reflect/remember

This last week has been full of inspiring things and people and a whole lot of fun. I’ve also been slowly getting back to my creative work which has been a little challenging but my thoughts are moving again so that’s good.

That said, I need to try harder to remember these things. Often, especially working retail, I look back on a week and all the good things seem so much further in the past than they are, or can completely slip my mind. So, in an effort to solidify these moments and small accomplishments a little more I’m going to note them down, reflect on them, and share the things that might be interesting.

This is not a new concept at all but I’ve been inspired by my pal Samantha Mae, who does these great round ups of her adventures and discoveries each month, and the brilliant Austen Kleon and his weekly newsletter full of interesting stuff.

1 · DIY Southampton 7 DSC_0053

Some of my favourite days each year are the ones when DIY rolls around. DIY Southampton is a brilliant all day festival with music and poetry and crafts and it basically an excuse for all the creative humans in the city to get together and support each other and it’s just beautiful. This year I got a load of cool things from the craft stalls (see above), had the chance to see my friends perform, and a lot of people I haven’t before. DIY always fills me with inspiration and a renewed faith in our community.

2 · Yoga

I’ve been dipping in and out of yoga for a long time because it makes me feel better, helps my back and all the other good things. I’m forgetful and also frequently lazy when it comes to structured exercise however, so finding time to properly take part in yoga has always been a struggle. If you’re like me I highly recommend checking out Yoga with Adriene on Youtube.

3 · To Your Eternity

This incredible manga series has been taking over my reading lately, though I’m trying to ration myself as not all of it is published yet. It’s hard to pin down exactly what it is about without giving it all away so all I will say is that it is beautiful, heartbreaking, philosophical and mind expanding. It’s about the nature of existence, knowledge and love.  IMG_0119

4 · You Can Fly If You Want To

Lastly, this week I had one of my more fairytale-esque stories published by STORYLAND which you can read here. I have been somewhat buried in writing Riley and Fox stuff recently that my more grown up writing has slipped away, so when I got an acceptance email for this story that I submitted ages ago and completely forgot about it was a wonderful surprise. I hope you like the story, I’m really proud of it.

 

That’s it for this week. Hopefully I’ll do more of these. I feel better already just writing this out, reflecting, taking a moment out of the week to remember it all.

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holidays in a previous home


A couple weeks ago I took some time off to go on a mini adventure and got to see lots of places in London I’d never been to before, despite having lived there for three years. Basically we went to as many book shops and as many vegan eateries as possible in three days, it was perfect. All of these were shot on my iPhone, some with a clip on lens, and edited on Lightroom Mobile.


another (unintentional) hiatus breaking post

 

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Whoops. It’s happened again.

Much like the last unintentional hiatus, this one came about through distraction. Unlike the last one however, this was a constructive distraction.

I have finished my book. I have completely and entirely finished The Adventures of Riley and Fox (book one). I have edited it to within a double spaced line of its life. I have sent it to friends for feedback. I have written a pitch. I have written a synopsis. I have submitted it to an agent.

This is the reason for my not blogging again recently; Riley, Fox and the world I have created has taken up every inch of my imagination.

Now, while I patiently and hopefully wait to hear back, I can try to catch up with all the other things I’ve wanted to do recently. So I’ll be sharing more photography, I’m going to start reviewing books again and, more likely than not, share some more fragments from my imagination.

Thanks to all/any of you that have stuck around long enough to read this. You’re the best.

memories of a fish(eye)

Hello everyone.

So, I’ve been absent again a little lately and I’m sorry. Long story short, my place of work burnt down a couple weeks ago so everything has been very hectic and I’ll be honest it derailed me, my mental health and it vastly impacted my creativity; I haven’t blogged in ages, I let my 365 photo project on twitter fall away and until yesterday I hadn’t been outside with my camera in too long. The only thing that carried on, luckily, was writing my Riley and Fox stories, but more about that later.

The creative slump ends today.

Yesterday I got a film that’s been in my drawer for months developed, and I thought I’d share the results because they are nothing like what I was expecting.

 

The fact they’ve been double exposed is nothing new, I love playing around with film like this and it wouldn’t be the first time I forgot I double exposed something. What is new, is the fact that the first exposure was made with a fisheye camera, and I honestly don’t ever remember using a fisheye camera in my life.

I’m so in love with these shots for that extra level of mystery they have about them now. It is that mystery and magic of film which sparked a conversation with my photographer pal Chloe and now a new collab photo project is forming, again more about that later.

Creating things is often very much a solo endeavour but it is so important to have a network of people to bounce ideas off, ask for help, offer help, inspire and be inspired by; I have a group of humans both online and off, writers, photographers, musicians whose friendship, influence and support in my life could not be overstated. Peter McKinnon recently posted a video about this very thing which got me thinking about my own squad and how we could work more together. I’m going to start with a little interview/profile series here, some small posts about my creative pals to share their work and stories, so keep an eye out for that.

Until the aforementioned ‘later’ rolls around with more stuff from me, I hope you like the photos.

 

 

finding my way of writing

When I started writing ten years ago I was convinced that writers simply started a story, worked it chronologically to the end and then it was done. There was a kind of naïve magic to thinking this, looking back, but that perceived magic made writing incredibly difficult for me more often than not. There were, I am ashamed to say, more than one early story that concluded in a death, purely because I had nowhere else to go; I simply killed the character, binned the story and moved on to the next one.

As I read, learnt and wrote more I realised that there is no ‘one way’ to write and that all I needed to do was find a way that worked for me. I was a ferocious reader of writer’s biographies and one of the most fascinating elements, to me, was how they did it. How did these humans, whose words I found so alluring and mystifying, put their thoughts on paper in such a way that they became imbedded in my own head?

I took advice from everyone. I tried writing first thing in the morning, last thing at night. I tried writing at a desk and tried writing on the sofa. I tried all the ways there are to write, hoping that one of them would be the key to unlocking the stubborn door blocking the path between my brain and my hands.

The key, I finally found, was in the method of Nabokov.

Nabokov wrote entire novels on index cards, in no particular order. His vision was so clear that he could simply start writing wherever and know exactly how it would all fit together at the end. This revelation was both enlightening and terrifying.

Now, I cannot claim to have anything even approaching clarity when it comes to half of my stories, I invariably start something that morphs and shifts with every sentence I add until I end up with something completely opposite to what I thought I had to start with. However, this Nabakovian approach to writing was exactly what I needed to try and tame my fragmented, creative brain.

When I’m working on something, the stories and characters are constantly running around in my head, talking to each other, going about their lives, and every now and again a small fragment comes into a sharp focus and then I have to scramble to write it down before it fades out again. I started carrying a small Rhodia pad with me at all times, a pen on a chord around my neck, so that I was never caught out when these moments of clarity struck. Each page was small enough to capture a scene or some dialogue for later inspection. At the end of each day I would get to my desk and go through any notes I had made and, like a puzzle for which I had no reference, I would start piecing them together and filling in the blanks.

This worked, it really worked. I wasn’t drowning anymore in the whirlpool of thoughts like ‘what comes next?’ or ‘where is this going?’; it was no longer A to B but A to Z, and I had every other stepping stone to keep me on track.

I should say that not every fragment found it’s home in a finished puzzle, some simply didn’t fit, while others became the single seed from which an entire tree sprouted. Recently I have been looking back through my old notebooks and unearthed these fragments so I have decided to start sharing some, as well as the story behind them, or in front of them and sometimes both. So, pop back in a couple of days for random story fragments and pictures of notebooks.