• Cate

Time for a Break?

Did I say last time that I wasn’t keeping up with my blogging schedule? Did I say that I had started trying to set some priorities?


Who was I trying to fool?

Mostly myself, I guess.

...in my dreams...

Have you ever heard the saying about what is urgent is seldom important? I somehow managed to reach the stage where I had some important things that had become urgent as well. This resulted in my recent school holidays being turned into a race to finalise a course I (or two) I was presenting for the Writers Centre on the last weekend of the break, whilst still recovering from a rather full on term. I was also taking a much needed trip to visit with my gorgeous family in Queensland in the middle of it, and slipping in a school visit while I was there.

Writing? Not so much. Not fiction, anyway... nor, as may be obvious, my blog(s).

I will say, though, that the opportunity to work with other writers at different stages of their journey is always inspiring, so I do not, in any shape or form, have anything negative to say about the days I spent prettying up my notes for the courses I was presenting.

And I love prettying up notes!

Recently, I’ve been converted to using Google Docs as a workspace for putting things together. I started using it at school for collaborative documents, but discovered the joy of a platform I can use on my desktop computer (which is Linux) and my laptop (which is Windows), and I can pull up a document wherever I am – so long as I have access to wifi.

Once finished I can then export to various other formats, such as PDF or Powerpoint.

... slide from one of my presentations...

I’m not using it for my stories at this stage – most of that happens on my laptop in Word at present – but the course notes and presentations were easily put together, then modified and exported into attractive documents with some really lovely fonts. I also love how quick and easy it is to search for and incorporate free-to-use images.

I had fun (whilst working my butt off) redesigning the presentation of Characters that Count for a young audience, finishing off Descriptions that Delight, and taking the notes I had for To Plot or Not To Plot and sculpting them into the course I wanted to present.

I already knew that Characters that Count was on the right track, as I had presented that to an adult crowd at the Writers Centre the year before with some success, but had taken away from the feedback that the course notes (good old Powerpoint Notes) were too difficult to read, so I had already rewritten the course notes and turned them into a little work booklet. I just needed to tighten up the presentation and consider the breakdown of the day to suit kids aged 9 to 11. I was also aware that this was Day 4 of a four day camp for them, so I wanted to keep it light and fun.

The second course, directed once more at grown-ups, and born of a request from one of the course participants the year before, I had already completed most of the course notes for, but just needed to transfer them to Docs, tidy them up and include some activity pages to create a work book.