Tuesday, July 2, 2013

There's something about cupcakes...

As you can see from this photo, I've decided to bake some cupcakes today. I know, I know...for all those who have faithfully followed my blog from the beginning, it's been a while since I've actually baked cupcakes. Please forgive me :)

The thing is, there's something about cupcakes that remind me of harder times in my life.

Eating yummy cupcakes, or gazing at them, beautifully decorated in a shop window, still reminds me of the sweetness of life...but it's the actual baking process that somehow conjures up different memories for me. Memories of having to face difficult challenges in life. A reminder that life is certainly wonderful and worth holding on to desperately, but is by no means perfect.

So I guess in times when I need a bit of healing, I turn to cupcakes.

Healing for what, you ask? Well, one of those "life" things that you need to keep close to your heart. You all understand, because you've all had those times, so you'll get that I won't be sharing the details here.

But I will share a couple of home truths my mum reminded me of, that may even spark something in you...to get you moving on a project you've been putting off, or even jumping off your seat, as if you just sat on a thumbtack!

I've certainly had some plans to sit on some thumbtacks...not literally of course ;)

Being a teacher is wonderful in so many ways, and one of the perks of course, is school holidays! They started this week and I've had the awesome opportunity of spending some extra time with my precious 83 year old mum. A woman "worth far more than rubies", and wiser than anyone I know. One treasure she reminded me of yesterday, which she remembers her mother advising from when she was just a little girl, is...

"Never put off 'til tomorrow, what you can do today".

So, I'm making cupcakes for someone special today. That's one thing I'm not putting off.

The other thing I'm not putting off anymore, is getting my novel started....FINALLY! I'm going to call it my "sitting on a thumbtack" moment.

I now have an amazing mentor, Australian author Amanda Hampson, who is going to keep me honest. Every month for 12 months, I have a deadline to get one chapter to Amanda for feedback. That means by June 2014, I will have a first draft of 12 chapters of my novel completed. When I first read about Amanda's mentoring program a few years ago, deep down I really wanted to do it, but felt silly. These days, I don't care what anybody thinks, I'm committed to following my dreams without shame.

Therefore, I call myself a writer and I write. It's as simple as that really.

So my first deadline for Amanda was to write a Synopsis or plot outline. Scary! How on earth was I going to get my whole novel idea, that I'd been dreaming, imagining and planning in my head over many years, squished into just a few pages???!

But when you have a dream, you must follow through with it wholeheartedly and with some good, old-fashioned hard work. And that's exactly what I did...which paid off obviously, considering Amanda's opening remark in her email reply...

"Hi Jennifer.
Great story - fantastic premise, well worth the effort ahead :)"

This was an encouraging springboard to keep me moving on this baby of mine.

Amanda ended with a warning of sorts though, just so I wouldn't think this whole novel-writing business was going to be a walk in the park, while wearing rose-coloured glasses...

"You did the marathon and this is the next challenge, but on a very different level - you get to sit perfectly still and sweat blood ;)"

So off I go to sweat some blood, my lovely blog readers. I'll be sure to keep you updated over the coming months, during my 12in12 mentoring project.

Thanks for stopping by :)

PS. If you're looking for your next great read, check out Amanda's The Olive Sisters...I'm loving it!! I'm reading the actual softcover in my hot little hands, as I'm one of those old-fashioned readers who have an affinity to turning crisp whitish pages. But if you're one of those finger-flicking, ebook readers, you can get The Olive Sisters here or here. By the way, I'm not getting paid to recommend this book...just so you know.

1 comment:

Jessica Trad said...

1) I'm so glad that baking brings you some healing and that the final product can be shared with those you love during difficult times. Believe me, they will be digested with love.

2) I'm so excited about this mentoring program you've been blessed to be part of and know I'll be reading your published pages sooner than you even realise. You're a talent. And the world needs to see it.

Goodluck and love ya! x