Food for thought, General ramblings, Shared Musings.

Searching for my Muse.

For many months, I’ve been attempting to write something worthwhile.

I haven’t expected to create a masterpiece, just a little something to be proud of. Words from the heart. It isn’t much to expect, is it?

Writing has always been a huge part of my life. No matter what the situation, whether to praise, chastise, or apologise, putting words on paper has always been my favoured method of communication. At school, English was my best subject, I could be assured of getting a good grade – not top of the class, you understand, but always on, or very near the podium.

I wasn’t a natural academic, facts and figures disappeared almost as soon as I’d been taught them. It was dogged persistence that kept me in the upper realms of the top stream. Oh how I wanted to be like my best friend, Lauren. It seemed that no matter how little effort she put in, her name was always at the top. ( I’m doing her a disservice, she was extremely bright and deserved the top billing, I was just jealous!) Only once in our entire school life, did I take the crown from her, but if I’m honest, she was unwell, so I guess that doesn’t count. She was a lovely girl, but suffered dreadfully with nerves. I still miss her.

I was fortunate to be blessed with the gift of creativity, with most forms of self expression came easily. I loved to draw, sing, dance, act, cook, work with clay, but best of all, by far, was my ability to write.

Unfortunately, due to family circumstances, I was unable to go on to further education, but never let go of the dream that one day, I would go to college and get the necessary qualifications, to enable me to pursue a career in the world of words.

However, it wasn’t to be.

I was destined to become a full-time housewife and mother to a large family. It seems ludicrous now that I was unable to do both, but many decades ago, a lot of women remained chained to the kitchen sink, needing to rely on their male for permission to step away. I loved being a mother, but secretly wished for the day when I could show another side of myself.

The year’s rolled by, as they tend to do, with each one seemingly passing more quickly than the last. In time, all dreams and ambitions deserted me, I felt the well of creativity had become drained.

A saving grace was my mountain of journals, where I would pour out my innermost feelings. I would feel a rush of excitement as words came tumbling onto the page, capturing my emotions, whatever they may be.

Another avenue, way back in the mists of time, was letter writing. I loved it. I would write multiple pages, usually with a fountain pen, barely coming up for air until I had finished. I would be nervous as I addressed the envelope and trembled as I dropped into the dark realms of the post box. I would be on tenterhooks until finally, I’d hear the pleasing plop, as a reply landed on the doormat.

I miss letters. Emails and texts are useful but don’t give the same pleasure.

Throughout the decades, my Muse would appear for brief periods, but it wasn’t until after getting divorced, that I allowed myself the luxury of time for writing. Initially, it was as therapy, then, before I realised what was happening, it became an integral part of my life.  For a while, I wrote a column in the local newspaper, focussing on mental health. Soon after, I formed a community creative writing group, began writing a blog,  published a couple of (badly edited) ebooks – ( we’ve all had to start somewhere), before I moved on to novels,

I’ve dabbled with poetry, but my true love is penning short stories – flash fiction, micro fiction, I love it all, in fact, the shorter, the better.

Then it all ended!

I’ve tried to rekindle the flame, but it’s stubbornly refusing to co-operate. It hasn’t been entirely snuffed out but is smouldering, rather than burning bright. It isn’t for want of trying, but no matter what I do, for some reason, my Muse refuses to return. I’ve called, begged, pleaded, wept and wailed, but nothing is being created, except frustration.

I’ve chosen to write this blog tonight, in the hope of kicking myself up the proverbial. I hope it does the trick, It isn’t only ’writer’s block’, it’s any form of creativity. Wherever my Muse is, I believe it’s teasing me, testing me. I’m not short of ideas, putting them onto paper, that’s my problem.

Of course, If I’m honest, I know there are a few reasons for it.

The first, possibly the biggest has been the dreaded Covid19.

So many times, I’ve wanted to write a blog, but haven’t wanted to jump on the bandwagon of the media and populace, debating how, where and why is it happening? Where will it all end? etc etc. There are only so many ways that the same subject can be rehashed. It’s been such an dreadful time for many and certainly testing, even for a fatalist like myself. I didn’t feel I wanted to add to the burden.

My physical health has also been a drain on my energy, adding unwanted stress. However, the reality is that I’ve become so deeply entrenched in my inability to create, that I’ve more or less stopped trying. I’m cringing with embarrassment, as I write those words.

I’d given up!

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But that isn’t the end of the story.

My Muse isn’t far away, it’s been patiently waiting for me to accept the blatantly obvious, I need to do the hard work, no one else can do it for me. So here it is, my defiant blog. It might not be world news, but for me, it’s a true breakthrough.

Blocks of any kind, are like brick walls, designed to prevent us from moving forward. However, very little is insurmountable. We can sit and bemoan our fate, or can chip away at those walls, little by little, until finally, we breakthrough.

Giving up isn’t a long-term option. This blog is for you, my friends, supporters and followers, you all deserve better – so better you shall have.

There is a likelihood of a new lay-out for this site, but please bear with me for a bit longer, my old brain isn’t as sharp as it was. Technology and myself aren’t the closest of friends, so it will probably be a matter of trial and error, but I promise you this –

I will succeed!

Rosie x

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Thank you for taking the time to read this.

If you’d like to support me in my journey to become re-aquainted with my Muse, please ’follow’ me, perhaps share it, I’d be very grateful. I love writing for myself, but it can be a lonely existence. Knowing there are people out there, reading it, makes it all worth while.

Feel free to comment, or message, you’ll find my details in the contact section.

Until next time,

Live the best life you can. Stay safe, keep well.

Rosie xxx

Food for thought, Mental health & various addictions

Decisions – the cycle of doubt.

With Ill health and constant pain taking it’s toll on me, I’ve been forced to rethink my life. I love where I live, however my home is a second floor flat, which is no longer practical. I made the decision to move to somwhere more suitable.

Choice made – or so I thought.

Apartment on the market, decision made, I told friends & neighbours. Bad move.  From then has followed a concentrated effort to make me change my mind. It’s wonderful to be appreciated & told how much I’m needed & will be missed but it made a difficult decision even more challenging. Eventually the pressure got to me. I gave in.

Second choice – stay where I belong.

Estate Agency duly notified about my decision to withdraw my property from sale, I felt saddened yet relieved. New plans took shape. I couldn’t afford to buy a suitable property nearby so had to consider how life could be simplified whilst still here. With careful budgeting there would be ways to make things easier for myself. I’d need to give up my voluntary job & at least one of my groups but that would allow me time to rest and relax. Yes, good decision. But on the other hand…….

Yet another rethink.

An elderly friend bluntly told me how frustrating it was to see me procrastinating so much. She was right of course. Generally when I make a decision, I see it through, so why is it so different this time?

Fear, pure and simple. Nor fear of moving but of making the wrong decision.

Friends have been giving helpful advice about being careful, apparently due to my age, relocation could be risky. I might not make new friends. I may be lonely. I’d be throwing away a good social circle. Would it be wise? Doubts began to multiply. The infernal inner dialogue got me in such a muddle that I was no longer able to focus on the best solution. New friends continued to enter my life, my groups continued to flourish. Surely everyone was right? Leaving would be foolhardy…….

Tossing the dice.

Just as I felt brow-beaten into a forced decision, I realised that there is no perfect solution. I can stay, maintain friendships but live in an unsuitable environment, or I can take the risk and move away, alone but to a more disabled friendly location. Either way there will be gains & losses. So how do I decide?

I chose to offer my dilemma up to the Universe & now await the answer.

I set a date in which to remove my property from sale if no buyer appears and will trust that whichever way it goes will be right for me. It isn’t a cop-out, I could force the decision, keep reducing my price until I eventually sell, or can put my trust in the Universe & just wait to see what happens. The coming few weeks will be frustrating, not knowing if I’m leaving or staying but I’m no longer going to be running around like a headless chicken. If I sell, I move. If I don’t, I stay.  Patience needs practice.

I’ve lived here for almost 7 years & hopefully have another 20 years on this earth, so what difference will a few weeks make? I do realise, albeit painfully, that I must do what is right for me. Friends, if they’re genuine will want what’s best for me, not themselves. Of course I will hate saying goodbye, if that’s the way the dice rolls, but there will be new friends. As the saying goes : all strangers are simply friends not yet met. I love my friends, they are very special to me but maybe our journey together has come to an end and it’s time to bid them farewell. Deep down I believe I’ll soon be moving but won’t be too disappointed if no sale ensues.

The thought of pastures new came in the wake of traumatic problems at the end of last year. Running away would have been easy. The constant indecision has forced me to take time out and rethink my reasons for relocating. I’m so thankful for that breathing space. Now, whatever happens, I’m ready to embrace my future.

Trust is a wonderful gift.

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Food for thought, Inspirations, Shared Musings.

Devonshire Delight.

 

I’m currently having a few days away at the favourite sea-side haunt from my childhood, hoping to rest, recuperate & regain my writing inspirational drive. Too much of my time is given to others, somewhere along the way I lost myself. I knew that a few days in solitude was what was called for, so here I find myself in Exmouth, spending money I can I’ll afford, but the cost of not doing it would have been far higher.

Earlier I met a lovely couple while I was scribbling a few lines, after falling under the spell of the marina. The man told me that he was an artist, yet he too had found himself too busy to take time out for his passion. This drove me to complete the marina piece. It is still in it’s raw state, but I’d like to share it with you.

To the couple who inspired me, apologies, I’ve forgotten your names already   ( possibly Jeff?) To them & all who find themselves being stretched so thin that they are unable to use their creativity when they want. Please, please don’t allow your creative juices to dry up under pressure of pleasing others. Take a little time out – NOW. Don’t allow feeble excuses to flow from your mouth. We all need to be true to ourselves & for those with an artistic bent, that means actually creating something before the drive is allowed to wither away.

Devonshire Delight.

To & Fro they rock, unwanted,  unneeded,  tethered, abandoned.   In comparative calm they bob, side by side, packed tight like sardines in their tin, floating in their bed of brine.

The mass of water still, just a ripple snaking across the surface from the stiff breeze. The near tranquilty belying the pounding, crashing seas, a mere few metres away. Here however, protected by the harbour wall, they are safe – removed from the chaos that nature has deemed necessary to inflict on this quaint sea edged Devonshire town.

Rangers Delight, Cup ferret, Arvor, Quick Silver, White Lady, Merlin V111 ( I wonder was there 1-7?  If so, I can only surmise their fate.) Unlikely names yet some aren’t even granted that dignity, just given a large, garish number adorning their otherwise sleek hulls.

Overhead a few flags flutter furiously. Two seagulls squabble over a discarded crust, their cackles cutting through the evening air, disturbing the idyllic scene. Above, storm clouds gather, racing to blot out the vestiges of afternoon blue sky. In the distance, indistinct idle chatter from couples taking an evening constitutional, heads tipped forward, collars raised against the impending rain.

Soon it will be dark, the inky night casting it’s blanket over the peaceful scene. But when dawn breaks these forlorn boats, with their coats of many colours will be in demand once more.                                                                                                              Trips into unchartered territory for some. Fishing expeditions. Pleasure cruises.   The sardine tin will be emptied until days end, when once again the entire scenario will be replayed.

This picture book scene will remain etched in my memory. Should I feel trapped or drained, I will be able to draw on it for inspiration. I chose to capture it in words, others may prefer pens or paints, others will use more modern technology. The medium doesn’t matter. What does, is not to allow the memory to go to waste.  When we are shown something so evocative, we are blessed. I for one will not waste it.

Rosie x

I hope that you enjoyed this little muse. Hopefully it will be the beginning of more regular offerings.

If you want to read more, please ‘Like’, ‘Follow’ & ‘Share’. Like most creatives, I write for  the love of it, but knowing that it is being enjoyed by others is like Manna from the Gods, food for the soul.

Until next time, take care. Rosie x

 

Food for thought, General ramblings

Never too old to Learn.

Like many people of the older generation, I was brought up to believe that once I’d exceeded my ‘best before’ date, new knowledge wasn’t something to worry about. Our poor old shrivelled brains don’t need to be bothered with such things.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY DISAGREE!

Agreed, information isn’t absorbed as readily as in youth, however learning anything can be invigorating and can keep life interesting, as well as helping to stave off the ravages of some forms of dementia.

Since I reached my 60s, now nearing my 70s, my thirst for knowledge has actually grown, even though I am unable to process/ retain some information due to stroke damage. However, by accepting certain limitations and changing direction in my quest, I’ve learnt that practical rather than academic subjects, are more readily stored in my brain. Favouring subjects with more relevance in my life, has been a real brain stretcher.

As someone who left school, aged 15 without qualifications, I always intended to attend adult education classes to gain at least the most basics certificates. With all good intentions, a large family & manic home life got in the way and when I was finally able to spare the time, my confidence had deserted me. I told myself that I was obviously stupid & would probably never have passed my exams, besides, how relevant could it be anyway? I can now see I was just making excuses to cover up my fear.

Shortly after my 60th birthday, my life changed dramatically when I found myself single again. With a little used brain & disabling depression, I felt like the village idiot. Try as I might, I was unable to retain anything. I was stupid!  But I knew I wasn’t! I’d simply limited my abilities for self protection. If I didn’t stretch myself, I couldn’t fail, could I?

Once I fought my way out of the depression, I needed to find something to keep me stimulated, to prevent the likelihood of a recurrence. And so my love of learning began….

It started on a very small scale, dabbling with pottery and art, with plenty of home reading. I became obsessed with holistic healing ( something I’d always even interested in.) Shortly before my divorce I’d surprised myself by training as a Reiki therapist, going on to become a Reiki Master, although I wasn’t really convinced of my worth. Once single, I began to relearn & gradually added to my list of holistic abilities. Lack of confidence was by far the biggest challenge, but no books could really teach me, knew I had to discover it for myself. Once I had achieved that, nothing seemed an impossibility, I could attempt anything that I wanted. Suddenly succeeding seemed less important than having a go.

With a lot of encouragement I became a flexercise leader ( I thought it was an easy option), but soon knew I didn’t want to stop there. Certain things were unrealistic due to health restrictions but I have since accrued a list of practical qualifications. Through my voluntary work I have taken training in Mental Health studies, courses in Life Coaching, first aid, food hygeine & safety. I am a Tai Chi Instructor, Food Waste Champion, set up a writing group and even led a women’s friendship group. I have written books, learnt to self – publish, even became a motivational speaker for a while. I can set up basic websites, and, for several months wrote a column in the local newspaper. For the last five years I’ve dedicated my spare time to a child cancer charity ‘Young Lives vs Cancer.’ I volunteer in one of their charity shops and absolutely love it.

Phew! I’m exhausted just reading that list. It’s as if it has happened to someone else, not me. Not stupid, unqualified me? Me who was only capable of making good cakes & looking after children?  Me, who thought that I was a write off!

I still don’t have academic qualifications. I enrolled on an English Grammer course, but soon realised that I was doing it for other people, for their acceptance and approval, not for myself. At my age I don’t need a certificate to prove my worth. My life is doing that!

Not every pensioner willingly shuts down their brain on retirement, many aim for continuing achievements, however far too many aren’t.

I’m not advocating that everyone follow my path. There isn’t one right way. Everyones’journey is different. However I wanted to share this with you all, to prove that nothing is impossible. If I can encourage one person to achieve something that makes them swell with pride, I will be delighted.

Life is very different for upcoming generations, where women in particular are more self – assured and able to follow their dreams more easily. Pre 1960s,Women were mainly required to be proficient housekeepers, wives & mothers, perhaps reaching the exalted heady heights of shop assistants once their children had left home. I was none of these. Thankfully that is in the past.

We are fortunate to live in a Country where we have many choices. Few live in squallor, in fact most are able to live reasonable well, in comfort, even if not in luxury. However, it breaks my heart to see so many older people, resigned to a life of loneliness & misery because they feel unworthy of anything more. Their latter years are filled with little more than a television for company. Too many don’t strive for, or expect to achieve anything more, believing they aren’t capable of anything else.

Three words : YES YOU ARE!

Two words : TRUST YOURSELF.

One word: BELIEVE!

Rosie x

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I hope that you enjoyed reading this, please feel free to let me know.

Please ‘follow’, ‘share’ or ‘like’, it will be greatly appreciated. I really value those who read my ramblings. Thank you.

 

 

Food for thought, Personal Messages to followers, Uncategorized, Writing as a career path

Putting my patience to the test.

I have just added my first two books onto Amazon ( kindle, Kobo inc) which has been hardwork & more than a Little perplexing. Not only did I have to learn the whole e-publishing thing, I had no idea how to format my manuscript correctly.

A couple of weeks ago I published my first book; Silly Tilly gets lost, but once it was online I discovered that I had made mistakes. I re- edited & republished, only to find that I’d done it incorrectly.
At the same time I was desperately attempting to complete and publish a book for charity, a compilation from my creative writing group. After an initial hiccup I figured out the system, but every time I thought it was ready, I’d republish, only to discover further errors. It took 18 edits in all, which must be something of a record. However it, like the Silly Tilly is now live on Kindle.

Naturally I’m delighted but I have to admit to nearly giving up. I’m sure that the errors were mating! They seemed to be multiplying! I wanted to throw in the towel so many times!
In my past I would have either given up, or made it passable & just accept it as ‘good enough.’ There may well still be unfounded mistakes, it was my first time, s perfection was probably unlikely, however I believe it now to be As near perfect as possible.

This has been a hard but useful learning curve.

I could have given up, or just made do, but wouldn’t have been satisfied. Perseverance was necessary. Anything worthwhile is worthy of it.
I will remember this lesson, I will also give thanks for the new skills that I have learnt.

Time to continue with book Three…..

The books in question are as follows:
‘Silly Tilly gets Lost,’ by Rosie Bright. Price £2.99 available on the kindle/ Amazon site.

This is a story about a cute, yet naughty Yorkshire terrier. It is the first in a proposed series & is aimed at aged 3 – 6 year olds.

The second book is a compilation book,from members of my writing group, with proceeds going to charity. It is filled with mainly humorous/ light hearted short stories & poetry, also included are many 50 word and 6 word stories.

It is called ‘When the Muse Strikes by Rosie Thomas with Wells Scribblers. Again priced £2.99 available on Kindle/ Amazon.

I hope that you will consider buying one or both. Your support will be much appreciated.

Rosie x

If you enjoyed my blog, please consider following me, to be notified of further posts. Clicking on ‘like’ or ‘share’ would also be very welcome.
New bloggers and authors need all the support they can get!

Food for thought

The year of new beginnings

As someone who dreads the Christmas period, I was ecstatic as I watched the televised New Year celebrations. Suddenly I felt a weight being lifted and inexplicably went to bed feeling really happy.

I am invariably ill on or around the festive season, this year was no exception. I suffered a small stroke in early November yet felt too pressured to slow down enough to fully recover. By the time the so called ‘big day’ arrived, I felt really washed out. The annual flood of tears over limited family contact hit me harder than usual and I spent the entire weekend dodging the threat of depression. It sat on my shoulder, whispering, no, bellowing negative ideas into my head. It knocked me for six.

It’s been quite a while since I felt so negative – I felt as if I was virtually oozing with darkness. Bizarelly though,there was still another part of me that held tight to the belief that these feelings were transitory. Unlike the days when depression ruled my every living thought, I Was sure this would pass and it has. In fact the relief as Big Ben chimed cannot be put into words!

January 1st – how I love that date.
I woke feeling totally refreshed and eager to get to grips with my life. I had allowed things to stagnate, I needed to clear away any self doubt, ready to face 2017. I always use The first day of the year to clean and clear, doing many of the little irritating jobs that have been put off. Why do I allow myself to procrastinate? Actually DOING something, rather than thinking about it is so liberating.

Recently my resolve hasn’t been as strong as it was, partly because my thyroid levels have gone awry. I have been particularly slow and inactive, needless to say this has led to weight gain – something that I promised myself would never happen again. Like so many others, my first reaction was to make a resolution to diet, exercise more etc.etc. But I know that the outcome would be failure. A quick fix isn’t the answer. What I needed was to have a total re- evaluation and find a way to regain my positivity and resolve. But how?

I found an unexpected solution. I noticed a website offering a course on decluttering and letting go. As many followers will know, I am a devotee of this already. I felt envious of the people who signed up for the course, they would be lucky, they would be learning new skills, whereas I already knew them, I’d just lost the knack. Then it hit me – why shouldn’t I join too? Was I so pompous that there was nothing for me to learn? Suddenly I knew that I had found the site for a reason.

I signed up immediately and was delighted to find a community of fellow travellers. Reading some of their comments put me to shame, they were so excited, optimistic, determined to change their lives and were eager to soak up any advice and help that the site could offer. Me? I’d just allowed my attitude to become lax. I had felt that excitement when I began the path of self discovery, the amazement when I realised how freeing decluttering and letting go was. Then I’d let it become mundane. Well no more!

Tomorrow life gets back to normal, people return to work, children back to school but for me it’s going to be anything but normal.
I am excited at the prospect of regaining my strength, my figure and my zest for life. It will be hard work. Having put on weight, it’s easy to let things literally slide but I won’t! I’m not going on a diet but I will lose weight. I am letting go of whatever it was that was holding me back. I’m reaffirming my love of life! I have already restarted decluttering. I have collected a huge box of things that will go to the charity shop tomorrow. I have included a few pieces of jewellery that I had hoarded, I don’t need them, someone else can benefit. In my food cupboard there are plenty of things that can go to the food bank. I have so much that I don’t need. I have hung on to possessions for security, but security comes from inside, it can’t be bought.

Letting go is a wonderful gift to learn. It touches more parts of your life that you can imagine. It clears clutter in the body and the grey matter in our heads as well as our surroundings. It frees the soul, spirit, heart and head and body. It’s fantastic.

I’ve hated how badly I’ve let myself go but now realise that I needed to hit a real low to allow myself to rise like a Phoenix!

2017 really is going to be the year that I sort myself out in every sense. I will do the things that I know that I am capable of, rather than find excuses for not doing them. Bring it on!

Thanks for reading this.
Rosie x

Please feel free to like, share or preferably ‘follow’ my blog. I would love to share the journey with you.

Inspirations

My apathy Disolver

I have many motivational posters around my home, remindinding me not to lose sight of what’s important.
One such saying is really simple, but helps me if I fall in apathy. It simple says

Always Be Calmly Active and Actively Calm.

I have this written directly onto my fridge. Every time I look at it, it gives me a kick up the proverbial…..