A New Chapter

Hello Beautiful Creatures,

Connecting with Nature by Anushka Dhanapala

Connecting with Nature by Anushka Dhanapala

Just a quick post to let you all know that I have moved over to my new website http://www.anushkadhanapala.com I’m looking forward to getting into my blogging grove and seeing where this new space might lead.

I’m still in the process of perfecting it. But lets be honest, there is no such thing as perfection. At least in my world.

Finding my Creature still sings to my soul and you will see a lot of elements of it in my new online time capsule. As for my old space, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets revamped and reshaped into a something new. You never know where the magic of finding ones creature will lead.

Please come and say hi. I look forward to hearing about your journey and discovering new blogs along the way.

Love and light,

Anushka xx

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Hello July ::

 We are spiritual beings living a human experience

– Oprah Winfrey

The call to return has become stronger. Maybe it’s true my creativity is seasonal, something about cold-for-Australia weather ignites a spark in me that remains dormant in the warmer months. Now that I am here, I have to say I’ve missed every single second of being away from this blog and the people I have met through it.

My creative side has been neglected as I navigated my way through a lot of change and self development. But the compulsion to create and tell stories can never be silenced for long, that much is crystal clear.

This year has been incredibly busy, but I am so happy to be back.

Love and light xx

 

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

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

Blog Tour: Inspiration Behind “Hope For Another Day”

Hi everyone! Finding My Creature is excited to be hosting one of the stops for Devin Berglund’s Hope for Another Day  blog tour. I know she has been doing some serious behind the scenes hours in preparation for her Halloween Launch … Continue reading

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.

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

Imaginary Bookshelves

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed.“It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.” 

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

Hello lovely creatures, just letting you know I have ventured into the world of Goodreads. It’s such a wonderful way to keep track of all the books I want to read and an even better way to keep track of the books I have read and forgotten about. Would love to connect with those who have it, because there is nothing I like more than peeking into bookshelves, even virtual ones.

The downside to Goodreads is that it may, or may not double up, as a procrastination outlet. Of course one discovers these gems when submerged in the depths of revision and deadlines. Timed sessions it is.

To give you a bit of an update about what is happening around here, I will be posting regularly every Monday and Thursday. Blogging has been a great outlet to help connect me with many wonderful people and also doubles up as a fun side-project away from the WIP. So expect to see more creature presence around here as well as guest posts and interviews with inspiring creative artists.

Feel free to share your Goodreads username/link in the comments. If you are reading anything that is taking your breath away let me know, because I am always searching for those stories with the power to haunt a soul well after the last page has been turned.

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