Wednesday, 7 May 2014

IWSG: A Month in the Life of a Non-Writing Writer

Last month I decided to take a break from blogging to concentrate on my writing. I missed you all but I have to say, the results of my hiatus are pretty astounding. I got A LOT done--all except for one thing--writing. But you know what? I'm ok with the non-writing thing because I feel great. For a whole month I lived life instead of trying to write about it. And I slept, at least 8 hours each night! I love sleep. I didn't feel the benefits right away, but after 2 weeks of sleeping properly and spending more time outside, I can honestly say I feel great both mind and body.

So, what did this non-writing writer actually do during my hiatus?
Well, here's a quick run down:


First, I took pictures of my dog.



Photography? Ha! -- nailed it.   :P
















Then, I did some gardening. I had seen the following example of vertical planting on the internet and thought it looked great. Naturally, I figured I'd give it a try. 
Can't be that hard, right?
Anyway, this is what I was going for:





















Aaaaannnd.... this is what I got:






Gardening? Ha! -- nailed it.








Okay, so experimental gardening may not be my thing so, I talked to my neighbors to get some pointers. 















Socializing? Ha!-- nailed it.






So, with all this extra time on my hands I decided I should do some shopping. This was an exploit for me because I hate shopping. With a passion. And rightfully so:























Me thinks I need to pay better attention to what kind of t-shirts I buy the kids....

Shopping? Ha! --nailed it.







Okay, so after a few difficult attempts at being normal, Easter rolled around and I was able to distract myself by eating all the chocolate eggs hiding the Easter eggs for the kids.
*insert evil laugh*



















Camouflage tactics? Ha! --nailed it.


And speaking of my kiddos, they're on vacation. That means I've got to keep them occupied. Not a simple task. Luckily for me, I discovered watercolor pencils!















Mikey picture? Cowabunga!--nailed it.



But one of the highlights was when the kids and I got to see one of the most renowned bird shows in the world.  At the end of the show, hundreds of raptors, (over 80 different species including falcons, hawks, eagles, vultures, etc.) flew only a few inches over the spectator’s heads. You would have loved it Golden EagleIt was an amazing show right up until one of the birds dropped their "treats" thrown up to them by the falconers. The treat landed right in front of me and my kids with a thud--a dead chick.

Magic broken? --- Uggg, nailed it.





























But despite it raining dead baby birds, it was still a fantastic show.


Video not suitable for those who suffer from ornithophobia.
Seriously, birds all over the place in this video. :D

April was also exciting because I got to help build a treehouse in the backyard. It's still a work in process but damn, I can't help but think what a fantastic/ideal place this is going to be for my writing when it's done!!!!! And yes, that does warrant 5 exclamation points!



But one of the most therapeutic moments for me was taking long walks to clear my head and fill my lungs with allergenic pollen. It was rejuvenating. 



*aachoo, cough, cough*


And everywhere I went, my camera followed. I took pictures of flowers...






and of my futures...

Future grapes.

Future strawberries.


Future pesto!




 Future housing development for smurfs.

Overall, April was a month of rest and getting back to the simple things that are important to me: family time and the outdoors. And I now realize to what extent I needed this time off. It's difficult and sometimes impossible to juggle writing and life. So, I put my writing aside and for the first time in years, I just took care of myself and my family. And I'm not ashamed to say, it was one of the best decisions I've made in a long time. But the best part is, I feel refreshed and have a mind filled with new and shiny plot ideas itching to come out. Now, I can't wait to get back to writing, and blogging, and that my friend, is a great feeling.

I hope those of you who participated in A-Z had a great time and don't feel too exhausted. I can't wait to catch up with everyone!  

******
Many thanks to Alex Cavanaugh our IWSG super-host and his awesome co-hosts this month. If you'd like to know more about the IWSG monthly bloghop, feel free to click the IWSG button on my side bar.

67 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great month to just enjoy life. Sorry about the dead chick. And maybe your tomato plant will bounce back?

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    1. Yeah, that tomato plant has seen better days, lol!

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  2. Good for you! And I LOVE this post. LOL

    IWSG #224 until Alex culls the list again.

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  3. Oh my goodness, I love this post so much. It's funny and smart and the pictures are beautiful. Plus, there's the most excellent use of Dean Winchester.

    And shiny new plot ideas? That's the one of the benefits of taking a writing break to actually live life.

    Cheers!

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    1. Dean Winchester should not be used sparingly. ;)
      Thanks for the visit MJ!

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  4. All those pictures and not a single insect. I have allergies too. Welcome back you non-writing writer you.

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    1. Just wait until the weather warms up.
      It's strange, I've never suffered from allergies until this year. It sucks.

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  5. Glad you're feeling so refreshed! Love that Ninja Turtle pic. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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    1. The kids and I are big TNMT fans! :)

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  6. Elise, with all that creativity spinning around you, how could you NOT be mentally writing and storing it for a later date? The pause that refreshes. (Also digging Mickey the TMNT!)

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    1. Thanks Nancy. The break was truly what the doctor ordered, why didn't I think about doing this before? Thanks for stopping in. :)

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  7. That was a great bird scene. They seem to know their 'pecking ' order well. I saw Herons were all lined up, they seem well choreographed. Thanks for sharing that video. Glad you didn't include the dead treat . .

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    1. It was a great show, people come from all over to see it. Glad you liked the video. If you listen closely, you'll even hear my daughter talking about the birds for a few seconds... :)

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  8. Glad you feel refreshed and ready to come back.

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    1. I do feel refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things. Hope you enjoyed A-Z this year, I'll be coming by for a visit at your blog soon. :)

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  9. Welcome back and congratulations on making the most of your time "off". Can't wait to see what comes out of your rejuvenated self :)

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    1. I can't wait either. Thanks for stopping in, I hope all is well with you and your ms! :)

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  10. That bird show would have been great to see, besides the last part haha. Sounds like a great month of r and r, 8 hours of sleep is nice to have indeed

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    1. I think the cat would have approved. :)

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  11. Good on you for taking time out to focus on YOU Elise! And I LOVE your dog. How bee--you--tiful! PS--WELCOME BACK :D

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    1. Randi!! Oh look, you've gone and made Duchess blush... ;)
      It's good to be back. :D

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  12. You had fun and got to rest Elise which is great. Thanks for sharing the photos.

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  13. Welcome back Elise!
    Seems like the hiatus is EXACTLY what you needed!
    I love the photos... but especially the ninja turtle one!

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    1. Everyone loves Mikey! It's great to be back. Miss you!

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  14. Time off with family and outdoors is great. My experimental gardening would turn out the same. We must replenish our batteries now and then. I'm not a great fan of shopping either.

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    1. I totally agree and I'm thinking of making this a regular thing, a few months on, a few weeks off. I'm the kinda person that needs it.

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  15. The beginning of the post made me laugh out loud. (Seriously, Dean didn't think this was funny? What's with the face-palm move? The guy needs to lighten up!)

    But then you had some absolutely stunning photos. Beautiful. Hope you're feeling rejuvenated!

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    1. LOL! Thanks Dianne. I think after a while, Dean just can't take any more of my awesomeness. :P

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  16. Your gardening skills are truly astounding. Good thing they have shops that sell groceries. i think i'd be a bit freaked out by those huge birds flying over my head. It's bad enough with pigeons, I can't imagine the size of vulture poo.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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    1. Something tells me you forgot to add an extra 's' in the word 'astounding'. ;)
      Lucky for me, I live in France and if there's one thing the French know how to do, it's food. Vulture poo... now that's not something you write everyday. Thankfully, no poo of any kind was dropped from the sky during the show. Only dead chicks.

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  17. Hello Elise, pleased to meet you here at the IWSG. I did the A-Z and still feel shattered. I envy you having that wonderful month off with your family, and all the glorious days of dog walking.
    I could do with a month of myself.
    You really did nail it because that month will stand you in good stead for some time. Happy writing.

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    1. Nice to meet you too, Fanny. If you have the possibility to take some time off, then I'd recomend it, especially after A-Z, that challenge can be exhausting. Everyone needs time to recharge. :)

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  18. I love your dog's coloring. Quite pretty :) Glad you had a nice, peaceful April. That always helps with writing.

    So did the cows have any advice?

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    1. My dog is a Bernese Mountain Dog and I love their coloring too. And the cows were great listeners. Their advice: "Moo." I'll take that as mooving things along. ;)

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  19. I love sleep! It sounds like an amazing month, I hope that you life stays as wonderful. And it's great to see you again.

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    1. Great to be back, Sara. I just hope I can maintain this refreshed feeling for a long while.

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  20. Love the pictures of the flowers. I'da had fun at the bird show until the dead birds showed up too. Glad you're rested and rejuvenated. Nothing like relaxing and spending time with the people we love to show us what matters.

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    1. I totally agree about being with family and taking a breather. Glad you liked the pictures. I remember seeing some of your pictures. You're surrounded by beautiful flowers in Jamaica. :)

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  21. LOVE the ninja turtle! And all the pictures, actually. I want to see a picture of the full grown strawberries when they're ready! I love some strawberries. ^_^

    And I totally agree. I took February off from writing and didn't tell anyone. Lol! And I really needed it. I had been pushing myself too hard and we need breaks, even from things we love. It's rejuvenating. ^_^ I'm glad you're all rested up, but most of all I'm so glad you're back!

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    1. Mikey rules! :) We love strawberries too, just have to pick them before the birds. Hopefully I'll have a few pics to show you in a few weeks. :) Glad you took some time off in the beginning of the year, we all need to take a step back sometimes. Hugs to you and hope you're doing well! :)

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  22. You can't write about life unless you've lived it. Yay for taking time off and concentrating on the good "thinks" in life. ;)

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  23. Great to see you back, Elise! Awesome pictures, as well. I'm always of the mind that one has to live in order to write. Getting up from behind the keyboard, every once in a while, can do wonders.

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    1. It certainly can do wonders, and I'm thinking of making it a regular thing, a few months on, a few weeks off. :)

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  24. Awesome photos, Elise! Love your little smurf hangout. =)

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  25. Is it nice to laugh at the picture of the dead chick falling on your heads?

    And what's up with those planters? I tried the upside down tomato and quite honestly, once it got heavy with fruit, the stupid vine snapped. Oh well. I am trying something new this year. Vidalia onions...how much of a rebel is this Yankee? Growing an onion that is only supposed to grow in Georgia?

    Glad to hear you're feeling refreshed. Missed, you crazy lady!

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    1. Hahah! No it's not nice! ;P
      I don't know...upside down anything just sounds like a prelude to disaster.
      Oh, you rebel! Let me know how the Vidalia onions come out. I'm doing shallots this year, they're easy. :)

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  26. Wow, you live in France, so being around epic stuff comes so easily for you!

    That bird show looked really amazing. I would worry about poop falling out of the sky, but I love birds! Glad you're feeling more refreshed and centered. No one can write when so out of alignment. ;)

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    1. I was worried about the pooping thing too, umbrella anyone? ;) But, I think the birds go into the show on an empty stomach, an added incentive to do the tricks properly and get fed during the performance... Anyway, being 'out of alignment' is exactly how I felt. Life can so easily knock things out of whack. I'm thinking regular breaks will be required to put my butt back into alignment. :)

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  27. Hey,

    Good on you for not worrying about writing and rediscovering the wonder of living :)

    And, yeah, keep the camera, ditch the green fingers thing... it ain't working :)

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    1. I'm a great gardener, really I am. Ask any vegetable in the garden.... *takes another sip of wine* :P

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  28. My dear Elise, you have most certainly not forgotten how to write a blog post. :)

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  29. You covered some impressive ground, Elise. My break cometh in June! Hope I can do half of those things with my time off.

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    1. It was also nice just relaxing and taking the time to breathe. Enjoy your break, June is just around the corner, hope you have nice weather too! :)

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  30. Strawberries, strawberries!

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  31. Hi human, Elise,

    You can stop twiddling your thumbs. Yep and arf, I have arrived. I tried twiddling my paws, but, alas no luck.

    Anyhow, my dear human, you certainly made of for your notable absence in the wonderful world of blogging with your pawst.

    I read that your camera followed you everywhere. I assume that the camera must have tripod legs to follow you everywhere! I think I'm becoming pawdantic like my ridiculous fictional human I named, Gary :)

    Now then, on a somewhat serious angle, I can understand that using pawsitive distractions and resources will have rejuvenated your writing catalysts.

    Nice mention of the pawticipants in the alternative to the much loved Alphabark Challenge, 2014! That's pawesome cause they need some encouragement. What the heck am I saying!

    Thank you for contributing to the "IWSG" aka "I Was Seeking Gary."

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

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    1. I missed you Penny! I had to keep my camera on a leash, the darn thing likes to flash people if I don't keep an eye on it... :P

      Hope you are not too stressed about your move, I'm sure Gary will take care of everything. Take care of him and make sure he doesn't get into any trouble. ;)

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  32. I am late on this one, but wow, you sure have been productive with your break. I think writers need time away--it will make it that much more joyful for you when you are ready to return.

    Enjoy your week Elise.

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    1. Not late at all and I'm glad you stopped by. Time away really helped me put things back into perspective and it's been hands down, a positive experience. I'm ready to get back to writing and I agree, writers need a break from time to time. We just need to get over the guilt about stepping back for a while. :)

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  33. If you feel rejuvenated after only a month off...imagine how I feel. It's time to get our groove on again! :)

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  34. Great photography! This was so funny. Great to have you back. I think photography gives us an excuse to get out around nature, perhaps. That can never be a bad thing!

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  35. Looks like you had a fantastic month. Sure, you didn't do much writing. But you did a lot of LIVING! And your pictures are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing. I love birds, but that's a little freaky there.

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