Category Archives: writing

Reverb10: Soul Food

December 26 – Soul Food

What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

(Author: Elise Marie Collins)

I started this post three times – the first time I stopped to make iced tea for my mum, and I just finished making a potato salad for the New Year’s barbecue at my sister’s house.

All food is soul food when you share it with those you love.

But sometimes the food you eat by yourself is just as nourishing.

I’m going to tell you about one of my guilty pleasures.  On Sundays, the baby has adventures with his father.  I get to do whatever I want.  Sometimes I go to the National Library to write.  Their cafe is awesome.  I can sit up against the thick, juicy stained-glass windows.  I drink coffee, watch the people and read whatever quirky selection is in the magazine rack.  Sometimes I write.

Once, I ordered banana bread.  It was nearly lunch, and I only wanted a snack.  When it arrived at my table, I was engrossed in an article about The Magic Pudding.  I looked up to see an enormous plate – two fat slices of banana bread, marscapone, and sticky date sauce.  I almost laughed with delight!  My snack had turned out to be a decadent dessert-for-lunch.

Joy.

Soul food for one.

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Reverb10: Action

December 13 – Action

When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

(Author: Scott Belsky)

I’ve talked about not having life goals before.  I can never seem to pick just one dream.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not moving forward.

I’m writing a lot.  My next step there is to start submitting things.

I’m looking for a new day job.  I’ve polished up my CV, and started watching the job boards, but my next step is to talk to all my old work buddies.  I know exactly what sort of job I want, and I have time to be selective.  Now I just have to go looking.

Experience necessary

One of my personal commandments is:

Never be too cool to try something.

During high school I worried about trying new things in front of others, in case I looked like an idiot.  Now I have embraced my inner idiot, and I’m happy to look silly doing just about anything.

This is a great way to grow my comfort zone.  And it’s just more fun to live this way.

Having a new baby makes things a bit more difficult.  On top of my current sleep deprivation, the logistics get a little tricky.

However, two new experiences have recently caught my eye.  At the beginning of June, Ampersand Duck is running a workshop on Artist’s Books.  And at the beginning of July there is a local zine fair, where it’s free to participate.

Does that look like synchronicity to you?

These are both experiences I’d love to have.  And I’m hoping that the first (the workshop) might help me develop something for the second (the fair).

The only thing stopping me is my fear of looking like an idiot.

Anyway, this is what I’m wishing for this week.  What about you?

A Significant Investment

Sometimes Jamie’s Wish Prompts make me squirm uncomfortably.  This week was one of those.

What do I wish to invest in?

It shouldn’t be tricky.  At first glance, I am fully invested, all my time and money, in raising the baby, keeping house and writing.  Probably in that order.

But, here’s my day so far:

fed the baby at midnight, 1.30, 2.30, 3.30, 6.30, got up, showered, said goodbye to ryan, did laundry, washed dishes, attempted to write with a cranky baby, went to mother’s group, picked up new (shortened!) jeans, changed a very wet baby, changed a very, um, soiled baby, got cranky about running out of wipes, realised i was cranky cos I hadn’t eaten yet, ate leftovers while holding cranky baby, found rego sticker for car, walked cranky baby to shop to buy more wipes, realised baby is cranky cos he didn’t sleep yet…

and the only thing I needed to do today was finish my uni assignment.  And start it, too.

Now it’s 3.15 and if I don’t start cooking dinner soon, cooking will coincide with the babies regularly-scheduled-cranky-time, and there has been no writing yet.

So when I look at my big investments (baby, house, writing) I see that actually, they need to shuffle.  Writing before housework, I think.  And perhaps what the baby and I really need is a little more routine.  We’ve prided ourselves on being go-with-the-flow, laid back parents, and it’s been great.  But now the baby is a little more awake and alert, getting him to sleep wherever I am is just not so easy.

So I’m wishing to invest in a little more writing, a little more routine and a little more writing routine.  And if anyone can find a way to invest in more sleep, I’d happily be part of that, too : )

What are you wishing for this week?

*8 Things I saw this week

  1. The first heavy dew fall frosts up my windscreen.
  2. Cabbage moths dance around our veggie patch.
  3. The new next-door-neighbour brings 2 pet rabbits and 3 shiny wheelbarrows planted out with herbs.
  4. Someone left an odd sock on the pavement.  It’s green.
  5. The Italian nonna who walks all her grandchildren around the neighbourhood in the evening.  They speak Italian and slow down to let me pass.  The youngest pulls his nappy up and waddles to keep up.
  6. A teenager too cool for school sits on the grass and watches everyone go into class.
  7. Fallen apples in a neglected yard.
  8. A rusted padlock hanging uselessly, half way along a barbed wire fence.

Play along at Magpie Girl if you’re interested.

Paying attention

A couple of nights ago, I felt completely drained.  It had been a busy day sorting out some lingering baby paperwork, look at childcare options for next year, gardening, cleaning and making a yummy dinner.  But as the evening curled in around me, I’d realised something was missing.  I hadn’t done any climbing, any blogging or writing.

Just home stuff.

There’s nothing wrong with home stuff.  I get a kick out of having a clean kitchen, and I get a lot of satisfaction cooking for my family.  But these things don’t energise me or light me up.

I’d left out the big stuff.

I have goals for this year beyond raising a happy, healthy baby.  They aren’t big, but they are the connection between Kazari-the-mum and Kazari-before.  They are the things that make my heart sing.  Writing, cooking with care and attention (not just to get dinner on the table) and climbing are the things I love to do.  And I forgot.

So.

When Jamie asks ‘What do you wish to pay attention to?” my answer is simple.  I wish to pay attention to my other goals.  They don’t get attended to every day, but I need to keep them in sight so they don’t get neglected.

What do you need to pay attention to?

The stories of our stuff

Today I’m blogging on the couch, with my laptop resting on a big wooden chest.  It’s no antique, but it’s solid and stained to look like jarrah, with big wrought iron handles and corner bits.  There’s an old Australian half-penny inlaid above the lock.

The chest was a twenty-first birthday present from my Aunty Max, who also happens to be my Godmother.  She shares my love of books, and she tells me stories.  She tells stories about our family, about things, and about people she meets.  I don’t think she’s ever given me a present without telling me a story about how she found it, or why she bought it.

Aunty Max bought me the chest because of the half-penny.  It’s the old Australian half-penny with a kangaroo on it, dated 1946.  She told me the coin reminded her of a lovely man she’d met, who’d come across to Australia as a ten-pound pom.  The ten-pound poms were British immigrants to Australia after World War II, who took Australia’s offer of passage for £10.  It was a long boat ride in those days, and in one  port (Mauritius?  India?) they threw pennies over the side for the local kids to dive for.

That’s one story that goes with the chest.  Then there’s my story.  It’s followed me everywhere for ten years, holding blankets or kitchen stuff and once doing double duty as a piano stool.  Right now it’s full of my handbags, because it used to sit at the end of my bed, but soon it will be cleared out and filled with board games, as befits it’s new roll as coffee table.

It has a few scratches, but it’s a very loved thing, and I wouldn’t part with it.  Aunty Max has given me some great presents over the years, and a few that I couldn’t figure out.  But the biggest gift she gave me was in valuing stories, and valuing curiousity, and being a grown up who cared about the stories of stuff.