Posted in Charity, Happiness, Health and fitness, Writers, Year of Gratitude

Goals, setbacks, new beginnings and looking forward not back


A bang of New Year’s Eve fireworks may be how most people will spend the end of 2019. Not me. I’ll be taking a more straightforward approach, ending the year with gratitude, pride and bittersweet memories. Maybe raising a glass of cold beer with my nearest and dearest.

As I age time moves faster, though for some reason this year seemed like a long one. It was packed full of the highs and lows of life, like an old rollercoaster slowly chugging uphill only to shoot down the dips, so my heart dropped to my stomach. I have ached but I have healed. I am optimistic about 2020. I hope you are too.

Words of 2019

I’ve laughed, cried, worried, grieved, shared, created, worked, pondered, let fitness slip, planned, been bullied, stayed resilient, supported, began a dream job, enjoyed wins, endured loses, regathered, communicated, got motivated, fought lethargy, got fitter, ate healthier, built a new life, found a new home, created family traditions, grew bonds, rediscovered design, networked, increased gratitude, wrote – and above all – loved.

What I learned most was:

  • We all have hidden internal struggles
  • Showing successes on social media doesn’t mean you are more successful than others
  • Our bodies need health more than visual appeal
  • Cancer is becoming a chronic, rather than a fatal disease (but the fact does not ease the emotional pain for those fighting the fight)
  • Bushfires have been part of Australia for thousands of years (we need to return to old ways)
  • Fires create new growth (ask the Aborigines or any indigenous people).
  • The world cares about our koalas
  • I don’t need to write multiple books per year – I must complete my WIP
  • There is more to the business of writing than words
  • My family are imperfectly perfect, and I love them with my heart and soul
  • Dogs know their way home
  • If you find the person who loves you warts and all love them warts and all back
  • No matter how far you travel, real friends remain
  • I write to be read
  • Words are, and always have been, my story
Firefighter Calendar 2020
I thought you’d like the Australian Firefighters Classic Calendar 2020. Hot fireies. There’s also some with sexy firefighters with cute animals. It doesn’t get much better than that. Buy a calendar to raise money for charity. Bonus – you have hot guys on your wall.

You’re probably wondering if I have a resolution. I have too many because I have a long list of goals I would like to achieve in 2020 and beyond. So, instead, I am setting myself a monthly challenge. I’ll let you know what my January goal is. Less alcohol and more exercise. I guess it’s a common one in January but for my health – an important goal.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

I’d love to hear yours. Comment below. Thanks for reading my dear readers. You mean the world to me.

If you would like to read my first two books for only 99 cents (ebooks only) and have a sneak peek at Elephant Creek.

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Posted in Elephant Creek, Happiness, Health and fitness, Other stuff, Writers, Writing tips

My writing epiphany made me hit reset


I had an epiphany.

From the Oxford Dictionary

epiphany

noun

1. the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12). (Nah, not this kind)

2. a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization. (That’s it)

My epiphany: To write in a healthy way.

The updated front cover up upcoming release Elephant Creek.

How did this moment come about?

A close friend dropped by my house. Nothing unusual with that, at least I didn’t think so. As I made tea I waffled on with my dramas (trivial ones in hindsight). Though she seemed a bit quieter than usual, my normally attentive emotional radar did not kick in. I should have twigged when she started on the lame jokes (her cover), but no I kept rambling. Finally, I asked her how she was (a smack in the head moment).

“I found a lump in my breast,” she said simply as my jaw dropped along with my shame. Breast cancer, the big C, the frightening, dreadful disease that no one should have, let alone a life-long friend.

Usually a non-crier, her tears fell, joined by mine and then my husband’s too. It was a moment of no, why, what, how, and this totally sucks! Of course, we talked about her options, emotions, ethics and yet to be made decisions until she was obviously exhausted from revealing the news.

When she left, I cried some more. Shock. Though I believe she’ll fight the big C and WIN I found myself thinking the oddest thoughts. Anger. How can I help her? Care. What would I do if something did happen to her? Selfishness and fear. Why someone so healthy? Questions. Why so many with cancer? More questions. I don’t want this to be happening to my friend. Sadness.

The next day I entered my home office. I answered emails, filed, created spreadsheets, did research and other things for four hours on autopilot. Occasionally I glanced at the books lining my shelf. Two are my own self-published books, two anthologies I feature in and the rest are writing references. When I finished my employed work (RWA), I stared at the books again. I looked at my desk with fresh eyes. I was organised with all my trays, nooks and folders. My office was functional and pretty. I loved working in my own writing space. Problem was I was not writing enough.

But what if my health stopped me working or writing? What if something happened to me, like my friend. I’d previously overworked and my health had suffered. I realised how important health is.

Another good friend (a fellow writer) has kidney disease and is awaiting a transplant. She’s ten years younger than me. Her first book will be out soon. Her disease spurred her on to get it done.

My epiphany made me hit reset. Restart all goals. Writing goals cannot be achieved without good health. The brain does not function properly with a lack of exercise and bad diet.

What will I do now (and yes, I have started)?

  • Wake early each morning to jog (I’m unfit so this is tough)
  • Walk the dog as a warm down (appreciating nature too)
  • Eat cleaner, fresher, wholesome foods
  • Always have breakfast (usually oats plus fruit or nuts)
  • Stretch the fingers after being on the keyboard all-day
  • Step away from the laptop if the neck or shoulders hurt
  • Go to the beach at least once a week
  • Write on notepads instead of always on a screen
  • Take supplements (like magnesium for cramps)
  • Eat more Keto-type foods
  • Buy a standup paddleboard and paddle on weekends
  • Get my skin checked
  • Purchase more hats to wear in the sun
  • Wear sunglasses in the sunshine
  • See the grandchildren (they give us life and lessons)
  • Listen to what people are really saying (watch body language)
  • Be mindful
  • Relax more
  • Keep learning about writing
  • Write more
  • Finish Elephant Creek
  • Start the next book (and keep going and going)

There’s probably plenty of extra things I could add but that will do for now.

Keep writing you never know when you will no longer have time

Until next time here are photos of my new office on the Sunshine Coast. Plus, the updated version of Elephant Creek’s cover. I hope you like it. Please let me know what you think.