2010 continues ...

During that earlier part of 2010, I took Long Service Leave; my third one. I'm not the sort of person who makes sensible decisions about accruing leave for retirement. As soon as I'm within 'sniffing distance' I'm already filling out the forms and planning what I will do. Making sensible decisions doesn't seem to be my forte as you may well be sensing by now. My logic runs along the lines of 'what if I die before I ever get to use my LSL? What a waste that would be when I could be kicking up my heels, rather than my feet!' In fact, I have been fairly conservative in the use of those paid holidays. I have used them to live out the life of a writer, with an income. That has been an important psychological move on my part, trying out a test run of the life I want. So, 2010 was no different. I finished my second novel, worked on my thesis, and set up daily routines. It was during this time that LC and I made contact and I also stepped up my practice of yoga. The return to teaching jarred the smooth running of what I considered now to be my right livelihood and I remember feeling sad that I was leaving my characters behind, stored in the cupboard of my desk. Rupert, the beautiful man of my first novel had been there for quite a while. I love that man and I felt sad that nobody else was getting to love him too. He tapped patiently on that cupboard door.  During a pause in the working day one Friday (yes, I'm sure it would have been a Friday because it's often when I am most inspired), I saw a competition advertised in a writers' magazine, with the prize being a publishing contract for the successful novel. What did I have to lose? I was already familiar with the returned envelopes in the post if you recall so, what was another one? I lifted Rupert, Neti and Athena out of the cupboard, printed off a new copy to specifications, kissed the envelope for good luck, got back to the business of teaching, and promptly forgot about it. That is, until ...

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AuthorAmanda Apthorpe