Mayday Mayday Mayday!

Okay, maybe it’s not that serious, but it feels like it. We’ve had so much rain over the last week, that I almost feel like I have webbed feet. We’ve gone from winter like conditions to a Spring feel in a matter of days. The only reason we’ve lit our fire is to try and get some washing dry!

We’ve had a massive tropical low over the top of us, (us being New Zealand) and two highs blocking it in on either side, basically funneling warm northwesterlies over the country. We managed to cop most of the rain on Friday, and Friday night, we were visited by the Rural Fire Service telling us that it would be a good idea to evacuate as their was flooding down the road, and there was a possibility it could keep coming down the road. My partner, Mr H, told them thank you, but we’ll stay here and keep an eye on the situation. I guess if it was more dire they would have told us to leave.

It wasn’t until the next day that we found out that 700m up the road (over a bridge and rise in the road) the culverts on either side of the road had burst their banks and covered the road. The water in the culvert outside our place was up but there would be another metre to go before we would consider leaving.

My son had a bag packed, the cat crate in his room, ready to leave. It didn’t come to that, but I didn’t sleep well that night, or the next night, as we watched King Charles III being crowned. Its a once in a lifetime event, although we might see William crowned in twenty years’ time, if the Mornarchy is still relevant by then.

With all of the rain, my co-workers have been joking with me, telling me that I should have finished my story by now. What they don’t realise is that I can’t spend hours on the computer writing. An hour, probably, tops, but then I think of all the housework that needs to be done, and I end up procrastinating, so I only limit myself to an hour at the most. I have managed to get some studying done, and made some cards, so I am feeding my creative juices even if I’m not writing.

And usually, after two days of not seeing sunshine, I am just about beside myself, because of the lack of vitamin D, but I’ve noticed that this time, because I am so focused on writing and making cards, that I haven’t really missed the sunshine, and in fact, if it turns up, I’m normally grumbling because that means I’d have to go to work, lol.

One day, I might make enough money off my writing that I don’t have to work full time. Until then, I will continue to earn a wage.

Apple packing finished a week early too, mostly because of the rain. What is left they’ve decided to leave for the day staff, but that’s okay. I enjoyed the time I had, and my bank looks a little healthier. And, the packhouse manager has asked me to get in touch with her next year if I want to do it again. So yeah, I think I will.

Anyway, better go and get myself into bed before I end up awake for another six hours…

Stay safe everyone.

Kia kaha

Week 1 of Camp Nano

I have been really happy with the progress of Finding Sam’s Family. I wrote 8838 words in the first 9 days and shared some snippets on my Catherine Mede Facebook page. A lot of people have been liking my progress, so it’s been great to interact with people there.

This story has been a strange one to write, because it is about adoption and in this case, Sam doesn’t know until her family is dead that she was adopted. Research-wise, it was an interesting rabbit hole to disappear down, there are so many stories of people, as adults, not knowing that they were adopted until they were in the late 20’s, and how it affected their identity, their sense of place in the world, trust is shattered because it was broken by the very people who raised you. It was very interesting, and sad.

As I’ve said before, this is based on a true story – I was watching The Repair Shop one night. It’s a British TV show that restores vintage and old furniture, toys, paintings, leatherwork. This particular one I watched; a gentleman brought in a lap-sized writing desk. His story was that he found it in the corner of the attic of his sister’s house after she had died. Inside was a birth certificate to say that his sister was actually his mother, and his parents were his grandparents.

My plotting board where I place ideas and thoughts and bring them together to create the story.

It got me thinking about how it would affect someone, what their thought processes were, how they viewed themselves and the relationships around them if they found out that their family wasn’t who they thought they were. Of course, then you have to plot out a backstory which becomes the main story as well as the back story, and things just get complicated from there.

But I am enjoying the fact that the words are coming out, they are flowing, and with a word count of about 850 per day, I have been totally blowing that out of the water.

Still, because it is Easter, I ran out of time to do this blog yesterday, and since today was a holiday, and another day off work, I thought you would all forgive me for writing it now… lol

Until next week.

Take care out there

Up for a Challenge

For those of you who know me, you know that I often need naps during the day, and don’t like too much pressure. I’ve suffered depression for the last ten to twelve years, and as a result, it will be a lifelong thing I have to live with, but I also know my limits and what I am capable of and what I need to do to keep my moods relatively even.

But occasionally I need to push my boundaries. Why? Because sometimes I am capable of doing more than I originally thought possible. Case in point – working full time. For long enough the Doctor would sign a document for me saying that I wasn’t capable of working fulltime because of constant tiredness. When I moved to Motropolis, I realised that I needed to find some work, and the first job I found that I really wanted… was full time. So, I took the risk and discovered that I was capable of doing it. I had days where I was so tired, I would crawl off to bed early, but I also knew that I could do it, and so I have been in fulltime (30+ hours) of work since.

Earlier last month, I decided that I really needed some extra cash, so I took on packing apples in the evening, from 5 until 9 for a local orchard. I only wanted to do it three nights a week, and guess what – I am coping with it. My weekends are my free time, and I generally do sweet nothing, but I don’t mind. The weekends are for resting and doing little to nothing anyway.

So, when it came to writing, I thought, hell, let’s just jump from the frying pan and into the fire. Let’s do Camp Nano – which is National Novel Writing Month, but the camp version is finishing a story, editing a story, planning a story, etc. I knew that I had to start writing one of my stories in this half of the year, so I thought, why not! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And here we are, three days in, and I am already ahead of my word count, which I set at 25000 – for some really stupid reason, which is about 833.333 words per day. I reckon if I can hit 850 per day, I’ll be sweet.

The story is flowing out of me, and I also have been sharing tidbits on my Catherine Mede facebook page, so if you want to get an inside into Finding Sam’s family, head over there to check it out.

Until next week.


Marching Forward

Yeah I know, bad pun, but March is coming, and fast! Where did summer go? Did we have a summer?

So, writing… I didn’t get enough done in February. My plan of getting Compromising Positions edited in the month, didn’t happen. Because I have been busy. School is back, so my extra curricular activities are now back too, so I have yoga and pole classes that I go to. I enjoy both very much and I’m pleased to be going back. But it means that I have had to ration my time between work and tiredness, and unfortunately tiredness won out this month. It’s not laziness. I work as a gardener, and often I have to drive to work, which is a 35 or 50 minute drive, depending on where we are working on any particular day. Sometimes the work can be physical, sometimes its problemsolving, and sometimes its an easy day, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not tired at the end of the day.

And to top it all off, I’ve taken on a job to help out a local packhouse for 4 hours in the evening. I’m looking forward to that, but again, its going to cut into my writing time, and will leave me extra tired. So I’m going to have to be really vigilant that I don’t give too much of myself and that I recover.

Which means, that I have this month to really get my organisation skills on spec and actually get the story edited. Which is totally doable, just need to really knuckle down and actually do it.

Life sometimes really kicks my butt, but I’m slowly getting back on my feet. Covid made me extremely tired, and it has taken a while to be back to my pre-covid levels, but even then I was tired a lot. I’ve done blood tests, and nothing is unusual, but a lot of it can be from my depression. And I’ve only just accepted in the last year that its ok to nap. Might be finding more interesting places to nap now.

Anyway, enough procrastinating. Back to writing.

Take care, kia kaha


Waitangi Day / New Zealand Day

Today, 6th February is Waitangi Day. It used to be called New Zealand Day, but legislation in the 1970s changed it to Waitangi Day. Waitangi is a quaint place in the North Island, where the chief’s of the northern Maori tribes came together and signed an agreement (Treaty) with the then Queen Victoria’s representative, in order for both parties to co-govern New Zealand.

There’s a bit of history behind the Treaty. The French had moved into the South Island, around Banks Peninsula, and the English wanted to sign an agreement to have control of the country. They wrote up a constitution, and as a result, they decided to work with the natives instead of trying to wipe them out, like they had tried to do in other countries that the English colonised.

Maori didn’t believe in land ownership. They saw themselves as guardians of the land, and wanted to make sure that the resources were available for future generations. As the English came in and settled the land, they were pushed further and further from their tribal lands.

Unfortunately, the English got greedy, and broke the agreements of the treaty, and not long after, a war broke out, which the English called the Maori wars, but it was a land grab by the English. It was easier to blame the natives and take land than to pay them for it.

For years, there was disagreement and unease between the English and the Maori, until the goverment decided to settle the grievances that the tribes had, and called it Treaty settlements, where Maori tribes are reimbursed for the land that was confiscated during this time.

Today, because the Treaty was signed on 6th February 1842, and became the birth of our nation. Personally, I would like to see Treaty settlements completed and then our nation, Aotearoa New Zealand, can finally become one nation, and one people; New Zealanders. Not Maori, not European, Asian or any other race. We will be one people, where some of us will have tribes, some will have clans, and some will have families, but we will be recognised, not by the colour of our skin, but by the nation that we become and stand for.

I don’t consider myself European, I am fourth generation New Zealand born. I come from Viking, Irish and Scottish clans, and families from England. I can’t claim any Maori blood, but New Zealand culture runs through my veins.

I write about Maori mythology in my stories, I love the stories of taniwha (guardians of waterways), Manaia (a messenger that moves between the spirit and earth realms), Patupaiarehe (a mountain fairy) and Atua (evil spirit). Mythical creatures that have an intricate part of Maori culture. The Maori have an intricate history, their language was verbal and stories were passed down by song or storytelling. I like to think that I can extend those legends and stories and share them with the world.

I value New Zealand, I value our culture, and I dream that one day, we will become guardians of the land, ensuring resources for future generations.

The Ever Evolving Story

I am a plotter, I like to have an outline of the story before I proceed. I have tried to ‘pants it’, but I seem to lose steam fairly quickly because…well, I have no idea where the story is going to go.

In saying that, I am also flexible enough that when I’m writing the story, new ideas can develop and be fitted into the story.

Case in point, Compromising Positions. Originally this story was about a relationship between a gardener and a cantankerous old man that she gardens for, with a side story of a romance with the estranged son. This initially had the working title of The Gardener. However, upon reviewing what I had already written, and further ideas, I decided to focus more on the romance, and have the friendship with the older gentleman as a subplot. Then came the idea of having the two main characters catching each other in compromising positions, hence adding to the conflict within the budding relationship.

Then, I started adding back story to the characters, and the cantankerous old man was an ex prime minister, and being seen with a young lady sent gossip magazines into overdrive. So I wondered how this could impact the plot and subplot.

The latest evolution of the story involves a personal attack against one of the main characters, which adds a whole other depth to the story.

Its funny how stories sometimes take on lives of their own. What seemed like a good idea at one stage suddenly isn’t so shiny and good, and becomes lacklustre and ‘meh’, and often, I find, that my stories really need some flexibility when I’m writing them to allow more punch.

And I find that conflict is a good way to add punch, so I often look for ways that I can throw more at my characters, to see how they react. The more I put them through, the more they grow as people within my pages, and the more real they become to the reader.

When we write the stories of our lives, it evolves in ways we don’t expect. I didn’t expect to get to be in my 40’s and twice divorced with one child. I expected to be happily married with two or three children. How different that life would be from the one I live now. But I am happy with my life, I have a partner I adore, a son that is my world, a wonderful place to live, I work full time in a job I love (writing it a side hustle for me), and I can afford food for my table. I have faced hurdles, and I got over them and moved on. My life has evolved, and the conflict that has been thrown at me over the years, has provided me with a chance to mature, develop character, and become (according to me and my friends and loved ones) a better person.

I challenge you today, to look at your life, and see how it has evolved, and how it has made you the person you are today. The choices that you made have given you character and created the path for your life as it is today. Are you unhappy with your life? You can choose to change your path. Its your choice to evolve your life.

Have a great week

Catherine x

Welcome Back

It’s been a while, I have kind of been ignoring this site, mostly because I was devastated when I lost my original site. But I have realised that it allowed me to make a clean start.

So what do I do now, because the last time I blogged, I have a feeling I was a part time worker. Well I have just finished working full time with a great company, but it was rather physical work, and being on the wrong end of 40, I was struggling to keep going. So I found a job gardening in several rest homes around the Nelson area. I already know most of the people because we have been mowing there. A lot of them were really happy (and I even hugged) when I said I would be gardening and they would see more of me.

So writing, I’m in the process of editing a wee novella, 25k words, which is rather short to publish in a book, so I am looking around to see if there is a publisher I can submit it too, for an anthology or something. It’s a 1920’S based novella, about a Burlesque dancer wanting to escape her world. I’ll continue on with the editing and then see what happens.

The next story I want to write will be under the Finding Yourself series, about Samantha who finds out her family isn’t all it seems. An intriguing tale which mulled in my head after seeing an episode of The Repair Shop.

Anyway, the weather is cooling down, and I need to dig over my garden again. Please keep in touch through any of my social media below.