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

in which I contemplate the joy that is Beerwah Writers’ Group

Back before I was working full time, I joined my local writers’ group. It was fantastic, the fortnightly face-to-face interaction with people who shared my passion for word-smithing.

But the constraints of my current day job meant that I haven’t been able to attend a meeting since January of 2017 – and even though some meetings fell on school holidays, at no point was there a meeting I could attend, due to family commitments, being away, or meeting cancellations.

That is, until the meeting just gone. Friday 13th. I walked in, surprising many people, and it was as if I’d never left. It was fantastic!

I love that idea – that I could be part of a supportive group of writers who, in spite of my 18 month absence, are just as continually supportive of me and my writing as ever before 🙂

I look forward to the next time a meeting aligns with a school holiday – because such a wonderful group of people are a joy to be with.

Here’s wishing a close support network for you too this week, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #19

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #19.

Have I mentioned it’s been COLD???

(And regular Readers of this blog may remember that I absolutely HATE cold, with a capital EVERYTHING)

so these are the blessings I’m counting today:

my fireplace 🙂

and:

my electric blanket 😀 😀 😀

Stay warm, everybody! And be blessed today!

– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #18

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #18.

It’s a busy time of term (of semester, actually) at work – I’ve noticed I’m pulling more hours just to get things done, and the amount of time I’m spending staring at my laptop screen is just sad.

I’ve also noticed I’m wearing my glasses more and more. I can complete work faster if I’m wearing them, so they’re on my eyes while I’m at my desk, more often than not.

And I’m starting to realise just how much I’m relying on them. Not that that’s a bad thing; it’s probably just an ‘inevitable’ thing, instead. But no, it’s just that today I was thinking: I’m glad I have them. I’m glad I have the opportunity to put something on my eyes to assist me in doing the things I need (or want!) to do. So many? Don’t. I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess at exactly how many people there are in this world, who need assistance just to be able to see, but who can’t get that assistance for a variety of reasons.

So that’s what I want to thank my God for today. For the sense of sight. And even though it may not be what it once was, for the blessing I have of owning a pair of glasses which assist me to still read, and write, and… well, everything.

They’re pretty cool 🙂

Here’s wishing you a blessing-full day as well, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #13

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #13.

My ‘About’ page used to list all the many and varied places I could be found online; and the list finished with the Writing Race I used to attend, almost religiously, every Wednesday evening from 8 til 9pm, over on Facebook. Well, since being blessed with full-time work last January, my attendance at the race has been haphazard, to say the least. And I’ve missed it.

But last night, I found myself sitting in front of my computer at the dining table, finishing paying the last of my bills and lamenting exactly how much interest my mortgage is earning against me, when I realised that it was 8.07pm, Wednesday, and the level of marking-and-reports-looming-over-my-head-stress, was actually manageable… so I logged on to Facebook and joined the race. I think the Race Captain fell off her chair.

I was welcomed in seconds… with fireworks, even!

These fellow writers; it’s wonderful to be in an online support group of them, because they all know what it’s like to write around the day job. To try and steal some minutes here and there to get another chapter written; to edit paragraphs during lunch breaks; to spend valuable minutes (if not quarter hours or half hours… or longer!) of precious ‘writing time’ backtracking and trying to remember exactly where you were up to, and attempting (often in vain, darn it) to recapture the thought processes that *were* firing when last you got interrupted… my fellow writers understand all that.

And I love that there are some people out there who get that. Who understand my passion, and who feel the same way that I do.

Never mind that June 13 is the first race I’ve turned up to in 2018. Never mind that I probably won’t make it back again for weeks, if not months.

They’re there. They’re a blessing to me.

And I love that.

Here’s hoping that you can also find a blessing in your day too, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

And this one inspires me…

To be more balanced in my outlook, especially concerning other people. Here’s my screenshot:

I very regularly look to others for validation; I realise this failing in myself and seek to overcome it through quotes like this. The plan is that they remind me, “seeking approval from others isn’t always the wisest course of action to take”.

And did you noticed how the majority of these screenshot had a dark or black background?

It’s because I work (writing, planning etc) late at night and a super-bright screen wakes up Hubby! Clever, huh?

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this break from an insane blogging month, and bring on #blogJune!

And have a great week, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

Best friends…

So it’s May and, like last week, I’m changing the tone of this blog for the month. Making it pictorial because it’s only four short weeks squeezed in between April’s #AtoZchallenge and #blogJune.

Last week’s Lock Screen shot I shared with you was about choices: today’s is friendships.

Enjoy!

And have a great week, dear Reader!

KRidwyn