Sometimes You Need Right Timing

“Sometimes my successes come quickly and at other times they are terribly slow to arrive. It is not my place to determine the speed at which they arrive or if they arrive at all. My place is to keep forging ahead no matter what.” 
Craig D. Lounsbrough

If you follow my blog you’ll know that I’ve been working on my memoir for a while now. I started it after many of you asked me to keep telling the story of my time in the Kimberley and of my Aboriginal Aunties.

I’m up to my eighth draft now, and I’m fairly sure this will be my final one. This week while I’m mostly in bed recovering from the flu I am making these last few changes. I’d been hoping to be working on it at a writers retreat this week, but I didn’t make the final cut. I would have been too sick to go anyway. Funny, that.

I’ve tried to get this thing out into the world a few times now, and it has never flown. Each time, after the rejection, I have let it sit for a while and then have reworked it. Each time it has changed quite dramatically.

I’d decided that no matter what happened with this latest opportunity that I would complete the draft and then send it on. When I began this latest edit a few days ago I was sure I knew what my story was about, what the themes were and what needed to be changed. And then I had a discussion with my sister. As we talked about family and history I suddenly understood that this draft was missing a major message – something one of those wise Aboriginal women had shared with me which had changed everything I thought about myself. I saw that if it could change everything for me it would do the same for many of you. Some truths are universal like that.

If this draft had not been delayed I would never have reached that critical realisation.

So I’m trusting in right timing. I’m trusting that every rejection and hold-up was needed to shape the story it will become. I’m trusting that very soon it will be time for this story to be born into the world.

Has that ever happened to you? That the timing was all wrong until suddenly it was right. Looking back you knew that every disappointment was okay because now you were exactly where you needed to be.

I’m so looking forward to sharing my story with you. Wish me luck as I labour through these last changes!

Much love to you, Nicole  xx

Inside My Story

“Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”

~ Colette, Casual Chance, 1964

 

I’m deep into the editing process for my memoir right now. It’s a strange process, crafting your own story.

The only way that I can do it successfully is to become fully immersed in the story. It’s no good to do a bit here, and a bit there. It takes time for me to get into that place of flow, so it’s easier to simply sink down into it and keep going. That means no socialising, no work, no phone calls or facebook or being on tap for others. Right now I need to be front and centre for myself.

I’d thought that at this stage of the rewrite I would be a manuscript surgeon. Objective, detached, interested only in the problems and the process of rectification or amputation. But it’s not like that at all. To write my life, I have been walking that road in my mind. I have to put myself there, so that all becomes real again. Now, again.

I must admit I’ve been struggling too, with style. I have some literary bits, some introspective bits. Especially near the front of the book. You know, trying to craft an impressive beginning and all that… As I read over it, the words didn’t flow the way I wanted them to. I wasn’t sure what to do. Then Rosie wrote a comment on my blog;

Nicole, you couldn’t write crap if you tried! You go girl and write as you do here. Your following on this blog should tell you that we love the way you write. Hugs and crystal sparkles (you know which crystal!) xxx

A lightbulb came on for me. I stopped writing for imaginary judges and agents and publishers. I started writing for you, dear readers. Just like I would write any blog post. Just the way I’d tell you any of my stories.

Oh my goodness, Rosie! A thousand hugs, a box of chocolates, a big sloppy kiss. You’re a genius, woman!!!

 

I’m recrafting my beginning as though I was writing my blog. Telling it all the way it happened, with the usual out-falling of emotion and honest confession.

I guess that after one thousand odd posts here on Cauldrons and Cupcakes I’ve found my voice after all. Who’d have thought?

Thank you, lovelies. You are all much more a part of this unfolding story than you or I could ever have imagined. Bless <3 xx

Crazy Busy Writing!

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“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

There’s not much going on at my house right now.

Except this.

Reading. Underlining. Sighing. Crying. This book is all a pile of crap. Sudden bursts of stompy-footed door slamming and wandering around the paddocks. The clickety click of my keyboard. Endless kettles boiling.  Paper. Everywhere.

Ben brings me tea, and makes a hurried exit.

Thinking.

Reading. Highlighting. Sighing. Laughing. Hey, that bit was quite funny. Reading some more. Nope, it’s all still crap. Sudden bursts of stompy-footed door slamming and wandering around the paddocks.

Ben stokes the fire and stays out of my way.

Emergency phone calls to my sister. ‘Hi, can you remember when this thing happened? Great. Thanks. Bye.’ Hanging up to get straight back to writing.

Me reading over things thinking ‘Can I tell them that? Can I say that?’ Me wriggling in agony, ‘God, I can’t believe I’m writing that.’ Sitting under trees watching the black cockatoos flying overhead. The clickety click of my keyboard. Endless cups of tea. Words. Everywhere.

I’m working on the final edit of my Kimberley story. How stupid was I to think that it would be easy to write about myself! A memoir? I’d rather scrub the bathroom with a toothbrush. Hemmingway was right.

More tea. More writing. More sighing.

Let’s hope this is all soon done, so that normal life may resume.

Life on Hold

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“Finished crap can be edited. Unfinished greatness languishes forever. The only bad writing is the thing you didn’t write!”
~ Margarita Gakis

 

I’m tweaking the very final edits of my memoir. You know, the one about my time in the Kimberley?

So, there’s not much else to report right now until that’s done.

That’s why the dogs look so bored.

Anyway, while I finish up, fuelled by copious amounts of tea, here are some pictures from yesterday morning’s walk…

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I’ll be back tomorrow with something much more exciting, I promise!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

Lots of love, Nicole xx

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