Au Revoir 2011 ~ Bon jour 2012

Waving 2011 goodbye, I’m grateful it was here, yet pleased to see it go. It’s been fun and frantic and sped by like no other. But, hey, don’t we always say that?

CYA logo by Bec Timmis

The first half-year for me was head down and fully focused on finishing the final draft of my novel, reworking a YA mss and planning a writing workshop. I thought they kept me busy enough combined with uni classes. I kept up with my writing goals and surpassed the one to enter a major writing competition by winning the published author category of the CYA Writing Competition for my YA novel mss Jumping Through Hoops in early September. A huge highlight in a frantic year, including my going up to Brisbane for the presentation.


On the homefront, it was a strange year of goodbyes and hellos in our family. In February, our nest shrank from three to two with our daughter flying across the world to the UK for nine months leaving hubby and me empty nesters, albeit briefly. What initially seemed a strange and unnerving occurrence soon revealed bonuses. It’s amazing how much simpler life becomes for a writer with fewer people to take into account, plan meals around, and be interrupted by. Still we were thrilled when our youngest son returned to the nest in April, bringing with him his cheeky humour and remarkable ability to “tidy” a room in record speed. Shame his equally remarkable ability to completely trash it at even faster pace remains unchanged. (Enter the “closed door” policy. What you cannot see, cannot hurt you. 🙂 )

Second semester got even busier with one uni subject requiring me to write an 8000-word exegesis, alongside completing the final stage of my Master’s Major Project subject. Both needed lots of writing and rewriting and for a few weeks there, I thought I’d drown under academic research papers, novel chapters and the pressure of looming deadlines. Short term stress though, for which I’m grateful, but glad to see the back of too.

So what will 2012 bring?

I’m still sorting my list of writing goals? I certainly have a wish list of a few small things I aim to achieve like:

  •             Find a publisher for TST
  •             Find an agent
  •             Make more reading time
  •             Indulge in more relaxation/family time
  •             Write many, many words of my new novel.

The journey continues because, of course, I’ve got to go all the way – from Hook to published Book.

So Happy New Year, one and all. May the muse, good health and good fortune bless us all in 2012. (And may it be somewhat less frantic than its predecessor.)

Postscript: I’m also grateful that when my car gallantly caught a Camry driving off the upper level of a tiered car park in early December that neither my daughter or I were inside but safely sipping tea in a cafe until a policewoman came in search of us. Thought you might like to see the pics. I am grateful too that the elderly lady who mistook her accelerator for her brake was not hurt either. Just another reminder to me to smell the roses more next year and never ever forget that cars and stuff are replaceable/repairable, but those we love are not.

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Corinne Fenton" alt="Corinne Fenton">

Corinne Fenton

Yes, years have a habit of being a mixture of things, good, bad, happy sad. All good to reflect on though. A nice post, Chris.

January 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Thanks, Corinne. 2011 brought quite a mix, especially in the wider world. For me, I’m happy to say, it was mostly happy and good, but it will remain in my memory as predominantly busy.

    Best wishes for a wonderful 2012 to you and may it bring you all measure of happiness and success starting with the excitement of launching the paperback edition of “Queenie: one elephant’s story” on 22nd January.


    January 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm
Julie Murphy" alt="Julie Murphy">

Julie Murphy

Oh Chris, that was YOUR car I saw on the news? It stuck in my mind as a terrible and almost unbelievable accident. I’m so glad the driver was okay and that you are able to see the silver lining. Happy New Year and very best wishes for another successful year for your writing.


January 10, 2012 at 9:12 am
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Hi Julie,
    Thank you for your concern, though I’m pretty sure my car’s accident didn’t make the news. However, returning to Olinda over Christmas, shopkeepers did tell me the accident was the talk of the town.
    When all are safe, there’s always a positive to be found somewhere.
    Best wishes to you too for a fabulous and rewarding writing year. I feel 2012 is going to be great. 🙂

    January 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

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