Lions, Pythons and Ice Cold Beers

First of all, a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you out there. I hope that when you read this, you have just woken up from a holiday nap and that you are not yet consumed by the engine of every day work.

I am writing this post from my parents’ home in Namibia. A medium-sized beach home community on the coast called Longbeach. It’s 4pm, the colour of the sky is a rich dark grey, the north wind is causing choppy waters and large container vessels are lying silently out in the big old Atlantic.

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I managed to enjoy quite a few things during the festive season. Since not all of you have had the opportunity to travel to Africa, I thought I would share some of the moments with you. A camping trip to Erindi Game Reserve (www.erindi.com) left us with some amazing images. Lazy lions stretching out in the cool afternoon (one of the males sneeking a feel, typical).

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Four Kudu bulls huddling together, a large bug devouring a not-so-large bug (freaky shadow) and a huge elephant (or the rear end of one at least).

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A short trip to our family farm produced an encounter with a python which is rarely seen. We got extremely close, absolutely worth it. Lying dead still, its skin glimmering in the sunlight, this big boy is not known to have caused many human fatalities, but best to keep your wits about you.

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I have always found giraffes

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Other than that, I enjoyed some time with the best friends and fiancé a girl could ask for.  Ice cold beers, braais (barbeque) and long naps. I feel rejuvenated and absolutely ready for 2014!

In 2013 NaNoWriMo helped me to write in the region of 22 000 words of my novel. Not the 50 000 as aimed for, but I’m happy with the result. Time to finish this bad boy!

xxxx

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Dear Madiba, may your rest be as peaceful as you were.

Today is truly a sad moment as we mourn the loss of the great Nelson Mandela. As African souls, he will forever be imprinted in our hearts for the man and leader that he was.  May what he stood for never be forgotten. You were a true human being and we will celebrate you until the end of time.

Rest in peace Madiba. You live in our hearts and we thank you.

Image: ecr.co.za

Image: ecr.co.za

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley

Paperback Writer – The Beatles

Here’s some lyrical inspiration by The Beatles. I have to be honest and say that I have never heard this song before today.
Click on the link at the end to see the video!
Released in 1966. Its creation was spawned when McCartney was requested to “not make a song about love.”
[Intro]
Paperback writer, paperback writer

[Verse 1]
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job
So I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer!

[Verse 2]
It’s a dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn’t understand
His son is working for the Daily Mail
It’s a steady job
But he wants to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer
Paperback writer, paperback writer

[Verse 3]
It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few
I’ll be writing more in a week or two
I could make it longer if you like the style
I can change it ’round
And I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

[Verse 4]
If you really like it you can have the rights
It could make a million for you overnight
If you must return it you can send it here
But I need a break
And I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

[Outro]
Paperback writer, paperback writer
Paperback writer, paperback writer
Paperback writer, paperback writer
Paperback writer, paperback writer
Paperback writer

 

paperback writer – The Beatles  (music video)

We have promises to keep – Robert Frost

I was watching a documentary on the John F Kennedy assassination when the narrator mentioned that President Kennedy loved to quote Robert Frost. He spoke specifically of the last two lines in the poem below.

Interpret it as you will. For me, today in particular, this poem inspired me to keep writing my novel. I made a promise to myself that I would have 50 000 words by the end of November, and I have that promise to keep.

Image: thewistfulmuse.com

Image: thewistfulmuse.com

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.  

Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)

Random Page Number 3

I opened The Artist’s Way this morning, and this is what I read:

‘Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself. A creative recovery is a healing process. You are capable of great things on Tuesday, but on Wednesday you may slide backward. This is normal. Growth occurs in spurts. You will lie dormant sometimes. Do not be discouraged. Think of it as resting.

Practice being kind to yourself in small, concrete ways. Look at your refrigerator. Are you feeding yourself nicely? Do you have socks? An extra set of sheets? What about a new house plant? A thermos for the long drive to work? The expression “God helps those who help themselves” may take on a new and very different meaning. Be alert for support and encouragement from unexpected quarters. Be open to receiving gifts from odd channels: free tickets, a free trip, an offer to buy you dinner, a new-to-you old couch. Practice saying yes to such help.

More than anything else, experiment with solitude. You will need to make a commitment to quiet time. Try to acquire the habit of checking in with yourself. Several times a day, just take a beat, and ask yourself how YOU are feeling. Listen to your answer. Respond kindly. YES, I am asking you to baby yourself. We believe that to be artists we must be tough, cynical and intellectually chilly. Leave that to the critics. As a creative being, you will be more productive when coaxed than when bullied.’

Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way

Random Page Number 2

 

For those who are new to my Random Pages, I will every so often open up a page at random in an inspirational/motivational book and scribble the writings here. If you are feeling low and don’t have the time or energy to read an entire self-help book, perhaps one of these pages might be applicable to you.  Grab a coffee, kick off your shoes, you are always welcome here…..(bring cake if you can)!

“Anger is fuel. We feel it and we want to do something. Hit someone, break something, throw a fit, smash a fist into the wall, tell those bastards. But we are nice people, and what we do with our anger is stuff it, deny it, bury it, block it, hide it, lie about it, medicate it, muffle is, ignore it. We do everything but LISTEN to it.

Anger is meant to be listened to. Anger is a voice, a shout, a plea, a demand. Anger is meant to be respected. Why? Because anger is a MAP. Anger shows us what our boundaries are. Anger shows us where we want to go. It lets us see where we’ve been and lets us know when we haven’t liked it. Anger points the way, not just the finger. Anger is meant to be acted upon, not acted out.

Anger points the direction. We are meant to use anger as fuel to take the actions we need to move where our anger points us. With a little thought, we can usually translate the message that our anger is sending us”.

– Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way)

Random Page Number 1

I will every so often be opening a motivational book on a random page and scribble the writings here. This is for when you’re feeling blue, which is a nicer word for “shit” and let’s face it, “shit” is a better word when you’re feeling blue 🙂 So if you so happen to feel down, pick one of my Random Page Numbers.

Much has been said about the simple writings of The Secret, but at the end of the day it does what it was meant to do.

“You are here on this glorious planet, endowed with this wonderful power, to create your life! There are no limits to what you can create for You, because your ability to think is unlimited! But you cannot create other people’s lives for them. You cannot think for them, and if you try to force your opinions on others you will only attract ‘like’ forces to You. So let all others create the life they want. The universe offers ALL things to ALL people through the law of attraction. You have the ability to choose what you want to experience.

Do you want there to be enough for you and for everyone? Then choose that now. There is unlimited supply. There is so much magnificence. So choose for You, because you are the only one who can.

THE SECRET

 

Hah! You expected an image of a sunset right? Or perhaps an old man holding the hand of a just as old woman, smiling life’s troubles away? Those would have worked fine, but perhaps you feel more like an abandoned castle. Maybe you are trying to crawl through the twigs and branches that surround you so you can be seen again. Then the above post is for you 🙂 We are all a little rusty and a little dusty, ain’t nothing wrong with that!