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Weekend-ing away

I like my bed. My bedroom, my ensuite, my kitchen, my laundry, my lounge room, my garden. I miss them when I’m away.

Having said that though, I like not having to cook, and clean. I like the time away from ‘normal’, ‘everyday’ responsibilities, and the gratitude that I feel towards my home comforts when I’ve been away for long enough.

Take these past couple of months, for instance. I spent a week in Sydney/Canberra, on camp with my Year 7 and 8 cohorts. I returned late Friday night, spent Saturday washing and packing, then left very early Sunday morning for another week away, this time with family and friends camping on Fraser Island.

This last weekend was another work-related one: Friday afternoon through to Sunday evening down in Brisbane with six Middle Schoolers who were invited to the State finals from our regional OPTI-minds challenge. Fast forward a few weekends and I’ll be away again, with Hubby this time, down the Gold Coast.

I enjoy my time away.

But I really, really, REALLY like my own bed. I think I mentioned that?

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

On re-reading

I’m re-reading my all-time-favourite novel again at the moment: THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas. I’m not entirely sure why I love it so much, just that I do. And each time I read it, I find more and more to love.

Take, for example, this segment:

“The two friends sat down to dinner; but as they were eating, Albert could not refrain from pointing out the marked difference between the respective merits of Signor Pastrini’s cook and the one employed by the Count of Monte Cristo; and indeed, honesty obliged Franz to confess, despite the reservations he still seemed to have on the subject of the count, that the comparison was not to the advantage of Signor Pastrini’s chef.” (p. 401)

and this, four pages later:

“The two friends did not presume to repay the count for the luncheon he had given them: it would have been poor jest to offer him, in exchange for his excellent table, the very mediocre fare that made up Signor Pastrini’s table d’hote. They said as much openly and he accepted their excuses with evident appreciation of their thoughtfulness.” (p. 405)

What gorgeous writing! Wouldn’t you agree? That first sentence, in particular, is 73 words long!!!

And have a fantastic, literary week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

What would you do?

I was given a progressive story to finish recently. This is what I had to work with:

  • 2 love-struck teachers, John and Angela. They’d been kissing for the first time, in the school break-room, when
  • an explosion had occurred and they’d been knocked to the ground. Angela had been impaled, and John was also much the worse for wear.
  • Enter cleaner, George. He tells them he’s called the ambulance and encourages the two teachers to talk to each other. They declare their undying love (yeh, I added the adjective here because hey! irony!)
  • explosion number 2.

Oh – and finish the story in just 300 words.

So now what? What would YOU do?

If you’re interested in my take on the story, read on below. If not, that’s fine! Have yourself a fantastic week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

*****

Now it was George’s turn to be thrown to the ground. He landed heavily on his vacuum cleaner. John, who’d finally managed to stagger upright, was blasted down again. This time, his temple hit the corner of the lunch table. He’d never rise again.

Angela, disoriented, bleeding profusely from multitudes of cuts, tried to rise but couldn’t. Her legs wouldn’t support her. She could feel her body growing weaker. In her pain, she didn’t notice a man stride into the destroyed room, gas mask covering his head and a thick black coat disguising the rest of his muscular body. He kicked John’s body out of his way.

George, regaining consciousness, groaned loudly. Leaning over, the man hauled him to his feet. “Leave.” George, spluttering, quickly decided this was not a man to trifle with. Eyes wide, he took the stranger’s advice and fled.

Not even bothering to watch, the stranger had calmly sauntered over to Angela’s broken body. He removed his mask, his face flushed with hatred. “I told you,” he spat.

“Henry?” Angela’s whisper held pain and confusion. “What…? Why?”

“When you broke my heart two years ago, you promised me ‘never again’,” he roared, over the wail of approaching sirens.

He grabbed the piece of window frame embedded in her abdomen and twisted it slowly, painfully. “You lied.”

“But…”

“No,” he snarled. “You’d promised. It was easy enough to get the gas contract for this stupid old school. A piece of cake, letting it leak into this break room over the past several weeks. Just waiting for today. For you. And him!” His eyes glittered crazily; her eyes, tear-filled, lost their sheen of life.

The sirens stopped, replaced by screeching tyres on the gravel outside.

Henry, smiling grimly, surveyed his handiwork, then slipped silently out the back door.

[This post is a cheat]

Well – kinda.

It’s still me writing, at my desk, putting words onto the little white rectangle on the computer screen in front of me.

But it’s not Monday morning, the 17th of September, 9am.

It’s last week (well, it will be last week, by the time you read this – and I know that this sentence isn’t grammatically correct from when I write this, but it’ll make sense when you read this later… I hope!) and yes, there *is* indeed a very valid reason for this cheating post, which I’ve written and scheduled ahead of time.

I’m in Canberra right now. Or Sydney. Or en route to one of those places. At this point in the planning of the event (because it hasn’t happened yet) I’m still a little fuzzy on the details.

But Hubby is at home with Miss10 and Master9 and my mum, keeping the house fire burning (although maybe not, because the weather’s starting to warm up nicely and it might be too hot by the time this post is published, to need a nightly fire) because Miss13 and I are with sixty-nine other 12- and 13-year olds, enjoying (ha! hopefully ‘surviving’, at least) a week-long camp to our nation’s capital and other ‘worthwhile to visit for educational purposes’ places.

Hence the need to post ahead of time. I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be at 9am on Monday 17th September, but I *do* know that multiple kids will be there. All with pre-teen and early-teen needs, which is to say MULTITUDES!

Sigh. I’m tired now, even just thinking about it. And I haven’t even started packing yet.

So. That’s what my week’s going to be like. How about you?

– KRidwyn

Best night EVER!

Friday night. The not-too-distant past. Sons of Korah, Australian Christian band, playing at Lifepointe Baptist church at Buderim.

SOOOOO worth the almost-20-year (yeh, you read that correctly) wait to see them live.

They were BRILLIANT! Their technical expertise was beyond compare. Such timing, such accuracy – they were so ‘tight’, it was – truly – incredible. As in, the “real” meaning of that word. Beyond belief.

It’s been years since I’ve been so ‘swept up’ in the moment. But that concert did it for me. I was alive 🙂

[I wonder if that’s how God feels, looking down on us with such delight?! A beautiful thought!]

Anyway, I just wanted to share this memory with you today. And if you’re interested in their music, try here. I’d recommend their initial album, ‘Light of Life’ as a great starting point!

And here’s praying that you have a inspired week, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

A little apprehensive…

What feels like aeons ago now, but was only decades (ha!) I played violin in an orchestra. The South-West Regional Youth Orchestra, as a matter of fact, which changed its name during my time there to the Brisbane Regional Youth Orchestra. I was a member for the majority of my teenage life, and made friends there who not only came to my wedding but with whom I’ve kept in contact for the many years since.

Which brings me up to recent days – in which I received an invitation. To join their massed orchestra, with all their other alumni, for their 35th anniversary celebration concert.

Aiieeeee!

I’d love to go, to play… but I haven’t played (truly ‘played’, as in, played well, with technical proficiency) for well over a decade now… and I’ve never been to a reunion in my life!

Hence the apprehension.

It’s this Sunday.

By my next blog post, it’ll be all over.

Wish me luck!

– KRidwyn

on habits…

I’ve been talking to my Middle School students quite a lot about habits recently. How often they’re unintentional, a routine formed over time, often because we ‘accidentally’ make a decision to suit us in the circumstances we find ourselves in, and then the next time that situation occurs, our mind/body combo decides ‘let’s repeat the decision, because it didn’t kill us last time!’ or something.

However, if we unintentionally form habits that we see in others and would prefer to NOT have ourselves, then we have a problem. English poet and literary critic John Dryden is said to have coined the phrase: ‘We first make our habits, then our habits make us.’

What habits am I forming at the moment? Are they intentional or unintentional? Because whatever habits I allow myself to form (couch potato in front of the TV; Hubby and my kids’ worst critic; lazy housekeeper; workaholic) that’s the person I will become.

The takeaway? Be INTENTIONAL! I once read somewhere that “the trick to life is to be awake in it” and this is so true. So often I let life pass by because I’m focusing on something, which I deem ‘more important’ at that moment in time.
It is always my decision, and mine decision alone, to deem that ‘something else’ of more importance. And that decision automatically meant that other things were, of necessity, of less importance to me during that moment, that time, that season.
And that decision then reflects my values. So my question is: are these values, ones that I truly want to be holding? And having others witness my holding?
And what exactly do I hold dear, anyway?
So it seems I’ve taken a bit of a tangent, but the thoughts are swirling around up there and this is probably as logically coherent as I’m going to get, this time of the morning.
Here’s to an ‘intentional’ day – and, indeed, week – for the both of us, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

Moving right along…

So now the musical’s over, I’ve been head down and getting stuck into the work I’d been (of necessity, mind you!) neglecting. Housework, gardening – oh, and my students’ assignment drafts too, don’t forget! I’ve also had enough head-space to actually ponder the commencement of writing again, would you believe? And I also found 15 minutes in there somewhere, last week, to FlowState… although what came out was embarrassingly pitiful and barely worth keeping, but writing is writing and a skill practiced is a skill improving, I always say. (Well, okay. I made that saying up just now. But it sounds significantly better with the word ‘always’ in it, don’t you think?)

What’s FlowState? You ask. Well, it’s a horrific tool which forces you to write by threatening to remove all your words.

Originally, you could set the timer for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. I preferred that. But with an update a year or so ago, they removed that functionality, leaving users with only a 15 minute option.

And the idea behind it is that you WRITE for 15 minutes. No hesitating, just writing. Adding word after word to the screen. Or else!

If you hesitate for longer than 5 seconds (from memory; I *think* it’s five but I’m too scared to check it and see) the words fade on the screen and when they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

You’re forced, you see; to write, and write non-stop, until the timer finishes, and the work is saved.

And believe me, you do NOT want to stop at 14 minutes and 55 seconds! I did that before, and lost literally hundreds of words. Yes, I cried. And yes, I also stopped using the app, my own solitary protest, for several months. But returned though, because it’s perfect to get the writing mojo happening (rather than the thinking mojo!) and the threat of losing work is enough to keep the fingers tapping keys 🙂

Anyway, so that’s what I’ve been doing.

That, and dreaming about publishing. If only Book 7 of my Justine Browning series would write itself!

 

Have a great week, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

And… it’s all over :)

until 2020, anyway! The CCC musical, Conundrum, was an absolute blast… and now the adrenaline is wearing off, I’m realising I’m the most exhausted I’ve ever felt in my life. And my back is SORE!

But it was worth it to see the smiles on the kids faces. And I learned heaps too 🙂

And check out these beauties!!!

Very blessed.

See you next week… I’ll have managed some sleep by then!

God bless,

– KRidwyn