#1391 The writing group

The other night my phone did that messenger ‘ding!’ And without fail I said to Hubbie, “that might be my writing friends.”

😁😁😁

That’s it. I’m done.

I have made it.

I have a writing group. βœπŸ“–

It was such an amazing realisation. They are the people I’ve met in my online course, and we have been reading each other’s work for months now, getting revved up and also totally paranoid and anxiety-ridden over the fact that we need to submit full novels for review and feedback by next weekend.

Not stressing… much… ???

But they make everything okay. We added each other as friends on facebook and have started our own chat away from the restrictions of the online classroom. Most days someone will post something helpful or share some personal writing thoughts, or just cry that they are about to pull out of the course and we will all be like “don’t you dare!”

It’s a lovely place to be, and be a part of. I shared my own structural journey with my novel, taking a photo of the unique way in which I am trying to work out the narrative and see where my themes, characters and rising tension is occurring… yeah unique way, on the floor.

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Yep, there you have it. Your first look at my novel! Good luck making sense of it though (I am struggling too). 🀣

But having people to bounce off ideas, inspire you to keep going, and remind you that after all of this they will be attending your book launch (!), well it’s completely heart warming.

Amazing. It’s a bloody great place to be, and I am so chuffed to be a part of it.

β™₯β™₯β™₯

 

#1367 Bathing it away

I’m actually kinda surprised. After getting rained on after school drop off, and having to witness my cat totally drugged out with pupils like saucers due to his new meds… I was almost laughing today.

You know when thing after thing goes wrong, and you literally look up to the sky and say “what now?”

But I amazed myself in my strength. I thought all this crap would have worn me down… but instead, like the main character in my book says “BRING IT ON.”

Maybe I’m somehow channeling her. Maybe I’m gaining inspiration through her fictional self. Either way, I moved on from the crap, and set myself up for…

A blissful bath.

There is always a reason why I shouldn’t have a bath. There are always 58 things I should be doing instead of lying in water, alone, breathing in to my thoughts.

But I’ve learnt by now that time like this isn’t a luxury… it’s a necessity.

So. Candle light. A steaming bath. The meditative sound of a slowly dripping tap, against the backdrop of howling winds outside the window.

Steam rises above me. The air is damp. I sink into the watery cocoon and let it swallow me whole, my body submerged by all that is peaceful, all that is good.

And with it my mind and soul slide into a place where my equilibrium is restored, and everything makes sense.

 

#1363 The free coffee that got me festive

Firstly.

I don’t need much to get me into the Christmas spirit.

I love me some Yule, y’all.

Secondly.

I will wait pretty damn long for a coffee. I love it a bit too much, and therefore will happily hang out, at various lengths, to get it.

The barista today didn’t agree. That is, that I should wait.

When I arrived at the shopping centre cafe, the line was decent, there were about 7 people waiting, and only one person manning the place. He was making the caffeine happen, and judging by his solo-ness , also making the ordering happen…

Only he wasn’t. He was as I said, only the lonely. Numero uno.

He looked over amidst his coffee-making several times to apologise for not coming over to take my order… then on the third occasion that he met my eye, he came over, fished out a coffee card from a nearby container which had all the spots stamped out, and said to me –

“here, you shouldn’t have to pay for your coffee.”

I was a bit stunned, and laughed, but took it. I wasn’t even angry or anything! I was happily waiting to be served, but this guy wouldn’t have it.

I had to have it, free.

Five minutes later and I was walking off with my cappuccino warming my hands.

But that was only the beginning you see. The coffee was only starting to course through my veins.

😜

I was in Myer and looking through the Christmas gifting section… thinking of who to buy for, what I could get, looking for some inspo, all that jazz…

And while sipping on my delightful free coffee, looking at all the amusing things around me…

Something happened.

Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas is you” happened.

😯

In case you don’t know… I LOVE CHRISTMAS SONGS.

Sure I was looking at Christmas stuff, but there was no definitive Christmas soundtrack in the department store. Up until then it had just been a random collection of pop stuff.

But then, Mariah.

I had to breathe deeply when the next song followed:

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

(Oh God it really is).

And then the clincher…

Wham’s Last Christmas.

🀯

Inside, my body was doing something like this:

But on the outside, I was showing this:

Seriously, I was sooo buzzing, and just wanted to break out into song.

“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart

But the very next day, you gave it away…”

All because of a little well-timed coffee and Christmas music.

πŸ˜‰πŸŽ„πŸŽ

#1362 Of course Mate

I’m just a little bit happy.

Nothing major. But I think you should know by now that I celebrate the little things as much as, if not more, than the big things.

Sunsets. Dancing. Food. To name a few.Β 

But I am really loving my writing course… my ‘novel writing’ one. I have to explain, because yes, this week I started another. These online things are bloody addictive.

And soooo much fun. I’ve been chatting to the same group of people now for months, sharing our stories and words and giving each other inspiration and ideas and insight, and it is just bloody brilliant.

I am reading things I never would have normally read, getting all excited about the worlds they have created, they are giving me pats on the backs about my stuff, and all in all I feel like I have made a bunch of friends… friends who I don’t know, friends who I may pass obliviously on the street… but nevertheless, friends.

Writing buddies. I am having fun.

That is all πŸ™‚ And that also is everything.

#1344 A different festival

It’s that time of year where Mornington puts on a show and has it’s annual Main street festival.

We have gone every year since sea changing… it’s been 3 years in a row.

Today would have been 4… if we had gone.

But I had a more important festival to attend.

The Mornington Peninsula and Frankston Writers and Book Festival.

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Even the trees outside the venue, are MY trees. I love them. I see them all around the Peninsula. They are also the trees my story characters pass by on their way to school each day.

πŸ˜‰

It was an insightful couple of hours. I had booked into a workshop on ‘publishing.’ And though I got great tips and information on the industry, heard about the pros and cons of traditional versus self-publishing, I still walked away going “huh. I already knew a lot of that.”

It wasn’t that it wasn’t helpful. Just being in the room and sharing a table with other aspiring novelists was HUGELY beneficial. It motivated me in my writing dreams even further, and made me realise how important being a part of a writing community is, in sharing ideas, teaching each other information, and engaging in that writer-ly camaraderie, that feeling we get when we hear the other’s woes and go, ‘Ahh. I feel your pain.’

But the point at which I realised knowing what I already did was to my advantage, was when the workshop teacher, an editor and business owner of her own publishing company said to us –

“Often when I tell people all of this they become discouraged.”

A few people voiced their joking concerns.

“Ahh traditional publishing is too hard.”

“Self publishing is just as trying.”

Me? I was sitting there going… nope.

Been there, done that.Β 

Nothing about that process could scare me. I have been through the scenarios a million times in my head before. Sure there is a lot of luck and perseverance involved in finally getting your work out there and published…

But there is no other way for me. There is no other outlet. There is no alternative option.

Writing is the ONLY WAY.

And can I tell you a secret? Years ago when I used to read up on writing and publishing, the information I got back suggested at ‘if you are lucky enough to get published…’

Whereas nowadays it isΒ “when you get published…”

Either my sources have grown in reputation, maybe it’s the courses I am doing, or maybe I am deciphering the messages differently, as I grow more confident and positive, so too what I read becomes so…?

But I truly believe that to be the case. WHEN.

I got home from my workshop day, and then sat at the computer to do, what else…?

Work on another submission for my online course.

As Elizabeth Gilbert asked in Big Magic, “What is your flavour of shit sandwich?”

Guys, over and over again, I will pick writing. All flavours of shit just to be able to write.

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#1341 Ham, sweet corn and pumpkin frittata

Do you go through stages where everything in your life goes a bit haywire, and the simple things you used to take pleasure in fall to the wayside?

Well I’ve been so gung-ho on the writing, that I have forgotten to make time for those little things that I enjoy, that fill me up and give me a sense of happiness in my day-to-day.

One of those things are cooking. For AGES now I have just been falling back on the same old dishes for every dinner night… because thinking of what to eat can be exhausting. I have been relying on my usual of steamed vegies and salad, with the varying components being a different meat and carb component every night.

Ugh.

With ‘new’ cooking, you have to find the recipe, get the ingredients, and hope to God the taste correlates to the time you spent making it.

Yet I still love it. ❀

I reminded myself of this fact recently, and when faced with a pumpkin that Hubbie didn’t want to eat (I think it was a Jarrahdale and it had a bland taste) I had to find a new way to use it up.

Insert… the pumpkin frittata recipe!

Now I didn’t have to go far to find this recipe. I don’t have the best organisation in keeping recipes, since at the moment I have nearly all my recipes in the coffee table drawer. I just have to sift until I find something worthy of my cooking time!

I liked this recipe, because prepping the ingredients was pretty easy (as they were nornal and accessible), the smell as it cooked was warming and delicious, especially on such a cold Spring day as today… and then the dish itself is so versatile, as you can eat it as a side for dinner, or for lunch, like I did.

And the major plus? I have so much left over. This will be my lunchtime meal for days.

Which means I have MORE time to write.

Winning πŸ˜‰

#1334 The write quote

I was leafing through a writing book while at the library with baby girl today.

We’d had our obligatory coffee/babycino hit, and she had gone off to, I later found out, find up to 10 dvds to borrow, while I just kept on leafing.

I was looking at something to grab my attention, and then something DID.

A quote at the top of the page. Regarding rejection:

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“As the inventor Thomas Edison said, ‘Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.’ So, don’t give up too early. In fact, don’t give up at all. You may just be about to succeed.”

At a time when I’m deeply evaluating and questioning so much, in regards to writingΒ  and other parts of my life, this quote literally jumped out at me, from the most random yet perfect of pages.

So I closed it. And then I took it home. β€βœπŸ“–