Posts by inkspeare

In Between the Lines – Betrayal

Betrayal – I don’t like to hear or even say the word. It is sour, pungent, and yes, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and soul. If you have ever been betrayed and never saw it coming, then you know what I mean. Unsuspected betrayal is one of the hardest things to forget and forgive.

Betrayal is present as a secondary theme in one of my novels – Ramblings of the Spirit (The Dinorah Chronicles). What intrigues me about betrayal is that it comes in many degrees, however, leaving the same feeling, and contributing to an array of other feelings/emotions that attach to it – distrust, anger, pain, desire for revenge, disappointment … all far away from our true nature of loving beings. What makes us depart from that nature? Different paths for different people on different journeys crossing paths in one big journey.

Betrayal is defined mainly as treason, as committing an act against … . In movies, and stories of all kind, the heroes are the good guys/girls, but most times they are betrayed. Yes, “good guys/girls” sometimes finish last (a temporary illusion). It is not the goodness in the hero that makes him/her so, but the way he/she bounces back and deals with the emotions/feelings that are packaged in with the betrayal. How we react after we open the package makes all the difference. Do we let it make us less than heroes or do we go through mourning of the self in an array of emotions (because we are human and not super-human) and decide who we want to be? Do we want to honor our loving essence or ignore it? It is a process, not an easy one, but eventually, the hero will rise, that is, if you let it.

Life Mapping

If you are a goal-setter you might like the idea of life-mapping. Life-mapping can be done in many ways. It represents the big picture of your many goals and dreams and what you would like to carry out in the long run. It is a healthy exercise as long as you use it as an inspiration to enrich your life, and it does not become an obsession, meaning that one might focus on it solely and not live fully because things are not happening the way one intended them to happen. Many times, especially if you believe in Divine intervention, things might not work out the way we want or plan, but in the end, it was all for a greater good – a better ending.

I have practiced life-mapping for some time. I have used time lines, picture boards, and even a treasure map style to highlight long-term dreams and goals. One thing I can say is that a lot works out as planned, but many other things do not, despite putting the work and walking the path. However, I still like the idea of life-mapping and practice it to keep me inspired and on track. Right now, I am using a different style that I thought about, and is easy to post anywhere and is more portable than a picture board. You can carry it on your planner, and it gives you an overall glance of your dreams and goals. I believe that you are never too old to do life-mapping. It is never too late to enrich your life and enjoy it more, so in my eyes, this practice stops at your death-bed.

The idea was inspired by my icon to-do-list. It is life-mapping by using icons that represent what you want, and you can do this as a time-line or as a step by step map to guide you. Here is the life-map I came up with, and I can share it here because the icons mean something to me, and not necessarily mean anything to anyone else, so in a way it is still somewhat private. A picture or an icon can have as many meanings as you give it. The meaning is up to you. This life-map was done using Microsoft Publisher. I started using footprints and changed to cat prints because after all, our family includes 6 cats, so they are in the journey as well. In addition, I left empty fields at the end to fill as needed, and these are represented by a potted plant with an interrogation sign. I used two pages for mine, but you can make your icons smaller and fit them on one page, or use as many pages as you would like. You can also use only a few icons to represent the important points only, and not necessarily every detail. It is a good idea for visual people. You may also do it in 3-5-10 … year increments or overall. Other ideas include drawing your icons if you are artistic, or painting them. In addition, if you want to make it more detailed you can dedicate a journal or planner just for life-mapping. Mine is just a more general approach. Life-mapping is ever changing, but it serves as visual inspiration, and it can be adjusted as necessary.

Life-Mapping

Life-Mapping

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I hope you enjoy this idea.

 

 

 

DIY – Art Journal

It has been a while since I shared a DIY post, and I was making something for my sister, so I decided to include it as my Do It Yourself project. It is a fun Art Journal or Whatever Journal really. The materials used are recycled materials. This type of journal is supposed to be fun and carefree – you are supposed to have fun while creating it. Anything goes, you are to let your imagination soar free. This is also a great exercise to let yourself go if you need a break from your routine or are feeling uninspired. I have admired many of these, and of course, had to try making one.

The materials I used – recycled paper, ink, old book cover, construction paper, beads, cord …, and basically anything that I could incorporate while making it. The first thing I did was to find an old book cover and transform it with paper and a coat of Mod Podge. Then I selected what to use for pages and attached them to the cover. After that, it was a matter of creating anything I wanted on these pages. Last, I decorated the front of the cover, as well as the interior. This art journal has space to write, lots of pockets to have fun with, and envelopes with stickers and pieces of paper to write your thoughts. The good thing about it is that my sister will be able to add to it – in short, play with it, adding while discovering all the little nooks in it. It is a green journal and it gives these materials new life. Here are a few pictures of some of the pages, just to give you an idea, and maybe inspire you to create one. You can use and transform any material while making one of these journals. My cat could not help but to assist me; that is the part of its head on the first picture, left.

 

Recycled Materials Art Journal

Recycled Materials Art Journal

 

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I hope you enjoyed this post.

 

 

 

Divine Organization – Prayer and Theology Journal

On a earlier post I talked about getting back on the saddle and renewing my work/life vows. Another step that I am taking is starting a prayer/theology journal to organize my thoughts and study different sacred works, starting with the Bible and following with other sacred texts and authors . Of course this will become a lifetime activity, as I have felt the need to learn more about different faiths on this planet. I am not pursuing a degree in theology but instead want to learn as much on my own. After all, our time on this planet is so short, I think not enough to learn and enjoy everything that we want to experience.

This journal is divided into three sections – Journal – Theology/study – Prayers. Of course being creative, it cannot just be a regular journal, so I took my time to find the perfect one for me and did some decoration to its pages as well. This particular one I found at Staples, the same day I went looking for the huge binder for my Home/work/life Management System (see earlier post). The cover art couldn’t have been more fitting for this type of journal. I find that taking a bit of time in the morning to meditate and learn helps me become more productive during the day, as well as setting the mood.

Here is what it looks like.

Prayer/Theology Journal

Prayer/Theology Journal

Decorated pages

Decorated pages

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Of course, as I continue this part of the journey, I will end up needing more journals, but I am happy to combine my regular journal-writing practice with the study of the sacred texts, and into a devotional time. It works for me. In searching for a better way to do the study part, I will keep some points in mind.

  • Start the study with my faith (Christianity/Bible) before moving on to other faiths
  • Pay attention to the title, time, and writer or writers, as well as language (original) and how translations have affected the book. In addition, how different groups have adopted variations on interpretation (for example – Christians and Jews interpret the book of Jeremiah differently).
  • Note any main topics/ideas of a particular book, chapter, or passage and cross-reference.
  • Note my interpretation and application to my life

One thing that I am not doing is following a particular study program/system because I don’t want to rely on a sole interpretation, but will use any material that will enrich my understanding or offer cross-reference points and enhance the learning experience.

 

 

Home – Work – Life Management System

One thing that I needed to do was to consolidate my home, work, and personal logs into one mega system that would make tracking things in the future easier. I’ve tried the electronic method (s) and it doesn’t fill all my needs, so I thought about it and came up with a solution.

This idea came to me after trying various ways of organizing myself throughout the day and beyond and using various tools, which led to scattered efforts and duplicates faltering my purposes and hindering progress. Because I work mostly from home, it works for me, but it wouldn’t work if I had to carry it around. In that case, a small agenda will do. It can always be transferred to the main log. What I had to eliminate is mostly duplicate calendars that made things confusing at times.

Now, I keep everything in one big binder under different tabs. I bought the biggest binder I could find at Staples. I separated it into three main areas – home, work, personal, and kept the months from January through December as a separate section. Later on, I added a miscellaneous section, and one for notes. The way I organized these sections works better for me, and my working style.

In the Home section I track everything related to home keeping, including projects, to do’s, chores … I added two subcategories – budget and expenses. The work category is divided into four sections – writing, book marketing, future projects, and The Owl, Book & Candle. The personal section has to do with personal goals, health, dreams … . The calendar section is where everything is scheduled monthly, weekly, and daily. In addition, each month has a to do list, as well as a monthly goal section, and project section. Each month has a pocket sleeve for important information, or things that will come up that month. The other sections have a pocket as well. I added a dashboard to the personal section, to highlight things that I want to prioritize and to include any uplifting thoughts or inspirational quotes at the time. The miscellaneous and notes section serve to keep anything going on that has not yet been scheduled or assigned a category, or may not fit yet into any section. Notes will track any new ideas that need follow-up in the future but do not fit in the calendar yet. In addition, there are certain things that I do daily and some things that are always done quarterly and yearly that required a check list, so I don’t have to write those over and over. I didn’t want to use a standard checklist, so I came up with a check list that uses icons that I can cross out, and visually tells me quickly what I did and what is left to do on that day. I added a small to do section to it as well. It all fits in one sheet of paper and it is divided by sections – work, Me (personal and chores), weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. These are things that have to be done always. I added a fun and other tab for things that may come up in planning that day. So far it is working great.

The result is a mega life management system that takes a lot of space, is very heavy, but most important, works for me.  I wanted to show you some pictures to give you an idea but for some reason the WordPress picture feature is not working today, even that I still have tons of space available. If I am able to figure out what is wrong with it I will post the pictures.

I hope this idea inspires you.

Home Management System

Home Management System

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Here’s the Icon sheet

 

 Note: I was unable to upload the pictures while in Explorer; however, by changing to Firefox, I was able to do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s New

To me, reviews are just opinions and the reason I never leave negative reviews. What I don’t like someone might enjoy. When I enjoy a book I leave a positive review, and if I think the book will be of great help to writers I will mention it here. I just finished reading Never Too Late – Your Roadmap to Reinvention by Claire Cook. I enjoyed this book. It is her first non-fiction and shares her experiences as a best-selling author and her views on reinvention. It is written in a conversational and warm tone, as she talks to the reader and shares her wisdom through many years of hard work and dedication to the craft. She shares many personal and significant experiences that many writers will appreciate. The book is great for aspiring writers who are looking for an honest and real view of what navigating these waters feels like. In addition, it will benefit people who are on a journey of reinvention and betterment of their lives. As most of you know, Claire Cook is the author of many novels and she has a unique style. One of her first novels was made into a movie – Must Love Dogs.

I added her book to my website under the recommended reads on writing. In addition, I added a FAQ on writing and indie publishing. I am planning on sharing a few posts on what I am doing to get back on the saddle and sort of renew my vows to myself and my work/life. I see it as a way of reinvention or starting a new page. There is no such thing as jumping out of your skin into another but you can certainly shed off what doesn’t serve you anymore. It is one journey with many roads, detours, and wherever you need to turn, backtrack or rest along the way, there is a place to reflect, breathe, and figure out your next step. After all, it is your journey and you make it whatever it may be.

Back on the Saddle and the Need for a Blank Slate

Sometimes, when you come to a halt, being that a physical, material, emotional, psychological, or spiritual pause, the need to start fresh arises. After change, a rock on your boat, or any kind of disturbance, there is that silent pause, a very personal and intimate moment that only I recognize, and the prelude to what comes next in action. It is not so much the defining moment but the silent moment that makes the next one possible – whatever I may or may not decide – choose – act. It may be a source for strength or not, because it depends on how I embrace change, view it, and the emotions/feelings that I associate or attach to it. From that silent moment on, I either get back on the saddle (even in the midst of change) or not.

It is at that moment of truth that the need for a blank slate presents itself, summoned by vision and attitude, faith and determination. Back on the saddle again, I resolve to start on a blank slate, or a new page. One thing I know for sure is to change the ink, to not write in old ink on the pages of the new journal of life. A blank slate is a wonderful start, even if it may not look it right away. Vision becomes clearer as the writing starts once more.

We are writers of our lives. Sometimes we write to slow, too fast, or scribble; other times, we run out of ink in the middle of a page – an important page many times – and we pause, refill, and continue writing the great novel of our lives, which is eternal.

 

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