Tag Archives: blogging

G: Goals – Motivational Quotes A-Z Challenge

Today, our journey continues through an alphabet soup of motivational quotes especially geared towards writers and creatives working on a big project.

Of course, all of us know that goal setting is important. Indeed, many of us also know that goal setting needs to be SMART:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable 
  3. Achievable 
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-based 

Developing SMART goals is all about removing that fantastic dream-like quality from what you want to get done, and creating an actionable plan for results.

For many creatives, no doubt terms like goal setting and SMART goals sounds way too business-like and we’d prefer to go with the flow.

The trouble with not having a goal is that you can

spend your life running up and down the field and

never score.

– Bill Copeland

However, for me there comes a point where your credibility is at stake. Not just when it comes to other people, but also with yourself. If you’re not even striving towards your life’s goal, what are you waiting for? Life is short. Not only that, it can be shorter than you thought. After all, not everyone receives their full entitlement of four score and ten. Not that I want to be morbid, but I do live under the shadow of a nasty auto-immune disease and I’ve already slipped through the net a few times. That has made me think, but it hasn’t always led to action!

The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is

too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach

it.

– Michelangelo

However, I don’t believe that goals need to be rigid and stuck in the ground like football posts. They can and do change, and it’s important to be responsive. Intuitive.

To be perfectly honest, this is probably something I need to put some more time and focus into. I have worked in small business and been to quite a few seminars and one of the big catch phrases for small business owners is about spending time on the business as well as in the business.

As writers, writing is our business. The same goes for artists, photographers etc. However, we still need to work on our business which includes things like goal setting, planning, keeping our desks and computer files sorted and backed-up. Having the best goals in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have the wherewithal to carry them out and see them through to the end.

Otherwise, they’re just dreams!

Well, so far I’m somewhat keeping up with the annual Blogging A-Z April Challenge again this year and am finding there’s much I need to action from these posts.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share: 2nd October, 2017.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

You’re in luck today. We’re having pancakes, and you’re welcome to your choice of tea or coffee. BTW, you might also want to pop back later as I’m also thinking about making a banana cake. Sadly, my best intentions of eating fruit, have gone off while I’ve been procrastinating or eating chocolate. So, in a case of twisted logic, I have to turn healthy bananas into unhealthy cake to prevent waste. It’s simply goes against the grain to thrown even bad bananas out.

Sorry, I’ve been away for a few weeks and I’ve missed our chats. I’m glad to be back.

Zac & Rosie

Rosie left and Isaac “Zac” right.

A few weeks ago, we welcomed two pups into the family…Zac and Rosie. I’d become pet rescue volunteer, and brought two pups home with a view of keeping one and fostering the other. However, both pups have made themselves at home and they’re so much fun to watch and cuddle as a pair, that it looks like they’re both here to stay. A friend of mine also vounteered with this organization and fostered two cats. She also kept both and that was the end of her fostering days. I don’t know whether we’ll foster more pups. I’d love to but with three dogs, it’s pretty much a full house.

The kids have been on school holidays for the last week. Now they’re getting older, school holidays tend to be more relaxing and a break from the daily grind and driving Mum’s taxi. My daughter has set up a big 10 person tent in the backyard and has had a few sleep overs. That was a great idea. Both kids have also spent time with my parents in Sydney. Yesterday, we also had a three-handed game of 500 with our son, which was pretty comical.

As for myself, I’ve been having ongoing difficulties with a residual cough and breathing difficulties due to Spring burnoffs and hayfever. I have about 60% lung capacity on a good day. So, I have been feeling short of breath and staying inside a lot more. Unfortunately, this means that I haven’t been doing my daily walks and my fitness is dropping off a bit. Just like every other mere mortal who requires more than a cattle prod to hit the pavement, it’s been hard to overcome the inertia even though I know it’s only going to make it worse. Even though I know that to carpe diem seize the day, I need to exercise and maximise the lungs I have, the lure of writing and doing my research is hard to resist.

Speaking of my research, I’m actually in the process of turning my family history research into something more substantial. I might’ve mentioned before that my 4th Great Grandmother was a Bridget Donovan from Midleton in County Cork, Ireland and that she was sent out to Australia under the Earl Grey Scheme as one of the Irish Famine Orphan Girls. Plucked out of the Midleton Workhouse, she was given a trunk full necessities to see her across the seas and start a new life in the colonies, where she was expected to marry and help ease the woman drought.

Well, after managing to reconstruct significant threads of her journey, I decided to see what I could find out about the 26 other girls who also travelled out to Sydney with her onboard the John Knox. This historical research game is very much like going fishing. You use your best bait and equipment, cast your line and hope for the best. Naturally, the girls with the more unusual names were easier to follow and you’re more likely to find snippets about people living in country areas unless they were either perpetrators or victims of crime or nasty accidents. Since the girls arrived in 1850 and gold was discovered in Bathurst triggering a massive gold rush,  not unsurprisingly I’m finding these girls getting married and heading straight for the gold fields. I am finding amazing detail in the old newspapers and in a marvel of newspaper forensics, I’m slowly building some kind of composite and am starting to sense a life, a person, character. I find all of this very exciting. All I’m starting out with, is often very scant details from the Irish Famine Orphans online Database and I’ve developed pages on many of the women I’ve researched so far. I think one has fallen through the net so far and I might’ve made a serious error on one and documented a few generations that aren’t hers but that’s ust between me and the gatepost at the moment. I’m just feeling my way through the dark and I’m just grateful to have found what I have.

I don’t know how you feel about history, but being a writer, it’s hardly surprising that I’m a storyteller and these old newspapers are just ozzing with fascinating stories, especially when you compare the 1850s to the modern bubble wrap era and add living in a frontier society for good measure. Moreover, being before the advent of the camera, there’s plenty of rich description and priceless little details of life “in the olden days”.

If you’re the researching type, you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve become rather engrossed in my research and have shut myself off to the real world of 2017. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. As a creative, I do tend to feel that the real world is highly over-rated. Moreover, Australia is currently in the middle of voting about whether to allow same-sex marriage. In certain quarters, the debate has become quite heated and there’s quite a lot of hate on both sides of the debate and quite frankly I find all of that quite ugly. I’ve sent off my vote and wish people would just let others live and let live. There’s more than an element of self-righteousness too, which I nturally adhor and given the high rates of divorce and domestic violence, I struggle to make a case for heterosexual marriage, but perhaps that’s just me.

beach wide angle 2

Umina Beach looking across to Lion Island and Palm Beach.

Anyway, it’s a lovely sunny day outside and it’s about time I hit the pavement and went for my walk. Better than that, the beach awaits. Yes, you’d think walking to a beautiful beach would catapult me straight out of this chair on a beautiful sunny day, but I know it’ll still be there tomorrow and the next day, while the opportunity to do nothing has become an impossible quest.

Now, it’s time for me to take my daughter and her friend down to the beach. No rest of for the wicked…or even the virtuous!

How has your week been? What have you been up to? I look forward to hearing from you.

xx Rowena

A Walk in Dulwich Park, London.

Tonight, my dog Lady and I went for an extraordinary walk, touching down in Dulwich Park, in South London to catch up with fellow blogger and author, Geoff Le Pard and his furry friend. I even found a cafe and met a few dog walkers to boot. How good is that?!!

This all came about after reading Geoff’s latest post: Milling About…Finding A Home, which talks about how he and his wife found their home in Dulwich Park, South London. I must be a bit low on patience this week, because I decided I’d had enough talk. I wanted to get to London myself> Walk the streets, museums, galleries and park my butt in a cafe. Not in a creepy, cyber-stalking kind of way. It’s just that I’d had enough of looking through the window. I wanted to be there instead.

So, I found a local park with a cafe frequented by mild-mannered local dog walkers. Now, I’m just waiting for Geoff. If I’d got onto this earlier, I could’ve been there in time for the Bloggers’ Bash. BTW, it’s just like me to run late!

However, there’s just one small problem with getting to London.

As you’re probably aware, I live in Greater Sydney, Australia. So, I’m hardly living next door. Moreover, as much as I’ve wanted to visit London and check out Geoff’s haunts, there’s been a small hitch. While they might have sent convicts out to the colonies at Her Magesty’s Pleasure, they’re not footing the bill to send us back. Indeed, I’d probably need to rob a bank to fund my ticket. However, knowing my luck, instead of running off with the loot, I’d pluck this card out of the pack: “Advance to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not collect $200.”

Reg Spiers

Aussies have done outrageous things to overcome the “tyranny of distance”. In the mid-1960s, Australian athlete Reg Spiers found himself stranded in London with no money to buy a plane ticket home. Desperate to get back to Australia in time for his daughter’s birthday, he posted himself home in a wooden crate and travelled as freight. You can read the full story here: The Man Who Posted Himself Home to Australia. It’s great reading.

While Reg might have been given a hero’s welcome, I decided to Keep it Simple, Stupid (the KISS Principle) and let my fingers do the walking. I travelled to London via Google maps. While I know this could be construed as cyberstalking, I picked a park on the map, found a cafe and thought this would be quite appropriate for a cyber coffee catch-up. I even took a photo…just to prove I was there.

As much as I love meeting fantastic people, especially fellow writers from all around the world through blogging, I often lament the ultimate Aussie devil… distance. That as much as our global isolation has made and shaped us as a nation, that I feel like sticking an outboard motor to the bottom of Tasmania and giving us a bit of a nudge North. Travelling to Europe is so expensive when you have kids, mortgage and an auto-immune disease to factor in.

So, while I’m waiting for Geoff, Lady and I went for a walk in the park. There were so many large, leafy trees and I certainly picked out a few oaks. It is Summer in London and while it’s partly-cloudy today, it is 20°C. Humph. Hang on a minute. We’re in the middle of Winter here in freezing conditions rugged up like Eskimos and it’s 16°C here. I’m feeling a bit ripped off. Well, at least, I’m catching up with Geoff and going on one of his many tours of London. So, the weather doesn’t really matter, does it?! After all, nobody goes to London for the weather!!

So, now that I’ve got the hang of Google maps, is there somewhere you’d like me to visit? Wow! This is starting to sound quite exciting…like climbing to the top of Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree and finding yourself in the midst of a magical land. Where will I be going next?

As for me, I’d like to invite you to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It really is an amazing experience.

Happy travels.

xx Rowena.

 

 

Meet and Greet: 2/4/17

Hi All,
Thought you might like to join me at this blogging party over at Dream Big. I’m about to start visiting some of the other blogs while I escape from the heat outside. It’s another scorcher!!
xx Rowena

Dream Big, Dream Often

 dreambigwallpaper-pinkombre

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!!  Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!  

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

View original post

Celebration….50,000 Views!

It’s party time. This week, Beyond the Flow finally clocked up 50,000 views. Wow! So, we’re going  Celebrate with a photographic retrospective.

I’m so excited about reaching this milestone…especially when it took around 2 years to finally reach the 10,000 mark. There was quite a lot of soul searching back then, but what they say about persistence and hard work paying off, is all true. Moreover, it’s not worth selling your soul to get numbers over content. My bottom line is connecting with people and hopefully they find something through my journey crawling over deep and dark crevices in the mountain, celebrating at the summit and then fighting my way along through to the next summit. It’s no wonder I love watching clouds and immersing myself in nature. You can’t seize the day without a bit of balance.

Blogging is very much about reciprocation. Communcation. Conversation. So, it hasn’t just been about me, but I hope it’s equally been about you. Not as some cheap marketing or political cliche,  but through sharing each others’ journeys.

The Family

In this way, blogging is very different from writing a book and sticking it out there…especially in the more traditional sense where your book was published by a publisher and reader and writer rarely ever met. That is, beyond fleeting book signings or, at best, author talks.

So, I would like to thank everyone who’s made my blog our meeting place where we’ve poured each other more than a cup of words and made this big planet with all if differences, divides and troubles, shrink and become touchingly intimate.

The Dogs at the Beach.

Sydney

Give Them Cake.

While I wouldn’t say that the blog is a perfect mirror image of our lives, it has captured so many important moments…the highs and lows, the celebrations and disappointments.

That is life with its ups and downs…a never-ending game of Snakes and Ladders…as much as we might not like it at times!

Tea & Coffee

So, the journey continues…asking more questions, some with answers, more without but having that sense of belonging and being part of something beyond myself, where I live and that we can somehow transcend humanity’s shadows.

Love & Blessings to you all!

Rowena

Happy Easter: Church, Chocolate, Coffee!

Welcome to another Weekend Coffee Share and we wish you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter!

It’s already Sunday here in Australia. Would you mind please waiting for a minute. I’ve been to Church. Had a coffee but I need to bite into the Cadbury Crunchie Bunny that’s calling my name. Actually, that might be the other way round. After all, if I  was a chocolate Easter rabbit I wouldn’t be calling out to get eaten. Oh no! I’d quietly exit stage left without making a sound.

Yum! That’s soooo good. Nothing like biting a bunny’s ear off, although now that my daughter has live rabbits in her class room,  I’m supposed to be nice to rabbits. This is a crisis of conscience for me. As much as I love those cute fluffy bunnies as individuals, as a species, they’re not my friends. They’ve done catastrophic damage to the Australian landscape and are a pest. They do not belong here.

So what are you doing over Easter?

lady and Easter Egg

What do you mean I’m only after your Easter Egg?

So, far we’ve been hibernating. I was going to try to work in some kind of scientific or technical term for hibernation but while reading through Google, I only confused myself and thought I’d better stick to plain English. Being Australian, hibernation is a foreign concept. That is unless you include falling asleep on the beach, which could be re-classed as suicide these days. People have been hospitalised for sunburn after falling asleep on the beach. In the longer term, Melanoma loves Australians and looking at the way Aussies bake themselves, the feeling is mutual.

DSC_0326.JPG

Oops! I almost forgot to mention that we went for an afternoon beach walk yesterday with the dogs. It was so good and I don’t know why I don’t get down there every day like I used to. It was right on sunset and while the sun doesn’t set over the water here, it was still very serene. We also came across three baby bronze whaler sharks lying on  the sand, which had been caught. We kept the dogs out of the water, not that they needed to be told. Lady occasionally goes for a brief swim but Bilbo not only stays out of the water himself. He also barks out to other dogs who are swimming and tries to round them up out of the water…without getting his own paws we…of course!

DSC_0345

The kids at the beach- Easter 2016.

This week, I’ve been preparing for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge. My theme is: Letters to Dead Poets. Like so many participants, April has crept up behind me and grabbed me by the throat when I was busy elsewhere. So, this week I’ve been head down, bum up and hard at it.

So, you could say it’s been an intense week but a rewarding one because a these letters are now becoming a book and I’ll put more abridged versions up for the challenge as these posts need to be a quick read. After all, the challenge is more of a blog fest where fidelity has nothing to do with trying to get around as many blogs as possible hoping some of these relationships will become an ongoing concern.

Are you taking part in the A-Z Challenge? If so, please let me know in the comments and provide a link through to your theme reveal. Here’s a link to mine.

Tomorrow, we’re all heading off to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I’m really looking forward to it. This is the first time we’ve taken the kids to the Show.

Going to The Show was such a part of my childhood and I went every year without fail when it was out at the Sydney Showground which was out at the Sydney Cricket Ground. There are so many memories out there of the laughing clowns, Kewpie Dolls (which my husband just called crappy dools…Gee! No respect!) Dagwood dogs, Showbag Hall and walking around looking at animals and cattle, dogs, horses and seeing all those Christmas cakes and incredible embroidery. I can’t wait but at the same time, it’s going to be a huge day. It’s tiring for anyone but when you have a small engine, big events are daunting.

DSC_0269

Bilbo is not so sure about the kids’ engineering exploits. “Hey, trying to fight the ocean is futile guys!”

So, how was your week? I hope you’re had a great one!

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster and you can click here for the “Linky“.

Love & Easter Blessings!

Rowena

PS Just found a great article: Life Lessons of a Speeding Train.

 

 

Diversity…Flash Fiction.

Mirror! Mirror!

Rosie looked into the mirror, trying to understand her complex features. Blond, blue-eyed yet coffee-toned …there was some hushed story about Grandmother or Great Grandmother coming from India. Mum always insisted that they stay out of the sun. Why? Rosie couldn’t understand. If only she’d been allowed out in the sun, she would’ve had the best tan. Gone black. Even though she was only little, Rosie knew there was some unspoken story.

Now, middle-aged, married with three of her own, she knew. Had no shame. She stood out in that sun until her skin turned black…a proud Arrernte woman.

Rowena Newton

February 17, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story of a character who is diverse. Who is this person? Does this character know, accept or reject being perceived as different? As writers, consider how we break stereotypes. Tell you own story of “otherness” if you feel compelled. Or, select a story of diversity, such as rainbows revealing gold. How is diversity needed? How is your character needed?

Respond by February 23, 2016 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!