Friday, December 19, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Weeks 49 & 50

Visit A Castle AND Assume An Alias. 

There are days when we find ourselves so far from home, we might as well have assumed an alias. Who are we when we’re not in our natural setting or comfort zone? How far can we really stray from our everyday persona?

Assuming An Alias was a challenge from my 52 Dates for Writers book, designed to push me into beh
avior not consistent with who I am, so my characters don’t end up all sounding and responding like me.

Pushing myself to be someone I’m not... is meant to be good for me. It teaches what my ordinary life can’t. Shapes me with a new awareness and leaves me with something fresh to use in my writing. 

Nearly all of my challenges have allowed me to slip into an alias of sorts. Most times I’ve needed an extra layer of boldness or bravery. On a few occasions I’ve had to pretend I could achieve something, until I realised if I stretched myself... I actually could. 

Bundled together, weeks 49 and 50 found me in Singapore, tagging along on a work trip with my Beloved. I’m always thrilled to meet up with him on a business trip for a happy chunk of writing days while he teaches. This trip offered three of these days. And a few days of sightseeing as well.

I’m not overly fussed with my writing location. I’m just glad for the uninterrupted writing time, which in the past I’ve enjoyed in relaxed airport lounges, in our room, in the executive lounge, even the hotel foyer. This time, my Beloved booked a dedicated room for me to work in.

You know, the kind of room where professionals gather to plan schedules and strategies. With secretaries and assistants. Big company meetings. Corporate affairs... and attire to match. 

What was I doing in this fancy room with the RESERVED sign on the fat round table? All by myself. All for .... just me?

I felt a little uneasy being watched all day by the hotel staff and those who stopped in the lounge to read the newspaper while they waited on their pots of tea. Where were my colleagues? The ones who would occupy the 7 empty seats around the boardroom table.

I messaged a few writing friends back home, telling them how much I wished they were with me. I sent photos of my writing space, wondering how I came to sit there with my pretty dress and work heels. Like someone at their day job.

Didn’t my writing day happen in ordinary Melbourne cafes or by the fire at Crabapple House? In my thrift shop writing shawl. With Gilbert the cat nearby and the pull of domesticity not far off.

One dear soul wrote back to remind me I am an author. No matter what I’m wearing or where I’m sitting. She reminded me of the agents and editors who’ve communicated with me as a professional and how important it is to believe in myself.

Oh... that. You mean I can’t deny it, even when I feel like a fraud? When the author mantle weighs on my shoulders like a well braided costume from a medieval theme park?

Nope. She wasn’t buying that. She’s read Carry Me Home, the first book in my Phillip Island series and that makes her my reader.

She’s a happy reader. And I’m the author. The happy author.

That RESERVED sign reminded me there’s a place for my books, and it’s not so far away. There’s a place and a time when I’ll be able to share my writing with other readers.

And if I have to slip into my working heels and fancy dresses, and take command of the big fat table to make it happen, then so
Shrek's Castle ~ Universal Studios, Singapore
be it. I’m getting closer to that day and soon enough, that RESERVED sign will make room for the OPEN FOR BUSINESS sign.

And I can’t wait to share that with you, dear friends.

Oh ... and Visit A Castle?

That happened at Singapore’s Universal Studios. I’d battled a stomach virus the day before, so I did what my 52 Author Dates challenge instructed. Soak up the atmosphere and focus your thoughts on the castle’s history.

As a fan of the Shrek franchise, I did just that. 

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,