Posts Tagged ‘National Novel Writing Month’

This is another image taken from my dads home. He would be horrified, if he was still alive and knew that I had posted it online, for the world to see how he lived. As much as it use to shock me into action on a return visit to the UK, I have come to the realization that it was his choice to live as he did. I took around 200 photos the day this one was taken, each image portraying the neglect and deterioration of a home and its contents.

There was a time when I wondered why on earth I had taken them. To start with it fueled my guilt of emigrating so far from this place called home, I was embarrassed that I could let my father live in these conditions. These days however, they seem to touch my more creative side and I can detach the emotions, looking at them with a more artistic eye.  Looking back, I believe I wanted to create something beautiful out of what seemed ugly and confronting. On a subsequent visit to the UK, I discovered that my nephew, who is a professional photographer, took many of the same images, compiling a book as part of a uni assignment. What he did was breathtakingly beautiful and I may atempt to do the same one of these days.

The clock reminds me that we can live a life focused on the past, or choose to make the effort and keep things moving. The worm-eaten timepiece had not been wound for years and as you can see by the holes, was slowly being devoured by Woodworm.  In life it is easy to let small things eat into our lives, causing us to stand still emotionally. Sometimes we need to take hold of situations, treat the negativity, clean up our behaviors and use our gifts and talents for the purpose they were created for.

Orphaned lambs come to mind as I see the stoneware Hot Water Bottle. Many a time on the farm, we had to care for lambs who were rejected by their mother or orphaned through a difficult birth. A large box would sit to the side of the Rayburn (wood burning oven) and this hot water bottle was used to warm up many sad and sickly babies that had spent a lonely, frosty night in the cold. I loved the lambing season and a recent trip into the country brought a huge grin to my face when a field of lambs were frolicking in the warmth of a sunny day. I might be a city chick these days, but a country girl is still in there somewhere and I very much believe, that when life throws cold and frosty experiences at us, there is nothing better than the warmth of love and friendship to get us through.

The stoneware bottle holds Pheasant feathers and I wonder why these were considered worthy of honor. We grew up on the produce of the land, so they were not rare. It is one of those little mysteries in life that I will never find the answer for and I can live with that. We all have our treasures in life, sometimes they have a huge monetary price tag and other times they hold little to no physical value. Their unique worth is in holding untold stories and secrets and I know I have a few of those myself.

Dust and cobwebs like the ones pictured don’t appear overnight. They build up over time and often get overlooked. I am reminded that I have a few projects like that. Filed away stories and pieces of poetry that need to be collated, sent somewhere and used. My NaNoWriMo effort is still waiting to be brought out into the open, get dusted down and cleaned up (edited).

My thought for the day is…

We can not buy back lost time, it is a priceless resource and we should use it wisely.


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After a delightful breakfast with a writerly friend I was planning to come home and do some housework. Hmmmmm. So much for that idea, because instead of doing a grocery run, I came straight home, made another coffee, checked Facebook, read emails (some of which still need replies), set up a services page on my blog and am now writing a new post.

writingThe services page has come about, because a writing group friend has been studying and setting up a home based editing business. During my time at writing group, she has diligently edited all of our short stories and poems, so they could be placed in an annual anthology.  As many of us know, self promotion within the writing industry is hard work, so as well as offering her the space to promote her services, I thought some of you may appreciate adding your area of expertise to the page as well.

As an enthusiastic writer, I have not as yet had a complete book/novel published, sometimes I wonder if I ever will. I don’t believe this is a bad position to be in as writing for me is like a drug. Words on a blank page(or screen), paint pictures, reveal heart-felt truths, expose hidden dreams and create my own personal masterpiece. Once I have finished writing something I yearn to write more, it’s in my blood, I just can’t seem to help myself.

With my poor grammar and spelling skills I will always need a good editor to set me straight. My good friend D.J. from Stutely Tales(http://stutleytales.com/), spent hours with me, editing a short story a couple of years ago. Her support and advice was incredible, where I learnt a great deal about the craft of writing and dissecting the text, realising that I still have a lot to learn.

My local writing group has also been a great resource, as we regularly hand our work over to group members to be critiqued and edited before submitting to magazines and competitions. I am often amazed at how diverse the comments and feedback can be, within such a close-knit body of people.

When it comes to moving forward with my writing, I took the plunge last week and opened up my NaNoWriMo file for the first time since December. Although I was a little upset to realise that I did not save the last 2,700 words, it made pretty good reading and a buzz of excitement stirred within. With my ‘Bottled Sunshine’ (Vitamin D tablets) improving my mental health/attitude, I am preparing to launch into a fresh season of polishing up a potential book.

So I am feeling a little more encouraged and motivated at the moment and that is a very good place to be.

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P1050098Currently I am evaluating 2012 and wondering what the year 2013 should look like.

Setting some achievable goals is paramount to realizing our full potential and it is my belief that many of us set ourselves up for failure before we even get started, by setting the level of achievement way too high.

Focusing on how to reach our potential, over seeing each and every milestone, with small yet solid steps, could result in dreams turning into reality, hopes being realized and the unimaginable experienced in wonderfully creative ways.

Last year was the first year I didn’t proclaim a ‘New Years Resolution’. It was the first year I didn’t fail in my decision-making process within the first month, and I managed to achieve; mind-boggling steps into the unknown, heart breaking conflict as I challenged past mindsets, allowed awe-inspiring ideas to come to light and placed my written thoughts into the hands of a world audience.

The roller coaster of 2012 is fading into the past and it was year of mixed emotions, a year to draw on as I write my way into the future. I boldly quoted Byron at the start of 2012, declaring that there was ‘Pleasure in the Pathless Woods,’ little realizing the power it would have on my life, as I sat and waited for inspiration to come.

Pioneering a new path for my life was not without its pot holes, change did not necessarily suit those around me and while there was a cheer squad urging me on, I very much sensed there were those who became fearful of the new Sandie starting to emerge.

As I write this it makes me sit back, stare at the words on the page and ask difficult questions, ones that probably need an answer.

Am I chasing impossible dreams?

Do I have the courage and stamina to partake in this writing relay?

Am I fit enough to compete in a pentathlon of wordy events and projects?

What do I want to gain from this experience?

What sacrifices will I have to make?

What sacrifices am I prepared to make?

…..the list could go on and on and on.

I am beginning to sense that 2013 is a make or break year for me; It’s time to discover once and for all, my creative gifts and their potential. Working on my 30,000 word NaNoWriMo attempt and bringing it to a marketable completion, is high on my list of projects. Yet somehow, I need to create a balance, where I can enjoy the isolation of my own creative space and continue to build the communicator that lives within, the one who loves to be surrounded with people.

It is a challenging call, one in which I will continue to share with you all as you read my posts in 2013.

A big thank you to those who have come along side me during 2012. As we turn the page and usher in a new chapter for 2013, I pray that we will find wisdom and guidance in all that we do.

God bless you


© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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