Monday, March 27, 2017

Reactivating My Creative Self / Monthly Mishmash




Reactivating My Creative Self: 

I finished writing Flaming Crimes (Book 4) in November with the push of NaNo, but I haven't started book 5, or edited book 4. I haven't written anything (other than emails and blog posts) since mid-November. The reason for this is depression and stress, a deadly combo for creativity. 

But I've been working on reactivating my creative self slowly.

I've been doing a lot of reading and research on areas of interest:

- writing/writer's block
- organic cleaning
- how to make your own beauty products
- gardening
- Irish myths and lore
- Wicca

All of these topics have helped to awake my brain. I still haven't started writing or editing my books, but I've acquired new motivation when I had ZERO motivational drive for months. This is GOOD news!

Photography:

I purchased a digital camera from a pawn shop. It's a slightly older model, but it's the kind I've wanted for years. I've been learning the ins and outs of this camera and photography in general, another passion of mine (aside from writing).

Spring Cleaning:

I got a new desk. My old desk was wooden, and I couldn't move from side to side without rapping my knees. Ouch! My new desk is glass with room for me to move. 

To prep for my new desk, I went into a cleaning and organizing frenzy. I threw out A LOT that I didn't need. I often asked myself, "Why am I keeping this?" 

Looking at my desk now, I am amazed at how sparse it is. Doing this cleaning made me feel so much lighter.


My new desk.

I used the glass from my Hurricane Crimes Cocktail recipe for pens.

This box has the little odds and ends from my desk, like my calculator.

My new desk has three glass tiers attached to it. This is on the bottom.
The notebooks I need are organized in a mesh box I got from the dollar store.
That big binder is my mom's book, which I've been helping her with.

This lil guy has my computer paper, envelopes, and other office supplies in it.

I also used the same paper for behind my bookcases. And, yes, I do have two
witches' broom sticks. I made them for Halloween.
And, yes, again I do love pumpkins.

Note: I didn't put my old desk on the side of the road, though. I moved it into my living room. It now holds the books, board games, and school supplies I keep for my nephews. :)

Recycling:

I ended up shredding a TON of papers, which I stuffed into paper bags and put into my recycling bin. You're welcome, Mother Earth.

Do you have old ink cartridges? 

Empties4cash.com will pay for your used ink cartridges and the shipping, too! It's even free to sign up. I created an account, printed out my free shipping label (after verifying how many I had and the type through email), put it on a manila envelope, and sent off my ink cartridges. The kind I have is worth .25 each. You need to have a total of $5+ before they'll send you a check. They prefer to get 8+ when you mail in your empties.

Do you throw out your used pens?

I've known about The Pen Guy for years, and I've been saving up pens to send his way. The Pen Guy collects pens (even markers and highlighters) and creates amazing works of art with them. After my move a couple of years ago, I forgot all about the box of pens I had been saving, but I found them during my cleaning spree and I'll be sending them to The Pen Guy. I'll also start saving them again. 

Can you imagine how many pens writers throw away? Yikes!

Gardening:

I've been prepping for gardening (which I do in April). And I've started to build a spot in my backyard to use as a peaceful "getaway." It's been rewarding being outdoors and seeing the progress I've done.

Book Club:

I also created a book club for IWSG. You don't need to be an IWSG member to join. And you don't need to be a book writer, either. All types of writers are welcome. Join HERE!



QUESTIONS: What are you researching (for fun, work, or your book)? Do you recycle? Have you done any spring cleaning?



75 comments:

  1. It's a good feeling to go through and chuck stuff you don't really need. That alone can refuel creativity.
    You like pumpkins? Now I know what I'm getting you for Christmas...

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    1. I love pumpkins! It started when I collected a few ceramic pumpkins for Halloween, but I adored them too much to put them away after the holiday.

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  2. Glad you're feeling more motivated and creative again, Chrys!

    We recently went through a ton of papers here at my house and got rid of so much. It really does feel good to toss/shred/recycle stuff. :)

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    1. Thanks!

      Recycling and cleaning is a nice way to purge for the soul. :)

      Delete
  3. Hope your depressionj and stress is now gone.....a feeling I can relate to. Good luck with future writing plans.

    Yvonne.

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  4. Photography is one of my creative outlets. That camera was a wise purchase.

    I have a ton of stuff I'd like to dispose of. Now if I could only find the time.

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    1. Photography is my second passion, but I was never able to immerse in it as I am now. :)

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  5. Your desk and writing space looks terrific. I recently reorganized my writing room too and it does help me work. Hope you get inspired again.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! I do think it's working.

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  6. No spring cleaning but recycling is a part of life and the island has a good recycling center (except that I have to take cans/metal to one in Savannah and no one is now accepting glass in our area). Gardening is underway, but no spring cleaning... I look forward to hearing about your new writing adventures.

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    1. I love to recycle. I'll be doing a good house cleaning soon. And in April I'll begin my major gardening.

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  7. I haven't been writing much either, since the election, having become more politically active. But now I'm in a spring cleaning frame of mind myself, plus I've been compiling publisher and agent lists to get ready to submit the cozy mystery I finished earlier this year. It sounds like you've accomplished a lot. Enjoy your clean, uncluttered desk. If you are like me, it won't be that way for long. ☺️

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    1. Spring cleaning is nice. I like the feeling of getting rid of the old to bring in new. better. It's like opening up your life for the universe to bring in good things. :)

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  8. A new desk and clean can sure help indeed. We recycle up here, made to.

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  9. I recycle to the max in hopes that I'm actually doing my part for this planet. Spring cleaning is a must, and it seems you've done a masterful job of it.

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  10. I've been recycling since I was very young. One of my hiatused books set in the future is in a city where many houses are made of recycled materials.

    I'm moving between WIPs at the moment, having reached a good breaking point with one and going to resume my fourth Russian historical for Camp NaNo in April.

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    1. I started recycling young, too. I thought it was cool. And I loved Earth Day, so recycling was a fun activity for me

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  11. I get it. I had a hard time writing from Nov - Dec but now I'm back. Sometimes, the moods just get us. I'm glad you're taking good care of yourself and finding new ways to recharge. Best of luck and congrats on the new desk!

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    1. Thank you, Libby. I really can't wait for my motivation and creativity to return.

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  12. Glad you're finding some creative outlets! I love getting rid of things I don't need, too.
    Depression has definitely kept me from writing at times. Probably one of the reasons it's taken me so long to get one book done (but not the only reason).

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    1. Depression sucks! It sucks away fun, motivation, creativity. *sigh*

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  13. Sounds like you've been very busy. Love the look of the glass desk. Hope you get back to writing soon.

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  14. It feels so good to get rid of stuff, doesn't it?

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  15. I'm sorry about the depression. I've been in the same head space, with depression making me extremely tired in every way, including creatively. I haven't finished a short story in several months. I've given myself a goal to finish editing the current WIP, and have been going out for a glass of wine at a place up the road from me to edit it on paper. We do what we have to. Your new office looks great!

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    1. Yes, we do what we have to do. I hope you can finish editing your WIP soon.

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  16. When I feel depressed and anxious, sometimes I can't do a thing. Other times, it sparks my creativity. I never know what will happen. I love all your organizing. It's my kinda thing.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Depression makes me so tired. The lack of motivation to do anything had really brought me down.

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    2. I'm sorry, Chrys. Maybe you need to see your doctor, or perhaps make a change in your life that will help you feel better.

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    3. Thanks, Janie. I am seeing my doctor and making changes. :)

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  17. Congrats to you to get that done. Often desks become the storage unit for old crap. I love your bookshelves and your pens caught my eye...all the colours:) I was planning to organize pictures this weekend but I am in such pain again that I could not do much of anything...I had to stay home today which sucked. I have been looking through my books and the computer to get some info for the A to Z. I have some good knowledge of films but sometimes dates and Oscar stuff I need to clarify

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    1. Pain can sure derail plans. I hope you're feeling better and prepared for A to Z. :)

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  18. No spring cleaning for me, but I am dreaming of the garden. I've been busy with my writing job and blog and co-producing a community play. Glad you've been so productive. Hope it helps your depression whether you start writing again or not.

    I recycle and am going to save this for sending old pens if I have any.

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    1. I think it is helping my depression. I'm just not writing. Yet.

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  19. Dear Chrys,

    I'm sorry to hear you were feeling poorly (depression and stress) and am so happy to hear how you've been taking care of yourself. The reading up on writing/writing block sounds familiar because that's what I've been studying recently -- not on writing techniques or block, but on building my best creative career/lifestyle, becoming the writer and person I most want to be. How can I build up a steady stream of creative energy every day so I wake up happy and look forward to my work?

    Maybe we can exchange emails on our research/background work?

    Cleaning up and de-cluttering have helped me through my worst time. Giving stuff away and throwing things you don't need anymore is therapeutic. I make my bed, and sweep and mop the floor before I get to work. There's a system running, like in a nunnery. Your space looks amazing and very organised! I laughed when I saw the two broomsticks beside your bookshelves.

    A garden sounds lovely. My parents have one along our corridor and seeing flowers bloom and wither calmly delights. Even the withering part. Because that's how Nature is and how Life is supposed to be. They've bloomed to their best and now they're withering for the next part of their journey, with other blooms arriving in the following days. Hope to see pictures of your garden in April/May.

    I hope your days come and go gently and kindly, Chrys. I'm here if you feel like chatting anytime.

    Big, warm hug,
    Claudine

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    1. I would like that, Claudine. :)

      I'm glad you a laugh out if the broomsticks.

      Thank you for such a lively comment. I wish mine were longer.

      Delete
  20. Hi Chrys - that looks amazing and as you imply inspiring to get going - the daylight hours help too. Enjoy life as it opens up again - and wonderful to read about your creativity ... cheers Hilary

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    1. My creativity has been a little like the seasons and flowers. It went away in the winter and is beginnings to bloom now for the spring.

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  21. Sorry to hear about the depression and the stress. I'm always here if you need someone to talk to.

    But, on the bright side, what a beautiful room! I love what you did with the bookcases, and I adore the witches' brooms. Thanks for the two recycling links too. If they'll do business with Canadians, I'm game.

    *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, Holli!

      I know you can send pens to the Pen Guy, but I didn't check to see if empties4cash does postage for Canada. It would be neat if they did.

      Delete
  22. Glad you're feeling more positive. I think delving into research is a great idea, and spring cleaning always helps me feel fresher. Spring is just starting here, and we've had a couple of glorious days - if nothing else, it makes me want to clean my windows :-)

    I'm currently writing about a painter, so I'm researching paint names, how to prepare canvasses, how to clean brushes. And I'm also watching some shows about painting to see what goes on in an artist's head while they're painting.

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    1. I've always loved artist characters. Doing research for one would be fun.

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  23. Sorry about the depression. I know how hard it can be. Sending you hugs. Good for you for the cleaning out. You go girl!

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  24. Sounds like you are making progress and keeping busy. That is all good. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  25. Good for you, Chrys! Your desk looks gorgeous. Doesn't it feel great to purge? So happy to hear you're feeling more up and creative. Reading other books will always spark some ideas for me. Gardening is a wonderful and meditative activity. I do shred and recycle all my paper. I didn't know abut the cartridge for cash. So cool. We recycle our cartridges in the plastics section.

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    1. It does feel good to purge. I do it a lit, especially with books and clothes.

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  26. Thanks for sharing the recycling information. Pens into works of art, cool!
    Love the new desk. I'm in the middle of spring cleaning now. Recycling everything!
    Stress and depression are a block for everything, glad you're working your way through it!

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    1. The art he's done with those pens is amazing. You shouild view his website.

      Thanks, Yolanda!

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  27. I like your new desk! A desk is very important to a writer. I hated my old desk, which is why I spent so much time writing in coffee shops. I always coveted Carrie Bradshaw's desk on Sex and the City; it had plenty of space to write.

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    1. Carrie also didn't have as much on her desk as normal writers do, but I know what you mean...I always wanted her desk, too. :)

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  28. I have bouts of depression too and when I feel the blackest is when I need to write. Not the organized writing of a book but small sprints of sharing the darkness. Sometimes story ideas come out of it, but not always. Almost never actually. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. "sharing the darkness" I like how you put that. Poetic. :)

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  29. Aw, cyberhugs to you, Lady Chrys! But you sound upbeat, and your desk looks truly inspiring. My muse always dances a little jig whenever I clean up my desk. Nothing to be done about the wishnicks, though. They are staying ;-)

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    1. A clean desk is sure good for the muse. :)

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  30. You are so energetic, Chrys, and inspiring. I desperately need to clean and throw stuff away. I can't find anything. Your new desk is wonderful, so clean and neat and organized. Now you can relax and write those stories that are waiting for you. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Amazingly, I have gotten things done since my spring cleaning. :)

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  31. Wow, gardening is my choice for helping activate my creativity. I don't know how it works, but it does. Being in nature is so helpful! Thanks for your thoughts

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    1. Fresh air and nature are wonderful cures. :)

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  32. I love collecting pens. For some strange reasons, every time I come back from the city, I seem to have a few strays in my purse. I want to publicly apologize to anyone missing theirs.

    I'm sorry you've been sad, Chrys. I think your actions to reclaim your inner joy is going in the right direction. Your desk looks inspiring. I meditate for this reason and can only promise if you choose to try it, stick with it for at least a month, the rewards will reveal themselves. Blessings.

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    1. Publicly apologize...that made me laugh. :)

      I actually have been meditating. I struggle to quiet my mind, but it does calm me.

      Delete
  33. As someone who also suffers from depression, I too find that just engaging my brain with interesting things can help to clear up the 'fog'. May your creativity return soon!

    My veggie garden is all prepped and ready to go. I started a bunch of seedlings indoors in the winter, and now I'm just waiting eagerly for the weather to warm up so they don't all freeze to death.

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    1. Engaging my brain with interesting stuff has been doing wonders! Thanks. :)

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  34. Oh, you're into photography. That's nice. You're really creative.
    I like what you did with the bookshelves. Hmm, maybe I can do the same to our shelves here.

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  35. Sometimes it's good to sort through everything, clean and reorganise - it frees the mind and floods it with a feel-good high. I've found that it helps with the stress of being a writer... Insurmountable plot hole? Folding laundry magically shows a way through :-) I hope you get back to your happy writing place.

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    1. Stepping away from your story to do a chore can sure inspire the muse. Thanks, Ronel!

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  36. We're going to have a new family member in a few weeks (days?!), and so since early March and up until now it's been cleaning-up time pretty much every day we came home from work. We only have a two-room apartment and didn't think we could have children after years of treatments, so a lot of stuff had to be thrown out, new more child-friendly furniture bought etc. I really dreaded this in the beginning - all the time we had to spend on cleaning up and cleaning out. But I find that I feel a lot better and more energetic with regard to writing, when I come home - even after 8 hours in front of another screen (I do webdesign, so it's not like I miss sitting in front of screens).

    It was a nice surprise, the extra energy that came along for writing stories and blogging, after all that 'house make-over'.

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    1. Congratulations on the addition to your family! Preparing for a baby can certainly lead to a lot of cleaning and organizing. :)

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    2. It could really have been any other thing that gave me som better 'space-energy', I think ... but this time it was, well, this thing :)

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