Hats

There is a lovely, little place in my head that remains forever muddled. That is because it is the real me. I don’t mind being a bit muddled. But lately, it has become a thing.

On the outside I have a great husband, a beautiful daughter and another baby on the way. I am a teacher taking time off to raise my kids. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, an in-law, a sister. I am a lot of things I didn’t use to be.

I used to be just a girl trying to figure it all out. Just me, on my own. Responsible for just myself. And that muddled, little place that was the real me was still a little hard to figure out, but I think I was getting there. But lately, all these other hats have made it even trickier to get to that little part that is the old me. So forgive me if sometimes I don’t act like I used to.
It’s just that I am finding my way past all the hats.

The Universe heard me?

Sometimes things do start to fall into place if you ask and listen carefully enough.

I met a wonderful illustrator who wants to work with me on two of my stories.  I am so excited about it because he loves the same authors and illustrators that I do and he wants to create the same sort of books that I want to.  It is just such a great match.  His art is whimsical and wild and he cares about representing all kinds of children in books, brown, green and purple.  He cares about the quality of the words in the story and the play of art mixed with words.

My imagination is running away with me, thinking about all the book magic we could create!

This all happened because when the Estate Agent, who was showing me flats to rent, asked me my occupation, for the first time in my whole life, something told me to say, “I am a writer.  I write children’s stories.”

The Estate Agent, who I will call Danny, got quite interested in what I was saying and mentioned that he had a friend of a friend who was trying to get into illustration and would I mind looking at his portfolio.  Would I mind?  Would I mind?  Errrrr.

I would love to, I said.

And he was awesome.

And all because I just put it out there, I was sent what I needed.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”  Paulo Coelho

 

The one where she realised the beginning of a truth…..

I did start writing yesterday.  And it felt great, kind of.

And then I read this post by Autumn.  It was about being authentic and being yourself and letting it all shine out, even if you might not please everyone with the outcome.  And I wondered if I too was writing what I think people wanted to read about.  A story that had a good plot and interesting characters and those kinds of things that check boxes.

Autumn wondered if writing was best coming from a raw, gritty place deep inside.  From the things we don’t let out or let shine in case of offending others.  It was a great post and really struck something inside me.

There is a reason I started writing in the first place.  I was once a lonely, scared eleven year old girl who felt invisible.  I had a home life that felt out of control and the only safe place was my room, with my pen and a notebook.  Writing was the only way out of a life that I didn’t really think I was destined for.  I wanted more and I wanted out.  So I wrote about the person I wanted to be and the life I wanted to live.  I wanted to be far away from the sadness and the anger at my home.  Writing was my way of coping with everything else that was out of my hands.

I guess I did escape it all, but in the process lost the real part of my writing.  As soon as I was “happy”, then I stopped writing about the raw stuff that made me write in the first place.

If i find the spirit of the girl who started writing in the first place, I might be able to access what I need to be writing about.  It might be amazing, but it might not be the kind of thing that everyone (by this I mean, my family) will want to read.

But I said I would try not to be a people pleaser any more and I guess this is part of the way forward.

So, back to the drawing board I go.  See you in a few…

Getting it all down!

I have had an idea for a story to write.  Actually two different ideas.

Now why am I so afraid to open a document or a notebook and write something down?  It seems so huge.  A mountain I just can’t get a foothold on.  I know I need to take little baby steps.  Maybe plan a character, sketch out a story map.  This time it isn’t like a blog post where I can sort of ramble on, it just feels too official.  This is how I felt when I started my dissertation….but by supervisor helped me break it down into smaller steps and then checked to see if I was doing them.  It worked for me.  Someone checking in to see what I was up to and kicking my butt when they thought my writing needed it.  Maybe it is deadlines that I need. Oh and someone to kick my butt.  Still working on that one.

Dwritewords has suggested that I do Camp Nanowrimo….(thank you for sharing that!) and I think I will.  Deadlines may work for me.  Now that I have some ideas about what I want to write about, I could make it happen by the end of the month.  I will have to admis that t won’t be perfect and it might even suck, but I will never get better at writing if I just keep thinking about it and never doing it!

Off to fill out my profile!  Yet another way to procrastinate “real”writing!  Tee hee hee.

I’d like to build the world a school……

….and it would be like this.

There would be all kinds of children – not just the ones who could afford the tuition.

Our curriculum would be relevant, inspiring, challenging, intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, creative and joyful.

Our teachers would be there because they care about inspiring a new generation of thinkers and creators.  They would be experts in their fields and itching to make a change.  They would respect students and the creativity youth brings.  They would build meaningful relationships with their students and never forget that a sense of humour goes a long way.  There would be no place for shouting or put downs.

Our resources would be chosen with thought for the environment and our health and people around us.

We would grow vegetables for our lunch in the playground and try not to take more from the world than we need.

Science would be with our hands and in nature and on top of mountains, and not just words on a text book page.

Literacy would be storytelling, story writing, debate, drama, talking and using technology to connect with the world and ourselves, and to make movies and music and not just comprehension questions at the end of a chapter.

We would read books, and books and then more books and look at illustrations as art.  We would choose our own books, instead of being told what to read all the time and we would talk about all the words we love.  We would have comfy chairs and beanbags and a quiet, soft space designated each day for wallowing in books of all kinds.

Maths would be solving puzzles, taking risks, creating games, playing games, talking about numbers and patterns and how the world is one beautiful number game.

Music and Art and Drama and Creativity would integrate and permeate everything, not exist in isolation in small dusty rooms at the back of the school.  Music would be heard in the hallways and in the classroom….

We would do Circle Time each week so everyone could have a chance to be heard, even if it was just to share that they had juicy, red tomatoes for lunch!

We would be Thankful each day for all that we have and teach the children by example that we are the lucky ones and not to forget that we need to change the world for the not so lucky ones.

I’d like to build the world a school where education is about experience and doing and not simply measuring a child by the answers they write on a test on one day of their lives.  I want a school that sees the whole child and where assessment is everyday by both the intelligent students themselves and by the brilliant, capable, creative and attentive teachers who know the students better than a test written by a random person.

I’d like the school to be built and loved by everyone who had a stake in it….students, teachers, parents, investors, support staff, gardeners, administrators, cooks, cleaners….

Students would learn that we all have a gift to share with the world and we would support and encourage them to find theirs.  I would like each child to be valued as an individual and noticed for their gifts.

I’d like to build the world a school where children leave feeling able, loved, supported, creative, inspired and ready to create the world that they wish to live in.

I’d like to build the world a school.

Good Girls

In my dreams I was a cool, daring girl who said no to the teacher and went on wild and exciting adventures.  I vowed to myself that when I grew up, when I could escape, I would be that girl.

I wanted to disobey the rules but I just couldn’t.  I don’t even know why?  Was I worried that all of a sudden someone would punish me?  Yes, I guess I was.  People who follow rules are somehow praised by parents and teachers and all the people who influence our early life.  All I wanted was for people to praise me and tell me that I was a good girl.  Good Girl, Nice Girl.  Follow all the rules and use perfect punctuation.

And so I grew into a Nice Girl.  I am sort of interesting and quirky, but never enough to tip the boat.  I guess I am afraid I might fall out into that big mass of water…the unknown.  The unwritten.  I want to be out there, swimming in the ocean, but every time I try, I end up clinging to the boat, afraid that once I jump in, I won’t be able to swim.

Maybe the water will be so beautiful, I may never need the boat again……Maybe punctuation doesn’t matter as much.  As I thought. It did.

Trying to write a tale

Friends and friends to be,

I am beginning a new journey….would you like to join?  I am a writer trying to share her words with the world.  The only problem, I haven’t worked up enough courage to actually share it!! Silly, that I can sit here and write a blog post about not being able to write a word.  But that is the paradox of me.

I can, but I can’t.

I want to, but I don’t.

I am passionate, but I sit back.

I care, but I give up.

I have strength and power, but I am weak.

But maybe soon, I will be scared, but I will put it out there anyway.

I sometimes think I am so unique.  That all these personalities and opposing forces inside me make me so different from everyone out there, and if I could only figure out who I am and what I stand for, I will be able to write what I want to say.

Has it even occurred to me that actually everyone is doing the same and then building a cover, a mask, a layer of designer clothes and pretty makeup just to hide that one thing that makes us all the same? Why am I trying so hard to present a person who is fully formed and has the answer to everything, who is brave enough to share words with the world?  I could just present the little mess that is me and figure it out as I go.

So here you are and here I am.

Hello.