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Found my groove!

Well, it took a little bit, but I finally got there! Have been managing to revise at least a scene a day for these last few days – and worked out the main issue getting between me and working.ย 

I had to pretty much rewrite the entire beginning of this novella. Five brand new scenes, which changed a whole lot. The story is much better for it, but it was hard slog, and I was feeling pretty low energy about it all. Of course, now that it’s done, I love it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess after spending so much time deep in assignment writing, I wasn’t quite ready for more hard work. Very pleased that bit is over with though, and now I can get to the less difficult task of revision rather than rewriting.

There are still a few new scenes to go in, because I decided to add a second pov. I think it will give me wider scope for the books to follow and am enjoying fleshing Noah out a little more now that I have room to do that.ย 

I’m really super excited about this series. It’s really fun writing in a New Zealand setting, and tapping into my heritage has been a blast. All the weird, quirky stuff that happened while I was growing up is finding a way into these books which just makes it that much more fun to write. I hope that people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

One day, I’ll get to find out!

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Spring is coming!!

I can tell because I really want to clean my windows. It’s my internal signal that the season ย is changing. That and wanting to throw stuff away.

I can’t put into words just how much I am looking forward to Spring. It’s a time of growth and change and that is perfect for me. You see, I feel like I’ve been experiencing limbo lately, and it’s been very hard to make any progress. I’m waiting, waiting, waiting. Treading water.

Or at least I have been. This weekend has marked some change for me, and I’m hoping that will help spur me on.

Yesterday I had my final meeting with SpecFicNZ as the secretary. Once I get the minutes written up, I’ll be done with my duties and revert back to a regular member (aside from helping the new Secretary find her feet).

I’ve been part of the committee since the very beginning, and I still remember when Ripley posted a thread on the Kiwiwriters forums asking if anyone would be interested. I immediately sent her a message and that was it for me. I’ve been dedicated to the organization ever since and have been so thrilled with how it’s grown and developed. I’m really proud of what we’ve done in these last few years and I know that the new committee has lots of fresh blood that will make it another great year.

Earlier this year I also stepped down from 5 years on the staff at Kiwiwriters, so in a lot of ways this year has been about change. I bowed out of training for Lifeline even though I have been wanting to do that for years now. I finished up at my copy editing job. I’ve been slowly stepping away from my other commitments to make room for… well, I thought it was for writing, and for study, but maybe somewhere in the back of my subconscious I was actually freeing myself up for home schooling. Or at least finding a way to help Ivy.

In any event. We are still waiting on that exemption certificate, and we’ll just have to keep waiting until it comes. I can’t let everything else stagnate while that happens though. Now that I have finished up a couple of other commitments it’s time to get back into Burn.

I read the novella a week ago and have made copious notes about the changes that need to be made. In general I’m left feeling pretty good about the whole thing though. It’s a decent novella and I am going to do my best to make it shine ๐Ÿ™‚ Revision begins TODAY. And that’s probably me for the next month.

What are you up to at the moment?

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In case of emergency

Please consume 1 bottle of V. *

But what happens when every day is an emergency? When every day, severe exhaustion threatens your progress?

I really need some sleep. I refuse to let that stop me getting things done, but if I’m honest, I am verging on losing the willpower to do anything other than look after the kids. If only my toddler would sleep, I could sleep too.

Don’t even start in on me about child rearing, and sleep training, or letting them cry it out. The girl will scream until morning. We did six weeks of sleep training (gentle, mind you, not shutting her in the room and leaving her for the night) before letting it slide. What did it net me? Stress, anxiety, a clingy daughter, bags under everyones eyes, more frustration and irritation, grumpy bums everywhere. At one point, she seemed to be making progress, but the massive reversion that happened is mountain-sized and I have my limits.

Bottom line: it wasn’t worth it. Better it just be me tired than everyone in the house. I am able to cope a little better with sleep deprivation than a 6yr old, a 9month old, or my husband (love him to bits, ย but he really does need his sleep!). And yes sometimes this means she wakes up every hour in the goddamned night, and I can barely string a sentence together the next day. And yes it means I am not functioning at peak potential – but one day I will be.

What I have learned is that the human mind, and body, are far more resilient than we might give it credit for. If you’d asked me if I could handle this level of sleep deprivation before having kids, I would have said ‘no way!’ but I have to find a way to handle it. There is no other option.

And yes I could let her scream, and maybe, eventually, she’d break and realize that in actual fact she doesn’t need me during the night. But I’d feel like shit about it, and dude, there are already enough people in the world laying on guilt about parenting choices without me adding some self loathing in there as well.

Sometimes choosing to nurture, and respect your children is a bitch. But it’s my choice, one I made with love, in keeping with my beliefs about human interaction. She’s two; this phase will not last forever. Her happiness, her smiles, her continued blossoming make up for the lack of sleep; though I retain the right to complain about it from time to time, I won’t use it as an excuse.

Life goes on, and while my progress might at times be slower than I’d like, I am still moving forward. Always.

Rant over. Now excuse me while I get back to some work.

*No, I don’t actually drink one of these a day – they are seriously bad for you. But over the last few months I have been resorting to having one, once a week ย or so. To my credit I am also cutting down on my coffee intake, and trying not to prop myself up on sugar and junk.

And yes, in case you were wondering, this has come up because I really do get sick of people telling me what to do in regards to my children. Yes, I know sleep is vital, and I know that this can affect mental health, and that some women are driven to do terrible things to their babies – I promise you that if I ever feel myself getting to that point (and trust me, I’m incredibly self aware about my mental state, through necessity, so I will know), I will get help. In the meantime, just don’t judge me. You can support me by just being my friend. And sure, helping out by washing my dishes is always appreciated ๐Ÿ˜‰

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TGIF!

I am very much feeling like I’ve worked a full week! lol and I can honestly say it’s a long time since I’ve done that (not that raising three beautiful girls and running the household and trying to write is not time consuming). So I am definitely looking forward to the weekend – not that it’s going to be quiet, but it does mean that at least Hubby is home to help with everything.

I feel like we’ve accomplished so much in just a few short days, and am ready to start slowing down a little bit. The huge task of contacting authors has been achieved with stellar results so far, and now it is on with reading and selecting and planning for all the behind the scenes stuff that goes into putting out a book. And trust me, there is a lot of it!

On that note, we have a website live now for the Anthology and you can check it out over here. There will be a new post up shortly with a very exciting announcement, and hopefully I’ll have a facebook page sorted for it shortly which will be helpful for keeping people in the loop and also for figuring out how many people are interested in getting their hands on a copy. It’s for a great cause!

In all of the rush and bustle of the last few days, my own writing has certainly taken a back seat. But I am admittedly feeling a tad overwhelmed (in good and bad ways), so I’m going to make sure I take some time tonight to touch base with the story I am working on.

The Comfort of Wood is a fantasy story that has been sitting around for awhile now, and it’s well overdue for completion. I’m hoping to finish the second scene tonight, and then keep working on it from there. It’s the only totally new scene, so it will take me a little while. It’ll be nice to get lost in a fantasy world of my own creation though. Free from earthquakes, free from sadness, free from the huge loss that our whole country is feeling.

Anyways, signing off. I feel the need to give my girls some more hugs. My heart aches for all the families affected by the earthquake, but cuddling those girls of mine makes it a little easier to handle.

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A Timeline

I was emailing Karen yesterday and she mentioned that she was trying to do a chapter a day on her novel editing.

I realized that I’d been doing roughly that (though, more like, 2 chapters every two days), and decided that I’d set myself the same kind of timeline. It was amazing to think that within a month, I could be finished this round of editing. In my head I had this lasting forever, or until much later in the year and it was freeing to see that I could get this round finished well before then.

Of course this does mean I need to get two chapters done today, but hopefully that won’t be a problem.

Onto other non-writing things: We’ve pretty much decided on a colour for the kitchen walls, which is fab. The three test pots we got were all wrong but it’s made us realize what we do want and it won’t be hard to find the right one now. I feel good about the decision and think we’ll have a house we really love the look of when it’s all done. Hubby has banned me from painting the hallway though, until the kitchen is sorted, which is a bit sad but he’s doing it for all the right reasons!

I’m yet to get back into the garden, but the weather should be nicer tomorrow so I can get onto it then – planning to get veges in next weekend!

And this morning we had… well, three of my friends and their 6 kids over for morning tea which was chaotic but nice all the same. Hubby was out having a driving lesson with mum (he’s getting pretty comfortable with it by all reports), so it was nice to have a girly catch up. It’s getting harder to get the crew together with more of us working full time, but we’re going to try and do it every other Sunday morning from now on and hopefully it’ll work out! Won’t be long til I am the only mum not working or not too busy for coffee anytime.

Anyway… I managed to get my reviews done for the weekend as well, and am not going to crack into some editing while Lauren sleeps. Hopefully she is down for long enough for me to get at least one chapter out of the way!

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Weeeeeee

I wrote 2,000 words or so yesterday! It felt so wonderful, and I half thought about writing some more, but decided instead that I would just hang out with Hubby, which was nice.

It was also nice going to bed without my story in my head. Recently I’ve been doing my writing just before I try to sleep and have struggled to push it aside and get to sleep. In fact, a lot lately I’m having trouble stopping my thoughts so that I can sleep, but oh well!

We had a great morning today, went out to another session of ‘Tot’s and Toddlers’, where we assist Plunket in teaching groups of teenagers about the realities of parenting. We normally do bath times, but today was a parent interview/play session which the girls both really enjoyed, lots of bubbles and balloons and people wanting to talk to them. Some of the kids had some really good questions as well which was nice, so far we’ve only been to a boys school to do sessions and this one was co-ed, kids who are studying through corespondence rather than at school.

Anyways… last week I emailed Lifeline about volunteering, and how I could get into it, and I finally heard back this morning. The guy is going to phone me to chat about it and send out the information. They are in the middle of a course, and if I have training in ‘listening skills’ I can probably jump in to this course, which is exciting and scary because I did training for listening skills when I worked for the police as an emergency call taker. It was awhile ago though. Who knows! I’m excited that it could happen this quickly, but also nervous – it’ll be the first type of ‘work’ I’ll have done outside the home in more than three years. Three years feels like a really long time.

I best make the most of having Hubby home this afternoon I think, though more often than not he’s a distraction rather than a help, lol a good distraction though!