Winding down for the Year

Thank goodness I didn’t do National Novel in a Month Competition, I think I would be pulling my hair out by now.

I got my assignments done and submitted for my organics course, and with a couple of resubmits, I passed. I’ve decided to do the final course in February, it gives me some time to get back into the rhythm of work and stuff like that.

And I should have been editing Secondhand Daughter, but I haven’t. And I am putting it down to a super-secret project that I’ve been working on, and it was such a success, that I’m thinking of extending the super-secret project. I’ll only be able to tell you after Christmas what I’ve done, because they are Christmas pressies. I’m so proud of them.

I did do one chapter of edits, but things are about to go haywire at work. We’ve taken over the mowing at one of the lifestyle villages, and to say I’m rather unenthusiastic is actually an understatement. There was a reason I went to work for my current employer – they contracted out the mowing to my previous employer.

Anyway, enough of that. Now is the time of year that I start getting organised for Christmas. I used to avoid it as much as possible, but having left a relationship that made Christmas hell, and being with someone who loves Christmas and spending time with his family has really made it more enjoyable. Plus, there is less stress, not big fussy meals, no full on ‘visiting everyone in the family’. We’ve got it all sorted now, we have Christmas here, with his kids, then I head over to Wineborough with my son – and sometimes my partner, and have Boxing day with my family, as Mum, my brother and his family, and my Dad and StepMum all live in that area. It means two lots of fun family time (the second one is more funny haha though, watching Mum ignore Dad while Dad is trying to get Mum to talk to him.)

Anyway, I hope your week has been more productive.

Take care, Kia Kaha


Long Live the King

It is King’s birthday weekend – I still want to call it Queens Birthday, but she is no longer. It’s so weird seeing advertisements for King’s birthday. Oh well,

Auckland was…well Auckland. Smoggy, big and overwhelming. Fortunately we stayed in the coolest place ever. It was on the apartments on The Block Firehouse (A renovation TV show in New Zealand). It was pretty swanky, and I rather liked it. Lots of colour and vibrancy, plus it looked over Eden Park, where Rugby is played in New Zealand.

I managed to do some writing while I was away, because I needed to keep to my routine as much as possible. Not having a routine really does my head in, so being able to keep my writing going was the minimum I could do. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to write much since. We came home on Wednesday, so I didn’t get any writing done that day. Got some done on Thursday, but not a lot, nothing Friday, or yesterday, because I knew it was a long weekend and was going to be crappy…But the rain has only just appeared, and its Sunday! And I still haven’t written anything.

The good news is, I am not far from the ending, and I guess that is part of the reason why I’ve been a little remiss about writing, because I’m trying to work out how I want the story to end. I have a working idea in my head, and have started rearranging that before I have even got it written down, which makes things in my head very confusing right now (I just about wrote ‘write’!!!)

I also realised that my last assignment for my organic course is 19th May, so I will have to finish writing ASAP so I can focus on that part of my assignment, because that is not quite a week away. ARGH!

So, finish the book I must, once I have uploaded some photos and schedule this post.

Kia kaha everyone.

Working Away from Home

I’m writing this in Auckland, in a swanky AirBnB just above Eden Park! And none of us want to go to work tomorrow! Let me explain. I work for a company that does the garden’s for rest homes. During the Cyclone in February, one of the rest homes in Auckland was severely damaged. The boss asked our team if we would come up and assist with the clean up. And here we are. I am “flatting” with two of my workmates, for a couple of days. Talk about teambuilding. We’re only here for a couple of days, but none of us want to leave.

And I am writing too, I only have a few more chapters to do and I will be finished with Finding Sam’s Family. I find that really exciting because I love writing the happy ending. And Finding Sam’s Family has a happy ending on so many levels, an improved relationship with her husband, and actually finding the other half of her family.

So, I will continue to write while in Auckland and keep you updated with progress. And next week I’ll have some photos of our digs.

Kia kaha

Downwards Slide to June

Where has May gone?! And I still have about 13k words to go in Finding Sam’s Family! Progress has been good and steady, and I know that there are still ten days left to write (I’m writing this up on Sunday Evening), but ten days doesn’t seem like enough! It will be, it has to be. And of course, I’m heading up to Auckland at the end of this month (next Sunday in fact), to work up there for two and a half days.

With apple packing over, its meant that I have been able to get more writing done in the evenings, as well as writing in the mornings before work, so I’ve been hitting at least 1k per day, which has been really awesome. But I also had an Organic’s assignment that was due, so it’s been a toss-up between writing longer or assignment. The assignment won out. But its been submitted, so that’s something. One more assignment to do, and its mostly practical, like taking photos of my gardens, and seedlings and everything I’ve been doing, so I think I’m ahead on that one.

And I’ve been card making. I’m working on a project to make packs of cards that have sentiments that you are able to put on yourself to personalise the cards. I’m hoping to sell these packs of five cards for about $10 each, so keep an eye on things, I’ll keep you updated.

And its the weekend again, so I got out into my garden again. Sadly I had to cut back a lot of my dahlia’s as they were past their best, but I have noticed a lot of my jonquils and daffodils are popping up, so that’s the next thing to look forward to.

Lemon tree had a birthday, still some pruning to do once the fruit matures.
The front of the house to the left, which is my Dahlia garden. To the far right, my succulent garden.
Spiced Coffee, one of my favourite roses

Well people I could be updating my blog from Auckland next weekend, please forgive me if I don’t.

Kia kaha everyone

Sense and Sensitivity

Hello! I’m back! I’ve been writing, working, making cards, gardening, sleep, eat, rinse repeat. Some days feel like groundhog day, especially when it was raining, because there was no work, and I would go back to bed and fall asleep for another hour or two.

But Wednesday, we managed to find some fine weather and ended up back at work, which has meant that I have actually been sleeping through the night again. Its amazing how doing nothing makes you tired, but wide awake in the middle of the night!

Thursday, we got to work to find snow very low on the hills around us. This photo below is taken from work, looking towards Mt Campbell which is the one with snow on it. It has to be very cold for it to get on Mt Campbell.

Snow on Mount Campbell and surrounding hills.

So, I’ve also been writing and now nearly 2/3rd of the way through Finding Sam’s family. Loving where the story is going. I did do some planning, but a couple of characters have shown up, unexpectedly, one is Lewis, who is a friend of Cherie’s, its actually one of her workmates, but he’s become her best friend. They aren’t going out together, but they aren’t stopping people from making assumptions either. It suits them for others to think they are. I can’t wait to introduce you to Sam, Tom, Cherie and Lewis, and of course James. I’m getting close to the final part of the story, which is rather exciting. I have 17 days in which to finish the story.

And this weekend, after so many wet weekends, I have finally got into my gardens and given things a tidy up. Its nice to remove some plants, and plant some new ones. I have a plan over the winter to revamp my garden, so watch this space.

My soon to be cottage garden

Anyway, thanks to everyone for liking my facebook page updates, it’s really encouraging to know that you guys are actually getting the posts.

Hope you all have a great week.

Kia kaha

Week three Camp NaNo

Ok, so I’m sick. I knew it would happen from pushing so hard, but I’m surprised at how long it took. I’m not dying sick, just a sore throat, and a scratchy chest, which normally means that I have a cold, which has gone into my chest. Cold’s don’t usually floor me, but anything to do with my chest does, so I have to be extra careful this week to ensure that I get the rest I need.

I haven’t been packing as much this week, because it has been a wet week, which means that less apples are being picked, so less need to be packed. Hopefully we are back into it this week. I miss the money when it’s not coming in. Might have to find a second job to bring in the extra cash once packing has finished. I’m just not sure what. I’m too old for bar work, and only one service station is open all night…

Anyway, you’re not here to check out my health, you’re here to check up on my writing. Which has gone incredibly well this week, with 6337 words written. According to the NaNoWriMo website I should hit my target of 25k by Tuesday. I am considering stretching it to 30k, but then I’m worried that if I miss it, I’ll lose motivation.

I’ve enjoyed writing the story, the letters from James, and then the diaries, which my main character, Sam is now wading through. 25k is approximately the middle of the book, so I need to make sure that I can keep the rest of the story going. I sometime feel like I’m going around in circles explaining things.

One of the reasons for posting to my Catherine Mede facebook page is that when it comes to editing, I can show people what the revised version will look like, and I have quite a following. Thank you to those who have liked my posts, it encourages me to keep going.

Alright, so I’m entering the last week of Camp Nano, here’s hoping I can make a strong finish.

Kia kaha everyone.

Mayhem and Bedlam

This week is going to be crazy for me, because I have taken on a job packing apples three nights a week. It’s for 4 hours a night. Which doesn’t sound like a lot, but in the scheme of things, it will add up at the end of 10 weeks.

I also have my stretch (yoga) class and pole class to attend (on alternating nights to the pack shed work), plus organising tea for the nights that I work, because I start at 5pm.

I also have a day job, gardening at rest homes around the local district, and it’s going to make things very interesting with getting home on time to have a shower, get dressed, have dinner and then go to work.

On top of all of that, I have writing / editing to do, and an Organics course to work my way through.

Some people think I’m mad for taking on the extra work, especially since I still get ultra tired and occasionally need afternoon naps, but I’m looking at the bigger picture, and that is the money that I will earn through the packing, is going to be used for something specific – I want to get my teeth fixed. My front teeth don’t look very nice, and I’m very conscious of it when smiling at people, so I’m hoping that I can use this money to get the smile fixed, and then I can feel more confident and grin more, and perhaps get some updated author pics done.

I have been working my way through edits, and also looking at programs that can help me make book covers, because I am just crap at that sort of thing. I have managed to find some pictures, I just hope that they work out.

I’ve also re-uploaded Finding Amy Archer, because Amazon kept telling me that there was an issue with it, so I’m that I’ve managed to fix it. I’ve also been going through an increasing the prices of my ebooks to $2.99, except for Running Away, which is the book of the month in my newsletter.

Hopefully I survive this week, because it is the start of a long journey, but one that I am keen to get underway, and then I can smile about it at the end.