conversations at dusk

Tonight the sun will set an hour later which can only mean one thing – summer beckons. I do love summertime dusk; lazying on the verandah before the mozzies come to visit, lingering for an extra five minutes before I get dinner started. I’ve been unintentionally surrounding myself with hues of buttery yellow; roses now wilted, Moroccan vases, wooden beads – an attempt at distraction from the ever-increasing amount of work that needs to be done.

Stepping away from the desk is easy, forgetting about all those stories is not. Sometimes if I’m struggling to write I’ll go for a walk or have a shower or immerse myself in mundane housework and most of the time, the words come. They creep in one at a time and join together effortlessly, sentences become finished pieces and I tick another story off the list.

It’s only in the past few weeks that I’ve recognised a distinct rhythm to the way that I work. A few months ago I wrote best at night, in the quiet dark that settled after the children were tucked up in bed. Now, as the days grow longer I find that mornings and early afternoons are best; short breaks between long stints a necessity. Sometimes it will take me days to find the essence of the story and in those times I’m like the struggling artist, without the stereotypical cigarettes and wine.

I take comfort in knowing that the story always gets finished but I’m unashamedly attached to my words. Sending each story on to the editor requires a deep inhalation and a few lingering concerns. I can choose my words and dictate the flow but I can never control the editing process nor can I predict how the reader will approach the story. With that in mind I try to write like I talk; conversational and friendly; simple words that express ideas succinctly.

Years ago a friend of mine gave me the sweetest compliment about my work. “When I was reading it was like you were talking to me, like I was listening to you chat about this and that. Weird but lovely.”

I suppose that’s what I hope for you when you visit this space. That you’re listening to me talk about work and home and family while you sip your tea or coffee or wine. Perhaps this is the best time to thank you for all your beautiful comments; essential for a good conversation and always received with much gratitude.

I hope your Sunday dusk is filled with warm words…x

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Showing 31 comments
  • Claire
    Reply

    I wish I was your friend in real life, Jodi. I hope that doesn't sound weird. I have lots of lovely friends but I just like you a lot too. Happy days!

  • HayleyR
    Reply

    Your blog is one of my favourites because of the way you write. Your worlds are inspiring and paint a beautiful picture of yours and your families life. Xx

  • Jesi Langdale-Anderson
    Reply

    It is a Saturday night as I type this here in Seattle and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing about your life and work. It is very important that in this vast anonymous world (online and in 'real life') we feel connected to each other in the most simple of ways. Mulling over tea and biscuits, walks in the countryside with friends, these are all things that I feel have been slowly fading away in our everyday experiences as a society. It's nice to have someone who is pushing away from that and getting back into a rhythm of sharing and community, even if it's thousands of miles of distance between those communities. Thank you Jodi.

  • Nikki Fisher
    Reply

    Jodi as a 'fellow' (what is the feminine word for that?) writer and mama your writing about your work process bring me great comfort. I don't know about you but sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking I am the only writer who grapples with finding the words, when really I know the grapple is all part of the process. When I look back to my writing life before children I think what did I do with all that time?! I meant to ask too how you went with all the stories you had due just before Che's birthday? I am sure they are all long ago filed and hopefully with minimal stress x

  • kirst
    Reply

    where do you publish your stories, it would be nice to read them.

  • Coryann
    Reply

    I echo what you friend said about your writing. It truly does feel like we're having a conversation when I read your words. Thanks for talking with me ; )

  • Lisa
    Reply

    Hearing your strategies for writing inspire me. I, too, am a writer in a sense. In this season of my life I am a full-time paid PhD student working (or attempting to work) towards producing a very substantial writing piece. Amidst the busyness of life and part-time work I do find it difficult to sit down and let the words flow. In those tiny spaces I have had where I find myself writing with ease, it reminds me of how therapeutic those words really can be. I do love visiting your "space". lisa xx

  • Kylie Thévenau
    Reply

    just thanks x

  • Natalie
    Reply

    Your words are always so lovely to read, and your space, the nicest place to come with a cup of tea in a quite moment. Yes, it is like we are sitting down having a conversation. Its almost 6pm and the sun is shining bright….got to love daylight saving. (Except when trying to put the children to bed!) x

  • Mother Down Under
    Reply

    I do exactly that…sit back and sip my coffee or my tea and enjoy your words and pictures.
    I feel those moments of escaping into other people's…I consider them friends really…lives and worlds helps me to be more centred in my own life and world.
    It reassures me somehow.

    Anyway, thank you for keeping up the conversation!

  • A little bit Country
    Reply

    I've only recently found your blog and I love it. To curl up on the sofa, laptop on knees, large cup of tea (on a saucer) and immerse myself in your words and photos – bliss…………

  • Katrina (capturing moments)
    Reply

    You really do have a gift Jodi. X

  • fritha strickland
    Reply

    Jodi its true! I was recommended your blog to read when Wilf was only weeks old. And as I sat up in bed for the 5th or 6th time at 4am in the morning when all the world was sleeping and I was nursing a new baby (that took 45mins to feed in those days!) I would read back through your blog and your beautiful pictures and it was like you were just telling me little stories. You have a gift for sure xx

  • Rachel
    Reply

    As a fairly new reader here, I would like to say thank you for your beautiful words and pictures. They are magical in a way and make me very happy when I find you have a new post. You are wonderfully talented.

  • jo
    Reply

    i love visiting here. its peaceful and comforting and such good company and definitely comes across like you are chatting to us all.

  • MamaEm
    Reply

    We forgot about daylight savings and only realised when we started to feel out of sync with what was happening around us … and not until 5:15pm (no, wait 6:15 pm). This is my favourite online place to visit and I pop in most days because it is like visiting with a friend (albeit one I can visit in any state of dress and while my little one naps in the room down the hall and while the laundry is on and the detritus of the day drifts around me ;)) I echo the first comment! x

  • Maxabella
    Reply

    Its always such a pleasure. I do feel like we chat, one blog to another. Weird, but true. x

  • Tahnee
    Reply

    that's exactly how I read you jodi. though we have never met, I still hear your voice. weird, but true, indeed x

  • Yellow Finch Designs
    Reply

    your friend is right, your writing does seem to talk to the reader.

    i know that feeling when the words slowly trickle into your mind. that's when i usually begin to dash about to find paper and pen!

  • karin
    Reply

    as a writer myself, i know exactly the walking-, showering- and doing-the-dishes-moments, but also oh so well the editing-/approaching-thing. but your friend is right. reading your blog is like listening to you talking. that's why i come back almost every day since i spotted you at the sling diaries.

  • Greer
    Reply

    Your writing is beautiful and so accessible. I love visiting you here x

  • Tania
    Reply

    I love your writing and always feel a sense of refreshed calm having visited. Your photos are always incredible and lend a peaceful, beautiful feel your blog.

  • Cherie @ raising master Max
    Reply

    What I love most is that you're not even really aware of the impact that your beautiful words have on others; for me, I had to find a way to read more of them {& that's how I found Little One magazine – in this pursuit of more of your words}.

    I love how humble you come across; through all of these words.

    So I guess this is a reader telling you how your words are interpreted; I hope not too many of your words are edited, I can't imagine them needing to be.

    Keep writing, you're an artist. I do hope you know this.

    x

  • Liv Lundelius
    Reply

    Hooray for summer! It's great that you can structure your day in a way that suits you.

  • Anna @ green tea n toast
    Reply

    Beautiful words Jodi. As always. x

  • jody
    Reply

    When I read your words I feel as though you are talking to me, always. And I think if we were neighbours we would be good friends. xx jody

  • MANDY
    Reply

    Your words are always beautiful Jodi, your friend is so right X

  • Lady Cordelia
    Reply

    Just looking back on your posts for the last 20 minutes.
    really, truly one of those blogs that is worth it.
    xoxo

  • Pink Ronnie
    Reply

    I second what everybody else has said – you truly do write beautifully. What a wonderful gift you have.
    Funnily enough, I can relate to that nervous feeling you have before sending off a piece to an editor. I feel the same way when I send off a design concept to a client for review. You never really know how they'll respond or what changes they come back with.
    Thanks also for your lovely email – it's late now but I'll write back tomorrow. 🙂
    Ronnie xo

  • takeshapefitness
    Reply

    I can't wait for summer! Lovely roses

  • Reply

    I love your space here Jodi. It's calming, warm and filled with love. And although I don't know you personally, I imagine it's just what you and your home are like. xx

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