525 words: Waiting for change

I am waiting.

It could be sitting at the train station waiting for the next train.
I see the young man with a huge bouquet of pink lillies and avalanche roses on the other platform. He is pacing. It is an excited pacing. I don’t know. Somehow I can just tell. I try to picture the lucky woman in my head.
Nearby a clique of teenage girls are laughing. You can just tell it’s about a boy. Yes… The red head girl is clutching her phone to her chest and asking her girlfriends for advice about what to say next. All of them excitedly give ideas. But wait two of them are walking away from the festivities now. The tall one wearing too much make up for a school girl in uniform is crying. The shorter friend is comforting her but now the group notice and follow them asking what’s up. I actually raise my brow at the red head. She claims her friend is being a drama Queen because it’s not about her. The short girl is telling her to shut up. The others are standing off to the side to watch the drama unfold. Someone is saying the red head is being unfair. Ah! The blonde chips in and says they are both being divas. Apparently the tall girl wearing all the make up has been crushing on the same guy.

This will rip them apart if they let it.

The train on the other platform is coming in. I am afraid I will miss the guy giving the amazing bouquet. It’s her reaction I anticipate most. I would tell him how much I love them. I would compliment his very romantic gesture.
How charming he seems as he straightens up.
Lots of passengers disembark. I smile until my cheeks hurt. It is not what I was expecting at all. Love.
She might be his mother or grandmother. I don’t know for certain but it is wonderful. I love her reaction the best. He seems to be playful with her. He has given her his arm and taken her bag. It makes me wonder who his father is and how well his mother must have been treated for him to be the gentleman he is today.

If someone saw me now they would think I am crazy.

Uh-oh. The girls are both crying now. The short girl is encouraging them to hug it out.

I am sitting on this platform waiting for a train and people watching. Then the thought occurs to me. Is someone watching me?

And suddenly I feel self conscious. I touch my hair. I sit up straight. I look down on my shoes and wish I hadn’t worn my scuffed booties. They look old and beaten up but I am comfortable in these grey little lovelys.

Why am I here? I am waiting to take a train. At the end of my journey I will be a successful author. I will no longer be crying about boys. I will be meeting my son raised so wonderfully by his father.

I am waiting to be ready.

Posted from WordPress for Android 2015

645 words: mommy’s gotta eat

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Suddenly I find myself a single mom for a few weeks and I am thrown by how much I have to do.

It got me thinking.

For the first time in what feels like years I had to cook for myself.

It was easy basic (my version) lasagne recipe I learnt way back in high school. Luckily most of what Mrs Jordaan (thank you miss) taught me is still up there.  So I did it!
I am nursing my six month old. Smartie pants doesn’t want to drink the weaning milk. Oh my soul! So I added a few extra veggie ingredients to my meaty base for extra vitamins and fibre.

Home Economics Lasagne recipe (adapted)

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Ingredients

Half onion
Half green pepper / capsicum as it’s also known
Tsp of Olive oil
250g mince meat (use any kind you like)
2 tbsp Tomato paste
40ml water
S&P to taste

I blitzed mushrooms,  carrots and corn.

To get started I put all my ingredients on the counter anf filled the sink with soapy water as to wash up as I went to keep the work surfaces clean and clear.

Boil a kettle of water and add it to a large pot with a teaspoon of salt and oil. Bring it to the boil and add pasta enough for just you or the whole family. I never can judge pasta. I don’t use the lasagne sheets I usually use penne or screws.
Don’t judge.

Then I heated the oil in a pot.
I blitzed the onion and green pepper in the blender together with the large carrot. Added it to the hot oil and fried it till the aroma filled the kitchen. It’s looking glossy.

Then I added my mince meat. (I used beef but you can use lamb or ostrich or meat substitute.) No judgement.

Once the meat has browned add the tomato paste and half the water. Stir it through and season to taste with the S&P. (salt and pepper)

This is when I blitzed up the corn and mushrooms then added them to the pot.

Next up was the white sauce. If there is something I learned from Home Ec it was how to make a beautiful white sauce.
I don’t remember exact measurements but I am sure Mrs Jordaan won’t mind. She would be grateful someone took the class seriously. (I did miss)

Check your pasta it should be ready to drain.

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Ingredients for the white sauce
Roux method
35g butter or margarine
2 tbsps Flour
500ml milk
S&P to taste

This requires your full attention or you will get lumps. I haven’t made a lumpy white sauce ever and if you follow these steps neither will you.

First melt the butter over a medium heat. Once completely melted add the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. It will form a yellow ball. Take off the heat and add half the milk slowly. Now take the balloon whisk and stir to a smooth consistency. Replace it on the heat. Keep stirring as it thickens and adding milk. Don’t forget to add the S&P. Once you are happy with the thickness and consistency of the sauce remove the roux from the heat.

Add your pasta to your sauce. Mix through. Pour it into a ovenproof dish big that is deep enough. Pour over the white sauce evenly covering the whole dish. A good white sauce with find its way through the pasta.

Top with a delicious cheddar cheese and place in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. I guess it’s 385 Fahrenheit. Gas mark 4.
Yes – oh la la. Look who’s been watching Jamie.

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While the deconstructed lasagne is in the oven wash the dishes.

Take out of the oven after 20 minutes and serve with a lovely green salad. My favourite is usually rocket with pine nuts and balsamic vinegar.

Go on!  Dish up.

Posted from WordPress for Android 2015

500 words: Dear little person

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Dear baby,

You are six months old and new things are happening around you all the time. For the first time you are going mobile. I have to admit it is a wonderfully scary thing.

When you were born I was clueless. I just knew that I loved you more than my own life.  I am devoted to be the best version of myself  for you.  I cannot change the world you live in but I can change myself.

You are so small but you already have big ideas.  I am afraid to leave you alone in a room. Yesterday you showed me you could lean right out of your bouncer chair. I don’t know how you figured it out but I think it is time for an upgrade.

You teach me. I have learned so much but the big one is to be patient. I have this incredible amount of compassion now which allows me to understand you better or just get on with things.
You don’t like solid food much. At four months it was all you could think of. You watched me eating making your mother feel self conscious but you don’t care about it anymore.
The follow on milk we got you is a waste. Smart bear only wants boobies. I am still clueless. How am I supposed to wean you?

You fill my heart with light bursts whenever you laugh.  Your little laugh is contagious baby. I am so happy when I hear you laughing. The first six months you were relatively easy to take care of. You didn’t allow me much sleep or alone time but I learned as we have gone along what not to do for next time. Now you are testing the boundaries. New Chapter.

Mommy just wants to give you a good life little one. If I can give you God and a strong moral compass. If I can see you be responsible and a caring human being, then I would have done a good job. Success and failure go hand in hand and I will be there to comfort and advise you.

But you have such a far way to go yet. You are scooting along as you teach yourself to crawl. You love to bounce and lean over my arms so you can watch my feet as we walk along.

I am excited for you. I can see how excited you are to walk and talk. You are fascinated by your toes and the screeching sound you make as I am fascinated by what must be going through your mind. I know that red is your favourite colour at the moment. Your first favourite colour was yellow.

Daddy bought you sneakers with colour laces and you love them. You had to taste them to make sure. Then you gave me a huge gummy grin. I thought my heart would explode. It has been doing that alot.

My darling I am never far. I will always be your Nani. You will always be my bear.

Posted from WordPress for Android 2015

500 words: the writers dream

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Dear publishing world,

Here I was at seventeen writing two novels and having easy access to my audience at the time. I didn’t make a dime but it wasn’t the point. I wrote because I loved to tell stories.
I also had a big imagination so loads of my supposed tales were more than a little padded.

My inspiration to help the world through story came from being introduced to Paulo Coelho novels through my darling cousin Allan. I read The devil and Miss Prim first. Fitting because now in life as a woman suffering from depression I find myself tempted by the devil often.

I could end my life. I could be free from the suffocating pain of pointlessness and drown myself.

But books are an escape.

Would you consider the world of escape provided to children living in Poverty? Children who are the outcast, weird and Wimpy. Children going to a school which now rather reminds them of Hogwarts instead of doomsday.

I would just like to create worlds of escapism for people. I love encouraging everyone to read. I also know it’s best to stick to one genre.

Dearest reader, I wish to comfort you. I want to inspire you. I promise to try and get back to writing well and creating world within which you can laugh and cry and shop and be free. Just for the length of stay between the pages of my books.

It is not easy. I am afraid and I am clueless. The only thing I know how to do is write. I don’t know how to edit beyond the first draft. I don’t know how to get the manuscript idea before publishers so I could get that first rejection letter. I don’t know and there is someone out there with the tools to show me but it is going to cost money I cannot afford. I know my financial constraints so I will continue to follow a JK Rowling path and just put my pen to paper.

Someday I will be there serving all of you.

For now characters like horsey in my children’s books frolic across pages. He does new things with Button bear and sees new places. They discover so much together. I am excited for my little characters and the world they live in.

For now characters like Ambrose and Callie learning about Chess and Chocolate and how to let go and live is still just a rough draft but I see their potential. I know what they could be. I know exactly where they are supposed to take your imaginations. I just have to figure out how to get us there.

For now characters like Florian and Catherine fall in and out of love. Broken and beautiful. Would you like to find your forever story?  I think I found someone who makes me feel like I am going to be inlove forever and be protected even when I don’t want protection. Passion. That’s what my novels create.

I have these characters ready and waiting to jump on to the pages of publishers print paper. I have stories begging to be illustrated.
I am living. So I write.

I write to create outside my heart. I write to make you feel.
Now I am learning how to write to get published. I don’t want to write in vain.

This is my blog. I can easily press the publish button but it will never reach every audience member I am writing for.  That’s why I love a book. That’s why as great as the e book is it’s just not good enough.

Posted from WordPress for Android 2015

THE EGG: by andy weir

The Egg
By: Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“I’m Jesus?”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.

Posted from WordPress for Android 2015

Day 3: Write what you know

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Some days I have a story in my head but life is so disorganised that the hours slip away and I am left with nothing to show for another day on earth.

I signed up for the 500 words a day challenge about seven days ago and I have only managed three posts including this one.

This was the week my husband was even more ill than the week before and our son refused to sleep in his own bed. This was the week I faced the fear of being alone, raising our boy. I was pretty scared. I still feel sick just thinking about it. My six month old son growing up without his daddy. I cannot fathom it.

We had achieved a few milestones this past week which we were extra grateful for. Our three year wedding anniversary and the successful sixth months of being new parents and becoming a family.

I have to be honest. Parenting had been pretty easy going until this week. Suddenly our sweet boy started pushing the boundaries. I am physically and mentally and emotionally exhausted after the week we have had but we survived.

I feel grateful for the opportunity to write as I know doing this is a privilege. I don’t want to take a second for granted. I in no way take my small audience for granted. You take from your precious time each day to support another human being and her craft.

Thank you.

I have made a small promise to myself to write about my day in my journal. I would like to organise my thoughts and journal my feelings thoughts and prayers. The girl I was 10 even 5 years ago has changed and I have learned many lessons.

Someday I would like to look back and say it was worth the effort to document my life.

I want my life to mean something.

Posted from WordPress for Android 2015

My Anniversary

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Love is a choice.
Marital Love is not a feeling.
Being inlove ebbs and flows.
Love is the decision to make it work.

Couples should tell each other from the start. Divorce is not an option.

My husband and I have been married for 3 years.  I guess we didn’t have to get married. We just wanted to. I wanted to tell the whole world that this man is worth the risk.
I liked that he said after his previous experiences he had seen me walking with my friend and thought he had to get to know me. Then after ice cream with my friend and I he thought, she is definitely the type of women you can take home to your mother.
Never thought anyone would look at me like that. I was speechless. He thought he had offended his plain jane wife but I was feeling incredibly valued.

He only told me this the other day, by the way…
His previous accounts of his impressions of me at our first meeting had been more flattering.

Sometimes you will come across people who have decided that marriage is not for them. Marriage is not for everyone I do agree. But I wouldn’t agree that marriage is an unfair outdated practice. I guess half the world agrees with me too because the wedding business is booming.

I enjoy giving my son the stability of a family unit. I enjoy that we feel like we belong. Being single was fun. I had no intention of marriage. Ever. I had a good supportive amazing boyfriend. We had done the house hunting thing together. Gone through some tough times together talked about children and travelling but… Three years later things didn’t work out. I had invested my heart and my head but I still didn’t want to marry him.

The strange thing is after just six days my now husband and I were contemplating running to the registry office the next day!  Of course fear of our parents was greater so sanity prevailed. He followed me half way round the world. Went through hell. Ripped each other to pieces. Picked each other back up and four years later we ran to the alter and made a declaration.

I promise to be your best friend.  So I will be honest and tell you your new hair cut is questionable but at least it will grow out.

I promise to wipe your tears even when I cause them because we will argue and go to bed angry but I will love you.  I promise.

I promise to give you my full attention after you walk through the door and make you a cup of tea without complaint.

I promise to tell you how much I love your cooking and be your pastry chef. I promise I will kick against the curb if you require me to cook. I don’t like it.

You cook and I clean. I don’t care what my mother says. I don’t care about worldy conventions. I care about us and the world we create and agree on between the four walls in which we live.

I promise to be your ally. I will not disagree and embarrass you in public but I will be honest with you about my thoughts. That goes for everything.

Trust me. I love you. I choose you. Always.

Posted from WordPress for Android 2015