Tag Archives: writing

Hello again

Just like sleeping soundly in a comfy bed I crave self-expression, but at times it eludes me. Writing plays a persistent calming role in my life but doesn’t always flow freely. Sometimes my thoughts swirl in a tangled mess of perplexity and it’s during these times that my words dry up both verbally and in written form. This is where I’ve been for quite some time, hence my absence from blogging.

Like everyone life regularly challenges my limits and teaches me to adapt to new circumstances. Some periods are tougher than others but maturity of years has taught me that eventually these periods pass. I’m heading out the other side of another intense chapter and now look forward to a new travelling adventure in Europe which I’m hoping will reignite my relationship with writing.

Eternal love

The creaking sound of her rickety rattan chair comforts Nina as she sinks down into the seat. Every afternoon she enjoys sitting and admiring her garden.

Familiar sounds echo as she breathes in the earthy pleasures of rich soil and damp leaves. A cool breeze blows gently on her skin. Sitting and watching she feels alive, in harmony with nature.

Nina’s garden is her haven, a place of renewal where she nourishes her soul. Silently she thanks each plant and ornament for bringing her joy,  they are valued members of her extended family.

Nina lives alone in a modest old timber house. A wooden nameplate bearing the name Akiko,meaning Iris; light and bright, hangs at the cottage entrance.

Her life is quiet and sometimes lonely. Most days she gardens and preens her tiny house. She does this for her own satisfaction and because she is grateful for everything she has.

As she sits looking at the garden her gaze is drawn to her flourishing Suma bush. She involuntarily gasps at its radiance. An affectionate loving smile spreads across her face. This plant tells her story.

As a young woman Nina spent her lunch breaks in the tranquil Jenku Gardens. This peaceful daily experience inspired her to create her own garden. She knew little about gardening but was eager to learn.

Nina planted a Suma bush near her front entrance so she could admire its soft beauty and smell its subtle fragrance each time she came in and out of her house.

Despite meticulous care and constant love her Suma failed to thrive. The foliage thinned and the vibrant green leaves faded to an insipid yellow.

Nina felt a deep sense of failure and loss. It broke her heart to see her Suma in such a bad state. Reluctantly she moved the plant to the back garden.

Weeks later she noticed new green shoots sprouting on the Suma’s spindly stem. Nina’s heart filled with thanks knowing her plant was showing signs of regeneration.

It dawned on her that this species survives better in the shade. She realised her Suma could not flourish where she’d wanted it to grow no matter how much care she lavished on the plant.

This lesson taught her to respect the inherent needs of each species. Over years her garden grew and matured into a place of natural beauty with thriving plant and bird life coexisting within her garden sanctuary.

Drawing her attention back to today a Pipi bird swoops under the Suma plant searching for food in the rich soil. Nina smiles and thanks every element of nature for keeping her company her whole life.

She feels tired and closes her eyes letting her head nod forward. She feels like she is floating.

“Nina?”

Nina hears her mother’s voice. She must be dreaming. Such a lovely sweet sound.

“Mum?”

Their arms instinctively embrace in a warm hug. Neither wanting to let go.

Nina’s tears flow freely as she recalls all the times she’d felt lonely and longed to talk things over with her mother.

“Take my hand Nina, it’s your time to rest with me.”

Months after her death Nina’s family sold Akiko cottage for a high price to a land developer. It took less than a day to bulldoze the house and garden leaving an empty block prime for multi story town houses.

Nina’s granddaughter Mai stands motionless looking at the barren land where her grandmother’s cottage and garden once were. She feels like she has been punched hard in the stomach sucking her breath away.

Mai closes her eyes and imagines all the times she sat chatting with her grandmother while looking at her precious garden.

Mai releases a primal scream and falls to her knees.

“They can destroy everything you created Grandmother but they can never destroy how loved and valued you made me feel.”

 

Lost in the wilderness

Have you ever had an idea you desperately want to write about but the words refuse to flow? For a year I’ve tried to write a short story but all I have to show is countless discarded drafts.

To stimulate ideas for expression of my short story I’ve explored different writing genres including poetry, narrative and creative writing.

Reader feedback from my poetry writing attempts tells me my style is too obscure because my intended meaning is usually missed or misinterpreted.

My dabble in creative writing wasn’t much better than poetry and produced lots of chunky paragraphs containing over exaggerated description. When I read my creative writing it reminds me of someone trying to use superfluous words to appear more intelligent.

This led me to narrative style that better suits how I want to write, with characters and a plot woven into a story with a beginning, middle and end.

Recently my interest has peaked in folk tales because they appeal to my simple nature. Traditional folk tales use unsophisticated language and have a moral lesson as the underlying purpose of the story.

Usually folk tales have animals acting like humans, a problem and a virtuous message.  The setting is often in the wilderness, as the woods represent a source of mystery, danger and excitement.

“Writing original fables is a good way to use creative writing to develop critical thinking about ethical issues, consequently building moral reasoning within children”.

So what seems like a lovely simple form of expression is presenting more difficult than I thought. I’m not sure my story lends itself to animal characters nor the wilderness but let me mull it over for a while and I’ll come up with a new draft.

Somehow I will write this short story before I die, I promise.

Confusing times

Followers of JennaDee blog might have noticed a lack of posts in recent weeks and I feel I owe you an explanation.

This dry spell isn’t due to diminished enthusiasm or effort, in fact sometimes I try too hard making matters even worse. I’ve lost touch with my word flow and temporarily lost my zest for writing. Several reasons for this situation spring to mind.

  1. I finally made peace with my past and (almost) always live in the moment
  2. I am content with what I have and (almost) always accept the way things are
  3. I learned how to stop worrying about things outside of my control
  4. I began a creative writing course

Sharing my thoughts and fears with others was therapeutic when I first started blogging. My online space created an outlet to write about things I’d never spoken about. It felt exhilarating and dangerous to tell my secrets.  Writing posts about mistakes, regrets and heartache flowed freely allowing me to face up to and deal with unresolved issues.

After a year of soul-searching combined with the support of fellow bloggers I learned how to make peace with my past and stop it negatively affecting my life. This shift in attitude  greatly improved my outlook on life.

The problem is now I don’t know what to write about. My life is wonderful, I am healthy, comfortable and want for nothing. I feel guilty that so many people are dealing with adversity in their lives.

Maybe that’s why so many songs and poems reflect stories about heartbreak? Maybe people more readily relate to sadness and difficult situations?

This leads to my last point about my blog drought that arose when I decided to try my hand at creative writing.  While I enjoy the intricacies of developing characters and plot I feel like it is corrupting my natural style of writing. I tend to overuse adjectives and when I re-read my drafts the writing is over-exaggerated and clunky. I seem to have lost my natural voice.

If anyone has any suggestions about how I can retrieve my blog writing vitality  I will be most grateful.

Yours in anticipation
Jenna Dee

The way to do is to be

Blogging has opened a part of my mind that I’d managed to squash down for some time. It  challenges me to think about some things I’d rather not think about.

For me writing blog posts is therapeutic and helps me greatly at the time of writing by encouraging exploration and expression of my feelings. It is like cleansing my soul.

I’ve discovered that it is quite easy to write or say words but the really difficult part is making meaningful changes in my mind, feelings or attitudes. The actions are a lot harder than the words.

Fairly regularly I re-read my past blog posts and ask myself if have I brought about the changes I promised to modify since writing the post.

The truth is that the answer is usually no, not really, I’m still trying.

But today I gave myself a break by gaining inspiration from ancient philosopher Lao Tzu through his words that tell me to trust myself and just be me.

Always we hope

Always we hope
someone else has the answer
some other place will be better,
some other time it will all turn out.

This is it.
No one else has the answer
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.
at the center of your being

You have the answer,
you know who you are
and you know what you want.

There is no need
to run outside
for better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at the center of your being;
for the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Search your heart
and see
the way to do
is to be.
        — Lao Tzu

This is the word

The explosion of information on the Internet removes the necessity to create original writings. At our fingertips we have access to words written by others on any topic imaginable.

The words of others often seem more polished than our own and it’s tempting to copy a chunk of text rather than spending time considering and constructing our own sentences.

While I am eager to read and learn from words written by others, I continually strive to create original written pieces as they reflect time spent thinking and sorting through the corridors of my mind.

Writing empowers me to express myself about things I am passionate about. I spend many hours writing, re-writing and reading my words until I am satisfied with the final piece.

These written pieces are my friends. When I read my words I hear my voice and recall my thoughts from different eras of my life. They are my lifelong collection of words with the power to evoke memories.

Most of the things I write about are an indulgence in self-expression. They are extensions of thoughts residing in my brain that become clearer when written down. I write simply and from the heart.

However, there are always exceptions and if I come across words written by someone else that succinctly express emotions that I relate to then I have no hesitation to use their words. This is one such exception…….

If you want to awaken all of humanity then awaken yourself.

If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.

Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu was a philosopher of ancient China, considered the founder of philosophical Taoism. According to traditions he lived in the 6th century. Throughout history, Laozi’s work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.