Around Here ::

2013

I kill succulents. I really do.

Happy Holidays everyone! It’s crazy how busy the last couple of months have been and then, BAM, Christmas. This time last year I was planning for a wedding and it’s crazy to sit back and reflect how full this year has been.

The 3rd draft of Dancing Peregrine has been completed after much procrastination, dead ends and stalling. The last few days included 14-16hour days and 35,000-40,000 revised/rewritten words… which is completely insane looking back! On the plus side, I have fallen back in love with the revision process  since becoming more ruthless with my work and tearing everything to shreds. Everything. I’ll blog more about my WIP next year and fingers crossed 2014 will be the year this baby gets submitted and sent out into the wild.

As for the remaining few days of 2013, I’ll be filling it with things I love, reflecting and remembering the things I am grateful for. I’ll also be wrapping up beta reading for a writer friend, trying in vain to have a clean house for 2014 (revision madness does not include housework unfortunately) and squeezing in a quick road trip to the land of volcanic lakes.

Would love to hear how you will be spending the last few days of 2013 🙂

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Declutter

I’m not crazy, it’s my characters talking to me in my head

-Ksenia Anske

Photo credit: Leah Johnston

Photo credit: Leah Johnston

Life has been crazier than normal this October. I blame the ravens that have been cluttering up my mind. As well as the unnecessary tumbleweeds taking up valuable brainpower and focus.

I spent this morning releasing the contents of my brain into a journal and it felt great to channel the fullness I have been carrying around somewhere. Strangely enough, I have so much more energy and time to catch up on everything I haven’t been able to get a handle on such as:

Blogging.

Writing.

Revising.

Beta reading.

AND cleaning the house believe it or not –  and it’s only lunchtime!

There is less than three months until the year is over and I believe we can all still make some serious headway and accomplish goals we have been working towards by taking the time to reassess and remember what they are.

Top 3 goals I want to achieve by 2013 are:

  1. Complete Dancing Peregrine Revisions
  2. Complete first draft of New_NaNo_Project
  3. Consistently workout 3 times a week.

How about you? What top three goals do you have your eyes set on?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

 

Do Something That Makes You Feel Pretty Everyday

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements

– Napoleon Hill

The world of writing is beautiful one.

Exquisite.

Delicious.

Exasperating.

There are days when the words flow and revision comes easy. There are also plenty of ‘those days.’ You know, the ones where housework looks like lots of fun.

Then of course, there are the days writers forget to, you know, shower.

I recently met up with a friend I haven’t seen in years. We have a habit of travelling and relocating to different countries, and it wasn’t until she had a baby we were finally able to meet. (Not that it’s stopped her from going overseas since). When I walked into the café to meet with my long-lost friend, I could not believe how amazing she looked. She didn’t have a face full of makeup or anything like that, but there was something.

We got talking and she told me the best advice she was ever given by a mother was to do something little everyday to make yourself look pretty. Feel human. That little something could be simple as wearing lipstick or changing out of your pyjamas in the morning.

This revelation immediately got me thinking about my own lifestyle. I may not be a mother, but a lot of my life is based at home. The advantage (and peril) of being your own boss AND a writer. So naturally, it is quite easy for me to look like someone who was born in a bin, fell out of a bin, or simply…is a bin. Okay, the last one didn’t make any sense but you get my drift.

Since meeting my beautiful friend I have since adjusted a few things in my life. I make it a priority to shower and get ready for the day as soon as I wake up. I never wear my pjs when I write, preferring to save that for cosy Sundays watching my favourite movies or being huddled under a blanket reading a book. The difference it has made to my mental state is incredible!

I no longer look like a hobo, or feel like one.

Now, if only I brushed my hair every now and again.

What do you do everyday to make yourself feel pretty or even the tiniest bit human?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Spring Reflections & Writing Goals


The best time to set up a new discipline is when the idea is strong

– Jim Rohn

In Australia, the first glimmer of spring has arrived.  The warm breeze, the feeble rays of sunshine and the appearance of flowers waiting to bloom are signs winter is leaving us behind. It feels like only yesterday I was reminiscing about what I love about the cold, and I can’t help but feel a tiny bit sad about this change.

I’m not going to lie, I am a little bit jealous of the pumpkin spice happiness most of you will be experiencing to celebrate all things fall. Okay, very jealous. It wasn’t until I lived in Vancouver did I understand this phenomenon. When Starbucks was going pumpkin spice crazy, I was a complete snob and utterly bewildered by this craze. Who on earth would want such a horrifying combination? But during a moment of homesickness and missing my mother, I purchased my first one and fell in love. I knew if she was in Vancouver with me she’d be ordering them like crazy, because pumpkin and all things spice, are probably her two most favourite things right there – her children a close third, fourth and fifth.  Reading in the rain amongst the hustle and bustle of Starbucks with a pumpkin spiced latte in hand helped me feel closer to home and those I love.

With the change of seasons I tend to reflect on the past and remember beautiful memories I didn’t realise I missed. I  also evaluate my goals and I thought it would be fun to share them here.

1.    Complete my 2nd revision and edits for Dancing Peregrine by the end of October 2014. This will mark one year since I finished my first rewrite. I can’t believe I left a big gap between revisiting it, but life had other plans and countries to explore and I wouldn’t change any of it. It has been an amazing journey of growth and dramatic changes and I have finally learned to respect the journey instead of fighting it.

2.    Write query letter and begin researching suitable agents. I have been putting this off for too long.  I’m sure I am not alone in this.

3.    Submit Dancing Peregrine by the end of the year. That said, it needs to feel ready and not rushed. I’m also going to constantly remind myself to enjoy the process.

4.    Enter NaNoWriMo! Words cannot begin to explain how badly I want to do this. The thrill of experiencing first draft mania has not been experienced in a long time (2.5 years?). Regardless of whether Dancing Peregrine is completed or not, I will be doing this. I need a new story and a new world. Another creative spark needs to be ignited.

Even though I don’t get to experience pumpkin spiced lattes, maybe I’m feeling a little bit excited by what the rest of the year has in store for me creatively.

What are your goals for the changing of the season?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Writing to silence

“Silence is more musical than any song.”

— Christina Georgina Rossetti

Somewhere along the way on my writing journey, the music disappeared.

Did it get stolen?

No.

It simply ceased to be.

Writing to silence is a beautiful thing. I hear everything, yet nothing at the same time.

Every story has a different process and this one is silence. I respect that now, after all this time. For so long I wanted to be the writer with the cool playlists, filled with inspirational songs and artists. But I realise now, it wasn’t to be.

This story is silence, like snow.

The world I explore is abandoned and cursed. The heroine, alone and lost.

There are secrets and blood.

A forgotten past.

Music disappeared from the story, because there is so much within the silence that can be heard.

Screams, tears and the missing links.

…I believe my muse has been trying to tell me this all along.

I am beginning to fall in love with my WIP once again. The second round of revision feels different, more precise and closer to almost there. I am ruthless with my cutting and rewrites – and feel empowered – because I am a different writer. One who will sacrifice anything to make sure the characters can be heard.

It isn’t easy to delete chapters or a beautiful character…but in the silence, I heard the final whispers of the story.

Have there been moments when the misty pieces began to reveal itself to you?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Winter

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens

– Frank Herbert

My office is icy cold, littered with endless cups of tea – some finished, many forgotten.  There is also a part of me that senses I am never truly alone when locked away in here. My creating space has been neglected for most of the year, gradually accumulating unpacked boxes and forgotten memories. I peak in and my eyes zero straight to my desk and I feel the first tingle of anticipation and excitement.  A weight lifts off my shoulder and for the first time in a long time I feel like I can breathe.  I feel the magic that lures me to this cave year after year ever since I was sixteen. Although the cave has changed throughout the years, my instinct to return is in my blood. The compulsion to write never leaves me for long and for that I am very grateful.

Winter is all about pretty and not-so-pretty creatures fighting to break out of my mind and onto the page. The morning frost, fog and endless rain stir something within me. My muse finally emerges from the shadows and leans against a wall with an eyebrow raised.

He always stands in the empty space to my left – the place I sense unseen eyes constantly watching me. The creative part of myself – my muse – terrifies me.

Always.

This year has been an unpredictable journey and I admit I have been a little shy and hesitant to step into my world. I have ventured forth on many occasions and hastily retreated. The jarring sensation when entering an abandoned world is what I imagine falling into a frozen lake would feel like. My brain hurt. I couldn’t breathe. I was convinced I was going to drown.

A big part of me worried I left my revision dormant for too long and that I could never undo the damage. But looking at my desk from the safety of my doorway, everything is beginning to feel familiar once again.

The feel of the air, the icy room of neglect and lack of warmth feels inviting.

I thrive here.

I am scared here.

My element has arrived.

Love and light,

xx

Revising on the Road

Leah Johnson Photography

Leah Johnson Photography

 

The exquisite Devin Berglund was kind enough to host my gypsy self on her blog. If you’ve been wondering where this creature has disappeared to…again….check out the link below!

Revising on the Road

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Breaking Routine

When I see beautiful places,the stories start talking…

Taking in the tea trails, Sri Lanka

Taking in the tea trails, Sri Lanka

Routine is a wonderful thing, but breaking routine is absolutely delightful.

I haven’t been working on my WIP last month and it felt surprisingly fantastic. Instead, I went travelling around beautiful and isolated parts of Sri Lanka last month and it got me thinking about the concept of breaking routine and how it related to my own writing process.

Writing if you aren’t careful can drain and leech everything you have. For a while that’s how my writing life felt to me and then I realized something during my month of uninhibited exploring – One MUST fill the creative well. Not just for the sake of your ‘art’ but for you. In my case, the act of simply sitting at my desk and working through my revision edits was just not enough to fuel me to the end.

Was I still excited about my story?

Yes.

Could I work on it?

No.

I felt like I was dying from exhaustion and my muse needed CPR. Something needed to change if I wanted to see this WIP complete.

So I broke routine.

_MG_9568

Such beautiful color ..

I took up photography and saw life through a different lens.

I wrote poetry and stretched my mind to see words differently.

I bonded with beautiful people despite the language barrier.

All in all, I was filling my body and soul with good things.

Falling in love with this sari a little bit

Falling in love with this sari a little bit

Travelling is a great passion of mine and every trip I learn something new about myself and the world. I was born in Sri Lanka, and despite visiting previously, this is the first time I left the country with a strong connection to my own sense of identity. For the first time in my life I saw the way a sari draped around a woman’s body absolutely beautiful! Here I was spending my youth avoiding looking ‘ethERnic’ at all cost. What was wrong with me?

You don’t need to go overseas to break routine to fill the well and nourish yourself – but you do need to be exposed to new things.

It is so easy to get caught up  in a routine that stunts growth – so if you take anything from this post I hope you find a way to break routine a little bit every day. It doesn’t matter if you work or if you study or if you are based at home – there is something you can do to shake things up a bit and experience something new.

Although the world is getting smaller, there is just so many things to see!

Just go outside your front door 🙂

How do you break routine a little bit everyday?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

My Writing Space

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My creative messy space

It may not be your day, but it can still be your year – Unknown

Just a quick post. There have been a few distraction over the last week which has made me reflect on what is important to me. I vowed to be more selfish with my time so I can achieve the goals I want to achieve and grow into the writer I hope to be.

I want my life to be filled with inspiring people and I want to look back on this year and be proud of the work I have done.

I hope all of you have a wonderful and productive start to the week!

Love and Light,

Anushka xx

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A writing related art project I’ll post about later in the week

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I love the smell of fresh flowers in my office ❤

My Writing Space


Paper can cut deeper than a knife, because a story can gut you through and through, until you’re forced to be reborn

– Kesenia Anske

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I have been falling into a revision routine once again which feels great! I have been so absorbed in my work I didn’t even realise today was Monday! I don’t work Monday’s so that’s okay, but it does mean I forgot about my segment Finding My Creature in Images. If I get a chance I’ll post it today or tomorrow, if not…I’ll make sure next week is extra exciting!

I changed my location today because my lounge room is the only room with a heater (got to love little old houses with character). It’s been raining outside – finally – so all I wanted was to be snuggled up somewhere warm while I got lost in the dark, haunting world in my head.

It’s nice feeling like I”m making progress again, no matter how small. also, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has been so supportive during this journey, it means a lot!

🙂

Love and light,

Anushka xx