Sunday, September 11, 2016

News and New Adventures!

I have created a new website for my writing and art, and I hope you'll come with me as I take off from Ink Island and grow my Inky Wings.

Allow me to introduce you to my new author and artist website,

It's looking rather spartan right now, but I'm decorating and adding content this week.

There is already a new blog post about my recent 'Pivot Point.'

AND it's where I'll be announcing my new ebook for writers.


What's been happening in my creative world to prompt this change?

*  In the last month I've learned a lot about writing, and myself as a writer and artist, through ebooks, e-courses and online networking ... I have SO much to tell you all!  Visit the new blog for my recommendations and reviews.

*  I've been sharing heaps of inspiration for writers and artists on Inky Wings on Facebook, along with photos and updates about of my work in progress.

*  I decided to stop worrying about what I don't have and make the most of what I DO have ... in practical terms, that means I have embraced the nomadic writer lifestyle.  I still wish for a studio, or even a desk I don't have to share, but have found a solution that works for now.  Would you like to see photos of my portable writing and painting setup?

Thanks for your support, 


Saturday, August 27, 2016

What is your 'Writing Why'?

My WRITING WHY can be summed up in one word:  

“GLOW” instantly brings to mind my faith, creativity, love and desire to grow and shine.  
It encompasses who I am, who I want to be and how I want to live.

Some of the reasons I write (and paint) are:

* to capture and share inspiration, ideas and beautiful memories
* to give light and love and express faith
* to inspire, empower and encourage
* the flow of creative work energises me and makes my true self glow

"Your WHY is the internal fire, passion, motivation, inspiration and drive for your creative work" 
-  Jennifer Blanchard

I want to GLOW … be my best & brightest self and
        I want to help people GLOW … by encouraging, inspiring and empowering.

I created GLOW: Heart, Mind & Soul and the corresponding Facebook page last year as a way to achieve my goal, and that is where I outlined what the acronym G.L.O.W. represents for me:

Jennifer Blanchard is the author of 'Align Your Writing Habits To Success: From procrastinating writer to productive writer in 30 days (or less)' ... this one of the most remarkable writer's resources I have come across!   Finding my writing why was one of the hardest and most rewarding writing exercises I have done.  

I'll be writing more about the role this book has played in rekindling the spark in my creative life - an ebook which cost me $1.30 AUD - and I'm not being paid to rave about it!

What is your 'Writing Why'?  


P.S.  Have you discovered Inky Wings yet?
That's my (other) Facebook page, and it's where I share links most days to inspire your creative life ... I hope you can join me there sometime!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Confessions of a Bookworm

My Top 10 Bookish Confessions:

-  I have been a bookworm for about 40 years ... yes, that means I was hooked on books by the age of 1.

-  I read for a zillion reasons ... escape, entertainment, adventure, inspiration and to live vicariously.

-  I read 10+ books per week, often library books and Kindle books on my iPad.  These usually include a stack of quick adventures, YA fiction or romance novels, how-to-write, alternative education & home education theory, maybe an autobiography, one of the free classics for Kindle, or a longer book (e.g. Mao's Last Dancer).  I also read aloud to my children regularly, even though they are awesome, preteen bookworms.  

-  I sometimes experience depression, and the worse the depression, the more I read.  I guess it's because the alternative is overthinking.  When logic fails and everything is hard, escapism helps.  Reading a lot does not mean I am depressed though.  

-  I often abandon books ... if it's not captivating or challenging, I'm done.  Life's too short, etc.

-  I like books better than parties, shopping and restaurants.

-  I once QUIT reading fiction for a year!  Can you believe it?!  I made that radical, impulsive decision because I was getting lost in historical fictional worlds a little too deeply, and I wanted to get back to my priorities (faith, work, family and friends).  I survived, and it was actually a good experience.  When I returned to voracious reading, my habits and tastes had actually changed for the better.

-  I stay up late almost every night because I 'have to' read, and once I start I never want to stop.

-  I read compulsively ... labels in the shower, ingredient lists, book spines on shelves everywhere, open diaries.  No word is safe, but I have taught my eyes to 'bounce' if something is obviously private or unsavoury.  

-  I actually don't love the smell of old books, and I find most used book stores claustrophobic and sneeze-inducing (some of my dearest friends might disown me over this).

This post was inspired by Kristen A. Kieffer's 'My Top 10 Bookish Confessions'.

I would love to hear from you ... do you dare to share your bookish confessions?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Creative work ...

Would you like to know what I have been working on?

If you said "Yes!" you're in luck, because I am in the mood for sharing.

My main writing project in recent times has been creating a new website and Facebook community ... allow me introduce you to GLOW: heart, mind and soul.   Most of the conversation takes place on the Glow Facebook page, but I have quite a few draft articles ready to polish and publish on the blog, so stay tuned.

"Jars of love" which I made for my Mum, Dad and Nanna

Also this month I started my InkyWings Facebook page to share ideas and inspiration for my twin creative passions, art and writing.

My longest-running blog is Chrysalis Island, which received a lot of attention last month when I participated in a blog hop ... AND I have a Facebook page for homeschooling, Freestyle Fun Homeschool.

I don't know if I have too many pages and blogs on the go, but at the moment they each serve a purpose.
It's the year of 'having a go' ... 
this was my first attempt at nature journalling.  

I have been decluttering my home and wardrobe, using the ideas of Project 333 and Marie 'KonMari' Kondo ... if that sounds boring and like hard work, it's actually been the opposite.  Deciding what to wear has never been simpler, and I have found white space ... little pockets of calm white space amidst the chaos of family life.  I haven't yet managed to find a corner just for me, for writing and creating art, but with our small home looking more fresh and organised, I am more likely to find a spot to work in quite contentedly.  And contentment is what it is all about!

Sketching is a skill I have been deliberately practicing this year!

To increase my confidence and hopefully skill in sketching (which is fun and will also influence my painting) I have taken part in some home ed group challenges ... for the picture above the subject was 'sour'.  I am also working through a delightful set of lessons using a book on my iPad, You Can Draw in 30 Days, by Mark Kistler.  Rather than whizzing through it I am taking several days per lesson, and loving it!

Painting wise, it's been a time of incubation ... I have been gathering ideas and getting to know my preferred style.  Today I undercoated a stack of canvases ready for the next round of experimentation.  I am really excited.  I do have a lot to learn about materials though ... in an effort to save my good paints for the details, I used house paint, which is cracking as it dries.  Oh well, it might give a cool effect if it doesn't all flake off.

Writing wise, in addition to the online projects I mentioned above, I sifted through my writing archives which now have a dust-free home in a garage cupboard.  Glamorous, I know!  I chose a few of my favourite half-baked plots to bring inside, and have enjoyed meeting my characters again and asking what they have been up to in my absence.  I also bought Scrivener on a whim when it was on special, and imported a couple of manuscripts into new project files to see how easy it is to work with.  Already I am loving it!  I am not loving my most promising story so much ... 16,000 words but ... let's just say there's a lot of work to be done!

That's a bit of what I have been doing.  I have bought (read and savoured) some brilliant books this year which I will tell you about them next time.  If you'd like to leave a comment, perhaps you could tell me about your current creative work, or join the conversation on one of my Facebook pages!

Until next time,

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Newcastle Writer's Festival

I spent this afternoon at the Newcastle Writer's Festival.
City Hall was full of writers and bookworms ... it was blissful to be amongst my tribe!

I only attended one session, "Going it Alone," in which host Linda Drummond interviewed authors Greg Field, Nim Gholkar and Francesca Suters about the complexities of self-publishing both digital and print.  Here is Francesca's blog entry about her experience as the presenter.

I was thoroughly impressed and took six pages of notes during the one hour session.  I found plenty of inspiration for now as a writer, and practical tips to prepare me in case I decide to self-publish a book in the future.  Here is an article Greg shared on Facebook about the choice between traditional and self-publishing.  

Of course, I also found the bookshop.  This is what I brought home:  

*  My Year Without Matches, by Claire Dunn 
*  Returning, by Francesca Suters
*  How I Rescued My Brain, by David Roland
*  Unravelling Anjali, by Nim Gholkar

Happy reading days ahead!

Finally, here is what can happen when you take a selfie in front of a half-finished painting ... it's not something I have tried before, and I unwittingly discovered what I'd look like as a reindeer:

I was more successful capturing a 'writerly' pose when I enlisted the help of Miss 9 ... she did well, and I chose this one for my profile picture:

Until next time, happy writing!

P.S.  Lucky me, I made it to another session ... "Take Your Writing to the Next Level" ... check it out at Jessie Ansons' blog.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

HUGE collection of Writer's Resources

Tessa Emily Hall, 19 year old author of YA novel  "Purple Moon" (released a few weeks ago), has just posted a HUGE list of writing resources:

Tessa's blog is an absolute goldmine of tips and insights.  I started reading it a year or two ago, and never tire of reading her content ... and I can't wait to read through this list.

I'm looking forward to rediscovering some gems to help with my latest writing adventure, along with lots of new inspiration.  Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Flashback ... and crocodile eggs

I found something I wrote 3 years ago which really should be on this blog ... a journal entry about my desire to get back into writing.  I didn't write much on Ink Island back then, as life was pretty crazy with younger children home full time and writing, much as I loved it, came about 17th in my list of priorities.  When I had a rare chance to write, I chose my pen and paper journal, home education blog or on home ed forums.

Now for something other writers might find useful ... here's an article I wrote and had published in a magazine (my memory is shocking, and I forget now whether it was in print or an ezine) in 2006 ... Crocodile Eggs for Writers.

Are you quick to share your ideas, or cautious?