9 yo has been nagging to go swim so today we are doing that. It works for me too as I brought along this…
It’s ugly, but it works. #amplotting now is good for #amwriting just now.
How’s your Saturday treating you?
A Writer’s Life: I’m living the dream
Living as a writer. That’s the dream. A book or two out there being read by real people, a multi-book contract with a real publisher. It all sounds so exotic, surreal. To die for, daahling.
Here’s the thing… I’m living the dream but my life somehow missed the memo. Or maybe it didn’t. Maybe it read it, had a good chuckle, scrunched it up and aimed at the bin. And missed.
So my plan is to throw back the curtains on just what an average #writerslife looks like. Here’s #1.
Slept 5 hours last night. Chasing words, you ask? Er, no. Gluing sequins and bathing in glitter to make a mask for my 15yo’s school dance tonight. My hands won’t come clean. Look-
You should see my lounge. Kiddo is happy, so it’s all good.
I’ve just signed a contract with Pelican / Watershed for a 3 book YA series called Spirit Walker. *Pinches arm* I keep checking just to make sure that the contract is real and not one of those so-real-you-can-smell-the-coffee dreams. Each time I look, there it is, all signed and beautiful. It is truly the stuff that I hardly dared dream of way back when I first had the crazy thought that I should try writing books.
So have you ever wondered what an author does after signing something like that? Exotic things involving corks and fine crystal? Nope. Painting the town red, hiding from the hordes of screaming fans? Uh, not quite. I went to my little girls room (that’s her up there on the beach) and finished cleaning up dirty dishes and clothes. There you have it. Exciting stuff, hey? Hehe.
But the fact is, now the truly exciting bit starts. You see, a contract is a beautiful thing because it comes with a deadline. The beauty of a deadline is that it gives me permission to get lost in my head. It gives me permission to hide away in my room and hunt words. It gives me permission to say no to some things because I seldom have the guts to do that all by myself.
How about you? What is your big dream and what’s stopping you from going for it?
I clearly remember meeting my Hayley for the first time. Labor took 4,5 hours (short compared to most), a few pushes and some tugging. Then they handed me this squishy bundle of wrinkled skin – pale, blueish and not too charmed at facing the big world. I was smitten. To me, there’d never been anything more beautiful than this shivery miniature person in my arms and I couldn’t wait to show her off to anyone who cared to spare a moment. The other two arrived slightly differently, but the feeling was the same. An overwhelming love unlike anything I’d felt before. Fast forward 16 years and look how they’ve grown… From the left Carmen (my niece – well done Barbs!) and my Bronwyn (6), Hayley (nearly 16) and Nikita (13).
Many writers use the whole pregnancy/baby/birth analogy to describe the process of getting a book out. I don’t think of my books as my babies, but I do love them and opening the Final Cover Art email from my publisher was nothing short of terrifying. What if it misrepresented my story? Or the designer picked all the colors I detest? Don’t forget, I’m a writer. I live in a world of worst case scenarios.
I took a deep breath, double-clicked and found this:
Wow, what a moment. I love it! From the slip-slops (they put in the slip-slops!) to the way the beach sand trails off into the distance, the color of the water offset against the sky and most of all the little girl in her too-big shades – just like my girls used to.
I am smitten and I can’t wait to show it off. Thank you for having a moment with me!
I’ve had this post regarding new years resolutions brewing for weeks now and I thought it would be best to get it out before January is over. Good plan, yes? Did you make any? How is that working out for you?
I don’t do resolutions for the simple reason it’s like drawing a line in the sand. The moment that groove appears, I am filled with an overwhelming urge to slap my big, hairy toe over it. It’s not that I’m a rebel. I’m just genetically bent towards sabotaging myself.
So I had this discussion with Jesus about 2014. All the normal stuff – what should I get involved with, what needs to be priority… what time-suckers should be hacked off and destroyed as hazardous radioactive energy-zapping waste. I want this year to be different. One thing that already is (different), is that I’m a proud owner of a Kindle. A friend (you know who you are!) bought me one and I’m smitten. I love that it has a little line on the menu for ‘syncing and downloading’. Click on those words, and you have whatever books you’ve ordered at your fingertips in seconds.
That’s when He switched the lights on. It’s got nothing to do with deciding my priorities using my brain and limited knowledge of what this year holds, and everything to do with getting in sync with Heaven and downloading His latest blueprints. The access is instant and the download, immediate. And the best part? You can hit that little line 20, 50… 100 times a day. The Kindle doesn’t mind and neither does God. If there is anything new, you’ll be on the receiving end. If not, He won’t get irritated with you for asking.
Here’s to a year constructed according to His perfect blueprint!
We have 3 cats. You can read about how we got them here. They are sisters, so they share genes. They’ve grown up in the same home – ours – and we’ve done our best to make sure they get equal rights, privileges and love. In spite of that, their personalities are completely unique.
This is Gwinny. Short for Guinevere. She is a complete lady, secure in her charms. Having perfected the art of the flop, she can melt hearts in 2 seconds flat. All she needs to do is run across the room with the purring-meow thing she does, flop on your lap (your book, your work, your laptop … the effect is the same) and you are hooked. Smitten. Stuck until she moves. She is the fluffiest of the three and somehow commandeered the soft fur genes.
The beauty on the right is Ginger. Her fur is more coarse and from day one, she has been less open to being loved.
The third is Sleepy and she doesn’t feature in today’s thought. Sorry Sleepy.
Back to the other two – I love cats. In spite of hideous cat allergies, they make a house a home and add so much life and love. But here’s the thing that struck me – Gwinny lets me love her. When I bend down to rub her head, she purrs and pushes against my hand. Ginger cringes and pulls away. Not all the time, but mostly.
Guess who gets the most evidence of my love.
I love each cat just as much as the others, but that’s not what it looks like to someone who doesn’t know me. That got me thinking about God and His love for us. When He draws close to show us how much He loves us, do we press into His hand, secure in His love, enjoying His attention? Or do we pull away?
There are many reasons to hold back, to be wary of opening up to Him. I know that. But I also know that not one of those reasons comes from His heart.
Interesting thought, hey?
I’ve been scarce here, I know. I do poke my nose in to check up on you every so often. Quietly, like a mouse. Or a stalker. Just kidding. 🙂
So what have I been up to… I finished Finding Mia in the first half of the year. It’s with a publisher and I should get the thumbs up or down by the middle of October. The second half of the year was taken up with putting on a stage show UnHinged. That all went down last week and I’ve slowly been finding my brain since.
Here are some pics of the action on stage, taken by the legendary WolfWorx. The mastermind behind WolfWorx is Brian – a photographic artist. He also blogs right here on WordPress so pop over and say hi..
2013 also saw my first words in print in a book rather than a magazine. Not Your Mothers Book on Home Improvement is a fun anthology all about misadventures in DIY. My contribution is 1 tiny story out of 65! Haha! But I love small beginnings, because they have a tendency to grow into bigger things.
For some even bigger news – I actually read a book this week. From start to finish, in a day. It was glorious! The kidlets were a little shell-shocked at having to make their own lunch, but I called it tough love and moved on.