Pictures from My Garden…

Here are some pictures from my garden a week ago… enjoy! syc

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Goodbye, Claudia…

Last Friday, 15th June 2018, we had to say goodbye to our little Claudia, our little grey one, one of our pet gerbils. It is very sad but it had to be done.

She had some sort of growth or tumor in her belly and was not getting better after a week of meds from the vet. She was simply sleeping all day, waking only to eat a little and drink a little. Even though her belly was big, you could feel her bones through her fur, and she laid absolutely still when you held her, which is most unusual for rodents. Given that she was a good 2 years and 10 months old, the vet suggested it was time to let her go and we agreed. (Gerbils have a lifespan of 3 to 4 years only.)

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Left: Claudia, having fun in a tissue box, with her sister, Belle, behind her, October 2015. Top Right: All three of them, Claudia, Jules and Belle, June 2016. Bottom Right: Claudia sharing dried bread with Jules,  May 2018.

Goodbye, Claudia. Hope you are having fun in gerbil heaven.

Your sister, Jules, the only one left of the original three, is still going strong and we hope she will be with us for a bit longer.

Click here to see all three of them when we first got them.

syc

1st Writers’ Retreat…

In April, i went for my first writers’ retreat and got to write an article for it in our SCBWI (Society for Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators) Swiss Chapter Newsletter. Here it is with some accompanying pictures:

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My first Writer’s Retreat with some fabulous fellow-creatives was definitely an inspiration and encouragement to keep on writing.

The place was a quaint little Swiss hotel, run by some lovely people, who catered to all our needs. And because SCBWI was already there before, it felt just a tiny bit like family. The rooms were simple but clean and very nice. I love the sense of history in the place, especially the beautiful landing with its vintage furniture, which joins the two wings. The food was excellent, it took some willpower not to overeat.

The weather was amazingly inviting, sunny and bright all weekend, which made the gorgeous views even more spectacular; making the mountains and lake really sing.

Elisabeth and Monika have done superbly, finding this truly stunning place.

Have I used enough superlatives to tempt you to come for the next one yet? No?

Well, here’s more.

1stwritersretreat2018aI did not tell many people I was going for a writer’s retreat. I mean, what would they think? “Can’t you just write anywhere?” That’s what we hear most often about a writer’s work, isn’t it? “Oh, all you need is a desk, just sit and write, correct?”

On the one hand, that may be true, to a certain extent. But on the other hand, there is something to be said about having someone else, sitting across from you, facing similar struggles, trying to get that bestseller from brain to paper – and it’s called camaraderie or some prefer community.

We helped each other solve plot problems, we encouraged each other, giving constructive feedback, we shared our creative pains and we took refreshing walks which led to unexpected little adventures (one involving a little black lamb – go ask the participants for details).

All that sharing gave me a new perspective and insight into my craft, which I would, otherwise, not have gained if I just sat at my own desk all the time. I am so glad I took this opportunity to be with and hear from other creatives.

To quote The Write Practice, “We need each other. We need encouragement and kindness as we struggle against the forces of unkindness in this world, and the worlds we imagine. We need community like we need cold, refreshing water on a hot, summer day.”

So thank you all for being such an awesome community. See you at the next event.

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So what do you think of my article?

Do you write? If you write for children, or are thinking of diving into the world of children’s books, i highly recommend joining a community like SCBWI!

syc