Lone tree growing in lake

It Takes Determination

I’ve finished the first draft of my WIP (in less than three months too! Go me) and while I let it rest I’m tackling a couple of sewing projects. I’m travelling to Vanuatu in September and thought it might be nice to have a couple of new summer dresses and as I have the time, why not sew them myself?

Here’s why. Because I lack almost all the necessary personality traits to be a good seamstress. I am not patient. I am not coordinated. I do not have a good eye for detail. Spacial-awareness is not high on my list of skills. In addition, there are any number of shops where I could just go and buy a dress. K-mart, Target, Big W. All near-by and all fairly cheap. Sewing is not cheap. Maybe it was when my grandmothers sewed but it’s not now. The cost of the material alone is enough to buy a dress (two or three at the places mentioned above).

What I do have, though, is determination. Buckets of it. In fact I would say that determination is one of my best qualities. No one has ever said I’m a natural at anything. In fact someone once told me that not even day-to-day life comes naturally to me. But I’m determined. And I believe, really believe, that determination, not talent, is what wins the day.

Everyday you’ll meet someone more talented than you but without that determination to keep going, to do what needs doing, to learn and try and fail and try again, they won’t succeed. You will though. Because while talent will give you a good start, it’s determination that get’s you over the finishing line.

Everyone has an opinion

The Balancing Act

We all have different pulls on our time. For me, I have two children (aged 4 and 6), a husband (although he’s pretty self-sufficient it’s nice to actually spend time with him), a writing career that I’m trying to get started, family, friends, neighbours, chores, pets, hobbies, a ‘to-read’ pile. You might have all these and more. The fact is, we all need to balance our lives otherwise we end up overwhelmed and under-satisfied.

Continue reading

When In Doubt…

Have you heard that saying, “When in doubt, chuck it out.”? I think it’s applied to food. As in that chicken that’s a day past it’s use by date but it looks OK and you haven’t got anything else to cook for dinner but there’s definitely some doubt as to whether you’ll give the entire family food poisoning or not.

The bit that catches me though, is the ‘when in doubt’ part. Because when aren’t I in doubt. And when I watch my sons, who are now 6 (almost 7 Mum) and 4 (almost 5 and a big boy Mum), they’re often dealing with doubts too. So doubt seems to be a normal part of life. Continue reading

Summer Break…

I’m going to be taking a break for December and January. Of course, when I say break I’ll still be working on my novel, looking after my kids and everything else that goes with life. But I’ll be taking a break from Pieces of String.

When I come back there’ll be more tips for young writers, more book reviews, more blog posts and, I’m hoping, monthly writing competitions.

I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Lots of love…


Starting School

Today B1 started school. In Victoria we call in Prep and so now, instead of saying that I’m the mother of two pre-schoolers, I’m the mother of a prep and a pre-schooler.

When I was teaching, and bare in mind I was a high school teacher, I found parents somewhat strange – like exotic animals whose behaviour I didn’t really understand. To be fair I was in my early 20s and closer in age to their children then I was to them. I found their expectations (voiced or otherwise) overwhelming. Some of them were protective to the point of bubble wrapping their house, others wouldn’t have known where their children were five nights out of seven. Some of them were dumbfounded by the change in their children following the onset of puberty and were looking for answers – answers I had neither the training nor the life experience to give them.

Now my child has started school. I spent the first six months of his life wishing the time would pass quicker – please sleep, please feed less, please smile, please laugh – and now I don’t know where the time has gone. How did it pass so quickly?

And boy do I have some high standards for my son’s teachers 😉

If your little cherub has started school for the first time this year and you’re feeling a little lost (and maybe a little cheated by Father Time) then know you’re not alone. Like me, you might find it helps to remember what a big, exciting, adventure your child is beginning and that education is a gift and a privilege that not all children in the world are lucky enough to be given.

And it’s okay to cry…in private.

Good luck!