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!

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