Tag Archives: creativity

Poetry or Art or a Bit of Both……


What goes around comes around…… a proverb that you are more than likely familiar with.

Sometimes poetry also goes around. I’ve experimented with “mandala” poems on and off for a number of years.

“Mandala” is the Sanskrit word for circle. It can be defined in two ways:

Externally, it can be a visual representation of the world or universe.

Internally, it can act as a meditation guide.

Mandalas, often extremely ornate mandalas, are objects of devotion in Tantric Hindu and in Tantric Buddhism. They remain popular in countries like Nepal and Tibet.


(ignore the ghostly hand in the photo- that mandala may be beautiful but it is  a nightmare to try to photograph!)

Carl Jung, the renowned Swiss analytical psychologist re-introduced mandalas to the West from a different perspective:

“I sketched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing…which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time…only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is….. the Self, the wholeness of personality which if all goes well is harmonious.”                                Carl Jung, Memories Dreams Reflections

Jung recognised that the desire to create mandalas  occurs during moments of personal growth or reflection.

Creating mandalas is also a fun,  highly visual way to introduce poetry to both younger and older children.

Sometimes, even as an adult, you need to channel that inner poetic child.




motivation collage

January – the first month of the year when you are supposed to feel motivated and energised to take on the challenges of the year to come.  Eh……maybe not!

January – cold dark month lasting at least 96 soul draining days…… I jest (slightly)

Did I feel motivated and ready to take on 2018 31 days ago? I thought so…..

In the spirit of honesty, I’ll confess to having struggled with my own  creative motivation   this month. The stresses and strains of every day life may have been a contributory factor or I may just be making excuses…who knows! We are now at the end of January and I’ve not met the goals I had in my head at the turn of the year and I’m mad at myself.

As part of the “day job” in the “salt mine” I’ve been delivering coaching sessions to my team to encourage them to think about what motivates them in a work sense and to think about what areas they wish to develop themselves in. I’ve now delivered the same session, tweaked to the individual, fourteen times.  It struck me earlier that I needed to deliver it one more time. I needed to deliver it to myself!

I’ll not bore you with the ins and outs of it all but the focus of the coaching was a motivational triangle. The three sides represent Clear, Capable and Motivated. Is it Clear what’s expected of you? Are you Capable of meeting these expectations/goals? Are you Motivated to succeed?

I paused for some self-reflection as I went for my lunchtime meander in the cold. A bit of soul-searching.

And the result……

Clear – YES I am clear of the expectation /goal I have set myself. I need to finish the first draft of book baby 4.

Capable – YES I am capable of achieving this. I need to remain focussed and not “waste” the time deviating off at a tangent and writing other pieces.

Motivated – YES I will finish this! I have invested too much time in the project to abandon it at the last gasp. It is so close to being finished in reality.

So, without further ado…. I have a book to finish! ….. Goodbye January. Hello February!

New Year, New Ideas, New Beginnings

new begnings collage


New Year. New beginnings. New ideas. Yes, yes and yes!

Resolutions? No chance! Never been big on making resolutions.                                                 

Sitting here during my lunch break in the salt mine, I’m looking out at a very grey, damp, cold, bleak January day. It’s slate grey out there today.  

However, it’s a new year and, creatively, it’s a blank slate.  

So, while my heart is already longing for some sun and long, warm light summer evenings, my mind is off on its own adventure.

 Book Baby 2 has been monopolising most of my creative time for the last few months as I mould it and edit it, with the invaluable support of my “infamous five”.  (Seriously, I couldn’t do it without you guys) It’s almost but not quite there… and it’s still naked as I wrestle with various ideas for its cover. I know, I’ve mentioned it before, but, as I move into the final preparation stage, the last weeks before delivery, it’s omnipresent in my mind! 

Who’d have thought even this time last year that I’d be Book Baby Mummy to one never mind two Book Babies? Eek!          

The characters for Book Baby 3 – yes, it is already a work in progress although at the VERY early stages – have been emerging in my mind. Some of them I’m having to tease into life. Others are leaping up and down, pleading to tell their story. One small group are pleading to be allowed their own tale. Maybe-if they behave! 

It’s all new and exciting…well it’s exciting to me… but they’ll all have to wait their turn! 

I did start to write a small snatch of flash fiction to accompany this post thereby allowing one of the newcomers to leap off the page but I halted it without an ending. Taylor (or Tailz as he prefers) will have to bide his time for now. He does put in a brief appearance in Book Baby 2.He’ll have to be content with that for now 😉 

Finding names for these new “people” is always a challenge. As I mould their personality in my head (usually in the wee small hours when I should be sleeping) I try to select a name that matches their character traits. Occasionally a name comes along and you just know that you have to find somewhere to use it! One such name emerged as I began the initial draft of Book Baby 3. I’ll keep the name under wraps for now as the story isn’t complete and I don’t want to jinx it. (Yes, I’m a bit superstitious that way) but he’s screaming to be let out onto the pages. He’s turning into quite a demanding creature!

 So instead of being blank, my 2016 “slate” is gradually filling up with scribbles, metaphorically speaking. In truth, it’s a growing pile of Post Its and scribbled notes stuffed into my current notebook! (I’d be lost without Post Its!)

 One of my Christmas gifts was a pair of earrings. They are an un-matching pair. One says “Live the life you love” and the other says “Love the life you live.” 

For now, I’m trying to achieve the best in both worlds – my real world and my creative world!  

And do you know something, I’m looking forward to 2016!  

Happy New Year! May this be the year all your hopes and dreams come true and may we all Live The Live You Love and Love The Life You Live!