Thursday, 16 November 2017

Three on Thursday

In spite of the fact that last week I said I'd use the next few Three on Thursdays to share some favourite creative tools, I'm instead using today's post to share some pictures I recently took. There's a black-and-white 7-day photo challenge making the Facebook rounds and one of my neighbours nominated me to participate. Initially I wasn't too thrilled (more work!!), but it hasn't actually been that arduous. Let me know which one you like best!



This was the first pic I took for the challenge. A parking lot at night with hints of winter on the trees and ground. Technically not black-and-white, I used the "monochrome" setting on my phone.



This picture hangs on the wall of our main bathroom. I think it's appropriate since this is the room we primarily use to beautify ourselves and take care of hygiene and grooming. Also, a good reminder to love ourselves as part of self-care!




Libraries and books - you know I crave them, right? This is one of the aisles in my workplace. There might be better, more important things in life, but certainly access to great literature ranks high on the list. At least it does for me.


If you'd like to join the Three on Thursday community, write your post and add your link-up here: Carole Knits

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Three on Thursday

I've decided to use the next few (several?) Three on Thursday posts to share some favourite tools. Since many of the ToT participants are creative types (knitters and handicrafters for the most part), I'll start with tools to boost one's creativity.

If you've looked around my website at all, you know I'm a writer. If you know anything about writers in general, you know that we sometimes have difficulty starting and that we can also suffer from writer's "block." Two books I recently purchased help with these by providing writers' prompts. These are both from Piccadilly Press:

1. Complete the Story - 200 pages of opening lines with a full page for writing

2. 500 Writing Prompts - one or two writing prompts per page with space to write. Another book in the same vein contains 300 additional writing prompts, so if you enjoy this and run out...

I find both excellent exercises to start my writing time and get the brain juices flowing.



A third writing tool that covers a variety of topics is:


3. Writer's Digest - both a magazine and a website, there's plenty here to engage the writer and help her improve her craft. If you're looking for more writing prompts, sign up for "The Writing Prompt Boot Camp" newsletter from the main page. You can subscribe to print and online versions of the magazine, borrow it from your local library (hopefully they have a subscription), or spend time looking around the website for articles, resources, competitions, events, etc. But do this when you have lots of time or you'll find you've used up your writing hours and now have other things to do!

What are some of your favourite ways to stimulate your creativity, writing or otherwise?

If you'd like to join the Three on Thursday community, write your post and add your link-up here: Carole Knits


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Three on Thursday

1. I'm currently doing a 10-day healthy eating challenge. Today is day 4 and I admit it's never easy to change habits. This is almost like a detox since it requires eliminating so many options: white flour-based foods, oils, animal proteins, sugar (except those naturally found in the food itself), dairy. I don't think I've lost any weight, but I'm feeling better, thinner, if that makes any sense.

2. Life is too busy. The Monday-Friday schedule I developed for myself and talked about on September 28 has gone off the rails. Once again I find myself needing to better manage my days.

3. I just completed Priscilla Shirer's Breathe study which should help with item 2. Last week was a write-off in terms of doing the week 4 homework; I will try to get it done this coming week. I'm very disappointed that I got grease on my study guide, though. I like to take care of my books, especially the keepers, and now I feel like I have to buy a replacement copy and rewrite my notes...

Here are some more Three on Thursday posts. Please feel free to join us in penning your own.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Three on Thursday: A Random List

Been a while since I posted anything here, but I'm going to try keeping up with Three on Thursday (a new effort from the folks who brought us Think Write Thursday). Today we're supposed to produce a random list, but I think instead I'll tell you three things I've been up to during my absence:

1. Travel: visited Newfoundland in August, for the first time in seven years. First trip up the Northern Peninsula, where we crossed over into Labrador and on the island side visited the Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows. An item off the ol' bucket list! 

2. Writing: worked on some personal experience stories I hope will be picked up by Chicken Soup for the Soul or a magazine. Continued working on my novel - revisions and new material as well. Currently taking a writing course through Gale University.

3. Self-Discipline: Time management and clutter are issues I deal with on a daily basis. This fall I decided to take a break from my more personal blog to focus on writing that sells :) and to make better use of my time. I created a Monday-Friday schedule that incorporates all the things I feel must get done. While it needs some tweaking, it's helped with my level of accomplishment. I'd love to hear what works for you in managing time and the stuff we accumulate!
 
 Head on over here to read more Three on Thursday posts.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Dear Younger Me

Today's Think Write Thursday comes with my last apology for not blogging more frequently. My reality is that it's a challenge to get my novel-writing/revising done, and that writing has to take precedence over all other. So I'm going to own the infrequency of my blog posts.

Anyway, today's topic is to give advice to my five year-old self, my sixteen year-old self, my twenty-one year-old self and  my now self.

Here goes:

5: Hey cutie, enjoy your childhood years. They are fleeting. Already you are beginning to be a writer. Keep singing, making up your songs and stories. Get Mom to write them down or give you a tape recorder (yes, a tape recorder!) so you can remember them. Some of your work is actually pretty good and you'll also want to track your progress.

16: Get over your shyness, hon; it's holding you back. You're as everything as anybody else. Let your personality shine through; it's bigger than you think. Don't let the words and actions of others define you. They put other people down out of a need to feel better about themselves.

21: Academics are important but they're not the only thing. Now that you and your high school friends have pretty much gone your separate ways (at least for the present), you need to build new relationships. Don't hide from people by burrowing your nose in books, assignments and studying. I know you want to do well, but get out more and enjoy life. It's happening all around you.

Now: You've been through a lot since you were 21. Made some mistakes and some good decisions too. This is a challenging stage - sandwiched as you are between young adult children and an aging parent - it's important to find the balance. Re-read that book on self-care and apply some of its strategies. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. Keep up those massage appointments, your book club, and meals out with friends; keep reading and writing. Keep eating healthfully and try to get more exercise. Hopefully you've got a lot of years left in you; make them the best they can be.

Dear reader, what would you say to your younger self?

Friday, 10 March 2017

Five-Minute Friday: Abandon



Walking the time tightrope
Friends, I am attempting not to abandon the blogging side of this website. But it’s a fact that time is a precious commodity when you’re working part-time, have a home to run, a family to care for, etc. You all know that from your own lives, I’m sure, and perhaps you have the added burden of working full-time.

So, while I have been writing lately, I’ve been trying to revise the novel I’ve been working on for quite some time. I have stacks of paper in a couple of bedroom drawers that provide feedback from my writers’ group and I’d like to be able to use that space for storage other than paper. I’m pleased with my progress this week, but you may feel I’m not meeting my obligation to my readers here and that I’ve abandoned you.

You’re important to me, of course. Without a readership there is still a point in writing (it’s a big part of who I am and I can’t imagine myself without it), but I do write for you as well as for myself.

I hope you will be patient with me as I try to find the work-life-writing balance that best serves both of us.

Be blessed.
___________
Today's post is brought to you by the word 'abandon.' If you would like to participate in Five-Minute Fridays, please visit http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ to find out more.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Five-Minute Friday: Flash Fiction


Apologies for not posting more regularly; I'm trying to focus on my novel, but between working and trying to maintain my home, it's a challenge.

Today's Five-minute Friday prompt is "purpose." I've determined to use these prompts to write some flash fiction to get the creative juices flowing. Here's today's result:


At twenty-one, Bethany was still trying to figure out her purpose in life. What was she meant to do? Who was she to become? Her thoughts were scattered on this. The years in high school, heavily influenced by her teachers and peers, had left her confused. What had seemed so plain as a child and through her early growing-up years had faded and died a slow death. What was truth? There seemed to be your truth and my truth, but no absolute truth. Was this right, or was this a great lie perpetrated by the masses who didn’t really want to know what the truth was? If there was no truth, could there be any real purpose beyond doing what you wanted, what felt good, what was out there? YOLO, right? You only live once. Why not live it up? But that left her feeling so empty at the end of the day. It felt like there was something missing, some great hole in her life. There had to be something beyond this, didn’t there? Bethany was determined to figure out what that was, even if she had to put her actual life on hold to do it. She’d heard that if you seek the truth, you will find it, and the truth would set you free. She wanted to be free. Oh, how badly she wanted it.

 __________
If you would like to participate in Five-Minute Fridays, please visit http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ to find out more.