Category Archives: Blogging From A-Z April Challenge

Z: ZZZZ…Motivational Quotes A-Z Challenge

“There is a time for many words, and there is also a

time for sleep.”

― Homer, The Odyssey

Welcome to the last day of my series of Motivational Quotes for Writers for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Phew! I actually made it through to Z and on time, which has been quite a miracle this year. Although you could say many of us mad writers “belong in the zoo”, I have chose ZZZ or sleep as my word for Z.

You see, I’m not only needing to catch up on Zeds after powering away at the challenge while researching and writing my book, I also wanted to touch on the importance of getting enough sleep while your beavering away on your book. After all, chronic sleep deprivation is a form of madness itself.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have

promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

Robert Frost

DSC_0175My husband will tell you that I’m the last person who should be giving anyone advice about sleep. Lately, I’m been burning the candle at both ends as it seems I always seem to make an incredible find around midnight and I have to keep going until I’ve completely unraveled and made sense of it all. Unfortunately, as we all know, time stands still for no man (or woman) and as much as I might try to steal a few hours out of the sleep bank, deep down I know I’m only cheating myself.

Perhaps, I should follow the advice of William Blake:

“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the

evening. Sleep in the night.”

After all, it’s good to have a daily routine and have everything in the correct time slot. That is, instead of mixing them up and doing everything upside down staying up all night and sleeping all day when you should be getting a bit of sunshine and light into your day. It all makes so much sense, and yet for a night owl and for many mums with kids at home, those night hours are the only time you get a moment’s peace. Trading in that freedom for the boredom of routine is a tough ask, especially when the creative juices are flowing and you’re tasting success.

Yet, I also know that I think much more clearly after a good night’s sleep. That I often stay up writing long after I’ve started to nod off and it’s not my best work. Indeed, I could well be pressing delete in the morning.

Anyway, here are a few more sleep quotes I thought you might like:

“A person who has not done one half his day’s work by ten o’clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.”
― Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”
― Ernest Hemingway

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
― Dr. Seuss

“I wonder why I don’t go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip one hour more of sleep and live.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Anyway, I need to practice what I preach and head off to bed. So it now

Ronnie Corbett:
And now, it’s goodnight from me…

Ronnie Barker:
…and it’s goodnight from him.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

Weekend Coffee Share…29th April, 2019.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share.

Sorry I’ve been away for awhile. I’m not sure whether you’ve missed me, although I do tend to notice when the people I usually catch up with go off the grid and eventually wander over to touch base. I’m actually trying to catch up with a friend who has gone off the grid. It’s hard to know quite what to do, because you can overlook it for awhile or just believe they’re busy, but then there comes a time where you just want to hear their voice. What are you supposed to do?  I always think there’s something you can do. However, when someone doesn’t want to come out, sometimes you have no choice but to leave them in their shell.

The reason I’ve gone off the grid lately, is a little different. Since I was about 11, I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer and it hasn’t just been a pipe dream. I have written. Indeed, my mother acknowledged the aspirations of that young girl by giving me a thesaurus that year and when I turned 13, my mother gave me The Diary of Anne Frank along with an empty notebook which was to be my diary. I thought I was very original at the time, but like thousands even millions of young girls around the world, I wrote to “Dear Anne” and shared my secrets with her well into my teens. I still keep a journal, but I’ve been me talking to myself for awhile now.

Anyway, despite having quite a lot of writing which is almost ready for publication, I’m actually going gangbusters writing something new, which I think will be a good first book to launch the rest. This book will be a collection of biographical short story ranging from non-fiction to what is known as biographical fiction. These stories are coming from our family but are historical. I am absolutely consumed by family history, but not in terms of names and dates, but rather the people and their stories which I keep stumbling  across via the historic newspapers, which have gone online. This is interesting as a writer because far from being like writing a novel where the author is setting the pace, I’m responding to my characters and anything can and has happened. While I know quite a lot about my own family, my husband grew up in Tasmania with a branch of the family in Sydney, which we knew very little about. They are absolutely fascinating and we’ve come across a world champion cyclist, a Silver Medalist from the 1938 Empire (Commonwealth) Games and a missionary with the Salvation Army in China who was interred by the Japanese. So, they are keeping me busy and have reignited this hope that I have finally found my way and can finally get to the end and into print. To be really honest, getting this book published is the yearning of my soul, but I also have to get it right. I don’t just want to put anything out there.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing the Blogging A-Z April Challenge, which I’ve done for the last four years. What with the book project, I came very close to not participating this year. I didn’t want to divide my attention and more to the point, wasn’t able to. However, I came up with the idea of writing motivational quotes for writers working on a book. In other words, people in the same boat. I’d intended to simply include a quote and a photo for each letter and keep it quick and simple. However, in my usual way, I made a project out of it and added my two bobs’ worth. I also ended up getting seriously behind, which is something which hasn’t happened in past years. Indeed, as it turned out, I needed the motivational encouragement to get through the challenge while the book writing is going full speed ahead.

Here’s a few links to posts I’ve done in the last week:

T – Time Management

U – Understood

V – Victory

W – Words

X – X-Ray

Y – You

Meanwhile, things at the home front have been busy. It’s Autumn here and the sailing season has just drawn to a close. Two weeks ago, our son and his crew member competed in the Combined High Schools Competition which ran for four days in Newcastle, just North of Sydney. I’ve been trying to work out whether the competition was State-based or National and apparently, there’s no simple answer. However, they were sailing in a Flying 11, which is a small, moderately paced boat, and a step up from a bathtub. While it would have been fabulous if they’d won, it was their first regatta and more of a learning experience. Where these guys triumphed, was maintaining a positive determined attitude while they were battling it out at the other end of the field for last place. Being last, also meant they caught the eye of the judges who coached them throughout the four days and they were better for it. Our son loves sailing and had his Go Pro attached to his helmet. He had a really great time and we’re incredibly proud of the him and his mate.

Jonathon at Dragon Skin

Our son has also been promoted up the Scout ranks and is now a Venturer. Venturers are aged 15-18 and have the anticipated independence which comes with this older age group. During the holidays, they went away on a camp called Dragon Skin and a group of them caught the train down to Goulburn without an adult and also made it home. I’m not really sure what Dragon Skin entails or how it got its name. I just know that he came home happy, tired, smelly and wanting to repeat the whole experience next year.

DSC_3691.JPG

Meanwhile, the school holidays have also been Dance Eisteddfod time for our daughter. This is where I say that if your kid is going to take up something in a big way, you need to love it yourself or somehow find a way to even if that goes against the grain. Rewind twenty years, and I would’ve been most surprised that a daughter of mine could be any good at dance or that I would be doing adult classes now and then, as well as really enjoying watching hours and hours of dance. However, there I was spending all of Saturday afternoon and into the night watching the Eisteddfod. Our daughter was only in two events, but she’s part of dance team with her dance school. They’re a great encouraging group of friends and so we also stayed and watched and encouraged the rest. Besides, this was the best entertainment I’d had in a long time and it was only $8.00.

Our daughter came second in her ballet solo with a score of 87.5 and received the same mark for her Contemporary Impromptu which didn’t rate a mention. The field in that category was incredibly strong. She also came third in her Modern Solo which was held before Easter. It’s been a busy time and being a dancer is like the proverbial iceberg. The dancing is the tip of the iceberg you see sticking its head out above the water. All the organization and details and hours of training are the bulk of it. Well, that’s how it seems at the moment because there’s always something required at the last minute and organizing all the times requires a personal assistant. Although my husband helps out, he’s mainly involved with the sailing so I’m usually all she’s got and I have a few short circuits. However, I hopefully make up for these with encouragement.

Well, school goes back tomorrow and the activities start back tonight. I have tried to clean up a bit and am working towards another huge drop off at the op shop. I can’t seem to move through all the books and clothes and we’re getting close to needing the Winter woolens out. I put my clothes up in the roof along with the blankets so it’s almost like a ritual change of seasons here with stuff going up, stuff coming down and a good opportunity to cull. Or, as is often the case, put it away until next season. I’d much rather be writing.

Well, I hope you’ve had a great week and I hope to catch u with more of your posts this week.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

Y- You…Motivational Quotes A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Y…the second last day of this very long journey through the alphabet during April. So far, I’ve talked about quite a few traits you need as a writer to see a big project through to the end. Or, as the case may be, the need to realize when it’s time to stop and try again from a different angle, or to simply walk away. Despite all that rhetoric about never giving up, sometimes it’s the right thing to do. After all persevering down the wrong path doesn’t do you any good! Then again, that perfectionist inside you can also be a false friend.

Anyway, when it all boils down to it, it’s up to YOU whether you’re going to get finished or even started on writing that book along with working on your writing to make what you write worth reading. There are quite frankly way too many books out there that should never have been published by both publishers and their authors. I started reading one book recently, which I really should’ve enjoyed. However, it soon became clear that this book wasn’t polished. Had been “finished” too soon. While reaching the end does feel like a race when you’re in it, it also needs to be a stroll…a bit of stop start. Well, that is unless you’re a genius. Then again, you can always get on a roll.

So, without further preaching from me, here’s today’s run of quotes which roll along quite well on their own…

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your

shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And

YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone

else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living

with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the

noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner

voice. And most important, have the courage to

follow your heart and intuition.

-Steve Jobs

“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you

listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your

priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do

your shit, then you deserve it.”

― Frank Zappa

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a

second rate version of someone else.” 

― Judy Garland

All of these quotes are good advice for all of us, not just for writers working to finish a book project. Indeed, I’m going to share them with my kids.

Hope you have a great week ahead and you’d better give me some applause. This is the first A-Z post which has been on time for quite a few weeks. I’m pretty chuffed.

Best wishes,

Rowena

X- X-ray…Quotes A-Z Challenge

Welcome back to my series of Motivational Quotes for Writers for the 2019 A-Z Challenge. We’ve almost reached the end of the alphabet and the end of April and now we’re up to X. My word for X was going to be the X-Factor which is that mysterious spark you see in talented people which seemingly defies definition. That’s a much needed ingredient for a writer, but I’m not sure whether you can manufacture that. Is it a case of you’ve either got it or you don’t? So sad, too bad?

Anyway, when I tried to find X-Factor quotes, I could only find references to the TV show. That wasn’t what I was looking for.

So, off I went looking for words starting with X as so many of us do in this challenge. There’s usually at least one letter that brings us to our knees and X is one of the most likely culprits.

However, as strange as it might sound, I actually found a fabulous X-ray quote which was even relevant to writing:

“He wished he had some kind of X-ray vision for the

human heart.”

― Kim Edwards, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

Have you read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter? After reading that brilliant quote, I’m very tempted to give it a go.

While we’re talking about X-rays, this quotes about the discovery of the x-ray is also interesting:

“Great discoveries are made accidentally less often than the populace likes to think.”

(Commenting on how an accident led to the discovery of X-rays)”
― William Cecil Dampier, A Shorter History of Science

If you’re doing the A-Z Challenge, what did you come up with for X? I am not doing a great job with reading other blogs this year, but hope to catch up.

Best wishes,

Rowena

W – Words…Quotes A-Z Challenge.

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.

We can choose to use this force constructively with words of

encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have

energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to

harm, to humiliate and to humble.”

Yehuda Berg

Welcome back to my series of Motivational Quotes for Writers, which is my theme for the 2019 Blogging A-Z Challenge. Today, we’re up to W and our word for today is is WORDS. For a writer, words are our Lego bricks and we use them to create our new worlds.

Words need to be carefully chosen, and yet writing a 1000 words a day seems to be held up as the holy grail. However, what if all of that could be condensed into one word? There is so much power, for example, in Haiku and many will tell that silence is also profound. That we don’t need words at all.

“It has often been said
there’s so much to be read,
you never can cram
all those words in your head.

So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.

That’s why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader’s relief is.

And that’s why your books
have such power and strength.
You publish with shorth!
(Shorth is better than length.)”
― Dr. Seuss

By the way, speaking of Dr Suess, here are a few words he made up:

  • zummers.
  • zizzer-zazzer-zuzz.
  • yuzz-a-ma-tuzz.
  • nizzards.
  • ham-ikka-schnim-ikka-schnam-ikka-schnopp.
  • fiffer-feffer-feff.
  • yekko.
  • flunnel.

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind”

Rudyard Kipling

“Of your unspoken words you are the master; of your spoken word the servant; and of your written word the slave”

Quaker proverb

“If you’re searching for a quote that puts your feelings into words – you won’t find it.
You can learn every language and read every word ever written – but you’ll never find what’s in your heart.
How can you?
He has it.”
― Ranata Suzuki

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” 
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

“We live and breathe words. …. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt–I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted–and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.” 
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

Lastly, there’s also something I strive towards and that’s being true to your word. That’s something I learned from my Dad. He would say: “I’m a man of my word” or “I gave you my word”. His word is still iron-clad.

Well, that was second last. Couldn’t resist a link through to a great 80’s classic… Words Don’t Come Easy

Hope you’ve found a quote which appeals to you there. Perhaps, I could’ve culled them back a bit, but they were all too good to resist.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

V- Victory…Quotes A to Z Challenge.

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious

triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to

rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor

suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that

knows not victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Welcome back to my series of Motivational Quotes for Writers for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Today, we up to the letter V and that’s a V for Victory…a phrase which some might recall from WWII and I’m looking forward to experiencing victory when I finally get this book finished and published, even though that is still a way off.

Meanwhile, with the end of the A-Z Challenge only a few days away, I am experiencing a small victory of my own. As you might’ve observed, I’d fallen well behind. However, I’ve managed to catch back up and climb back onto the wagon. I’m giving myself a small pat on the back for that!

This quote leaped out at me today, after spending a good six hours at the local Dance Eisteddfod where our daughter was competing. While I was enjoying the dancing from the front row, I observed victory, defeat and an afternoon of brilliant dancing. Not one of those dancers was hopeless. Yet, they had also raised the bar by putting themselves out there among our local best.  Their own expectations of themselves were incredibly high and they’re at a level where they’re aiming beyond perfect. Their performance also needs to have mood, feeling and that magic X-factor. There’s so much to tackle, that it’s easy to question why you’re doing it. Why didn’t you just stay home?

Indeed, that’s something I’ve asked myself as I’ve put myself through many optional challenges. Why take the hard road when there’s a chance you’ll never make it or won’t be good enough at the end?

Personally, I think that’s part of being human. That we’re meant to keep extending and over-extending ourselves and rising to the challenge rather than living the easy life. That we need a bit of struggle or resistance. That the easy life might not be the good life after all.

“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the

future, and live in the only moment of time over which

you have any control: now.”

Denis Waitley

While we’d all like to win, come first, and be victorious, we usually learn more from our failures. That’s something to keep this in mind whenever we face defeat and disappointment, and at least it might lesson its sting.

Lastly, I just wanted to add that sometimes the lesson of defeat is to give up. That we don’t always have what it takes, or we don’t want to put in the required effort to reach the top. This being the case, we can either continue on a less ambitious course, or try our luck elsewhere. It wasn’t meant to be. There’s no shame in that. We’re simply shifting course.

What are your thoughts about victory and defeat? Do you have a favourite quote you’d like to share? Or, perhaps a story about how a significant defeat ultimately helped you to succeed. I’d love to hear from you!

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

U- Understood…Quotes A-Z Challenge.

“People understand me so poorly that they don’t even

understand my complaint about them not

understanding me.”

― Søren Kierkegaard, The Journals of Kierkegaard

Welcome back to my series of Motivational Quotes for writers working on a big project. As we pass our way through the alphabet on the A-Z Challenge, today we find ourselves at U and “Understood”. Or, perhaps for many of us, it’s more of a case of being misunderstood. Perhaps, it is the search for understanding, grappling with our seemingly unique perspectives of the world and people around us, which leads us to write. I guess all of us write for different reasons, but there must also be much common ground.

“The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather what he does not say.”
Kahlil Gibran

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”
Richard Bach

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.”

Jean Cocteau

“I’m a misunderstood genius.”
“What’s misunderstood?”
“Nobody thinks I’m a genius.”
― Bill Watterson

Do you think it’s important to feel understood by those around you are you quite content with being different? Or, perhaps you’re one of the crowd. Have that sense of belonging. Is that important to you?

I’d love to hear from you!

Best wishes,

Rowena

PS The featured image is me as a baby…The Thinker.