Monday, 22 December 2014

Hair // the short end

This felt like the biggest {and scariest!!!} change of the year. It’s also the last.

I always wanted to go back to my natural colour at the end of this crazy project, but a whim took me a couple of months ago and I decided, despite believing I look terrible with short hair thanks to a cut when I was younger –which, needless to say, I hated-, to also cut my hair shorter than I thought ever would.

It was hard to find a style I liked as I knew I didn’t want to repeat history with short all over. Eventually I found a few photos and went, tentatively, to the hairdressers.

I’m so relieved to be able to say I now that I both love having short hair and like how it looks on me, because when I came home I wasn’t so sure.
My hairdresser likes to add volume and that combined with the huge change made me feel the style made me look younger/older/bigger-faced/boyish/etc.
I was assured it looked lovely but inside I was wondering what I’d done and wishing I’d wanted until after Christmas when we’ll be seeing lots of family.

It took a couple of days to get use to it. After styling it myself {which I’m still learning how to do} and washing out the hairspray, I started to like it and now I think I’m going to keep it all summer.

A big change and a bit of a risk seemed the perfect end to The Year My Hair Changed A Lot.

{Photos by Vickie}

Saturday, 20 December 2014

A secondary passion

Since September, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future {well actually I do that all the time...}. I’ve been thinking about how on earth I’m going to support myself into the future. I’m so very lucky to have parents who fully support me in everything I do, but the fact of the matter is I’m going to have to hold my own weight one day and writing is not going to be able to support me financially for a while.

Even if I were to get a contract in the next two years or so {how long it would take me to write & polish a novel}, it would take another year to publish it and then another before I’d be likely to see a royalty cheque. And it will take even more years before I can write and publish consistently enough to live off it.

So I need a job.

Not counting the seven plus years I’ve worked in the family business, I’ve never had a job. I’ve been looking for a part-time job to save for some travelling, but coming to the realisation that writing will take a while to support me has made me think more about the possibility of a career outside of my main passion {I don’t really want to be stuck in a casual job for seven years...}.

Strangely, I don’t find this depressing. It’s scary, for sure, but I like to see this new path that has opened not as a weight on my shoulders or derailing me from what I love but as taking the path that works for many others {supporting yourself with a “normal” job while pursuing your passion} and an exciting opportunity.
I’ve come to think I should study again, something more specialised that leads to career, and if I’m to do something other than writing, I’d like to find something I can be passionate about.

The problem was I wasn’t sure what else I wanted to do. I did a lot of thinking and finally came to the same idea I thought of immediately after I started thinking about another career.
So, all fingers and toes crossed, I’ll be studying at uni next year in a field not so different to writing {more on that later}. It’s terrifying for so many reasons, but I feel like, out of everything I considered, this is a career I can really love and feel passionate about.

I’m terrified and excited for everything this new chapter will bring. {...mainly terrified right now!}

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Sisters Head East | a journey in objects

When I travel I like to collect something to remind me of the place. I like to collect something to wear + a bookmark + a postcard.

Since we were travelling to a number of different locations, I didn’t want to go overboard, so I decided to get at least one thing from the four major locations and not worry about the three different types of things.

I noticed a had a nice little collection from each place and thought it would be fun to photograph them grouped by location, as a kind of journey in objects.

Mount Gambier // Great Ocean Road // Apollo Bay // Melbourne

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Sisters Head East | Melbourne

While driving into Melbourne was a bit of a nightmare, our time there was awesome.

We were all tired by this point in the trip but we still managed fill our days and make the most of the shopping and eating on offer in the city. Melbourne was our stop to splurge, so we had a couple of fancier meals and stopped for tea & cake more often.

It was Amy’s first trip to Melbourne, but Vickie & I had been before. It was so weird to go to places I’d been to two years ago; they were so familiar, like nothing had changed.

It was a super fun way to end the road trip {well, kind of end it; we had two days driving afterwards!}

// Royal Exhibition Building gardens // picnic at Como // Stables of Como // the city // Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory // Royal Arcade //

4 by Vickie

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Sisters Head East | Apollo Bay/Otway National Park

We stayed in Apollo Bay for a couple of days as a short stop over before Melbourne, but spent most of our time in the Otway National Park.

It was a lot of fun walking around and seeing some stunning waterfalls. But it was also hard work; we were tired everyday and the walks went downhill first and then back up when you’re tired.

Hopetoun Falls was the most picture-esque, Cora Lynn with its slippery mud was the hardest and Triplet Falls was the nicest walk, being a loop walk and eliminating the ‘oh no, we’re going to have to go up this later’ thoughts, it was also just a really lovely walk with a beautiful waterfall at the end.

The walking might have been hard going, but the waterfalls were well worth it.

// Beauchamp Falls walk // Otway Fly // Hopetoun Falls // Phantom Falls // Otway Fly // Apollo Bay beach //

///1&3 by Amy, 5&6 by Vickie ///

Friday, 12 December 2014

SWF | the first page

The First Page // with Jacinta di Mase, Dyan Blacklock, Rose Michael & Eva Mills

When I was at the Salisbury Writers’ Festival way back in August, I attended their famous First Page session. The concept is, basically, a whole bunch of aspiring writers send in their first pages and, depending on time, the panel of publishers and agents review them.

I found it immensely reassuring to hear all four panellists say they always read passed the first page and that cover letters aren’t as important as the actual writing.
In fact, Eva Mills mentioned often one of the first things she did was start the book later than the original manuscript.

The first page does need to make a good first impression, though, by presenting your setting, characters and a good hook. All four panellists agreed they had to personally love a book if they were to represent it. But they also have to think commercially, hence why the hook and having an original twist {which doesn’t have to be big!} is so important.

So, your novel doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to show promise and good practical skills {lazy grammar won’t do you any favours...something I need to work on...}. Above all it needs to be a good book {easier said than done...} and you need the perseverance to find that publisher who love your book.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Sisters Head East | The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road was, as I’m sure every person who’s ever written about it has said, spectacular. There’s really no other word for it. The ocean was wilder and bluer than I’d ever seen before. Some of the sights, like the 12 Apostles, were a bit surreal to actual see and everything was beautiful.

We saw a number of its attractions on the way to Apollo Bay {as many as we could!} and we drove along what I think of when anyone mentions the Great Ocean Road -the winding, thin, cliff edge road- on the way to Melbourne. Both were awesome.

My favourite spot was probably Gibson Steps, it felt like stepping into a movie and I’d love to revisit it someday.

// 1. The Crags {by Vickie} // 2. The deep blue {by Amy} // 3. The Grotto // 4. Loch Ard Gorge // 5. 12 Apostles {By Vickie} // 6. Gibson Steps //