My 6th Letter To You

Hello again,

How was the weekend? Are you okay? You know I’m here if you need someone to listen. I might not have the right words but my ears are very able and clear, so anytime you want to unload, I can carry it for a while for you.

I have been doing a lot of introspective work with varying results. The challenge, as you know, is to know ourselves but also allow ourselves to change and grow. The goal for me is to become more responsive and less reactive.

I was thinking that when we aren’t present in our own lives we tend to rely on the mask of personality we have created and rely on it to see us through the moment or the situation. But what if we were present at these times and we paused, (sometimes I am not good at this but I am trying to be better) and responded without ego and instead responded with curiosity and openness?

I know sometimes I never really feel like I’m really grown up. That I’m pretending to go through the day with responsibilities, it’s actually pretty funny when you think about it. Like you’re ten years old and driving the car, and having parent/teacher interviews, and choosing what to have for dinner. Imagine yourself at ten doing those things. It’s difficult to try and let go of the childlike qualities but also be responsible, most of all for yourself and your actions.

But I know you are doing so well and remember that these odd and unwanted feelings don’t have to stay and if you can let them float past like clouds then that’s all they ever were.

Do me a favour today? Please? Stick around. Be present. Don’t go backwards and don’t go forwards. Be here, now.

You matter.


Kate xx


P.S. My rose are in bloom. They are 22 years old. The yellow one from one of my dearest friend. The pink one I bought when my daughter was born. Aren’t they lovely?

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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

 

 

When A Blog Dies

What happens when someone stops feeding their blog and it dies, much like a Tamagotchi from the 1980's?

Perhaps it's ghost stays online forever, particularly if it's on the old Blogger or Blogspot platform. Or some are eaten by another blog, new ideas and new ventures, and some, those whose parent no longer want to pay the cost of hosting their baby, euthanize it quickly and painlessly, except for those who miss it.

Below is the list of blogs I have bookmarked over the years.

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Many of these are now ghosts. Some are dead. The death of some make me sad, such as You Can't Call It It.  This blog had best collection of baby names I have ever read. In fact, I used it to name many of my characters. The loss of this blog cuts deeply. I wish I had saved it somehow. Is that even possible?

Othe blogs I still read, such as Meet Me at Mikes and Penelope Trunk. I have been reading Sixth in Line by Elisabeth Hanscombe for years and was thrilled when she recently joined the writer's group I have formed. Others I dip in and out of but knowing they're there is comforting. Reading Down to Earth, with its incredibly daggy format and casual chatty tone is like going to my Nana's for lunch. Many others I have left behind. Their content isn't relevant to my stage of life, or they went crazy because some people do when they share too much personal stuff on the web.

I have been blogging in some form since 2006. It's not always easy to think of things to write about but its a lesson in commitment and a form of practise for my writing. I have no idea who reads this blog, as I have never monetised it, nor had any statistic software added to it, other than what is offered and even then I don't understand it.When I read that blogging is dead, I shrug. Blogging is as alive as you wish it to be. Medium is blogging. Longer Facebook posts is a form of blogging. Threads on Twitter is blogging. Morning pages online is blogging. 

The term blog came from Web Log, which turned into Weblog, which became Blog. 

Logging the web. Logging the day. Logging your life.

Software developers log their day. The run a “Programmer Log”, which is the dates and time of what you had done that day, and you begin to see what takes time, what doesn't, what is hijacking your time and how much output you achieved. It's a great snapshot of your day. How can you improve?

I consider my blog as logging my thoughts, my life in some form, and logging my evolution. I can be a petty, shithead, and sometimes when I go back and read my posts, I see that I don't care anymore about whatever I was bitching about. I can also see great humour and love and loss and joy. In some ways, my blog is my diary, my confession and my explanation.

Read it or not, it will still be here tomorrow.

Happy Monday.

xx

 

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.

 

Blog News

ecard8 Hello all,

After a long hard think, and a sincere lack of time, I have decided to only post on my Facebook page. You can link here to read about news, what's going on in the world, my ideas, my books, other people's books, red carpets, and other guff.

It's been rich and real, and amazing but I am personally getting to the point of just to many social media points to manage. It's the Marie Kondo method for social media.

Thanks friend. Come to Facebook and say hi.

Love your work!

 

K

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