Creating My Odyssey

Artist / writer / explorer of life & creativity / mental health & lifestyle blogger

Tuesday, 29 January 2019


CREATING MY ODYSSEY - : LAS PALMAS, GRAN CANARIA, CANARY ISLANDS - .ME & H...: As we speak, I'm struggling to put together a photographic post of my trip to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands , which was fabu...


As we speak, I'm struggling to put together a photographic post of my trip to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, which was fabulous! I'm attempting to paste a small photograph taken from Google 'images', which is probably my mistake because as I add it, text beneath one of my photos vanishes! Such are the trials and tribulations of Blogger. Keep trying, I say...

In the meantime, here's a photo taken by Husband of YT, gambolling in the sea.  
I love it! 

Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor, water and nature
And here's one of Husband I took from last year. He was standing on a rock on the beach and a freak wave hit him. Snapped him at just the right moment!

Anyway, my photographic post will be delivered shortly...


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Wednesday, 23 January 2019


#amwriting transgressive fiction.

Had real neurosis about it! Started it 30+yrs ago. I suffered Post Natel Depression. Finally admitted to Husband what I was doing. Was incredibly embarrassed.

Alias Jeannie Delaney is the life story of devastating, pants wearing, cigar smoking cowgirl. She's the fastest gun in the west & bisexual. The premise is her struggle for acceptance throughout her roles of cowgirl, outlaw leader, jailbird, deputy sheriff, rancher and mayor.

I'd made drawings of her and husband told me she looked sexy! She has an androgynous, stunning beauty, hooded mesmeric, translucent, pale blue eyes. She's nearly six foot tall and is charismatic to the extreme and adored, hated and envied in equal measures. The plot was inspired by a conglomeration of traditional westerns including Little Big Man (a life story) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (humour), but with a female protagonist. There's a load of violence and some sex, so I was very embarrassed by it, but there is also humour, and writing it kept me going, on and off, through thirty years of depression and anxiety.

I began full recovery five years ago, so decided it was time to get it out there. My soulmate Husband is helping me with the editing process and he's firm but fair. The book is six parts long. Far too long! I'm working on it chapter by chapter, and hoping to lose some of it. I could never tell my parents and siblings about it, although they were aware that I was writing a western. But husband, both our children and many friends and social media followers have loved the idea. Some have enjoyed reading parts and all this has given me much needed confidence.

Up to date, apart from the editing process, I'm slowly organising it, and feel I am getting somewhere. Bearing in mind that I'm reading parts that are initial drafts from way back, they read very amateurishly, but I am working on it!

Jo, Hampshire UK
Creating My Odyssey  - Liberating the Real Me After Thirty Years Of Depression and Anxiety

Monday, 14 January 2019


CREATING MY ODYSSEY - : ORGANISED - ME??! *HYSTERICAL CHORTLES*: As I might have vaguely hinted in the past, I couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, as my dear ol' dad used to so succinctly...


As I might have vaguely hinted in the past, I couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, as my dear ol' dad used to so succinctly point out. Or, the more polite version: 'Couldn't organise a rice pudding'. Right on both counts, although I could do the rice pudding, under threat, since I've never made one (I luurved mother's rice puddings!).

But now, during my recovery from depression process, I'm determined to at least give 'organisation' as far as my limited organisational abilities will allow, a go. And I like the idea. It's quite, if not actually exciting, a feel-good thought. I've never owned that quality. According to Himself/Husband, I'm 'cute', 'endearing' in my vagueness. Alright for him to say, Mr.Planner extraordinary. He who has spent his entire adult life organising and planning. My vagueness can be a right pain in the proverbial posterior.

Enough! *She says, squaring her shoulders with conviction*. It's time.

So I've just spent some time, in Costa over two coffees, looking at my 'Respond' Gmail folder, and copying those emails into my newly titled 'RESPOND BOX/es' in Evernote, Memo and Word document on my tablet, because they get swallowed up in Gmail. I must now remember to look at my tablet apps for those responses!

So - my Gmails are getting - I hope - sorted, and I'm endeavouring to keep up with my blog post promises - writing my own and posting blog sites of other bloggers. Trouble is, I'm addicted to browsing for blogs in the genres of creative, mental health, renaissance soul, boho (bohemian), etcetera. And - if not subscribing because I've subscribed to far too many since starting recovery, and only subscribe if I really, really, really want to because the blog content is everything I like and inspires me - offering to post blogs about the ones that do inspire me, and that's a lot! (And that last sentence was far too long. My apologies).

Next, I'm endeavouring to organise this blog. That's hard. I'm not tech-minded, and what with widgets and gadgets and URL's and what-have-yous and, browsing for blogs that tell you how to do this, that and the other with your blog...  I wish half of them would speak in Janet and John English that I can understand and have images - some do - that I can follow exactly. As a result of all this, I think my category links are still not working properly and the labels and categories are listed in right hand columns on my blog looking ridiculous. I might have to resort to help from Tech Man. He knows computers.

In other areas of life I'm getting organised s-l-o-w-l-y. Archery. I've joined a local club. I have done a bit of shooting and I've still 'got it' according to the coach. YES!! *fist pump* (Sorry, just had to do that). But last time I shot I was on my tod (alone) joining a bunch of friendly gents, but the sight on my bow lost a screw and ruined my aim and my confidence. Found the screw on the floor in the back of the car so managed to fix it. Now I need an over-the-shoulder arrow holder (quiver) so I look like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Ideally I'd like a tooled leather job, but they cost a bomb, but there is a camouflaged job I quite fancy. I've bought a bow stand in shiny orange to clash with my pearly pink polished arrows. That should look good.

I've still got to organise my art group. It's a question of who can manage it and what day. Husband, being Chief Planner, organises our writing group, but I've still to make my art group happen. I procrastinate at this point. This is where 'couldn't organise a rice pudding' comes into effect. But I must do this. It's the first time in my life that I've felt capable of hosting something like this in my own home. I'm working on it. Sort of.

The novel - Alias Jeannie Delaney. I've got virtual folders with character descriptions, time line, images, the whole caboodle printed out in a real folder. I'm subscribed to umpteen novel writing newsletters that encourage me to keep going, and a Husband to critique and do the same.

Oh - Steam punk. Yep, got to organise that. There are events this year we can attend, and we're going to Camden Market to pick up the appropriate gear. Now, I'm really looking forward to that!

Anything else? Yup. Plenty. But that will do for now. I've written this up and I have other posts in draft form that have been sitting there in Blogger gathering dust for a while, so that's another thing to think about. Good job I enjoy all this. (Most of it, anyway...!)

Sunday, 6 January 2019


CREATING MY ODYSSEY - : A MAGNIFICENT NEW YEAR...WELL, WORKING ON IT!: So...where was I?  Christmas was good. First one we've had at home for three years. We had son for Christmas dinner (very tasty ...


So...where was I? 

Christmas was good. First one we've had at home for three years. We had son for Christmas dinner (very tasty if a tad on the tough side). Braising steak followed by Christmas pud and custard, all cooked by Himself/Husband. Lots of wine and laughs and talk about physics. One of our favourite subjects despite the fact that I hadn't a clue what we were talking about this time. Normally I have a good clue, but not this time. All about space and time. Stephen Hawking would have loved us.

After dinner son took me for a burn on his Harley. The roads were virtually empty except for a solitary Mini way ahead of us. Brilliant. Silent as the grave. Don't experience that very often. Back for Christmas cake and mince pies, then a walk out to gaze at Alton's Christmas lights.

Then evening of trashy and not-so-trashy Christmas telly, including Terry Pratchett's Hogfather. Fabulous! I love Death, who talks in block capitals, and his granddaughter Susan.
Image result for royalty free images hogfather death


It's become a ritual of mine on Christmas day that I ask members of Facebook mental health groups how everyone is coping. The responses, mostly struggling, flooded back. I did respond myself in any way I could, but there were so many responses that I wrote one response to that effect and posted to my page and to as many mental health groups as I could. I've said that next year I'm going to ask the question in November, and see if I can come up with any suggestions as to how to cope on the day. 

For a couple of days leading up to the
new year we stayed with our daughter, her hubby and our twin granddaughters in Lllangollen, Wales, in one of several gorgeous historic old farmhouses, Panorama Cottages,
The Farmhouse. So named because of the fabulous setting. It had had a 'new' extension built in 1730 as recorded on the sitting room wall (picture below). We climbed the hill to Castell Dinas Bran (Crow Castle) A horrendous climb. It's described as gruelling! 

It may not look gruelling, but it bloody was! 

Never again. 😬 Otherwise it's lovely there. 

Image 13
The cliffs behind the cottages!
The Farmhouse,

And now what am I hoping for this year?

Kitty's cabin! My intention this year is to extend it. Clad it more authentically, shingle the roof.

It was never quite what I'd envisaged, because, when I was a kid, my family visited a cabin in the The New Forest owned by dad's cousin and stayed for the day. I fell in love with it and wanted one just like it. Let's just see what happens.

While I'm on the subject of the wild west, we're going Steampunk. Just have to get the kit and go to the events. Simples. I'm going pirate-y and cowgirl-y. It's something I've been meaning to do for some time, and Himself is as keen as I am!

I'm now a full-fledged member of Farnham Archers, in Surrey. 
All I've got to do is buy myself a tooled leather over-the-shoul der-arrow-holder/quiver, as worn by Robin Hood and Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Cool!

Image result for tooled leather over the shoulder  quiver

We're also running Bordon Writers in Bordon Library, Bordon, Hampshire, so if anyone in that region fancies joining us, please let me know. A sense of humour is a requisite, and a touch of eccentricity would be even more fabulous!

I'm hoping to get my art group going again. I host it in my house on a Friday afternoon, the week after writing group. It's the first time I've been able to do something like this at home, because I never liked doing things at home before. It's a first, and may it continue!

Home improvements are ongoing. At some point, I must write a before/after post about it. Some of the changes are quite dramatic, to say the least.
The bedroom was done some years ago, 
but now we're doing the rest of the house.

My blog category links are rubbish! Half of them don't work, for which I deeply apologise to my reader/s. Trying to get to grips with Blogger on how to create them. Also how to list categories, and where. All this tech speak scrambles my brain. My tech man reckons I know more about this than he does. Hmm...

We're heading off to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands this month. Yippee!

Loved it so much same time last year, despite the hotel mistake (booking description got it wrong! It wasn't a family hotel, more an overnight stopover for business persons). Looked like Lego bricks!

Now, not that I'm advertising in any way, but son works in the 
The Star Inn, Bentley, Hampshire, a hop, skip and a jump up the main road from us. 

We really must make the effort to have dinner there.

Almost finally, I'm promising myself that I'll do more art. Or at least - experiment creatively. 

I'm a bit of a cheapskate, I'm afraid, and always have been, which means I rarely buy top of the range stuff. This is Crawford & Black, which some may say is lacking in quality. Indeed, some of their watercolour paints do lack 'body'. But most of it is fine, such as the above - gel pens, charcoal sticks and pencils. 

Finally - The Novel! It's coming on. I'm printing out the chapters as I go and Husband edits. He is - as I've said - firm but fair. He read a first paragraph the other day and chucked it down in disgust, then told me I wouldn't like what he had to say. 'Just tell me!' I squawked. He said: 'You've said: '--------------' umpteen million times. The reader already knows that.' 'Is that all?!' *Phew*. That's what I need him for! I counted the number of chapters - a hundred and thirty, plus. Bearing in mind that some of the chapters are only a quarter page long, they'll disappear into the body of the work eventually, which is currently six parts long. 

I'm slowly organising the whole thing. For example, the timeline. It's very hard work, particularly matching up the chapter numbers on my timeline with the numbers stated on each chapter, but nobody ever said that writing an epic was going to be easy, but I've got a ton of support from various bods. I am inspired by the whole thing, and I am growing more excited by it. Who knows, I might even finish it in a year or two, or maybe three. Fingers x.

Eh, well - that was a longie, wasn't it?! Probably the longest I've written for a while. If anyone fancies a chat or comment, I'd love to hear from you. Speak soon! 😉

                           CREATING MY ODYSSEY