Finding My Way Back #amwriting

I have a new desk.

For writers, this can be kind of a big deal.

I’m quite pleased with it. It’s a bit smaller than my other desk, which makes my tiny study feel bigger. There’s still room for my bits and pieces; trinket boxes, a set of vintage tins I use for pens, some interesting stones and feathers I’ve collected. However, I’ve had to clear out a load of papers, which is not a bad thing. I’ve found some treasure, like a list my daughter wrote a couple of years ago about her ‘Favourite times’. My favourite entry is ‘Being kept warm.’ Such a simple thing, yet to my small girl it was important enough to put on her list, and a reminder to me not to take such privilege for granted.

I also found a list of agents and publishers to whom I submitted Oak and Mist, when it was just a fledgling manuscript. It was in no way ready to be sent out, but I didn’t realise at the time, so I shoved it from its nest out into the big world. It came back to me thoroughly rejected, of course, although I did get a couple of requests for the full manuscript. It was a learning experience, if nothing else, and I suppose part of the process of being a writer.

There’s a lot to go through, and I’m still not quite finished. But I did discover one other thing, which I was very pleased to find. I found my way back. Back to writing again, to writing for my own pleasure as well as for others. This past year has been good for me – it’s challenged me and taken me out of my comfort zone. However, it’s come to an end and I’m happy to be back in my office once more.

In Stephen King’s On Writing (which I think is one of the best writing craft books I’ve read), he talks about returning to writing after his accident, and how he felt rusty at first, that his ‘tricks’ had deserted him. But he persevered, and soon found his way back to the page. In my own far less illustrious way, I feel the same. A little bit rusty, my writing mojo not quite back yet. But today, as I set up my desk, I felt the beginning. As though I were back on the path again.

And that was a great thing to find.

Oak and Mist, the first book in The Ambeth Chronicles, is on sale for 99c/99p until January 31st! Get your copy here

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Wednesday Wander – Koalas Koala-ing

img_0225I woke up today and felt the need for some cuteness in my life, so for this week’s Wednesday Wander I’ve decided to share some photos of koalas. As you might have guessed, that means we’ve wandered to Australia – the first two pictures were taken at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Queensland, and the last one was taken at the Healesville Animal Sanctuary, just outside Melbourne, Victoria.

img_0227You’ll note that these photos were taken at animal sanctuaries – that’s because koalas often, sadly, get hit by cars, and their joeys are then orphaned and need to be cared for. They also fall prey to forest fires, as seen in the famous image of a firefighter giving water to a burned koala at the time of the Black Saturday fires. Both Currumbin and Healesville offer the koalas sanctuary in a space as close as possible to their natural habitats, where they can be still be cared for. I have seen koalas in the wild – but they were high in the feathery tops of gum trees, small round shapes swaying gently with the breeze.

img_4388This last photo, from Healesville, was actually taken at my hen party. As my family and most of my bridesmaids were overseas, a lovely friend arranged my hen party for me – the day started with lunch in a private dining room hidden among gum trees, then we got to walk around and see the animals afterwards. The fact that I was dressed in several layers of hot pink clothing (due to being the hen) didn’t matter – we had a great time, and it was the perfect choice for a wedding with so many overseas guests.

img_2065And now it’s back to my day. I had some other work planned but, with things as they are, I might just step back through the gate into Ambeth. I have a fourth book to be getting on with, after all! Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time.