Friday, 29 January 2010

A Peek Inside The Rabbit Hole.

A wordy post! Feels wrong...


It's a while since I've noticed tags or awards going around Blogland. They seem to come in waves and surges, and I was happy enough to let them find other little pathways through this strange forest of Blog. But they're back. In the last week or so I've been given two awards, from I Am Not A Volcano, and Kato over on Pandorah's Box. And while my instinct is to shy away from these awards, which I see as little nosy, curious, snuffly woodland creatures, and hope if I stand very still they'll get distracted and wander off, this time I find myself pausing and pondering.

Blogging is such a strange thing. We show such deep, and often private places that say so much about us, and often things we may not say face to face with people, yet in many ways we say nothing really at all that really shows who we are. And when I noticed a few stalwarts like Elaine over on Jaboopee, and then Esti over on Pintameldia, doing their own version of one then I figured it might actually be a nice thing to do after all.

So while it's not adhering exactly to the rules, I do like to adapt things so they are a little bit more me. And I figure I'll take a leaf or two from you ladies, and do my own take on it.

So without further do:  Some Random Things You May Not Know About Me.

1. I am writing a book,
but have writer's block at the moment.

2. I love the smell of clean laundry, coffee, roses.

3. I have been to India, twice, but not for many years.
I have been thinking a lot about it, lately.

4. I cannot live without music. 
For a taste of my current obsessions
take a peek at Carnival.

5. I have not eaten chocolate or sugar in almost 
two years. Or wheat.

6. Lately, I have developed an aversion to
supermarkets. Bit of a problem really...

7. I don't like getting my photo taken,
because I am always disappointed I don't look like I think I do.
(ie fifteen years ago...)

8. I love to bring people together.

9. I erroneously studied ceramics in college.
But am grateful to the Principal who gave me the place on a whim
(I am sure) as a few years later I married his son.

10. I haven't read a novel in over a year.
Something which anyone who knows me would not believe.
But I've lately had the urge to re-read David Mitchell.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Fortunately, my husband love to grocery shop. And writer's block really stinks. It's sort of like insomnia.....if you think about it too hard, you'll never be able to overcome it! India. I'd love to go.

Lovely list!

Mise said...

It would make a fine title for a novel: 'The Principal's Son's Mysterious Wife'.

And I share your new-found aversion to supermarkets (they are too big, too commercial, and too much trouble with small children), but I have occasional brave forays there to stock up on store-cupboard ingredients and marvel at all the new yogurts.

Cenya said...

You sound delightful!
Here's my fix for writer's block. I call it a brain dump. I sit down with a piece of paper and write everything that comes to mind. It doesn't need to make sense. I write sentances, paragraphs, random words and little doodle pictures. Sometimes I get lucky and find a thread in all that to start weaving a story on. If not, I sit down with a good novel or reference book in the style of my own writing and start reading. Other writers can light a spark under us.
Hope you start writing again soon. I think you probably have some very interesting things to say.

Mimi said...

Sorry to hear about the writer's block. I have a chronic, permanent dose of it!
Have you read "The Writer's Way"- Julia Cameron? I liked it, and the exercises are such fun! You don't have to go near a supermarket!

I too hate supermarkets- they exhaust me. But uckily hubbie does most of the shopping_ i just go to M&S! To buy chocolate.
Enjoyed your list!

Rebecca S. said...

I also love the smell of coffee and clean laundry, but prefer the scent of cottonwood to roses. As for writers block, it is just your brain restocking its me it always means I need some more fuel(something to inspire me like a good movie or some new music, or a good experience). Cheers!

Janie B said...

Good luck with the writer's block. I suffer from that quite often. Just lean into it and it will go away eventually. I don't mind going grocery shopping...I just don't like paying the bill.

Stephanie said...

Maybe reading a novel would jog your writers block!

Paddy said...

Read Stephen King's 'On Writing'.

Ciara Brehony said...

Thanks for all the tips, everyone!

Yes, I think a good starting point would be reading again. Who ever heard of Reader's Block? Sheesh...

Anonymous said...

What you suffer from is a form of sliding doors syndrome....what if I had chosen a different path all those years sit down and think of all the endless possibilities...pondering...wondering...smiling to yourself...and then awake to realise that you haven't really reached the end of that little yellow brick road....Look up ahead...there's a fork in the road!!

Gigi Thibodeau said...

I was stunned to read your item about not reading novels this past year, only because I had a similar discussion with my husband this morning. I read and teach literature, including a heck of a lot of novels (and am writing one) for a living, and yet this year I've suddenly been struggling to read novels. I've been reading many other things, but novels have, for the first time ever, been giving me very little pleasure over the past several months. It was actually starting to scare me, but you know, I'm finding much more joy in reading essays right now, so I'm going to keep following that whim and see where it takes me! Maybe it will lead me back to novels.

I loved reading your list, Ciara. You are my hero for quitting sugar. How do you manage cravings? I try, I really do, but I am weak! ;) xo

Pandorah's Box said...

I did enjoy this list, and am glad you let me hand over this award to you, because I love your blog. It makes me happy, sometimes when I need it the most!

Ciara Brehony said...

Gigi, yes, the whole not reading thing I find disturbing, and at times upsetting even. From the time I learned to read I devoured books, and usually had a few on the go at once. And at times I think my book club felt like kicking me out! And it is so wonderful to see our older two become avid readers, especially our daughter.
At first I blamed my computer! I was reading too much online, or spending too much time blogging etc.

But now I wonder. Maybe it would have happened anyway. I don't believe it will last, however. At least I hope not!

As for sugar. The two years not eating it was preceded by two years of TRYING. The turning point came when I changed my thinking about it. I told myself it is a poison to my body, and actually, the treat is NOT eating it.
Incredibly, it worked! I now seem to have a filter that means I don't actually really see chocolate or whatever. Quite amazing.

Jo said...

Yay for the book, boo for the block But maybe it's part of the process...?

Did Twilight kill your ability to read novels!? :)

As to the photos, it's too sad. You're looking so beautiful and glowy at the moment, and when you're 65 you'll regret so not having any record of your sweet rosy cheecked freshness!

Vanilla Press said...

Hi Ciara
I love this post.
I think you are right..blogging is a strange world & you do let people into your "private world.."..
I enjoyed reading your list. My husband is probably off to India at some stage with his job & I would love to go..but if I made a list, it would include a fear of leaving my kids & flying some place..(which I have done before) - but that probably links to my fear of flying..which is a whole other story..
Ok, enough babbling!
have a fab weekend

Ellen said...

You are so right. I write from my heart of stories from my past, so deep thoughts that are resonating from inside me and yet does it say who I am really? I let my writing overtakes me...and comes out as though in tongues. Such a process this blogging is creating...I am glad you shared somethings about your self. I am enjoying your blog!

Sara said...

I love getting to know you a little better. Such wonderful little tidbits about you. I love your taste in music. You have already introduced me to a few new favourites. And coffee... yes, love that smell. :) xx

Irmhild said...

ditto on number 7! ...and 8, and on the smell of laundry, hot laundry especially!

Dorn said...

Congrats on the awards and kudos to two years of no sugar! As for the writers block ... You've been writing steady for a few years on the blogs. Is the novel even current to you fascinations now?

nancy said...

ah Ciara. (((hugs))). it's so true how we open ourselves on here while keeping ourselves closed to the planet we meet in person, at times. part of what is so cathartic and beautiful about blogland, methinks.

so neat to discover more about you - thanks for that list. WOW! you have willpower for sure. every writer, if she or he is any good, goes through writer's block. it's because you're particular. you don't want to put down any old thing on the page just for the sake of doing so. i think, for you in particular, it's a result of your special talent at it. like someone wrote above - i like the analogy of restacking inner shelves, allowing time to replenish. and sometimes a story takes time to be told, it needs to be watered first, wooed, coddled, seduced sometimes. give it time and it will start to flow, slowly but surely or in a big GUSH that a finger in the hole won't be enough to stop. you'll see.

as for your reading block, again i'm going to recommend Fall On Your Knees (Anne-Marie MacDonald). If the opening of that book doesn't grip you and not let go, I don't know what will. Paddy had a great suggestion, too, "on writing" by Stephen King. My brother is a published writer and he sings its praises all the time.

p.s. i responded to your question about my photograph. ;) keep warm and well this week (and i agree that you should be taking more photos of yourself NOW - do the 365 Days project on flickr. It's making me deal with all my inner demons about having my photo taken and boosting a creative jolt to my photographic exploration...

Elaine Prunty said...

thanks for the mention Ciara, or should
I say midge ;0)
very interesting sugar free tidbits there, very exciting re. book..maybe the not reading is part of not wanting to be influenced...i think we all need to go into that 'white room' sometimes...and i am totally with you on the supermarket aversion , i would rather cut my wrist than go into a tesco 's .... ( I do love Nolan's in Clontarf , a 'family' supermarket and a one stop shop for everything... all diets and aversions catered for ...) .....and well done on the ceramic destiny

Ciara Brehony said...

Nancy, I've been watching the 365 project with interest, and I think I might just do it (eeek!). Thanks for the book suggestion too, I will check it out.

And Elaine, you are right, there is a big element of not wanting to be influenced by books I might read! But I still want inspiration. So for now music and film has been doing that for me. Yes, I am in the white room right now and for the time being it feels quite good :-)

But it must be time to venture out!

marty, sharon and pearl said...

i love your list ciara. i have been thinking about india lots too recently (&in fact was thinking of posting some of my snaps) - think it has something to do with the indian winter programmes on channel 4 - did you see them too?

i wouldn't worry about your writers block - its just a meant to be phase where your brain is refueling - you'll be off again when you're good and ready - very exciting though - a book!

as for the sugar, wheat and chocolate free living - wow ciara - i couldnt do that - thats stamina! have you found any appropriate cake recipes to get you through though?


Ciara Brehony said...

Jo, you are right! Twilight was the last thing I read...oh dear... But I've started rereading David Mitchell's Ghostwritten,and I've a few recommendations so I'll see how it goes. And as for the photos, you are too sweet! And you are right, of course.

Sharon, we don't have channel 4! Imagine. A stormy day took care of that and we haven't got around to replacing the dish. Those programmes sound like exactly the sort of thing I love to snuggle up on the couch and watch. Oh well...
And no, I actually don't really bother with baking for me. If I do bake I do it for the rest of them. But I do appreciate it when someone else does it for me! And thank heavens I have somewhere like The Happy Pear ( on my doorstep for when the longing gets too much!

Lorna said...

I enjoyed reading this - may take a leaf from your book and do it myself!!

Maria | Vintage Simple said...

I share some of the same apprehension about these awards in blog forest (I like that!)... I loved your list of things, though, so I'm glad you went ahead and did your version of it.


Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Your aversion to too. It seems I can only make it into small markets or farmers markets, that's it. And the smell of clean laundry--glorious! Especially bedding.