Saturday, 29 December 2012

What 2012 brought

At the year end, I'm duly taking a retrospective look at the gone by.
Like probably all of you, 2012 has been thick and thin for me too, treacly at times, custard-smooth at others.  
Now it's  near its end - where did the time go? Maybe that feeling is better than having time sit on your hands :)
It brought me a lot of things that I'm thankful for. New friends, surprisingly people I haven't yet met in person, only online, and some of them with whom friendship quickly grew till they entered firm friends list. And like firm footing, my writing group friends, still there to share things with. And (psst) vent your frustration at when you need it :)
Growing closer with my husband, yes, that may sound strange after sixteen years of marriage but is true, along with long morning walks we definitely found new things to learn about each other and appreciate.
Watching kids grow. Every mom and dad rushes through this. But on occasion you sit back and reflect and you get a warm mellow glow.
Then regarding my own personal growth. Learnt to listen (slightly) more. I learnt to take criticism better. At times even admitted my weak spot instead of flying off the handle when anybody pointed out what I had done amiss. But only at times, mind you ;) I'm not wearing a halo yet. (Don't want to be all goodness and sparkles.)
Writingwise, my major leap was winning Mills and Boon Passions III contest. And getting a chance to work with a - whoops - editor! Made my writing make inroads and go into depths I should never have dreamed of otherwise. Take it from me, an ed can really put their finger on what thing in the story niggled you but you didn't know what to do about it or shirked from taking that blind bjt spectacular jump. I learnt to strengthen my characters. Not hang onto scenes which didn't work for the characters however emotionally attached I was to them (the scenes, not characters) :(
*sigh* Still not satisfied with my writing and most of the time feel like throwing it all away or hiding under the blankets BUT for my writing friends' support. Plus my ed is so kind and encouraging enough about the parts that do work that it gives me enough turbo power to go on.
And yes the most important lesson I learnt this year. The lesson of last year's mistakes, now reinforced that family comes first or even writing doesn't give me satisfaction. Last few days, I took time off for my visiting relatives and played with my five-year-old nieces and their smiles and chuckles will stay with me, warming me. Especially, when writing is frustrating and you feel like throwing wip at the wall, you know you did some good. Gave people joy like bro-in-law and his wife relishing the stuffed paranthas I made. So if you're doing something right, maybe you can make this work too.
So like me if you suffer from bad writing days or bad days in general, my advice is to remember and reflect on things you've done well and decide you can tackle this too, the problem you have in hand. 
Most of all, take a minute to dwell on past lessons and learn from those mistakes. But never beat yourself up about them, however tempted you are to.

So with this wish you a very Happy New Year. And hope it won't bring bad days at all for any of you!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Yayyy.....and Merry Christmas

Yayy! We're all still here and very glad to be! Having survived the apocalypse (warning), we, I mean all of us, are looking forward to Christmas and spending holidays with family.
All this doomsday prediction stuff made me think of the times such warning have occurred in the past. I was a kid of maybe seven years, when I had first brush with this sort of mortality warning looming overhead, that was Skylab crashing to earth, the debris of which, thankfully went mostly into the Indian Ocean. Later came nuclear threats. Then these predictions began to become popular. The Nostradamus forecasts for the end of the world, and most recently this Mayan Prophecy. I don't deny I do get murky thoughts when I hear them and when children hear of these predictions...well, I do think nowadays they are suave enough not to take them to heart but somewhere they do stick, don't they? My son did show me a YouTube video of the meteor crashing into and burning the Earth and I had to look up and show him the NASA website where they absolutely denied its threat. Suffice to say, can do without kids feeling insecure because of all the widespread propaganda. Had to reassure him with a lot of counter-arguments and hugs.
Anyway, holiday season is here and time to dwell on these things is...well, can't find it! School break has begun, brother-in-law is coming over today with his family, so kids are pretty excited to meet their cousins. Thankfully whatever fears plagued us are done away and we are free to celebrate.
So I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Have fun in the holidays and even after the hols, infuse every day of your life with fun. I say we can permit ourselves, out of the sheer relief of having survived so many dire prophecies! Am sure you'll agree :)