Bye bye 2018 and hello 2019
Just life, Writing journey

Bye Bye 2018, Hello to a new writing year

After a very quiet Christmas, 2019 is insight and it is time to say goodbye to 2018. This year has been emotionally difficult but I have survived thanks to my writing. I am looking forward to starting a fresh page in the chapter of my life.

Farewell to my 2018 goals

Looking at the plans I made in January’s post there are some which will roll over into 2019.

  • I am still disorganised, with notes in different places but they are more contained and with a new planner  I am hopeful I can change.
  •  the first draft  for The Elfaenian Journals has not been finished because I got sidelined by Willow’s story. On the plus side,  it does not hide in a dusty file on my PC forgotten but always in my thoughts. By writing Willow’s world, it is evolving too.
  • a visit to Whitby for a research and chips is still needed

But I did achieve some.

 

  • I met up with the delightful Jennifer Gilmour for a hot chocolate after speaking to her online.
  • I have written more book reviews on From Under The Duvet – Books, Cards and a Wobbly Life, the new name for Duvet Dweller Books and made sure I added them on Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I have read books on writing and learnt lots from talking to the writing community on Twitter and Facebook

Other things I did this year which surprised me were:

  •  winning books for my book shelf and TBR in Twitter competitions
  • starting a new project with my favourite character so far Willow Anderson
  • completing NaNoWriMo thanks to winning coaching with the lovely Megg Geri

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The aim for 2019 is simple –  write, read and enjoy.

Happy New Year.

Love

Kate Kenzie's Blog

 

P.S Percy is still alive

Discovering Charles Dickens
All about Books, Just life, Writing journey

Discovering Charles Dickens at Christmas

I love A Christmas Carol and part of the joy of the run up to Christmas is reading taking my copy off my forever shelf for its annual read as well as binge watching the movies from Disney’s cartoon starring Jim Carey, the Alastair Sims to the best version The Muppet’s Christmas Carol. This year I had the luck of reading Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye which is a beautiful read and complements the original perfectly. It is a warm, heartbreaking tale but has thread of hope throughout. It will be added to collection to read every year as will the film The Man Who invented Christmas.

Have you seen it?

I love it for the festive and book theme, the era and acting but mainly because it gives a glimpse into the creative mind of Charles Dickens. It tells the tale of how under pressure to produce a book readers will love he produced A Christmas Carol in only six weeks. I am sure it skims over the negative aspects of his personality to produce a high energy fantasy with an insight into the writer’s mind when they suffer writer’s block, find inspiration and how they act when characters appear.

It also shows how he decided to self publish and his battle with plagiarism which are relevant topics for today’s writer.  I wonder what his tweets would say if he was in the situation today.

As many of you know I am lot a great fan of classic books but this and Miss Marley have encouraged me to find out more on this enigmatic man beyond snippets I have picked up along the way – I doubt Dr Who Christmas special from a few years ago is the most reliable source of information. The book the film is based on by Les Standiford is on my TBR for next December and I am also going to  attempt to read at least one Charles Dickens novel next year. Maybe then, I will not feel as much of a dunce at writing group when they discuss literature. Any recommendations would be great.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas

Love

Kate Kenzie's Blog

 

 

Just life

The Joy of being Grateful

This morning for no particular reason I feel grateful. I did not plan to think about the good things in my life when I sat down with my cup of tea with only the Christmas tree for company but with its lights shining and the house silent I felt a glimmer of calm. For that moment, the worries about bills, health, relationships and how to stretch a shoestring budget over Christmas fell away. I could see the good I have and achievements made this year.

My grateful list:

  • The morning hug I will get from my daughter
  • Waking early to see the stunning night sky
  • The welcome from my dog as I have left him for five minutes
  • The taste of the first cup of tea and this time of year
  • The parts of Christmas which matter the tree, music, friends and family.
  • My home
  • Old friends and new ones
  • The arrival of Christmas cards
  • Opening the advent calendar – you are never to old for one
  • Winning nano – that feeling will keep me going for a while
  • Winning NaNo coaching from Megg
  • An unexpected lottery win of £25
  • The book I won from Erin Green The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm

The moment of calm has grown with my list, life is good and I am ready to fight another day. When life’s problems have snowballed and triggered an avalanche of emotions, it is easy to forget the good, the tiny things or incidents throughout the day which if given care are seeds of strength to get you through the crap.

What are you grateful for?

Just life, Writing journey

For the love of trees and solitude: Forest Bathing continued

Reading Forest Bathing Retreat has made me long to be surrounded by trees, soak up the atmosphere and hear the sound of the woodlands; the bird song, the trickle of a nearby stream, the creak of a branch, the rustle of leaves as they dance in the soft breeze and my breath as I inhale deeply the fresh air. I dream of sinking to the base of a large tree shaded under its extensive canopy and write in the dappled green light. I miss the solitude of being able to write in nature alone; the oneness I feel and the creativity it encourages. It is one of the top things I miss since losing my mobility and independence. Herbie, my trusted scooter is lovely. He takes me out of the four walls into the countryside lanes to see and hear the world outside but the true places of interest, those off the beaten track away from cyclists, zooming cars and trundling tractors remain inaccessible. They are tantalizing close. I can see them over the bridge wall or rickety stye and it is hard not to think if only.

If out, I also rely on others to accompany me; gone are the days when I could leave a scribbled note on the side declaring I will be back soon. I dream of being left in a wood for a few hours or even an hour with some goodies – a flask of coffee and cinnamon roll will do, a notebook, a phone to type on and just be.

Be happy

Be creative

Be me.

And mainly be alone.

 

Writing in solitude without interruption is when I write my best work. My mind is free to grasp the thoughts and words without competition of conversation, expectation and general activity. Sentences flow easier and the clarity of images and dialogue are stronger. The only battle I have is from my own distracting thoughts but add nature into the equation and it is easier to block these and allow creativity in.

I miss the days when as a child, I would grab my notebook or novel and sit by a brook near my home in the shade of trees hidden from view. No parents, arguing siblings or frantic pets. I did not care it was on a public footpath nor that the silence was interrupted by the roar of a busy A road 100 yards away. To me, it was a little bit of heaven and the seeds of Ellfaen were planted.

Now, I must leap into my imagination and allow Amber to amble through the forest. I will focus on bringing nature into my writing room, snap photos of trees I can get to and peruse the web for images to create a forest on my laptop for inspiration and cyber forest bathing.

Do you have a favourite place to write, read or be? Let me know in the comments below. Even better, if you visit or see some wonderful trees and nature on your travels share the joy tag me on Instagram.

Happy writing, reading and if you are lucky a walk in the trees.

 

Just life

Summer Solstice Blessings

Midsummer is here. My plan to watch the sunrise to celebrate the summer solstice failed because the duvet was too hard to resist and Elsie gave me ideas I had to nurture before they flitted away. I am amazed how quick words and ideas disappear once you open your eyes in the morning. So this is a quick post to say

Summer Solstice Blessings

 

and count my blessings.

Solstice Blessings

 

  • it is a sunny day so had my first cup of tea outside which tasted delicious
  • feel energised and more enthusiasm for The Ellfaenian Journals
  • have time to write today
  • my hand is getting easier
  • Percy is still alive

 

Happy Summer Solstice and happy writing!

Kate Kenzie's Blog

Just life, Writing journey

Birthday Treats and Never Growing Up

This weekend was my birthday weekend and it proved, despite being another year past 40, I have never grown up. I doubt I ever will and no one expects me too.

The jingle from the box would have given him away, even if I didn’t know who was inside. Anticipation had grown this week as my birthday crept closer. I felt the tell-tale sign of excitement deep in my stomach when I thought of holding him, feeling him and seeing him. It only increased when I saw the box. Finally, my very own Iggy.

 

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Introducing Iggy

 

Iggy came to life when I wrote about Amber’s early childhood. He was her beloved toy, her imaginary friend, confidante and though his role in this book is minimal he is important to her character development. Imagine my delight in seeing this cloth toy dragon in a shop window. It was if the toymaker had seen into my mind and created him just for me, for Amber.

Now he is mine. He may not be as bedraggled, threadbare or floppy as Amber’s Iggy but he is an inspiration and the kick up the bum reminder I need to stop procrastinating and finish this and other projects.  He can glower at me over my laptop when I slack at writing.

I had other pressies to remind me my true age. Room on the Broom from WW. He took the fact I wanted a book to heart and knows I love witches so he had to buy it as “it is the most perfect book ever”. He isn’t a book lover but he is right – it is a perfect book in its prose, plot, characters, and illustrations. No one is too old to enjoy Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson.

 

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Finally, I was given Winnie-the-Pooh Exploring a Classic by Annemarie Bilclough and Emma Laws book.  I missed the exhibition at the V and A but my daughter and best friend didn’t. This was a surprise gift and it looks amazing.

 

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I only hope Iggy can work his magic like Christopher Robin’s bear did for A.A Milne.

Time to write.

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