author, Short Story, writing

Love Between Weavers: A Short Story

Alette scanned the clear blue water surrounding her as she pursed her lips. Eryx had been here the day before on his kayak. He usually went out on the lagoon every morning, he said it was perfect training for the lakes nearby. Not too shallow and not too deep. Crystal clear with no waves – the perfect conditions. But he never returned. It had been days and Alette had finally had enough of waiting.

She waded into the water, careful with every step she took. Her slender fingers traced the top of the water, gently coaxing it for information. She felt the power surge through her hand, drawing up the memories that the water held.

The lagoon swirled under her touch and liquid figures rose from the water. Alette recognised her brother, but the other person was unknown. The mystery figure seemed to yell something before pulling Eryx out of his boat and across the water.

Her concentration broke and the water fell lifelessly back into place. Something had moved in the corner of her eye. Alette waded across the bank, fear drowning her senses as she recognised her brother’s most important possession. The kayak had washed up on the banks of the lagoon, broken beyond repair. Black burn marks snaked around the base, identifying the perpetrator that attacked Eryx. A fire weaver.

But that didn’t make sense. The water weavers and fire weavers had a truce. There hadn’t been an attack in nearly 30 years. The mystery figure also pulled Eryx across the water, almost like an air weaver.

“Crap,” muttered Alette. “What the hell happened?”

“Alette?” She spun around, frowning as her mother stared her down from the trees. “What are you doing?”

“I’m looking for Eryx.”

“That is not your job. The trackers are on the mission.”

Alette sneered. “The trackers didn’t even come here. They’re useless. The water showed me that Eryx was taken – his kayak is broken. He was attacked!”

Her mother glanced at the kayak, her brows knitting together. “The water and fire weavers have a truce, Alette. We cannot break that truce because of this.”

“They already broke it attacking Eryx!”

Her mother silenced her with a single-hand movement. “That is enough, Alette. Return to the village and allow the trackers to do their work.”

Alette grumbled under her breath but didn’t protest. Her mother was an Elder, one of the most powerful weavers in the village. No one dared to disobey her, especially not her children.

Alette quietly walked back to the village. Anger seethed within her, but she refused to give up. She had to find her brother. As soon as night fell and the village went to bed, Alette made her way out of the cottage and back to the shores of the lagoon. It glistened in the moonlight, the surroundings reflecting in the mirror-like surface.

She knelt beside the water’s edge, carefully tracing her finger along the still water. She felt something within the lagoon, something was not right. Alette waded into the water and started to swim. She could feel something pulling her from the centre, something important. The water worked with her strokes, urging her forward faster and faster. It sensed her desperation. Her magic crackled on her skin, giving the water life around her body.

Once she reached the centre, she dived under. The water magic allowed her to breathe underwater as she dove deeper, determined to scour the bottom for any clues.

Her jaw almost dropped as she recognised something at the bottom. It was another kayak – it was light in colour and the mark of the air weavers was branded on the side. It was undamaged, apart from the water embracing it as a new piece of the lagoon. She gently touched the edge, shock racing through her as images echoed in her mind. She closed her eyes and focused on what was being shown to her.

Eryx appeared, unharmed. He smiled, his blue eyes twinkling as he embraced a young girl with jet-black hair. They each stood on a kayak, embracing each other perilously across the cracks.

“They suspect something,” whispered the girl. “We can’t keep meeting on the lagoon. They’re following me.”

Eryx held her tighter. “I’ll protect you, Vita.”

The girl broke the embrace. “How? What are we going to do?”

Eryx gripped her arm and turned, seeming to face Alette. “Alette will protect us. We will leave, flee the area, and she will protect us. Won’t you, Alette?”

She couldn’t respond, but Eryx smiled as if she did. “Thank you,” he said. “I will always love you, dear sister. But I need to be with Vita. I knew you would find this message. Only you could control the water to see images and sense the emotions hidden within the lagoon.”

The young girl, Vita, bowed her head. “Thank you for protecting our secret. The air weavers and water weavers have always been on rocky relations. I was due to marry an Elder’s son, but I cannot. I love Eryx, and only Eryx.”

“Maybe one day we will see you again, dear sister. For now, I love you. Goodbye.”

He crossed onto the other kayak, holding onto Vita tightly as he set fire to his kayak. Fire engulfed the wood, damaging the kayak beyond repair. There was no turning back for Eryx.

Alette’s eyes shot open, and the water propelled her to the surface. She took deep, shuddering breaths, calming her heart and mind. They’d used air weaving to send her a message. A message only she would see. As she swam to shore, Alette willed the water to bury the air kayak. Nobody could know what her brother had done. She would protect him, no matter what.

author, tips, University, writing

10 Tips To A Successful University Semester

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Oh the grind of University! It’s very different with a child in tow but I find that tips are pretty universal – sometimes you just have to work around a baby!

1. Attend your classes (even if they’re online videos)

It can really suck attending classes, and sometimes the lecturer is the most boring person alive. However, classes are very important to attend. Useful questions are asked and confusing concepts are clarified during classes. It can be hard finding the motivation to attend, especially when your classes are online, but it is incredibly beneficial.

2. Find a quiet spot to study

“Wisdom grows in quiet places.”

Austin O’Malley

This is an essential factor for me. I can’t study when it’s noisy or busy around me. I need a nice, quiet spot to focus my mind and get me into the zone to study. I didn’t think noise or actions around me would be so distracting, but boy they are. A quiet zone is peaceful and perfect study space!

Obviously for me I can’t study while bubba is awake – it’s way too noisy. I try to study while he’s asleep and get a quiet space to study and attend my classes (mainly our study).

3. Finish assessments early

It sounds kind of lame, but finishing assessments early is amazing. Not only do you feel productive, but you also have time to go over those assessments again and revise them. Most people have experienced an all-nighter, I certainly have, but it is incredibly beneficial to spend extra time editing and revising days before an assessment is due.

4. Planning

For me, planning is soothing. I enjoy being able to plan out my day, week and month in advance. It helps me keep track of what I’m doing and when I need to have things done by. It is really helpful to plan out your days or weeks in advance so that you know what you need to do in the week and when you have time to study. It also helps to keep track of assessments and know what is due and when.

5. Take notes, and then re-write said notes

This is something that really works for me in my psychology degree. I take physical notes during classes and then I re-write those notes onto my computer after the classes. I find it’s a good way to revise topics and imprint these concepts into my mind. It helps remind me of what I learnt in the class and I can look up things I didn’t understand while writing out those notes.

6. Take breaks

Breaks are super duper important for productivity! It’s useless to spend hours staring at books or computer screens and continuing to study the same thing over and over. You need to take breaks to rest your mind and your eyes in order to remain productive.

7. Get plenty of sleep

Orange Cat Sleeping on White Bed

On that previous note, sleep is so incredibly important during University! Your body and brain needs sleep to rejuvenate and refresh. You need to get good sleep in order to keep your brain functioning and able to understand new concepts. You also need sleep in order to remain healthy and able to study and attend classes. Lack of sleep leads to lower immune systems and, put bluntly, disaster!

8. Try not to procrastinate

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”

Pablo Picasso

It sounds stupid to say, but sometimes it needs to be said. Procrastination is a useless venture and, I admit, it is a hard habit to overcome. It’s quite easy to become distracted with other things and out off your work until the last minute. It is so important to catch yourself when you’re doing these things and force yourself to go study or do your assessment. Procrastination gets you nowhere, you need to focus and try to remain focused until the semester is over!

9. Take care of your mental health

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”

Glenn Close

I am 100% a major mental health advocate (must be something to do with the psych degree). It is so important to take care of your mental health, especially during a University semester. Uni can be so stressful and hard that your mental health might decline, which is very common. It’s important to eat well, exercise and see a professional if you feel your mindset slipping. It is hard to get through Uni, but even harder with mental illness weighing you down. Make sure you take time for yourself and know your limits!

10. Coffee, coffee, coffee!

Cup of Coffee on Saucer

For me, coffee is life. I love my coffee, it is the breath of life into me each day. But, my main point in this is to find things you enjoy. Find joy in your University life and enjoy each moment spent on campus or doing online classes. It is a long haul, but University is a short stint in your life and you definitely need to enjoy it! For me, I find my joy in having multiple cups of coffee from my favourite cafes on campus. Brings joy to me!

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”

John Maxwell
author, poetry, writing

Dreams: A Poem

In my dreams, I can fly away
across ocean and sea.
In my dreams, I forget the day
I’m allowed to be me.

In my dreams, I dare to cast spells,
and rule over the land.
In my dreams, I collect sea shells,
buried deep in the sand.

In my dreams, there are never fights
only peace, love and joy.
Everything always feels so right,
there’s so much to enjoy.

In my dreams, there are no pains
They release me from my chains.

author, tips, University, writing

Busy: Expectations vs. Reality

Life is crazy. Honestly, incredibly crazy! Being a stay-at-home mum, working from home and studying my Masters… it’s just hectic. I know I touched on all this in one of my recent blogs but I didn’t realise just how busy things would get as the semester started kicking into gear! I was expecting life to get hectic with University thrown into the mix, but my expectations were not reality (isn’t that always the way?)

It’s been about a month since classes went back, which is only 4 weeks out of 10 but holy moly life is chaos! I’m having to work on my coursework after dinner and trying to work throughout the day.

It’s bringing a bit of mum guilt into my life. I was fine previously, I would work while bub napped, but he’s older now and only naps twice a day. I can’t effectively work and do my studies just during his nap times so it’s starting to spill into his wake times.

He’ll be playing beside me and I’ll be in a lecture. I’ll be finishing up some work while he’s rolling on the floor. I need to do all this, and I love studying and being able to work but the mum guilt is real!

It’s still a work in progress but I do have a basic routine now. I’m trying to spend as much time with bubba as possible when he’s awake but I also know I need to meet deadlines and so I sometimes work while he’s playing. I’m still with him and can interact – it’s not 100% attention all the time but I’m doing my best!

I’ll take each day as it comes and continue juggling my days as best I can – once this semester is over it’ll be a lot easier!

author, Short Story, writing

The Hunted: A Short Story

There weren’t always dragons in the valley. Dragons had been extinct for years, and although there used to be dragons roaming the land, the land had been void of them for so long. There weren’t always dragons in the valley, until one cold winters day started to change the world as we know it.

“Genevieve, has your brother returned?” My mother shuffled towards me; concern etched on her face. “It is nearly sundown.”

“I know Mama,” I replied, turning my ice blue eyes towards the horizon. “He only went to gather wood for the fire. I can go find him?”

“Please do. We cannot be out after dark.”

My mother pulled her shawl tightly around her thin shoulders, her curly black hair caught between her neck and the fabric. She hurried back into the cottage, escaping the sharp breeze outside. I frowned as I examined the forest. William should have been back by noon.

I stepped carefully as I made my way through the forest. You never knew what was lurking around a corner. It was dangerous to be in the forest, especially after dark. I figured William would have gone to the Valley, that’s usually where he collected the wood from. It was empty and dark, but there was always plenty of downed trees. I hurried to the edge of the forest, desperate to collect him before the sun set.

A shriek escaped my lips as I emerged from the trees. Large eyes were staring down at me. The creature roared and large wings flapped, the wind knocking me to the ground. I heard a shout and my brothers arms encased me.

“What the hell?” I whispered, clutching onto him.

William carefully drew me to my feet. “It’s a dragon,” he breathed, excitement in his voice. “A dragon.”

“But they’re extinct.”

He shook his head and pointed at the creature. Large scales covered its body, glistening in the setting sun. Its amber eyes pierced through me, studying me. Wings beat in a steady rhythm, keeping it above the ground. It was a dragon.

“How?” I asked. “How is there a dragon here?”

“I don’t know,” replied William. “I got here this morning and it was here. It had injured its wing and I couldn’t leave it.”

“We have to tell the Elders.”

William gripped my arm tightly. “They’ll kill it. They can’t ever know.”

“That’s a crime,” I growled. “We need to tell the Elders of a dragon existing. It’s law.”

“She’s innocent,” replied William. “Please Genevieve! She’s gentle, she doesn’t deserve to die for just existing!”

I glanced at the dragon. A shiver went up my spine as its eyes connected with mine. A dragon was unheard of; they had been hunted to extinction. Its eyes softened as it stared at me, and it slowly lowered itself to the ground. It looked less threatening by the second.

“Fine,” I replied. “I won’t report it, but it can’t stay here. The Elders will find it.”

“Her,” he said. “The dragon is a female.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. “It doesn’t matter William. What are you going to do with it… her?”

“I think she’s lost. There’s others, I’m sure of it. She needs to get back to her own kind.”

“How are you going to do that?”

William pulled a small device from his pocket. “I created this,” he whispered. “I didn’t know I could… but I felt desperate, I had to help her… and then this appeared. It is showing me the way to go, I think it’s where other dragons are.”

My eyes widened. “Magic?” I breathed. “But that’s impossible. Magic has been lost for centuries.”

“Since the dragons disappeared.”

Something clicked in my mind. “You don’t think that the old magic is tied to the presence of dragons, do you?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe it was in us the whole time and we never knew to use it? Maybe it is tied to dragons? I don’t know. But I feel it in my heart that we need to protect her.”

I sighed. “Mama is not going to like this.”

“She doesn’t need to know. Telling her will only implicate her. We need to keep her safe, keep her in the dark from it all.”

“What are we supposed to tell her? We’re going on a trip Mama, bye?”

William frowned. “You’re staying with her.”

“No, I’m not. You’re not doing this alone.”

“She needs you, Genevieve. We can’t both go; she needs one of us.”

I knew he was right, but I didn’t want to admit it. “The sun is setting. We need to get home.”

William nodded. He gently patted the dragon’s head. “You can follow us but be quiet. We’ll leave in the morning to find your family.”

The dragon let out a gurgle and gently flew into the air. It was barely visible as it soared the skies above us. We hurried back to the hut. The forest was full of creatures that emerged during the night, it wasn’t safe to be out while it was dark.

I saw a bright orange light as we neared the edge of the forest. It looked almost like flames. I stumbled as I watched it grow brighter and brighter.

“Fire!” yelled William. “Mama!”

We sprinted to the cottage. The Elders were surrounding it, watching the flames as they soared into the sky. The oldest, Theodore, turned towards us as we approached. “This may be an incentive, William,” he hissed.

“Mama!” I shrieked. “Where is she? What have you done?”

He sneered. “She is gone. A simple warning. You will be next unless William gives us the dragon.”

William’s eyes widened. “How did you know?”

Someone shuffled behind Theodore. His son, Arthur, stared us down. “I saw it,” he said. “I heard what you were saying. You were going to hide it from us.”

William twitched. “So, you decided to kill our mother?”

Rage simmered inside me. Our mother was sickly. She did nothing wrong, she was always loyal to the Elders. Always. William placed a hand on my shoulder. “We need to go,” he murmured.

The dragon roared overhead, startling the group. She landed beside William, smoke escaping her mouth. He took a step forward, hand brushing her wings. “She is not dangerous,” he said. “I will protect, especially now that you have killed our mother. We will never hand her over to you.”

Theodore snarled and I cried out as one of the other elders aimed an arrow at my brother. It was fast, too fast to dodge. I saw my brother drop like a rock. There was no way he had survived the hit. I took one step forward, staring at my brothers still body. The dragon roared behind me and I felt something surging within. I twitched and stared at our attackers, rage fuelling me. A scream escaped my lips, something warm exploding from my body as I screamed. My hands squeezed into fists and my eyes shut tightly as I screamed and screamed. I felt the power erupt from within me, a magical presence I never knew I had.

I don’t know how long it had been before I felt a gentle pat on my head. The rage left in an instance, and I slowly opened my eyes. The area around me had been flattened, my brothers body the only thing within reach. I glanced over at the Elders. All except one were on the ground, lifeless. Arthur was staring at me with wide eyes. He took a step backwards and violently shook his head. “Power… Too much power! This will be your end!” he screamed before sprinting away.

I collapsed to the ground, crawling over to William’s body. The dragon had already laid next to him, placing a gentle paw on his chest. I could’ve sworn I saw a tear escape her eyes. I gently dusted his face, my tears splashing on him. They’d taken him from me. All over a dragon. One dragon.

She picked him up in his claw and let out a roar before flying off. I let out a sigh and stared up at the sky as rain started to fall. We were on our own now. I had to continue William’s task. I had to get the dragon back to her own kind and away from those that would harm her. I had to protect her from this world, for my brother.

author, University, writing

Rainstorms, Family, and University

It’s been a rainy few months here! It’s been very wet so far and winter is looking rainier than usual! Personally, I love rainstorms and find so much inspiration when it’s raining! On the downside, I have a 9-month-old who would very much like to get outside every so often.

And we’re also back into the grind! University is back in session and it’s a little overwhelming this time around.

I’m in a new degree – it still feels strange to have dropped my psych degree. I definitely feel confident and happy with my decision, but it still feels weird.

Add onto that the fact I’m doing a Masters and not a Bachelor and things get crazy. It’s already a lot harder – more readings, more homework, and harder assessments. But I am really enjoying it.

I’m now trying to figure out how to juggle everything. University on top of working and being home with a child is really tough. Where I would usually write I have to do University and I have to find time in there for working and also still writing. Definitely going to be a busy few months!

My writing may slow down over the next little while – University and my family are more important right now. However, I’m going to try to keep writing a little bit here and there so that I don’t do nothing! That said, I will be writing short stories in my degree so I guess I won’t be stopping my writing at all!

I’m looking forward to November as well. Uni will be over for the year and I’ll be able to get back into writing by going through NaNoWriMo once again! I don’t overly slow down much but that’s okay, I enjoy what I’m doing and they’ll be time for breaks later!

author, poetry, writing

Baby: A Poem

I never knew this kind of joy
Being a mother is so new
Oh, my sweet little boy.

I love to show you a cute toy
And see your gorgeous smile.
I never knew this kind of joy.

I love the cheeky smile you employ
When you know you’ve been silly
Oh, my sweet little boy.

It’s the simple things I now enjoy
Just a giggle or a smile
I never knew this kind of joy

In my life there is so much joy
I get to spend all day with you
Oh, my sweet little boy.

This kind of love is hard to destroy
You melt my heart every day.
I never knew this kind of joy
Oh, my sweet little boy.

Uncategorized

10 Tips to Overcoming Writers Block

So, you’ve just brewed a cup of coffee (or tea) and you sit down to your computer, boot it up and stare at a blank page for what seems like hours. This is a common problem for so many people, called ‘writer’s block’.

I’ve been known to suffer from it, really badly in the past, and it can feel like a huge smack in the face. You want to write, but you can’t. It’s devastating, but there are some simple tips that can help to overcome the accursed block.

These are the 10 things that I either do when I have a block or have set up to try to prevent a block

1) Get outside

You have to give yourself some time to get distracted and embrace your imagination. I find that going outside, even for 10 minutes, can help my mind to start roaring with ideas again. Sometimes you are too set on the writing and trying to get words onto paper, but you need to take time to live in order for those ideas to come.

“How vain is it to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Go on a short walk, go to the movies or go on a date. The smallest things can ignite your mind and create the perfect scenario for the creativity to flow.

Listening to other people’s conversations, seeing the wind blowing the leaves on a tree or watching something interesting can create the perfect environment for your mind to start churning ideas.

Exercise is another important tool to utilize – I go outside and walk or run when I’m in a bad block and it helps to clear my mind and create the perfect environment for me to write when I get home.

2) Change Your Writing Tool

Although it sounds simple, changing your writing tool could really help with writer’s block. If you usually write on a word processor, try using google docs or shutting it down and using a pen and paper.

Simple changes can even help with writer’s block. Try changing the font or changing the colour of the text. You’d be surprised with how the simplest change could change everything for your writing.

3) Change Your Environment

Changing your environment is invaluable for curing a block. Get away from the desk, or wherever you do your writing, and go elsewhere. Go to the library or a park. Try writing in a coffee shop and see if that helps – or go to a different coffee shop if you already write at one.

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”

– Hilary Mantel

Changing your environment can really help with the day by day monotony of sitting down at your desk and writing. It can help your brain to feel new creative ideas and defeat the block.

4) Create Challenges

If you feel like you’re dragging your feet day after day it might be time to challenge yourself. Try setting a deadline to complete a certain amount of words. Or even try adding fun things into your writing to make it a challenge.

Challenge yourself to create a certain situation, introduce a new metaphor into your current chapter, think of an everyday item and write it into your novel. It’s amazing how much you can get done by setting challenges for yourself and trying to meet those challenges.

Writing prompts and exercises are amazing strategies to use to challenge yourself. If I am really stuck, I look at a writing prompt and then write to that – it’s a fun challenge that helps get the creative process moving.

5) Write Something Else

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”

– Charles Bukowski

It can be hard to write the same story every day. Sometimes you need to blow off some steam and write something else. Check out a writing prompt and write a new story to that, or scribble down some simple ideas.

Think of a tv show or game you love and try your hand at fanfiction or write a short story. Getting your mind off the current story at hand can help you when you go back to it – you might have new ideas or be able to write a whole heap at once!

6) Work on Your Characters or Map Out Your Novel

“Breaking through writer’s block is like thinking out of the box: Both require an ability to imagine a world outside your four walls or rearranging them to get a better view.”

– Susan J. McIntire

If you’re stuck, sometimes it helps to map out your characters or your novel. You need clearly defined characters for a novel, and sometimes using character development exercises can help to renew your creativity.

Try mapping out who your character is or think about how they would respond to different situations.

Mapping out your novel can also help with renewing your creativity. Work on a simple outline and map out what kind of trajectory your novel will take. If you map it out, you might find that your mind starts to figure out how to continue the story and overcome the block.

7) Eliminate Distractions

Distractions are so numerous in our day and age. Phones buzz, emails appear, and YouTube always has videos of funny cats to watch. It can be hard to stay focused with the numerous distractions around.

It’s hard sometimes to summon the willpower to stay focused. Sometimes you need to unplug from the internet and turn off your phone, focusing all your attention on the writing.

Ask your friends and family to not message you for a certain period of time or write at a time that they won’t distract you.

Sometimes you may need a little helping hand, and there are so many websites and applications now that will block sites and notifications and force you to just write.

8) Do Something Else

I said previously that getting outside was a great way to break writer’s block. However, you don’t always have to leave the house. Simply doing something else can help you to overcome the block.

Make a scrapbook, paint, mess around on social media or read a book. Do something else that stops you from thinking about the novel for a time. You need to give yourself time to get distracted and take a break from writing.

Pick a random movie on Netflix and watch it the whole way through. Talk to a friend on the phone or chat with your family members. Cook a meal or take a shower – the simplest activities will give your mind a break and time to rejuvenate.

9) Create a Routine

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

– Jack London

I am a big lover of routine. I set my alarm at a certain time every morning, I map out each of my days and I have a time block to write. I find you need to set habits in order to become as creative as possible.

Find a time that works for you, whether it be night like me, morning or even during the day. Find when your creativity is highest and set that as your writing time.

If you make writing a habit, you will eventually be successful with your writing. Writing takes practice and you need to ensure that you write each and every day in order to improve and continue writing.

“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.”

– Lili St. Crow

10) Just Write

It might sound simple, but it really is a fantastic way to break a block. You may be staring at a blank page for some time but remember this tip and just start writing. Whatever comes to your mind, write it down.

It can be hard to write through a block, but it works. If you have a muscle cramp, you stretch it. If your brain is cramping, you need to stretch it and just start writing. Put one word after another and just write.

“Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you.”

– H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Is there anything you do to break writer's block?
author, Short Story, writing

At The End: A Short Story

It’s strange how quickly life seems to fly by. One moment you’re a child, innocent and playing in the dirt, and then suddenly you’re an adult with responsibilities and obligations. In the blink of an eye, you’re old, waiting for your grandchildren to visit you. It’s strange how in my final days my mind continually wanders to my mother.

I remember being little and having my heart broken for the first time. I was six and my crush had told me I wasn’t invited to his party. “Boys only,” he said. Something about cooties may have been mentioned. I was sobbing as you picked me up, unable to contain my feelings. I don’t know how you understood my words through the sobs, but you did. You took me straight for ice cream, telling me that little boys just don’t understand girls yet. You held me in your arms, and I fell asleep in your embrace. I felt so loved and warm. You were my tower, keeping me safe within your loving arms.

I remember being a teenager. Oh, how those teenage hormones run wild. I remember slamming doors and storming around the house like having pasta for dinner was the worst thing in the world. It was my favourite, and you cooked it because you knew it was. I was ungrateful and rude. The teenage mind is confusing, even to me years later. I was thankful for you always caring for me and cooking my favourites. I could see the pain in your eyes when I would scream “I hate you!” but you never retaliated. You just continued to surround me with love.

Years later my boyfriend asked you if he could marry me. I was never close with my father, so you were the obvious choice to ask. I remember you telling me, telling me to not let him know but you were so excited. You loved him and you were so happy for me. I knew you were sad to see me go, but you never showed it for a second. You loved me so much you wanted to see me soar on my own. To marry my love and start my own family.

You looked so proud as you saw me walk down the aisle. You tried to hide it, but I saw those tears. I had my grandfather walk me down, more of a father to me than my own. He wasn’t able to walk you down the aisle and he was ecstatic at walking me down. You were so happy to see that day. Happy for me and everyone else. You hugged me tighter than I have ever been hugged in my life on that day.

I remember your face when I told you I was pregnant. I tried to surprise you, but you saw straight through me. You were overjoyed, excited for this next chapter for me and you. A new dynamic was coming. You were going to be a mother and a grandmother.

The first time you laid eyes on my son I saw so much love and joy. Your little grandson was perfect. Healthy and happy. You held him with tears in your eyes. I remember you kissing his little head and then cuddling me. “Great job mama,” you whispered. Those words sunk into my heart and happy tears flooded the room.

Years later you were babysitting, keeping an eye on the little ones while I had to duck to some appointments. You loved every second of it, playing with them in the backyard, showing them how to collect eggs from the chickens and how to water the veggies right. When I got back, you told me I was a great mum. I never told you how much I appreciated hearing you say that, but it was a marvellous feeling.

I remember visiting you in hospital. You were still young, only in your 60s. You weren’t supposed to be leaving us yet. You were sick, so very sick. I hugged you so tightly and cried so hard. Losing my mum was never a thought on my radar, and now I was facing it head on. You told me to be strong and that you would always be looking over me. You told me you loved me, and that was the last thing I ever heard you say.

Mum, I never told you this… thank you. For everything. I’m one of the lucky ones who had an amazing, loving mother. I’ve missed you ever since you left this world. I can’t wait to see you on the other side.

author, writing

Submitting A Book For Publication

This feels absolutely surreal! I didn’t know if I was going to make my goal, but I did! It’s not exactly submitted for publication but it’s definitely a big step! I entered my novel into a novel competition, a huge one run by Allen & Unwin.

I don’t know how it will go, but I feel so much pride and joy over the fact that I finally edited my book to completion and was able to feel confident enough about it to send it in! It’s definitely intimidating, but so very worth it!

I won’t know about the results of the competition for quite a long time. I’m going to start cracking on a new book while waiting! Even if I don’t win the competition, I’m happy that I finished my novel and I can always send it in to publishing companies if I don’t win!

Finally finishing my novel is just so crazy. I was beginning to think it wouldn’t happen! But I was able to crack through everything and I got it done! I really needed a push to get it done, and once I got that push I smashed through the rest of the editing and here we are!

Fingers crossed I hear back and double fingers grossed that I win!!