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

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Timers Give You Wings

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living

-Soren Kierkegaard

Somewhere over the last few months I started doing 90 minute ‘Power Jams.’

During November, I discovered the thrill of the 10 minute sprint.

Timers create magic.

Magic create words.

It’s unbelievable how much you get done.

Try it.

 

Love and light,

Anushka xx

 

NaNoWriMo

If you work at it hard enough, you can grind an iron rod into a needle

– Chinese Proverb

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Day 1: NaNoWriMo

 

It’s DAY TWO of NaNoWriMo in Australia. The sun is shining, the air feels  like spring and I am aware that many of you have easy access to spice pumpkin lattes going into fall – and I don’t.

I will be documenting my writing space in photographs on instagram everyday. At the moment the desk isn’t too cluttered,  but I  already spy accumulating cups of tea from the corner of my eye. Once I pull out my Dancing Peregrine edits, there is no saving this space!  If anyone else would like to join me in documenting the process in pictures, let me know, and I’ll have a sneak peak during the obligatory procrastination session.

So what did I do in preparation for NaNoWriMo?

*insert guilty panster silence here*

That said, I did have a beautiful spark for an idea which has captured my sweet black heart involving cyborgs, assassins and pirates. I am quite curious and excited to see where this NaNo adventure takes me since it is very different from my current WIP which is about all things haunted, ballerinas and dark magic. Love.

I have found Pinterest to be a great inspiration tool in my outlining  ‘pretend plotting’ stage. Before every session I open up the boards, drink in the visual essence and seeds of inspiration  and dive straight in. I know the plotters out there are cringing a little bit, but I know the magic happens in the revision stages for me.

For those of you doing NaNo, my username is findingmycreature. Would love to connect with you there too  – always exciting to see everyone’s progress – especially since it’s easy to forget real people actually exist outside of your head.

What did you do to prepare for NaNo?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

5 Tips for getting over Blogger’s Block

In order to write about life, first you must live it

– Ernest Hemingway

5 Tips for getting over Bloggers Block

  1. Eat chocolate Go outside and DO something that isn’t writing related
  2. Visit the top 5 blogs you absolutely love and write down what aspects about those blogs draw them to you.
  3. Free write a list of blog topics without inhibition
  4. Dedicate a block of time to organise your blog posts for the week, it really does make a difference
  5. Above all else, be true to your writer voice and embrace the wonderment that is the journey of writing

Where do your blog ideas come from?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

PS – I’m really excited to share the blog topics I have come up with, stay tuned.

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

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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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 ❤

Finding My Creature in Images

 

 

 

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Lolly Bar Love! One of the many moments I fell in love with at a close friends engagement x

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It’s the little touches that make a moment magical

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LOVE!

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Capturing a magical moment full of everything…

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I have always been drawn to fire…

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Nostalgic childhood moment..

Love and light,

Anushka xx

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