It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

Hey! So I’m going to let you in on a secret. I used to hate Christmas. Shocking, I know.

When I was a kid, I loved Christmas, I remember the year I got a bucket of Torro (a precursor to Lego) and I played with that stuff, like forever! It was awesome, and about one of the few Christmases I remember as a kid.

When I married for the first time, his parents, particularly his stepmother, was a nightmare. She didn’t like my Dad, so she didn’t like me. And no matter what I did, I couldn’t make it better. So I didn’t.

When I married for the second time, my Second Ex had two and a half children (2 boys and a foster son). The first Christmas together was pretty epic. I made a heap of toy boxes up with toys from the $2 shops because neither of us had any money. But after that, the Christmas’ got harder and harder. I would make a Christmas dinner, but they wouldn’t eat it. I’d make dessert, but they wouldn’t eat it. They didn’t like the presents I got them, because their mother, that they lived with, got them big presents and spoiled them. And every time I complained to my ex, he’d defended his kids, which is natural, but instead of telling them to be gracious, he told me to act like an adult.

So I did, and I stopped doing Christmas. I got them basic gifts – mostly toiletries, and then sat back and let everyone else sort it out. All I wanted to do was head for the hills and just camp out for a week or two, then come back once everything was sorted.

Unfortunately, mixed up in that, was my own son. It was a real struggle to make Christmas exciting for him when I hated it. I hated the run up to Christmas, the idea of having to give gifts that were unappreciated, and then listening to everyone (except my son) complain about how ungiving and uncaring I was.

It took a while, after I left my ex, to get the Christmas spirit back, but the last two years, I have been getting into the spirit of things again. I’ve been making presents for my family, because I just love to give. I’ve already got most of the presents I’m getting for everyone, because I like to be super organised and no where near the shops closer to Christmas!

There is one thing I still don’t like about Christmas, commercialism. Everything is the best deal you will ever get it, (unlike two weeks ago, at Black Friday, when it was exactly the same price…). That’s why I make a lot of my gifts. To make it more special, and personalised.

So, Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you’re starting to enjoy the festive season too.

Knowing my Limits

This week has been… well challenging. Monday was a long day at work, and by the time I got home I was burning with anger. Tuesday, that anger hadn’t subsided much, which was unusual. Normally when I’m angry, I vent, its gone. But no, this stuck around.

Wednesday, I couldn’t get out of my own way. I hadn’t slept for two days (due to the unknown anger) and needed a day off. Mentally, I was struggling. You see, my mental health has declined because of a medical condition. By the end of the day, I had messaged my Doctor and told her I needed to see her, before March, which was the next available appointment.

Thursday, I had it together enough to know that I was okay. And went to work, Friday was okay too. Saturday,I got out for a walk and today is, of course, Sunday.

You see, when I wrote Why Wednesday, it was last Sunday, and I decided that I needed to write something, so I wrote about my mental health and depression, which I was diagnosed with 12 years ago. I didn’t realise that I would be suffering a decline by Wednesday.

I recognised it late – normally things happen that make me aware that my mental health is deteriorating, like no interest in writing, lack of sleep, or oversleeping, crying for no real reason. It wasn’t until Wednesday lunchtime that I knew I had to go for a walk and do something to get out of my own head. It worked though, and by Wednesday night I was feeling better.

My doctor messaged me to tell me she will call me on a certain date, and we will be able to discuss options then. Until then, I am in a holding pattern, keeping busy, walking (exercising), being creative in other ways (redesigning book covers / creating Christmas presents etc, and watching funny videos.

Hopefully I will be feeling better by Christmas time and able to celebrate and enjoy the festive season.

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


Done and Dusted…I Think

I busted a gut and got my assignments finished and handed in with a day to spare. My first one was returned, as I hadn’t completed the tasks as they asked. Which was kind of confusing, because they asked you to name two pests that would eat your plants, and that was it. The rest of the questions were about what type of climate, soil type, and drainage I have that can affect pest management etc… which I assumed to mean that they wanted answers for those two pests. No, apparently not. I had to provide answers for a range of pests (we’re talking insects here).

The last assignment was on companion planting, which I think I nailed. They haven’t responded yet to let me know if I passed or not.

So, then I thought I could do some editing, but instead I’ve ended up working on a special project. This year, I personalised a diary for my writing. It has everything in it from what I put on my Catherine Mede page, to word counts and what I’ve edited (chapters etc). It was rather challenging to try and make it up, as I have it in a weekly format and then I had to work out which pages go where for when I made my signatures. You see, I like to make books too. The exciting part is, it actually worked! I’m in the process of building my own writing planner. I have the signatures sewn together, and I’ve glued in some bookmarks, and I’m so damned proud of myself! I just need to make the covers and then it is finished. What a mission.

Anyway, hopefully I get my results this week and I can then put that part of the course behind me. I have another topic to go, but I might just start that in January, so I don’t have any more stress between now and May when the class would finish. The January intake finishes in June.

I hope you’ve had a better week

Kia kaha


When it Rains it drizzles…

So, I thought I had over three weeks to get my assignments for my Organics course done. But no. I don’t.

You see, when you log on, it tells you that the assignments are due on 26th November. Which is fine, I try and aim to have them in about a week before hand.

But I logged in on last Sunday, and they’d changed the date to the 9th of November, which was ten days away. I swore and cursed a little, and then had to knuckle down and get through the study notes to get one assignment finished. The second one is due on the 9th too, but it is only one chapter of the course material, so I can get that bowled out before Thursday.

But it’s annoying, and it’s the second time they’ve done it. I am considering laying a complaint, because it’s not fair to move the goal posts when I work full time and only have evenings to do my study. If I was unemployed, it would be my own silly mistake to be so far behind.

It also means that I haven’t done any editing this week, which is frustrating, because I want to get some done. I did however manage to get some done yesterday when I caught up with the fabulous LaVerne Clark and had a coffee together. We’ve started meeting up to encourage each other with our writing. She’s such an amazing author, and I can’t wait to see what she brings out next year. We’ve been discussing goals for next year, so watch this space.

I hope you had a better week than me.

Kia kaha


When Not to Write, or Edit, as the Case may be.

I’ve had my Mum come to visit from Wineborough, and it’s been lovely catching up with her. But it also means that I don’t get to write or edit as much when she is around. Is that a bad thing?

No, it’s not. It’s a chance for me to have a break and come back refreshed. Mum comes over every six weeks or so, so it’s nice to have that time to catch up with her and spend time with her, as she lives 2.5 hours away from me now. She used to be 10 minutes around the corner, but she moved to Wineborough to be with her other grandchildren. We try and travel over to catch up with her, and my Dad and StepMum who lives in Ferryton, but not as much as I would like.

While Mum has retired, and is able to travel freely, I have to wait until the weekend to head over, as I work. Although I did go over and stay with her when I had the Friday’s off over winter. It was nice to spend the extra night with her.

Family is important to me. They support me, encourage me and generally build me up when I need it. Mum has been one of my biggest supporters. The others being, strangely enough, my StepMum and an ex-Mother in Law. I love all of these ladies so much because they have helped me to get ahead in the writing game through their encouragement.

So, I don’t mind having a break while my Mum has here, it’s more important to spend time with her. I can write anytime, Mum won’t be around forever. (Love you Mum x x x)

So how has your week been?

Kia kaha everyone


Week something or other

The weeks are merging into one, and October seems to have flown by. This year, because I planned and organised myself writing-wise, has actually been going ok, not fast, not slow, but I’m aware of each week, and they are going okay.

But this month, whoa! Somehow it’s the 22nd and I only just started the month yesterday – at least it feels like it. And of course, things are going to get more chaotic as we head into the end of the year.

I’ve been editing again – Secondhand Daughter. Now you might be thinking, but you’ve already edited it. And you would be right. But I like to give everything a couple of passes, because there are always things you miss, or don’t get quite right the first time around, so going over everything again gives you a fresh perspective, and I like to give it a couple of months between edits.

And this time, I’ve been using a feature in Word that reads the text back to you, and I was incredibly surprised by just how many things it picks up, words that are missing, or sentences that don’t sound right. It’s been an amazing tool to use and will make my editing so much tighter.

After this round of edits, I will pass it onto an editor and see what they make of it. Hopefully, having edited it so many times myself it is as near to polished as I can get it. An editor just gives it that final pass, that final finesse that makes it really shine.

I can’t wait to get this out to you all, hopefully early next year.

What have you been up to this week?

Kia kaha


The Week Covid Hit

Went out to a friend’s 50th Birthday last Saturday night, it was fabulous, got to catch up with some other friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

Woke up Sunday morning feeling sick, and it wasn’t alcohol – I’d had 1 cider the entire night. I battled through the day, sore throat, slight cough, nose blocking up.

Woke up Monday morning, not feeling much better. I was going to go to work, but then I thought, perhaps, just maybe, I should do a covid test. (I work at lifestyle villages – you know, retirement homes).

And I did, and it was positive!

It’s a year since I last had covid, so it was quite funny really, that one year later I had it again. And I got it from my son, who had been off work since the Friday feeling sick.

OK, so I let my boss know, let my big boss know, then filled in a leave form for sick leave for 5 days (we have 5 days isolation here in NZ – but it’s no longer subsidised by Government, so I had to take sick leave.)

Ok, so a free week at home… what to do.

Last time I had covid, I could get out of bed and do stuff, but by lunchtime I was back in bed regretting getting up. My partner couldn’t lift his head off the couch, and my son was just coughing every now and again, and still going about his daily routine.

This time, my partner – who was conveniently away on Sunday night – was covid free, so he stayed with his son for the week, and it was only me and Bill.

So, I was surprised when on Tuesday, I felt okay. It was like a head cold, nothing in my chest, just all nasal. Nasal irrigations helped, and I didn’t feel too bad at all. I got some writing done, some editing done, and I finished editing one story, and started on another!

I also got out in my garden, planted some potatoes, some more seeds for the vegetable garden, I did a little bit of weeding, cleaned a couple of little bits of the house, and read. And read and read and read. Man, I was sick of looking at books and screens by Thursday afternoon. But there wasn’t much else I could do. I wanted to conserve my energy, because I didn’t know if Covid was going to bite me in the butt after a couple of days, or not.

But it turns out not. I tested negative on Saturday – which is the shortest period for me. Last time, I was testing positive 9 days later, 6 days this time.

So, I got stuff done, and I rested, and read some books. What else is there to do when you have covid?

I officially finished writing Carol’s Christmas, finished editing Whiskey Rose on Wednesday, and started second round of editing on Secondhand Daughter, all on Wednesday. And I did some plotting on Dragon’s Lore. I hope to crack on and get some editing done on Secondhand Daughter finished by the end of the month, because November is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – and while I’m not sure I’ll write an entire novel in that time, because I don’t write a lot in any one day, I want to get some writing done on Dragon’s Lore.

I hope you had a better week than I did.

Kia kaha


And Onto Something New

I’ve finished writing Carol’s Christmas, well, almost, there isn’t a lot more to write. So, what am I up to next?

I have editing to do on a project, a super-secret project that will be revealed in December, and I have three books that need editing, and a third that needs writing. Decisions, decisions.

As I have already started editing, I will finish that, it’s a short Historical romance based in 1920s United States. It is a present for my newsletter subscribers, and I’m excited to get it finished, because its been rattling around in my laptop for about ten years.

I also have a super-secret project; I’m getting together with some other authors to do a Christmas giveaway. I’ll give you more details nearer the time but suffice to say that I have a small bit of writing to do for this. It wasn’t hard to choose which book to promote, but its proving to be a little harder to come up with the secret project. It will come together though, I hope.

Two books that need editing – Secondhand Daughter, Compromising Positions and Finding Sam Healey (aka Finding Sams Family) all need a round of edits. But, I hear you say, you’ve already editing Secondhand Daughter and Compromising Positions. Yes, I have, but I often self-edit a few times before I pass it onto an actual editor, because I want to send the most polished version I can. And I like to take a break from each book before editing / drafting, because I can look at it with fresh eyes.

And I also have Dragon’s Lore, which is shaping up to be rather…Epic. I have at least five stories for the series all rolling around inside my head, and on my laptop and notebooks in various places, so I am happy to start with writing that. But I think I’ll do some editing first.

So, I’ll dive into Secondhand Daughter again, and I have my editor booked for the end of January, so I have a deadline to work to, although I hope to have it finished well before then.

What plans do you have for this week?

Kia kaha everyone.


Work, work, work, work, write.

After last week’s epic dental visit, I can confirm that all stitches have fallen out (they were dissolvable, as I later found out) and everything is healing nicely. I have graduated from soft food to slightly more textured food. Now I know how a baby feels!

So, I thought I would take you through my writing process. I work fulltime, so every morning I get up, have breakfast, clean up and then sit down and write for ten to thirty minutes (sometimes longer, but not always). I often get between 200 and 1000 words written in that time.

Then I head off to my day job, and garden. All day. Then I get home, shower, watch some videos and hopefully do some study, because I’m studying organic gardening.

And that is my day. Sometimes I might write at night, but not often. My best thoughts flow in the morning, and during the day, my mind is busy thinking about what I can write the following day.

At present I’m writing Carols Christmas, a modern version of the Christmas Carol. I’m loving this story, but it isn’t going to be novel length (50,000 words plus), probably more of a novella (35 to 50k). I honestly don’t mind, as it is going to be for release next Christmas. It’s a christmas story, but to be honest, it would fit any time of year. The whole thing happens over one calendar year, but it has elements of Christmas Past, present and future in it.

And I have just received the edits back for Whiskey Rose, which is a 1920s mob prohibition romance. This is a novelette – its 27k long. I think this will be a gift to my newsletter members and as a freebie for people who sign up to my newsletter.

On Sunday, I plan my facebook posts for the week, and I started up Why Wednesday, where you can ask me anything about my writing. Last week I started with when did I start, this week I’m going to tell you why I write.

Anyhoo, hope you guys have a good week, and see you next week.

Kia kaha

Catherine x