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Change is afoot

Over the last several months my husband and I have been doing a lot of thinking, a lot of talking, reading, learning, and soul searching. Because we’ve had this problem, you see, and it just didn’t seem like it was going away, at least not without compromising and doing things that we weren’t entirely comfortable with.

The problem was that our eldest was unhappy. Hugely unhappy. Crying every day for hours, wishing that she could just hide under a rock, unhappy. And this unhappiness also showed itself in anger, and frustration, and raging against the world for no particular reason that we could fathom. It meant conflict about everything as she struggled with life. And all of these un-fun emotions were being directed at our family.

I just want to make it clear that Ivy is NOT the problem. But her misery was. We needed to help her. To find a way to make the world make more sense to her. It is not okay for a child of seven to be feeling like the world is a terrible place. We love her dearly and it was heartbreaking to know she was feeling like this. And so we got help, which included therapy sessions every week for the last four months, a fair few tests to see if they could figure out what was going on, and finally, a trial of some medication for ADD which they determined is the cause of Ivy’s struggles.

Except the medication didn’t work as I was told it would. In fact it had the opposite effect which suggests she doesn’t have ADD, though they are leaving her with that diagnosis for now. I took her off it as quickly as I could – neither of us were thrilled about trying them to begin with, but we got what we wanted from it.

On reflection, with this diagnosis of ‘ADD’ and the discovery that she has difficulty focusing in a classroom environment, and the knowledge that while she was holding herself together during class, she losing it within moments of school finishing, we realized that maybe the real problem here was school. It was a huge contributor to her misery. And we decided (after lots of consideration) that what we wanted to do was home school her.

Prior to this, I’d had thoughts about pulling her out of school approximately 10 times in the last couple of years. Incidences would crop up, things that made me uncomfortable but weren’t big enough issues, or solid enough to really place my finger on the cause, but there, all the same. But school is what a lot of people do, and I had never really considered being a home schooling mum, and didn’t I want a career at some point in the near future? And didn’t I desperately need the break from Ivy’s misery that those hours at school gave me?

Well, I did. Until I realized that so much of our conflict revolves around school. Until I realized that in the school holidays, when it’s her at home, being a part of the family, she’s actually really happy and I love being around her. I can and will still have a career at some point, but my time as a stay at home mum has now been extended by a few years, and that’s fine.

In fact, I’m really freaking excited about this. I have so many plans, and every time I talk to Ivy about it she comes up with plans of her own, and we bounce ideas and I can see her brain working overtime, being creative and being excited about learning, which is so wonderful to see because she’s been so resistant to regular schooling.

One of the things I think is important to gift to our children is an innate sense of curiosity about the world. Creativity, a desire to learn and explore and the skills with which to do those things under your own steam. And I can see that already. I can see she has the desire, and I can be the one to teach her the skills she needs.

We’re going to be embarking on an amazing adventure. Not just for her, but for our whole family. Lauren is thrilled that Ivy will be home and is keen to get in on the learning. Natalie will enjoy it too, and Ivy… She is so happy. She can’t wait to get started and has been telling everyone she can about it.

It’s going to be very interesting finding a new groove once we get the exemption certificate through. But I can’t help but be filled with hope. It feels like finally we’re onto a winning thing. Finally, we can help Ivy follow her passions, encourage her dreams and support her in learning the way that suits her best. Very exciting. Very exciting indeed.

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Oh gee

No posts for a couple of days! Show’s how much writing I’ve been getting done huh 😉

Lauren’s been pretty clingy with this whole tooth thing, but I think the worst of it has passed as it’s cut through the surface now. Sharp little thing it is! Will be so weird once it’s up further, gonna miss her gummy little smile, though I guess before I know it, she’ll have a mouthful of teeth. If there is one thing that having kids does very well it’s remind you how short life is, how quickly things change.

Anyways… I did actually finish reading chapter one of LotR last night, though I started my rewrite of it a few days ago. I knew the gist of it, and once I had my idea I just wanted to start getting it down on paper. I’m excited about it, though at this point I think it’s moving too far from the original to be classified a rewrite! lol it does show that you can take a pre-existing idea and generate new ones from it I guess. We’ll see, gonna reign it in a little.

As for TCM, I’ve added about 1k to it over the last few days. The pace has definitely dropped a little, but baby comes first, so it’ll get done when it gets done. I’m hoping that the end of the month will see ‘the end’, then I can get back to Lifelines.

To throw another spanner in the works, I had this dream last night. WOW, what a doozy. It’s got major potential for a book of it’s own, there is no way I can cram it into a short as far as I can see. I love love love the images I have running around upstairs, but I have to cool it off somehow. Explosions and double crossing, intergalactic espionage – I want!

Ah yes, new shiny, if it was a short, then I’d jump on it right now, as it is, all I can do is jot down everything from the dream that I can remember, and start thinking about how to fill in the gaps, because there are plenty of questions that need answering before I can write it. Well, and TCM to finish… and Lifelines to get sorted… someone really needs to invent a way to extend the hours of the day! Though I guess, if I had more, I’d still want to spend most of them with the girls…

In general, I’m feeling anything but stressed, relaxed, sleeping okay, chilling out. I’m doing great on the chill out front and not even worrying too much that I’m not making enough progress. It’s enough, and I’ve got a whole month set aside for taking it easier, I have to stick to that otherwise I’ll be back into everything boots and all, and just as stressed as I was before. Ah balance, the lesson that is always begging to be learned. Maybe this time huh?

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Dreams

Oh man, I had a doozey last night.

I gave birth to quins. Two sets of girl twins and a singlton boy. They were sleeping in the drawers of Ivy’s old set that I moved from her room yesterday and will evenutally make it’s way into the playhouse. I had three other children. Ivy, Lauren and Dylan (my top choice for a boys name when we were talking names before knowing Lauren was a girl).

And then I went away for a night and I got home to find that my husband had given our boys away to our neighbour as a trade for another girl.

Dylan was so mad at me. The quin boy was too young to really get what was happening. But it wasn’t my fault!!! I did try to get them back and a great fight began…

So weird, really. I think it was all the talk about babies last night when I was out at a friends house having some adult girl time (well, Lauren was there too. They snapped her with a bottle of energy drink (it had been washed out) and are going to photoshop it into a beer bottle apparently). Who is going to have the next one? Certainly not me! And if I have one more, I certainly won’t be having any more than that! lol

They were pretty cute though.

But I certainly have my hands full at the moment, these beautiful girls are all I need – and wow, with that many kids when on earth would I find time for writing????

As for the writing – got my thousand words done early for a change as I knew I’d be home too late to do anything but sleep. I still have some decisions to make, and am putting aside any worries about making the wrong one. I know that I can always go back and change details if it turns out I need to go with a different option.

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Blessed dreams

I’m doing it again. Dreaming about my novel. Oh I LOVE dreaming about what I’m writing. It’s always so fantastic, and often gives me insight into the story that I didn’t have before.

Unfortunately, after last nights dream I have to go back and fill in some blanks. Blanks I didn’t even realize were there, but apparently my subconscious did and it has been quietly working out the solutions without even letting me know there was a problem.

The subconscious is a wonderful thing.

I feel great about the changes, excited even about going back and working it over – though I am going to finish the bit I am working on first as I’ve already got it written in my head for the most part.I’ll make all the other changes as I go and I have a feeling it’s going to substantially increase the amount of writing I have. Hmm, how to balance need/desire to fix up past mistakes with need/desire to plunge ahead with the story.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, dreams and subconscious.

I guess most people would call them a muse, give them a humanish form, a name, a personality. I love the concept but my stories have never been presented to me in that way. If anything the characters in each are the muses as they tend to drive things, and give me a quick sharp kick when I’m getting too far off track.

Anyway, Lauren is sleeping, time to give Ivy a bath and get some dishes washed! I’m looking forward to this afternoon and getting a little time to write.

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Hilarity

I woke up laughing this morning. I know, it sounds weird, but I tell you what it’s a damn side nicer than waking up cranky which is how I seem to wake most mornings lately.

It might have helped that I went to bed laughing as well…

Every night I go through my little night time ritual. I shower by candle light. Yes that might sound weird as well, my husband only discovered this last night and he thought it was strange. But it’s relaxing, it’s nurturing and hell, I am incredibly short sighted so when I take my glasses off it’s not like I can see a lot anyway, so I might as well indulge. Candles, lovely smelling body products, it’s great.

Well, last night the shower head fell off. It was so funny. I am sure some other time I might have burst into tears, or gotten annoyed, but last night it was just hilarious – hence why hubby came into the bathroom, to see what I was laughing so hard about. I think he only found it amusing as well because I was laughing, sometimes it’s amazing how your response to something can affect someone elses.

Anyways, it’s well and truly snapped off, no way to fix it, and who knows when my brother will have a chance to get it sorted. I’m really not worried though, I STILL find it amusing.

I slept badly, but for some reason I feel ok this morning. In my dreams I was critiquing other peoples stories, lots of them, and I have no idea whether they were stories I have actually read or ones my brain was making up just for the purpose of giving me critting dreams. Aside from that I had several dreams where I bumped into friends from my past and they discovered I was pregnant. I kept telling them that there were only two weeks to go, and I’d half wake up and go, ‘hang about, its just over three weeks, not two’ to which dream self would just shake her head and say ‘no, two weeks’.

I’m certainly not taking it as any kind of sign. Though maybe if I do start bumping into the old friends from the dreams… lol I should be ready for her in two weeks anyway, and as I keep saying to people ‘she’ll come when she’s ready’, whenever that might be.

So, question to you all: What do YOU do to nurture yourself? Do you have something you do once a day? Once a week? Once a month to revitalize, relax or just plain pamper yourself?

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Trouble switching off

My brain is working over time at the moment. Even when I think I am going to go to bed to relax and get some rest it’s just not what happens.

Last night I had a hot shower to help clear my head, then I curled up in bed and read some pregnancy stuff.

And then I did a more detailed outline of the scenes I’ll be writing today.

And then I decided that I should really pin down a more solid idea of Mocha Nihilism, so I worked on that for another half hour….and came up with some stuff I’m happy with even!

Then hubby got home from work and I went to sleep thinking about Ayden, and dreamed about the novel once again. I can’t seem to escape it at the moment, it’s always ticking away in the back of my mind. Which is wonderful, I love it when this is happening, I love that I feel filled with energy about it and look forward to getting back to work on it.

But sometimes though, it would be nice to be able to switch off as well.

Any handy hints?

By the way, if it’s not the novel, it’s nappies… I just can’t win. Who dreams about nappies, really? (other than me that is…) I’m talking super cool modern cloth nappies in case anyone is wondering, I have my eye on some really cute white ones with little black skulls and crossbones – pirate nappies, yes indeed.

Novels and baby stuff. I’m doomed, but you know, in a really good way.

Standard goals today, more writing, more fixing, and whatever else comes my way.

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Developments and dreams.

Well, last night saw me pin down my idea for this months Zing Thing, as well as get four little pages from finishing the read through of the first 25K of Ayden before needing to sleep.

Just quietly, I am happy with it, even though I am sure that some of the way its written will change when I begin work on it again come Monday. It’s a solid start, and I could see that I was already laying the foundations for some things I hadn’t even thought of yet – I love it when that happens. I’ve spent a bit of time coming up with some solutions to the problems I knew of over the last week, made a stunning realization about one of the minor characters being the key to this solution, and here I find that the suggestion has already been planted in the first part of the novel. It makes no reference to the particular character, but the idea was placed, and that means I feel no need to go back and add in the essentials before I carry on. Not only that, but it turns out the location I picked for the ultimate goal of the journey has already been mentioned in my MC’s coma-dreams. It’s been nine months since I looked at this thing, I love that my subconscious does such good work.

I even dreamed about beginning to write this thing last night, I was making some good progress too. That is until my dreams were hijacked by a continuous loop of this other very peculiar dream involving the attempted eradication of human kind, some ancient egyptian looking beasties, a slice of literal heaven, a very important book, and some other strangeness, death and undying… It’s a little mind boggling, and even more strange because at each replaying of the dream I was present in a different character.

Do other people do this? Play several roles in a dream at one time? Or repeat the same dream in different roles? I’ve often wondered – let me know if it’s happened to you, I’d love to hear about it.

This morning I am going to read the last four pages of Ayden, and then I don’t really know. I might sit down and see if I can hash out last nights dream into a sequence that would be useable in a novel, because I think it’d be a lot of fun to write – and also something a bit different for me to play with as well. We have lots of shopping to do today but I think I’ll move forward the reading of Grace to today and make some notes on the changes/chops that need to happen so it’s ready to roll out on Sunday.