From Where Does Inspiration Come?

Thank you to Spiritual Echoes Community FB page for this image. Check out their page for more inspiration.

 

As with many writers, I am often overwhelmed and overtaken by everyday life. We get caught up in the passage of time doing what we need to do to make a living, all the while in our hearts we desire, dream, demand something totally different for our lives. We become complacent and comfortable with that which is around us while our very soul needs another place, another time, another focus… The picture above spoke to me – as most with the magnificent horse do… but the sentiment by Faulkner hit home as I profess to be “freeing the creative spirit” in mantra, yet let myself get so wrapped up in stress and situation that my spirit is literally penned (or un-penned if one is referring to the writer in me… pardon the play). And too often I find myself confined by my desire to help others that I cannot help myself – I support while ignoring my own inner desires all the while they are screaming to be free. So, in all this… from where does inspiration come?

I confess I do not have to look far to find it as I have a huge supply of creativity ready to burst forth – old ideas needing revamping, fresh ideas needing growth, new ideas needing encouragement, interaction with groups, and association with loving friends… some ideas spring forth and take over coming to fruition in record-breaking time – see our new calendar for the WFSC 10 year fundraising efforts! For me “freeing the creative spirit” IS freedom. And in that freedom inspiration grows. My journeys and retreats this year – to visit words, mountains, lakes, wild horses, and loved ones – those were freeing and inspirational, and… oh, for an endless supply of money and time to do them continuously! Realistically, I am pleased with what I did this year and it gave me many good memories (and photos). If given to heeding my own advice, I would say, “stop being so hard on me,” as I managed to explore and achieve and produce and create…

I guess the serious nature of my contemplation recently is due to a change in my current situation, and there are several things in the works. The liberal freedom part of me wants to “get the hell outta Dodge…” while the conservative weighted “stick to what I know” part of me is timid and partially stressed over the impending transition. It’s not bad – not bad, at all. It’s change. It’s something different. And it’s not just because I want to pick up and run… it’s because there is someone in my life with whom to make this move, to share this change. We both want less, which to us equals more – less stress, less confinement, less congestion, less interference… and all this equals more. “Living the freedom” is how we see our future. Still it’s an easy thing to say, but in all honesty, hard to perceive. Why not go for your dream, when given our limited time upon this earth? Inspiration comes from the freedom of doing what you love. Freedom comes from living the way you dream. Giving meaning to both is by being true to yourself and by loving someone who rounds out your life with happiness and pleasure.

That’s where inspiration comes from – from inside, while taking note of your surroundings and appreciating what you have. Be happy with the life you make for yourself.

blogging wordle

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

~William Wordsworth

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Remember, Remember

November… is all about the “remember.” It’s about remembering it’s still fall although winter sometimes imposes its icy cold hand over our land and our windshields. It’s a nice rhyme for those given to poetic urges when golden mantle is now carpet and barren branches reach toward a still blue Alberta sky. It’s about remembering to tune up and retread and retire… all those things that you might not have gotten to by the end of October. While the weather holds you batten down the hatches and stack the wood in preparation for what’s inevitably next…

Yes, there is the infamous “Remember, remember the 5th of November… of gunpowder, treason, and plot…” Guido Fawkes’ notoriety is forever in our history with his attachment to the foiled Gunpowder Plot of blowing up British parliament and all who were in attendance. Who knows what effect the successful completion of such a plan would have had on the day, let alone what might have transpired and what effects might have filtered down through history.

We have also always honored Remembrance Day on November 11th “…lest we forget.” To celebrate those with eternal gratefulness for their service to our country, to protect and defend us, most often with the biggest sacrifice one can offer – their lives. A day in honor is the least we can do. I do not remember it having to ever be a holiday, though, while growing up. I recall school tributes and moments of silence on the 11th hour, the 11th day, the 11th month while in the classroom. Now, as an employee, we receive the day off as a statutory holiday – not sure when it was instigated, but it is something we all just accept now, as the norm.

My own remembrance in November includes the passing of my mother in 2012 and I’ve stated several places… time has its way of moving on, yet all wounds do not heal completely. I will always pay tribute to this day, November 3rd, as I move forward to celebrate my own life in memory of hers.

And, of course, last but not the very least, considering my desire to write in any fashion – National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo, to those in the know… I remember with overwhelming contentment my connection to words and writing and the craziness that transpires as we heap the attempt upon our already full plates. I remember my love for this obsession and I remember my decision to narrow my focus to be a writer, become a published author, and help others by being a publisher.

Remember, remember…

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.”

~ William Shakespeare

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All Things Considered

Although I have frequently admitted to myself that some aspects of my life will never be the same, there is an underlying current that wraps me up and sweeps me along the river of familiarity. It’s an ongoing and never-ending course with changes and morph-isms as needed, rising and falling, slowing and free-flowing… but one thing is prevalent – it is always dynamic and all-encompassing. I will admit there are times when I feel stagnant, as if industrious water animals have dammed up my waterways, their unexpected blockages stopping the flow of creativity from mind to hand to page.

In my attempt to learn, create, and share along my writing journey, consistency of content and commitment rate high on my list. To be true to what you believe way down deep in your soul is the only thing that matters when it all washes up on the banks. If I ever feel as if I am not living up to my own level of creative expectation, I just have to stop and look – truly see – all that I have done and all there is to do. I appreciate my friends who are constant supporters, and only remind myself of my accomplishments to justify why I have not posted another blog, why I have not written a new article, or why I have not engaged in the weekly writing prompts.

This short repartee is in no way to be considered masterful or all-inclusive. It is merely a brief composition of what’s been on my mind, what’ been accumulating for the past few weeks. However, it is heartfelt… all things considered.

Oh, look, beautiful fall things…

Fall Leaves

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Random Thoughts – Still the Same

Over the past few weeks, as many thoughts have crossed my mind as projects have crossed my desk. Of course, right up front – there is no end to the flurry of publishing activity as I work diligently to meet deadlines while prepping manuscripts to become books. There is excitement aloft! At times, I have to distance myself from the hype as it is easy to get all caught up in the partying when the project is not yet finished. They are all in varying stages of completion and, as I look forward, there is celebration ahead, even while focus is still the name of the game. I am looking forward to wine – perhaps, lots of it!

                                                                                      TIME

As we only now teeter on the brink of August, don’t blink – as it will soon soar deceptive and graceful toward September – it is harder to remain focused and not get frantic. I say deceptive because, in an instant, August has a tendency to disappear! I say graceful because it teases you and holds you with warmth and sunshine, all the while knowing you are soon going to fall. There is always a concern held within the depths of my logical being of there being not enough time, resource, and/or energy… it is a contained concern as I most often keep it to myself, emerging victorious having slew the beast. I thrive on a full plate – and that can be taken in any context – but of late, I’ve had to confine my pursuits because time is too limited.

                                                                                      TRUE

Some of the things I’ve read lately confirm my own convictions in this business, while others are in direct opposition to them.  Guess that just goes to show there is no true right or wrong way – which allows for creative intervention. There are changes in the industry yet, I would be the first to admit, I have never feared change. I also don’t hold true to tradition, in most cases, having decided to take the best of all worlds and combine them – learn the rules, apply what works, change what doesn’t, and delete the improbable. Yes, confidence and surety are confirmed while remaining steadfast; but being true to your own spirit and direction are too wrapped up in change to be ignored.

                                                                                      TESTED

Ah, yes – that which does not kill you makes you stronger – thanks to Frederich Nietzsche for the words which find so many applications. It is difficult to get past the feeling of being “tested” when hit with life as we lament “why me” in a moment of self pity. Life’s obstacles steel our ability to deal with more, and it doesn’t seem so hopeless if there is a chance to find resolve. But what about those things you cannot fix – is being tested necessary to the extent of “omg what next?” The strength in the phrase refers to lessons and learning and growing beyond that which would break you if you let it – it gives no comfort to the feelings of sadness, depression, or the necessity to wrap protective armor about your heart.

                                                                                      TENACITY

What does all this boil down to? Time, true, tested = tenacity and the ability to hold fast with inner and outer strength while weathering any storm that may lay assault upon your being… it doesn’t mean it gets easy, it doesn’t mean you will always be happy, it doesn’t mean you won’t want curl into a lonely corner. But the test of time is said to heal all wounds and truth builds tenacious walls if you do not give up.

Postscript: The bulk of these words were written in 2012 and, although 2 years later, they are tried, tested, and true. During the time in between, I have dealt with a mess of things, yet here I am on the other side… some things are so much the same even though my world is totally different in other ways. I have not given up but will profess that time is not the healer it is claimed to be… for some things there is no magic medicine – there are only band-aids.

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It’s been a while…

Celebrating 5 years on WordPress blog!

Celebrating 5 years on WordPress blog!

There is something to be said for consistency, commitment, and continuity!

Although at times I feel that I have neglected my commitment to this blog… with days on end and nary a word – it would be untrue to claim I have not written. Thousands of words have passed from my pen to paper and/or from keys to screen, but no matter the vehicle of creativity, the words come from heart, my mind, and my soul. There is always a calling to write – those of you who do know what I mean – it’s not something we can put off without feeling physically ill. Creativity and the written word are the greatest remedy for what ails me…

The five-year mark is an important milestone in any endeavor. The year 2009 brought forth many creative projects, not only in my own life with this blog, but within my writing circles. We created new publications, new groups, new ways to connect with the writers and word-lovers around us. Writing prompts “prompted” longer works and the following year a compilation anthology promoted the best from our group. Some of those prompts were short stories from which novellas were born. My first was published in 2012/2013 in EBook and print; the two follow-up installments are in proofreading in our Novel Workshop group and will be published by this fall. Look for A Journey of Truth and A Journey of Desires as Aaslan and Aisha continue their life after A Journey of Brothers.

I continued and continued and continued with my Shakespearean romance time travel novel – An Elizabethan Affair – holding it close as if a part of me might just collapse and disappear had I let it go too soon… Well, it is now on proof order and awaits beta reader input. It will be published this year! 

As in all achievements there are many who share in your joy, your passion, your ups and downs. So, at this time, thank you to you all – friends, family, fellow writers, co-conspirators in the great book of life. Enjoy the journey and write your story!

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Summer Reading – Get Your Books Ordered & Receive A Special Offer…

Originally posted on Mandy Eve Barnett's Official Blog:

 

So summer is dawning and our thoughts turn to relaxation with a great book, or if you are like me books! I thought this special offer would appeal to many of you. You will find a wide range of books in various genres available at http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/catalog/books

 Buy a book (any book, any order) on line in June and July from the Dream Write Publishing catalog >> Read them. Enjoy them at home, at the beach, at the cabin, on the bus… or wherever you might be this summer. >> Review them. Write up a short “how you feel” about the book and send it back via the contact us form on the web site. We will post them on the book’s page so others can read your review (we will only put your first name). Buy 2 books – one in June and one in July – and get…

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Tradition – Blessed Beltane

There is something to be said for tradition. Historically, following patterns of season and harvest, birth and death, prosperity and frugality, the traditional ways of the earth were respected and revered. Celebrations were held for thanks, offering up reverence to the gods for bounty, and asking blessings upon crops and livestock to ensure sustainability and survival for, not only the individual and their immediate family, but the benefit of the greater good, whatever that was (society, clan, town, etc.). This true sense of community is attempted, but often in this fast pace world of today, tradition and celebration are overlooked or discounted. We direct our appreciations to the people around us by focusing on things instead of being thankful for what we have in the natural world all around. Celebrating the Earth and its treasures should be part of any tradition – after all, she provides and we take. To succumb to temptation and the expectation of more is nothing new, either. As long as there is a reasonable doubt that you could have more than you already hold, there will be dreams and there will be desires… 

Here is my “tradition” for the May Day posting:

 

Temptation of the Night 

As the sun set, a cool breeze played among the grasses on the knoll above the village. Great preparation had filled the day for the May Eve celebrations heralding the season of warmth. With offerings to the gods, there were always prayers and much hope after the long winter that the next six months would reap a bountiful harvest from the fields; that the herds bred during the last warm spell would produce healthy calves and any human babies born to the world birthed during this time. Just as the men took care to see to the livestock, the women took painstaking measures to ensure they did not conceive off-time and deliver during the deathly cold of winter – the baby would be sure to die.

Caolan and Caoimhe knew the significance of this May Eve – their only daughter, Dairine, would be united with her own mate even at a mere…

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Happy Birthday, William

We are such stuff April 23

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April 23, 2014 · 2:45 pm

Day 5 – Back To It

Easter Long Weekend 2014 Blog Pictorial – continued…

The last day of a holiday is bittersweet. Driving away from the mountains is always something I regret… I watch them fade in the rear view mirror and I think… what am I doing? I feel like the wild one trailered and towed away from my freedom. I tried to make the day last but the time passed and miles fell away and soon I was back to it. Back to the everyday life – not that there’s anything wrong with my everyday life… it’s just busier, and noisier, and faster paced. My extra-long weekend didn’t depend on time or schedules; it wasn’t filled with noise or the unnecessary. And nature doesn’t work that way. When the sun was out, so was I. The quiet of a Sunday morning was prime for locating the reason for my journey. When my body was tired and the quest accomplished, I stayed in and rested. Today, I was showered and packed and on the road by 10:00 am. As I got closer to Edmonton, the “back to it” increased and the relaxing feelings of the weekend faded away with the return to rush hour traffic.

On the return trip I retraced most of my steps with a quick stop here and there, but mostly I kept to the beaten path and was back to the city by 4:00 pm. I picked up my keys and met Ray for a drink and supper to close out my day. I return to be with those I love, to resume my job and work my company, but forever in my memory and in my heart, I know there is something that no one or nothing can take away from me… my chance encounter to see the wild horses where they belong – free and unhindered. Always follow your dreams.

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Day 4 – Catering to the Lazy Artist

Easter Long Weekend 2014 Blog Pictorial – continued…

Fresh air and exploration takes it out of you – or, perhaps, it’s that feeling of satisfaction that just keeps you rooted to one spot – a happy, inspiring spot made for self-reflection and creativity. The camera was quiet today although the mind’s eye was a flicker with all the images snapped and transferred over the course of Day 2 and Day 3. Had I not found the horses yesterday, I would have been more eager to go out today – to seek and to find, confirming for myself that I could see them how they are, free, in nature. Had I not found the band I did, I would have had to go forth in order to fulfill my sense of holiday destiny.

If I had arrived Friday, I would have been moving on today, but the delay had a way of working out in the end especially when things are relaxed and flexible. Three days at “A Bed in Heaven” really was relaxing and desired. The weather held nicely today although the wind was cool at times, but in all reality, there is still snow on the ridges and hillsides nearby, in the fields and in the shadows – the breeze whispers chilling messages as it grasps the cold and flows by…  in its windy way, it asks me what I discovered on my journey. How can express my appreciation and gratitude for this opportunity? As I write, it is calm now and the sun’s warmth feels heavenly upon me as I sit on the deck outside my room.

I discovered, as I have known for many years, I am good on my own, with more than enough interests to keep me busy, entertained, and occupied. That does not mean I am alone, nor do I want to be for any length of time – I want to be in love and I want to care about people – I deserve those who love and care about me. It’s really like the saying: the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. This… truly, has always been my quest.

I discovered that although I like to think I could go back to the ways of the world before the Internet and advanced communications, I don’t believe I could and don’t care to… there is just too much connectedness with my work and my networks through it to give it up completely. I have my lap top with me. I admit… I watched some TV. I checked emails and I posted to Facebook and to my blog. I could not text or phone, however… so it was quiet in a way that it isn’t when I am home. We are, though, bound to the limits of the technology itself. When there is no reception, no hook-ups, no way to connect… it doesn’t matter what you want or desire.

I discovered I am only limited by my own fears and insecurities – this is nothing to do with being loved, not about having friends or others around, not about jobs or work or money – but just about living without fear of what might happen. I keep to the path and stay safe. I know my limits and won’t push for more. I am contented with my journey – is it as exciting and adventurous as some? No. But it’s mine and I take it as I please. Because you step out of your comfort zone your mind tends to focus on the things you don’t know and cannot see – a cougar stalking you, coming across the path of a bear. In the wild, these things are my fears and tend to keep me tame in my quest. Again, with someone along for the hike, it might be a different story, but why put oneself in harm’s way, just because you can. I can treasure my memories because, for the most part, they are not marred by incident. Yesterday’s issue reminded me of being 23 and so wrapped up in my own little world, lost in a stranger’s arms, that it panicked a travel companion to the point of reporting me missing. I never wanted to be that person again – it leads me to believe you cannot ever be free without someone standing there with your bridle and reins, saying, “Dammit, where is she?”

Some general impressions of my Easter long weekend journey:

  • Why must some people throw cans and other garbage to the road side?
  • Why do some drivers of trucks have to drive so fast?
  • Why do those in a hurry travel the road less taken?
  • To some people, horses make a mess… really?
  • The numbers of wildies don’t warrant such opposition – less than a thousand animals? There is so much country out there – really?
  • The tallest of towers does not provide reception amongst the tallest of trees and the tallest of mountains.
  • My hosts at the B&B are amazing people.
  • I take too many pictures!! Good thing this is the digital age and not 32 mm film!! (Regarding my comment above about the camera being quiet… I just downloaded 42 pictures… and I didn’t even leave the deck…)
  • I see pictures in everything – except people – why is that? (My biggest regret was not having a recent picture of my mother – yet I still neglect the subject of people, for the most part.)
  • You can pack all the fruit and vegetables and cheese and nuts you want… I feel like I am going to eat a gazillion hamburgers upon my return.
  • As much as it would have been nice to have someone else along for the ride, I did do this thing for someone special… me!

Oh, yes… the lazy artist thing… well, I don’t think I was lazy at all. I only slept until 8:00. I worked on some editing. I read through and plotted the illustrations for two stories I am working on with one of my DWP authors. I wrote and posted 4 blogs so far. And I took a gazillion photos. I did not put any miles on the car today and plan to be up and out early tomorrow morning. I haven’t decided my return route but I like a road I have not taken before… or I could return the same way. Thinking like a wild horse… that’s the power of freedom.

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