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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Disaster Stories

I hope the new year is going well for you all. I have made excellent progress on both of my New Years resolutions.

If you remember, my personal resolution was to undertake 'Project 2012'. A photographic project where I take one photo every day for a year and then will have a wonderful collection of memories. I have to admit that I thought this would be easy but it has actually been the most difficult of my resolutions. My life isn't that interesting on a day to day basis and I'm struggling to find things to take photos of and it's only day 5!!

My writing resolution is another matter altogether. On January 1st I finished the draft of my novel 'The Time Walker' and sent it off to eight people who I trust to give me honest opinions. The feedback I've gotten back so far has been very supportive and I'm so excited to start shopping around for an agent to try and get it published. This has also spurred my writing momentum and while I am waiting for The Time Walker to return from my pre-readers, I've decided to keep on writing the series. I started writing book 2, 'The Mind Walker', on Monday and in only 4 days I've written almost 19,000 words!

I've updated the "Walker Series" tab on this website and have a word counter on there so you can track my writing progress if you are interested to watch the word count go up as I write. I'll try and update it every few days, but at least weekly.

I thought it might be interesting, considering the Christmas I just had, to discuss Christmas disaster stories. I'd love to hear if you've had a particularly bad thing happen to you and how you might have turned it around to be a positive?

For example - I live away from my family. They all live in other states of Australia and I am on my own here. I have amazing friends who I adore and people who care about me, but no-one blood related. 364 days out of the year I am fine with this arrangement, but on Christmas Day I always feel a bit sad. I have a close-knit family who enjoy spending time together and there is always a large family gathering on Christmas Day with aunties, uncles, grandparents and cousins.

2011 was my 10th Christmas away from home and we have worked out a nice routine. I post over a large box of presents for everyone, they all post gifts to me and I call them during their gathering and the phone gets passed around so I can talk to everyone. It's not the same as being there but I still get to share in their day.

Well, this year, a few days before Christmas my throat felt a bit scratchy but I didn't think anything of it. The big box of presents from my Mum hadn't arrived but I assumed it was just caught up in the backlog of post getting sent; everything was going to be fine!. On Christmas Day, I awoke with no voice. That's right, my scratchy voice had turned into a full-blown flu and stolen my voice. I coughed and forced enough sound out to speak with my parents and sister but knew I wouldn't be able to talk to the large group later in the day. I sent a text to every single auntie, uncle and grandparent apologizing for my inability to call and wishing them a happy day.

I will be honest and say that I was pretty miserable. With no presents to open and not even getting to talk to my family was making it my worst Christmas ever. But throughout the day my iPhone exploded with text messages from my family, Facebook messages from my friends and my best friend came over to have dinner with me and we watched Love Actually (my favorite Christmas movie).

I went to bed that night feeling very loved and happy. Several days later when the post service started running again I found out that my box of presents actually got burned. Yes, that's right BURNED! A mail truck caught fire the week before Christmas and my presents happened to be on that truck. Very unlucky! So, I still don't have any presents, but that doesn't matter. The people who made me feel special are all the presents I need.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Please tell your story in the comments, I'd love to hear them!

I'm going to keep writing away at 'The Mind Walker' and will look forward to another blog post for you all next week.

Hannah xx

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