Friday, 13 February 2015

Mostly Monthly | the fairy in the lounge room

Following my new blogging philosophy of making blogging fun again and doing it when I want/have the time to, I decided, as much as I love it, Fourteen Fiction is too much pressure.
So in its place is Mostly Monthly! I’ll be sharing Fourteen-Fiction-type stories as well as some random pieces, screenwriting and possibly some poetry.
I’ll try and share a bit of writing every month, but sometimes it might be less or could be more, hence the name!

This month is a classic Fourteen Fiction style {written before I decided a change was in order}.
So, the words:
Banana {James}
Diabolical {Adam}
Sausage, tomorrow {Christopher}
‘We’ll have sausages tonight if Jamie drops them by on his way home. I thought I’d cook up toad-in-the-hole for two!’ Keely paused in her unpacking of the groceries and looked over to her four-year-old son, who was currently suffering from an unfortunate bowl cut. He sat at the head of the table, fists buried in his cheeks, looking even more serious than normal. ‘What’s up, possum?’

Bernie sighed and sat back, fixing his mother with a look of uncertainty. ‘Maybe we should speak to the fairy.’

Keely nodded, sagely. She paused. ‘Wait, what?!

‘In the lounge,’ Bernie slipped off his chair and led his mother into the lounge room.

In the corner of the room, next to the ugly lamp from her aunt, was a pinkish glow. Keely looked closer, but not too close – you couldn’t be too careful with fairies-, and saw a white figure inside. Like all fairies, it looked like a puffy baby in a dress.

‘Um, hello.’ Keely said. The fairy just looked at her, unnervingly.

‘Tell mother what you told me.’ Bernie demanded.

‘If you don’t give the troll what he desires by noon tomorrow, he will destroy your town.’

‘That’s diabolical!’ Keely exclaimed, outraged. ‘The nerve of some people.’

‘He requires a bunch of bananas,’ the fairy said.

Keely bit her lip, suddenly on a different emotional track. ‘Bananas are quite expensive at the moment.’

‘Mother!’ Bernie said.

‘Right, of course. I’ll go out straight away.’ Keely hurried to the door and pulled on her coat. She hesitated. ‘Look after Bernie, Fairy. Bernie, watch the fairy.’ She nodded sternly and then proceeded to hurry out the door.

‘Your mother is strange.’ The fairy said.

Bernie shrugged.

Friday, 6 February 2015

2014 | in review

2014 started off in a sea of uncertainty, having finished study, I was overwhelmed by possibilities.
My word for the year was “Foundation” and the aim for it was to motivate me to get drafts done, while still allowing for me to find my feet in a non-study world.

And although I didn’t complete all the drafting goals I had, the word allowed me the freedom to start projects, change directions, have revelations and then made a big decision {one I really wouldn’t have expected at the beginning of the year}.
I didn’t complete a whole lot in 2014 writing-wise, a handful of short stories, but mainly I planned and wrote parts of things. I worked on Agatha’s world, wrote ¾ of a Magical Detectives script, plotted and wrote the opening to WOTH, but didn’t work on PEN at all.
I never really settled and therefore didn’t finish anything, which made me feel like I didn’t do much but looking back I’m really pleased with all I got done!

I went to Salisbury Writers’ Festival for the first time last year and, as always, enjoyed Writers’ Week. The only workshops I ended up going to was a travel writing workshop in January, which was interesting even if it wasn’t what I was hoping for/expecting.
2014 was full of life: lots of the family travelled to different places {including us girls’ when we went on an incredible roadtrip!}, we experienced the fright of a fire and went to an awful lot of markets.
I graduated in April and then had a revelation about my future in September.

I finally got used to being a twenty-something {kind of} and I enjoyed sharing the last of our Queensland trip and my thoughts on my Extended Project {the two big 2013 things!}.

Probably the biggest and best thing to happen all year was getting Holly. She’s such a sweet, little terror and makes life that extra bit better. I love her so much.

I’m rather pleased to have completed most of my “five things” goals – I read 8 books, did my hair project, sent birthday cards and filled my 365 days book. I didn’t learn a song on the piano, but I gave it a go! As for those secret craft goals, I managed to make some toys and finish my scarf and I’m pretty chuffed with that!
Overall, 2014 was a year of lots of different things, preparing for one thing lead to a decision to do another. My vision for 2015 changed a lot. The plan was to prepare for full-time writing and in some ways it still is, I’m just taking a different path.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

2014 | The Year My Hair Changed A Lot

I had so much fun last year playing with my hair. I changed it so often that now that my hair has been the same for two months it feels odd!

I can’t really pick a favourite as such, because they all turned out reasonably well. Blonde {surprisingly} and red are probably the ones I’d be most likely to do again, while my dark purple hair was so pretty and the most frivolous I was the entire year {i.e. the only one I didn’t have a set image of}.
The least successful was my blue ends, but even they turned out pretty. Also, my light purple was tough to get right. Overall, the project made me less precious about my hair {we’ll see how long that lasts!}.

Having said that, I think I’m done with dyeing my hair for some time, but we’ll see! For now, I’ll just enjoy my short, brown hair.
\\ 1. Ombre \\ 2. Blonde \\ 3. Red \\ 4. Blue tips \\ 5. Bob! \\ 6. Pale-pre-purple blonde \\ 7. Purple ver. 1 \\ 8. Purple ver. 2 \\ 9. Fringe \\ 10. Dark purple \\ 11. Short + back to brown! \\

+ a huge thank you to Vickie {my main photographer}, Amy & Mum for taking all the photos!

Monday, 2 February 2015

2014 | Veale Gardens + an unusual christmas

Christmas 2014 was a bit of an odd one. It was lovely travelling down to the city, like old times. It was {mostly} awesome having Holly with us. It was great to see family we hadn’t in years.
But it, for some reason, didn’t feel super Christmas-y. I think this might be due to being super busy in the lead up and kind of forgetting about, I don’t know. It was, however, a super lovely mini-family-holiday!

Having Holly with us meant we were pushed to actually go out and visited the beach with her and the beautiful Veale Gardens {the real topic of this post...supposedly}. She enjoyed both outings and spent the rest of her time playing or napping, mostly napping.

On a semi-related sidenote, New Year’s Eve was more typical. We watched Groundhog Day and The Three Musketeers (2011) {both for the first time} and ate a banana-ice-cream pie topped with caramel {caramel and ice-cream homemade by yours truly}. Watching movies til midnight is always a lot of fun!

You can find more photos from the Veale Gardens here on Vickie’s blog.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

2015 | January

January has been the normal mix of relaxing, planning, panicking that I haven’t gotten enough done yet, realising I still have eleven whole months, and trying to kick-start myself into normal actually-doing-things mode.

Unusually for me, I haven’t finished my lists or workbook yet. I’ve had to wait til mid-January to find out what my year is going to be, which made planning hard. It didn’t stop me from drafting everything, of course. But it seems now all is going according to my dream plan, because I was accepted into my first preference uni course!

Other than that, I spent time re-watching some Charmed with Amy while she was on holidays, doing nothing much, drafting a short story, getting an overdue trim which made me love my short hair again, restarting Holly’s training, trying aqua aerobics {fun, but sunburn is not}, playing tennis, enjoying the Australian Open {even though both my favourites are out} and dealing with all the enrolling & organising that comes with Uni.

// 1. A family trip to Port Germein for fish & chips // 2. Working on my workbook & lists // 3. Spending my xmas money on fabric, a calendar and some writing books {plus some buttons} // 4. Revisiting Alligator Gorge // 5. Getting started on the first of two skirts // 6. In my glasses currently – xmas cards, a uni flyer, some Going Postal quotes and a lollipop {from J-bro for Christmas} //

{Photos 1 & 4 by Vickie}

Friday, 26 December 2014

Fourteen Fiction | the inheritance

One of the things I really love about these exercises is that the words, having to believably include them in the story, pushes me past the first idea that comes to my mind and challenges me to think of something more interesting. The words force me to not be lazy.

This is rather similar to having a word count to stick to {like in competitions}, which I quite enjoy. How can you fit the story you want to tell into the available space?
Actually, it’s not such a bad idea for bigger projects – decide what you want the story to be {tone wise} or something you want in it or the size and those constrictions can force you to me more creative.

Anyway, enough of that!

The words {which I tried to use in the order they were given, just for fun...}:
The other dancers moved around her with fluidity. {Calendar prompt}
Inherit {Amy}
Labels {Christopher}
Fantasy {Adam}
{I’m a tad late, I know, but this was written pretty close to the 14th!}

The other dancers moved around her with fluidity, stepping and twirling in time to the music. Their tulle skirts floated up around them. Lydia fumbled, her feet couldn’t keep the time and all she could hear was her mother’s message. It repeated over and over in her ears and each time her words seemed to gain the meaning they wished to express. Her grandfather was dead.

The lawyer’s voice droned on with the odd tone of rain on a roof, overwhelmingly soft. Lydia ignored proceedings; she wasn’t in the mood to be interested. She stared out the window, watching the lawyers secretary winding tinsel around the fence, and thought how horribly sad it was that someone had died and nobody cared. Not even her. Not really, not like she should.

The guilt had been eating away at her since she’s heard her mother’s voicemail. Her grandfather had been a hard man, no one would dispute that, but Lydia could have sworn there was a larrikin hidden inside, waiting for permission to reveal himself.

Sitting in front of the lawyer’s desk was her mother and brother. Her father had died years ago and her mother had never liked her father-in-law –the feeling was mutual-. Her brother had stopped attending traditional Boxing Day (Proclamation Day! Her grandfather would correct) lunches as soon as he’d moved out. Neither could be said to be sad at the passing, they were simply interested in what they were to inherit.

‘Lydia?!’ they gasped. Lydia spun around, ready to defend her absentmindedness. But they both just gawked at her.

‘What? What is it?’ she demanded.

The lawyer cleared his throat. ‘Your grandfather, Miss Fairbanks, has left all his worldly possessions, including his vast fortune and house, to you.’

Lydia, of course, shared the fortune evenly between her mother, brother and herself. She never quite worked out why her grandfather gave everything to her. She hoped by keeping the house (despite her family’s insistence to sell) and looking after it for future Fairbanks she would, in her own way, earn it.
Perhaps, Lydia wondered as she labelled the last of her boxes, the politeness she showed affected him.

‘Come on, Lyddy.’ Her brother appeared from around the corner. ‘The moving truck’s here.’

One Sunday, when her brother had come to help with some jobs, Lydia finally explored the attic, dispelling her night-time fears. In it, she found a portrait, painted by an unknown artist, of their grandfather from a time long before her.
‘What are you going to do with that?’ her brother asked over her shoulder.

‘It should hang in the drawing room.’

He simply nodded and hung it for her later that day after a lunch of chicken casserole.

Christmas lights twinkled in all her front windows and a giant tree stood in the drawing room, which delighted her endlessly. Lydia stood back and admired it. Her gaze shifted to the portrait above the fireplace. A year later, she still didn’t know how to feel about her grandfather, who watched her every day when she practised the violin, or any of the things that happened because of him.

‘Lyddy,’ her brother came in wearing a yellow paper crown. ‘Mum says lunch is almost ready.’

‘I’ll be right there.’ She said, turning back to the portrait. He surprised her by not going, but coming up beside her and putting an arm around her.

‘Happy Proclamation Day, Gramps.’ He said with a suitable amount of melancholy.

She smiled. ‘Yes, happy Proclamation Day.’

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Most magical time...

I adore Christmas {although this year is does seem to have snuck up on me}, putting up the tree, eating the food, seeing family and savouring that Christmas-y feeling you only get once a year.

Normally, I’d have been starting to write my wrap-up of the year, but that will have to wait as I have a few to write this time {some might even, most likely, sneak into the New Year}.
I’m just going to enjoy planning 2015 and doing a bit of nothing while my little sis has time off work. And, of course, enjoying Christmas and everything it is.

I hope your Christmas is merry & bright!