Five months after

It seems like a lifetime since I last wrote a blog post, five months ago. A lot has happened since then and I’m going to save you the intricate details that probably don’t mean anything to you, but I surely need to put some of it out there.

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Calendar by Andreanna Moya, available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreanna/2837855969.
Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

A day job can be hard slog: certainly I can’t complain about my “day job”, but it takes up a considerable amount of “neural real estate”. Being a university teacher who’s also a postgrad student uses up a lot of my mental resources and more often than not I need my free time just to “switch myself off”. Tied to this is financial worry. Part of me yearns for a steady income stream to replace casual teaching contracts. But casual teaching contracts is all there is—at least for the moment.

Sadly tragedy stroke once: my best friend Kev had rapid onset depression and ended up taking his own life in the middle of June. I lost one of my pillars of support, someone who’s protective wings were readily available for nearly ten years. Grief is so weird that I felt I was in the clutches of depression myself, for a good couple of weeks after Kev’s passing. In a conversation with my psychiatrist, I was able to finally frame those dark feelings as grief. I knew that life went on and found a way to honour my friend’s memory by joining his “tribe” of friends and adding my bit to help Kev’s favourite organisation, Petrea King’s Quest for Life Foundation.

The “Bedroom Short Stories…” lay idle in the hard disk of my laptop. I finally contacted Paul Mattingly—my editor—and started working on the final manuscript, which as you know has been published recently.  You can find it on Amazon, Smashwords and Google Play.  A few months after the intended publication date, my second book reared its head in the e-booksphere.

Where does inspiration come from? I wish I knew … One thing I do know is that it doesn’t come from outer space, or from the fringes of wishful thinking, or from writer’s blah blah. But I didn’t know I was in for a nice surprise that really galvanised me into going ahead: on August 14 I received the unexpected good news that “Bittersweet Symphony” had won the Bronze Medal in the Global Ebook Awards in the New Adult Fiction category. In the same way as I have always reacted slowly to very bad news, this supa good piece of good news took a few days to sink in. I need to organise serious PR work, but I’ve decided to try my luck again at another award. Stay tuned!

Writing assignments is taking up most of my time these days, but I’ve decided to restart blogging with a vengeance. I also have written some 3,000 words that could well become my second novel. I know what it is I want to write about. It all seems to indicate that the main character will be another female, this time a young woman who could actually be Lena Foch’s daughter. Somehow I see myself as a feminist writer … but I’m also a a fringe critic of some of its radical forms. Honouring this view, I’ve decided that my “gals” will be intelligent, honest, strong, independent, sexual and with “dark pasts”, whatever that means. Women of action and substance.

A few days ago I participated in an unusual experience: a casting for a modelling job. Luckily I didn’t get it because the clothes I had to wear made me look like a matron. They’re good pics, but they’ll never find their way into cyberspace. Had I been selected to participate in the project, my image would’ve been splashed all over Australia, wearing clothes that aren’t my style at all and putting on a persona that is as far away from the real “me” as being a creature from outer space.

Well, I’m back. Something has shifted and I’m not quite sure of what it is, but it feels good. Catcha later 🙂

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