Monday, September 19, 2016

Inspiration from Grant Achatz for Nanowrimo

I've been wondering if forcing yourself to write when you just aren't in the mood for it is actually a good idea. You could end up resenting it even more than you currently already do. 
* Side-note... as I started typing this, the bloody next door neighbours turned on a saw loud enough that it must be possible to chop down the fecking statue of Liberty. HOW do you write and get creative with that kind of noise?! This is useless.... 

Nevertheless... I was overwhelmingly inspired yesterday by a man who, needless to say, is a huge inspiration. Grant Achatz. He's the owner and chef of a restaurant in Chicago called Alinea.

I've been watching this tv show sometimes on netflix when I'm too bored to do anything else with my unemployed ass - it's called The Chefs Table. It's a brilliant show based on the biographies of some of the most world-renowned chefs. Yeah - I don't really know why I watch chef programs when I still struggle to flip a friggen omelette but hey ho... I enjoy it.
Anyway, so this bloke, Grant Achatz... it was so fascinating to watch how his mind worked... I could almost hear it ticking, thinking up new beautiful creative ideas to do with food. I adore seeing the passion people clearly have for things in life, such as Achatz passion for food. Such as Jordy Smith's passion for surfing or Sasha Alsberg's passion for the unbelievably sexy Scot, Jamie Fraser from Outlander. I have that same passion for writing - it's THERE... I'm just struggling so hard to connect with it right now. 

I've been doing everything to get inspired, to have something new and exciting to write about. I moved to Mallorca all by myself, leaving behind my friends, family, cats and dogs. I started scrubbing rich Russian's excrement out of crappy (pardon the pun) toilets for a living... and you have no idea how much I wish I could be doing that right now... God I never thought I'd hear myself say that!! But when you're jobless, homeless and shit out of luck (pardon the other pun there!) that's how desperate you get. 
I started learning Spanish (I can now successfully order myself a gin and tonic.... and add a please at the end of that order.. and if you're really lucky I'll even throw in a thank you). I've been reading religiously, especially after discovering the joys of Amazon which means I can order all the latest and greatest books that all these fabulous booktubers rave about online! My credit card currently hates me. Just saying.
I started fishing and even gutted what I caught too, luckily I don't have a weak stomach.. I'm kind of partial to blood and gore... and if that could have been said in a non creepy sense believe me I would've said it that way.... I love me some Grey's Anatomy.... and not just because of McSteamy either. I promise.
I've started doing yoga again and meditating in between swatting a dozen mosquito's to death - very tranquil I know. I've been tugging on a pair of trainers in the mornings (OK, 2 mornings to be exact...) before the sun has risen and I've been going for runs sporting my 'Gym and Tonic' yoga pants and oversized hot pink headphones. I look pretty daft but I literally don't give a fuck - if it gets me inspired to WRITE SOMETHING again I am actually willing to do anything and everything. 

So although I've opened my wee world up to such new and exciting prospects, I appear to still have this blasted writers block that has been my constant companion for the past year since my heart got broken. Funny though how just turning on the television and seeing Grant Achatz's love and never-ending passion for food, has fuelled my desire to write again.
As spices, vegetables, herbs and meats are his ingredients that make up his passion, the letters on a keyboard are mine. A all the way to Z... they make up my world... and I need to open my world to them again, one step at a time. 

Nanowrimo is coming up in November - just over a month away... and I plan on conquering that national novel writing month. Beating the shit out of it in fact (I'm sorry, I don't know where all these pooey referrals are coming from today!?). I am going to write a novel in a month, whether it be 50'000 words or more.... but definitely no less. And when I am finished, I will send it off to agents and publishers and try once again to make my only real dream and ambition in life come true.... to have my work published. To walk past a bookstore and see my novel sitting there in the window. To watch someone pick my book up and read the blurb on the back and see them smile, see them relate or connect to the story I told. 
To just hold my work, my creation, my LIFE, in my hands. It's by far the best feeling in the world. I can only imagine how incredible it must have felt for Grant who went from being a cook in other restaurants to realizing that he needed to break away from them in order to freely express his creativity for food - and when he took that leap, that plunge, he succeeded in ways I bet he could never have expected or imagined. Hearing his story of how his dream became reality kicked my unemployed butt into gear.... and I think I just realized that I need to stop referring to myself as unemployed because although I may be broke and not actually earning a penny (scared shitless currently....), a writer is never unemployed, are they??? A writers brain never shuts down. Words, thoughts, stories and ideas constantly swirl through my mind even while I sleep. I just need to stop my shit (that's the last time I promise!!) and start writing again.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hearts of Broken Glass - a song by Jade Lee Wright

I say sorry to my heart, the pain
found out you will never love me, today
all my hopes and dreams, fade so far away
and its there they stay, in the distance

So if I could, I'd shed my heart of you
I'd coat myself in armour, too
Just forget us, forget us, 
Forget us

Lets start over
Lets forget one another
These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

But you will always be my past...

Encapsulated, we were in the cold and dark
A twisted forest, as rough as the tree bark
But it was fragile stuff, almost broken from the start
How it lasted as long as it did was an art

Forgot it was all just temporary,
'cause everything comes to an end eventually
Just forget us, forget us
Forget us

Lets start over
Lets forget one another
These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

But you will always be my past...

You taught me so, so much
You became my fucking crutch
Wish I'd seen it coming now
Would have stopped it all somehow

But then I ask myself the question,
Would I really have done anything differently, upon reflection
Could I really just forget us, forget us
Forget us

Could I really say...

Lets start over
Lets forget one another
These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

'cause you will always be my past

These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

You set me free, 
Got my whole life ahead of me
and so I learned today
Sometimes your heart breaks in the right way.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Whole Seabass Recipe and More

As always, my plans to write daily and publish something.. anything.. on this blog, isn't going to go very well this weekend. I'll be busy, away from wifi and from my beloved laptop. Fishing, kayaking, camping up North and paddle-boarding. 

Before I head off, I thought I'd stick to my word and share with you how we cooked the seabass I caught. 

We didn't have a pestle and mortar so we shoved all the following ingredients into a nutri-bullet to pour both inside and outside of the fish.

  • 3cm ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 chillies
  • handful of coriander
  • 2 squeezed limes
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

We put the fish onto a well oiled piece of foil on a baking tray, basted the fish in the above sauce while the oven was pre-heating at 180 degrees and then slid it in to cook for 30 minutes while we started watching a brilliant horror movie called Hush starring Samantha Sloyan. It's about a woman who has severe hearing loss after catching bacterial meningitis at age 13. She lives a very isolated life  as a writer (I liked her already) in a cottage in the woods (I liked her even more... love cottages, love the woods, love writing and love isolation...). BUT what I don't love is when some creepy psychopath in a mask decides to pray on her for the night.

It was a brilliant movie I found on netflex, very gory and horrific with one of those endings so subtly strange you are left thinking WTF. 

Do you ever find it strange that the things you think about or let into your life suddenly show up after you think about them? I don't really know how to explain that any better. Like, for instance, I was thinking of Stephen King and suddenly I walked past a bookstore that had one of his books in the windowsill. Then I am reading that book, Maybe Someday, about a deaf woman and the movie I watched was conveniently about a deaf woman. I am learning so much about the life of those who suffer from hearing loss and what they have to go through on a daily basis. 
Another way I could explain it is someone had a dream of a friend the other night and then they randomly bumped into that friend on the beach a few days later. Do you get what I mean?? What you think about you attract into your life. That's what I mean! Ding ding ding!! 

Anyway - enough pointless rambles for the day. I'm off to a local Spanish truck-stop / Mallorcean restaurant for breakfast on my way up North to camp and catch some more fish for dinner. 

Start your day off with this song if you have time today: 
Blue Boy - Remember Me (Original Mix). 
It's pretty cool. 

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Catching a Seabass, Bookshelf Feng Shui and Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

After writing about writers block yesterday and having gotten a lot off of my chest, I think I've figured out what I need to do. 

I need to write every day. Write anything. Thoughts, feeling - document my days like an online journal for the world to see. I am not writing it for anyone else but for me and I truly don't expect anyone else to take the time to read it - but I thank the four bloggers who have been there to read my words since almost the beginning.. Lindsay, Launna, Sonia and Ginger. Writing isn't something I want to let go of and you four have given me some sort of inspiration I'm grasping hold of. I'm trying. 

So these words and these posts aren't going to be ground-breaking. Hell, the writings probably going to be pretty shitty if I'm honest... but it's a start so that I can venture back into words and creativity and eventually rediscover that passion that I have for it. I just hope to God it comes back to me before November as I desperately want to take part in Nanowrimo which is a national novel writing month. Basically, you have a month to write 50,000 words - a complete novel. I have always wanted to take part but it's always been my busiest time at work so this year, finally, I'm going to do it.

So I guess what I'm going to do right now is write about my day so far... which I'm sure won't interest you at all but I'm doing it for my benefit to help my writing. You don't have to read it if you don't want to. It's a free world and all that... 

I woke up early, guzzling a coffee down my throat before dragging the kayak down to Cala Major beach which is where I live these days, on an island called Mallorca in Spain. 

After netting some live bait, I took a long paddle around the caves watching the sunrise with two rods cast out and trailing along behind me. It took some time for the first bite to come but when it did, it was a huge fish! I have no idea what sort of fish it was, I tried to reel it in but ended up losing it. I was pretty gutted as I unhooked my little bait fish who had lost all its scales in the process of the predator attack. I chucked the little fish back into the water and it hid beneath my kayak, hiding away until I paddled off with one of its friends now dangling off the end of my hook (sounds horrific and so inhumane.... I know!).

When the next bite came I was determined to catch it. It was well hooked and after a bit of a fight, I managed to reel it in. I'm still amazed by how strong fish are. 
It turned out to be such a beautiful catch too! A seabass. What would have cost me over 50 Euro at the market, I got for free with a wonderful morning paddle, fresh air and a salty breeze. Good eating too - and I plan on eating it tonight for dinner. I'm sure I'll share the recipe and pictures of the meal with you tomorrow. 

As I am currently unemployed for pretty much the first time in my entire life - I scoured the internet for jobs on the yachts for most of the morning after getting back from the beach. Once I'd applied to a few jobs here and there I decided to get down and dirty in the kitchen. And no, I'm not being kinky. It needed a deep cleaning. So I put on some youtube videos and listened to them in the background while I scrubbed away the grease for an hour or two. It felt so good to see the kitchen sparkling again that it drove me to do some feng shui around the house too! 
The bookshelf (which holds none of my books by the way... my books are still taking up the majority of my clothing cupboard space!) has been bothering me for a while now. Call me OCD but there was just no order to it. It was messy, dusty and didn't look 'proud.' So.... I redecorated!

The cookbooks are now all together and not scattered about around the house. The surfing / fishing / diving / boats and travel books take up the second shelf and the novels have all been alphabetically arranged by the authors surname on the third shelf. 
Do you notice a bit of a difference?

Speaking of bookshelves and books... I FINALLY picked up a Colleen Hoover book. Maybe Someday. She's an author I have been interested in for some time after all of the great things I hear about her work both through Booktube and Bookstagram. 
I'm almost 100 pages into the book now (it's the 26th book I've read this year so far,) and I am loving it despite the fact that the cover makes me want to vomit. 

One thing about the book I like is that it has a soundtrack - which is very much like my own book, The Other Woman, which has every chapter titled with a song. I thought my idea to accompany music with a book was quite unique but looks like Hoover beat me to it. Damn.

Her book is nothing like mine so far though. It's a gorgeous story about a girl who finds out that her boyfriend and best friend are screwing each other on her 22nd birthday. OK, that parts not so gorgeous but... there's this guy that plays the guitar on his balcony from across the courtyard and she is so enraptured with his music on her own balcony that one day they start communicating. It turns out that he needs help writing lyrics for his music. Music that he can feel - not hear... because he's deaf. That is quite a lot like Pete Tong really, the Ibiza DJ whose love for music even after he went deaf completely inspired me (see!!!! I need that same sort of love these musicians have back for my writing!!) but at the same time it is nothing like crazy Pete Tong at all. It's a romance... I think (it's still early days). It's gentle. It's pure. I'm just thoroughly enjoying it. 

Since I've joined the booktube / bookstagram community I have been reading some pretty amazing books. Two that have REALLY stood out to me so far over the past few months are Asking for It by Louise O'Neill (watch my video review on that book HERE) and All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven which I haven't had a chance to film a review on just yet. 
I'm so happy I've been able to find a place where I can share my love of literature... the written word. 


The weathers not great today. It's still ridiculously humid, but the clouds have hidden away the sun... so for the rest of the day other than religiously refreshing the Palma Yacht Crew facebook page in search of jobs, I plan on listening to Of Monsters and Men which has fast become my new favorite band (sorry Mumford!!!!) and reading. 
Later on I'm hoping to go fishing again too before slapping the seabass on to cook. 

That's what a day of unemployment looks like for me right now I suppose. 

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Writer That Doesn't Write... I am an Enigma.

Hey guys (the 0.01% of you that actually read me...), been a while.

The writer that doesn't write... I heard those words a few days ago, five different words of the English language, arranged to describe me perfectly. 

Just to open up this long ago abandoned blog, I had to crack open the wine. Can I even call myself a writer anymore? I look at the two books I have written, bound in paperback - I can hold them and I can feel them. The thickness of the spine. The breeze from the pages fluttering close to my face as I run my thumb along the corners of the book. They are mine. I created them... those worlds, those characters, those stories. I did, didn't I? So why doesn't it feel like it right now? It all feels so surreal. When did I find the time, the energy and the patience to DO that? Where did I get the inspiration??? I look at the neglected document lying in my MacBooks desktop - my third novel. Possibly my best novel. I know that even though it's only a few chapters in. It's some of the best writing I have ever done and I remember when I'd been working on it, it had given me shivers it was that good. Then this writers block came and has taken away the last thing I was proud of in my life. 
I can feel it is still in me somewhere - that deepness, those words... it's swelling up inside of me somewhere but I just can't find where. 

Why is it that when your heart breaks and your life as you know if gets destroyed in one, quick fluid movement, you take it out on what you used to love the most. I'm the only one to blame for my writers block. I've wasted an entire year of my life avoiding putting my fingertips back onto my keyboard now - a year!! I only realise now how much writing I could have done it that time. 
I remember when I was writing my first two books, one of which I wrote while still in school (which obviously explains my terrible school reports actually...). I'd always make time for writing, because it was the one thing that was always mine. It was the one thing that could never hurt me. I'd shut my bedroom door, drowning out the awful sounds of my parents alcohol-induced arguments and I'd write. I'd tap away at my keyboard until the sun would rise and I would get such a shock at how I just lost myself in my imagination and words. It's the only time I have ever felt passion like that... and now it's gone. Or it's hiding. I want to call out and find it again. I miss it. I want it. But I can't. Or maybe it's because I'm telling myself I can't... 

When does it all get better? When does the pain and humiliation go away??? I try so hard to forget about it and be OK - I smile at everyone I see and I laugh, a laugh that isn't exactly false... but it could be better. It could be better if I had my writing back. That's why I am writing this... because maybe if I just write something, even just mindless rambles of someone who lost her fiance and had her life ripped away from her right before her eyes.. someone who has run away from her closet at home that holds her wedding dress she'll never wear.. someone whose given up on ever finding someone who will truly love her... because she hasn't heard the word 'love' for the longest time unless you factor in her mother.. but a mothers love is by default.. so maybe if i just write, even if it's shit, even if it's THIS... maybe somehow, digging through all these words is like draining the water from spaghetti. I'm draining out what I don't need, so that I can get to the good stuff. 

Someone told me today that I remind them of the female version of David Duchovny who plays Hank Moody in Californication... and although I like to think that I am unique, I do see things in his character that are so like me. I went onto google and asked it to describe Hank's personality to me to see what exactly it is that we have in common. First and foremost, he's a writer. So we have that. But besides his ridiculously cool profession which I wish I could have too (God, imagine just taking a year off to write a book..... that would be my dream. If I had the money, I would)... Hank (and I) are complex individuals.  We are enigma's. We create a facade so that no one can get to know the real us. 

It's safer that way. We are family orientated even though our families are as broken as you can get. We don't let people in. We have a hard exterior but those close to us are as loved as you could possibly ever be. Reckless (I'm trying so hard not to be the reckless me I have always been lately. I have overcome so many hurdles from my past with the wrong crowds and bad decisions...), impulsive and passionate. We are kids that refuse to grow up. We believe in creative freedom (I'm just not practicing mine right now...). Futhermore, we are eccentric. We are free. No one can tame us. He is just like me in so many ways.

There's another character from a different show that I also find myself relating to in more ways than one. Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill. Fucking hell she's been through a lot. She and I are Creative, music-lovers, different and quirky... people always fuck us over so it's just easier to push everyone away... we know we push everyone away but we can't help it... we get scared. Because if we get to that stage of trusting, of putting our faith into you completely, we know it is bound to come to an end anyway. Nothing lasts forever. Everything is temporary. It's important to know that in life. 

God, I don't even know why I wrote all of that. I just had to get it out. 

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