cedar_grove: (Eirian in silver 3)
The first time I felt this way, and had the very same thought, I was standing in the shower watching the snow fall down outside the frosted glass of the bathroom window; the second also in the shower, though this time the sun was shining - or trying to shine - outside. This third time I am once again in the shower, but this time it is dark, the temperature of the shower is far too high, and rather than watching the distorted world through the bathroom window's frosted glass, I am watching the steam obscuring my view, the condensation settling on the window, shrouding the frosted glass and the symbolism of it finally penetrates my brain as the question surfaces again: Why have I not been blogging? Why do I not post my status on Facebook? Do I truly have nothing to say?

Oh, certainly, I might share a whole bunch of photographs or inspirational quotations from other pages that I find meaningful or poignant, and sometimes I might even do more than just hit the share button, and post a word or two about why I have shared them, but little more.

I've known for some time I've been censoring myself; editing myself so that the frames come together to tell the story in another way, because... well.. frankly it's just easier that way - far less conflict.

Except inside myself.

So I said, on several occasions, that I wasn't going to do it any more, and yet here I am still doing it... and frustrating myself in that. I have ended up feeling like I have (or worse yet, should have) no voice, no opinion and certainly no feelings. The upshot of which has further hampered any sense of creativity and life that was all but stifled - as if with a pillow over the face - by a year long sojourn in Egypt.

Happily I'm out of that situation now. Still not where I truly want to be, but... what can I say? Some countries and some of her peoples are certainly backwards in their own sense of egality and in following the literal, and the meaning in spirit, of their own founding principles. So much so, that they shroud any route toward said egality in so much thorny red tape that even their own citizens do not know and cannot understand all the ins and outs of navigating it in order to gain admittance. I hate politics... and that's one thing you probably won't find me blogging about any time soon, (more than I have done just here anyway).

So what's to say, and what's to do, and definitely what's to write when all that was creative in my soul has been somehow deadened to the point where, yes - I will latch on to anything that is in the remotest bit a resuscitation, a work around, or even a leg up and over the dreaded wall of 'writer's block' that has been plaguing me for the last eighteen months or so?

The Use'ara cycle was coming along nicely, getting the Nano treatment but then was interrupted by the move to Cairo. Similarly the Life After series ground to an unceremonious halt. I turned to fandom to keep some shred of creativity alive, and managed at least to finish the 13th story of a series I had been working on before the block caught up even there.

But I digress...

As far as Facebook is concerned, I feel... uncomfortable, that's a nice gentle word, let's use that one, posting about what's going on and how I feel about it. I know I shouldn't, but sometimes, some of the posts I read on my news feed seem so much like people just airing their dirty linen in public, as it were. Do I really want to do that? Maybe it's just my overly conservative (note the small c) British nature that causes that. Should I adopt a more bolshy, forthright approach like other world citizens and just... tell it like it is, warts and all? Maybe I should try it for a while and see or feel the results for myself.

As for blogging, well, I find that the trouble with a lot of blogging is that in many cases, it tends toward political comments. I've already stated I don't really do politics. Oh, I live with them, like everyone has to because they're a sad fact of life. I have an opinion on political matters too, but in most cases that is my own and not for sharing. The trouble with political blogging is that, at least to me, it seems always to be hateful and angry. There is much to be said for exercising the option not to say anything at all, and to allow that to speak for your opinion and feelings on a matter. Is that not the basis of the advice your mother always told you: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all? Other types of blogging require... well... something to happen to inspire it. Stuck in my little hamster-wheel I usually end up feeling like the most boring person on the face of the planet. Who wants to read over and over again about the traffic on my way to wherever, and the kids (Whether hellions or angels) that I meet and work with?

Oh, I know there's more to it than that, and yes, I'm probably making excuses because - as happened very recently - when I do open my yap about something or another, it rarely ends up with me feeling any better about things and/or myself. But, since discourse is generally thought of as good, and because I have to do something to unlock this door, or take a wrecking ball to the wall that is standing between me and the creativity, which I know has to be on the other side of the wall, let this be a public affirmation of the permission to at least try... and feel free to poke me - but gently - with reminders to comply with my own wishes.

(A/N: As an demonstration of what I mean through all of this - it has taken me 3 months to write this.)
cedar_grove: (Default)
I'd like to take a moment to share a brilliant idea with you all - an idea that [livejournal.com profile] mirrani thought of, after she and I have been working on some writing activities for a couple of weeks. She has posted about it on her own journal here, and I would actively encourage everyone to go and take a look at what she's proposing, and then weigh in, in answer to her post. (You could also answer here, I'm sure she'd see it!)

The idea came out of an exchange she proposed where we would each help each other with aspects of our writing. I had stalled working on Use'ara: Thirteen Stars, as my muse seemed tired out, so she offered to give me little prompts to work on every day that were designed to help my creativity, well, THEY HAVE! They have in spades as a matter of fact... so much so that we talked about it, and thought perhaps to extend the prompts and invitation to others to join in. Mir writes this in her original post:

We bounced the idea around that maybe I should be putting this stuff up somewhere else.. maybe on the writing livejournal we started years ago and kind of left for dead as our lives became far too complex to continue it... I'd thought before about maybe letting other friends get the email assignments and it being a correspondence thing, but I think I've decided I might want to do it on here, where responding to individual accomplishments is much easier and won't clutter up people's inboxes.

The question is: "If I do it, will they come?" ;) Would starting something like this actually get people to go to the writer's block and participate in these activities, read other people's work and give real, honest feedback? Would anyone pass the word on to others? We created that place in the hopes that it would catch on as something fun for writers to do... but no one ever really came and it just died away, forgotten. Could it grow now?

No particular prompt would be a requirement, of course, but the way I do things, it certainly helps to do them all in order. The goal each week is to pick out one aspect of a story a day.. a visual element, a physical element, an emotional element, an element of personality, and a final fun element using stickers and randomness. On top of the daily assignment, there is a weekly one, like "find a letter or symbol on a bulletin board that you pass every day, take note of it's form and shape, sketch it if you want, but give it attention when you walk past..." that kind of thing, all intended to give you a chance to include an element observed over time, something to build up on. On the weekend, the task is to take what you have done and create a story around it based on the assignment I've written. The little assignments aren't usually long, so it's easy enough to splice and merge them together in a way.

I can't stress enough how much this has helped me, even after only two weeks I can feel my creativity awakening again, and it's doing so in an interesting and thought provoking way - encouraging things that can make the difference between a good story, and a great story.

Seriously - head on over to her journal... no really - head on over to her journal to read her original post... join in... it really is a lot of fun as well as being worthwhile!
cedar_grove: (Work In Progress)
From The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have.

If not now,

It keeps coming down to this: there is no tomorrow, only a string of todays.

Yes, I have a great big long to-do list, but you know the thing about those kind of lists – they only become done lists if you stop procrastinating (and making lists) and get on and do it.

That being said it does help if you know what you have to do. I was talking with a friend recently, and she asked if I do the same as she does and kind of stumble to one thing from another and another, as if not knowing what to do. For me, that's when lists come in really useful. Not so much that I make a schedule for myself, saying I'll do this, then this, then this, and so on, but it helps me to know what is outstanding so I don't wander by way of Facebook games, simply to avoid making the choice of what to do next.

I do have to limit the length of my list though – or else it becomes overwhelming, and Garden of Time looking more and more attractive. I find that three is a good number. A list of three things is doable… so long as item number one doesn't say: Finish Use'ara novel because that's something that obviously is going to take more than one day… but a scene of the novel, and a writing exercise, and an update to a web page… those are three achievable goals.

Achievability is the key.
cedar_grove: (Default)
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A donation to charity - as they had asked.

Mir and I asked the same thing when we were married last fall. When you've lived together for some time, you usually have the sorts of things that you would normally receive for a wedding gift. So to us that seemed like the perfect opportunity to give something back, as we weren't looking to increase or replace life's little necessities.
cedar_grove: (Default)
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So many places... but fitting for today, I would go to Dubai, and to the Meydan racetrack to see the World Cup. Obviously not just to there, I'd like to explore the rest of Dubai as well, but from watching the live feed from Meydan today, (sandstorm notwithstanding), that is where I'd like to go.

Next on the list would be Egypt... specifically Amarna, not just the usual tourist places. The sense of history, the majesty of the desert, everything that goes along with that - and maybe take a cruise down the Nile as well.

I'd like to go back to places around Europe too - Valencia to see all the places we didn't get to see last time we were there... another trip to Italy... Germany... yeah, like I said, so many places...
cedar_grove: (Default)
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That would have to be Eli from The Good Wife... because he's deliciously dry witted, and just very cool. We'd sit being sarcastic together I'm sure... though I'm also sure he'd beat me hands down.
cedar_grove: (Love You)
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Beauty is... always has been, and always will be in the eye of the beholder. To look merely at a persons physical personal is a shallow seeking that will always yield a shallow result. For me, to share with a romantic partner is much, much deeper than that. Yes, there must be a certain amount of something in the physical for that person to catch my eye, but the true attraction comes from getting to know the other person, leaning who they are deeply - inside - in the dark as well as the light.

I consider myself blessed... I share my life with the most wonderful, romantic person that could ever be, and I love her dearly.


Mar. 15th, 2011 08:32 pm
cedar_grove: (Default)
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No, because each turn in the road has served to bring me to where I am now. Rascal Flatts kind of springs to mind here. :)
cedar_grove: (Love You)
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My guy - reflection of my heart.
cedar_grove: (Default)
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I came to answer this because today has been a little bit of a non-day for me... I've felt very out of sorts, nothing I've managed to do has gone very far, even though I wouldn't say it's been a failure exactly, just... delays, and distractions and everything. The poor dogs have had to endure yet another night of fireworks, as have I. Will this ever end?

Anyway, on to the question - I'm sure you're all thinking Holy books, and yeah, everyone /should/ read each of the Holy books at least once in their lives, but no.. that's not my answer. For me, everyone should read Duncton Wood, by William Horwood.

It's one of my favourite books, and here's why... My Strange Review of Duncton Wood
cedar_grove: (Mystical)
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You can't expect me to choose just one, because there are so many beautifully and expertly crafted worlds out there in the fiction-verse. Among my favourite would be Pern (because of the dragons and firelizards), and Arakis, because let's face it, you can't get much more epic than that. Then again, what about Vulcan, and Andor(ia), and Bajor, because in the Trek-verse there are so many awesome places also.

Then, (blowing my own horn/trumpet), there's Use'ara... a world two years or more in the making. I'd like to really go there, not just in the process of creating it, just to see the kind of life it could have taken on for itself. I'd like to meet C'Logi, and the misguided B'maat... and see how the colonists learn to survive in their new ecology.


cedar_grove: (Default)

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