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.


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.   


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.


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.


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.