A Year in the Making

A year has passed since my very first blog post! Unsure of the direction to take, but wanting my blog to be a place to practice and maintain the craft and habit of writing, I decided to kick off with a 30 day writing challenge (it has its own dedicated menu header). I stayed true to the challenge for 20 odd consecutive days before being rudely interrupted by DRESS syndrome- a hypersensitive reaction to a rheumatoid arthritis medication I was on which had the potential to put a permanent stop to further posts! Anyway, once that cleared up, I was grateful to be alive and I made up for the shortfall on the 30 day writing challenge, with a renewed perspective on what challenge means.

Aside from my 30 day  writing challenge, the other period of prolific posting here was via the Writing 101 assignments which were a great way to stretch myself, particularly in writing about my life (e.g. favourite childhood meal, house I lived in when I was 12). I found it quite confronting to delve into my past for a story, but those posts are amongst my favourites. Writing 101 was a great way to engage with other bloggers and become a part of a community that spans many countries, cultures, customs and communication styles. Interestingly, looking at my “top” posts based on likes, it is my non-fiction posts that feature in the top 5- clearly truth and authenticity resonate with readers, and what greater truth is there than sharing what we have known and experienced?

It has been really lovely to know that what I write is being read by people, and sometimes even receiving a like or comment and engagement in further discussion. Thank you if you are reading this now, and thank you if you have read any of what I have previously written- it is an honour, as there is so much competing for our attention online and in real life, so to have a splice of your time  wherever in the world you are means a lot to me. Apparently the day and time that means the most for readers of this blog is Sunday 11:00 UTC/GMT + 10hours, happy hour here according to the WordPress stats.

Over the past year, where my days have largely been dictated by the whims of my now 13.5 month old baby (more toddler now, but he’ll always be my baby), the majority of reading I have done has in fact been blog posts through the growing number of blogs that pop up in my reader. Just ask the librarian at my local library- I usually walk in with a stack of well intentioned books that I return late, unread. The librarian normally looks at the stack, looks at my pram, looks back at me, and nods in understanding, waiving the late fee. I have fond memories of reading blogs when awake at 2am, 3 am, 4am during the sleepless baby phase. Some posts would make me laugh, others would make me think and probably infiltrated my brief dreams, no doubt inspiring me to continue blogging and connecting with my fellow bloggers.

Here are some interesting numbers:

365 days that 10000hoursleft has existed

55 posts (including this)

71 followers– four of whom I know personally, probably about 10 that are bots, and the rest other bloggers who follow my work in progress

5 top posts at time of writing this, plus a couple of wild card entries which didn’t get much of a look in when first published:

1. A Year of Sunrai

2. House Sitting Ducks

3. Memories in a Meal

4. That Place

5. Writer’s Manifesto

Wild Card Poem- Moonrise

Wild Card Story- Intermission: Kathleen

1.5 hours: typical time spent per post- conception, writing, editing, publishing, then editing agian cause I didn’t edit well the first time. Technically I should rename my blog 9917.5hoursleft.wordpress.com

1 birthday wish: more engagement in the comments section, particularly constructive feedback on writing – but I guess I may need to work on inspiring that!


Planting the Seed of a Novel

At the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, I had a lovely period of about 3 months in between jobs, having been made redundant from one, and not feeling urgency to start looking for the next. In that time, I enrolled in an online writing course “Unlocking Creativity” with The Writers’ Studio and immersed myself into the life of a writer, a full time writer.

Three interconnected pieces I wrote as part of that course have stuck with me,  inspiring the novel I am working on (currently on the 2nd draft of my novel, through the same writing school). The pieces were a response to a prompt to write a scene where the  character was facing the following predicaments: pressure, worst nightmare, challenge. I will from time to time post scenes and insights I’d like to share on the writing process, but to launch the new menu item on my blog,  here are those three scenes, seeds of a story that is currently in the germination stage. Incidentally, the dates indicate I didn’t have much happening on valentine’s day 2011. Continue reading

That Place


You spend all your younger years wishing for a way out. When that way out comes, you find other ways to be trapped, and again wish for a way out. Those years are littered with all sorts of real, tangible fears. The bogeyman comes with all his extended family. So frightening you can’t bring yourself to name them. Years go by and some kind of strange, stubborn hope has got you through it, and you find a way out again. Sighing, you mark it as the beginning.

This is finally the life that you wished for.

You meet new people, you see new places, and most significantly, you begin to meet yourself.

You tell yourself that this is happiness.


Being free of those unspeakable fears.


Living in a time and place where you can speak your mind and not be concerned about any kind of repercussion.

You ask yourself- is this what it means to be happy?

You continue on this journey.

Drifting further away from those unspeakable fears, yet not forgetting, for they linger in the furthest recesses of your mind, ready to pounce when you let down your guard.

Watch out!

This is your fear now. A fear of all the happiness you have found being pulled from under you, transporting you back to

that place.


Prompt from Writing 101 Day 17. Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.