Pageant

Pageant

A Poem Of The Self

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

A vision of perfection,
The mask is put in place,
Bright smile now pasted on,
She hopes it’s not a waste.

The darkness crashes in,
She’s lost, and all alone,
Yet coming from within,
She’s toppled from her throne.

The old ones never tell,
Eyes unseeing, see,
They say that all is well,
But it will not ever be.

She fell and now she falls,
Freely breaking down,
She won’t go to the ball,
But sits there with a frown.

Tears will flow down cheeks,
And her beautiful dress is crumpled,
She’s been sad for weeks,
She’s broken, trodden, trampled.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Piling On The Pressure

Piling on the pressure

And why I’ve decided to give myself a break.

Photo by Lysander Yuen on Unsplash

Being a carer, there is a LOT of extreme and constant pressure on you. Your life becomes something that is not about you at all. Your entire existence becomes wrapped up in looking after the person that you care for.

A large number of these carers will, at some time or the other, experience burnout. They will get to the point where, no matter how much they want to, they literally cannot physically or emotionally, give any more.

I know this feeling, and it isn’t a nice one. Dependent on the needs of the person that you’re caring for, there can be immense pressure:

“If I’m not there when they need me, will they hurt themselves?”

These thoughts can go round and round in the mind of a carer, until the fear is almost crippling. I know it was for me.

Carers very rarely put themselves first. They always come second, never will they put their own needs above their loved one.

I can remember days when I was so exhausted, and had the beginnings of a migraine, and even then, I made sure that my sister was okay and that she had everything that she needed before I actually took the painkillers I needed and took myself to bed.

Since my sister passed away in 2017, I have been struggling to adjust to a life where I am not a carer. The habits I learnt back then have taken a long time to break. For example, I used to try and cram as much of my writing and art and craft into the morning as I possibly could, because I knew that the minute that midday came, I would be needed to fulfil my carer duties.

Although this has not been the case for more than a year now, I have only just been able to allow myself time in the mornings in order to relax, in the knowledge that I can now, also work in the afternoon.

It sounds so simple and so stupid, and yet, it has been a real issue for me.

This week, I have, rather than giving myself daily schedules, simply set out the minimum number of hours I wish to spend on each thing (writing, studying, artwork, crafting). I haven’t really looked at whether I am on track or not. I am just simply allowing myself to spend the time working on these things, but the targets being there helps my badly behaved brain to not panic about not achieving enough.

Through this process, I am giving myself permission to have some breathing room, and so far, my productivity has flourished because of it.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Going Old School

Going Old School

A Practice In Reminiscing

I remember the Christmas that my parents bought me my first electronic word processor. I remember the excitement when I tore the wrapping paper away, and when I opened the box and switched it on, watching the screen whirring to life. It was a Canon StarWriter, and I loved that machine.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, pretty much from the first time that I realised that I didn’t have to just read books, but that I could actually create them, too. That Christmas, I started writing on that little word processor, and I loved it. The feeling of freedom that writing gives me is like nothing else on this earth. It is a joy like no other, and I am sad to say that I had lost it for quite a while.

The thing is that until the last year, I had been a carer for fifteen years, and if I’m honest, that took up most of my time and energy, leaving me very little left to give to my writing.

That changed in October 2017, in a heartbreaking way, when my sister, and best friend (whom I was caring for) passed away suddenly. It has taken me a long time to get to the point when I finally feel able to focus and dedicate the time to my writing once more.

The thing is that, having made that decision, I have struggled to write using my laptop. There are any number of distraction free apps on the market, but none of them prevent the constant notifications that are forever at our finger tips.

So, I started searching to see if there was something else that I could use, which is when the memory of writing on my little word processor as a child, came to me.

Now, obviously, we are in an age, where portability is essential, so, while I got out my StarWriter (yes, I still have it, and it still powers up flawlessly) to use at home, I began looking for something that would be a good, portable alternative.

This is when I stumbled upon this gem. The AlphaSmart Neo2. Looking at the writers forums, I saw that a number of novelists were working from this device rather than from more modern, and possibly high tech devices.

The thing is that the Neo2 does exactly what I need it to. It gives me a full sized keyboard, and a small screen, which I can see about six lines of text. There is no internet, and no pesky notifications to distract me, so I can simply write, write, write. The screen works in bright sunlight, and with a lamp, so I can literally take it anywhere with me, and the battery life is approximately 700 hours, on guess what?! Three AA Batteries!

I have had this device since Saturday, and I can honestly say that I have probably written more in these few days than I have in the last month or so.

This is the thing though… as humans, we have a tendency to over complicate things, with fancy apps, and cloud backup, when really, all we need is the ability to put the words in our head down in some way.

With my Neo, I simply write, and then when I want to transfer it to a document, I simply connect it to my laptop with a USB cable and “send” the document there. In fact, I’ve done that with this very post that you’re now reading.

I’m not saying that it will work for everyone, but for me, it has given my writing a new lease of life, for which I’m so grateful for.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Social Media Breaks

Social Media Breaks

And Why I’m Taking One

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Lately, (thank you depression), I have found myself spending more and more time on social media, not actively commenting and talking to people, but simply passively reading posts.

It has become somewhat of a time killer for me, and I have far too many things that are important to me that I need to spend time doing, so I am taking a forced social media break.

I have three deadlines coming up at the end of the month, and I have a LOT of work still to do before they are ready to submit. I also have writing ideas actively flying around my mind, which I really want to be able to focus on, and I know that if I don’t cut off my social media time, then I won’t get anything done, because sometimes, it is simply less painful to read about other people’s lives, that in is to engage in my own, but this is not something that I want to do.

I’ve also found myself becoming very jaded about social media. While it can be used massively for good, I have also noticed that so many people seem to simply play lip service to others, and this isn’t something I want to be a part of. It is fake and untruthful, and not for me.

As an example, in the last week alone, I have witnessed people leaving friendly comments on others’ posts, even though I know that they don’t get on, or even like said person. This is not for me. If I can’t say anything nice, then I will not say anything at all, but I won’t say something nice in public, simply to stab the knife into someone’s back in private. I will not do this, and I have seen it one too many times lately, so I am going to take a break for a while. I am still going to post my daily photo journal, which I named #myy33project, because that is a year long project, which I don’t want to lose. I will post this on Instagram and share it to Twitter and Facebook as normal. I shall also share my blog posts, but that’s all.

To be honest, and without meaning to sound maudlin, most people won’t really miss me anyway. I’m okay with that. I am used to being fairly invisible, and it makes this transition far easier for the moment.

So, I guess, unless you read these blogs, this is goodbye for the foreseeable future.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Back On Track

Back On Track

A Rough Week

Photo by Hasnain Babar on Unsplash

This week, I haven’t posted much on here. I’ve been feeling quite low and I’ve not really done much, if I’m honest.

I guess that’s what I have to deal with thanks to my depression and TMJD *eye roll emoji*. Seriously, I’ve spent most of the week with a pounding headache and pain shooting down my neck and through my eyes.

Added to that, I found a lump in my dog’s neck. The vet did a fine needle aspiration, but there was a forty eight hour wait to get the results back.

Now, forty eight hours doesn’t seem like a particularly long time, but when you’re waiting for results of something like that, and you have this charming little thing I call ‘writer’s brain’, which has a tendency to imagine every possible scenario, and automatically panic about the worst case, then it can feel like YEARS!

Thank goodness that when I phoned the vet, they said that it was just a swollen lymph gland, and that it should go down by itself.

The reason I’m telling you this, is because it explains my absence. I have been a nervous wreck, with no real drive to write, or post, or create, even; but now, I’m ready to get back to it. I can’t promise anything particularly brilliant, but I’m willing to try, and I just hope that you will like what I write.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Depression

Depression

The Cold and The Darkness

Photo by Matthias Heil on Unsplash

I’ve struggled to name this post. I’ve been wanting to write something about depression for a while now, but the words have always failed me when it actually came to writing it down.

It’s hard to write about depression. It’s even harder to live with it. Some days you wake up and everything’s good. You feel energised, and ready to take on anything. Then there are the other days. The darker ones, when all you want to do is roll over in bed and sleep and sleep until the darkness fades and the sun shines again.

The thing is that ‘depression’ has become a buzz word. It has become something that is all too common for people to talk about, with phrases like; “I’m sooo depressed” and “I’m just a bit down” being thrown about everywhere.

The people that say this very rarely have any idea of what they’re claiming to have. Depression isn’t fashionable. It isn’t a quirk, and it certainly isn’t something that is fun to have.

There are so many aspects of depression that people don’t talk about though; the unglamorous things, like when you haven’t taken a shower in over a week, because you simply can’t summon up the energy, or when you eat junk, because you can’t be bothered to cook, and you aren’t really sure if you’re hungry anyway… There are too many examples to list.

When I was fourteen, I felt exhausted all the time. I struggled to get up in the morning. I couldn’t focus for more than a few minutes at a time, and I was off school for a number of weeks. It was like life was just too much like hard work.

My Mum took me to the doctor, and they did all the usual stuff, and then took blood samples, to check if I had glandular fever. The bloods came back negative, and the doctors (in their obvious wisdom) decided that I was just making it up — nice! In their defense, it was almost twenty years ago, and back then, children and adolescents weren’t diagnosed with mental health issues.

At the time, I didn’t really know what was happening to me. I just knew that I felt exhausted. I didn’t have the energy to do anything. I was scared; and when the doctor said I was making it up, I was hurt.

I wasn’t making it up.

Back then, I didn’t understand, but now, I know what it was. I was clinically depressed, and the doctor missed it. I’m not angry with him. It wasn’t his fault that the rules were like that back then, and I didn’t tell him everything, because I was ashamed.

I still feel ashamed today, but there’s nothing I can do to change it. I have depression. It is a part of me, and all I can do is make the most of the good days, and make the best of the bad ones.

And above all: I must not give up hope.

We must not give up hope.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Friendship

Friendship

The Truth

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

A lot of the time, we talk about friends, but sometimes I wonder if we actually know what the word really means, or if we have lost the concept of friendship. I have seven really close friends that I probably speak to more than once a week. These are the people that I know I can trust, and that I know have my back, no matter what.

The thing is that nowadays, what with social medias, people have lists of so-called ‘friends’, which are more like acquaintances. I know people whose friends lists on facebook are numbered in the thousands, and I honestly wonder how many of those people they actually *know*…

I mean, like really know. I’m as guilty as anyone. I have a large number (although, admittedly, not in the thousands) of friends on my list, and I’ll be honest, there are very few of them that I talk to on a regular basis. The thing is, I’m actually okay with that. I’ve stopped worrying about the number of friends I have; and am now more concerned with the quality of the friendships. I’m not saying that I want to become disconnected, but at the same time, I‘m not interested in acquiring a whole heap of new friends or followers, just for the ability to say that I have such and such number on my list.

Recently, I have been sad to have lost a couple of people, who I thought were good friends. I’ll be honest, it still hurts, but I’ve come to terms with it and accepted that this is just how things are going to be from now on.

One of these friends ghosted me when I told them about something that was really distressing to me. The other, a person in authority, as well as what I thought of as a good friend, simply didn’t take me seriously. I was left feeling hurt, and if I’m honest, betrayed.

But I digress. I’ve accepted that situation for what it is, and I’ll just have to live with it, but what I’m trying to say is that we should be really careful to choose our friends wisely. The thing is that friends can let us down, and probably will do at one point or another, because we are, none of us, perfect.

We really need to make sure that the people that we are talking to are people that genuinely have our best interests at heart. I know that my inner circle…. My seven people, have my best interests at heart. They always look out for me, and make sure that I am okay. This is not to say that they won’t call me out on things if I’m behaving in the wrong way, but even this, is done and said in love, and I always feel loved and supported.

The thing is that sometimes, friendships will simply run their course, and I guess that’s what happened to the two that I have recently lost. I really hope that this is the case, rather than that they never really were my friends in the first place.

I truly hope that’s the case. Either way, I am okay with it. It’s taken me a while, and it does still hurt, especially when I see these people, but at the same time, I have decided to have more respect for myself than to go on fighting for a relationship that clearly I am the only one to care about.

So, I want to encourage you to find your seven. Find those people, who make your life better, just by being in it. Find those people who will love and support and protect you. Those people who will laugh when you’re being goofy, and will tell you when you’re being an idiot.

Find your seven, and your life will be all the richer for it.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Knitting

Knitting

I’m Still Learning…

Oh have I had some fun with learning to knit this last month. In January, I learnt to purl, which opened up the world of knitting to me.

I began with some pretty black yarn and multi coloured thread plyed together, which works up into a beautiful ombre effect. I made a scarf, using stocking stitch, which, for any of you that don’t know, means one row of knit, and another of purl, alternating. This gives one bumpy side and one flat side.

It also tends to make the yarn curl at the edges, which means that I will need to block my finished piece. Blocking basically entails wetting the finished piece, and then pinning it out to a board, in order to allow the yarn to naturally shrink and dry flat.

Since making the scarf, I decided that I wanted to try doing a rib stitch. This is where the fun started. This stitch consists of alternating a knit stitch, with a purl stitch…

The problem is that my brain seemed to be unable to comprehend this. I couldn’t work out how to hold the yarn. I couldn’t work out how I should begin each row. I even ended up creating stitches… like, brand new ones that my knitter friends tell me don’t exist.

Yeah. That was fun. It was like I was doing a backwards purl. So confusing.

Anyway, I think I’ve finally gotten my brain around the mechanics of rib stitch now, so that is my plan for my next scarf… a pink, pale pink and green striped, ribbed scarf.

I’m hoping that it’ll be nice and tactile, which will also help my anxiety.

Watch this space…


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Introduction

Introduction

Commonplace Book Project

Photo by Joao Cruz on Unsplash

Recently I have been following @shauntagrimes Commonplace Book project online. I highly recommend that you check it out, if you haven’t already. I have found it fascinating how one simple thing quote can lead down a rabbit hole of research.

The whole idea is incredibly inspiring to me, and seeing as I want to start dedicating more of my time to my writing, I thought I would take Shaunta’s idea and run with it.

There are so many quotes; so many beautiful words in the world, and so many that I have found great comfort, and meaning in, which I would like to spend some more time exploring, and I think this would be the perfect place to do this.

So, from now on, I intend to publish regularly in this publication, and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy researching and writing it. 🙂


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.

Joy

Joy

A Haiku

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Sunshine and rainbows,
Bright, happy smiles on faces,
Endless optimism.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


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.