Tag Archives: #reflections

Broken Crayons…

It’s funny the things you remember from your childhood. Memories of this box of crayons popped back into my head yesterday when I was in Paperchase deliberating over which journals and pens to treat myself to. I love fancy pens and notebooks!

I remember saving up to buy this box of crayons when I was about 10 years old. I eventually bought my box, complete with sharpener, at the ACME on holiday in America in 1980. No idea what I paid for it but $5 rings a vague bell (it was a long time ago even for my crazy memory).

Even back then I loved colourful pens and pencils and crayons. That box of crayons was my treasured possession at the time. I took great care not to overuse any of the colours in case I had to tear the paper down. (Anyone else remember doing that or is it just me?) The built-in sharpener was used sparingly but I loved the wee colourful curls it spat out. Sad but true! LOL

Oh, happy days….

Now life’s busy. Life’s stressful. Those innocent childhood days when the biggest decision was whether to use Indigo or Violet or Purple are long gone but   one of my favourite sayings still harks back to those days.

We’re all a little broken but last time I checked broken crayons still colour.

(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

Dear Diary……

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Do you keep a diary? Do you journal? Is there a difference?

Yes. Yes. And yes.

 

Let’s wind the clock back…back to Christmas Day 1981. Amongst many other gifts (none of which I can remember now) I was given a 5-year diary. It was white with a picture of a Holly Hobbie style doll on front and had a gold lock. I said that I was going to start keeping a daily diary and immediately got one of those looks from my mother. One of those looks that said, “Here she goes again. She won’t last until the end of the first week in January.”

WRONG!

Several…ok many…5-year diaries later I still keep a daily diary in a 5-year diary. I also still have them all including that first wee white one that I began when I was 11 years old.

And like Oscar Wilde, I never travel without out it.

(Another tradition that started on Boxing Day 1981 is that I write out all the dates/days for the coming year on Boxing Day)

 

I also journal and, in my mind, apart from physically being to separate things, they serve two separate purposes.

My diary is a short summary of my day. No, I’m not sharing any live examples here.

My journal is an ad hoc rambling outpouring of thoughts and feelings and I’m certainly not sharing those here!

Both are things that I keep intensely private and always have done.

 

There are pros and cons to keeping both.

 

Year one in a 5-year diary is easy. You have a blank canvas in front of you. Subsequent years can get more difficult as you naturally re-read the entries above each day from previous years If it’s been a  tough time then that can stir up some dust bunnies of emotion; if it’s been a memorable day for all the right reason then it can stir up the fire flies of bright happy moments.

 

Journaling is a bit the same for me.

 

There are no hard and fast rules for doing either. After all, these are your personal thoughts and feelings.

Journaling in my case is more of an exercise in emotional release. I can write out all the things I feel I can’t or won’t say out load. I can vent about my frustrations with life without offending anyone. I can confide my innermost feelings without being judged or patronised.

I’ve filled journals where I’ve used the pages in a random order; I’ve had journals where I’ve started at the front and filled page after page until the notebook is full.

Unlike my diary, I seldom re-read them. I journal to get things out of my system.

Journaling can be an extremely emotional journey. It can be hard if you are admitting to a fear to see it written in black and white on the page in front of you. The very words, previously unspoken, suddenly become very real and are harder to ignore. However, journaling can be a powerful tool to help you process thoughts and to help you to deal with the some of the difficult emotions and situations we experience as humans.

A journal doesn’t criticise so in that aspect alone it can make an ideal confidante.

Bottling feelings up isn’t good for any of us so a diary or a journal can be the perfect conduit to releasing and processing those pent-up feelings. Journaling can be good for us both physically and mentally.

 

Before starting to write this blog post, I did some research into journaling, looking at the meanings, the benefits, the varying techniques you can use but I quickly abandoned that train of thought. I’m not for a second saying that there isn’t valid information out there to support journaling beginners. I’m just personally not in favour of such a structured approach e.g. bullet journaling. As I do with my creative writing, I prefer to go with the flow.

So, if like many of us, you’re maybe needing to approach life in 2020 a little differently, try journaling. You might surprise yourself.

5 year diary

Fleeting Rainbows

 

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Reflections of the past
Aspirations for the future
Inspiration for the present
Nurture for the soul
Beauty to the eye
Observations in a turbulent world
Wishes silently made.

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2019 the end is in sight…..

2020 looking forward

As the end of the year approaches, there are two choices- look back and reflect on the year that’s coming to a close or look forward to the year that is about to dawn.

Personally, I’ll look forward if that’s ok with you.

I’m looking forward to sunrises, sunsets, beach walks and new paths to travel.

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Oh… and the goal for 2020?

It’s a simple one….to write the last part of the Silver Lake series.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you. Thanks for the love and support and I look forward to sharing the journey through 2020 with you.

love n hugs

Coral xx

 

 

It’s all about perspective

OCT 8

As a creature of habit, I take the same route when I go for a walk along the shore at Lunderston Bay, a beauty spot near where I live. It’s very easy to allow routine to kick in and to not look around you.

More recently I’ve been using these walks almost as mindfulness sessions, taking the time to myself to clear my mind. I’ve left my iPod at home and focussed on the sounds of the world around me- the seabirds, the waves, the kids laughter as they play on the beach or in the playpark, dogs barking as they too play on the beach or in the water, the sheep in the fields, the wind around me. I’ve paid attention to the ground beneath my feet- the soft sand, the damp hardpacked sand along the water’s edge, the squishy feeling of the seaweed, the gravel of the path. I’ve paid attention to the sights – the small shells and bright white pebbles in the sand, the sun glinting off the water, the wildflowers that grow along the paths.

I wonder how many people visit this spot and see and hear and feel nothing, seeing it purely as place to let the kids or the dog run free?

OCT 7

Sometimes though you need to look at even the most beautiful places from a different perspective….and you can have a little fun whilst doing it.

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quotes sourced via Google- credits to the owners

Summer is holding onto her colours as Autumn encroaches….

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There’s no denying it….Summer has slipped by all too fast.

The mornings are darker, the evenings are darker, the sun isn’t quite as hot as it was a couple of weeks ago…there’s an Autumnal feel to the world.

However, my patio garden isn’t letting go of Summer without a fight- a colour fight!

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Even, Sioux,  is still holding onto his Summer “brown rather than black” look.

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Till next year, Lady Summer.

Salt And Sand In Her Heart (a short story)

 

 

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Closing her eyes, she stood gazing out over the waves, breathing in the tangy salty air.
Standing at the top of the sandy path, she could see a shimmer of heat rippling over the sand and knew that the walk down to the water’s edge was going to burn her soft bare feet. A flash of colour to her left caught her eye. It was a dragonfly, a sparkling teal green dragonfly. Smiling, she watched as it rested on one of the fence posts momentarily before darting off on its travels.
As quickly as she could, she crossed the soft Sahara hot sand, breathing a sigh of relief when her toes touched the harder packed damp sand closer to the water’s edge. Pausing for a moment, she recalled her first visit to Rehoboth Beach and smiled.
It had been the blistering hot summer of 1980 amid an at the time record breaking heatwave. A clear memory of arriving at their rental house for the week was of a nearby sign declaring that it was 98F and six thirty at night. Hot……damn hot. When her uncle had opened the side door of his VW bus, the heat had hit them all like a blast from an oven.
Their rental had been a stunning wooden house on the outskirts of town somewhere between Rehoboth and Dewey Beach. Its exact location long since lost to the memories of days gone by. Nights in that house had been hot as hell – no AC and beds as hard as boards. There hadn’t been much sleep on that trip for anyone.
Days, however, had been idyllic and were the days that had started her life long love affair with Rehoboth Beach. At only ten years old, she had loved the freedom of the beach and the ocean. Hours and days passed by building sandcastles, digging holes in the sand, gathering seashells and playing in the waves. Her pale white Scottish skin had swiftly taken on a healthy golden glow. The family’s picnic lunches had been supplemented by Thrasher’s French fries, carried so carefully back from the boardwalk.
Afternoons slipped by as she explored the beach, taking care not to stray too far from the family’s beach towel and umbrella oasis. Even back then she had enjoyed people watching as she wove her way between the other families, noting the different scents of their sun tan lotion and the different sand toys their kids played with. She had looked on enviously at the older kids playing in the waves on their boogie boards. Inwardly, she was desperate to join them but she couldn’t swim. Instead she had to settle for an ice cream from Kohr’s before they headed home for dinner and a much-needed shower.
Evenings meant a return trip into town to stroll along the boardwalk. After the daily scramble among them to round up enough quarters to feed the parking meter, she would finally be allowed to explore the shops on Rehoboth Avenue and along the boardwalk. Her favourites had always been the T-shirt stores where they printed whatever you wanted onto a shirt. They were shops that were a magical Aladdin’s cave to her ten-year-old self. The coloured hermit crabs in cages had fascinated her. Her meagre allowance was spent on pens and a snow globe with a dolphin inside.
One store, a shop on Rehoboth Avenue, caught her eye every night. It was a small jewellery store. Her attention had been captured by a tray of silver rings. There was one in particular that she had her eye on. It was smaller than the rest and was a delicate heart shape- half onyx; half mother-of-pearl. Nightly, she had begged her mother to buy the ring, pleading and promising that if she could borrow the money to pay for it, she would pay every cent back when they got home. On their final night in town, after a farewell pizza dinner at Grotto’s, her mother caved in and took her back to the jewellery store. The window had been rearranged and she recalled panicking when she couldn’t initially spot the ring. However, her mother spied it on display on the opposite side of the window before suggesting they enter the shop to try it on. The ring was a perfect fit for her middle finger. The perfect memento of the town that had captured her child’s heart.
Time and circumstance meant that thirty-four years passed before she was able to return to Rehoboth Beach. Over the years she had written essay after essay in school based of a now seemingly mythical beach. She’d drawn numerous pictures of beaches with dolphins playing in the waves. She’d almost driven her mother insane asking when they would go back to America. As she’d grown from child to teenager to woman to a wife and mother, she’d still dreamed of returning to the beach someday.
When that day finally came in 2004, the weather was a far cry from the blistering heatwave she remembered. A thunderstorm had blown in and the rain was lashing down as they’d run from her cousin’s beat up truck into Hooters for lunch. He had declared it was most definitely not a day for the beach! Not one to be thwarted, she’d stated plainly that she’d waited twenty-four years to walk on that sandy beach and a little rain wasn’t going to stop her. She’d also reminded him of the Scottish blood that flowed in her veins and of the fact that a little rain never deterred a Scot. He’d surrendered, knowing it was pointless to argue with her.
In the end, accompanied by her own two small children, she hadn’t stayed long on the beach – just long enough to run on the sand and paddle in the ocean. As the storm closed in again, she’d been granted a few brief moments to walk the boardwalk and relive her treasured childhood memories. To escape the mid-afternoon deluge, they’d sought sanctuary in Funland and whiled away the storm watching her young son and daughter play. As ever though, the quarters ran out and the meter ticked down until her precious “Rehoboth” time ran out.
Over the next few years, she’d returned annually with her children, savouring the moments on the sand and in the ocean. Making memories with her children was beyond precious. Every memory was filed away, stored carefully in her “memory bank” to be drawn out on cold miserable Scottish winter’s days. Her heart had swelled as her own children developed the same bonds that she felt with this tiny town some three thousand miles from home.
Now though, as she stood on the cool wet sand watching the waves, things were different. Her children were grown up and living their own lives. She’d finally seen her own literary dreams come true. Writing all those stories of the beach had finally paid off. Reaching into her pocket, she wrapped her fingers round the bunch of keys that she’d just collected from the realtor and smiled. She brought them out and stood looking at them lying in the palm of her hand. The keys to her new beach front apartment; the keys to her new dream home.
With a smile, she gazed at the ring on her pinkie, its band worn thin with time. She still wore the small onyx and mother-of-pearl heart shaped ring from all those years before.
Finally, in her heart, she knew she was home.

Reflecting…

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Sometimes you just need to pause, breathe and look at the world around you from a different perspective.

 

 

copyright of photos belongs to Coral McCallum

please do not reproduce without permission. thanks.

Reflections On A Creative Journey…

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I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on my “creative journey” among other things. This reflection was triggered by a question during a brief interview with a journalist from the local paper. (My first ever face to face interview and I don’t mind admitting I was a nervous wreck). The journalist asked me how long I’d been writing for.

Now, that should have been an easy question to answer but the genuine answer is that I don’t know. I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember. As soon as I could string a sentence together, I wanted to write stories. Fact.

This got me thinking (oh, no…. here she goes again….) It got me thinking about the various pieces I’ve shared on here over the past four and a half years.

Something I rarely do is re-blog past articles. The initial challenge I set myself at the end of 2013 was to write at least one blog post per week to get over my fear of letting people read what I write. I’ve risen to that challenge every week since so I think this week I will allow myself a moment of reflection on past blogs. Who knows some of these you may have missed along the way…

 

I might as well start at the beginning.

 I remember being terrified posting this

 https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/deep-breaths-and-begin/

All the fears- could I do this? Would folk laugh at what I wrote? Would anyone read what I wrote? Would I be able to write something new every week?

 

I’ve played games with my blog – the Glad Game-

 https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/what-makes-you-smile/

 

I’ve picked favourites-

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2014/08/

 

I’ve seen some RnR dreams come true…several…but this was the first

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/a-green-triangle-to-paradise-city-dreams-do-come-true/

 

I’ve introduced characters from my book babies. Remember the first time I introduced Jake Power? No? well, it was here.

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/fiction-short-stuff/him/

 

I’ve shared poems

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/poems/private-bubble/

 

I’ve shared confessions

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/cluttered-confessions/

 

I’ve shared beach analogies …. have I mentioned that I love the beach?

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2017/08/28/an-hour-at-the-beach-a-day-keeps-the-blues-away/

 

I’ve written some flash fiction

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/in-the-heart-of-the-book-1000-word-flash-fiction/

 

I’ve written some erotic fiction

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/twisted-silk-a-dark-tale-adult-content/

 

And I’ve shared some serialised short fiction. For some reason, this dark angel had proved to be a popular lady. I first introduced her here:

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/silently-watching-a-short-story/

 

It’s been a creative journey of experimentation and self- discovery. Along the way, I’ve self-published the first three books in the Silver Lake series and am on the brink of releasing my fourth book baby aka Ellen in a few days.

Have I overcome the fear of letting people read what I write? Not entirely. Some blogs are easier to share than others. Nerves set in big style when the release date of a book baby looms on the horizon. My stomach flutters and somersaults every time I press “publish” on here.

Have I enjoyed the journey so far? YES! Every word of it.

I hope you have too. Thanks for sharing this long and winding journey with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017…. a time to reflect

Well, it’s reaching that time of year when everyone seems to be taking stock and reflecting back on the year.

Guess I better join in….

Here’s my year in photos

2017 part 12017 part 22017 part 3

And in musical terms…. here’s my take on 2017

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Picking just 24 photos out of the hundreds…. ok thousands.. I’ve shot this year was nigh on impossible LOL.

These really are just a flavour of the year gone by.

And not to forget my biggest achievement of 2017 …. book baby 3 🙂

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Huge thanks for all your love and support and encouragement this year.

I wish each and every one of you all the very best for 2018.