Saturday, 19 March 2016

Set Free to Write by Blogging

Four years ago, when I closeted myself in a room to sit down and write, I froze. I considered writing to be a solitary craft but looking at a blank screen or talking into thin air was a sterile exercise in futility for me. I could not translate the same creative energy that I experienced telling a story verbally to the keyboard. My intuitive, imaginative side stayed buried and my logical intellect wrote boring drivel.
Haynes King 1831 – 1904
Haynes King 1831 – 1904
I was struggling to start writing again, after raising a large family when I discovered blogs, blogging sites and  blogging directories. I snapped to attention.  Suddenly, I was thinking up a username,  a title for a blog,  looking at templates and design and layout. All these activities loosened up my creativity while I sat typing.
It was like an invisible barrier slowly melted, allowing my imagination to bubble up in a stream of written words that felt just as exhilarating as my oral tradition. I was  excited to start sharing written stories with other people, people who would read them,  respond, comment and give me feed back on what I had written.  Within weeks, I was no longer an island but part of a community of other writers who had the very same insecurities and problems as I did.
At first I felt like I had just stepped off a spaceship into an alien world, I did not know how to do anything. Reading directions on-line was useless, I couldn’t understand half the words they used, never mind how to follow their directions.womanwriting
Early on I read that bloggers, are supportive and unselfishly helpful, rejoicing in each others success and offering free guidance . Well, I discovered that  this statement is true. So if you are tentatively  wondering if you will fit in, fear not. If a computer illiterate, web dummy can learn while having loads of fun, you can too. Trust me.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

In the Burn Zone

It's -28 C outside with 50 cm of snow but in the study, where I tap on the keyboard, the wood-stove is in the burn zone, thawing out my brain.

Even though it is bitterly cold outside, my heart is burning with fervor and my thoughts are leaping for joy because at 60 years old, I am in the springtime of a new life. It doesn’t matter that it is freezing outside; inside it is warm by the wood stove. I am coming back to life. For the first time in 33 years, all my kids have basically moved out and I am free to write.
My body has not yet adjusted because the body remembers the tension and stress of running a household of eleven people. My body has not quite caught up to this new reality because as the mother of nine, I was always on call. My ears are trained, listening for the sounds of my children playing, working and sleeping , always ready to soothe or help.The result is that I am still tense, rushing to squeeze in some time to write when in fact, I have hours of the day where I am free. I am free to write, relax and enjoy the acres of land the surround our old house.
The subconscious too needs time to unwind long after the conscious mind has grappled with the past, let go of memories and forgiven. Then there are the pre-verbal, non-verbal parts of my soul that cannot be cajoled into coming out of their cave. Any sign of control or manipulation sends them scurrying back into hidingthey take the longest to warm up in the light and warmth of the truth.
Although I have not yet adjusted to solitude and free time, I am thankful for this new freedom to start to write again. The walls of ice which imprisoned my writing skills are thawing out. It might be -28 C outside with almost 50 cm of snow but in the study, the wood-stove is burning.
Yep, my heart is burning with fervor and my thoughts are leaping for joy because the wood stove and my mind are now both in the burn

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Unplug Kids From Technology with Crocheted Toys

I have been having fun crocheting toys for my grandkids. Crocheting is a cheap, eco-friendly way to bless kids and to encourage simple, back to basics play.  It is easy to unplug kids from technology with toys that attract and entice such as play mats, toys and loveable stuffies for old-fashioned play.
There are countless patterns for crocheted toys. Play mats were fun to make, especially knowing they will provide hours imaginative playtime. The first is a farm play mat. I added the woodland animal appliques and decided to use wooden or plastic farm animals with the mat.

This undersea play mat just needs to be made larger with a plain blue area for crocheted sea creatures.Again. I added the appliques from too many patterns to mention but there are countless patterns on Pinterest or on Goggle.
A hand puppet and finger puppets.