An End And A Beginning: A Tale Of Stuff And Things.

I’ve not posted a piece here for some time. That’s not to say I haven’t been churning out submissions for the page. I have. Quite a lot actually.

However, a while ago I made a decision to not send anything negative into the already cluttered webosphere. So I have a virtual pile of blogs waiting to be posted. They haven’t all been negative, but they do all address mental health in one form or another.

Is a blog really a blog in the woods? Or does someone have to read it? Huh?

I realised some time ago that I was writing the blogs for me. I’d love for them to be worthwhile in some way to at least one person out there in the world, however, they really have just been a bit of therapy. They have also helped me stay connected with writing when there was no connection.

So today I’ve decided to end all pretence of having a blog. This will be my last post. I am now reconnected with writing. In the past I wanted to make that a public thing. I was proud and I wanted everyone to know it. I’m a little more private about it now.

So, just in case there is any curiosity about my un posted blogs, here are some of the titles I’ve been writing under:

A Silent Heart And An Empty Cup. Or: Work/Life Balance And Other Things That Elude Me.

My Neighbour Is Taunting Me With Her Washing Line. Or: Paranoia And Other Fun Things.

I Read My First Nocturn. Well Not Really. I Read Some Of One Nocturn. Then I Placed It Gently On The Table And Backed Away Slowly.

Post Natal Depression. I’m Okay Now.

Does He Love me Or Was It The Depression All This Time? A Commentary On Self Worth.

Why Aren’t I Writing? No really. Why?

You Are The Collateral Damage Of Someone Else’s Trauma.

The Evolution Of Pain. Not To Be Confused With Dance.

So Apparently I’m The Elephant In The Room. The Cautionary Whale, And Other Terrible Cliches.

A Sense Of My Own Mortality. On The Wisdom Of Grosse Pointe Blank.

Killing Myself With Kindness.

It’s Not You, It’s Me.

As Soon As I Saw Her Eyebrows I knew We Would Get Along Just Fine.

People pleasing 101. Another Commentary On Self Worth.

As you can see from their titles, they’re pretty amazing…and just for me. If you want your own therapy I can recommend a few people.

Thanks for the good times you delightful 41 people signed up to receive a notification I’ve posted something new. You rock. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

I’ll be back when I can say, “I just finished writing my first book.”

X Angelina.

I can’t read. Well I can. But just not right now.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. I haven’t blogged since June. My last blog wasn’t even a run-of-the-mill blog. It was one of those – “I’m going to save the world and end poverty, and look at me, I can conquer anything!” blogs. You know, not quite. But sort of. So yeah, what happened to me?

June was going to be life changing. I was going to write and finish a manuscript (destined for Harlequin Presents) in one month. For the first half of the month I was on track to do just that. Then I became sick. Then my husband turned 40. Then, under the weather and slightly off kilter I experienced something that triggered memories of my experience with post natal depression. Cue several months of emptiness. I want to write about that one day. But right now let’s get to the real point of this blog.

I can’t read. Well I can. But just not right now…and not for the last few months. If you’re a reader, devouring stories daily, you’ll have an idea how I feel right now.

I’m in a funk. Clearly there’s something on my mind. I can barely read the first two sentences of a book before I throw it down and self medicate with chocolate. My usual go-to authors aren’t doing it for me. I keep buying books in the hope one will pull me out of this fog. Instead, I just have a large pile of books. Where do you go when your go tos don’t work?

When I start reading a book I find myself mentally critiquing the style or format. I’m not engaged. I’m not getting lost in the story. I don’t like Prologues. I find too much of the first chapter written from the hero’s point of view tiresome. I want the hero and heroine to meet on the first page. I want lots of dialogue. Blah. Blah. Blah. Even I’m getting tired of these restrictions and excuses. 

I have several theories on what could be wrong with me. So does my husband apparently. I apologise in advance for the dot points.

– I wonder if I could be depressed and not realise it. Though with my history, I’m sort of a pro at identifying the onset of ennui. Mad skillz everybody.

– The 50k in 30 days (Romance Writers of Australia) may have been too confronting for me. Did I burn out? Was I overwhelmed by the acceptance and support I received?

– I just may have backed myself into a genre specific corner. I know exactly what I want and I want it written exactly how I want it and I want it now. (For those of you who are curious: I want a Presents Sheikh. A not-so-damsel-in-distress. Lots of sand. Tents. Adventure. And not a ‘Tycoon’ to be seen. Not that hard to find right?)

– I may have a story sitting in my heart that needs to be completed before I can allow myself anymore bliss in reading. Perhaps I’m punishing myself for not completing my manuscript?

Are you still with me? I totally understand if you’ve nodded off.

My husband’s theories:

– He wonders if my perception of the industry has changed. Perhaps I know too much about the ‘behind the curtain’ stuff now? Is my developing knowledge of the publishing process taking the magic out of reading these stories?

– He wonders if my relationship with these books has changed. After moving closer to family this year, perhaps I don’t need these characters to fill my emotional void anymore?

– He wonders if the events of the entire year have exhausted me emotionally. Leaving full time employment and my dream job to move back to our home town to be closer to family and be a stay at home mum again might have affected me more than I thought.

– Have my life priorities changed? Is reading and writing the romance genre not that important to me anymore? (My heart cries just typing this so hopefully not.)

So I put this to you, am I depressed? Do I have something on my mind not yet identified? Have I backed myself into a genre specific corner? Is not being able to sit down and read a book a #FirstWorldProblem? Where did I put my chocolate? Is there a part of me that wants to burst forth and write MY story? Am I now too close to the process? Do I know too much? Do I know too little? Has my dream changed? Do I not need these emotional supports in my life anymore?

Have any of you experienced something similar? If so, how did you move forward?

Thank you for listening. *A kitten and a box of chocolate to those of you who made it through this whole mess of blog entry.

X Angelina.

*Disclaimer: I’m not really giving out kittens and chocolate. If I had kittens and chocolate I’d be running a kitten circus, serving chocolate, and riding the wave of kitten circus success.

Hi, My Name is Angelina & I Am An Emotional Eater.

I was arguing with my three year old. Rookie move I know. You’d think I’d know better, especially as a Kindergarten Teacher. However, it’s an easy trap to fall into when you have a child with fantastic language skills. One minute we were having a lovely conversation about the differences between palaeontologists and archeologists, and the next he pulled a classic toddler move and became completely irrational.

I stated my intention to stop conversing after I was clearly getting nowhere in calming his toddler tantrum, and was asked, “But who will cheer me up now Mum? There’s no one else! Daddy is away on his business trip. I need someone to cheer me up. Who will cheer me up?”

I did my usual spiel, the one I’ve used for years on my Kindergarten children. “You need to learn how to cheer yourself up. Only you can make yourself happy. What do you think you could do to make yourself feel happy?” At which point he looked at me with his big brown eyes and I caved. I caved big time. We had cuddles, played firemen, read stories, and built a train track. Mainly because he’s three and I need to remember that, and because I was missing Daddy too, and sometimes I’m irrational. Also, because I know self regulation is a skill children learn around the 4-5 year old mark and it’s a skill that needs to be taught and modelled.

But mostly, and here’s the kicker, I knew there was a box of chocolatey cereal in the cupboard with my name on it, and that said cereal would be consumed as soon as my son went to bed.

Hi, my name is Angelina, and I am an emotional eater. It was that moment when I was looking into my son’s big brown eyes that I realised I’m an incredibly big hypocrite. Literally and figuratively.

It was then over the bowl of said chocolatey cereal that I wondered how I got to that point. I still have no idea. All I know is that I could be experiencing a debilitating panic attack, eat something, and then magically calm down completely. Why wouldn’t I repeat that action. Especially after a stint with Post Natal Depression.

So I asked myself the same question I asked my son. “What could I do to make myself feel happy?” All the answers I came up with involved needing other people to play a part. It was like a lesson in Me 101. Except the only person who could teach me was right there, eating that massive bowl of cereal.

Eventually, and with much wailing and possibly gnashing, I looked at the books around me, the pens and paper, the computer, and realised I’ve been doing what I love and what makes me happy for a long time. I just hadn’t given it credence or the time. I hadn’t committed. The reason for that would be a separate post entirely. Fear of failure? Fear of happiness? Fear of being present in life? Fear of looking too closely at personal traumas? The feeling that I am undeserving?

Like I said, a whole new post is needed to open that bag of personal crazy.

It was mid wail and gnash that I noticed the invitation to join a writing challenge hosted by the Romance Writers of Australia. I registered immediately and without self depreciating thought or fear. Those two things are not welcome anymore.

I’ve committed to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. At day 4 I have written 9,944 words of my new manuscript. I’ve begun a journey that has provided me with so many wonderful experiences already. I feel like I am part of a community of people who get me. I feel bliss. I feel like my heart is being filled daily. I feel like I am home.

X Angelina.

For further information about the challenge you can follow the tweet stream at #50ks30days.

For further information about featured irrational toddler please visit He has his own picture book review blog. I know I’m biased but he and it are a bit gorgeous.