GUEST POST: Now, here.

Copyright: The Soul SearchI am really excited to introduce this travelling creature to the blog. Sloan and I were introduced by a mutual friend while she was travelling around Thailand – even though I wasn’t in the same country. Mutual friend just knew we would get along and he was right! It’s amazing the connections you make by simply living in the moment and being open to new friendships and opportunities. 

Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to share a part of your journey here on Finding My Creature. I look forward to the day out paths cross! No doubt it will be somewhere off the beaten track.

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I’m glad I remembered to set my alarm. The bus to Laos leaves at 7am and I’ve just hardly gone to bed. My t-shirt smells like cheap vodka and the tropic rainstorm we danced in last night. Chalk paints my hands from the countless games of pool we played.  My alarm cuts through the dorm room again as I stuff my life into a 55-liter bag and other travelers roll over groaning and cursing me. I sleepily brush the fuzz off my teeth and pray that I have an instant coffee packet left to stave off the inevitable headache.

Stumbling downstairs the Dutch boy I met is still awake, sipping a warm Honoi Beer and playing pool. My lips are still swollen, his still in a little smile, as we make knowing eye contact. It’s already 86 degrees and my curls have sprung into true SE Asian fashion of a large, frizzy fro that I have learned to not bother taming and have grown to love.

Unmanageable. Just like my life.

 Copyright: The Soul SearchThe idea of having to look ‘put together,’ the idea of wearing something other that a tank top and a flip flops is overwhelming. The idea of America and impressing anyone is far away and undesired. Laos is next: Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand are behind me. I’m no longer somewhere; I’m everywhere and nowhere—I’m now, here.

 

Disconnected:

I don’t have a cell phone that rings with text messages, I go days without checking my email or Facebook. My blog is ignored and has been almost completely replaced by a tattered notebook that I bought for the equivalent of 10 cents on the street. I write when I’m sitting and people watching. While sipping a beer out of a 40 oz bottle, or coffee that drips from a silver canister, I chose my beverage based on my mood not the clock. My watch has broken. I answer to my hunger pangs. I respond to my heavy eyelids. I’m free. I have myself, and a backpack. My only ‘need’ is to be in Bangkok for my flight in May.

Copyright: The Soul Search

Returned, reconnected:

It’s now September. Bundled in a sweatshirt I sip coffee from an automatic coffee maker, the air is so dry my lips are cracked, my hair is tame, I have to get dressed soon to go to work. I sleep in the same bed every night. I dream of meeting attractive Dutchmen but instead I serve rum and Cokes to Frat boy tourists and depressed bar flies. I want to throw my I-phone out the window, Facebook blares at me and I, unfortunately, always find myself answering back. I talk to my parents daily and drama from my job bleeds into my home life.

Home.

While I was traveling in SE Asia I craved regularity. I wanted to nest. I actually used that word, nest. I wanted a home, I wanted a bedroom, I wanted to decorate and make a life for myself. Now—back in America I want to spread my wings again. I miss being nowhere. I miss my backpack, my tank tops, flip flops and losing track of time.Sloan2

You have to roll with the punches and, pardon the cliché, go with the flow. You have to say YES when that cute Brit offers interesting conversation and wants to show you the most amazing beach on the Island at sunset. You jump on the back of his motorbike and sip the whiskey when he passes it back. Or you have to say NO when a Thai-ger wants buy you beer and dance a little too close…you use your judgment, your instinct and you LIVE.

Being somewhere else is a rush. It’s scary but invigorating. It’s something I crave when I have too much normalcy, too much drama, too much unnecessary [un]certainty in my life. The idea of being here today and tomorrow is overwhelming and boring.

A pint of beer seems too small. A shot of espresso too elaborate. Eating at a table in a restaurant with a knife and fork feels mundane and average compared to sitting on the street with the ‘chef’ that speaks no English but smiles and nods as she hands you chopsticks, a spoon and shows you which herbs to add to your soup. American boys in America are less interesting. Shopping looses it’s purpose when there is no story to how you got that piece of jewelry—I didn’t spend the day hiking with the daughter of the craftsman so it doesn’t seem as beautiful or worth as much. I don’t need it.

Copyright: The Soul Search

Travel stretches you thin. Wears you weak and dizzy. It’s lonely, it’s hard, it takes effort. I cried—a lot. I wanted to come ‘home’ many days. But then I laughed as the sun melted into a pool of pink sherbert. I played Marco Polo as the sun crested the mountains and got kicked out of the pool by a security guard at sunrise. I learned how to react. I believed in myself as I successfully got from point A to point B—it may have taken some trial and error and long ass bus trips, but I grew.

Growth is what we crave and strive for every day no matter where you are. Travel is being present and ready for whatever is going to be tossed, pitched or thrown your way. Meeting and trusting the road, trusting that the path you take may not be the easiest but it’s what’s going to show you an amazing waterfall or bring you to a town that seems to have never moved into the 21st century. Trust in yourself comes from the growth of being now and here.

Copyright: The Soul Search

 

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Sloan DorrSloan is currently living in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. She’s swimming, running, riding and yoga-ing through life. Sloan’s about to start a new job that will get people outside, exploring and playing in the woods. She is seeking more international opportunities, is in a constant state of learning new skills and loving life. She throws words and thoughts down on her blog www.thesolesearch.com and would love for you to check it out!

 

 

 

 

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.

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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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Outlining my series at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria

A quick hello from Malaysia – the far corners of Kota Kinabalu to be exact. I’m on the tail end of my honeymoon and feeling refreshed enough to finally think about anything writing related. I didn’t intend to do anything writing/blogging related during my travels but what can I say? The welcomed downtime during the last four days after exploring the jungles of Borneo have been good to the creative soul.

I haven seriously been thinking about what I want this blog to be while I have been away and decided I want to share more about the writer behind Finding My Creature, so every Monday I will be starting a new segment called My Writing Space.

It will be a quick sneak peek into my space and no doubt the further and further I lose myself in my current projects the messier my space will be.

The rainforest view from my creating space. Love.

 

I Hope everyone has been well.

Love and light,

Anushka xx

 

2013 Writing Goals: Designing Life With Words

People with goals succeed, because they know where they’re going

-Earl Nightingale

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Twenty12  easily was the most productive writing year I have  ever had, with most of that hard earned magic happened during the second half of the year (first half was all about surviving the incredible experience that is acting school). I have a good feeling  Twenty13 will be just as productive, if not more! Imagine what one can accomplish when they use the entire year from the start?

I am a big believer in goal setting, I’m not going to lie…more often that not my goals are really ambitious and don’t take into account the other things I to do in life. When I’m on a roll creatively I also have the tendency to throw the whole healthy concept of Balance out the window. Something I hope to avoid this year.

So this year I’m tweaking the way I set goals for the year. I have separated them into compartments such as writing, travel and health and gone a step further and broken those big goals down into mini goals month-by-month. Some months are flexible and not set in stone ( hello, I’m a panster! I can barely plot the first 5 scenes of a book let alone goal set for 12 months!). It’s refreshing and comforting to see how my year will be made up, especially in regards to my writing pursuits, without feeling the need to cram everything into a month and have everything done now, now, now.

Below, I have shared my overall writing goals and my month target for January.

2013   writing goals

–         Complete edits of current WIP Dancing Peregrine

–         Outline Peregrine Series (Quartet)

–         3 First Drafts

i)      Peregrine_Book2

ii)     Project_Circus

iii)     Untitled – something fresh, new and exciting!

–         2 Revised Novels (not including current WIP)

i)      Peregrine_Book2

ii)    Project_Circus

–         Complete Editing & Proofreading  Course (via correspondence)

–         Read 24 Novels 

JANUARY GOALS

1. Proofreading and Editing Book 1 and assignment

2. Part 1 & Part 2 Edits: Dancing Peregrine

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Part of me is excited and slightly mortified that I will be putting myself through TWO revisions this year (not including the one I’m currently on). But as my writing improves with every draft, I live in the hopes that editing will become a skill (not a chore) I improve with over time and practice. I’m actually groaning right now, but hey, positive thinking never hurts anyone right?

I love hearing about what motivates everyone so feel free to share what Twenty13 has in store for you. You are also welcome to share a link back to your blog in the comments if you have done so already 🙂

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Life Loves

I can’t believe it took me so long to discover this place! Since I love to explore places near and far I decided I’m going to make an effort to post more photographs on this blog, to shake things up a bit!

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Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia

On a revision related note, I spent time today reading the first chapter of my manuscript to try and ‘experience’ what it would be like for a reader. It’s definitely one of the more cleaner parts of the draft and I can’t wait for the rest of it to flow like that. I also got out my special notebook intended for Project_Graveyard related notes, scribbles, musings etc. and thought out some alternative story arcs which made me quite excited because it sparked other ideas! What can I say, it was a lot of geeky fun when I should have been trying to pack! But then a wine date called so the packing was never going to happen anyway!

Love and light,

xx

 

“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts.” Rita Mae Brown

Truly Strange…

Well, I climbed Grouse Mountain wearing red lipstick.

Believe it or not it remained in perfect condition the whole way despite the very challenging nature of the climb. This I find a greater accomplishment than climbing the actual mountain itself. I also, for some unknown reason, did not expect to see anything, like say…a view, when I reached the top. This thought just did not cross my mind…but wow!!! All that pain, grunting and sweat was worth it. I wonder if the Asian businessman in a suit and briefcase thought so to?

 

Love and Light xx