Monday, December 8, 2014

All over Red Rover

What began as a simple task of FILING my overflowing filing tray, has somehow turned into an epic marathon of archiving my filing cabinets then evolved into a "lets clear absolutely everything out of our tiny storage room since we can no longer move in there" 

From business files, to Christmas decorations, books and everything in between. We can no longer move in our office as there are boxes and bags spread from one end to the other. 

Today I started rifling through a single box of baby clothes... YES! BABY clothes... that once belonged to Miss 7. A job I have been neglecting as was too hard to do on all previous attempts soon became a game of - op shop, op shop, keep, op shop, op shop, keep. 

One box down. I started another. 

The Maternity Clothes. You know because I fell pregnant in 2006, gave birth mid 2007. It is the end of 2014 - you do the math. Obviously I have been in denial all these years, holding out hope that maybe, just maybe it would happen even though we are no longer "trying." 

Seven and a half years is a long time and I know it is finally time to say good-bye. Yet it feels as though the wound has ripped open all over again. I keep telling myself that they are "just clothes" they can always be replaced (on that slim off chance) and really they are more than likely out of fashion in todays standards. 

They may have been just clothes - but today I shed a small tear remembering.    

Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 - Wrap Party

If you asked me at the start of the month if I thought I could achieve NaNoWriMo winning status by the end of the month - I'd have likely laughed you from the room. While I had a good story - the thought of writing 1667 words every single day for 30 days straight, scared the absolute crap out of me.


Yet something within me told me I could do it! And I did it. 50,000 words slayed during November 2014 and finished with 3 days to spare! 

Today I thought I would celebrate with a small wrap party and give you an insight as to how I was feeling throughout the month, as well as HOW I kept going. 

Week 1 
After the first week, I was 3 days ahead and feeling darned awesome about the whole project. I felt as though it may be entirely possible to cross the finish line. Regardless of a sinus infection of epic proportions and having to take a strong course of antibiotics to combat it (which in turn made me feel icky) I wrote on. I would NOT recommend taking this road - I daresay my writing in the early days will need MUCH editing. 
Total Words Written: 17,653

Week 2 
Week two dawned and the PMT that had been building while I battled the sinus issues hit me and my body gave out. THREE whole days spent on the couch moaning and groaning and feeling the weight of lifting my pen all too difficult. I came close to not bothering, but something within me pushed me on. I still wrote. The words will NOT be the best, but I soldiered on and ended up ditching the index card system I had started (which I regretted almost immediately and am STILL kicking myself over today!) I continued to eek out as many words as humanly possible. 
Total Words Written: 10,270 

Week 3 
After the struggles during week two, I knew I had to get back on track, the weekend was promising with a further 3,512, followed by and EPIC count of 3,714 on Monday 17th. I kept up the pace until I hit the 40K mark and that's about the point it all started to fall apart. Negative thoughts crept into my mind. Why bother? Who would ever read this story? What was the point? 
Back and forth I went and I could not seem to pull the distant threads of my story together, but I wrote on. I kept telling myself word count first - edit later. I knew there were too many dialogue scenes and not enough action. My action scenes felt they were starting to repeat while I desperately tried tying it together and still I wrote on. So close to 50K I could practically SMELL the finishing line. When my pen snapped in two on Friday I nearly gave up, lucky for me I found a nearly identical pen and kept on writing. 
Total Words Written: 14,213 

Week 4 
NINE days to go and my words dried up. I hit a wall of writers block and less than 8,000 to finish. Knowing I had a long weekend away & that I needed to organise several things - I was becoming super stressed. I could see the glow from the finish line and still those words WOULD NOT COME!  I plodded through the week and it wasn't until Wednesday night that I finally managed to push on & hoped I had enough for a finish. I awoke eager on Thursday morning at a silly hour and typed up my words... I was short by 237 - I quickly scrawled them across the page, typed them in and copied them into the NaNo validator. 
Total Words Written: 7,872 


According to NaNoWriMo word count: 50,361
According to my Word Count: 50,019 
(ironic that I could have saved myself those 200 words on Thursday morning!) 

I was thrilled & yes I simply had to share the winners badge twice! 

How am I feeling now the words are done and my story is well on the way to being written? I am exhausted! I take my hats off to many of my fellow winners who are now looking at editing their stories or writing on to finish their stories. For me - right now - I am taking a small break. I will return to it in the new year and see if there is any substance in it worth saving and editing. 

Doing NaNoWriMo and actually completing it showed me that I AM capable of focus and I am capable of writing a story under pressure. While I wouldn't say it is the best way (or only way) to write a story, it does get words on paper. Words that had been floating around inside my head for a year or two. Words that would have remained still a dream. 

I've been calling myself a writer for ages, but it wasn't until now having completed and WINNING NaNo that I feel I have earned that title! 

The good news is - I really, really enjoyed writing my story! And I am not sick of writing stories yet (which is always a good thing!)     

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Little Green Pen

When I started NaNoWriMo I decided I wanted to handwrite my story in a Composition Book. I'm not sure why I decided on this (though I am glad I have - it has given me the flexibility to write wherever I am.)

Deciding to handwrite meant I had to choose a pen. I half thought about colour coding my scenes / characters but I knew that would be too difficult - so I pulled out an old green Uniball Power tank that is refillable. The reason I chose this is because I found an extra 4 packets of ink refills and I figured four would see me to the end of the month with some to spare.


First refill lasted 53 pages and over 15,000 words the second was replaced sometime around page 108. I mentioned to a friend on Instagram that IF I won the 50K words of NaNoWriMo I was off to Officeworks to replace my pen. You see the end had been chewed upon and as I wrote further and further into the month - the brown grip was starting to lift away under the sweat of my fingers. Fast forward to last Friday, I was on the Island and decided rather than drive HOME and then BACK again I would hang about, grab a coffee and write the days instalments in my free hour.  So it was on page 118 after 47 words my pen snapped. 



Completely snapped in two. And therein lay a dilemma. The nearest Officeworks was 25mins in the opposite direction, I did not have time to get there and back in time for School pick up. My coffee and meal had just been delivered and I had a total choice of Orange pen (frixion pen) OR a blue fine pen in my handbag to choose from. 
Call me MAD - call me COMPULSIVE - call me CRAZY... but after 20 days using the same black pen and writing 41,300 words... well I just could not bring myself to use the orange or blue pens in my bag. I was distressed and unsettled and I felt like everything was unravelling and attempting to use the refills on their own without the pen sort of didn't work too well. Nor did the attempt to "washi tape" my pen back together again! Luckily for me I popped into the newsagents and they had the same brand pen, refillable & the only thing against it was it was a black casing not green. But beggars cannot be chooses and I splurged the $4.50 to get me through the end of the month!  




Tell me - have you ever had a NaNoWriMo catastrophe that has stopped you in your tracks? I know next year (should I decide to attempt this crazy ride again - I will be buying TWO pens + refills and will be taking them everywhere with me!) 

Monday, November 24, 2014

{NaNoWriMo} Three weeks down!

Three weeks down and I can not only see the finish line, but I can taste that winning beer as it washes over my lips. I hear the cheers from Bec and AJ and the increasing shushing sound of their pom poms as they shake them faster. I can feel the hugs of congratulations, ghostly arms wrapping around my weary body as I collapse and sleep for a week and a half. With the smell of chocolate wafting past my nose I arrived at the end of week three and nearly stopped.

An incident on Friday afternoon nearly broke me (stay tuned - it - in itself deserves a whole post dedicated to it.) and I shuddered each time I passed my little book of awesome waiting for me to write a few more pages.

I went into the weekend - armed with a task of less than 8,000 words to go. I could easily finish this task over the weekend, leaving me with a whole week FREE of writing. Or I could get it closer enough that words could be finished by Monday or Tuesday.

And I bombed.

Saturday I spent the entire day with time on my hands after cancelling plans at the last minute. Yet it wasn't until 7pm I finally sat with my book and wrote a measly 368 words. My worst attempt yet.

I closed out the weekend on 44,019 words. This morning I was determined and wrote 2.5 pages before School drop off. Just now a further 2 pages added and I am writing super small to up that word count and at this stage I am adding ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I CAN THINK OF.

So how is the story going? Apart from the wavering word count? So far so good. I've lost track of my index card system and having to type in my previous days word count is a little annoying. Apart from that though - I am still invested in this story and it is nowhere near finished. I'm missing some major plot points in the middle part of the story and it took me longer to arrive here than I thought, so I am planning on spending time over the Christmas break plotting some major events and beefing it up.




















I asked my hubby to take me exploring on the Island so I could gain some inspiration to take me through the final week (my book is partly set on our Island). Yesterday we headed up the 4WD tracks and had a picnic in a secluded spot. I took lots of photos along the way and am hanging to get to the beach side on a day that the tourists aren't around.





Monday, November 17, 2014

NaNoWriMo Update: Week 2

I won't lie... this week of NaNo was ALWAYS going to be a difficult one for me. With my health kicking me up the backside. Life getting on top of me and my house resembling a pigsty... I'm highly surprised I didn't throw in the towel.

Then there was the novel. This so called GREAT idea was turning into... something I wouldn't let my grandmother read NOR my BETAS if they were so inclined. It was losing traction, I was losing my place (having stopped the index card system that worked so well in week one) and as each day wore on, my word counts drooped until my story and the so called author looked like a wilted rose under the hot Queensland sun.
















BUT I HAVE A PLOT. I'm just struggling to get the characters to walk the path I've chosen for them. Instead they are "walking here" "standing still" "wandering there" "opening this door" "closing that door"

So with stilted word counts and knowing I need to get the majority of my writing finished in the next 10 days since I would really LOVE to actually sew on my upcoming QUILT camp. I picked up this book and read the pep words of Mr Baty during week 2.

"There's a storm rolling in from the west. Week Two hurts so bad" 

WHY DID I NOT READ THIS LAST WEEK WHEN I NEEDED TO HEAR IT.

Instead I whiled the week away on the couch. Fatigued. In pain. Hot and bothered. Yet still each night I put pen to paper. My word counts dropped steadily as each day dawned a promising new beginning and each night I dropped into bed numb and cursing that I could no longer spell basic words.

On the 12th my word count dropped to an all time low of 763 for the day. And those words I did get down were not worthy of drums and applause. They were just words to keep the story flowing.

Last night as I typed in yet another measly word count - I rejoiced to see that I am still ahead of schedule and I shouldn't complain because from here my health (crosses fingers) should be on the up as well as my energy levels and I feel as though I am slowly forging a path of progress for my characters.

Word count (as of Sunday 16th) - 31,439

Pages hand written - 95

Feelings - exhausted, but a little excited that most of my characters seem to be finding their own feet and are talking to me again. Even the evil ones that scare me a lot.

I have to admit that having only need to write 18.5K words for the remainder of the month feels SO MUCH BETTER than a daunting 50K. I'm still feeling overwhelmed with all that I need to achieve, but I am also quietly confident that I do have it in me to do this. Call me an overachiever but I have something to prove to myself and this story in this small time frame is pushing me to limits I did not know I was capable of.

Hopefully I will see you in a week with a solid word count - but if I want to do that, I must get off the computer and pick up my pen and start writing.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nano - one week later

Yikes what a week! Last Saturday the 1st November marked NaNoWriMo 2014. I was worried that after all my preparation and talk of attempting it, I might not be able to commit when it came to the crunch.

My NaNo Kit prepped: My composition book, spare sheets of grid paper, a brand new pencil case, several Memo Cubes (colour coded per character / scene) and an index box filled with cards {pictured below}






In my new pencil case, there is my Uni power tank Eco refill pen PLUS a refill (which I have already re-loaded this week), whiteout, memo cubes, pencil, eraser and assorted pens and highlighters. I had every intention of highlighting per character / scene / event - except as the week has gone on, I grab ANY colour on hand and run with it.






 There was a slight hiccup come Saturday morning when I went to the cupboard to retrieve my NaNo supplies. SOMEONE ate the cadbury choc-coated popcorn; which ensued a mad dash to the shops the following day to replace them with the Select brand as the cadbury was out of stock - which wasn't nearly as good *sigh*

I also purchased a new coffee mug for this years NaNo (only because my last cup chipped) it has been nice sitting with my coffee and writing each morning and afternoon.

So now I have shared what is in my NaNoKit; which I was supposed to share LAST weekend but didn't due to not enough hours in a day to write and blog. I want to share my writing progress with you.The chart below is from the NaNo site and is after my Friday word count was entered. A total of 17,654 after 7 days of solid writing which is about 3.5 days ahead of schedule and would have me finishing 50K 7 days early IF I keep up the same pace. 


So that's my NaNo update for week 1. Chances are I won't get back until next weekend to update again as there is another solid week of words awaiting my pen and book. I am thoroughly enjoying the process and loving the new characters I have created and even though my story hasn't progressed to where I wanted it to be at the current word count, I'm not complaining because I am still on track for word count PLUS I keep telling myself I can edit later. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

T minus 10 hours...

As I went to bed last night, my house in disarray, my body fatigued and my head overwhelmed with everything I need action urgently. I lay my head down and picked up my book. I have been struggling to find time to read this past month and I had but a few chapters in my Mary Higgins Clark book to finish. To be honest I was at the point with the book that I wanted to throw it against the wall, it was long and dragged on and I didn't manage to connect to the characters at all. As I turned pages rapidly, the clock ticked past 10pm. My eyes watered with tiredness. At 10:30, my body had fallen asleep around me, only my brain was on to take in the final pages as I read faster still to discover the killer.

At 10 to 11 I finally closed the book with a sigh, uttered worst ending ever before turning my light off and going to sleep.

An hour later I was still tossing and turning. No matter how tired I had been, my mind would not shut up. I blame the late afternoon coffee for that little episode (any coffees drunk past 4pm usually leaves me a shaky mess come midnight)

As I lay there my body shaking as it fought fatigue and the coffee stimulation - my mind started considering my new novel and mentally considering what I thought would be a good first line hook. Then a better beginning came to me. If I rolled over and went to sleep, I knew that this brianwave would be lost in the previous days memories - what was I to do? Nearing midnight with my hubby gently snoring beside me, I knew if I got up or turned the light on, he would be super annoyed with me - so I gently groped in the dark around my bedside table and found a lone notebook and pen and I started slowly scrawling.

Laboriously writing the main points of my brilliant idea. NOT writing the beginning because that would be cheating - just listing a few words I considered as I thought of the scene. I replaced the book and I rolled over to go to sleep.

The ideas continued to zap inside my head until I finally willed myself to sleep, hoping that any lingering thoughts would be with me when I awoke. They were and this morning I pulled out the notebook (pleasantly surprised at how neat my midnight darkness chicken-scratch actually was) and I lamented that if it were 1st Nov today I could get started as these ideas are fresh in my mind. Alas I must wait another 10 hours (18 if we add a little sleep in there) and tomorrow I start.

Am I ready?

Today I'm wishing for an extra day to do more research, more plotting, more character development. Alas tomorrow is nearly here and as I write over the coming weeks, I will just have to plan it as I go. I'm hoping against hope that I have done "enough" for the initial momentum needed.

And if I fail?

NO matter what word count I achieve it will be MORE than I had at the beginning.

Stay with me in November - I still have more NaNoPrep posts to share, I'll be sharing some of my writing excerpts (if they are any good) and basically using this place as my connection to real life. If you are out there reading - pop by and say Hi - remind me that there are REAL people in the world not attempting such CRAZY feats!  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Health Watch {The Big H}

You know everything seemed to be going so well, while I had my head in the sand I could pretend that I didn't need to face the bigger issues in life.

I could pretend to be a typical mid 30's woman (oh who am I kidding... I past mid 30's a few years ago!) Sure there are times I wallow in the woe is me category and I wonder WHY ME?

Then there are days like this week where I can lead an almost normal life. I know that will change next week as my hormones spike and I end up a raging mess. A person I don't like living with and one I have absolutely no control over.

When I face facts though - I have tracked the past three cycles and I am averaging a total of 7-10 days of feeling normal. When I'm not a hormonal bitch and when I'm not crippled over in pain. Say (if I was normal) that would give me an average of feeling awesome 1 week per month. 12 months over a year means - 12 weeks a year I am living fully. Out of 52 weeks!

I am left struggling for a whopping 40 weeks of the year. That is UTTERLY RIDICULOUS and something needs to change.

It has been in the back of my mind for sometime now and I have gone so far as reading several websites and starting my research on finally getting the BIG H.

A hysterectomy.

It wasn't until after speaking to a friend that she made me realise that I'm not really living. Sure I tend to push myself through the pain and the fatigue, but to actually wake up every morning and not wonder where I'm at in my cycle and whether or not I will be a screaming banshee by days end - or whether I need to plan my appointments around my heat pack and home.

The sheer thought of one terrifies me. Not for the obvious reason as you would think (i.e. no more babies) Its all the other factors I need to weigh in. The recovery, the emotional and mental state such an operation will be sure to bring. The cost. The impact it will have on my family.

Then the glimmer of hope - a hope that it might be my answer. That I might be able to go about my days PAIN FREE.

Only to watch that hope be shattered by so many ladies who have had this procedure done as a last resort and end up back where they began not two years earlier. Do I want to risk something of this magnitude on the off chance it might not work? Or do I take the risk and deal with the consequences.

While I had intended this post to be "I am ready to get a hysterectomy" it appears that I haven't yet come to a decision and might need more time to consider the prospects.

I considered NOT hitting enter on this post - it feels so personal and it is the one area I have avoided discussing with myself for many years. I have instinctively known that this would be my future since I was diagnosed all those years ago. However I feel that if I continue to avoid the word, if I continue to stick my head in the sand then I will end up accepting and living this half life. My words are my way of fighting this disease and I will continue to fight with words since it would appear the knife is no longer working.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When NaNoPrep gets Matchy!



















I won't lie... NaNoWriMo Prep here has gone a little CRAZY!

Way back at the beginning of the year I stumbled across a pile of Composition Books at Officeworks in Australia. They were super cheap at $2.04 each and even though they were definitely NOT the same quality as you'd buy on Amazon, at that price who would complain.

I bought TWO. Yes two. When I realised that I should have bought MORE, I went back and they had NONE IN STOCK *sobs* Of course by that stage I had decided I simply HAD to have the Composition books to write my stories in. I don't know what it is about the simple marble covers - I go weak at the knee and well when I get an idea in my head I'm like a dog with a bone.

Alas there was no stock in ANY of the stores I went to and I eventually settled for Lego Friends Composition books when they went on sale at Big Dubs. Although they were NOT the same nor were they the awesome price of $2.04.

A few weeks ago, I dragged my husband on an errand to Officeworks, I had a list of *needs* for NaNoPrep and it was there - tucked away on the bottom shelf a stack of them. I did what any sane person does and squealed a little and stacked my basket full. Okay so I only bought 4 (& truth be told I only needed ONE for this NaNo!)

Later that same day I went to Kmart and OMG, OMG, OMG...

WHAT!

A matching Composition book, except this one was A4 subject notebook. (on the left) Exactly what I needed for research purposes this NaNo. Aren't they so PRETTY side by side?







I have added labels to each of the tabs down the side.
* Tech notes: for recording writing info / inspiration / scene mapping etc
* Creatures: its my first attempt at Fantasy and I have a bible of beasts to research!
* Places: for all my research on the setting(s)
* Notes: anything that pops up in my mind.
* References: to note any books I use for research. Inspiring books read etc.

On the inside front cover - I have colour coded main characters and scenes. These are interlinked with my scene cards on my corkboard of post-its I shared yesterday.  Don't go getting too excited about the names - I've already had to change one of them due to not paying attention to details.

On the back cover of the A4 is my weekly timetable. 

And on the inside of my composition notebook is my working title + a basic synopsis. 


Needless to say with only FOUR days to go, I am getting a little bit excited. I had a mega planning session on the couch last night and went to bed buzzing with ideas. I even dreamt the first line which I had my daughter jot down for me in the car this morning when it came back to me. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

#nanoprep – Timing and Plans


Following on from my NaNoWriMo My Approach post a couple of weeks ago, I have been busy
plotting and planning and hoping that I can keep the momentum tracking when I actually have to “WRITE” words. Especially when I consider how many words I have not written this past week *sobs*

In the above post I mentioned creating a calendar from iCal. While it probably would have been easier to create and colour code the calendar on the computer – it would have messed up my daily work tasks that I already have entered. Instead I pulled out my coloured pencils and my blank sheet along with my scrawled mess and I started colouring in blocks.

The Purple is the important colour – it is my writing time. I have painstakingly stolen 2.5 hours a day (except for Thursdays) comprised of 30 mins while eating breakfast when I intend to plan.  An hour after the morning School run armed with my morning coffee and a second hour in the afternoon with the next coffee.

I am hoping to treat it as I would a real job. I intend to clock on / clock off at those times and keep my social life at an absolute MINIMUM. I’ve even worked out that if I do coffee on a Friday, I can spend 2 hours at the local library (which is one block from the school which will save on driving time.) Note also the housework will be at minimum levels. I have warned the family.

The blue blocks are my work hours and seeing how it is so bleeping busy there at the moment I can already foresee those two precious (blank) hours on Wednesday morning being taken up with bookwork. Weekends are blissfully free of restraints – however I’ve just realised I have both a tentative birthday party + an excursion to the speedway ALL ON DAY 1!!!

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I’ve started detailing the beginning, the middle and the end; as well as adding technical notes  (eg. suggested scene lengths / chapter length etc) Pretty much anything I come across on Pinterest,Writing websites or Writing textbooks that I think might come in handy during November.

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In the back of the book I will be handwriting my story in, I have stuck a Free NaNoWriMo Tracker (printed in booklet form) stuck in using pretty Washi tape of course. 

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In the front of this book, I have also printed a mini synopses of my story. I’m choosing NOT to share that unless you are in my inner circle of BETA readers!

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST {shouting because I am so darn excited about this part…) a couple of weeks ago – I had but a small nugget of an idea. This idea had no tentacles nor was I sure why I wanted to write it then after a drink one night a single scene idea sprang to mind. Before I knew it that scene had multiplied and by the end of the next day I had 20 scenes for the first part. I still have A LONG way to go to plot the 2nd and final acts – but for now I am happy with this start because if I can aim to write a scene per day – that’s 20 days of word counts up my sleeve already. 

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And yeah – sorry about the blurred words ;) I’m not ready to share my initial idea or plotting just yet in the off chance the story doesn’t work. I’m sure if you hang about you will pick up snippets of my story as I am intending on sharing a few excerpts each week during the month.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sick days and listening closely


I am in serious countdown mode to November 1st and I am so darn excited that I may have been caught out flooding social media with “everything NaNo” in the past week or more. I have about 6 blog posts up my sleeve for the coming 9 days about my #nanoprep then I plan to bunker down and write like a crazy lady come November.

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Are you excited??? 

Last week my ideas were buzzing, each day I would sit quietly and plan my story. Then I would sit and write each afternoon for an hour – adding more and more words to my murder mystery, writing practice. To keep my creative muscles flowing at peak.

Then I get a day like yesterday. And another today. And it all feels like it is too hard.

Yesterday as a change in hormones spiked, my body collapsed with fatigue. With a spaced out mind set and ripples of pain across my chest and back, I could barely stand up to make dinner and when I realised I STILL had to change my daughters sheets at 7pm – I nearly cried. The fatigue is *that* bad. This of course had a flow on effect and my writing session yesterday was put on the backburner and I maybe managed 100 words for the day.

Today the fatigue and general fuzzy brain have eased but have been replaced with pain. Today I feel as though my hips are going to blow out. Ever been in the early stages of labour? That’s how I felt this morning – not a pain as much as a slow burning between my hips and feeling as though I’d somehow turned into a big fat hippo. Sigh.

With a full day of work planned – the pain was NOT welcome. With the pain, my work output decreases, which then *flow on effect again* means I have MORE work to do tomorrow (or next week).

And writing today? Yeah hasn’t happened. YET! Tonight if I can manage to do more than just hold the phone in front of my face, I will set myself up on the couch with headphones and write while the family watch the idiot box – surprisingly I am pretty good at tuning out – even without wearing headphones!

Which brings me to the whole point of this post. Sick Days. I have learnt enough over the years of when to listen to my body and when to push on. If I choose to spend these 2 “sick” days – pushing on and working through the pain – I could effectively end up doubling the recovery time and lose a week of productivity.

Two days in NaNo time means 3,334 words.

Four days in NaNo time means 6,668 words.

A week in NaNo time means 11,669 words.

Of course I could let these figures stir up anxious feelings and just quite while I’m ahead declaring “No its all too hard for me this year”. BUT there is a small and bloody determined part of me that is saying “I can bloody well do this, I need to do it so help me – I will do what I can”

Which is why… I have decided right this moment, that I will try and push for a higher daily word count in the first two weeks. If I surpass the 1667 daily count and write another 333 words – it means I can easily take those days that my mind or body won’t co-operate and REST UP.

Or if I decide that I will push through – you may find me in bed with the lap top typing away furiously. Which won’t really go with my whole idea of handwriting this entire storyline. Either way, I look forward to what the coming month will bring.

And hey – when I hit the half way stage next month (or even the first week) & I start to flail. Can you PLEASE do me a huge favour and direct me back to these posts. These posts will be my own #nanoprep

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Health Watch {Happy Pills}

A Quick Note: I am trying to make this blog a little more cohesive in its approach and in striving to find the balance between my dreams and my health. So that my writer friends can find posts easily and those that wish to follow my health journey can bypass the ones I natter about writing. Sounds like a good plan right? 

Today I'm starting by kicking off a new weekly post. Introducing "Wednesday Health Watch" admittedly it would sound SO much better if it was Wednesday Wealth Watch but truthfully all the wealth is going toward the health so... yeah!

In a nutshell, because we all know how much I like to contain my words to bare minimum word counts... I thought I might share a small moment of my health each Wednesday. It has been some time since I wrote without fearing what others thought. While I don't miss the feelings I had when I began this blog, I do miss the raw depth my writing was able to reach back in those early days. When I re-read a passage and it still managed to hit a nerve - I know I've written something phenomenal.

A few weekends ago a beautiful friend managed to touch a raw nerve within me (in a good way) and it has been at the back of my mind since then. However I can't articulate my thoughts on that conversation today; I am smack bang stuck in the midst of a hormonal surge and as such any small thing makes me cry or scream with rage.

If you don't believe me - you are more than welcome to ask the long suffering husband, who just moments ago was searching for the new jar of Jam in the bottom of the cupboard.

"Look up," I say.

"No look up. Look up. LOOK UP. If you'd bloody* listen to me I wouldn't have to bloody* well raise my voice," I practically screech.

To which he yelled back at me and I duly broke down in tears (okay well they were fake tears - but still - I didn't resort to yelling back at him. Which in my eyes, considering the lay of the land the past few days is a Bonus!)

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*Swear words totally inserted for drama re-enactment. 

Actually no, the swearing did happen... though it may have not have been a little less than what I noted here. 

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Is it obvious by now that on the hormone side - things have not improved one iota. In the past few months I have been tracking the mood swings - partly so I have a visual to show my Doctor next month. I need her to see that this is NOT normal. I want her to help me find a path forward - especially now that I am willing to actually discuss taking that next step.

I have a bottle of balancing pills in the cupboard & I know they do help with my mood swings, I just struggle to remember to take them daily. Right this second I am off to set an alarm on my phone. much as I absolutely loathe the side effects that come with swallowing these pills; when you rise from bed in the morning not knowing whether you will be Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde for the day - it makes sense to at least try and endure.

Each morning the husband opens one eye and waits for me to report on how the day will lie before he is willing to open his mouth and speak.

What sort of life is that to be living? Or living with (in his case.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Killing time or Procrastinating?


If you follow me on Instagram – you will have seen these pictures! I call them my “killing time till NaNoWriMo kicks off” OR “Procrastinating at its finest”

Before the weekend, while working through my Ready, Set, Novel workbook I came across a page for the villain and I freaked. While the bones of my idea are cemented I stared at this page in despair and the best I could come up with was “Who is the Villain?”

By Thursday I nearly pulled the pin on the whole darn idea – I mean who sets out with the intention of writing a whole NOVEL when they have no antagonist?

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I needn’t have worried – Friday night as I sank onto the couch to watch back to back McLods with beer in each hand the ideas started to flow. Suddenly I found myself darting back and forward to my study, scrawling out really basic scene cards.

Saturday the ideas simply flowed. Armed with some basic supplies I even colour coded my scene cards! More on this later in the week!

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Yesterday I was so excited I even created a visual station in my study. The old whiteboard which hasn’t been updated in a year :O had a little makeover, complete with a washi tape edged NaNo calendar. I am if NOTHING else an over-achiever… wait until you see what else I’ve done in preparation!  

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What do you think? Killing time or Procrastinating? Considering I can’t officially start writing until Saturday 1st, I am really trying to use my time wisely over the coming days (lets not mention the hours spent on Pinterest, twitter and Instagram seeing how others are prepping okay?)

In the meantime I am writing – continuing on with the little mystery / horror piece, I’m back to only 500 words a day, handwritten to get in practice for what I hope will be a month of handwritten words.  

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

#eek I did it...

I've been bleating about it. 

I've been dreaming about it. 

I've been planning it. 

Finally today I signed up and pressed enter on my Novel blurb and its all official.

 
Lets not mention how I've already edited my mini synopsis which I only uploaded 15mins ago. 
Lets not mention how I've attempted this twice before & failed miserably each time. 

This year I feel as if I'm ready. 
This year I have planned my time
This year I have a good grasp of my plot and after a rush of {beer induced} inspiration on Friday night I now have 20 scenes ready to write and I'm sure there are a tonne more that will evolve as I write this story. 

Tell me I'm not crazy? 

The family have been advised that I expect there full support next month as I'm head down, bum up writing toward my goal - to which they asked if they get a cleaner in NOW. 

I have even cleared a space on my desk so I can think straight and dive right in. All I need now is some blue tack as I propose to pin my scene cards to the back of the door as I go and a little luck that I can keep up the steam for the entire month. 

Wish me luck & do tell me if you too are planning on joining this crazy month of Marathon writing? 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Nightmares born; and Dreams are realised


I have alluded to the fact that I have been trying to write daily in order to get into the routine and eventually attempt NaNoWriMo this year. Over the holidays, mindlessly surfing Facebook, I stumbled across an article “20 Places Where nightmares are born” you can read the article here

Personally while I didn’t think the places were that “scary” I thought it might be fun to challenge myself to write a little short story about each – using the pictures as visual stimulation. I expected to write between 1000 and 5000 on each story and for it to be purely an exercise in writing where I’m not chained to expectations.

The first two days I started writing a piece about the hanging dolls - The Island of Dolls and I got about 940 words before I felt something was missing. So on day 3 I wrote 367 words on my second choice Villisca Ax Murder House and then before I could consider what I was doing sent it to my Beta who came back with “keep writing” so I did.

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Each day I have sat for an hour with a personal challenge to add 500 words (part of my#writechain commitment) and each day I have managed to achieve between 800 – 1200 words.

This story – one I purely started for practice purposes only - has evolved and out of nowhere I find myself staring down at 12,000 words and realising that it is fast becoming a novella. The first day I chose to write with adequate description, carefully handpicking words before typing them across the screen. As the days wore on and my story began to take shape, I was suddenly getting ideas popping into my brain at obscure times and I now have a tentative climax / ending and know what word count I’d like to achieve.

This little horror / mystery piece has consumed me like I never expected and I feel I am living and dreaming about these characters (to the point I really did have a nightmare the other night – its been YEARS since I had one last!)

Isn’t it wonderful when you start writing something “just because” and suddenly it takes a mind of its own and fulfils a mini dream.    

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nano – My Approach

 

This CRAZY idea of mine to attempt NaNo again means I have been forced to re-think my approach to it. The first time I approached it I really had no idea!
No idea how to write properly
No idea that writing was more than plucking a few words from your head
No idea about characterisation and scenes and settings.

I hit that first month with no background, no planning – just a seed of an idea.

I just wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more. Which is why I find myself staring in dismay at a 3/4 finished manuscript of 68,592 words and having NO real clue on how to approach it or how to finalise my scenes. I am however confident that I can structurally edit like a fiend & I look forward to that - when the time comes. A blog buddy suggested recently to put some distance between myself and the manuscript and she was 100% correct in her suggestion – I have placed it in the top drawer until I can come back to it refreshed and ready to add the remaining words. Ultimately I’d love to aim at writing between 100,000 – 120,000 words, but before I can tackle the remaining chapter I need to plot the direction and somehow make sense of, and tidy up the last 25,000 words that feel muddled. Last month showed me that I am still in a grief-holding-pattern and that until I can overcome that stage, my story WON’T be as good as it can be.  

It is for this reason I LOVE the idea of NaNo – to sit and write a straight 50K without losing steam – means that the story will hopefully gain pace and direction as the words flow across the screen. And provided I don’t lose my momentum during the month.

My previous attempt at novel writing - (ie attempting NaNo then Camp NaNo) gave me a good solid base and allowed me to delve into my characters minds. However the writing I’ve done since then (ie writing in stilted stints here and there) meant that I’ve managed to only achieve pages of disjointed sections that need a magical touch. 

This year I’ve decided to start with a fresh new story that has been on the backburner for a couple of years. I’m older (MUCH older), wiser (as wise as an owl) and smarter (hello Diploma of Professional Writing) and I’m desperately hoping that these attributes will add layers to my approach and thus pave the way to a clearer direction. If all else fails this will be an exercise in establishing a routine and seeing if I do have what it takes to be a full time writer.

Every day for the past two weeks I have taken the Writers Workbook (Ready, Set, Novel) with me in my hand bag and armed with a rainbow of colours and washi tape I’ve been jotting down notes during spare minutes of the day. The ideas have been flowing fast and furious – usually while I’m driving!

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This time I have stocked up on Index Cards so I can plot the scenes as I write them.

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Such is the seriousness of this task and the want – no the NEED – to succeed; I have taken it one step further and sketched up a tentative daily timetable trying to utilise my days in order to keep up with everything else that life throws at me. Once I re-do it and make it pretty I will have to remember to share it! I am currently spending a full hour writing each day and I am churning out between 800 – 1,000 words. Which meant I’ve had to find an extra hour each day to write. I think its doable – but I will only know when November hits & hope like crazy my health behaves itself! 

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What about YOU? Are you writing and thinking of attempting NaNoWriMo this year? If you are – what are you doing to prepare.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Writer or Advocate?


I haven’t been sharing my health woes of late, mainly because I felt I was becoming a broken record – and because this little corner of my world has become my sanctuary. My sounding board; filled with all my hopes and dreams of one day becoming a famous writer.

Yet I’ve been battling the two sides of the coin – one one side this is MY place to raise awareness of the disease I’m waging a daily war against as well it is also where I come to share my writing progress. While the two seem worlds apart – to me they feel they go hand in hand. As I write and delve into the deepest parts of my soul then share those words on this blog, I hope that it helps someone out there feel less alone in their own journey. Yet as I’ve explored my own depths I discovered a singular core within me that has erupted and made me a writer.

The reason I’m battling?

On one hand – if I do (somehow) become a famous author – will I feel comfortable having my personal life splashed across the internet and be known as the “famous author who has endo” or can I use that to my advantage and raise more awareness?

Is that being professional enough?

Should I have two separate entities?

On the other hand – I have a friend (on Facebook) who is battling her own disease and at the moment she is raising funds for that disease through her music. She has truly inspired me to do more – to be more. 

Yet I keep coming back to that old friend “worry” - that what I do is not nearly enough – what can I write here that my 3 readers don’t see me say day in day out anyway? What can I do to help raise awareness when I’m just a small fish in a vast ocean?

Interestingly on this – I shared an article about a new drug that has been petitioned to become available in Australia next year. The young lady & her mother doing the hard yards, have said there is NOT enough talk about Endometriosis – because women don’t feel comfortable talking about it publically.

You can read the article Here

Yet here I am – albeit one very small blogger bleating her guts out – sharing the gross stuff and the occasional good & yet I’m STILL not reaching people. What more can one do? I know I’m not alone in this; there are a hundred blogs out there, doing the same – maybe we need a national directory or something. 

When I shared the article – I had two friends comment – both have the disease and I didn’t know. How many more women are out there battling in silence?

All I can do is continue on this path – its worked for me the past three years, but maybe its time to start talking, in between all the writing I am planning.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Living the writing dream

 
When I last wrote I mentioned that I was having a break from my story and that I had taken the time to explore different writing and genres. I spent the first week of the School holidays stealing 30mins here and there to write and then fell off the bandwagon with an assortment of ailments in the second week. Rather than lament about lost opportunities, I put the non-writing days behind me and last week I started the #writechain challenge again. I’m starting small – aiming for 500 words daily & not worrying if I don’t write on the weekends. I am making time each and every day between 1:30 and 2:30 to sit and write. The first 200 words are difficult to write but then something clicks and the words come tumbling out in ferocious speed that I have to physically stop what I’m doing in order to go pick up my girl from School.

Friday marked link 4 in the current chain and to date (including the sprints I wrote at the beginning of the holidays) I have managed to pen 8290 words on a horror piece that started inspiration as a small picture and a blurb I saw on the internet. 

So then I wondered if I couldn’t maybe face my nemesis once more…

NANOWRIMO!!

All previous attempts have gone haywire as I’ve attempted to write a story with a strong backbone but no planning. The timing has been wrong each and every time.

This year though I think I’m  ready. I think. Or maybe I’m not. One thing I am planning on doing is to shake the rules up a little for my own benefit & hopefully to ease pressure on myself when it feels like failure is imminent.

I have one story I have been playing around with, the idea has been floating in my head for some months but its not until now that I have started to execute it and start jotting notes for it. I’m utilising the Ready Set Novel book from NaNoWriMo but also accompanied is a 200 page composition book for handwriting the novel (yes – I’m completely mad!) and a blank notebook to add research notes, pictures, inspiration – whatever comes to mind as I trudge forward into unknown territory.

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My own Rule Change: if I can’t focus on the above story OR if I lose the pace while writing it, then I am giving myself full permission to revert to the horror genre that I’m currently working on & using a group of pictures I found on the world wide web write a series of short stories.

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I figure either way will work and maybe by the end of the month I will have delved into this task and filled at least ONE notebook with words.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Moving Forward

Last month with days to spare I finally pressed send on my 12th and final assignment. Only days after emailing the 11th assignment. After waiting several weeks the results have finally arrived and I am happy to report that I received a High Distinction on both assignments.

Overall I received 10 out of 12 High Distinctions; and 2 Distinctions.

The big question is: where to from here?

I had two people ask me a few weeks ago - “what are your plans now you have a Diploma (well the actual diploma is currently in transit – but the course has been completed WITH flying colours…)

I was stumped to find an answer. The whole point of me originally deciding to study was in order to attain a Diploma with the intent to possibly do a University course. However since spending three years studying part time, being a mother, working part time and pretending to be a housewife (yes pretending – apparently I have done a DISMAL job at keeping house these past few years…) I am now re-considering my options.

I have thoroughly loved studying.

I haven’t so much loved the pressure to prepare “creative” assignments, the nerve wracking waiting for results nor the never ending inner editor telling me my work really sucks!

At this stage, I don’t think I want to continue studying and I don’t think I want to delve headfirst into a University degree. Perhaps I will change that thought process in the future, when the fatigue of pushing myself to the ends of study wears off and I am left rattling around inside a fully de-cluttered house and feeling bored.

For now - right this moment in time I have decided to put my energy toward everything I have neglected in my recent quest. I have several plot bunnies I am dying to explore and while I lamented earlier in the week about my lack of direction and motivation toward my current novel – I have decided for me at this point in time I need to write – but not words for that story. My story and I need a small break, time apart to recover, regather and reassess that the direction its taken these past few years are the direction I want to take it in.

Realising this need for a break – I have managed to spend last week writing words for different pieces, different genres with no pressure from myself or anyone else to write GOOD WORDS. They are just words from my imagination, a way to keep both feet firmly planted in the world of creative writing.

I am writing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1,2,3,4,5… once I caught a fish alive

6,7,8,9,10… then I let him go again.

At the moment I feel like my body and soul is like that little captured fish. Caught in a net, tangled and flopping. Trapped. I need to let it go - let it all out.

I expected this month to take its toll on me. Initially I hoped I could stick my head in the sand and spend every waking moment writing my story. I figured the more words I added, the closer I would be to the end of my story. I thought by doing this, it would be an awesome tribute to a wonderful woman.

Mostly I would find myself so absorbed that I wouldn’t need to think, let along try to process feelings that I can’t describe, even to my husband.

Except I failed miserably – managing only a grand total of 4,625. Piddly amounts not worth mentioning, nor worthy of their own blog post.

Yet I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. Like the caught fish, I am splashing and casting around inside that net of words. My story feels disjointed, its taken a belly flop into the deep blue right as the tide was heading out and landed on the rocks. Squashed. Smashed. Lost. I fear that I will not be able to pick up the pieces and using my magic pen, sew it all together. I fear that this story will forever languish in the to hard pile.

It would do well to remember that every tide that ebbs away will eventually flow back to shore.

So today on the eve of her anniversary - while I sit and yell at words that hide, as my bodies defence mechanism begins to rise to the tension that tomorrow may or may not hold – today I just be.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Words aplenty and yet its a numbers game

Today has been difficult - I always remember your birthday, but it wasn't until two days ago that I made the connection that today would have been your 90th.

90!

I had the day planned meticulously - you see I went a little crazy and had a moment of *aha* and decided that rather than be sad and mope over the next month (the days between your birthday and anniversary are always a little rough on me) instead I would spend the days wisely and write. Write all the words that are missing from your story. A variation on NaNoWriMo - this one entitled NanNyWriMo! I didn't plan on a stuff up yesterday & engagements I had in the diary for today.

Nor did I factor in the raging hormone / sinus related headache that nearly tied me to the couch for the remainder of the day. Instead I popped some painkillers, I rushed into my errands and groceries and came home and stared at one blank screen.  

Finally this afternoon I found the words. All 1686 of them to add a little backstory to my novel. I wrote a half decent synopsis which needs to be submitted THIS week. And I let the tears run.

I miss you like crazy - it feels like only yesterday we dragged you off to see Neil Diamond for your 80th. How chuffed you were that your grand-daughter was willing to take you to see your favourite singer. How my friends dad who was also there called you Mrs xxx. How you stopped the crossing inspector and asked if Neil himself was sitting in that fancy smancy car waiting to get through! How you insisted you had to wear thongs because of your gout; which had nothing to do with your love of seafood and beer.

Five years later we celebrated your 85th birthday in hospital. The one place you never wanted to return to - the very place you last closed your eyes on this world and opened them in another time, another home. A home that I hope has your beloved and your long missed son.

Tonight I sit here and sink back my one guinness. I remember all those birthdays - the crazy ones and the normal. I remember how you had my back and I yours. I remember your cheekiness and your love of music.

I remember you. And I miss you. Every day - but most of all today. You were everything. And Yes I really do believe Neil did write this one - just for you xxx  



To my very own Cracklin' Rosie ~ Happy 90th Birthday!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Red marks

Did you notice my absence? I wish I could tell you I was head down-bum up writing like a crazy woman in order to get these final few assignments submitted, but in actual fact I’ve been fighting off a series of ailments that have slowed me down. Last week I finally emerged from my Man-flu cave and searched high and low for a red pen.

Why is it, you can NEVER find a red pen when its most needed? Lucky for me I had a tonne of writing to do before I needed to start using this baby.   

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With a once off housekeeper to clean the floors I sat with my 5 pages of notes and edited first draft and set about handwriting those 1000 words. Adding imagery and structure and balancing this one scene. Several hours later I had hand picked words scrawled across the page and I quickly typed them all in before hitting print and racing out the door for School. The next day dawned and with a house that was sparkling I picked up that red pen and attacked my words I’d so diligently chosen the previous day. I crossed out lines, added more words and noted things in the margins. Every few moments I’d jump on Google and search a pertinent historical fact. I cursed at my lack of research. Aside from these edits, I also revised 3 pages of essay questions. I put the pages aside for several days and this morning after sending the family out on an errand I have been busy moving my words around on the page. I think one final revision and edit and I will be ready to send this assignment off tomorrow.

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I am so darn close to finishing this course now, I can practically taste the freedom that will bring. No longer will I have stacks of books piled high teetering over my head as I write with abandon. I will no longer have pages laid out across my study waiting to be prettified by my red pen. I will return to some form of sanity where I can actually think straight.

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Instead when this is all finished I will be laying out index cards and coloured cards to track scenes in my novel. I will be plotting and writing and researching. Eventually I will have hundreds of sheets of words marked with red, books balancing as I re-enact this whole process all over again as my story slowly comes to life and nears its completion. And if I’m honest with myself I’m really looking forward to those coming days.

Friday, July 25, 2014

#meltdown

One night last week I went to sleep and woke up some hours later freefalling into an absolute freak out. You see while it had occurred to me that my Writing Course was nearing the final date, I hadn’t really considered the logistics of managing three assignments in about 6 weeks. I was behind because of the School holidays – I had told myself I’d study at night – but I didn’t. The first week back I went for a coffee with the girls. FIVE HOURS LATER… I looked at my watch and realised I didn’t have enough time to get home before turning back for School Pick up. No study that day either. Add in end of financial year and all the deadlines that come with that for work & I was beginning to STRESS!

So with wasted days weighing down my guilty conscience, my mind began whirling in the dark hours in the middle of the night and I started panicking.

The pressure was building this week until I received a message from the College stating that although my Course ends in August – I have until September for the results to be issued. *phew* I was worried I’d have to have everything in 4 weeks BEFORE the end date to allow for marking.

So this week I submitted a screenplay. It probably wasn’t my best work and I’m not expecting great results on it as I realise that screenplay is an area that doesn’t interest me.

Yesterday I worked on my 2nd last assessment – structurally editing a chapter of my novel. It took me hours to go through and assess. I have 5 edited pages and a further 5 pages of notes waiting for me to weave them into a rewrite that is worthy.

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What I am most excited about though? After putting a cap on my inner-editor to write the initial words and spending the last two years thinking they were ordinary and that I was just wasting time because this story just isn’t worthy – I was really pleased to pull that editor out of hiding and be absolutely ruthless with my words.

I can’t explain it – but it feels that my bare bones of the story just needed me to “be aware” of the rules of writing and to look at it with fresh eyes, I feel this exercise has just allowed me to add the flesh and blood that was lacking in my original draft. Its a bit exciting, but I mustn’t get too far ahead of myself these five pages were only 1000 words. There’s another 60,000 waiting to be edited AND I am hoping to double the word count on the first draft. Guess whose gearing up to crack NaNoWriMo this November?

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Changing Times

The past few weeks I have been feeling the need for a change; perhaps it is because I can finally see the end of this long study journey I have been on. I have but a few assignments to finish and submit in as many weeks. For the next three – four weeks it will be head down, bum up – writing like a crazy woman and crossing my fingers that I can achieve half decent results in my final few assessments.

With the forecast easing this mad pressure that is weighing me down these past several months; I have spent the past few weeks musing on life and of all the things I have been neglecting of late.

In particular I can feel a huge shift in ME. For so long now I feel I have been going through the motions of life; searching for a balance that I’ve not yet allowed for myself. In my younger years all my focus was work. Then I was living and longing for baby number one. After she arrived, I focused on achieving the next baby. That focus shifted into studies. All I have managed to do is throw myself from one thing headfirst into another without stopping to think, to heal, to consider, to be ME. While each of these decisions were for me - there was still something missing. I’ve always crammed in MORE and MORE and MORE.

While there hasn’t been a single moment that has changed my outlook; there were a few things that were the catalyst for this new yearning. A recent death of a “Social Media Friend” managed to shock me to the core. The saddest part is we weren’t close, I knew nothing of her battles and I daresay she knew nothing of mine – we knew each other in another time & it is only thanks to Facebook that I am even aware of her life in recent years and now of her death. This has only added to my conflict over Facebook and has made me more determined then ever to use it constructively. And to interact with my “friends” in more meaningful ways.

I’ve been doing a lot more personal writing recently and am finding I am better equipped with getting my thoughts onto paper than I have been in recent years – again the interwebs took over with my blogs, twitter, forums, Facebook. I’m definitely NOT leaving these – rather putting each into perspective. I am using each constructively and managing my time more effectively so I can spread myself around.

And I’ve finally started reading the Spiritual book that I had earmarked for last years 13 in 13 Genre Challenge.

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For the record – I am NOT turning Buddhist. NOR does this book really go into the Buddhist religion all that much (yet!)

This is the first book that has prompted me to get up, grab a pencil and start underlining words and passages. And writing notes in the margins. It is already making me see clearer the possibility of living a more purposeful life for ME and of making ME a better person. Ironically I first purchased this book way back in 2011 when I had hit (my) rock bottom. I had thought at the time that reading about happiness was exactly what I needed. Except I couldn’t face the words inscribed on each page. It is only now when I feel most content in life that I am reaching for these same words and using them as a way of growing myself.

Perhaps all this chatter about change is just an age thing. A mid life crisis if you will… without the fancy sports car! Lets face it I’m not getting any younger, and maybe these musings and ponderings are just the beginning of the next phase in my life. It entirely possible that these will become my next big focus but for once I am not scared of the what ifs. All I’m feeling is pure excitement.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

AF - where the Eff are you???

You know that dreaded moment. The one where AF (aka Aunty Flo) just decides to disappear?

With MY history in trying to fall pregnant, you would THINK that a late start is a sign of hope. It would have been… back then. Not so much nowadays.

Most months I barely have time to draw breath before I start getting symptoms for the following month. Symptoms that see me screaming banshee style at all and sundry, among other fun things.

Last month though it went AWOL.

I was starting to fear the un-thinkable – the possibility of having another baby. Doing the calculations it would be nearly EIGHT years after our first. I would be EIGHT years older than I was with the first and TWO years closer to that magical age where I see the baby factory officially closed for good. I won’t lie to you – the mere thought terrified me. 

While to the outside the past three years have seen me cursing at the powers that be and alternatively crying why us; inside I have been working through everything. From my emotions to my mental health and my physical state. I have been rationally weighing up the pros and cons of our decision. I have been recovering from the heartbreak of giving up unfulfilled dreams. I have been stitching closed a wound that has threatened to bulge open on numerous occasions.

Sometime recently, almost unnoticed to even myself, I found that that need is no longer there. On the odd occasion the wanting still oozes, but the dire need that felt it would never end has dissipated.

When AF was late last month (& when I say “late” I actually mean spot on a normal 28 day cycle… such is the erratic nature of mine.) I had a million thoughts run through my head, without saying anything to hubby – who I could see had another million thoughts running through his brain – I waited not so patiently and finally she arrived and I sighed with relief.

The following night as I was gripped in pains vicious circle, huddled into my heat pack I finally found the words I’d been needing to say to hubby.

“I’ve never been so happy to see AF arrive”

Admitting it to myself was a long time coming, even longer to mention it to hubby. Admitting it here, almost feels like the end of a really long book that has frustrated the heck out of you.

I think I can freely admit that our baby making days are officially over. I am shutting up shop – so to speak. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Procrastination and Procreation on my mind

When I went to the library a few weeks back, I found a book that looked interesting and I decided to borrow it and see if it could help me in finding the motivation I need to get me through the final two months of study.

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Can I tell you a secret? Ordinarily I borrow these books from the library and then return them after 3 (or even 6!) weeks without reading a single line. It’s almost like I am addicted to borrowing any and ALL writing help books but none of them give me the help I need.

Except this one.

It is a basic format, minimal pages and broken down into chapters. The author is coaching you to write and offers several insights into achieving that dream. After reading through it I found so many areas that I could incorporate into my own writing that I pulled out some A4 sheets and jotted down cliff notes on each.

If you are looking for a “how to” this book is not for you. Instead the author offers a toolbox of writing tips.

The first chapter had a paragraph on Procrastination. I am the QUEEN of PROCRASTINATION. Ironic really that I neglected the housework yesterday in order to read about & take notes on procrastination!

The next paragraph was a brief excerpt about Procreation. The actual meaning “to have offspring or create something” in this case the latter.

Both terms got me thinking…

I procrastinate terribly well. I work best to a deadline, but I tend to fall to pieces somewhere in the middle. Take the housework for example. Parents are coming to visit & I just KNOW they will lob on the doorstep at 8am. I will race around and clean the house at 7am and be closing doors to the laundry as they pull into the drive. It matters not that I have known about this visit for the last 2 weeks – I am a last minute cleaning fanatic.

As for Procreation, in some areas I suck at this (we all know how well the epic trying for baby number 2 ended) but in terms of creative endeavours I have created a lot of beautiful words on pages. They may not be beautifully pieced together, but they are recorded and in that alone it is beautiful.

Yet still I know I can do better than I do.

I have spent the better part of the past 3 years searching for something. Trying to fill a gaping hole with something gigantic. The search has been relentless and while all this has gone down, somewhere between my procrastinating and procreating – the hole has slowly filled. Actually its completely stuffed full, like a Thanksgiving turkey, and it is only now after spending a day in contemplation that I have been able to see the bigger picture.

My search is nearing an end.