The Art of Creativity

If one more person tells me they’re not creative, I’m going to douse them with my acrylics – the quick drying ones that only come off with scrubbing and a bit of alcohol. 🎨

En Route to Cloud Nine

Contentment is more about what’s within. It’s about finding joy in the simple things, like feeling the sun on your face, or being followed by a rainbow. Getting lost in a pile of autumn leaves or laughing so hard hurts. It’s about being satisfied with what you have, rather than always striving for more. Contentment is like a cosy jumper – the colourful one your gran knitted for Christmas. It may not be the most fashionable thing in the world, but it’s comfortable, and it makes you feel good.

A Caboodle of Doodles

I’ve been doodling a lot lately. Not in a gaze-off-into-the-distance kind of way but as an activity with intrinsic merit and no aim or outcome – a novelty in my task/deadline-oriented world.

A Matter of Character

Lately, people have been asking me where I get my characters from. I chuckle to myself when greeted with this question; semantics aside, the word ‘get’ conjures images of me plucking characters from shelves when out doing errands, perhaps wedging the unruly ones in my hand basket so I can admonish them under the pretence of a phone call.

Teach Your Children Well

Why do universities often make things so much more complicated than they actually are? Is is a power thing? A desire for exclusivity and advantage? A justification for fees? And how do these translate for a young person keen to take up a primary teaching position? Should a warning label be attached?

An Article of Faith

Writing means so many things to me, things that are hard to express because the mere act of language infers distance. (And lately, there’s much more space than I’d like between my mind and my laptop screen.) Although writers often wax lyrical about connecting with readers, and I do value that immensely, I suspect that I write mainly for myself. Writing helps me to process issues, experiences and conversations that sometimes need a lifetime to break down. Writing encourages me to clutch memories before they slip away with time and distance – like here, where putting these words to the page catapulted me to a time, place and event that changed me forever … in ways that I am  still uncovering.

The Problem with ‘Be Kind’

I can’t pinpoint when ‘Be kind’ became a campaign, but it’s safe to say it was borne of the pandemic and a few attention-grabbing headlines involving some not-very-nice celebrities (that means you, Ellen). Before long, this worthwhile, seemingly self-evident sentiment evolved into a ‘movement’ of sorts. And therein lies the problem.

Adaptation, 3 Ways

Pandemics have a habit of placing humankind on the back foot. To everyone around me, I may have looked like I was (finally?) slowing down, but my brain was on high alert. Anxiety does that. Thoughts take you where they will – rationality, optional. My mind, nerves and heart revved constantly, gearing up for destinations unknown. Meanwhile, I left a few crumbs in case I got lost … which, for a while, seemed to be often.

But it recently occurred to me that I wasn’t lost at all. I was simply changing.

Life After Lockdown

Get fit, brush up on French, update the kids’ scrapbooks, publish my play, experiment with other forms of writing, be grateful.

That was the list I wrote after the shock of the first lockdown settled, somewhere around April 2020. It was part ‘When life gives you lemons’ and part ‘If I stay busy I won’t have time to think about seismic changes in the world.’