Archive for December, 2007

Not much writing going on at present

I feel miserable.

A few days ago my daughter, who was home for Christmas, shared her head cold with my wife and then passed it on to me.

Thanks for sharing.

This is the first proper head cold I’ve had since retiring from teaching – over three and a half years ago. When I was still teaching I would come down with a sore throat or a cold every few weeks. I seemed to catch almost every bug getting around. The perils of working in a confined space with thirty little children. So I really shouldn’t complain – almost four cold free years is something not to be sneezed at, if you get my drift.

I should also be grateful that my infection was relatively mild compared with my wife and daughter. What has made it more uncomfortable this time round has been the extremely hot weather we have had recently. Christmas Day was lovely but ever since then the temperature has peaked at 40C or above every day. Yesterday it reached 44C ( that’s 111.2F for those that use that scale) under our front veranda. That’s hot. And the rest of the week is promising to be in the mid to high 30s.

With the heat and the head cold I haven’t felt like doing much writing, so I’ve given myself a few days off. I’ve watched plenty of television, including the Test Cricket from Melbourne (the Aussies won again – yeah). I’ve also started catching up on watching a few movies bought on DVD ages ago. I’ve also been trying to watch the many hours of television programmes stored on the hard drive recorder – before that gets out of hand.

Will get back to the writing soon.

Good writing.

My latest publication

It is always exciting to see one’s writing in print.

Last week I was an invited guest at the launch of my latest publication. This took the form of a brochure aimed at tourists in our district, specifically the town of Mannum which is about a half hour drive from home here in Murray Bridge, South Australia.

Earlier in the year I was approached by the members of the Friends of Mannum Walking Trails to produce a birding guide to be used by local people and visitors to the town. I readily agreed, thinking that the exposure of my writing to a totally new audience could lead to some interesting contacts. I didn’t realise how much work was involved in producing a double-sided A3 size brochure. Despite the work involved the final product is very pleasing (see the photo below). I took all the photos included on the brochure and wrote most of the text.

More details of the actual launch can be read on my blog called Trevor’s Birding.

The Mannum Bird Watching brochure I wrote

The Mannum Bird Watching brochure I wrote

How a little ant taught me about writing

From time to time we have these annoying little black ants invading our house. Fortunately they are not in huge numbers (unless we accidentally leave some tasty food out on the bench for too long). It it also just as well that they rarely bite. They are just a nuisance really.

This morning we were having a leisurely breakfast with our visiting daughter. She made us all a cooked breakfast; bless her. It was yummy. Half way through our meal she exclaimed, “What is that ant doing?”

On the window sill next me in our sun room there was a single ant about 4mm long. It was hauling along a dead moth at least four times its size. Backwards.

What is more, two other ants were sitting on the moth trying to eat it. What power and persistent against great odds. That’s not all – this amazing little ant proceeded to pull that moth over the edge of the window sill, underneath the ledge and then down the wall. On checking a while later the single ant had been joined by another five or six and the moth had been hauled back up the wall to the window sill again. All were having a feast. I hope that the original ant had his fair share to make up for all that amazing effort.

The power of one

We often underestimate the power and influence of the individual. A person empowered by an enduring passion can achieve great things. We also underestimate what we can achieve. I read some years ago – I forget the source – that we usually overestimate what we can achieve in a week or a month or even a year, but vastly underestimate what we can achieve in five years. The message to me in this is twofold: set bold goals and then persevere until the goals are achieved.

Ants and the craft of Writing

Many people would love to write a book. Some even try to write a book. Few actually finish writing a book. The task seems too daunting, too big, impossible. So they give up. That little ant didn’t let the size of the task stop him. He just went ahead and carried off that seemingly impossible task through sheer persistence and application.

If the writing tasks facing you seem too hard and your goals seems so far off, learn from that little ant. Stick at it, persevere and the writing will come, the tasks will be achieved. Break down the tasks into smaller, achievable goals. The little ant tackled the task one step at a time. Write that novel one sentence at a time. Set a goal of say, 500 words a day. In that way a hundred thousand word book does not seem so imposing a task.

Further reading:

Christmas Greetings

Christmas Greetings to all of my readers.

I trust you are having – or have had – a wonderful day.

We had a very quiet Christmas. Our daughter is home at present; we are always pleased to spend time with her because of the busy demands of her work. We had a delightful Christmas lunch after attending a lovely church service celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. I hope I am not being too biased in saying it was a lovely service. Our minister is currently on holidays and it was left to me to lead the service. There were plenty of complimentary comments afterwards, so I must have done something right. As a part of the service I shared the poem I published here yesterday.

We also entertained my mother-in-law for the day, as well as an elderly friend of hers. Jack has no family living nearby and we usually invite him as well. We didn’t overindulge as far as food is concerned. During a sleepy afternoon we watched several movies, something we don’t do often enough.

The weather here in South Australia was just perfect. The temperature hovered around 28C (82F) all day. It was a sunny, bright, cloudless day with a gentle breeze. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Poem #38: A Gift



A Gift

Come to the fields,
Hear a heavenly throng
Praise our wonderful Father
In rapturous song.

Come to the stable
A wonder to see –
A child in a manger,
A gift given free.

Come to the lakeside
With the sick and the lame,
Hear all of those needy
Call His precious name.

Come to a hillside –
No glamour, no gloss.
Watch the Man who has died
Upon that stark Cross.

Come to Jesus, Christ Jesus –
No tinsel, no tree.
Just Jesus, our saviour
His gift sets us free.

Copyright 2007 Trevor W. Hampel.

All rights reserved.