The Sisters

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My new book is out!

This was written after reading about a group of heiress sisters to a skin care fortune.

I imagined their lives and the pressure from family and the invested public for them to be perfect, which is impossible!

I often wonder about the lack of empathy for people who are in the public eye to make mistakes, and learn from them. Imagine being 25 again and having every single mistake reported with imagery in the Daily Mail or the gossip columns?

You couldn’t pay me to do it, honestly. I got up to mischief in my 20’s and into my 30’s for that matter, hell, I am still doing it into my 40’s after recently coming home at 3.30am after a night out with friends. Thankfully no one was there with a camera to record the evidence of my tragic walk to the Uber with a kebab in hand.

The sisters in my book are all so different but connected which those who have sisters will understand. No one can hurt you or comfort you like a sister. You know where their bodies are buried and where their best parts are in their heart.

I am thrilled this is out in the world now and I hope you enjoy it!

Kate

xx

Early reviews are in now:

“I really loved this one. It had everything. Fashion, Art, Horses and women who take their destiny into their own hands, sleazy businessmen and cheating husbands as well as a man claiming to be their brother.”

Pirate Patty Book Review Blog

You can buy here:

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2NZurmU 
iBooks: https://apple.co/2EDsFIT

Amazon: mybook.to/SistersForster
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JbOZrI

Drawing On Creative Inspiration

There is a time of the day when I am filled with creative possibility.  It's usually at night, after dinner, having the last cup of tea for the day. I have so many ideas and worry I am running out of time and I am low on talent to create them all. But inspiration is a wonderful thing and I love mooching about the internet finding new things that people have created.

Of course, I wish to do things that are beyond my skill set, such a create notebooks like José Naranja, whose work is exquisite.

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Or I wish to draw like Lily Mae Martin, who can pretty much draw anything. Her work is both pensive and optimistic, as though she sees the world as it really is but pushes on anyway.

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Or create a home filled with the scent of coffee and copal, fairy lights, plants and magic, where you can borrow books and take a spell for something that's troubling you.

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Perhaps I could create collages like this one by Rocio Montonya.

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Maybe write a poem like Mary Oliver.

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Amidst the pain and sorrow in the world, there is also so much brilliance in the world. While I doubt I will ever draw or create like Lily Mae Martin or Jose Naranja, or write poetry as well as Mary Oliver, I can appreciate their talent and in the meantime, I can create a beautiful home, a magical garden and write a novel, so that's a good thing. We all have something beautifil to share inside us.

Happy weekend to all the creative bugs out there. xx

 

 

Living a creative life

When I say be creative, I don’t mean you should all go and
become great painters and great poets. I simply mean let
your life be a painting, let your life be a poem.
—Osho

This quote resonated with me when I read it. I have lost count of how many people tell me they want to be more creative, but they often assume it's in the form of modality. So what if you made your life the creative act?

In this vein, I have listed ways to be creative without having to pick up a paintbrush or start  to write a book.

  • Wear clashing colours
  • Put art into your garden
  • Have full bookshelves
  • Eat breakfast for dinner 
  • Cook things from scratch
  • Have fresh flowers in your house
  • Eat from the saucepan
  • Take photographs when you walk
  • Move your furniture around
  • Create a playlist for different moments in your daily life, breakfast, travelling to work, etc.
  • Always have a book in your bag
  • Write lists of things you want to do
  • Plant a garden in pots or in the ground, no rules
  • Place flowering plants with your edible plants
  • Move the art around in your space
  • Say 'yes' more often
  • Create a creative corner of books and a rug and candles and a table for your tea
  • Have a dinner party where everyone has to bring a course
  • Help someone
  • Sing whenever possible
  • Ask your friends to recommend a book to read, and then read it
  • Ask your friends what their favourite song to sing to is and then listen to it
  • Travel whenever possible, even to a new cafe, or library or stores. Stretch the boundaries to allow yourself to see more.

 

Happy Friday. xx

On The Mammoth Loneliness Of Being Creative

A long time ago, when woolly mammoths were a big thing, loneliness was an important feeling that existed to remind us that it isn't safe to be away from the tribe. It beat at our chests and heads, warning us that pain is out there, a loss is out there, even death, perhaps from one of those pesky and clumsy woolly mammoths or some other dangerous mega-fauna.

But as we have evolved, we still have that sense of loneliness, even though the threat of death by mammoth is now slim to none. 

Loneliness is at epidemic proportions, with studies now saying it's worse for you than smoking or drinking, raising your stress levels and causing inflammation in the body, which in turn manifests into all sorts of serious illness, even death. 

So now the fear of the woolly mammoth is the actual feeling of loneliness. What was once a warning sign of danger, is now the danger in and of itself.

I don't think there is a greater loneliness than that of the creative person. You can spend days not speaking to anyone. You can miss phone calls or put out stern messages that you will not be available to sup or dance with until you meet your deadline. No exceptions! All these self-imposed rules exist so we can meet our desire to create and obey the muse that stalks within us. We self-punish to please what yearns to be let out of our minds and fingers, and this is for the term of our natural life. 

Then, just like a dream, you then wake and realise everyone has gone dancing without you, and you are alone with the woolly mammoth of loneliness as your only company. 

But not everyone is afraid of, or even dislikes their mammoth. Writers often make friends with it, tucking the feelings it evokes away in their mental notebook to be repurposed at a later date. Artists paint it, musicians score it, and poets plait it into a verse that stabs at the earliest parts of our awakening and DNA.

We head out into mysterious lands of the imagination without a compass, the place that no one else but us will charter and map. We face demons of our own making, we face grief, and loss, and fire and drownings and death and guilt and that is only up to Chapter 3. 

We take the photos and draw the shapes and paint in a way that makes others cry, just like you do when you hear that special piece of music that seems to have been written just for you, just for this moment.

We write and paint and compose and more, all of it for those who choose to stay in the village, far away from where the mammoth roams. We aren't resentful, we need them there, as not everyone can tame the mammoth, and we want them to be there for us when we return. We will share our stories, and they will sup with us, and tell us about the news in town and keep us up to date with the area, so we will be safe again.

They read the stories we write and dance to the music that is composed for them. They weep over the poems that remind them of a time before they were alive, and they hang the art that cheers them, even though they don't understand why. They are present and real and aware of the dangers of the mammoth and sometimes they drag us out of our caves, or back from the badlands, and pull us into the moment.

And when we come back to ourselves again and reconnect with the world by drinking and laughing with friends, our bodies and minds relax, the good chemicals are released. Yes, we are better for the loneliness, it forced us to be brave and rely on ourselves, to tame the mammoth, but coming back to each other again reminds us that we need companionship to feel safe again. 

We must remind other creatives they are not alone. We must support other creatives when the mammoth threatens to stomp them into extinction. We must call out the names of our fellow creatives, so they know that they exist and matter and their work matter. That they will always be missed from events, even if the mammoth says they aren't, that no one remembers them or their work (mammoths say things like that, mammoths also lie, a lot).

We must rely on each other to keep the loneliness in check. These relationships give us meaning and desire. These relationships are what fuels our work. Without them, who are we creating for? We want to be read, to be heard, to be collected, to be noticed.

These social connections fire up our dopamine levels and dopamine pushes us to find what we desire. We need the social relationships to help us realise our creative desires, just as we need the solitary block to realise them into some form of art. 

So, my beloved creative people who are reading this, don't deny yourself company and connection. It's all lived experience, and it's all important, for, in the end, to live well, you must live fully, mammoth and all.


 

How to balance paid work and creative work

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  I have been working full time with three jobs for a while,  because I have one kid at school and one at University in another state, which I am paying for and we need to eat, and God knows, there ain't enough money in publishing to make this happen.

This week I went to a discuss some work with the MOST gorgeous women, in the MOST fabulous office,  and they asked a lot about my writing and narrative skills and how they could utilise them for their successful business.  This felt weird because, in my other jobs, it's not mentioned at all.   It was nice to talk about it but I felt embarrassed, as though I hadn't quite been successful enough and now I'm sitting here asking for work, or is it just me who thinks this?Probably. 13 books, three publishers, two  TV shows and selling one to a large production house says otherwise, but the bank balance tells me the truth. It ain't easy for a creative bitch in this town.

Right now I have an idea for a book that I am trying to prise out of my brain and am working on TV ideas with Eddie, my script partner. I have a course in scriptwriting to finish, and I have more freelance than I can keep up with, along with a huge and demanding consulting job. So, how to do I honour the creative work with the necessary?

Not easily, but it can be done.

  1. Turn off the television. When I wrote my two first books, I didn't watch any television while writing them. If I wanted entertainment, then the books would provide it to me, as long as I kept writing.
  2. Decide what matters and then forget the rest or ask someone else to help. This includes deep cleaning, cooking complicated recipes, and ironing. No one is going to remember you for the excellent creaseless yokes of your shirts.
  3. Say no to things that will take you away from your creative projects unless of course you really want to go. If that's the case then GO! It's important to have balance, but the Year 10 Mother's Coffee Morning? Nope.
  4. Keep a pen and notebook on you at all times. You can write or makes notes when standing in a line, or when waiting in the car, or when sitting in the doctor's surgery. Tom Waits has been known to ring his own answering machine to record snippets of lyrics that pass by in his thoughts. The muse is everywhere if you are paying attention.
  5. Talk about your work with someone, so you remember you are a creative person. Find your creative partner who you can riff with about words, and art and music and inspiration. It's important to fill up the well.
  6. Commit to your writing as much as you commit to your other work. It's easy to focus on the paid work above the creative but goddammit, you aren't being true to yourself or your talents
  7. Schedule your time. Every single hour. I use a bullet journal and get an enormous amount done during a day and use my time wisely. It also means I get a huge amount of paid work out as well as creative work.
  8. Accept that sometimes life and reality takes precedence over creativity. My sister is in hospital after major surgery, so any spare time this weekend will be spent with her and that's okay because love wins.
  9. Embrace routines. I love routines, they make me relax into my day. Coffee, feed dogs, make bed, shower, clean up the kitchen, work, write at lunchtime, work, school pickup, work, make dinner, write. Repeat. It's doable.
  10. Don't take on more than you need. Don't offer to do everything or be everything. You have to find your self-worth another way and really, it should come from your creative work!
  11. Get up earlier. Seriously. 5am wake up means two hours of writing or paid work. DO IT!

This blog post isn't the complete answer and I know people's lives are complicated. When I cared for my brother when he was sick. I didn't do anything creative at all. I had nothing to be creative about and the routine kept me grounded. But you must force yourself back into finding time for your creativity. I implore you to find some time. I guarantee you can let some things go in your life. Boundaries around the creative time are necessary and might not make you popular but do you know what? Suck it up, people. You saying no doesn't mean you don't care for them, it just means you care about your creative work more.

I read a blog a while ago where a woman listed all the things she had done during the day and how she had no time to do anything for herself. When I read the list I wanted to punch myself in the face on behalf of her martyrdom and her excuses. Don't make 40 cupcakes for the school fete. No one cares. Honestly! Don't make three lasagnas for friends with health issues. Make two, one of the sickest one, and make sure the other one is for yourself. Don't make an Angelina Ballerina costume from scratch. Buy it from the $2 shop.

Just stop making excuses and start making art.

As I say to my kids all the time. Nothing to it, but to do it!

Added bonus:

Inspo for the artist- This studio. 

Inspo for the writer - This bullet journal.