All Peopled Out!

Friday was my birthday, and it’s a significant one. I’m 50! The big five oh! Am I worried about that? No! I’m loving where my life is at right now. I’m happy, healthy (to a degree) and I’m cranking through my plans and goals for the year. I’m really enjoying where I am. I have a lovely family, a supportive partner and so many lovely people in my life.

On Friday, we had a ‘party’ for the my birthday. I say ‘party’, because it wasn’t really an official party, it was just an invitation to friends to join us (My Mum, son and Mr H) to celebrate with me. I was blown away with the people who turned up, and I know that I have a lot of beautiful and special people in my life.

On Saturday, my Dad and stepMum came over and we had a barbeque for my birthday, with two of my closest friends coming over. It was another really special and lovely day, with my friends making me the most beautiful birthday presents themselves. (See attached photo) I really appreciated the effort that they put into making me feel special.

I was in bed by 7pm on Saturday night, and asleep before 8.

Today is Sunday, and I am absolutely exhausted. I look like I have a hangover, and I can barely keep my eyes open. I’m not a drinker, I had one glass of wine on Friday, and one on Saturday, so I’m not actually hungover.

I love that I had so many people come and celebrate with me, but I am over-peopled! It doesn’t mean that I don’t like people around me, or with me, it just means that I have over-socialised, and being an introvert, I’ve had way too much social activity in the last two days.

I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people around me that love me. And I am so thankful for them in my life. Even if I do get tired out being around them.

Then the Nerves Begin

I finished editing Second-Hand Daughter and I have just emailed it through to an editor. And now I think the story is shit and incomplete… And that is the way I feel after sending every story off to an editor.

I guess I’ve worked on the story so much, that you reach a point where you just want to get it finished and sent off. Then you think of things that you could have added to the story to make it better, or stronger.

Then there is the waiting, nervous waiting, for the editor to get back to you with their thoughts and edits. And you’re panicking because, what if they didn’t like it? What if they think it’s shit? What if they don’t understand the story you were trying to convey?

All of this is going through my brain right now. And I know I have to sit back and just hope that it all comes together, but there is a very nervous period where you’re wondering, what if the story really sucks?

Second-Hand Daughter is a very different story to one’s I’ve written in the past. I like romances, but after I left my ex, I really struggled writing romance, because I was so cynical about love.

But in the last couple of years, I’ve been happy to write about women falling in love again and I can’t wait to dive back into my next romance story, which I will start after finishing my first draft of Dragon’s Lore.

In the meantime, the waiting game has begun.

Extra Naps Necessary

Hello from my corner of the world. I love this spot so much, and it was a lovely sunny day when I came outside, but now the sun has disappeared… and it’s gotten colder.

Anyway, Last weekend, I had a lovely weekend in Wineborough, catching up with my family. I had such a lovely holiday, and we (my partner, Mr H and I) also got to go to the Wings and Wheels show. It was pretty spectacular with lots of fancy and old cars, along with the old planes they keep at Omaka Air Base.

This weekend, it was the Car Show at the Show Grounds, so another few hours whiled away, looking at cars and spending time just inhaling exhaust fumes.

I easily get over-peopled. Its not people as such, its the crowd, the overwhelming amount of people that attend these things. I have a large personal space, and I don’t like people entering that space unless I invite them to, so people pushing around me, and walking into me, really makes me feel small and insignificant (even though I am anything but small!) Being an introvert, I like my little corner of peace and quiet, that’s how I recover from my day-to-day life. In the weekends, if I spend it at a large gathering like that, I almost need a day off to recover from being over-peopled.

Since discovering that I am an introvert, things make so much more sense, like how I appreciate time alone, how I recover from being overwhelmed when I have space and quiet around me.

Because of my depression, my brain goes into hyperdrive, and when I am overwhelmed, and over-peopled I tend to find that I need to shut down mentally, and to achieve this, I need to nap. Some might call it being lazy, but I have come to accept that it is part of who I am. And what I need to be the wonderful, zany and weird person that I am.

So, if you find yourself overcrowded and in desperate need to sleep, go and do it. You might find it is your body’s way of trying to recover.

How has your week been? Not too overwhelming I hope.

Kia Kaha

Catherine

Cracking on with the Writing

I’ve been participating in 100 days of Writing, and in the first month of writing I managed to add 20,647 words to my Dragon’s Lore manuscript. Whether it is any good or not is a different story. But there are words down, and done on a regular basis.

There have been days when I haven’t felt like writing, but I have done it anyway. I have actually been getting up early – 5:30am, fed the cat, let her out, then sit down and write, and its been good to get it done then. Then at 6am when the alarm goes off, I start my day, and it feels great knowing that I have written something.

And on the days when I don’t feel like doing much, I’ll write for ten minutes, and I’ll achieve at least 250 words, which, while it doesn’t seem like a lot, those little amounts add up, and as I said earlier, 31 days is over 20,000 words.

It just goes to show that even when you don’t feel like doing something, just a little bit helps to add to the total count.

What little thing can you do today to help you add towards your goals?

Take care

Catherine

Unstoppable

Sia’s song, Unstoppable has been playing in my head lately, and while it is a conflicted song, it’s the chorus that makes me feel so positive and well… unstoppable!

‘I’m unstoppable, I’m like a Porsche without the brakes. I’m invincible, and I will win every single game. I’m so powerful I don’t need batteries to play. I’m so confident, yeah, I’m unstoppable today.’

The actual verses are about how she puts on a happy face to get through the day, and no one really knows what she is going through.

I actually feel like this is describing depression.’ Break down, only alone will I cry out loud’, ‘I put my armour on, show you how strong I am’, ‘Tell you what you want to hear.’

If this sounds like you, there are people out there who can help you. I got help, and while people hassle me about being on medication, I have a quality of life I wouldn’t otherwise have. Talk to your friends, your boss, someone you trust. I went down the route of green prescription first, but it didn’t work. I tried it for a year, that’s how long I tried to make it work, but it didn’t.

And now, I am unstoppable. I am invincible (to a degree, lol). I’m powerful and I am confident, because I am who I chose to be, which is me. A wonderfully created weirdo who likes to laugh at people doing stupid things!

What are you doing today to make you confident in who you are?

Kia Kaha

Every Word Counts

We are a week away from the end of January. I have been participating in a wonderful challenge called 100 days of Writing Challenge. It’s basically encouraging you to spend the first 100 days of the year writing. It could be plotting, writing, character development, brainstorming, anything as long as you write something down while you’re doing it.

There is a facebook group that this is connected with too, and I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s progress. Some are achieving 1000+ words a day, some as little as 100 words. But no matter how many words they write, I like to support them. I congratulate those who have had great writing days, and I encourage those who haven’t achieved as much as they would like, by telling them, every word counts. Because it does.

At the end of a ten day block, we have a check in, and we report how many we wrote in that ten day block. My first ten days, I got 9112 words written in 4 hours and 15 minutes of writing. This week, I wrote 5856 words in 3 hours and 3 minutes. It might seem like a lot, and some days I exceeded over 1000+ words, but some days I only got 400 words written down. But it doesn’t matter, because every word counts towards the final product which at this stage is nearly 15,000 words towards my latest novel in my Dragon’s Lore series. I plan on this being a big story, so 80,000 words. so I’m nearly a quarter of the way through that novel. (I actually am over that, I am working on something I started some time ago, so nearly half way at 35,000).

Sometimes it can be a struggle to find time to sit down and write, but when I do, I know that every little bit helps. Every word reduces the amount I need to get to the end product, and it means a day or two closer to the finish.

It helps to break things down into smaller pieces so that it can be easier to achieve your goals. Have you got some goals you could break down into smaller pieces to make them more achievable?

Kia Kaha

Catherine

Winning All Around

I’m on a winning streak. My mental health is improving, work was great, and I’m writing AND editing!

Work was so incredible this week. I did so much more than just weeding, and it was so stinking hot, that we were finishing work early. We were busting a gut to get jobs done, but it was a great week.

Then, my Doctor contacted me to say the referral had been declined, but that they suggested putting me back on my original medication. So, I said great, and as I had some here already, I’ve been taking it all week. I actually feel like I am climbing out of the hole and coming up to 100% again. It makes such a difference; I’m not bursting into tears for no reason now. I’m tired from physical work rather than mental exhaustion, and yes, they are different. Mental exhaustion I get weepy, my body gets heavy and it’s like my brain and body aren’t co-operating. Totally different from being physically tired.

I started with a group called 100 days of Writing, and it’s been so positive and fun. It’s broken down into chunks of ten-day blocks, so I finished my first block this week just been, and I’d written about eight thousand words in my current work in progress, which is my Dragon’s Lore story. And I have been editing Secondhand Daughter, averaging about a chapter and a half each day. So happy with progress. And we get to encourage each other with our writing on a Facebook group.

What did you do this week that made you a winner?

Kia Kaha

Catherine

And Back to work on Monday

I have had such a lovely restful week. So blissful, sleep in’s, afternoon naps, doing things, being places, and so much writing! But the hard reality is, I have work again. And I’m feeling kind of blah about it.

I love work, I love gardening, and I love the people that I meet, but sometimes, I would rather just be sitting at home doing nothing – but then, I’d end up wishing I was somewhere other than home.

This last week has been really nice, because Mr H has been home too, so we have been for swims together, played golf, been over to Richtown and had a coffee. He’s been there when I’ve woken up from a nap. He’s encouraged me when I’ve been writing and editing. The thing is, we are all back to work tomorrow, so it wouldn’t be the same. Mr H wouldn’t be there when I woke up from a nap. He wouldn’t be there to do things with.

Until I start making enough money from my writing – which will happen, (I have it on my 5-year plan, to be making enough money to retire from my day job and actually spend my time writing.) I just have to suck it up and go back to work.

Happy New Year!

It’s officially 2024 when you read this blog, but its still 2023 when I’m writing it.

It’s been a hectic week with Christmas, travel, more Christmas, then more travelling, so I’m now looking forward to a week at home, relaxing and doing, well, fun stuff. Like visiting the Brook Sanctuary (a bird Sanctuary over in Nelsun), and perhaps a game of golf, if my arms allow me.

And it’s that time of year, where I start setting some goals for my writing. And last year, I nearly accomplished all my goals. I wanted to write 3 new books last year (2023) and I wrote two (Finding Sam Healey and Carol’s Christmas). I also wanted to start on my dragon series, but ran out of year.

This year – I’m starting it with writing the dragon story – and continuing to edit Secondhand Daughter, because I write in the mornings, and edit in the afternoons. I think this will be the most efficient use of my time, until apple season starts anyway.

I also have a goal of achieving my first $1000 in sales this year. I haven’t had any money from my books yet, but I am focusing on advertising this year, and if you feel inclined, do purchase one of my books.

I plan on writing three books this year, and editing three, and publishing at least two – Secondhand Daughter being the first, then Compromising Positions. So here it is people, my goals for 2024

😊 Write Dragon’s Lore, first story (approx 75k words)

😊 Write Faith Hart’s story in my Racing Harts series (approx 60k words)

😊 Write another story, either in my dragon series, or another story. (Approx 60k words)

😊 Edit Secondhand Daughter, and get ready to publish before June 2024

😊 Edit Compromising Positions and get it ready to publish before December 2024

😊 Do first draft edits on Finding Sam Healey

😊 Do first draft edits on Carol’s Christmas

Wow, looking forward to this year already! I’m planning on doing the apple packing in the evenings again this year, to pay for my plate, my gums are healing nicely, and its surprising just how much pain I was in prior to having the teeth removed. Looking forward to being able to smile confidently again.

I also plan on taking the Friday’s off over Winter again, in order to get some writing done while it is quieter at work.

That’s my plan for the year, what’s yours?

Take care everyone, and happy new year!

Catherine

Merry Christmas

Well, today, in New Zealand and the southern hemisphere at least, it is Christmas, so Merry Christmas to you. I hope that you have a lovely day and are able to celebrate with family and friends.

As I’m writing this on Sunday night, I will have spent the morning with Mr H’s family and then heading over to Wineborough to spend time with my family. I love getting together with my family at this time of year, even if some of them aren’t talking to others.

Christmas is all about spending time with those you love, and today I will be spending time with those I am closest to. I make a lot of the gifts I give, because I want people to know how much I care about them. And I love to give gifts, and often I will give to people without expecting anything in return.

So eat, drink and be merry tomorrow, and enjoy your day, no matter where you are.

Kia kaha

Catherine