#989 The f*&king application

I sat at my desk today, trying to write.

Here is my desk:

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Hold on. Let’s take a closer look, shall we…

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Yep. It was that kind of day.

I had held off on a to-do list item for a while now. And it wasn’t just ANY to-do list item. It was a writing one, one that involved applying for a writing course that I was hoping to put concerted effort into if approved – not only because it was a long-held passion of mine, but because I had to find something to do next year when my 11-year job came to a halt.

In applying for this course, I had to write a cover letter detailing the stage and progress of my novel, as well as include 1500 words of prose.

But, what would I write?

“Uh, so I wrote this book, about 20,000 words too long. And then I sent it out to agents with no luck, so I kept re-writing, and then I got it down (slightly), but then by that stage I had a baby.

I totally went off the ‘pitching book to agent phase’ because you know, said BABY and all, and then found another avenue to express my love of writing – in blogging.

And you know blogging is sooo much easier. No one is there correcting my work or telling me I can’t get published. I write what I like, and when I hit post, the whole world gets to see what I’ve written, whether they like it or not, think it is smart or not, and whether they agree with me or not.

But I really need to get my head out of the sand and start doing something with my novel, hence why I am here. SO. PLEASE. HELP. Accept me into this course before I start yet another blog.”

Or, something like that. Like, how could I actually put into words the last 6 years of my writing life?

I did my damn best. I put something together, I was honest, I added the words “cringe” (because I really was cringing as I put it all together) and prayed that it would be received well.

How horrible would it be to actually be rejected for a writing course? Like can you imagine… you want to pay someone a considerable amount of money to teach you stuff, and they go “no sorry, we don’t want you to pay us.”

Shudder.

To their benefit, the programme wants to make sure that the level you are writing at is best suited to their course, or else they can suggest something else for you. They don’t want to waste your money, which is actually admirable.

Still, I need help. And today I was so glad and grateful that I finally got around to writing those few pesky letters and emails I was putting off for so long, because I couldn’t actually put down in words, what I had been doing with words, all these years.

But I got there… and I hope that I actually, get there.

#975 Baking: blueberry lemon cake

I haven’t baked in a little while, purely for the purpose of ‘just ’cause,’ for AGES. Back in August my mass baking was of an intentional and event-based nature, so when I came across some mouth-watering recipes last week, I decided to schedule in my very own baking day.

I think it was all the more enjoyable because baby girl was at kindergarten. I do enjoy when she is in the kitchen with me… I love that she is curious, that she wants to help, and her sheer excitement at the prospect of the finished product. I also want her to appreciate the cooking process, the effort that goes into making things, so that she may appreciate eating, and the food itself more, since she knows where it came from.

But at the same time, as a Mum… sometimes you just wanna get shit done.

You just want to go at your own pace. No constant questions of

“can I mix?”

“can I add?”

“can I taste?”

“can I put this in?”

Just me and MY kitchen. Putting mess and bowls and utensils and drips of batter, wherever the bloody hell I like.

After a couple of hours from start to finish, I got something like this:

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Do you think I got close? 😉

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I am being cheeky, sure. Yes I created it almost spot-on to the recipe photo, and even styled the kitchen magazine-style in the process (check the cake under the dome).

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But the MOST important question… how did it actually taste?
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Well I can tell you this: it wasn’t to my taste at first. It had a definite tangy flavour, what with all that zest and lemon juice in the batter. Which is fine, but then there was the addition of so much extra virgin olive oil, which led to a superbly moist but rich cake.

The berry layer was made from scratch with real blueberries, but the cream was not so… creamy. In fact, light cream cheese was required instead, which made it slightly biting… however this was not too bad in its small quantity in contrast against the lemony cake and mild blueberry jam.

I didn’t expect Hubbie to like it… but he did. He actually enjoyed it. And being a fussier food critic than I, SmikG the food blogger, well that was a massive tick in my book. √

#932 The Paper cleanse

Maybe it’s because I am a writer, that I hoard so much paper.

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This was the scene earlier today when I was at home and at peace, going through piles and piles of stuff that has been accumulating in random drawers and buffets and shelves, all stowed away for ‘another day.’

And that’s not even all of it.

I have this insane need to keep things and have them documented. It’s part of the reason why I write. I journal. I keep a blog. I have this gratitude blog. And I also keep lots of little bits and pieces, info and notes and documents, all for the ‘what if’ day I need them.

What if?

There’s something else you may not know about me. I have kept EVERY SINGLE CARD I have ever received. Yep. Every one. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter (yep even random Easter cards for the very few that have ever handed them out) special occasions, even ALL of Hubbie and Baby Girl’s cards… ALL OF THEM. They’re in shoeboxes scattered all over the place. And although I will probably forever keep those given to me by my sister, parents and Hubbie, I have been thinking of going through the piles, scanning the cards onto my laptop, and then throwing the paper versions out.

It quenches my need to keep sentimental items, yet also serves the purpose of culling and throwing that I equally yearn for.

Because I really do. As much as I keep things, boy do I love when my throw pile grows bigger and bigger. That is what happened today, in the above photo. I sat in the middle of the room, and started to piece through bit by bit, finding homes for some things, and for others…

BIN!

I have gained an immense amount of satisfaction from just this task today, and that gives me gratitude to no end. Because I have tackled a task that has been nagging me, not just since we moved here, but one that’s been bugging me for years. Years of lack of storage. Years of lack of time. Years of lack of resources. Just years of not being in the right space and time and capacity to sift and throw and itemise, but today, today I was finally going through all those piles and hacking them to pieces.

It feels soooo good.

Most of my stuff now has a home. And the other stuff now lives in my bin.

Ahhh. To be continued tomorrow… 🙂

 

#841 What he said no. 3

I walked out of the lounge room later this evening. Hubbie called out after me.

“Can you bring back my phone? I wanna read your gratitude blog.”

:):):)

This made me smile for more than simply egotistic reasons. I had told him recently that I was frustrated. I had no one to talk to, share with, and bounce feedback off about my blogs, my writings… it was making me feel antsy, disenchanted, and lonely.

Sure, there are people out there that read them. But I am realistic. Unless you are a writer yourself, you don’t tend to passionately follow these kinds of pursuits to the point where you are offering feedback and analytical critique. It is just not your natural forte.

And I get it. Really I do. But when I see that my sad stories get a rise out of people, I have to wonder…

Why do you ask me about something bad, rather than maybe, how I came to do this in the first place? Aren’t you interested in my passion? Or is it only interesting when life goes wrong for me?

It’s a sad day when you feel as if you aren’t getting the support you need amongst supposedly ‘supportive’ followers.

I told Hubbie I needed to get out there and network. I had to meet other like-minded individuals. I had to get these feelings and thoughts and ideas out of me, and into a sphere of people who would nod their head in understanding, rather than stare at me like I’d just said “goo goo ga ga.”

“Talk to me!” Hubbie had said earlier today. “The way I tell you about my cars and music stuff, you can tell me anything you want about your writing.”

And not only is that invitation open, but his new routine will be actually reading my blog posts.

Let’s see how long this lasts 😉

And even if it doesn’t, just the fact that I am supported by someone who truly has my back…

It is priceless.

#800 Milestone and sunset

It’s “whoop whoop” time! That’s because today we hit another milestone, that of the

8-0-0 kind.

:):):)

And to celebrate, Mother Nature put on a beautiful sunset for me.

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Awww. Thanks love ♥

Out of curiosity, how are you finding this blog? Do you find it inspires you with its positivity, or do you find it frustrating, perhaps a bit too rose-coloured glasses like for you?

Please, honesty. I would appreciate it immensely as I’ve been tossing up things in my head as of late… is there anything you would like me to explore, or write about?

Thanks for reading and sticking around XOXO

 

#790 Rainy day play date

It’s raining. It’s pouring. But unlike the nursery rhyme, the old man ain’t snoring, because he can’t bloody sleep for all of the ravaging and high-pitched wind squeals running around the house.

It was a great day, to stay indoors, yes. That was plainly obvious. You could rug up, put on the heater (first time this year I might add) and just chill on the couch, watch TV shows, play with Lego, you know, all that jazz…

Or.

OR… you could stick a right royal middle finger up to the horrible weather, and say “you won’t keep me down!”

Yes, yes that’s what we did today. We braved the weather with beanies and jackets, and headed on down to meet up with baby girl’s 3rd cousin (yes 3rd, it’s a big family) to the place where I did my first review as part of the local blogger’s group I had then joined… The Hungry Peacock.

Or should I say The Busy Peacock. They ‘busied’ themselves for 45 minutes, going OCD on these swinging bowling bags that could hit pins, balls that sloped down a track, pushing a sequined fabric first in the grain… then against the grain, and also some arts and crafts activities, alongside many many more activities.

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(The highly entertaining ‘swinging bags’)

We rushed to the adjoining cafe through the rain, for some snacks after the fact, and the girls played about some more.

And what I was almost, almost, most grateful for? We received our food and coffee…

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just as the lights went out in the entire café. From the wild storm. I actually didn’t care. I had my coffee. I was good.

To do nothing on a rainy day is so satisfying, hell knows I have done it a hundred times. But to do something, and get out and about, have fun, and still be undercover, even as the lights go out?

There is a certain satisfaction in that. 😉

 

#767 Foodie Rankings

So, I had a lot of little things that made me happy today, which I’m all grateful for. But the one that had the lasting impression, was the pleasant surprise.

In case you didn’t realise, over on my parent blog SmikG, I post, along with many other things, Food Reviews. I’m about a year behind in actually posting them (for example I recently posted the one of our experience at The Royal Hotel, when we in fact dined there in March 2017), since I take them quite seriously. I don’t just take a snapshot of my meal with the words “yum” and “9/10.” I will dissect the experience, environment and the food, and because of this and this thing called ‘Life’ as Prince would say, these writing exercises of mine have fallen to the wayside.

I link my Food Reviews to Zomato, and if you’re over there too, give me a shout-out, my name is smikg needs coffee… for obvious reasons 🙂 But because of all of this, I subsequently haven’t updated any Food Reviews to that site in so long. I was sure I had definitely fallen off the top of the Mornington Peninsula bloggers leader board…

I only discovered this Zomato leader board after our Port Douglas trip years ago. Zomato likes to rank bloggers, as well as people who take and post photos of their food experiences, and rank them according to suburb. Since I blog, and link all my Food Reviews to their site, I discovered that I was near the top of the leader board after our stay in Port Douglas, simply because I had posted so many reviews in such a short period of time. That is the key you see. You could have posted 10 reviews from the one location and reach the top, but if you then don’t do anything for 6 months, you are likely to slip down to someone else who has been slowly gaining reviews, yet still hasn’t reached the number of restaurants you have. Suburb ranking works on current reviews, more than all-time MOST reviews published.

I was seriously chuffed when I saw my name up there for the Port Douglas list. It has since fallen off since obviously I am not dining there. However when we moved to the Peninsula, I had a little peek at that leader board, and low and behold…

I was on top. I was ecstatic. Can you imagine winning a competition you didn’t even try to compete in? It was a great feeling. I knew I had to maintain it, I mean, I wanted to, I lived in the damned geographical location! But as it happened, and the months wore on, some new bloggers came to town, and I found myself staring at my name in second, even third position .

Damn. Talk about bringing me down a notch.

But today… Oooh today. I went onto the Zomato site to link my latest Food Review there, and thought casually ‘I might as well check where I am,’ not even thinking I would be anywhere NEAR the top. I actually said to myself ‘if I’m in the top 5, I’ll be rapt.’

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Can you see that number 1?! (and my all-too-obvious shadow???) I don’t know how it happened, but clearly the last posts I did were more recent than everybody else’s, because I’m back on top baby!

Small victories, small victories.

(Fist pump).