Thursday, February 25, 2021

Big Magic

 22 nd Feb 2021.

Big Magic

Recently I've been reading through Liz gilbert's book Big Magic. You probably know Liz Gilbert, she's  famous for her  memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. I have  read that one, and while I enjoyed it, I have to say it didn't  resonate with me that much. I mean I didn't do what I'd normally do if I was really inspired by a book.  No, my dear readers, I didn't pass it on. 

Big Magic is the second book that our Sacred Circle are working through together, the first being Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, which  we completed over twelve weeks running up to December 2020.  At the end of The Artists Way, I realised I'd learnt a lot about my own creativity and began  to believe in myself as a writer.  Though growing in  confidence,  I'm  still not totally there.  Imposter Syndrome (yes, look it up, it's a real thing), gets in the way. But that doesn't stop me writing now as it used to in the past. It matters less. In a sense me ego matters less. 

With Big Magic, I'm  continuing that journey. The journey to where, you might ask?. I'm not sure, but I do know that I  love moving  forward,  travelling the road, getting  stuck in a bog sometimes, yes, but getting out quicker and avoiding them mostly.  

Which brings me to this weeks chapter, Permission. What am I allowing/not allowing myself to do, to not do? 

For me, it's been relatively easy to get time for me, for my writing during this Pandemic. Hours and hours that I never had before have been gifted to me. It's been an escape really from the harsh realities that are facing the world just now. For me personally it's the absence of  intimate family time, the joy of laughing across the table with friends, the travelling and exploring in the camper with hubby. I can leave these heartaches outside the door and get lost in the words. And I have done. It's been brilliant.


But, what will happen when everything goes back to normal? OK, not even normal, but to some sort of compromise where we are able to see the family once again. My writing will have to take a backseat, will have to be something I get to do if and when I find  a few minutes. However, I know what will happen then. I'll be too tired, too caught up in the lives of the children, too busy visiting and having visitors, to have any energy left over for my writing. 

Will it be like that? In one way, I don't mind if it is. My creativity life  means more than wielding a pen or tapping words into a machine. 

 It necessarily includes those ones that I love. There are so many ways to use my newly found sense of creativity, that I know that I'll never run out of ideas, only time to put them into practice. Love is always creative.

But, in another way, I do mind. I want to be able to carry on living the process of writing. Obviously through the process the product will emerge.  I need to be able to find ( make, take) the time for it. 

This is where I will give myself permission, then. Permission to  accept "the gift" of my creativity, be grateful for it and enjoy it, giving it the time it deserves. For me, that might mean saying I'm not available at certain times of day, or certain times of the week. 

Liz Gilbert says, "Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from the universe."

In my silences I realise that for me, my life, my creativity, everything,  is a gift from God, and that alone is enough to give me, not only the permission but also the commission to use it well, to do something good with it. This gives me the confidence to know that I will still write post pandemic. Maybe not as much, but certainly more than pre pandemic. 

Dear Maz, 

I  give you  permission to use the gift of writing that has come from the hand of God, permission not worry about what other people might think if you, permission to take time for it even though life might get busy. permission to thrive as a writer. Go do your thing. I've got your back. I'm proud of you,

With love,


Just one more little thought from Liz, before I go:

"Intracranial Jewelry-Making.! What a cool job!

That's basically what we all do - all of us who spend our days making and doing interesting things for no particularly rational reason. As a creator, you can design any sort of jewelry that you like for the insides of other people's minds ( or simply for the inside of your own mind). You can make work that's provocative, aggressive, sacred, edgy, traditional, earnest, devastating, entertaining, fanciful...but when all is said and done, it's just still intracranial jewelry-making. It's still just decoration. And that's glorious. But it's seriously not something that anybody needs to hurt themselves over, okay? So, relax a bit, is what I'm saying. Please try to relax.

Otherwise what's the point of having all these senses in the first place?"

I love the idea that my work will be jewelry for people's minds. That's powerful. 

That's Magic.

Big Magic

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Shrove Tuesday 2021

 16th February 2021              

                  Today is Shrove Tuesday — Pancake Day.

Last year due to m husband being gluten and dairy free and my daughter being on a diet, counting calories, there were no pancakes. Although I love them, I wasn’t going to make them just for me. And I was relieved not to have to make up the batter and stand over the hot stove cooking them. The reward definitely wasn’t worth the effort.

This year is different. A boomerang son is living with us now who loves pancakes, having them often, especially when the snacks have run out and the cupboards are empty before the next shop. So, I’m hoping he and I will share some this evening.

What a world of a difference, though, to when the children were all at home. They eagerly waited for Shrove Tuesday, when we’d have pancakes, always at tea time, after a small main meal. I made the batter earlier in the day — lots of it. More often than not, I’d have to make more as they disappeared quickly into little bellies.

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I stood the the stove for hours flipping each individual pancake, making more than forty during one tea time. They would eat more quickly than I could supply them and then wait eagerly for their next one. In the end I was usually too exhausted to have one myself. All I could do was sit with a cup of tea and sigh.
The children loved them though, some dolloping chocolate spread in large spoonfuls into the middle and carefully easing it to the edges before rolling it, others might have jam and do the same, still others, especially as they got older would squeeze lemon juice liberally all over and cover it with an inordinate amount of sugar. Joanna even squeezed lemon juice, covered with sugar, then plopped strawberry jam on too. “Urrgghh!!” the chorus that went up from her siblings. As far as I was concerned, it didn’t matter, as long as they ate their concoctions.
At some point in time, I changed the pattern. It occurred to me that I could make up batches and keep them warm in the oven, thereby being able to eat together and actually maybe, enjoy one myself. One time, I remember, I made 50. It took a few hours, but it was worth it. I separated them by putting grease proof paper between each one. How much more relaxed. Why didn’t I think of it before?
What a revelation. It worked so well, I went on to do it every year from then on.

You might want to know why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday? And where did the name come “Shrove Tuesday” come from.
Well, it’s a Christian tradition. Shrove Tuesday always comes before Ash Wednesday which is the start of the Lenten season. It was customary to be shriven, (absolved ) before lent started, so that the season could be prayerful, so that a Christian could prepare his/her soul for the great celebration of Easter. Unlike the popular view that Christmas is the most important Christian celebration, for a Christian it’s actually Easter, the time we remember that Jesus, died and rose again. The lenten season then is a time to put things right with God. Many people would go/still go to confession to clear and clean the soul.

Having pancakes came about because people would have to eat all the fats and eggs in the house, due to fasting during the following weeks. We no longer have such strict fasts, but we are still encouraged to find ways to do without and live more spiritually, more simply. To think of others by finding ways to help the needy too.

So, this year I might get to enjoy a pancake or two. But I’ll also be looking at how I can live this lent in a more prayerful and thoughtful way, so that Easter will be for me a great celebration.

Will you be eating pancakes today or changing things over these next few weeks? It would be good to hear your stories.

Family minded writer of short stories, poetry a blog and other stuff

Sunday, February 14, 2021

TTOT February

 14th Feb 2021

Today, Valentine's Day, I am mainly thankful for God's  Love for all of us. Thinking about His immense love for me is just mind blowing. It rests deep in my heart, makes me want to bring it to the world. I see it played out in my marriage as me and my husband try to put God's love there too. 

It makes me so happy to have this man of mine, who constantly loves and struggles to love more. Some women, today are getting flowers and words of love from partners. Me, I get a cup of tea in bed, my computer brought to me so I can write and the  beautiful vision of my dear husband helping our son. It beats flowers any day. Not that my poor hubby wouldn't have bought me flowers , he would. But he knows me well enough to know that, rather than making me feel loved ( well, they might , a little bit), I would probably get irritated at the money spent ( wasted, as the said flowers start dying immediately they come into the house). 

Yesterday we went for a walk in the woods. It was below freezing, but we got so much joy, it was almost worth returning home with icy toes and fingers. 

The sun shone too. And our daughter's dog slid about on icy streams, causing much laughter. 

Earlier in the week, I was told an article I wrote will be published today. You'll find it here:

The smile never slipped from my face all day. 
That, along with other accolades, helps me to convince myself that actually I am a writer. My friend Caroline said a couple of months ago, "If you write , you're a writer." 
That didn't quite do it for me. I mean, I could write rubbish, would I still be a writer? Surley, being a writer meant more than just committing  words to the page. Didn't they have to also have an audience. And to be a proper writer, shouldn't I be getting paid. 
While I still struggle with these questions, I can at least be comforted that someone wants to publish my  work. 
For me that's enough for now. 
Although it's being published today, it's already gone for me . I'm on to the next thing.
Another thankful is the joy I find in writing my memoir. I never in my wildest dreams expected to be able to write more than 70 thousand words, but I have.  

Today, I am thankful for so much. 

There have been many good points.