Monday, July 30, 2012

A Friend and Teacher

I’ve been sitting here for a while, trying to find the right words to form this post. It seems an impossible task though. How can you compress a friendship of four years into a single blog post?

Ian was my piano teacher for four years. And he was the choir master who invited me to join his choir. His was the blind man with the fantastic sense of humour. But he was so much more than all of this too.

He was the generous man who offered to give me and my sister piano lessons for free because he wanted to teach us. He was the man who gave up his time, even when he was sick to teach us every week.

Ian was the person who consoled me after a disappointing exam result, who believed I could do things, even when I wasn't so sure about it. It was he who encouraged me when I made the same mistake over and over, when I couldn’t master a piece at all.

He was the man who told funny stories about himself, like his proud story of the one time he drove a car. A dodgem car. Or the time he helped another blind man find his tram stop, without ever letting on he was blind.

Ian was the person who always made life fun for the people around him. He brought smiles, laughter and kindness wherever he went. He was a special man.

And he was more than just a choir master or teacher to me. He was also my friend.

Last Friday we said goodbye to this man forever. There won’t be any more lessons with Ian, no more jokes. He’ll never tell another funny story to me, or sit outside my exam waiting to hear the results.

Ian, I will miss you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Camping Again

July has simply flown away. I don't know where all the days has got to. But with the approach of August comes the approach of something else, something very exciting. August Camp NaNoWriMo! Yes, I'm gearing up for the start of more NaNo.

Having NaNo in two months so close feels a bit strange. Only a month in between camps in which to res and recover and prepare for next camp. But at the same time it keeps the writing streak going longer. And certainly, by the end of this camp I'll have plenty of novels to work on before November.

NaNoWriMo has helped me get plenty of first drafts out already. It feels like all I am doing is drafting sometimes, but I'm also experimenting. I'm learning more about novel writing by actually writing. And, despite what it feels like, I'm working on the finished novels, slowly and surely. Certainly though, I think after this camp, it might be time to learn more about the editing side of things and make some of these novels all pretty and shiny and finished.

But for now, there is August Camp. Anyone else joining me on the virtual campsite for next month's challenge?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Success on the Knitting Front

A few posts ago, I talked about my dream of knitting clothing. I'm now one step closer to that goal. My first project towards this goal was to knit a hat for one of my sisters. It looked pretty simple. Surely even I could have managed that with ease

Or not as time after time I cast on stitches only to undo my whole piece of knitting two rows later. Despite my best efforts, it didn't seem I could actually get past those first couple of rows. The project lay on my desk for the most part, waiting for me to take yet another stab at it.

When I finally did get past the moss stitched edge, the rest of the hat suddenly came together. I knew what I was doing and the knitting project became fun. I worked and worked, determined that this would be a project I'd actually finish.

And now I stand one step closer to knitting large projects like my Mum. And my sister has a nice warm hat to wear with her nice warm cardigan. Success!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Zoo Trip of Failed Photos

A trip to the zoo is a big deal for us, an event that sometimes doesn't happen for years at a time. But once it's planned, there's a frenzy of activity and planning for it. Picnic stuff is essential, entertainment for the car as we travel, sunscreen, and of course, cameras. Mustn't forget the cameras. Of course we have to take a million photos.

But photography, in my case, never goes to plan. I stand next to the cage, camera at the ready. It's the perfect shot. I hold my breath for a second, press the button and...the animal has moved.

Try again. It's a koala. That's not going to move out of the shot. This time I'm certain of a beautiful picture. Or not, as my hand jiggles and the photo comes out fuzzy.

No luck with the rest of the photos either, as the animals move, or my hand shakes, or the sun's simply in the wrong spot.

Occasionally a good enough photo miraculously appears among the many bad ones, fluky shots not captured through any skills of my own. Obviously being able to take good photographs is not one of my skills. But then, why worry about taking good photos, when I can have a bunch of bad ones, and a great time spending a day with my family?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Returning from Camp NaNoWriMo

With the end of June has come the end of Camp NaNoWriMo. No more evenings spent madly thumping the keyboard in an attempted to write down a novel. No more days forgetting that there is a world outside of novels. No more talking to my characters and getting annoyed when they run away with the plot.

Thanks to Camp NaNoWriMo I've met friendly writers from all around the world. I've finished a new novel, and I've collected my winners badge on the last day. I've thoroughly enjoyed my month of novelling madness.

Now I'm back, and ready to get back into real life again. Which means I'm back to blogging, crafting and drawing again. And planning for next month's August NaNoWriMo, in which I do it all again!

Did you do Camp NaNoWriMo? What did you spend your month doing? Anyone planning on joining me for August?