In The In-Between

A Short Dramatic Piece

The curse of the blank page is something that shouldn’t plague me.

I am a writer.

Words are my thing.

They free me; so why, do I somehow feel so completely trapped.

As I stare at the blank page, so fresh with all number of possibilities, I wonder why it paralyses me like this, when it is meant to be the very thing that frees me.

Looking away from the screen and around the room, I glare at the sunlight gleaming into the room, and blazing off the page, making it seem even whiter than normal.

I didn’t want to give in to it, but the words simply wouldn’t come, and as the time ticked down, slowly bleeding my life away, I realised that I really had nowhere to go from here.

The feeling crippled me, making me feel impotent; broken.

I couldn’t breathe.

I couldn’t imagine another day like today…

and that’s why I did it.

That’s why I am now laying in a hospital bed, in a coma, with only a slim chance of waking.

I know I should feel bad; wrong, even, but the only thing I feel is regret. Regret that I am laying here in this bed, rather than cold, in a casket in the ground.

Some people would say that it’s selfish, but really, when it comes down to it, if they haven’t lived the same life as I, then, do they really deserve to be able to comment.

It’s strange here; oddly white, and my body feels like it’s once removed. Which, I guess it is, in a way.

Once removed from me, and once removed from the world outside.

Should I be happy?

I’m not honestly sure. In fact, the only thing that I know for sure, is that I did not choose the state that I am now forced into living in.

People generally fall into two categories when it comes to this. One group believes the act to be selfish. The other believes that the act should be pitied.

I was never sure which side I would fall on.


If you want weekly updates from me, please 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 Digital

A month long experiment

What with all the talk of being environmentally conscious, lately, we have been trying to reduce the packaging and single use plastics that we use, at home.

This got me thinking about all the paper I use. Truth is, I have always been an analogue girl, despite my inherent tech geekiness, but as I was thinking of all the paper I use, and of all the trees that are cut down every year to produce said paper, I ended up wondering if I could port most of what I do into digital format. I know that it’s not going to make a huge dent in the way that trees are cut down, but in the words of Tesco… every little helps.

So, for the next month, I plan to work as digitally as I possibly can. I will carry no paper or pen with me, and will be solely reliant on digital forms of note-taking, art, writing and reading.

I don’t know if it’ll work, or whether I will come against any hurdles or not, but it’ll be interesting to find out. So, my tools for this will be the ipad pro 10″ 2017ipad Pro 12″ 2017, and the remarkable tablet, alongside my laptop, kindle, pc and phone.

I’ll update you when I get into the month a bit further.


If you want weekly updates from me, please click here 🙂


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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 Be Setting Goals

And Why They Need To Be Realistic

I love goals. I love setting them, and I love reaching, and achieving them. There is no better feeling than knowing that you’ve worked towards something and that you can now see the proof of your labour.

The problem I have with my goals, is that I tend to way over reach on what I can actually achieve. I have a tendency to try and spread myself way too thin, and this proves to be a stumbling block for me.

Lately, I have had to admit that I just can’t carry on setting goals that mean that I’m basically setting myself up to fail with, because, let’s face it, there is also no worse feeling than knowing that you’ve failed to meet a goal.

So, where do I go from here?

I simply need to work out which goals are achievable, and which ones aren’t, and, more important than that, I need to decide to let those ones go, because all they’re doing in the long run, is hurting me.

I think the first big step for me here, was to admit that I am not superhuman, no matter what my brain would have me believe.

There are days when I just don’t feel up to doing anything at all, except curling up in a ball and reading a good book (see my previous post). There are days when life just gets in the way, and then, there are the good days; the days when everything seems to go right, and I can reach all of the goals that I set for myself.

The thing is, that up until recently, I thought that I had to push myself to do everything, regardless of what any given day might bring. I am now learning that this just isn’t the case.

The thing with goals, is that they are meant to set us up to succeed.

Yes, they are also meant to push us, but at the end of the day, a small goal reached, is better than a huge goal spectacularly missed.

So, what steps am I taking now, to ensure that I meet my goals?

The answer is simple:

1. Set small, teeny tiny, achievable goals.

2. Set sensible deadlines.

3. Accept that sometimes, things change.

4. Adjust goals accordingly.

5. If necessary, break up a large goal into several smaller ones.

This is a practice that I am still working on, and still learning, but it is something that I am determined to reach and succeed at.


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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.

Mental Health Days

And why it’s okay to take them…

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Over the last few days, I have been struggling with a particularly bad patch of depression. It has been one of those times when it has even been a struggle to get out of bed, and all I’ve really wanted to do is curl up in a ball and read, because when I read, I can escape into another world that isn’t mine.

The thing is that I had to decide which battles were worth fighting. I could have dragged myself up and forced myself to persevere with what I ‘should’ have been doing, and would have probably got none of it done, or at least, done it very badly.

I couldn’t concentrate on anything much at all, and every time I tried to think, I just kept falling back into that black hole.

This is when I knew that I needed to make the decision on whether I carried on throwing myself against a brick wall, or whether I just decide to practice self care, and give my body and mind what it wants.

That’s the thing with depression, or any other kind of invisible illness. Sometimes, you have to pick your battles; and sometimes, it’s okay to accept that you need to take a minute, or an hour, or a day.

My usual limit on mental health days is three. If I need to, I will allow myself three days off, but after that, I try and get back into some kind of routine. Although I still try to practice self care.

There are several ways of self care, and they can range from simply watching a favourite movie or tv show, or reading a favourite book, to taking a bath, or giving yourself a manicure, or even taking the dog for a walk.

The thing to remember, no matter how guilty you feel is that the world won’t stop turning just because you need to take some time to look after your own mental health.

It’s a battle sometimes; I know that, but it’s really important that you learn to accept your limitations and that you listen to your body and mind, because, when it comes down to it, if you’re not going to listen, then who wil



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 Space

And How To Set One Up

June 12

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I read a question that was asked on Quora earlier, about how to make a writing space. It got me thinking. There are so many different kinds and variations of writing space, which all depend totally on the individual’s personal tastes.

Some people like a very empty, clear and minimalist desk, with just their computer on it. Some can only write long hand. Some use a mixture of the two, and some like a very busy, almost cluttered work space.

I think I probably fall somewhere near the last category here. My writing space is in my bedroom. My bedroom takes up the entire top floor of the house. I have it partitioned, so that I have a craft room and a dressing room on one side, and then my bed, and writing space on the other.

So, my writing space, basically consists of a square of tables, with a small gap so that I can get into the middle, where my chair is. I have multiple screens, so that I can have all the things pertaining to my current wip visible whenever I want it.

I also have a number of books. Many are on book shelves, which surround my writing space, but I also have several piles on the tables, and these are the ones, which I tend to refer to while I am working. I also have a number of notebooks, and any number of pens and pencils lurking on my desk.

The thing is that sometimes, I like to work on a screen, and sometimes, I like to go a bit more old school, preferring to use pen and paper.

I strongly believe that there is room for both, and I generally just try and see where my mood is leaning. The only thing, in my mind, which is non-negotiable, is that I must show up.

We can spend as long as we want creating the perfect space to write, but if we don’t actually show up and get the work done, then really there’s no point in any of it.

I guess I’m not really answering that question very well, but I don’t think that there’s any kind of magic formula for a writing space. As writers, we’re all so individual, and it is only through some level of experimentation that we will find what works for us.

But really, when it comes down to it, all we really need is ourselves, a willing mind, persistence, dedication, and something with which to capture the words dancing within us.

What do your writing spaces look like? Let me know in the comments.


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.

Chronic Illness

And Why Flares Are A Pain In The A**

Photo by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash

Anyone with a chronic illness will say that they live with a certain level of that illness every single day. They could live with pain, overwhelming exhaustion, brain fog, migraines, and any number of other things.

The thing is that there are times when these illnesses flare up, and these are the times when the symptoms of these illnesses seem to double, both in intensity and in frequency.

As I have said before, I suffer with TMJD (Temporo Mandibular Joint Dysfunction). Lately, I have been going through a flare. For me, this looks like:

· Extremely limited opening

· Cracking jaw

· Severe pain

· Mouth ulcers

· Migraines

· Neck Ache

· Tooth Ache

· Ear Ache

· Dizziness

· Disturbed sleep

The thing is that a lot of these symptoms sound fairly minor, and if it were one thing on its own, then it would be manageable, but when all of these things happen at the same time, it makes life pretty much unbearable.

Most of these symptoms are not necessarily visible, which can make it even more difficult, as people may tend to think that I’m overreacting, or being a drama queen, but I challenge them to live a day in my life when I’m going through a flare.

So, what is a flare?

Basically, a flare is a time when all of these symptoms are further intensified, and often occur simultaneously. This, coupled with the pressure that I often put on myself to try and push through, can leave me feeling despair. A flair means that doing ordinary activities, and basically living my life can become an almost impossible task. To put it bluntly, a flare is a big pain. We don’t want to be dealing with this, but the fact is that we are, and we have very little choice in the matter.

I know many people with other chronic conditions, for whom this is also true.

The thing is that when going through a flare, the best thing we can do for ourselves, is to try and practice self care. We need to listen to our bodies, regardless of others’ opinions that we might be ‘malingering’, ‘a drama queen’, or ‘lazy’.

If you are going through a flare, remember to try and be kind to yourself. If you need to take a duvet day, then it’s okay to do just that. If you need to just be by yourself, and sleep all day, then that’s okay too. Basically, the best thing that you can do if you’re having a flare is to listen to your body and give it what it needs.

So, be kind to yourself. Listen to your body, and give it what it needs, because, remember, no one else can do it for you and it is okay to give yourself permission to practice self care, even though the flare you’re going through might feel like a big pain in the a**!


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.

Keeping A Journal

A Practice

June 3

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

I’ve written before on keeping a journal. Probably more than once, and I highly doubt that this will be the last time that I do.

To me, journaling is such an important practice. It gives you a space to spill out your thoughts on to the page. It doesn’t answer back, or judge you.

If you’ve read my past posts, you will know that I have kept a journal since I was about eleven. I don’t think I could cope without it now.

The thing is that when you start, it can seem like a bit of a chore, but as you persevere with the practice of writing every day without fail, you will build a habit, that will, given time, become essential to your mental wellbeing.

I am not going to say that I don’t miss days sometimes, I do, but at the same time, the days that I do write are more than the days where I don’t.

There are so many ways in which you can journal, and I try to incorporate these into the pages of my journal. I thought I’d list some of them here:

· Prayer

· Gratitude

· Reading Log

· Writing Log

· Lists

· Emotions Chart

· Habits

There are so many more than this, but you get my drift. The thing is that you can bend and shape a journal to be exactly what you want it to be. You can mould it to fit your life, and really, when it comes down to it, anything goes.

So, whether you already journal, or if you’re a complete newbie, just make sure that your journal works for you, because at the end of the day, that’s the whole point, and that’s the way to make sure that you stick to 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.


Invisible

A Poem

June 2

Photo by Rúben Marques on Unsplash

Would you even notice?
 Would you even care?
 Would you even wonder,
 If she wasn’t there?

That girl in the background,
 On whom you depend.
 The girl hiding behind,
 Just looking for an end.

You’re surrounded by people,
 You don’t even look round,
 Will you even see her,
 When she hits the ground.

I know you don’t care,
 No, not deep down,
 You just leave her sitting there,
 With her worried frown.

***

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.

Happy Birthday To My Nan

She Would Have Been 91

June 1st

Today is my Nan’s Birthday. She would have been 91. Ten years ago in April, she passed away, and sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday. She always said that she was going to live to 100, but she was 18 years short of this.

Her Birthday was always sunny. It was strange… even though the weather got more and more temperamental, the sun always seemed to put his hat on for her Birthday.

We’d wake up and take her a cup of her favourite milky coffee, and sing Happy Birthday. Then, she’d have her presents and cards. Then there would be cake, and it became a tradition that we would have strawberries and meringues after dinner.

My Nan was the best! I know pretty much everyone thinks this about their grandparents, but to me, my Nan was (and still is) one of my heroes. She was my rock. She was always in my corner, and she always believed in me.

When I told her that I wanted to be a writer, she simply accepted that. She never said that I should give up and go for something more reliable. She fostered my interest by making sure that I had access to as many books as possible.

She always had my back. She was generous, and kind, and fiercely loyal. To say she had strong opinions would be a complete understatement. She was unshakeable in her opinions, and you would not have wanted to be caught in an argument with her.

She had a wicked sense of humour, and she could drink anyone under the table, and never have a hangover. She would get herself into some unbelievable scrapes, but somehow, always ended up laughing about it.

She used to keep, breed, judge, and show goats, and was very highly thought of in the British Goat Society circles. She won countless rosettes, especially with her prize winning goat, Hebe.

She was a child of the war, and as a result, all things came in two or threes. She could never just buy one of anything.

She was the best! She was amazing, and my inspiration. I miss her everyday, but there are times when that pain is just that little bit more…

Today is one of those days. I wish that she was here to celebrate with us. I wish that I could bring her strawberries and meringues like we always did.

I love you Nanny. I hope that you’re up there, the centre of attention at a party with Grandad, Hayden, Rosemary, Kiri, and all of your friends, and I hope that they’re spoiling you rotten. Don’t go too wild!

Love you always~


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.

Accountability

And Why It’s So Important

Photo by Renáta-Adrienn on Unsplash

For a long time, my life wasn’t my own, and revolved around someone else. I’m not saying this to try and get sympathy, or because I resent it, but it’s just the truth. This is the life of a carer. This was my lot.

The thing is that now; as I am becoming accustomed to not being a carer, I am having to re-learn what I’m doing with regards my own personal goals, and I am having to re-learn how to structure my time now that I’m not having to fit things in around my caring responsibilities.

Just lately, a very good friend of mine began studying again. She has been using timers to make sure that she is getting a certain amount of studying done per week. This seems to really be working for her, and so I decided to try a similar sort of thing.

However, I have found that working with a weekly target doesn’t seem to work for me. If I have a bad day, I can talk myself into the idea that there’s no possible way of my meeting my targets, and so I give up and start again.

So, this time, I am trying the same tactics, but I’m totalling up my hours for the whole month, and I’m hoping that this way, I can actually stick at it.

Accountability is so important here, especially with us writers, whose only goal setters are ourselves.

So, I’m posting this here as a practice in accountability, and this is my promise to myself that I will write another post on the 20th of June, where I will hopefully be able to tell you that I have succeeded and hit all of my targets.


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.