Posts Tagged 'writing'

Perceptions….

I am currently halfway through writing a book about my internet dating adventures, thanks to the ‘spark’ from a lovely friend. This is throwing up all sorts of issues as you can imagine and the growing ‘tongue in cheek’ belief that I may never be asked out again.

The issues are interesting, because I am protecting the identity of all the characters, but where do you draw the line on how much you divulge? I have opted to keep it real and all is in there, including the unattractive aspects about myself and my moments of shame. It is apparently funny, and written with a light hand on the tiller according to those who have been privy to excerpts. It is not an unburdening of my soul, but a snapshot of what life can be like in internet dating land for women of a certain age. A publisher asked what demographic I was aiming it at and I replied ‘Are you kidding me on?’ I may need to brush up on my promotional skills.

I shared this current activity with my Mum and Dad on a recent visit and my Mum’s face lit up as she said ‘I do hope you are including the perfect cock story in your book?’ My Dad nearly choked on his lunch.

Writing this book takes me into the heart of ‘vulnerability land’ and that can became a sticking point. I have learned over the years to write and get out of the way of myself, because time and again I would write and be ‘reading’ it at the same time. That doesn’t work I found, as judgement comes in and my insistent critical inner voice is very loud indeed. So I write without thinking and just let the words fall onto the page.

This book is about me with real life events, so I have been facing fear as I sit at my laptop each day. Fear of judgement, not being enough, not being worthy and basically writing a load of stories that no-one would feel inclined to read. Hello fear.

The last thing I want to do is have it come across like a modern day advert, or some social media posts that we are all subjected to. You know the ones: beautifully attired people fresh from a full nights sleep, just off trekking in the Himalayas, while feasting on pancakes made from fresh goat’s milk, collected as the dew still nestles on the mountain sides and the children are in hand made crocheted hats…..you get my drift. This had to be real for me to do it. So here’s the reason I am quiet and daily beating down fear. If this ‘fear bashing’ translates into my appetite being subdued then I am ahead of the game. Now where did I put my crocheted hat?

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Nature, knitting and magic….

De Vere Park

There have been many magic moments in the past week or so and each time my heart has tucked them in a special place.

For the first time in it’s history, the Disney cruise ship docked at Liverpool harbour for a few days and I, and many others, sat on the beach in the evening sun watching her set off for the port of Dover. There was Beatles music playing, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on the deck waving ‘Goodbye’ and the captain playing ‘When you wish upon a star’ on the ship’s horns. She did a 360 degree turn on The River Mersey before she set out for the Irish Sea and it was magic. The little ones and adults alike were all smiling and waving everyone on their way. The moment wove into my heart, because a kind lady handed me her newborn son and I held him as she and I chatted, his little brothers playing in the sand, as ‘Disney’ sailed out.

My friend from the promenade took me to hear some young musicians play at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead. What a wonderful place that is and full of interesting pieces. Mo and I had a lovely time and it was a pleasure to sit in that beautiful setting and hear live music. Bless her for her thoughtfulness.

Quiz night was eventful and there was much laughter. Bless Steve and his fellow ‘quizzers’ for welcoming me into their fold. Blessings and a brickbat for the ‘He Who Shall Remain Nameless’ who set the questions, because he was poorly at the time and they were tough, I mean really tough. All our brains ached, but we managed to have lots of laughs though. I would just like to say that football related questions (like naming all the team shirts for the Euro Cup…!!!!) are not kind. Bless the chap who was on the team behind me, because he said they were leaving early and would we like some help…big smiles for him. We came second by the way and won ‘Eight pints of beer’, which we promptly put behind the bar for next week.

I bobbed up to the gift shop recently with a bag full of my handmade things, to find their shop shuttered-up. The chap in the shop next door explained that they had moved away, which confirmed my feelings that all was not well as messages had not been returned for some time. ‘Oh well’ I thought, ‘I’m up here now, so I may as well look for a teapot for my latest teapot cosy pattern’. There are lots of interesting shops up on top of the hill and I had a lovely time pottering about. I popped into one shop and couldn’t find anyone to ask for help, so I stuck my head out again to see if anyone was about. It’s like a small community up there and they all pull together, so the lady in the shop next door yelled for help. A lady (covered in paint) came flying out of the antiques shop on the end of the parade and smiling at each other, we got chatting. The upshot is that Mandy runs the shabby chic and interesting pieces shop and her husband runs the antiques shop. We bonded and she asked what I had in my large bag. I showed her and we ended up making a deal. A wonderful, kind and trusting deal. She loves my things and I love making them and she will sell them for me.

Thanks to Mandy’s kindness I am now knitting like the clappers and busy doing my ‘Miss Marple’ bit out in public. Yes, Chris Moran, your idea has stuck! ❤ I can be found sitting outside on various benches, knitting. I sat in the park recently, surrounded by all the wonderful trees and flowers, where a brass band was playing all afternoon. I sit on the sea front, knitting, and get to chat to all sorts of people. Bless Steve the photographer for sharing his knowledge of the many vessels that pass our way. The old fashioned clipper 'Bessie Ellen' was a joy to behold early the other morning.

This morning my friend Dave from one of the writing groups and I met to talk about writing and how best to flow support to each other and others who are crafting books. We initially met in the Central Library where they had an exhibition of 'Contemporary Book Art'. Some clever souls have made life sized sculptures of figures from brown paper. I stopped to photograph these and some passing 'wag' commented 'Careful now, don't wake him up' as I snapped Julius Caesar with a knife in his back.
Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare
Romeo & Juliet
We took our coffees outside into St.John’s gardens and sat in the park surrounded by all the trees and flowers. The morning flew by and between us we have a ‘writing’ plan going forwards.

This evening the lovely Hannah, from our old house, is coming to live with Lynn and I for a few weeks. It will be such a treat to share a home again and have some time together. I sense that the magic that has found me here, will also touch Hannah.

Loving notes………

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Lynn left work early on Friday and came home with flowers, glorious roses, which now nestle in one of her jugs in my little sitting room upstairs. They are beside Em’s beautiful bowl she made when she was young and Jojo, my sister in law’s, gifted butterfly picture. I smile every time I look over there.

It has been a busy week and as Friday afternoon unfolded, with continuing techie problems flowing through, I messaged HQ at 4pm-ish and let them know that I was cutting loose. Loving messages and ‘Bon voyages’ were exchanged and I followed an impulse. About forty minutes walk along the promenade from home one of the ferries to Liverpool shuttle back and forth. I set off and caught it for the first time since I moved here. It’s a ten minute ride across The Mersey and I could feel the week lifting off and away as I stood ‘up top’ and at the front holding the rail. I loved every second of it. It berths at the docks in Liverpool and I trusted my instincts to guide me up through the city to one of my favourite haunts. Liverpool’s Central Library. Sigh….. I have not been able to settle into a book for some time now and it was time to ease past this situation. I pottered inside and picked up quite a few books, then bought a coffee and headed up to the roof terrace. You’ll love this bit, as I got so engrossed in the first book I picked up, I completely lost track of time. It started to get a bit chilly and I gathered myself together and walked back through the city to the docks. There I watched the ferry sailing across towards home. The realisation that it was the last one that day dawned on me as no-one else was waiting and also, all the roller shutters were down on the gangway and the cafe was closed. ‘Ahhh…’ I thought as I stood there, ‘Right, now where’s the nearest train station?’ I found it and was soon settled on a train, reading again, as I headed for home. When I got back, Lynn chuckled sympathetically and gave me a ferry timetable. On this unplanned adventure I discovered new parts of the city and also, if I buy a ‘day saver’ ticket I can go on the local buses, trains and on a ferry excursion cruise which lasts fifty minutes. Now there’s a cracking thought for another day. Marvelous.

This weekend I have been creating and finishing off various projects in readiness to stock a space in a local craft shop. I also spent a lot of time reading and have finished one book already, which was bliss.

Probably going hand in hand with the reading, I have not been writing much either. I pushed myself and offered to write an article for a friend’s online magazine this week. I asked him what subject he would like me to cover and his reply was ‘Whatever you want to Jane’. I had a look and saw that the current contributors are all trained in various spiritual practices and disciplines and this is what they write about. This walloped me right out of my comfort zone, as I am untrained. I managed to avoid writing anything yesterday and then as today started I pottered about and had a ponder. I was untrained in furniture restoration and re-holstering, but I had a go. I work each day reaching out a loving hand to those in difficulties, which works best when I get out of the way of it and just let my spirit guides do their lovely thing. So I went into that mode to write. I sat here at my desk, watched the clouds for a while and breathed, then got out of the way of myself and let the words flow. There is so much written about writing tips and whatnot and the one thing I have found is not to write as if someone is reading it as you write. Try not to logic it. So, I said ‘Hello’ to my heart and spirit and then let go as it flowed. I will keep you all posted on whether this 1,000 odd worded flow will be accepted or not.

Spring is here and I am walking each morning in the freshness of the day, then coming back to this lovely home and seeing what blossoms forth. Whatever happens it all springs from love. ❤

We carry memories and they can bubble up like a joyful spring….

Liverpool Central Library

I went along to a new meeting today of ‘The Laid Back Writers Group’ and much to my delight it was held in Liverpool’s Central Library. This building has the power to take your breath away and it is inspiring to walk through the doors and breathe it all in.

There were sixteen of us in the group and there was an immediate bond of trust. It’s like an unspoken code. You put yourself out there with anything you produce creatively and it takes courage to sit there and read it out loud. There was kindness flowing with encouraging and supportive comments. We are all learning from each other and there was a wide array of talent in the room. This regular monthly Sunday meeting will be going into my diary and now there are emails pinging back and forth as strangers become friends.

On impulse I went to the reception desk as we all left and asked if I could join. ‘Of course you can’ was the immediate reply and as I filled out the form I chatted to the ladies there. I was given a choice of library cards and mine is purple with a heart on it and the words ‘I love my library’. I pottered back upstairs and chose some fabulous knitting and crochet pattern books. Gentle warning to those I love: you may be gifted sausage dog draft excluders, house door stops and owl lavender sachets. Just saying…..

As I walked out in the afternoon Spring sunshine a memory floated up that was so clear I paused and rested on the steps a while. When I was eight years old my Grandad (Dad’s Dad) lent me his library card and took me along to the library near him and Granny to choose some books. I remember that feeling of excitement that I could read all these books, as I stood there holding his hand. Libraries have been a gift ever since. Emily and I used to spend hours in them as each week, from when she was a tiny tot, we used to go to Storytime and choose the books for her bedtime stories to bring home with us. When she was little and I used to make things, it was always the library I turned to for recipes, patterns and research. The first time Em showed me round her University and we stood in the library, we could have stayed there for hours. Our shared love of the ‘word’ stood us in good stead whenever she called and said ‘Mum please can I read you my latest essay?’ My Mum and I are always swopping books and talking about the latest one we are reading. Texts of ‘I have just found a great book for you’ are frequent and I have a wonderful memory of her head popping round my bedroom door as she would say ‘Where are you up to then? as my nose was buried in the latest one. I’d tell her and her reply was always ‘Ohhhh you wait, the best is yet to come’. My treasured friend Chris Moran and I often wish each other ‘Goodnight, sweet dreams’ as we head off to read our latest discovery. It’s such a lovely way to end the day.

My purse is guaranteed to make me smile, as each time I open it now there will be a purple ‘heart’ card inside that holds inspiration and limitless possibilities.

The world is gifted with stories told and graced with those who take time to listen…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Bluecoat Chambers, Liverpool

Yesterday afternoon I took the train into Liverpool City centre and set out to find the meeting place for my first visit to a creative writing group.

It was held at The Bluecoat Chambers, another hidden gem in this city full of surprises. As promised by the kind organiser, there was an orange book on the long table in the bistro to guide us together and I was greeted with smiles.

Take three regulars and five newbies. Put them together in this beautiful setting with fragrant tea and coffee and a huge dollop of trust and you have a delightful and inspiring two hours.

We are a mixture of a playwright, a musician, lyricist and poet (I am buying his first poetry book), a poet and writer of prose, an artistically inspired poet, a blogger and writer, a poetry lover, a poet and criminal story writer (who is compelling when he reads out loud), a creative student writer and an academic, who writes and rants (his description not mine!)

Some of us shared and we all contributed with support, encouragement and how the pieces resonated with each of us.

I loved every single minute of the experience and we are all meeting again in a month’s time. This group is one of life’s gifts. As I rode the train home I gave thanks for my adventures since I moved to this special place and for the lovely souls that are weaving though them.

Fear stops us doing so many flipping things!

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It was gorgeous out there when the ‘boys’ and I set out for our morning walk and this is the lane we walk back down when we have finished happily tramping across the fields. I often forget which day of the week we are on and after seeing so many other dog walkers and horse riders out there today, I finally twigged that it is Sunday.

I have positioned a beautiful table, on castors, by one of the hall windows here. I can see the lane and all the comings and goings as the farmer and his crew are very busy today. Ohh, I would love a ride on a tractor. I can feel the house around me, the ‘boys’ have ample space to lie nearby and I have peace. All morning tasks are completed….

I find myself unable to start writing my first book…for goodness sake! Blog posts flow out with ease, I pen ‘lettery’ emails daily and natter away on the phone. I can also write for my clients and it is not the thought of a deadline that is my motivator there, just the sheer joy of writing.

It’s fear of failure, it must be. Daft old girl that I am, I can write it as if I am talking to all of you can’t I? That would work. I have also texted a good friend with the request that he tells me to start writing, firmly. I know he’ll also do this with humour. 🙂 In the meantime, hopefully this little post will be the cork out of the bottle.

Pigs can fly with sufficient thrust behind them……..

Years ago when I was first married my husband well and truly caught the Amway bug just after our honeymoon. My gentle protests that I had not even unpacked the wedding presents, never mind started our new life together, fell on deaf ears. This business took over our newly married lives and he really bought into the belief that if he couldn’t do this, with all the help and support that was on offer, then he couldn’t achieve anything. His new wife wisely kept quiet and fully supported him for some time till one morning, having been awake since about 4am mulling it all over, I rebelled. I came out of my corner with firm insistence that it all ended right there and then. As you can imagine my husband and those above us in the organisation did everything in their power to change my mind. I was the woman in the middle of our front room packing all the kit and books up in boxes to be shipped out of our home forthwith and our lovely little daughter (a toddler at the time) was passing things to me saying ‘There you go Mummy’…..yes, Emily was born by then and three years old, that’s how long this nonsense went on for!

It culminated in the leader of our group standing before me saying (I have perfect recall on this) ‘What do you intend to do with all the time you will have on your hands now Jane?’ and I replied that I wanted to write, I needed to write and I knew I had it in me to do so. He laughed (really laughed) and said that pigs would fly before I ever wrote a thing, never mind a book, as everyone had dreams to write and they never did.

Well, my husband and Amway are now part of my past and it may have taken me nearly twenty years but I am a writer ……….’Pigs can fly with sufficient thrust behind them’.


Jane Sturgeon

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Loving connections in our Global Village

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