Enjoy the new offerings – there is a real range of books there.
ANZAC Day is coming up this Friday, April 25. This is the day that Australia pauses to remember both the first ANZAC Day, when Australian and New Zealand forces landed in Gallipoli, and all of Australia’s military involvement in international conflict.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about two new books coming out in time for ANZAC Day, but wanted to write about it again because this particular ANZAC Day is a special one for my family. Murphlet 3, you see, is overseas at present, on the Western Australian Premier’s ANZAC Student Tour. Along with eleven other high school students and their supervisors, he is touring the battle fields of France and Belgium, attending services and generally being steeped in this important part of Australian history. On the day itself he’ll be attending a big dawn service at Villiers-Bretoneaux along with about six thousand others, and laying a wreath alongside the Western Australian Premier.
So, yes, it’s an exciting time for Murphlet 3, and an experience he’ll never forget. To win a place on the trip, he had to firstly research the involvement of Western Australians in the creation of the ANZAC legend and present his findings as a six minute speech. This wasn’t an easy task, but it was a really rewarding one both for him and for the whole family. Both my beloved and myself knew something about our respective families being involved in both of the World Wars, but it was as Murphlet 3 went through this process that we began digging and discussing this history. We are now, as a family, much more aware of the role our forebears played – from both sides of the family, Murphlet 3 had one Great-Great Grandfather, three Great Grandfathers and several great uncles serve during one or both of the World Wars. Some of the sites he’ll be visiting are the very places those relatives fought.
The lesson for me in all this is an awareness of how important it is to ask questions of living relatives about family history, so that that history is not lost. As a writer, I should have already been aware of the importance of asking and recording some of this history, but with much of it not discussed, had lived in ignorance. I know now, and this ANZAC Day as I climb the hill behind my home to attend the local dawn service, I’ll be just that little more aware of the day’s significance.
Still, all the other things got done. Dinner was cooked, served and eaten. The washing was brought in and sorted and put away. The files got uploaded. The Murphlets went to bed happy, and I have an idea for the WIP.
All this got me thinking about how I juggle my writing tasks. A lot of multi-tasking happens there too. On a typical writing day in the past week I have checked and answered emails, answered phone calls from schools wanting me to come and visit, proofread a manuscript that’s just about ready to go out, marked assignments, written book reviews, read books, researched online, blogged … Did I mention I’ve actually written, as well? Other writing task that come up from time to time include sending out submissions, chasing up submissions, praying about submissions (lol), promotion, looking for new markets – the list is almost endless.
Multi-tasking is good. Multi-tasking is fun. There is never time to be bored when there are so many different things to be done. Variety is, as they say, the spice of life. But, just like my missed weather report, trying to do many things at once means that sometimes things can be overlooked. It is easy to have a deadline sneak up on you, or forget to reply to an email, or to let a manuscript gather dust rather than sending it out somewhere new.
These things have all happened ot me at different times. That’s why I keep a list next to my computer. I list all the things I hope to achieve in my week, from the number of reviews and blogposts I want to write, to people I need to contact, the number of writing sessions on my WIP, and submissions I need to follow up on, promotion opportunities I need to grasp, and whatever else needs to be done. I allow myself some flexibility. I don’t work down the list from top to bottom. I work on what seems the most pressing or the most achievable in the time I have on that day. I cross things out as they’re done, so I can see how much I’ve achieved and, when the list is mostly crossings, I start a new one. Oh, there is one rule I have set for myself. I must write every day, whether it’s my WIP or something new that needs my attention, or revisions. If I don’t write, I cease to be a writer.
I might miss the weather, but a simple organisational tool like a list does help me to make time for the things I need to do in my writing life. And in the end, who cares how hot it’s going to be? Knowing we’re in for a scorcher doesn’t change anything.
I’ve just finished updating Aussiereviews with 14 new reviews. Enjoy.
The kit included a french knitting tool, and the materials to make a monkey. It also included instructions which were so vague they may as well have not been there. But with an old ball of wool and some long-lost memories of french knitting as a child, I managed to cast on and get started and even managed to teach Murphlet 5 how to do the stitches. Then came a search for how to cast off. My first attempt was unsuccessful and resulted in the little tube we’d created unravelling (which is why we were experimenting with spare wool). At this point I visited my dear friend Google and searched for French Knitting. Bingo – understandable instructions for casting off.
So, back to the real world and attempt two was more successful. One little tube of french knitting was soon completed and proudly adorning Murphlet 5’s finger. Then it was on to the monkey. to be made with fluffy brown wool and soft orange chenille yarn. I cast on and soon discovered that knitting with fluffy stuff was really hard – so although Murphlet 5 did have a little go, it fell to me to labour away and get the knitting bit done. Three hours and two tubes (one orange, one brown) later we then had to figure out how to assemble the thing. Again, no instructions, but with a tube of glue and a needle and thread, I managed to get the thing together. You can see the finished product here (photograph courtesy of Murphlet 2). It’s not exactly the same as the monkey on the pack, but I’m pretty proud of it – and, more importantly, Murphlet 5 thinks it’s cool.
Now Murphlet 6 is after me to help him with HIS gift from Grandma, which involves making pompom animals. That’s tomorrow’s project.
Anyway, back to the business of writing. Am in the process of catching up on correspondence, and also on reviewing. Read a swag of books whilst on holidays, but now must write and post the reviews. Also took a zillion photos. I invested in a new camera just before Christmas (after my last one met an untimely end, dropped on a bike path) and as well as enjoying capturing the Murphlets and my beloved, I also took photos of lots of things that I think will inspire some stories and poems.
Here are two (which won’t inspire me, but may amuse you – taken by Murphlet 2 at Christmas.
This one needs no explanation – it’s me enjoying my Christmas bubbly.
This one shows off both my loverly Christmas tattoo and my new-found muscles, courtesy of the exercise regime I’ve been following the past four months. They’re not huge, but they’re coming along nicely and, as one who has been far too unfit for far too long, I am pretty proud of myself for following a program which is making me feel healthier than I have for a long long time.
So, my new (writing) year begins. It’s going to be a good one – I can feel it in my waters.
This has nothing to do with writing and everything to do being a mother. My big sister sent me this You-tube clip which is just the funniest thing I’ve ever seen – because it’s just so true. And it’s so me – I think I could play the audio of this one around the house and the kids would just presume it was me (except perhaps for the American accent).
Anyway, if I’ve whet your appetite, go check the video out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anSpBUxsgAU