Home. Home. HOME. Home after one year of travelling a country in a different hemisphere. They say home is where the heart is and for the last year, my heart has been on the road, filled with red dirt and glittering oceans. While I was in the Land Down Under, I had the glorious good fortune to meet up with some of my favourite Australian authors and bloggers: Mandee, Jenna (the three of us taking in a ridiculously cheesy but hilarious ghost walk around Manly Quarantine Station), Jess, Jessica and Chachic. I also got to catch up with Melina Marchetta in Sydney a few times, always a pleasure, and meet the excellent Leanne Hall (author of This is Shyness and Queen of the Night) and ate lots of Italian food. It’s going to be very hard to readjust. But I’m here and I’m happy and I have to readjust and it’s exciting. New slate. It’s amazing how introspective you get when you’ve got a 24 hour flight. Somewhere between Melbourne and Singapore, I was thinking about what I was going to do when I get back. Not jobs and stuff… there’s no decisions that needs to be made there as I’m a big girl and understand that I can’t live off smiles, words and wishful thinking. Dammit. But I was thinking more about my reading, my blog and, most importantly, my own writing. With my reading, it was pretty easy. While I was travelling, I probably read about three books because I didn’t have the time to sit down and read. There was always something going on and something to do. Now I’m home it seems I can and I will read all the books that I missed while I was on the road. Any recommendations? With my blog… well, it was a harder decision. Firstly, a lot of my friends, the people who were around when I started blogging and made me love every minute of it, are no longer blogging. Which is extremely sad not just for me, but for the whole YA community because they were a well-needed injection of fun and innovation into the whole scene. Secondly, in the months before I left I got to the stage, for whatever reason, that I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore, it felt like a chore and I don’t want to feel like that again. But I did miss it. I missed having a small little part of the YA community, talking about the genre in my own weird (but hopefully wonderful) way to anyone who happened to be listening. I missed reading books from the most diverse, challenging and constantly changing genre and authors out there. And I felt it would be a shame to let all the hard work and all the effort I put into WtOC to go to waste. And coming home, tired and not having showered, to an unexpected package of awesome sounding books from Oneworld Publishing kind of prodded me into the decision of starting blogging again.Maybe not as intensively as I was before, maybe a mixture of writing and reading, maybe not as many interviews as before. But I’m going to do it for fun, do it for me and not worry if I don’t post something for a week or even a fortnight. With my writing. Hm. I’ve discussed my writing on this blog a few times now, something I still can’t believe. I’ve always been shy about my writing because it sounds so cliché… a twenty something struggling writer? Please. But I’m getting better and I think it’s because I’m starting to see myself as a serious writer now as opposed to someone who just does it as a hobby. I won’t go into the whole “I tried to get an agent and I got so far but fell at the last hurdle when agents decided that they loved it but don’t feel confident they could get a publisher to buy it because yada yada yadaaa” thing because well, basically that’s the gist of it. And it was annoying because there was nothing I could do it about that. It was nothing I could change save sending letters to publishers begging them to take me on…which, you’ll be pleased to know, I did not do… no matter how tempting. So I’ve made the decision to truly make an effort at self-publishing my manuscript, something I’ve been dithering about for about three years. I’ll write a more indepth post about it along the line but it’s something that’s very much in the works. It’ll be slow and it’ll be hard but I’m excited and positive. So that’s where I am at the moment. It feels overwhelming to be back… but it feels good. It feel great to be back at my laptop, back to writing.