Thursday, May 22, 2014

The ripple effect of choices

Choices, we all have them. Frequently we have more choices than we will allow ourselves to acknowledge. Sometimes it's much easier to stay where you are, like it or not, than take the risk to change things. I get that, I've done that, it's human nature to stay with the devil you know. There are no guarantees, and taking a chance and making a change may work and may not. My new philosophy is better to try even if you don't succeed than never to give it a go and wonder your whole life what if...?

How's that for an introductory paragraph? I think a lot about choices, and how and why people make them. I'm faced with a minor choice soon, at least I hope I am. I came here to teach English, and I really like the concept, it seems a good fit for me. Now I may have a different opportunity, I'll find out on Saturday about that. I need a paying job of course since I'm not at the stage of making a living from writing yet. But this opportunity may give me a chance to do something else that I love, and have time to write which seems to me to be a good combination, albeit at no doubt lower pay.

It's choices, and even the smallest choice has a ripple effect that may not show up for quite some time. So my choices are: follow the original plan and get a teaching job which will lead to possibilities unknown, or follow this unexpected opportunity and see where it leads - also full of possibilities as yet unknown. Well I don't know if the second option is viable as yet but if it is that's my choice, and not only because it will give me time to write which of course is important to me and to my emotional and mental health - like it or not I need to write to feel balanced and grounded. But also, my instincts are pushing me to option number 2 and I promised myself I would listen to my instincts from now on.

I think if you can find something that you enjoy, and as a bonus you get paid to do it then you won't consider it work. I know this is not a new idea, it's plain common sense to do what you like to do. Not all of us can do this of course, it's not a perfect world. Maybe better would be to say find something you like about whatever it is that you do - the silver lining on every cloud as it were. I have been lucky in all of my jobs until now, in that even if I didn't much like the job I at least was able to find something about the work, or the workplace, that I liked. Well except for one boss I had for a very short time who was quite the most unlikeable person I have ever met. But that's another story.

I'm rambling today, I know. My thoughts are on how short life is and how we owe it to ourselves to be happy in our lives. It's harder to do than to say in many instances and I have gone through some very dark times as anyone reading these blogs will know. I've learned lessons I hope I will not forget. I've taken the huge risk to come here to this country, to start my life again; I guess having taken that big step, choosing what sort of work I will do seems like a pretty small choice but of course it isn't. In the big picture of life there is really no such thing as a small choice.

In other Sheryl news - I got sick again, with the Egyptian version of what Australians call Bali Belly. Here I've heard it referred to as Pharaohs Revenge. Fortunately there is a local remedy which has proved very effective so I will be keeping a box of that handy from now on! Hopefully as I build up immunity I won't get sick so easily.

And finally, news of the book :) Following is the link to the Amazon page where it is once again live in the new incarnation. Good luck to you little child of mine, may you find a home in many peoples minds.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The absentee blogger

A thousand apologies to anyone who has been checking in to see what I'm up to, and I know some of you have from the stats. It's been all go for me, go and gone really. And I've been sick which is the main reason why I haven't written before now. When I'm sick all the words in my head throw themselves to the side of my skull and hide there. My script disappears, the words burrow into my skull and I have nothing to work with. I guess my words are my strength and when I am sick I am weak and so my words disappear.

I had a cold, not such a big drama, but I was pretty sick with it. A temperature for three days, and then I developed a sinus infection so it dragged on and on. The cough lasted for weeks, in fact I am only just now getting over the cough. The problem was of course the timing. Change is hard enough when healthy, well nigh impossible when ill. I fell sick right at the time I had to move out of my home and prepare for my big move. Very inconvenient.

I managed it, as you do, but I am sure I threw away things I should not have. I do seem to have managed to thin my possessions down to less than 40 kilos and two not completely full suitcases. I am sure there are things I will regret not bringing with me. But it's done, I moved, and moved again, and moved again.

The first, and most painful move was out of my home and into my mothers unit. That is me, gamer son, two cats and a rat into my mothers not so large unit. Add to that a dog being house sat and it was rather chaotic and bursting at the seams. The painful part was not being at my mothers of course, but leaving behind my house, and with it my life.

I guess because I was also sick, the wrench was very painful. I felt like I had suddenly been dropped in limbo, and it was very unbalancing. I dreamed each night of my own bed, and woke in the spare bed. I woke not to the sound of the butcher birds, but to other smaller birds. I went to work from the opposite direction and had to remind myself each day to go back to my mothers and not to my home.

But it was a change that could not be unchanged, so of course there is little point in looking back. And I had only a week to prepare us for the next big move, overseas to my sister. And then only a week to prepare for my next big move, to here. Plus I was on antibiotics again as the sinus infection rather enjoyed the long haul flight and re-activated itself.

So here I am, renting an apartment so I have once more a place I can call home. Gamer son is still with my sister, for now at least. I am in totally different surroundings, a different culture, language and lifestyle. So far it's been disconcerting, exciting, frightening a little, overwhelming at times but I feel alive like I haven't felt these past stressful months.

I no longer wake to birdsong, I wake to voices and traffic and the chickens next door. I do however have a view of the sea which is quite beautiful, the little patch I can see at any rate. I am beginning my life again and the universe I think is very satisfied that I have finally come to where I have been pushed all this time. Go with the flow of the universe, of the greater being and serenity and peace are the reward. Go against it and truly you are walking through molasses.

Here, I am writing. To be totally honest I have not actually put fingers to keypad but I have jotted down a lot of notes as ideas come to me for the characters. I feel compelled to write again as I haven't done for some time. I can visualise my characters fully fleshed, not ghostly. This includes the werewolf which is not so great for those glimpses out of the corner of the eye when you think you see something moving. But I am keen to write again, and I have for now the time to do so. Once I am working time will again be short, so I am making the most of this free time while I still have it.

And book number 1, the reason I started this blog? Well there is news there also. I have a publisher now. Not a big pay you a huge advance type of publisher. This one is what is called a vanity publisher. They are smaller, tend to focus on ebooks, and do not pay an advance. In fact the author pays them for their services. Because of this, naturally, there are plenty out there which prey on authors. They take exorbitant amounts of money but have no real interest in getting the book to sell. They make their money from the authors, not from book sales.

This one, I hope is different. For starters, the amount I paid was very reasonable, and they do seem keen to market and sell the book. I have a fantastic new cover being designed, and they will market the book once it is republished. I don't have expectations of fame and glory, but I do have what I think is a realistic expectation that this will raise my profile and that is what I need, for future book sales.

So here I am, on the other side of the world, starting a new, different and hopefully better life. I take it as an omen that things started happening for book number 1 at the same time as my life changed. I have gone through some very difficult times emotionally, I struggled with it but I do feel that I have put my past right where it belongs - behind me. The future is bright and not only because of the desert sun :)