Thursday, August 30, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things 31-8-18

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's Friday!

It has been another of those really long weeks and I'm glad it's the weekend.  I'm looking forward to a couple of days to rest and recharge and get my house in order.  I hope to get to a movie somewhere along the way too, as well as doing some writing.

I'm at around the halfway point in the new book-written-with-prompts, and things are heating up.  I've introduced a character who will become important in the second half, but don't feel like things have gotten qute bad enough for Luke yet.  I need to ramp that stuff up.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Books I've Loved: We Can Make A Life

I went to a book event at my favourite downtown bookstore last week to get a copy of this book and to get it signed by the author.  Chessie worked with me at one of my cinemas for several years, and it was a special experience to see her up there at the front of the store, reading from her first book and answering questions from another local writer.

I snatched up my copy, eager to read it.  So when Sunday came, I sat down and read it in a single sitting.

What a gorgeous, personal book this is. Chessie delves deeply into her own family mythology to try and find meaning in the events that shaped the family. Ostensibly about her father and his role as a rural doctor and in helping during the Christchurch earthqukes, We Can Make A Life is so much bigger than this. It is about the bonds of family and how they can fracture and break, yet heal to create something stronger than before. It is about the work it takes to make a life together. It is about sacrifice and the small things that are so, so important.

Beautifully written, and heartbreakingly honest, this has quickly become one of this years' best reads for me. I read the whole thing in a day, but am sure I will go back again to dip into single chapters just to re-savour the words.  Definitely recommended.

But don't just listen to me. Here's the blurb:
Hours after the 2011 Christchuch Earthquake, Kaikōura-based doctor Chris Henry crawled through the burning CTV building to rescue those who were trapped. Six years later, his daughter Chessie interviews him in an attempt to understand the trauma that led her father to burnout, in the process unravelling stories and memories from her own remarkable family history.

Chessie rebuilds her family’s lives on the page, from her parents’ honeymoon across Africa, to living in Tokelau as one of five children under ten before returning to New Zealand, where her mother would set her heart and home in the Clarence Valley only to see it devastated in the 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake, and the family displaced.

Written with the same love and compassion that defines her family’s courage and strength, We Can Make a Life is an extraordinary memoir about the psychological cost of heroism, home and belonging, and how a family made a life together.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Weekly Goals 27-8-18

I'm just over the 30K mark on the new book, and it's time to get into the real meat of the story.  By now, Luke should be deeper into the issues he's dealing with than I think he actually is.  But then, I already know there are several sections I'm going to cut out or move when I revise because they don't really work, so maybe I am where I'm supposed to be.

The problem with writing to prompts is that they don't always work for the story, especially if they are really specific.  I work better with broader ones, or ones that ask for one specific thing to be included in the story.  Those are easy to weave in, and often send the story in interesting directions.

So this week my goal is to keep writing to the prompts, but to keep focused on driving the story toward its ending.

And after eating far too many burgers in the last two weeks, my other goal is to eat more healthy lunches all wee.  And go to the gym.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things 24-8-18

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's my partner's birthday today.  We don't have anything in particular planned, but I'm sure we'll do something special for dinner tonight.  Maybe burgers since it's the last weekend of the Burger Wellington competition.  

I've tried four now, and my favourite was the one we had for lunch yesterday.  It had a little pan of raclette cheese that the waitstaff heated with a blowtorch so you could pour it over the top.  And fried pickles...  YUM!

Mostly I'm celebrating it being the weekend.  It's been one of those weeks that feels stupidly long.  I thought it was Thursday on Tuesday, and it's just been downhill ever since.  

What are you celebrating this week?