Wolf and Word

Let your writing run wild

Category: Personal (page 2 of 3)

Winter is dead

Spring

“She turned to the sunlight

      And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbour:

    “Winter is dead.” 

― A.A. MilneWhen We Were Very Young

And like that, it is Spring again.

I ended my Winter on a rather poor note with our house becoming a den of sickness. The end is in sight though.  I’m feeling the energy of the new season and I’m running with it.

I am returning to this space and participating in some new challenges.

The first is Kat McNally’s August Moon  reflective writing challenge. I am late to the party because I was sick, but Kat doesn’t mind me sharing my responses to her amazing prompts now (She’s good like that.)

The second challenge I’m diving headfirst into is Operation Move’s Learn to Run.  I am so inspired by Kate and Zoey and I really want to change the story I’ve been telling myself about not being ‘sporty’ enough to be a runner.

And the third challenge I’ve signed myself up for is the #ShakeCreative challenge, which gives a daily prompt to inspire you to get creative every day in September. This creativity can take any form you like, and I haven’t decided yet whether to write each day or mix it up!

So I think I’ve got mind, body and spirit covered with these exciting challenges!

I’ve also given the blog a quick make-over to celebrate. What do you think?

Are you as happy as I am that it’s Spring?!

 

 

 

Wandering. Wondering. Pt I

notes

I read this blog post recently and it struck a chord.

I’ve been feeling like a bit of a fraud.

I create this space and then I don’t even show up.

I have the tagline ‘Let your Writing Run Wild’ when my writing has done anything but.

 

I want to share more words with you.

I want to share more of myself with you.

I want to show you what is setting my heart on fire and inspiring me, not just on a creative level, but in life.

I want my love for writing to shine through my words so you understand why I write and why I write about writing in particular.

I want you to know what words move me and why.

I want to show up to the blank page and lay myself bare.

I want to communicate.

I want to set little pieces of my heart free here for you to see.

 

I want to write.

I want to spend time swimming in words. Diving right in and letting them surround me.

I want to write big, big things to be read by many.

I want to write small things to be read by just one person, but have them carry it around in their heart forever.

 

I want to keep writing to figure out who I am.

I want to unearth, uncover, discover, rediscover, learn.

 

And I want you to do these things as well.

I want you to listen to that tiny whispering inside you that tells you to write.

I want you to trust your voice and tell your story in a way only you can.

I want you to fall in love with the feeling of creating, to let the words carry you away.

I want you to write when it is easy and when it is hard and when it is hardly there at all.

 

I will keep writing.

As much as I question if I should be,

As much as I question whether my words are any good,

and as much as wonder if I should be calling myself a ‘real’ writer,

I will keep going.

 

I can’t help it.

 

The question is, would you like to join me?

 

Hi

IMG_2966IMG_2966IMG_2966

How do you reconnect with someone you haven’t been in contact with for a while?

How do you reconnect when you have just let things drift? You thought at the time that perhaps it was time to let go of the relationship and then you realised you really do like them.  You think of them every day and you have so much to tell them.

Would you reconnect by liking their latest Facebook status, letting that little thumbs up let them know you’re still around?

Would you @ mention them in a tweet, or perhaps even send them a DM? Could you reconnect in 140 characters or less?

Would you tag them on Instagram in a photo of something hilarious, a private joke only they would get?

Would you send them a long email in which you tell them about everything that has ever happened to you, letting the words pour out in long and winding sentences, hoping that they are enough.

Would you see a cute, quirky postcard in your favourite little shop and send it to them with the words ‘Wish you were here’ or ‘Wish I was there’ or ‘Saw this and thought of you’?

Would you consider visiting them in person, standing at their door and clearing your throat after you ring the bell and when they answer you’ll tell them you were ‘just in the neighbourhood.’

Would you pick up the phone and give them the rarest of rare – a phone call, and hope they pick up? Or hope that they don’t and then leave a message where your voice sounds infinitely brighter than you feel and you do that awkward laugh at the end? You know the one – you wish you could erase every time it escapes your mouth but it never really bothered them.

Or would you try something more simple and send a text message, something short to open up the conversation once again?

One message containing all you want to say and all you’ll never say. One message into which you will channel all hopes, all possibilities, all imagined outcomes of this relationship.

And although in your heart it is a question, you will not add any punctuation at all. Best to leave it open, hanging there, expectant, hopeful, but not demanding.

You press send nervously and then wait to see if you will be rewarded with three grey dots…

You look at the message you just sent and hope it will be enough:

Hi

hi2

Twenty things you may not know about me!

twenty things

 

Wolf and Word has been around for five months now, so I thought I’d give you a little more insight into who I am! Here’s a list of 20 random things you may not know about me;

1. My favourite colour is red.

2. I live in the country, in a regional city, only 30 minutes away from the small town I grew up in.

3. I am the sixth of seven children. I have three brothers and three sisters. Out of the seven of us, I am the only one with brown eyes.

4. Most of my older siblings moved out before I can remember much about living with them. Now we are spread out all around Australia.

5. My younger brother and I had a cubby house which was a garden shed. In it was an old typewriter which I would use to type up my ‘magazine’ which I had titled Remedy (as it was supposed to be a ‘remedy’ for boredom.)

6. I also used to create and then type up ‘find-a-word’ puzzles which would reveal a message with the left-over letters once you had found all the words. My crowning achievement was an X-Files themed puzzle which when solved, of course, spelled out “The truth is out there.”

7. So, if you hadn’t guessed, I’m a little bit geeky. I read comics, I love superhero movies, and I have been known to play the occasional video game.

8. I am a pop-culture t-shirt junkie. I can not resist a clever t-shirt if it relates to something I’m a fan of.
Game of Thrones tee

9. I am married to an awesome guy named Josh. We’ve been married for seven years and we’ve been together for ten.

10. Josh and I have two children, a boy aged 6 and girl aged 3.

11. I’m not really a fan of cold weather.

12. Which makes it kind of surprising that high on my list of places I’d love to visit is Oslo, in Norway. It just looks so beautiful.

13. Also high on that travel wish-list? New York, Paris, Madrid, London and Los Angeles.

14. My first job was as a sales advisor/product demonstrator in a toy-store.

15. I have also worked as an inbound telemarketer for a major telecommunications company, where most of my day was spent fielding complaints. That was not my favourite.

16. I have a bachelor’s degree in Communications with majors in Print Journalism & Tourism. While my career may not have followed the trajectory I had originally planned post-Uni, I don’t regret either the degree (I learned a lot at Uni and met some great people) or where my life is at now (I have the most awesome family, and love getting to stay-at-home with my children while they are little.)

17. Being a writer, I obviously love to read, but I am also a huge fan of film. I absolutely love ‘the magic of the movies’ and a great film can put me on such an inspiration high. I especially love getting to see movies at the cinema. Cinema dates have been few and far between over the last couple of years, but that’s all set to change this year and my husband and I have just become members of our local film club, meaning more movies, more often. 

18. I am really not very good at cooking. I would love to have a better kitchen repertoire but when I branch out things seldom go to plan!

19. I am really uncoordinated when it comes to sports, when I was younger I used to feel sick before any team sport because I was so anxious about ‘letting the team down.’

20. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 27, and only really started driving regularly last year. It was a huge fear for me and I’m so relieved to have gotten past that as there was a time I believed I’d never be a driver. But I did it! I faced my fear and now I drive all the time. I like to remind myself of this whenever I start letting fear stand in my way.

How about you?

 Tell me something I may not know about you in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapping up #reverb13 – final catch-up

I’ve still been working my way through the reflective prompts from #reverb13. Here are my answers from Days 15-21

15. Give us a sensory tour of 2013. How would you describe the year that’s passing in terms of:

Sight? 

walkin' in the shade

 

“I’m not lost, I’ve only been mislaid, I know one day I’ll find the sun, though now I’m walking in the shade”

-The Beaver in Mike Batt’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark

 

Sound?

This.

 

Smell?

A mix of coffee, CK Eternity, apple-scented kids shampoo, peppermint oil and peanut butter. 

 

Taste? 

Sweet

B'day cake

 

Touch?

comforting, warm, supportive
ted2
16. Habits and addictions

I’d say there’s a pretty good chance I am addicted to Caffeine. No plans to quit at the moment.

17. What word did you select to be your travelling companion in 2013? What gifts did this word bring?

My word on 2013 was “Now”, to me it has two meanings – “Be Here Now” reminding me to be present in the moment, and “Begin it now” reminding me that I should just start to DO instead of only thinking about things.

 What word will you choose to guide you through 2014? What do you hope it will bring into your life?

My word in 2014? I am going with Love.

(“It is love that holds everything together, and it is the everything also.” – Rumi)

 

18I am often surprised where I find peace, it is usually in the midst of chaos.

In the midst of living, did you find moments to breathe? Were there moments that held you in the embrace of peace and quiet and pure contentment? 

Did these moments catch you by surprise or did you create the space for peace to find you?

The moments of peace I found were many, looking at the sky, the immense relief of good news. Mostly the moments of peace I found are when the four of us are together as a family. Whether we are quietly hanging out at home, or out in a crowd, my heart is most at peace when we are all together.

How will you make space for greater peace in 2014?

In 2014, I intend to continue to make family time a high priority.

 

19. The Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

 In the past year, I have been on a mission to understand and practice self-compassion, which is sometimes defined as “extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering,” and what I have learned has made me realize that this practice is at the heart of everything. 

 How will you practice self-compassion?

I’m believing in myself. I’m listening to my instincts. I’m letting some things slide. I’m having scheduled internet-free time. I’ve got back up plans for when I need some time out. I’m giving myself the space to write. I’m writing.

 

20. Forward is the only direction.

 The mirror never lies, but everything in it is backwards. 

 Look at what you see in the mirror. How does it change if you view yourself with eyes that can only look forward?

 With eyes that can only look forward I see

Me, 

I’ve been here all along and 

I’m still smiling.

 

21. Today, I’d like you to revisit what you wrote on 1 December on the first day of Reverb13. How does that compare to where you are now?

On day 1, I said scattered. Now, I am gathering those scattered pieces and sorting them out, working out which pieces to keep and which to let go. I’m finding focus. And I’m still feeling optimistic.

2014 is going to be MY YEAR because… I am going to let it.

In 2014, I am going to do… some things that will surprise me.

In 2014, I am going to feel…  apprehensive.

In 2014, I am not going to… let that stop me.

In December 2014, I am going to look back and say… I gave it my all.

 

#reverb13 was a 21 day reflective writing challenge with daily prompts hosted by Kat McNally.  Kat is currently working through the prompts herself as she did not get a chance to do so while hosting in December. You are quite welcome to join her if you’d still like to participate.

A Quiet Catch Up

Well, the school year is over which is giving me a chance to catch my breath (and catch up on some Reverb answers.)

Days 7-14 right here:

7. Your favourite selfie in the year of the selfie —
Dark hair in December

Recently I went to my gorgeous niece’s salon for a cut and colour. I am so, so happy with the result – I’m loving the darker shade.  I am so hopeless at hairdresser small talk so it was lovely to have someone I know cut my hair and have a chat and a coffee at the same time.

 

 8. What Went Right?

A lot went right, when it really comes down to it. A lot of little things going my way.

On a personal note, I was hugely anxious about my boy starting school but he has done so, so well. That was a big thing to go right.

Applied to writing : I wrote. I wrote more this year than I ever have since having my two little Awesomes. That’s a  big plus in my eyes.

 

9.Who inspired you in 2013? And why? 

I started answering this prompt and it became so long I’ve decided to make it a post all of it’s own. It will be this week’s Wolf & Word Notebook on Friday.

 

 10. Living life on auto-pilot can feel disorienting and dull. How did you cultivate a life worth loving during 2013?

 My trick for ditching the auto-pilot is to have a plan for when the daily grind does start to wear on you. Something small and unexpected, have breakfast out, stay in and watch a movie, feed the ducks in the park – something that might lift an ordinary week out of that blah place.

 

11. What challenges lie ahead in 2014? How might you meet them boldly?

I am feeling so full of optimism for the new year right now, how I wish I could bottle it!

I will meet my challenges boldly with the support of those who love me holding my hand and cheering me on, and when I’m feeling not so bold, I will rest and recover before striking out again.

 

12. I’m a big fan of muddy experiences. They become our greatest teachers when we’re wise enough to exfoliate with them; roll around in the deep until we finally feel ready to get clean.

Today, identify something muddy that kept recurring for you throughout 2013, and then ask yourself this: What’s the clear truth underneath this damn mud if I finally wash myself clean?

I loved this prompt. I loved the ‘stickiness’ of it. I cannot answer it here, but it did make for some interesting pages in my journal.  I still wanted to post it for anyone else who may wish to dive into it.

 

13. In 2014, how could you explore what community means to you? Where might the alchemy be?

I know that I need to participate more in the communities I belong to (online and offline, big and small) to benefit more from them, to feel more a part of them. I think this is hard for me with my natural tendency to observe, and my questioning whether my own contributions are worthy or relevant.  In 2014, I need to make my voice a little bit louder, and to make sure people know I’d like to help, to contribute and to join in.

snowies

 

14. What was the best decision you made in 2013? What were the results? How will you continue the good work in 2014?

Deciding to Begin –  Making the decision to just start some of the projects I’ve been dreaming up –  Launching Wolf & Word, trying NaNoWriMo. I’m a hesitater from way back so deciding to just get over myself and do things was the best decision I made this year. The results of doing these things is that I have learned so much and I am still learning. I still have lots to do and lots to plan, so I will be continuing to put myself out there and try new things next year.

begin it now
I’m joining in with a bunch of bright and beautiful people for Reverb13, a reflective writing challenge hosted by the amazing and talented Kat McNally.

Click through to check it out.

 

What was the best decision you made in 2013?

 

A few insights from #Reverb13

Day 1. On the first day – How do you feel?

One word comes to mind: Scattered

scattered

I am feeling a bit scattered at the moment with so many things competing for my attention. But it’s not overwhelming me. I am currently in the process of sorting through things (both physically and mentally) and allowing myself to let some things go as I focus on what I really want. I’m actually feeling quite energised and excited.

Applied to my writing: I’m feeling excited about the novel I’m working on. I want to write more poetry. I’m feeling happy with the direction Wolf & Word is heading in but I want to provide more content on a more consistent basis. Again though, excited about the projects I am working on.

 

Day 2. How did you nourish yourself in 2013?

I took more notice of myself and how I was feeling, and when things weren’t brilliant I took it easy on myself. I allowed myself to nurture my introverted nature.

Applied to my writing: I gave myself space to write, including launching this website (self-hosting for me is a first) to dedicate to writing. I gave myself space to learn about my own needs and processes when it came to writing. I bought books about writing to indulge my passion and I read more fiction than in previous years to fuel my imagination.

 

Day 3. Listen to your heart

Kat asks us to ask our own heart “Heart: what do you need?”

My cheeky heart starts singing, barely audible at first but soon building to a roaring crescendo:

‘Love, love, love…”

So I laughed and joined in.

Applied to my writing: When it comes to writing, my heart says “Just Write.”

 

Day 4. What have you lost?

    What are you grieving?

I lost my way for a little while, and I grieved a little for things not turning out as I thought they would. I cannot say much more than that without delving too much into someone else’s story.

Applied to my writing: I lost Nano. But it wasn’t a bad thing.

 

Day 5. What was the greatest risk you took in 2013? What was the outcome?

Perhaps the greatest risk I took was launching Wolf & Word. Firstly, that by doing it by myself I could get the technical side of it sorted out. I did and I found the process fun! Secondly that anybody would read it, which they do. (Thank you for being here!)

The outcome is that I am very happy with the space and just want to keep writing here and build it up even more.

Applied to my writing: Well what do you know? My biggest risk this year is my writing!

Day 6. What precious things have you gathered in 2013?

Which memories from this year do you wish to keep with you always?

There are some big ones. My son starting school. Each time we got good news in regards to my daughter’s growth. The day the sun shone so brightly.

There are also little moments imprinted on my memory, my kids dancing with their father in our lounge room, just being silly and having fun. All four of us on the couch, my daughter exclaiming “We family.” I’m stockpiling all the hugs they give me. So precious.

Applied to my writing: Pressing publish on the site, feedback and comments, connecting with other writers. When Greg Rucka @replied me on twitter! (Just ask my husband how much that one made me smile.) Being asked to write a guest prompt for this challenge.  Connecting with people through writing is huge for me.

These prompts are part of #Reverb13 – An end-of-year blogging/personal challenge from the amazing Kat McNally.


Check it out – Come & play.

“Let the process be joyful”

flower

Well, I really dropped the bundle didn’t I?

With NaNo, with this space.

It’s strange because I really love writing here, and I was really loving the NaNo challenge. It’s not like my story is stuck either, I have plenty to go on with (I haven’t written enough to get stuck yet, obviously.)

It happened because I put all these expectations on myself that weren’t really necessary.

I knew November was already starting to fill up with commitments. Family stuff, school stuff. I also wanted there to be some breathing room because of Christmas being you know, right around the corner as they say.

And I knew that I would require some headspace for a personal decision I had to make this month. Which of course, is a small decision blown right out of proportion, but also a huge decision due to factors I can’t really go into. So there was that.

But still I said to myself ‘You can NOT make your blog about writing and then not participate in NaNoWriMo.” So I signed up. And I wrote a little. And I stopped. And then I didn’t come back here because I couldn’t update my word count widget and I felt like a total failure.

There is no way I will make the 50,000 by the end of the month. I’m not going to “win”. But in a way I have won already. My novel is alive, it is being written. I have a story. My characters have names. I’m excited about this.

I had no idea what I was going to write about until the day before it started, I put ‘fantasy’ down as the genre but it seems to be heading down a path that looks more like sci-fi.

I’ve also learned a lot about myself while participating.

I can see now that I have spent a lot of time writing concentrating on getting the words right. While doing NaNo I had to make sure I was concentrating on the story otherwise I would have nowhere to go. I am sure there are some atrocious passages in the small amount I have written. But the first draft is supposed to be like that right?

But on the other hand, I do love the writing. I don’t want to just rush through everything so I can attain the word count goal by the deadline. By making it so business-like I was squeezing out all the joy in the creating. I had conjured these people out of thin air and they were letting me get to know them and instead of enjoying that I was all, “Yeah that’s great but I need 1000 more words tonight so you better get back to doing something guys!”

So I’ve got to strike up a balance it seems, between working on the story, and playing with the words. This should hopefully be easier now that my story is a little more than ‘There are some people and something happens.’

I have never had any fiction published. I have no deadlines except the ones I impose on myself. I know, while in the process of writing this novel, it’s going to get hard sometimes. I mean, just beginning was hard enough for me. And then admitting- even on here- that I’m writing a novel is hard too. (Because what if I never finish it?)

But all in all, writing is what I love. Writing gives me joy. And so I’m going to take the advice of my good friend who reminded me to “Let the process be joyful.”

So, I’m writing a novel.

And so far, I’m loving it.

 

 

 

Things I have been doing instead of writing my NaNoWriMo Novel

(or updating this blog.)
more than I can chew
Stressing about the fact that I have not been writing my NanNoWriMo novel or updating my blog.

Christmas shopping and planning.

School drop-off and pick-up. Over and over.

Not having a bet on the race that stops a nation. Not even stopping (as it was school pick up time.)

So. Much. Washing.

Being pulled over by the police for the first time since I got my licence. (Random Breath Test. I passed, in case you were wondering.)

Saying yes when my three year old says “Sit with me Mummy.”

Cracking out the t-shirts and shorts.

Getting the warm clothes back out again.

Eating, and not eating, and eating again.

Groceries.

Forgetting to be the tooth fairy (not recommended.)

Wondering and worrying about whether or not to send my 3 year old to pre-school next year. Still undecided

Celebrating my Dad’s 70th birthday.

Not instagramming, not tweeting, not G+ ing.  Facebooking intermittently (including accidentally posting Wolf & Word stuff to my personal profile, which must have been confusing to my family and friends!)

So. Many. Dishes.

Watching fellow participants’ word counts climb. Thinking, ‘Well done.’

Watching fellow participants’ word counts climb. Thinking ‘Are you kidding me?’

Doubting myself as a writer.

Doubting myself as a parent.

Doubting myself as a human being.

Questioning my existence.

Questioning my sanity.

Questioning my coffee intake.

Writing stupid lists.

 

Seriously, I don’t know what happened to me. I was excited about the direction my story is heading in, I was happy with my characters, and then… nothing. And now I feel I am so far behind that maybe I should just not worry about it.

What should I do to kick myself back into gear?

Not Forcing It

bright sunshiny day

Today is a beautiful day. Sunny and bright, just what I’ve been waiting for. It’s a public holiday here, I have no obligations. Everyone in the family is occupied at the moment.

I should be writing.

But the words just aren’t flowing for me today.

So I’m not going to force it.

I’m grabbing a book, and a coffee and heading back out into the sunshine.

I’m giving myself a free pass today.

In the meantime, if you’re after something to read you could always check out why I love poetry here, my latest list of inspiration here or my writing prompt & linky here.

I’ll catch you later!

Do you ever find that the words won’t come when you do have time to write?

Do you ever give yourself a free pass?

Joining in with Shells in the Bush for Blogtoberfest : a blog post a day for the month of October.

 

 Blogtoberfest 13 – Day 7

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