Reflections and Secrets as we see the New Year In.

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

New Years Eve is a good time for reflecting on the year past and then to use those reflections to set resolutions for the New Year. I already have some resolutions in mind – the obvious ones that I’ve made every year since I turned forty. You’ve got it in one – lose weight and get fit. Every year I fall by the wayside but undaunted, this time ,I AM going to be successful. I have the app.How can I fail?

As I have said in the post title I am going to divulge some secrets. This is because my blogging pal, author of the Rhe Brewster crime novels, Noelle Granger, tagged me to tell of five things that my blog followers don’t know about me. Mind you, they might not want to know these as we’re getting down to the real nitty gritty now so I may struggle to find five and they will be scattered, hopefully missed, by those that read.

The year has been a good one with the aid of my husband who suffers my lack of housewifely skills to an even greater degree as I immerse myself in my books. Am I enjoying my research. At times yes. I find it fascinating. Memory is fascinating. I am currently looking at body in memoir. Memory I discover is stored in the body, not just the brain, and the body is universal. We all have one, so if you write the body your narrative will come alive. I did not know that cellular memory existed. That transplant patients sometimes have personality changes turning them into the organ’s owner, such as the meat eating lesbian lady who received a heart transplant from a man-loving vegetarian. She couldn’t face meat post transplant and her sexual orientation changed totally. At the time she did not know who her donor was. Amazing stuff.

At other times I have struggled greatly. I have discovered SECRET 1: I am an introvert to an extent I did not realise. At conferences and other academic functions I have an overwhelming desire to crawl into the nearest hole and hibernate for the rest of time. I am a writer who cannot speak. I am a writer because I like to communicate yet cannot talk. I always knew that until I knew people I wouldn’t give much away and that I am much better one on one but I had no idea just how debilitated I become in some situations.

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Secret 2: On reflection I have worked out why this was not a state that I had previously been aware of. Answer to why – I have given up drinking. I have been a tee totaller for a year and a half and amongst those I know I don’t see any difference in myself but put me in a room of  strangers I obviously need a bit of dutch courage. Mmmm!

A definite resolution is needed here. I had commenced toastmasters to overcome my fear of public speaking and Yeah that seems to have worked. I have presented a number of papers now with only a smattering of controllable nerves. I have to work on off the cuff speaking which I can also do through toastmasters and putting myself out there.

I have also struggled with the work load I have set myself. Something should go but I enjoy the blogging, love my family and friends,the dogs have to be walked twice a day and having put in almost a years work I am going to keep going with my Masters.  Secret number 3: I am looking forward to 2016 and relative relaxation. In 2015 my husband turns 70. He has learnt to relax. In 2015 I am going to try to learn to relax without immediately falling asleep. Any tips will be gratefully listened to.

One of the wonderful plusses of the year has been all those I have met blogging. I have particularly enjoyed the interaction with the Carrot Ranch Congress of Rough Writers and the 99 word flash fiction prompt we are given each week by Charli. Secret 4: I think I am starting to really enjoy fiction writing  and memoir might become a thing of the past. I read once that at some point the writing of your memoir  becomes your memoir and as the writing prevents you living life you have no choice but to write about writing. As I love living too much it may be time to turn to fiction or possibly better still a creative non-fiction at the other end of the line, about somebody or something other than me. That way I can still do the research which is something that I really enjoy.


The state of the world still saddens me. I hope that the New Year brings that rare gem that will promote tolerance amongst people and nations and bring peace to all our homes, countries and world. My thoughts are with those suffering from disasters whether man-made or natural.

Secret 5: I am happy. On the whole, as I see the Old Year out I know that  I am still lucky. I live in relative safety, in a loving relationship with a good man and two good dogs. My surroundings give me joy and my writing and blogging I can get lost in. Apart from the eating resolution I don’t want change for myself.

The five people I am tagging can take part if they want to or not as they choose. These people however I’d like to introduce as bloggers whom you may find interesting.

1. Charli Mills from Carrot Ranch. Charli hosts the 99 word flash fiction and does a good job in coming up with some great prompts whilst reflecting on the process that led to the prompt.  She then compiles the submissions so they are all readable in one place and it is fascinating seeing the diversity of responses.

2. Geoff from TanGental – an author who always manages to raise a smile if not an out loud laugh on most matters he writes on. Now half way through his book Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle I’d also highly recommend it as a good holiday read.

3. Anne from Annethology – an author who does some of the best book reviews I have read. My dream is that one day, in early 2015, she will write a post on how to read for effective reviewing. This is an area I struggle with in my studies. I have always read to get lost in the story and to now have to read with critical intent a few tips would be great.

4. Norah from live, love, laugh and learn whose love of education and posts pointing to different theories in education are in themselves an education but one that is fascinating and stimulating. Oh how I would love to be a student these days and better still have a teacher such as Norah  to guide me on my path to adulthood.

5. Sarah from Lemon Shark who is a master of the twist. She tackles parenting and life with added punch.

I wish I could go on and on. There are so many of you whose posts are wonderful – photographers Cee who has fantastic photography prompts and Raewyn and Woolly Muses.

I really could go on and on but stop I must. New Years Eve calls. Lunch with Mum, Dinner on the River, Fireworks at 8pm ( I know I’ll be awake for the kiddies version), a movie on the big screen and then having been up since 5am I’ll decide whether to prop the eyelids open to see in the New Year or whether I’ll be happily snoring in my bed. Whatever I do I hope you have a Very Happy New Year and that it brings your dreams and desires into fruition.



About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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25 Responses to Reflections and Secrets as we see the New Year In.

  1. Uncle Spike says:

    Nice share… as they say Irene.
    Public speaking is hell on earth, sometimes. My only advice is plan properly, practise it… then on the day you’ll probably ignore your notes and wing it anyway; especially if it’s a subject you know and love. I only ever used prompt cards, just single words or short phrases, just so I covered everything, and to lessen the panic when I went totally dry. Oh and don’t forget that old and best advice; imagine them all naked :)))
    2015 is gonna be your year!
    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bkpyett says:

    Lovely thoughtful final post for the year, Irene. Thank you for sharing your secrets. May 2015 see your dreams come to fruition too. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. noelleg44 says:

    Lovely, personal post, Irene. Very much you. I would NEVER have suspected you were an introvert – but congratulations for tackling Toastmasters. That took real bravery. Happy New Year, my friend. I am looking at the fireworks in Sydney on TV – spectacular!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. TanGental says:

    You an introvert? Surely some mistake?! Lovely post and, blimey, such nice things said about me and putting me in such exalted company. I’m dead chuffed. I’m so much a ‘it’s what it says on the tin’ sort of guy that I struggle to think of one thing, let alone five that people might not know about. Reading your list and then Noelle’s (glad I visited her blog; fascinating) makes it doubly difficult but I will give it a go. Bonne Annee

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aww…thank you, Irene. Much appreciated. It’s nice to be in such good company.

    An introvert? Well, I’m as surprised as the others. I’m an introvert to the extreme but most people know that already so I can’t use that as one of my “five”. 🙂 Yes, I can see this: “at some point the writing of your memoir becomes your memoir and as the writing prevents you living life you have no choice but to write about writing.” Surprised to hear your memoir might go but fiction is so fun and I think you would love creative nonfiction. The state of the world saddens me, too. I can barely stand it sometimes. Here’s to peace and happiness for the New Year.

    ⭐ Happy New Year! ⭐

    Liked by 1 person

    • My introversion shows in an inability to open my mouth and make comprehensible intelligent conversation with strangers. Put me with people that I know and a discussion on a subject I am interested in you can’t shut me up. Hope you have a good year Sarah and at least two of us are aiming for peace and happiness (and I know there are more of us) 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. la_lasciata says:

    Yer a brave thing, you are. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charli Mills says:

    Toastmasters is a great organization! I’m an introvert, too and I’ve noticed that since I’ve retreated from the work world into writing at home, my face-to-face skills have declined. I had a boss who was an extrovert and yet she struggled greatly with public speaking. We used to laugh at the irony of it because I was the introvert yet could speak publicly with greater ease. It’s all about practice and getting comfortable.

    How interesting to learn your secrets! I’ve learned that relaxing has to do with matching your preferred pace. I know people who have to move, move, move. To them (because that’s not me!) movement is relaxing. Having my atmosphere set is relaxing–music, wood fire going, sunshine in the windows, smell of coffee. Then I’m relaxed and set to do anything! At work I used to play music on my computer and I was blessed to have a huge sunny window in my office which was over the deli portion of our natural food store so yes, I got to smell coffee all day! No wood fire, tough. I’m so thrilled to read of how your writing is evolving. I understand that sentiment of writing versus living. I got to blogging so much at Elmira Pond that everything that happened I thought of in terms of a blog post! I backed off because of that. I don’t have a block to writing; I struggle with stopping. 🙂

    I think you have much to explore with combining your sense of memory and detail with your humor, irony and depth in fictionalizing stories. Not to mention, you’d make a fabulous historical fiction writer! Anne Goodwin has a fabulous outlook on writing–that it gives us the freedom to contradict ourselves. I see it as the evolution of who we discover we are through the process of writing. I think it would be difficult to to be a genre writer and always write in a templated fashion. I like the freedom.

    Thank you for tagging me with a great group of writers. Having been that awkward child last chosen for teams, I feel like I got picked for the winning side. 😀 Hope I don’t trip now! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for such a wonderful comment Charli. I know what you mean about when you don’t use it your skills decline. I put part of my problems down to lack of social interraction in Vanuatu and then isolated on the farm. I can function in a work situation quite easily as I see it as work, part of my job description and because I knew my job well it was easy. Prepared speaking I agree is practice, being comfortable because you know you know your stuff. Socially I find it a totally different ball game.
      With relaxing you are probably right. Sitting down for me is stressful as I like to be doing. Perhaps I need to iron when I decide to watch the television. Coffee smell and fresh baked bread – my two favourite smells. You have me relaxed just thinking about them. Like you I tend to think writing during any activity my brain is not required 100%. I just wish I could get some of those brilliant stories down on paper before they lose a bit of that brilliance.
      Yes I think historical fiction is where I’ll start when I have finished my studies. I agree it would be difficult to have to write to a template. In memoir there are four Is (eyes). The historical past I – who can never be recovered apart from documentation and photos, the narrated I who is the past person the reader sees on reading (the protagonist), the narrating I who is the author, the person you are now who does the remembering and offers reflections and interpretations of the past events and can have multiple voices. The ideal I who you pin on top of them all. This is the person who is placed in the world of the time and knows the cultural and spacial rules of the time. My guru Eakin that we don’t write memoir to record the past but rather to give us a future. In some ways I think this is similar to the way you see writing.
      You won’t trip Charli. You have done a fabulous thing bringing a group together from different places in the world, all with a common interest and got a conversation going. 2015 is going to see evolution in many ways and I just know it is going to be good.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ChristineR says:

    Thanks for sharing Irene. I’m writing fantasy for now, but I have a yen towards creative non-fiction too, taking advantage of my years of family history research. I relate to the absence of dutch courage drying up the conversation! All the best for 2015. 🙂


    • Fantasy is an area I am a bit in awe of those who can write it. I always imagine you really do need to be creative and really go outside our normal sphere of understanding. It will be interesting to see where our writing leads us. Thanks for your wishes Christine and I hope that your 2015 treats you well. 🙂


  9. Sherri says:

    I missed this wonderful gem of a post Irene, it was during my blogging break. Sarah tagged me for it so I’m glad to get the opportunity to read it now, albeit a little late 😦 I’m very interested to read your further thoughts on memoir and fiction writing, and its been wonderful sharing all that with you. You have helped me so much with my memoir writing and through the flash fiction, Charli has helped me too, as with you, get a better grip of what it’s like to write fiction. I love how you and I have shared this journey, side by side, for a while now, as we are both evolving in our memoir writing and and then into fiction. I hold onto your words to me at the begninning of the year about 2015 being a great year and I believe that it will be for you too. Here we are almost half way through February already! It is wonderful to know that you are as happy and settled as you are and I’m with you on the getting fit and losing weight thing. Every year, the same thing, ha! I love your honesty and how you share your heart. Lovely share, with your beautiful, atmospheric photos interspersed. I can also relate to the introvert part. So many of my friends think I’m an extrovert but I really am not. I much prefer one to one and I am exhausted after group social events, needing time to recoup. Dutch courage is definitely my crutch, I admire you for giving up alcohol, I can’t do that at the moment. I need that glass of wine in the evenings, I readily admit! I remember when you first shared about Toastmasters, and thinking how very brave you were to do that. You inspire me my friend to keep going, to keep writing, to not give up and keep pressing on no matter the challenges. Thanks for being there…and here’s to the next phase of blogging and writing! And I think we are well overdue on a walk, don’t you? Have a great weekend my friend, catch up soon… 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri, I’m so pleased you feel that also. It is so great being able to share with a like minded person those ups and downs of the writing life and life in general. It is amazing that already we are so far into the year. It seems to just be flying. Valentines Day (another like Halloween that we didn’t celebrate until recently) then Easter. Easter brings a visit from my brother and his kids and then we’ll be staring Easter in the face. We also have between Valentines and Easter my husband’s next big birthday and although he doesn’t want celebrations I feel a compulsion coming on. I’m looking forward to the secrets you are going to divulge from your Summerhouse. For now here is a walk we can both go on
      ❤ XD

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        The year is indeed flying my friend. I remember now you mentioning about your family plans for Easter, how lovely to have it to look forward to. I remember how I longed for my mother’s visits from England when we lived in California and then, in a flash, she would be gone again. So we made the most of every minute, as I’m sure you and your brother and family will also do 🙂 I adored our walk Irene, the perfect place… let’s do it again and soon 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • We’ll definitely walk again soon. Yes you have to make the most of everything as it is all too short but I can’t make the day any longer not even by a minute.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        😉 ❤ 😛

        Liked by 1 person

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