The second volume for the anthology encapsulates some of the transformative works and branching out into the world. While Loneliness was and remains quite personal, Heartache begins to explore external ideas and relationships. One of the most impressionable moments was when I lost my cousin in a car accident, when we were younger we would wait for the stars to reveal themselves in the sky and make a wish on the first to be seen. A couple of years later, I was faced with a two hour journey driving at night in a deteriorating condition to seek help.
These were the last years where I wrote prolifically before finding that the traditional path to publishing poetry was fading. Almost no avenue remained and it would be a while before another way provided a genuine option. By then I had no intention of publishing and had developed the skill of novel writing with a young adult fantasy series. I struck up a connection with an international journalist who had taken on a project embedded in Australian history and these discussions I embarked on the release my poetry.
The first volume for the anthology, because there are too many poems for just one, became a compilation of some of my most personal thoughts and doubts. Poetry is my primary writing style, the free flow thought and rhythm that ruptures from the seemingly endless page. It began long before essay writing for homework assignments or reports, a constant companion through the early years and well advanced by the time I learned other structures of the written form. Yet there was a price to pay in the changing environment and when I was ready to share the publishing doors were well and truly closed. For I had fallen between the demise of traditionally published poetry and the rise of self publishing. For a young impressionable person the message was clear, no one wanted poetry.
This disheartening time led to a change in writing style to the fiction novel, while it was approached with a feeling of regret the skills have stayed with me. A chance discussion and a broader level of experience enabled the realisation that even without an audience it would be worthwhile to place in record that which had already been written. By that stage I had hidden away more than a thousand poems and a heavy task lay ahead to compile them into separate volumes. I have often spent my days reading the poems in private, in the belief that no one would be interested. The anthologies have been published with no expectations and it came as a surprise to find a small audience.
Over the last few weeks more than 30 parakeets joyfully devoured the apples on my one, overgrown apple tree. From dawn until dusk they chatted away, filling their bellies to the point where some had trouble taking off. On the very last day, this one parakeet climbed between the window and the cat pen. It waited until I came right to the window, thanked me by dancing and left.
Stumbling into a routine
It feels as though the weeks of working at home have flown by. With all the energy gone on the rapid change of figuring out how to settle into a new routine. As things start to go back to semi-normal there has been time to write again.
Be easy on yourself
My writing routine has been a mess, but there are times when life and the little things are more important. It can be very draining adjusting to change. I have done this several times. Once, when I had to say goodbye to my healthy full-time life and acknowledge that fatigue meant fewer hours in the day. I had to reassess what was important and valued each waking hour so much more. When I have a setback, instead of getting upset I give myself the space needed to heal. Be easy on yourself at a time when we are adjusting to change.