What’s this?

When I arrived at school today to pick up Ivy, I scored my regular park. I unbuckled the kids and pulled them out of the car and for the first time noticed a hole in the middle of the tree I park under. I’ve never noticed this hole before, but now it was staring at me obviously. I couldn’t help but peer inside, wonder what had caused it, wonder if anyone had stashed anything inside…

Thanks to a post I had read earlier in the day, by Amy Rose Davis, my mind was connected to thoughts of my childhood and this hole stirred up a memory that I’d not thought of in a vast number of years. And that memory in turn sparked an idea.

It’s a tiny idea. Really it’s no more than a scene from my childhood. A vivid memory, a small mystery that was solved relatively easily. But what if it hadn’t been? What if there was more to it?

I’m not going to share the memory here, because as yet, I don’t know what might develop from it. It’s the first inkling of a new story I have had in WEEKS though, and for that I am grateful. It put a smile on my face, knowing that my writer brain is still in there somewhere beneath the exhaustion and the enforced rest. It’s still there, and it’s working quietly in the background.

Sickness, a snow day and stealth novel writing

It’s been quite a week, well, almost week, since I last posted. My middle child got a case of Hand, foot and mouth disease which wasn’t a lot of fun. She was mostly happy, but her sleep was all messed up which resulted in a tired Mummy. Thankfully, none of the other kids caught it – but seriously, what a run of illness! I think after a month, we’re all finally well.

The most exciting news of the week is that it snowed here. And yes, yes, I know, many of you get snow. Lots of it. However. I’m 30 years old and I’ve never seen it snow here. Despite the fact that there is a mountain not far away, my city is right by the sea, and it just doesn’t snow. This last week the whole of New Zealand has been hit with an arctic blast and it’s snowed pretty much everywhere. Apparently the last time this happened was back in the mid 70′s.

Anyway, it snowed, it was amazing, I acted like a crazed child and insisted the kids come out and dance in it with me. We caught snowflakes on our tongues. I was with some friends, so there were three adults and seven kids sharing in this, it was just plain awesome. This is the second time ever I have been in falling snow. I think it might have made my year.

Please no comments about how I don’t get a ‘real’ winter, and I don’t know what snow really is. It was exciting for me. Kill my snow buzz, at your peril.

I guess I should get to the whole ‘stealth novel writing’ bit, huh? Gee. It just kind of happened. I was working on some stories ‘around’ the novel, and then all of a sudden I was writing a scene from the book. I got halfway through before I realized. It was a little bit of a shock, but also wonderful. Somehow, I managed to get past all the little fears and sink myself into the writing of Saving Tomorrow, pressure free. It’s pretty fantastic.

I’m hoping that today I can pull together all the bits and pieces that I’ve got and form the actual document for the novel. I’ve still got an outline to write up, but in the meantime I can press ahead because I know what the initial events are. I think that this time around I’ve made more notes and development than ever before. It’s helped me get a clear idea of the characters, their goals, their motivations and their arcs throughout the novel. I’m so excited to be writing this.

Which, I guess, means that maybe this novel will also make my year ;-)

Free Flash Fiction!

That’s right, the Search Term Challenge stories are going live, one a day for your reading pleasure. Two are already up (I’m a bit slow… but I’m sure you’ll forgive me!), with 8 to come.

At the end of that time, you’ll be able to vote on your fav, and then we’ll get to see who wrote what, and who will wear the crown for this round.

I love seeing how many different ideas can come out of the same set of search terms, it really highlights for me just how different we all are, how unique our creative processes are.

Anyways, ┬áhead on over and start checking them out – it is YOU the reader, who will decide the winner!

Shiny!

There is not enough time!

I’m at a point where I have to remind myself that good things take time. I have a lot of little projects on the go and none of them should be rushed. I have to write each piece to it’s rightful conclusion, and I can’t skimp on the revising/editing/polishing part of the process just to get something out the door.

I think that’s got to be the suckiest part about writing. You simply can’t take shortcuts. It shows. Personally, I don’t want to let myself down like that, but it is SO tempting!

So what am I up to now? Gosh. Plans are out of sync, but I am busy. I’m making plans for the revise of Mocha Nihilism, I’m putting the finishing touches on my latest story before it’s ready for submission, I’m bashing a flash fiction piece into reasonable shape.

And I have a new shiny.

Damn the new shiny. It’s just so SHINY. So alluring. I’m dreaming about it, thinking about it every time one child or another wakes me in the night. Thinking up fun new bits to add to the story from the moment I wake up. I’ve allowed myself to start planning it, but I won’t be writing it any time soon.

The new shiny always comes at you full force as you’re about to commit to a reasonable sized task. It’s job is to push you off track, to stop you from moving forward from a first draft. Your brain wants you to play in happy creativity land, where anything is possible and endless potential lies before you.

But I won’t be tricked. No. As beautiful and alluring, and fun as this new shiny is. It has to wait, along with all the other shiny’s that were once new but are now a little dusty from sitting on the shelf.

There is never enough time to do everything all at once, but at least with my writing, I have a little more patience than with life in general. The idea won’t be any less good in a month time, or six. And if it can hang around for that long and still look appealing? Then it’s definitely worth devoting time to.

Feel good vibes

I’m getting a lot at the moment! Buzzing on the high that is knowing I have a story in print and will have my copy of the Anthology next week, I’ve been spreading the word and experiencing other people being excited for me. It’s really lovely!

One friend thought we should get my friends together and have our own launch celebration last night (we didn’t, because I’m a bit homebound at the moment), family and friends are purchasing copies, sharing links on Facebook, and generally being very happy, supportive and proud.

People seem to love saying that they have a friend/family member who is a ‘published author’, and while I am very small fry in the big scheme, boy it feels good!

I just want to thank everyone for being so wonderful, so kind, encouraging, and supportive. I hope you all have people in your life that feel proud of you and want you to succeed, because it makes the journey that much richer.

If nothing else, I’m proud of you all, and I want you all to reach your goals and live your dreams.

Have a great weekend!

20,000 views!

It was a quiet goal that I wanted to reach 20K views before the baby arrived and yay, thank you everyone who has been reading because somewhere in the last day I crossed that line!

I remember when I first realized that people were actually reading my posts, and then the first time my mother commented on my blog was another one of those ‘wow’ moments. People are actually reading… sadly, I never took that on board much so I still just mostly post what I feel like when I feel like it ;-)

Anyways, some of you will know its been another one of those weeks. I mean, I really need to catch a break! All good though. I finally got some decent sleep last night (consider me an amber teething necklace convert – nothing else was different but the girl only woke at 2am for a quick feed, after sleeping 7hrs straight and hell, that almost never happens even when she’s not teething). I’m filled with hope that perhaps this means she’ll be sleeping better for the most part from now on, but she IS a toddler, so nothing is definite and I wouldn’t put money on it just yet lol.

I’m feeling more alive this morning, more positive in general, its good. And, I’m going to get my hair cut this morning which is very exciting! Just at a walk in place because last time I made an appointment while pregnant baby arrived the day before and I really didn’t want that happening again. More on baby stuff tomorrow, which is when I hit 36 weeks!

I have done some writing this week amazingly, and the story is coming together slowly but still forming and thats the main thing. I’m not getting a lot closer to being finished with my crit work due to extreme tiredness (going to be at 7pm? Not really conducive to getting anything done at all! lol). Fingers crossed this necklace continues to help and I continue to feel more alive. Considering the news I got about a family member yesterday, a little sleep deprivation is looking pretty minor right now anyway.

Okay! it’s almost 7am, and the kids are fed and dressed, so it’s time to launch into operation ‘housework’. I’m hoping to get the bulk of it done so that when we get home from our morning in town I can just… well, do a lot of nothing other than writing/critting should the urge hit. Or maybe I’ll nap again, it actually worked out reasonably well yesterday.

Energy consumed elsewhere

I keep thinking of things to blog about and then not getting myself on here and doing it. I keep thinking about the list of things I need to get done before baby comes as well, and not getting on with those things either. I think I’m nesting.

I cleaned the bathroom this weekend, like, actually cleaned it – the bath, the shower, the sink, the cupboards. I threw stuff out, tidied other stuff. It looks great, it smells great, but oh man do I wish I had a ladder and something to make the ceiling look better, and that I was actually allowed to do that kind of activity… (the paint was flaky before we moved in, its still flaky, the best thing to do is NOT LOOK UP. There are no zombie babies hanging from the ceiling, but what I see there is just as scary).

Side note: I’ve been thinking about the zombie babies and the world that story is set in a fair bit lately. Hmm what should I do with it?

I also keep intending to write: finish this last weeks story properly (after deciding to go back and add the bits I skipped over), edit/polish some of my other stories, read and give feedback on several pieces sitting in my inbox. And that’s not happening either – on a happy note though, I DO have a story idea for this weeks Creativity Workshop writing now, so yay me!. I’m hoping to get through some of the backlog of reading today while I mull my idea over. Though now I’m thinking about the zombie babies again.

What else have I been doing? I cleaned the freezer. I started preparing and storing meals in there now that its lovely and clean. I’ve tidied/organized all the kids toys in the lounge. I’ve cleared out other bits of random crap around the house… I feel good about all of these things, but its not writing. Yeah, I’m nesting. I think the problem with the tidy/organizing thing is that half the time the place doesn’t actually LOOK any better than before I started. But at least I know that behind cupboard doors and under beds there is nothing lurking.

Other bits and pieces: less than 5 weeks to go now. I’m feeling anxious a little bit because Lauren was two and a half weeks early and who knows when this one will come? I’ve gone back to referring to it as being due anywhere in the next 3-7 weeks. Keep my mind from thinking too much about it.

I had my first weird facebook moment the other day: bumped into a girl I went to school with (and probably haven’t since seen in person) at the supermarket and she commented ‘Oh this must be Lauren! You don’t have many weeks to go now do you?’ It was nice enough. She’s a nice girl, but you know? It weirded me out a little. People actually read updates, and it’s not like I even post them often….

Ivy is getting better. We’ve cracked down on her, the boundaries are incredibly firm and we’re ignoring all of her negative talk. It’s hard work! But, she seems happier, and more willing to be a pleasant member of the family which is nice. Just have to keep at it. I wish there was room for a little more flexibility where she’s concerned, but for now, she just can’t handle it so we’ll have to be mundane and predictable. Over the course of a week I’ve gone from having to search for the smallest things to praise her on, to being able to genuinely tell her how wonderful, helpful, and caring she is. It’s so nice, I actually like being around her now that she’s not yelling at me all the time! What a relief.

Oh, and possibly the most amazing event of the week: I went out on Saturday morning to a Mum’s market, with no children. I was gone for just over an hour and no one died, not even Hubby, though they were all grateful to see me return. It’s the first time I’ve left the house sans children for something other than a quick trip to the supermarket to get a missing dinner ingredient. Lovely! Why on earth do we wait until our time is running out to take back the little things that make life easier? I’ll have to try and do it again at some point before the new baby arrives :-)

Hope everyone is having a lovely week, sorry for the long, rambling post. I’m off to read, and think about zombie babies, no! Delaney, and Kira. Yeah, that’s it. Delaney and Kira… (and zombie babies).