The Joy of a Fireplace

There is something magical about having an open fireplace. The dancing of flames, the crackling and popping of wood being gradually eaten away, and the soft ebbing glow of coals dying in the darkness of a house in the claws of winter.

The warmth that a fire breathes is not just a warmth you can feel deep into your skin, but it’s also a warmth that chases away loneliness and pain. Something about having a fire going in my house keeps at bay all the things dark nights can sometimes bring about. It is a truly marvelous things, and I highly enjoy the wonderful pleasure of having an open fireplace.

It is a lot of work – I will admit to that.
Buying wood, chopping wood, constantly cleaning ash. It takes a good solid forty-five minutes to get everything ready before I can even start the fire.

That’s not mentioning the amount of time I spent in Summer preparing for Winter. I spent many hours preparing boxes, upon boxes of gathered sticks to use as kinderling and I am VERY glad I did. I have needed all of them to keep me going.

But you know what, when I walk into my shed and pick up another box I prepared in Summer, I smile to myself, so happy that I took the time and effort to be ready for the Winter.

I am sure it will not be forever. Perhaps someday I might get to busy to manage a fireplace – who knows – part of me actually hopes that will happen. But for now, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to enjoy such a simple, fulfilling pleasure that brings me so much joy.

Midnight. The fire is left to slowly fade. The cat is all that walks in the flickering light.

From the Past to the Present

From the Past to the Present

I want to read you all something I found today while sorting through my journals:  

I really am just so lost,

And it is really awful.

I just want this year, this horrible, horrible year to bring some happiness by the end of it.

I’ll keep stumbling forward in the dark.

I don’t know the way, but I’ll keep stumbling.

I really don’t have any other choice. 

This journal ends as it begins, with me being lost in a lonely abyss of despair. 

Nothing changes. 

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 3/7/2017

Several months later I began a new journal in a NASA themed notebook – 29th of December 2017. This is a quote from the first page.

It is amazing to be able to start this journal off so very different from all other journals that have ever come before…

Yes – the House is mine (sorta).

But I HAVE A HOUSE to live in and to make my own, and I am so, so happy.

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 29/12/2017

Change. Change happened. Indeed, the small journal that sits between the 7th month of 2017 and the 12th month is packed with a considerable amount of content. I was rapidly reaching the end of my tether, but without realising it, I was also spinning towards a resolution I could not see.

My journal’s are a fascinating journey – some are very repetitive – but others are absolute gems into my life, and frankly, the life of my family. There are things in them that I have entirely forgotten about – events that lead into other enormous, earth-shattering events (such as my older brother’s heart attack). I started writing about my brother’s symptoms THREE YEARS before he had his heart attack. I had no idea I started writing about his symptoms so early. That just…that just freaks me out…
There are car-crashes, cars being stolen, trees falling on the house, pets dying, my siblings going on dates, camping trips, me betting with my sister who will get married first (she owes me 50 bucks!).  


Have you ever wondered what your teenage self would say to you?
You know, like those letters that sometimes pop up on the internet:
Sixteen-year-old me writes a letter to thirty-year-old-me” 
Well – having a journal is a little bit like that. 


What captured me tonight was a journal from 2004 – when I would have been fifteen. I started reading this journal because I expected something a lot more depressing, following 2003 – a very difficult year upon which I left face-to-face school, and went on anti-antidepressants, and if it wasn’t for my journals, I would have NO recollection of 2003 due to those drugs.  So, what did I discover from 2004, after my mother pulled me off Zoloft, due to its…ah…side-effects? I discovered a brilliant, articulated teenage girl who loved God. 
I know this might sound a bit…awful to say about myself…but for the longest time, I have had a very poor opinion of teenage me. I felt I caused immense amount of strife for my family, and I have been deeply ashamed. 
So, reading back a journal and discovering a teenager full of such happiness, such life, such enthusiasm and love  for her family just fills me with gratitude for that young girl. 
That was me – once upon a time – and if that was me once upon a time, doesn’t that mean that is still me now? 

I’ll leave you with some wisdom from fifteen-year-old me: 

You are a beautiful young lady. Smart and intelligent. 
No matter what, never give up.
You will get somewhere in this world.

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 16/12/04

Winter Kisses

I’ll admit – I am in a bit of a procrastination streak at the moment. I am avoiding sitting down to rework Book 3: Messengers – goodness – I don’t even think that will be the title anymore. I am just that unsure about the entire book now.
It isn’t that I don’t like the book, I think it’s totally fine, I just think it needs work and I’m just…dreading having to think about all that work. Every time I visit the cafe, ready for a ‘session’ in which to tackle this enormous task I just sort of think ‘NAHHHHHHH’ – I’ll just do this other book that no one will ever read. ^^;

Then when I get home, having promised I’ll work on the Book I just find other things to do.

Ah well, I know this has happened almost every time I’ve done a book so I’m not too worried. Eventually the whole terror of the situation will have settled and I’ll have rethought the book in my mind. Then I’ll be able to craft it all over again. It’ll be a much stronger story when I’m done. I don’t like writing something I regret later. ^_^

Besides avoiding Book 3 – editing on Book 2 of Northlands Rebellion has begun, and it’s already very exciting. Elle always has this way of bringing out a diamond.

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Aislinn didn’t think much of  being outside, apparently. 

There has been gardening to do, whenever the weather has permitted it. While I am a huge fan of the winter months, I am not overly fond of being cold, but I am learning the wonders of a raincoat.

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On the winter solstice (21st of June) I did a practice run for my Burning of the Yule Log that I am having with my family this Sunday. Yes. I know – it’s not Christmas – but everything is upside down in Australia. You might also be wondering? Why are you burning a Yule Log Kylie?
I’m a romantic, fantasy author, okay, I think old fashioned traditional things are just lovely. Also it’s an excuse to have my family over – and I finally have an open fire place to do something like this in.

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I made this to go on my fireplace. It needs a little bucket to hang from the hook still, and for my Dad to hang it up. I’ve got great plans for some signs in the garden too. I can’t wait to start on them.

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What I have also been doing is repainting these beautiful old gnome’s left in my garden. I started on this adorable house. I first had to sand back the crusted paint as much as I could – which took a lot more effort than I thought.

This is the final result. I have to admit, I’m really, really happy with how it turned out. It turned out better than I thought it would. It gave it a new lease of life. And yes, I did paint the gnome as a Red Shirt from StarTrek. He’s got a little StarTrek symbol on his hat.

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There was also this concrete duck that had lost its beak and one of its feet. I had contemplated what to do with it for awhile. Finally I decided to just rework the entire duck into…a DRAGON.

It is now Dragon-Duck. I’ll give it a good paint and a varnish and add it to my growing collection of dragons in my yard.

So, what else has been happening?
Well – I have some crows? Yeah…two crows are nesting in one of the trees out the back. One day I was sitting at my kitchen table, working away, and I hear this ‘Tap, Tap, Tap’ at the window. I turn around and there is this crow, staring at me through the kitchen window. It taps several more times, as if indicating the empty cat food bowel just sitting in front of it through the window.
I started laughing.
I got up, got out some cat food (because yes, you can feed that to crows) opened my door and set a plate out, sat down next to the crow as it happily gobbled away.

The next day it came back. “Tap. Tap. Tap.”

I looked up. Oh. Two crows! I have two crows! One was busily looking around for twigs to make a nest and the other was once more demanding food.

Thus for the past few days, like clockwork, I get a “Tap. Tap. Tap.” On my living room window.

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I do believe they’ve made a nest in the tree where I park my car. So I hope they don’t get to territorial when Mrs. Crow has her babies – or I at least hope they know who I am.

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And life continues to slowly move forward here in the Writer’s Cottage. I’ll keep you updated on the next books. Thanks for stopping by.
Keep well,
Best wishes,
Kylie