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CuriosityCats…..

If we don't know they exist, how can we save them?

   Oct 10

My deepest gratitude in advance, for your donation & support – please visit my Wildcat Challenge sponsorship page here. Together we can help save the Scottish Wildcats.

Photos courtesy of Rob Brooks, Scottish Wildcat Association, Coffee Films, Zoe, Cam & I.


   Nov 30

Reach for the stars…

When you stretch, it is amazing what you can achieve.

Counting Up, Counting Down!

♥ ♥ ♥ The story is complete! ♥ ♥ ♥

30 days = 30,282 words of wildcat magic, and a complete children’s adventure book!

I can hardly believe it myself!!

Writing the final pieces today, I was crying tears of gratitude along with the tears that the story caused as it unfolded. Because like much of what I’ve written this month: I wasn’t really sure what the final scenes would be, until the words arrived like well-timed gifts!

Having never written dialogue before, and especially never written a book or anything so intensive as this challenge has been, I am amazed at what I’ve achieved because I dared to reach for the stars.

Thank you to everyone for your support  – we *are* saving the Scottish Wildcats.

Please do remember to add your donation to my sponsorship page – the money will go to the Scottish Wildcat Association, who are actively working to save the wildcats too!

P.S. Perhaps it is fitting that today is St Andrew’s Day! :)

P.S.S. I’m not sure quite what I’ll do with myself now that I’m not writing like crazy every day & night! Rob suggested maybe I might want to sleep – and given the amount of beauty sleep I’ve missed, that is probably a brilliant idea ;)


   Nov 29

Winter Wonderland

I love snow. It makes everything look so fresh and clean and beautiful. There have been many moments given over to being mesmerised by the snowflakes falling outside our windows in the last few days; captured in the lamplight as they dance sometimes wildly, sometimes gracefully, large and small, as the wind blows.

And I also fully appreciate that having a winter wonderland on your doorstep (and car, and roof etc) can be a nuisance, a safety-risk and just darn cold!

But seeing the snow so unexpectedly early has been a real gift for me, as I craft my final words in this wildcat adventure; because I am reminded of the evolutionary magic that saw felis silvestris grampia adapt to the harsh climate of the highlands many thousands of years ago, to enable them to call Scotland home.

These wildcats will be challenged by the heavy early snows, but they will be taking it in their strides: after nearly 10 years of living in Europe, and spending much money on winter woollies and central heating, I don’t have any hope of remaining as warm!

But, the energy is surging through me and I am so excited that my tail is drawing to a close (for now!)… hyperactive, inspired, and loving every moment of it. Nothing can stop me!

Word count = 29,341

I am also deeply grateful for all the beauty that animals bring to the world. From Skye & Sparky, to these enigmatic wildcats, and myriad more – my life is richer for sharing it with animals domestic and wild. We owe them so much, and I am finally glad to be giving something so meaningful back.


   Nov 28

Adrenaline Rush!

Hyperactive, super-focused and very excited:

I have again smashed my daily-writing record, and am celebrating 2,710 words today! Not only that, they are words I feel quite proud of :)

Having fallen behind significantly for the second time, and been desperately aware of the approaching deadline, I am now slightly ahead of target – and the finish line is definitely in sight.

Word count = 28,235 !!!

For my kits too, their adventure is both coming to a close and only just beginning!

Words that have gotten me through today? ♥ love love love ♥

P.S. Cam blames the bananas for this sudden burst of energy! Deep gratitude to my fellow ActionPodcast coach – Chris – for his morning smoothy inspiration. I’ve been treating myself to deliciously healthy breakfasts since Wednesday, and even the thought of them makes me want to get out of bed despite the wintry cold (and anyone who knows me well, will appreciate this is a wee miracle)!


   Nov 27

Believing the impossible!

As Alice so wonderfully put it (in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie), “I choose to believe six impossible things before breakfast!”

Determined.

Filled wiith gratitude.

One word in front of another.

Baby steps recorded, acknowledged and celebrated.

Allowing myself to pause for special moments – Cammy cuddles, kitty cuddles, the magic of snow & even some crazy dancing! (Futterwacken-esque!)

Today marks the day I have written the most this month – two and a half thousand words of wildcat wonder in one day. Well done me!

♥♥♥ Word count = 25,525!!! ♥♥♥


   Nov 26

Happy Hurdles

… Explanation and update coming soon(ish) – but for now, simply:

Word count = 23,029!


   Nov 24

Hitting the Wall

It was the first time in days that the writing flowed again, and I feel both very grateful and deeply relieved. To have come so far and then feel like I could fail, is not an easy wall to climb. So today I’ll start with an acknowledgment of celebration and sorrow:

Word count = 22,142  ♥ Today’s effort is dedicated in memory of Heather – whose gentle, loving soul moved on last night, as she lay down to a sleep from which she did not wake. Rebecca & Katherine, my thoughts and prayers are with you. ♥

Life throws us a lot of challenges, and sometimes it seems the more we are trying to grow/stretch/achieve, the more hurdles we have to climb over. Despite this, I would rather have something worth striving for, than nothing for the challenges to try and knock me off track.

Thank you to Simon for his instantaneous support – before he even knew what wild and crazy thing I was up to this time! Your friendship and your donation are greatly appreciated.

Thank you also to David & Sandra, for your ongoing encouragement, enthusiasm and separate sponsorship support :)

Gabe, thanks for the song lovely – it helped me notice the rays of sunshine when I cloaked myself in darkness.

I’ll leave you with the thought that provided footholds as I climbed that perilous wall today:

We are saving the Scottish Wildcats – one word at a time.


   Nov 23

When there’s nothing much to say…

Sometimes no matter how much of a master word-crafter you are, how long you sit in front of a laptop, or how much you want to find the words that will speak to someone’s heart and soul, you are left with fragments of sentences and words that don’t seem to be able to do enough.

Word count = 21,151

I’m now 1,849 words behind target and it feels like the words will never quite flow again. Somehow in my heart I know they will, even as their ghosts tease me.


   Nov 22

Celebrate or Cry?

Finally.

Two-thirds of the way there.

I’m not sure whether to celebrate this milestone or cry, so I’ll probably do both.

Word count = 20,405

After the events of the last few days – in equal measures nightmarish and amazing – I had hoped for so much more. But today, this is all I had to give. Along with the faded memory of beauty sleep and what healthy and well-rested feels like.

Expectations are the source of much grief.

Persistence is the source of all success.


   Nov 18

Working with what you’ve got

My day progressed surprisingly well despite starting the morning with an intermittently blinding headache that felt like someone was shoving a spear up the back of my neck to raise my skull as a warning. Or perhaps as a trophy of crazy conquest!

I was determined to push on with the writing after I got home from work, but felt so tired that finding oodles of creativity was unlikely to happen. So I decided to work with what I had:

  • I skipped the in-between bits that were slowing me down, and instead of forcing myself to work in sequence, I decided to jump ahead to some of the next key scenes that had a vague shape in my mind.
  • By letting myself ‘warm up’ with a brief browse through Peter Cairns’ (& Mark Hamblin’s) beautiful book “Wild Land”, I eased myself into a highlands setting, and actually found a wee piece of inspiration that added an unexpected element to part of the adventure!
  • I let go of the need to be purrfect – at least just for tonight! Instead of writing really flowing and well-crafted events, I allowed myself to just jot down rough sentences for each paragraph, highlighting the main ideas I wanted to include. I’ll come back to polish them when I’m next “in the zone”.
  • I might be 890 words behind target still, but I’m celebrating what I have achieved despite feeling physically rubbish. And, I’m allowing myself to go to bed closer to 11pm than midnight for a change!

Not bad for a day that started so unforgivingly! Many thanks to Maryanne & Lindz for the sautéed tatties that helped soothe my nauseous tummy too ♥ (I discovered that whilst I could and do eat tatties at any time of the day, some people – my colleagues included – couldn’t possibly stomach potatoes for breakfast! So I also learnt something new ;))

Word count = 17,110! (with back-pats!)

Thanks again to Keira for inspiring some more wildcat names too!


   Nov 17

Purrfecting the Stretch, Stumble… and Succeed

I’ve managed a wee bit of writing this evening, after a day of coaching, business work, and other routine necessities. But I haven’t quite made up for yesterday’s stumble.

As wildcats are occupying my mind most of the time, I wrote my ActionPodcast.com blog post about some of my learnings from this wild challenge so far. Forgive me for linking to it, rather than just repeating it! You’ll find the original “Stretch, Stumble… and Succeed” article here.

Word count = 16, 055…

I may be a bit shy of the anticipated progress just now, but I am making every word count!

I would also like to welcome Rob back from his Highland adventure with a special acknowledgement of his perservering spirit and love for these amazing but shockingly rare kitties. I couldn’t think of a better person to have on my side in a time of trouble, and the Scottish Wildcats stand a better chance of survival with him on their team!