My Week in Review

I hope everyone has had a good week and weekend. Mine has been busy with my writing course, a couple extra shifts at work and getting my site updated. The latter was fun for me, and it really made me think about where I want to go in my writing career.

I write almost every single day. My journal is my thinking space, and it provides me with a place to voice my concerns, share my worries and come up with story ideas. Some days are vent days, while others are more productive.

My writing courses have been an eye opener for me in terms of what readers expect from different types of writing. I’ve been utilizing what I’ve learned so far, and can’t wait to see the results.

Even without formal training, I’ve had plenty of positive feedback from clients. Updating my website helped me realize that my work has been valuable to others, and has provided great content for their sites. What more could a person ask for?

Having short stories published has also been good for easing the self-doubt most (if not all) writers harbor occasionally. Polar Expressions Publishing holds annual contests for short stories, and my work has appeared in Shoreline (2016 Summer Collection) and Wherever We Roam (2015 Summer Collection). Seeing them in print among others gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Submitting articles on behalf of our library to a local newspaper helps me exercise my skills as well. There is never a lot of space for an article, so saying all that’s needed in less than 150 words can sometimes be a challenge. I envy those who can write flash fiction, because in some cases a newspaper article is much like that. Short, sweet and to the point.

As you may be aware, I do not spend my entire time writing. I also enjoy crocheting, spinning yarn and needle-felting. Yesterday I invested in a drum carder to make the process of carding my alpaca fiber easier and faster. I have several big bags of it, as well as no less than a dozen smaller bags. Plus I also have four bags of raw sheep wool. Do you think that will keep me busy for awhile?

Crocheting and spinning are my way to relax, and I often find my stories taking shape while I work with my hands. I’m the first to say I’m not much of a plotter, but when a story takes hold I will run with it. If any of you have read The Hidden Estate, you’ll see my hobbies have worked their way into the novel. It was the first novel I ever wrote, and those who have read it have given it a good rating which makes any new author do a little happy dance.

As I wrap up this post, I have to remind myself to take the time to just be. My mind is often going in several directions at once (are all writers like this?), and I have to center myself. And as a writer, I like a challenge. I have my usual topics to write about, but have found satisfaction in writing about something out of my element as well. Should you ever find yourself needing a blog post or article for your website, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have a great week everyone,

Diane

Getting ready for another couple ounces of alpaca fiber.

Photo credit Copyright Diane Ziomek 2019. The photo is of my new drum carder, taken after I carded some dyed alpaca fiber.

Last Minute Decision Pays Off

I have to admit, I’m a little frugal when it comes to spending my money on something I feel I don’t really need. Or for something I feel is an indulgence.

We occasionally host workshops at the library for different things, and I generally don’t attend for one reason or another. Most often that reasoning is only logical to me I’m sure. Well, on Friday we were hosting a Sea Glass Art Workshop, and after seeing all the pretty things for it I commented to my manager I regretted not signing up. As luck would have it, there had been a last minute cancellation.

I decided on the spot to take advantage of it, and said I would fill that space available. I honestly didn’t give the frugal side of me a chance to list 101 reasons why I shouldn’t take it (it was $160.00) and am happy with my decision.

It was a last minute decision that paid off, because not only did I have a fun evening, I also came home with a piece of art which I created. The design was inspired by a photo found on Pinterest, and was so simple to make. We had a wonderful, knowledgeable instructor who owns her own studio (Shattered and in Pane) in Victoria, BC, Canada. It was a real treat to know she loaded up her supplies and drove them from Victoria to Mannville, AB., just so we could create our own works of art.

I see myself taking what I learned and buying some supplies to make more pieces. I think it’s something my sisters and I could do together, as well as my daughter and I. Not only will we be creating art, we’ll also be creating memories. And at this point in life, I am realizing that’s what’s most important. Creating the memories, having the laughs and drinking that special bottle of wine.

I spent the evening with some amazing women, and even though we were all given the same materials to work with, none of the finished projects were the same. I’m pretty sure mine was the only turtle though.

The photo (also posted on Instagram) is of my creation after a few hours of curing time. It won’t be ready for the wall for another day, just to be on the safe side. Oh, and the turtle’s name is Fred.

The point to all of this is, don’t be afraid to try something new. You never know how something will be until you give it a try. (And if money is an object, perhaps you could start a little side hustle to fund the little extras you deserve.)

On another note, I’ll be adding a few pages to my site over the next couple of weeks so feel free to check back often to see what I’m up to. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a great week.

Diane

Embracing Creativity

It’s funny how, as we get older, our priorities and interests change.

At this point in life, I am more about spending time with family and friends than taking on extra shifts at work, or burning the candle at both ends at home. I have to admit, I still do the latter occasionally but am getting better at knowing when enough is enough.

As an independent author and all around creative person, I find myself with several projects on the go at one time. I enjoy the flexibility I have to not only earn an income from my job as a library assistant, but also from my creative venues.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am fortunate enough to be able to have an Etsy Shop. It allows me to sell my crafts, patterns and even my digital products. And because I like my customers to enjoy a bargain every now and again, I select certain products to put on sale. I have added a 25% discount on a few select items until July 31, with one of them being my Pipestone Creek Romance Series. The boxed set is not available on any other platform, so for those who like to read a series start to finish, now’s the time to take advantage of it.

The older I get, the more I like to create. Whether it be with words, yarn or fabric, I embrace my creativity. There was a time when I was afraid to show others what I had made or written; now I just do what pleases me. If they like what I do, the compliments and even the sales will follow. If not, they will move on to something else. That used to bother me, but not anymore.

Creativity doesn’t just come in the form of crafts or writing. If you paint, you’re creative. If you like to design houses, you’re creative. If you like to garden, you’re creative. There are so many outlets to let your creativity come through. Sometimes the hardest part is letting yourself embrace it rather than deny yourself the pleasure.

I try to take time when I wake up to write my morning pages. I have found them to be a wonderful tool to work through a problem, or just wrap my head around a project I’m considering. I have been doing them for several months now, and have noticed more significant progress being made; both in my creativity and how I handle daily events. Between my bullet journal, morning pages and evening journaling I now have a better grasp on my projects, don’t feel so scatterbrained and am able to stay on task better.

My fauxdori has become my lifeline, as it contains my bullet journal, morning pages, brainstorming notebook and a notebook for whatever else I want to write down. Without it I don’t think I’d be as organized as I am now; perhaps the most organized I have ever been. Learning and adapting to change as a person ages is a good thing. And, it helps us embrace our creativity; whether we recognize it or not.

Are you a creative person? Where does your expertise lie?

Feel free to post your answers in the comment section below. Thanks for reading, and know that if you have any thoughts on being over half a century old, positivity helps.

Photo credit: Diane Ziomek 2019 Also used for Etsy listing.