Saturday, November 28, 2015

Words, Life and Everything in between

NaNoWriMo?

Nothing to see here. Move along folks.

That is the extent of my month long attempt at writing. I managed a few days. I'm not proud of that fact, but you know what it is OKAY. I now have five extra days of words on paper than before I began.

I could sprout on for days about all the reasons WHY I didn't complete it this year. WHY I couldn't. WHY, when I finally nutted out my storyline I fell to pieces and walked away from my pen.

Instead I will just say I got tired. And overwhelmed. And Lost.

Yesterday I yelled. Something was asked of me. I over-reacted and suddenly words were tumbling out, a multitude of resentments that were simmering beneath the surface. I feel better for yelling. I also feel worse for yelling.

Today I find myself alone and though there is SO MUCH TO DO (hello... have you seen my dining table? it is lost under an avalanche of LIFE) I find myself flittering. Not doing much of anything. I've washed two loads of clothes and got super lazy with the second load and popped them through the dryer.

I have a list as long as my arm to organise for Christmas.

I need to remove myself from Social Media... or enforce stricter time limits.

I have a custom order (MY FIRST ORDER!) and yet I am pretending it needs to be finished in 3 days, instead opting to sit mutely, staring mindlessly at the TV screen, stuffing my face with all the junk food I can find & knowing full well I will regret this moment of insolence.

I did do one thing today that has me excited - I pulled out my camera and started snapping. I haven't touched my camera in so long. What do you think of my abstract flower?


This afternoon I plan on taking it easy. I might swish some paint around. I might start brainstorming for the coming year. I might just curl up on the couch and read my book. Tomorrow I will start tackling all the stuff holding me down. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

I am Weary

Today I am feeling weary. 
Not bone crunchingly exhausted. 
Not even just a little bit tired. 
I am WEARY. 

Of course it has nothing and everything to do with the fact we were out partying head-banging until the wee small hours of the morning. Along with 45,000 others, buried in a sea of black complete with flashing red horns we rocked and are now a little deafer than we were after their LAST concert.

I stare around me at the crowd as more an more grey hairs sprout (& I'm not just talking about the band here) a few more bald heads, but in between all that there are small children; being shaped & moulded to become the next gen of hard core rockers. My own daughter (8yo) was absolutely devastated when I told her the 3rd ticket was for her uncle & after citing her far too young age and the deafening noise of the concert she finally understood why I said no.

Until her classmate was allowed to go and bang heads with the best of them.

Some days I wonder if we are getting too old for this. The fatigue we feel the following day, the ringing ears (did you say something?) and the raccoon eyes because removing mascara after midnight is the worst job in the world.

Lets not forget STANDING on a bus for over an HOUR to get from one side of town to the stadium! Feeling extreme gratitude toward uncomfortable grandstand seats and am now considering buying a pair of doc martins for the next concert - what on earth was I thinking wearing HEELS?

Yet despite it all and despite the fact I am only managing to function today with the help of copious amounts of chocolate and back to back caffeine infusions; we have already said "Next time we go"

What can I say we like to plan ahead...


Friday, November 6, 2015

Starry eyed and Procrastination

Last week I stated my intentions of contemplating NaNoWriMo (again) if you have a little look over there ---------> you might see that I have been writing. 7,398 words (handwritten then retyped) as I started out with starry eyes. And my sanity.

And COFFEE.


Day 1 - armed with notebook, favourite writing pen and coffee I began writing. The finishing touches (all 2,895 words) to a short story I began several months ago. A ghostly / supernatural themed story that *I think* turned out quite good, however the initial gem of an idea was found on twitter and as such I can never do anything with it. 

That night, tired but happy to make a decent start, I began perusing the stack of library books I thought may come in handy during the month...


Day 2 dawned brightly and I selected an inspiration picture from Pinterest and I sat down. No matter how hard I tried I felt I was going in circles. And it was then I realised that trying to come up with a different short story outline every 2nd or 3rd day would ensue complete and utter burn out. 

You heard it hear folks... writing 50K words on ONE story is far easier than over many short stories. 

Day 3 and I returned to my original NaNo story from last year. I wrote 50K and managed to tell my story to the crucial change over point at which stage I suddenly found myself thrust into a world I created but with no idea how my plot would play out and zero experience writing fantasy. 

WHAT WAS I THINKING?  

On day 3 I did manage to write quota but then I missed Day 4 and yesterday I ignored the world and attempted to get my word count to where it needed to be. 

Until I was hit by the procrastination bug. 


Listen when your chocolate bar tells you to take a break and procrastinate... you better bloody well do as the chocolate says. It is all knowing! 

So I took a break, thankfully while I was on that break I spent my time wisely and I plotted out several missing points on my story and I now have a vague outline of how the plot will flow as well as the themes. Now the hard part is just to nut out how I get my characters to that point. 

This morning I woke up late, I had two showers (the first cut short when I realised the new puppy was eating the pillow on the bed. the second was to wash out my conditioner!) We were late to School and I came home exhausted. At 9am. 

I started thinking WHY am I doing this to myself. It is obvious by now that I am *not* in the correct mindset to be writing about fictional characters when I cannot keep the real life people in check. I considered briefly while I spent 2 hours fluffing about on the internet looking at nothing, to throw it all in. Treat it like a bad joke and pretend 2015 didn't happen. 

Yet after writing this post... and staring at my NaNo book with only 50pages until I fill it completely and seeing my word count wavering so close to the 10K (that is 1/5th of the way through) I think maybe I should pull up my big girl panties and just get on with the job. 

So while I sit here and eat my "procrastinating chocolate" that apparently was missed being eaten yesterday because I was too busy procrastinating I will ponder whether I will go on with my story or if I shall just aim to write a little bit every day rather than a big chunk and burning myself out. 

Are you NaNo'ing this year? Do you feel the burnout so early on? 



Friday, October 30, 2015

Overwhelmed and NaNo

This week has been busy.

A merry go round if computer issues saw me receive an upgrade just in time for NaNo.

A couple of solid days work catching up in preparation for a busy month ahead.

Falling over boxes of stuff that need to be packed away OR decluttered.

Neglecting the housework in favour of printing Writing Inspiration from Pinterest.

********

Yet I sit here today, on the eve of 2015 NaNoWriMo and I am quietly quaking. I have more than enough inspiration to write NaNo several times over.

For some reason I am nervous, which is crazy. Either I do it and win. Or I try it and lose. And really losing isn't such a big thing as long as I get words down right?

Today I could have spent the past two hours in practice or planning. Yet I have nothing in me. I have not picked up a pen and rather I have wasted procrastinated by googling all the things.

I am armed with an empty Novel Planner. Freshly printed pages awaiting my messy writing as I scrawl notes and add relevant information. There are pages in it that I will need more of, but I can print them out as I pace myself through the coming month.

A fear binds me to the ground. I want this month to go well but I cannot allow myself to burn out. The time has come where I want to make this a priority. I want to be able to say I am a writer and I spend xxx amount of days - writing. I am at the point where I want to write, then I berate myself because I do not prioritise it and then I tell myself that I am NOT a writer and I obviously do not want this as badly as I think I do.

Earlier this week I read a quick article via Twitter - you can read it here of how Kate Forsyth writes. If you follow the blog link, there is a series of writers sharing how they write on it. I think it is the simplicity of treating writing like it is a job. Of fronting up and actually doing rather than flittering about (which I am prone to do)

And it is about simplicity.

I think I add in far too many complex steps when I simply need to write.

So that's where my head is at today. I am on the verge of a gigantic canyon wanting to swallow me hole and I am dancing on the edge scared of what lies beneath.

I am about to take that leap and well... hold your breath for me. I will be back next week with news of success or sobbing in loss.  



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2015 NaNoWriMo

I have swayed back and forth on NaNo this year. I really want to do it because I have barely picked up a pen to do ANY creative writing this whole year.

Except for a short stint of writing my memoirs... because EVERYONE will want to read those.

I think it has been niggling enough in the back of my mind that I am going to go for it. However I am sitting here frozen tossing up what I should work on. Starting a new story is out of the question, so I have limited myself to the following choices:

1. Continue with 2014 NaNo #winner {working title} Two Islands
a) I can finish the notebook I started writing it in
b) I can focus on part two of my existing story
c) I have ALL the research books & plotting points ready to go
d) It will force me to re-read the 2014 story and start on the editing

2. Little Book of Horrors {working title}
This was an exercise I started prior to NaNo. A short story of 14K words based on an eerie photo I found on the internet. The idea was a series of short stories all based on freaky photos. I found a treasure trove of them on Pinterest so I have more than enough to churn out min word counts each day.

Or perhaps I will do a mixture of both. Not limiting myself to any one genre. As long as I write 50K right?


Friday, October 9, 2015

I am in the Blog Wars


For three months I have walked into my office, sat down in my chair and after fighting to clear a space on my desk, I have sat and stared at the blank screen before me. 

Some days I have written a lot. Others very little. Then I have hovered my mouse over the "PUBLISH" button before hitting save and walking away. 

I have 14 unpublished posts. Over 4000 words of (I want to say wisdom... but more than likely they are just dribble) All of which contain everything and nothing. Each day I come here with renewed hopes of finding my voice and splashing it to the very corners of my blog. And then fear consumes me and I wilt away from the computer and turn from my words. Instead I turn inward and I write freely within the secure place of my journals. Last week I started writing in the 4th notebook of the year. Granted they are only 64 pages each but they are filled to capacity with words and colour and quotes and ME. Mostly they are filled with ME. 

Today enough was enough. I sat at my computer and I copied all those unpublished words into a word document. I then saved it under my personal (& unfinished memoirs) and then I returned to my draft list and I deleted every single one of those suckers. 

I feel so free having done this. 

Today I can start fresh with new words and hopefully I can resume regular blogging here once more. Uncensored words which I feel is the reason I have feared publishing so many previous attempts. While I have been writing deeply personal posts, I have been holding a part of myself back until I could no longer face this space and I let the fears overwhelm me. 

And that people is precisely my biggest issue.... OVERWHELM. 

In ALL areas of my life I am overwhelmed. 

My house is bursting at the seams with STUFF. 

My diary was missing vital information and I was ignoring the everyday STUFF that needed to be done. 

My life is full of appointments and STUFF yet I feel I am not advancing how I should be. 

It arrived at a point where I was ashamed to come here. I call myself a writer but I don't write. I call myself a blogger but I don't blog. I call myself an advocate for endometriosis and I fear sharing my own story.  

Then I begin to doubt myself wondering who the heck bothers to read my dribble. Am I really helping ANYONE or am I just talking to myself. Do I change the direction of this blog or do I let it take its own path to a destination unknown? 

It is these questions that keep repeating themselves over and over. And I realise today that I am effectively in a blog war with myself. Today I decide to win this war!  

Monday, July 13, 2015

No Excuses!

I want to be a writer.

Except...

I struggle to make it a priority in life. I seem to get my written pieces to a certain word count then I walk away. As each month ticks by I write less and less then a rush of motivation hits and I stare at them dumbfounded because I don't know where to start or where I was up to. The thought of reading 150+ pages just to see where the story was headed seems all too hard.

I put it away in a drawer and then in a few months time I get YET ANOTHER bright idea and I start writing feverishly and I think it's good, it is really good and then I either do too much & burn out or I start writing in small increments and lose the pace.

I am starting to think I am a serial starter and will NEVER EVER EVER finish a story. Which means I can no longer class myself as a writer can I?

Lets see...

Book 1 - Rosie Speaks; wrote 66K and put it aside because it lost pace.

Book 2 - Murder House & Other stories; wrote 14K and put it aside to attempt NaNoWriMo

Book 3 - Two Islands; wrote 50K and have only dabbled in backstories since an epic month

Book 4 - The Dodgy Uterus; wrote 18K before grief blindsided me.



Today I set the printer running hot - 145 pages of my story printed and bound, I have decided to start charting the chapters / story arc in order to see where (if possible) this story could go. 

I could go on and on about all the excuses in the world but quite simply I have Dory fever. Ooh look something shiny. My name's Dory. Ooh shiny new stuff. Hi My name's Dory. Over the weekend I decided enough was enough these stories won't write themselves and obviously I am not prioritising my writing nor am I doing a good job at prioritising other stuff too. 

I am officially turning over a new leaf. 
I hearby pledge: 
- to write a little each day on any of my stories
- to not start any new stories until NOVEMBER 
- to try and get one or two to editing stage. 

I am writing it all here as part of accountability to myself and so that I can find a way back to a regular writing schedule.  
 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

JuNoWriMo... wrapped in plastic!

June has been and gone. And it wasn't our finest month. In fact it teetered upon one of our worst. 

It has been a whole month since I last wrote; with stars in my eyes and a fire burning in the pit of my belly, I was ready to hit the month and write like the crazy woman I am. 

I started well. In fact I actually ended it REALLY well considering I fell far short of the recommended target count of 50K (but that is okay, I heeded my friend Kylie's words of encouragement to let the words flow as and when they were ready to come.)

I finished at 18,306 before I stopped writing completely. Actually for the past two weeks I have barely touched my computer - and I know this because the word document is still open and languishing at the bottom of my screen waiting for me to add more words. 

Three events happened in the course of a fortnight that left me... dangling.  

The first event was an anger so great it bubbled within and ended up causing an eruption that culminated in a major panic attack. Not pretty to experience (nor watch, my poor family) and the final straw that broke this camels back? Coffee! Or more to the point, not being able to decide if I wanted a coffee here, or go out for a takeaway. Of course it wasn't my beloved coffee that heralded the first streaks of that red hot anger - it was a phone call, a misunderstanding, receiving results and being cast adrift in the ocean of "what now?" The exact same feelings of drifting, lost, floating happened after my last operation, and it reared its ugly head with this one too. 

Looking back the anger was a good thing. I needed a catalyst that would eventually reach the unshed tears and that it did.

The second event was of course the tears. From the day of my angry outburst tears bubbled beneath the surface. Occasionally they would spew forth in a howl, that would leave as quickly as it arrived. Some days I could feel them washing over my words as I choked out conversations. At that point my anger and my tears converged and it wasn't at all pretty. 

This coincided with week 9 of recovery. I naively expected that since I didn't *feel* anything post hysterectomy that I obviously worked through my misgivings prior to the operation and that all would be fine. Turns out it wasn't and after reading similar stories of women losing their shit after 6 months and even 3 years post surgery - I knew I was in for the long haul of recovery - physically I was feeling fantastic, emotionally I was drowning. 

I cannot thank my two best friends and husband enough for holding me up and getting me through that awful week. I still tear up thinking about it and though it is now behind me deep down I know I still have a long way to go. 

This was the part where the story I was writing started to meander. The day of my angry outburst I wrote it all out and on the daily tally I have written "please rewrite this section when you aren't so angry!"  I wrote through days of tears and again each section needs a vast overhaul when it comes to looking at it with fresh (non teary) eyes. I seriously considered stopping, but I figured I do some of my best writing when it's raw and speckled with pain. So I kept writing. And writing. And writing. 

The day I stopped writing the word document was open on the screen, I sat to write and the third event shattered me to my core and there were no words, not for my story nor my two blogs. The words instead channeled into my personal journals. 

The third event was the loss of our beloved dog. In the space of 24 hours he went downhill and we said our goodbyes on June 16th. He was 16 years and 7 months and he wasn't just a pet. He was part of our family. Considering I was writing about coming to terms with how our *new* family looked now, his passing hit me like a tonne of bricks and I have been walking about these past two weeks completely and utterly lost. 

No sooner did I finally start the grief process of losing my stupid uterus, then I lost our first baby (yes I know he was only a dog - but he was 8 before our only daughter finally arrived. He was and always will be what made up *our family*) back to back grief left me floating. Lost. Bewildered. I don't know where to start or how to finish or even if I can finish. 

For now I am taking some much needed time, to rediscover ME beneath everything that has gone past. I am focussing on what small positives remain in what has been a truly crap-tactula year. I will write again but right now, I'm going to ground and I am allowing myself to feel and hopefully begin to heal this void within. 

As for the half hearted (18K words!!!) attempt at Junowrimo - you can find it "wrapped in plastic" floating somewhere in between.   

Monday, June 1, 2015

Dreaming {BIG}

The past two months I started dreaming of the day that I would work out what I needed to do as my next step in this journey. After my 2011 operations, it took me many months to find my way and I dabbled in several areas until I finally settled upon creative writing. Achieving my Diploma and attempting two different genre novels (still to be finished.)

As my words lay dormant I have been like a frog, jumping from lily pad to bank and back to lily pad searching for what to do next. The water puddles below me stagnant. Plain and simple - writing is a limb to me and when I don't write - I feel like something is missing.

JuNoWriMo loomed in the distance and subconsciously I considered taking the plunge. If only to ease myself back into a world of words and make believe. "Start small," I mused. "A few hundred words a day." An opportunity to finish one or both of my untold tales. Accountability in the pressure to "WIN."

Then in the space of an hour last week, two people - on opposite sides of this country suggested there might be something in telling my story. To use my words and my journey to raise awareness and share. I am still not convinced, but when I see a glimmer of a challenge...

I won't lie to you - I have tried this back in 2011 and prior to that in 2007. Both times were a disastrous few thousand whiney words. Why I think it would work now is anyone's guess. The only difference now is I have reached the light - the darkness permeates my past and back in those years when I tried writing about it, I was awash with the "living of it" perhaps now I see it as what it was and it makes the "reliving of it" easier to articulate. Or maybe this is just another one of those things I need to go through as part of my therapy at this journeys end.

Yet the idea niggled. And nibbled. And grew until on Saturday afternoon I wrote furiously and within 15 minutes listed a possible 44 chapters (or Titles for a series of vignettes) then I remembered Junowrimo and BOOM. Here I am on June 1st and actually considering doing this.

Am I mad?

Quite possibly I am, but this morning after doing the errands and racing home, I sat staring at the empty computer screen and slowly started typing. 2,500 words later I am over day 1 target. Yes you read that correctly - TYPING - this attempt there will be no handwriting unless I am stuck in the car and the urge to write hits.

I'm not ready to raise my hand and say I pledge to attempt Junowrimo and then proceed to fail. I am not saying that this story will go anywhere but from my head to my computer screen. Perhaps I will (as in previous years) grow bored and let the words die a slow and painful death. Yet maybe, just maybe it will keep my sanity. It seems wrong not to share my intentions here considering that this is typically where all my crazy ideas begin and before I know it I'm swirled into a world of raining letters and keyboards and my mind.

Today I am Dreaming {BIG} and that is more than okay because I need a project as BIG as this in my life right now to give me Focus, Balance, Belief, Perseverance and Hope.

 

Friday, May 15, 2015

{Grounded}

Earlier this week marked 6 weeks post op - my final follow up appointment isn't for another week & a bit yet... so I am feeling unsettled. Ready to return to reality and resume life as it was before. Yet still mildly unsure if struggling to push that trolley in and around people was such a good idea. My body is usually a pretty good reminder of my limitations - yesterdays "lets finish the sweeping" resulted in a piercing pain within my midriff.

I am feeling so much better. My anxiety seems to have settled and my body is slowly returning to its former strength and I could say I have returned to most of my household duties, but I'm holding off for a few more days - to be on the safe side!

I get tired easily. One day of pushing results in a day lazing on the couch (when I say a "day" I mean the hours between school!) Yet that tired is NOTHING compared to the fatigue I was dealing with prior.

My mind is at ease. I am sure it probably won't always be so accepting of this and I am doubly sure that the grief of closing this chapter will rear its ugly head in the future, but right now I am feeling really positive.

Part of this I am sure can be attributed to my own personal {grounding} mission.



To think I absolutely DETESTED sand before! Now I cannot get enough. I would be there every day if time allowed. Getting around is easier with each passing day so I ditch the thongs and dig those toes into the cool sand and I breathe deeply as we watch the passage change colours. On Wednesday we were lucky enough to see two pods of dolphins frolicking past (of course I managed 20 photos of blue water with tiny black dots that I can only assume are dolphin fins on my phone!) 



Last week my mind was overwhelmed with limitations, so I grabbed a coffee, sent the girl to fossick for treasures along the waterfront. I sat in the sunshine with my Midori travellers journal, writing and sketching. 

My words for creative writing appear to be on holidays STILL. I am letting the pressure of "should be writing" go while I spend time enjoying the small moments of solitude surrounded by beauty and buried within the pages of my journal.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Being a Mum

On Sunday in Australia, all around the country mothers were opening gifts. Some extravagant. Some small & cheap; gifts handpicked by little people from a mothers day stall.

As the day began, I awoke to my very own little person - hovering over my bed ready to hand out a million cuddles and a billion sloppy kisses. As she held me and stared at me adoringly, smiling as she planted yet another wet one on my cheek, my heart constricted.

*THIS* this is what mothers day was all about. It wasn't about me being pampered. It wasn't about me opening a million gifts and receiving breakfast in bed. It was simply about my little girl, wanting to shower her mother with love and affection.

This isn't to say I wasn't spoilt. Far from it - the family went over and above with their gift giving.

   
My handpicked "Mothers Day Stall" Gift






Yeah be jealous - my handpicked gift rocked my socks off. Especially after I had a very serious question posed to me earlier in the week "If you had your choice of pens or washers what would you pick" silly me, took me sometime and several counter questions of what "pens" and "washers" have to do with each other before it clicked that this was super duper 8 year old secret squirrel business of high priority. It should come of no surprise I answered with PENS.

As I opened my Facebook - my feed was overwhelmed with mothers day messages. Some of them were absolutely beautifully written but I could not bring myself to post a similar message myself. I may be super blessed to have the chance to be a mum, I was very aware of several people on my feed who have never had my chance. Instead I have spent the past two days trying to put into words my experience this year.    

Mothers Day typically has always been just another day (not surprising considering we don't really "do" valentines day or anniversaries etc. We "do" birthdays and Christmas with style though!) So this year as a small pang of sadness coursed through me and made a tear or two roll down my cheeks, I was surprised. The reality of my recent operation settled over me in that moment as I realised that *this* is and always will be my future. I will only ever be a mum to one. Though sobering as that thought was - I also know that this is ok. My daughter is the best of the bunch and I am so bloody lucky to have had the opportunity to bumble my way through this thing called motherhood.  

Surrounded by little feet

























In my moment I also realised how far I have come. Four years ago I was facing another major operation, my relationship lay on unsettled ground and those little feet (above) were smaller but growing bigger by the day. Four years ago I was devastated at the road I felt I was being forced along. I yearned for something more. 

Today I have left (yet another) major operation settling in the dust behind me, those little feet keep getting bigger and have left a footprint bigger than my own seared into my heart and soul. My relationship is stronger than ever and I finally feel as though I have chosen my new path wisely. It may not be the one I envisaged but I am excited to trust my instinct and keep on following it.  

Mothers Day this year was about the little person in my life and as the sun set in the sky, I sure as heck made sure she knew it. She went to sleep with a smile on her face declaring it to be the best mummy / child day ever. I also drifted off with a smile, happy in the knowledge that I am ok.   


Monday, April 27, 2015

Escaping the every day

I won't lie to you - bed rest (or couch rest...) utterly SUCKS! I hate, hate, hate sitting around and doing nothing much (or too much of the same thing!) There is only so much TV a girl can watch and I have never been so glad for the School term to resume so I can drive to the Island each day.

My first day back behind the wheel, actually didn't happen until day 13 post op (I was originally given 1 week clearance - however a small altercation involving a coughing fit + a popped open belly button + new stitches & glue put me back nearly an extra week! 

When I finally did jump in the car, it was only a quick but nerve wracking drive to the island. Stopping off for a much needed piece of cheesecake and a REAL coffee on the way! We found a deserted section of beach with a concrete ledge I could perch upon while my daughter ran and cartwheeled and squealed after being let out of the house. She is such a little trooper and declared that she had the BEST holidays ever - even though it felt like we did nothing at all. 



Over the weekend I insisted we go for a drive and found ourselves at the Dam. With coffee and donut (are you spying a theme happening here) coupled with a pounding headache - we set up our chairs on along the grassy bank of the dam and soaked in the blue skies and sunshine while breathing in the fresh air. 


This past weekend weekend we had another small outing. This time along a different waterfront. Quiet open space. More water. There is something so soothing about being near the water.  

This post has precisely diddly-squat to do with anything of any relevance. But that is okay - this is all about me remembering to embrace small moments in life, rather than dwelling on the parts I cannot change. And reminding me that it is okay to exercise patience. For now. This won't last forever.      

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Calm...

Calm Blue Ocean

Two things happened the week before my operation that made me stop and think. 

The first was a long walk along the beach with my bestie, talking as we do best and a lengthy conversation about my operation. 

Before we took this walk, I admit I found telling people... really bloody hard. More often than not, silence would descend over us as the other person took in the magnitude of my decision. In the end it was easier NOT to say anything for fear of making them uncomfortable. And truly I am the QUEEN of uncomfortable conversations. 

"Oh you have endometriosis... what is that, I've never heard of it." 

"Oh its a disease where each month you bleed outside of the uterus and it causes extreme pain and heavy periods" {shortened version to save THEM being more uncomfortable}

The mere mention of periods are a sure thing to halt a conversation. 

During our walk I chatted to my friend and she mentioned to me that I am so direct about my issues and that she thought I was so brave and strong. I sort of joked it off by saying "What you don't think I am a gigantic drama queen?" because some days I feel like I sort of maybe am; for the record she said no, she thought I was nowhere near drama queen status!   

but... I keep a blog and write about it openly for crying out loud (though my reasoning for sharing so deeply on this blog has always been to help other girls not feel so alone during their own battles) 

I rolled these words from my friend around for a while. It is sobering to hear people offer you a different view of yourself. So it was I found myself in my psych's office a few days later and after chatting for a while. She interrupted me and said "You come across as a really calm person. The way you speak and deliver what is happening to you. I do suspect that underneath that layer of calm you are caught in a turmoil of emotions." 

I stared at her for a nanosecond before replying - YES underneath my calm exterior I am an absolute mess. My thoughts jumbled and criss crossed together and I didn't know where one ended and the next started. The anxiety I was feeling about the impending operation was adding to this. My biggest problem was how I went about letting these feelings flood out of me. 

Tomorrow I am two weeks post operation, I am still outwardly calm but I am starting to spy breaks in my armour. If I never showed my hand how can I expect more from people? I wonder if I hadn't acted so calm approaching this operation, would they realise that my emotions run that much deeper than mere words can possibly describe? Have I done the right thing by shielding them from my tears and witnessing my pain? 

Yet on the other hand there are some bloody awesome people who have stepped up in ways I can never ever repay. They are there for me when I'm having a bitter moment. They cry with me when I'm having a shitful day. But even then, they are not being shown the full extent of my emotions. Because I try to be wary of how much I lean on them before they get sick of me turning into some weird crazy arse drama queen. (& do remind me to come back and share the cereal incident!)  

Yet this calm exterior threatens me with every moment I spend alone. Late at night when sleep eludes me, during the day when I escape to lie down for a much needed rest. Tears prickle at my eyelids as  the magnitude of this operation smacks me between the eyes all over again. 

While I might look "calm" on the outside. The real pain is lurking on the inside. As my seared and chopped up insides burn as they fuse together and slowly heal. As my heart hammers loudly within my chest. As my head and heart yearn to say goodbye, but simply don't know where or how to begin that epic journey.        

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Releasing to the universe {or blogiverse}

Yesterday after I pressed Publish on *that* post - relief coursed through me. I took myself back to bed (my hubby had ordered strict bed rest before leaving me home alone) and once I was snuggled up in bed, I wrote and wrote in my journal. Releasing pent up emotions from the previous month and as the tears flowed down my cheeks, I finally let myself wallow in the moment.

Last night I slept through.

This morning I am feeling refreshed and am embracing what will become known as a "good day!" I am not saying that every day will be as good, but I feel better equipped to face each day good or bad and do what needs to be done to get through them.

It never felt right to be holding myself back from this space. It was this space that saved me four years ago as I spiralled and fought back. My little haven here helped me to discover myself and give me the oomph to grow and become more than what I originally anticipated.  I can feel this need growing within me again... so... {read on}

Before I went to hospital I had this CRAZY notion that I could attempt Camp NaNoWriMo
I'm not really sure what on earth I was thinking - but I had this idea that morphine induced creative writing would be an AWESOME thing. In all seriousness - if I could imagine a crazy ass idea like that BEFORE drugs, imagine what I could do post. Well it turns out that I did not receive any Morphine - instead they gave me something stronger which just rendered me SO SO SLEEPY! So while Camp kicked off - I spent the first few days dozing on and off for 48 hours... Not such a great  start huh?

Which really is a pain in the butt... because that was only part one of crazy idea. Part two came in the form of realising I simply HAD to make myself a #fauxdori (which is a leather style notebook, like the midori journals) for my creative writing endeavours only. Please don't question me - sometimes it is easier if you nod and agree. You can see more of how I made it & what is inside it here

Currently it holds four notebooks. Notebook 1: a lined midori - which will be for stories when I am out and about. Notebook 2: a home-made grid book - that for now has sketches and notes and information about my current novel (lets call it my brainstorming pages) Notebook 3: a plain midori - still deciding on this one, but I think I will use it for photos of my settings plus possibly some sketching of my characters if I feel like being super creative. Notebook 4: a homemade rainbow book - this one will contain quotes and notes I take from my own reading. I have downloaded a stack of writing books to my kindle and I figure if there is anything that stands out as I read through them, I can jot them here. 
I even found these cute little charms on my travels and I thought there were perfect to add to the front cover. Since my current story involves supernatural themes - I thought these were the perfect fit. And before you ask - I know making a journal and adding charms and talking about writing; is the ultimate form of procrastination - but honestly if you were a writer and could use your very own notebook dedicated for your story - would you not jump at the chance to own one?


  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Finding the missing words

The past few weeks I have begun to feel I have lost my way with this blog. I have not written a decent blog post - nor attempted any creative writing pieces and every time I sit here to write about what has happened - the words escape me. Words that usually flow from my brain to my keyboard,  are now locked inside me and I am truly struggling. Not only am I unable to articulate the absolute whirlwind of emotions that are flooding my body I cannot begin to separate my thoughts and really say how I am feeling. 

It isn't that I don't want to share my thoughts here. I do. I just. Well I have struggled. 

Earlier last month I alluded to another operation. That operation - number 6 - has been and gone and I sit here a week and three days later and I still cannot find the words. 

Perhaps it was the rush in which I went to undergo the operation. Four weeks from discussions with my specialist, to landing myself on the operating table. Four measly weeks. Yet I couldn't have waited longer - my anxiety leading up the operation was extreme. 

It took me five months from when I first got my referral to the specialist, to pick up the phone and book an appointment. In those five months I went back and forth several times. From the moment I walked into my specialists rooms and discussed my limited options - I felt relieved. 

Based on my symptoms, combined with an ultrasound and the location of my last two excision surgeries - the specialist suspected Adenomyosis. 

Look it up. It is similar to endometriosis but unlike endometriosis the only definitive way of "knowing" you have it and curing it is Hysterectomy. 

I am not new to the word. Since the GP suggested one at the start of 2012 it has lingered in the back of my mind like a dirty little secret. Back then I still wanted another baby and I was still young, it wasn't an option and I did nothing with the first referral she gave me. 

I won't lie the past two years have been hell. 

When I started getting days of headaches coinciding with my cycle, on top of the PMT and extreme fatigue plus unrelenting pain; enough was enough. I saw my GP (no tears) got my referral, saw my specialist (no tears) discussed dates of operation and then I booked myself into my psych (no tears) for a couple of bonus "coping" appointments and suddenly it was all systems go. The tears finally arrived with an extreme panic attack the Thursday before the operation. 

Last week I awoke from the anaesthetic with minimal pain and feeling no different to every other operation I have endured. The past week hasn't ALL been wonder and roses. There has been lots of bed rest, a trip to the emergency department and so many tears and worries and a lot of outside stressors. The only physical difference (apart from four new incisions) is I have lost my bloated stomach and I have lost nearly ALL the weight I had gained in the past 6 months. 

While I'm not ecstatic that everything has led to this conclusion, I have a small glimmer of a fantastic pain free future to look forward to.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

When all {Hope} is lost

For the past decade I have had one word that I return to; time and time again. I have it painted and hanging in my office space. I even considered getting it tattooed on my body (except for this irrational fear of needles!) 




When we were trying for a baby, I clung to this word hoping against hope that it would happen. 
When we finally successfully fell pregnant I hoped that the pregnancy would hold. 
I hoped for a safe birth. 

Then I started hoping for another baby. 
Year after year. When it didn't happen, I still grasped this word. 

In the lead up to operation number 5, I hoped it would be okay. I hoped the lump they removed was benign. I hoped my husband would see things MY way for a change and most of all I hoped that we would eventually have another child. 

Fast forward nearly four years later and those hopes and dreams of mine have faded but still this word that has been such a huge part of my life; surfaces to my mind. 

I started thinking over the weekend that with my next operation there will be no more babies. It will be the start of a new life for me and yet I am living in the past holding onto a word that no longer holds meaning for me. Then something happened... 


Placing something into the display cabinet and next thing I know my sweet Angel of Hope suddenly jumps out and lands onto the tiles. As her head rolled across the floor, my heart plummeted and I sunk to the ground as tears threatened to well. It wasn't about the cost, or the fact she was a gift from my BFF. To me it was a sign that all hope was lost. I am essentially handing it back. 

Thankfully my hubby is a little bit handy and he came to the rescue with a spot of superglue and much cussing. 

My little angel stands tall once more - her head a little wonky - but she continues to shine hope from her small lantern. 

Today I realised that I too will go on. I face this next chapter in life with the gusto I have always held toward my infertility battles. I will hope that I breeze through this operation. I will hope for a better, pain free life afterward and I most of all I will hope that my new path brings me opportunities never before dreamed of.  


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Waiting

In recent weeks my life feels like one big waiting room. I am madly preparing for surgery number 6 and that means there has been a lot of commuting between home and appointments in the city. 

I have been trying to space them out to just one per week and all appointments have been scheduled between School Hours. With a minimum of an hours drive each way, I have pretty much been spending my days driving, waiting, driving and squeezing in errands on the drive there or back. 

As much as attending Doctors appointments have been sending my anxiety sky rocketing, I am thankful that his rooms are conveniently located one block from these gorgeous gardens and water features. When I time it right, I can get a park grab a coffee and sit with my journal for some much needed words before my mind is caught up in all the medical jargon.   








There has also been waiting rooms that match the lining of my new hand bag that is so big it holds journals, pens and reading books for all those moments of waiting...


The most boring of all was waiting for pathology. Luckily I only had to wait two minutes staring at this boring carpet. I timed this appointment well though - only having to fight through a room full of elderly patients AFTER I was finished. Anyone who knows me and is aware of my irrational fear of needles would know this is a blessing in disguise! 



This week brings more appointments, more driving and more waiting. Much as I love shaking up my routine by trips into the city - just quietly, I am sort of looking forward to enforced bed rest and no driving post-op. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Writing {Endo Awareness Month}

What do you do to manage the mental anguish that comes with chronic illnesses? 

Personally I turn to writing. I write in my personal journal and find it extremely handy when it comes to repeating history. 

Except the last time I was shunted from Doctor office to Hospital back to Doctors Office to hospital once more - I barely wrote. A whopping 12 personal entries in my journal all of which were short and not so sweet. And lacked information that I dearly wish I had of recorded for prosperity.  

This time I have made a point of ensuring I write daily and armed with my Midori traveler's notebook and pen, not a day goes by it isn't by my side.

I've written on the beach last Saturday... 



Beach writing again on Sunday...



By a tranquil park and water feature in the city on Monday...

With the fresh air and the hot sun upon me, I wrote like a crazy woman. I took all of my thoughts, my fears, my trepidations and placed them for safekeeping between the pages of my journal. My writing like my emotions has been raw and honest. I have chosen not to flick back and re-read just yet, instead each day I add a new colour base and I write and write and write.     

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

{Rushed} March Endo Awareness


{Time}

These past few years I have borrowed time. I always knew, even way back as a teen, that I would be where I stand today. 

Time is a funny thing. 

There are moments when it stands still. Feet burning beneath you, the slow burn acting as a grounding, living, breathing thing. 

Then spaces where everything feels rushed. When your feet move so fast they brush the surface of the earth as a butterflies wings flutter.  

Today I am at a cross road. Standing still. Yet rushed. I have decisions to make, figures to consider and my own mental space closing in. 

If I don't make these decisions today - I live in fear that time will drag me along in its wake and I will miss my chance. 

Yet inside I wonder if this is so dreadful. What if my choice is the wrong one. What if I rush this and develop regrets. What if it is the right decision though? 

I mentioned last night that this disease has given me one option but I lied. I have two options.

Continue trudging along the old worn pathway, up and down as I have walked the past decade. A path that will eventually loop back and become the new road. 

Or take a leap of faith and skip down the newly paved road; seeing the wonder of new places and new beginnings. 

Fear is filtering my senses as I second guess myself. 

Why can't time pause momentarily, at least long enough to make my decision. Or at least until tomorrow when I am able to get a decent sleep beneath my belt.     

Monday, March 2, 2015

{Endo Awareness Month}


March is here and that means - Endo Awareness month. 

I considered not saying anything. Pretending I did not see the sudden flow of Yellow raining down my Facebook page from various Endo Organisations / pages I follow. I so dearly want to stick my head in that nice expanse of Yellow Sand I have created these past four years and scream SCREW YOU ENDO!  

Yet I cannot. The storyteller within urges me to speak up. So here I am, speaking softly today for tomorrow I may grow cold feet and retreat to my sand dune. 

Today was March 2nd in Australia and it seems rather fitting that it was today - the beginning of Endo awareness month - that I made the journey into the city to see my specialist. 

Three years says he. Nope nearly four I reply as I sat there waiting for my pounding heart to subside a teeny bit. My breath; caught in my lungs balled there as I imagined all the options I may be offered - options I am NOT interested in pursuing. My head battled the anguish within and my eyes blinking back tears as the specialist sat back but did not offer me options. 

I was given option. Singular. 

One option. 

For 12 years I have actively battled this disease. With sword and knife (okay so sword is a bit far fetched) 20 years I have suffered (though the BCP did manage to control it to an extent throughout my early 20's) and now... well now I have a mere month to come to terms with my new path. 

A path to freedom - freedom from the chains of pain that weigh me down. 

A path to new beginnings and new life. 

A path to discovery.    

Tonight I am raw. Processing the information from today has been almost too much and I nearly fell asleep on the couch at seven. A flood of tears is building within as I realise the next month is going to be one of the hardest I have faced yet as I deal with resulting emotions.

Note: Though March is Endo Awareness month - personally I haven't quite decided how much of my new path I feel *comfortable* sharing - however I still think it needs to be discussed & as always this little space allows my words to tumble across the page & provides me with a history that is easier than trawling through my personal handwritten journals.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Little Book of Horrors

I have been spending a little more time over on Pinterest and with the recent changes - they have been recommending a ship load of writing prompts / memes and inspiration and it was there I stumbled across this pin...

The original pin is here
I followed the pin to tumblr (HERE) and wowsers - a whole treasure trove of writing inspiration for the average horror fan!

Aside from sending shivers down my spine - I sat with pen and paper late yesterday afternoon and out flowed a furious explosion filling three pages based on those two lines.

She swung high on the ancient wooden swing set, the creaking of never before oiled hinges grating as gravity pulled the swing into a backward fall. Momentary silence. Then it squealed as she swept forward through the air. Her pale white hair fluttering behind her like a leaf on the wind.
Beside her the empty swing rocked forward sharply, picking up pace and falling backward from the sky. Then forward once more. 
The small blonde girl turned her face toward it and smiled, "Mummy says I don't have a sister!" she spoke earnestly. "Why did you lie to me?" she added plaintively. 
"I didn't lie!" exclaimed a raven haired girl, sitting upon the empty swing. 
The two girls swung higher still, their hair contrasted like the keys of a piano, trailing behind them. Following the peal of their laughter as they talked. 
"Mummy went crazy one night and after she drank every last drop from that box, she walked unsteadily to my room. I cowered in my bed, afraid to move. Scared she would yell at me again." 
"But MY Mummy said," the smaller of the two girls interrupted once more. 
"She lies. She has always lied," said the bigger girl in a hushed voice. "She even lied to the policeman after it happened. She told him she found me like that. I was standing right there watching her lie to him."    

A little story, based on those two sentences, meandered down a dark path and after much scrawling and crossing out on the third page, I put my book aside lest I keep myself awake at night.

This little exercise made me wonder - how do writers of horror and crime turn off after they have written. For me - when I attempt to write something horrible, it feels as though I am exposing a dark side of my mind. I feel like I am stripping myself to the core and standing before you in all my natural glory. I am afraid to let go of the normal and really lose myself in the story. Gosh only knows what people would think should they discover my stack of writing books, filled with snippets like the above (yes I admit the above is relatively tame... it was the words that followed that made me feel eerie.)

Had mummy found me like this?
Except I remembered distinctly the look on her face as she staggered above me. Her too hot breath singeing my face. A fine spray of spit landing in my eye as she hissed at me, "You are not my daughter. You don't even look like me."
Before there was nothing. Sweet oblivion. No more pain. No more warmth. Nothing.
 

I am a relatively kind and caring person - yet I am able to write words that freak me right out. Perhaps they are not polished nor publishable (is that even a word?) - but something continues to lure me back into their tale of woe. I guess it could be likened to watching a horror movie and that need to watch till the end to see who the murderer was / who escapes death, even if every hair on my neck is standing up and I am only half seeing what is on the screen before me, peeping behind my hands (seriously that will totally save me should the bad guy jump out of the TV screen!) scared to watch on, but fearing I will never have closure if I don't!

Together we sat in the dark. In silence. Until lights of red and blue pulsed a pattern on the walls around us. 
"You were there too." 
What do you think? Is it possible for writers to jump genres? Personally I am still on the eternal search for the genre that "fits" me. I have attempted historical based on true life, dabbled in romance, explored fantasy worlds and a splatter of horror on the side (okay horror minus the blood and guts... perhaps these excerpts are more suited to the paranormal thriller style - is there such a thing?)

Tell me - what's your preferred genre?  
 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Barely writing

I approached this year with grand plans - writing would feature heavily in my daily life and I started the year well. I really did.

Except.

Life has other ideas. Armed with a brand new diary / journal. The first week I filled it with hobonichi style pictures / words but quickly realised it wasn't working for me. I yearned for page after page of words.

Except.

























I became terrified of the blank page & imminent failure so I neglected to do any writing. Page after page remained unblemished by my pen. I consoled my failed self with notions of it only cost me $5. After 10 days of stagnation I picked up that journal and I started writing. I wrote of how it very nearly ended up in the bin and while that may seem like something completely left field-obscure to read; I wrote it because this book I started reading again resonated with me.

My first entry I wrote "In this $4.99 foxy journal. A place to explore the darkest places of my mind and draw them upon the page in a rainbow of words. Just words. No more no less." I don't censor my grammar (this is so freeing) and I am exploring a deeper level of writing (not darkest as in something "bad" I meant darkest as in those corners of my mind that are never fully explored!)  "Yet today as I stood in those bunkers viewing the guns (models) lurking beneath the concrete overhangs; as cool, moist air rolled about my ankles in the partly underground tunnels - I heard voices. Words. People. Telling me their stories and I stood fascinated" {Side note: I did NOT hear voices per say, more I stopped long enough to appreciate the people of the past and let my imagination run wild} 
Even Jack and Emmy have found a place to lie their history down - two main characters from the novel I started writing back in November. This excerpt does not belong in the story, however it was  a small exercise to explore their history and help them to come alive a little in my mind. It was the first piece I have written for them since November and that mad rush to 50,000 words! I would love to say I am writing in my foxy journal every single day - alas I am not! Having a little outlet to be creative without the words needing purpose (be it for a story, my personal journal, future blog posts) is a most wonderful thing indeed.   




Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Welcome to a New Year!

2015 is here. It is hard to believe that the anniversary of my first ever blog post is in 5 short days! Four years, 320 blog posts - mostly filled with moaning and groaning and sprinkled with some awesome snippets of writing! 

I have been contemplating (as I do every year) the direction in which to take this blog. Partly because I have huge plans to combat my health issues this year and I am hoping that once the dust settles and I work my way through the associated emotional upheaval (brace yourself, I intend on sharing snippets of my path) after it is over, I will be left with a gaping hole. 

I do plan on continuing with my  writing and though I haven't spent much time in the past year sharing my actual writing as in previous years, I am endeavouring a return to a few weekly prompts to get my creative side working.

Or perhaps I will just let this space take me where it wants to. More often than not, this little platform has a tendency to bounce me into the stratosphere and usually I tuck and roll and enjoy the adventure. That is one thing I like about this, writing whatever is at the forefront of my mind and not having to tick all the correct boxes.  

Does that bug you - coming here not knowing what to expect? Or are you happy to continue reading my nattering on any given subject? 

Most of January was spent on "holidays" (I did work but I was mum first, worker in the space between) since School is now back and I no longer have dreaded studies hanging over my head - I spent much of the month dreaming of what could be. I am still in the process (of dreaming) and I think until I remove my head from the clouds that have descended over me, my feet will never touch the ground and I will spend the entire year dreaming rather than doing. 

THIS year I would dearly love to re-structure my novel I started about my Nan's life. I hit a rough patch last year (grief is a dreadful thing) and the story was relegated to the bottom draw until such time I had a grip on my feelings. Rather than mope about never finishing it, I started something new (I am fast becoming the work in progress QUEEN!) I am also wanting to revise and finish that new story as well. Plus I want to return to a daily writing system where I am writing something every day. For some reason I have not managed to find myself on the correct path (I am writing - but its sieving off my mind - rather than a set structure ahead!) 

The same back to front way is happening in pretty much all aspects of my life at the moment. While it is a heady feeling to be so lack-sa-daisy in my approach to everything, it is also high time I enforced a little more focus and start doing one thing at a time.