Daniela Ginta, The Mindful Writer

Freelance Writer and Photographer, Author of the Mindfulness Blog

Tag: writing

It’s Good To Be Missed – Reflections

It is good to be missed. Humbling too. I have moved ‘homes’ for a while now and while head is still in the clouds at times, I have been publishing blog posts and columns at www.danielaginta.com. But old habits die hard. Some people said they still look for me here. I checked the stats and they reflect the very story. So it is then, I decided I will cross-post my columns here and there for a while. Blog posts will sprout from the other location alone (a subscription form is available on the homepage at www.danielaginta.com.) My ancestors would shake their finger at me. You see, I grew up with many sayings and the one for this situation goes something like this: ‘do not try to sit in two boats at the same time.’

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A Sad Day

I am tucked away in a coffee shop on Lansdowne Street with a cup full of coffee and a severe lack of inspiration… It is a sad day.

An earlier hot bath and a short-lived chocolate binge could not bring up the endorphine levels… some days are too glum for that. Some news are too.

The Kamloops Daily News will roll out its last pages on Saturday; it was announced today. Economic crunches and such forced a sudden closure. Sudden is tough. Sudden is good someone said, because at least you know what you’re dealing with, no prolonged agony. Sudden is sudden.

An unexpectedly powerful feeling of emptiness sits inside of me like a big mean shadow.
Sad.

For losing a connection, for something being ripped away from the community I came to belong to and for the unfairness of it all.

The paper was not perfect but it had good people that made it happen, and bubbles of goodwill peppered all over it. It had a heart.

I have come to be connected to the paper as if it were a friend. I did so in a little bit more than a year. Some people have been there for way more. Their sadness surpasses mine by miles.

The owner of the coffee shop comes by. We talk about the paper, the loss of a familiar thing. A sign of the times, he says. True. We talk about the stories that will keep happening, pieces of life that will be lost without the net called Daily News to catch them just like one catches rain water…Fresh.

He says come by and write here, this place will continue to be. I will. A continuation… A good thing.

I trace back the story of my building the short history with the paper. A first interview with my heart pounding – I was after all, just a stranger, recently landed in a city where people seemed to have tight connections, with each other and with the place itself – landed me a job as the new columnist.

I was both excited and apprehensive. I learned a lot, through having my pieces edited, ever so slightly, but what an eye-opening experience every time. I learned to keep being myself but structure thoughts and build nice stories for people to read at a pace that was melodious enough to make them send personal notes my way. Gifts.

I evolved as a columnist through the feedback from readers, some of whom maintain regular correspondence to this day.

I have, as expected, become attached to something that was part of home. The undeniable connection was fuzzy warm and comfortable to have.

I came to love deadlines and the rush of changing a topic swiftly before sending it, simply because I felt like I should deliver something worthy of reading and thinking about.

I loved my dialogue with people, I loved the challenge of a new topic, the funny feeling of starting to know readers’ personalities simply by knowing their screen names.

A couple of times I tilted my head while reading the comments but I have since learned to recognize familiar voices of people I will never meet face to face, but people who read my words and through that became part of my world as they allowed me to be part of theirs.

A trade of thoughts and openness, wrapped up in an unmistakable feeling of belonging to the same place, and seeing the same sunsets drape over the same cinnamon-hued mountains.

I will miss the paper. An unlikely friend I’ve become so attached to…
But I don’t like farewells. I’ve had one too many to deal with.

I will keep my KDN folder as I will all the Saturday editions. I’ll learn just from looking back at how far I’ve come since that day when I walked into the editor’s office, heart pounding and acting very grown-up but wondering afterwards if I spoke too fast or too unclear…

Thank you, KDN.

Chocolate For Breakfast

Do you? Why? Why not? Bear with me then while I explain the scandalous headline and the riddle behind it (scandalous to those who know me and my intimidating-at-times healthy habits. They’re still there, I’m simply admitting yet again to being human.)

You know how sometimes you want to write about something and the idea is there but it is fuzzy and you can almost put your finger on it but not quite? This was one of those times. I knew I had the headline carved the way I meant to, I could almost build the blog post to dress it up, but something was not there yet. Until tonight when it just dawned on me and I have to say it, I can never have enough of that dawning feeling. It’s addictive. If I say physically and mentally addictive you’ll laugh but there must some endorphins released at such momentous occasions or else I cannot explain that good tickle inside. Persistent enough to be real.

But I digress. You see, I came to realize that I cannot create a niche for this blog and stick with it. I’ll never have just one theme and write about it until I exhaust it and then some. It’s intimidating and unnecessary. I simply can’t commit to that. There’s a lot of specialized blogs out there and kudos to them, I guess to each our own. I know, going against the grain a bit but since I don’t do that to prove a point I’d say I’m safe. A niche is not my thing. I will write about what inspires me, sometimes it’s writing and other times it’s pressing issues like modern slavery or living within our means, society-wise I mean, not just me and my close ones. I will write about my free running mouse and the hard walls I occasionally hit my head against, I will write about meeting people who know to hypnotize chickens (fact!) and I will write about the rain. I will write about what’s real to me then and there. It is real when passion brings it out. Writing with the purpose of sticking to a theme becomes akin to sticking paper flowers onto a bush once its own flowers are gone. People can tell, it’s simply not the same with the real thing.

I had chocolate for breakfast. If you knew me you’d think how can that be. I am a health freak, and boldly so. Fair-trade clean cocoa beans are a given because of ethical and sustainability concerns; it’s not fashionable but real and a must. With a side of guilt for good measure, a soon-to-be-dealt-with topic. Now, for the record, I am not saying I ate chocolate for breakfast to brag, shock or impress, I am simply sharing a fact. I never set to do so but I came to realize that it might happen that I will occasionally eat chocolate for breakfast just like it’ll happen that I’ll write about things that will seem to be pushing the boundaries of my blog. Things that won’t be related to just writing about writing. But as per my above mentioned awakening, there are no boundaries, writing ones or otherwise. Not here, in this virtual space nestled among clouds. The way I see feel it, I write about what fires my heart and my mind. I write about what’s real to me today and that I believe is the ultimate equivalent of a sustainable garden. You eat what grows when it grows. You go through waves of flavor and taste, texture and color. You go with what comes naturally. The trees in my writing garden will never bear paper fruit and the bushes will never wear odorless paper flowers.

Occasionally I’ll have chocolate for breakfast. You’re most welcome to have some with me. I won’t happen every day. In fact, that much I know: I don’t know when it’ll happen. But it will. Have you ever? Will you? Care to share?

 

Reality Check

Three days into the writing life are a bit of a sore sight. Rightfully so. Just like with everything else, timing is key. The boys are on spring break, on top of it they had a nasty flu and associated bad moods or easily-bothered selves. Between cooking, tending to their needs and dealing with the daily “must do” activities, writing looks like a withered plant. Maybe I’m asking for too spectacular a take-off. Either way, midweek is a good time to reflect on what’s done and what’s ahead.
I’m not discouraged. That’s important to know and believe. Like I said, poor timing can be grounds for temporary disaster. OK, beating around the bush, you might say. I should be telling about those projects I mentioned on Monday and they’re faring so far. The website rewrite is done, two children stories manuscripts are ready to be sent out and, no, don’t get ready to pat me on the back with a congratulatory “see?” because there were six manuscripts I was supposed to go through and plus, the big secret project that I was taunting you with is still on stilts. I only have tomorrow to make it hop a little. So I’m getting ready for a bit of a nosedive. But that only points towards limitations that will lead to improvement. Right?

I have to be on my side. I do better with encouragement than giving myself a hard time for accomplishing what I thought I will and should. But accomplishments go beyond lists, there’s learning that comes with measuring performance, mid-week or otherwise. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • I will have a list everyday in order to stay focused but will definitely stay away from putting only big projects on it. It will be only one big project. That’s it.
  • Emergencies first, followed by leftover, then the rest. No skipping leftovers. I know from parenting (haven’t been the best at reinforcing it, will see if now is the time).
  • Half of the items on the list will have to “leave”home the same day, as in sent out to editors. Gulp. And then gulp again.

I’m tempted to say this might work. Will keep you posted.

 

 

Day One In The Office

I know, there is no actual office, I already gave it away. Never mind then, it’s the kitchen table which happens to be a lovely maple shade especially when bathed in the morning light. Today’s not it though, but cloudy and windy is equally appealing to me. As eager as I am to start anew, I will be my best friend and worst enemy – what a cliché but we can all have a courtesy one, no? – and pick up the loose ends first. You know which ones I’m talking about (come on, there’s at least one other derelict writer out there guilty of the same procrastinating crime).  The projects that I worked on for a while, forgot about it or put aside to make room for others, picked up again and then let get full of pixel dust bunnies yet again in a folder I pretended to forget it existed. Well, grown-up status condemns such reckless behavior so here I go.

Today I will wrap up a website rewrite project, work my way through the picture books manuscripts and see if there’s any salvageable material and write the plan for the big project announced two posts ago which will be announced by the end of the week. It’ll be a good day. What can I say, the view from my new office is a bright one. The novice aura, you’ll say… OK, somewhat. But keep in mind, full days of writing are not exactly news to me yet seeing so many one of them together like a herd of grazing wildebeest puts things in perspective. Have a good day everyone!

PS: Today marks the return to running after breaking my leg almost three months ago. Yes, I will go for a run and live to tell the tale.

 

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