Seachange

seachange-seachange-856504_500_333There was a fun TV series called Seachange that aired in Australia years ago about a high-flying city lawyer, Laura Gibson, whose life falls apart. Her husband is indicted for fraud and has lost most of their savings, including their house. Not only that, but she discovers he’s been having an affair with her sister. Her son is expelled from school and the partnership she has neglected her family to attain is denied her because of the scandal over her husband’s shady dealings.

All of this happens in the space of 24 hours and sees her melting down faster than the ice cream she’s scoffing while obsessively watching a home movie of the family in happier times. She’s in her pyjamas with wild hair and a blank, shell-shocked expression, a total contrast to the sleek, sharp-eyed, buttoned down corporate look she sported only the day before.

The home video was taken at a beach house in the idyllic Pearl Bay and shows her husband urging her not to take the new job in a law firm. They’ll stay in Pearl Bay forever and be happy.

Suddenly, the need to be that family again drives her to buy that beach house, pack up her kids and her belongings and move to Pearl Bay, where she becomes the local magistrate. The change is far from idyllic and Laura’s struggles to navigate the mores of this extremely quirky town make her grow and change in ways she never anticipated. (And yes, that is David Wenham, who plays Faramir in Lord of the Rings). 

FrogRight now, I’m having my own mini seachange (thankfully without all of the nasty stuff poor Laura had to go through), taking a break from writing for a short time.

I’m doing what’s known as re-filling the well, taking classes on writing craft to stimulate my imagination, reading a lot of fiction, going to book launches, re-connecting with friends I haven’t seen for a while. I bought a new computer, a MacBook Pro, and I’m learning to use a new program (well, new to me) called Scrivener for writing books.

I’ve been researching background for a new idea and collaging the new story, which is actually work, but doesn’t feel like it. Along with all of this, I’ve been doing my best to live in the moment and spend quality time with my family without that nagging sense that any time not spent getting words on the page is wasted.

Of course, no writer can stop writing for long without getting twitchy. I’m itching to dive into the story, which is a very good sign! 

What about you? Have you ever taken a break from your everyday life? If you did, where would you go? What would you do? Remember, money is no object!

 

Comments

41 Comments

  • Mozette says:

    Seeing I live in Brisbane, I’d head off to Brunswick Heads. It’s a little seaside town on the North Coast of New South Wales I holiday at sometimes. I’ve been holidaying there since I was little – like around 4 years old – and I love it there as it’s the slow way of life that keeps you sane… and I wouldn’t want to come back home. 😀

  • Amy Conley says:

    I would go to New Zealand to be with the best friend I’ve never met. she get me to do things I’ve never done I would make her do things she is never done not that there’s many of those.

  • Amy Conley says:

    PS is sitting in front of my dresser right now and I can be packed and ready to go in less than 15 minutes.

  • Christina, congratulations on your new paths and your new stories! Can’t wait to see what comes out of this time of transformation. Mind you, I’ll miss your Regency romances. You are a shining light in the genre! Perhaps you’ll come back to us one day. I hope so.

    Wow, anywhere? Any budget? It’s quite hard to choose when the world is your oyster. I’d spend six months in London museum hopping. And then I’d do a bit of traveling in Europe. Venice. Bruges. Copenhagen. Paris. Madrid. Tuscany. Wow, why stop there? What about Japan and South America and Antarctica?

  • Helen says:

    Christina

    This sounds like a big change and I too hope you are back writing soon I so love you stories

    I have never done this sort of thing but I would very much love to retire and spend time travelling around Australia and the doing a few different cruises and this of course would give me more time to spend with the grandkids and read

    Have Fun
    Helen

  • Efthalia says:

    Christina,

    I hope your ‘sea change’ gives you the energy and inspiration to research and gather your wonderful ideas. I’m 100 % sure we’ll love anything you write when you are ready.

    This planet is beautiful. I don’t think you could possibly go wrong no matter where you pick to go.

    Big smiles,
    Effie

  • Deb Marlowe says:

    Enjoy your time off, enjoy your family, enjoy your life! We’ll all be waiting for your lovely stories when you are ready to send them out into the world again.

    If I could, I’d go museum hopping with Anna in London, then travel on to visit all of my Aussie girls!

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Congratulations on your sea change, Christina! best of luck and hope you have a wonderful time of it. Will obviously miss your fabulous books, but can’t wait to read what comes next.

    My life is full of periods where I do something different – I’m on my third career after all 🙂 I’,m also lucky in that we get the opportunity to travel quite regularly and see places we want to see. I’d love to see the Northern Lights, go to Japan, see Macchu Pichu (sp?), tick off a few more states in the US eg Maine and see more of some states like Texas, go back to Australia, sail through the Panama Canal and always – find a lovely beach to just chill out on!

  • Susan Sey says:

    I wish I were a dedicated or successful enough writer to NEED a seachange, Christine! Or disciplined, maybe? I’m pretty lazy, though, and I’m self-pubbed, so all deadlines are self-imposed anyway. 🙂 Maybe for my seachange I’ll get some discipline & write more than one book a year? It’s a goal!

    Hope you’re enjoying your sabbatical! I can’t wait to see what it produces!

    • Smoov, you work very hard–I know that every book you write is carefully and thoughtfully crafted and I take my hat off to you. It’s not easy with young children!

      Maybe if you don’t feel the need for a sea change you’re actually doing something right!!

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Enjoy your “me time,” Christina. As Deb said above, we’ll all be here waiting when you’re ready to start writing again. And I have no doubt the wait will be worth it!

    My special place is the beach. I’ll be there soon and am looking forward to unplugging and refilling my own creative well. It’s a time for long walks with the dogs (we’ll have three with us), creative cooking, good books and fun with the family.

    My “money is no object” journey would be to Scotland with Anna Campbell. Ahhh, the memories we’d make…and the mischief we’d cause! 🙂

    • pjpuppymom says:

      Want to come with us, Christina? 😉

    • Thanks for those lovely words, PJ. You are very kind.

      The beach break sounds absolutely idyllic. Can I come too? I love the beach.

      As for the trip with Anna, yes please, ma’am! Although I hope you two naughty girls don’t get me into trouble 🙂

  • catslady says:

    Sounds like you’ve come up with a good plan!! It’s been a while since I’ve taken a vacation and gotten away from it all – I’d be happy to go anywhere but since money is no object how about a cruise around the world hahaha.

  • Hope this Seachange is all you hoped it would be, Christina ! We will all be here waiting when you are ready to send your stories out into the world again.

    I’d be on that museum and Scotland trip with La Divina Campbell and PJ ! I’d spend months visiting museums and then stately homes and every historic site I could think of and then I’d come home to write and write and write and never step foot into Walmart again! That’s my idea of a Seachange!

    • Thank you, Louisa, you’ve been such a wonderful friend and supporter over the years.

      I’m itching to do the English stately home thing, too. Maybe we can make up a rowdy research party!

      • What fun that would be, Christina ! Don’t know if England would still be standing, probably leaning just a bit, but we would have FUN ! Now I am plotting a way to make it happen. It seems ages since I’ve seen you and Anna C! I was lucky enough to room with PJ at Moonlight and Magnolias and she is a great deal of fun and has the bonus of always bringing home baked treats AND attracting the hottest guys. (The two cover models Kim Killion brought to M&M adored her!)

  • Christine,

    As much as I love your books and your writing, I’m very glad you’re taking this time for yourself and your family. I wish I’d been able to do that when my kids were young.

    If I were going to take time off and go somewhere, it would be to my Grandparents farm in the Blue Ridge area of the Smokey Mountains. I’d be walking barefoot in the cool grass or in the shores of the Nolichucky River, reading books on the porch swing and listening to the wind blow through the lush trees and the creek burbling as it ran past the house. And if I’m lucky it would rain and I’d get to hear it patter on the tin roof.

    Sigh…now I need to plan a trip.

    • Thanks, Suz, it is nice to spend time with the boys without constantly needing to be at my desk.

      Love that evocative description of your grandparents’ place. Gorgeous! Makes me want to go there too.

  • Shannon says:

    I hope your seachange is wonderful. I know I look forward to your writing, and am thrilled there’s a book in July.

    I found out at work this afternoon that yet another person is leaving. Even before that, I knew they were going to do a reorganization because of the departure of several other folks, but it’s now obvious it is going to be a really large one. I can see all kinds of shuffling chairs, possibly making me irrelevant. So I may get my own sea change, Although I’m worried, I keep in mind that change can be really positive.

    • Thank you, Shannon, that means a lot to me.

      I hope that if a door closes another more exciting door opens for you, Shannon. You have a great attitude and I’m sure that will carry you far.

  • Christina, I’m so glad you have an opportunity to step back and reflect. I just hope you produce more books as soon as you finish! *g*

    I stepped back from a career I didn’t like and was fortunate to be able to try for one I thought I’d prefer. Still working on that.

    If I were going to refill the well, I’d rent a picturesque cottage in the Yorkshire dales or on the Devon coast for a month and use it as a base to travel.

    • Nancy, that’s lovely of you to say. Thank you! I feel like I’m amassing a head of steam now and soon it will be unleashed! (Nice mixed metaphor there)

      LOVE the idea of renting a cottage and using it as a base to travel. We did that a few years ago in Stowe and in Rye. I loved having somewhere to come back to. Traveling can be stressful but I always feel more secure with a base I can go back to.

  • I wish you bon voyage on your sea change, Madame! I hope the journey is wonderful and that you come back refreshed and relaxed and invigorated and full of new stories and … happy!

    Count me among the many who will miss your regencies, but how exciting to hear that we’ll have one more to enjoy. Can’t wait for July!

    And now I have to go hunt down that TV series. It sounds like my cup of tea!