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author, holidays

Welcome to 2023!

Happy New Year!

It’s officially 2023! Where on earth did 2022 go? It seemed to absolutely fly by! I can’t believe we’ve made it to 2023 – another year but not much is changing right now.

I don’t really do resolutions often. I think New Year’s resolutions often lead to disappointment and feelings of failure if they’re not met. Sometimes resolutions work, and it’s amazing when they do, but more often than not they fizzle out (the gym is always packed the first few weeks of January and then quite rapidly dies down again, just for one example).

I can’t even remember the resolutions I made last year. I know I made some, but honestly, I have no clue what I did. But this year, I’m doing things a little differently. I’m not making any resolutions this year. I’m going to make some goals for the year but no resolutions for me!

I have two main goals for the year. One personal and one professional.

First: I want to be more present for my family. This year I felt out of touch and a bit scatterbrained. I have ADHD which doesn’t help but I feel like I want to be more present with my family. Date nights, family adventures and spending more quality time together is a goal of mine for this year. I still have writing goals and aspirations but I’m going to prioritise my family first!

Second: I want to commit to the last year of my Master’s program and come out the other side with an amazing novella. I’m determined to see through my last year and I am excited to write my novella and see what my supervisor thinks. I really want to be able to publish my Master’s novella and I have a goal to put it forward to a publisher at the end of the year!

These are the only two goals I’ve set for this year. If I don’t completely meet them, that’s absolutely fine. I find that the term ‘resolution’ often leads to disappointment in myself so I’ve rebranded and I’m going to aim for my goals and work on them both throughout the entire year. Any improvement will be achieving my goals!

I love hearing about other people’s goals/resolutions for the New Year and I hope everyone succeeds where they want!

author, holidays

Holidays Are Always Crazy Times

December – January is always wild! There’s so much to do over this month-long span of time and honestly not enough hours in the day to get it all done! There’s decorating, present shopping, present wrapping, food prep and so on before Christmas even arrives! Not to mention wrangling a toddler around!

I do love the holiday season though. Something about Christmas brings me so much joy. I love the music, the decorations and of course spending time with my loved ones! Christmas Day is always busy for us but it’s so much fun. We have lunch with my side of the family and dinner with my husband’s side so the day is very full! Full but exciting.

It’s been even more fun this year with a toddler. Last year he was too young to participate at all but this year he was running around, getting into mischief, eating the food and, of course, ripping open all the wrapping paper. He had an absolute blast.

It’s been an exhausting time but I’m grateful to be able to rest now and recuperate. It’s almost 2023, which is just crazy to believe, and we don’t usually do much for New Years. We might take the little boy to see some early fireworks but other than that we’ll be enjoying a New Years meal at home and reigning in the New Year together.

With that, I’m going to sign off for 2022! See you all in 2023!

author, holidays, poetry, writing

Holidays: A Poem

Holidays are always so fun,
bringing laughter and joy.
I love time with my family,
it’s something I enjoy.

Christmas time is always so great,
as I can sit and play.
I love to see my child’s pure joy,
with his new gifts today.

Christmas is about family,
at least it is for me.
I love to spend time together,
it makes me feel so free.

I know Christmas can be so hard
for so many people.
And I wish them joy, love and peace
though it may be feeble.

author, Short Story, writing

DragonFire: Chapter 1

The villagers knew to never venture into the forest unless they wished to meet their end. Their small village was nestled in the mountains, overseeing nothing but the thick forest below. The forest was known to be the domain of a dragon. To their left was the Kingdom of Ayr, and to the right was the Kingdom of Zeya. Neither had claimed the small village in the mountains, but it was only a matter of time. They bordered two kingdoms and would hold a tactical advantage for whoever dared claim the spot. The villagers believed that the dragon stopped the kingdoms from invading – that it had claimed that village as its own territory, forbidden to both kingdoms. They had never dared to provoke the dragon.

The small village knew that the Kingdom of Zeya had declared war on the Kingdom of Ayr. They took no sides, but they knew the soldiers of Zeya would be upon them before long. The villagers believed they were safe in their village. They believed they were valuable commodities to the Kingdom. They were willing loyal subjects to whomever finally claimed their town and stubbornly refused to leave. Surely, if the soldiers wanted a tactical advantage, they wouldn’t kill villagers aligned with either Kingdom. Surely no Kingdom would massacre innocents. Human ignorance facing down human greed. A recipe for slaughter.

Azur’s ears twitched as screams echoed through the silent forest. She rose from the ground, green eyes peering into the darkness. Flames flickered beyond the mountains, soon engulfing everything in sight. The smoke bellowed across the sky, blocking out the stars. One of the kingdoms had finally made a move. Azur stretched her wings out, green scales momentarily glinting in the moonlight before the gentle glow disappeared behind smoke. She knew the forest would soon be overrun with soldiers, pawns in the game of some greedy emperor. She would have none of it. Her peaceful solitude within the forest was over; it was time to move on and avoid the humans and their issues.

She flapped her wings, ready to leave, when a small whimper stopped her. It was so quiet that no human would have been able to hear. Azur lowered her wings, golden eyes scouring the forest floor for the source of the noise. She soon found it. A small child was stumbling through the trees, burns coating the petite frame. The child’s clothing was tattered, crumbling with each brush of a branch. Charred blonde hair framed the fragile face while emerald green eyes squinted to try to see in the darkness. Small whimpers escaped the child’s mouth as it stumbled sightlessly through the forest. Azur could not fathom why a child was here – had the parents escaped without it? A child would slow them down as they fled, and humans were innately selfish. It made sense. The young child had been abandoned by selfish parents. A strange sensation overcame her as she watched the child walk without direction. She admired the determination and sheer force of will in such a small child.

The inevitable weakness of humans caught up to the child. It made some distance from the mountains but soon collapsed in the forest, doomed to be trampled by enemy soldiers when they raided the forest for survivors. Azur didn’t know why, but the child seemed to call to her. Perhaps she could imbue her knowledge into this small human. Maybe she could change one human from their selfish ways. She had no chicks of her own, no family of her own. Maybe this was meant to be. She scooped the unconscious child up in a talon and deftly flew into the sky. She soared past the small village, glancing down at the flames that now consumed it. The soldiers never intended to keep villagers there. No one would survive the occupation.

Azur flew high in the sky, carefully keeping the child cocooned within her talon. When she reached the haven of the high mountains, she slowly lowered the child to the ground. A bright glow engulfed her, and her dragon form melted aside, leaving the figure of a young woman. Azur cracked her neck, grimacing uncomfortably as she stretched the new form. She rarely took human form; it was too much energy to maintain and far too uncomfortable. But she would not be able to care for this child in her true form. Emerald hair whipped behind her as the wind rushed past. The fog was thick, swirling around each crevice and hiding the mountain from the humans below. Trees were thick and the grass long, still untouched as it had been decades ago. It had been a long time since Azur had been on this mountain. It had been her home long ago until she had been forced to leave. It felt strange to be standing on the mountain again. Especially with a human.

Azur glanced over at the child. Blonde hair spilled over the grass, still long despite the burns. The thin arms were badly burned, and the face scorched. The child was clearly malnourished, likely thrown aside in favor of another. She crouched beside the small child, focusing on the small frame. She could see the power within the child, a power she had not seen in generations of humans. There was a fire burning within – it was powerful, almost dragon-like. Perhaps this was what called to her. The fire burned brighter, slowly turning greener as it grew. Dragonfire. It had to be. Azur had only seen Dragonfire once before and the selfish human had reigned destruction on the dragons. That could never happen again.

Azur needed to stop it. She needed to prevent another human from destroying the dragons. But something within her halted. She couldn’t bring herself to end the life of a small child, especially one who had suffered so much. Maybe she could help the child master her power and use it for the good of dragons rather than devastation. Azur tilted her head and stretched her fingers out, lightly brushing the child’s cheek. A golden glow engulfed the small body, healing every physical injury. When the light faded, the child’s eyes were open. Wide and confused.

“Do not panic,” whispered Azur, clearing her throat. It had been many years since she had last spoken the human language. “What is your name?”

“Elnora,” muttered the child. “Where am I?”

The child had a slight stammer. “You are safe. You are a female? How old?”

The child nodded. “I was born…” she paused, frowning as she concentrated on her fingers. “Three moons ago.”

Humans didn’t understand years or how they passed. They didn’t understand the planet’s rotations, but dragons had seen it all. They knew it all, unlike the humans. The sun disappeared completely behind the moon once a year, giving the moon a halo. This event started each calendar year for the humans. Simple, but it worked. She was only three.

“Why were you in the forest?”

Tears started to trickle down Elnora’s cheeks. “Momma. Momma said we’d be safe there. But momma… momma left me there. She said my little brother was more important. I would only slow them down. I’m too weak.”

Azur frowned. It was exactly what she thought. A small child was abandoned because humans were too selfish to try to take her with them. Pathetic. No dragon would ever leave behind their child. “You are not weak,” said Azur, straightening up. “I would not have brought you here if you were weak. There is strength inside you, child. The strength of a dragon. I would recognize it anywhere.”

Realization crossed Elnora’s face. “You’re a dragon,” she whispered. “The dragon of the forest?”

“That is what the villagers called me. My name is Azur.”

“You look like a human.”

“I can take human form, but it is uncomfortable and hard to sustain. I cannot maintain this form for long, so you must learn to take care of yourself. I will teach you all I know and protect you from the humans.”

Elnora stumbled to her feet, gripping Azur’s tall frame. “You won’t leave me?”

Azur gently patted Elnora’s blonde hair. “I will not abandon you,” she said. “You are now my child; no dragon ever abandons their young.”

“Thank you,” she sobbed. “I won’t let you down.”

“I believe you,” said Azur. “Now come, we have work to do. There is much to teach you before I must return to my natural form.”

Elnora gripped Azur’s hand tightly, almost as if she feared it would disappear. Azur led her further into the mountains, determined to find a place of complete seclusion for herself and her new child. She would raise this child and teach her everything she knew. She would bring forward the fire within, bring out the power within Elnora. She could be a powerful human destined for a better path than other humans. Destined for a path to revive the dragons. That is the hope Azur had.

author, nanowrimo, writing

NaNoWriMo Is Over Again!

It’s over for another year! Honestly, I did not do too well this year. I spoke about my obstacles in the last blog and nothing got overly better over the past week.

For the first time in like… 10 years I did not complete NaNoWriMo. Feels crazy that I didn’t but it’s not the end of the world.

I’m planning on recovering over December and getting my health back on track for January. Sickness has been ravaging the house and I need to feel better, and have my family better, in order to effectively write again.

December is always busy. The holiday season is a mad-rush time and so much is happening. I’m planning on doing some small writing here and there but after the month from hell that was November… I’m excited to rest a bit and recover more.

When January kicks off I will be smashing out the writing! I wrote the first few chapters of my NaNo novel and I’m eager to share the first chapter here with you all next week! Just gotta edit it a little first.

author, nanowrimo, writing

NaNoWriMo: When Nothing Goes To Plan

Honestly, this month has been pure torture for my family. We went through a serious bout of RSV, felt okay for a few days and now we’ve been knocked out with gastro.

My husband is diabetic, so we’ve had to be incredibly careful with him with gastro and we’ve been to the hospital and bed-ridden and it’s been insane.

Somewhat thankfully I caught it first so I’m like… 60% recovered while he’s struggling in the pits of it. But our toddler doesn’t stop and it’s been pure chaos (thankfully no sick toddler yet!)

I am so behind on NaNo that I don’t even want to think about it at the moment. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and that coupled with my ADHD has had me feeling like a failure this past few weeks.

Obviously, I am definitely not! I know it logically and I know it’s okay to not complete a NaNo one year but it is a major bummer. I was really excited to spend the month bunkering down with my writing but it’s ended up being a dreadful November for me and the fam.

I took a step back last week to calm my mind and anxieties and remember that sometimes other things come up and that’s perfectly okay. Writing is always there for me and when we’re all better I can return to writing at my own pace.

I’m going to continue to write a bit for NaNo if we all turn a corner soon. I have a few chapters done but I’m obviously nowhere near the 50,000 word mark and there’s next to no chance I’ll hit it!

And that’s okay! Being the perfectionist I am, it took a bit to be okay with that but there’s nothing wrong with not meeting this deadline. There’s always December or January to make my own deadline and there’s always NaNo next year! We’ll see where I’m at next week when NaNo ends!

author, nanowrimo, writing

NaNoWriMo Weeks 1 & 2: My Reality

NaNoWriMo definitely did not start as expected! It officially kicked off last week right as I came down with a serious sinus infection. My son has been sick as well so it was not a productive time!

I had planned out my time so well but all my planning fell to the wayside with the illnesses ravaging my house. Our health comes first so I haven’t done nearly as much as planned.

We are all on the mend now, thank goodness, and I’m starting to write a bit more each day. I have some serious writing to do to catch up now though! Usually you can break up the word limit into 30 days but now I have basically half that time to fit in almost the same amount of words.

It’s going to be very crazy but I am determined! I may not hit the 50,000 words but I’m gonna do my best to try to get there!

Hopefully there’s no more sickness and I can power on with the writing!

author, University, writing

University Is Over For The Year!

I handed in my last assignment on the 14th of October so I am done and dusted! It’s been a whirlwind semester. Starting a Master’s with a baby is rough. He’s now a toddler and requires more attention as well so it’s definitely been an interesting few months!

I am really looking forward to next year. I have my full-on Master’s classes next year where I spend the whole year doing my thesis. Intense but I’m sure it will be so good. I’m excited to delve into it but I’m also so excited for a rest over the next few months.

The next few months are going to be absolutely filled with writing. I am excited about NaNoWriMo which is starting next week and I’m keen to get a new novel written! It’ll be good for my mind to stretch again and write a novel outside of Uni classes.

I have loved Uni, but having to write to a strict prompt is quite difficult. I can’t wait to write differently and back to my own genres and themes! It’ll be so good! NaNoWriMo will also help kickstart this rusty brain of mine! Get me back into the writing game, bring it on!

author, poetry, writing

A New World: A Poem

Emptiness is all that I feel,
silence my only friend.
My bed cold and the world silent,
the day has come to end.

At first, I felt very hopeful,
life would be different.
I thought change was finally here,
dreamy… magnificent.

I never dreamed we would go back,
worse than things were before.
Thought we finally had a voice,
and basic rights galore.

But once the day is at an end,
and all is said and done,
I feel like we have stepped backwards,
and the end has begun.

The fight will never be over
at least that’s how it feels.
There is so much work to be done,
we fight to take the wheel.

I fight for a much better world,
after the big parade.
A world secure for my children,
a world we will have made.

Women’s history is central,
and celebrations, key.
But the fight needs to continue,
of this, I guarantee.

author, University, writing

Final Countdown For Semester Two

Holy moly this year has been flying by! My first semester of my Master’s degree is nearly over, which is so hard to fathom! I have a toddler and I’m almost on Uni holidays until next year – time is going by so darn fast!

It’s exam block for Uni at the moment. Thankfully I’m not doing a course that requires exams so I’m working on my final assessment pieces instead. All but one was due on over the past few days! It’s been absolutely hectic!

It’s crazy that Uni is almost over. Honestly, it feels like only a few days ago that I was signing up for my Master’s and now I’ve almost finished the first semester! Almost 4 classes down, then only 8 to go!

My last assignment is due on Friday. It’s a doozy for my thesis – getting everything set out and ready to go in order to get a supervisor for the huge thesis year next year. It’s fun to think out my thesis but it is also quite intense. I want to do well and I want the right supervisor for my topic!

I’m going to bury my head in the books for the next few days and get this assignment done so I can relax a bit and prep for NaNoWriMo! Crazy times!