Living in the present moment

This Friday, it is almost surreal to watch the news. Corona, scenarios of chaos and uncertainty. I listen carefully, and I take my precautions. But most of all, I live my life in the present moment.

I have done that a couple of years by now. This week, I´m on a writing holiday. By my free will, I promised not to work with my novel for a week. Two days ago, I finished my preparations. Five months of hard work completed.

But it doesn´t mean that I can´t write anything. I need my daily writing routine. It feels better after a writing session. I´m calmer, feel I have accomplished something, and I feel alive. Writing is good therapy for me.

Living in the present moment means a lot here at my spot on Mother Earth. The past is way down memory lane, useful only for the human nuances of life. The future, unknown territory, is taken into account, but life is here and now.

My thoughts may jump from time to time. I´m the kind of person who uses a positive outlook as a shield against the ups and downs in life. I have seen enough, heard even more, and I don´t need or desire negativity.

I have learned to grab the root of the issue right away rather than avoiding it until the very last minute. In due time is right here, right now. So I do what I love, I write about anything but negativity today. I will fight every inch of the way to get the most out of everything.

The Sun is also fighting and winning more and more time. I did enjoy my coffee in the garden this morning. Only a few moments between the clouds, but awe-inspiring nonetheless.

So, there was news on TV about the corona-virus that has also hit Denmark now. We have good healthcare, but anything can happen now. Living life in the present moment is a necessity now. As it always has been and will be.

We live our lives as positively as possible. However, we do talk about the difficult things as well. They are also part of the present moment whenever they want. As a rule, we don´t need to create problems ourselves, they come and go throughout life.

It is not always as easy as writing about it. It hurts sometimes. It takes its toll on us. And it challenges us. Experience has finally taught me how to cope with the everyday and the world of possibilities in my mind when I´m changing moods.

It´s okay to swing a little. It is also a good time for me since I´m beginning my novel in a week from now.  It gives me the extra mental energy that makes it possible for me to stay in the seat behind the keyboard or pen and paper.

The horses stamp in the ground; they want to be let loose and run free. But no, they´ll have to wait a few days more. Then there are always the notebooks to go through and organize. Or there is a creative project waiting to finish.

This weekend will concentrate on playing with and caring for two sweet girls, one seven years old, the other almost four. They fill my heart and soul with joy and love. They are so direct, so wonderful unspoiled, and so great to spend time with.

It is also time for another brainstorming session with my husband. Somehow, he knows my weak points and dares challenge me with them. It has already helped me a lot during the last five preparing months.

But today is all about finding the positive sides of everything. I was lucky enough to get extra counseling from a team of social workers who know what they are doing. So I get one hour every Friday to learn to cope with the everyday after years of psychiatric care.

It´s the phase where you don´t want to have a setback. I´m still insecure about many things concerning my mental ailments. It´s a privilege to get help in today´s society. And I take it very seriously and try to learn as much as possible.

After a great session with someone empathetic, both as a professional and as a human being, I feel cleansed and ready to face the world. In the present moment, I´m restless due to the physical side-effects of prescription medicine. Then I know it´s time for a small break.

I´m also fighting a series of anxiety attacks that have irritated me for two weeks in a row. I´m pretty good at closing them down by the use of breath control. During the minor attacks, it is useful to try to breathe as calmly as possible.

If that doesn´t help, I turn to focus on my surroundings, by counting how many things I can see, begin working with something that demands concentration, as the last brush stroke on a painting. Or I ask my husband to hold my wrist against his so I can feel his pulse and instantly begin calming down.

If a significant anxiety attack strikes, I have learned to keep a solid basis to rely on if necessary. We have arranged a routine if I one day should need intensive psychiatric care. I have learned it the hard way. It took quite some time to understand and respond to positively.

It is not about age or social status. It is a human thing to be vulnerable. Most of us won´t recognize that aspect, but it can be real for us all one day. And when that day comes, I will be ready. It´s only natural to feel and to allow oneself to do it.

I think it is important to write about that side of life too.

May your weekend and week be blessed, dear readers and followers. May the Spring Sun shine on you and may it bring joy. As we will it, so mote it be.

Picture of Jill Wellington from Pixabay 


The coming of Spring

The birds sing about the coming of Spring. The local creek flood the surrounding area, close to the local supermarket. My husband bends over a flower bed to the sound from the local radio station. The wise little, old dog sniffs in the air with his left front leg held elegant and interested.

In my window sill, there is a jar with sea salt and seven bay leaves. It calls to Nature, to Mother Earth. It is a consecrated and blessed jar. It is supposed to shorten the time before Spring is here. Sea salt for we have a plan about gathering our extended rainbow family and go to the ocean in Spring.

Today is beautiful. The dog got dirty feet from splashing through the more or less muddy ground close to our well-known walking path. Now, he sleeps next to my husband in our living room. Ten years in a couple of months.

Time flies, and we humans fly with it. This Winter has been different, windy, and wet. Icy, watery cold, or the first signs of Spring in the air. On the earth with way too early Spring flowers. The sun fights a fiery battle with the remains of Winter.

My bipolar disorder shows its teeth these days. I fight my inner battle with tenacity and determination. I am learning to cope with the fact that I must conquer myself every morning. Every day is precious and irreplaceable. At times, like today, it helps me write something worth reading.

I feel what I write. And when I write, I let my feelings follow my mood swings for a little while. It helps me recover from anxiety, and it grounds me. I also write what I feel. Today I feel content, happy, and convinced.

That my project about writing a psychological thriller soon gets very real. In just a few days, I will begin the most inventive step of the journey. Begin writing the first sentence. The first paragraph. And chapter one.

As a witch, I have created and worked with charm bags, charm bottles, and meditation. As a writer, I have prepared myself for almost five months. I know that I may have to return to the research and the many notes in my writer´s notebook, now both on paper and digital.

But now I don´t know how to wait for much longer. To release the horses for real, to let my fingers play with words to music, and to realize my life-long dream. A couple of days ago, I got my grammar app, my antivirus updated, and my notes are close to being rewritten.

The coming of Spring has always fascinated me. Those few days to remember. The feeling of Spring is fresh, chilling, and like coming home. I long for the possibility to sit outside in the garden and write parts of my novel.

It is time to begin new projects. My project this Spring is to use witchcraft as a source of inner calm and anxiety relief. The next Full Moon in early March is an appropriate moment for a little meditation and a ritual focusing on methods to preserve the inner peace that always comes thereof.

My novel project is already five months old. After countless hours of reading, tons of pens, paper, and notebooks, and a lot of writing and rewriting, it is fair to be proud and content with the work behind all this.

I am grateful for the support from my family and friends. They accept me using many hours behind the keyboard or bend over pen and paper without any complaints. They know how dedicated I am to this. And they understand that a passion is born.

I am now so prepared as I can be for this wild rollercoaster ride that´s about to take off. Until then, I collect as many loose ends as possible. I reread my notes and notebooks. I have transferred it all to my laptop and only need to connect my cell phone as well.

This weekend, however, is dedicated to creating something beautiful, just for the fun of doing it. I have all the necessary materials ready and only waiting for me to dig in. It is always sensible to take longer breaks away from the writing sessions.

Sometimes, things need to stir for a while. Sometimes, the writer needs to do something completely different. And sometimes, inspiration strikes in the middle of something else than writing. So although I´m doing DIY, there will always be pen and paper close by.

The weather has changed once again. The lurking cold is back with the icy wind and the seemingly never-ending rain. The three philosophical cats are back inside from their garden den and have been fed and pampered.

My husband now prepares dinner in the kitchen. Beside me lie the notes to rewrite later today. Behind me is a table on wheels where I keep my writing tools. And to the left, next to the table, is a bag with a witch´s ritual dress that needs a loving repair.

Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours in my creative den with the little wise, old dog and a cat or two. I love the atmosphere at all my work stations. They are clean, tidy, and organized. I have learned it through trial and error for too many years to want it any different.

Therefore, there is always writing gear all over the house. Since I prefer coziness at all times, I have carefully arranged it, so the feeling of being both comfortable and prepared is attainable. It means a lot to me due to my many mood swings.

The medicine keeps the swings to a tolerable minimum. My stubbornness and general positive outlook on life and its ups and downs do all the hard work, as it should be. If you are not prepared to work for your goals, you won´t get that far.

Have a blessed week, dear readers.

Zsuzsanna Tóth from Pixabay

About love and the greatness of the everyday

Roses from my husband

This morning I woke up to the flowers on today´s picture. My husband was up early and went to get the groceries. The roses were neatly arranged on the kitchen counter for my eyes only to see. Today, we have known each other for eleven years and six months exactly.

He is the love of my life. The king of my everyday. About love, there is much to be written, about the everyday, only a few have the guts to praise it. I´m one of those rare people that have nothing to complain about but occasional side effects of the combination of physical pain, bipolar disorder and anxiety.

My everyday means everything to me. Here I live my simple, yet complicated, life of mine.  Share it with a very special person, my husband, a very special rainbow family, my nearest neighbors, and a very special group of three dogs and three cats. And enjoy every moment of it.

To be rich in happiness, to be successful in gaining inner peace, to be fairly wealthy in health, and to feel cool with kindness, it is my goal in life. Slightly changed words from a quote whose author I´m still searching for :

 “Happiness is the new rich. Inner peace is the new success, Health is the new wealth. Kindness is the new cool.”

Today, it is also St.Valentine´s Day. I celebrate it with 4 lit candles in my living room with my wise little, old dog, one of the three philosophical cats, and my husband close to me. I´m in the mood for writing something about love and the greatness of the everyday.

The love of my life and I have been through hell and back. I love him to the Moon and back, he´s my true soul mate for life, and I cherish every moment with him. He´s also my best friends, my fierce ally, and my worst critic.

We have seen it all, heard even more, and been there and done that. So the past is the past, a constant reminder of a completely different path to walk forward together hand in hand. The future is unknown territory, a one-step-at-a-time experience and daily conquest with commitment and deep loyalty.

The present moment, however, right in the middle of the everyday, is where we share our lives and go through the natural ups and downs of life. Yes, natural because everything happens for a reason, so where there is action, there needs to be a reaction as well.

As a witch, I believe in Nature and Mother Earth, I trust the Universe to handle the big issues out of human reach, and I release any sort of negativity to Karma, I use a magickal circle on my floor in my witch´s den with Nature as my church.

I follow the rhythms of Nature as much as possible in modern times in a town in the Southern part of Denmark, surrounded by an evermore crazy world. I try to implement the inner peace from witchcraft to my everyday.

There is greatness in the everyday. It is here the most important things happen when you pause for a brief moment and think things through. Where the boundaries for love is explored as well as the limits for self-respect are tested.

Love is like a rose, there are always thorns in the side. Sometimes it hurts to love. But it is a joyful price to pay for the many positive effects of love. We are a happy couple with only a few disagreements now and then.

We take the time to talk about the things that matter in real life. We speak the truth directly and to-the-point. We also laugh a lot, for laughter heals and strengthens the deep spiritual bond between us. For we have been though enough negativity now.

The everyday deserves to be praised, for no ever-so-perfect future plan holds any guarantees for success or even realization. It is only in the present moment that we can truly make a remarkable difference.

Today´s stream of consciousness just seems to evolve by itself. It is first a slow performed waltz, then switching to a longer and faster piano tune, followed up by inciting thundering drums and crying bass guitar riffs.

My writing playlist has grown long and needs to be updated. So my plans for the coming weekend is to listen to a lot of different music, according to my writing moods. I need some music for my characters in my novel to dance and twist and turn to.

Therefore, I´ll make playlists for the major parts of the novel. I write my best when I listen to inspiring music at the same time. I´m more concentrated on my writing, I relax in the shoulders and in the back, and I write more and for longer periods of time.

But today is about love in the everyday. So my husband and I will have a delicious homemade dinner, share a movie together, and enjoy each other´s presence. In our big, little home, in our cozy living room, in our daily life.

My husband rests now. He was in the garden for a couple of hours, and he needs to relax after that. The little, wise old dog lies on a pile of pillows and my husband´s bathrobe. The one philosophical cat chose to stay near the central heating, while the two others wanted to be in their outside den.

The beautiful roses stand on the table in our living room. The room feels like a secure and comfortable den to embrace and enjoy for work and relaxation at the same time. I shift often between workspaces, depending on my mood of the day and time of day/night.

I´ll stop for today wishing you a wonderful weekend and an inspiring week, dear readers and followers. May the world become more aware of its full potential tomorrow. As we will it, so mote it be.

The elements of the psychological thriller

Life is a thrill. I´ll take an everyday situation and ask the question what if. What if someone turned up, something happened, and the world is a changed place already. Then I will take the genre relevant ingredients and mix together a story worth reading.

A story that takes my readers to a fictional place in a fictional world. A story that allows them to dream themselves away on a journey of thrills, twists, and turns. A story that feels like riding a rollercoaster on the loose.

The elements of the psychological thriller are both gripping and subtle. In the human mind, there are many shadows. I want to explore some of the shadows in the human mind. Maybe just to remind me that we are all fragile inside as well as in touch with evil.

But most of all, to let the horses finally run free, to let my fingers dance across the keyboard to the music in my ears, to let my imagination and my experience form a story like none written before. A high aim it is, I know.

The doubt in me disappeared with the discovered love for writing, reading, and creating little stories worth reading. I´m not into the fast action scene with gory details over and over again. I have read enough about, seen enough of it.

Psychological violence is just as dangerous, action-packed, and scary. The way manipulative people have ways to get under our skin. Little by little, seemingly innocent little clues to something going really wrong, really fast, and really serious.

Life has taught me to handle my life experiences well so that they do not show in my writing too much. I keep personal scars to myself for they serve no longer anyone. But I watch and notice people around me. People are capable of anything under the right circumstances.

To try to stop evil from winning the cat-and-mouse game is also an inner moral struggle. Humans share both good and evil. We live with inherent evil in ourselves. But there is a huge leap into the abyss of mental distortions from that.

It raises a question: Are some people born evil? And if so, how do we handle them when we come across them? What is right, and what is wrong? Below, I have listed some of the elements of the psychological thriller that I´m currently working with in my novel:

  • Fear and anxiety in unpredictable ways, unstable characters, and distorted perceptions
  • Unreliable narrator, third-person limited, and past tense
  • Conflict between the minds of the villain and the hero, high stakes, backstory with present effect, and dual climax
  • Ticking clock, MacGuffin, and surprise effect in the end
  • Dark foreshadowing, the threat of the story, and all about the villain vs. the hero
  • Side-kicks with inner conflicts and baggage, character growth/lack of growth, and moral dilemmas

There are many more to pick from because a psychological thriller is almost always present in some form in a thriller as in the term of genre expectations. I will update this blog post when I pick something else to work with from the many tropes of the thriller genre.

At the moment, I´m transferring my handwritten notes to the laptop. I have chosen to create a folder only for my novel. So it is a kind of melting-pot from which I can pull background information when I´m writing my novel.

I´m also contemplating the plot, but it takes time and many considerations before I´m truly ready to write freely. I will write both a short and a long synopsis, perhaps try out the Snowflake Method where you build on first a sentence, then a paragraph and so on.

My novel structure will be like this: minimum exposition to present characters, setting, and conflict, rising action and the calm before storm, climax, falling action with surprise, denouement and the least of two bad choices with a twist and a surprise ending.

My husband and I have long conversations where we discuss the novel in details. After that, I write on the journal entries of my characters and my other detailed folders. Every time, there is a new layer to deal with. One thing is to describe people, another matter is to show it in the writing.

So for my novel, I will work hard with my descriptions so that my characters show what they feel and think about their situation. I like the idea of an unreliable narrator who engages the reader in the story if told well.

In the psychological cat-and-mouse game, it is all about outsmarting the villain. It is also about having believable and relatable characters. My novel deals with the unnoticed dramas in the everyday. Where psychological violence is often overlooked and almost tabooed.

We humans don´t like to look ourselves in the mirror and find the inherent evil that all humans share. We are afraid of evil. We should be. But we should also be better to deal with the effects of evil, especially in everyday circumstances.

Maybe then we could learn to understand and help the victims of manipulative people much better than we do today. To recover from the chaos after psychological violence is both a matter of choice and a long path to walk.

It is a matter of choice because we must learn to say nay to dominating and manipulative people in due time before they get under our skin and hurt us for life. It is a long path to walk for often the manipulation is deeply rooted and not easily exchanged with a more positive outlook on life.

Now it is time to end this blog post with my best wishes for the weekend and the coming week to my readers and followers. May you be able to outlive your dreams and make the best out of everything. And may creativity and joy of life be a growing part of your lives. Yes, So Mote It Be.

Picture of Free-Photos from Pixabay