life

And, I’m done

IMG_20141011_180820688_HDRAt 5.40pm last night I handed in the final assignment of my Post Graduate Diploma in Education (Guidance and Counselling) – emphasis on the counselling. I did zero guidance papers, and the only ‘education’ component was a couple of research papers. Not that it really matters. What does is that I am finished!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And I couldn’t have done it without you. So, I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you. To all of you. The folks who read here, everyone on twitter who has been there when I needed a nudge, my friends and family, my classmates, my husband and kids especially. I’ve been insufferable at times, forgetful of things, neglectful of my blog, sinking to great lows when assignments were due. The volume of panic attacks and level of anxiety over this year has been more extreme than in any recent years I can remember, so that support was vital for me. When I wanted to quit, when I thought I couldn’t do this, someone (often more than one) popped up to remind me I could.

Here’s to you. And me. And awesomeness.

Cheers!

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life

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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Purple Prose

Autumn is here, and normally that doesn’t mean the sun disappears and snow arrives on the mountain overnight – but that seems to be what happened this year.

Which makes it even cooler that a few weeks ago I got a lovely parcel from the talented and wonderful Cheryl. At some point in the past (don’t ask me for specifics, because my memory for these kinds of things is terrible), I left a comment on her blog about some gloves she had made and she offered to make me some. Of course, I was thrilled by her generosity and kindness and jumped at the opportunity! Little did I know that despite only knowing me through the internet, she could make me the perfect glove.

And she called them Purple Prose.

The colour is just right, the fit is fantastic and they are SO pretty, and warm and delicious to wear. I love them. Plus, they are fabulous for writing because my fingers are still free to do their thing while the rest of my hand remains nice and warm πŸ™‚

Thanks so much, Cheryl! You are awesome. I’d definitely recommend her to others. She has a store on Etsy, and her work is gorgeous.

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A public ‘thanks’

I just wanted to take a moment to publicly thank Merrilee Faber.

For those of you who don’t know her, she is awesome, as pretty much everyone who does know her will attest to. She is a fabulous writer, and an amazing supporter of other writers.

And she managed to help me avoid miring myself in a swamp of writer misery this morning, for which I am very grateful for.

I’ve been sick for too long, and it’s now school holidays. Time is so very limited and to be honest, as much as I really want to write, and I DO REALLY WANT TO, my brain is a mess. I’m overloaded with gunk and it’s just not happening. Not easily, not well.

Merrilee, however, has this uncanny knack of telling me what I need to hear. No matter my mood, she can get me to see the positives and help me get my brain firing in more creative ways again. Not only that but she is one of the few writer friends I can trust to be totally brutally honest with me. I appreciate that more than anything else.

I have friends and family who can make me feel good, who can tell me that they love my stories, but only another writer can really get to the heart of what the problems are, and only a writer who really wants to see you do your best can be honest enough to tell you what you might not want to hear.

Merrilee does that for me on a regular basis.Β She’ll tell me when I’m being cliched. She’ll tell me when I’m letting myself down, and more importantly, she’ll challenge me to do better.

If you have a writer friend who is totally honest with you – thank them now. They will do more for your development than 100 kind souls.Β It’s critique which pushes us forward and drives us to create amazing things, not praise. Besides, it also means that when she does tell me something is good, I know I can trust her on that 100%.

So thank you, Merrilee. Keep on being your honest self – I’ll always appreciate it.

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I’m Alive!

Thank you to all those who commented on my last post, and a special thanks to Jennifer who reminded me that I could put Natalie’s legs out now (she is SO much happier and currently sleeping in the wrap, yay, free hands!). It was great to get that off my chest and see the ways in which anyone – regardless of whether they have babies or not – can feel like a bunch of roles rather than a person.

Yesterday I managed to get both girls to sleep (one in bed, one in the basket) and had a half hour in which to write – I finished chapter 3 of the new novel. YAY! I felt so amazing afterwards, as though reading all your lovely comments and getting some writing done instantly made me more substantial.

While the rugby baby-sitting is currently an EPIC FAIL I have hopes for it in the future. Unfortunately, Hubby’s guest pass for the latest Star Craft is expiring tonight and so he’s been skipping out on the rugby in order to play. I think he’s buying the game anyways, so not sure why he feels the need to desperately use ever *free* hour he can get. All good though.

After finishing the chapter I needed the time to think about what happens next. I have plenty to pick and choose from but am feeling a little, nervous, I guess is the right word.

I almost don’t want to read through my old stuff. I’m worried about what I might find there. As much as I want to rewrite, polish, edit and most importantly submit more short stories, I just can’t bring myself to read through any of them yet! I have to bite the bullet and just do it, I know. I think the deeper reasoning is that I’m just not yet feeling like I have the headspace to do that to my own work effectively.

So, it’s onwards. I’m going to start chapter 4, and try to find the right place to start writing the assassin story as well – so many options, but I need to find the right one. I can feel that I almost have it. Almost, and I’m looking forward to writing. I need the fresh stuff right now, to help keep that feeling of being alive.

This morning I have the house pretty much to myself. Sleeping baby, Hubby took both the girls to soccer. A few months ago I’d have used the time to blitz the housework, and while there are piles of dishes to be done and more laundry to be sorted, I’m going to write.