Monday, November 30, 2015


November comes to an end today, with something of a bang rather than a whimper, as I submitted my novel project online exactly twelve minutes ago to achieve this:

I made it!! 50,010 words down, and I don't think they're all rubbish either, which is an effort I'm pretty proud of.

November was a challenging but really good month for me. The end-of-year busyness began to ramp up, especially from mid-month onwards. My big girls and I got to see Florence and the Machine in concert on the 11th. My partner and I managed a weekend away without the kids mid-month, which was lovely. I wrote so much, completing both NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo. I attended my final Novel in a Year class. I have been so enjoying my lovely new kitchen, which was fully completed a week ago today with the stove being installed, and doing much baking and experimenting with meals.

It was a huge month in terms of paid work, too. I finished with my first big client on 12 November, and had a whopping 5 days off before kicking into my new project for Big Client the Second on the 18th. I've been very busy since with it, and will be until 17 December, when I go onto 2 weeks vacation.

December will, I hope, be a month of blessings also. This week holds work, high school orientation, Christmas craft club, primary school end of year concert, and at the weekend, the final netball games of the year, a guitar concert and a Christmas lunch. Christmas preparations are in full swing, and the race to the end of the school year is well and truly afoot, with concerts, graduations, performances, sporting finals and parties aplenty; so it is going to be a very crowded month.

After the extreme wordiness of November, I'm going to take a break from writing for a couple of weeks. I may post some picture-posts, but I may not do that either - I am very busy with work and I am also really feeling the need for a breather from the intensity of the past month of writing all the things. I imagine I'll be back with the traditional Christmas-wishes post in due course, but I think I'll be pretty silent between now and then.

So as we all plunge headlong into the race to the end of 2015, I hope your December is bright. I'm off now to fold laundry, fill in endless school forms, and listen to music :-) I'll leave you with the last passage of Theory of Mind, my NaNoWriMo novel.


This air is as pure as crystal, as abundant as the stars above.
This air is air; not a facsimile, not a replication.
It makes itself through living systems, not machines;
it has reached the self-sustaining tipping point that Sani and Jod always believed it could.
If we fly away, it will stay alive for a million years. More, Jod had said, his face alight.
Absent a large-scale collision catastrophe, it’s seeded for good, now.
It’s what Briony saw, when she looked at the red dust.
What it could be.
Marginally higher in nitrogen than earth, a mere soupcon lower in argon;
but supplied with just the Goldilocks amount of oxygen to inflate human lungs,
to let us fill ourselves and breathe. In. Out. In.

Nasima presses close into my side. Eight years old, and a never-ceasing source of wonder to me;
her adaptation to almost five months aboard ship, and landfall on a strange world, one of uncomplicated delight.
I remember holding her, a newborn, her wide, wise eyes locked on the star outside the window.
Star baby, star child, I’d crooned, as Phoebe slept an exhausted sleep.
You’ll go to the stars someday, my child, my lovely child.
Newborns don’t smile; everyone knows that. Their mouths might distort a little in a smile-like rictus
but it’s nothing but the passing of gas (a thing they do a lot of).
All the same, I could swear she smiled at me, my star daughter, on that still midnight.

Mam, she says, her voice serious. Mammy, why don’t you open your eyes?
It’s beautiful out here. Please, look? I can see so far …
Phoebe murmurs something to her, hand pressing into mine.
For a moment I think, this is more than I can bear, more than I can compass.
I’m almost 55 million kilometres from where I was born, and I am lost and confused,
dazzled and sotted beyond imagining.
To be here, in the open air, the open Martian air –
But this is what we came so far to see, after all.

I take my daughter’s hand, and I open my eyes.


This is the 30th and final post in NaBloPoMo. All done for another year!!

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