Pure Morning

My body betrayed me. First morning at home, and by default first day back at work, I was awake at 4.00am, mind kicking into gear soon after. There were two options, try and go back to sleep or surrender and get up. Despite the high value I put on sleep (which may be hard for anyone to believe given the start I’ve had to 2011) I got up.

It was dark. It was pre-kookaburras (who go off just before sunrise) The house was quiet. I indulged in a long shower first, then pulled my blank journal from my bag and set up my desk for writing while the kettle boiled. I wrote the first page; my hand protested and jasmine infused the air from the small steaming cup.

I got my fingers covered in ink – the pages as well. I revelled in the jasmine tea. I got lost in the slip and stroke of the fountain pen running across the page.  All was well in the world – a place to pause and just be, between the chaos and fun of holiday and the resposibility and familiarity of home and work.

The smudge of dawn appeared, the kookaburras began to laugh; I decanted the second half of the tea and the words poured forth, the insights bleed out through my pen. The chaos settled and my focus on the world began to twist back into clarity. All was good, all was right in the world.

It doesn’t feel like a morning lost, but one gained. And maybe, just maybe, I might do it again tomorrow.

Image (c) Jodi Cleghorn, 2011

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Budding

A New Leaf by canonsnapperI was intending to title this post “Turning Over a New Leaf” but there is something almost sad and pathetic about it.  What I decided upon yesterday is not about getting rid of bad habits or making dramatic new starts (though I should point out I’ve cut sugar out of my diet again so any uncalled for bad behaviour is a consequence of that!) Instead it is about fostering old habits which served me well – or instilling again old interests into evey day life. No surprises it’s Mercury Retrograde.

This morning I got up to discover my iPod didn’t sync like it was meant to last night, so fussed about getting it sorted and enjoyed a morning meditation.  Not quite what I expected but I was definitely on a better plane at the end of the 15 minutes and I think for the rest of the day.  I’m intending on listening to the evening one before I go to bed (shortly!)

There is a single chair on my mother’s balcony, which over looks the court my sister lives in.  The morning sun was warm and bright, but not too much of either that it was torture to be out there.  With my fountain pen filled for the first time in months, and a new folder full of loose leaf I started back to the journey which is the morning pages – meditation on the page.  I’ve missed it and glad to have it back in my life.  Plus it gave me something to photograph for my first day of the 365 Day Challenge.  Part of the reason I fell completely out of habit with mornings pages back in June was we were staying here and I couldn’t find a spot to write at (my Mum doesn’t have a table upstairs in her Nanna Flat and the table down on my sister’s patio isn’t the right place to be when small children are eating.)

All day I looked forward to a chance to sit and write … and walk.  As it turned out the walk didn’t happen, but instead of getting lost on the internet and blowing my downtime on mostly irrelevant stuff, I opened up my “unfinished folder” and started editing Lea and Jude’s story.  Decided to go back with the original title, from the original short story “Second Chance”.

While it would be lovely to write for an hour every day (would be brilliant to write for multiple hours every day – but baby steps!) I decided as a fall back if I can’t write for an hour, to write a minimum of 250 words.  While I didn’t get to “write” 250 words tonight I edited almost 400 words – paring down the word count from well over 600 words.  Using the advice given over numerous blogs in the past few weeks – if the word, sentence, paragraph doesn’t progress the story it doesn’t have a place in your narrative.

The pared down style of writing I’ve had to adopt to participate in Fourth Fiction seems to have stood me in good stead to attack the editing and rewriting process. Another one of those beautiful gems bestowed when you take the risk of trying something new.

By the end of the week I should have edited the 2500 words I currently have. I imagine quite a few of them will be discarded in the process.  But I’m definitely getting better about not being precious.

And I did resign last night from my Breastfeeding Editor’s position with Type A Mom. There are so many unproductive reasons to stay there balanced by a few good reasons, but it was time to move on. Now there are no excuses for not spending more time writing fiction!

Image found at Conjuring Sunlight

Holiday Redux

Gosh – it feels quite like I came back from the wilderness of the Bunya Mountains and promptly entered the wilderness of a writing drought.  Time and circumstances seem to be against me.  And unbelieveably I am on holidays again – this time in my home town of Cairns, staying with my Sister and Mum. With three kids under the same roof, old friends to catch up with, gorgeous tropical winter sun outside and a real desire to kick back .. I haven’t been making (or had!) the time to write.  Even my morning pages have gone beside the wayside which feels OK at the moment.

I wouldn’t like to call my morning pages crutches to get through life, but at the moment I don’t feel empty without doing them religiously every morning.

There’s been lots of behind the scenes work going on with Chinese Whisperings and we attempt to get the template right so we can then load up the information and make the permanent site live.  Without internet for a few days at the start of the week I lost momentum and I’m not too enthused at this point to trade CW work for a walk on the beach or gelato in the glorious sun.

The Dirk Hartog story is still clicking over.  Hartog has learnt some patience (huh – this is what you get when you choose “me” to tell your story to.  Bet you’re currently peeved about it Hartog! Maybe you didn’t do your research so well. Or maybe you have mor faith in me in telling your story than I do at present?) There is also Celia’s story I was intending to write for Fiction Friday yesterday – considering she’s been on an extreme change – time travel back into war torn Europe would do that for you. Plus I overheard a conversation I found interesting in regards to her story. And I also made a startingly discovery which came from said overheard discussion.  To suceed on her mission they had to destroy the time machine – thus she was sent back into the past knowing she would never be able to return to her time and her comrades.

I’m also on a bit of a fact finding mission for my potential NaNo story this year.  Probing and exploring my old friends  high school and teenage experiences/recollection.  I’m hoping if I have some insight into the drives, motivations, fear and triumphs of my old friends during those seminal years I will be able to attract the right characters for the story.

I’ll be back later to do my month in review (yes I am putting it off because it has been pretty dismal in many respects).  And I have a few more ideas I would like to write about.