#1427 Saturday Night In no. 8

A Saturday night in, but a loud, passionate and fun one with the best company.

It can get a little crazy.

It can get a little noisy.

And it can get a little rowdy, but that’s how things are when we combine, us with sis and bro-in-law, and best man and fam.

The kids will be running around the house at full speed, (and I don’t know how they don’t collect themselves on corners more often) flying past us adults gathered around the kitchen island, clicking glasses and listening to the latest tune selected that is blasting out of the portable speaker.

It’s love.

No really, it is. We were singing “That’s Amore” with booming voices, swaying to and fro and laughing at ourselves.

“When the world seems to shine

Like you’ve had too much wine

That’s amore.”

It sure is. ❀🍷πŸ₯‚πŸ»πŸŽΆ

#1409 Anticipation for Santa

It’s so much fun looking forward to Christmas day with a 6 year-old.

Everything is so dramatic, and so passionate.

Because as soon as December arrived, it was –

“Oh, how many days until Christmas? That’s too long!”

And today it was the complete opposite –

“YEAH! SANTA IS COMING TONIGHT! I CAN’T WAIT TO OPEN MY PRESENTS!”

(With a lot of jumping up and down and diving into the couch for added effect).

I don’t know how baby girl (and we) lasted the past month with her questions about Christmas and how far it was… but we made it.

Tonight we sprinkled sparkly oats on our lawn to guide the reindeers to our house.

And then as night fell we took a quick drive around the neighbourhood, gasping and pointing at anything shiny and reflective in the night.

There are some seriously cool light displays out there.

Tonight, it’s the traditional spread for Santa and his red-nosed reindeer.

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I don’t suppose I’ll be the only parent tonight downing milk, chomping on carrots and sneaking in gingerbread? (I say as I wipe away my milk moustache… πŸ˜‰ )

Merry Christmas Eve all πŸ™‚

#1369 Just one more book

Tonight she read Moo Dog.

I sat in my usual position next to her bed, Hubbie on my other side. We listened as she fairly confidently read the book that we were reading to her only at the start of the year. Words she wasn’t sure about then, she was flying through now.

It made me think about her reading journey, and I had to wonder how much of it was tied up with me. Sure we read books a lot while she was growing up. Even as a baby she would sit on my lap where I would read her Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar or That’s Not My Bunny.

I did it with her, but I didn’t force it. I made sure to make that distinction. I wanted her to read, not so she could be like me… more so because I believe being well-read really can help you more. It helps in education, at school, and in life in general.

I knew she might very well grow out of it one day. I mean for many years, I did too.

But I didn’t care. I just wanted her to have beautiful memories of us.

She has passed my expectations. She still continues to read, to want to read, and loves bringing home massive chapter books from our local library that are 6 years too early for her (big dreamer).

Every night we read a book. At least one. It’s not even a question anymore.

Every night… “just one more?”

I smiled. Tonight the book was about a dog that moos, and everyone laughs at him because he is a dog, he can’t moo…

But surely, he moos. And shows them, huh, dogs CAN moo.

“Cock-a-doodle doo!” Baby girl screamed at the last page.

I covered my ears. “Okay… time for bed.” β™₯

#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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#1306 My Writing Zone

I find myself there often at the moment.

In the zone. The writing zone.

With so much of life’s busy-ness out of the way (a misnomer for sure, as life is always busy, I just feel like a lot of stuff that was holding me up has moved away for the time being) I am dedicating more and more of my time to writing.

Novel writing. Journal writing. Course writing. Blog writing.

Writing writing writing.

I am trying to keep myself focused. Hubbie brought it to my attention a couple weeks ago that I tend to get restless and move away from that which I have set my sights on… instead of staying with it and being patient, no matter what IT is, I tend to get side-tracked and start looking at other things to do, other things to busy myself.

I am trying to look at the bigger picture. The bigger novel picture.

I am enjoying my days. Sure a portion of it is spent in front of my computer. Sure I make myself sit and write and edit and learn, even if it’s sunny out and it hasn’t been that way for so long (I make up my inside time by going out later and doing something like, I don’t know, weeding?). πŸ˜‰

Even when I step away from the story, it is in my head. I am going through it, dissecting this, dissecting that. Getting ideas for other novels, and so on. My creative juices and excitement for it are at an all-time high, and I am loving it.

I AM LOVING IT.

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Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

 

#1288 Planting synopses and seeds

First, it was the SYNOPSIS.

Baby girl came up this morning but then proceeded to sleep, loudly. Congested or not, she was breathing so deeply and we just couldn’t sleep anymore. Hubbie and I got up, leaving her sleeping alone in our bed, and went to have breakfast.

She was still sleeping after that, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to spend time doing what I hadn’t been doing for the LONGEST TIME… which was working on my novel. I was due to submit a synopsis of it at midnight tonight for my recent course, and I hadn’t really started.

So off to work I went.

As I looked for plot points and complications, the turning points and climax, I realised something… I had forgotten a lot. When something is amassing 97,000 words, you can understand that some things may be forgotten… and every time I have gone to re-edit, I have generally read the first few chapters, before getting distracted for a while, and then coming back to it… only to start at the beginning AGAIN.

And also, I finished writing this novel, let’s see…. sometime in 2012. That’s a whole 7 years. A LOT can be forgotten in that time.

And I had. Forgotten a lot. I had to bring up my original manuscript, pour over sections, and something became very clear, very quickly.

I really liked it.

I know that is a massive breach of what you are allowed to say as a creative person! You are meant to say things like –

“oh, that old thing.”

OR

“Yeah, it’s ok (hair flip) I could’ve have done better.”

OR

“It is a piece of shit,” (with a hyena-type laugh because you’ve just scored yourself a major contract).

But I found myself more times than not, reading things over even when I didn’t have to.

I was re-discovering my story. I was finding twists and surprises I had put in there long ago, and I was pleasantly surprised I had managed to do that, even before my online writing courses had been a glimmer of a thought.

Clearly I still have a lot of work in front of me. But I felt the structure, was pretty good. The premise, was entertaining enough.

I liked my characters.

I liked my overall meaning.

I liked my ending.

I was proud of myself.

(Pat on the back :))

So I sat there, in my pjs ’til about 1pm (baby girl did come down and I did stop to give her breakfast) at the laptop, pouring over my novel and expelling more of my soul into the synopsis than I even thought possible.

I planted the synopsis.

And then I planted the SEEDS.

Or should I say bulbs. Tulip bulbs. And before I have gardeners sending me angry emails of “how dare you plant in Winter,” be assured I FORGOT to plant the bulbs in Autumn, I really did.

After the tulips I got from the Tulip festival last year had their run and their petals fell off, I did as recommended and gathered the bulbs and put them in a plastic bag, to lay dormant over the year so that they could be re-planted the next.

Sure, I missed Autumn. But I read somewhere that these flowers were hardy AS. They could handle almost anything. I was urged to try regardless, and so today we finally took them out of the bag…

And shock horror… they had SPROUTED!

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In the bag! It gave me hope! If they could sprout in the bag, imagine what they could do in SOIL????

We covered the 8 bulbs we had and fertilised and watered them, and then I told baby girl and Hubbie we all had to send it lovely positive thoughts.

It is in a pot outside the room where I sit and write. So hopefully sometime in Spring, I will be reaping the fruits of both my SYNOPSES and SEEDS labours….

;);););)