#2497 Heat and Rain

And then summer came.

Last week, heater. Even, colds, or something was lingering in our household.

Today, HEAT. It was glorious, but it’s come on quickly so there has been some very sudden adjustments.

But there was a moment of symmetry today, that really made me think…

Because it was sunny, ALL DAY. I do a little walk near the school before pick-up, so as I approached the lolly-pop man crossing, a strong clap of thunder threatened from above.

What? Thunder? Sure there were clouds up there, ominous too, but it was sooo warm!

Surely there wouldn’t be any rain on such a gorgeous day. Not here anyway.

We got to the car and all was good. Mondays we go straight to swimming from school, because baby girl has a class at 4pm.

We were in the car and suddenly, I could hear spots on the car. Some massive drops appeared near the open window, and we quickly closed it.

OK, sure. There was some light rain passing. That’s all it was.

But these drops, they were BIG! They were thick, they made an impact when they crashed down.

Within minutes, the sky was dark and it was pouring. We were driving and marvelling how we had been so hot and bothered only minutes earlier, and now we were driving to swimming and we were literally swimming in it ourselves! We had to do a dash inside, getting splattered with heavy raindrops all over, and we just kept shaking our head at the craziness of Melbourne weather.

But… later, it made me think.

Earlier today, I had sent my manuscript off to someone… and this manuscript that I have slaved and stressed over for weeks now, well it has a scene in it where the rain comes down hard and heavy out of nowhere…

And I went huh? What are the odds?

I don’t know, but it felt awfully coincidental, symmetrical, super weird, that we were kinda acting out a scene from my book, on the day it went out to… someone.

What are the odds?

Rain is release. Letting go. Things getting unveiled, brought to the surface.

Replenishing. Renewal. Rejuvenation.

Let’s hope it’s also means Reward. πŸ™

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

#2472 Back to (creamy) black

It’s been approximately… 3 months since I stopped drinking coffee.

It had become more than just a habit, it was like a routine I was scared to break because of those ill-fated caffeine headaches if I dared missed a cup.

Yes, I enjoyed it. But there were days I could go without, but never used to, just because, routine.

But I was pregnant too. I was getting increasingly ‘off’ so many things, food, drinks… yes, even coffee.

The almond milk I was used to drinking, subtituting for regular milk, was actually disgusting me.

So I moved to just black. Straight blacks.

But that’s when I caught covid, in week 10 of pregnancy. And one day while lying on the couch, ravaged by weakness, I decided I wanted to stop it all.

I haven’t had a sip since. ‘Til today!

Honestly, I have been enjoying the scent of coffee as it wafts over to me from whoever is drinking it, for a week or two now. Realising I was out of those horrible nauseous months, I decided I wanted to try it again.

But also, realising that I didn’t have to have something just because it was 3pm, realising I didn’t have to get my body dependent as it once was on it… I have the control now.

I had a day off today. I made myself some brunch, a coffee, and proceeded to write and edit my novel on this very rainy Melbourne day.

Guess what? I didn’t get affected by the coffee, even in the 3 month absence of it.

In fact, it was like I never stopped drinking it at all.

That’s unsettling. 😬🀣

#2450 Happy day in many happy ways

Today was one of those exceptionally full days. There early wake-up, appointments, brunches and finishing jobs, starting jobs, car and home and car and home, and then even a Zoom seminar to top it all off.

No wonder I’m feeling absolutely spent. πŸ₯±

But it was a good day, in so many ways.

I started off my day with a GTT test – the glucose tolerance test as a part of pregnancy. I had to spend two hours at the pathology centre, and contend with rising and then falling sugar in my system on a bare stomach, but the time actually went quickly, and I even spent the second hour writing on my laptop (which I brought with me, tee hee hee).

Fast forward to later on in the day, and our painting upstairs is done! That is super exciting for us, now we just need the blind people to come and install our sheers and blinds, which will be happening soon.

I got a parcel of belly cream which I placed on order not too long ago, and I ended the day doing a one-night Zoom seminar via the Australian Writers’ Centre, focusing on story openings. I think the tutor Pamela Freeman is amazing, having taught me before in another online AWC class, and I got so much from this one tonight on tightening and sharpening the beginning chapter of your novel, my head was absolutely swimming with information and trying to work out how I would make it work!

But perhaps the most touching and heart-warming parts of the day were very, very simple.

Sure, we had a beautiful brunch together, that was a family brunch, not a couple brunch, because baby girl is on school holidays…

And even though I gorged on food after fasting (mine AND theirs!), the sweetest moment actually came before that when I walked into the cafe, looking for them, after having left the house super early for my GTT, and found them at a table. Their smiles were so sweet, they were so welcoming, and there was something really lovely about coming in and finding my family waiting for me, it made me feel like home…

There was a face painter on the Main Street, and baby girl lined up after our brunch to get a face hand painting done for free, as part of the school hols…

And though that was sweet too, it wasn’t the best.

Standing in line with her waiting to get it done was the highlight. The face painter was actually her face painter, the woman we had recently for her birthday. She recognised us by name and asked how we were, and I asked how she was, and an unspoken agreement occurred between us, unsaid but felt and recognised by us and only us in the crowd and queue of people all around, because of the very personal conversation we had had that day of baby girl and mine’s party, right before we had announced we were expecting again.

So I was thinking of her while talking to her, and then this flute player, she had what can only be described as one of those traditional flute type instruments, but it’s not a flute, the instrument is wooden and has like 5 or 6 holes that you blow across and sounds like mountain music, and this person who was playing and just literally 2 metres away from us, starting playing an Abba song.

And as I realised the song, the meaning, the moment, who was there, all that had transpired, and where we now were in life, it all really got to me, and I got teary. The song has great meaning for me, and every time I hear a song like this on the ‘other side,’ I get super grateful as well as super emotional.

I’m counting all the happy times, ’cause God knows the Universe owes me a thousand rain checks.

πŸͺ„πŸ™πŸ’–βœ¨

β€œChiquitita you and I know

How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they’re leaving

You’ll be dancing once again and the pain will end

You will have no time for grieving

Chiquitita you and I cry

But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you

Let me hear you sing once more like you did before

Sing a new song Chiquitita.”

#2389 Feeling the Rain

When you’re sick you don’t really have the desire to do the things that usually make you happy, because you lack all motivation for it. So when I put on a favourite CD tonight as I prepared dinner, I knew I was on the up again.

Madonna, Something to Remember. I love these slow, melodic, romantic and woeful songs, especially when times are slow and dark and cold such as this. They really allow me to be present with my thoughts, feel the songs properly, and appreciate them for the beautiful melodies and lyrics within.

I paused the album as we ate dinner, then hit play again as I went to wash up. A very familiar song started up, and I like, froze. I had to listen to it properly, no interruptions, and I said as such to Hubbie as he moved around the kitchen, telling him I was trying to appreciate the song.

It’s one I’ve shared here before in depth, and I will do it again for the strength of emotion it brought forth in me tonight. It’s not only one of my favourite Madonna songs, but one of my favourite songs of all time.

Rain.

There’s just something about rain for me. I can’t explain it. There is great symbology present for me, and it isn’t just that it’s connected to my novel in a big way. It’s been my fascination, a sense of curiosity, wonder, for as long as I can remember. I wrote about it before, and I feel the same, if not so much more about this ethereal element of Mother Nature.

I listened to this song, and I was feeling it. Every single word. I was quiet, my face distorting because seriously I was going to cry. Call it this past week, my body having gone through a wide range of physical and mental things, but I was seriously emotional.

The song finished, and I couldn’t help it, I had a cry. The last time I had listened to it I was different. The last time I had written about it I was different. Today, again different. I thought about life, the unexpected beautiful and difficult things that hit us in the face, throwing us off balance, I guess, a bit like unexpected rain.

But rain is beautiful. The song is beautiful. And I think if we learn to embrace all of life’s changes, good and bad, just like a well-known quote, we will be able to dance, no matter what.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

I’ll share the video again, just because it makes me so happy. πŸ₯²πŸŒ§οΈπŸ’–πŸŽΆ

#2307 Query for a passion

Another day, another successful session at the KidLitVic conference.

In one way, although I wasn’t asked to submit my manuscript, with the only option being to send a query letter, I felt more rejuvenated about today than yesterday when I was asked (after much ‘constructive’ criticism!) to submit some chapters of my manuscript.

It’s what happens when you find someone who thinks like you.

Who likes things the way you do.

Who may have the same background as you, or reads the same things you also did as a child.

When they start to speak out loud the things you’ve always wondered, quashing all of those doubts, you go “WOAH! Where have you been all my life?”

I walked away inspired, buzzing, and so invigorated. I was absolutely popping at my desk as I wrote up a query letter immediately, pouring my entire heart and soul out onto the screen.

Stuff professionalism… to some extent. I gave it my all. You only have one chance to make a first impression. I said everything, was probably quite pathetic and daggy at times, but I don’t care. I expressed my truth, spoke from my soul, shared my passion, and then I hit send.

Then I exhaled.

And now, I wait.

Photo by furkanfdemir on Pexels.com

#2306 The Pitch

The Pitch. It sounds like the name of a movie.

Or a book.

Speaking of books, I spoke about mine today.

Today was the first time ever that I pitched my book to a publisher!

I was so unbelievably nervous… no matter how many times I sipped water and applied lip balm beforehand, by the time I was finishing reading an excerpt of my manuscript, my mouth was dry and my lips were sticking together. 😬😬

But I got through. I came away with valuable takeaways, as well as an incredibly clear picture of what I should have said, instead of that which I did say. Why does it take us doing something wrong, to work out what we should do right?

Well, one more takeaway, one more right…

I was asked to submit the first 3 chapters of my novel to one publisher.

This is huge! This is epic! And yet that well-known alter-ego of mine, the one suffering from massive self-doubt and imposter syndrome, is convinced it was a pity request..

But still, even if pity, I will take it!

If a starving man was given food out of pity, do you think they would decline the offer?

NO!

Just as I too took it, happily said thank you, and then shut down the Zoom session to fall onto a heap on baby girl’s bed and be thankful the nerves, for now, were all over.

Whatever happens, I am grateful for this opportunity, to take another step forward. I have already learnt so much. πŸ™

Life is full of learnings… ❀❀

#2233 The end is the beginning… again

Today I finished editing my novel.

This isn’t the first time I’ve finished editing it.

Since I started writing the book, oh, over 10 years ago, I have since edited it…

About 3,168 times?

Ok, so I am exaggerating, but only a bit.

I felt really good going through it this time, and now, what’s next?

Start from the beginning all over again, chapter one.

Edit it AGAIN.

It’s not that I want to torture myself repeatedly… It’s more that I need to check a couple of bits here and there, apply some learnings…

Hopefully this is the year I make some major progress. πŸ€žβœοΈπŸ“–πŸ’–

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

#2228 The view is alright

Sometimes I plan one thing, but then my feet lead me elsewhere… like today.

I wanted to walk down to the local coffee shop after school drop-off, get a cap and then go back home to work on my novel a bit… but my head was full from the last day, nay, the last week. My energies were out of whack, I was sure my chakras were getting imbalanced, my head was groggy and unclear.

I needed some air, some perspective.

I walked past the cafe to the bay. My feet lead me further, off the bushy track, to another path, but this one though defined, was steep at points and very uneven… but I got there.

To this lookout.

I love this lookout because it is most definitely off the beaten track, so much so it’s also dangerous, what with the path ending and the cliff down-sliding at your feet.

But its rugged beauty also makes it feel special, so private and secretive, like its all mine and no one else’s.

I stood there, I crouched, watched ants, wondered at possible snakes in the bush, and just meditated staring at the water, for about 15 minutes.

Boats passed and I wondered who was in them, what their lives were like and how they were feeling today.

I had a lot of confusion and questions in my head, and amidst all of the working out, a song I’ve thought of a bit recently popped into my head.

It was Bob Marley’s “Everything’s going to be alright.”

Now I’m not entirely sure if it is in fact his song, but he does sing it, and I do like that version.

And then I wondered some more… was the song just a coincidental loop that was turned on in my head, or was it in response to my questions?

The latter I hope. πŸ™

And then I left the beaten track, back to the well-worn cafe path and got my cap, to start my day at home with a fresher head, and a clearer perspective. πŸ’–

#1989 The Pandora’s Box feedback

I had a consult today with a man from this publishing house.

It was regarding my manuscript that I had submitted for a competition a couple of months ago. Though I wasn’t on the short list of people who won the prize of professional development for their manuscript, I had purchased the feedback component where I got some positive and constructive thoughts on my YA work.

Before the session, I had been really idle, patiently waiting, not feeling any urge to re-work it or do anything proactive like that.

I was just watching the box, so calmly.

But after the consult? I felt like this:

The box had exploded! My mind was buzzing! More more more my body told me, the words and thoughts of the story and what I could do just whirring around in my mind, to the point that I had to sit right down and do something about it.

Enter draft #546, or something like that. πŸ˜‚

I love the passion and resurgence of emotion that has awoken in me, and I sure as hell need it as I go through the work of re-drafting, yet again.

It may seem tedious to some, but as Liz Gilbert would say, it’s my flavour of shit sandwich.

#1819 Encouraging feedback

Simply and humbly, quietly even, my gratitude today is for something I’ve been slowly pecking away at for years and years.

Despite challenges, and hardships, and life being hard, so hard that I can’t even get a grip on all that I have to do… I’ve been oh-so-slowly doing little bit by little bit for my novel.

I got some feedback recently from a writer friend who read my novel, and her words were especially encouraging.

But I did what I do always when I get feedback for my novel – I first doubted it.

“They don’t want me to feel bad.”

“They secretly think it’s crap.”

“They said it’s great, but really they just think it’s mediocre.”

“They don’t get what I’m doing.”

And so on and so forth. But I caught myself saying these things, and said to myself –

“Do you really think that all these people who are telling you these things are lying to you?”

So I’m making myself believe not just in them, but in ME too. Because that’s where the fault lies.

And in doing so, well… I have to believe something works, right?

So, that’s made me happy.