Posts from — August 2013

Sweet Little Something 10

August 30, 2013

Friday ritual – a wordless post: a personal photograph that captures a moment from the week. One photograph from Hannah, in the Southern Hemisphere and one from Ria, in the Northern Hemisphere.

And if the mood strikes, leave a “Haikument” in comments inspired by one of these photos. We’ve had some fantastic ones! Check them out here and here. No poetry degree required! You can use the  5/7/5 syllable count rule if you like, or create something unique. If you want to find out more about Haiku (and who doesn’t?), check this out. Thanks, always, for any comments you leave on forkandfiction.com. We love hearing from you!

From Hannah:

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From Ria:

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In: From Hannah, From Ria, Sweet Little Something

Routine 4

August 24, 2013

Order.

“Order”

 

Routine: ahhh, how I love thee. And loathe thee. In the world of kids and writing (also known as chaos?!) routine is one of those things you absolutely need and can come to resent.We’ve been moving so much the last few years I have been craving routine like a person living on fast food for every meal – fast life, fast food, get it? I mean, it’s been a blast, at times, don’t get me wrong, but a person needs some healthy stuff every now and then. So, once we settled ourselves on a country to live in (a good place to start I thought) then it was all about getting our scattered lives into order.

 

I’m concerned, right about now, that a post about routine is pretty unsexy. How can I make something so mundane blog-worthy? Repeat the fact that it is important? That a disordered life feels like a day without a vegetable? Kinda crazy, potentially fun but just plain wrong? What I have come to notice about a routine, which is getting me pretty pumped these days, is that it can give rise to awesome productivity. I hadn’t quite expected that and I’m thrilled it’s turning out this way. When I got my three days a week of childcare sorted out* I wasn’t sure I’d be productive during them or if I’d fall asleep in the library (B2 is still not keen on sleeping; she prefers that we didn’t either). Perhaps I would stare at the wall hopelessly or develop a youtube watching habit? All possible. But, so far, none of those things have happened and – I know this is not a unchanging situation because it just doesn’t work like that but – writing + routine is treating me very, very well. I’m writing hard and fast, sometimes feeling as though I am sprinting to keep up with myself, racing towards my deadline before I have to leap into the car and head back home to the babettes. Some days I am plain exhausted when I get home, realizing I didn’t have any lunch and perhaps drinking water would be a good idea?! I’ve never worked so furiously before and all I can say is – it’s all because of the routine. Unsexy, unglamorous routine.

 

But can creativity thrive in a strictly routined eco-system? Will it flower and then die? How to sustain it? Great questions! (Yes, I know, I posed them myself – hence, they are great questions. See?)

[Read more →]

In: From Hannah, Kids and Parenting, Writing

Sweet Little Something 6

August 23, 2013

Friday ritual – a wordless post: a personal photograph that captures a moment from the week. One photograph from Hannah, in the Southern Hemisphere and one from Ria, in the Northern Hemisphere.

And if the mood strikes, leave a “Haikument” in comments inspired by one of these photos. We’ve had some fantastic ones! Check them out here and here. No poetry degree required! You can use the  5/7/5 syllable count rule if you like, or create something unique. If you want to find out more about Haiku (and who doesn’t?), check this out. Thanks, always, for any comments you leave on forkandfiction.com. We love hearing from you!

From Hannah:

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From Ria:

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In: From Hannah, From Ria, Sweet Little Something

Play Your Heart Out 2

August 21, 2013

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So, this piano. That phrase with the heart in it. I know we’re all familiar with that phrase, but it wasn’t until this weekend that I actually thought about it, in the same way you might study a salad for all its parts. Okay, in the way I would study a salad for all its parts.

It got me thinking (and Little e playing). I wondered about the ratio of adults to children who sat down at the piano. I can only guess that more of the latter do (or am I being pessimistic?). Which got me thinking about something else: optimism.

[Read more →]

In: From Ria, Kids and Parenting, Writing

Dim Sum Favourites 4

August 17, 2013

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We heart dim sum. If the Sunday tradition of generations before us was the good old roast dinner then for our little family it is most definitely family yum cha. It’s not that I have anything against a roast dinner. The potatoes with bellies full of steam, the slick of gravy, the sweet stick of kumara against your teeth…? Hey, I’m a huge fan! But not on a Sunday when I feel like cooking and cleaning up that enormous oven tray (that never fits in the sink) about as much as I feel like doing my tax returns.

On our Sundays off we toddle, happy as pancakes, to our local yum cha restaurant where fish and lobster bob along in their tanks unaware of their fate; where the noise is palpable – everyone talking at once, waiters singing the names of their dishes: “Steamed pork bun! Prawn rice roll!” and our two girls can smack plastic chopsticks against the table. It’s a relief to be somewhere where my kids aren’t the loudest things in the room and mess is happily tolerated. Going to dim sum reminds me of living in Macau, kiddie-free times,where my husband and I ordered diet cokes with our fried food and discussed the latest pub gossip, work, or details of our (then) upcoming wedding.

One of our favourite picture books is by author Grace Lin, called Dim Sum for Everyone. It’s simple and brightly coloured, a description of each family member’s favourite dim sum dishes including pork buns, prawns and turnip cakes. The inside covers have pictures of different dim sum dishes and paraphenalia like chopsticks and bok choy, with chinese and English translations. It’s about as delightful as dim sum itself and it inspired me, on our most recent dim sum trip, to take some photos of our family favourites. [Read more →]

In: Food, From Hannah, Kids and Parenting