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On the generosity of my cherubs…

I’m athsmatic. It’s only slight, but it’s enough to be annoying, depending on the season and the generosity of sick family members.

So with the change of job this year, I thought I’d better get jabbed with this year’s strain of fluvax. New kids at the new school equals new germs, and all that.

So it surprised me when, three days ago, I got sick. I’d just been congratulating myself on an illness-free year! (Whoops. Pride before a fall and all that… wonder when I’ll learn…) It’s November. Summer’s just two weeks away. And I’m the proud owner of a headcold, courtesy my lovely family!

It started as a sore throat. I’d forgotten just how painful a sore throat could be. It’d been probably at least 18 months since my last one.

Enter Hubby with his juicer. He juices daily, two litres at least, a mixture of oranges, lemons and the occasional grapefruit.

And that, combined with Codral, Panadol, and chicken soup, has knocked this on the head. Mostly.

I even managed to make it to the gym over the weekend! Not strenuous workouts, to be sure, but some activity at least.

And that’s made me feel even better. All those endorphins whizzing around and smashing into each other, having a massive party inside my body. What a wonderful thought!

So. Illness, begone. It’s two weeks til holidays, and I do NOT want you gatecrashing my free time!

How about you, dear Reader? How’s your health been this year?

And have a great week!

_ KRidwyn

Why I love twitter

GenreCon finished yesterday. For those of you who aren’t Brisbane-based writers, GenreCon is *the* place to be if you’re a writer in South East Queensland. It’s a weekend choc-full of inspiration and lessons to learn; speakers and publishers, authors and agents and illustrators… I’m guessing.
I’ve never been. Sad; I know.

Unfortunately, the day job has always intervened; this year, again, no exception. I accept it; the fact that I am too busy in Term Four to attend doesn’t worry me much any more. Getting to GenreCon is about as likely as doing #NaNoWriMo… I won’t say ‘never’ but it’s pretty unlikely, truth be told.

So whenever I’ve seen news about GenreCon, I’ve skimmed over it. Then tragedy hit. A couple of random unrelated items I’d seen, clicked. One of my all-time fave authors tweeted about a newspaper headline I had just read. Then she posted a photo of her cuddling a koala.

What the? She’s here in Australia? Next thing I discover, she’s a keynote speaker at GenreCon. As in, the convention that is literally just down the road (okay, lots of kilometres, but it’s still the same road) from me – and I’m not there!!!

Sigh. Delilah S. Dawson is the reason I’m still writing.

She’s amazing.

I wish I could meet her; tell her in person how much of an effect one of her blogposts had on me.

Alas. Not to be. Not any time soon, anyway.

Which is exactly the reason why Twitter is my absolute favourite social network.

No, I couldn’t be at GenreCon in person. Yes, I missed out on an incredible opportunity… but that’s not to say I couldn’t attend; because I follow tweeps who were there.

And that’s almost the same kind of thing. I was able to follow what she said in her keynotes – because writers I follow tweeted about it.

 

 

 

 

And if that’s not a good enough reason to love twitter, I don’t know what is.

Have a great week, dear Reader!

-KRidwyn

Maybe one day…

So it’s November 6th and some of my writer friends are well into #NaNoWriMo – the ‘National Novel Writing Month’ challenge that’s become popular over the last few several years. I have nothing but respect for them. If it were me attempting the challenge, where the aim is to write a 50,000 word novel in the space of 30 days, then by now, six days in, I’d be about 500 words in and nursing a mountain of guilt.

50,000 words, in 30 days, is 1,666 words per day. Not do-able for me, I’m afraid, not with the new(ish) full time job, the husband and three kidlets, the household, and everything that goes along with those commitments.

I caught a tweet just yesterday from @paperfury, who replied to a follower that she managed to write 90,000 words in three days.

Now THAT’S insanely awesome – especially considering that she’s also on twitter. Like, ALL THE TIME.

She explained later that she writes for something like eight hours a day. Wouldn’t that be wonderful! [I think?]

Anyway, back to #NaNo. No, I’m not, and have never, attempted it. But that’s not saying that I shan’t, at some point in time in the future.

Perhaps when I get good enough to stop being a pantser, and be a plotter like @Frainstorm – check this out, below!

 

Anyway, just some random writerly-type thoughts for the beginning of the new week.

Have a great week, dear Reader!
— KRidwyn

Laughing at myself

Let me just preface this post by mentioning that this Wednesday (ie two days from now) I’ll be up on stage in front of my entire school community. Hundreds of people will see me, and hear what I have to say. This kind of occasion happens only twice per year, at our Presentation (Awards) Night and in early February – the beginning of the school year – at our Commemcement Service. And, just in case you were wondering, yes: twice a year is indeed two times more than I’m comfortable with!

That being said, I went to the gym early last Wednesday morning. Alone in the ladies workout room, the thought crossed my mind that I could use the roller (which I only use when I’m alone) and aim for some core muscles. Do I did.

Then a second thought happened. ‘I wonder how far back I can go?’

Unfortunately my Science teacher friend, who regularly comes to the gym with me, wasn’t there to remind me about laws of momentum, nor angles nor weight distribution. [Admittedly, if she was, I wouldn’t have tried it.] So I pulled the roller towards me, the momentum carried my hands too far, I overbalanced, and then face-planted over the top of the roller, into the rough gym carpet. The amount of immediate pain was incredible. I thought I’d smashed my cheekbones and nose in! I hadn’t, but it sure felt bad.

Then – and only then – the final thought flitted through my head. 

“I’m going to up on stage next week, and everyone’s going to see.”

Sigh.

There have been, of course, multiple conversations since then, with family, colleagues, students and parents, about what I’d done to myself to get that massive mark on my face (luckily the mark on my nose was not so obvious due to contours etc) so withvthe numerous explanations, I’ve also had the chance to see the funny side and to laugh at myself.

Good practice for Wednesday night, methinks, if my face hasn’t healed in time!

Oh well. Live and learn.

Have yourselves a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

What I’m reading…

A friend from work asked me what book I’d read on my recent Fraser Island holiday. It took me a while to remember the title [My Grammar and I; or should that be me?] because quite a lot has happened in my life since then. He laughed, then when I mentioned that the preceding week I’d read A Dance With Dragons (Games of Thrones book 6) and since then have read Thirteen Reasons Why and am currently in Act IV of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, he looked rather startled. His comment? Well, you certainly read widely!

That I do. I love it. The way I see it, I’ve got just one life to live. And if I want to drink deeply, and suck all the marrow out of this life that I’ve been given, the best way is to live vicariously through the words of others; through the stories they tell and through the lives they’ve lived.

What was it that George R.R.Martin said?

I agree wholeheartedly.

So that’s my take for this morning. I’m looking to finish Peer Gynt shortly, which is great because I may actually be making some headway on my #TBR pile! Woohoo!

How about you, dear Reader? Besides this *scintillating* (ha!) blog o’ mine, what tales are you devouring at the moment ?

And have a wonderful week!

– KRidwyn

Of rides and fireworks…

So the three cherubs and I enjoyed our school’s Fete the other day. Starting after school on Friday, it finished that evening with fireworks.

It was definitely a memorable occasion! They are, I’ve noticed, when there is a few ‘firsts’ involved…

It was the first time I’ve been at my school’s Fete without Hubby also there – normally working, but at least, there. This time, it was just me with Miss12, Miss9 and Mr8 – who all wanted to go off in different directions, of course. Making life – and supervision of these three precious lives God has entrusted to me – rather difficult.

It was the first time we’ve been to an evening Fete – in the past, it’s either been during the day, or we’ve left before the end of it. Again, that made supervision problematic!

It was the first time that Mr8 – and Miss9 too, for that matter – has been on a ‘big kids’ ride. He told me he wanted to go, and my heart skipped a beat. I honestly thought he wouldn’t be able to handle it – that with his autism, that he’d be so overwhelmed by all the lights, the music, the jolting of his body in strange directions, that he’d be screaming like a banshee and demanding to get off. But I watched him, heart in my throat, and he was smiling and laughing – and complaining when it was over! Fear disappeared; replaced by pride. He’s such an an awesome kid!

It was also the very first time that Miss9 and Mr8 had seen fireworks live. Miss12 had seen them as a toddler, but couldn’t remember. So this was a beautiful experience for all three – and for me, sharing it with them.

So, all in all, memorable evening – one which they’re keen to repeat. And that the best indicator of success, wouldn’t you agree?

My takeaway from the evening? That it all worked. That no matter it was just me trying to look out for three kids doing different things all at the same time, amongst crowds of people, in the dark; no matter that they hadn’t been on ‘big kids’ rides before, or seen and heard fireworks up close, God was in control and it was a good night, and I didn’t need to worry at all.

I think I may actually have come across that last bit before somewhere, you know. Maybe a Bible verse, about ‘not worrying’? There’s no point to it. Because worrying steals joy, and it doesn’t change the situation much at all!

Anyway, just my random thoughts this morning.

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Just keep trying…

This post was suggested by Miss12, and it’s about her favourite subject- animals.

You see, she’s had a bit of an awful track record when it comes to chickens. She’s had more than a dozen – and yet, for many and numerous reasons, she now only has three.

Chicken- keeping, for Miss12, has been fraught with pain and loss. However, she has persisted, and in spite of it all, she enjoys spending time with them, and hand-taming them where possible.

This persistence paid off this past weekend. We spent the two days in Brisbane, where she competed in the QLD Women’s and Girl’s Chess tournament. During a break, we walked out to a nearby oval, and she ate some popcorn. Then we both noticed some birds who’d flown near us, hoping for scraps.

Within 5 minutes, Miss12 had a magpie eat a piece of popcorn from her hand.

That’s my kid. The bird- whisperer.

It only happened due to Miss12’s persistence with bird training.

Oh, and she went great in the tournament too 🙂

Have a great week, dear Reader!

Not being ready

Today’s Monday, October 2nd. Here in Australia, it’d be the first day back of the final school term for the year – except that it’s a public holiday due to our celebration of the Queen’s birthday.

So in actual fact, it’s the last day of holidays.  Work resumes tomorrow. And my little control-freak mind is starting to do its thing.

I’m not usually *this* unprepared for the first day. I’m not usually *this* unmotivated about returning. But I find myself in the unusual state of feeling unprepared- indicative, perhaps, of the quality of break I’ve had.

It’s been wonderful. And it was oh, so needed!

My last break from school – where I got the mental break I needed, not just the physical one – was this time last year. Yup. Before I started the new job. Every term break since then, I’ve been either at work for parts of it, or working from home.

Not so much, this time. Heading to Fraser Island, with it’s almost complete lack of mobile and internet reception, assisted with this. So too, the vacation responder on my emails. I felt as though I could legitimately not check them, because everyone was informed of my absence.

Cue sighs of relief – and headspace away from work!

Not that I did nothing over the past two weeks. On the contrary – lots happened! But I’m reminded of God’s command regarding the Sabbath day, “do no regular work”, and that’s exactly what I did.

It felt great!

Now though, for today only, I’m going to let myself panic just a little. And then, in that panic, get motivated.

Fast! I have an eight-lesson day tomorrow!

Have a great week yourself, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

Of beachworms and psychology

Fraser Island, in Queensland. One of my favouritest spots in the world.

Hubby and I have visited dozens of times, and explored pretty much everywhere, however we’ve never managed to get past Ngkala Rocks, and so have missed out on the view from the northernmost tip of the largest sand island in the world.

Not so on our most recent holiday. There with close friends, we made it past Ngkala Rocks, and kept on driving.

And made it! Photo below as proof!


On the return journey, we stopped to catch some beachworms for bait. Miss12, who’d been snarky all day because she’d wanted to go south to Eli Creek, instead of north to Sandy Cape, was surprised to see the length of the first worm Hubby caught – 80cm, at least.

She and I were sitting in the car, with everyone else outside, when I thought I’d try a psychological trick.

“I reckon you’d be good at that,” says I. “You’re good at catching lizards – catching beachworms is kinda the same thing.”

Cogs whirred. The arguments poured out ‘they’ll bite me instead of the pipi’ ‘it’s cold’ ‘I don’t want to get my feet wet’ but meanwhile we watched Hubby catching more – all a similar size. The focus of the arguments changed. ‘There’s no point now; there’s not much time left’ ‘I don’t have a pipi’ and then I let loose with the clincher.

“I’ve only ever caught maybe one or two beachworms in my life. I’m not very good at it. Oh well.”

I know my kid well. There was nothing for it but Miss12 was out of the car and into it. She even let me teach her how to get a pipi out of its shell!

Close on an hour later, the beachworm hunters returned; Miss12’s face wreathed with smiles.

Clever Mummy, says I. Perfect day indeed.

Have a great week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

A state of being

Hubby asked me this morning if I was still tired. I said yes, and that I’ve been tired for ages – a month, at least.

Tiredness is now my state of being. My default position, as it were.

I guess I can blame lots of things. The new job (still loving it, by the way!), the kids, the commitments I’ve made, the choices – both wise, and stupid, which I make on a day-to-day basis, the housework, the gardening (not that much of *that* happens, anymore!) and many others spring to mind.

But laying blame elsewhere is pointless. It is what it is, my life, and it is what I choose it to be.

I glanced at Facebook last night, while waiting for cherub number 2 to finish brushing her teeth. Caught a post from a friend stating that the Writing Race was on soon, as it was Wednesday.

My heart skipped a beat. The Writing Race! A weekly event that I’ve been involved with for a couple of years – except in 2017, because life and busy and all that jazz.

But last night, I made it. Sure, I was tired, and could have probably done with an earlier bed time, but I chose to write instead, in the company of my writing peers and friends, and a darn good time was had by all and sundry.

And boy howdy, can I fit another hackneyed cliche in here at all?!

It must be that tiredness kicking in again. 

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn