Wednesday, 30 May 2012


I am finding that with all my introversion and thought I can put real effort into projects, with a beginning, a middle and an outcome - also making me feel useful, yay - hence this book...
    Apart from the ongoing journey of writing a book I am beginning to start Creative Writing classes under the artistic umbrella that is Bodman School of Music and Arts here in Dundee. I have made a poster for the classes, we will be Premiering the classes with a self-organised competition - Short Story under 1000 words with the title 'Stranded' - still need to make a poster for it and get prizes sorted though.
   I will put up that poster when it's finished!

As well as those projects I'm really wanting to start a book club - 'To Kill A Mockingbird' (1960) by Harper Lee as the first book to look at methinks...  And continuing on with planning lessons for Camp in the Summer. Always good to keep busy.

Have a good night, my readership :]

Monday, 28 May 2012

The Mean Reds and Blue Suede Shoes. (Chapter Ideas)

Mean Reds
Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds? 
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues? 
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? 
Paul Varjak: Sure. 
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

     The Mean Reds seem to hit me sometimes and when they do, it's bad. I love the film 'Breakfast In Tiffany's' and the expression 'Mean Reds' has been so relevant to me in the past year. Sometimes I get afraid, and not knowing exactly why makes it even worse. 
      The weeks that surrounded Mum's death were filled with worry and re-evaluation of my life. What did I want in the long term? - a husband and family, a career, big house, pets, loving community around me. Then the question - why don't I have it now? The fear of never getting to 'where I want to be' drove me to assess life changing decisions I had made, questioning if there may have been a better path for me to take. On deciding I had done what was best, from what I knew at the time, I was comforted - but it is a question that I have revisited continuously over these past 8 months. There have been times when it seemed my life was getting 'back on track', things were working out well and I was happy. Yet a lingering doubt has kept contentment at bay for a while now, but I'm beginning to feel it's warmth. 
      The decision to take a year out from my studies was an idea at first which led to blessed circumstances making it a reality. My relationships with family have grown deeper, friends have become more dear to me and I am learning to take care of myself in what I need and not just what I want. The 'Mean Reds' to me is a term akin to doubt, uncertainty, weariness and loneliness. These feelings are often consumers of Faith and Hope, and even unconditional Love.
      When the 'Mean Reds' strike I have often turned to my Dad who will tell me that 'It's going to be OK'. These are magical words which I heard so often as a child from my Mum when I cried over boys or mean girls. Feeling childlike is something I am experiencing more and more, especially when things aren't working as I hadn't planned. Being humbled daily by reliving uncontrollable events, I learn that I can't do everything alone, and sometimes I do need to rely on others. All of these symptoms put together give me a growing understanding of what it means to be a Child of God. Being a Child of God means it's ok to be afraid, but knowing that God is always there when we feel alone, knowing that he is in control and has a plan when our own attempts fail, knowing that he is stronger than us and stronger than our problems, knowing that through him anything is possible.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Blue Suede Shoes
     Blue Suede Shoes are those things you just can't handle being stood on, even though anything else is ok; as Carl Perkins wrote and Elvis infamously sang "You can do anything, but lay off of my Blue Suede Shoes!" I have been forced over these few months to think often about my limits. That which I can tolerate and that which I can't handle. This idea has been creeping around my diary for a while, things that people do or say - or don't say - which make me really want to flip out. Things that before, wouldn't have bothered me. Understanding why my tolerances have changed is interesting for me as well as frustrating because even if I understand it I can't necessarily change it, because changing others is not in my power. After this self-indulgent thought I realise that the problem might not be others, it might just be me, but sometimes changing oneself is the hardest task of all.

     Anyway, my idea for the 'Blue Suede Shoes' chapter is to write up some examples of my altered tolerance, or others' experience with people which have pressed the wrong buttons unexpectedly. The chapter would essentially cover some do's and don't's for those helping grievers, and would try to advise grievers in awkward situations. The problem that I have with the chapter is that no one wants to be told what to do, and especially who am I to instruct people on things I have only experienced for the first time? Another problem I have with it is that it has the potential to be destructive when I only hope to encourage and advise.
     I am hoping that with wise conversation, fervent study and lots of prayer I can give this important topic justice and purpose within my book.

I thank all who take the time to read these ideas, and want to encourage you to give me feedback on what you've read - whether it's advice on how to go about writing on certain things, or stories to share similar experiences.
     God Bless, and I'll keep posting. :]

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Mobile blogging..

So I've now got the Blogger app which means I can keep you more up to date with stuff :) fun times. Taking advantage of this here is a pic of my tools for this project: diaries, pen and camera!

More coming soon...

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Summer is nigh...

So my last exam was on Monday and I am really looking forward to this summer! Got a lot lined up, and with me taking a year out of Uni to write and explore I'm finding myself enjoying each day more than the last. Things come into my life that I am blessed to have, opportunities arise that I am proud to be part of, and people surrounding me surprise me from time to time in showing outstanding love.
   The thing that makes me sad is not being able to share it all with Mum.
I wrote this poem a while back and Paddy S used it in his lesson at the Young Adult's Retreat. I wrote a wee statement as well in answer to the question 'How Do You Cope?'
I hope they stimulate thought into appreciating life for what it is, a fleeting, miraculous, blessing.

How do I cope... Well... I don't. I have no choice. Death happens, we are fragile. The only things worth living for are the glories within Salvation and the moments of joy we make with each other.
I move on because I can't move back. I talk, I remember, I dream, I shout, I cry. I cry a lot. In fear of forgetting, and fear of going insane, I talk, I love. I try to be reasonable, though emotions sometimes seem anything but.
I could not do anything without the faith I have of Mum being in heaven - safe, saved. I could not do anything without believing I will one day join her.
Death is hard, but life is difficult.

I ponder on death and I realise that life really isn't much better at all.
I find in my living I am much more forgiving of those dying, answering the call.
I also find in my time, though wounds are not healed, an emptiness lingers within,
Yet that which we create, and resolving not to hate, make the pain and the suffering more dim.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39

Saturday, 5 May 2012

    This is my family. 
From the left there is my Dad, my Sister Shanae, my Mum, me, my sister-in-law Sara and my brother Aubrey. 

It was taken on my Dad's 50th Birthday in the model village in Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds last year. 

It's also the last complete family photo we have, so is definitely going in the book somewhere...

Starting Point...

My name is Rachelle, I am 20 years old. I currently live in Dundee (UK), and am finishing my Second year at University studying English and Film. I am a Christian, have a wonderful family, and just over 7 months ago, I lost my Mother.

Mum was diagnosed with Secondary Pulmonary Hypertension when I was 16, she also had Mixed Connective Tissue Disease which weakened her immune system, causing other problems along side the main issue of PH. It took a long time for her to be properly diagnosed, as those who have dealt with illness can imagine, and discovering such a rare and chronic condition to be the underlying cause of her problems was a shot in the gut. 

The next few years were a mixture of normality and the absurd with life seemingly going on as normal - school, exams, graduations, moves to University - but underneath it all was Mum's growing struggle with every day life and the relentless realisation that this could be it.

At the beginning of Summer 2011 I started writing a diary about life with Mum - conversations with my family and friends about the future, personal thoughts about current situations and some creative writings in reflection of it all. I plan to write a book about all of this. A real story, using my diary as a basis. I have also kept trinkets and have pictures which I will photograph and include as a sort of scrap book to go along with the events, as well as statements or testimonies from friends who have experienced similar things. My Mother was an amazing woman, a wonderful example and strength to her children and a dedicated wife to my Dad. In one way or another, especially for Dad, she was the love of our lives. 

I'm not entirely sure what I wish to achieve with this blog, or this book, except to help others (and myself), in coming to terms with losing a loved one and living life after the fact. 

"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."
                                                                                        - Albert Pine