I took a vacation.
Really, it was a vacation from everything. Work. Writing. Obligation. Responsibility.
At least, that was the goal anyway. Life has a habit of throwing the odd curveball, or simply messing with the best laid plans. Either way, I still took a little time for me. I went back to Australia for the month of April, spent quality time with the family I love and adore.
And that was perfect. Going home always reinforces how grateful I am, how lucky. I have a wonderful, beautiful, loving family that has supported my every move, even when it took me across the world.
That hit home this trip more than any other. How far away I am from my family and the almost physical ache it causes when I miss them. Then there’s the fear I might never see them again, something I have to process and work through every time I get on a plane. That fear could keep me tied in place, if I let it, but I have to remind myself that birds don’t fly without falling out of the nest first.
So I let myself fall.
It also reminds me to say ‘I love you’ every chance I get. Because what if the next time is the last time?
So, other than all that, the all encompassing love and the fear and the fact they sometimes walk hand in hand, the trip was good.
Hit Australia Zoo and through some magic my brother got us to have a chat with Terri and Robert Irwin. I’m convinced that if I could get the bro to be my PA I’d have twenty books written and an agent, no prob. He’s just got the gift of the gab and knows how to talk to people. Meanwhile little awkward me hangs in the corner and makes polite small talk while trying to figure out exactly how weird I can be without scaring them off.
Yes, there is a limit, and I know all the other weirdos out there understand exactly what I’m talking about.
Spending time with the nephew, little Blake, was perfect. He was unsure of me in the beginning, which is only natural considering I’m never around, but by the end of the month I’d earned myself a hug, a fist bump, and a kiss on the cheek. #BestPresentsEver
There were several dozen games of Yahtzee against my Grandfather, 98% of which I LOST (wtf - I never used to lose…) and a couple of games of Rummikub with my Grandma, both of which I won. There were movies and TV shows with my mama at home, chill sessions with the Hetero Life Mate, and shopping sessions to replenish on candy, clothes, and drinks that I can’t get in Canada. Honestly, my suitcase was 24 kilos of pure sugary goodness on the return trip. Bless the Qantas ground staff that helped me out and shunted a kilo over onto the duffel I bought for the trip home.
The whole month was about not rushing to do anything. Not setting deadlines. Not struggling to get shit done. Just go with the flow, enjoy myself, and take every day as I could. And honestly, that was the best way to do it. I feel better for it. For taking a break from work and even writing, which I love. I need time to recharge and find my excitement for things again, and right now I feel like it helped with that a lot.
So this is me, back on the grindstone, ready to give everything another go. I finished the edit of book two of ‘Beneath’ before I left, and so far have three people reading it. Now I’m back on the re-write of book two of Marked, a task I’ve been both excited for and dreading. Bittersweet comes to mind as a apt descriptor. There’s a lot to change and a lot to reimagine and explore. I’m thrilled to be dealing with the characters involved though, one of them being my absolute favorites of the story.
I wonder if written characters should be like children and you should never really have a favorite… Oh well. I have one. The rest will just have to deal.
I even entered a writing competition while I was in Oz. I’m honestly excited for having done it, just to take part, because I haven’t put myself out there with my writing for a while. #Nerves #Excited
Here’s hoping I can maintain some good momentum and get a few more writing comps knocked over as well!