Tag Archives: fears

What A Difference A Year Can Make

It’s December again – how did that happen? Wasn’t Christmas just the other week? Scary how fast this year has gone.

Despite the wave of panic that is rising at the thought of Christmas being just over three weeks away, I took a moment or two to reflect this week.

In 2012, I sat myself down, did a lot of soul searching and gave myself a stern talking to. It was time to find something to do just for me; something to restore my self-belief. (It had taken a bit of a pounding.) It was time to find a creative outlet. After a lot of thought, I chose to complete a photographic challenge. During 2013, I took one photo for every day of the year, trying to ensure that it reflected something pertinent about the day. The photos were posted in an album on my Facebook wall and I was blown away by the number of friends who commented on and liked the results. Completing it gave me a tremendous sense of achievement and went some ways to restoring my self-confidence.

For 2014’s challenge, I deliberated long and hard. In the back of my mind there was a longer term goal beginning to form. I decided to use 2014 to overcome a major hurdle that lay in the way of that goal.

I had to overcome the fear of letting people read what I write.

As an aspiring writer, it is a crippling fear to have.

Starting this blog, as a means to overcome my fears, seemed like the logical creative challenge for the year ahead. The exact challenge I set myself was to complete and publish one blog post per week. (This will be blog post number fifty nine so I’ve exceeded my target.)

Little did I know how things would turn out.

During January and into February, I felt physically sick with nerves every time I hit “publish” on the screen. Gradually, however, it got easier. I began to add some poems onto my blog page, some as part of that week’s post.

While sitting in the car, in the dark, outside the high school, waiting for Boy Child to finish band practice, I wrote a short story called “The Imp” and posted it to my blog. Originally it was meant to be one short story but the interest it sparked among friends amazed me and The Imp’s tale was spun out to nine parts (and isn’t finished yet – I promise he will be back next year.)

In April, I answered a friend’s plea for assistance and wrote my first music review. I’ve just counted and, to date, I’ve written thirty one reviews for http://www.phoenixmusiconline.org  including reviews of five live shows, with more in the pipeline.

Music has played an enormous part in my life this year –much to the despair of The Big Green Gummi Bear, who doesn’t share my musical tastes. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to several gigs, with another two still to go before Christmas, that have inspired blog posts and reviews. Through the music review bit, I’ve also been lucky enough to befriend two up-and-coming bands – one from the USA and one from Australia. I’m looking forward to following both bands’ careers as they continue towards mega-stardom and headline appearances and to reviewing their future releases and shows.

Mid-year, music, or my love of one particular artist, led to another opportunity to exercise my creative side when I was asked to help admin a Facebook fan page for a couple of weeks while the two regular admins took a holiday. For one reason or another, six months down the line, I’m still happily helping out and loving every minute of it. This has also led me to make several new “FB friends” from around the world, some of whom I hope to meet later this week.

So, here we are, almost at the end of 2014, and looking forward to 2015’s challenge.

I hinted earlier that there was a longer term goal in mind when I began this blog and 2015’s challenge will be to turn that dream into reality.

In May 2013, I began the first draft of what will become my first novel. (There, I’ve finally said it!) I’m a bit old-fashioned and prefer to write long-hand for my first drafts then type the piece up as a first re-draft. So, while I’ve been doing all the other things I’ve just told you about (plus the normal day-to-day things like going to work and running the household) I’ve typed up the first draft and am part way through the re-drafting and editing process, with the help of several wonderful, dedicated friends. Without these guys, I would’ve long since lost the will to live over the enormity of the whole project. (From the bottom of my heart, I thank each of you for all the support, encouragement and feedback you’ve given me so far.)

The challenge for 2015, with the help of these beautiful people, and a couple of others, who are still to be drafted in and don’t know it yet, is to get my book published.

I think, I might have finally conquered my fear of letting people read what I write so 2014’s challenge can be deemed a success on that score. The blog and reviews and all the other mischief, including the occasional photography foray, will keep going  into next year and beyond, I hope.

Now Christmas beckons…guess I’d better turn my attention to that for a short while. Time to write a list!

Tonsurephobia confessions

After a week of working away, the Big Green Gummi Bear came home late on Saturday afternoon and, after greeting me with a quick hug, practically his first words to me were “You’re going grey.”

Some of you may think he was dicing with death by risking such a bold comment. Those of you who know me won’t be surprised to learn that my response was “And you think I’m bothered about that?” or words to that effect.

I truly don’t care if my hair goes snow white. The colour of it has never mattered to me in the slightest….just don’t ask me to get it cut!

Yes, I am terrified of visiting the hairdressers. I suffer from tonsurephobia – a fear of getting your hair cut.

While other friends, both male and female, enjoy a trip to the hairdressers/barbers. The very thought of it brings me out in a cold sweat and fills me with fear. Without a word of a lie, it has in the past taken me six months to pluck up the courage to step over the threshold of a hairdressers.

And the reason for this fear?

Well, it’s rooted back in August 1978 when I was taken for the “back to school” haircut. At that point in time my hair sat neatly in a long pageboy cut that touched my shoulders. (Regulation 1970’s girl child haircut) Back in 1978 “The Avengers” was a popular tv show and the female star, Joanna Lumley, was sporting a shorter than usual style – The Purdy.

Yes, you’ve guessed it – that’s the style I emerged from the local hairdressers with.

I hated it! Coupled with the blue National health specs, I looked ridiculous!

I declared then that I was never having short hair ever again.

Thirty six years later and it is still waist length (it refuses to grow any longer despite a life-long desire to sit on it)

Over the years I have watched friends cut, colour and perm their hair and only once been tempted to try “highlighting” mine. Never again! Torturous experience a few months after the birth of Boy Child that was meant to perk me up. After more than two hours in the torture chamber – sorry a popular local hair salon of the day- I emerged traumatised but with a head of subtle golden blonde highlights. The first time I washed it, I emerged from the shower with a head of hair like a Brillo pad and tangled beyond belief. Cue floods of tears and more than two years of using toddler de-tangle spray daily before normality was restored. Never again!

Two years ago I realised that I had perhaps be a little more mature about things and deal with the straggly dead ends that had been made worse by the hot summer holiday sun. Taking a deep breath I ventured into the hairdressers and asked them to trim off about four inches- a major sacrifice in my book! The girl showed me the amount she proposed to trim off and, quivering inside, I agreed to the four inch loss. Over the next few minutes she cut off not four inches but eight! I was beyond heart broken. My hair hadn’t been that short since about 1981 and I sobbed all weekend, over dramatically mourning the loss of the length.

That was the last time I let anyone near it with a pair of scissors. When my fringe needs trimmed I do it myself; when the ends need trimmed, I do it myself. If it doesn’t sit quite straight – c’est la vie!

There is one mildly humorous hairdressing anecdote from my wedding day. Not surprisingly the trip to the hairdressers- a necessary evil on this occasion- was my biggest fear about the whole wedding day experience. This time the hairdresser was fully aware of my fears and was gentle with me as she washed, dried, curled and “fancied up” my hair. In the background the radio was playing hits from the 1970/80’s and, for only the second time ever, I heard the full length version of a lesser known Rod Stewart song . I started to giggle at the irony of the song title. It was probably the first and last time I’ll ever laugh out loud in the hairdressers. And the song? – “The Killing of George parts 1&2”.

If I’d known at that point where my intended was I could’ve been tempted….but that’s a story for another day.

 blog photo 1

Four months along the twisting and turning blog path

I can barely believe that it’s been four months since I bit the bullet and started this blog page. Where does time go? Or as the old adage goes- time flies when you are having fun.

And, despite the fears of posting my writing on here, I am having a fun adventure on this creative journey.

At the very outset of this scary magical trip, I said one of my biggest fears was letting people read what I write. I’d be lying if I said I’d totally overcome it but, with each post, it’s getting easier. Each “like” or kind comment banishes another little bit of that crippling fear. So thank you.

I set the goal of submitting one post per week and so far I’m on track. Finding the time to write my blog piece for the week can sometimes prove a challenge. There just aren’t enough hours in the day or the week on occasion. I’ve tried not to be too regimented to prevent it from becoming “routine” – “it’s Tuesday and it’s eight o’clock so it must be blog time”- I can’t write like that. For me it needs to be spontaneous and not overly thought. Do you agree, fellow bloggers?

I’ve also resisted the temptation to rant – although I reserve the right to do so should an appropriate rant come along.

Another fear that, so far, hasn’t come to fruition was that I wouldn’t be able to think of a post for the week. Long may that luck hold out!

The biggest surprise over the last few months writing-wise has been the popularity of my short story “The Imp”. Initially the first part was written as a standalone short tale that grew out of my mental meanderings while out for a walk one lunchtime and was brought to life a few short hours later, while sitting in the car, in the dark, outside the school while I waited for Boy Child to come out from wind orchestra rehearsals. (The Imp is a drawing in another project I am working on and I began to muse about what his story may be and it spiralled from there.)Nine parts later and his tale has been told – for now. Crazy as this may sound, I miss him. Imp fans – he will be back at a later date – time allowing!

As usual time is running away with me so I’ll end here for now. I’d like to thank everyone who is accompanying me, encouraging me and supporting me along this winding creative path. Without you, I’d probably still just be sitting in my conservatory, filling notebooks with stories and poems that no one but me will ever read and wondering “what if…..”.

Thank you and I hope you stick with me for the rest of the journey. Feel free to bring along some friends too. I’m enjoying the company.