makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Thursday, February 27, 2014


I've changed the way I write out of necessity and I've been placing a lot of pressure on myself, during those focused and brief bouts of creativity, to be as productive as I can. I've spent a lot of time plotting and structuring and building up the background of characters. These are things I've never been particularly concerned with before; certainly not in the early, first draft stages of writing. But I've lost something: the lyricism is missing. And so I've decided to just slow down. To read some poetry; to listen to more music; to allow myself some space to think; to stop and notice all the small things. I feel like I'm just hurtling through the days, trying to keep everything together, and I don't really allow myself to feel or experience the details of my environment. I need to feed my creativity; not just expect to be able to churn out the words without any nourishment. If I don't, my writing is going to start to resemble a spreadsheet and I hate spreadsheets.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wow, I can't believe this photo was taken two years ago! On ridiculously hot summer days like today, I'm very grateful not to be pregnant. I remember that the plaster was so cold on my skin and felt wonderful. And it was nice to sit still for a while, before mopping up the little white footprints that ran all through the house.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I had three hours to myself today - I wrote, I read, I walked, I stared at the beautiful Indian Ocean - and I felt just a little bit guilty about it, which is ridiculous. I totally need to get over this and accept that this time is crucial for me to function. I need the space to allow that creative magic to happen; it just feels so strange to me at the moment. It's as if I've been hiding behind my children, letting myself disappear from view, and now I'm stepping back out into the world and claiming a part in it. It's scary and heady and I definitely drank too much coffee today...but I'm so happy to be back!


Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm a bit of a homebody. I like to go out to grab a coffee and remind myself that the world is out there, but then I just love being at home. My parents used to despair of me, begging me to walk the ten minutes to the shop, just to get some fresh air. I'm no hermit - I love people; I want to understand them - but home is where it's at for me. I'm writing a book about a house and a home. I'm trying to figure out what one is and how this relates to our identities. I'm pretty consumed by it, which is tricky when you have so many other things to think and do! Last week, I started reading this amazing book called The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard (Beacon Press, 1994). It's making my sleep-deprived, flabby brain hurt but it's so interesting. I'm going to have to nibble away at it. I love this quotation from the foreword by John R. Stilgoe:

"If the house is the first universe for its young children, the first cosmos, how does its space shape all the subsequent knowledge of other space, of any larger cosmos? Is that house "a group of organic habits" or even something deeper, the shelter of the imagination itself?"

Beautiful, don't you think?





Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I feel as if I've lost my blogging mojo lately. I look back on posts and think I'm just repeating myself. I've been working on some new things and they seem to have been preoccupying me. Also the return to school (and in particular school lunches!) has been pretty intense and all-consuming. I think what it probably comes down to is that I'm on the cusp of change and a little frustrated and anxious about what comes next. I don't really know what to think yet; I'm just feeling rather confused, possibly a little conflicted. I'm not ready to step back and see the bigger picture. Or to write about it here. Maybe I should just post a few random photos or something...







Thursday, February 6, 2014

My eldest two fight a lot, about almost everything. They are only 22 months apart. Today, they were fighting as we waited for the bus to school. I can't even remember what it was about, but she said to him: "I don't like a single thing about you...except that you're quite pretty!" Well, there you go.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I had a coffee with a friend this morning and we were talking about all the usual stuff: motherhood, vocations, the meaning of it all... And she said something along the lines of "you're not the same person after becoming a mother, as you were before." For me, this makes perfect sense. I don't think we do stay the same throughout our lives and when you have children, you undergo a momentous change. It would be impossible not to. Still, most of us are so caught up in just surviving those first few years that we don't realise how much has changed. When we do surface and discover that we aren't the person we used to be, it's a MASSIVE shock! Who the hell am I? What should I do with my life? What are my values now? Maybe some people don't see it like this, but I do. Yes, there are some parts of me that are unchanged, but I'm definitely not the person I used to be. Last year, I tried to open up my mind to wider possibilities; to consider things I had long ago ruled out; to pinpoint what I'm really passionate about and to discard the extraneous, decorative stuff that I don't need anymore. I think I'm getting there. Another friend was talking recently about transformation and I think that is what motherhood (or parenthood) brings about. It's a period of transformation and it's only once things calm down that we are able to reflect on this and see it for what it is.


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