Writing

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I wrote a lot about death last year, in my private notes outside of this space. My grandfather died in May 2016 and since then my personal scribbles are full of thoughts about life and its inevitable end: the melodramatic whining of a 30-something hesitantly peering out from the edges of motherhood wondering who she is and what she is doing here. I wrote a short story called “Killing the Mouse” which, in a nutshell, is about my feelings of grief and loss after killing a mouse that lived in my kitchen, the spotlight shining in the wrong spot and all that. Hmm, deep. There were also some notes about a dog named Scruffy. I deleted that file.

This is all fresh in my mind because instead of writing last night (like I promised myself I would) I went through all my writing files and folders on my computer and organised them neatly and dragged and dropped notes and files from here to there and back again. Then I spent a considerable amount of time choosing a picture for my desktop (Leaves: too close up, feelings of claustrophobia. Ocean: thoughts of drowning. Lakes and shadows of mountains in lakes: makes me think I’ll suddenly see the face of a dead body under the surface of the water like in LOTR. Space and planets: Does anything matter? Who am I in all this? Mountains: isolation. Tree trunks: lost in forest with no food or water.) I settled for an abstract pattern and got back to shuffling documents around from here to there and back again. Drag. Drop. Drag. Drop. Then I watched YouTube for a while and decided it was high time for bed and sadly, darling, nothing would get written because I was simply far too busy.

It’s nearing the end of January and I haven’t written anything at all this year except the previous blog post and a few things on the back of old envelopes. Nevertheless, I’m not going to get all sooky about it. We have been out in the garden soaking up the summer sun, we’ve been at the beach, we’ve been walking, we’ve been together. And now that the holidays are coming to a close and my folders are organised and my desktop is in order, I really have nothing else to do but knuckle down and write and inevitably – naturally – something will eventually come, the sentence will appear (the one from which all others will follow), the page will be filled, and so on.

I will write this year, not because I think I should, but because I have to, it is ingrained in me and there is no other way. It may not be perfectly planned or executed, it may not be when or how I imagine it might or should or could be, but it will be. Creativity is like that.

What are you working on this year?

Lost My Name: A Book Review (+ Giveaway)

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When a package containing three books for my daughters arrived in the post a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The lovely people at lostmy.name had contacted me to tell me about their books and offered to send me one for each of my girlies, in return for this book review*. I receive many emails of this nature, and say no to most of them. But I had a look at the website and after a few emails backwards and forwards, I agreed. And when the books arrived I was ever so glad I had!

The personalised soft cover books are printed on lovely thick matte paper, and contain wild stories about little girls (or boys) who have lost their name. Each book is unique: when you order you type in your child’s name, sex and you can then choose a character to be pictured throughout. Lucky for me, there were three girls to choose from, so each of my three books has a different character to represent each kid. The stories are written in poem form and once I got the flow I found them entertaining to read.

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The character wakes up one morning only to realise she has lost her name, and goes on a wonderful adventure to try to find herself. Along the way she meets a collection of animals and creatures who offer a letter to help her. By the end of the book your little character has received each letter of their name, which was a wonderful surprise for both Bird (aged six) and Pixie (aged three and a half). (I’ve saved the third book to give little Peach for her first birthday in a couple of weeks! And those of you who are long time readers will know I don’t just throw any old thing into the present pile for the girls’ birthdays.)

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As I needed three books, during the ordering process I was asked if I would like to exchange some of the creatures to avoid repetition in the books, which I thought was a great touch. As we have multiple Ls and Es and As throughout the girls’ names, I think there ended up being one repeated creature in two of the books, but aside from that they were all fresh and individual. The children didn’t seem to notice the repetition as I was reading, and upon finishing begged me to read them again immediately. When ordering you can also preview your book before purchasing.

While the books are quite lengthy (and would be more so if your child had a very long name), the illustrations are engaging and the poem format easy to read.

Now the good news is that the folk at lostmy.name are offering one motherwho reader a free book!

You can enter the giveaway a maximum of three times by:

1/ subscribing to motherwho via email (over on the side bar)

2/ liking motherwho on facebook

3/ sharing this giveaway on Facebook or instagram

Leave a comment here with your email address for each entry so that I can contact you if you are the winner. The competition will be closed on Sunday 5th June at midnight and the winner will be announced on Monday 6th. Good luck!

++ COMMENTS CLOSED, CONGRATULATIONS AMBERB! ++

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While I did agree to write this review in exchange for three books, I have written an honest post with my true opinion of these books.

books and a bandwagon

I have officially jumped on the Leonie Dawson bandwagon and a couple of weeks ago bought her 2014 workbook. It has been a bit of fun so far, and as such last night I finished a list of 100 things I want to do this year. I actually found this an incredibly hard list to write! It contains a lot of things including activities related to personal, spiritual, family, financial and relationship goals.

One of my 100 things is to read at least 20 books in 2014. We are a household of book lovers and love nothing more than cosying up together to read. I’m already a bit behind my target having only read one book over summer, but I’ve almost finished number two. Perhaps if I stopped writing lists and read books instead I might work my way through a little faster…

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Earlier in January I read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I loved this book. It was beautifully written and Hannah Kent has a wonderful way of portraying the varying positions of each of the characters.

I’m currently reading The Trees by Conrad Richter. I’ve almost finished this one and have also loved reading it. Conrad Richter did a lot of research into the era in which the book is set, and the language is beautifully poetic and true to the nature of the time. I think this is the first of a trilogy, I’m not sure I would continue on with it though.

Next on the to read list are:

/The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

/Life of Pi by Yann Martel

/Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

/We Are Water by Wally Lamb

To name just a few from a long list!

(I have also just bought Birdie Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing for her fourth birthday in April… I’m totally organised!)

Do you like books? What is your favourite?

Does anyone have any other suggestions for wonderful brilliant amazing books that I absolutely must must must read?