Showing posts with label journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journal. Show all posts

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Reflections on life during #LockdownSAExtended

Linzé's Sunday Thoughts and Things

I have been taking stock of life during lockdown. For me it has been busy with working, drawing, painting, supporting some friends, and issuing creative challenges to some of the ladies in my writers group.
Then last weekend the lab I work with, received permission to start working again. So we did this past Wednesday. At first it was weird driving on one of the busiest highways in the country without traffic. Sure there were other vehicles with me on the road, but the only things I had to focus on were staying in my lane, keeping to the speed limit, and generally just driving. I can tell you this though: it never felt so far to the lab than it did on Wednesday.
Coming back was just the same, except that I had a traffic police officer drive behind me for a while before going past me as I made my way to my off-ramp to go home. Not an unusual occurrence for them to do that, but for some reason it was more nerve-wrecking than normal.

What did I manage to achieve?

I had to ask myself that because 30 days (and counting) is a long time to be living a life outside of the norm.
I decided to make a list (yes, the engineering brain cannot get away from those):
  1. I did at least one drawing every day. Some days I did more than one, and sometimes I did a painting with gouache. I am busy with another one today.
  2. I managed to write 20,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. I was not happy with what I wrote, so don't hold your breath that those words will ever see the light of publication. No joke, sorry.
  3. I sometimes managed to walk more than 7000 steps, but definitely not every day. I am not a fan of exercising, so there is nothing more to report.
  4. Did I read? Yes, I got caught up on three issues of a magazine I subscribe to electronically now, In the Moment. Definitely worth looking into if you are on a personal journey of growth.
    ink drawing in monochrome of frangipani flowers and leaves, artist Linzé Brandon
    One of my Inktober52 drawings
    I am also reading a non-fiction book, but it is slow going so it might take several more weeks for me to finish it. It is fascinating reading, I just don't spend much time with it though.
  5. Did I gain weight as many of my online and face-to-face friends are complaining about more and more? No. That was the biggest surprise of this whole situation: I managed to lose 4kg. No diet. No exercise (see point 3 above).
I just didn't have time to snack so much as I normally would. In fact, last week Tuesday afternoon at 3 pm, was the first time since lockdown started that I wondered what to do with myself. It was odd, but the feeling didn't last long when I spotted my (still) unfinished cross-stitch project that I started 10 years ago.
I am not finished yet, but there is progress and I guess it will not be too long before it is finished.
But lockdown is not over. Here in SA we are on a 5 stage lockdown strategy. Right now, until 30 April, the whole country is at stage 5. From 1 May we go to stage 4, but thereafter the level will not be the same for the whole country. Different provinces, and even communities, may go to different levels going forward depending on the rate of infection from the virus.
Where I live we have a well organised community service (mostly to fight crime) but it also functions as a communications channel between our local councillor, the police and other government agencies when required.
So the weeks ahead will definitely be interesting.
Until next time - stay safe and be responsible to yourself, your families and your communities at large.
💜Linzé

Sunday, 12 April 2020

The Creative Life during #LockdownSA (with 20 days still to go)

The Challenge: 2020

I am sure you will agree that 2020 has not lived up to the expectations that we have set for ourselves on 1 January. But has it been that bad? Of course, for the people who were infected by the Covid-19 virus, it has not been fun at all.
For those families who have lost someone they loved to the infection, it is heartbreaking.
And for the politicians and world leaders trying to figure out how to keep their countries' economies stable (at least) and fight the impact of the socio-economic issues (still not yet determined) it is a nightmare.
But for those of us everyday citizens trying to make a living to keep ourselves afloat in this time of crises, how bad has it been, really? Did you have to tighten your belt because you are self-employed like I am?
Being basically a level headed and fairly optimistic kind of person, I have not done too badly I think. I did have some work to do, which I will be able to invoice soon, and thanks to two of my writers' group friends, have been kept busy artistically as well. Like me they are artists and I have challenged them to a few creative projects during #LockdownSA. It helps to keep busy, but more than that it helped us all to keep our drawing skills sharp.
The one thing that I often forget - despite putting it on my to-journal list - is a gratitude journal or art journal entry. Last week I made it one of our creative projects and to me, it was something to remind of all the things that I am grateful for. Especially now as we are entering an extended lockdown of an additional 2 weeks (until 30 April).
Do I look forward to going back to work? Of course, I am. Being self-employed as a test and certification engineer does not mean that I work from home 24/7. I need facilities to do my work that I simply cannot accommodate, nor afford, to have at home. I am fortunate though that my work environment away from home is with a small company where any physical interaction with other people can be easily managed - mostly because we do most of our work as individuals, not teams. I am still training a newer member of the team, but he is not that green anymore that close distancing is required all the time.
If you are in isolation, self-imposed or otherwise, I trust that the need to be so will soon be over so that we all can start working together to recover from this situation. Recovery will take time, and teamwork on so many levels that I simply cannot even comprehend the difficulties associated with such a strategy.
Right now all I can hope (and pray) for is that the leaders of my country, and those of your countries, will set aside their political agendas and work together with their people to move forward from this. And perhaps even have a good and hard think on dealing with such a pandemic in future. Because it will come again, the question is: how soon and how bad will it be the next time?

On a more joyful note - here are links to the A-toZ Challenge posts on the Broomstick so far, with a hint of some of the posts to come. Enjoy! 💜

ART by Melissa a guest post about performance art
BFF by Linzé
COVID-19 by Linzé
DINNER by Linzé EDINBURGH station by Linzé FUN art by Linzé
GREEN by Linzé
HOLISTIC health by Vanessa a guest post and art journal
INKTOBER52 by Linzé
JOY by Linzé

Looking forward this week ...
Tomorrow: K by Kayelle a book release
Tuesday: L by Carmen a guest post
Wednesday: M by Andrea a guest post
Thursday: N by Charlene a guest post

Until tomorrow!
💜 Linzé


Friday, 3 April 2020

A-to-Z Challenge: Day 3 - C

Covid-19 Lockdown by Linzé Brandon

This is not a post to tell you what to do or what to avoid. Nope, this is a post to tell you what I have been doing (and plan to do) during this period where we are in #LockdownSA. South Africa went into a nationwide lockdown at midnight on 26 March.
Linzé's #inktober52
on Instagram
Even though I work from home most of the time, I do need the equipment of a test facility to do my work. But on the Monday preceding the lockdown, the lab management decided to close down business until the official lockdown period is over. While I still work a few hours every day, I have also started to focus more on my art projects. So far I have done 11 small gouache paintings, four art journal entries (mostly mixed media) and completed at least one #inktober52 ink drawing.
I have done an online sketchbook workshop and am busy reading a non-fiction book. This may sound like a lot but remember I am home 24/7. My husband is also working from home for at least four hours every day and we cannot go out as we would normally do if we get bored. So it is art for me and photography (editing) for him.
For 21 days you might ask? Yes, we have loads to do from a creative perspective and also a few things at home that needs attention. I would say that 21 days will not be enough for this household!
Stay safe and read another post in the #AtoZChallenge!
Until tomorrow,
💜 Linzé

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Art Journal 2020: Life

For my entry this time I chose to focus on Seneca's philosophy on life, and being present. The choice of colours was deliberate to bring a more joyful spin to the art and the text.
  
Figure 1: Leaves stencilled and outlined
Materials:
1. Art journal
2. Textured paste
3. Stencil of your choice (I used leaves)
4. Pallet knife
5. Sharpie Ultra Fine marker
6. Gel medium (gloss or matt)
7. Chameleon alcohol based markers (see each step fo the colours)
8. Sanding paper/block medium/fine

Step 1:
* Paint the pages with gel medium to seal them.
* Use the textured paste and pallet knife to stencil the leaves onto the pages. Let dry.
* Gently sand the leaves to remove any sharp points or unevenness.
* Use the Sharpie to outline the leaves to make them stand out.

Figure 2: Coloured leaves and green markers
Step 2:
* Colour each leaf green.
I used GR4 (evergreen) on the left-hand leaf, and GR3 (grass green) on the right-hand leaf.
The small tip works best for the small surfaces of the leaves.
Chameleon alcohol markers dry quickly so there is no need to wait before continuing.




Figure 3: Coloured pages
Step 3:
* Colour the rest of the pages with bright colours. Avoid using dark colours since it will obscure the text.
I used YL2 (summer sun), YO3 (warm sunset), PK5 (fuchsia), BL3 (sky blue), and YG3 (spring meadow).
* You can use the Chameleon Blender to blend the edges where the colours meet, or you can use the lighter toned pen to blend. The gel medium prevents the ink from being absorbed into the paper, making blending possible even after the ink has dried.

bright image of art journal entry using quotes from Seneca about life, #JournalArt2020
Figure 4: The end result
Step 4:
* Use the Sharpie to add the text to the two pages.
* Sign your name and add the date when you are done.

On the left: "Why, indeed, is it necessary to summon trouble - which must be endured soon enough when it has once arrived, or to anticipate trouble and ruin the present through fear of the future? It is indeed foolish to be unhappy now because you may be unhappy at some future time."  ~ Seneca letters XXIV, 1

On the right: "... teach me something with which to face these troubles. Bring it to pass that I shall cease trying to escape from death, and that life may cease to escape from me. Give me courage to meet hardships; make me calm in the face of the unavoidable. Relax the straitened limits of the time which is allotted me. Show me that the good in life does not depend upon life's length, but upon the use we make of it..."  ~ Seneca letters XLIX, 10

~~~~~

In April I will again be taking part in the A to Z blog challenge, so there will be more creative posts coming your way.

Until then, when we will make everyday a creative day.
💜 Linzé

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Art Journal 2020: Amor Fati

This week is the second in the series #JournalArt2020 dealing with the theme of stoicism. This week my entry is about Amor Fati - to love your fate.

image of a blank art journal spread of pages
1.  Start again with a blank spread, but this entry involves a third page (kept single). There two outer pages were glued together again with gel medium, but there is no painting involved in this entry, so you don't have to glue to outer pages.
I used gel medium, because the pages in this particular book bleeds with the markers and I didn't want that to spoil the other pages.



image of a tree stencil, plastic stencil of tree
2.  This entry uses two stencils. The primary design use this tree stencil, but you can use any tree stencil that you like. It just needs to be wide enough to cover at least half of the two pages in the spread.

The second stencil is shown further down.






image tree outline in art journal with scissors and pencil marks and arrows
3.  Use a waterproof pen and draw the stencil outline on the spread close to the middle.
Mark the edge of the stencil (shown here with the green and purple arrows) in pencil.

Cut around the tree but leave enough space at the bottom to cover the tree and tree trunk when the single (middle) page is turned over.

Flip the stencil and draw the tree on the other side.

image tree outline in art journal with scissors
4.  Here you can see the flip side of the page. 

The pencil marks on the page were used to align the stencil to ensure the overlap is as close as possible. It does not have to be perfect though.

The tree on the left-hand side of the spread is not visible.

The stencil outline was flipped with the tree trunk now leaning the other way.
image tree outline in art journal with green ink and sponge
5.  I used ink and a dry art sponge to colour the pages around the tree, also in between the branches. But I made sure not to cover the lines of the tree itself.

You can also use a dauber or your finger to get the same effect with the ink.




image tree outline in art journal with green pencil
6.  I couldn't get enough coverage with the ink and sponge and decided to use a colour pencil as well. It is a soft pencil and I made sure to hold it fairly horizontal so that it didn't make obvious lines when I used it to fill in the background.

The pencil is almost the exact same shade of green as the ink I used. I was lucky because I didn't plan on using coloured pencils for this entry. I was however, very pleased with the final outcome. Will definitely consider using coloured pencils again.
image tree outline in art journal with coloured brush markers
7.  I used Lyra brush markers in light colours to colour in the tree on the green side of the entry.

The tree trunk was done with a brown marker, and I used the same brown marker on the other side of the page.

This side symbolises the lighter (happier) side of life.




image tree outline in art journal with coloured brush markers
8.  I made the right-hand side of the design in purple. Using ink on the edges with the dry sponge, and then used two coloured pencils for the colouring in the rest of the pages around the tree.

Then I coloured the tree with dark colours from the Lyra brush marker set.

This side symbolises the heavier (difficult or challenging) side of life.


image of Koh-I-Noor pencils and Distress Inks
9.  The pencils: Koh-I-Noor Hardmuth Progresso Yellowish Green, French Pink, and Bordeaux Red.

The inks: Distress Ink Twisted Citron, and Seedless Preserves.




image tree outline in art journal with coloured brush markers
10.  Add the text "Amor Fati" to the green side with a waterproof pen.
I drew circles in random sizes around the green side and coloured them with the same light coloured Lyra brush markers you saw in (7).

The circles were done with a stencil (11).



image tree outline in art journal with coloured brush markers and stencil
11.  Repeat the circles on the purple side of the design and colour with the darker brush pens shown in (8)

I did not colour all the circles in the purple entry, to add to the symbolism of emptiness or difficult times in life.

The stencil is shown here.

The words "love your fate" is added to the purple side and shown in (10)

image tree outline in art journal with black pen and quotations from Epictetus
The final design with two quotes from Epictetus added with the
black UniBall waterproof pen (0.8mm nib)
"Don't seek for everything to happen as you wish it, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will--then your life will flow well." ~Epictetus
"It is easy to praise providence for anything that may happen if you have two qualities: a complete view of what has actually happened in each instance, and a sense of gratitude. Without gratitude what is the point of seeing, and without seeing what is the object of gratitude?" ~Epictetus
Until the next instalment in this series!
Be creative and love your life, just the way it is.

💜 Linzé

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Managing ideas: a new method for me

  This year I have been trying new things, and that includes managing those new ideas. I have often read and heard people say to you should carry a notebook with you to jot down that "idea" that pops into your head at the oddest times. To be honest, I have done and said the same thing for many years. My problem is, that most of my ideas strike when I am writing in my journal and then those ideas get lost because I don't make the effort to rewrite them in that ideas notebook of mine.
image of notebook, pen and bag
Notebook, pen and bag
  About two weeks ago I came across a website about this very thing, but it is a touch more comprehensive than keeping a notebook. It is called the Zettelkasten method and it uses cards for noting down those ideas. I have tried cards in the past too, but they have never quite worked for me. What I liked about this method, is that the system caters for follow-up ideas and notes, without having to use bigger cards, or more notebooks to keep your notes together.
  Since I have been trying it for only about two weeks, I have not yet found anything not to like about it, but to be honest have not used it that much either. Not for because I lack ideas, but I am focused on #inktober52 mostly and immediately sit down to sketch my idea(s) since the deadline is a week away and there is not time to waste if I want to keep up.
  More on this method as I use it, but give the Zettelkasten method a try, it might just be thing you have been looking for.
  Speaking of new things. It is Valentines Day this week, and if the blog host sends me the info in time, there is a new book for you to explore this Friday. 
  Also a new #JournalArt2020 post on Thursday, and my next newsletter is out tomorrow with something special for subscribers.

But now it's time for me to go see to a few chores in preparation for the week ahead.

Until next time!
💜 Linzé
  

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Art Journal 2020: Memento Mori

Welcome to #JournalArt2020! This is a blog series of actual art journal entries that I am doing this year.
Since this is my first time doing art journaling, it may not be as pretty as you see on YouTube, but these entries are personal, that I can assure you. I decided to keep to my theme of Living in Balance, and started the series with Stoicism, as I am a practitioner of the philosophy.
Enjoy!

I started with two facing blank pages. Both of which were glued together with gel medium and allowed to dry overnight.
The pages are a dark beige colour, but the colour of the paper does not matter because I was going to paint it.
The first layer was done with white gesso to seal the paper and prepare it for painting.



I left the right-hand page mostly unpainted - the gesso is visible here.
I painted the middle of the spread with grey acrylic (I mixed white and black).
Then I roughly painted about 90% of the left-hand page with black acrylic paint.

The rough textured look was the look I wanted.



I used this drywalling fibre tape as a stencil with textured paste next.

I found the tape in a local Builders Warehouse store. The tape is quite sticky, but I soaked it in water, then dried it so that it won't stick to the page. 
It was still sticky after soaking it, but it worked well because it was damp and I could peel it away.



You can see the dried textured paste on the left-hand page where I used the drywall tape as the stencil.

I added the black and grey washi tape to the bottom of the page on the right-hand side, before adding another stencilled piece.

I used the flower stencil on the right-hand page with the same textured paste and a pallet knife. It went over the washi tape at the bottom. This was intentional.








I then finished the entry with more washi tape, stickers, and painted the flower with acrylic paint. Lastly, I added the text in white on the left-hand page, and black on the right-hand page.

Left-hand page text reads: Memento Mori (top)
Remember we will die (bottom)

Right-hand page text is a quote by Seneca: "It's not at all that we have too short a time to Iive, but that we squander a great deal of it. Life is long enough, and it's given in sufficient measure to do many great things if we spend it well. But when it's poured down the drain of luxury and neglect, when it's employed to no good end, we're finally driven to see that it has passed by before we even recognise it passing. And so it is - we don't receive a short life, we make it so."

Memento Mori, art journal entry, #JournalArt2020, graphic art image, Linzé Brandon
Memento Mori: final art journal entry #JournalArt2020

Materials:

  • white Faber Castell brush pens
  • black Faber Castell Pitt pen
  • white gesso
  • acrylic paint: black, white, yellow, red, green, blue (purple was mixed with red and blue)
  • stickers: butterflies, clock, stars, skulls, bones.
  • washi tape: black/grey/white, flowers, leaves.
  • fold back clips to help hold the pages down while working
  • paint brushes - small round

Until next time!
💜 Linzé


Thursday, 16 January 2020

Art Journal 2020: Balance

#JournalArt2020, Linzé Brandon's art journal, graphic of art journal, balance, work life balance, mixed media
Art Journal about work life balance in 2020 (mixed media)

  I have always thought that art journaling would take too long, and that would make me lose interest. Late last year I watched loads of YouTube video clips, and read even more blogs on the subject before deciding to try my hand at it.
  After trying one entry (above) I am hooked 😍. Since I had no idea how it was going to turn out, I only took a picture of the end result. There are many more art journal entries coming this year, and for those I have/will take many more pictures in case you want to see how I did it.
  I decided to spare you the pain of listening to my voice, so no video clips, only text and many pictures to tell you how I did mine.
  Thursdays will be for art journal sharing on the Broomstick. Want to share your own efforts? Please do so on Twitter (#JournalArt2020), since I would love to see how your art journal develops in 2020.

💜 Linzé

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Goodbye, 2019! It was great to have lived you.

Like all good things there comes a time to say goodbye. But it will only be a short reprieve before we tackle 2020 with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. Lots of exciting things happened in 2019 and many more wonderful things are still ahead for 2020.
Christmas bells on wooden background, Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
  
My last newsletter of the year will also go out tomorrow. More exciting opportunities await in 2020 for my subscribers. Subscribe now then you won't miss out.

Until then!
💜💜 Linzé

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Why I got bored with a vegan diet

Fourteen months ago I switched to a vegetarian diet for health reasons. The net result was worth the pain and inconvenience of those first weeks of detoxing from eating meat for 50 years. But about a month ago, I came across a Veggie Challenge on Instagram and decided to try it out - as a vegan. So this my take on following a vegan diet for 31 days, in South Africa.

Exciting and challenging

The first two weeks everything was great. I cooked interesting meals at home and even managed to lose two kilograms. The weight-loss was not planned, but I do have to say not unwelcome. The challenge at this time was mostly finding things for snacking. Having a snack or two each day helps to keep my blood sugar levels stable - a good thing to do for anyone with a busy lifestyle.
As the challenge coordinator mentioned, there are more vegan snack options available these days than there had been say, 5 years ago. Unless you have high blood pressure, then these temptations are not an option. Too much salt, as you would have guessed no doubt.
So snacking options were severely limited for me, hence the weight-loss I think. I did have raw nuts in the cupboard, the bag is still fairly full, but nuts are heavy on calories, and I can only eat so much of them anyway.
Snacks remained a frustrating challenge throughout the whole 31 days.

Then the boredom started to creep in

Ever since leaving my high paying full-time job in January this year, we have been more conscious of the budget and eating out less often than before. On the vegan diet eating out in this country is a huge challenge on the best of days. Something I was not so aware of, until last month.
Boerewors picture courtesy
TempestSA at the English language Wikipedia
Allow me to elaborate for a minute. South Africans love meat. The more the better. We have a standing joke that people in South Africa eat boerewors for salad and chicken for vegetables. Seafood is probably considered a snack I suppose.
Unfortunately, there is more truth in that joke than you can imagine. Eating out options are extremely limited for a vegetarian, and borders on the near-impossible for vegans.
I do have to say this though: at the places where we dine out often, the waiters and chefs have been nice in trying to accommodate my vegan choices during October, but franchise restaurants are so restricted in their menus, that it became a problem for me after a while.
Whoever designs those menus seem oblivious to the fact that there are more food options out there than butternut (which I dislike except during winter), mushrooms (don't much like those either) and zucchini (also called courgettes over here). Whatever happened to lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, wild rice and all the other (very tasty) options to use as a base in cooking?
Even salads - which I love all year round - can definitely be spruced up with nuts, and the aforementioned ancient grains and starches in summer dishes.

Vegan proteins and vegan cheese

Fortunately for me, I had a vegan shake available which I could use to supplement my protein intake during the month. Since I have a dairy allergy (mainly the raw product - milk and cream) I even use the shake on the vegetarian diet.
Meat substitutes are readily available in supermarkets and are wonderful for home cooking. If only the restaurants shopped at the large supermarket chains too. (Hint?)
Back to the cheese. I like the taste of vegan cheese, but be warned, it is not a protein substitute. Aside from being expensive (even more so than the mature dairy version), I feel it a waste to buy because it is only a starchy food.

Fruits and vegetables

October is basically summer already in this country, so the abundance of fruits and vegetables is a pleasure to someone who has always loved fruit and raw vegetables. At least I got all my fibre and vitamins!

Enter the last ten days

By now I was getting really bored with the vegan diet. Except for the breakfast cereal, which I do eat every day of the week irrespective of the kind of diet - with almond milk.
Eating out became a chore, not a pleasure and I started to eat more 'normal' again, including cheese in my evening meals, and sometimes even for lunch. Two days before the end of the month, I started eating eggs again too.

Coffee, coffee, coffee ... my kingdom for a coffee

I drink my coffee black and have been since I was a child. I was the first person in my family diagnosed with the dairy allergy, after almost dying when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I have some tolerance for the mature cheeses, but still have to watch how much I eat.
I love coffee, Americanos, especially, but since hitting the sexy age of 50, drinking my coffee black has become a problem too. So I stuck to drinking coffee after a meal, but I don't have time to eat the whole day just so I could drink coffee.
I found a cappuccino premix - it does contain some milk powder - which I could drink at any time without the pain I experienced with drinking black coffee without eating. Vegan? Not so much, but I love coffee too much limit myself to two cups a day (I don't drink black coffee after a breakfast of cereal and fruit).

A veggie future?

I am not keeping up the vegan diet. That is not to say that I will not eat vegan meals, because I mostly still do at home, but as a South African the long term options are not worth it, at least not right now. Will the restaurants ever change?
I am delighted to say that some already have. Even on Friday when my friend, Vanessa, and I were having breakfast together for the first day of NaNoWriMo, our favourite meeting place had two new vegan options on the menu. I cannot claim to be the reason for it, but maybe I helped to raise awareness for the need that some of us have not to eat any meat at all.
But unless more people ask for a meal to be adapted to a vegan, or vegetarian, diet I don't think the average South African restaurant is rushing to include more interesting and seasonal vegetable-based options on their menus. And they really should.

PS: With NaNoWriMo challenging me once again, this will be the only post for November. But do keep an eye out for my newsletter, and #TheTinyBroom tweets twice a week.

Until December!
💜 Linzé

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Living the creative life...most of the time

Life has been crazy since my friend, Vanessa, challenged me to take part in Inktober this month. But my challenges did not end there. I also decided to follow a vegan diet in October (I follow a vegetarian diet since August 2018) and that has turned out to be quite the challenge indeed. But that is not all. Two large art projects have to be completed too - one at the end of November and one in December. November as you know is NaNoWriMo time, so I really have my work cut out for me on top of an increasing workload as a self-employed engineer.
As whiney as all that may sound to you, I am actually happier than I have been in a very long time. And the one thing I can attribute to that state of mind is control of my time. With more hours spent drawing than I have in a long time, I have also managed to work on a large cross-stitch project which I started in 2009. It is not finished yet, but I have more progress on that in six months than in the three years before. 
While I do work longer hours than I ever did in a full-time job, I also now only work 4 days a week. And I am taking three days off in the coming week.
I am a long way away from earning the kind of income that I had before, but the freedom of my time totally makes up for that.
Inktober Day 9 prompt: swing

Cammy: "Told you that thing didn't look safe."⠀
Cricket: 🤬
My drawing skills have improved although I am drawing a cartoon for Inktober which does not show the extent of my present skills. I still love the characters, Cricket and his friends, and am having a load of fun writing the little story to accompany each drawing. Maybe there is a cartoon series to contemplate with the (mis)adventures of Cricket and his friends, Tim and Cammy. Don't forget the dragon, Draco, who also has a few tricks hiding under those scales.
Inktober is running until the end of October and you can follow the adventures of Cricket and friends on Instagram.
The vegan diet will remain an option for me, but not permanently. Eating out in South Africa is for carnivores, with few vegetarian options and even fewer vegan options on the average restaurant menu. Cooking at home is not difficult, and that includes feeding my husband who is a committed carnivore. Snacking requires more planning than I anticipated, but my biggest challenge remains drinking coffee. With a dairy allergy, I drink my coffee black, but recently that has been a problem. So I have limited my black coffee drinking until after a meal.
I love having coffee while working (and not eating), so I have taken to "cheating" by drinking a pre-mix cappuccino powder twice a day. The powder does contain milk, but the processes it has gone through makes it palatable enough that two cups a day does not make me sick. I am not converting to a strict vegan diet despite some weight-loss (grateful for that) but can see myself be open to eating vegan more often in the future.
This time of year I think can get beyond the normal level of crazy we are used to, so I am making sure to get enough sleep, drink enough water, and focus on the things that work towards my mental well being too. And I trust that you will be mindful to do the same. We do after all only have one life, so we need to make the most of it, including taking personal time.
Until we meet again!
💜🙋‍♀️Linzé

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Mindfulness Guest Post Opportunity for Bloggers and Authors

I am looking for guest posts for the month of September. If you like to write about the life of an author or blogger this is an opportunity for you.
The twelfth of September is Mindfulness Awareness day and as a mindfulness practitioner, I want to help spread the word of the benefits of the practice. Mindfulness is the practice of being present and focused in the moment without judgement of yourself or others.
If you are interested in contributing a post about practicing mindfulness in your life as a writer or blogger (or both) then please keep reading.
Here are the requirements:
  1. Post must be about your LIFE as a mindfulness practitioner - formally recognised or not.
  2. How do you practice being mindful in your daily life - work, kids, relationships, writing, hobbies, art, crafts, household chores, spiritual practice - the works. Some emphasis is required (please) on your writing schedule. Blogging and journaling also count as writing.
  3. Pick one day of the week, and tell my readers what your schedule looks like, from waking up to bedtime. Offer lessons learned, benefits gained, what works for you, what doesn't, etc.
  4. If you are mindfulness meditation practitioner - please include that in your post.
  5. Word count 1500 to 2000 words, minimum. You are welcome to go up to 4k, as long as the post is relevant and keeps to topic.
  6. Use references if necessary, and use your own life experiences as the basis for your article.
  7. No advertising, but you are encouraged to include links to your website/blog, social media profiles, etc. - max 5 links.
  8. Author bio - +/- 300 words, or shorter if you prefer. A recent picture of fairly high resolution - at least 100dpi x 100dpi.
  9. Deadline for submissions: 31 August 2019. Please submit your post using the email address in the graphic below. Subject: Mindfulness Post

    And that is my story for today. For more regular updates follow #TheTinyBroom on Twitter.

    Until next time!
    💜 Linzé


BOOK RELEASE: SOLANGE an ebook by Linzé

Will she get the future she wants? M/F/M Erotic vampire romance (18+ only)   Solange knows that she is not like the average woman who...