Trip #1: Feeling welcome in Welkom.

I posted recently about me finishing high school and wanting to travel during my break.
The simplest way for me to travel is to visit family and friends all around my country. Where better to start my break than to go visit my grandparents?

Welcome in Welkom

I haven’t gone to visit my grandparents in over a year so when my mum suggested I go visit them for my first trip I had no objections.
Along with me I took clothes, my laptop and my grandma from the other side of the family. So now I need to clarify some things before things get confusing.
I hung out with both my grandmas that week. The one is grandma N and the other is grandma E.

 

Fun fact is that I’m named after both my grandmothers. My name, Enette, is a mix between theirs and sounds almost exactly like grandma N’s name. So it was a very confusing week cause when I said grandma both grandma’s would answer and when ever grandma E called for either me or grandma N we would both answer.
This is just the the boon of living in an Afrikaans household though so I’m practically used to this confusion. (my grandpa and brother share a name. My brother’s second name is my dad’s name. Me and my sister share a middle name and my name sounds like my mothers. It’s all very confusing.)

 

 

What did I do during this week?

My grandparents live in a small town called Welkom, and when I was little I thought only grandparents lived there. There’s a lot of stores, restaurants and a florist.
Other than that there is my uncle’s factory that I will probably always think of as grandpa’s factory, and of course my cousin’s house.
So my grandmother’s utilized what the town had to offer and so they took me shopping.

What did I buy during this trip?

During this trip I bought way too many things but I’m so thrilled with all of it
Most important on the list is the books I bought.

  • I bought ‘Egg and spoon’ by Gregory Maguire. It’s a children story written by the original writer of Wicked.
  • I bought ‘Kitty and the silver hand,’ written by Carrie Vaughn. It is book five in a series I’m collecting.
  • I bought’ The petrified flesh’ aka the first book in the ‘Reckless’ series. This is written by Cornelia Funke. This is not a romance novel as I expected but it’s still a great read.
  • I got ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Wilhelm Shakespeare, simply because it’s a classic and I’ve never read it.
  • I bought a book of Afrikaans short stories, written by Leo Tolstoi.
  • I bought ‘Great expectations’ by Dickens. Another classic that I haven’t read yet and wanted to own.
  • And finally I bought ‘J.R.R Tolken  a biography’ which was written by Humphrey Carpenter. I bought this one simply because I’m obsessed with the biographies of writers.

Along with the books I also got/bought.

  • Makeup sponges
  • Highlighter
  • Stockings
  • A scarf
  • Cookies
  • A pen
  • The card game ‘Joking Hazard’ by Cyanide and Happiness.

 
Other than shopping we also ate at some cool places such as the modern panty pantry, where I got juice and cake.

We also went to The green house where I ate some great toast and hot chocolate.

One of the meals that stood out though was when we went to Spur for breakfast on my last day.
I got myself French toast and bacon.
What made this meal stand out is the fact that there were golden syrup practically melted into the french toast, and a piece of bacon for each piece of bread. There were also caramelized banana spread around it but let’s be honest, I loved this meal for it’s combination of syrup and bacon.
With this I got a chocolate milkshake but I think next time I’ll just get juice since both the milkshake and the meal is very filling and I couldn’t finish it all.

 

What did I write while I visited.

Well I wrote two blog posts, on writing which you will be seeing soon, and then I also wrote a lot in one of my stories.
I’m participating in camp NaNoWriMo this month and I was trying to catch up since I am seriously behind.

 

During this visit though, I got to focus a lot on my beauty/hygene routine.

I had just started to wash my face with a honey and lime mix which was honestly something I was sceptical about since my face and it’s breakouts hate me.
The thing is though, it’s only been a week but I’m pretty sure it’s working.
I mention this not to brag about the miracle uses of honey though, but because I don’t normally focus on hygiene and beauty at home. So taking care of myself and playing around with makeup again for the first time in three years actually felt really great. It reminded me that I feel better when I take care of myself.

 
Anyway, the week was fun. I loved hanging out with my grandmothers, and hugging my grandfather.
I was spoiled and taken shopping, which was weird for me, but I loved it.
It was great to return to a town that I hadn’t seen in over a year and to visit family that I missed a lot.
But that’s all I have for now so….
See you soon racoon.

 


To follow my adventures as they happen,  follow me on twitter where I what’s going on in my life and the nonsensical thoughts that go through my head.

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An update

What’s up buttercup?

I’m back, still alive, still writing and still cute.

 

It’s been really long since I’ve last blogged and a lot of important things have happened since then. I want to give an update that can sum it all up for you but since I haven’t really blogged in a year there is a lot to share.

 

So in advance, sorry if this post is super long, I’m going to try my best to fill you in.

 

My health…

I’ve been pretty open and honest about my physical health problems along with the mental blocks that come with it, but since I’ve been absent in the blogging realm for quite some time now, there’s a big chance a couple of my followers don’t know about it.

So here is a quick recap:

I hurt my back last year. It was the result of scoliosis combined with stress, but the result was chronic pain. So for about nine months I couldn’t sit for longer than forty minutes, spent most of my time in bed (watching youtube) and was constantly on the edge of an emotional breakdown.

It’s better now. I found treatments that work for me in November and have been improving ever since.

For more information about my life with scoliosis (what it was like growing up etc) you can go read these posts on my other blog.

 

 

 

I decided to share about my health first because it was a a big factor in a lot of how I’ve been faring in the other areas of my life.

 

 

School work…

Because I couldn’t sit a lot last year, I fell behind on school work. If I had been going to a normal school instead of homeschooling I’d be forced to redo a year.

As it stands I am currently trying to finish school in the next two or three months because I need to have my matric score before the university that I want to go to close submissions. Normally someone will just use their grade 11 marks to go to university but because I couldn’t work last year I don’t have any.

So I’m doing my GED now and praying that it will be good enough to get me into university.

I want to go study psychology next year, with either a language or education subject as an extra subject.

 

 

Job…

I’ve been providing after school care and tutoring for almost three years – but I recently stopped.

Me general experience in the field involved helping kids who had either been falling behind in school or who have learning disabilities to get back on track by providing one on one tutoring.

At first I thought it would be a simple job where I get to help my little cousin with some math, but I found it to be worth so much more than that – both to me and the kids.

When you help a child with their education, you spend a lot of time with them and have a lot of influence in their life. You are one of the factors that can make or break that child.

I love both the kids that I worked with very much (both little cousins of mine) and I loved to see them grow comfortable with themselves, hard work and me.

Despite the fact that this work was probably one of the reasons my back refused to heal (it’s a very intense job) I wouldn’t trade my time doing it for anything.

Now I don’t do it anymore, because I realized that I have to focus more on school – and I would have had to look after three kids this year, which is simply too much for my body to handle.

 

 

Writing…

This is the topic I think is most relevant to this blog (since it’s about writing) but the whole back problem, school and job topics happen to be really relevant to my writing, which is why I mentioned them first.

So in November of 2016 I wrote a book called Falling for Pink. In 2017, me and a friend of mine worked on ironing out some of the kinks.

Since I could not sit to write last year, I haven’t really created anything new. I also found that the combination of being over emotional because of the chronic pain and the exhaustion from looking after the kids while my body just wanted to lie down caused some writers block. My creativity has been coming in little bouts only to disappear for weeks.

Normally I’d just put my butt in the chair and work despite the emotional drain and lack of creativity, but the physical pain made it literally impossible for me to do that.

Now my back is better and I don’t look after the kids anymore so I’ve been slowly opening myself back up to creativity and writing.

I also signed Falling for Pink up for Kindle scout in April, unfortunately I did not get excepted, but I did wait much longer than the normal two days that they normally respond in and I was on the hot and trendy list for a day – so I honestly don’t think it was a complete loss. (How can I when my book got over 5K views?)

Obviously there are people out there who will want to read my books. This is very inspiring and makes me excited for when I do hit a break through.

For now I have to pursue school first though – but I’m definitely writing some short fiction pieces during the weekends.

 

 

Blogging…

Obviously I haven’t really blogged this past year – and while I can give you a list of excuses, the truth of the matter is that I’m sorry. When I started taking blogging seriously way back when I promised writing advice every week and fiction pieces every month.

I have not been living up to this promise, and I’m sorry. You guys are really great and have been very supportive of my writing over the years. I can’t make a promise that I’ll suddenly be blogging again every second day, because honestly I don’t know how often I’ll be able to blog in the future. I do want to try though.

So thank you for your support and you can expect at least something from me in the months to come.

 

 

 

Other note worthy things…

 

I broke up with my boyfriend of two years in October. I shared very little about my romantic relationships in the past – but I have mentioned it once or twice, so I feel the need to clarify on this. I was the one to break up with him, but at the same time it was pretty mutual. Both walked into that day knowing that we won’t be a couple anymore afterwards. To the people who read my blog and also know my ex – no worries we are still great friends.

 

I got a new laptop, because my old one died on me. I managed to save all my writing and photos because I save almost everything to a cloud. The emergency did eat up most of my savings though so I don’t know if I’ll be able to pay for my blog’s domain name this year.

 

I got another dog! (also why my savings suck right now)

My mum saw photos of puppies on facebook and my dad told her that while we need another guard dog for our yard we can’t afford another dog, specifically the R500 that the pup’s owner was asking.

So I payed for the dog and now we have our little(big) Watson. I’ve got some great stories to share about this do, but I won’t get into it right now.

 

I turned 18 and got my first tattoo.

I got my favorite bible verse tattooed onto my arm along with my birth flower. It covers a scar I got through some medical problems as a baby, and honestly I love it very much. I’m going to go into some extra detail about what the tattoo means along with the scar it covers on my other blog, so if you want to read that you’ll have to go follow that.

 

 

That’s all I have to share about last year for now.

So thank you for sticking with me up to this point. I hope to write more again now that I have a little more time open, and that I can sit properly again.

 

If you really want to keep up with me though I suggest you follow me on twittertwitter because that’s the only place I really ever post to when I’m doing something. Beware though I mostly post silly and sarcastic tweets.

 

With all this said, it’s time for me to close off,

See you soon, racoon!

My Kindle scout campaign is launched

I’ve got news!

I was watching YouTube videos on my phone when a email notification popped up. When I opened it it spoke about Kindle Scout which I did not know was a thing (if you don’t know don’t worry I’ll tell you in a minute) and it highlighted how you can sign up for it.
It’s a great opportunity for writers to get a publishing contract with kindle so I signed up.  But now I need your help to succeed.

Kindle scout launch

First, what exactly is Kindle Scout?

Kindle Scout is an opportunity for writers to get a publishing contract from kindle (as already stated)
It works on a reader driven system which means that you the readers get to vote for your favorite books – and then they are considered for publication by kindle.
I got to upload the first couple of chapters from my novel onto kindle scout so now you can go read it. If you like it, you vote for it and increase my chances of getting chosen by Kindle.

 

To vote for me you can go through this link to find “Falling for Pink” and then click on the vote button beneath the excerpt.

 

What is falling for Pink about?

Well here’s my little blurb.

The monster in this story has pink hair and lots of anxiety.
Peggy McCarthy is a monster straight out of mythology.
Used to being hated and hunted she avoids people – or at least everyone except Benjamin, the boy who works in the coffee shop down the block.
When an accident strikes Benjamin gets hurt and Peggy is faced with a choice, either she stays with the boy who makes her happy or run away like her instincts tell her to.
But is she ready for the consequences of her decision?

By Benjamin’s side Peggy is invited to join his family for Christmas on the farm. It’s a warm South-African December in a big family house and very very different from what Peggy is used to.
By meeting his parents, sister, aunt and cousin – Peggy is forced to practice her social skills. She hopes that by doing so she can become someone worthy of the title girlfriend.
But will her being a monster effect the holiday?
With Benjamin’s aunt close to figuring out what she is and a mysterious person looking for her, it seems as if the holiday will come crashing down around her. But at least she has a little bit of time and she plans to make the most of it.

So picture a girl with bright pink hair clinging to the one person in the world who doesn’t make her feel like a monster, because that’s what Peggy is doing.
Despite the problems and the odds she and Benjamin start a relationship – and hold on to each other through it all.

 

Falling for Pink

Are you interested? I hope so since I loved writing it!

 

 

Your reward for voting

If you vote for me then you will receive an email at the end of the month to tell you if I’ve been chose to by published by kindle or not. If they do choose me you will get a free advanced reader copy (e-book) of Falling for Pink.

 

Now that I have all the details out of the way I want to ask you person to person to please go vote for “Falling for Pink” and support my career by doing so.

Vote for falling for pink.

A good week

Why is it that not every week is a good week? Why am I super productive during holidays and the equivalent of a potato during the school weeks?

I sincerely don’t get it! (It’s probably the emotional rest I get during holidays…)

 

In the past week alone I have…

Written an editorial calendar for July-Sept

I have written 7 blog posts (that’s one a day!)

Written my professional bio.

Arranged to write 2 guest posts

Scheduled my posts 2-3 weeks in advance

Got exercise! (so sore)

Wrote 5-7 flash fiction pieces

Went to a doctor for checkups

Practiced driving (I’m getting good)

Made an interesting lunch for 7 family members

 

 

Seriously why am I not this productive during the school weeks when I need to be (again it’s probably emotional energy)

 

 

I’m actually thinking of spring cleaning my room which is only something I do when I have *gasp* time.

 

Alright so now that I’ve bragged ranted about my week I should probably get back to it so I can bring you good content.

I’m going to clean my room and while I’m at it I’ll think of ways to make this energy stretch through to next week when school starts again.

Wish me luck

The creative process #3 : Practice and improve

Creative life #3

While I’m writing this, I am sitting on my friend’s bed after finishing reading a book. I’m a whole town away from home and I have no homework or day job here.
I only have a friend and books.

I like it here.

 

So for the first time in two weeks I feel inspired to write a blog post on the topic of being creative again.
So to continue on with the creative life series let me share with you how important it is to practice and improve.

 

The creative process step 3: practice and improve.

We started off by gathering inspiration, then we copied a bunch of other artists but right now we need to practice and improve our art.

Start with taking a look at something you created recently. It could be anything from a poem to a dance routine. Examine it and notice if there is anywhere you can improve. Think according to all the little rules you’ve picked up from other artists and compare yours to “the standard”
The standard by the way it how good other artists are.
Look at how your art differs from theirs and ask if you want to keep it like that or change it.

(disclaimer: I’m not saying you need to completely copy someone else and lose your individuality. I’m just telling you to honestly try and improve your work.)

 

Now that you know what you want to change – change it. If you can, keep both the old and the new version.
I personally like to keep everything I write so when I make changes I create a whole new file on my computer. I hardly ever delete until I’m sure I have the version I want.

 

Step 2: get feedback.

Another important part of improving your art is to get feedback from someone who knows something about your art.
This means you can’t just ask your mum and ask her what she thinks. (sorry mum)
Get it to someone who knows what they’re doing. Preferably get it to someone whose art you admire or someone who you know is better at you in your art.

Ask them questions. Ask them about the things you feel needs to be changed if they agree then you make the change if they don’t agree the choice is up to you. If they dislike something you like honestly think about what they don’t like and ask yourself if they are correct. No being personal at this stage. You need to ask yourself if your art will be better or worse without the thing they dislike and make the change yourself.

 

Now this is a process you repeat constantly.
You create. You get feedback. You improve. You create again but better.

 

I hope this was helpful to you. I hope to bring the last part which is all about creating original content out soon enough.

A solution for the writer with back pain!

Okay guys, this is going to be my first ever spoken blog post.
I am currently using a new program my dad installed for me which translates what I’m saying into text.
Currently it is slow going, because the program struggling to understand my accent. I am slowly starting to get the hang of it though.
The whole point of doing this is so I can continue on creating stories and blog posts while I am lying down on my bed. My back pain is getting better but I still can’t sit upright for very long. This I think will be a useful solution with a little practice.

Okay, now that I’ve explained this I’m going to finish this post. You can expect more posts soon.
Cross your fingers – and let us hope this works.

8 am and feeling grim

grim

I have a new week lying at my feet (8 am Monday morning) and it’s already looking a little grim.

Why?

Because I don’t have a good, well thought out blog post to give that consists out of 1000+ words.

I didn’t write one and I feel that if I try to explain why it will sound like I’m making excuses, which is something my piano teacher hates. I don’t have a proper excuse anyway, there was time, I just used it selfishly and read a book instead.

 

I’m regretting it now that I’m hastily writing this post. I have school work that needs to be done and I’m not supposed to write blog posts until I’ve done my work.

Today’s school work consists out of math and English with maybe just a hint of art.

Tomorrow it’s more maths and definitely some Art.

Whatever order I do my homework in there will always be more. I have six weeks to finish my year’s work before exams, and I actually need to get good grades. Great grades even, if you know my personal standards.

I’m sorry for ranting about my homework I know it’s not really relevant to my blog, except that it makes me feel tired and bad about myself which leads to days like today where I can’t even think up an idea for blog post other than ranting.

I was actually supposed to write a book review or something but I just don’t feel it today, the cloud of gloom hanging around my head is just a little too thick for me to cheerfully point out what I loved about the book I recently read.

 

I don’t mean to sound so depressing, just like I don’t mean to work on my parent’s nerves by being behind in my school subjects. I don’t mean to be complaining, and I really don’t mean to sound like someone who can’t handle her own stuff.

I just sort of wish that I could write a proper blog post for today.

 

 

You know what I really want?

I want a month away to the beach (my hair doesn’t frizz)

I want to tie one of those soft beach cloths around my waist and walk over warm sand with my bare feet. I want to take a fold out chair and sit beneath a tree with a book or perhaps simply run into the cold water and dive beneath the waves.

I want to go on adventures with my camera and take a trip to the book store.

I want to sit with a notebook on my lap and simply write down silly stories with a ball point pen.

I want the whole experience which is the sound of crashing waves, and the smell of salt mixed with the smell of books. I want to look at monkeys as they run past and deer as they peek out from between the banana trees.

I want my freckles, which have been hiding for the winter, to come back and spread all over my nose to my cheeks and forehead. I want my hair to get those golden stripes back and I want my back to tan.

 

I miss the beach okay?

 

For the moment I need to stop fantasising and get back to work.

I need to sit behind my rather large desk and practise Pythagoras theorem until my back is sore and my eyes completely dried.

 

I can do it of course, it’s no big deal. Nothing that others haven’t done before, and nothing I haven’t done before.

So I’ll sit and work as hard as I can. Math today Art tomorrow and English the day after that. I will practice my piano piece and try my best to not miss another lesson before my recital. I’ll help my cousin practice for his tests and we’ll get his grade up again, he’s yet another person aiming for 100% even though he’s only in second grade.

I’ll finish a proper blog post for next week and arrange my next write in. That reminds me that I need to email someone who wants to join the group.

I need to practice punctuation and spelling before seeing my English tutor again. I need to pick out photos to print for my art coursework. I need to get my tempo and speed for my piano piece just right.

There are so many things that I need to do, and I will do it all, and then I will do it all again next week and the week after that. For the next six weeks I’ll work my butt off and after that I’ll study for exams until my fingers cramp and arrange for my writing group to be ready for NaNoWriMo.

 

Here’s a hint of good news though. When I’m done with all of this, which is in three months, my family is going on a short trip. One week to the beach, with my dad’s personal CD playing in the car and probably something like meat rolls for road trip food.

 

My week still looks a little grim to me but I’ll keep my head high and work like I have taught myself to. I’m at least hanging out with friends one time this week to catch Pokémon and I’m going to dancing lessons with my boyfriend later today which should be fun now that neither of us is sick.

 

I’m sorry for ranting and being slightly depressing, but I’m feeling much better now that I’ve written all of this. I plan to give a proper post next week, so hang on for me till then. If you are looking at the week before you and feel like sighing, tell me about it.