I was in the post office the other day sending some parcels, skimming through my Instagram as I waited in the short queue. (When did I become so impatient that I can’t even wait a couple of minutes without checking Instagram? Or have I always been this impatient?) Anyways, when the woman in line before me reached the counter, what she said had me almost dropping my phone in shock.
‘Um,’ she said with an embarrassed giggle. ‘This is probably really a stupid question, but it’s the first time I’ve done one of these and I want to make sure I’ve filled it out correctly.’
What, I wondered, could be the document that was so confusing? A passport application perhaps? One can, after all, dream of a day when we are allowed to leave the country and, more importantly, return without it costing the price of another overseas holiday (but with worse food) in mandatory hotel quarantine. Perhaps, like me, she had a customs form that required completion?
No, her answer was far more shocking that that.
The document she’d never completed before and was concerned about getting right was…wait for it… a postcard.
Remember those days when one of the first things you’d do in any new place was buy postcards? We used to have a list of who they’d be sent to – parents and grandparents mainly – and we’d choose each card so carefully. I’d be given the task of writing them – the challenge always to write more than having a good time, wish you were here but being aware that I had to somehow fit everything we’d been doing into half of a card.
We still giggle about when we stayed in a B&B near Warwick Castle back in 1995. The clock on the castle walls sounded like it was outside our bedroom window when it chimed on the hour every hour. I’d sat up in bed writing postcards home and drinking sloe gin that we’d bought from somewhere or another while Grant paced up and down the wonky floor hitting his head periodically on the beams and saying things like, ‘the floor’s crooked darlin’. The ceiling is definitely lower right here.’
Usually we arrived home before the cards reached their recipient. I still send postcards to Mum and Dad – and they still arrive after us.
The woman in the post office looked to be in her early twenties; while her parents might have once sent postcards, it’s easy to believe that she would never have done so. Facebook and Instagram (as much as I love their immediacy) have made postcards obsolete.
Or have they? There’s a new kind of postcard on the rise – the thinking of you sort of postcard. One arrived in the mail the other day and it gave me such a happy rush to receive it.
Maybe, just like the polaroid camera, postcards in all their retro glory might just be making a comeback. I hope so.
I’ve committed to my editor to get the first (overdue) draft of It’s In The Stars to her by the end of the month. I have it booked in for copy editing early next year so really do need to get a move along.
Since I began writing this novel, I’ve written another two – Escape To Curlew Cottage and The Little Café By The Lake. I’m not sure what the blockage is on this one. I’ve written a tad over 40,000 words but I’m at this point in the middle where I’m stuck.
Normally if I’m stuck it’s because I don’t know my character (and her motivations) well enough – and that’s not the case here. Nor is it because I don’t yet know how it will end – because I do.
Then I thought it could be because I’d intended it to be the last book in this chick lit series but I’m no longer sure it will be the last.
Last Friday I actually received no work calls (very unusual for my day off) so I caught up on chores and made an apple pie…but I didn’t do any writing.
I intended to write last Saturday in Hervey Bay while Sarah and Grant were out shopping for white goods. Instead, I sat down with the dog and read.
Then on Sunday the sky was blue so I contemplated writing from my position beside the pool.
When my boss asked me on Thursday afternoon if I’d be around on Friday (my scheduled day off) I told him I was scheduled to write. I even announced it on my Instagram post yesterday morning.
So, I’m sure you’re dying to know, how much did I write?
Well, before I answer that question, you need to know that I cleaned the house from top to bottom and vacuumed and mopped the floors. I even dusted the bottom of the TV stand that I always forget needs dusting but that I noticed when I was on the floor doing bird-dogs the other day (don’t worry, it’s an exercise).
Then I mixed up a batch of no-knead bread and made vanilla ice-cream for the guests we’re having tonight.
And that’s when the missing piece came to me and I powered through 1500 words.
I haven’t been entirely idle though – all of my previous novels are now available on most platforms, and that includes print. Head over to my book page for handy little buttons.
Finally, I’m participating in Becky’s October square challenge – and here’s today’s entry. This fabulously bright flowering tree is a Flame Tree and this one is in our nature strip and in bloom right now.