Monday, 30 March 2015

2015 | March

March has felt like a very long month, yet when I try to think of what I’ve done all I can think of is study! I don't seem to have had time or brain power to do much else, not even read!

I started my Bachelor of Education on the second and it’s been tough. I’m not going to lie, the first week was super stressful as I had no clue what to do and found the website confusing. I’ve been on a rollercoaster of really-stressed and then not-quite-so-stressed. I worry whether I’m doing well enough, but at the end of the day I know all I can do is my best and that’s what I’ll keep doing.

Slowly, happily, I’m getting the hand of full-time study. With lots of help from Mum, I’m finding a way of working that, well, works. I’m behind on the weekly tasks and have two assignments due in the next two weeks and I’m sure that there’ll be more moments of stress but I think I’ll be okay.
Hopefully, I can catch up during the break!

Other than study, the month started with Writers’ Week, which was great and I wished I could’ve stayed longer, and marked the beginning of autumn with darker mornings and cooler weather.

// 1/2. Mum and Dad have been harvesting the peach tree this month, which means beautiful fresh peaches everyday! {we’ve also been giving away a lot as our tree produces a mind boggling amount of fruit!} // 3. Holly’s Puppy Day! On the 23rd we celebrated a year with our pooch. It’s crazy that it’s only been a year and crazy it’s already been a year!
// 4. My textbooks + some flowers from Mum // 5. Working on an assignment and using highlighters and coloured pens because I like to be organised and they make me happy. // 6. I brought this cute inspiration board pack from Kikki K, but I still haven’t gotten around to putting them up... //

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Sew on & on | skirt no. 1

I finished my skirt! And I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Mostly I’m pleased because not only did I finish it {with lots of help from Mum}, but it’s turned out to be as comfortable as I hoped.

The style of the skirt is inspired by a jeanswest skirt I have. I love it but because it’s patterned it doesn’t go with everything. So I wanted to make one in a colour I thought could go with most of my stuff. Mum adapted an old pattern to fit me and we used a navy lawn, because it’s my favourite fabric, to make the skirt.

This skirt is actually the first piece of clothing I’ve ever made. I’ve started a few, but never really got past the cutting out part, so I’m pleased about that, too!

 *I bought my t-shirt from Zara on our roadtrip!
**Photos taken by Vickie, thanks sis!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

2015 | enjoy

Two thousand and fifteen is all about feeling more satisfied, enjoying myself and beginning a new chapter.

This post has taken me a lot longer to get around to than normal, but my new blogging philosophy is to blog when I feel like it, to blog for fun. That’s really what I what the extra, a.k.a. non-study, activities to be this year-fun.

I have goals, of course, like draft a novella, publish a short story, sew more, etc. But these are looser and will depend on what my time looks like once I get the hang of this full-time study business.
When planning my year and trying to decide what I wanted the next 12 {now 9} months to be, I came upon my word for the year – enjoy. This word kept popping up when I thought about how I was sick of trying to do too much in a year and not feeling satisfied, I was tired of creating more stress for myself, I wanted to enjoy my writing, enjoy crafting, enjoy my time. I kept thinking, if I’m not enjoying all this and it’s just adding stress, what’s the point?

So, I’m going to try to find a balance with study and everything else. I’m going make the most of my free time, even if that means just chilling out. I’m going to accept that just studying is enough. And I’m going to enjoy this year and all it brings.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Writers’ Week 2015 | wrap-up

We could only go to Writers’ Week for the weekend this year, which was a little sad, but Amy had to get back to work and I had to start study. Still, we had a great time, even if we did wish we could spend the whole week there.
I say it every year, but it’s always true, this is a brilliant event.
There wasn’t a talk we didn’t enjoy {although, Crikry & Cat was a bit slow going}. I’m not sure which my favourites were. I really enjoyed the history talks {Writing History/In These Times}, but it was just lovely to sit in the garden {we managed to find good seats every time} and eat pastries and listen.
After a lot of going back and forth to Adelaide for study related stuff and knowing I’d be starting study on the Monday, I wanted to just relax and enjoy the weekend. So I didn’t really take many notes. Actually, I took a lot more photos than words this year, the exact opposite to normal.

A few things I did take from the talks:

~inspiration to get writing, listening to passionate authors is the perfect thing to get me feeling like writing

~how some places {like Paris and Tokyo} are fictionalised in people’s minds and don’t take much detail to evoke them. –Mark Henshew

~you only need enough research to give you confidence to write your story –Damien Wilkins

~comedy can get people to look at difficult issues –Graeme Simsion

{the last two are variations of things I’ve heard before, but are still good advice...}
Day 1 - Family {John Lanchester, Tom Rob Smith, Tom Rachman}, The Snow Kimono {Mark Henshew}, Writing History {Helen Castor, Jenny Uglow}, Just Tricking! {Andy Griffiths}, Crikey & Cat {Chris McKinnie}, My Story {Julia Gillard}

Day two - In These Times {Jenny Uglow}, Max Gate {Damien Wilkins}, Travelling Men {Carl Hoffman, Nicholas Shakespeare}, Stitch by Stitch {Anne Kennedy}, New York, New York {Porochista Khakpour, Joanna Rakoff}, The Rosie Effect {Graeme Simsion}

All the podcasts are up already and I can’t wait to get time to listen to the ones I couldn’t attend. Cate Kennedy’s talks and Helen Castor’s are the mains ones, but I’m sure there’ll be others’!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Well read | Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

I adore this book. The characters, the story, the writing.

For my last read of 2014, I picked this up off the library shelf {which is unusual} and thought it sounded cool.

I haven’t read the original and while I think it would add an extra level of interest {seeing how she changed things, etc.}, you don’t need to. This novel was light-hearted, hard to put down and full of delightful description, the kind filled with interesting thoughts and beautiful words that flows with the story rather than halting it.

The story isn’t a huge epic quest or anything {which you’d know, seeing as it’s a Jane Austen rewrite}, but that’s just what I wanted to read at the time. The characters were nicely developed and even when they were being frustrating, I still loved them.

A book I’d read again.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

2015 | February

In contrast to January, February felt very busy. We went back and forth to Adelaide a number of times for Uni related reasons, plus a market on an uncomfortably hot Saturday.

I went to an “Early Preparation Program” at my campus {which is very pretty with lots of trees} and left feeling overwhelmed but encouraged, armed with a few tools I didn’t have before.
Orientation week was slightly different. I finished the program day without much more clue as to what I’d be doing than when I arrived and I felt awful – tired, stressed, uncertain I was doing the right thing and just ready to go home. I’m super glad I stayed for campus day. I found out a lot of information about uni-life and the services offered, got some cool free stuff and felt invigorated. Suddenly, I was aware of all the opportunities available {was still terrified, though}.

In non-study news {it doesn’t feel like there was much!}, I finished my first skirt! I’m so pleased. It’s not perfect, but it is the first piece of clothing I’ve ever made, so I’m happy.
I also finished my workbook and felt ready good about it. I spent a couple of mornings on it before o-week and it centred me and allowed me space to remember everything I wanted the year to be and feel.
Plus, as a yay-you-got-into-uni present, James gave me these super sweet earrings.

// 1. Handemade with Love market at Flinders Street // 2. A few free goodies and info booklets from o-week // 3. A rose that was caught between the cool and hot weather // 4. My workbook, completed. //

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.