Friday, 30 April 2010

Writing & creating through busy times

This fortnight is very busy with weddings, Birthdays, fundraisers & family visits. There's a lot to look forward to. Nevertheless, this is also a challenge to my creative practice. I'm already a little frustrated with my reduced creative output and have been struggling with my health. However, I've decided to see this as an opportunity to use my creative practice ideas to cope. To keep using writing, journaling, art, photos and music in some form even when I'm busy and strain health wise.
Hopefully in another week or so I'll be able to share my experiences and results. Meanwhile, above is a photo of a recent entry in my art journal - a mix of art and free writing.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Write by the stream....

This is the view beside my writing hut at the bottom of our garden. The sound of the stream has a dreamy melody to it that is a perfect soundtrack to my writing. Today I took my camera down and became immersed in the beauty of the running water and the budding trees. I was very aware of the Creative Everyday theme of 'the five senses'. I took over forty shots but I thought I may bore you if I used more than a couple. Looking at the photos I realised they will serve as inspiring story starters, scene prompts and art journal creations. There is magic to be found in the trees and water.

My biggest news this week is that I am finally able to read books again. I can't begin to explain how happy this has made me. Audiobooks are okay but for me they don't compare to reading a book myself. This week I've also been able to continue polishing/editing my novel and increase my writing time. This has felt fantastic. Even with the resulting headaches :-) Hence this post focusing on where I love to write: in an old summer house, now my writing hut at the bottom of the garden. Despite its shabbiness I love it for its pretty surroundings & because it is my own space to create.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A feast for the senses & novel changes....

The theme in April for the Creative Every Day Challenge is 'The Five Senses'.
Easter Saturday's visit to Polzeath proved a true feast for the senses and prompted a change to my novel.
Firstly we visited the Salt Water Cafe/Bistro in Polzeath to meet the lovely Melanie McDonald (pictured below with a couple of her paintings) and view her wonderful exhibition. Take a virtual look at her stunning paintings alive with the spirit of the Cornish coast and the people who inhabit it, on her website: .
It was raining when we arrived in Polzeath. The photo below shows an overcast wet Polzeath.

Within half an hour the clouds began to disperse & the sun started to shine; changing the scenery and perspective. This got me thinking...

...about the theme of the five senses. Last year I sat in Polzeath and wrote five pages in my notebook using the theme of the five senses. I wrote from the viewpoint of my novel's male protagonist. At the time the beach and town were full to brimming. Each of my (his) senses were assaulted by nature and man made stimuli.

Visiting on Saturday, my main character (whose childhood home is Polzeath) begged for me to write more for him. Really, I know it's insane but I was compelled to write and that's what I did. This time my perspective was very different. Previously a strong wind had carried the sounds of a crowded beach. Children, lifeguard speakers & seagulls excited by the opportunity for scraps had competed and mingled. This time, it was quieter and the sights were very different. It was amazing how dramatically the weather affected the scene. For instance compare my photos above with the ones below, taken on a sunnier day a fortnight ago.

The colours are completely different. The shades of the sky, sea and sand are altered.

The photos directly above and below illustrate how the rocks and sand take on a different character when highlighted by the sun instead of varnished by the rain.

This made me consider again the changing faces of my character's home. Not only can our sensory perception be affected but also our mood. Interestingly, on Saturday, with the colours subdued I wrote a sad and emotive scene from my character's past. Although I was happy the earlier rain and mist had triggered the character's traumatic memory. I'd thought my novel was finished and nearly ready to submit. But now I'm considering adding and expanding on this bit of writing. Maybe my character was trying to tell me something on Saturday because I think this piece could make a positive change to the way the story is told. I suspect I'm making myself a lot more work but I feel that I have touched on an idea that will benefit the novel as a whole.
Do you have places that influence your writing/art/creative projects? How does the weather or season affect your sensory perception of these places and the subsequent creative expression that comes from a visit there?
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