Tonight is Halloween night and it’s also the last night before NaNoWriMo starts. Scary on both counts.
This is my first attempt at NaNo and I am super excited, but also terrified of the month ahead. Can I make it through the month and get to November 30 without going mental? Time will tell.
So what is this NaNoWriMo?
Below is how its explained on the Nanowrimo website.
“National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel”
It is a great concept and I hope the global scale of it and the accountable part will help me get to the 50000 words by the end of November. It means writing at least 1600 words per day. As I work full time my plan is to aim for 1000 every night after work and 6-8000 on the weekend. It will mean minimal social life, Facebook and posting on here. Apart from the odd update on how I am going with my writing.
My plan is to continue my novel “Secrets in the Lake” Have already written 15000 words and with the extra 50000, I should hopefully have enough by end November for the first draft. That is the plan.
There is still time to join 🙂 If you want to buddy up you can find me under SalMG
So until next time, please excuse my absence. But I am determined to get to the end of November with the first draft of my novel under my belt.
Good luck to all Wrimos out there. May we all succeed and have fun getting to the end.
Just introducing my cute flatmate, Mr or Mrs Possum.
Been hanging around for a long time now in spite of me having a cat. Seemed quite happy to play model.
Possums along with kangaroos and koalas are iconic Australian fauna. They are nocturnal marsupials and apparently, we have 23 known species here. Often they are a pest when they get into peoples roof spaces, but this little fella is doing no harm.
I love the fact that I can live in an apartment in a big city like Sydney only minutes walk from a huge shopping center and still enjoy nature in the form of this cute little possum.
Nothing beats getting up early in the morning to capture the start to the day. It’s hard to get out of bed at 5am on a Sunday morning when your body says “I want to sleep”, but it is so worth it.
I dragged myself out this morning to capture a few pictures of the sunrise at Wanda beach here at Cronulla. It was still dark and the streets very quiet as I made myself down to the beach.
Only a handful of cars parked in the carpark and everything was quiet except for the sound of the surf and a few early birds. It was beautiful and serene. For a moment I just stood there taking it all in breathing in the ocean air. I love that smell. It’s energizing.
The morning was a bit cloudy and a rolling sea mist was stuck in the hills. It looked eerie, like a slow moving animal floating quietly over the grassy sand hills. The beauty of nature always astounds me.
A few surfers were already in the water. So brave. Not sure I would like to be out there in the semi-dark, but they love their morning surf. And honestly, when you start to see the sun come up over the horizon you can understand why. Its a sight I never tire of.
Slowly people started to appear on the beach, walking, jogging or just checking out the surf. More and more cars arrived, parents with their young children getting ready for a beach competition. Stands were being set up and the surf club opened up for the day.
It was beautiful to watch. A great way to ease into the day. I have to start listening more to my heart that loves getting up early rather than my tired body who wants to sleep in 🙂
I took quite a few photos but also spent a lot of time just enjoying the moments.
This was written in preparation for today’s Writing group session. Prompt is ‘See you later!’ You called, not realising it wasn’t true.
How many times in life do we say that “See you later”, but really have no idea if we will? It’s our positive minds saying that phrase. We all truly do not want to imagine not seeing our friends and loved ones later.
I said that many times to my friend that I had known for over 10 years.
We first connected at the gym during my year as an instructor. She was such a positive and friendly soul, always talking about her dancing and the parties she attended with her dance friends. Sounded like such fun, but I was in a relationship and it wasn’t the right time for me to venture to dance classes. That changed when my partner and I broke up. I was hurt and sad but knew I had to get out and have some fun. So I joined my friend from the gym and that was the start of a long friendship.
We soon realised we had a similar background. She was originally from Europe too and still had family there. Had met her Australian husband, now ex, in Switzerland and ended up out here in Australia starting married life and having a family. Very similar to my story.
My friend had a beautiful adventurous spirit and always off doing something different. Work for her was not about career, but more about financing her next adventure. Trekking, skiing, sailing or working in the Swiss Alps over their winter season. I loved that about her. Her ability to just take off and not worry about where her next meal would come from.
Many times my friend would leave Australia for time away somewhere else. We would say our “see you later” knowing she would be back. We all got used to her gypsy existence knowing Australia and her family here would make her return even if only for short periods.
That was until her last adventure in Europe. My friend never returned. I didn’t get to “see her later”. A freak accident trying to rescue a young girl who had fallen off the ramp into a lake. Not realising there was an electrical fault and the water was fully charged with electricity they both ended their lives right there in the lake. It was instant, but so not the right time for either of them. My friend was 52 and the young girl only 26. But then is it ever the right time?
We all know it is how our lives will end. With death. But we never want to really face it. If we did, maybe we would all treasure our lives more and live each day knowing we may not always “see loved ones later”
My friend’s loved ones will never “see her later”
“Go live each day as if it’s your last, but prepare for tomorrow”
Wow I have reached my first milestone and I am truly grateful for all the support, comments and likes I have received from everyone. Its really appreciated and extremely satisfying and exciting to know others enjoy my writing.
I am still learning and testing the waters in this writing and blogging space. To know its enjoyed enough by others to follow my site is really humbling and encouraging.
This morning something wonderful happened that brought me to tears and I would like to share it with you, my readers.
In fact, when it happened I wanted to tell the world. To tell everyone in the post office of the good news I had just received via the letter I had collected from the counter.
For the last 12 months, I have been waiting for this moment. I knew who the letter was from as I really don’t get any letters from Denmark anymore. My family and I communicate via the internet now, so I knew it was from the Danish consulate reviewing my application to revoke my Danish citizenship. You can read more about this in my blog Aussie Viking Down Under
I was almost scared to open it, In case the answer was NO. That would be so disappointing. I really wanted this to be YES. Not that I feel any less Australian. I just know there is a lot of Danish in me and I want to honor that by being both Danish and Australian. Also, it will open doors not only for myself should I one day decide to want to stay in Europe a bit longer, but my daughters will also have a much better chance to gain Danish citizenship (and hence European) after me. They both have this desire to go live in Europe for a year or two one day.
So I was nervous when I opened the letter. I turned it around and read the words in Danish “We have now finalized our review from all the documents provided and have decided to provide you with your Danish citizenship again” That’s all I needed to read. My heart was pounding and my eyes holding back the tears. I was so relieved and so moved and so very happy.
I wanted to share the good news and took a photo of the part of the certificate showing my name and posted it to my family on Facebook. Straight away 5 likes even if it was late at night there. The night owls noticed!
I wanted to share the news with my daughters and tried to first ring my oldest living here in Sydney, but no answer. Then I tried my daughter living in San Fransisco, but of course, she would be at work so no good either. I finally got hold of a good friend. I just had to share my news. Her words were “ that’s really lovely Sal. Now you can move to Spain” Bit of a joke between us I guess, We had a trip together to Spain last year and I have this desire to go to Spain and write. A bit like the movie The Tuscan Sun. Except in Spain. Mind you I would never say no to Tuscany if that opportunity came up.
I had a moment wishing my parents were still alive to know I have now become Danish again. I’ve always felt they still watch over me so I’m sure they do. I lost a dear friend this year to a freak accident. You can read about this in I will miss her Spirit. I know she would have understood my need to become Danish again. She revoked her Dutch citizenship a few years ago when the Netherland allowed dual citizenship. Would have been so nice to have been able to tell her over a cuppa or a wine. I miss her so much.
It’s certainly time to celebrate. I have 2 bottles of champagne chilling in the fridge which Ill bring along to the 21st birthday party I’ll be going to tonight. Ill have my own birth celebration. The birth of the official new me. The Danish Australian living down under.
So why is this so important to me. I’m not really sure, but I feel like I’m now complete. I’m not just Australian because my heritage and first 20 years of my life were in Denmark. Its a part of me. It always has been. And now it’s official. My old country has accepted me back.
Cheers everyone, the bubbles will be flowing tonight.
Imagine waking up to a text in the middle of the night saying you have 20 minutes to evacuate. That’s what many residents in the California region would have experienced recently.
My daughter currently lives in San Fransisco and they all woke up Monday morning to a thick blanket of smoke enveloping the whole city. Smoke from the horrendous fires that had been ablaze all night in the Northern California region. A beautiful lush and hilly wine region I visited and enjoyed so much only a few months ago.
The fires of California have been horrible and destructive on so many levels. Lives have been lost, fathers, mothers children, friends…..
The effects are a lot more far-reaching than the initial loss of lives & homes that we hear about on the news. Imagine having no home, where would you go initially. A shelter living with other people where you don’t have your normal belongings around you. I am sure you would be happy just to be alive but the effects of our “things” around us are comforting. You would have lost your feeling of security and safety.
In some cases, whole townships are gone. Schools, shops, homes. Peoples livelihood gone. The mental effect would be far reaching into the future.
I can’t begin to imagine the horror it would be. But I wonder what we would take if given just 20 minutes to get out of our homes. For starters Im blind as a bat, 5 minutes would be gone just finding and getting my lenses in! Even if we all hope we would never be part of any big natural disasters, its worth pondering and getting yourself organised before it strikes.
My list would be:
My cat My handbag – being female it has most essentials 🙂 Extra clothing for warmth and extra pair of undies Personal important documents, e.g. Passport, birth certificate My camera, Laptop & Kindle (oh I am such a nerd) Photos (mental note to get them organised into albums) Sentimental jewelry (my mums) My box of memories (my old journal, letters from my parents etc)
I think my 20 minutes would well and truly be up by then.
I look around my place and see so many more things that mean something to me. Life memories that would be lost.
I hope I never have to experience anything where my list comes in handy.
My thoughts go out to all affected by the recent fires.
Written a few years ago as a single mum raising my girls
Life is a beautiful journey Full of constant challenges that enrich my days make me grow as a person An eternal row of lessons tackled gladly most days with an energy and enthusiasm from my positive independent soul
Strong and courageous nurturing and resourceful constantly being the one. Mother and father in one body by far my favorite role At times it drains me Feeling alone and needing a hug My inner child’s needs awakened
That’s when I spiral and spin into a place I hate An ocean full of tidal waves so huge so crushing so engulfing Like a David against Goliath I feel small and incompetent Lost in a world of doubt and turmoil My inner peace a distant memory
Wishing for the sun to dry up the ocean To let me feel complete again Needing to find the energy to renew my battered soul Only way out is to let the quiet speak imagine strong arms surrounding me nurturing and soothing my soul back to land where I can again be the the one – be Mum