I’m madly editing my women’s ficition novel (Take a Chance on Me) manuscript right now… riding the wild donkey as the inspirational Goddess Leonie calls it. And I am doing some serious rewriting of one of my main character’s journeys. In particular, I’m looking at her motivation and her passions. And it prompted me to think about those life changing moments that our characters need to have, as well as my own. I stumbled across someone’s list on the intermawebby thing where he listed his top 101 life changing moments. I don’t have time to do 101 (I have a wild donkey to ride), but I thought I’d throw out 25 to ponder.
25 Life Changing Moments (in no particular order or chronological plan)
- Being shortlisted for the Text Prize
- Winning One Book Many Brisbanes
- Attending my first dogger sale (horse meat auction sale) and spontaneously saving four horses
- Starting my own horse rescue charity (Charlie’s Angels Horse Rescue Inc.)
- Having ankle surgery
- Meeting my husband as he rushed into Tongue and Groove cafe in West End, late for our first date after we met online
- Becoming a teacher
- Quitting teaching, turning to unemployment and writing my first novel
- Meeting Hercules, my first horse and the subject of my memoir, Webs of Light.
- Attending my first Woodford Folk Festival by myself, camping in a cow paddock in 40-degree heat, and going on to to write Woodford Virgins.
- Getting married to my love.
- Falling pregnant, having a miscarriage, falling pregnant again.
- Swimming with a mother humpback whale and her calf in Tonga in 2009
- Finding myself alone in Athens, with taxi cabs on impromptu strike, in searing hot temperatures, unable to speak Greek, pulling my luggage over cobbled roads and playing charades with Athenians to find out how to get to the airport.
- Getting my dog, Daisy, as a puppy and as a surprise gift from my boyfriend (now husband), forcing us to move out together for the first time so Daisy could be in a dog-appropriate home (and my sister/housemate didn’t kill any of us for having a puppy in a house with no fences, no prior permission to introduce a dog, and two cats living indoors).
- My cousin, Ken’s, death when I was 19. Being at the beside of my Nan when she passed away several years later.
- Meeting Justin, my first and most significant long-term relationship prior to meeting my husband.
- Breaking up with Justin and feeling the pain cleave through my chest until I was sure I would die. And, later, not dying.
- Swimming with wild dolphins in Bunbury, Western Australia.
- ‘Delivering’ my first foal, Leila, under a full moon at 4.30 in the morning, being splashed with amniotic fluid, wiping the fluid from her nostrils as she coughed repeatedly to clear her airways, and watching her perfect, perfect body spring to life on those long, long legs.
- Becoming an aunt for the first time (and the second time).
- Moving to rural Australia.
- Giving up full time work and working from home.
- Working hard in the corporate world, dealing with insane levels of stress and eventually giving myself chronic fatigue syndrome, which took years to recover from.
- Buying my first house.
So many more… but I do need to get back to that donkey.
I’d love to hear about some of your life changing moments.