Author Guest Post: Liz Taylorson

Today I have a Guest Post from Author of The Little Church by the Sea, Liz Taylorson. Liz talks to us about Inspiration. 

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Inspired by …

Many authors draw inspiration from the view outside their study window. The rolling hills of the Cotswolds, perhaps, the Lakeland fells or a windswept Scottish beach … Ah, smell that sea air, how could anyone fail to be inspired?

The view from my desk is rather more suburban. I can see a wide patch of tarmac intended for turning vehicles but mostly used as a handy little car park by the neighbours, and a road beyond it. It’s not an exciting road, it’s a small hill that goes up towards the railway station. The most exciting things about it are the blossom trees in the spring and watching cars slide down it in the snow.

However I still spend an inordinate amount of time looking out of my window when I should be working … So other than gazing out of the window, where do I get my inspiration?

When it came to writing my first novel, the first thing I did was make a list. I love lists and pretty notebooks to write them in and I knew I wanted my story to have a wintery setting – I wanted the bleakness of the seaside in winter and I wanted the prettiness of Christmas, frost and snow. So I listed all the things that inspired me about winter – the contrast of dark nights and pretty lights, frost on the windows and flames in the hearth, holly and ivy hanging against a wood panelled wall and silver candlesticks. I listed half remembered childhood customs, songs and stories. And then I tried to imagine the kind of place I could set a story that included all these elements.

Then I came across a door. A picture of a door, in fact, an old wooden door belonging to a tiny cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay, a fishing village not far from Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast. It had a beautiful old door-knocker and a Christmas wreath hanging on it. It would be just the kind of place for wood panelled walls, silver candlesticks, mulled wine and mistletoe, but what kind of things might happen in a cottage like that?

Now I had a setting of the seaside in winter, I knew that with it would come an element of danger – high tides, storms, cold and a community that could easily be isolated by the wrong kind of weather, plenty of drama there! It gave a lovely contrast to the warmth and tradition of Christmas.

Finally I had to think about who was going to be at the heart of the story. I knew that I wanted to write about a lonely woman who had never had a full relationship with a man, so I asked myself who might find themelves in this position? The answer came quite quickly – someone with a strong belief that sex before marriage was wrong. Someone religious … a vicar perhaps? A female vicar. But why on earth would a single female vicar be living in a pretty cottage in the middle of a seaside village and not a in vicarage?

Because something had happened to the vicarage and she couldn’t live there. Something dramatic and unusual that would make a good starting point for her story, her quest to find a home and the right man to share it with … And this is where another kind of inspiration came in. I sometimes work with an author of local history books, helping him prepare his manuscripts for publication – and he had written a book about the North Yorkshire coast, which documented several cliff falls including the demise of the Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough in 1993. So, what if her vicarage had fallen over the cliff?

And there you have it. The things that have inspired me – books, pictures, pretty notebooks to make lists in and looking out of the window!

Liz’s novel The Little Church by the Sea is published by Manatee Books and can be purchased from Amazon at: goo.gl/Wwr5uG  

Liz is on Facebook at @TaylorsonLiz and Twitter @taylorson_liz. She has a blog at liztaylorson.wordpress.com 

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Thank you so much to Liz who happens to live local to me, your time writing this is much appreciated. 

Emma-Louise x

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Confessions Of A Plannerholic : Top 5 Role Models

When I think about someone who is a role model I think about how inspiring they are, how I am envious of what they can achieve,  accomplish, and how they come across.
Today’s COAP post is an ode to the top 5 role models we have. These could be famous people, family members, bloggers. Anyone you aspire to learn from.

My Top 5 Role Models are;

1) Michelle Mills. Michelle is like superwoman, she runs her own Etsy shop (UglyBugDoes), constantly is looking for ways to improve her business and give back, she has 3 small children and a loving husband and never has a dull moment. Constantly living a hectic and busy life but it’s clear that family are her priority. Everything that she does is to ultimately improve her family life. Michelle is an amazing and loving person. I’m grateful for her presence in my life.

2) Blogger Laura Hutchison from HowToGyst. I find Laura completely inspiring. I have followed HowToGyst for well over a year and it was through winning an giveaway that I discovered the amazing Getting Things Done. Laura is a normal woman living a life with children and work and through her blog she can help anyone be more productive. 

3) Alexis of Strange & Charmed. Alexis is someone who I inspire to in a business sense. There is so much I can learn about running an online business and managing my time better from this lady. Not only does she has her blog but she also has the amazing Miss Trenchcoat YouTube videos.

4) Sandra Bullock, yes this is my first celebrity role model. I love Sandra she has such class about her and she is incredibly dignified. Not only is she an amazing actress but despite many spotlights in the press due to her ex-husband she has always kept calm and dignified.

5) My Gran. I know it probably comes across as a little bit cheesy but this woman is such a role model to me. My grandad died in 1983 and my gran went out and worked full-time while still raising my mum and my uncle. I was 9 months old at the time as my mum had me at 18 and throughout the years she’s helped raise me and my 2 brothers, worked, bought her own home and become fully self dependant. My gran has never been afraid to be herself even when the the era she grew up there were certain expectations of her. I will be quite happy if I grow up to be half the woman she is.

There is my list. I’d love to hear from you who your role models are.

Please do not forget to take a look at all the other beautiful ladies blogs that are taking part.

SkaLovingGeek

UglyBugDoes 

A Beautiful Plan 

The Vintage Planner

A Life Lived In Words

My Chaotically Eclectic Life

Pineapple and Button

Pennygate Crafts

Plan With Hannah

SallyAnnMade

Pennygate Crafts

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x

Confessions Of A Plannerholic: Top 10 Blogs

I don’t know about you but I love reading other blogs. I find them inspiring and helpful. Not all of the blogs I read are planner related but the majority are.
Today’s post is a list of my top 10 blogs.

  1. How To Gyst – I have been following Laura for well over a year now and her blog is one that I go back to frequently. I love how honest she is about everything and how practically inspiring she is. There is a wealth of information on Laura’s blog and definately worth a good read.
  2. Philofaxy – This is a site ran primarily by Steve Morton. It has a mass of knowledge about all things paper planning. There is also a great section of printables to be found on here as well.
  3. A Beautiful Plan – Kelly Vizma is the face behind A Beautiful Plan. Not only does she run a lovely little business and creates the most gorgeous stickers she also has a great blog full of prettiness, tips and tricks.
  4. UglyBugDoes – I maybe a little biased here as Michelle is a real life friend as well as a planner buddy but her blog is great. It isn’t just all stationery and pretty planners but she also discusses life, children and health. A full mix of everything Michelle:)
  5. Geraldine Jayne – Geraldine is such an inspiration. Her blog is full of positive vibes and colour. This has to be my number 1 creative inspiration site.
  6. Strange & Charmed – Ran by Alexis aka Miss Trenchcoat, Strange & Charmed is a fantastic site for productivity and efficency. Alexis also runs many free webinars to join which help boost productivity and she has alot of online buisness resources.
  7. The Literary Llama – One of my absoutely favourite book blogs. I love the way the reviews are done.
  8. ReadSleepBlog – Not only does this blog contain book reviews but there are numerous challenges which one can partake in. It’s fun and lively.
  9. Wonderfully Bookish – I love this blog, I don’t have any other reason than I just do. I love all the information Charlotte posts and her reviews.
  10. Saturday On Wednesday – I have so much love for this blog it’s unreal. I adore everything about it. The content is so funny ( and you should watch her youtube Book_Roast videos). The content is honest when doing reviews and G isn’t afraid to tell it how it is. The content is hugely varied as well so there is something for everyone.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my top 10 blogs and that you find something on them which you also will enjoy. I really could have added at least 5 more.

Please do not forget to take a look at all the other beautiful ladies blogs that are taking part.

SkaLovingGeek

UglyBugDoes 

A Beautiful Plan 

The Vintage Planner

A Life Lived In Words

My Chaotically Eclectic Life

Pineapple and Button

Pennygate Crafts

Plan With Hannah

SallyAnnMade

Pennygate Crafts

 Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Planner Discontent…

I seem to have hit a bit of a planner funk lately.

There seems to be a combination of different reasons. The first being that there has been many changes in my life over the last 6 weeks and as a result I’ve found the purpose for my planners has changed. What they contain is different. 

Secondly I’ve also found that I lack the time I was spending decorating and such therefore the plainer pages didn’t inspire me.

Thirdly I am waiting for a new planner to arrive which keepa getting delayed by the manufacturer. It was suppose to be here late July, then early August,  then late August and now probably September. I had only set up my planner until August due to this. As a result of not knowing I floated about for the first week or so of the month.

I hate feeling that I am not together,  in control and a huge part of that is the planners. They contain everything about my life so I always know what’s going on when and where.

I have managed to find some temporary resolution by resorting my planner to adjust for the next couple of months.

I will post my new set-up in a post next week. 

My question to you is how do you cope with life changes and planner discontent? Have you found a way around it and if so what tips and tricks would you offer?

Thank you for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x 

Creative Journaling in my Travelers Notebook

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I have always wanted to start creative journaling but due to my perfectionist issues I have put it off.

However after watching some YouTube videos from Geraldine Jayne I decided that I was going to give it a whirl.

As it turns out I absolutely love it. Every planner I own is functional so I have decided the Websters TN will be for my creative endeavours.

Creative Journaling is such much fun and I really feel it’s good for the mind and soul. I’m exploring different materials to use and techniques to try.

I’ve even found that I am more aware of my surroundings,  everything I look at is an opportunity to include in my creative journal.

I’ve even added things like watercolour paint, leaves, photos etc.
There is no definitive way to get started, everyone’s journal is unique.

I’ve now found other YouTubers to follow as they have some great ideas, tips and trick. Anna Brim and My Green Cow are two of them, along with Geraldine.

Here are some photo’s of my progress so far.

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Do you have a creative journal and find it therapeutic? If not but you think it is something you’d enjoy I’d definitely try it 🙂

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

6 Months To Change Your Life Update 2

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Well it’s that time again! Time to weigh up what I’ve achieved this month and what I’ve failed to achieve.

I honestly felt like I hadn’t done much at all but when I was reflecting over the month I realised I had actually done a fair bit.

I’m finding that having a commitment to posting this update helps a lot in my motivation to get things done!

So let’s look at my achievments for the month.

* Assembled all the new furniture
* Rearranged the living room and decluttered
* Requested permission to redecorate
* Finished reading Beautiful Creatures
* Had more family time
* Alexis started nursery, I finally bit the bullet
* Had two date nights with my other half
* Sorted Alexis’s bedroom
* Moved Chloe into Alexis’s room
* Massive toy declutter and listed on FB groups
* Started a new e-course
* Bought a blog domain
* Started creative journaling
* Sorted the garden
* Met up with some friends
* Became a member of the UglyBugDoes design team

All in all it’s actually been a pretty productive month. I’ve been Ill the last week so I feel like if it wasn’t for that I may have got more accomplished.

Next month my goals are:
* Unpack and sort bedroom boxes
* Organise Adam’s room
* Book Declutter
* Sort out the shed
* Sort out two kitchen units
* Bin the big box outside
* Finish Spark Joy book
* Finish an e-course
* Work on organising the big northern planner meet.

Everything seems achievable if I put the effort in and don’t get side tracked.

I have noticed over the last few months that distraction and procrastination seems to be a massive thing for me. The time I get to myself is rather limited so when I do get some I want to indulge in something purely relaxing (episodes of Gilmore Girls and Vanderpump Rules currently take this spot).

I am really trying to work on changing this as I do feel much better when I can tick things off my list.

I’d love to hear how you are doing on your journey:)

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

The Leuchtturm 1917

This is my first ever Leuchtturm. My partner bought it for me for Christmas and its the Berry dotted version.

I have to admit I’m a little weary when it comes to notebooks especially those that are quite high in price as they very rarely live up to the hype however this one is amazing!

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It’s hard to say the exact purpose of what I am using it for as it covers many different functions and is very unique to me.

It combines GTD with a form of bullet journaling and other aspects too.

I have taken some photo’s of my current pages. Obviously these will evolve as the year goes on.
I do have to thank Kara at Bohoberry and Laura at How to GYST as they have both been a huge inspiration in my new 2016 approach.

So to start I drew up a 2016 Calendar as I like to always have a yearly outlook.

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2016 Mission Statement and Affirmations

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Goals and Aspirations

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Quotes and Gratitude

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Savings and Film/TV

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Books to Read and Master Project list

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Blank for Projects and GTD Workflow

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GTD Workflow Diagram and Planning Models

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What I Want To Buy and Order Tracker

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Kickass Woman Manifesto and First srt of Daily pages

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Astronomy Calendar and Daily pages

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Project 1 and Dreamcatcher Sketch

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That’s what I have so far in this one. My dailies are mostly Next Action lists for the day, events, memories and brain dumps.

I have you have enjoyed reading and seeing how I do things. I would definitely recommend checking out the two blogs I mentioned above if you are wanting to be inspired.

My next post will be going through the other planners I’m using this year:)

The Stationery Geekette x

 

**Update – Post added with updates to my layouts The Leuchtturm 1917 – Things I’ve Added