Tag Archives: poems

thought of the day 1

I will admit that sometimes I preschedule my posts, especially those of poetry. 

I had a very ecologically aware and poetic day on the 20th May. 

Sometimes the themes of my poetry come in bursts of phases and waves; much like my story writing does too.  I get days where it is more of a vampire day or a dystopian day and my art or stories or poems reflect this, I can’t force myself outside of the theme I feel for the day; that is my major fault.

Today I feel artistic, I want to practise art, for me it is one of the dreaded mixed days, where I have more than one theme; today I feel like practising dragon art, writing towards a dragon story but also dystopian, I also feel like shopping but that is not a creative theme for me, that’s just me!

At the point of writing this post, it is the 21st May.  This post has been prescheduled because my body is giving me warnings that my auto-immunity issues are preparing themselves for yet another hit of something that will knock me off my feet for a couple of weeks.  I hope it gets over and done with before Midsummer night, because around that week I have minor surgery.

Happy reading

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Poetry sneaks in

I know I write poetry and this blog used to be known for that; but I seldom read poetry personally.  I read Byron, Christina Rossetti, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Wilfred Owen, Pam Ayres and silly kid stuff like Spike Milligan and Dr Seuss; but generally, besides these, nothing else. 

I read Wilfred Owen purely for GCSEs and I think I have read some of Sylvia Plath too, but those were for studies only. 

I have been recently reading a lot of country and wildlife journals and I keep seeing another poet mentioned a lot in there with quotes; this has spurred me onto wanting to read more of him and I got Paul to get a book from the library for me of him.  “John Clare”, this could be a new influence if I am honest.

Also I consider Neil Gaiman to be a poet too; I love some of his short stuff sometimes more than his long stuff, he is another influence of mine.

Upon reflection, I think perhaps I read more poetry than I take for granted.  A lot of the novels I love are crammed packed with verse and rhymes, like Alice in Wonderland etc.  See poetry sneaks into funny places; it’s easy to take advantage of it and not notice it when it wafts in front of your face.  Anyone who says they are not particularly fond of poetry are liars, even street gangsta types and chavs who gets embarrassed by the notion that they even pick up a poetry book – sorry to say it to you guys, but you love poetry.  Every song is a poem and that means rap IS poetry too!

See the world with fresh eyes and you will see it’s so true!

Happy reading!

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Top 10 children’s books that influenced me

Top 10 children’s books that influenced my writing and why

Dragon’s dinner by Susannah Corbett

This is a hilarious book I read at least once a month to myself, I know it’s a young child’s picture book, but I adore it!

It is written in rhyme and there is a comedy element on every page, not to mention great illustration too!  I have a love for dragons that almost rivals my love for vampires; this is seen in the novels I write.  In fact, I have nearly finished a dragon novel to the extent that I may be considering sending it off to an agent in 2022.  At the moment I have approximately three more chapters to write of it again, this is the eighth draft, but then I will store it away for a couple of months and look again with fresh eyes and see if it needs a ninth draft – but I doubt it at the moment.

A strange thing for me is that writing the story initially can take just under a month for me to do, but editing and redoing drafts can take me three months, because I find that a boring process, I hate redoing stuff!  I am trying to learn to love doing that.

My dragon novel is potentially YA or adult fantasy, not sure yet, it is definitely bigger than this picture book and does have a lot of comedy elements to it.

Horton hears a who by Dr Seuss

I love most books by Dr Seuss and this is my favourite.  I like books where something unbelievable is eventually proven to the other characters of the book and that is something that is seen in a handful of my own works.  Once again there is a comedy element to the book.

I think I love this story a lot because when I was a child I used to blow bubbles and imagine that every bubble was a planet full of life, like Earth only different with unique creatures on each planet and that the time scale was epically fast.  I never read Horton Hears A Who until I had my son Henry and bought the book for him when he was 2yrs old – so the book resonated with me a lot.

James and the giant peach by Roald Dahl

There would be more than just one book by Roald Dahl on this list, but I wanted to be as broad as possible in my listings; it was difficult trying to narrow down which book to choose for this list by this specific author; I chose the one that I felt was the most unique and the one that literally got my heart pumping with excitement as I read it.

There were so many wonderful things in this book, talking, friendly insects, a comedy element, drama, horror, lots and lots of excellent scenery I just adored it.  I loved the parts where the peach acted like a hot air balloon and was flying above the world.  It is this scene which has influenced me the greatest, because I am working on a fantasy series based on a hot air balloon traveller which is aimed for a YA audience potentially.

Harry Potter and chamber of secrets by J.K Rowling

Much like most people nowadays, it is hard to think of fantasy and children’s books without thinking about Harry Potter, it is a great series and narrowing down to a specific book was very difficult, but this is my favourite because of the living trees and the giant spiders.  Also I found this the funniest of the lot.  I like depictions of forests particularly with living trees mentioned occasionally, such can be found in many books, Lord of the Rings and The Wizard of Oz to name but two.  I have to admit, even I have written a scene with forest spiders in one of my novels, not to copy, but because it just felt so right and almost expected in a manner; in fact it is a scene in my main dragon novel.

Engelbert Sneem and his dream vacuum machine by Daniel Postgate

This had me riveted from the offset, it is amazing.  I love books where you get to dance around in someone else’s dreams and things like this, BFG and a couple of other stories had dreams in them too.  I love writing about dream worlds within my stories from time to time, but they do seem to be more horror based than my usual comedy fantasy.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

I have loved reading Heidi ever since I was a child and I must admit not only reading it, but also love watching all the movies that come out based on this story too!  Heidi has influenced my imagination a lot over the years.  I love goats and mountain sceneries and books with snow, books that star strong minded children who seem to act as blessings to the adults of their world.  I love miracle stories too and little Clara certainly had a miracle happen to her!

Quite a few of my books do seem to be rather Germanic, Norse or Slavic based, unintentionally, I haven’t really understood why.  I have strong warrior figures in my novels and the landscapes usually end up sounding like Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, the Alps and sometimes even the Carpathians.  I have never travelled outside of the UK; it would be lovely to do so at some point and visit some of those places that influence me and my writing.

Diary of a wimpy vampire by Tim Collins

It is such a funny book and the fact it contains vampires is another reason why I love this book so much; also this book made my son into a reader, because before he saw me reading this book to myself and laughing my head off at it at every page turn, he absolutely hated reading!  But now I have to say, he tries to read a whole large novel once every month.

My vampires have some comedy interjected into the pages from time to time, but it is not deliberately set out to be a comedy series – I just can’t help myself.

Mr Stink by David Walliams

I like books where children change the minds of the adults around them as I have mentioned before and this book does that.  I love books which show the best qualities of humanity, generosity etc.  I also love stories that are riches to rags and back again to riches, I have loved themes like this since I was a kid.  I loved movies such as “The Jerk” with Steven Martin and “Life Stinks” with Mel Brookes amongst others and yes, it is a theme I would like to write someday too.  Once again, there is comedy here.

I will say, that as a child I read a lot, but it was mostly non-fiction and that a majority of the fantasy and stuff I indulged in were movies, I watched a movie every day, without fail, sometimes three times a day, because I was home educated and work fast in my studies and had a lot of spare time to myself, cooped up indoors all day long.  My father had a massive VHS collection over eight hundred which had two or three movies on each he recorded off the TV, so there were always a lot of things to watch!

The tin can band by Margaret Mahy

I love all the poems and songs in this book.  I love the artwork and everything about the book.  The art inspires my art a lot and the poetry knows how to touch several nerves too.  I love the concept of dancing in the shadows and having night time, shadow acrobats dancing around you, causing you to hallucinate and see things that aren’t quite what they seem when the lights are out. 

The poems contain witches and various other creatures, some with comedic ideas and others more serious in tone, such as deforestation and a lovely concept on death too.

I love authors that have a knack in making death less scary and more beautiful or at least more fun.

Wolf by Gillian Cross

I like books about the homeless and hippies and that sort of thing, this book contains squatters and a little girl who tries to live with her mother under extraordinary circumstances.  The child is rather independent and I just love the book, but I can’t say it has influenced anything in particular though.

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Daily Prompt 1

Cruising along with my post from yesterday I am now going to give daily prompts of three to five words you can choose to search for in any order you want, you can use two or three words per search, no less than two.

Prompts given should be investigated at pinterest, deviantart, google images and also look for prose and poems of those things which are mentioned. 

Today’s daily prompts are – Mermaid – Lightning – Apples – Blue – Bird

So you can search for these combinations;

Blue Mermaid

Lightning mermaid

Mermaid blue bird

Apples blue bird

You choose what you search for, have fun with it.

 

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Reading and writing past and present

I have always wanted to be a writer since I was ten years old when Mr Alistair a therapist/teacher told me that I had a gory imagination and extraordinary talent; back then my specialism was horror and it has only been in the past seventeen years that my writing has moved onto fantasy, comedy and poetry.  I started writing stories about alien invasions, vampires and alarmist ideas about climate change, El Niño and the end of the world.   I have for most of my life been a dedicated environmentalist, but since I talked so much in a spiritual forum about my concerns I lost confidence to continue writing this journalistically (is that a word? if not why not?), because I was accused of being a doom-sayer and me being a very uplifting positive person this accusation hurt me enough to stop me.

My first ever short story of any real length was based on Persephone in the underworld that I wrote when I was eleven.  I imagined how life must have felt like living in the underworld and even when I was that young I had a good clear understanding that not everyone is 100% evil or good, so I wrote about Hades in a positive form and it was very much influenced by my passion for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  This is a theme that has followed me through my writing life; if there is a misunderstanding in something, I am always willing to show another side to it – determined to prove to everyone that nothing is just black or white; it is a multitude of colours.  I can do this to the most indigestible of subjects too, according to a few people who have seen my handwritten work – thus I am sometimes known as an excellent mediator and diplomat, as long as the subject doesn’t get me too personally hot under the collar. 

One friend recently told me that they see me as society’s apologist, whatever that means.  I looked it up and I am not really that religious enough to be considered an apologist, though I suppose if you were to watch me answering questions whilst I am watching many quiz shows on religion, you’d say I seem to know an awful lot about religion for someone who isn’t interested in being religious.  You see I think this is where people misunderstand me – it is not that I am not religious, I am more humanist because I think that religion by and by causes division and I am all for world unity.  However I am a deeply spiritual person who literally believes in anything until it is absolutely solidly proven not to exist – hence why I leave milk and honey next to the stove at night for the house spirit (Nisse/elf) and ask permission to the tree itself before I prune it and honestly believe in various ancient customs and ideas – though I am still soul searching, but I will make this abundantly clear now, this is not an invitation to be converted to anything.  My ancestry history is so mixed, whenever I feel I should dedicate myself one way or another, I feel like I am upsetting some ancestor on the other side, so I don’t bother myself with dedication of that sort.

Anyway, this post was going to be about how I started writing and what I started with and where I have ended up.  I have written a lot of comedy and comic themes recently that I have noticed I have more and more of the fantasy and sci-fi comedy genre, if that is a genre.  I told Paul the other day that I feel like I am being possessed by the spirits of the deceased members of the Monty Python gang and Terry Pratchett, I try and write serious high fantasy and I can’t help putting in some silliness into it and I am seeing corny puns in everything!  The more I fight it, the funnier I get.

Unfortunately the comedy themes are rarely if ever posted on here, because I have made this mostly into a life update and poetry blog, rather than the intended fantasy blog, because I worry that my worst writing might be my best and my best my worse in the eyes of the world.  So I never really know which short stories and snippets to risk posting here.

I have decided to make this blog more of a writing diary, but again I have fears that I might reveal too much of my plans.  Fear is a major factor for me not posting much lately.

I have a handwritten diary I update about once a week on average because I keep forgetting to add to it – this diary is purely about my writing, my plans and any strange themes I have noticed that day or week.  For example, I have noticed I get a story idea in my head, then a book falls off the shelf in the library of a similar theme I was thinking about – weird coincidences like this happen a lot to me.  Then whilst television flicking, subjects of things I have been thinking about or themes of the day seem to be found everywhere, even on my sons chocolate wrappers as adverts at times!

I was thinking about sharing these day to day themes and the weird occurrences they have been discovered as part of my day to day blogging, as these things often develop into story ideas for me as I sit back and wonder what the universe wants me to do with these supposed signs?  What story is she prodding me towards and I believe this is why I have more ideas than actual work – I am never without a new idea, the problem for me is writing them down fast enough and concentrating on less than three at a time.  This is extra difficult for me because I am an attention deficit sufferer, I get bored doing the same thing or thinking about the same thing for longer than twenty minute bursts – hence why my current reading list on Goodreads usually has around twelve current books on the go!  It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a book, it just means I really can’t concentrate for more than twenty minutes.

Thinking about my reading list on Goodreads has actually just reminded me to make a point here on a matter a friend recently said to me the other day – she noticed that I have all these books on Goodreads I am currently reading but I only manage to read between ten and forty pages a day of maybe two or three books and she said that as far as she understands I am always reading but the Goodreads activities doesn’t prove it.  I said it is simple really when you consider that Goodreads is not designed to update magazines and newspapers and out of print books that are not listed on their site at all as well as local pamphlets and guides, game back stories, research websites, other people’s blogs and so forth. 

Here is a list of my magazine subscriptions and I do mean, I read them every time they are published either weekly or monthly;

Writing Magazine

Garden News

Sci-Fi Now

Gardeners World

Tesco

Yours

Pets @ home

Total TV Guide

Amateur Garden

Kitchen Garden

Lego club magazine

WWF membership news and stuff

Bibliophile

BBC History

New Scientist

Focus

Classic Rock

When I pick up a new magazine, that is the only thing I can read from beginning to end and it takes me around an hour to two hours – the reason why I can do that with a magazine rather than a novel is simple, the subject changes every few minutes.

Honestly, I am addicted to reading, I am addicted to downloading new information into my mind on a constant basis and I am a person who doesn’t enjoy sleep – I see it as a waste of time, but being ill, I have to sleep more than most and it literally drives me crazy!  All I want to do is think learn and do.

So there you have it!

Hello, I am Tina Cousins and I am a reading and writing addict and I don’t intend to cure myself of it, goodbye.

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Writer losing her mojo

We all have heard the saying that “writers write as simple as that” and it is really is as simple as that, but most don’t actually do it as regularly as they should or at least believe they should.  For me, I do not write as much as I believe I should because in the last few years I have lost my mojo, I forgot what it meant for me to write and I have done a lot of soul searching in the past year to find out where the passion has gone.

I did something rare for me – I re-read a book, usually I don’t re-read books unless I put them into a reference category but this particular book I re-read and saw it with fresh eyes and read things I didn’t remember were in the book in the first place.  The name of the book was “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  When I read this book I asked myself a question; “Why do I think I have lost my love for writing”?  It was a simple answer really upon reflection and I would never have gotten this answer if it wasn’t for this book.  My writing became too focused on financial panic, the urge to write as much as I can so I can earn a living because I needed to break out of debts, but instead, this kind of pressure halted everything about my creative mind and I found I couldn’t do anything other than dramatic self-pitying poetry on mass, the stories and the playtime died, literally.

For the word, nothing has been published except for the things that are published on this blog simply because I didn’t want to approach a publisher with such depressing poetical themes, because I still hold to the idea that I am primarily a fantasy and horror story writer, not a poet!  I am also an essayist I suppose, because I like writing and hoarding information I have learned about my favourite subjects, but I am not sure how to become a paid essay writer and I am not really going to approach that as a career until I learn more about it. 

Anyway – getting back to the main subject of this post.  I forgot how to play – yes, even in real life, I have forgotten how to play and to laugh because of my severe depression, breakdown and financial worries.  I became so down in the dumps about my life that I had two years of being carefully guarded by Paul my fiancé because I couldn’t be left alone for fear I’d commit suicide, seriously.  One point it got so bad, Paul had to go out somewhere without me and he needed to ask a neighbour to sit in with me.  To say I am over that now, would be wrong, the slightest thing brings it back, but I am not as bad as I used to be, the self-harming has stopped a little bit and I am more predictable these days; but ultimately, the depression is still there and I am trying hard to find out how to play again, how to feel happy again and how to enjoy life.  I don’t enjoy anything anymore and it is getting increasingly difficult since the doctor is now looking into what they believe to be a very serious neurological problem, either MS or motor neurone disease, but like always there is a long waiting list here in the UK and I won’t really know what’s going on with me for several months apparently.

So, how does one go about trying to find out how to be happy again and learn to play again?  It turns out according to the book “Big Magic” and a couple of other books I have read recently that it is something most adults get out of practise of, that once you start trying to become playful and do things which are generally playful (even if you don’t feel happy doing it or feel that it is playful) you will eventually trick your mind to becoming playful and you will build up a type of momentum.  Once the momentum is built up, you will start to feel a change – well I hope so.

I thought hard about how I write stories now in comparison to how I wrote them ten years ago, was there any notable differences in how I produced work back then than now?

Yes there was a huge fundamental difference in fact. 

A decade ago I wasn’t afraid to be thought of as eccentric or insane, I would play with my imagination and I would share my thoughts and ideas no matter how obscure and strange they were with people around me and then I would write about those ideas.  I used to have a lot more creative friends too, but many of them have creative careers which have made them too busy to socialise even online, some have died, some have decided that they too have lost their playful side and have become super conservative people.

I have also found that my social circle is smaller these days which is amazing because I used to think my social circle couldn’t get any smaller ten years ago, the people who I do talk to these days are very serious people who have a worried look on their faces whenever anybody talks about anything out of the ordinary, even if you were to explain that you are an artist and a writer so it’s not a mental health problem, it’s just my mind playing with ideas and therefore there is a story in this.  You’d be surprise how people like that can dry up your will to be imaginative or to share your ideas.

Some people who have very little imagination tell me that they wished they had more of an imagination and they start to tinker with my story ideas themselves (which I don’t mind) but then they start demanding that they must change my concept on my fantasy worlds because things are just not plausible and that readers are real people who live in the real world and they want something believable, so they start pulling at the threads of my fantasy infrastructure and start literally pulling my fantasy communities apart by the seams.  It turns out that even my perfect all powerful fantasy God is not infallible, that he has other beings that will cause problems he can’t deal with and that even this God ponders who created him and so forth.  I told the person, you are going too deep here buddy, I don’t want to go that way in my story, but they insist that I must.

I became a fantasy writer because I find the real world too boring and predictable for me to want to think about and write, the idea of making a fantasy based novel plausible, to me, is laughable, because fantasy is supposed to be anything BUT normal. 

To cut myself off from such people will almost completely isolate me again, which I don’t want.  But can I really sit through another conversation where my worlds are being shattered write before my eyes?  I often feel like screaming at the top of my voice “Of course this fantasy God has a creator you dumbass, it is me, I am their goddess, I made them, but I am not egotistical enough to put myself in the book as the all-power”, does any other writer go through this?  Or is this situation totally unique to me?

So I am currently on a journey to find “My tribe” as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it and to find my playful imaginative self again and to have the confidence and focus of not listening to those who are dismantling my worlds and to continue with what I had always planned instead.  Which is a shame because these people used to feed me ideas, used to support me, but these days it is just soul destroying.  I have to ignore the world destroyers.

I wanted to join a writers group, but not sure what is involved with those and I am scared to find more people who are like that, once they’ve heard my stories.  I am trying to forget the people who are making me focus on writing purely for financial reasons and try to focus once again on writing for me, for fun, for release and for pleasure; the way it should be for all writers.

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Going deaf to your misery

 

royalty free image from pixabay

DISCLAIMER – 

The below poem is not meant to be offensive – I am personally a sensory impaired member of society, I am very short sighted with astigmatism and I am totally deaf in my right ear with only 35% hearing in my left ear and I could potentially lose that, considering I have auto-immune inner ear disease.  I have only learned to develop a sense of humour with the cards I’ve been dealt with in life, please understand.

 

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of deaf

I shall hear no evil, but see a lot I might

Though I hear not the barks that scold me, I see the awful sight

Evidence of those who hate me are seen everywhere

And they sit back and they think that I really, really care

But yea, the mind is full of ego

And they shall think of themselves

I shall sit in wonderment, why they don’t put the hate on their shelves?

I wonder why every day, why they think of me?

When I have left them long ago, yet they still want to torture me?

Then I realise that those poor dears, they do not have a life

So that is why they taunt me, with curses and poisoned words of strife

They of course have an ego too, that you can be sure

That they sit around every day gossiping of the times of yore

Becoming old and bitter, making their friends think that they are a bore

By choosing to focus on the dead past, the past that makes them sore

And I sit back still amazed, that they have chosen to concentrate

On things about me, each and every day, because poisoned words always finds a way

To go back to the victim

You see that’s the side effects of your conviction

Gossip not and leave the friction

 

 

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Witches cursing and besting each other

I stir the pot as you stir the pot

Curses and vexes galore

You stir the pot, so I stir the pot, I stir and stir some more

You make the pains, so I make the pains

We stir and stir some more

Witch against witch and bitch against bitch

Trying better than each other galore

Three times three, times three times three

We’re stirring and stirring some more

Never thinking of our convictions

The Hell we make for each other and what for?                                          

To prove each of us right, or each of us wrong

We stir and stir some more

Witch against witch and bitch against bitch

Trying better than before

I won’t stop and you won’t stop

So we stir and stir some more

Our lives change into darker things

Still we stir and stir some more

Our lives are fucked and our lives do suck

Yet we stir and stir some more

When do we stop, you whore?

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Painkiller for my very soul

I am not wallowing in pity each and everyday

My poems of woes and misery are things that ease the way

It’s a painkiller for my very soul

I need to write, even if it’s dull

It helps to cure the pain

When I write my songs of misery, it may seem like it’s about you

But it is about events that happened long ago, it’s true

You should not sit there thinking, this is one is about me I’m sure

Because then you only open up wounds and make your heart go sore

You don’t know what my poems mean; you don’t know who they are about

So don’t sit there thinking you know what’s going on, when in fact you don’t know my clout

The world in my poems isn’t about you, so stay out

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Daily goals as a lifestyle

I no longer want to be in the league of procrastinating artists and writers, things are going to change.

For the past three weeks I have been living my life on a goal based lifestyle, thanks to some very motivational videos I have found on YouTube and the book I purchased last month called “Think and grow rich” By Napolean Hill.  Now I don’t fool myself for one second that art and writing is going to make me “rich” at all, don’t get me wrong – I am not just focusing on the money aspect, I am focusing on the aspect of happiness and feeling like I am achieving something, even if the rewards are purely emotional.

Obviously money would be nice, but ultimately, health and personal achievements for me, leads to a happy life and that is more important to me right now than financial gain.

I have had these talks before on my blog, the “No longer procrastinating personal prep talks” and they have always reached a point of returning back to old comfortable habits with excuses after excuses after excuses – I am sick and tired of failing myself and I watched on one of these videos last week that when you reach a point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired that’s when your life will start to change and I have reached that point in my life.

Living life day to day with goal based intentions for every day, is working out for me.  On the nights I forget to give myself a goal for the next day, I notice I go back into old habits, so I am almost paranoid that the last thing I do before I go to sleep each night is to list my goals for the following day, so I don’t slip up again.

Most of my goals are simple and may seem like nothing to anybody – how much do you think you are going to achieve in a day by doing these things which in their eyes, could be procrastination anyway – but for me, it is constructive.  It keeps me doing the “good habits” which make me a productive person.

My usual day to day goals are;

To write my morning pages via a site called 750words.com – this is non-negotiable, this is a must do, everyday forever.

Revising at least two pages of my old NaNoWriMo attempt from 2016, this was abandoned and forgotten in my drawers since 30th November 2016.

Writing two poems for advanced schedule posting on my blog, I am a month in advance at the moment, so the poems you are currently reading were written approximately a month before you are actually reading them.

Practise some sketches and art pieces in my sketch book, at least half a page a day.

Then there is a fifth random goal, it could be anything, such as take a walk, do something particular in the garden, bake a cake, visit someone, anything really.

This isn’t all that I do in my day, this is part of my daily goals, the idea is to get me into the habit of having something to wake up for, something to do.  I lost my purpose in life by allowing sickness to dominate me, but now I am trying to take back some kind of control in my life again and so far it is working.   I would never have thought about living my life in a goal based day to day way, if it wasn’t for the motivational archive on YouTube.

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