Posted in Blog

Here’s to 2021

Around this time last year I wrote this post, little knowing what 2020 would bring. While many of us may have gone into 2020 full of hope, maintaining that hope throughout the year was a mammoth task. And yet, we’ve made it. You may be bruised and battered. You may have experienced loss and grief. Even if you personally escaped the worst that 2020 had to bring, none of us could avoid been touched by the effects of Covid-19, of civil and political unrest, of economic crisis.

But, here we are.

So, how are you? What are you hoping to get from this new year? What would you like see happen or change in the world?

My writing goal this year is to find my writing-joy. Somewhere over the last few years writing became a race I couldn’t win, and I want to get back to the pleasure that escaping into new worlds and building new characters used to bring me. I want to write for the sake of writing. Because I have ideas swirling around inside my head that have to be released.

My first step? To write for just half-an-hour every morning, and to focus for a while on short stories so I can get some (relatively) instant gratification.

I encourage us all to find some healing in the power of writing. You may never share what your write with others, but I don’t think there’s anything quite like getting your thoughts and feelings down on paper in whatever way they want to come.

So, here’s to 2021. No one can know what the future will bring, but whatever it is we can meet it and survive it. We might even learn to thrive in it.

Posted in Blog

Merry Christmas, and Goodbye 2020

I haven’t really been there for you all this year. To be honest, I haven’t done a lot of writing myself. It’s hard to be creative when the world is in upheaval.

As I take my leave until 2021 I want to thank all of you who kept reading my sporadic thoughts and advice. I want to wish you good health and safety and a brighter year to come. If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah then please enjoy your celebrations with your family and friends, and I hope you find comfort and peace in your faith. If you don’t celebrate these religious occasions, then I hope that you can wave goodbye to this year with a smile (a perhaps a tear) and step confidently into the coming year.

I really am grateful for everyone who finds thier way, one way or another, to Pieces of String.

Until next year!


Posted in Blog

Let There be Hope

Do you know the story of Pandora’s Box? Pandora is given a gift by Zeus and told not to open it, but she does. In that moment all the ills of the world come flying out. The only thing left in the box is hope.

Often the thing we focus on most is the evils that were released. When we warn someone about opening Pandora’s Box we’re warning them about not starting something that could blow up in their face. But let’s focus on the last thing in the box for a moment. Hope.

For me, hope is a light in the darkness. Emily Dickinson described it as “…the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul/And sings the tune without words/And never stops – at all…” Hope is what drives us as human beings to go further, to make changes, to create and explore.

Hope can have its dark side, no doubt. Hope isn’t always enough. Hope can build us up before the fall. Hope can be enough to make people do the unthinkable.

But, for the most part, hope is a joyous thing.

This year let’s focus on hope. Hope that things can get better. Better for ourselves, our species, and the environment we’re custodians of.

Hope is a theme I’m going to return to again and again this year.

Let’s have hope.

What are you hopeful about this year?

Posted in Blog

Good-bye for Now

Today is exactly one month before Christmas. As always at this time of year I’m taking a break from Pieces of String but I will return in 2020 and, if you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure I’ll still be adding things there (probably in the sporadic way I do now).

I want to take this time to wish you a safe and love-filled end to the year, whatever your faith and wherever you are in the world. So many wonderful things have happened during 2019, but I also feel it’s been a year of conflict, many of them conflicts about how people feel we should act now, for the future of our world and species. I’m hoping that next year we are all able to find more common ground, peace and co-operation.

I hope Pieces of String has helped in some small way to encourage you with your writing. An art like ours truly helps people make sense of the crazy world we live in, as well as giving us a voice, and it’s worth pursuing even if it’s only for our own wellbeing.

If you are Christian, I wish you a very happy and safe Christmas. If not, I wish you a very happy and safe end to your year. Thank you to everyone who has joined me here at Pieces of String. There will be a couple more posts this week but otherwise, see you in 2020.

Posted in Blog

You’re Back, You’re Back! I Missed You!

Welcome back! Did ya miss me? I missed you!

I hope the New Year finds you well and excited about the year ahead, wherever you are in the world. Here, we had a wonderful Christmas and a family-friendly New Year. I’m very excited about 2018. My youngest will be starting school and while I’m sad that his time at home is over I’m excited about the new adventure the family will be starting on. Continue reading “You’re Back, You’re Back! I Missed You!”

Posted in Blog

Taking a Break

Ugh. I’ve been all over the place with my poor blog in the last couple of months. It’s like a middle-child, loved but over-looked. Luckily it’s not a real child because that analogy is a bit depressing (I’m a middle-child myself). But seriously, my husband got very sick (not scary sick but still, really really sick), my youngest is readying himself to begin school next year and my eldest has been having a few small issues with a boy at school. So, I’ve been distracted.

With all this in mind I’m going to take my break early this year. I usually knock-off from the blog on December 1st and stay away until February 1st. Christmas and summer holidays coincide here, neither of which is conducive to productive writing. I’m stealing a few extra weeks.

So, until the New Year, I hope you stay safe and well. If you celebrate Christmas I hope it is a magical and peaceful time for you, if you don’t but you celebrate another religious festival I hope it is equally as wonderful for you. And if neither thing is your thing, I hope you just enjoy passing from one year to the next.

Next year I’ll be back with more writing tips, more two-sentence stories (of which I hope many will be yours) and more general chattery (which is not a word but I wish it was).

Lots of love,


Posted in Blog, Something Different

A Brand New Year

There’s something about a new year. It holds promise. You open up that new diary and marvel at all those little squares just waiting to be filled.

And I’ve already started filling them!

Among the birthdays and summer catch-ups there’s the KidLitVic writers conference in Melbourne which I have bought my ticket for. So. Ex. Cited. It makes me feel like a real writer! I can’t wait to meet other writers and to hear what the publishers and people in the know have to say.

January in Australia brings heat, fire and flood but it also brings the smell of gum leaves in the north wind, blushing tomatoes and nodding daisies. It’s easy to feel positive about 2016 when there’s such a nice opening number.

I hope your, and your loved ones, year is as wonderful as ours will be.

Posted in Blog, Something Different

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Bring on 2014!

Have you all made your new year resolutions? They’re funny things aren’t they, things we often make safe in the knowledge that we’ll break them anyway.

Last year though I really tried to see my resolutions through and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. One of them was getting more serious about my writing and saw me start this blog, take on a mentor (Dee over at Deescribewriting Blog) and write, write, write.

This year? Well here they are:

I will pick up after myself more (I am terribly untidy. It drives my husband mad) and be more organised (after I spent twenty minutes today looking for some sticky things which I never found).

I will take my writing to the next level, which for me means getting to a point where I can submit my work to potential publishers.

So there. Nothing to set the world on fire but then that’s not really the point, is it.

I would love, love, love to hear if you make resolutions, why/not and, if you do, what are they?

Hope you all have a happy and safe start to 2014.