in the bag.  I think a lot when I’m not writing – though others would call it daydreaming, which probably amounts to the same thing.

I’ve always daydreamed, even as a small child I’d be walking along daydreaming.  One day, I think I was about 5 years old, I walked straight into a tree.  It hurt – I banged my nose and burst out crying.  My mum wasn’t very sympathetic, she told me I should have looked where I was going.  Thanks mum!   It made no difference, I still walk into things, trip over things, fail to see people I know (and therefore fail to say hello).  It gets me into trouble.

What do I daydream about?  Writing, holidays, life in general, the future, the past, family – all the usual things we all daydream about I guess.  I find it therapeutic and calming.  If I’m angry or frustrated about something, feeling anxious or nervous, I take myself off for a walk and a long think.  It always helps.

I also like to bake bread – though I haven’t made any bread for a while as it’s been so cold during the winter months.  Now I don’t eat so much bread my stomach is flatter – win all round there I think.  I also like to cook, though I don’t cook during the week.  I get up very early in the mornings, walk my dog (and think of course), breakfast, shower, make my packed lunch and then go to work (I start early so I can finish earlier).  When I get home in the evening I have a cup of tea, walk the dog again and flop.  By that time it’s usually around 6pm and my hubbie’s cooking the meal – bless him.

If I’m not daydreaming, baking or working, I’m usually reading when I’m not writing.  Reading is my first love – and it’s helped me so much in my own writing.  I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read – though I do remember the process of learning how to read.  It was a magical moment for me, the day I realised that each word had its own shape and that shape was always the same – it was like the key to a magical world full of endless possibilities.  Because that memory is so powerful I appear to have blocked out any sense of frustration which must have taken place before that one amazing moment.

 

 

 

#everydayinspiration Day 7: Procrastination

Well yes, procrastination.  Something I’m very good at.  I’m currently working on my third novel but I haven’t yet written a word – though, in my defence, I do have an outline.

Why haven’t I written a word yet?  My answer would be that I’m thinking.  Thinking, I would argue, helps me generate links and pulls threads together.  I can now tell myself I’m almost ready to sit down and write – just a few more lumps to iron out in my mind.  Transitions are especially tricky.  Re-introducing characters into their new settings, giving them tasks, these too are taking up my thinking time.  I need to kill an elderly lady – she has to die – I don’t want to do it as I’m very fond of her but…

Does taking time out to think of other things – do other jobs, fill one’s time in seemingly unproductive ways, mean productivity is somehow hampered, or worse – killed?

I don’t believe so – at least not in my experience.  I come back knowing what I need to do and how to do it.  That elusive solution has popped into my head and untangled the knot of strangled creativity.

Procrastination can be a good thing.

#everydayinspiration Day 6: The Space to Write

Writing – if asked where and how do I write I would have to answer everywhere and anywhere, however and with whatever comes to hand (or fingers).

At work I spend my day glued to my computer screen entering data for someone else to analyse.  However I also jot down, in the back of my desk diary, numerous little ideas which pop into my head during the day.  (The diary is my own, by the way, not office property – as is the pen I write with, come to think of it).

I write during my lunch break – again in my diary or, alternatively, using the Simplenote app on my phone.  I’ve also got it downloaded to my iPad and I access it from my computer, so any notes made on my phone I can pick up anywhere.  I really should make more use of it but I find it takes an age to jot anything substantial down on such a tiny screen 🙂  However, I have used it to write out a few blog posts which I just copy and paste when I’m ready to post them.

I also have a writing table, complete with desktop computer with a lovely large screen.  This I use to write my novels – the serious work, so to speak.  I look out over a lovely park and, beyond that, to the bay and the hills opposite which surround it.

I use my laptop to write blog posts on – I find it easier to move it around the house to where I want to be, rather than be tethered to my writing desk.  Blogging, for me, is therapeutic and must be done when I’m in the mood and where I happen to feel comfortable.  If that means writing outside then so be it.  Currently, I’m sat in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee (stone cold but I don’t take milk – so almost an iced coffee).

For some reason, I feel as though I’ve achieved something if I manage to write a few words as soon as I get up in the mornings.  Problem is, I need to take my dog for a walk first, sort her breakfast out, sort mine out, get showered and then my lunch packed on work days, then get to the office for 7:45am.  Weekends are easier.  I still get up at 5am but it gives me time to do more with my early mornings.  Hence I’m sitting here writing this 🙂

My iPad is my evening writing tool, though I find it difficult to write anything very detailed on it as, for some reason, the cursor jumps around like an angry wasp.  No idea why.

Just looking through my post I’ve comer to the conclusion that I can write anywhere and with (almost) anything – yay 🙂  Does that make me an obsessive I wonder?

I’d love to know how and where you all write – or find the time to write.

 

#everydayinspiration:Day 1 Why I Write

Why do I write?  It’s a question I’ve often pondered upon.

I have no definitive answer. I write because the voices in my head are clamouring to be given life.  I write because the characters in my head are demanding to be given form.  I write because I have no choice if I’m to be able to find some relief from the kaleidoscope of images running through my mind every second of the day.  But mainly I write because the act of writing is soothing and structured.

Sometimes I find myself jotting down a thought, an overheard string of words, the details of someone’s outfit, someone’s mannerisms – all are potential fuel for a short story, a poem, a longer piece of writing.

I write because I can’t draw or paint.  I write because I love words and words can conjure images in the mind, images in someone else’s mind.  I write because the muse is talking to me.  I write because I have to.

 

 

I have to apologise for not posting over the last fortnight.  We’ve been on holiday, cruising from Turkey to Venice, but the wifi signal was too intermitant to be reliable.  

However, our break has prompted today’s Wednesday Word:  Vacation.

VACATION

What does the word ‘vacation’ mean to you?  For myself it means a time to step outside of the normal humdrum working structure; doing something different with your time; using every minute to do something different.  Taking a vacation, or holiday, doesn’t have to mean packing a suitcase and travelling to somewhere different. However, for this particular vacation that’s exactly what we did.

This last 10 days has been two years in the planning.  Two full years of high expectations, reading up about our destinations and sorting out what we were going to take with us.

We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary whilst we were away, which is why we’d booked this holiday so early.  We’d chosen a cruise which started in Istanbul and terminated in Venice, visiting Ephesus, Athens, Santorini, Kotor, Dubrovnik and Pula in between.  Unfortunately, due to the problems Istanbul is experiencing at the moment, our itinerary was changed at the last minute.  We were informed we would be visiting Troy instead – what bliss!  TROY – of all the ancient sits in the world, this was one I never thought I’d ever get to see.  

We left our home in the very early hours of Easter Sunday – the day the clocks went forward for us – and returned last night.  In between we’ve had the most amazing holiday and met so many lovely people, mainly from America and Canada.  However, the staff and crew on the ship (Viking Star), were of all nationalities.  

It was fascinating talking to these amazing young men and women who, without exception, went out of their way to be helpful.  So many of them shared their stories freely, and we learned so much from them.  It was, of course, a two way process.  The housekeeping staff were all wanting to improve their English and learn all about the countries they passed through, and the countries the guests came from, and the guests wanted to learn all about the countries they visited and the countries the staff came from.   As a result, we all learned from each other – what better way to learn.

This particular trip has been so relaxing, both for body and mind, and I’m now fully rested and in the right frame of mind for going back to work on Monday.

Best of all, we picked up our dog, Mischa, this morning from my parents.  What an amazing greeting we were given.  It’s so lovely to be loved so unconditionally – I think only dogs can make me feel this way 😀

I’d love to know what the word ‘vacation’ means to you.  

Wednesday Word

Welcome to Wednesday Word.  Each Wednesday I pick a word, think about it during my coffee break, and then write whatever comes to mind.  I would love it if you joined in.  Write whatever you like and then link it to my page so I can take a peak at your interpretation.

I admit I usually end up writing a poem but, occasionally, I just write.  Today is one of the latter days.  I have a word prompt app on my phone so, not having any other external inspiration, I opened that app and looked at the half dozen words it gave me.  None of them spoke to me so I tried again.  This time the app came up with, amongst other words, the word ‘chameleon’.  Lovely word, I thought, and promptly began to write.

CHAMELEON

Slow moving, old world lizard with a prehensile tail, long extensible tongue, protruding eyes that rotate independently, and a highly developed ability to change colour to match its surroundings.

OR:  A person who changes their opinions or behaviour according to the situation to please others.

GREEK:  khamai – on the ground
leon – lion

Aren’t we all more than one person?
Don’t we all try to fit ourselves into our surroundings?
Not many people want to stand out from the crowd
We all need to feel accepted
But then there are those who work hard at being elusive
The ones whose characters are not quite visible
Others deliberately alter their stance
And try to be all things to all men (or women)

At the top of the tree are those who rely
On keeping us on their side
Promoting themselves as being just like ‘us’
Is their most important task
It is pure deceit
To change sides to whomever is winning
In order to maintain their position
Is the sum total of their integrity

A chameleon changes its colour to hide
It’s a protective mechanism
A politician changes his/her colour to survive
To be seen, to stay in the limelight
Both uses are natural forms of survival
All chameleons hide behind a falsehood

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Word

Each Wednesday I choose a word and think about it for 5 minutes, or so, when I’m on my coffee break at work.  I scribble down whatever the word suggests to me and post it when I get home in the evening.  However, this evening I scrapped what I had written during the day and re-wrote my offering, having had a thoroughly enjoyable walk through the woods with my dog.  There are no real rules …

If you would like to join in then please feel free to do so.  You can post it on your own blog (would be great if you link to mine so I can have a peak), or post in my comments if you prefer.  It’s up to you.

This week’s word is ‘Comfort’.

COMFORT

An evening’s walk through winter woods
Twigs cracking, leaves crackling underfoot
The smell of damp earth, the sound of the breeze blowing through the trees
In the distance the sound of traffic as workers hurry home to their families
There’s no-one about, up here far above the town
Just my dog and I enjoying the peace
Before heading back for our evening meal

On our return journey, our adventures done for the day
The smell of a bonfire assails our noses,
The sound of children’s far away laughter floats across our path
A happy, innocent sound heralding fun and joy, love and safety
We smile, my dog and I, we understand
Those simple pleasures, the warm and soothing feeling of acceptance,
And safety to be found amongst familiarity

Whilst we’ve been gone, exploring our realm
Time has moved on and the sun has turned down its bedcovers ready for rest
Its dying light shines over the bay towards the far coast
Bathing it in a wash of gold, coral, and deep pink sapphire
Its comforting glow is soothing to the soul
A balm to the heart, a joy to the eyes
A beautiful end to a perfect walk

© Ruth Hughes 2016