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!

author, Short Story, writing

Escape From WhiteHaven Line: A Short Story

“Michelle? Michelle?”

I groaned as Jane called my name. “5 more minutes,” I moaned. It wasn’t bright outside, so it must still be early.

“Wake up you lazy sod!” she exclaimed. “We’re on a bloody train.”

“We’re at home,” I snapped back. “Calm down.”

“Open your eyes numbnut! We’re on a bloody train!”

I groaned and cracked my eyes open, quickly jerking awake as I realised she wasn’t being a turd, we were actually on a sodding train. “What the crap?” I demanded. “How the hell did we get here?”

“Good question, genius.”

I glared at her. Sisters were the absolute worst. “If you’re so smart then you tell me how the hell we ended up on some random ass moving train.”

Jane shrugged, her brown eyes flickering in frustration. “I don’t know how we got here,” she said. “I woke up here and you were snoring away.”

“I don’t snore.”

“You can’t hear yourself when you’re sleeping. You snore like a bloody freight train.”

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. Where’s mom?”

Jane stared at me. “We were alone when I woke up. I don’t know where she is.”

“So we’re alone on some random train? This is stupid. Who the hell brought us here? Who kidnaps two teenagers and plonks them on a bloody train?”

“Can you stop yelling at me?” snapped Jane. “I woke up like 2 minutes before you.”

A twinge of guilt passed over me. She was scared and I wasn’t helping alleviate her fears at all. I was the older sister, I had to be calmer. I couldn’t let her panic. “Sorry,” I murmured. “This is just bloody weird. Let’s see if we can get out of this carriage.”

I scooted out of the train seat and walked up to the door. It didn’t open automatically like train doors usually do. I tried to pry it open but it wouldn’t budge, we were trapped inside this carriage. I peered out the nearest window – none of the surroundings looked familiar and it didn’t feel like the train would stop anytime soon.

“There’s nothing in here,” muttered Jane. She was crouching by some other seats, trying to see if anything was hiding underneath. “We’re in our PJs and there’s like nothing in this whole carriage. Nothing belonging to us or anyone else.”

PJs? I glanced down at myself and swore. I just had to pick today to put on my bloody bunny pyjamas. How embarrassing. I sighed and stared at the abnormally clean carriage. “When do you ever see a train this clean?” I asked.

Jane shrugged. “Never,” she replied. “But there’s usually a heap of people around as well.”

“Exactly. It’s quiet, there’s no one else in this carriage and it’s clearly been cleaned remarkably well. What kind of train is this?”

“Not like any I’ve seen.”

I frowned, continuing to examine the small carriage. A vent was above the door, I wasn’t sure if it would lead anywhere but maybe it was worth a go. It was too small for me, but Jane was petite. She may be able to scoot through to the otherside.

“No way,” said Jane suddenly. “I know what you’re thinking and there’s no chance.”

“It’s our only way out,” I replied. “You have to go through and try to unlock the door from the other side.”

“You make it sound so easy,” she grumbled.

“Stop complaining. It’s either you scoot through that vent or we wait here to die.”

“You don’t know that we’re going to die.”

“Why else would we be on some random train with no tickets, no belongings and wearing our PJs? We were kidnapped in the middle of the bloody night and plonked on a fast-moving train. Something suss is going on.”

Jane hung her head in resignation. “Fine,” she muttered. “Boost me up.”

I grunted as I boosted her up to the vent. “You’ve gotten heavy,” I grumbled.

She shot me a glare. “Speak of yourself,” she snapped back. The grate was ripped off its spot and Jane tossed it to the ground before awkwardly shuffling inside.

“Graceful,” I said.

“I’d like to see you do better,” was the reply.

“Just get to the other side and try to open the door.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Her voice was echoed as she travelled down the vent. I hoped that it would actually lead to the other side of the carriage and not further down the train. Relief washed over me as I heard a grate clatter in the other room – she made it over there.

I heard some grunts and pressed up against the door. “Open it up,” I cried out.

“Help!” she screeched. “Michelle!”

Her blood-curdling screen echoed in my ears and I yelled as I pounded against the door. “Jane! Jane!”

I woke up with a jolt. My mother was gripping my shoulder, worry etched on her face. The train was moving slowly down the tracks, the clickity-clack made my heart beat faster. “You okay sweetie?” murmured my mother. “You were thrashing in your sleep.”

I looked around frantically, not spotting my little sister anywhere. “Where’s Jane?” I asked.

My mother looked puzzled. “Who?” she asked.

What the hell did she mean who? “Jane. My little sister.”

Her brow furrowed deeper. “You don’t have a sister, Michelle. You’re an only child.”

I shook my head. “No, no,” I said. “Jane. She was on the other side of the carriage. She screamed, I need to help her.”

“Jane, calm down.” My mother gripped me tighter, looking around the carriage herself.

A man came over to us, blocking us in our seats. “Delusions again?” he asked.

My mother nodded. “I thought this was over.”

“It’ll be a lifelong battle I’m afraid,” said the man. “We’ll sedate her for easier transport to the institute.”

Fear bubbled inside me. “No!” I screamed. “I have to find Jane! She needs me. You can’t make me forget her! I won’t!”

I felt a prick in my arm and the world started to haze over. “Don’t worry honey,” whispered my mother. “We’re getting you the help you need.”

“Next stop, Whitehaven Station.” echoed the intercom. It was the last thing I heard as darkness consumed me. All I could see was my little sister’s face as I finally embraced sleep.

author, Short Story, writing

A Different Trip: A Short Story

I stared up at the glowing board, carefully doing the math in my head. 2pm boarding. Diaper change at 1:45. Get milk ready on plane. When is he supposed to nap? Will he even sleep in the air?

My husband glanced over at me, concern etched into his eyebrows. I could feel my leg jigging up and down, a nervous twitch I never outgrew. My son was playing in the stroller, happily smashing toys together, oblivious to his mothers distress.

“We were allowed his diaper bag to carry on, right?” I questioned, suddenly doubting everything I’d heard from the staff.

“It’s fine,” replied my husband.

He sounded slightly annoyed. How many times had I asked that? So many scenarios were running through my head. What if they didn’t let us bring his bag on? What if they think we stole this airport stroller? What if the plane leaves without us?

“Stop,” grumbled my husband. “You’re going to start an earthquake.”

The jigging. The stupid leg jig. I pushed my hand down into my leg, determined to stop it moving. Stupid habit.

I heard our flight announcement over the speakers. Boarding opening for parents with children. Our turn. I quickly ducked into the parents room and changed the diaper. We hurried to the gate. I knew he was starting to get grumpy, nap time was about 30 minutes ago. Why are planes never on time?

We took our seats, my husband putting our bags overhead while I held onto the diaper bag. We booked him his own seat, even though he didn’t really ‘need’ one. Figured it would be easier to have him between us rather than on our laps. Also saves someone else from sitting next to a baby. Possibly a screaming one.

Take-off was delayed. Baby getting more and more tired by the second. When we finally started to move I quickly whipped out the bottle and started feeding him while we took off from the ground. I read somewhere that it’s supposed to help. He was still fussy though so I don’t know how well it actually worked.

He wasn’t happy being contained on a plane. He finally fell asleep in my arms and that’s where he stayed for hours. Not comfortable at all, but it was more important to me that he sleep. The hours went by incredibly slowly. I watched a few movies, desperately hoping to fall asleep. But sleep never came for me.

My husband was fast asleep beside me. Since I had to hold bubba he was able to spread over two chairs. More room for him, less for me. I knew he’d sleep, but it still made me mad. I couldn’t sleep and had a baby in my lap. Felt somewhat unfair.

We finally started descending. Baby woke up as we started dropping in the sky – the air pressure wasn’t comfortable for me, so it must have been really hard for a little bubba. My husband made a bottle quickly. The air pressure change was irritating him and although I was still unsure the articles were right I was willing to give it a go. I started feeding him as we descended, desperately hoping that the bottle trick did actually work. I think it had some impact, at least he wasn’t screaming. When we finally landed bubba was happy. I was exhausted.

We waited for everyone else to depart the plane. It wasn’t worth fighting the crowds with a baby – he’d get grumpy surrounded by a lot of people. My husband grabbed the carry-ons and we slowly left the plane, smiling at the flight attendants as we finally departed.

“Well, that wasn’t so bad,” said my husband.

I’ve never been as mad as I was in that moment. Easy. Easy for him. It did go better than I expected but I’ve never been so tired in my life, not even when bubba was a newborn.

author, Short Story, writing

Return To The Abyss: A Short Story

The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. I stared out my window, unable to pull my eyes from the sight. A candle was burning, there was no mistake about that.

My family and I lived within view of the old, abandoned cabin. Despite begging for a different room for years, my window stared straight at the creepy cabin. There were many different rumors about what happened there – an old man who was killed, an old witch coven, a woman murdering her own children, and the most recent rumor, the gateway to hell.

I never believed any rumors. They were all farfetched and strange… but I still hated looking at that cabin every day. I often kept my blinds shut so I didn’t have to see it, but tonight, of all nights, it was too damn hot to keep my window closed.

The cabin was abandoned. It was definitely abandoned. There had been no sign of life in years. I recoiled from the window when I saw a shadow pass by the burning flame. “What the hell?” I muttered, finally tearing my eyes away.

I hurriedly shut my blinds, resigning myself to sleeping in the heat rather than staring at the candle all night. I felt an insatiable urge to go up there. I had to check it out. But, I wasn’t stupid… I’ve seen horror movies. I would go check it out in the morning when the sun was bright and nothing could hide under the cover of the moon.

Sleep did not come easy. My mind was racing, conjuring ideas of what was happening in that old cabin. The most reasonable explanation was that someone broke in and was doing something there, like some teenagers hooking up. But that also felt unbelievable… no one ever trespassed. Everyone was too afraid of the old cabin.

I knew my family wouldn’t be awake for a few hours after the sun rose, and as soon as light spilled into our house I raced out of bed, threw on some jeans and a shirt, and flew out the front door.

Going up to an abandoned cabin on your own first thing in the morning probably wasn’t my smartest move, but I had to know if I was losing my mind or if someone really was at the cabin last night. My body seemed to pull me there, I had a strange urge that I had to go. I had to see what was happening in the cabin.

The shrubbery was thick. No one had travelled the path between our houses in a long time. I vaguely remember my mother taking me down this path when I was younger – when the path was clear and safe. Now, the trees were dense and weeds covered the splintered cobblestone path. I pushed past the thick vines and emerged in the overgrown front yard leading to the old cabin.

My heart skipped a beat as I slowly made my way to the front door. It was hanging off its hinge, creaking slowly as the wind rushed past. The entire area felt eerie and unnatural. Something did happen here in the past, I could feel it in my bones. My eyes scanned the broken porch, familiarity settling in my mind. I felt like I’d been here before.

I carefully navigated the rotting steps and bypassed the creaking door. There was no light within the cabin – sunlight didn’t even breach the fractured windows. I moved carefully, not only afraid that I would fall through the floor but also terrified that I would alert someone that I was inside.

I could feel my heartbeat in my ears. I refused to believe in fairytales or witchcraft, so why was I so afraid? Why did my hair stand on end and my body tremble? I slowly peeked around the corner leading to the dilapidated living area. Old furniture had been covered with white sheets and a layer of dust coated every inch of the room, so thick that I could feel it in my lungs. I could see a candle sitting in the window and my heart started beating faster.

Slowly, I approached the candle, my eyes still darting around the room. I felt like someone was watching me, but there was no sign of life anywhere. As soon as I drew close enough I knew what I had seen during the night wasn’t a hallucination. Warmth still emitted from the candle and fresh wax had dried onto the crumbling windowsill.

Wind brushed past my face, blowing my blonde hair to the side. I was standing at the only window in the room, which was still intact and closed. My breathing grew laboured as the temperature plummeted, fog escaping my mouth with each shallow breath. Something flickered in my peripheral vision, moving quickly out of view.

I internally swore, cursing myself for being so stupidly curious. Goosebumps rose on my arms as I slowly turned, a scream never had the chance to escape as the white figure embraced me.

A familiar and yet terrifying snarl echoed in my ears as my vision blackened. “Welcome home.”

Home. I had forgotten. I was born here, intended to be a sacrifice. Firstborn blood to initiate a ritual. My mother… adopted mother took me. She stopped the ritual from occurring when I was a child. I felt blood trickle down my body as I lay motionless on the ground. Relief flooded my body as the darkness grew closer. My task was complete. My sole reason for existing was coming to fruition. The dark days were about to begin.

author, poetry, writing

Wedding: A Poem

Weddings are always a big deal,
So much music, dancing and love
It almost feels surreal.

There’s always laughter and a good meal,
And love exudes through the air.
Weddings are always a big deal.

I love the way weddings make me feel,
As I remember my own special day,
It almost feels surreal.

Sometimes it doesn’t quite feel real,
To see people so in love.
Weddings are always a big deal.

There is always so much appeal,
In going to a beautiful wedding.
It almost feels surreal.

Weddings can bring families to heal,
And show we can overcome a lot
Weddings are always a big deal
It almost feels surreal.