Literaleigh, Writing

Day 3 #introtopoetry

I haven’t quit but my internet connection did, for two days.  Hence I am posting Day 3 now. Rather then inundate you with 3 poetry days all at one I will still post one per day. For the Day 3 acrostic challenge I wrote two poems. The first in praise of my writing group and a preface to a blog entry that I will soon post about the value and workings of a good writing critique group. The second is a rather childish offering but a good excuse to post a picture of my constant companion – the distractordog.

Prompt : Friends

Form:  Acrostic

Writing Group

We gather each fortnight

Round a table with tea

I want to say it’s engaging and educating but

There’ isn’t any ‘e’

I‘d like to say it’s fun and friendly but there’s definitely

No eff. So I’ll say our

Group’s supportive, informative andteapot writing group

Giving. Its listening, critiquing

Reading aloud, commiserating

Oh, and congratulating too

Uplifting and motivating. A real

Pleasure to be with you.

 

Faithful Friend

Muzzling wet nose

Yucky licky kissesDistractordog for blog

Devoted doting eyes

Obedient for food

Gambolling in the garden

Gorgeous waggy tail

Your faithful friend and mine

 

 

 

Literaleigh

In and Out of my Comfort Zone 2

My second (somewhat belated) post of things I have done IN and OUT of comfort zone. The out is the important one as these are the things that  have taken a little courage or effort to push beyond the everyday.

IN : Stayed in a lighthouse keepers house. It has always been my fantasy to live as a lighthouse keeper, far from civilization, surrounded by the wild ocean and coastal bush. I got to live this fantasy for two nights at Green Cape Lighthouse in Ben Boyd National Park near Eden. We had unlimited access to the classic lighthouse and an enthusiastic ranger to give us some fascinating historical insights.IMG_4221

We learnt that in the sitting room adjoining our bedroom an inquest was held into the tragic wreck of the Ly-ee-moon in 1886. This ship grounded on the rock platform attempting to round the cape, resulting in the violent death of 71 people, many of whom were women and children. It was eerie to sit on the lounge chair within sight of the churning ocean and think about the harrowing testimonies that took place in that very room. The third officer who was at the helm at the time of the grounding blamed the Captain for not responding to his call for assistance. Both men were charged with manslaughter after the Green Cape hearing but were later exonerated by jury in Sydney.

The exIMG_4194perience lived up to my expectation but I have a new slant on the life of lighthouse keeper families. One of the keeper’s living in our accommodation had eleven children and his assistant in the neighbouring cottage had 16 (or was it 17) children. The wives had to be trained nurses and teachers and only had a cook as help. At least the children would have had fun playing with each other. Right? Wrong. The children of the head lighthouse keeper were not allowed to mix with the assistant’s children and were kept indoors when the assistant’s family were out, and vice a versa. This was to eliminate the risk of arguments between fathers over their offspring’s spats. I think I will revise my fantasy and be very happy with my breif cushy lighthouse keepers experience.

 

OUT:

Became a nervous passenger (again)

I got in the car with my L-plated son. Ok, so this shouldn’t really count because it is inevitable (and I made my husband do the first twenty hours). If you are a parent it is just one of life’s humps that has to be endured. Unlike teaching your child to read, catch a ball or even cook, there is little joy in sitting white-knuckled in the passenger seat trying to stay calm, very calm. And its hard to explain how to do something that you rarely analyse.

‘Which way do I turn the wheel to get out of here,’ my son asks.

I don’t know I just do it, I feel like saying, but I don’t. I grab an imaginary wheel and pretend to reverse the car out of the car park. ‘Anti-clockwise,’ I say.learners collage 2 cropped

Completing the 120 hours of driving time required for a NSW drivers licence is onerous. Every time I’m tempted to just hop in the car and relax into the driver’s seat a little voice says, You should be making Unruly Son drive or you’ll still be filling in his driving log on the way to the retirement village.’ I know parents who have put the task off and then Freddy’s Higher School Certificate looms (can’t do it now) and then suddenly he’s off to university or has to move away for work (no time then). Before they know it their Freddy is in his twenties and is restricted to using friends or public transport to get around. I shouldn’t whinge I only have two children and Son Unruly is my last to go through the driving log marathon. I know, all too soon, he’ll be an independent driver and I will be anxiously lying awake at night hoping to hear the sound of the car pull into the drive.

Let go of my manuscript

I sent the manuscript I have been working on for four years off to a manuscript assessor Was it ready? Probably not. Will it ever be ready? That’s what I need to know, no matter how painful that revelation may be. The novel I have sent off is the first book in a middle grade wannabe trilogy. I’ve heard some words of wisdom regarding series advising to write all the books before submitting, in order to minimize plot inconsistencies. Unfortunately with this practice you have no idea (or at least I haven’t) if the whole premise is flawed or unmarketable or targeted at the wrong age group. Could I be  wasting my time doing subsequent books in the series? Halfway through Book 2  I had this very crisis of confidence and realized I needed some professional feedback.

It was difficult pressing that send button knowing that a stranger will be reading my manuscript with a critical eye. In a month’s time I may be sitting in a corner rocking after reading the critique. However at least I will have an independent opinion on whether to move forward.

Any writers who have any thoughts on how to handle series submissions I would be interested to hear.

 

Literaleigh, Writing

Writing at Midnight

IMG_4027

I am going to indulge in a bit of magical thinking. I am going to be sitting at my computer writing at midnight and hope the act of writing in the first minutes of 2016 will be a portent for the rest of the year.

Truth is, I love not having to do anything ‘special’ for New Years Eve. My big kids have their own parties to attend. My husband is worn out after a hectic year and will probably just slump in front of Netflix sci-fi. That means I’m free! Not just to do what I like, but to do what I like without a pinch of FOMO. Yes, FOMO. My daughter taught me this acronym it means Fear Of Missing Out. I usually scoff at sms abbreviations but I find myself using this one more and more. Generally I apply it do my overactive, overcurious dog who wants to be everywhere she’s not.  At the neighbours when she is home, with every dog who walks past, outside when inside, inside when outside, upstairs when downstairs, eating your dinner when she has her own feast. She signifies all these longings by heartfelt crying. I’m thinking of renaming her FOMO.

I digress. New Year’s Eve is rife with FOMO. I don’t miss my younger years stressing over where to go and who with. You had to have a good time with drinking and shouting involved otherwise you felt like a loser.  In my experience this pressure to have  maximum revelry generally led to disappointment. Going out with friends on other nights of the year was less loaded with expectation and lecherous drunken strangers.

Later in life when the children were small we’d troop down to be beach close to Wollongong and watch the nine o’clock fireworks. Without small children to oh and ah fireworks are an anti-climax. Call me a Grinch, but nowadays I can’t help thinking about all that money going up in smoke and all the scared dogs and wildlife.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year’s Eve whether it be a noisy or quiet celebration or none at all. I’ll be sitting at my computer doing what I love – what better way to bring in the New Year.