The Pause before the Plunge

The countdown is on for the launch of book two. The second book trailer just went live. I’ve got one manuscript done, poised for the printer, another manuscript waiting to be written, and very little left on my professional plate this week.

I could start writing the second book in the series. I could… but I’m in the self-inflicted ‘pause before the plunge.’ It’s like the ‘in-between courses pallet cleanser’ you eat to make sure dessert doesn’t taste like broiled beef. It’s designed to make sure I don’t write book #1 twice, but that I actually write the second book in the trilogy and ensure that its its own thing. (I’ve only ever written stand-alones up until now). It was supposed to be this beautiful thing…but I’m itching to type. Itching, itching, itching.

So we road-tripped. Off to South Australia for a friends wedding, then off to Canberra for a conference (I didn’t conference. I caught up with my old roomie from University). It was nice to have a little reprieve from reality. Now that hubby is off in Papua New Guinea, its been a little difficult to stick to the pause before the plunge. So I’m doing something rare. I’m posting photos from life! From the road-trip! Here are some things you should know before you view them:

  1. I’m the photographer but husband refuses to pose alone. So he turned the camera on me. Turns out the photographer in me can instruct people on how not to look daggy or awkward when THEY pose, but I’m terrible in front of the lens myself. And I don’t take direction well.
  2. That’s not our car. We had to take it over to South Australia because the brides favourite colour was yellow and the grooms favourite car was a LandRover Defender, and a friend of theirs had a Yellow Landrover Defender. Yay bridal car! It was such an adventure to drive.
  3. There isn’t enough road-tripping and photo-taking in my life. I used to do a lot more photography, but that was before writing became an all-encompassing job. I love it! But I also love photography. Makes me concentrate on the little things. Mindfulness and all that.

Anyway! Photos! Ciao!

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Separation Anxiety and Unrelated Observations

My manuscript has left my hands.

Just like that. Gone. My book-baby is in the hands of a surgeon for the next week. (The surgeon being my proofreader who is doing the final check-over prior to printing.) So I have separation anxiety.

I don’t know what to do with myself. Usually I’d ask my husband. But he is in Papua New Guinea. Cue separation anxiety #2. (Well, not like in a ‘my child has actual separation anxiety’ kind of way. At my age that would be weird). But still. There are two big holes in my week this week. One of them is named “The Remnant: Mark of Elijah,” and the second is named “Patrick.”

So I’ve taken some time to do other things today. Things I normally wouldn’t do.

Thing I did #1: watched really old reruns of “Friends” on Netflix, because watching 20 minutes of comedy every day is said to be good for your health. I’m watching more like 200 minutes because I’m on a health kick.

The observation tied up with thing #1: It is possible that Friends is the only TV series that got less rude as it went on. Most TV shows pull you in with their deliciously family-proof lines until you are good and hooked on the show and then BAM! It goes dirty. And people like me turn off the telly, and grieve the loss of another promising show. I think Friends did that in reverse. They started out seriously crude and then tamed a bit.

Emphasis on the ‘bit’ I’m in the market for another comedy.

Thing I did #2: paid attention to my instagram feed, because its the one thing about my social media presence that is letting me down. Thats what Klout tells me anyway – not that I’m too concerned about this. I currently have a Klout score of 62 which is not too shabby. But still, my instagram following needs work, so I did one of the ‘build your engagement’ suggestions and went to like other people’s stuff. I searched out some hashtags – like #livefolk, or #letsgosomewhere or #happiness. The last one is where I got frustrated.

The observation tied up with thing #2: Most of the happiness quotes seem to come from people who have never struggled to find it. “Inspirational” quotes can be so frustrating like that.

Like “Let your smile change the world but don’t let the world change your smile” or “A single positive thought can change the course of your entire day” or “Happiness is a way of life” – all nice in theory, but take it from someone who has had to take the black dog for a couple of walks around the block – Not that easy. In fact, to those who are going through dark times, those things are straight out offensive. Sometimes the world changes your smile. Sometimes you can’t help it. That’s okay. A single positive thought can change the course of …a single moment in your day. Hang on to that. Book mark it. Revisit it. But don’t expect it to make your whole day great. That may just set you up for failure – and sometimes in life you just don’t wanna do that. Happiness is a way of life…that people who were born happy never have to work for.

Then there are the rest of us. Know what I wanna hear? I wanna hear inspirational happiness quotes from people who struggled to find it, then found it. I wanna hear from the people who faced great darkness and then found great peace. Maybe, one day, I’ll be that person. At the moment, I have a few too many writing jobs lining up. But I just wanted to acknowledge that, if you are trying to find peace or happiness, DONT, I repeat, DONT try to find it on Twitter or Instagram. You’ll just get frustrated. Heck. I got frustrated for you.

Thing I did #3: Cleaned. While hubby is away, my brother’s absolutely lovely girlfriend is coming to stay. I thought I better clean the house before she got here. Which is a thing because I’ve been so flat out getting this deadline on the book good and met, that I’d let the housekeeping slip…just a little.

Observation tied up with thing #3: Wow. Just wow. A house that is so easy to clean, a no kids no pets house, gets crazy dirty when you don’t pay attention to it. So I’ve come to a conclusion. I need a wife.

Backtrack thirty or forty years, and life was a little different. There were far less double income households. More men went out and worked, and their wives more often stayed home. The wife cooked, and cleaned and looked after kiddies. I don’t have kiddos yet. I’m a modern woman in a modern marriage, where we share responsibilities – and by that I mean we take turns visiting the Woolies frozen section and choosing our food from there. This weeks discovery has been that I need a wife to cook and clean for us. Coz that’s not me. (Disclaimer: I’m not changing religions here. And I’m not agreeing with polygamy or whatever. I’m just saying – wow! The modern woman needs a clone so she can get all the things done!) RESPECT! To those women who can do it all. Also not me. But I’m okay with that.

Thing I did #4:  Blogged! I know its been a while.

Observation on thing #4: None. But I think we can all be happy with that.

Thanks for stopping by.

Over and out!

The Gratitude Post

Life’s been rather serious of late. Houses, negotiations, business sales, business start-ups, books, launches, life, etc etc etc. When I sat down this morning, content in the realisation that I didn’t have to do any work on my novel this week (okay, missing it like you wouldn’t believe, but still!), I thought to myself – I’m going to blog. I’m not going to blog serious though.

So this is a ten things I’m grateful for post. Only because, when one gets swamped or when life gets lifey, it can be a little hard to zero in on whats good. Here goes:

  1. Patrick. Sure, he’s my husband so I’ve got to list him. But he’s also a hero of sorts. I’m so lucky. I’m sure I’m not easy for him – creative, quick minds can sometimes be a little fragile, but I’m married to a person who seems to know when to say “Go write that book!”, when to say “Stop and smell the roses.” I do think God made him just for me.
  2. Hindsight. I’m different to most people in that hindsight doesn’t always feel like its that far behind, and memories don’t always fade for me. They stay extremely vivid, in all their glory. But I’m grateful for hindsight because it tells me that in a few years, present tests will be hindsight too.
  3. Siblings. Mine are pictured above, on a spontaneous road trip where we found pine trees, canola fields and a whole lot of mosquitos. I love them dearly. Especially now that I don’t live with any of them. Funny how that happens.
  4. Friends. This past week, mine inundated me with gifts and care. It was lovely, as I’d been rather ill. They’re a loyal and caring bunch. I don’t always give them enough credit for that.
  5. Bubble baths. We are currently looking at renting out the house we own, and renting another for us to live in while we gear ourselves to upgrade. The house we just inspected doesn’t have a bath. I’m not sure how to wrap my head around this. I really love bubble baths.
  6. Plan B’s. We intended to just sell our house and buy another one. Turns out its taking a little longer than we thought it would, but thats okay. Because I’m married to someone who has this ability to think his way through any roadblock. So we are working up a plan B and I love it. It reminds me there is always another way to skin the cat. (Why do people say that? Who skins a cat? Figures of speech are so weird.)
  7. Cameras. As a writer I build worlds. I have to imagine things that aren’t there and bring them down onto paper. I have to take complex science and decode it (when I’m not writing fiction). I adore my job. I truly love it and consider myself lucky, but sometimes I need to focus on something pretty and just snap that. So cameras are wonderful.
  8. Sunshine. It feels good on the skin and on the soul. Spring has just arrived. So have the magpies and swooping season, but I’m good with that as long as we get sunshine.
  9. Roadtrips. Its fun to just be a tourist for a bit. I love it. It breaks the predictability of life for just an hour, or a day, or a weekend.
  10. My own bed. Nothing beats it.

So thats my list. See ya later!