#1436 Being brave with feedback

You would have thought starting this online writing course 6 months or so ago, was brave enough.

Kinda, but NOOOO.

So NO, after tonight.

Because I’ve been avoiding doing something that at the beginning of this course I was craving so much for.

Feedback.

Not just any feedback – the teacher’s feedback.

The ‘industry professional, editor, writing genius’ feedback.

Oh man. It was hard.

IT IS HARD.

I’ve listened and I’ve read. I can’t say I am in agreeance with much. I am going to stew on this for months now I tell you.

But I did it. I submitted, I read the all-important and soul-crushing feedback, and I am here.

I am here, very feeble, very humble, very tiny right now.

But still here.

#1401 Writing Christmas Cards

“Why do I write Christmas cards?”

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It’s a question I sometimes ask myself. Maybe you yourself have wondered why you do it, or more likely, thought about how writing cards is so old-fashioned, and so out-dated, right?

The process for me starts like this.

I need the right pen. Not a cheapie either. I need one that’s a good few dollars and is ‘medium’ only please.

I sit. I sit in silence, and I think of what to write for everyone that year. I will write the same thing for all my family and friends, but still I try to alter it, if only a little, year after year.

I try to write and send them as close as possible to the start of December, but let’s face it that doesn’t happen often. If I know I’ll see someone around that time, I’ll only write their card and hand it to them in person… otherwise I end up sending the majority of them, through post.

Like today.

Secondly, why I write…

Digital is so much easier. Instant. You can forward any Christmas animation onto your contacts, chuck your name on the end and voila!

Christmas greetings done.

I don’t care much for that.

That’s not to say I don’t like getting those messages… but there is something sacred and special about putting pen to paper…

writing a heartfelt message…

writing out all the addresses…

affixing stamps and other Christmas-y stickers on the back to seal the envelopes…

and then putting them all in the bright red post box.

I LOVE IT.

I don’t do it because I expect any in return. Nooo. If I were doing it for that reason I would only be sending out 5, as opposed to 30.

No. It’s not about the receiving.

It’s all about the giving.

There’s something so special about going to your mail box and finding your name on a festive envelope. Knowing you have been wished a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year inside it.

The system of writing the cards also gets me in the Christmas spirit. As time consuming as it sometimes can be, I think this is so much part of my tradition, that if I weren’t to do it, it would feel a lot less like Christmas.

And today, with almost all cards sent, I feel like the countdown to Christmas has really begun.

I can feel it.

I have been sending out wishes, after all. πŸ˜‰

So many people say to me – “I don’t do Christmas cards.”

That’s okay. I don’t expect you to.

But I do them. I do Christmas cards, and whether you give me one or not, makes no difference.

It is a part of my nature… whether it’s because I love Christmas, I love writing, or I love the old-fashioned form of sending and receiving via snail mail…

All in all, it’s a beautiful tradition, that I hope never dies out. If I can I’ll keep it running.

And I hope in a few days time there will be people all over the place, smiling as they open the festive envelopes I sent them.

Because that’s why I do it. To spread the Christmas cheer πŸ™‚

I β™₯ Christmas.

#1400 Ninety-three thousand words before midnight

Right down to the wire.

I F^&*ING did it.

Okay well I didn’t actual ‘do it,’ yet… if I did I would be bathing in Moet.

Remember that for when I get published. πŸ˜‰

But tonight, was the night. It was the night I let go of the reins of the horse that has been gallivanting around in my head, vibrating from my fingertips, and taking up creative space on my computer for the past roughly 7-8 years.

Tonight was the night we submitted our full manuscripts!!!!

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Oh my.Β  I actually thought I’d be more nervous, but getting to this point has been gradual, what with submitting 5000 words of our novels at each submission point.

Relief is an understatement.

I am so glad for it to be off my hands for the time being… and having a break from, well what else…

NOT having to write anything.

Oh man. Right on time for Christmas and ALL. Goodnight πŸ™‚

#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™₯

 

#1386 KK by the river, 2019 edition

When the day started off by walking on a wall, we just knew it was going to be amazing.

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Special. Different even. And it sure was.

ALL of us getting together around a table, girls and partners and kids, and there was not one person missing? Not one that didn’t pull out due to injury/sickness/over-commitment/boredom?

Why I never.

NOT ONE.

These things only happen like once a decade peeps. Hence theΒ special. πŸ˜‰

It was our annual KK catch-up pre-Christmas festivities, and it came nice and early on the first day of December, and the first day of summer (though summer was nowhere to be seen…)

Did we care? Nooo.

We were nice and snug and sheltered.

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And then there was the item of presents.

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GOODY!

The kids chased ducks outside and threw sticks and leaves into the Yarra outside to ‘help’ them float, and us adults chilled and bonded and watched our guys bond too.

Awww. Don’t you just love it when your guys make friends. They don’t admit it but they enjoy it too πŸ˜‰

And so, a pretty perfect day was had. I love being with my gals but it’s even more amazing when we come together as couples and family units and spend our Sunday lunch together, our common tie and reason for uniting being the pubescent group who went to high school together and promised that one day our kids would play with each other while our guys would make friends too, all those years ago.Β  β™₯

And now I have new writing implements so there… (make sure you do KK with people that ‘know’ you, then they won’t get your presents wrong EVER).

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The only downfall with doing KK soooo early?

The debate I’ll be having with my 6 year-old until Christmas day… because baby girl got presents too. Times 4 today.

“I wanna open my presents!”

“No, you have to wait until Christmas! It’s called patience.”

“But I can’t wait!”

“You have to wait!”

“How long until Christmas?”

“24 more days…”

Help me, please.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.