Pain

Pain

A Poem

by Gabriel Matula on Unsplash

Pain
Twists,
Inside my head.
Hurts,
Throbs,
No small relief.
Nails,
Pound,
Into my ears.
Brain’s
Fuzz,
And makes no sense.

This is my brain tonight.


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.

Headaches and Hurting

Headaches and Hurting

The Pain Of Chronic Illness

by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

I was woken up at 5am, by my jaw, which decided to clench itself so badly during the night, that it gave me a migraine. I staggered downstairs, and got myself some painkillers and some water to take them with, and then went back to bed, where I tried to lay as still as I possibly could, because I didn’t want to risk making it any worse.

At about eight o clock, my miniature dachshund alarm clock demanded to be taken downstairs and let out in the garden. I then fed the dogs, while trying to stay upright, and not let the dizziness take over completely.

For the first half hour after that, I just tried to lay still in the hopes of not angering my jaw muscles any more, but it didn’t really work, and it was at that point, where I had to make the decision on whether I would try and go about my day, or whether I should just give in and rest.

In the end, I made the decision to do a bit of both. I had a pawtrait commission that I needed to work on, but at the same time, trying to do that when I couldn’t really see straight would have been pure stupidity. Instead, I decided to paint another fairy door, because I knew that there were larger areas that didn’t require such precise work.

I forced myself to take the dogs out, partly because I knew that they needed to go for a walk, and partly because I was hoping that the fresh air might help. Although it improved my mood massively, physically, I began to get shooting pains in my ears, and phantom wisdom tooth pain.

So, this afternoon, I chose to rest for a while. The dogs haven’t left me alone all day, almost as if they are playing nurse maid to me, which is very sweet, and definitely makes me feel loved.

The pain is still there, and I can only hope that a good night’s sleep will help to ease it a little. The thing is that this is not me throwing a pity party. I truly mean that. I don’t expect sympathy at all.

It is just one of those things that is a part of having a chronic illness. Many, many people have chronic pains that they deal with on a daily basis, and they are some of the bravest and strongest people I know. Especially as a number of them suffer under the curse that is an invisible illness.

In truth, I often think that invisible illnesses are some of the worst things to deal with, because (to state the obvious) there is nothing to see. People end up feeling like they must prove their conditions exist, and I know a number of people that have endured judgements, and prejudices, simply because someone could not see what was wrong with them.

It is a truly unfair situation. People with all manner of pain and disabilities are often forced to sit in silence because they simply feel too afraid or ashamed to actually say that “Yes” they do have an illness, and “Yes” they are in pain, or exhausted, or worn out, because they don’t know what response they will receive, and you know what?

That really sucks!


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 Importance Of Solitude

The Importance Of Solitude

When being alone doesn’t mean being lonely..

by Alan Tang on Unsplash

As a self confessed introvert, I know the importance of ‘alone time’. It gives me the chance to think, and refresh and regroup. I find value in being alone with my thoughts.

This is not to say that I don’t like being social; I do. But in carefully measured doses. The thing is that I find it very difficult to deal with lots of noise, and people talking across each other.

I find my mind wandering, listening to all of the conversations going on around me, even without my trying to do this. The energy my brain then expends on keeping myself present in the conversation I am actually in, leaves me feeling exhausted, and there are times when I just have to get out of that situation, to somewhere quiet, where I can just take a few deep breaths and regroup.

Some people may see me as rude, but that’s not the case. It certainly isn’t what I’m trying to come across as. Sometimes, being in a group of people leaves me feeling so lost, and tongue tied, and (yes, really!) alone. It never ceases to amaze me how it’s possible to feel so completely alone in a room full of people, but it is.

Sometimes (most of the time), I refer to myself as socially inept. The fact is that I’m okay on a one to one basis, and even in groups of two or three people, but any group larger that, and I find myself lapsing into silence, tongue tied and only able to focus on listening to the conversation going on around me.

Even if you say socially inept is too strong a word, I am most definitely socially uncomfortable… and I have had to learn to accept that as simply being a part of my personality, and something that I don’t think will ever change dramatically.

The people who know me well, know this about me, and they also know the me that comes out in a smaller group of people. They know the me that cracks up laughing at the silly things animals do, and the me that cries at the end of movies, and the me that has opinions, and isn’t afraid to express them, and they know the me that has so many creative ideas firing around inside my brain at any given moment that they can almost see the cogs turning.

These are my people.

The thing is, that just because I’m quiet socially, it doesn’t mean that my brain is. More often than not, the quieter I am, the more loud and shouty my brain is being, and I’ve learned to be okay with that too.

Some people who are most definitely extroverts, will say that they can’t imagine anything worse than a couple of hours of solitude, and I can understand that. In the same way that being with people constantly would simply be too much for me, I can imagine that being alone would be too much for them.

The key here is to use the time of solitude carefully and cleverly. It is often in those still, quiet times, that the greatest revelations come to me, and I think this shows in my creative pursuits.

I have found that if I have my time of solitude first thing in the morning, then I am far more likely to have a productive day. I can get on with what I want to do without worrying about anything else, and once I’ve done that, I feel free and lighter, and more able to socialise. I think this is partly because I’ve given myself that time to decompress, and empty my brain.

I know this won’t work for everyone, and there are probably many people who disagree with me, but this is my process. It is what I have found works for me.

Your job is to find a way that works for you, to balance out your need for society and for solitude.


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.

Free Writing

Free Writing

And The Benefits Of Practicing It.

rawpixel on Unsplash

Yesterday, I really struggled to write. I got so frustrated and angry with myself, because anything I sat down to work on just seemed to come out as unreadable rubbish. I mean, it was that bad, that I found myself cringing.

I was in two minds as to whether I should just give up completely. Thankfully, it was at that moment, that a very well timed email came into my inbox, and I found myself reading the exact advice that I needed at that time.

The email basically said, that even if I had writer’s block, or was worried about writing absolute rubbish, that the best thing I could do was to just push on forward.

It claimed that it was the actual physical mechanism and body memory of writing that was important. It explained it sort of like needing to go to the gym to exercise my muscles, except that this time, the muscle I was exercising, was my writing brain.

It sounds so simple, that it’s crazy, but it really worked yesterday. I got so stuck on my novel that I just ended up opening a blank document, and typing, mostly without really thinking about it.

Free writing is something that I haven’t done much of lately, and yesterday, I was kicking myself, because I think this practice is actually invaluable to me. The act of giving myself the freedom to write… just write… even if it’s complete and utter rubbish, really helped to free me up, and I’ve not felt this inspired in a long time.

I’m not sure if it will work for everyone, but what I will say, is that if you have writer’s block, just give it a try, and you may find that it frees you up and you’ll then be able to write in a far more effective and productive way.

All I know is, that it’s really helped me so much, and now, all I need to do is to remember to do it!


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.

Crossing The Threshold

Crossing The Threshold

Taking That Leap…

by Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash

I’ve gotten to the point in my novel where my character is about to fully commit herself to the world of the story. She’s already part of the way there, but she still has one toe in her ordinary world.

The chapter that I’m working on at the moment will solidify her presence in the world of the story. After this chapter, there is no going back for Joey. This is not a fully voluntary choice that she has made, and she feels trapped.

The thing is, I’ve been really struggling with this chapter for a while now, and I think part of it is that Joey desperately doesn’t want to bring that last toe into the story.

All the while that she is half way between the two worlds; all the while that there is still a chance that this is all a bad dream and that she can go back, she can’t move forward in the story.

Basically, she is in her comfort zone.

And I need her out of it, if the story is ever going to move forwards.

At the moment, I can sort of picture her like those memes we see online of dogs desperately clawing at door frames and furniture, while they are carried to their inevitable destination of the horror that is a bath.

Right now, I am wrestling Joey through the house, so that I can dunk her in that bath (metaphorically, of course), and up until now, I have failed. I’ve been listening to all of her excuses why I shouldn’t do this, and yes, I’ll admit, I’ve felt sorry for her, but enough is enough.

Today, she will finally take the plunge, and although it will not always be pleasant, I know that she is strong enough to cope with everything this new world will throw at her.


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.

Writing Through The Pain

Writing Through The Pain

The Struggle Is Real

by Asdrubal luna on Unsplash

I made the decision to do Nanowrimo again this year, and I am determined to win this time. I’ve had a few setbacks, which have left me very much below the ‘on par’ word count that I should be at, but I’m not too worried, because I have a lot of writing to do and that simply excites me.

The thing is, though, that my anxiety doesn’t agree and leaves me feeling freaked out about the number of words I must hit. Well, this year, I refuse to let my anxiety win, when it tells me that I am a failure, and that I may as well give up, because, you know what? Even if life gets in the way and I find myself unable to actually finish the 50000 words, I have still written far more words than I would have done if I hadn’t been doing Nano.

Some of the things that have come up have been general ‘life’ things, but others (and this is where I struggle), are to do with my physical and emotional health. Some days, my tmjd flares up and I have a constant headache from the moment I wake up, to the moment that I go to bed. These days have been more often than not, lately, and it’s been hard to put the work in when my head feels like it’s going to explode.

The reality, though, is that the world doesn’t stop, just because I’m in pain. The truth is, that it keeps going, and nowadays, time seems to move faster and faster, and I can’t just stop whenever I have a bad day. I simply have to push through the pain, if I am ever going to get this novel finished and out and about in the world.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to push forward, and I am going to just keep on writing through the pain, because I know it will ease off eventually, but the writing that I do will always be there, and there’s nothing like the sense of achievement that looking at a finished chapter gives 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.

Red

Red

A Poem

by Katarzyna Pe on Unsplash

Red,
Petals fall as blood,
Tears are many,
As loved ones lost.

Young,
Barely more than children,
Gave their lives,
For our peace.

Remember,
These brave souls,
Off to battle,
But never to come home.

Poppies,
Our sign of remembrance,
We will remember,
We remember them.

Always.
Lest we forget,
The poppy bleeds red,
And we never forget.


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.

Rain

Rain

A Haiku

by Hannah Domsic on Unsplash

When the skies are grey
There’s no sunshine to be seen
And raindrops fall fast.


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 Magic Of Music

The Magic Of Music

And Why I Love It So Much

by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

I’ve always loved music. I’m not a musician, or a singer, but I love the effect that music has on me. I love how it can often express far more effectively, what words cannot.

The thing is, music speaks to my soul. It’s lilting melodies reach into the depths of my heart and often pull out emotions that I didn’t even know were there.

I listen to music, probably for at least a third of the day. I have it on while I write; while I drive; while I make art, and while I craft. I listen to all different kinds of music, and it often depends on my mood.

I have an incredibly eclectic taste in music, and I have absolutely no ‘guilty pleasures’. In fact, I hate that phrase! If I like a song, then I like it, and I’m not going to pretend that I don’t because it isn’t ‘hip’, or ‘on trend’.

It makes me so angry when people feel like they have to be ashamed of the music that they like, just because others might make fun of them.

My niece asked me a while back, what music I liked, and I told her “pretty much anything”. Then she said that she meant which genre, to which I replied, “pretty much anything”.

This seemed to totally confuse her, and she couldn’t comprehend that my likes in music were not confined to a specific genre, but that’s just how it is. It’s how it’s always been.

I grew up in the 90’s, when we used to record our favourite songs from the radio onto cassettes. I remember one such cassette, which I had labelled with the artist on it, and I lent this cassette to a friend, who told me the following day that she had removed the label, because she was worried that other people might see it and make fun of her for listening to that artist.

This just made me feel incredibly sad for her, that she wasn’t able to allow herself to express her likes and dislikes freely. The artist in question is still making music, and in spite of battling a chronic illness, is doing incredibly well for herself in the industry.

The thing I’m trying to get at, is that music is a powerful, personal thing, and I refuse to allow it to be pigeon holed in my life. I can count on one hand, the number of songs that I dislike enough to actively avoid listening to, and I am proud of that fact.

I feel that having an open mind like this helps to inform my writing, as I am able to select the songs, which are most appropriate for the tone of the piece I am writing.

Of course, there are certain tracks, which I always find myself adding to my writing playlist of the day, but then there are others, which will appeal more directly to the story in question.

I feel that I am incredibly lucky to have this attitude towards music, and I can honestly say that it opens a lot of doors for me, creatively speaking, within my mind, which might otherwise remain closed.

Which songs to you find yourself adding to your playlists?


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.

November The Fifth

November The Fifth

A Haiku-ish..

Fireworks crash the sky,
Bonfires burn up the Guy,
Do we remember,
Why?


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.