Monday, August 31, 2009

STOS #4 - New Draft

I’m whispering to you now as I don’t want to scare her away.

She’s still a bit fragile and I had only catch a glimpse of her last week.

STOS # 4 is back with a new draft … ;)

STOS is a series of stories which based (loosely) on the same theme.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hybrid Tangles

This all went back to the time when I was doing Wreck This Journal ...

It was at WTJ that I got to know Kim, to whom I first learn about Zentangle. Then, or now on hindsight, WTJ has steered me to further creative direction and fun. It was at the end of WTJ that I decided I'll give Zentangle a try.

I ordered the kit (the deep green box in the photo) and started to collect "patterns" (the green box file) early August. Since the tangle is drawn on 89cm (approx. 3") square tile, I got myself a small green box to store them. As you can see, part of the fun is about getting the tools. (I adore gadgets!) ;)
The first tangle (left) I did was a straight copy from the instruction booklet. I picked and mixed the patterns to work on subsequent ones. I'm still fairly new to this so I can't quite yet write about my tangles (tangled) experience. But I can share this with you.

1) I'm drawn to the abstract patterns as a re-presentation of the strageness I write about in my stories.

2) It scared the daylight out of me when I decided to post my tangles. But I said to myself: Remember the fearlessness you felt when you posted all those pages of WTJ. Nothing could stop me!

3) I'm doing this for the pleasure of sharing ... and ... (oh, come on, crying out loud!) I'm also curious to know how fellow creatives find them. (Like this one on the right.)

4) I'm not promising (mostly to myself) anything, but maybe I could post 1 Hybrid Tangles a week? (See the bottom one with the blue background.) On Sundays?

What do you think? (I need some cheering here!)

Thank you and enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The MeME Award

What a great honor that I got awarded twice by Kim and Leone of the MeME Award!

The rules of the award are as follows:

1) Share 7 tidbits about yourself
2) Share the MeME blog award with 7 blogger friends

Here are my 7 tidbits:

1) I got a whole bookcase of books which needed my reading, but I kept stocking more and more books. (I'm hopeless!)

2) My weekend uniform: jeans, T-shirt and red Converse

3) I stop coloring my hair since Jan this year.

4) I collect a particular type of mug from "Country Road" (a fashion and home ware brand in Australia)

5) If ever I don't want to be a writer anymore, I'd like to be a mythologist.

6) I wear contact lenses.

7) I have a major crush to David Tenant (Dr Who).

And what better way to get to know fellow bloggers more by passing them this award. My list of 7 blogger are:

Chapter Forty

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Power of Words

From recalling my years of reading books on personal development as stated in my post on The Joy Diet and my take on Scott Ginsberg’s writing advice, I re-learn about The Power of Words.

How? Let me explain this to you.

One thing that I took to my heart from reading books on personal development was about the negative connotation associated with the words “should” and “shouldn’t”. The negativity was so powerful that I had developed an automatic tune off to these two words.

The benefit of not buying into the “should” and “shouldn’t” is that I feel freer and less constricted in pursuing the things I like. But on the same token, I had suspected that I might have taken it too seriously, hence I might have missed out on some really good advice and even good fun!

A light bulb shone through when I read this from one of Scott Ginsberg’s “15 things …”:

Every time you say no to something that’s wrong for you, you make room FOR and give yourself permission to say yes to something that’s right for you.

The words that jumped out to me were “no” and “yes”.

I took the cue and played with the words a bit. Some amazing thing happened.


“I should write and I shouldn’t watch the re-run of NCIS for the 3rd time.”

When the above popped up in my mind, I concentrated so much on debating why I should write and not watch TV or vice versa, I ended up doing nothing.

“Say yes to writing and say no to NCIS.”

The signal is so clear that I don’t have to waste time to make up my mind.

Of course I could also say to myself: “yes to NCIS and no to writing.”

But this is still fine as I got to enjoy a good TV programme. The yes and no become a time saver and help to get things done.

So there you go, “The Power of Words”.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Write Everything Down, I Mean It!

From Scott Ginsberg’s various articles on writing, I have re-discovered and re-engaged with a very basic writing tip – Writing Things Down.

Before I start talking more about this re-discovery, I want to give credit to Lisa of Wrightstuff who introduced me to Ginsberg a while back. And just like Lisa, though I nodded my head on quite a few of Ginsberg's advice, I find him, at times, repetitive.

Let me put it this way, how many time you get excited when you see article tilted: 32 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block? Personally, once or twice are enough. But Ginsberg is religious and totally loyal to his “9 ways”, “13 daily disciplines”and “26 essentials”.

O.K. back to the subject matter. Ginsberg is all about “capture”. It could be of writing things down, taking photos, tear-off magazines pages etc. But it all comes down to the basic: write everything down. Don’t let anything skip your mind. He had mentioned “capture” so many times in his various articles that I began to think about my own (to use his word) “capture”.

I did write things down.

(Ginsberg: Write everything down.)

I did.

(Ginsberg: Write everything down!)

I did!

(Ginsberg: Write EVERYTHING down!)


That’s what I mean. Yes, I did write everything down but did I write down every idea, every odd phrase, every one-liner, and every quote that came to my mind? No, I didn’t!

What I did was to write down those which I believed was good. This meant that I have killed an idea before it even became an idea.

To make sure I fully understood the ramification of “capture”, I began an experiment. For 4-days, I wrote down (as much as I physically could) every idea, every odd phrase, every one-liner, every quote that came to my mind. And do you know what I find out?

1) The more I “captured” them, the more they came to me.

2) I had more story ideas in one day than I could possibly have in a month’s time!

At first glance, these “captives” had nothing in common, but when I deliberately mixed them together; they opened up to further new ideas and new solutions from each other.

4) But the most amazing thing I found about “writing everything down” was that I became alive again. All these ideas, phrases, one-liners and quotes awoke my curiosity to my surroundings, to my mind and to my creativity. They energised me and brought me heaps of laughter.

I’m now a total convert to writing EVERYTHING down. I urge you, fellow creatives (writers and non-writers alike) write (sketch, draw, record) everything down. It’s a real kick to creativity and you’ll be amazed what you pick up along the road.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jamie's Next Chapter - The Joy Diet by Martha Beck

I finally decided that I am to join in Jamie’s Next Chapter Book Blogging Group for The Joy Diet by Martha Beck.

Why I said I “finally decided” to join the activity?

Well, personal development as a cultural movement has been going on for a very long time. And just like any other persons, who want to better oneself, I have been reading this type of books for years. Perhaps I’ve been reading too many of them, the appeal started to diminish over the years. Also, I have troubles of getting through and stick with the program, hence could never rip the benefits which the books offered.

When Jamie announced the book title for The Next Chapter after “Wreck This Journal”, my immediate reaction: Nope, I’m not gonna do this again. (I don’t mean this particular book. I’m referring to the personal development program.) However, after these last few weeks checking the names of fellow bloggers who registered for the program, I began to have second thoughts.

Firstly, lots of ex-wreck stars have signed up for this one. If I join up, I’ll be “connecting” with them again.

Secondly, I’ve never worked on personal development with a group before. And it might be one of the reasons why I can’t finish one. With a leader like Jamie and the group, I might be able to finish it this time.

Thirdly, the usual benefits of joining group activities – making new friends, more fun, more energy etc.

I’m beginning to look forward the start of the program on 18/09!

(Hope my book arrives on time!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Post or Not Post My Stories In My Blog

I have wanted to ask these questions for some time but kept feeling embarrassed by it. But then the more I thought and researched about it, the more I was confused. So I’m giving it a go here.

As a writer, clearly, we are always on the look out for publishing opportunities. One of the venues is to post our writings in our blogs.

My questions are:

- Since a lot of publication requires the story never published before, is it better off if I don’t post my stories in my blog at all?

- And if I choose to post my stories in my blog, would I lose my publishing chances and would I be considered as an amateur?

- Are there any general guidelines?

Any comments and / or respond are welcomed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wreck This Journal - Unfinished Business ...

Though Wreck This Journal has finished for almost two weeks now, I've been waiting for this "unfinished business."

From Lesley Denford, my swap partner of Wreck This Journal, I got these beautiful pages and a lovely fabric trim which I'll be using it as a bookmark.

Look how cute is the girl with the orange hair!

And I love the hand print page, especially the message in the centre of the palm – I want to be the hand that holds the world. I’m thinking of having this page framed.

Thank You, Lesley!

And herewith my own swap pages. Among the pages is a little good luck gift (a green "devil" pouch and some buttons) I sent to Lesley for her yea
rlong music trip.

For Lesley's own blog here and for her yearlong music adventure here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Practicing Being Creative

While I was writing up an email to a good friend last Friday, I have discovered some additional things about my writing endeavour that I decided to post part of it here.

Though I've been into writing for years now, but STOS was and is my first "substantial" project. The last few years, I wrote bits and pieces of unfinished draft with no particular focus or theme. Probably what has been happening was that I was practicing "to be creative". Note here, I'm talking about practicing being creative, NOT practicing writing.

I've always enjoyed writing. But most of them are like writing down what's happening in my life and my respond to it, i.e. personal journal. It's only til I started university I began to write stories. Writing stories is totally different to personal journal. With personal journal, the writing is easy and there are no rules or structure you need to follow. After all you just write down what you're feeling or seeing etc.

But with story writing, hence called creative writing, the writer is required to come up with characters, settings, plots etc. This also means that the writer is required to use h/her imagination to create stories. That is what I called "practicing being creative".

From all those years of learning and practicing to be creative, I was ready for a "real" project. It's only now, after writing STOS for 5 months and from blogging about that experience, I realized all of these. I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry or both! But I'm glad I have come to this realization.

Fellow creatives, do you think I'm making any sense of above?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Being Light

I’ve been out of the creative abyss a few days now but I’m still feeling a bit disoriented. It’s like I’m no longer deep in the abyss but I’m also not back on writing land yet. But I’m in no hurry. I’m enjoying being in limbo. There is a certain kind of lightness in limbo land that made me smile. I've been wearing dresses these last few days. (I'm usually a jeans woman!) And I remembered that I had my permission plus everything that I needed to be a writer or maybe even an artist ...

P.S. I got my car back over the weekend. :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert

I viewed this from Kim's blog and I was so moved that I decided to put this up.

And I'll also share this with you:

I cried at the end of Gilbert's speech as I realized that my effort for showing up to my writings has been recognized by all creatives.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wreck This Jouranl - The End

Wreck This Journal has finally come to an end and I have saved this last wreck as the finale.

At the beginning, when I read that I was to take the journal in the shower with me, I cringed at the thought of soaking the rather new journal wet. After the burning, the throwing, the hanging outside and the deliberate stomping on it, dumping it in water wasn't hard at ll. Now I looked back and wondered why I had made a big fuss of cracking the spine of a new journal! :)

I wouldn't say WTJ has given me a life altering experience. But I liked how it loosened me up and brought a belly laugh out of me every time. It reminded me that I needed to do something fun other then writing to nurture the creative spirit. And along the wrecking road, I had met some wonderful fellow creatives and hopefully we'll maintain our contacts. Through the realization of the need for fun plus connecting with new creatives, like Kim, I learn about Zentangle. I've ordered the kit and am looking forward to expand my creativity to include some zen drawings.

It was also interesting to note that during the WTJ, I had entered into one of those important reflective stages as a creative being. I had dived deep into the creative abyss and had come back with renewed insight and faith in myself. Did WTJ have a part of it? It might or it might not. But I'm a big believer of synchronicity and always on the look out of creative signs. So I'd say there are connections between the wrecking act and the digging deep. I'd like to think of them working on the subterranean level of the creative mind.

There you go, my last post on WTJ and may I say this to all fellow wreckers:

Thank you for you company and it's been a great pleasure to see all your fantastic wreck works!

You're all wreck stars! Keep shining! Keep laughing!