Saturday, December 29, 2012

What a year

Hi all! Hope you are all having a fabulous festive season however and wherever you're celebrating! We had the most amazing Christmas over here, with all the people we love around us, lots of scrumptious food (too much actually), and heat, oh my god the heat! Here in Wellington, we had the hottest day we've had since 1934! 1934! It got up to 31 degrees Celsius, which, for a country like Australia, is totally normal, but for us it was almost unbearable - our average summer is about 25 degrees. And yet, we still played touch rugby outside in the sun...
So despite being tucked up in bed by 8pm on boxing day with a full stomach, a little bit of sunburn and feeling tired and extremely grouchy, it was all totally worth it.
And now it's all over for another year so I think it's time to reflect on the best bits of 2012 in the life of You May Say I'm a Dreamer, since I won't be posting until January 7th as I'm off on holiday tomorrow!

Made friends with the bees and ate manuka honey straight from the hive.

Said goodbye to the Wairarapa, which had been my home for nearly a year and a half.

Was reminded of how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful country when we went on a hike up a hill that nearly killed us.

I settled back into Wellington nicely and tried out my new/old Agfa camera around the city.

Joshua and I became models for a day for my sister's school photography project.

I celebrated my 24th birthday with a homemade Italian feast.

I started my Wednesday Writers series, which introduced me to a whole lot of fabulous authors over the next few months.

My sister, mum and I went on the hunt for the perfect vintage ball dress for my sister.

Joshua and I got well and truly settled into our new home, our first place together.

My body decided it didn't want to eat meat anymore, so I became a pescaterian - a vegetarian who still eats fish.


I participated in National Novel Writing Month and won! I now have a 50,000 word novel waiting to be edited.

Summer arrived!

Have a fabulous new year everyone, stay safe, be merry, and I'll see you in 2013!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas is all around...

The Christmas tree is up, the presents are being wrapped tonight, the mall is a nightmare, Christmas tunes are being played everywhere... one week to go people, are you excited?! Tempted to watch this movie, got to be one of my favourite movies, and this guy is the best, loved him in Love Actually, fell for him even more in The Boat that Rocked. Hilarious.

Our Christmas tree!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Monday :)

Happy Monday all! Hope you all had a fab weekend. We spent ours in a haze of heat, barbecue smoke and rays of sunshine with sand between our toes and salt in the air. Ahh summer...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for

My job is a very solitary one. I sit at my desk with my headphones on because I work better with a bit of music on to get in the zone and inane office chit chat doesn't do much for me. I communicate with my colleagues over email because they're scattered all over the country.
In terms of the work I do, I have nothing to do with the other people in my office - I work here because it's convenient and my job is portable.
One of those other people in my office, as I was sitting in the staffroom at lunchtime reading the other day, came past and said to me, "You're very quiet, aren't you?" And she stood there, actually waiting for an answer. No, "Hello, how are you?" or anything like that. Just "You're very quiet, aren't you?" I haven't had anyone say that sort of thing to me for a couple of years now - I thought people stopped caring about that kind of thing when you become an adult - so I was caught off guard a little bit, and just said, "Yep, guess I am..." But that wasn't enough for her. She went on to analyse the situation, saying things like, "I suppose we're a bit of a chatty bunch, aren't we?" "I suppose with the work you do you don't need to talk to anyone, you just stare at your screen all day, while we interact with people."
Um... yep, that's me, just staring at my screen all day, not doing awesome work like you, not putting on a fake smile and laughing at things you don't even think are funny just to get a sale.
If I was a loud, obnoxious person who says everything they think, I would have replied to, "You're very quiet, aren't you?" with something like, "You're very loud, aren't you?" Or how about, "You talk about dogs a lot, don't you?" or, even better, "You love receiving pity from your workmates about your marriage breakup and your useless ex husband by talking about it all the time, showing people the text messages, and talking to friends on the phone about it during work time, don't you?" How does it feel, being judged for being the person you are? Huh?
But I'm not that person. I wouldn't say those things. But I was certainly thinking them.
I've always been a quiet person, but I most definitely am not shy, and I don't lack confidence at all. I used to be shy as a kid and lack a huge amount of confidence as a teenager, but I'm over all of that now, and I'm just a quiet grownup. Yes, I'm a bit of a hermit, I don't like crowds too much, one of my favourite pastimes is curling up with a book, I don't do small talk, and I don't mind travelling alone. I don't say everything I think, only the things I think are worth saying.
I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but for some reason, even in adulthood, people still judge the quiet ones. They think we're shy, they think we lack confidence, they think we're bored.
No, no, no. We just want the words that come out of our mouths to mean something, we're confident when we need to be, and we're not bored, we're people watching. And during all of that, we're thinking.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NaNoWriMo: What next?

On finishing NaNoWriMo, I spent a blissful weekend doing not very much and not thinking about very much. As the next week began, I decided my novel and I needed some distance. We had spent far too much time together and needed a break from each other - personal space, you know? So we agreed to go our separate ways until January. Now, even though life is moving at quite the frantic pace, the few moments I have spare are spent wondering what on earth to do with myself now that I don't have a goal of 50,000 words to work towards. In those moments, all I can think about is getting my hands on those printed pages and a red pen and getting to work.
So, sure, I'm less than two weeks out from a two week break, and sure, editing is part of my day job, but screw it, I'm starting now! I suppose I can justify it by saying, I want to keep up the momentum, right?

I've decided to take up Createspace's offer of five free paperback copies of your novel for NaNoWriMo winners, but I have to have it ready before June...

So, 144 doubled-spaced pages printed, annnnnnd go!

"I’m a little nervous about all this you know. What is she playing at, seducing the nicest guy on the planet? Not that he would take much seducing - he’s absolutely smitten with her, it’s written all over his face when he looks at her, his body language when he talks to her.
I wish I could do something, stop the poor guy from getting hurt, but I can’t, I’m just a jar of jam. All I can do is watch as the foundations of this little town begin to crumble.
Oh Lily, I’m glad you came back, but you don’t realise what you’ve started."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Two weeks to go!!

♥Barbecue♥Sunshine♥Family♥PicnicsBackyard cricket♥Cooked breakfast♥Fruit♥Cheesy Christmas music♥Pohutakawa trees♥Barefeet

♥The Kiwi Christmas

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Monday :)

Last night my family and I had dinner outside and we raised our glasses to Summer before sitting around the fire roasting marshmallows! It was just what the doctor ordered after a crazy busy week and a similarly crazy weekend. Hope yours was lovely too xo

Friday, December 7, 2012

Things NaNoWriMo taught me

National Novel Writing Month has been over for a week now, and I have to say, I kind of miss it. I miss having a big goal to work towards, I miss making up random storylines and having the freedom to put anything I want down on paper, I miss that rush to the finish when I get to be a bit of a bitch and leave the house in a mess and the cupboards empty. But I do love knowing that I finished something.
I'm a major project person, I'm an ideas person, I'm a list person. My favourite feature of my new smartphone is the memo pad. However, I have a bad habit of making lists and starting projects, and moving onto the next one before the previous one is finished, or even halfway. There are empty canvases leaning against the wall at home, on which I know exactly what I'm going to paint but haven't got around to it yet, there's a half finished painting sitting on newspaper with paint and brushes beside it ready to be used, my computer is full of files with notes, research, and unfinished manuscripts sitting there waiting for me.
So although my novel is nowhere near fit to be read by anyone yet, the point is that I finished it. I have never written 50,000 words of anything in my life, ever. So for that, I'm proud of myself.

So here are some of the things NaNoWriMo taught me:

Write a story about what you know, something that requires no research, so you can spend more time writing, less time researching
Don't be afraid to make things up, no matter how ridiculous
Write with the knowledge that no one is going to read your first draft
Being descriptive about everything not only makes up words, it also makes you braver with your writing. In writing my other novel before NaNo, I avoided being too descriptive for fear of boring my readers, but when I did NaNo, I found myself being over descriptive in order to make up the words, which was a good thing because I can edit it down later, and I know now that it's better to have too much than not enough because it means you have something substantial to work with
NaNo is all about the word count, which, for non-finishers like me, was a fantastic learning curve, because it forced me to just get the damn words on the page and worry about sculpting them later

The most important thing NaNoWriMo taught me? That I am capable of fulfilling the dream I've had my whole life, of writing and publishing a novel.

Naughty blogger

Guys! Sorry for the lack of posts this week! It's been a crazy one with things at work getting busier as we rush towards the end of the year, fitness classes and gym visits happening every day, and generally being knackered at the end of it all - the amount of takeaways we've been having lately is shocking, there's barely time to eat dinner at the moment, let alone cook it! I'm sure most of you are feeling the same though. Isn't it crazy how busy it gets around this time of year, a time of year that, here in the southern hemisphere at least, is supposed to be a relaxing time spent soaking up the sun (although, you wouldn't have guessed it was summer after what happened in Auckland yesterday) Oh well, you don't get something for nothing, and I guess working so hard towards a relaxing summer and festive season makes it all the more worth it in the end.
So, as an aplology for being such a naughty, slack blogger this week, here's some vintage loveliness I've collected on Pinterest for you, to put a smile on your dial in preparation for the weekend. (And, as promised, there will be a NaNoWriMo post coming later today!)

Happy weekend peeps xo

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy Monday :)

Hello and Happy Monday! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Well, we had the first two days of summer... which felt more like the first two days of winter. But on the bright side, we got a pretty sunset to look at last night, and sometimes it's nice to have a wintery weekend when things have been so busy lately so you have an excuse to stay inside, bake some muffins, watch some TV and just relax and enjoy the last free weekend you're going to have until a New Years trip away... weehoo can't wait for that one! Lake Taupo, hot springs, massage, sunshine here we come!
Have a fabulous week peeps!