Country Stars

Last month, I escaped away to the mountains to meet up with family, my sisters and my nieces. My sisters live on a hillside within the scenic rim. They are surrounded by nature. And the stars at night are something to remember and hold as a treasured memory the sight of the milky way. I was looking forward to this little get away.  I was picked up half way to their place and driven through Beaudesert and out to Rathdowny. We gathered to make our gifts of beads with  red wine, cranberry and  pomegranate juice. We also drank on our first night together to sat goodbye to an old dog which had died. My niece of course was upset about her four legged companion’s passing and the drinking and talking was all part of the wake for her dog.

Our drinking was also a time to be just sisters and talk. This gathering was to help my niece through her pregnancy of her third child, a boy. The next day was spent making sandwiches then gathering in a every female way over champagne and lunch to tell the expected mother why we had chosen our beads and what strength they will give her. I threaded each gifted bead to make a necklace she could wear on her day of birthing.

He came into the world this day 31st of July. So we now have more celebrations coming in welcoming him into the world. More red wine and cranberry/ pomegranate juice and maybe another night under the stars.  Its a big event for our whole family, this little boy’s birth.  He is the first male born in our family for 21 years.

The Moon in July

photo[1631] Moon 2 .JPG

The first full moon in July

danced in the clouds

turned them to fires

Of silvery light

and translucent shadows.

If I was a wolf this night

I would howl and rejoice

But I’m a woman and I take a photo

trying to capture the moments

of your natural beauty with my iPad.

Self Publishing and the learning curve.

I’m now heading towards my final year of study at University of Queensland with high hopes in finding out how I, as a mature aged student with little financial capital can  succeed in at least publishing for real one of my many stories or poetry anthologies. How else can a person like me pay back for the study fees? Yes that’s right, I hope to learn how to break through this high ceiling of the impassable world of books in today’s world where everyone with money are trying to do the same thing. So were does this leave me? I’ll finish my degree at 63 years of age, so is anyone going to employ me so I can payback my study debts? Be real , that isn’t going to happen is it?

To begin this tale I must first explain why I am trying to become a published author:

Is it all about denial. I am defying the odds against me that are stacked up as to why I most likely will fail in this adventure. Like Alice and the Red Queen discussing the impossible, yes I’ve written much ( mush) on that subject. Alice in Wonderland and the Impossible Thoughts   So yes I’m all about the impossible and overcoming a challenge just like Alice and that “Jabberwocky .”

You see, I’m a grammatically  challenged ideas writer, and for years I’ve tried to improve my written communication and overcome my learning difficulties of childhood by returning to University to study writing.

Being an ideas writer mainly means , I have many ideas about stories but few actually finished stories. Yes, some do exist after my lifetime of trying to write and some artworks exist after my student years. I’ve even  sold some but mostly I give them away, even my writings exist on a free writing website, wattpad. Wattpad is where I still visit to add to my growing list of works on a regular basis.  And when I do my local community there take a look at what I’m doing . They vote and comment.. and I generally do likewise. But unfortunately that is all who sees my growing number of poems and stories in their infancy.  My wattpad account  is called”newpoet”, and sorry the link doesn’t wish to work, so google search my name Rose Raikos and there you will find the link to my works, of which there are many.  But all free so I can’t class myself as a successful author/ poet  or artist. There is this word that describes me perfectly, emerging.  I’m “Emerging” and in that long learning curve  I’ve grown out and round and beautifully Earthy like an old earth goddess because I’ve sat for long hours just writing stuff.

A mushroom in the shit of life growing on the forest floor of opportunity. But I must admit I’m determined to keep trying, to find that ray of sunlight that streaks through all magical like to highlight the treasures on the forest floor. Those many fallen opportunities of competition failures, and trying to be published in the real world will one day see sunlight within the pages of a real book. This is my dream , my writer’s goal. And even if I fail, I’ve tried, right? That is something to be remembered for, isn’t? I tried hard to make enough money to pay back society in allowing me to return to study without feeling guilty for leaving that debt not paid when or if I fail in making millions.

Secondly, I started this whole adventure late in my life, and returned to Study after suffering a Stroke or symptoms of one from a coughing fit while suffering asthma. I started doing watercolours to regain my life, physically and emotionally. The emotional bit is a long story and I will not go into detail here as I see this as the third point of why. So going back to the second point of starting late at the age of 52 years and an ever so slowly of part-time study. I enjoyed this learning curve which was done with the help of the Watercolour Society of Queensland back in 2003 to 2005. After this creative awakening I enrolled into TAFE to do a Diploma  of Visual Arts, which I completed in 2012. Yes, I did it all part time  with a burst of creativity of making my heads of the Greek gods in figurative clay through out 2009 – 2010. On finishing I made the choice to commence my degree not in Visual Arts but in Writing and Art History  at UQ. This conscious choice wasn’t because I wasn’t good at making art, it was I didn’t feel as if I could write well enough about my Art to be understood by potential buyers. In today’s world an artist has to do everything to promote themselves and just showing a talent isn’t enough , you have to provide extra special super human skills of being able to curate, market as well as produce your best possible work. Or you work in a collaboration with others, and as a mature aged grammatically challenged writer I felt as if I’d be a burden on a group affair. In today’s world, an Artist has to be an octopus but you also have to have money behind you, so I decided to see how “writing  well “could be the answer to my problems.

Thirdly as stated above is the emotional factor, of why I still haven’t cracked open the genie bottle of success  where others have, like JR Tolkien and of course he was in a different world. But that other writer, J K Rowling’s and her wizard book tricks of spells. Harry Potter, yes I do look up to her and how she believed in herself and her stories. Her spells worked, where as mine are still being manufactured. They are still slowly emerging into the light.  That miracle  ray of photons reaching down into the depths of the forest to the floor of creative fertile covered floor of life to highlight my lifelong collective works.  I am not the only one  many other’s just like me dream and wish for that magical break in our too short lives.

I believe complaining about the cards we draw in the deck of life can only make matters worse, so I will not tell you here what my Emotional state and mental illness is, just the effect it has on my life. Mental illness must be overcome as it  can close in on me and shut down my creative urge as any other person with mental issues, we crack  when stress levels are extra high good or bad. So, the necessary resolve to keep trying dissolves in ashes of a burnt dream.  I plod along numb from the downfall of those dizzy beliefs that I can do this and survive in pain on the forest floor. When I realise I’m back on the forest floor in the rubbish heap a period of darkens follows as the thick night of depression hits. But after a while, I do find the strength from my family to get back up and to live life again and to keep on trying to live my life.  The cycle effect of this dizzy high to the fall is a pattern I’ve had to recognise so I don’t become a random atom and destroy all my work or hit out at those closest to me, my family.  I’ve gone on to live this cycle of up then down and realise this is the draw of cards I was dealt with on birth. Like all people with mental illness we need to recognise the best cards and play with them until we can discard the bad in “the recycle pile” of life. My opportunities of that draw card pile is still there for me to just receive the right one to continue on my way. Admiringly others have overcome similar life cards so why not I?

So with all that said my next entry will be about self publishing on a loose shoe string and how even the lowest of us many writers can achieve the impossible and publish our own stories in this strange new world.