Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Naked Disguise

Being that my blog (and the working title of my manuscript) is called 'Childish Things,' I am apparently interested in, and an advocate of, all things that allow the imagination to run wild. Too often in life, as we progress from childhood to adulthood, we are encouraged to put away childish things and behave a little more maturely, a lot more seriously, and focus solely on the mechanics of day to day functioning at the expense of the occasional daydream or wish fulfilment fantasy.

We tend to be extremists that way. As young kids we can go nuts and create whole worlds in our minds (even build castles and forts with the cushions off our sofa), yet once we cross that imaginary line, the world drains itself of every colour to become harsh in its black, white and predominantly grey tones.

We equate seriousness with maturity and using imagination with being somewhat naive and childish. At least, that's the face we show to the world.


Have you ever noticed how older teens and adults regress - cut loose, if you will - once they're given official permission? A couple of examples in my life have occurred these last two Saturdays. Both were 40th birthday celebrations - one was a Red Party (wear anything red), and the other party's theme was Hat, Wig and Hairpiece (you can kinda guess what that involved).

Suddenly, well respected, somewhat serious, intelligent professionals (I work with a few) happily regress to their younger, cheekier and more energetic selves and lose their inhibitions. Usually, alcohol is the elixir of regression in adults, but it's not the same. For one, it's inherently messier and it dulls the senses. So when a simple hat, hideous mullet wig (my choice) or splash of color is donned, you get the same looseness without the groggy repercussions. Basically, you 'play' once more.

Adults don't play, you might say. It sounds a little strange. Perhaps it does. In reality, it's just a label for a feeling that comes naturally to all kids (big and small) when the timing and circumstance are right. The fact that I was in a roomful of adults who were having a ball, dancing up a storm, exchanging hats, wigs and tiaras as the night grew young is all the proof that I need that ALL humans (and animals by the way) play, regardless of their age. Call it whatever you want, but strip the euphemism away and that's what we're all doing.

If it takes a disguise or accessory to get to the real 'you' beneath the role you assume in society, then I say why not? And if you're a young kid or a teen reading this entry, never let your ability to play slip away.

I guarantee you'll be happier for it.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

I Wish...

Driving home from my parents' place today, I saw a little kid walking with his mother, wielding a cricket bat and taking shadow swings with a beaming smile on his face. I was instantly taken back to my own childhood and the endless lists of things that I was super-passionate about - and imagined I'd achieve when I finally grew up.

Whilst I no longer take my tennis racquet everywhere with me, or dress up like a superhero, I realized that I still - in a more understated, adult way, carry with me the books, both published that I read, and the manuscripts, notebooks and diaries that I write, making a declaration of sorts to the world that I still desire something - that I still very much have a dream that I wish to someday (soon) turn into a reality.

That young boy today was no doubt imagining hitting a ball out for a '6' and winning The Ashes, and was doing so without trying to hide his burning ambition from those around him. It seems that as we grow up, we tend to dream in a little more subdued way, or layer it with the real life necessities and obligations that adults must contend with in life.

That isn't a bad thing - after all, a life in its complicated entirety is so much more than an achievement, a trophy, or a publishing deal.


I think it's healthy, necessary and vital to every so often stand up with a hand on one's heart and make a wish upon a star. Tell the world - in most cases, the people in your life, what you wish for in those quiet and honest moments. If you put it out into the world, chances are someone, somewhere will hear.

Be brave!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Underdog

Everyone loves an underdog...

I vividly remember reading an editorial article in GQ back in 1999, whilst holidaying in Greece, that has stayed with me. Although the article lampooned the infamous procrastination of novelists - in a very wry and very true way - it was the story of a man, who after a debilitating stroke, managed to write a novel by blinking out the letters, that resonated with me. Apart from being a constant pillar of perspective and reference any time the writer-in-me gets a tad precious or believes there's 'never enough time,' how can I not deeply admire a man who despite a terrible affliction succeeds in accomplishing a herculean task that most able-bodied people could never hope to achieve?

I was reminded of that editorial last night, when I watched the Ladies Singles Final at Wimbledon. The newly crowned champion, Marion Bartoli, is the epitome of an underdog. Her playing style is unorthodox - two handed off both sides (reminiscent of the legendary Monica Seles), with a hammer-like service motion (that doesn't include bouncing the ball at the service line), added kangaroo-hops and shadow swings at the back of the court after most points (to help reset, alleviate nerves and focus on the point ahead), culminating with her physique (which is not traditionally athletic). It brought to the fore that in sport there are genetically blessed athletes and there are natural-born competitors. Marion is most firmly in the second camp.

Whether a literary or a sporting example, what is it that ignites the fervor of a reader, watcher, or admirer into advocating for the proverbial underdog? Is it an inevitable push-back of all things cookie-cutter in appearance? If so, it is a full circle moment for most adults as it tends to run against the teen need of fitting in. For me, it reminds me that we're all unique, individual creatures trying to forge our own path in the world. Cookie-cutter or quirky-souled, deep down we are all one-off creations with no inherent rule books to help us navigate through life. It is the obvious examples of the above paragraphs that provide a touchstone of this very truth and ignites a sense of camaraderie.

As we cheer for the underdog, we cheer for ourselves.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

A Writer is Born

When I was in the 1st Grade, my teacher, Miss Jackson, informed us all of a monthly book club that allowed kids to choose, order and have books delivered right to their very own classrooms. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! There was Lucky Book Club (for youngsters like me -  I was 6 years old at the time) and Star Book Club (that were for a slightly older clientele, filled with chapter books, and novels). I recall going home with the brochure and excitedly showing my mother. Even as I type this, THIRTY years later - eep - I can vividly remember how giddy I was. Mail-order books! OMG!

My parents had always encouraged my reading and where possible (and affordable), I could buy a book from the bookstore. But as I graduated from having tales read to me to reading them on my own, I wasn't able to get my hands on books fast enough to satisfy my craving for the written word. Excited and nervous, I remember asking mum if I was allowed to order a book that very afternoon. Without remembering the exact conversation, I was so happy when she agreed. I think I even mentioned that it was a monthly service and could I use my pocket money to buy a book or two every month? As many things those days were linked to being a good boy/diligent student, I was over the moon when she agreed. After all, I WAS a good boy (mostly), and a brainy kid.

Now...what to order? I must have poured through that thin four-paged, double-sided brochure for the entire afternoon. It was my equivalent of looking through the display case of assorted ice-cream and being able to choose only one. Would I pick the best one? Oh, the dilemma!

Finally I choose the book, Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. That was the one I wanted! But what did a 6 year old know about the mechanics of mail-order? When my mother shrugged her shoulders, I retreated to my bedroom, trying to figure it out. Frustrated and anxious that I might miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I decided to take a wild stab at it. So, I took out my craft scissors and carefully cut the little picture of the book that I wanted from the brochure and slipped it into the envelope along with the few dollars. Proud of my ingenuity, I rushed back to school the next day to hand it to my teacher.

I remember Miss Jackson opening the envelope and smiling. She may have even stifled a laugh. She took a new brochure and flipped it over to the back page to show me the order form that was there all along. She then gave me a lesson in filling out a coupon - a skill that still serves me to this day, and popped my order through.

I waited the week or so - it felt like a month - for the book to arrive. Then, during class one day, Miss Jackson held up the basket of freshly delivered books and read out the new owners' names. I blushed and hurried to the front of the class when she called my name out. Looking at my very first independently chosen and purchased book (as much as a kid my age could choose and purchase anything), I remember thinking that it was the glossiest book I'd ever seen. I was convinced it shone brighter than any other book I had on my shelf.

As you can imagine, I read and re-read the book a trillion times. From there my retail book addiction was born. Every month I would examine the new brochure and carefully order the next adventure I wanted to go on.

Even now, when I peruse the shelves of a bookstore, or the webpages of Amazon for my Kindle, I am reminded of that day. Somewhere in that experience, my adoration of books was ignited and my dream of being a writer was launched. And that dream is still very much alive today...

Saturday, 29 June 2013

For the Love of Horror!

It used to be frowned upon to admit that one liked watching horror films - it was usually accompanied by a snort of derision and a roll of the eyes, especially by serious film critics. And while there are plenty of awful, just awful, entries in the canon, there are also films that lock you into a metaphorical roller-coaster car and take you for a thrilling - and yes, horrifying, ride.

Any writer (or reader for that matter) of horror, thriller, action, science fiction and the like are either fans of scary movies or have at the very least plundered the storytelling archetypes inherent in the genre. When uber-successful directors such as JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon openly admit to having gorged on a diet of horror and sci-fi in their formative years, the genre suddenly achieves a modicum of gravitas.

When one thinks of a storyteller, one conjures the image of a campfire surrounded with eager listeners who are enraptured by the narrator's ability to lure, enthrall, surprise, frighten and ultimately delight them with a yarn. As a writer or filmmaker accomplishing the above emotions is most definitely a goal, if not 'the' goal of entertainment. (There's even a theory that being scared in a safe environment actually helps people deal with the real evils of the world).

I too find that studying (and unabashedly enjoying) the horror genre has definitely helped hone my idiosyncratic set of storytelling skills. I may not be a horror writer per se, but any narrator who wishes to take his or her readers on a Joseph Campbell (arche)type journey can surely learn a thing or two from those who have successfully scared the pants off the public! As a writer of fast-paced and Dickensian YA, it has assisted me in crafting an appropriately shadowy atmosphere.

So, count me in as another creative who both enjoys and has been influenced by all-things-scary.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Going Dark

I'd love to start this blog entry with 'where did April and May go?' but I am acutely aware of where those months went! The fact that I've managed to capture June before it too slipped through my fingers gives me reason to celebrate.

So where was I? To put it succinctly, I was 'off the grid.'

For a blog that is equally about writing and living out your dreams, sometimes the commentary will abruptly stop dead in its tracks. As very few things in life follow a neat, linear passage, this is an inevitable turn of events - and one I have no doubt will be repeated many more times during my writing life.

Suffice it to say, during my blogging hiatus I was busy at work (day job); crafting a climax to my novel that is worthy of the build-up (and tearing out my hair just a little); and taking care of my father's increasing medical appointments. That last one has sent me into a minor tailspin. Those who read this and have been through their own sobering point-of-no-return reversal of becoming a parent to your parents knows how heady, and heavy, that can be. Add a dash of exercise, a smidgen of socializing and there you have it.

So, this little entry is my blogging equivalent of dipping a toe back into the water. As my fingers bang out these words I feel a wonderful sense of relief. I feel instantly and gloriously at home.

It's nice to be back.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Padded Room

There is a famous quote by Einstein... "There is nothing that is a more certain sign of insanity than to do the same thing over and over and expect the results to be different."

Many people are familiar with this quote - it has been around for a while and been paraphrased, reinterpreted, misinterpreted, and even popped in the middle of an Usher song. So why does it endure?

As a writer, who is trying to hone a particular set of skills on my path to publication, there was a penchant for me to live in my own head a little too long and to establish a routine or a style that may not be conducive to my goal of continual improvement and the eventual cracking of the 'professional writers code.' It dawned on me a little while ago that I needed to find a balance between staying true to my own voice - and changing things up in an effort to break from the above definition of insanity.

This has been quite liberating, and surprisingly so. Now, I write at all different times of the day (when I can), I attack brainstorming and the editing process is ever-changing ways, I listen to music while writing, go for a run before sitting down to write for the day, and generally find new ways to get under the skin of my protagonists in an effort to breathe life into proceedings. This may not sound like much, but to a fellow writer who may read this, shaking one's routine can be enough to send your axis spinning out of control.

But that's the entire point. If nothing changes, then nothing changes. What is there to lose about trying to mix things up and trying to shape the clay in a different way? I'd rather break free and play rather than rock back and forth in the padded room of my writer's mind.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Music on the Page

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – One of my favourite phrases in my writer’s toolbox. When I see those words, I automatically equate it with emotive music that deftly portrays specific scenes – key emotional moments, up on the silver screen. Turn the volume down, or if it was possible, watch the same scene without the orchestral accompaniment and see what would happen…
I’ve done exactly that. If you’re anything like me you’ll find that the previously powerful (read: gut-wrenching; ominous; light-hearted; soul-crushing; action orientated…) moments in the film becomes rather less satisfying (and formulaic) than its former whole. Scenes that had you blubbering into your tissues, or howling with laughter, or even gripping your armrest in fear, all becomes an obvious exercise in storytelling that is blatantly evident to the viewer and thus removes them from the epicentre of the action. Once you are aware that you are watching a film - or reading a book, you are no longer emotionally invested in it, and with that, any chance of empathy or a raw emotional response is destroyed.

As a writer, I find it extremely beneficial to pop my headphones on and cue specific soundtracks in order to establish a mood. This tends to be during the rewrite where I am trying to inject realism into the world I’m creating – not when I’m doing a technical rewrite. Initially I was dubious about being distracted by the music, but once I’m in the throes of the scene, I find the orchestral rhythm very helpful in establishing a sense of place and tone that influences the words that come bubbling forth from my brain.

At those crucial points in the story, where you want to reach out and grab your reader to make them feel – and make the experience as real or as visceral as possible, such a tool is a welcome addition to the writer’s arsenal.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Aussie Icons

Since joining the blogging-set I have had the pleasure of interacting with people all over the world, which has been truly enjoyable. A few of the conversations have come from people who live clear on the other side of the planet, and some of who view Australia as an exotic outpost at the bottom of the globe. Perhaps in some way it is. To Australians it is simply home, and one that has many cultural similarities with the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand to name but a few. As someone who works in the aviation industry and has traveled somewhat, going to these countries feels very familiar.

There was one particular person who asked me whom I admired or looked up to. Once I responded with my well-worn list, the reply I received was ‘What? Isn’t there one Australian man you look up to?”

I had never thought about it that way. In truth, I love my country very much but I’m not into die-hard nationalism. Nor am I into looking up to other men for the simple fact that they share my gender. In truth, the others on my list were mostly female. But it got me thinking, that as a male, which famous Aussie ‘blokes’ align with the man I consider myself to be most like. There are proudly quite a few to choose from. May I add, that the reason I am narrowing this conversation to admiring ‘famous’ people for this exercise is simply for their instantly identifiable name. Giving an obscure name to someone across the planet will not elicit as much understanding as perhaps the following names will. So without further ado…

Patrick Rafter – as a tennis fan I was pleased to see that nice guys can finish on top. When he won the US Open in 1997 & 1998, climbed to the top spot in the rankings and contested some wonderful matches against some of the greats of his generation (some he won, others he lost), I watched as a teenager with pride that Aussies were being so wonderfully represented by such a hard-working, fair minded and genial sportsman. In the world of competitive sports (really, any entertainment industry), where the stakes are high and to be monstrously self-centered is to be expected, even exalted, it was refreshing to see that you can squeeze the best out of yourself and not lose yourself in the process. That has stayed with me.

Keith Urban – simply put, what’s not to admire about a person who has achieved an insane level of success in his chosen field, has married and fathered children with his soul mate (who happens to be a talented artist in her own right) – and remains a genuinely humble and grateful man who is down-to-earth and relatable. In an industry where people pretend to be magnanimous for public adulation, you can spot the real thing. I’d like to think I share his genuine nature, easy humor, kind temperament and his loyalty and protectiveness over those most dearest to him. That to me is the epitome of being a gentleman.

Hugh Jackman – as a film lover (and someone who once loved singing, dancing and acting up on stage), how can you not respect someone who (like Keith) puts family and loved ones above all else while fashioning an enviable career in Hollywood without succumbing to its infamous trappings? To be talented, be able to make fun of yourself (which is a uniquely Aussie characteristic), enjoy life and simply be a nice person…these wonderfully grounded traits are ones that really should be emulated more than they sometimes are.

Thank you gents, for standing so tall.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Cry Me A River – Spoiler Alert!

To balance out my last post about loving to laugh (but hating the use of canned laughter), I thought I’d add an entry regarding enjoying – or enduring – a good ol’ cry.

Here are some of the films I’ve watched that have caused the tears to flow freely; sometimes to the point of using a brown paper bag and having friends tease me to this day…


I dare anyone to deny that they weren’t a quivering mess during the opening set-up when the touching montage of an animated husband and wife’s living, loving and dreaming of one day traveling together ends with the wife’s sad passing. Sniff.

(I thought I’d start with a safe one – there may be snorts of derision for the upcoming choices. See how I lay myself bare for the blogosphere?! ;-)


I know. I know. Look, it was 1997. I was a naïve innocent boy that believed in one day finding their soul mate and the power of love…blah blah blah. (Have I convinced you that I’m now awfully cynical? No? Well, you’d be right. I’ll always be a hopeless romantic). Back to this choice… When Jack let go and slowly sank to the bottom of the Atlantic and then Celine Dion brought the credits rolling in, my heart could not go on. I started to gasp and pinch my nostrils while my whole body convulsed. It was a full theater and I had my friend, Kat, rub my back as my head was in between my legs and I was crying like a child. I literally had to wait until everyone had left the cinema to compose myself and sheepishly escape. I was all too aware of people passing me and making comment. And if some of you think I’ve exaggerated this to be witty, I so wish you were right, but you’re not. Cringe.


Heartless is he or she who watched Hilary Swank’s Maggie climb out of trailer-park hell to make it as a boxer, only to suffer the ultimate injustice and become a quadriplegic. Her hideous vulture-like family circling her broken body and her trainer Frankie's devotion (a suitably grizzled Clint Eastwood) – culminating in the revelation of the meaning of his nickname for her - ‘mo cuishle’ - and his ultimate act of love via the administration of a fatal dose of adrenaline… oh boy…I watched it at the theater alone during the day and was glad it was an almost empty session. Still, I pulled my peaked cap as far down as I could and cried both as hard and as quietly as I could manage. I remember driving to the beach and sitting on the sand for a good while afterwards.

Stop laughing at me, I can hear you!


I can hear the snorts all over the Internet regarding this one, especially from fellow men. I’ll keep it short. Watching James Garner’s Noah reading a romantic love story – their love story - to Gena Rowlands’ Alzheimer-affected Allie at a nursing home, hurt the heart a bit. Okay, a lot. Watching the actors do justice to the horrors of the disease dotted with periods of lucidity for Allie was heart-wrenching. At the end of his storytelling, when the nurse finds them together in bed, having passed away, hand-in-hand…it was simultaneously beautiful and tragic. Take a bow author Nicholas Sparks who wrote the novel after being inspired by his wife’s grandparents.


An Oscar-winning turn by the affable Tom Hanks held my interest throughout but had me blubbering uncontrollably in front of the television at the end of the film when the mourners at his funeral watch home movies of Hanks’ Andrew Beckett as a playful and healthy child. Add Springsteen’s haunting ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ title track and you get absolute viewer devastation. 


Can I just cut to the chase and tell you how my friends, Jenny and Brooke, still tease me about my hyperventilation over this film. Yes, I’m aware it was a chick flick, and more than acutely aware that the two girls I was with didn’t shed a tear, but the quilt! And the women and their stories! And finding ‘The One’ all conspired to… alright alright, I admit it. You can join my friends and laugh.


Stephen King! Who knew? The Shawshank Redemption AND The Green Mile? Seriously ridiculous, mate! Masterpieces – both of them. And may I add beautifully acted and superbly handled by the irrepressible Frank Darabont. When Michael Clarke Duncan’s innocent and angelic John Coffey walks the ubiquitous mile to his tragic execution, both Kat and I (she cried as much as I did this time) held hands tightly  - if the lights were on in the theater our knuckles would have been white as we gasped and choked all the way through the scene. When he asks Tom Hanks’ Paul Edgecombe not to put the black hood over his head because he was afraid of the dark as he sits in the electric chair, I think we both let out an anguished cry in unison. After the film ended we went to a café to order some lunch. We looked so devastated that the waitress actually asked us if we were okay. Her gorgeous concern made us cry again, this time with laughter.

Which films get your waterworks flowing?

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Canned Laughter - How I hate thee

I love to laugh. Raucously. I also love to giggle, chortle, titter, guffaw and come dangerously close to busting a kidney when trying to suppress a chuckle at an inappropriate time and/or place.

Give me comedy films and television shows and I’ll happily watch, leaning forward, eyebrows arched, waiting to fall for a witty one-liner, cringe-inducing set-up or gut-splitting pay-off.

Whether watching spoon-fed slapstick or intelligent dialogue sing out of the performers’ mouths, I pretty much find the moment I should smile or laugh out loud naturally – on my own. I’m a big boy that way.

This brings my diatribe to its inexorable point. Why, oh why haven’t TV laugh tracks gone the way of the dinosaurs? Forced explosions of ill-matched laughter controlled by someone who presses a button once to start the noise and once more to stop it. Granted, these days they’ve gotten more sophisticated with layers of laughter, types of laughter, genders of laughter and the age of those laughing, who gladly lend their instrument to the ill-conceived recording. But a good knock off of a Louis Vuitton handbag is still a fake, no matter how you look at it.

I adore sitcoms that choose to record their shows in front of a live studio audience (if they're looking for authentic audio participation). Somehow their gasps, giggles and out-and-out laughter truly adds to the hi-jinks on set and adds volume to my own audible, happy expressions. I realize editing and sound mixing is still a part of it but all in all it’s a happy marriage. Saying that, one of my absolute faves on TV is Modern Family, which needs no audio special effects that scream "laugh here".

So to all those current sitcoms that shamelessly use (overuse) the laugh track, take heed. It actually makes the show less funny and ultimately makes people who share my sensibility change the channel. Who's with me?


Friday, 1 February 2013

Underrated February

Poor February – it has an odd amount of days making it the attic-dwelling stepchild of the proper months. Even in a leap year it doesn’t quite make the minimum thirty-day grade. January has the lingering after-effects of New Year’s indulgences and March sees a change in season and the celebration of Easter for a lot of folks around the world. But little anomalous Feb? No one expects a thing from this calendar oddity.

But I’m here to say that it could be the most positive and formative month of the year. One that will set the tone and catapult your year to greatness. I’ll break it down…

People either love or hate making New Year’s resolutions. Some say it helps them put to bed a tiring year by motivating them to look ahead, and others say it matters not how you start the year, only how you finish it (commitment over motivation). Personally, I see both sides of the argument. Regardless, it has been proven that come February most ardent ‘resolutionaries’ lose traction, and those focusing on the year’s end may not have gotten seriously started yet.

So, why not make February your month? When no one expects too much and there are no more holidays to distract you, why not grab your life and give it a shake? Writing, diet and exercise, new social endeavors, new personal creeds, etc…Go hard! After all, no one’s watching and it’s a short month…so what have you got to lose?

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Its been a while...

There’s nothing like bypassing January to escape all the requisite talk of resolutions (see post last year)…but in all seriousness, I’ve just returned from a relaxing and indulgent holiday in New Zealand. It sure helped to take the sting out of going back to work after the Christmas/New Year holidays. The copious amounts of gourmet food, wine, sweet treats – both at restaurants and over at the homes of friends and family was manna from heaven and a great way to farewell 2012 and welcome the new year.

Whilst I was relaxing up in the mountainous pine forests of New Zealand’s Coromandel Coast I got to thinking…what do I want to do/try/experience, and ultimately be this year?

My last blog entry was in October, and from that date till the Christmas shutdown period, I was consumed by work. For those of you who have followed by blog, you may recall that I was studying for my government license to assess pilots and cabin crew on emergency procedures. I’m pleased (and a little more than relieved) to report that at the beginning of December I achieved that milestone, and as a reward, I have been banished to the classroom and the simulators ever since in order to train, assess, examine, and sometimes yell - all in the name of air safety. My little sojourn allowed me to take stock, reflect and set the stage for the coming period.

Regarding my career and my writing aspirations, one thing I realized is that I am no longer ‘waiting tables looking for my big break.’ By that I mean the days of taking all sorts of odd jobs (usually poor paying ones) in order to feed my writing habit are over (in reality they have been for the last few years). Although I enjoyed my bohemian existence in my early twenties, now that I’m in my thirties, I’m pleased to report that I can juggle a respectable professional career while knocking on the publishing world’s door. I could do worse than follow in the footsteps of say…Michael Crichton or Tess Gerritsen, among many other luminaries.

Having said that, since I had to spend most of last year working assiduously on my nine-to-five persona, I am now wildly free to focus on my life’s other great love (that is, other than the wonderful people in my life) = writing. Busy as I was last year, I did work my little keister off on polishing my YA novel. I had hoped (and plainly stated in an early entry) that I would have finished the requisite changes/improvements and be on my submission journey way before the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. But I’m actually proud to admit that I didn’t get there. (In fact I have four more chapters ahead of me, so I didn’t miss the mark too badly). The reason I mention this is because I’m kind of proud of my shortcoming… For someone who would love nothing more than to receive ‘The Call’ from an agent, I finally came to the peaceful realization that I will not sacrifice quality in order to submit. I always understood that rushing would lead to sub par writing and thus reduce the chance of publication, but the angst and youthful impatience was always there, buzzing away. But not anymore. I like this new zen-like me. Let’s see if it holds me in good stead moving forward.

To finish (I apologize for the long entry), I am excited about blogging on a more consistent basis. If last year was my freshman attempt, this year’s sophomoric ramblings will be more assured and more consistent…I promise.