Deep breath and reflect...
Over a month flies by in an instant! The COVID staggered back-to-school strategy certainly altered the workplace landscape dramatically for the areas I manage – ICT and Libraries – creating almost a duplicate start to school separated by a less than a fortnight, along with keeping an entire community of students ELC-12, teachers and parents connected online and in the classrooms. But my teams met the challenge and, providing there’s no dramatic shift in COVID matters, we’re all back on site and slowly easing restrictions. Of course, we can’t complain at all, in comparison to what has been the impact of the pandemic interstate and overseas. And now we have the Russian idiocy exploding into Ukraine and threatening everyone with nuclear devastation if anyone interferes.
While writing has retreated into the background for the past weeks, apart from some editing, this morning allowed time to reflect on what has happened since I started this blog way back in December 2018. Originally intending to record the process for drafting a historical semi-fictional biography of my mother’s life from 13-21, the blog has continued to encompass subsequent projects. In the three years I have managed to draft to readiness three novels – the historical fiction, Girlie, and two teenage fantasy pieces, extensions of original The Last Wizard. They join three existing novel drafts – one apocalyptic zombie novel, All We Have, a fantasy novel, Rising Storm, (and a half of the second in what is currently labelled The Dragon Queen series), and a young adult novel, Shadows – that I’m hoping to finish working on in the next eighteen months. So, despite work and COVID, a lot of writing is done – but nothing published yet. Life plans were to quit work at the beginning of 2019 to pursue all of the above. That has become 2023. This time it is set in concrete. I’ve made it widely and publicly known at work. I’ll be 67. The mortgage is paid. It’s time.
As for the writing, also this morning I penned the plots and notes to three new teenage/young adult projects and I’m excited by the stories they will tell. I’ll write the openings to two of them after this blog entry. Two weeks ago, I wrote the opening chapter to the fourth book in The Last Wizard series – Harmi’s Song – continuing the tale, this time, from the dragon’s perspective. Yes, that means I will have five project drafts on the go. I will settle into one next week as the key focus, but I can’t wait for 2023 and the opportunity to be a fulltime, broke but keen writer. I had a break from education way back in 1993 and wrote the original The Last Wizard and Joy Ride in that period – two novels from concept to full draft in six months – so I know what is possible.
I have ten months remaining of what will be a forty-four-year education career. Already I’m ticking boxes, saying quietly, ‘I never have to do that again.’ I have love education – I really do. I only wish I made an impact on the bigger picture for the benefit of teachers and students, but I was never able to take the right pathways to fight the ignorant politicians and people who insist the education experience can only be the same as it was for them – exams, industrial labelling, grading and leveling practices, cruelty to children, distaste and disrespect for teachers – to consign those people to history. The next generation will have to win that war.
Now for a coffee and then the openings to the new projects.
Writing is my passion. Ideas, opinions, beliefs, experiences expressed through language - through words and images - pervade and create my life. Writing is my voice, my soul, my self. My dream is one day writing will sustain my life...