I think everyone had an unusually lousy twenty seventeen. If aliens had attacked earth, we may have been able to recoup some of our losses. Okay, I’m exaggerating. Just a little … I’m sure I can dredge up better positive memories than negative.
THE HIGH POINT
The Mixed Blessings: As Time Goes By anthology came out at the end of last year. Woohoo! My new flash fiction story, Tedious Tresses is among the numerous stories within its pages.
That’s not even the coolest thing. Now, the number 750 seems to be a fair amount of words to the average person. For the older generation, that’s a long letter to write and an even longer email. In todays society anything longer than 100 characters is over the top - especially for all you Twitter fans. When I wrote Tedious Tresses, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’m a fantasy writer and a short story for me is a good ten thousand words. The story I wrote in the Glimpses of Light anthology a couple years ago was seven thousand and that was stretching my inner-editor friendship. You know you’re mad if you can write a flash fiction piece of 750 words. I have just disproved my sanity and now … I’m slightly worried.
THE LOW POINT
I have lost pets before as a child, but the sudden death of my beautiful sidekick, Aristotle found me listening to dreary country music and eating Oreo and M&M McFlurrys in bed. I bought him when he was six months old and he filled my life with mischief for almost two and a half years. When Aristotle wasn’t creating chaos, he would curl up on my desk while I worked or lay at my feet. In winter, he would crawl under the covers, snuggle up close and rumble up a hypnotic beat against my neck.
It’s amazing how much you miss your pets when they’re not around. They become such an important part of your family. The only thing I regret is not face painting him to look like the joker.
BIGGEST AREA OF IMPROVEMENT
I’m happy to report I learnt a lot about my writing style and some new writing techniques from my writing group and various workshops throughout the year. I had a wonderful time at our Omega Writers Retreat in Toowoomba, Queensland back in May. The lovely Deb Porter, writer, editor, and publisher of Breath of Fresh Air Press was our guest speaker.
LESSONS I LEARNT (or relearnt)
No one is going to achieve your goals, but you. You are in control of who you are and it’s up to you to work to where you want to be. You need to put in the effort because no one else is going to do it for you.
Don’t let stress dictate or control your eating habits.
Never take things for granted. Period.
You know the true you, even if at times it eludes you. So don’t let anybody else live your life for you.
MOST THANKFUL FOR
It’s been two years since I travelled down to see my Grandad in Adelaide. I was able catch up and celebrate the Christmas festivities with him and my parents.
Mum and I went to the Boxing Day sales. I had second day leg DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and can now write a convincing terrorist bent on destroying the Free World as I may have had similar feelings when navigating the crowds.
We also drove to Hahndorf and visited Beerenberg Farm. Unfortunately they don’t make the Chilli Mustard I love anymore, but I did manage to score some Peppercorn sauce and Mango Chutney.
It was definitely worthwhile getting away from life, even if it was just for a week.
How did your twenty seventeen fair? If you’re still alive, it mustn’t have been too bad. What were some of your highlights for the year?