Offline Again

Yes, my website has been offline again. It’s fixed, or so I’m told, but I no longer trust anything around here. I don’t have time to move the site to the other database right now (maybe it will be safer there, but then again…). Anyway, that’s something for me to look forward to.

In the meantime, I might leave off posting for the time being. I’ll wait and see what happens with the site first.

Tick, Tick, Tick

The seconds hand on the clock invades my privacy. It shatters my peace. That never ending sound slowly sets my nerves on fire as I listen to its beat.

I watch the slender hand move slowly around that drab looking face.

I sit in my typist’s chair aware that it is playing games with me. On and on it goes, forever persistent and never stopping. One second, two seconds, three…

Looking away, I try to dive into something, anything, to keep me busy. For some time I think I’m winning, but my gaze is drawn slowly back to that nasty, moving piece of torture. Is it possible that only two minutes has passed? It’s not true, it can’t be! It has to be longer than that.

My eyes become heavy. The ticking of the clock is luring me into another world. I will resist. I know I am strong. It can’t have me, I won’t allow it. The enemy forges closer and closer, but I remain firm.

But my gaze cannot resist the temptation. I look again. Five minutes! Liar!

And so the first day back at work went…on and on and on…and on. If a clock face was designed to fade a little whenever we looked at it, I would have had a blank circular disc on the wall in my office by the end of the day (and maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing). But the seconds hand carried on with its steady march and, unfortunately, it will be waiting for me tomorrow morning.

How boring the day was. How slowly it dragged its feet. How I wish I had a holiday to look forward to. I hate the first day back at work.

Tick, tick, tick.

I Had a Dream

How often do you dream at night and when you wake up you forget the dream within minutes of getting out of bed? This happens to me most days.

This morning was different. I woke up at 5.15am and lay in bed staring at the ceiling, the dream clear in my mind. I couldn’t fall back to sleep, I didn’t want to. I went over and over the dream to ensure I remembered everything.

In the dream I was taking an international flight to somewhere, I don’t know where and it’s not important. An international flight to anywhere from Australia means a long, tiring flight. Anyway, I sat in the aisle seat. An empty seat was beside me and the seat beside that was occupied by a woman. A woman about 10 years older than me.

The plane took off and the seatbelt sign went off. I, and the woman two seats from me, immediately unclasped our belts and leaned over to grab a laptop at each of our feet. We smiled at each other as we settled back in our seats and booted up the system. And then we went about our own business.

We sat quietly tapping away at the keys. Occasionally, one of us would rest our head back against the seat and stare up at the circular fans above our heads, and then that person would turn back to the laptop and type furiously.

After an hour or so of doing this, I sat back…thinking and scheming because I was stuck in my storyline. After a few minutes the other woman looked at me.

“What are you typing?” she asked. “You’ve been deep in thought ever since the plane took off.”

Shy, I didn’t want to go into details. I felt embarrassed for some reason. “Just a story.”

“I thought so,” she said. “Are you stuck?”

I nodded.

She smiled. “It happens to the best of us.” We stared at each other for a moment before she continued. “I write too. I’m writing a sequel right now. My editor is pushing me to get this one finished soon.”

We laughed and I relaxed a bit.

“Tell me why you’re stuck,” she said.

The woman was easy to talk to and I found myself sharing snippets of storyline with her. She asked many questions. Some of which I didn’t know the answers to until I gave my reply. I learned a lot about my story in the next 30 minutes.

“So, you see, that’s where the first two books are at, and the third book isn’t coming together at all.” I paused. “It’s frustrating.”

She gave a flash of white teeth and a chuckle. “I can see why you are frustrated and why the last book isn’t coming together.”

“You can?” I’m sure my mouth dropped open with astonishment.

“You planned each book, but not the series,” she said. “Your world wasn’t fully built when you started book one. Situations and places in book two have no resemblance to what happened in book one. You are trying to sweep together the crumbs for book 3.”

She paused to let her words sink in.

“You need to bring all three books under the same umbrella,” she continued a moment later. “If all the problems are solved in book 1, what is left for the next two books? You have three main characters, so each of their inner conflicts should be solved in the book you plan to write from each of their viewpoints.”

The conversation continued for a while longer. The woman gave me exact information on what I needed to change. And then I woke up.

The dream is so clear in my head…even now. The changes required are just as clear. Now, I ask you, was this my muse breaking through the madness and chaos in my brain to tell me where I’ve gone wrong, or was this simply a dream that just happened to give me the answers I needed to the many questions I had?

I don’t know, but I’m certainly glad I had this dream. I’m off to do some more re-planning.

Secrets

secretsI’m coming to the end of my two week holiday (I still haven’t managed to relax yet and I return to work on Monday), and I have managed to read several books. Three, in fact. And that is excellent for me.

This morning I woke up quite early. I wasn’t ready to face the day, but I couldn’t return to sleep so I decided to make myself a cup of tea and sit in bed and read.

Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson is the current book I’m reading. I had already reached the half way point last night and I sat in bed until 9.30 this morning (which is uncharacteristic for me) and finished the book.

Here’s the blurb:

Treasure and India are two girls with very different backgrounds. As an unlikely, but deep, friendship develops between them, they keep diaries, inspired by their heroine, Anne Frank. Soon the pages are filled with the details of their most serious secret ever.

In my opinion, the story started out a little slow. I like to get straight into the action, but the author took several chapters to set up the two characters – Treasure and India. The book is written in diary form – a chapter from each girl’s viewpoint. When the story finally started to unfold, I was completely hooked and the little things that I thought were just page fillers suddenly became important.

The book covers a number of “real” issues too, ie broken families, broken promises, aggressiveness, friendship and more. All these issues are handled well, and they certainly endear the characters to the reader. I was able to relate to the girls and their individual problems. I wanted to see how things would turn out, and to do that, I had to keep reading.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is woven into the story. I won’t tell you how, because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone wishing to read Secrets, but I did think this was well done too.

Recommendation: Yes, go out and get this book. You’ll enjoy it.