Inspire | Imagine | Illuminate

Fellow Writers’ Blog Hop | Inspiration

(via Gladiator’s Pen)

Click on the image above to visit more great blogs in the Hop or add your own and join in the fun.

This month’s blog hop is all about Inspiration. So here I have posted inspiration vision boards of all the essential elements in life that inspire who I am, how I write and how I see the world.

I have also included one of my poems about poetry because for me poetry is the ultimate inspiration. It is raw, emotional, passionate, free and naked. It holds all of my truths.

~

Inspiration is A snapped twig in the dark

Inspiration is sometimes loud and jarring. But sometimes it is that one snapped twig in the dark forest. There is an eery silence and you believe you are all alone and then very faintly you hear a distinctive snap: someone is walking there. Suddenly you are not alone.

Today I heard the snapped twig in the dark forests of my imagination. It is the foot tread of a story. It moves quickly and quietly through the forest. Is it following me or am I following it? I still my thoughts and listen. The dark silence is almost deafening. Nothing.

Out of the corner of my eye I catch a glimmer of movement. There is a shadow behind the tree. My heart beats violently struggling to maintain its home in my chest.

I feel watched.

Yellow eyes…

~

Places, pursuits, pasttimes and pieces that inspire me 

 Quotations that inspire me

Inspirations of Philosophy

My totem muse – The Dragonfly

My muse is the Dragonfly… the Dragonfly is one of the few creatures comfortable in air,water and land; it is also beautiful and ethereal in a surreal way. To me the Dragonfly is the perfect symbol of an artist of creativity. Like creativity it skims the surface of the deeper waters of the inner soul. It is a symbol of change, power, speed, purity and living life in the moment.

 

 

Soul Wings

If writing words are the Bare Bones of me,

then Poeme` is the ephemeral Soul of me

Bones are formed from dust

flesh out the form of my shadow

Poeme` the intangible core of my being

the breath of life to my shadow

Without the breath divinely inspired

I am but a lost thing having no heart, no core, no soul

My soul is not anchored in my flesh

but soars within the cage of my earthly body

This too is the beautiful tragedy of  Poeme`

Flesh pulls the oxygen from the air

my core pulls divine inspiration into streaming flight

~ the uncaged bird is set free ~

I can no more cage this poeme`

to trap my soul in earthly realms hollows my flesh

Poeme` is life fleshed into my Bones

A place where the intangible is material

A window through which the tears of God

break open the unseen cracks in a heart

A Love divine and Light surreal

is my heart free, my soul uncaged

the Bird of Poeme` soaring into the heavenly realms.

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning

Seek after Inspiration

& drink of its winds,

~ Kim

Goldilocks and the perfect Desk

Nest |nest|

Noun 1 a structure or place made or chosen by a bird for laying eggs and sheltering its young.• a place where an animal or insect breeds or shelters : an ants’ nest.• a person’s snug or secluded retreat or shelter.• a bowl-shaped object likened to a bird’s nest : arrange in nests of lettuce leaves.• .2 a set of similar objects of graduated sizes, made so that each smaller one fits into the next in size for storage : a nest of tables.

Verb [ intrans. ] (of a bird or other animal) use or build a nest : the owls often nest in barns | [as adj. ] ( nesting) do not disturb nesting birds.

DERIVATIVES  nestful |-ˌfoŏl| |ˈnɛs(t)ˈfʊl| noun ( pl. -fuls).nestlike |-ˌlīk| |ˈnɛs(t)ˈlaɪk| adjectiveORIGIN Old English nest, of Germanic origin; related to Latin nidus, from the Indo-European bases of nether (meaning [down] ) and sit .

Nesting is a vital part of both a bird’s, a mother’s and a writer’s life. Nesting is the signal that there is going to be an act of creation. To foster that creation or creativity, birds, mothers and writers all need to be very comfortable in their personal space. There are very vital ingredients that are needed to create the perfect nest. Birds need just the right twigs and grass, mothers need a nursery and baby clothes, writers need a desk and a chair.

I run a weekly interview called Warrior Wednesdays on my Dragonfly Scrolls blog where I talk to writers about their writing. One of the questions I ask all the writers is to describe their writing space for me. Every writer is different. As one would expect. But the one thing that unifies us all is that we all have that very private, personal writing space where we do our own form of nesting. Just like birds have eggs, mothers have babies….writers also create and give birth. Our eggs, our babies are our stories.

Why is a writing space, let me call it a Writer’s nest so important to the creative process? There are the obvious reasons:

  • We need a place to keep all our many books so that they don’t become trip hazards for others.
  • We need a place to hide our secret hoard of stationery – notebooks, journals, sticky notes, pens, highlighters.

But most of all:

  • We need a place that is just our own personal writing space.
  • We need a place that has a door that closes the rest of the world out so that we can focus on the noise from the character chatter in our heads alternating with the “writing” playlists blasting out of our iPods.
  • We need a place where we can hold conversations (behind closed doors) with our muses and our characters.
  • We need a place where we can cry with tears of joy and frustration, bite our nails as we wait to hear the all important news someone loves our book, be entirely one with the weirdness of being a writer without people thinking we are weird.

For me, it is nesting time again. My 5 essential ingredients to making my nest super-comfortable and cozy:

  • My Macbook.
  • My favourite pen: (Oh I have the secret stash of many pens but this one is special.) I was given it for a 21st birthday gift and was told by the giver that this would be the pen that would help me write my stories. It is a 18ct gold Parker ball point with black ink. It has not let me down yet. When I am battling with a story or a character, I pull out this pen and something magical happens…suddenly I come unstuck.)
  • My notebooks: I have an ideas notebook and a WIP notebook. At the start of every WIP, I buy myself a new set of moleskine notebooks. (If I am honest, I will confess to having many beautiful notebooks that I buy, other than my Moleskine, just because I am a notebook/journal junkie.)
  • My chair:  Ah, I love my chair. It is a black leather swivel/rocking chair that is ergonomically designed to fit your spine’s natural sitting posture. I love the ergonomic stuff but the swivel/rocking is what sold me on this one. This chair is priceless to me.
  • A desk: For years, this has changed and been upgraded depending on how much space I had for my writing space. But for years the desk has just been a desk. Nothing special. You see I had not found the one I wanted. I knew what I wanted, searched for it for years but this object remained elusive. I saw ones like the one I wanted but they were always not quite the right size, the right wood grain or way out of my price range.

No matter how lovely the rest of my writing space looked, there was always something missing. Nobody else would have seen anything wrong but I always knew. So I kept on looking and kept on dreaming about my perfect desk. The desk that would make my writing space sing in perfect harmony. I have been Goldilocks. The perfect desk kept on eluding me. Until today. Today I found my perfect desk and amazingly it was in my budget. This one is the perfect size. It is the perfect wood grain. In a few short days when it gets delivered, it will finally be mine. So to bring on ahs and oohs from all my writer friends, who I know totally get the point of this post, I am posting two pictures of my new desk – the one I have been dreaming of for so many years.

Ta-Da!!

mynewdesk2mynewdesk1 

Solid white oak with a dark veneer.

Unlike so much of modern furniture, this is a custom-made piece with dovetailed joinery and not a piece that is glued and nailed.

Isn’t it just gorgeous? This is the desk I have been dreaming of.              

The dream was worth waiting for.

Next week I will be posting pictures of my new writers nest. I am busy moving house and will soon have a cozy writing space of my own again. New season, new house, new writing space and most important just like Goldilocks…finally the perfect desk, the one meant for this writer….all just in time for the creation of the new WIP.

The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him.
Roald Dahl

Now I have THE desk to go to. Some people dream of fast cars, others of big houses but mine was the perfect Oak Rolltop Desk. Each to their own, as the saying goes.

MyWritingDesk

What 5 essential ingredients do you need for your perfect Writer’s nest?

Kim

The Dark Side

Human Nature/Life Death, Art Institute...
Image by christine zenino via Flickr

Do you have a Dark Side? You may think you don’t. But I have news for you. If you are human then you do have a dark side. It is part of human nature. Does that make you dark in nature? For some the answer here may be yes. For most, the answer will be no. I am sure you are wondering where I am going with this. Well let me tell you.

Today in one of my online writing groups one of the writers posed an incredibly interesting question that got me thinking. Part of the question is why we write? I have been focusing a lot on this over the last few weeks. For me, writing is cathartic.  But I also believe it serves a tool in giving a voice, in a safe environment, to people who feel they have no voice. 

The question also explored why one writes in a specific genre. A lot of my writing explores the Dark side of the world and/or human nature. Is it because it fascinates me or repels me? I would say both reasons would be correct. For whatever reason people who have been severely hurt in life are drawn into my inner circle. I believe that everything in life does happen for a reason even if at the time a person cannot understand it or explain it. This I believe includes the Dark Side of life. 

Do I believe there are evil people or do I believe that there are just people who commit good and bad deeds? Again my answer would be yes to both of these questions. I have had a brush with a really evil person in life. It still haunts me to this day. But I am thankful for that experience. I will not go into too much detail here but I will share a bit. When I was growing up, there was a spate of missing girls in the same age group as I was. (early teens) We used to buy milk cartons that had the girls’ pictures on and asking for people to phone in with any information. It was something to be feared especially because the police had no leads on why these girls went missing or what the link was beyond their similar age brackets. The girls were taken over a large area and over many years so police did not connect the dots. I remember numerous news casts warning young girls to be vigilant.

During a school holiday I was visiting a friend and on one of the days we were out walking in the holiday town that she lived in. After a while we noticed a car that seemed to be trailing us for a few blocks. Being a holiday town where people were often driving very slowly and sightseeing, this may not have been unusual. However, something prodded my sub-conscious. 

I have always had an uncanny sixth sense. For many years I viewed this sixth sense as a curse. What is my sixth sense I hear you asking? It comes in two parts. I can tell a person’s true nature within moments of meeting them. I inherently know when people are deceitful or dangerous. You may think this is a great tool to have but it is not. You see, sometimes you do just want to see the surface mask of a person. You really do not want to see any hidden skeletons straight off the bat. That day my sixth sense kicked in.

Something prodded my sixth sense into overdrive and I told my friend we had to get to somewhere with more people immediately. My friend though confused saw my alarm and urgency and agreed. So we picked up our pace but the car just increased its speed to keep up with us but not overtake us. All of a sudden, the car passed us and pulled up onto the curb in front of us blocking our path. An older man got out with a map in his hand. At this point everything in me screamed to run and not look back. Danger with huge flashing lights seemed to be playing over and over in my mind.

What about the man’s appearance triggered this? To be honest, nothing. But when I locked eyes with the man I felt sick to my core. I felt like I was looking at pure evil. I could not explain it but it is just what I felt at the time. He was an ordinary and unprepossessing character. He could have been someone’s kindly  and quiet uncle. In fact on pure appearance he looked trustworthy and non-threatening. But it was there in his eyes. They seemed dead to me. Not without emotion dead but there was a nothingness there, a hollowed inhuman look that seemed to want to penetrate my soul. 

The man started moving towards us and he started saying he was lost and needed some directions. All the time he steadily advanced towards us keeping eye contact all the time. As much as I wanted to break eye contact I could not. My friend started then walking towards him. Being a sweet girl she was always the first to help others. However this time I knew this man did not want nor need help. He did not look lost. In fact he seemed to know exactly where he was and what he wanted. Everything in me told me it was not directions he was after.

I grabbed my friend’s hand harshly and started running with her. She struggled at first and said that I was being paranoid. Until she realised the man had got back in his car and done a u-turn to pursue us. I ran with her to the building nearest us which happened to be a clinic. We ran in the clinic. A nurse came out with us to see what we were running from. There was nobody there. The man in the car had disappeared. 

Though this event shook me and my friend. I eventually put it to one side in my mind. But there was always a niggling reminder. It was not until about 5 years later while watching an emergency news broadcast that suddenly I went ice-cold. The broadcaster announced that there was an emergency announcement from the police. They had solved the cases of the missing girls. The murderer was found after a suicide-murder in which he killed first his partner in the kidnapping and subsequent murders of the young girls and then killed himself. They unearthed the bones of a few of the girls. But many they could not find. The police showed pictures of the murderer/kidnapper/paedophile and his partner. 

I was watching the news with my parents at the time. I turned white as a sheet and almost fell from the edge of the chair that I was sitting on. A cold permeated my being that I could not shake. The picture of the man in the tv was the same man who my friend and I had run away from when we were young girls in a holiday town. It was then that I told my parents what had happened all those years ago. They could not believe it. 

To this day it haunts me that I came so close to a killer who was so evil. I am thankful that I was with my friend that day and that my sixth sense kicked in. I shudder with dread to think what may have happened if I had not been there. She might have been another picture on a milk carton. But it also haunts me that this man went on kidnapping/torturing and killing girls for 5 more years before the police knew who he was. To the nurse at the clinic that day my fears seemed irrational and childish. I allowed her to convince me that I had just over-reacted. What if I hadn’t allowed her to convince me otherwise? That question haunts me to this day.

Perhaps this is why so much of my writing has vulnerable girls thrown into dangerous, whether it be physical/psychological/supernatural. events and having to find a way to survive. Perhaps I am trying to re-write the stories of those missing girls whose pictures haunted my adolescence. Perhaps I am trying to re-write stories where the victims can become victors and take their vengeance or become survivors that can teach/help others. 

But I do believe that our lives and the events and experiences do form us as both people and writers. We all have events that haunt our memories. This event that I have described above has had a huge impact on my life. I shared it because there are some truths that do need to come to light. For me writing is a way to give these hauntings a place to free themselves from the clutches of my memory. Writing these stories and these characters give me a safe way to cleanse my mind of horrific and difficult situations.

  • Do you write to let out your inner hauntings, those memories and events that lock onto your sub-conscious?

Writing and Truth are two-edged swords. The power of the written word can both harm or heal. Much like truth. I believe writers like all artists have a powerful purpose in this world. We can depict truth in all its ugliness and beauty and people can heal through our work. We need to wield our words carefully. We can choose to cut to heal or cut to harm with this sword. It is a task not to be taken lightly.

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

The Gift of Truth Telling

Truth
Image by TW Collins via Flickr

How important is telling the truth to you?

For many writers, they tell the truth about emotional subjects and difficult tales through their stories. They may change a few names around or they may base a character loosely on themselves. I believe all fiction does carry something of the writer‘s experience and emotional map about it. But there are those writers who are called to write a story that will make people question their world views. Their stories make the reader confront the truth. As we all know sometimes the truths in this world can be ugly and destroying. But sometimes there are those rare individuals who can use trials and torments to rise above their circumstances and use that very pain to bring comfort and nurturing warmth into all whose lives they touch. Then you go a step further and meet those same individuals who use their stories of pain as a looking-glass mirror where, through the naked reflection of their pain, they offer others in the same circumstances a way out, a way paved with hope and resilience. Tonight I have the honour of having such an individual and such a writer in the Dragonfly Scrolls studio with me. I am not going to digress anymore because tonight she is going to share her amazing story with you. So I am going to take a step back and let you be inspired by a woman who, like myself, believes in not only seeking the truth but in telling the truth in all its naked complexity. This is a story of a true survivor. Listen to her and have hope no matter how hopeless your world may seem right now.

Firstly thank you for joining me in the Dragonfly Scrolls studio…

Let us start by you introducing yourself to us…Who is Suzannah Burke?


Of all the questions I am ever asked this is perhaps the most difficult to answer. Who am I?  I am an Australian woman in my fifties.  I wake before sunrise and go back to bed after midnight.  I love to walk in the rain, and read in the sun.  I watched Toy Story 3 and cried; I sat with my 30-year-old daughter and watched the entire first series of Glee in one sitting, snuggled on the sofa with enormous amounts of munchies.  On her next visit, we watched the entire first season of Trueblood together.  I live alone on the northeastern coast of Australia in a small fishing village.  I am a friend, a neighbor, an acquaintance, an ex-wife, but my favorite title is mother. I am a writer fortunate enough to have had a book published.  I love my animals, my solitude and my life is as perfect as it’s going to get right now.

Tell us about your background in writing.

I didn’t really begin writing as more than a hobby until 5 years ago.  Like many people my friends said, “Hey, this is good stuff.”  I joined an online writing site and to my delight, they agreed with my friends. I wrote my first complete fiction novel for Nanowrimo in 2009.  I completed another fiction novel for Nanowrimo in 2010…and in between, I wrote “Empty Chairs”

I know that you have a book called Empty Chairs out.  Can you tell us a bit about it?


Empty Chairs is my biography from age three to age 11.  It covers the early years when I was subjected to horrendous abuse instigated by my mother and the pedophile ring she was a pivotal member of.  It covers the abuse and moves quickly on to my life living on the streets at age 11. I hope that people will see within the pages that the results of abuse can be life threatening and certainly life altering.  However, it also made me understand that I had a core of strength inside that simply refused to be broken.  I had a dream of something better and nothing would stop me striving towards that dream.

Now it must take great courage to write about painful events in your life but yet you have.

What was your inspiration for writing this story?

When I first hit the streets, I met and ultimately shared my life with a group of street kids.  We were together for 5 years, and some of us remained friends for over 4 decades. One of the gang was only 8 years old.  Her name was “Jenny.”  I was not the youngest at 11, which in itself will shock many people.  Jenny and I grew close and over the years maintained our bond.  Jenny had asked me to write about our lives on the street.  I used to write {for want of a better term} I wrote stories for Jenny when we were together, normally in the columns of newspapers that we used to sleep on.  I made Jenny the hero in all the stories; she was the Princess who always managed to save herself from whatever monsters I conjured up.  Jenny loved those stories.

I had made her a promise, that “One day” I would write it all down. I promised her I would tell everyone what is was like to live on the streets as we did. Jenny committed suicide on September 1st 2009.  I hadn’t kept my promise.  When I began to recover from my anger and sadness at her death, I made the decision to honor the promise that I had made to her. Empty Chairs is the result.

I have heard that for the month of April all the profits received for your book will be donated to ISPCAN the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

That is quite a contribution. Can you tell us a little about ISPCAN?

The International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, founded in 1977, is the only multidisciplinary international organization that brings together a worldwide cross-section of committed professionals to work towards the prevention and treatment of child abuse, neglect, and exploitation globally.

ISPCAN’s mission is to prevent cruelty to children in every nation, in every form: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, street children, child fatalities, child prostitution, children of war, emotional abuse, and child labor.  ISPCAN is committed to increasing public awareness of all forms of violence against children, developing activities to prevent such violence, and promoting the rights of children in all regions of the world. ISPCAN invites you to join forces with its members around the world to protect children in need: their bodies, minds, hearts, and rights.

I think this is a very worthy cause. Can you tell readers where to get a copy of your book in April?

The kindle version on Amazon is here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004K6MJJK/ref=sc_vs__empty_2520chairs_2520by_

The paperback version on Amazon is here:http://www.amazon.com/Empty-Chairs-story-about-child/dp/1453858520/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_2

The Smashwords edition in kindle or eBook is here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/38452

Question: What is your hope for this book and for this cause Susannah?

I hope that people will read this and begin to understand and acknowledge that Child abuse is not only perpetrated in poor neighborhoods, it is not restricted to the uneducated masses…people appear to have a misconception of Abuse, perhaps to safely distance their thoughts from anything so sordid and difficult to comprehend they lump child abuse in a category. That is a misconception that must change. News flash folks, I came from an upper middle class background. My abusers were pillars of the community.  These pedophiles didn’t drive rusted out cars and wear tacky clothes.  They drove Mercedes- Benz and Porsche. They wore Armani and Dior. There are NO social boundaries when it comes to pedophilia.

Abuse is a terrible crime that humans seem to excel at. I am sure there are many people out there who have no support and no place to run to. For readers who may know of or have experienced abuse, what would you say to them now?

When I was a child, there was no place to turn.  This horror was never spoken of.  Today thanks to the hard work of many wonderful people worldwide and the internet, every hospital has counseling and referral facilities.  Doctors are mandated to report suspected abuse to the relevant authorities if the child is under age.  Police departments have their own departments set up specifically to deal with complaints of this nature.  Salvation Army, Red cross, and most churches have their own teams where a person can phone anonymously to access assistance. I have a very long list of help sites on my blog, covering the USA the UK and Australia. The list is growing daily.  I check all the sites before I add them to be certain they are legitimate and approved.  If you are reading this interview and you have been abused or suspect someone you know may be experiencing it now please speak up.  The avenues will respect your privacy, they WILL believe you.  At times especially with younger folks, it is the fear that they will not be believed that prevents them seeking help.  The people and the facilities out there are now immense, they will help you to take all the steps necessary to either stop the abuse or recover from abuse inflicted long ago.

Looking back at your life through the mirror of Empty Chairs, would you say there was a defining moment that led you to write down your story in this book?

Jenny’s death by her own hand was the catalyst.  She was a precious, marvelous human being, yet her soul was murdered long before she took her last breath.  I was so devastated and angry when I got the call. It took me months before I could calm down enough to write the book clearly without emotional overload.

After reading the sample chapter of this book, I see that you chose to write this story in present tense. This creates a really powerful reality where the reader sees everything through your deep POV (point of view).

This must have been very difficult for you as you would have re-experienced much of the heartache and pain again?

Did you have a support system to help you through the writing of this story?

I told no one that I was writing the book, I didn’t want to inflict what I was dealing with on anyone else. I needed to do it in my own time and without questions when I had almost completed it I posted the first chapter on The Night Publishing site. Tim Roux who is Night Publishing contacted me, and on the basis of chapter, one he signed me to a publishing contract for Empty Chairs.  To say I was stunned would be a major understatement.

What would you say was the biggest challenge in writing a non-fiction story based on your life story?

I had flashbacks and panic attacks during the writing of the book. I often had to stop and take myself outside into the clean air to gain a perspective and continue writing. The biggest challenge in so far as the writing itself was to remain true to who I am now and yet recall how I felt then without hyperbole or drama. I needed to allow the things to unfold as I remembered them. I am aware that it is a difficult thing to read.  My honesty can be daunting.  Yet it is not a subject that can be prettied up for public consumption.  I wrote it exactly as I remembered it.

What advice would you give to a writer contemplating on writing a similar memoir style biography?

Be aware that many people simply don’t want to hear about painful topics.  They label this kind of work as “Misery Memoir” You must be prepared for folks to not want to know any more about a very painful topic.  I am one of the very fortunate few who has a Publisher that has supported me.  If you decide to write a biography remember to be true to yourself every step of the way.  I had one publishing house that wanted to sign the book, but only if I prettied it up for general consumption, I refused.

If you decide to self publish be prepared to do the heavy-duty promotional work required to have people read your work.  My publisher is very supportive but I still have a need to put in the hours to help people learn about my work.  Set yourself a target every day, try, and keep to it.  If you find yourself getting caught up in the emotion of the book it will reflect in your writing: that is not necessarily a bad thing, no one wants to read a book devoid of any emotion, but by the same token people need to be able to read the book without the feeling that they are being preached at or ranted to.  Sometimes you need to put it aside and distance yourself a little before you continue.  Most of all believe in yourself.

Since “Empty Chairs” is non-fiction, will you be writing some fiction/have you written any fiction?

I had already completed a Comedy/Romance novel “Dudes Down Under” before commencing “Empty Chairs” and during Empty Chairs, I added more to the fiction book, and I needed to have the Comedy as a release from the remembering.  I also have a fiction Psychological Thriller “Twisted “completed which I’m currently editing.

Would you say there is quite a large difference between writing fiction and non-fiction?

Oh hell, yes!  There is no comparison.  My non-fiction book does not allow me the luxury of inventing characters, places, and happenings.  Truth is often more difficult to write.  With my Fiction work, I have a wonderful time, developing the plot and inventing and rounding out the characterizations.

What other genres do you write in and why?


I write in so many different genres, ‘Dudes Down Under” is a Comedy/Romance I had a ball writing it, and inventing my pivotal chapter linking “character” of Cyril…Cyril is a 28ft long crocodile who wears Armani, drinks copious amounts of JD loves Al Pacino and Brando, dances to “Some enchanted evening” and whose thoughts on every imaginable topic are only known to the reader. The misunderstandings are rife as the story is set on a brand new tropical island resort catering only to the Hollywood ‘A’ listers. What Cyril does to the croc skin luggage of the stars is not to be missed. I adore the escapism of Comedy, and the fun of the romantic scenes. As for my other novel “Twisted” Phew!  What can I say…I have a ball again in a different way, by killing off folks and weaving in a serial murderer and a conspiracy as well, again escapism. I also submit regular short stories online in contests ranging from westerns to paranormal. The only topics I have yet to tackle is Science Fiction and Fantasy…I don’t feel I have enough knowledge for one and am not comfortable with the other.

Are you working on any new projects now?  Can you share anything about them?

I am currently writing the follow-up to Empty Chairs as so many kind people have asked me what happened then?  Where did you go?  What did your life turn out like?

So, yes…I am picking the book up the day after book one ends.  I am also working on another novel entitled “The inheritance” about a young Australian women who is made Guardian of her wealthy US friend’s 4-year-old child.  It’s developing nicely and will I think be labeled as a romance when I am done exploring all the possible journeys that the characters are taking me on.

What would you like you lasting legacy to be as a writer?

This is a difficult question: I guess with my Non-fiction work I would like people who have bought it to say, “Hey, if she can get through it and have a richly rewarding life, then hell, so can I.”  With my fiction work, I love to inform and entertain; if that is how my readers feel then I would be one very delighted woman.

Can you tell us where to find you on the web Susannah?

Okay…  I have my book review/interview/talk writing site on http://sooozsaysstuff.blogspot.com

My book related site for Empty Chairs is on http://staceydansonemptychairs.blogspot.com

I have a competition that I run every month that is very popular at http://paragraphsofpower.blogspot.com

And….my comedy romance and interviews with a crocodile site is http://dudesdownunder.blogspot.com

Phew, I do have a few.

Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview with me.

I commend your courage in bringing a very real and painful subject to life.

Your story is one that is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit even in the face of great pain.

It has been an honour and pleasure to feature an author with such a worthy message.

I hope that you will come back and visit with me in my studio in the near future and tell us more of your future endeavors.

I trust that Empty Chairs becomes a fast best seller so that you may raise many well needed earnings for ISPCAN.

I look forward to watching your future success and especially to your sequel to “Empty Chairs”. Your’s is a story that had to be written. Thank you for showing the great courage you have by writing it.

I am so appreciative of the time and the kindness you have shown, thank you for the opportunity.

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

For those readers interested in finding out more about the prevention of child abuse, I have added a link to the ISPCAN.

ISPCAN

Writing without words…

LesCorsetsLeFuretParis18cutA
Image via Wikipedia

…I know you just saw the title of this post and ???????  filled your mind…

Of course you and I both know that writing defines words. Or does it? Is it words that fill your mind before you start writing? Or is your mind assailed by images, emotions,instincts, sensory stimulation?

I believe that text-book writing is filled with words both in the conception and the birth of the product. But is poetry / prose / fiction filled with words? How do you picture your imagination – in essence, how do you imagine your imagination? Is it words you see?

Maybe it is. But for me writing inspiration is not made up of words. Indeed sometimes I battle to find the words to convey what I see, hear and feel in my imagination. For me, my poetry in particular is not formed of words. Although words in a poetic form are the final birth product of my conception, words are not how those poems begin. For me poetry is music, emotion, passion, heart, sound, sight, taste, feel and instinct. Words don’t come into it. But to convey what I feel, I must use words. Because we are verbal creatures. We speak with words. Words give my poems a voice. But my poems could easily be a music composition, a sculpture, a painting or a photograph. All of these would convey the feelings and emotions that are in my poetry.

What about fiction and prose? Surely those come under “writing with words”? Do they? For myself my stories come through sensory and emotional stimulation. I write best with music. This is common to a lot of writers. But for me the music I am listening to leaks out and inspires my writing. If I put a name to it, I could call it The Fountain head of Music and the water that flows from here is the inspiration behind my stories.

Which part of the human brain is the home of creativity? The right side of the brain or the Right Brain is. The left side of your brain dictates logic, thought and speech. The right side dictates emotion, fantasy and creativity. Aha!

So why do we end up writing with words? We choose to write with words so that our right side of our brain can communicate with our left side of the brain. We choose to write because society finds words easier to interpret and understand than a painting, a sculpture or a music composition.

The talent of a writer is to interpret those feelings, emotions and senses into words and sentences that the average Joe can understand and appreciate. It is a worthy gift that holds a weight on the shoulders of a writer. As writers we are the bridge between logic and emotion, we are the bridge between fantasy and understanding.

So when we feel blocked or battle to get past a point in a story is it because we have dead-ended inspiration? Have we lost inspiration? No, I don’t believe we have. Speaking for myself, I get blocked when I use too much of my left brain and over-think a story / character / scene. I use that time to peel back the layers of my story and try to refocus on what the original conception was. It might have been a dream I had. (I often get my story ideas from dreams – a visual smorgasbord of random sights and sounds.) It might have been from a piece of classical music I  hear. It might have been inspired by something I saw. I start refocusing with my right side of my brain and that’s what unlocks me. I don’t like the term “blocked”. I prefer the term “locked”. All you have to do sometimes is retrace your imagination’s steps and find where you misplaced the key so that you can unlock the story again.

The epiphany of the day is that the key to interpreting your imagination and your inspiration through words is to refocus the right side of your brain. You need to write without words….

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning

 

I am back blogging!!

lock
Image via Wikipedia

Well this has been a very frustrating 5 days. Since Thursday last week I have been locked out of my blog as well as all other WordPress sites. I was ok on Friday. On Saturday I was starting to get impatient. By Sunday I was nail-biting, wondering whether any of my posts would still be there. By Monday I had succumbed to the idea that it may be a long while until I get back onto WordPress. I was thankful that, in the worst case scenario of being locked out permanently, I had backed up all my posts and could re-archive them via a new blog.

The one plus about the situation was that I finally got to grips with tumblr. I had toyed with tumblr this year; mainly using it for posting photographs. But with WordPress denied to me, I was forced to get tumblrised with tumblr. I learnt how to add a comments tab as well as a “Facebook Like” page. I also realised that should the need rise, I could blog from tumblr.

Just as I was giving up hope on WordPress and preparing to grieve my loss of my beautiful Dragonfly Scrolls, I logged on this evening and….I was in. The site was very slow and took about 15 minutes to get me in but I was in. The first thing I did was check that all my previous posts were intact and unharmed. Thankfully I can report that they are all intact.

I did have a few breakthroughs during my enforced lock-out. I was forced to get down and dirty with a short story that I have to write this month. I had a theme and an idea but the characters and the essential plot kept on evading me. Finally inspiration struck and I had my main character. The story suddenly came alive for me.

This made me realise once more that for me Character is the all-important element in a story. Without a Character I have no emotional connection no matter how good the story idea may be. So for me no Character is a creative block.

So now I have a Character and I can see where this story is going. Suddenly where before a faceless Character stood at a four-way crossing not knowing which way was the best route to take; now a Character with purpose and drive took me down a route that was suddenly clear of obstacles.

Another plus about this enforced lock-out was that  inspiration struck constantly this last weekend. I have a head full of story ideas. So I have to invest in a new notebook that I can keep handy and capture the ideas as they flow. I have five submissions to complete by the end of this month, not to mention work on two WIPs. So these ideas are going to have to take a backseat for a little while until I take them out and give them the full attention they deserve.

For now I am just happy to be back in the land of WordPress. Watch out for me here. The next post will be a new interview for the Warrior Wednesdays series…If you don’t find me here know that I have been locked out again. Do not despair there is more than one way to word a blog. If not on WordPress, look for me on tumblr. Post I will…by hook, crook, WordPress or tumblr…

For now I leave you with a taste of one of my WIPs. This is a piece I tumbled on my tumblr site:

A snapped twig in the dark

Inspiration is sometimes loud and jarring. But sometimes it is that one snapped twig in the dark forest. There is an eery silence and you believe you are all alone and then very faintly you hear a distinctive snap: someone is walking there. Suddenly you are not alone.

Today I heard the snapped twig in the dark forests of my imagination. It is the foot tread of a story. It moves quickly and quietly through the forest. Is it following me or am I following it? I still my thoughts and listen. The dark silence is almost deafening. Nothing.

Out of the corner of my eye I catch a glimmer of movement. There is a shadow behind the tree. My heart beats violently struggling to maintain its home in my chest.

I feel watched.

Yellow eyes…

© All rights reserved Kim Koning.

Characters and their secrets

Secret Passageway
Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

Have you ever had reticent characters? Many readers and some writers believe that once you have written a book and created characters it gives you an omniscient presence in your character‘s world. For some this may be true. In my experience though, the opposite is true: instead of being creator and puppet master, I – the writer – am the servant and puppet. For me, my characters lead me down the twists and turns of their story. You see they have already walked it and lived it or are right in the thick of it, if anything I am an observer or a recorder of what they want me to tell the reader.

In my interviews on Warrior Wednesdays I always ask the question: What is most important or what comes first in your writing? The Story or the Character. You may wonder why I ask this. I ask this because in my own writing whether I think I get a story idea first or whether a certain character pops into my thoughts and hearing, ultimately it/they come from somewhere. I could say that I am brilliant and have a million and one stories within me but that would be false. I believe that as a writer we are a medium and a vehicle for our characters to tell their stories when, where, how and why they want to.

OK, I hear you say: so are you hearing voices from the deep dark and beyond. This is getting a little loopy! While if your right brain – creativity – rules you then count yourself loopy. Now don’t worry or look all shocked. I mean that yes you are loopy by the definition of a society where left brainers are the majority. I mean you imagine worlds, people, events, places in your head. By left brain definition you are deluded or hallucinatory or in a simple term loopy.

So back to the question: Do I hear voices from the deep, dark and beyond? To be honest, yes sometimes I have and do hear a voice. It pops into my thoughts and starts speaking. I know it is not me because it does not sound like anything I would say. Sometimes the voice is loud and sometimes it is quiet. For me though, I tend to stop and listen. I have tried the ignore button, even tried the mute button but then I end up with sleepless nights and eventually I just learn to respond. All that is usually needed is for me to listen and then a picture forms in my thoughts of who is speaking. Sometimes this is done by showing me a place first and sometimes it is like staring at my reflection in a mirror and slowly see a figure emerge from behind the door that is closed behind me. Then the who of them becomes a basis of their story. They live and breathe so they must have a story. That is when I put the pen to paper or finger to keyboard, whichever is in the closest vicinity, and write. Voila` a story is born and a character is on the page.

But some stories are different. Some characters like to keep secrets. They may even keep their identity a secret. You may be able to picture them but they do not tell you who they are. This may be because they enjoy the game or the control they have over you and your curiosity at this point. It may even be a method they are using to firstly get your interest in a story and then to keep it by leaving you with mysterious threads. For me this is very frustrating. I am a type A personality and like to be the one in control (blame my german roots) and I do not like surprises. If I am being honest here I also struggle with patience. So this character is like a double-dare and a red flag all at once for me.

In my new WIP, new in that I am at the start but not brand new story in that this story and these characters have haunted me for a while now. I knew I had to get this story written no matter how difficult the telling may be but somehow was coming up against a block. Then last weekend I had the epiphany to switch tracks from the German Professor Perfect to the train conducted by the 6-year-old curious and emotional Kimmi. Voila` the flood gates of inspiration started opening. But I still had a major problem. I did not know the identity of the antagonist. I kept on bumping up against this character. I could see the character but could not get a feel for this one like I did for the other characters. So I set it aside for a while and concentrated on talking to my characters in my NaNoWriMo novel and having a lot of fun with them on Facebook.

In the meantime I had also begun work last night on two writing workshops hosted by Savvy Authors. In one of the lessons, I had to write a full-page synopsis/outline via question and answer mode. So I decided to do the synopsis on my difficult WIP. It was late last night when the email had come through with the first lesson. So I looked at it and thought I would sleep on it and write it up first thing this morning. Well, the sleep idea soon turned out to be turned on its head. The synopsis kept on playing over and over in my head like a stuck gramophone. It got to the point that with 2 hours of broken sleep, I decided enough was enough. I would have to get this synopsis out my head and onto the screen. (The Macbook is never far away.) As I started answering the questions and the synopsis started fleshing out, I felt what could only be termed as a CLICK like something had locked into place or been opened. Suddenly as large as standing right in front of me, I met my antagonist. Just by finally knowing who this character was, a myriad of loose ends that had me stumped were tied up and the whole plot revealed itself to me. You see I could not see past the middle to the climax or the end because this story’s antagonist had hidden their identity from me. Suddenly I also knew why the identity had been hidden. This identity is the secret key to the whole story and demystifies both the protagonists as well.

Now I am not saying that I enjoyed meeting this antagonist as the character is the most sadistic and cruel character that I have yet met in my own thoughts. Just by this I know that I have not created this character. I have never actually known someone this… lets call it shadowed  or darkened. But as much as this character scared me to the depths of my soul, I suddenly had the key.

So yes characters keep secrets. Sometimes you find out through clues. But sometimes all of a sudden the secret is unlocked in an instant and it becomes a Pandora’s box. You will not be able to put the secrets back in the box once it is opened. Instead, try to rein in the secrets into one place: Your Characters’ Story. They know who you are. Now it is up to you to find out who they are.

So I ask you now, in light of my character unveiling, what comes first character or story?

Are you – the writer – the creator and puppet master or are you a mere medium and servant?

Ask yourself do you really think you just imagined some of those characters in your head and in your stories? Or are they the Storytellers and you are just a pen and paper?

– Kim

© All rights reserved Kim Koning.

Step into a space between time…


This week I read a blog post of a good friend’s about her dream writing retreat if she won lotto. It did not take me long to figure out my dream writing retreat. I have already been there and was entranced and charmed. My dream writing retreat is Greece. There are many reasons why this is my dream retreat. Let me tell you about why of all the places in the world, this would be my dream and will be my future writing retreat.

For me Greece is a magical blending of the Ancient and the Modern. It is a place where you can walk with closed eyes and hear the thundering of the chariots. It is a place of spiritual power and a place that has more stories than can be told in a lifetime at the foundation of its heart. I went to Greece and I fell in love with the country, the people and the culture. There is a timeless essence to being in Greece that lends itself to the timelessness of creativity. Inspiration does not have an era or a timeline. It is as old as time itself.

My strongest memories of Greece are the scent of oranges and lemons. Wherever you go in Greece you will be assailed by the sweet and tangy scents of oranges and lemons. It is a place of donkeys and motorbikes. It is a place of ancient ruins and modern luxury resorts. It is a place where the great Philosophers of time called home and found their inspiration. It is a place of mathematics and poetry.

When you are in Greece, time seems to be suspended and you enter a place where both the Ancient and the New can be together in one place and transcending the element of time. This is a place where life and living is revered. This is a place where a simple meal is appreciated and relished over 3 hours. This is a place where love and lore come home to rest. This is a place where every moment of life is appreciated and time is worshipped. This is place where you do take a moment to enjoy the simpler things in life. This is a place where family is revered and where fierce loyalty binds all.

I remember when I left Greece, I wept bitterly. For here I had found my true home. It is a place that sings to my soul. I still travel there at night in my dreams. It is the place in my mind that I escape to when I need a respite from daily life. My heart and soul belong to this ancient home of Philosophy and Inspiration. I made a vow to Greece when I left that I would come home to her. I would come home to this place of beauty and power.

I want to feel the power of magic coursing through my veins as I stand once more in the ancient ruins of The Acropolis.  I want to view the horizon from her rugged cliff-tops. I want to ride on the back of a donkey, that most humble of creatures integral to Greek culture, up a mountain side to my blue-doored and white-walled home. My view will be that of the brilliant blues and greens of the magical Mediterranean sea. I want to taste fresh seafood caught that day in the bounty of this sea. I want to know that here I am finally at home. This is the place that my gypsy heart calls home.

I believe that there is a certain place in the world where your heart,soul,mind and body just feel enriched and feel “at home”. My place is Greece. The land of the legends and myths, land of Eros and Romance. The land where love and poetry are the cornerstones of this culture. Step into the home of democracy and freedom. Walk in the pathways of Socrates and Homer. Let the grandeur of the ancients seep into your veins. Swim in the fountains of the ancient nymphs and play in the playgrounds of the Ancients.

Come join me in Greece and be inspired by the rugged beauty of cliff tops, the endless orchards of Olive trees, the traversing of goats and donkeys, the magical blues and greens of the Mediterranean, the sweet and tangy blended scents of oranges and lemons. Take a seat on the roof of my cerulean blue-doored and blue shuttered, white-walled home and forget time and the rush to squander time. Watch the fishing boats come in as you take in a magnificent sunset that has seen the passing and stilling of time as the centuries roll by. Be taken in and charmed by the many superstitions that these lyrical people believe in. Step into the land of the Olympians and take your lessons for living from the rich spirit of this culture.

Greece – My True Home.

The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece! Where burning Sappho loved and sung. Where grew the arts of war and peace,– Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung! Eternal summer gilds them yet, But all, except their sun, is set.
Author: Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)
Source: Don Juan (canto III, st. 86)

Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts And eloquence.
Author: John Milton
Source: Paradise Regained (bk. IV, l. 240)

To Greece we give our shining blades.

Author: Thomas Moore
Source: Evenings in Greece–First Evening

If noble death be virtue`s chiefest part, We above all men are by Fortune blest, Striving with freedom`s crown to honor Greece, we died, and here in endless glory rest – Simonides

Greece is like a mirror. It makes you suffer. Then you learn. To live alone? To live. With what you are.”

— John Fowles.

In many ways we are all sons and daughters of Ancient Greece.

-Nia Vardolos

To describe Greece I would share with you a tomato on the sandy beaches of Skopellos, open a sea urchin with my penknife and serve you the scarlet eggs inside while the salt stretches the skin on our backs. – Nicholas Papandreou

© All Rights reserved Kim Koning.

What Inspires the Most Creative People We Know

Entropy ≥ Memory . Creativity ²
Image by jef safi via Flickr

What Inspires the Most Creative People We Know – Oprah.com.

I have been thinking a lot these last few weeks about what creativity means to me and what inspires me to feel and be creative. I have made a resolution with myself that 2011 is going to be a year focused on creativity. I have been immersing myself in different forms of creativity.

So what inspires me to feel and be creative? Beauty inspires me. The beauty found in the natural world around us. The beauty of a child’s laugh; unashamed and full-hearted. The beauty of love in an old couple. The beauty of gathering clouds before a storm. The beauty of sunbeams striking a path through heavy clouds.

I have also been doing a lot of photography this year. I have really found that the ordinary can truly be transformed into the extraordinary when looked at through the view finder of my digital camera.

Words also inspire me. I often find that if I come across a new word that I am unfamiliar with, I take note of it. I then go look it up in the dictionary and thesaurus. I challenge myself to use this new word in a few sentences. I love the sounds of certain words. My favourite words are: Zephyr, Serendipity, Surreal, Radiance, Effervescence, Subtle, Gossamer, Effusive, Ephemeral, Sublime, Lyricism.

zephyr |ˈzefər|noun1 poetic/literary a soft gentle breeze.2 historical a fine cotton gingham.a very light article of clothing.ORIGIN late Old English zefferus, denoting a personification of the west wind, via Latin from Greek zephuros ‘(god of) the west wind.’ Sense 1 dates from the late 17th cent.

serendipity |ˌserənˈdipitē|nounthe occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way : a fortunate stroke of serendipity | a series of small serendipities.DERIVATIVESserendipitous |-ˈdipitəs| |ˈsɛrənˈdɪpədəs| adjectiveserendipitously |ˈsɛrənˈdɪpədəsli| adverbORIGIN 1754: coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

surreal |səˈrēəl|adjectivehaving the qualities of surrealism; bizarre : a surreal mix of fact and fantasy.DERIVATIVESsurreality |ˌsərēˈalitē| |ˈsəriˈølədi| |-ˈalɪti| nounsurreally |səˈriəli| adverbORIGIN 1930s: back-formation from surrealism .

radiance |ˈrādēəns|noun1 light or heat as emitted or reflected by something : the radiance of the sunset dwindled and died.great happiness, apparent in someone’s expression or bearing : the radiance of the bride’s smile.a glowing quality of the skin, esp. as indicative of good health or youth.2 Physics the flux of radiation emitted per unit solid angle in a given direction by a unit area of a source.

effervescent |ˌefərˈvesənt|adjective(of a liquid) giving off bubbles; fizzy.DERIVATIVESeffervescence nounORIGIN late 17th cent.: from Latin effervescent- ‘boiling up,’ from the verb effervescere (see effervesce ).

subtle |ˈsətl|adjective ( -tler , -tlest )(esp. of a change or distinction) so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyze or describe : his language expresses rich and subtle meanings.(of a mixture or effect) delicately complex and understated : subtle lighting.making use of clever and indirect methods to achieve something : he tried a more subtle approach.capable of making fine distinctions : a subtle mind.arranged in an ingenious and elaborate way.archaic crafty; cunning.DERIVATIVESsubtleness |ˈsədlnəs| nounsubtly |ˈsədli| adverbORIGIN Middle English (also in the sense [not easily understood] ): from Old French sotil, from Latin subtilis ‘fine, delicate.’ .

gossamer |ˈgäsəmər|nouna fine, filmy substance consisting of cobwebs spun by small spiders, which is seen esp. in autumn.used to refer to something very light, thin, and insubstantial or delicate : in the light from the table lamp, his hair was blond gossamer.adjective [ attrib. ]made of or resembling gossamer : gossamer wings.DERIVATIVESgossamery |ˈgɑsəˈmɛri| adjectiveORIGIN Middle English : apparently from goose + summer 1 , perhaps from the time of year around St. Martin’s summer, i.e., early November, when geese were eaten (gossamer being common then).

effusive |iˈfyoōsiv|adjective1 expressing feelings of gratitude, pleasure, or approval in an unrestrained or heartfelt manner : an effusive welcome. See note at sentimental .2 Geology (of igneous rock) poured out when molten and later solidified.of or relating to the eruption of large volumes of molten rock.DERIVATIVESeffusively |əˈfjusəvli| |iˈfjusəvli| |əˈfjuzəvli| |iˈfjuzəvli| adverbeffusiveness |əˈfjusɪvn1s| |iˈfjusɪvn1s| |əˈfjuzɪvn1s| |iˈfjuzɪvn1s| noun

ephemeral |əˈfem(ə)rəl|adjectivelasting for a very short time : fashions are ephemeral. See note at temporary .(chiefly of plants) having a very short life cycle.nounan ephemeral plant.DERIVATIVESephemerality |əˌfeməˈralitē| |əˈfɛm(ə)ˈrølədi| |iˈfɛm(ə)ˈrølədi| |-ˈralɪti| nounephemerally |əˈfɛm(ə)rəli| |iˈfɛm(ə)rəli| adverbephemeralness |əˈfɛm(ə)rəlnəs| |iˈfɛm(ə)rəlnəs| nounORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Greek ephēmeros (see ephemera ) + -al .

sublime |səˈblīm|

adjective

( -limer , -limest )of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe : Mozart’s sublime piano concertos | [as n. ] ( the sublime) experiences that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.• used to denote the extreme or unparalleled nature of a person’s attitude or behavior : he had the sublime confidence of youth.verb1 [ intrans. ] Chemistry (of a solid substance) change directly into vapor when heated, typically forming a solid deposit again on cooling.• [ trans. ] cause (a substance) to do this : these crystals could be sublimed under a vacuum.2 [ trans. ] archaic elevate to a high degree of moral or spiritual purity or excellence.

DERIVATIVESsublimely |səˈblaɪmli| adverbsublimity |-ˈblimitē| |səˈblɪmədi| |-ˈlɪmɪti| nounORIGIN late 16th cent. (in the sense [dignified, aloof] ): from Latin sublimis, from sub- ‘up to’ + a second element perhaps related to limen ‘threshold,’ limus ‘oblique.’

lyricism |ˈlirəˌsizəm|nounan artist’s expression of emotion in an imaginative and beautiful way; the quality of being lyrical.

Your task for this week is to choose 11 of your favourite words and use them in some way, either in a piece of prose or poem.

Your second task for the week is to find a new word per day and memorise it.

Meditate on what creativity means to you this week. What inspires you to feel and be creative? How can you be more creative? How will you inspire others to be creative?

I will post my piece of prose or poetry up here tomorrow inspired by my 11 favourite words.

Some famous thoughts on creativity:

“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” — Alan Alda

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” — Henry Ward Beecher

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.”  — Henry David Thoreau

“Creativity is… seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.” — Michele Shea

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

Repainting my storm-ridden soul with healing words of Rainbow colour

last_lines @ Dragonfly Scrolls.

Following on from my post yesterday: Saw this on tumblr and it described my mind-set the last few days. Serendipity is thy name Sunday. This week, this year seems to be a keyword of Serendipity. I have put out there what I want and the Universe is responding in floods of abundance.

There is a story that is demanding to be written. All attempts at ignoring it have failed this week. Then I had an A-HA moment with last night’s post. My writing is my therapy and is my healing. What better way to expel the ghosts of the past than expelling them on the page.

Have you ever had that experience? Have you ever had a story or character so insistent on being written that they block all your other flow of thought in other stories?

I don’t believe that this is going to be an easy story to write. But then the stories that sometimes have to be told are the ones that we really wrestle with. I subscribe to the belief that everything in life happens for a reason whether it be a good happening or a bad happening. I also do not believe in regret for what we go through molds our character and colours our souls.

The great power of writing is that you have the power over the words….to an extent anyway. So I know that with this story I have the power to transform the storm clouds,that have hovered over me, into a rainbow of healing colours. There will be the blues, violets and indigos from the heart-bruising but there will be the greens of hope followed by the warmth of the oranges, yellows and reds of inspiration.

So this week I am going to start painting my emotions with rainbows of healing. I know this story is going to wring tears from me as I re-open old wounds I have pretended to ignore. But as Robert Frost wrote:

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
Robert Frost

Our Rainbow – Colouring the storm ridden skies over the Forgotten Highways of my soul

“The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.”                       ~ John Vance Cheney

With this story that wrestles with my soul like thunderbolts shaking my skies, I am going to repaint my storm ridden soul with the colours of Rainbows.

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning

Looking at the world with different eyes

Sunlight dappling my day
Sun trapped under my tread

These are two of my favourite shots that I took in the last couple of weeks for my project 365 – where I take 365 photos in a year. I love the “different view of the world” idea that these two shots give.

The first image is taken beneath a tree looking up through the leaves at the afternoon sky.

The second image is taken of beach sand. On the West Coast of New Zealand, most of the beaches are black sand beaches. The incredible thing about black sand beaches though is that when the sand becomes wet, it becomes a virtual mirror and will reflect anything. The shot that I took is of the sun and clouds reflected in the sand.

The most fascinating thing about any form of art is that is makes you look at the world with different eyes. I think that is what fuels my creativity – my search for it, my need for it, my passion for it, my focus for it. I love the way creativity makes ordinary images suddenly extraordinary. That is the true wonder of all creative arts for me:

Creativity in the hands of imagination and the heart of inspiration has the ability to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, the plain into the beautiful, the simple into the challenge, the view into a vision.

Whether I am writing a poem, or working on some prose or even taking a photograph – I am transported into a world of the POSSIBLE. Suddenly dreams can be reached and the stars are within touching distance. My common and ordinary troubles seem to disappear for those moments when I am focused on creativity.

I need to be creative. For me not to be able to write or create is like a thirsty man in a desert. I may survive for a short time but “survive” will be the operative word. I will not be able to live with ease. For like water fuels a person’s body, creativity fuels my heart and nurtures my soul. I drink in words like that thirsty man near death drinks in water. Those who know me well know that the best torture for me would be to take away my pens and my paper. I would find a way to write even if it were with my nails scratching into a wall.

Writing is therapy for me. Some people go to psychiatrists and lie on couches telling a stranger their problems. I believe in the healing power of therapy but I do not go to a psychiatrist. Writing is my therapist. Words are my medicine. Poetry is my recovery. How do I describe myself? I am a writer. Whether I had nothing published or whether I am published in 50 languages: I am a writer. Irregardless. I am a writer. It is the only passion that keeps me sane. It helps me understand the world in its idiotic simplicity and its terrible complexities. It helps me understand myself and puts words to the wordless emotions that fill my heart to overfill. When I put a pen in my hand and put that pen to paper that is when the world makes sense. In a senseless and cruel world; writing is my form of release, escape and succor. Without writing I will not cease to exist. But I would be no better than a prisoner in solitary confinement for a lifetime sentence. Writing makes the world a better place for me. Writing makes me a better person for the world.

Hippocrates put is perfectly:

Ars longa,
vita brevis,
occasio praeceps,
experimentum periculosum,
iudicium difficile.

(translated)

Life is short,
[the] art long,
opportunity fleeting,
experiment dangerous,
judgment difficult.”
Hippocrates

What does creativity mean to you?

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.