Monday Muse – Winter Wonderland

Way down under in New Zealand we have been experiencing winter wonderland weather.  Even the fast flowing Shotover River in the South Island has been icing up.  Now that shows you how amazingly cold it is!  Here’s a pic of it when it’s not iced over. Needless to say, the Shotover Jet is not operating because it is too dangerous.

Shotover Jet is the only company permitted to ...

Shotover Jet is the only company permitted to operate in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons. It’s a thrilling ride – skimming past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet ‘Big Red’, as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breath taking speeds. View On Black (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lucky for me, I’m in the North Island.  We’ve still been having our share of hard frosts and I even had frozen pipes – no running water for me yesterday morning.

But, the point I’m taking so long to get to is, that winter with its icy landscapes and frozen sculptures offers rich and varied inspiration for all of us. Poets, writers, artists and even those who would call themselves none of the former, can admire the beauty and marvel at the delicate intricacies that a winter landscape provides.

Todays Muse?

Get up early, put on lots of warm clothes, go outside and be inspired!

Living in a country where it is spring or summer or autumn? I have added a winter pic below for you.

Winter Snow - Landscape

Winter Snow – Landscape (Photo credit: blmiers2)

Happy Creating



Why Not?

Before deciding to do anything lots of us think about why we want to do it, why it will be a good idea, why we should, why

Then, we tell our friends we’re going to try new foods (maybe snails), change careers,  have dancing lessons, learn to play the cello… and our friends say “why?”  This starts the cycle all over again and we come up with reasons to justify our decisions and choices (especially if their voice has that tone…)

Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it’s always good to know why you might want to do something.  But…

…sometimes I think we should try new things just because we want to – without all the why’s.  You never know what will happen or how it might change your life.

Next time you want to do something, or someone suggests trying something a little different, strange or even scary, instead of saying why?


As a writer trying new things is essential to keeping new ideas flowing in, our writing fresh and stopping us from becoming too isolated.  Our brains thrive on new experiences and challenges.

New experiences don’t always have to be big and momentous like climbing Everest, jumping out of a plane, quitting your job, or cutting your hair in a radical new ‘do’.

Start small.  As long as it is a new experience – you, your brain and your creative life will all benefit.

I have included some suggestions below.  Choose something off the list (that you haven’t already done before) or come up with your own experience and try it sometime this week.  Leave a comment and let us know what you did.

Why Not Experience Ideas

  • Make gloop and play with it.  (You can do this alone or with your kids.)  Click here for recipe and suggestions on what to do with it.
  • Go to a belly dancing class.
  • Grab some friends and play laser tag.
  • Listen to music that is not your style or genre.  Try dancing to it.
  • Get up early and watch the sun rise.
  • Try a new food or dish – Indian, Thai, Chinese…
  • Try a new herbal tea.
  • Visit a museum or art gallery.
  • Go mountain biking.
  • Volunteer to read a book to a local playgroup or at the library and put on voices for all the characters.
  • Wear an outfit that you wouldn’t usually.
  • Have a crazy hair day.
  • Learn to play an instrument.
  • Try not talking for a whole day. (This works best if you don’t need to go out.  Better yet, try it as a family).
  • Paint ballooning – get a blank canvas or wall.  Fill water balloons with paint and throw at canvas to make them explode.  (or use darts like on Princess Diaries.)
  • Meditate.
  • Dress up as your favourite childhood book character and go to the supermarket.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Go up in a hot air balloon.
  • Jump in puddles and dance in the rain. (If you’re really brave do it in a public place and sing ‘Dancing in the Rain’.)
  • Go to a poetry reading…

The world is your oyster. If you have some ideas you want added to this list, leave me a comment and I will add them.

Have Fun!


Photos courtesy of

What is a bent book and why did I name my blog after one?

In case you’re wondering…

about bent books and what they are, I am going to give you a peek inside some of mine as well as giving you a step by step outline on how to make your own.  Bent books changed my life as a writer, allowing me to keep track of all my wonderful (and not so wonderful) ideas as well as my doodles and snippets of conversation I collect for ‘future’ books.  Not only are bent books great for writers, they are fantastic for gardeners, cooks, birdwatchers, artists, inventors – in fact anybody with a hobby.  The best thing – you can tailor make them to serve your purpose.

So…watch this space.

I had a dig through my drawer of dreams, doodles and dibbledots and found my first ever bent book.  I had a read and a chuckle and have included a pic for you.  (Just to clarify – it is not a flying hippo – but a hippopotamus fairy)

It was my first, rudimentary bent book.  Not much to look at, but a treasure trove of ideas.