L, M, N… no worries

Well, my A-Z went a bit off track. L was lost in space, and M went missing in a malaise created by sickness and aches and pains (not all of them mine, thankfully).

So now it’s N, and time to get back on track! No worries!

Life is a bit like this sometimes right? And it’s far better to roll with the punches than get caught up feeling stressed about all the things you wanted to do and then didn’t manage.

Personally, I’m just pleased that we’re past this vomiting bug (well, unless me or the eldest gets sick… *crosses fingers that doesn’t happen*) and that things are looking up again. I’ve been getting some writing and study done today and it feels good to have a head clear enough to do so.

Gotta make the most of the good days, and not worry too hard on the bad ones.

Now, I better get my thinking cap on for O! Any suggestions?

Kill me now!

As a writer there are so very many mistakes you can make, sometimes you don’t even realize them until after the fact, but without fail every time you discover you’ve done it there is that moment where you want to hide under a rock and beg your writer friends to just kill you then and there because you might never recover from the shame.

(Trust me, you will. We all make mistakes and that’s part of learning.)

I’ve made many in my time.

I’ve forgotten to attach stories.

I’ve sent stories to the wrong markets.

I’ve queried a novel LONG before either it, or I, was ready. (I feel a lot of sympathy for those poor agents who had to read my submission).

Most memorably, I managed to somehow rename my assignment as my novella and submitted that instead of the novella I’d spent months working on for that particular market… The only silver lining was that I ALSO managed to submit my assignment to my lecturer, and I got an excellent grade on it*.

The thing is that all of these things are surmountable. You can make mistakes, as long as you work to fix those errors – find a better way of tracking your submissions, of organizing all your pieces, triple check what you are sending against what is required. Despite this, you can still make mistakes because we all have bad days, but you want to do the best you can as much as possible.

Many markets are actually pretty forgiving (the time I forgot to attach a story, they let me know and I was able to send it in), and I think most places can tell the difference between when you’ve simply missed something in the guidelines and when you’re blatantly disregarding them.

We’re all only human right?

Get out from under that rock, tell your friends to console you, not kill you, and then get back to work.

*I’ve made a deal with myself never to go in for deadlines that occur at similar dates as assignments to prevent that from happening again!

Juggling

Most days I wear many hats – mother, wife, teacher, writer, editor, student, crit partner, house cleaner. The list could go on, but I think you get the point.

On the majority of days I get quite a kick out of juggling so many things. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than making a plan and having it all unfold beautifully, although I’m also quite fond of the days where things don’t go to plan and I have to make back up plans on the fly to fit everything in. That can be incredibly satisfying.

But there are so many variables in my life that some days even trying to formulate a plan to begin with feels like a joke, and I have to laugh hysterically at my attempts to control the chaos. Depending on my mood, which is pretty variable in itself, I crave or cower from that chaos. Some days, I drop a ball. Some days they are all over the place, flying wildly, my limbs tangling as I try to keep everything in the air. And other days I drop them all.

And that’s okay. That’s really just life. As long as the next day I can get back up, pick up even one of those balls I’m trying to juggle and toss it back up, well then I’m doing just fine :-)

Iron Sands

WP_000514We went to the beach today and it provided me with the perfect inspiration for this blog post.

The iron sand of the west coast of New Zealand is something I love and often admire. I know lots of people find it ‘dark’ and ‘dull’, and it’s true, you can totally burn your feet on it in the middle of summer.

Some people from countries where there is no black sand think it’s ugly – and sure, on a cloudy day it can seem all a bit bleak, but to me that is part of it’s beauty. It’s wild and windy down there sometimes, but there is nothing like a brisk walk by the sea to whip away the negative emotions, strip back the unimportant things and make you feel alive.

WP_000518WP_000521To the right is a photo of the sky, taken on wet sand – you can see the clouds, the sun peeking through a gap in those clouds. I love the way that this sand relfects things, you can get really true colours, mirror-like representations. I just wish I had a decent camera so I could display it better for you. That said, I’m not sure a photo could ever capture the essence of a west coast beach.

I snapped this one on the left too, because these rocks make me think of Jupiter, and that’s pretty awesome :-)

What kind of sand do you have? I’ve been to yellow sand beaches, but I just haven’t fallen for them in the same way as other people. I’ll always have a fondness for black sand.

Holy smokes I’m tired

Gosh, this month has been a busy one already! Though I think the fact that this past weekend daylight savings ended is a huge contributing factor to my tiredness. Today I have been up since 330am, and it was a busy one! Last night of Brownies for the term (thank goodness!). I am very much looking forward to having the next three Wednesdays to myself, and hitting the library for some solid writing time.

I hope you’re Wednesday has been a good one, and I wish I had something more interesting to say but I need a nap.

I’ll leave this cute kitty pic here for you.

Gods of the living world

Growing up in New Zealand it’s impossible not to be exposed to some Maori culture. It’s taught in the schools, and the growing belief in celebrating all the cultures represented by the people of our nation has meant that there has been somewhat of a resurgence in interest in Maori culture and mythology.

Long overdue, I say.

I admit, by the time I got to my mid teens I was sick to death of learning about it – but that was mostly because other people said it was uncool. My mother was going through something of a ‘born again Maori’ phase, and it irked me. What can I say, I was a bit of an angsty teen ;-) It took me growing up a little more to really appreciate my roots, my heritage, and even longer to dare to write stories that captured aspects of that culture.

One of the things I love most is the mythology surrounding the Maori gods – they are a part of the living world, the landscape. Papatuanuku is the goddess beneath our feet, and her husband, Ranginui is the sky father that spreads above our heads. Their children embody aspects of the world – the sea, the forests, the weather and so on. Their family tree is heavily dominated by gods, but there are a few goddeses in the mix.

I’ve always felt a deep connection to the land, especially to the land around where I live, where Mount Taranaki keeps watch over us, and the sea can be seen in almost every direction, and the wind can be so punishing, that it’s impossible not to believe their are entities inhabiting the sky. New Zealand is a magical place, and I’m blessed to live here.

 

I’d like to thank…

The letter F has got to be for friends and family, because without them I couldn’t do all the things I do. My husband supports me endlessly, always encouraging, always confident that I’ll find success. My three precious girls give me all the love and adoration I could need, they challenge me to be a better person, comfort me when the world is an unfriendly place. The family I grew up in is still as supportive and wonderful as ever, and I’ve been lucky enough to add an excellent step-father, step mother (and brothers) and a great bunch of inlaws to the mix.

And my friends? Well, they are pretty much made of awesome. They range from writers to non-writers, to new and old (I’ve known my longest friend since we were about 2 – each knew the other only as ‘the girl at the beach’), but they are all wonderful, quirky, intelligent folk who make my world a better place.

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