Tag Archives: Advice

Our surroundings

2013-07-21 18.27.38


Do you get sooooo busy you forget to look up? I know the answer is yes, for it is for me as well. Whether it is from my numerous doctor visits to my writings and all in between, this is me. This is one main reason why I love to take pictures. It takes me away from my phone, computer, social media, TV and any other issues that can make me forget the world I live in.

I go outside and get to walk around my community or whatever area my husband and I choose. He is more of a people person and loves taking pictures of us human beings. I gravitate toward scenery of all kinds.

On our outings which can last from a couple of hours in the minimum to four or five hours we always will stop by a place to eat and talk and discuss the pictures we took or things we may have seen or people we may have talked to.

Even if our pictures don’t all come out it is a great time toe be reminded there are other things in this world besides TV, computers and the internet. We get to busy with our everyday lives, with the promise of taking time off always on the tip of our tongues, but how often do we do that?

My husband is rarely seen without his camera, the promise of finding THE picture on his journey to work, bowling or to a client’s base of operation. I started taking up this habit of his and thankfully so. For I managed to take this picture.

I hope you all look up and see what is going on around you.

Our hectic lives: Slow down



I hit the ground running. Are you familiar with this phrase? It seems this has been my life lately and especially for 2014. By the time I go to bed I am exhausted. When did we get so busy? When did life rule our lives to the point we are just going round and round in circles like a dog chasing his tail? But yet we do.

I am a wife, mom, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, a writer, a housewife, treasurer of my community watch group, organizer of my book club, run a writer’s group, freelance writer and photographer for a magazine in our county and a host of other things. I am sure you all can relate. The list is way longer then what I just wrote.

As cliché as this line is, take time to smell the roses, do we? We are so busy trying to multitask and getting so much done in a shorter time that not only do we hurt ourselves mentally and physically but we also hurt those around us. We spend so much time either online, on our phones or in meetings or going to meetings if someone came up to me and went boo I would scream. Being exhausted can become a state of mind if we are not careful. We need to slow down people. A time for us to recharge, rest and enjoy what is around us before it is too late. We already have regrets in our lives do we need to add more?

It is easy for us to say oh we will do it later. I can take care of that after this and this is done. But do we do that? Or do we just add more to our plates, striking three things off our to do list but adding four or five?

My son graduated from college this past Saturday and surprisingly I didn’t cry. I did for his high school graduation. I was so proud of my little man. There was a time we did everything together, he was my sidekick. But as we grew older and both our lives got busy that has weaned a bit. Having one child I can’t afford to let opportunities get wasted for before I know it, he will be away by miles and not be nearby.

Wake up call everyone. Slow down. Take a walk, enjoy a cup of tea, go for a walk, hit a movie in the middle of the day, or whatever suits your fancy. We are not getting younger in body but I hope to stay young in mind. I hope to be here a while. But not only for myself, but for my family and friend as well.

Guest Post:Michael D Fowler

Learning to Write: 10 Things I Now Know

This year is my first attempt at NaNoWriMo and while I have written many things before I have found that even in these early stages I have learnt a lot about myself and writing. Today I am going to share these with you as well as my first thoughts about NaNo.

  1. Writing is hard work. This one I knew already. I have written things before, albeit not on this scale and not in such a small time scale but every time it was work. That’s not to say I have not been enjoying it. I love writing but sometimes the mental, effort used to put something onto paper (or screen) is intense. NaNo has reinforced this.
  2. A deadline only increases the work. This one may only apply to me because I was born with an incredible and limitless ability to be lazy, even with things that I really want to do. Adding a deadline to something on some level makes me want to put off doing it. It moves from being a hobby to work, and that is something I always want to avoid.
  3. Planning is invaluable. I planned my novel thoroughly before November. In real life I like to know exactly where I need to be and exactly when I need to be there. This has spilled over to NaNo. The idea of not knowing beforehand irked me, so for thirty days before the start I planned everything thoroughly. I actually did this in no time at all and went on to plan another project as well. I know some people say this kills the creative juices but for me it is essential to have peace of mind.
  4. It is impossible to stick to plan, no matter how much you want to. The basic outline of my structure remains mostly intact, but when you are writing new ideas fly at you in their dozens. The story changes and evolves and eventually a character you designed is unrecognisable anymore. Only a handful of days in and my story, while mostly the same, has also changed considerably.
  5. I have the discipline. I have already mentioned that I am chronically lazy. It is nice to have learnt that when I really apply myself to something I can do it. Hopefully I can use this in other areas of my life too.
  6. It is very difficult to turn my inner editor off. For smaller projects this is not so much of a problem but when attempting something larger like NaNo my inner editor is pulling it’s hair out at the idea of leaving a sentence imperfect
  7. Write for yourself and nobody else. Sometimes I look at my work and I think, will anyone other than me enjoy this story? And then I think who cares as long as I enjoy it? I know for many people the ultimate goal is to become published but the moment when you start writing for an agent or editor you are well into the realms of seeing it as a job rather than something you want to do. Chances are you’ll find that other people will enjoy it, and that if it is written well you will be able to create an audience, so in the mean time don’t worry about it. An editor will tell you if he thinks any major changes are required.
  8. This links back to the previous point. Don’t worry about not reaching your goal. Nobody is going to reprimand you if you don’t reach it and I certainly won’t think any less about you. It’s important that you enjoy what you do, even if it means going at your own pace. Whether it takes you a month, two or more it’s your project and while NaNo is great for motivation don’t let it become an obsession. Writing is incredibly addicting, and like and addiction it can be detrimental.
  9. Putting your life on hold is not a good idea. Sometimes the desire to reach the set word count leaves me thinking I need to ditch my friends, leave homework unfinished (I attend an adult language school every day) and basically kill my social life. Don’t there is no point and it is not healthy. You will find you have plenty of time so reward yourself for your effort ever while and then.
  10. Nothing written is written badly. Ok not exactly true your first draft is going to be awful but it’s not bad in the sense that it will ultimately improve your skill. Everything you write is practice and like all forms of art it needs to be practiced for you to improve.

Overall my current experience with NaNo is a positive one. I have learnt that I am capable of doing this and I have a new found respect for Authors that publish books on a regular basis. I’ve learnt a bit about what it takes and about myself and I can only learn more.

This guest post was written by Michael D Fowler. Michael Fowler is a university graduate from Cornwall in England who is now living in Berlin. Having finished his degree he experience a sudden panic and for the time being at least, has walked away form his degree in Biomedical Science and opted for a life as an Au Pair in Berlin. You can learn more about his life as an Au Pair and a bit about his attempt at becoming a better writer at themikebehere.wordpress.com.