Category Archives: Creative

Remiss

 

autumntree-scaledI realise that I have not blogged in forever. Life has been … difficult this year. Lots more challenges, and a fair few health things to fight. It seems to have reached a kind of status quo for now. Good stuff I’ve been up to include that I have started streaming music most Saturdays on: www.twitch.tv/spiritbear23 and that seems to be going pretty well. I have missed the past few weeks due to vocal issues and internet not behaving. I have also been uploading YouTube videos and these can be found by searching for ‘Rowena Woodward’. This means I have been learning mountains of music, but it never seems to be enough!

I have been trying to improve on my photography this year too, and that seems to also be going well. So I will add a number of photos to this (mini) blog.

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Butterflies

At the risk of being a little bit girly, I am going to post some butterfly pictures. I went with some friends to the zoo yesterday, and took numerous animal pictures. It was a very different experience being in with the butterflies. Having them fly around you is both enjoyable and disturbing at the same time. Part of me was concerned I’d step on one (as they were also landing on the ground), and feeling them land on me was an odd sensation. One decided to land on my nose!

So here are some pretty pictures:

 

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Life at the moment

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So it has been a little while since I have managed to get my head together to write a blog. There has been a lot going on in my life that unfortunately I can’t go into specifics on. A number of difficult people have been making life harder than it needs to be for me, and this has sapped my strength and energy. I am trying my level best to continue to be positive during life’s hardships and God has been good during a number of things that would usually cause me to panic. I also have to thank God I have such a supportive husband when I get stressed and worried about things. I have been learning that sometimes when you can’t change something, there is no point worrying that you can’t change the outcome.

I recently had a week off and finally had some time to spend editing photos, which is something I find incredibly satisfying. I shan’t post any just yet, though be sure they will appear soon. There is something about removing unwanted parts of a photo, making the photo clearer and cleaner that I just love. I know many people feel odd about having photos being changed in that way, but I try to keep the image the same, just enhance it as best as I can. I’ve not had much time to take photos in 2015, which seems really absurd to me as it is now March. I just seem to have had a never-ending cough/cold (along with everything else). Just when I think I’m over it, the following day it returns. I think my camera is overdue a trip to a zoo.

On the plus side this year I have managed to lose a bit of weight and feel much fitter. I’ve not been on any diet, I just cut out cake and upped my exercise. (Never been on a diet, don’t intend to). I had forgotten how much I get out of just walking, jogging or (sometimes) running a route. There is something about having that peace from distractions and being able to just pray while I’m out that just puts things back into perspective. I often find myself over-thinking and jumping to conclusions, when I need to just put logic and a bit of perspective back into a situation. I think I care too much about too much, and I have to hand it over. It is all too easy to make everything negative when one thing is not going right, suddenly everything is not going right. All it takes sometimes is time with someone who cares, for me to just spill to and it all ceases to be the problem it once was. There have been so many people in the right place at the right time for me recently, and I cannot thank my friends enough for the support they give me in difficult situations.

I’ve sort of come full circle here and back to the blog situation. Much like Kieran I’ve not had much creative energy to write things, or I have written it and hated it. It takes a lot of me to put something down and hope that people will get things out of it. I’ve never sugar-coated things I write, which I partly why more gets deleted than posted. Life is not pink and fluffy, and sometimes I leave in too many hard edges in what I write. I don’t want people to think that I don’t enjoy life either, because I love what I do. I sometimes feel that many others have it easier, but that is a lie as each person faces their own challenges and I’ll never know the full picture. I know I’ve said this before and while it can be difficult, I will always try to build others up. I know I don’t always succeed, as I’m not perfect, but I give it my best.

I guess that’s it for an overview of things at the moment.

Creative Bomb

It’s funny how things work. I’ve been struggling for around 2 months with being creative. That even extends to writing blog posts. I’ve written, and metaphorically (because I work on computer, and it’s tough to literally) screwed up and burnt pages upon pages of stuff. The project I’ve been working on for close to a year has stalled, and I don’t know where to go with it.

It’s not that I lack ideas, or time, or even effort. It’s more that everything I write I hate. I write four pages in a morning, then come back to it in the afternoon, and wonder what I was possibly thinking. A wise man once said that writing was “…one part writing…five parts re-writing to make it not rubbish…” This is what I’ve been dealing with for a couple of months, the writing has been fine, the making it not rubbish, not so much.

It would be easy for me to think I’m being too hard on myself, too critical, and maybe I am. In the Summer I submitted some work to a gaming company that was holding, well I guess auditions, for freelance writers. I didn’t hear back from them, not even a courtesy “Thank-you for your submission” email, and I must admit it knocked my confidence a little. But some of my best writing happened in September and October, a couple of months after that submission, so I don’t think I can blame my current slump on that.

I’ve often had the problem of being distracted from a current project by something new. The start of something is so exciting, and you have so many ideas that everything moves quickly and you feel like you’re really succeeding. It’s a temptation, and one I’ve desperately tried to avoid with this project, because I’m really excited by it, I think it’s a compelling piece of work, and I want to finish it, but all I’m doing is coming up dry.

Yesterday, I was struck by inspiration, unfortunately it was for something new. However despite the danger, I allowed myself to consider it. Unlike most things, this wasn’t a BIG new project, something to distract me from what I want, and need to do. Instead this was a small thing, probably only twenty to thirty pages long. Something I can do quickly, something to refresh my creativity, get me thinking outside the box again. Something I can write, and finish, and have ready to be read by people within a few days. I had the idea at about 8pm last night, and sitting here typing at lunchtime the next day, and I’ve already written about 11 pages, and it’s good stuff. I’ve just re-read it, and apart from the usual spelling mistakes, sentences that don’t make sense, and mixed up tenses that litter, my pre-edited work it’s good stuff, it works well. In addition to that, I know what needs to be written for the other pages, I don’t need to stop and think what happens next, I know. It’s all in my head, it just needs to be transported to the page.

What’s even better is that this…this bomb of creativity that exploded in my mind, is doing a lot more than just allowing me to write something new. It’s giving me more confidence in my creativity as a whole, giving me more ideas for my main project. Reassuring me that I can write, and that I do have the ability to carry on with what I’m doing. I’m feeling more creative than I have in weeks, months even. This creative…holiday that I’m taking is allowing me to refresh myself ready for the next push of my main project and sometimes that’s what’s needed.

A relative of mine has mentioned multiple times that I should see the fact that I’m out of work as a positive. That’s pretty hard to do at times…most of the time even. I’ve got goals, I’ve got plans, and I know God’s got stuff for me, for me to be doing in my future, and it’s frustrating that I feel that all I’m doing is sitting here, being told “No” by people that aren’t interested in me. But maybe being out of work is a necessity, a time of refresh before heading back into the high stress world of Christian Ministry. Maybe, like with my writing, I need an infusion of raw energy before I jump back in. Is this what this time is? I don’t know, and it’s not going to stop me pushing, and trying, in God’s time, and will to move forward into what he has for me, but rather than seeing it as a bad thing, maybe this is something positive. A time to pause and become refreshed before going back in.

Moving fast is my nature, it’s who I am, it’s what I do. Unfortunately God likes moving us out of our comfort zones to further enhance our reliance on him. I may not like it, but if it’s what He’s doing I know it’s what is best for me in the long run. I will be going back to my main project after I’ve completed this small one. I will keep pushing to get a new job, and to move, and to see God’s grand plan unveiled for myself and my wife.

I just may not look so negatively on a week’s time out, or a year of refreshment as I have done before.

Professionalism

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I’ve gone back and forth over how to approach this subject for most of a week. I’ve talked myself into, and then out of doing it. Too many issues and pitfalls I tell myself. Then I think, the subject matter will continue to go over in my mind until I write it, so here goes:

There seem to be very few people that totally understand the notion of professionalism. I have been into so many places and been shocked by the complete lack of regard for professional language. When you go to a shop, you expect to be treated with some kind of courtesy. It seems to me that there is a lack of expectation now. It no longer matters how people conduct themselves within their business setting. It also seems that there is a lack of confidentiality and rumour mills abound. That you can be in a dentist or a doctor’s waiting room and hear comments that you know are not for your ears.

Whatever happened to the notion of self-control? The notion of following guidelines? That ever so burning piece of information, that should be left where it belongs. Is there any wonder that some people have trust issues. How many people keep their word? Hold to a promise? Is it all too easy to just break that word or promise in the name of convenience?

I try to conduct myself in a way that is professional, regardless of where I am. What I do reflects on those around me. When I drive, I try my best to follow the rules, and am constantly appalled by the number of drivers that take insane risks on the roads. When people do something that reflects badly on me, I struggle with it. It is difficult not to get angry and upset. It takes me a while to compose myself and deal with the situation in a way that is professional. I always give myself the time to do it. I hold myself to account and am courteous regardless of the situation.

So righteous indignation, this view of mine. One side of a story told. Behind every piece of gossip shared there can be a good intention. Most people do genuinely care about what they do. They blow off steam when they are stressed or upset. When a situation is emotionally charged, words are exchanged that can’t ever be unsaid. This doesn’t excuse actions, but it might just explain them somewhat.

There was part of me once when I was a teenager, that felt the need to make people pay for their mistakes. I would get back at people in subtle ways and they would know not to cross me again. I know that there is always that option, but I do not want to be that person again. Hate and retribution will never make things better. Putting myself in another person’s shoes and understanding why (even if I don’t agree), is a far better way of fixing things.

We live in a world where people are far from perfect. A world where people mess up all the time. It is how we respond to a situation that matters. We cannot make people understand us, but we can try to understand them.

Balance

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Much of life is a question of balance. Work/life balance. People time and alone time balance. Sleep/awake balance. Not many people have got these completely right. I know that I am someone who cannot survive without a good amount of sleep. I need my eight hours, or I feel horrible. If the balance is out then there is some kind of consequence, often that is I need to crash, or have a nap. I’ve always been someone who needs my sleep. I find that when I am ill, the best thing for me to do is sleep. I realise that lots of people do not have the option to sleep when they need it, and I know that that is often the reason for there being a knock-on into other areas in their lives. That’s the thing with many areas of our lives, there is an overlap. When one thing is not as it should be, it can be very easy for other things to become skewed. Relationships are often the first thing for there to be a knock on with. Going with the example of sleep, I’m sure many of us have snapped at someone we care about due to lack of sleep.

The thing is, there is often a reason to push ourselves in a given area. To stay up too late, to ‘help out’ more than we perhaps should. To give more of ourselves over to something than we should. It’s nice when people are selfless and self-sacrificing, as long as it is not to their long-term detriment. It is great that a nurse went to Africa to help out with Ebola. Not great that he then contracted it. Great that he was given the treatment to get better. Going back to Africa again to help out? I’m not sure I could do it. Do I admire him? Yes. Is it a healthy choice? Not so much. If your whole life is geared up for helping others, then you need to be in the shape to do that.

I guess where I’m going with this is that we need to watch our steps and keep our balance as best as we can. A one off shift is not a big deal, but if we are permanently over-doing it, then the consequences will be all the greater.

Let me be plane

I thought I might just put up a few photos from the Duxford airshow on the 13th September 2014.

We went for the day, as I had never been before and wanted to see some aeroplanes. I know practically nothing about them, I just enjoy taking photos and enjoyed watching the show. The only thing that did stress me out a tad, was trying to get out of the car park at the end of the show. It took almost an hour to get out! I did pick a good spot to take photos from, but was standing for several hours without moving much. I refuse to go to the trouble of bringing a camping chair and then leaving it unattended as so many hundreds of people seemed to be doing. It did make me smile that three older looking gentlemen had managed to secure the only bench for the proceedings.

It was a perfectly pleasant day for the weather, even if I did catch the sun slightly and Kieran slightly more than that. We saw some of the same aeroplanes in the museum as in the air, and in my mind there is no contest. It is much better to see them in use than stuffed into the corner of a room. The highlight was most definitely seeing and hearing the Vulcan bomber. The artist in me can only wonder at the design. Anyway I hope you enjoy these photos.

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