Nicole Flockton

Be whatever you want to be.

30 December 2009

The Year in Review

Well considering my last few blogs haven't had any comments I'm not sure anyone is reading this anymore but what the hey I'll keep making entries. One of my hopes for the new year is to keep doing regular updates.

So what a year it has been for me and my family. The best place to start will be at the beginning of 2009.

We bought in the new year with some great friends in Dunsborough. It was our first family holiday when both my hubby and I had time off. We house sat for friends while they were overseas, so it was a great holiday accommodation wise. We had such a great two weeks we decided that we would camp again next Christmas. We returned home and I went back to work while DH looked after the kids. Then DH went back to work. First day back I get a phone call from and the words that would change our destiny were spoken. They were, "How do you feel about moving to Houston?" Hollowness filled my stomach and my immediate response was "No way." I didn't say that but I thought it. On the writing front, I rewrote half a manuscript and feel in love with my characters all over again.

Move into February and the spectre of moving to Houston hung heavily over me. Also my son started kindergarten and my daughter year 2. I loved the school they went to and the teachers they got this year were beautiful, caring souls. Another reason why I really didn't want to move away. What sort of school would the kids go to? Would it be as good? Would they be treated the same way? I was to find out later that really they were in a fabulous school and that it was the one downside of the relocation. Amongst all of this I continued to write and sent off the partial of my medical that was requested at the RWA Conference in 2008 off to London, and the waiting game began.

March and things were getting serious on the Houston front, DH was to spend 3 weeks in the Houston office to see how it works and meet the people he could end up working with. I was not in a position to let the people I work with know of the situation and it was causing me stress, also school was wonderful for the kids and they loved getting up each morning to start a new day. On the writing front, the medical story was completed in first draft just waiting for any news. Desire still needed to be edited and get sent but, truly my mind really wasn't on my writing.

April came and DH returned late March and loved every minute of his time in Houston. Things stood still for a while and secretly I hoped it wasn't going to work out. But also because of the GFC a job prospect for DH at the end of 2008 wasn't looking so good now. So maybe the move to Houston was a good thing. It's amazing how fate works and things happen for a reason. Not much happening on the writing front, my mind just couldn't do anything constructive.

April melded into May and everything started moving at a fast pace. I couldn't take the stress of keeping it from work and finally, at the end of the month I told them about our possible move. They were shocked, but happy for the opportunity. The marvellous thing was, they wanted me to still do work for them in Houston. They believed I still had the ability to be a useful team member. It meant the world to me because I loved my job and I loved the poeple I worked with.

June came and it brought with it the biggest hurdle we had to overcome, obtaining US visas. That day came and we all trooped down to the US Embassy and waited. They took the passports, letters we had etc had a look and then passed them back to us. They called us up, the guy asked me if I was ready to live in Texas and then asked the kids if they were looking forward to going to school. We replied the dutiful yes. He then took our passports and said, we should get them back in a couple of days. Guess that meant we were going. It was a bit of an anticlimax and we walked out wondering if it was true. The arrival of passports two days later with American Visa's in them confirmed ... we were headed to Houston Texas.

The next few weeks passed in a blur! Panic to get the house ready first for the idea of renting out. Declutter and get rid of excess toys, clothes, furniture etc. Add into that a whirlwind trip to Houston for a looksee and before we knew it, it was the kids last day at school, my last day at work and our going away party. The cars were sold, house was on the market, furniture shipped, cat sitting in Sydney waiting for his flight to Houston and the goodbyes to family and friends were given. And on the writing front - I was too emotional to think about anything but saying goodbye to everything I knew and was comfortable with.

Truly the last few months have all blended together. So many things to sort out, cars, school, house, life in general. I've enjoyed being here. The shopping is great, I'm a stay at home mum but still work for my old work which I love. The kids are happy, although my son has had struggles at school but after the Xmas break, I hope it gets better for him. My daughter has surprised me and has taken all this in her stride and coped better than I ever thought she would. And my DH well, it was always a yes for him and he is enjoying every second - that is when the kids aren't sending us batty!

On the writing front, once I got here I got settled and let my emotions settle down. On the day our furniture from home arrived I got an email from my dad. Attached was a letter from M&B in London requesting the full of my medical. I was over the moon. In November I sent off my full Desire to New York. I haven't sent off the medical yet because in my letter there was some ideas on how to make the story a bit stronger. I'm taking everything that editor said and making sure I achieve what she wanted before I send it off.

So now its the second last day of the year for me in Houston and I've started working on a new idea for a medical story. Opening scene is handwritten and the GMC and romantic conflict charts are done. It's a start and I'm very happy with it. I'm going to do the same for a story I started last June which is going to be for Desire. I'm determined to learn my craft and get the story strong.

I wish for all of you to have a fabulous 2010. I'm going to enjoy this new adventure in Houston. I miss my family terribly but with techology today, they aren't that far way. Also planning a trip home in July of next year which will be great.

May all your dreams come true and if 2009 was not the greatest year for you, look at it as a learning year. We can learn from everything. What I've learned from this year, well I can live on the otherside of the world and I'm not a dribbling mess.

I surprised myself.


11 December 2009

Wink Girls and stuff


Not sure if anyone is still following this, but if you're interested I just posted a blog on the WinkGirls blog.

It's getting to that wonderful time of the year when the jolly fat guy in the red suit comes shimmying down the chimney and spreads lots of love and laughter and gifts to everyone.

For me it will be bittersweet, the first christmas in 39 years that I haven't spent with my family. No breakfast get together at my aunt's place with my extended, no rushing madly home to check on the food in the oven (it would have been my turn to host christmas with my immediate family this year) and then no chilling in the evening with more food and my DH's mum. I'll still get to see the kids faces when they open the gifts but it will just be the four of us and we will have to start a tradition of our own.

I hope to get more writing done now too. Need to structure my time better and I do plan to do that. I mean just this week I took a notebook in the car while I waited for the kids to come out of school and wrote some words. I could take the laptop and write - good in theory I should just follow through.

It's all just a matter of being willing to follow through and not wimp out.