Going Analog

Going Analog

Back to basics

by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

Lately I’ve been struggling with writing. The look of the white page in screen; the clickety clack of keys that seem jarring, where they used to feel therapeutic. It’s strange when something you’ve come to rely so strongly upon; something that has been so completely integrated into your life, seems to turn on you.

This last week has been particularly painful, and has gotten me to thinking that maybe there is something to be said for “the old ways”. There is a certain something about the act of putting pen to paper; a kind of permanence that not being able to just hit that “delete” button, inspires.

So, I have decided to make a commitment to myself to do at least some writing by hand, every day. I’d initially thought that I would try going completely analog, but in hindsight, I don’t honestly think it’s feasible. Of course, you never know, a daily habit of putting pen to paper, might grow into something bigger. I guess we’ll (yes, me, too) just have to wait and see.

So, for the next week, I will commit to writing by hand for a minimum of ten minutes per day. I know it’s a small goal, but that’s the point. I set a minimum target, not a maximum. If I hit ten minutes, and the writing is flowing, I can always carry on. That’s the beauty of the teeny tiny goals.

So, watch this space for an update 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Pain²

Pain²

Losing Leah

“woman lying on bed” by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

Lily was sat in her room, the room that she had shared for so many years, and it seemed so much bigger now. So much emptier. She shook her head, feeling tears coming to her eyes when she thought about it. About her. She hadn’t spoken about her since she’d died. Her parents kept begging her to see someone, and to speak to them, but she refused. She just wouldn’t agree to it. She couldn’t accept help, because she didn’t feel like she deserved it, so instead, she put up a wall between her and the outside world. Between her and everyone else. She didn’t want to talk to anyone about her. She couldn’t. It was getting dark in the room now, and she knew that she should get up and turn on a light, but she found the darkness strangely comforting.

In the darkness, she couldn’t see the emptiness of the room, and the loss of Leah didn’t seem quite so tangible. She closed her eyes, but as the image of Leah formed in her head, she opened them again, the pain that flooded her head, threatening to overwhelm her. She longed for the numbness that had immediately followed Leah’s death to return. She knew it seemed wrong, but she couldn’t cope with these new feelings that seemed to be rearing their ugly heads.

Every other thought always came back to Leah, and before she knew it, she was all she could think of. She sighed harshly, as anger flooded her senses. She didn’t want to think about Leah. She didn’t want to imagine her, or see her, or feel the pain of losing her.

Pain. That was where it had all started. Where she had first realised that she could stop the thoughts. She hadn’t meant to do it. She hadn’t even realised that she was doing it at first, not until she’d felt the sticky wetness on the tender skin of her arm. It had been a Thursday when it happened. The day of the funeral. It’s strange, she thought, before the funeral, everyone crowds around you, comforting you (or trying to), and bringing food, flowers and cards, but then, after the funeral, everyone just seemed to disappear, as if they were waves, retreating back out to sea after a particularly stormy night.

It was that night, when everyone had gone home, and her parents had holed up in the living room. She had gone up to her room, and was sat cross legged on her bed. The bed in the room that she and Leah were supposed to share. In that moment, memories flooded her consciousness so strongly, and she could picture Leah’s face and the pain washed over her in waves so strong that she felt sure that she would break apart.

She glanced sideways at the message board on the wall that she and Leah had shared. Photos of the two of them, along with some of their other friends smiled back at her, reminding her of times past, times that were now long gone, and times that she could never EVER get back. She tried furiously to blink back the tears. She hadn’t cried yet and she didn’t mean to cry now. She felt so many mixed feelings all at once and she couldn’t seem to make them stop.

Suddenly, fear, sadness and anger all intermingled within her, to create a huge black cloud all around her that she couldn’t see her way out of and then, as if to make matters worse, the tears started to fall thick and fast, blurring her vision and making it impossible for her to think straight.

She felt like screaming. She felt like hurling things around the room, but she knew that she couldn’t, and deep down, she didn’t want to throw things around the room. She didn’t want to alter the way their room was supposed to be. She just wanted to numb the pain, and to take away the images of her and her sister that were memories far too happy for her to bear.

She looked around the room, and then, before she even really knew what she was doing, she was pulling up her sleeves and digging her neatly manicured nails into her arm and dragging them down over and over again. Her breath was coming in thin and shallow bursts, harsh and desperate, but slowly, as the scratches got worse and the blood started to pop up, she felt it slow, gradually, carefully, she drew in deep, shuddering breaths.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Church

Church

On why it’s not simply a building, but a movement.

“Quaint chapel in a field near mountains” by Tim Wright on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Church, and the way believers view it. Traditionally, people tend to hear the word “Church” and think that it refers to a building where Christians meet, but this was never meant to be the case.

It is easy for society to see it this way, because it helps us to be able to fit and contain something in a neat little box, but the truth is, Church cannot be placed in a box; cannot be contained; cannot simply be categorised like that.

In the Bible, it tells us that a “Church” is a body of believers, not a stone and mortar building. Church is not a dead, inanimate object, but a living, breathing thing, made up of a number of parts; made up of any number of us that choose to follow Christ.

Church is us. We are Church. There is no vagueness, no doubt, and no half way, here. If we follow Christ, then we become part of something far bigger, and we become Church; one cog in the wonderful power and plan of God.

We become the body of Christ, here on earth, until He comes again, and we are called to behave towards people as He does. We are called to be humble, just, and merciful as we walk alongside Him.

We are called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what they may or may not have done to us. We are called to be sympathetic; to help where we can, and more than anything else, we are called to LOVE.

I have seen so many groups of believers fall apart because they are looking on the Church as simply a building, rather than what it truly is. The truth is, that we all belong to the same Church in the end, anyway. We all belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, no matter which building we find ourselves in.

We are not called to criticise and pick holes in one Church or another. We are called to reach the lost, to be the light in an ever darkening world, and to love one another as God, and Jesus loved us.

The truth is, as Agnes Brown said in an episode of Mrs Brown’s Boys, “If we’re all going to the same place, who cares who’s driving the bus.” This is so true. If we are all followers of Christ, we are effectively all on the same path. Surely that’s the important thing, rather than where the building we go to, to worship is situated.

This is why we need to start thinking of Church as more than just a physical building. That’s not what it is, nor was it ever meant to be that.

WE are the church, and it’s about time that we started behaving as the body of Christ; reaching out to the hurting people; lifting up those too broken to lift themselves; loving on people with the reckless, ferocious, unending, relentless love that Christ bestowed on us.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

“You Should”

“You Should”

When nobody can see…

“woman lying on bed” by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

We’ve all hear those words. “You should (do this, or that..)” “You should be…” “You have no reason to be…” People throw these comments about so easily. Especially with the added freedom of social media and the internet, where you can say whatever you want with hardly any real, visible consequences.

The truth is, words hurt. They can be thrown around so carelessly, and we very rarely think about the consequences of them. We don’t always see the people involved, and we don’t see the effects that these words can have on people.

This is especially true of people who suffer with an invisible illness. Many people seem to be of the school of thought that if you can’t see it, then it doesn’t exist, but it’s real enough to the sufferers.

Today I have woken up with a pounding headache, radiating from my jaw, and up into my ears. It can’t be seen. Almost every aspect of TMJ Dysfunction is invisible, leading to the belief that there is nothing wrong, even though it can be debilitating.

And the worst thing is that it isn’t only others’ judgement that you have to deal with, because these thoughts slowly invade your own mind, making you feel bad; making you feel that you are lazy and a time waster, and a drama queen, and then the guilt starts to eat away at you.

Today, I have taken the dogs for a walk. I have worked on an art commission, and done some writing. My head feels like it’s caught in a vice. At times, it’s like the room starts to spin. At others, it’s just too bright. I have taken the maximum amount of painkillers and anti-inflammatories that I can take in the given time frame, and it’s still there, but the irony is that no one can see it. On the outside, I look like I am absolutely fine, and just being lazy.

This is the case for so many others with a number of different illnesses that are all invisible. Fibromyalgia, M.E, Anxiety, Depression. I could go on. The truth is, that all of the people I know, who have an invisible illness, live with unbelievable pain, day in, day out, and they do so, while facing some of the harshest judgements, often from the very people who are supposed to love and support them.

It’s time to change this. It’s time to understand and accept that often, people are fighting battles that we know nothing about, and perhaps the best course of action would be to pick up the phone, or drop that person a text asking how they are, behaving with compassion, rather than acting in judgement.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Morning or Evening

Morning or Evening

You’re one or the other…

by Josh Hild on Unsplash

You’re either one or the other. Some people (you know the type) wake up and jump out of bed, and it’s like they’ve stepped straight out of some fifties musical, ready for the day ahead, and anything it might bring.

Others will spend as long as possible in bed, probably hitting snooze multiple times, before they finally drag themselves out of bed and to the kitchen for their morning coffee, which they can’t function without.

Lately, I have worked out that I am most definitely a morning person. I like to get up and get going. That’s not to say that I haven’t hit the snooze button a few times, if I’m having a particularly interesting dream that I want to finish, but in general, I like to be up by 8am at the latest. A very rare ‘lie in’ for me, would stretch to 9am (partly due to dogs that demand breakfast).

In general, I get up at around eight, try to avoid being knocked down the stairs by starving dogs who haven’t yet grasped that if they do knock me down the stairs, will have to wait even longer for food.

Once downstairs, I feed them and let them out in the garden (being careful to remember to take of my spaniel’s panties, that she has to wear because of a hormonal issue which can sometimes cause incontinence). Then I can do things like brush my teeth, and take my medication. I don’t make coffee, because I don’t drink it. Or tea (I know, how do I live?!).

Then I get on the treadmill for a while, before grabbing a quick shower, and then getting dressed. After that, I spend some time with God, and my Bible, before doing some journalling and then I get down to working on my novel.

Usually, at about midday, the dogs are getting twitchy; more than ready for their walk, so we bundle them into the car and take them to the park, where we can let them have a good old run with their friends.

Then it’s home for lunch, followed by some artwork. Sometimes, this is personal, sometimes, it’s commissions. Either way, it is fun. And then, I get some time to do some crafting.

The thing is, I have tried numerous ways to structure my day, but this definitely seems to be the way that works for me. Sometimes life, or my mental health, gets in the way of this, but generally speaking, the structure of knowing what I need to do and when, actually improves my mood, as long as I can motivate myself enough to do it in the first place.

And so, having tried all these different ways, I have come to the conclusion that I am a morning person, and that there’s very little that I can do about it.

What about you? Are you a morning or an evening person? Hit me up in the comments and tell me about your routines.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Goodbye Summer

Goodbye Summer

The fall of the season

by Greg Shield on Unsplash

Tomorrow, children across the country will be donning school uniforms for the first day of the Autumn term. The last six weeks seem to have just flown by. While I have no children of my own (yet), I will be looking forward to my nieces’ first day back to school photos that will be posted on Facebook.

This time last year, I was preparing for mine and my sister’s annual jaunt to the Isle Of Wight. If she were still here, it’s what I would be doing this year, too. Maybe one day, I will be able to go back there, but not yet; things are still so raw and emotional, that I wouldn’t be able to cope with it at the moment.

So, this year, I will be spending the second week of September at home, for the first time in about five years. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I know that this is the right thing for me right now.

A friend of mine, posted about how September is kind of like a new year, only with a little less pressure, and I can totally get behind that, so I intend to spend what would have been my holiday fortnight, making plans for the future, trying to get a head start on my Christmas crafts, and to make a definitive dent in the word count for my wip.

I’m sure that I’ll shed a tear or two. We had the same itinerary each year, so I’m also sure that I will think of the places that we would have been visiting, and I think I’m okay with that.

The one thing I know, is that I’m going to make this time count, rather than just ruminating on what would have been.

What plans do you have for your September?


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

My 100000 Word Summer

My 100000 Word Summer

An Update

by Arash Asghari on Unsplash

As it’s the start of a new month, I figured I should give an update on my summer long project. Although the summer holidays are over, I am choosing to base the length of this project on the British summer time, so I still have 22 days left.

My word count currently sits at 77242, so I’m actually a little ahead of target, but I’m happy with that. I’ve had a couple of days when grief, anxiety, and depression have left me feeling paralysed, and unable to do anything, let alone write coherently, and let’s face it, no one wants to read my incoherent ramblings (unless you’re reading this, in which case, welcome to the crazy that is my brain).

My novel is coming along well. I have a little over 14000 words down, and the story is still going strong. It’s lovely to have a story that is just screaming to be told. It makes it easy to write it, even if I find myself shouting at my main character in the process as she makes some very bad decisions.

So, for this month, I’m looking at just trying to keep writing every day. It seems like such a simple thing, but if I don’t do it, my mood instantly drops. When I do write, though, it helps me to feel sane. It helps me to empty some of the words and thoughts out of my brain, and that can only be a really good thing, can’t it?

If you’re coming along with me for the ride, drop your progress in the comments. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

The X Factor

The X Factor

Watching without you…

by Mean Shadows on Unsplash

The new series started tonight. I watched it. Mum and Dad did too, but you know how much they hate the auditions stages. They were always more our thing. I missed your laughing. Your complaining about watching all the blurb. I even missed you fast forwarding through the truly awful acts.

I keep trying to imagine your comments, and what you would say; to imagine your laugh, and the way you would try to sing along, and end up going flat when you focused too much on remembering the lyrics. You never could stay in tune when you read, or focused on the lyrics, and yet, if you knew the words, you could sing beautifully. I miss that voice; the flat one, and the in tune one.

The episode has finished now. The last audition had this guy singing Angels by Robbie Williams (who is making a really good judge, by the way), and I could almost hear your voice singing along. You loved that song, even though you didn’t really do boybands.

I really wish you were here. In six days time, you will have been gone eleven months. It just doesn’t seem real. How can I have spent the last (almost) year on this earth without you.

That Saturday still feels like it happened yesterday. There are times, when I’m not concentrating and I can almost forget for a moment. I think you’re just asleep in your room, or in the camper van, but then I remember, and it’s like a punch to the stomach.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to you not being here. There were times when you really annoyed me, but I’d give anything to be annoyed by you now. I’d give anything to hear you call my name.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said that over the last months. Too many times, probably, but there aren’t really any words to explain this feeling right now. I guess the closest I can get are these:

I MISS YOU

I think I always will, I can only hope that some day, it doesn’t hurt quite so much, but for now, I guess, I will just keep putting one foot in front of the other; just keep watching the X Factor, and maybe I can imagine that you’re watching with me from wherever you are.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.