They smell of hope.
Snow permitting I am going away for a few days, and when I get back I'd like to revisit the subject of special places to visit - enjoyed your comments thank you!
This explains the pink snowdrops in the header photograph!
Here is the untainted version..
Just in case the galanthophiles among you were getting excited!
PS Look what was on BBC news this morning!!
I always carry a small notebook with me and yesterday I went through several of them copying down information I wanted to keep into what I call my 'catch-all' notebook.
I came across a page or two I had written when my husband Barry was dying in February 2016. The idea of micri and megali came into play in that experience. I was focussed on being with him in the hospice and the minutiae of his care and the intensity of being totally in the moment. But on the way to and from the hospice which was a journey by car, bus and ferry, I was intensely conscious of the much much bigger picture - of our small place in the vastness of the universe. Here is what I wrote -
As Barry is dying I notice how brilliantly starry the nights are, how big the moon, how frosty the mornings, and how beautiful the dawns. I open the window to the night to hear with wonder the last melancholy trill of the curlew and the first cry of the owl. Early one morning I walk down the path to the water's edge and see the biggest flock of gulls I have ever seen rise into the air and cross the bay without their usual raucous cries but in utter silence except for the sound of hundreds and hundreds of wingbeats.
It was as if the tiny things, the micri, and the vast things, the megali, were heightened to an extreme - and the in between things hardly existed and were passing in a blur of sorrow and pain.
The nights are still starry, the mornings frosty and the dawns beautiful.
I'm taking a blog break till the end of the month now.
Thank you, as ever, for reading.
Perspective that is..
'Micri y megali? a nurseryman once asked me in Cyprus. He was offering me a free plant and having an all but empty garden I replied 'Megali, parakalo' and he dug up a geranium which totally filled the boot of the car!
I am moving from megali to micri in my perspective on things with a look at a Marie Kondo habit I have really liked. She described how when she came home she emptied her bag into a storage space then when she was going out again collected only the things she needed for that trip into her chosen bag.
It works a treat for me and is second nature to me now. I rarely forget anything, don't end up carrying extra things and everything has it's place on the shelf so I can select in moments what I need. On this shelf are the bags I use most, spare folding bags in different colours, purse, phone, pens, notebook, timetables, Su Doku puzzles torn from a book, discount cards and vouchers. tissues, glasses case and sunglasses, umbrellas, hats, gloves - all stored to be visible in boxes I already had.
Do you have a favourite tip from Marie Kondo that has become a useful habit?
I enjoyed this article by Zadie Smith on Optimism and Despair from the always interesting Brain Pickings Sunday newsletter.
A hygge start to the day. So lucky to be staying home....
Snow on the tops but there is birdsong, a slight warmth in the sun, a certain smell in the air....
Looking backto convince myself it will happen!
I will browse through Simply Grow over the next few weeks to get myself in the mood.
Actually I think the challenge is not so much in the editing as in remembering that, at this point, what I've done is a beautiful experiment, nothing more or less.
So experimenting with fine tuning/tweaking/altering/fixing/adjusting could be just as much fun as the writing was, though with the company of my Inner Editor (see this post).
A chapter by chapter analyisis is the next step.
Gently does it! I love my word for 2018.
How is your word working for you? (Remember you can change it if it isn't....)
I mean chillie warning. I deseeded and chopped a tiny chillie pepper and an hour later rubbed my eyes. Aaaargh! It took another hour of rinsing to take the sting out of them. Very painful.
It's been chilly too...
Designer Bruce Mau advised -
Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
Having reacquainted myself with my novel I have to ask myself, says Chris Baty,
Do I want to devote a year of my life to making it better?
I think the answer is yes.
Having a serious creative project is making me feel - grounded.
Do you have a creative project on the go? Serious or otherwise!
Straight to Chapter 9 of Chris Baty's book, called -
I Wrote a Novel. Now What?
He assumes you have had a break since writing (not as long as my break!) and suggests you
'..make a date with your novel. Set aside an entire evening for just the two of you. No phone calls, no visitors and no red pens to catch spelling mistakes. You are going to spend a couple of hours getting reacquainted with your book.'
At this point it sinks in - I have written a book!
And the lilies are opening and strangely scentless...
Don't laugh! Who knew I had so much to say that I could write a daily blog for eight years (I didn't!).
In previous Writing Months (notice the capitals) from 2011 - 2015, I have had fun blogging about finding good places to write, about advice and amusing tips from famous writers, about good first lines of novels, and last lines....
If you are new here I should point out that I only write in Februaries (!) so have been writing my novel for just 5 months in total. See here and here and/or under Simply Write.
This Writing Month I think I will quote from the book which got me started on this crazy idea. Chris Baty started the creative writing experiment National Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo in 1999 with 21 participants. It has evolved into a world wide movement with about 400,000 participants in 2017!
Have any of you tried it? Are any of you writers? Do you write morning pages, a journal, a blog, articles for magazines, novels? I'd love to hear from you - do join the friendly group of commenters here :-)
..or lack of it!
I know it happens to us all. Filled with self doubt about my novel I so miss Barry's support. I truly believe he thought I could do anything! I looked through the cards he gave me and found the one in which he wrote 'Use your talents to the full.' (See also here.) and sat it on the desk to inspire me.
On a health note, consider this. Good for days when it rains?
I think I will re-instate it as my writing month.
And set up the study as my writing room.
Things may be a bit erratic here for a while as I re-read all my posts under Simply Write and/or past February posts.
But a lovely seriously challenging project to see me through - my novel.
Do you have plans for February or Fabruary as i once mis-!typed it...
A little clutter clearing..
Some daffodils and a special card
Light the stove
As my ancestors watch over me!
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)