The World is an amazing place .... go and be in it

Friday, 11 September 2015

If ironing undies was an olympic sport....

As you know, this little blog is about my travels, both overseas and just outside my backdoor - if I could and if M would, we'd be stepping out the back door, locking it tight and popping the key under the potplant for a very looooonnnnnnnng time.  I love reading the blogs and pages of people doing exactly just that - drifting around the world living amazing awe inspiring journeys after selling up, de-mortgaging or were never mortgaged and will probably end up boomeranging in and out of the family home once their travels finish.  I have a lot of respect for them and appreciation of what they are doing - their spirit and tenacity is what keeps me going with the hope that one day, that could be me too. (Though I have promised my parents,  we would never move back into their house.  Bud on the other hand might not be so lucky to get such a promise.) I've even found inspiration from a woman who's travel blog is all about her yearly one month trips, where she buys a round the world ticket for thirty days and crams in as many countries as she can, then for the other eleven months of the year slaves away at her desk job  to save for the next RTW Ticket.  What really stirs my travel dreams is the experiences she 'infuses' into those 30days.... Ahhhhh dreams, they can become real!
While I continue to dream of an endless road around the globe and grab any chance I can in chalking up a some travel miles, even if it’s only for a few weeks, I'm also wandering along on another journey - that of a wistful writer who falls between moments of furious writing and industrious procrastinating.  I'm sure writers are the best multi-tasking procrastinators in the world -   there's even an actual name for it.... I looked it up... it's called MULTICRASTINATION :  the art of being proficient doing lots of unnecessary pointless things whilst at the same time never finding the time to do that one import thing. 
And I'm a wiz at it.

I have been known to iron undies and tea towels, wash the insides of CD case covers and rearrange my granddaughter's Lego blocks into colour co-ordinated units - if these were sporting events,  I'd have a wall full of medals'.

Though I do caution against using an ironing agent on the undies, for although the occasional waft of mountain breeze is all very nice, the crispness takes walking at a cracking pace, to a whole new perspective.  

While I busy myself with these tasks I can write whole paragraphs, even chapters in my head, then when it's time to pop it all onto the screen and pound the keyboard - I go blank.... then I need to go in search of a coffee and read another travel blog.   
It's said being a writer can be compared to riding an emotional roller coaster whirl, constantly dipping and soaring and flipping in circles.  I find it resembles more like sitting on one of those bouncy hopper balls - madly propelling oneself whilst hanging onto a pair of horns -  lots of pushing, going sideways, falling off, copping a  face planting on the writers block which leaves me at times feeling a little bruised, occasionally teary and definitely nervous. But the passion and desire to put words to paper is strong and it's hard to ignore it.
Back in 2000 we ventured out for what was our first overseas trip - to Nepal.

I wish I could say I was a young backpacker embarking on the 'hippy trail' with no time limit or a care in the world, but I wasn't.  M and I were on the other side of the mid 30's, bogged down with debt -  a credit crunch with lashings of mortgage stress (especially with an interest rate of almost 13% at the time) - and had a young  son - we had to be responsible and let him go to school. We also owned a small business that couldn't give time away.  But I was determine to travel,  so with only 30days spare and a borrowed thousand dollars,  I brought us flight tickets to Kathmandu  - booked zero, planned nothing, and had absolutely no idea whatsoever what was in store for us - I hadn't even read the guide book.  What happen on that trip became the birth of a book and a ticket on a bouncy hopper journey. That was fifteen years ago.
Now quite frankly it shouldn't take that long to write a book, especially a book about spending thirty days in Nepal -  we didn't get caught up in any natural disaster, we weren't climbing mountains (I was out of breath getting up the stairs of Swayambhunath)   and, although I would have loved to have been involved with some type of inspiring volunteer organisation doing work like helping the blind or saving orphaned children - I hadn't pre-researched before we left  so we didn't know where to start, plus I have to admit, we were flat out saving ourselves at times... mad cows and men with lethal knives hiding in jeeps come to mind.

As I tapped away over those fifteen years, I also had a number of gremlins to fight along the way - guilt of not being at business or spending time with Bud. Fear of being unable to write a readable sentence, which lead to extinguished confidence. And then there was social media. Ask any writer, they'll tell you the social media pixie is an enticing, annoying little time zipper who invites you onto its mushroom stool and sucks your attention big time - before I know it, my ten minute checking of Facebook and Outlook always seems to become four hours of scrolling and 'liking' with a few 'xo' s and smiley faces attached.
Eventually twenty-three drafts, three complete re-writes and endless reams of printed paper - scribbled with so much red ink the drafts look like they had a bad case of varicose veins - later, I had a manuscript I thought might have a chance.  At the beginning of the year I gathered up the few shreds of courage I had (as well as borrowing a couple from supportive friends),  and sent it off with a little kiss and wave, wishing it well and telling it not to come home too soon - less than three weeks later I receive a lovely little message - Scribblemama, your little bundle of words is about to grow into a book. 

(Over the years I'd sent the manuscript unsolicited off to various publishing houses and never heard a word back, which isn't at all unusual - Publishing companies get tens of thousands of manuscripts  each year landing in their slush piles.Occasionally one swims to the surface, splashes about and gets a life-buoy thrown at it. And although many times I seriously thought of introducing the manuscript to the bottom desk drawn, the whisper of Nepal's essence wouldn't let me go, I wanted to tell this story to someone.)   
Suddenly, the hoppy ball became one of those Zorbing orbiting balls. Absorbed into the fast pace of meeting publishing deadlines and felt myself being tossed and spun, watching time bolt past at an amazing speed while I tried to meet all the behind the scenes tasks required.  From the moment I received the life changing email, I raced to get my little 'gathering of words' into polished shape to meet the world. Thinking I had shined the manuscript to the enth degree before it had gone to publisher at the very beginning, I was to find all I had done was licked the fringe back. 
It was time to give it a good scrub up and dressing - right before I was about to fly out to Vietnam!  It was a frantic two weeks of combing all the sentences and giving a little trim here and there, pulling it in at the waist and letting the hem down in places, and I sent it off back to the publisher just as I was about to board the flight to Hanoi.  Upon return I found it had come home again for another tweak  and tuck in.  

I thought I'd take a breath and relax, enjoy the ride, take a tour down the 'about to be published' lane, where my editor would hold my hand and point out the lovely sights along.   But no!  There is no such thing as a ramble down print street - it's more akin to hiking up Everest, with my editor and the graphic designer pushing, guiding and dragging me all the way up.  
Every now and then an avalanche of emails tumbles upon me and I become lost in the flurry of paper snow, or the critic, who lives in my head, whispers sweet doubts into my ear and my Zorbing ball hits a sand trap and spins uncontrollably.

Thankfully I have M close by... poor suffering chap, as if it's not enough that I'm about to thrust him into the glaring lights of 'read all about it', telling the world his life, including what is emblazoned across his boxer-shorts... he's now having to take on the role of tea wallah, making perfect chai to relax and calm me. Over the next few weeks, I'll share a little bit more of this zippy ride to Release Date.

Now, it you'll just give me a minute... or five,  I've got to go and quickly press those boxer-shorts I mentioned earlier,  I'm sure they'd look and sit better if they had a crease or two.... 


No comments:

Post a Comment