Spent the afternoon in Brisbane at a writing seminar, ‘A Conversation with Joanna Penn.’ Joanna is a successful self published author, who was very open and honest in how she went from having a job that she was unhappy in, to being a happy creative writer. She has one of the Top 10 blogs for self publishing advice and has written fiction and non fiction with titles such as ‘How to Make a Living with your Writing.’
I very informative and inspiring afternoon, I came away feeling motivated and confident to continue my own writing journey.☺👍📚🎡
Rhian parked up in the last available space in the tiny school car park. Just one space left! Quickly, she manoeuvred the car into the spot.
Looking down at the brand-new dashboard, she switched off the engine, still coming to terms with driving the large jeep-like people carrier that they had bought the previous week. Matt’s enthusiasm as they left the car sales showroom the previous week was entrancing, and they’d taken advantage of the powerful engine as they drove down the Pacific highway,
‘What would they think of this back home?’ he’d laughed, ‘We can drive onto the beach and allsorts, it’s awesome!’
Jack and Carys had giggled at his enthusiasm, strapped in the back of the humungous vehicle, Carys looking small in the large car seat.
They’d been living in Australia for just over a month now, and were loving it. The lifestyle was laid back, the weather fabulous, the scenery breathtaking. The route to the border to New South Wales had taken them past eucalyptus trees, glimpses of azure blue ocean, and the smell of frangipani overwhelming the senses. They were lapping up the sights and sounds of this new landscape. Just last weekend they had picnicked up beautiful Mount Tamborine with its gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, and the high-rise apartments that made-up Surfers Paradise. From this height the apartments looked like little Lego pieces arranged along the coastline.
‘Mam, hurry up or I’ll be late. I can see Ryan over there, waiting for me!’ Jack’s voice broke into her thoughts.
She glanced at his eager face and smiled. He had settled beautifully into his new school with the minimum fuss and bother, enjoying the Australian school environment. Any nerves that she had felt were diminished the very first day when Jack had skipped out of school, chatting away to a group of other boys. At nine years old, he was young enough to adapt quickly to his new life. Carys on the other hand, was not so keen on the crèche that they’d enrolled her into. Rhian thought that she was still cranky from the long plane journey and the heat. She was not sleeping as soundly as she had in Wales. Rhian made a mental note to buy a free-standing fan to help cool the evenings.
Unbuckling the car seat, she held onto their hands whilst they crossed the road to the school gates. The sun was already a golden globe in the sky, promising another day of hot sunshine. She smiled to herself as she remembered the first week that she had stood at the school gates waiting for Jack to appear. She had been chattering away to Carys when they were surrounded by a group of nine-year-old boys, Jack included.
‘Hi mam, this is Ryan, and Tyler, and Blake. I told them we are from Wales.’
‘Hello boys, how did school go?’ Rhian replied, looking at the faces gazing up at her with what can only be described as utter confusion.
Jack giggled as he looked at their puzzled faces.
‘You must speak slower, mam,’ he giggled. ‘They are just getting used to your Welsh accent. Either that, or they think you are from Middle Earth!’
‘Don’t be cheeky, Jack!’ she replied, adjusting Carys t-shirt, Across the front were the words: I Heart Australia in bold gold and green letters.
From her vantage point on the balcony of the restaurant she watched as the surfers chased the foamy surf. The midday sun beat down fiercely, endless white sands stretching out towards clear blue sea and skies. They looked like seals, determined to catch that elusive big wave. It was their life long mission, their reason for existing.
‘Is this seat taken?’ a voice spoke as a woman in a brightly patterned dress smiled down at her. Chelsea nodded; yes, taking in a whiff of gardenias from her perfume. She placed her bag on the empty chair and sighed with annoyance. Where was he? His tardiness was starting to annoy her.
She looked around the restaurant. It was starting to fill as the lunchtime rush rapidly approached. It was such a popular spot, built on a rocky outcrop on the shoreline, right next to Elephant Rock. Tourists and locals alike flocked to munch on succulent prawns washed down with light beer and a fabulous view.
Today was no exception.
Sipping her stilled water, her thoughts turned to her absent companion: Luke. They had known each other since high school, losing touch after graduation. Then she had bumped into him at a party, an informal school reunion. They’d barely spoken to each other over the Bunsen burners and dusty literature books, but ten years later things were different. They both loved the beach, fishing and boating on the water, late night classic movies and discovering new restaurants dotted along the coast.
It had been an exciting twelve months.
That’s why the last few weeks had been a bit of a mystery. Luke had started to look detached whilst on their dates, as if he wanted to be somewhere else. He barely listened to her and was constantly late, that was when he bothered to show up at all. There were always feeble excuses; car wouldn’t start, or the traffic was fierce on the highway. Just the other night he told her that his boss had wanted him to fetch supplies in the city, but she sensed that it was not the whole truth.
What was going on?
Someone burst into laughter at the table behind her. She turned her head slightly, glancing at a young family eating lunch with an older couple. Chelsea felt a pull at her heart strings, remembering her own idyllic childhood on the farm in New South Wales. She had chosen to live here, hadn’t she? It was not just because Luke had taken a position as manager of the construction firm? She loved her job in the kindergarten, and her surroundings were breathtaking. A seed of insecurity formed in her mind, a cloud hanging over her, spoiling the perfection of the afternoon. Everyone seemed to be relaxed and animated whilst she felt dark and broody, and alone.
She glanced at her watch. Luke was now a full half an hour late. Maybe this was her cue…did he want to finish with her?
Just then a voice shouted up from the beach. A figure stood by the sandy shore, and she recognised Luke’s muscular physique. He seemed to be knee deep in the water, the waves splashing over him as he waved his arms around frantically and pointed upwards.
The girl on the next table cried out, looking out at the blue horizon.
‘Look up at the plane in the sky. That’s so romantic!’
Chelsea tried to focus on what Luke was trying to say. The waves crashed onto the rocks behind him, making his words distorted. He was smiling, waving, pointing at the sky.
She grinned with delight, clapping her hands over her mouth as she read the banner. Luke ran up the restaurant steps towards her, as the families looked on. The aircraft droned past, trailing the banner behind it, flapping in the sea breezes.
Chelsea – I love you. Will you marry me? – Luke XXX
“Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you.”
This may seem philosophical and even vague, but it resonates with me on many levels.
Firstly. I am married with two children. Ten years ago this weekend my hubby and I decided to up sticks and move from our homeland in Wales, to the other side of the world – Australia. Some may say this was risky, crazy even, and very stupid. but we have not regretted one day. We love it here.
Secondly. I have had numerous jobs/careers in my lifetime. I have cared for old people, dying patients and very sick children. I have sold double glazing, diet supplements, clothes, confectionery and even ironing board covers (now that’s another story). I have taken a full time degree and studied whilst training to be a librarian/teacher and have worked as a telephone operator for a tax company. BUT the role that I like the most is that of a full time writer.
I feel like I was born to write. I see stories everywhere; in magazines, newspapers, in current affair articles on the TV, and I hope to never lose this.
I love writing.
So, even as the skeptics around you shake their heads and rub their hands in glee if you have any doubts on your abilities – give them the distance they deserve.