Friday, 20 January 2017

Photo Inspiration for January

It's all a bit bleak out there at the moment. It seems to have rained every day in January so far where I live. Dog walks are short, pavement-bound and with my eyes downcast.

I took this photo on one of the few dry mornings we've had recently. The towering branches of the oak trees, dotted with crows, painted a picture of black on white. I always enjoy watching the crows which mass in these trees at the end of the road where I live.

What do you think? Depressing? Foreboding? Stark? Or do you find something inspirational and thoughtful in this image?

What does it inspire you to write?

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

My 2017 reading habit

Last year I set myself a reading list of twelve books. I reckoned one book a month was doable  but unfortunately I failed abysmally. I managed three books over the year. Well, that's not totally true. I read three books from my list but also read several ARC books and draft novels for fellow writers. Still, I didn't meet the challenge I set for myself.

This year, I'm doing things differently. Rather than setting a list of books to read and ticking them off as finished, I'm going to add to my 'read' list on the right of this page as I finish each book. I'll review the novels that stand out as special too.

As writers, we need to read. It's the other side to our creativity. 2017 is going to see a lot of change in my life and committing to read as much as possible is one of those changes. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

What I'm doing this month - January

This is the bandstand in the city where I live. It dates from 1913 and is still used as a regular performance space. This image perfectly represents how my life feels at the moment - an empty stage waiting to be filled with music and colour. I'm nervous about stepping out onto that stage but excited too.

You see this year is all about stepping up to new challenges, learning my lines and realising my roles. It isn't a complete change because I'm bringing the best from last year with me but I'm adding some new ideas too.

In January, I will be:
  • looking for a job (although continuing with my script writing business too),
  • revamping my novel, Shadowbinder,
  • rehearsing for and performing in a pantomime (my daughter is taking part too),
  • and cleaning up my business website.
It's going to be a nose-to-the-grindstone kind of month but that's ok. I need the exercise after all the festive indulgences. I foresee the need for lots of coffee.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Life in the New Year

Many people have slammed the door on 2016 as a year of divisiveness, hate and loss. I have to agree that yes, it's been all of that, but for me it's also been a time of growth and realisation. Not all of that was comfortable, for the world or me personally, but no worthwhile change was ever achieved from a place of safety and comfort. Challenging times bring out the best in people.

The beginning of most years have felt like this - a blank page. I'm not a one for making new year resolutions (the spring always seems like a much better time for that) so I've kind of drifted into each new year with a vague sense of needing to make a change.

I've made the usual vows - eat healthier, exercise more, be a better person - but that has often felt like an empty effort. Shouldn't I be doing those things anyway? Perhaps that's the problem. This time of year excels at selling expectations. We should do this and we should get rid of that. I've always been uncomfortable with the word 'should'. It smacks of what other people think and has nothing to do with what truly makes us tick, our loves and passions.

2017 is different. I have a plan, one that excites me because it includes projects that are dear to my heart but also challenges me to step out into new arenas. It's a busy plan that touches every part of my life. 2016 saw me disheartened and doubting myself. In 2017, I'm taking charge. 

Whatever you have planned for 2017, here's to twelve months that stretch you in the best of ways. The future is as bright as we make it. Happy new year.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas to you all


So it's Christmas Day tomorrow (just in case, perchance, you didn't know) and I'm officially signing off until the new year. May your last week of 2016 treat you and yours well, and safely usher you into 2017. However you spend it, all the best for the 25th.