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

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 #14

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 #14.

On Tuesday this week, I was driving from school to collect Mr9 from his CrossFit class, when two ambulances hurtled past me, sirens blaring. A police car followed – and as I gradually made it to the scene of the accident, where a fire engine was also on scene, I noticed that traffic had started to pile up quickly – far more quickly than I had anticipated. The accident, although not a major one (minor injuries only, from what I could gather) had occurred on a roundabout which was a major thoroughfare for the area, meaning that the ‘rubber-neckers’ (as Hubby calls them) – people who slow down more than is warranted, so they can stare at the action – were holding up traffic more than usual.

Now this wouldn’t normally have been too much of a problem, except that on a Tuesday afternoon, I’m on a pretty tight schedule. Leave school at 4. Collect Mr9 at CrossFit by 4.15; head back to school to collect Miss10 from her private Dance class at 4.30.

And, judging by the traffic jam, that was not going to happen!

Cue phone calls. To the school’s Outside Hours Care. To the Dance teacher. To my parents, who live quite close to the area, and who were able to look after Miss13 and Mr9 for me while I doubled back to battle the traffic and collect Miss10 from the school.

And – HUGE blessing! – everyone was able to accomodate me (and Miss10, Miss13 and Mr9) – with zero notice, with zero fuss, and with care and consideration all around. How awesome is that?!

I’m surrounded by so many who care for me, who love me and are willing to help me and my kids when I need that.

And I’m so blessed to have these people in my life.

So thank you, people! I appreciate you and want you to know that 🙂

And, dear Reader, I hope you too can have a truly Blessed day today!

– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #11

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 #11.

I logged into Facebook on Sunday night , for the first time since early Thursday morning last week. Thursday was my birthday, and it had slipped my mind that I might be getting birthday wishes on social media.

So my surprise was quite great indeed, at seeing so many notifications due to birthday well-wishes from friends and family near and far.

Youz guyz are AWESOME!!!

Which is why you’re my overflowing blessing today. Thanks, my friends, for being you. I love you all to bits!

And here’s praying that you, too, have blessing-filled days today 🙂

-KRidwyn

Kinda convenient…

A friend came over for Afternoon Tea the other day. Feeling adventurous, I baked a sponge cake (the making of edible food and I do not go hand-in-hand).

It was once the cake pan was in the oven and I was going to pack away the butter that I realised the butter’s lid was missing. I checked everywhere: bench, fridge, sink, pantry – to no avail. Then it hit me; I had rested the inside circle of the cake pan onto the butter’s lid for a brief minute, before picking it up again and inserting it into the the outside circle of the cake pan.

So I pulled the cake back out of the oven, and sure enough – there was the lid of the butter, stuck in between the inner and outer circles.

Dumb. Yeah, I know.

So I had to remove the inner circle, the cake mixture all the while leaving residue up the cake pan, and down along the inside, retrieve the butter lid, re-insert the inner circle (leaving yet more cake mixture residue everywhere) and then plop the whole mess back into the oven.

Arrghh!

By the time my friend arrived, the globs of cake mix which had fallen from the bottom of the cake pan had burned, giving the house a delightful aroma of burnt food and embarrassment.

The cake, I’m proud to say, tasted quite fine. Sure, it hadn’t risen quite as I’d originally intended, but then again, with large proportions of cake mix adorning not only the outside of the cake pan but also the inside of my oven, this was to be expected.

And just so you know, my food-preparation skills are second only to my oven-cleaning skills.

Sigh.

So it was kinda convenient that Hubby had already arranged to have our house cleaned today. I arrived home with the kids at almost 2pm to a beautifully smelling house – and a clean oven!!!

Now the only embarrassment I’ll feel is when I need to ask our cleaner back next time…

Hope you had a lovely day too, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

Z is for ‘zany’

Lucky I choose this word ahead of time, before Hubby wanted help in the garden. Because I’m outta time and need to get this post written!

Zany. I love, love, LOVE this word! I think it describes me… although it probably doesn’t, unless you know me really, really well. And that’s only a couple of you.

I *can*be zany. Extremely comical, clownish; slightly crazy, fantastic or ludicrous.

Yup… that’s me. But only if I’m comfortable around you. And not when I’m in my ‘I’m a responsible mother / teacher / person’ mindset.

Just out of curiosity… is it just me, or is everyone kinda like this to some extent?

Have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

My take on the latest, greatest picture book…

I was given a stack of Picture Books recently, asked to read them, and give my opinion. Smiling, I agreed. Who doesn’t like picture books?

And although there were a couple that I recommended the library in question *not* purchase, one of the books in particular hit me as not only extremely well-written (and illustrated, of course) but with a clear message, subtle yet necessary, and BRILLIANTLY executed.

I don’t review books often – not because I don’t read (my 2016 Goodreads challenge is sitting steady on 77 books completed, of the 104 I set myself) – but because I don’t want to embarrass myself again with a recommendation for a book I’ve fallen in love with… which I later find out to be pretty much a blatant rip-off of an earlier novel which I’d never read. [This situation occurred earlier this year, and boy! was I mad when I discovered the original…]

But back to the picture book: my latest, greatest, most favourite of all picture books that I discovered this week is: THE FABULOUS FRIEND MACHINE by Nick Bland.

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-9-06-21-pm

Yes, that’s a chicken, looking at an iPad. No, I won’t give away any more than that.

If you’ve read this book already, you’re smiling right now; I know. Me too.

If you *haven’t* read it – go find yourself a copy and READ IT NOW. You won’t regret it, I promise. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ll probably say to yourself after, ‘I know people who need to read this book’. And you’ll tell them. The way I’m telling you.

Please, please, please, if you know of any parents, or teachers, or librarians, please let them know about this book. I can’t stress enough how much they’ll love it. Try it, and see. Bet you I’m right!

And, as always, have a lovely week 🙂

— KRidwyn

When you’ve gotta go…

I lost my wallet yesterday.

The cherubs and I were at the ALDI checkout, a couple of dozen grocery items jolting along the conveyor belt toward the cashier when I looked at my hands and realised both were sans wallet. As were all my pockets – both jacket and pants.

Assuming I’d left my wallet in the car, I sent Cherubs 1 and 2 with the keys, to retrieve it. While they were gone, I made it to the front of the queue and Cherub3 helped me bag the items as each was scanned.

The lovely check-out guy rang up the total… then Cherub 1 arrived back with the bad news. They couldn’t find the wallet; Cherub 2 had remained in the car and was still searching, and where did I think they should look next?

Apologising profusely to both the lovely check-out guy and the man waiting in line behind me, I left Cherubs 1 and 3 in the store with our groceries; the check-out guy suspended the sale, and I raced out to join Cherub 2 in what was to be a thorough but fruitless rampage through the car.

No wallet.

If you know me, you’d know just how much panic would normally be ensuing at this point in time.

And yet – it wasn’t.

Reason being? It was 4pm after my most-full-on day at work. The day where I start at 7am and literally don’t get a minute to myself until 2.50pm- and yesterday, even that minute didn’t happen. I therefore found myself in the middle of a missing-wallet-dilemma, and all I could think about was how soon I’d be able to extricate myself and find a ladies room.

Man, oh man, was I ever regretting the whole ‘drink plenty of water, it’ll cleanse out your system’ regimen I’d decided to try!

So there I was, turning my car as inside-out as is physically possible, and although the back of my mind was trying to tell me that ‘Losing my wallet was a Very Serious Situation that I’d need to deal with, pronto’, my bodily urges were saying, ‘Nuh-uh! My problem trumps yours, bucko!’ And the bodily urges were winning.

Long story short, I was back at the checkout with Cherub1 – Cherubs 2 and 3 safely ensconced in the back seat of the car, groceries paid for with the generous assistance of an old friend who God had just-so-happened to have take out the right amount of money and shop there at that particular time – when the lovely check-out guy (who’d taken my name and number when I’d scoured every aisle, looking) called me over and told me a wallet had been handed in.

Yes, it was mine. So I could pay back my friend, pack the groceries and Cherub1 into the car, and make it to a ladies room in time.

Relief all ’round!

Moral of the story? Not entirely sure. It’s good to know that God’s in control, maybe? And does every story even need to have a moral? Who knows. Perhaps what every reader gets out of a story is different, anyway…?

Anyway, just thought I’d share that with you this morning.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful week, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

 

On support groups

I’m not a ‘social’ kind of girl. I used to be, back when I was 19, 20. But I haven’t been for quite some time now. Rather, I’m the stereotypical introvert – happiest in my own company, without the pressures of expectations, protocols, and others’ opinions weighing on me.

So as you can imagine, I’m not big on ‘support groups’. Meeting regularly with people is not something I particularly enjoy dong it. Church on a weekly basis fills my quota more than sufficiently.

And I’m also a member of my local Writer’s Group, and have blogged about them before.

But in the last several months, I’ve also found myself a couple of online places where writers meet over a virtual water-cooler. And I must admit, I’m surprising myself with how much I am enjoying the online support of people I’ve never met in real life but with whom, online, I frequently converse!

One of these places is lovingly referred to as ‘The Reef’. We follow the blog of Literary Guru and Agent Extraordinaire, Janet Reid of Fine Print Literary Management. [Edit: as of August 14, 2016, Her Sharkliness is now Agent-Wrangler Extraordinaire at New Leaf Literary.] We comment on her topics – or also on our own; we enter her Flash Fiction contests, some of us are exiled to Carkoon for misbehaviour: it’s a truly exceptional group of people and I’m incredibly inspired by their talents and honoured to be considered one of them.

A second, slightly more local group, is the friends who I race with every Wednesday evening, Brisbane time. The Writing Races are hosted by Australian Writers Marketplace Online and are run through Facebook. One captain helps racers keep track of time, but we race against ourselves. Whether its word count increases on current works in progress, or decreases through revision, editing or re-writing stages, it’s great fun to have the company for an hour, knowing that people all around the country are doing exactly what you’re doing at that point in time. The sense of camaraderie is palpable. And I love that.

There’s also my wonderful family, colleagues at work, the Celtic group that the three cherubs and I are part of – all in all, I’m glad God designed us to share our lives with each other. Community sure is one magnificent idea. And that from the introvert sitting in front of her computer right now, enjoying the opportunities that present right from this little blog of mine.

Because you, dear blog reader, are the ‘support group’ I get to thank right now. Here, in this space that WordPress kindly allowed me to create, I want to thank you for taking the time to read. To lurk. To comment. To think of me, and honour me with your presence, and your willingness to spend your time reading the externalisation of my thoughts. I appreciate it more than you know.

Thank you, dear reader. And have a marvellous day today!

— KRidwyn

And now back to our regularly scheduled program…

Wow! What a month it’s been, huh?

FullSizeRenderTwenty-six posts, for the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Originally, I’d planned a 26-instalment story. But the draft version ended up far too violent to publish here, so at the last minute, I changed to ’26 metaphors for God’, inspired by a cross-stitch Mum made for me. Praise God for Mums, and for friends who make suggestions like “why don’t you use your Mum’s cross-stitch?”

But that being said, it was a huge month. And although I participated, I’m glad it’s over. It took a lot of time away from my ‘normal’ writing, so I’m quite a bit further behind than I wanted to be. And as for my Goodreads challenge, that’s looking like a TKO at this point. Because although I *have* been reading, it’s been on blogs, not books!

My favourite blogs this past month have been:

https://kdjames.com/ (A fascinating story over the month of April)

https://johndavisfrain.com/blog/ (26 stories, each 6 sentences long. Chilling stories.)

http://julieweathers.com/blog/ (American history? READ THIS!)

http://www.colindsmith.com/blog/ (100 word stories inspired by the songs of Paul McCartney. So clever!)

http://denapawling.blogspot.com.au/ (Military definitions from A to Z; enlightening to say the least)

https://alleysiande.com/ (stories, and beer. And dragons…)

https://wordwacker.me/ (clues in haiku for the word of the day)

http://katelarkindale.blogspot.com.au/ (New Zealand movies from A to Z with gorgeously written reviews)

and

http://romancespinners.blogspot.com.au/ (on writing, and writer’s life)

I thoroughly recommend, if you have the time, drop by and have a read.

And for any A to Z challenge participants stopping by, THANK YOU for your encouragement and support, and YAY!!! We did it!!!

(Heading off for a well-earned nap now…)