Thursday, 27 September 2012

Inspiration Everywhere but Not a Drop of Ink

Image from

Well, have I said already that I'm not doing much writing? I'm thinking about it all the time. And it must frustrate you to read yet another declaration of literary inability but imagine the frustration I'm feeling all the livelong day - I'm not lacking in ideas, so what's the bloody problem?

To get to the bottom of this and closer to my workshop facilitation project, I went to my Meditate and Create art class last night. With a few sheets of paper, a box of pastels and the warm and friendly teacher, Caroline McCready I was led through a series of exercises to work out what my conscious and my subconscious mind are telling me about myself. Quelle surprise, when instructed to draw myself with my left hand (linking in with the subconscious mind) I drew a book.

I was put in touch with Caroline by a great acquaintance, Dee Appolline who is a teacher, healer and now an author on her subjects. With her I discussed what my next steps would be to unblocking these barriers that the powers of my own mind have created. The Gateway Studio, the space in which Caroline runs her workshops is the perfect place for such a thing. It's light, beautifully decorated, cosy and has a kitchenette for tea and biscuits. After having a chat with Caroline, I came to learn that she also started up her art sessions to heal herself as well as give that opportunity to her students. She is also very happy to work with me and rent the space out for writing workshops. So as soon as I get my confidence/finances/living situation in order, I'll be good to go. The practice, the unlocking and the comfort of being in a room with people who have a similar problem with literary expression can begin.

So far I've got a pilot written up of a 2 hour workshop, but as for my actual writing....well...*cue deflating heart*

To distract myself from thinking that I'm just wasting my hours away, I've been on the hunt to see what's out there to get me and others alike excited. It's all Book Geekery, wordsmithery and general Literature turn-ons. Incidentally, good book/literatue/writing blogs and websites are hard to find but here's what I did stumble upon:

A blog dedicated to handwritten quotes and excerpts of great writers and great works. The team who run the blog all handwrite these themselves and upload them. This doesn't seem particularly genius and the handwriting just adds to the aesthetics of the blog and give the quotes an extra air of poignancy. What I have liked about this is that one will pop up on my homepage that will be very apt and lovely in that particular moment. One of my favourites is:

Now this one really is for the geek in me. It pretty much is what the title suggests, a gift company for all things literary. Stuff like mugs that say "Go away, I'm writing", funky bookends, page print jewellery designs, magnetic fridge poetry, quotable chocolate bars and all sorts of other joys for enthusiastic readers and writers. I don't mind one bit if any of you wants to buy me one or all of these as a present:

Cotton tote bag

Poem teatowel - Carol Ann Duffy isn't a favourite poet of mine but I like the idea

"Happily Everafter" mug with an excerpt from Much Ado About Nothing - my favourite Shakespeare play

Letter pressed cookie cutters - ah yeah!

I've got plenty more ideas if you need some.

A cool blog that throws a few things at you that might be of interest book-wise. There is an archive of beautiful libraries from around the world, excerpts and recommendations of awesome bookshops.
This blog told me about this cool market happening every Sunday in my own city:

Goldsmith's Row Book Market

From what I understand, this market is fairly new. In east London, a book market has emerged full of Penguin titles and other leading publisher's bests in new, second hand and rare edition. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

This blog is brilliant and is a total delight to read. It's a unique dictionary of 100% original words that this blogger has created himself that define relatable and rather acutely observed emotions . It's genius and his writing is brilliant. Here's a few of my favourites:

n. a relationship or friendship that you can’t get out of your head, which you thought had faded long ago but is still somehow alive and unfinished, like an abandoned campsite whose smoldering embers still have the power to start a forest fire.

n. a feeling of resonant connection with an author or artist you’ll never meet, who may have lived centuries ago and thousands of miles away but can still get inside your head and leave behind morsels of their experience, like the little piles of stones left by hikers that mark a hidden path through unfamiliar territory.

n. the intense desire to bite deeply into the forearm of someone you love.

adj. entranced and unsettled by the vastness of the universe, experienced in a jolt of recognition that the night sky is not just a wallpaper but a deeply foreign ocean whose currents are steadily carrying off all other castaways, who share our predicament but are already well out of earshot—worlds and stars who would’ve been lost entirely except for the scrap of light they were able to fling out into the dark, a message in a bottle that’s only just now washing up in the Earth’s atmosphere, an invitation to a party that already ended a million years ago.

Well, I'm certainly delighted with the visual and mental stimulation that the web has to offer, but there is also the sweet bliss of losing myself in a novel - I'm still thoroughly enjoying The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but right now I've got a brain overload so I'm off to not write some more.

Friday, 21 September 2012

September Has Been...

A real strange one. Full of ups and downs. Jam packed even. This time last year I was on the Navajo reservation in Arizona and what an amazing time that was. If I could wind the clock back for just a moment so I could feel what I was feeling then, I'd be recharged with zest and wonder. I can't believe it's been a year since I took off around the world; the sheer excitement and freedom I experienced will always remain a top memory. It'll be nearly a year since I found Lo in Bali and a year later, I'm wondering where I'm at now.

Writing has been tough and I feel masses amounts of guilt for not setting aside time to do it. I know why I have these blocks now and the Universe is waiting for me to get on with it. I've been comforted by the confirmation that it is innate in me, it is in my core, so deep to a cellular level that my life's work will revolve around writing. Smaller projects have been put on pause (especially Write Club) but when I don't manage to write, I read a lot. And as long as I'm doing one or the other, I'm still involved with my world. This month I've been reading:


100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia-Marquez (still chugging through it; it's my literary Everest for the moment)

The Story of O - Pauline Reage (not pictured, but there's no real need, it's a plain black cover; bit of a "meh" sort of book. Glad to have read it though)

Waiting for Autumn - Scott Blum (a Spiritual Quest must read)

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (a classic I should have read a very long time ago - I loved it)

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern (a quarter in and I'm dazzled, it's so beautifully imaginative)

Waiting in the queue I've got The Snow Child- Eowyn Ivey and 1Q84 - Haruki Marukami.

And so I've have been constantly inspired and I'm narrating mentally all the time (as per usual)  but to get things shifted, I am planning to run a few workshops where I will go on this journey with other people. Let's write, inspire each other, figure out what our own blocks and hang-ups are and progress together!

I'm working on some class ideas, excercises and tools to bring into my 'no rules, no boundaries' writing sessions. When I'm ready to go, with a venue in place, I will post up a blog/meetup/facebook page etc

It's also about bloody time that I started offering therapy services. Again, once a venue is in place (i.e a home) I will be setting up a practice so if anyone is interested in Angelic Reiki, Colour Therapy or Aromatherapy Massage then please let me know... point me having all these skills and qualifications if I can't use them, eh?

As a sidebar, I've attended a couple of classes/workshops and still have a few more to go. I went to my ballet taster class and I bloomin' well loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be and what's more, the pain in my feet gave way to the joy of dancing. I was totally fine, even when I was made to skip and trot across the studio. My legs felt alive and it almost felt like they thanked me for waking them up. I got the blood pumping through them and I was incredibly energised. Unfortunately though, the pain in them has been terrible ever since, resulting in me wearing herbal medicine bandages that I was recommended at a Chinese herbal shop. I'm now on the lookout for a foot specialist and shall continue my ongoing saga of healing the nerve damage in my soles. It's certainly not going to stop me from signing up to the full 8 week ballet course beginning in October though.

I've got a Tree Wisdom distance course set up for this weekend and a Healing Art class on Wednesday to keep me's themed around the Root Chakra which is precisely the Chakra I'm working on right now. Starting with some crystal healing, I bought a beautiful piece of Garnet and Fire Agate to keep in my pocket.

I've also been reflecting and drawing cards to make some sense of everything that's been happening. The most resonant cards I drew this week are:

The Shark card from Messages from your Animal Spirit Guides deck

And from the Ascended Masters Oracle deck:

Key points being: Take action, take leadership, harness your power, now's the time to make a move, target your heart's desire, shake off your fear, stop waiting around, write, teach, take charge.

I think that certainly makes it all clear...