It feels really good to be back on my blog. Maybe you’ve noticed that it’s been a while since I’ve made a ‘personal’ appearance, and blogged about anything random-ish that’s not book related. Well, it’s the turn of a new season, some say, ‘fall’, if you’re British like me you’ll refer to it as ‘autumn.’ Over the last two seasons of spring and summer for me, it’s been hell-ish! LOL. Both in good and not so good ways. This is what has led to the slow down on personal blogs, and just random thoughts being shared in this space I started over five years ago.
Clearly, the pandemic is still with us and I am still home-schooling, which is going really well. So, this has taken up a lot of my time. Not only that I had some deadlines to meet for turning around manuscripts to my publisher, I really had to focus. Which was hard, as my mum also passed away in the spring.
But with the new turn of a season, such as fall they say that this is the season that we look back, and harvest for the coming winter. I love this season, and one thing I love about it is walking in the park, with the leaves crunching under my feet, and the change of colours in nature. I also love the change in fashion, make-up, and ‘winter sunshine’ those beautiful days when it’s not hot, or cold, it’s ‘fresh’ with bright sun.
So, this morning when I woke up with the urge to write, but not write fictional work or even creatively, my urge was to blog and ‘just write.’ I asked myself, ‘what can I blog about?’ if was almost as if I had forgotten the how to blog, I needed some serious inspiration.
I have a mounting of writing prompt books, which I’ve used before, and they have all been a great source of inspiration. Hell, I have even included writing prompts in my own book 365 Days of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers. Today, these books I have turned to where not so much of a source of inspiration though. As I was scrubbing my kitchen tiles and cleaning the kitchen it came to me, grab the dictionary! Flick through starting from the letter A the word I stop on, write about that. Random or what, right? So I did, I stopped on the word Amethyst. Which funny enough is my birth stone, and one of my favourite crystals! (I collect them). Also, the word Adversity. Which is pretty relevant to us all, with all that’s going on right now. I had the urge today to just write, not creatively but naturally and reflectively. These two words were my writing prompts to ‘just write about’ for the day. I will try as we move through the last two seasons of 2021, get back into my habit of random writing and reflecting using the dictionary for inspiration. I’m not even sure what I can call this challenge I set myself? Maybe something like, ‘word of the week’ I don’t know, it will work itself out randomly LOL.
So back to the change of season, this is another reason why I’ve decided to try and go back to blogging. When I started this blog way back in around 2015/2016 I had no idea how to blog, or what I wanted to use it for. All I knew back them was ‘that’s what authors do’ so I started. And since we’re in the season of looking back and reflecting at what has been achieved or not achieved yet, here’s my list of reflection as we enter autumn:
- This blog has been going since 2015/16 and I have had a lot of fun along the way. I have found some fantastic bloggers too. I really feel like I enjoy just writing, whatever comes to mind, promoting other authors and great reads, and doing book reviews. This I have been pretty consistent with and don’t plan to change that. So looking back, in order to look forward I wish to keep going with that.
- I really do miss the WordPress writing prompts that they used to publish years back! I would do them each day, and that’s what really pushed me to do ‘random writing.’ But, since they are no longer here, I plan to try this new challenge with the dictionary, moving forward.
- This year 2021 has been just as testing for me personally as 2020 was, mainly due to the pandemic. But even under all this stress, change, upset, loss, grief, sadness, and worry at times great things have come to light. Looking back firstly over the nine months of 2021 I have written and had published three full unsolved mystery novels: The Note, The Red Light Girls, and ‘Till Death Do Us Part. I loved every moment of the writing, research, and editing of these books. For me, in the space of about nine-ten months that’s a lot to have done, given that life has been so up and down. I am working on a Christmas themed mystery if I can get it penned in time for the season! I imagine this will be more of a short story, so stay tuned for that.
- During this first nine months of this year, I’ve also managed to pen a short memoir, following the death of my mum. My Mum and Me, Messages From Beyond The Grave, felt like something I just had to write, and it flowed so naturally it took me no time to write it.
- I’ve learned that acceptance is something I need to work with more. And by this I have learned that, sometimes you can only work with the situation you’re in, or ‘play the hand of cards you have’ as my mum would have said. We can make plans, have ideas, or even feel like things are set in stone when really nothing is! Things can change, which I am sure you’ve also experienced, over the pandemic and maybe even before this. I have learned to accept this, and embrace change as sometimes it really is for the better, even if at the time it seems stressful.
- This year I have for sure become a lot more in touch with things like nature, the outdoors, going within, and doing inner reflections. Largely as for many months access to the outdoors was cut off during long ‘lock-downs’ and social distancing rules in place here in Europe. I’ve always really liked the outdoors and being there, but over the past nine months I have come to value it to the point where, I feel like I need to live by water, always and forever! At the moment I do, and I am fortunate, but I feel like I would like to live nearer to the beach—the ocean. I have found that, on those days when we were allowed out the house for an hour or so for fresh air, and restricted to only moving within something crazy like 10kms (which is about say 6 miles) from your home, during lockdowns that the water or local natural lake near me became a real source of happiness for me and my family. Just to be out there, sitting by it, dipping our feet in it, and even swimming in it. I now value nature so much more. Which is a big realisation for me as I was born and bred in London, I’m a ‘big city girl’, I’m used to seeing nothing but a ton of concreate surrounding me, and had been perfectly happy with that! Until I moved, around four years ago, then the pandemic happened, and outdoors was closed LOL, then I really valued nature more than I ever have in my life even as a ‘big city girl.’
- I managed to complete a yoga teacher’s training course and pass with a distinction this year! And that has been mainly due to lockdowns and being at home. LOL, I found myself on my Yoga mat more and thought, hey why not do this for fun and see what I learn. I loved it, so much so that I’m doing the next level now. While I am not as flexible as I would love to be ( yet), it has been the process of going through the training, from my own living room, and connecting with others around the world that has really been a source of joy. For years, I have loved yoga. My first class I did when I was around nineteen years old. That was almost twenty years ago, now I do the maths … yikes! For me it’s the balance that I feel it brings to life, me, and how much better I feel once I have done a session that keeps me going back to it. Even if I stop for well over a year, I always have returned. I love Vinyasa style yoga so the more dynamic, powerful yoga that focuses on flowing from one pose to the other, rather than slow breathing and holding poses that’s gentler.
- I think generally on reflection during the first nine months of the year, looking back at this turning point of seasons and getting ready to ‘harvest’ for winter. I have generally become a much more rounded person with a lot more discernment. I didn’t think that was possible, I thought I had a lot of discernment already. But I think spending so much time at home, observing the world from my sofa via the BBC World News service, documentaries, and even conspiracy theories (yes I do watch those documentaries also, I like to be in the know), this has allowed me to really be able to develop discernment. I now no longer believe everything I am told, I will go out and look for myself, even more than I did before. I’ve also become more empathetic as a person, which I didn’t think was possible as I had a lot of empathy before this pandemic! But seeing what other nations are experiencing really does that to you.
- My major learning point over the last nine months about life is, as I’ve been reading some incredible nonfiction books the one thing that has struck me is: life really is for living. We all have dreams, goals, and desires and these are for a reason. As long as these dreams and goals are things that bring us joy, they are ‘divinely given’ as they say, and it’s really down to us to act on them. If we don’t we can never truly be happy or our authentic self. And not worry how we will achieve them, instead just take small steps towards them, and enjoy the process. With so much death, sadness, and upset surrounding our lives ‘limiting beliefs’ to quote the author Mike Dooley from his book I read Infinite possibilities, we really need to remove them, as these are what hold us back from being the best version of ourselves, or even achieving what’s in our heart. It’s a really deep book and I enjoyed it very much in audio and paperback. It’s something that I recommend that everyone reads along with The Alchemist which I read during the pandemic, to keep my spirits up!
- I’ve also learned to let go! Of what no longer serves you and stresses you. I really thought I had this down and this was how I was as a person. But looking back at this turning point of seasons, boy have I learned this, this year and last year. There have been a few things I have had to let go of, not because they were bad for me it was just time to move on. One was a friendship and connection. It was just too one-sided, one was a toxic family member that I really can’t seem to reason with. People, places, situations, things, old chapters of our lives that we hold onto for whatever reason, sometimes really need to be let go of. Only then when we do and look back, and see progress in our mind-set, direction, or even how much more lighter we feel can we realised that ‘ that really needed to be let go of’ only once it’s done!
So, what are you looking back on as your achievement? As we move into this new turn of season, and get ready to harvest for the winter. Now is a time to go within, the autumn equinox from what I read is a very significant in many religious, spiritual belief systems, astrologically, and just timing wise due to the point of year it marks. In autumn, things die and fall away, so it’s a time to let go of that no longer serves you also! For me I am letting go of limiting beliefs that I didn’t even realise that I had, that’s for sure. What about you? Leave a comment let me know.