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, 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, 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.

author, holidays, University, writing

Prepping For A Big Month

September is going to be huge! There’s a lot to do during this month and it will be borderline chaos! My sister is getting married, assessments are due and my little boy turns 1!

Things are definitely chaotic. I’m still entering some short story competitions here and there (I was gifted a free membership for Vocal+ which I’m taking advantage of and entering comps there) as well as writing and editing my books. It adds extra things on top of everything else though!

I’m going to take the month of September off writing. Maybe not completely, but I am going to take a breather and not write as often as I normally do. I don’t particularly have the time at the moment to write. I mean, technically I am still writing for University assessments but it doesn’t quite count.

I’ll keep an eye on some short story competitions in case I want to throw in an entry, but I’m not going to put any pressure on myself or try to write because I have to. I do love writing, don’t get me wrong, but it has become my job and I think it’s time for a bit of a ‘annual leave.’

I’ll still do my blogs but since September is so incredibly busy I won’t be super active. I’m going to prioritise family in this busy month since so much is happening! I’ll be back into writing in October, ready to prep for NaNoWriMo!

author, tips, writing

Finding Time For Self-Care

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

Anne Lamott

It’s often hard to take time out of our busy days just for ourselves. I often find myself doing so many things throughout the day that I don’t take any time to sit down and relax. I feel unproductive and lazy when I take a break, which is a terrible attitude to have!

There is a lot to get done in a day, but it is essential to take some time out of a busy day to rest a little and relax. I’ve really started to overload in recent weeks, and I’m needing to take some time out of my day for some self-care.

I’m trying to take some time out of the day in the mornings to rest my mind and I’ve started to do yoga routines again in the morning. It’s been easily 7 months since I last did yoga and I’m definitely not where I used to be with it. I’m liking get back into it though and taking the time to exercise, stretch and calm myself for the day to come.

It’s hard not to see myself as ‘unproductive’ but I try to do yoga to rest my mind and remind myself that I am busy everyday, just because i don’t do anything specifically successful doesn’t mean I’m not productive.

It takes a bit of work to take time out of my day, which sounds funny but it’s true. I need to plan my day and make sure that I have time to exercise and take time out of my day. I’m trying to be kinder to myself each day and if I get nothing done one day, it is okay. I do have a child afterall!

author, University, writing

Writing With Other Priorities: University and Family

And the chaos resumes! I knew 2022 was going to be intense from the moment I brought my son into this world. I still have 2 years left of my degree (since I dropped to part-time) and I really want to push through and finish my studies!

It’s already a tough juggling act and University has only just begun. I have to attend classes and sometimes they clash with when my son is awake or needs to be fed or is just plain grumpy. It’s already a tough haul getting the studies done while looking after him.

Add onto this my writing commitments and I am swamped! I do enjoy being busy, I’m not a person to sit still and do nothing all day. But even for me it’s a bit too chaotic.

I was originally planning on doing 2 University classes, but I dropped it down to 1. I’m focusing on my family and on my writing right now while slowly trudging through my degree.

I’m enjoying spending more time in the present and being able to prioritise my family. I’m writing and reading when I can and University is on a bit of a backburner. When I get published University won’t be the be-all and end-all anyway!

I’ll keep busy with my 1 class this semester, family commitments and writing commitments. I am swamped but definitely enjoying it all.

author, Short Story, Writing

Gone: A Short Story

He wasn’t coming back. I knew he wasn’t, but I wanted him too. I was desperate for him to
come back, back to my arms, back to me…

My love was gone, pulled away from me. He had been conscripted to go fight in the war;
there was no way out of it. He was yanked out of my arms and sent off to battle; I knew he
wasn’t coming back. I had a feeling in my heart. Of course, no one believed me. They all
thought that I was crazy; they all thought that he would be back.

“The war will be over in no time honey.” That was what they all said, or something along
those lines. Mothers, wives, daughters… we were all worried for their safety, but it seemed
like I was the only one that truly believed the war was not going to end quickly. It seemed
like I was the only one who believed that the war would take many lives and ruin many
others.

I carried on doing my chores for the day, I had to clean the house up a little. It was all I could
do to distract myself from the loneliness. I heard a knock at the door, distracting me from my current task. I hurried to the door and opened it; eyes wide as I realized an army officer was standing in front of me.

He took his hat off and nodded at me. “Mrs Mathers?” he asked.

I nodded. “That’s me. Who are you?”

“I am Colonel Elliot, and this is Lieutenant Colonel Fredricks.”

The other man nodded his head as he was introduced. I could see he looked uncomfortable and my heart sank. “You’re both from the army?”

The Colonel nodded and cleared his throat. “When I met Lieutenant Jarred Mathers, I knew he was a fine soldier. He was strong, capable, and always looked out for his teammates. It’s with great regret that I must inform you that he has died in the line of duty.”

My eyes clouded over with unshed tears. My love was dead. I would never be able to hold
him in my arms, kiss him and keep him near. The one thing I feared more than anything in
the world had come true. He was gone, and he wasn’t coming back.

The Colonel clasped my shoulder and I gripped his hand, not fully believing what he had just said. My husband was gone. The love of my life was gone.

They stayed for quite a while longer, leaving when I was able to fully comprehend the news. The Colonel passed me a letter before he left – it had fallen into his hands rather than going through traditional post.

I made sure they both left safely and quietly closed the door behind them before slowly
moving to the living room. I picked up the envelope and stared at it, my lip quivering. It was the last letter he had sent me.

I finally worked up the courage to open it. I peeled off the white envelope and stared at the
paper now in my hands. I took a deep breath and started reading, tears splashing onto the
paper as I held it. He was being medically discharged soon. He was going to be home with me. He was excited to be with me while we had children and lived our lives together, outside of the fear of war.

I dropped the letter on the ground and let out a pained sob. My heart felt like it had just been
ripped out. He was so excited to come home. He was meant to be home in a few weeks, but
he is gone instead. I clutched the letter with one hand and my stomach with the other as my tears continued flowing.

He was never going to be able to meet his son.