Throwing Shade on Memories

This week has really thrown my writing habit out of whack.

We had some unexpected news, and it was family news that needed to be relayed to people who are not really in my life anymore but are very much a part of the manuscript I am currently working on.

I’d managed to dig down deep and find the good times with someone that was important to my story. I was just getting a bit of a happy glow going over the good times we shared when the news had to be shared. I volunteered seeing as I was feeling good about this person from writing of our good times together.

Well, let’s just say this person didn’t show their best version of themselves.

Now I’m stuck and haven’t worked on the project for days. Every time I try to focus on a scene all I see is the bad once more. It rally is going to take some work to get back into that frame of mind.

In between there is alway writing exercises to do as writing practice is so important to keep things moving. I did buy the egg timer I decided I need to that I can make sure I sit in my chair for the required minimum time per day, without having a phone near me.

And on a side note, I’ve been following a blog of a modern day pin up girl, it’s a look I’ve always loved, and I began to wonder if there is a genre for fiction written for this sub-culture? If there is I’d love to get some titles.

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Journal for a healthy mind

Writing was something I did late at night in high school, sometimes all night, until my parents had me medicated and I lost those creative thoughts in the fog.

I remember my high school made us keep journals from the first week until we graduated, and I was disappointed they’d discontinued this practice by the time my daughter hit high school.

Sometimes, especially in the first year, it was hard to think of things to write about, but as time went on I found those journals to be very beneficial.

Once I was at university I read ‘Freedom Writers’ and saw the movie by the same name, and it brought back memories of high school journals.

I’ve heard about schools introducing meditation to help calm students, make them more focused etc. I also see a lot of parents are unhappy as they feel it has a religious aspect to it. This has not been my experience with meditation but what if students were to have some time at the beginning of the day to journal, dump the chatter running riot in the background of their minds, before the school work begins?

I’m middle aged and I still need to do a ‘brain dump’ of all the useless stuff bogging my thoughts down on an almost daily basis.

Finding Meaning in Experiences

Earlier this week I read about a study that showed people who wrote about traumatic or intensely positive experiences were able to find meaning in those experiences easier than those in the control group who didn’t write. For me, as someone with anxiety and panic disorder, I believe this to be true, and I’ll tell you why.

Several years ago I wrote a creative thesis and I chose an event in my life that I thought was significant due to its traumatic aspects, but the more I wrote about it the more my supervisor told me to look for the meaning behind the events I was putting on the page. It turned out that when I got right into it I was able to find a source of phobias and anxiety stemming from an incident when I was three. Not bad considering no therapist has ever made that happen!

And now here I am writing about coming-of-age, and finally I’m able to see meaning in experiences that continue to impact me to this day. It’s quite an educational and emotional experience.

As a side note, I strongly recommend reading Vivian Gornick’s ‘The Situation and the Story’ as it explains the difference between writing pure reportage scenes and finding the story in great detail.

Once you can put down enough of these kinds of experiences the writing becomes much like a quilt with patches that form a pattern and ultimately tell a much larger story, which hopefully deep dives the meaning of each experience to find the big one, the arc of a memoir for example.

Pet Sitting

I’m stuck in a lounge chair trying not to move. My leg hurts but there’s a very large dog in the next room and she’s on fourteen days rest. She disagrees.

My daughter has her spayed last Thursday and since the anaesthetic wore off she’s been wanting to bounce about like Tigger!

Today my daughter is at work and I’m responsible for one recovering dog, one healthy dog outside and one indoor cat that scares dogs for fun. She’s such a tiny thing.

I’d like to write but the turning of pages is picked up by her ears way down in her cone-of-shame. She hears everything. I’ve never been so grateful for the silent function on my phone.

I’ve scrolled social media. Googled everything I could possibly need to know (doesn’t involve sound).

I could be taking pictures of my outfit of the day but I chose practical and I haven’t wrangles day two of a wet set into shape nor have I put on any makeup! I did cleanse, tone and moisturise though. It’s the smallest things that keep us feeling alive.

Time for a changing of the guard soon. Perhaps I’ll be able to concentrate on some writing back in my own home with my own pets.

Hunting fashion

Being agoraphobic means online shopping is the best but being on disability means it’s just too expensive.

Op-shops win every time. They’re a quiet oasis to venture out of the house. That counts as therapy right?

And there’s plenty of clothes. And there’s the ever popular one dollar rack.

I’ve become a regular now I’ve put on weight which has basically necessitated a whole new wardrobe. So why not go retro, vintage, rockabilly, or whatever you’ve always wanted to do?

It’s getting me out of the house and I’m getting compliments from strangers. Way to boost the self-confidence!