New Beginnings

On this Christmas Eve I’m thinking about new beginnings. More specifically, the new beginnings that two of my friends are making – one, in fact, who at this very moment is on a plane from New York to Hawaii to start the next chapter in the rip-roaring adventure that is her life, and the other who is spending Christmas in Bali after losing her boyfriend to a tragic accident earlier this year and returning to Australia without him to rebuild her life.

Both these friends are brave beyond all measure. They have endured the most testing of times and yet have still stood up in the face of tragedy and adversity and said to life, you know what? You won’t beat me, because I won’t let you. Their strength of character both astounds and inspires me.

Jen, the friend en route to Hawaii, is the fellow wanderer and writer who I met in India in 2011. She forged a fantastic life for herself in NYC from nothing, but she knew in her heart it was time to move on and has ignored her misgivings and the doubts of those around her to make this change happen. She is a free spirit in the truest sense of the word and is my muse and spiritual twin (as cheesy as that sounds it’s true).

Sarah, meanwhile, has been to hell and back in recent months after the loss of her wonderful Paul, and yet has borne her loss with a huge amount of dignity, poise and humility. It was incredibly brave to return to Australia so soon after Paul’s death and resume her life there but it seems, from the outside, at least, that the sun and her wonderful friends over there are beginning to work their magic, and whilst I’m certain she will never get over the loss of her love, I’m hopeful she will find in life many other much deserved joys that will bear testament to the fact it can still be wonderful.

So here’s to new beginnings, fresh starts and adventures-may they take us where we want to go, and may they make us richer in spirit and strength than we were before.

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The next chapter

Moving day is nearly upon me, and whilst I’m almost beyond exhaustion I also couldn’t be more excited. There’s something quite thrilling about moving house. Perhaps it’s because it offers a clean slate, a chance to reset and start again. In other words, a new beginning; a bit like January 1st when the new year lies before you like a pristine and untouched canvas, ready for you to stamp your mark on it as you see fit.

And whilst I’m no Kelly Hoppen I’m very much looking forward to having a bash at making the new flat into a home that reflects both of our personal tastes. I also want to create a corner for my writing, where I can sit and feel inspired each Monday (and in the evenings and weekends too-for it’s finally beginning to dawn on me one day a week is not sufficient time to become truly proficient in the craft of writing; better late than never).

For me, this particular move holds the further dual significance of a) moving in with my boyfriend and b) having more space to myself, since the aforementioned boyfriend is likely to be travelling fairly frequently with work. Whilst I’ve always enjoyed living with other people, as the inexorable passage of time has worn on I have come to crave solitary time more often. Whereas a few years ago I loved the hustle and bustle of a four person tenancy arrangement, now me and one other is as much as I can cope with – and it’s becoming increasingly more vital that the “other” is someone with whom I get along like a house on fire rather than merely live and split bills with.

So there you have it. It is the eve of my next move, almost all of my belongings are packed into bags and boxes and my furniture is bubble wrapped. The only thing left to do is post this blog and pour myself a generous glass of red wine. It’s time for the next chapter. And I really cannot wait.

A new chapter

Something’s happening; thus far just the gentle flickering of thoughts and ideas, licking my prefrontal cortex like kindling flames that are yet to take and start a proper fire.

But I can feel it, even though it’s been so long since I last did I’d never mistake the signs: My creativity’s returning. Like a little mouse that scurried into a hole beneath the floorboard some time ago, who’s remained hidden but only just out of reach, and who is now ready to emerge, blinking in the light, and play.

A novel is brewing, the myriad components swirling around in my mind like a witch’s brew in a mystical cauldron. I can’t control them – not yet – I have to wait while they take shape, every now and then pausing to make a note when the cauldron spits something out, decreeing it ready to be consumed. But they are unmistakably, perceptibly, joyously there.

I don’t know what will come of this long-awaited phase of imagination, nor do I know what can be attributed to its generation. Has my daily blogging finally paid off and kick-started the process of creation as I hoped it would? Or was it New York with its wonderful sights and sounds, and the even more wonderful friend I visited there who is herself writing a novel (I think this option most likely, as seeing her eyes light up talking about her plot and characters reminded me of the joy of creation, which I think somehow along the way I had forgotten)?

Whatever the reason, I’m delighted this is happening, whatever ‘this’ is. I’m happy to be patient, to jot down notes – the odd key word or character trait as it comes to me – and I’m confident soon all will be revealed. The planets are aligning, the jigsaw pieces falling into place.

Soon I shall begin.

And so it begins….

Hello, and welcome to my brand new (not quite all-singing and all-dancing – YET) website. I had hoped to have all the bells and whistles sorted out by the launch date, but had vastly underestimated my technological capabilities, so the design will be a work in progress – the most important thing is the writing itself.

Why set up a website? Over the past ten years I have kept a number of online blogs to document the various trials and tribulations of my sometimes turbulent, sometimes serene, always entertaining life. I have also written a lot of fiction, several articles and some guest blogs on other sites. But never have I had one place where I could showcase my whole writing portfolio for a more professional purpose – until now.

Why belle365? My favourite writing challenge is National Novel Writing Month when, for the month of November every year, thousands of aspiring writers from across the globe commit to writing a fifty thousand word novel in thirty days. Having taken part in this challenge four times to date, I can honestly say for those thirty days I am more creative than the rest of the year put together. It’s not easy writing an average of 1,700 words a day whilst holding down a full time job, but it’s amazing how much you can achieve if you put your mind to it. It is because of this I have decided to bite the bullet and make my new year’s resolution for 2013 to create this website and post something EVERY SINGLE DAY. I have come up with some rules (see ‘The Rules’ section) which cover length and type of post etc. but the basic premise is that I plan to post a mixture of new and old fiction, non-fiction and blog posts. Because I love photography and want this website to be colourful and interesting I will also post a picture every day, which can be taken on the day itself or chosen from my photo archives.

This was post one of three hundred and sixty five. I hope you will enjoy this website, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

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I took this picture last year whilst travelling in India, and thought it would be a fitting first image for my website, as the sunrise signifies a new beginning.