Getting Back to Where I Once Belonged . . .

I’m baaaaack  . . . I have a theory that as we get older, the brain cells which record time, die – and that is why our lives appear to be zipping away in front of our eyes, speeded into fast forward flickers. Perhaps that is why it seems to me as if it has only been a fortnight since my last post, when in fact, it was two months ago.

I use the term “fortnight” deliberately as I am reliably informed it is not in use in American English – so I am just throwing it out there (as my informant also does) in the hope it will entice some commentary on exactly what time period it represents 🙂 (The lines are open now. Our helpful staff are waiting to take your call – I mean – comment.)

Interestingly, my readership statistics have been strong over the last two months. I am not a blogger with thousands of followers, I am just chuffed that anyone wants to read what I have to say, but unbelievably, May was my busiest month since I started blogging twelve months ago. I had more than a thousand hits. So what can I learn from that? “Keep your mouth shut, Gwen! You say it best, when you say nothing at all!” (hmmm . . . could be a good line for a song).

By the way, what has been my most popular post of all time? (apart from the “about me” page). The post, (part of a larger travelogue on our European adventure last year), on travelling from Belgrade to Sarajevo by bus. Some hundreds of people must be contemplating the same adventure. Lots of luck with that 🙂

Regular followers may recognise my silence has been due to yet another re-write of my manuscript. It absorbed all my attention. Well, the blessed thing went back to the editor yesterday, and now my role in the process is to forget all about it for at least another two months. Who knows if it will ever see the light of day? But, it is in good hands. This editor has had great success with female dramatic memoir, and her last four placements were from debut authors who were not studying creative writing at university. This is my latest cause of despondency. It seems everywhere I look, it is young undergraduates and PHD students who are being published by the mainstream Australian publishers. My editor has re-assured me that I am wrong about that. Fingers crossed.

Some of my blogging community are keenly interested in new books, so for the record, two of her recent successes are:

Saving Zali, by Lisa Venables: a mother’s account of every parent’s worst nightmare: a diagnosis of cancer with a shocking prognosis. (Pan Macmillan)

Call me Sasha, by Geena Leigh : Told with raw honesty, this is the true story of one woman’s life as a callgirl – and her ultimate redemption. (Allen and Unwin)

Okay, well, my manuscript is not about those topics, but I still have my fingers crossed. Mine centres around the loss of motherhood, with particular focus on the practices of the Forced Adoption period, which led to the Australian Government issuing an apology in March 2013. A secondary theme is the impact of mental illness on the ability for women to be functional mothers. (There are some jokes in the manuscript, but they are cleverly disguised as irony).

Goodness! I must be debriefing. After an intense two months of living in the late 60s/early 70s, it is obviously taking me some time to get back to the here and now.

Well, just before we leave nostalgia altogether, I will mention that I did come out of my bat cave to party from time to time. One was for a 70s themed party (would you believe?).

Here’s the real deal – A hot-pant wearing sixteen year old in 1971 before blow dryers or GHDs were invented (nice lace blouse though); contrasted with her alter-ego – wearing a top which normally has leggings underneath, and donning a wig which made her look more like Hiawatha or Pocahontas. There are so many things wrong with the passing of years! I stuck on a pair of silky pantyhose to deflect attention from the leg cellulite – ladies of my generation – I suspect you know what I am talking about :-), but what to do with that double chin?

1971 Hot-Pants Teenager

2014 70s night



27 thoughts on “Getting Back to Where I Once Belonged . . .

  1. Pingback: I Belong to No One – Publication Imminent | The Reluctant Retiree

  2. I did not see this post in my Reader, had to look for it on your page, odd, but I’m glad I found it. Was thinking your silence had to do with the manuscript, wishing you all the best with it, fingers crossed and all. Very brave 70s outfit, by the way, so far I was lucky to avoid these parties, an ABBA party was the most ‘out there’ thing up to date, but I’m still scared 😉


    • Thanks for tracking it down, and it is always great to hear from you. I have to admit I wasn’t much in to dressing up, but I have been trying to make an effort lately, and it does seem fun. Not much writing happening here this month, but I am just starting some research for another book. I have to have a clear project for a writing course I am doing in October – in Paris! 🙂


  3. Ahh Gwen, as always a great yarn! Fingers crossed all goes well with the editor! Am sure the 2 months will pass quickly. Xxxx


  4. I was wondering where you disappeared to Gwen. Glad to see that you have survived your edit. Hope your editor will be pleased with the manuscript and no more re-writes would be required. Holding thumbs. I am also glad to see that you had time to party. Love the ‘now’ photograph – you clearly haven’t changed at all.


    • Spooky wasn’t it? Even I can see elements of the same look, although I can assure you there have been many others in between! I have been following your posts, as always, poetic imagery in both word and photographs. Simply stunning!


  5. Glad you’re back, thought you might be working on the manuscript. As a little comment on publishing outcomes – before I spectacularly fell off my PhD (about this time 10 years ago) my supervisor told me that I would need to write up for my thesis as well as writing a slightly more reader-friendly version for possible publication as a book. I can only think that this trend as accelerated when you peruse the latest non-fiction titles.

    I like the alter-ego’s jazzy headgear, very now, very festival.


    • Thanks for the insider’s tip. It sounds as if that may well be what is driving it. I have been on a roller-coaster of emotion even imagining that my work may be worthy of publishing, up against all those ‘experts’. In my working career in shipping and logistics, my mostly male colleagues were not interested in the women getting too verbose – they mostly worked on the KISS principle: keep it simple, stupid. So it is not as if I have a journalistic or other writing background as a launch pad. Anywho . . . Glad you enjoyed the 70s look. I have only recently started to get in the swing of dressing up 🙂


    • I remember the day I walked out of the study saying “I’ve finished!” That was about ten edits back. Just reaching the end of a story is an achievement no matter what happens from here. I look forward to hearing more of you through your blogs!


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