#blogjune family anecdotes my novel-in-progress teaching

On the relationship between libraries, teaching, and vocal nodules

I’ve been teaching ever since I can remember. Well, not when I was 4, or 5, or thereabouts. Of course. But since my early teens, I’ve been earning money teaching. Back then, it was teaching violin to children who’d just started learning, and whose parents wanted private lessons. It was easy enough – I knew how to play, and passed this knowledge on. At 21, I got formal qualifications in the field, and went on to teach kids as young as four, to students older than me, in subjects that varied from English and Music to Drama, Geography, Christian Studies, History, Dance – and there was also a Sex. Ed. semester long unit in the late 1990’s – to a class of Year Ten boys!

My younger brother commented once, “You’re such a born teacher!” He’d been staying with Hubby and I, and all of us were in our late twenties. I’d just finished teaching a private violin student, and was helping her to count out change from the money she’d paid me. Rather than just giving her the money (4 or 5 coins), I had asked her to count it as I put the coins, one by one, into her hand. My brother watched this, laughed and shook his head, and made the comment – which has stuck with me ever since. I realised that, ‘Yes, I am. Teaching is something that I love doing. Imparting knowledge, helping children develop skills, watch them develop attitudes – hopefully positive ones! That’s what I love.’

Back in 2010, I decided to qualify myself as a Librarian. So that, when my children were old enough to go to school, I could return to full-time work as a Teacher Librarian.

Life didn’t work out quite like that. I’m back at work, on a 7-day fortnight, in a permanent teaching role. And my kids are all at school. Those Library qualifications, earned last December, are just that. Qualifications. At the moment.

But the good thing is that I’m only working a 7-day fortnight. Which means that, every Monday for a while now, I’ve been able to volunteer in a Library for a few hours. And I love it!!! In fact, I would love to be heading there this morning. That’s what I was planning to do. And I was planning to blog this afternoon about it.

But again, life intervened. This morning, it was in the form of that annoying nodule on my vocal cords which sometimes decides to make its presence known. I developed it about six years ago, when I lost my voice for over three months. It was pretty bad. Speech therapy worked wonders though – however, at certain points in time, when I’m sick, it must feel neglected or something, and so it flares up. And that’s what has happened today.

I know that if I don’t rest it, it’ll get angrier and angrier, and I’ll lose my voice for longer than just a few days. So, unfortunately, home is the only place I’ll be at today. Home, and quiet. No Library time for me. And that makes me sad. But it can’t be helped.

On the upside though, I guess, I’ll be able to get stuck into that children’s book that I finished some weeks back. The one that I’ve been procrastinating editing. Because all the advice that I’ve read says: ‘leave it for a month’; ‘wait, let it rest’; ‘return to it with fresh eyes’. Or maybe it’s just because I’m scared. I don’t want to edit it! I’ve never edited a full work of mine before… because I’ve never written a full work before! But today’s lack-of-voice provides a perfect opportunity, so I’d best not waste it.

Hold me to it, dear reader! And have a great day yourself!

— KRidwyn

my novel-in-progress Random thoughts

I’m stuck

My main character has been kidnapped by another character. Which is fine… it was unexpected, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The trouble is, it’s turning out far more difficult than I had thought to get her rescued.

This is *hard* writing.

I know it will be good, when it’s done, but at the moment, it’s hard.

(And the chocolate that’s sitting there, in my fridge, isn’t helping. Just in case you were wondering.)

Anyway, I *need* to get her rescued. That’s all there is to it.

Thought you might like to know.

Have a great day, dear readers! Here’s wishing you an easy rescue from every difficult situation you manage to find yourself in today! 🙂

my novel-in-progress Random thoughts

Day 3 – in which I completely miss the mark

Yesterday morning I wrote something about aiming for ‘morning blogging’. Ha!!!!! This (7.32pm) is my first time turning on my computer today! (Well, actually, I tell a lie. I had it on between 6.30 and 7am, just to tweet and update facebook for work. And start some preliminary job-hunting for next year.)

It’s been a busy day. But Miss 6’s half of her bedroom is now clean and tidy (woohoo!) and she has a brand new fish-tank sitting empty on her desk. Sunday markets in Caboolture can be quite a motivator for cleaning, I’ve found! She’s been after a fish tank of her own for some time, so I decided I’d use whatever currency I had to help her organise her HUGE creation of completed and partially completed ‘collages’ – and all the miscellaneous crap that ‘could be used in a collage one day!!!’ (A hoarder at 6. This does not bode well! Or is it that all kids are like this at this age?!) So there went quite a number of hours. Then there was church this morning, and the Sunday drive after, and that doesn’t leave as much time as I’d hoped…

So yes. Writing time? Not so much. But I did a couple of hundred words yesterday – does that count? LOL!

Well, I guess I could try fitting some in now. It’s quiet, I’m snug and warm, and there’s a couple of hours left of laptop battery. So here goes…

#blogjune my novel-in-progress Uncategorized

Day 2 post-#blogjune challenge – in which I sleep in until 6.15am

Day 2 since #blogjune and I think I’ll try maintaining this ‘habit’ for as long as I can. The ‘non-assignment writing’ writing that I’ve been doing recently (as I mentioned to BFF -!! – yesterday) has already resulted in more ‘metacognition’ (her word! One of the many reason’s she’s an inspiration…) and re-drafting thoughts in my head once they’ve been thunk. Pretty cool.

So anyway, I also thought I’d aim for morning blogging. Was inspired by a post or two on writing (thanks to @AlisonWnz for the link in my tweetstream!) so for today there’s not a whole heap to reflect on… unless you count the morning sleep “in” until 6.15. At which point I had to get up because Miss 3 decided to remove her nighttime nappy but miss the toilet, spoiling last night’s efforts. But that’s okay. 6.15am for me is 45 minutes later than my normal ‘sleep-ins’!

So now – off to do some writing! See you tomorrow, in which I may (or may not) report on my progress…

my novel-in-progress Random thoughts

Words, words, words…

As the Bard had Hamlet say, a few hundred years ago, “though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down”. The written word can be so powerful. Truth needs to play a balancing act with tact. Words, words, words. They’ve been on my mind of late, and not only since commencing blogging 19 days ago. (Only four more days and it’s a fully fledged habit, isn’t that right? They say it takes three weeks…)

@fionawb used her 12 posts in #blog12daysxmas to regale us with 12 important words in her life. Graham Kell, my pastor at Chancellor Park Community Church, mentioned yesterday that the 2010 Word of the Year was ‘App’. Both of these got me wondering about the application of important words in my own life. If I had a ‘word of the day’ each day, what would it be? Could I find seven words important to me, enough to fill a week’s worth of posts? I didn’t know, but I’m planning to find out. And by the end of this week, we can all see just how well I went! So. The ‘Word of the Day’ for today? Day One of seven ‘Important Words in my Life”…

Integrity. A concept I like to think that I live my life by. “My word is my bond.” I want to be a person who is trustworthy. If I commit to something, I want to be able to see it through, “come hell or high water”. I guess it stems from my pride, which I have in spades. (And yes, I know that that’s not necessarily a good thing.) But be that as it may, I’ll keep my word once I give it. And hopefully, that’s not so bad. (And on another ‘word-related’ thought, I thought it’d be fun to include a few clichés in my writing this week. How many can you find?)

Anyway, that’s it. My Day One offering – integrity. Tune in tomorrow for Day Two’s word… and have a lovely day today, dear readers!


my novel-in-progress places to visit Random thoughts

The Ultimate!

Today’s post completes the list. Number four of the ‘Top Four places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. And as I said yesterday, this destination fills the senses.

From vistas of endless countryside, desolate and strikingly beautiful, to the scent of foreign spices filling the heat-laden air. From the intensity of the sun which presses into your skin, to the taste of pure, clean water which soothes your dry mouth and throat as it quenches your thirst. From the cacophony of the familiar ‘modern-city-noise’ to its striking contrast – the traditional calls of camel-train drivers and the (mostly) amicable religious competition: resounding cathedral bells vs. the five-daily calls to prayer from the tall Islamic minarets. And yes, this is what my imagination tells me that Israel will be like, when I eventually get there.

Of course, it may equally as likely, be completely the opposite. Speaking with a young Israeli couple during our unintentional few days extra holiday the other week, (courtesy the Queensland floods,) it’s now difficult to tell that you’re even in Israel if you’re in the south of Tel Aviv. According to them, there are now so many immigrants living there – mainly from South Africa, interestingly – that they form the large majority of the population. Plus I’d need to add in the concrete walls, the barbed-wire fences, the hundreds wearing military uniform and carrying weapons… yes, it’s probably more than likely that the Israel in my mind will need some radical updating before it reflects the land as it exists today. No matter. I just want to go.

Like the Day 1 Destination, Rome of 350AD, I’ll be doing the touristy bit and visiting the ‘Ancient’ places. Those I’ve been reading about for years in my Bible. I’d like to think I was walking where Jesus walked and seeing the places (well, the modern versions) that He saw. To experience the history with my own eyes, as it were. How incredible that would be!

Anyway, that’s the last one on my list. Four places that I want to visit. It makes me wonder what would be the four places I would NOT want to go. Which is much harder for me to answer – I doubt I’d be able to find four! So I shan’t be blogging about that over the next four days. (Hooray!)

Instead, I have been inspired by two different sources to write on a different, non-travelling topic. But I’ve written enough for this post, so if you’re interested in finding out more, stay tuned for tomorrow’s offering! Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers! Oh – and I’d love to know what YOUR favourite place to see is…

my novel-in-progress places to visit

Of murders and mayhem…

The Roman Empire. 350AD. Constantine’s legacy is being fought over by his three sons. The new state religion, Christianity, is fumbling to find its feet, as civil war rages across the known world.

Ancient Rome – the setting for my forthcoming novel. Forthcoming, as in: conception has occurred, but I’ve barely reached the end of the first month of the first trimester. And considering conception occurred a few years back, it will most likely be a number of years before the ‘possibly-getting-close-to-being-published-now’ stage. And yes, I feel guilty about that. In our instant society, it seems as though to take your time over something is an indication of something being ‘wrong with you’. Which is sad, I think. (But possibly accurate in my case, anyway!) But it’s true though – how often do modern writers produce at least a novel a year – or if not, then one every few years? Actors are known for what films they have released, and how regularly they work – musicians, too. In fact, I would say that most industries are the same, as it’s a symptom of the time, not of the media. We’re an instant, output-based world now, and the days of a novelist spending years if not decades agonising over a manuscript, are long gone. Which is a pity. But still…

This post is the first of four on ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. D’Oh! Can’t visit Ancient Rome. Bumma! So I guess modern Rome will have to do. And once there, I guess I’ll just have to do the touristy thing and visit all those places where the ‘Ancient Rome’ has been preserved. Further research on my novel. I want to walk where Theophilus walked and see what he saw. Maybe not smell what he smelled, exactly, but at least be able to imagine it!

So why Ancient Rome, exactly? Well, I first fell in love with the historical novel when I spent many an hour with Brother Cadfael as a teenager. Being half-Welsh myself, I felt a connection with Ellis Peters’ creation, and developed a fascination with her ability to conjure character profiles and detailed storylines from historical figures and factual events. And Rome of 350AD? Well, I’m a Christian. And for almost a decade now, I’ve been interested in the Hebrew Roots of my faith, and the growth of the ‘Church’ in the West, particularly from the time of Constantine onwards.

So yes, that’s why Ancient Rome – or Rome, at least – makes the list of Top 4 places to visit. Tomorrow’s destination is closer to home. Well – it’s in Australia, anyway. So stay tuned, dear readers, and have a lovely rest-of-the-day!