Photographically Fabulous

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This week has started out okay! This is big for a chronic sufferer of Mondayitis! I spent the morning in my ‘other office’ and the afternoon working by my heater. Its probably not ergonomic. My boss would hate to know this is what I do (I’m working for a neurologist/chiropractor and I work from home.) But eh. Whatevs.

I am thrilled to say that after getting to 30,000 words and then deleting the whole lot, my novel is back up in the 20,000 word range and flowing well. It feels good to get in a good flow on a Monday! My lunch break was spent eating a fabulously fresh and healthy meal designed to help reboot my adrenal system which is up the creek and now I am planning an engagement shoot and a wedding shoot.

I know. Fun right! The wedding is an August Wedding so light is going to be a bit of a thing – but the wedding is earlier on in the day so at least I should have something to play with. The last winter wedding I shot POURED with rain. I’m not talking ‘opportunity for cute umbrella shots’ weather. I’m talking ‘sandbag your house’ weather. Not fun. But we managed to improvise and have some fun. But I am shaking my fist at the sky this time round and saying ‘dont you dare!’

Anyway, for all the photographers out there, I thought I’d post some favourite sites of mine.

http://photographyawesomesauce.com/blogs/photography-awesomesauce – This one is awesome for beginners. Heaps of information and a blog well worth following.

http://www.mcpactions.com/blog/ – This one has plenty of presets for photoshop and lightroom available for purchase, but I really love the blog. It’s totally fab.

http://www.thephoblographer.com/category/useful-photography-tip/ – I honestly wish I thought of the name before they did, but the Phoblogpraher is great. I follow their tips page – because I happen to believe that if you love your craft, you’ll keep up to date with trends, changes and technology that surrounds it.

Anyway, just thought I’d share those three. I’ll log back on in a couple of days to talk about iPhone apps and accessories for photography.

Awww heck. You know I’ll probably log on sooner than that because I’m procrastinating. So see you then!

Cheers

Clare

*Photo credit – This shot was taken by my friend Hannah Rose. She used a point and shoo. Just goes to show that you don’t need a DSLR to nail amazing captures

Three Little Spice Jars

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Ahh what a week it has been. Usually by this stage on a Saturday, I’d be holed up in bed for a nap – or rather a mid afternoon coma! But today, I am snuggled up on the couch watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and painting my nails. It might not sound like a big achievement but it is.

Reason being, – I have had a long term relationship with a thing called Adrenal Fatigue. How I got there is a long story, but the better one to tell is how I am dealing with it now.

Last week, some I hit crisis point – when walking 150 meters while holding a handbag and a laptop was too much. I can’t really explain how exhausted I was. Sentences were difficult to get out (unusual for a writer and a functional extrovert). Cleaning the house was impossible, let alone cooking. I’d sleep and sleep but wake up exhausted. I’d get my only perks of energy late at night which would interrupt sleep. I constantly felt sluggish and low on energy. Social situations were extremely draining instead of exhilerating like usual.

A week of no sleep (due to a change of medication and some obnoxious neighbours with horrid taste in music and reliably bad timing) pushed me right over the edge. Hysterical tired to the max. My poor husband! He jokes that this is preparing him for parenthood – being woken up in the middle of the night by a hysterical wife who can’t sleep and can’t do anything else because she is too exhausted.

So I had a chat to my boss (I am helping him write a book and part of it covers this issue of Adrenal Exhaustion. Only a tiny part of it. It is fascinating though!) My ‘treatment’ started this week. I’ve been knocking back Withania like lollies, cooking with bone broth (Horrid stuff that heals the gut lining) and taking adrenal tonics. All the while, I’ve had to give myself permission to sleep when it suits and work when it suits.

It’s all helped a bit! But the big thing was when, out of desperation, I started on a Fat Elimination Diet called the “HCG protocol.” I was a sceptic at first, but desperation to improve ones health is a fine motivator. I wasn’t in it for the weight loss, though I could lose a few, like all of us. I was in it for the detox that would hopefully make my whole system less inflamed. I’m one week in, 3.6 kilo’s lighter and…feeling for the first time in ages like I can walk around the block without needing three weeks sleep to recover!

That’s where my three little spice jars came in. Shopping was impossible a fortnight ago. But today I did it. And cooked lunch. And portioned out meat for the next week (to freeze). There are a list of things achieved today that would have knocked me flat a week ago.

Adrenal Exhaustion is an amazing, overwhelming thing, so I can’t say enough how nice it is to feel at least a tiny bit of energy returning.

My big beef with social media is that it’s false advertising. We only post the good stuff. So I’ve decided to do the opposite, give a little honesty about health, and blog about my journey out of adrenal exhaustion. I have only just started my rehab and I have a fair journey ahead of me to get control of my health back. But I hope this blog will be of some help to someone!

Have a fab weekend!

Clare

 

Weekends in Paradise

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Forgive me, it’s been a few days since my last confession. Err, my last blog. We are in full winter mode here in Gippsland. It’s rainy and cold but on the weekend, God smiled on us and have us a perfect day.

We were on our way to share a really special day with a bride and groom to be. Beck and Tim took their bridal party and family to Tims family home in an incredible part of the world. It was truly special – perhaps because of their up-coming wedding. Perhaps because when you’re surrounded by love and laughter, it always is special. Perhaps because Tims beautiful mum is currently undergoing the fight of her life and she had invited us into her home regardless.

It was beautiful. Rolling hills surrounded us to every side. Incredible greenery and fresh air. No cell-phone reception so we had no distractions! And you’ve got to love town kids when they get let loose on a farm.

There are many more photos, but I wanted to leave them for the family to look at first. But here are some of our moments.

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On Basing Characters on Friends

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Morning Friend!

I realised this morning that I’ve become ‘that person’ who has taken up almost permanent office space at a local cafe. But thats the domain of the writer, right? Cabin fever at home lead me to seek refuge outside the home to where there are no dishes, no clothes to wash and iron, no window sills to dust.

Let’s be clear: I am a terrible domestic fail and this only changes when I am trying to procrastinate. At that point I am awesome! Get down on one’s hands and knees and scrubb the floor that does not need scrubbing? Why YES! Of course I want to do that. Because I don’t want to do what comes next for my character. I don’t want to hurt him.

So back to the cafe. (It’s called Redd Catt by the way. It’s great). The barista boys were joking around saying they’ll be looking for themselves as characters in my next book. It lead me to think about that big question I get asked as a writer/author – “Can you base a character on me?”

Short answer: No.

I learned this lesson early on. I based a character, albeit a main character on two guys I know. The character became a hybrid of the two. It worked for a while, until I started to ask “What would friend A/friend B do in this situation?” Then it all went to rubbish. I ended up seriously blocked on it for a few months. I had to go back and reinvent the character separate from anyone in my life. Then it started to flow again.

It’s inevitable that people will look at a character and see themselves in it – hence the disclaimer most authors put on the imprint page. But I actually think that good characters should be relatable, imperfect and individual. So if people relate to them – fine! I may also accidentally put characteristics in from people that I love (or hate!), but I steer well clear of basing characters on friends now.

Question for other writers: What do you do?