Words that flow...

Words and images - powerful elements of our everyday life. Most of the time we take them for granted, but sometimes something happens to make you aware of how important they are... and how thankful you are to have the opportunity to use or appreciate them. Here lies some of my words and pictures (which are untouched apart from cropping, unless I've said otherwise) - Please add your words to mine, and leave a comment. Thanks for visiting!

02 April 2007

Not such a grey day...

For Topchamp... a place to chill...

Well, hi again!

It's been so long since I did a proper post, I want to just carry on chatting in the comments!! And Dave must've thought so too... it's become such a habit to return to that one post that that's where he headed straight for!! Well, now it's time to move on. But before I do, I thought I'd kind of summarise what March has been for me (if I can... so much has happened!). There were a few little hints in my comments and sidebar (really, I just couldn't stay away!)

If trees of different colours can live together,
why can't we? :-)

What a month March was. I've been trying to think of what were the salient points, and have thought of a few 'events' both physical and literary that were of note for me.

Today, I'll start with some of the more blanket thoughts and happenings. First of all, I have to say this was a great experience. Not only because I have achieved (and surpassed) the 50000 words in a month, but because I've fulfilled a childhood dream. I've written, in rough - very rough - draught, a real, live novel... from beginning to end! It's so major, I'm still being totally polaxed that I actually did it. The month thing... well, to be honest that was just a spur. The thing that's most important to me is that I wrote from beginning to end. I didn't give up. I didn't say, "This is so bad - just forget it!" (well, I did, but continued anyway).

I love to write, as do so many of us that blog. I love to produce words (and here I will apologise for page-length essays I sometimes write in people's comments... I just can't help myself :-D ).

I can still remember spending rainy Sundays at the living room table, with my dad's big-reeled , tape-to-tape playing such singers as Harry Belafonte, Demis Roussos, Vera Lyn and a whole lot of listening I will occassionally pull out on a weekend (to the chagrin of my kids!). If I wasn't writing, I was drawing or painting, or making something with my parents. They were 'into' crafts, and went through so many phases of doing different things, from polishing and setting stones to enamelling to making stone pictures... always something on the go. Probably where I picked up my love of creativity...

Well, back when I was 9 or 10 years old, I decided to be an author. I was going to write some really wonderful stories. I had so many ideas. I never did write them. I started hundreds, and dropped hundreds. I think it's lack of confidence in what seems like a brilliant idea to start with, but palls part way through. This month has taught me to persevere, even with an idea that suddenly seemed to be the most stupid, over-used one in the history of literary writing. I suddenly thought of all the different influences that brought me to the idea, and almost threw the whole thing out as 'not original'. Thank goodness I didn't.

Nothing is ever original. Not completely. There are so many influences, both conscious and unconscious, that it would be impossible not to reflect some of the ideas when creating for yourself. It wasn't until the end, when I finally told the kids the storyline, that I thought, "Hey, that's not as bad an idea as I thought!" This was confirmed by my eldest son, who said, "Sounds alright," which was great praise indeed from him!

So, the biggest thing for me this month was to realise I can do it. Not only can I do it, but I did do it! And, even if nothing ever comes from this, my first novel, I now know I could write more. And the more I write, hopefully, the better I'll get.

Another really big thing this month was finding out what good blogging friends I have!! When I started the project, knowing I wouldn't be posting, I expected there to be maybe about 5 to 10 comments by the end of the month.... What a wonderful bunch you folk out there are!!! Looking just now, I see there are 185 comments. Of these, 54 are mine (yes, I'm sad enough to have just counted them! :-D ), which means that 131 are yours - Thank you from the bottom, middle and top of my heart! I've said it before in the many comments, and I'll say it again here - Thank you!

A few folk have visited me almost every day right from the beginning, and others have popped in and said hello. I appreciate every single visit from every single blogging friend. Not sure how to list everyone I wanted to say thanks to, I've put them in order of number of visits to the last post [with Akelamalu coming in at a stunning 31 - one for each day! :-) ] I raise my champagne glass to:

Akelamalu, Katie, Red Dirt Girl, Queenie, Sanni, Mystic Rose, Dave, Topchamp, Krystyna, Brian, Steve, Angeldust, Quasar9, M. Shahin, That Frolicsome Kid, 1 Million Love Messages, Twilight, Madd, Maryam, Ann, Guiliano, David, Dan, Mimi, Rose (Dewy Knickers), Gledwood, Mohawk Chieftain, Kilroy

But, there's one other person I want to thank for this achievement. And that is Farris, without whom I wouldn't have attempted the NaNoWriMo. Farris came up with the mad idea of writing the novel this past month, and not waiting until the November stint. If it hadn't been for him, his enthusiasm over the whole deal, and our constant pep-talks, well... I don't know. If I'd been writing alone, would I have finished? Again, I don't know. Having a writing buddy really helps, and Farris has been a fantastic writing buddy. He has also fulfilled his own ambition and completed the 50000 words in the month of March - Well done & Congratulations my old friend!! We did it! It would be lovely if folks would go along and congratulate Farris too - He's a winner, and deserves a party himself!

Anyway, enough for today... my daughter wants to go on before we go out, and our other laptop with internet access isn't working, so we're back to fighting it out!! (some things never change!)


:-S I have a serious apology to make!! I feel dreadful about it, and I hope I haven't offended those who've kept in touch with me by email, because I forgot to include their names here, and I was spurred on as much by them as by those who left comments!
Spotted this yellow Broom in the midst of the copsed trees...
loved how it stood out on it's own
(like the girl in the red coat in the film 'Schindler's List')

Actually, most were mentioned above, but one very important person - a very good friend - was missing, and I'm sorry about that. It was an oversight due to it being one heck of a month! So.
Mother of Invention, and anyone else I might have missed out, Thank You so much for your words of support - it was lovely to hear from you, and the personal messages meant a lot to me!!!

I know this looks out of focus,
but it was pretty misty when I took it
Sunday morning!

© Annelisa Christensen 8:53 am

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At April 03, 2007 11:53 am, Blogger David Hodges said...

Well, Annelisa, that is truly impressive. It's so easy to succumb halfway through something so big. I'm sure you understand, when you say "if nothing ever comes of this," that it's too late for that ever to happen. Your own accomplishment is already such a big thing! Congratulations and welcome back.

At April 03, 2007 1:40 pm, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Glad you're back! It's been weird not to see a fresh post here but I'm glad you're happy and proud of your accomplishment. We all are too! You will always have that novel as proof of your perseverence!

At April 03, 2007 1:44 pm, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I love the first pic! That table is inviting me to come and sit down!
(Sorry I wasn't visiting,but I felt as if you didn't want to be bogged down by replies so I only did the e-mail thing periodically)

At April 03, 2007 1:49 pm, Blogger Sanni said...

I´m so glad you´re back! Congrats again - and thanks for the champagne ;) a bit early for me, so: *hicc*

At April 03, 2007 2:00 pm, Blogger Akelamalu said...

Oh it's good to see you back honey, especially with the photos!!!

I'm humbled that you have taken the trouble to count my comments, I did it in the hope that it would spur you on. Well the comments of all your blogging friends worked, you not only got there, you surpassed yourself! So, give yourself a great big pat on the back babe - YOU DID IT!

At April 03, 2007 2:12 pm, Blogger twilite said...

Hi Annelisa! Congrats...for fulfilling your life dream...for persisting at one sitting to writing...and for returning to us now.

At April 03, 2007 2:50 pm, Blogger Annelisa said...

Flying through, on the way to drop my son off to walk the dogs for the second time today... spoilt, they are!

You are absolutely right, David - it is too late for nothing to have come from the whole experience. Even if I were never to do it again (which is highly unlikely, because I'm totally hooked!) I have learnt such a lot about writing, and about myself.

Thanks for the congratulations :-)

MOI - it's good to be back [if a little strange to be actually writing stuff before commenting :-) ] Yes, I will always have the novel as a first stepping stone, and a reminder to me, if I ever doubt myself in the future, that I've already done it once, so there should never be a time when I say 'I don't know if I can do that...'

It's so grey in that top pic, but when Topchamp said she wanted a wood pic, that's the one I took this cold and breezy (hence the ripples on the water that reminded me of goosebumps) morning!

Oh, dear, dear MOI - I feel awful. I was going through the post thinking, 'oh, that's nice they came' and Oh, was it this month that person stopped by... I didn't even realise what an insensitive so-and-so I was being! Of course you cheered me on. How could I not have written that into the post - well, when I've dropped old and wise son off, I will be back to correct that awful omission!!! Sorry sweetheart. I really appreciated your shouts from across the ocean - Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!

At April 03, 2007 3:33 pm, Blogger TopChamp said...

Hello - Thanks for the pictures.. gonna set my background with one now. Very much appreciated!! Cold and breezy but looks lovely to me. I live in a very accessable area for countryside - but it's still the city that I spend most of my time in. Surroundings mainly stone and concrete.

At April 03, 2007 3:36 pm, Blogger TopChamp said...

If your kids like it, you're right - it must be ok!! Relax a bit more for a while - don't just launch yourself straight into another massive challenge... you're a busy person too I think - you only just finish raising a huge amount of cash for charity, before you launch into a novel... what's next I wonder?

I'm not criticising - am amazed actually and impressed.

At April 03, 2007 6:13 pm, Blogger steve said...

sounds like you should have paid better attention to you poem 'Better the Begining"...I love it when I can use your own stuff on yyou!

At April 03, 2007 8:19 pm, Anonymous Brian said...

Relax, take a holiday, you've earned it. :)

At April 04, 2007 8:30 am, Blogger Annelisa said...

Too early for champagne, Sanni? Is it ever too early for champagne?! :-D [not that I know one person who actually likes the stuff!]

Akelamalu...I don't know why I counted...I think it might have been part of the 'word count phenomena' - there were some hours I did the word count check every other sentence, then I'd change a bit, and do the word count again... anything to add to it in the before-50000 mark. Last Saturday (the last day) I wrote seven and a half thousand words, with 3 thousand in one chapter, that I didn't even check until I'd finished the idea!! That was cool.

Point is, though, I think that set me into a pernickity frame of mind, which I now have to make a conscious effort to break free from - counting comments indeed!!! :-S

Twilite - thanks. My bum-ache will attest to one very concentrated session! It's good to be back though - if I can get a moment during these Easter Holidays! Kids are taking over the pc when we're indoors...

I got you some more pictures today, TC - in fact, you might like them better, as they're not so brrrr cold. I'll put them up later.

It used to be the same for us when we lived in Thornton Heath - so near the countryside, but how rarely we went 'out there'!

The hair thing was months ago! When people come up to me now, and say, "your hair's growing fast!" I have to remind them that it's been 3 and 1/2 months!!! So, looking at it that way, my hair really hasn't grown as much as I thought it would... I'll get a photo later, if I remember!

I think, Steve, that particular poem must sum me up! But, for once in my life, I've actually finished a story. I wonder if I don't like to finish it because I don't like it to end and feel sad when I can no longer dip into it (I hate finishing books for that reason)... or maybe that's just an excuse I can use! :-)

Is this you finally insulting me? :-D Does this mean I can assume you like me? Yahay! Cos I like you too!

Brian - I think I'm getting a bit of an enforced holiday... being the school's Easter Holiday, both the children and myself are relaxing, going out, doing stuff. Not much time to sit down. And, like last night, when I did sit down, I fell asleep! :-) Bliss!!

At April 04, 2007 10:06 am, Blogger Akelamalu said...

Ah yes, I can understand you got into a 'mind-set' of counting everything! Anyway good to hear you're getting to do things with the children and enjoying yourself now. You deserve a break.

At April 04, 2007 11:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Girlfriend!!!!

I have to admit: I so selfishly missed my Annelisa fix each day...no wonder I left so many comments (did I leave that many??? - stalkerish???)

these photos are so stunning...I would love to put together a book of your photographs and poetry together one day.....I think there might be a way to do this at shutterfly....I'm going to look into it....

I especially love your bench....and the rippled water.....you know how much kitty dives into the water..wetsuit on of course.....

congratulations again, AE


At April 04, 2007 2:34 pm, Blogger Dave said...

Wow! I don't know what I did to earn such a prominent plug, but I'll take it. Thanks!

Seeing your effort and determination in this project has given me a much-needed kick in the butt. I've started to write at least a hundred songs in my life and I've finished exactly zero of them. Well, I've made up my mind to start one and keep banging away at it until it is finished, vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, and then I will post it on my blog. It's a small task compared to writing a novel, but it's something I've always wanted to do. I'm not nearly as ambitious as you, though; I'm giving myself to the end of the Summer. Anyway, you provided the spark, and I thank you for that.



At April 05, 2007 3:17 am, Blogger madd said...


At April 07, 2007 9:02 am, Blogger Annelisa said...

Akelamalu - Have to be careful 'obsessiveness' doesn't take over. I get so involved in things to the exclusion of everything else! But, I'm improving my 'balance' now :-)

Kitty- no, you absolutely weren't 'stalkerish'!! It's been nice having you drop by! You never have too much of friends!!

A book of photographs and poetry... yes, I like the idea! I've never heard of Shutterfly...?

That bench has room enough for two... come join me? I think you'll enjoy the view! :-)

Dave - Wow, you write songs? Cool! I'm glad to be an inspiration (me... an inspiration? just a mo... better check to see if I'm still the same person... yep! With much shorter hair!)

Actually, though writing a novel is much longer, that doesn't mean that it's harder. Sometimes, choosing the right words for a shorter piece is a whole lot harder, because every word is more important. Like poetry (which I think songs are akin to, aren't they), every turn of phrase is read more thoroughly.

- I hope to read your song soon, and look forward to it!

Thanks, Madd! It's good to be back!


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