Showing posts with label Free-write. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Free-write. Show all posts

Saturday, 30 September 2017

An Enemy Named Agnes

Today I was determined to move my body. Thirty minutes into my workout, my arch nemesis arrives. Agnes taps on my shoulder, snarling. I call her that only because it's a name that starts with an A and ends with an S (although Y would work here too). And it's not one of my favourite names, to be honest. Apologies to any Agnes's out there. I'm sure you're lovely.

My Agnes isn't. I don't really like her at all, but I've more or less accepted her presence in my life. I knew she'd turn up.

For the past week I've marvelled at my equilibrium. It felt so good not to have Agnes around. But she's a sneaky one. It's like she just has to remind you of her evil existence.

"Don't get too contented!" she will snap. I never try to reason with Agnes these days. I just wait her out. Eventually she lopes away, tail between her legs.

I was able to get on with my day. Later, I turned on the television (apparently I'm a masochist - daytime TV SUCKS), to be greeted with the news that actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been diagnosed with breast cancer. My heart sank.

Recently I received the all clear for the second year, which is a huge relief. But whenever these things happen - Olivia Newton John's recent recurrence after 25 years, for example - I am reminded of all the uncertainty I am left with.

No matter how many years go by with the all clear I can never truly be at ease and think I am untouchable and immune. Of course Agnes simply loves to crow about this.

I remind myself that my cancer was found 'early'. But then I wonder... Is the whole 'early detection' thing somewhat flawed? I say this because it was completely random that mine was found when it was. I went to the doctor for another reason (my smear), and luckily my GP is very thorough so she always does a breast exam as well. But what if my smear hadn't been due then, or I put it off the way so many women do? 

How long would it have taken for me to notice there were any changes, that I had a lump? By the time I did notice I'm sure it wouldn't have been 'early'. I am just not sure that 'early detection' is as easy and straight forward as we think. 

Having said that, I urge every one of you to have a good look and feel of your girls. At the moment it seems that early detection is all we've got until a cure is found. 

Meanwhile, I am doing my best to stay in the present moment and tell myself I am OK. I am a survivor. That I was lucky in an odd sort of way. 

No matter what Agnes thinks. 

Do you have a visitor like Agnes? 

Do you have your regular check-ups? Do it! 

Friday, 3 February 2017

Waffles Are Delicious

Welcome to another fabulous Friday! I'm joining in again for Friday Reflections with a 20 minute free-write. In other words, the usual meandering musings you expect from me! Done. Here goes: 

Timer starts NOW: 

Friday seems like a good day to free write. Isn't it interesting how Fridays are always thought of a fun day. The end of the working week. FriYAY!

This means nothing when you're a parent. NOTHING, I tell you. 
The only Friday I remember clearly is the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That certainly wasn't a fun day. 

I am sitting here in blissful silence. The boys are at school and Mickey Blue Eyes has gone to visit his father. My timer is on to write for 20 minutes. Suddenly I feel under pressure to write something brilliant and witty.

It's the same feeling as being in a job interview. They say: So tell me about yourself. Me; forgets every single thing about myself and my life EVER.

Ditto in social situations when people ask; what have you been up to? 

What is it about being put on the spot that makes my mind go blank? When it's midnight and I should be asleep I seem to have no trouble at all thinking ALL THE THINGS. 

Anyway, even if nothing illuminating comes out of this experiment it's good to be back joining in again with Friday Reflections. One of the other prompts was to write about your favourite book about writing. I have read quite a few of them, but I don't have a favourite. 

What else has been happening in my world. I've been reading a lot. You know, just for something different. Tomorrow is February 4th. It usually does come after February 3rd. Funny about that. This means that it will be 34 years since Karen Carpenter passed away. 

It strikes me that when there were so many celebrity deaths during 2016 there was a tremendous outpouring of grief around the world. Somehow I feel like KC never was truly acknowledged the way she should have been.

I remember hearing the news when I was only just 12. It was the first time I'd heard of anorexia and I didn't really understand what it was. Bafflement was my main emotion. Tears came later. 

Sorry, I guess I have a one track mind and left without a prompt I'll go back to my favourite topic - Karen Carpenter!

At least I haven't mentioned cake! DOH.

Anyway, I'm sure the twenty minutes will be finished soon and you will be spared any more of my waffling. On the other hand, waffles are delicious...

Waffles are delicious! *drools*

I've been doing 'morning pages' most days, except I don't always do them in the morning because cutting edge and all, and I had the thought: Isn't it interesting how when fictional characters write journals or diaries in novels they're always filled with complex emotions, details and explosive secrets and I'm just over here like "I folded some washing today and went to the shops..."  I need to make up a sordid past or something. I'll have to think about that. 

Moreover, these (fictional) people seem to have the narrative ability of a gifted, accomplished author.  

Apparently I still have six minutes to go. Poor you.  What else can I tell you? 

I will mention some of those books I've read about writing and you'll be amazed that I can still manage such drivel:

Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
The Right To Write by Julia Cameron
The Writing Book by Kate Grenville 
Stephen King: On Writing by Stephen King (Captain Obvious)

As I said before I don't have a favourite one.  I've come to realise that there is no book, course, app, guide, affirmation, magical thinking that can make you a writer. You either sit down and do it or you don't. And even then you may write and write, and only write something mediocre now and again. Or is that just me? Ahem.

I had a thought and lost it. It was something good, methinks. What was it again? 

Oh yes! I don't think reading books about writing make you a good writer, I think reading lots of different books is much more helpful. Just read, read, read, read, read, read. And when you're not reading, write. 

Advice from someone who is totally not qualified to give it! Oh well, it is the Internet. Everyone has advice and is an expert on something with no qualifications...  Why not me too? 

Fortunately my timer beeped. So endeth my waffle. 

I hope you had coffee with that. 

And there you have it. A 20 minute free-write on this fine Friday. 

I had better stick to my day job. Whatever that is...

Do you do any 'free-writing' or 'morning pages'?

Do you have a favourite book about writing?