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

I GOT A MEDAL!!!

My first ever 🙂

So I took a break from creating the sets for the musical I’m directing (opening night just 4 days away, tickets available on 07 5436 6777) and took Miss13 and Miss10 to the Sunshine Coast Womens’ and Girls’ chess tournament. They begged and wheedled, so -for the first time ever – I entered myself, as well.

It was scary! But I’m glad I did.

Miss 13 earned 2nd place in U18 division.

Miss10 won the U13 division (her sister’s title from 2017).

And I came 3rd in the Adult division! Woot!!!

Here’s praying that you have a successful week too, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

in which I get pragmatic…

I’m directing a musical at the moment. Performance dates Thursday 9th and Saturday 11th August. That’s pretty close! And it’s a pretty huge undertaking – over half the student population of my school is involved, in one way or another.

So because everything’s ramping up and I’m getting even less time to blog than I usually would, I’m going to make this post short and just say, YAY! We’re alive and have the chance for happiness, both for ourselves and to bring happiness to those we interact with every day 🙂

Here’s praying you have a wonderful week, dear Reader – a blessed week, a happy one!
– 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 #28

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. And finally – nearly 9pm on the second last day of June – blessing #28.

So if you’ve been reading recently, you’d know that I injured my back (herniated two discs) last Saturday, and spent pretty much this whole week on painkillers and icing my back FAR more regularly than I’d like, in between spinal adjustments at the doctor. By yesterday afternoon I could handle over 45 minutes before it started getting uncomfortable – and the doctor was surprised when I walked into his office without the assistance of crutches. The power pf prayer, huh? Because James 5:16 is DEFINITELY one I’ve been holding on to this week!

Anyway, today was the last day of school before our mid-year holidays. I’d organised a HEAP of stuff to happen this week at school, and unfortunately had been away for all of it. But I *really* missed the kids, and seeing as it was really going to be problematic for Hubby to pick up our cherubs this afternoon, I thought I’d brave the sitting and the driving, and go collect them. And arrive early enough to see the donations we’d collected at our major fundraiser for the semester, being given to the representatives of the animal shelter we’d fundraised for at our final assembly.

And thus: my blessing for the day. No sooner was I out of the car than Middle Schoolers saw me. “Mrs Bloxham! Mrs Bloxham! You’re here! How are you? Wow! You’re here!” – a veritable chorus of kids who were surprised and pleased to see me, who wanted to wish me well, who’d heard of my injury and who had been praying for me -it was SO beautiful, to be welcomed back so warmly!

And thus ends my litany of blessings for this year’s #blogJune. Tomorrow’s post, my final one for the month, will be a ‘wrap up’ post. And then the blog will return to its regular Monday morning post. And yay for that, cos I’m tired!

Anyway, here’s hoping that your day was a blessed one too, dear Reader 🙂

— KRidwyn

Better late than never

I have a weak left ankle. I’m not entirely sure why, but if I’ve ever hurt an ankle, it’s always been the left one.

Last Wednesday was no exception.

I’d been digging out a sapling in my front yard, and – surprise surprise – it had left a hole when I’d finished.

Silly me decided to fill in the hole ‘later’, after I’d delivered the sapling to the fire pit.

Whoops. Rapidly rethought that plan immediately I’d felt the agony and heard the sickening ‘crunch’ as I fell.

But of course, by then it was too late.

The upshot was: at the ripe old age of 43, I found myself on crutches for the very first time. And boy! Did I ever learn some lessons about the difficulties inherent in not having two working feet!

Everything got problematic. And I realised that for any similarly-hobbling Middle School kids I have, trying to negotiate a three-storey building, carrying books, pencil cases and devices, hats, water bottles and so on – it must be REALLY HARD!!!

So I’ll be changing some things at my school this year, as much as I can, to make it easier.

And I’m kicking myself (not literally; my ankle is still too idiotically painful for that) that it’s taken me until now to realise the problem.

Better late than never though, I guess.

Have a great week, dear Reader!

KRidwyn

Blogging 12 Days Xmas – Day 5

So I’m continuing my annual #12daysxmas blogging challenge this year, and my theme for 2017 is ‘gratitude’. Each day for 12 days, I’m explaining one thing that occurred in each month, that I’m grateful for. Today’s month? May 🙂

In May I was grateful to survive NAPLAN, the external testing which pretty much every student in Year 7 and Year 9 undergoes. Its a set of five tests over three days, with EXTREMELY strict procedures regarding the running of same. A particular administrative glitch made back in January meant that I needed to organise a workaround, which took hours longer than I had expected. Never mind. Surviving the week, sanity (mostly) intact? Was wonderful.

And knowing that the first time is always the hardest, that in future years I can tweak what happened to make it easier for me, makes me think that I really *can* do this job.

How about you dear reader? What things do you want to tweak next year to make things easier for you?

And have a great day!

KRidwyn

 

Blogging #12daysXmas

Today marks the 7th year since I started this blog, on December 24, 2010. I remember being so nervous! I had decided to join @Fionawb in blogging the 12 days of Christmas, and I wasn’t sure exactly how it would go.

Now, seven years later, I can look back and be proud of the blogging that I have done. Sure, it hasn’t been easy sailing but it’s a commitment I’m pleased I made.

And I wonder where the next seven years will take me?

Having said that, I’ve decided to use ‘gratitude’ for my theme for this year. On each day for the next 12 days, I want to explain one thing that occurred in each month, that I’m grateful for. So, are you ready? Let’s go!

In January, I got my own office for the very first time. I guess, I’ve never had a job before where I’ve been important enough to have my own office. In my current position, I need one… so I was given one!

It’s so much fun!

To have my own space, that I could decorate and use the way I felt it needed to be used, was such an empowering feeling! As you already know, I’m a control freak, so this made it so much easier for me to do things I needed to do this year.

So. January: new office. And ecstatic about that!

How about you, dear Reader? Do you have something – besides today, being Christmas Day! – that made you ecstatic this year?

And here’s wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!

Yours,

KRidwyn

 

Sucking out the marrow

I’ve only got one life, and I intend to live it! I want, like Henry David Thoreau famously said, to “suck out all the marrow of life” – to get every last drop out that I can. Selfish? Perhaps. But that’s how I feel.

So I started a brand-new job this year, working full time for the first time since 2007, and still being a wife, a mum to three, a housekeeper, ‘chief cook and bottle-washer’ – and don’t forget the endless piles of laundry that just never seem to wash themselves…

It’s been tough.

Four months before starting the new job, Hubby convinced me to take out an 18-month gym membership, and so I didn’t want to neglect that either – waste of money, an’ all that.

Plus, as a Christian, I believe it’s important to have a ‘quiet time’ at the beginning of each day, where I can still my thoughts, read God’s Word, and spend some time talking to (with?) him.

But it’s been hard trying to fit everything in!

At the beginning, I tried keeping my ‘normal’ schedule – which included staying up in the evening to welcome Hubby home after his night meetings. But combining that with early morning gym sessions meant that I *really* wasn’t getting enough sleep, so I had to can that idea, and head to bed as early as I could each night.

Now, my routine has settled down fairly well, and it’s one that I’m pretty happy with.

I regularly wake up at 4:08 AM, and I’m in the car heading to the gym before 4:15 AM. I pray as I drive to and from; and read my Bible in between sets or while I’m on the treadmill. I leave the gym at 5:15, and drive to my morning ‘happy place’ where I sit, breathe, watch the view, and write. By the time I get home at 6AM, I have been able to ‘tick off’ exercise, some writing, and my quiet time.

And that morning routine leaves the rest of my day to spend with the people in my family, or at my job, where I can give of myself non-stop, knowing the ‘bases are covered’ so to speak.

It’s pretty exhausting.

But I love how, at the beginning of each day, I can spend time with my God, spend time with myself, and feel relaxed and replenished and happy.

Right now, for example, I’m writing in my ‘happy place’. A hundred metres ahead of me, a kingfisher just dived into the creek, chasing his breakfast. The ripples fan out over the reflection of the clouds from the sky above.

A mullet leaps elsewhere in the creek. He gets incredible height on the jump – close to a metre above the water, by my reckoning.

It’s going to be another warm day.

This is the way I choose to live my life. Yes, it’s busy – but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every minute is precious; and I don’t want to waste even one of them.

How about you, dear Reader? Do you have a routine you love?

And here’s praying that you have a brilliant week this week!

– KRidwyn