#1428 Reading together

It was bedtime reading time. But it wasn’t just bedtime reading.

It was bedtime reading the night Hubbie went back to work.

Ohhh. The horror. The agony! The sadness.

The day before you go back to work is actually worse than the day you are back at work. Thinking of the routine, the inescapable work days ahead, the hours, the holidays you could be on…

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh.

Which is why tonight, Hubbie wasn’t even in baby girl’s bed with me as we started to read Room on the Broom. He was up in our room getting ready to go to sleep, while baby girl was eager to read the book that we had only seen the on-stage production of, days earlier…

while Hubbie was STILL on holiday.

Sigh.

I started to read. Then baby girl started to read. We were taking turns. I had told her I would read most of it (wanting to get her to bed earlier) but of course somewhere along the way, she changed her mind. As usual.

She started to read more.

And, Hubbie heard it.

I heard his footsteps coming down the stairs. He couldn’t help himself. 😉

Before long he was on the other side of baby girl, the three of us squished into her king single bed taking turns reading Room on the Broom. 🙂

And I realised, sure, sleeping in every day as a family IS great… but you don’t need to take time off work to enjoy life. You don’t need to be on holiday to make memories with your loved ones, and set up traditions so that there are reasons to smile every day with them, rather than just a few weeks a year, when you are not working.

Like reading a book together, in bed. 🙂

#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.” ♥

#1345 A cloudy walk to clarity

My head matched my surroundings when I woke this morning: cloudy, dreary, flat.

It was so grey. And today, I couldn’t just do what I’ve been doing every other day… I just couldn’t. Every other day I come back home from school drop off, sit down in front of the computer, and I BLEED FROM MY FINGERTIPS.

Okay, clearly I am making that up. Rather, I pour all of my head out onto the screen before me, consequently judging it, questioning it, and believing after all that it is ALL CRAP.

So, same same.

I do this rain, hail, or shine. All three things we’ve had in the last week, so I’m not even being melodramatic over that one either.

But, I was spent. Done. After sending off my second submission for my online course last night, I needed a break.

I needed to walk.

But first… (what else but? – )

Coffee.

20191021_094458

I walked down the street to a great local cafe. I grabbed the paper and a mag as I waited for my coffee fix, surprised that everyone was sitting inside and not outside like me!

Sure it wasn’t the brightest of days… but I needed the air. The freshness. The stillness and the birds landing on the nearby chair to see if I had left them any crumbs.

I sat there for a while without a care in the world, sipping my cap which was well past lukewarm, and turning page after page.

Ahh. I really needed this.

But I wasn’t done. Not by a long shot. I kept walking straight and hit another vision… the water.

I paused at one lookout before randomly deciding to walk down a bushy path amongst the trees, with a lookout of the water to the left of me.

20191021_103302

I walked down that path… and then I decided to head down a narrower, bushier, steeper path.

THE WHOLE TIME I was making sure I wasn’t going to walk into a massive spider web, or there wasn’t a snake about to slither by my feet. Alongside those two very natural, very Aussie fears was the realisation I was truly off the beaten track, and there was no one else around.

NO ONE.

It was both terrifying, and thrilling. Anything could happen, and no one would know…

I ended up at one lookout.

20191021_103655

Then another.

20191021_104042

And another.

20191021_104649

I kept winding and switching paths, trying to keep my orientation clear in case I got lost and had to go back… but I managed to make it back out onto the main street, ALIVE.

And that walk through the wilderness had made me feel alive. My head was no longer heavy, or cloudy, or messed up.

I soon got back home, changed into my trakkies… and sat at my computer.

Ready to bleed again. 🙂

 

#1303 Homer in hiding

The other day while at the MILs, Hubbie went in search of some personal items he had left behind in his old bedroom, what seemed like eons ago. Baby girl went up to search for him… and came back with an additional, someone.

Something.

Homer.

This massive stuffed Homer doll that was almost as tall as her, had been hiding out in Hubbie’s wardrobe all this time. I have no idea where he got it, only to say that I was definitely there when it happened, and it was probably at some Melbourne festival like Moomba.

Baby girl was rapt.

At some point last night a game developed… it was nearing bedtime and as she left her room to get something, I remained behind with a firm grip on Homer…

But alas, as things happen in sitcoms and cartoons, so too do they happen in real life.

Because I ‘conveniently’ (as all TV plot points are, convenient) fell asleep… and this led to Homer creeping out of my arms and into baby girl’s bed!

D’oh!

She loved it. We repeated the game a number of times in a variety of ways, all with him ending up in her bed, reading a book, and the sight of him like that in her bed made her crack up in laughter every time.

It was funny. We did it this morning. We did it again, tonight.

I ramped up the game when she went to grab a book from her school bag…

I grabbed some ‘friends,’ a blanket, book and beanie, and voila –

20190909_210300

Homer was now fully decked out in her bed.

She could not contain her excitement and laughter as she re-entered. I was meant to be ‘accidentally asleep,’ and yet I couldn’t keep the grin off my face.

He was wearing her beanie, her slippers were now his, and he was covered by a small blanket as his friends gathered around while he read “Thelma the Unicorn.”

It did look very amusing if I do say so myself.

Your kids being happy is one thing… but being the reason that they are laughing is an entirely different feeling.

It left me feeling incredibly chuffed and grateful tonight. ♥

 

 

 

Do, d’oh.

#1281 Down time after the birthday weekend

Tonight, there is no writing.

Tonight, there is no reading.

There isn’t even a pre-emptive to-do list for the week ahead.

I think I will work it out. I always have.

Tonight, I do nothing. After the birthday weekend we’ve just had, I am spent.

I am satisfied.

I am exhausted.

I will sit here on the couch and smile as I go through photo after photo, and snuggle in closer to the cushion as I hear the wind howling outside, all while giving thanks for yesterday’s sunshine.

Tonight, I take a break. ❤

#1197 3000 words

3000 words. It can be a lot of words, or a little, depending on the context of which they’re in.

But for me, tonight, 3000 words is a HUGE DEAL.

3000 words is my first baby, my book, my idea, my brainchild (if I am allowed to call it that) being sent out into the world for 10 complete strangers who I have never met to read and critique and shock horror RIP IT TO SHREDS.

I just hit ‘submit’ after staring at the screen for about 10 minutes.

What to note down as I posted the first 3000 words of my novel in the round 1 critique for my online course. Sure it was easy when it was others’ turns, and I opened up their word documents and commented here, there and everywhere… but it is a WHOLE NEW sensation to have to release that which you have worked on for so long, and surrender yourself to whichever comments may come you way.

It’s because your story, is of you. There is a reason why I think, people can be fascinated to find out what genre you are writing in. What characters you are exploring. What world you are bringing to life.

That is because there is a slight expectancy, that in writing contemporary fiction, it may still be somewhat based on you, as the author.

YES, and NO. Sure, parts of my life, the people I have met and the places I have been have affected me, some even to the point that they may feature, ever so slightly in what I write.

Yet at the same time, there is no relation. It is all a pure fabrication, figment of my imagination, come to life through hours of thinking and noticing and observing events around me.

And that is still, the most terrifying part. No matter how much your story is or is not based on your life, all of the ideas undisputedly, have come, from YOU.

It is all YOU. All of it. Anything shit in there – YOU.

Anything boring – YOU.

Anything uninspiring – YOU.

I felt compelled to tell them in my notes on submission tonight –

“Please be kind.”

“I have gone over this a billion times.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

“I’m terrified.”

And explain and explain and explain my story… and then I remembered something i had heard, which was that author’s aren’t there sitting on readers laps telling them about their story as it is read.

It is up to the reader to interpret. You write it… you let it go.

So I let it go.

“Hi all

Here are the first 3000 words of my YA novel.

SmikG.”

No explanations. No excuses. No expectations. Nothing at all.

Just those 3000 words.

And although I am shitting bricks at what I will receive in return…

I know that releasing these words is the first step, to making them better again.

 

#1179 Soothing words at bedtime

The quiet words didn’t follow happiness.

Nor did they follow joy. Excitedness. A content body and well-satisfied mind from a happy day’s work.

Hubbie and I lay there. Beside baby girl in her bed. After crying. Tantrums. Harsh words. Sighs. And intense frustration.

We tried to calm ourselves. We lowered our voices.

We reasoned with her as much as we could. We explained. We cooed, the way one coos to a newborn or even, a pet animal… we used our tones as best as possible to reverse the ugly situation and unnecessary behaviour that had presented itself.

And I lay there, reading one of her recent fave books, holding her with one arm while holding the book in the other… and I observed.

The night had been stressful. Far from any kind of bliss.

And yet I was happy with our dedication. Our tenacity. Our willpower to not give up, to try and get through, and try to make things better. Together.

All with, the whisper of words.

And as she started to doze off, I told her all the wonderful qualities she owned, and hoped that those beautiful thoughts, would carry her into dreamland and take her out of it on the other side, with a clearer, and happier head.

For tomorrow. It is a new day. ♥