Saturday, 20 December 2014

Being blocked

Where it all stopped
My draft stalled. I went interstate for a few days – work and pleasure. I came back and thought I would easily be able to get back into it, but it had vanished. My inspiration had disappeared and my commitment to just turning up on the page was nowhere to be found. I lost the rhythm of my early mornings at the computer, dutifully typing up my 500 words or bashing out my morning pages. I got very frustrated because I don’t know exactly what happened. It felt like I would be starting all over again when I next sat down. I knew I wouldn’t be, but I felt I had lost the sense of the thread I was working on. It was an emotionally challenging section, so perhaps there was some resistance to that?

Water is critical
I was still writing for work – helping out with a couple of media releases, drafting an article for the quarterly magazine, preparing a contribution to a submission and writing the opening address for the President to deliver at an awards ceremony. The latter was definitely the highlight. One of my assignments last semester was writing a speech, which it turns out was excellent practice for the real thing. I did learn that when you are not reading the speech yourself it is important to clearly identify the paragraphs, include stage directions like pause and give the presenter enough time to get comfortable with the words. Nothing like directly applying your learning!

Feeling broken
So after about a month of drifting around feeling guilty and trying to ignore it I am back at the desk. I finally just sat down and got on with it. I started on a whole new section, to free myself from the expectations of the previous section I was working on and gradually it is coming back. I still don’t really know what happened. It has been a very big year, with lots of changes so it could be a little slump after the end of semester, the relief that follows a period of stress.

Armchair travel only

I am tired and really looking forward to the Christmas break. I have decided to take two weeks off and have a “stay-cation”. I did this a couple of years ago and it was brilliant. I got to catch up with friends, be a tourist in my own city and sort out things at home that I never usually got round to. I walked everywhere because I had plenty of time. I prepared healthy meals and ate lots of fresh food, again because I didn’t need to rush. I felt refreshed, fit and healthy at the end of it. Plus I didn’t have to travel anywhere and I got to sleep in my own bed. This time I also have great hopes for my writing – keeping up the morning sessions, and perhaps with less need to dash out the door for a 9am start I can do more than 500 words a day. Fingers are crossed, only two and a half more days to go…

Walking everywhere

 My walking is getting better. My latest tweak is to walk to work in shorts and t-shirt and change when I get there. This is more comfortable and if I do get a bit warm on the way I know that I’ll be changing into fresh clothes before starting my work day. I have been reading about how useful walking is for writing – allowing thoughts to percolate and stretching out the body. I do enjoy walking, the physicality of moving my arms and legs, the freedom of my mind to soar. I also bump into people on the streets – last week I met an old neighbour and a former colleague, neither of whom I have seen for years. The dollar savings on tram fares also keeps me committed and the sunshine makes me happy. I am slowly building up to walking in both directions a couple of times a week. It is more tiring and does take a decent chunk out of the day, but it helps me sleep better.

Friday, 7 November 2014

The end of the beginning

A time to reap
My assignments are in, semester has ended. Talk has now turned to subjects for next year. Last week I went to an information session. Part-time students who joined the course at mid year are being encouraged to seek an appointment with staff to confirm their subject choices. In second year (still three semesters away for me) there is the opportunity to work on big writing projects. For some subjects you need to arrive with 50,000 words already on the page. I am beginning to realise that my part-time status may be a blessing as I will have rather more time in which to quietly work on my projects before getting to these rather large hurdles.

It's not a race!
The 100 day project is off to a slow start. I have averaged 500 words each time I have sat down, which means sometimes more and sometimes less. I have not sat down every day because the reality is that it is hard to get up at 5am. I trust that the more often I do it, the easier it will become. And I am getting used to going to bed earlier in order to be able to get up. There is a bit of a chain reaction going on. I am proud that I have started, for the first steps are sometimes the hardest. And I am trying not to be too hard on myself as I take these new steps. Allowing myself some time to get used to how it all feels to live this new experience. 

Other projects
More so than doing the course, it feels like I am stretching the wings of my identity as a writer. Committing to writing every day, or most days, is a more defining experience than being a student. Being a part-time student is kind of intermittent – asserting itself when there are classes to be attended and assignments are due, but not being an everyday experience. Getting up early, switching the computer on and tapping away eventually produces something. When it is not coming together I work on my ‘morning pages’ for a while and then it starts to flow. Today I am drafting this blog post instead. And tomorrow I will come back to the travel memoir fresher in my mind and freer in my words.

A time to sow
The other lens shifting factor is that I have ordered business cards, or as the printing company called them ‘networking cards’. I have been wanting to let more people know about my blogs and it doesn’t always work to send them a link – partly because I forget. So I have taken the plunge, chosen my design, entered my contact details and put my money on the line for 250 cards. I am nervous; it is another small step along the path to living a creative life. And not to be underestimated – a little bit thrilled at the prospect of receiving a package in the post!

A new home for a family treasure
The most exciting non-writing thing in my world recently is the arrival of my grandmother’s table.  After she died my parents had it shipped out from England. They had it restored and the chairs re-covered. It lived at their house for more than twenty years. Now they are moving and it has come to my little flat. It is perfect - it has a square top with barley twist legs, it seats four people but can extend to six. But the details are not important, what is important is that the room is finished. It has a purpose, in fact many purposes. It will be used for eating and entertaining as expected. But it is likely to also be where I do French homework and translation exercises and the site for any sewing machine projects. The completion of this room feels like the timely opening of a new chapter. There is a bright summer ahead - long hours of sunshine, outings with friends and family and more time and commitment to my own writing projects.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Downsizing and upsizing

A new path
My world is slowly shifting into a new focus. I say slowly because it is still happening. I am learning to live the changes and then wait to experience the difference. The difference might be small at first, and a bit itchy. It might not even be noticeable. And it may be surprising. I have downsized my job. Let’s say this was a half conscious decision. I think I knew I needed to, but I wasn’t very willing to admit it. And if I’m honest, it still feels a bit uncomfortable.

Simple pleasures

The most obvious impact is on my bank account. There is less going in, and as a result there is also less going out. But is my life any different? I can still afford to pay my mortgage. I take my lunch to work and I walk rather than use public transport when I can. I’ve stopped going out for dinner and/or drinks and started hanging out with friends in the park and at markets. I eat lots of rice, pasta and vegetables and search out the specials on everyday items.

Am I poorer for making these sacrifices? No, I don’t think so. Certainly I need to think more carefully how I spend my money. But this frugality is helping me to value things differently. I buy second hand books and clothes. The warehouse sized op shop near me is full of things that people have donated, all priced up and ready for a new owner. It is a treasure trove of unexplored delights. And there is a nice warm feeling of helping the environment by re-using.

Taking time out

The less obvious, and more challenging impact is on my head space and my time. It feels wrong to not be worrying about work, to not be swamped by the latest big project, to not be frantically busy. That’s not to say I’m not committed, I am. But it’s just not so consuming. I walk out on time when I can. I plan evening activities because I know I’ll be able to get there and still have enough energy left.

But these old habits are hard to beat. There are moments of leakage, when I find myself asking questions, and getting interested in other things that are going on. When really all I need to do is just my job, just my job. That’s all they need me to do. In this, I am my own worst enemy.  

A couple of leaks

I have an uncomfortable mix of feelings. A tinge of guilt. A glance of worry. A spark of rebellion. A sniff of freedom. I have a chance for change - to create a different balance in my life. That illusive thing I have been chasing for the last couple of years. So I am trying to breathe through this awkwardness and stretch my new wings into a bigger life outside of work.

Aiming differently

And what better way to combat this, than with a new project. On facebook this week I came across the concept of the 100 day challenge. This can be anything you like, you can design it for whatever you want to achieve. My uni course is soon to finish and there is a nearly three month summer break til next semester. So I’m going to upsize the creativity stakes. The best time for me to write is first thing in the morning, so with the help of the alarm clock buzzing at 5am I am going to roll out of bed, put the kettle on, fire up the computer and endeavour to write 1,000 words. I flirted with the idea of confining this to the travel memoir or a novel but I think right now I just need to get into the flow of writing every day for myself. And then wait and see what happens…

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The desire to be heard…

Time to reflect
…is, after all, life’s purpose[1]. I came across this quote in the introduction to an inspirational book about writing. It struck me rather forcibly as clear and true. Whether we speak, write or act, we are all seeking to tell our side of the story and to be understood. We seek this every day, many times a day – in conversations with loved ones, in meetings at work, in the classroom. It is not just one single big purpose; rather it is lots of every day purposes as well. Recently I have been skimming books like this and reflecting on the process of writing as I try to get comfortable with my new identity as a writer. It is semester break now and perhaps a useful point to look back at the start of my course. 

Communicating clearly
My key learning to date is about the primacy of audience and purpose. There are many audiences, many purposes and many writing styles. Ideally these need to be matched up neatly. In reality this happens less often than you would imagine. There is often a strong dissonance in letters and brochures written by government agencies. You can see that an effort is being made to communicate, but rarely does it show any understanding of the target audience. Announcements about forthcoming public works are heavy on noting the regulatory authority and light on the reasons why this improvement is being made. It is as if ticking the box that we told them is sufficient, regardless of the quality of the communication.

I have gained some confidence in my professional writing. Recognising that I do it most days in one form or another – e-mails, letters, articles, submissions, briefings - I have certainly accumulated many years of experience. This is in stark contrast to some of my classmates who are fresh out of high school. I can only imagine how much harder this subject would be without the benefit of some knowledge of work place protocols.

Old fruit drying racks
We have now moved onto speech writing which I expect to be a more significant challenge. I have made presentations before, using the ubiquitous Powerpoint to provide visual support, but I have only ever made one formal speech. The assignment is to draft a 4 – 5 minute persuasive speech on a topic of your choice. Choosing a topic is the first hurdle. It needs to be both small and meaty enough to be able to make some worthwhile points in the time frame without leaving too much unsaid. I'm going to tackle buying seasonal vegetables.

Gratuitous Morocco shot

My other course focuses on learning a desk top publishing package – InDesign. The package allows you to make micro changes to text and images so you really can bring your ideas to life. The trick is remembering what all the options are. All the work is done in the computer lab, so the lack of homework is a relief. The final assignment is to produce a 4 page promotional brochure. Mine will be enticingly called “Meet Me in Morocco”. I will get to spend some quality time reviewing my photos, and having decided to do a montage on the front page means I’ll get to show them off too.

Something's quietly brewing

I am still exploring the place of writing, and reading, in my regular working life. Carving out time to meaningfully engage with the ideas on my course is a constant challenge. So far I have focused on just getting the assignments done and submitted on time, often by the skin of my teeth. One morning I was in the library printing my folio when I was comforted to see several of my classmates all walking in with the same purpose. As for reading, well without the distraction of a TV, I certainly have time to do more. The quality is sometimes questionable with my recent efforts spanning the literary Gilead to page turning crime-thrillers. I have just started a new book, Stoner, again set in the mid-west, albeit in a university town rather than small-town America. I am flirting with the idea of setting some parameters around my reading - perhaps a semester of twentieth century American authors, followed by a semester of Charles Dickens.

[1] Karen Stevens (ed) Writing a First Novel: Reflections on the Journey

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Balancing act

Back to the city life
The last two weeks have been crazy. I have a proper job again - back to being a policy adviser, this time on water instead of transport. Water in Australia is a very precious commodity. It is the source of much angst as we wait for rain to break a drought or pray for it to stop as the river levels rise and threaten to break their banks. There are all sorts of laws and mechanisms in place to manage our water resources, and much for me to learn.

Walking to work again

Being back in full-time work is a little bit of a shock to the system. After a couple of months of unstructured time I now have to be much more organised – in the right place, at the right time and in the right clothes. This is not necessarily a bad thing but I do need to guard some time to be creative as I can already feel the incursion of work. I am trying to keep up with my morning pages but they are getting shorter as I have less time in the mornings before I need to be out the door.

Some new things to see

With a bit of a twist I can see creativity in my work. I have already been asked to write 600 words on some water projects for the quarterly magazine. I will also be analysing policy documents and writing submissions, requiring both clear thinking and concise writing. I am rather looking forward to getting plenty of opportunities to practise and polish my professional writing skills. And to be able to do this with new insights gained from my studies.

Pay attention
Similarly starting the uni course has required a refocusing of my attention. I missed the first seminar because I simply hadn’t gotten my head around the timetable yet. Luckily for one of my subjects all the work is done during class time as it requires particular software programs. This will certainly help me to balance the load. I will still need to plan my time and get used to doing readings and assignments again.

Needless to say the draft is not exactly zipping along under these conditions. I am endeavouring to practice forgiveness rather than guilt as I adjust to my new commitments. I’m sure it will all be fine. I just need a bit of time to get used to these changes, my new identity as a worker and learn to pace myself in this new world. To find a rhythm which suits me and means I don’t feel rushed. Feeling rushed is an enemy of my creativity - it stifles my thoughts, cramps my sentences and prevents me taking photos.

Add a bit of socialising too
In the coming weeks I shall be spending lots of time soaking up other people’s creativity as Melbourne plays host to mid-winter film and writing festivals. I have already chosen and booked my films – a total of thirteen across an eighteen day span. I have made my usual slightly eccentric selection with films from Georgia, Mongolia and the Ivory Coast alongside ones from France, Germany and Norway. I hope to be inspired to see the world from a different perspective and to walk in someone else's shoes for a few hours.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Drafting along

Day one of my adventure
I have officially started the draft of the travel memoir. I decided to start at the start. Not so obvious as you might imagine given that it is now tucked away the furtherest in my memory. But it was kind of waiting to be set forth on the page. It was all going swimmingly, I had about a page – at one and a half line spacing. And then suddenly there was a halt. My mouse wouldn’t move, I couldn’t scroll up or down the page. The cursor was still blinking but the mouse had died. It was 10 years old, that’s probably quite a long life for a mouse. I was not a little mad at the timing – it could have happened in the middle of a job application and I really wouldn’t have minded so much. I needed help not obstacles in taking the first steps with my draft. But I surprised myself by remaining calm – there was no swearing - and methodically working through the options.

Breathe deeply
I was worried that my lovely free flowing words would be wiped away if I had to reboot. So I hunted around for a ‘save’ keyboard shortcut to press. I found one and pressed, nothing happened. Then I thought maybe I could print it and if necessary retype it later. I turned the printer on, lights flashed, wheels whirred, it looked and sounded fine but it was having no luck talking to the computer. I was all out of ideas for saving my work and moved onto the next issue – fixing the mouse. Very simple really – go to the store and buy a new one!

A work in progress
So after the mini technological drama I got going again. On my first day I managed 889 words. I can tell you this because I have made a spreadsheet to track my progress and to cheer myself up when I feel stuck. I can generate weekly and monthly totals, allowing me to compare weeks and months, as well as a cumulative total. Before I started I wondered if I would have much to say. I had already written a skeleton form in the blog and I wasn’t sure if there was too much to add. Turns out there is, quite a lot in fact. At this point I have just over 13,500 words and I am only up to the first farm. I am rather enjoying not worrying about the length; it feels like quite a luxury after the short form of the blog and postcards. I will have to come back and edit but I shall worry about that later. While the words are flowing and I have time I am keen to keep going. Structuring, cutting, fact checking and grammar corrections can all wait until later. Perhaps when I have a little more distance.

My first birth
I have been remembering and writing about the first few days at the farm when everything was new and overwhelming. I am surprised by how easily it all comes back – the initial fears about getting there, worries about fitting in, frustrations of not being very useful and more positively the amazing moments – seeing a baby goat being born, helping with the cheese, even standing in the sun washing the moulds. It is more than a year ago that I left the first farm and yet it is still so clear in my mind.

Together with being accepted into my course, starting the draft is shifting my identity – well at least how I see myself. Not as unemployed, or as the mobile guy euphemistically put it ‘on home duties’. I am a student (again) and a writer. There I said it. I am a writer. In training.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Seismic shifts

On the way to the charity shop
As part of the experience of coming home I have been sorting through the contents of my cupboards. I started doing this as I unpacked the kitchen, there were utensils and platters which I had not used or which I had too many of. I set them aside for donating to the local charity shop. This process continued with the clothes in my wardrobes. My tastes had changed a little and some things just didn’t fit anymore. I took my evening dresses out and put just one back. Somehow it looked right - I know that it fits and the style will not date too badly, I hope. It also clearly identifies that I really don’t go out to fancy places where I will need to dress up, and that feels like the real me.

The way home
I then began tackling the boxes of wool and fabric. I had lots of baby wool left over from when my nieces were much younger than they are now. There was also piles of fabric from my patchworking phase. I donated the baby wool to the charity shop and have two patchworking friends who will be receiving a donation to their respective collections in the near future. It was surprisingly easy to let this go and I wondered why. Then I realised that I had already moved on. I was now focusing on photography and writing. My chosen art forms had changed without me realising.

Lion head art
At the same time I noticed several other changes. I have always been a keen reader and gallery goer. I had established and run a bookclub for several years. I enjoyed taking a long weekend and flying interstate to go to an exhibition. So consuming the written word and visual art was never a problem. But I hadn’t spent much time producing it. Lots of family and holiday snaps to be sure, but I don’t think that is the same as photography as an artistic expression. This clearly satisfied some need, but it’s a bit like the difference between watching and playing tennis. I could appreciate the fitness and skill of the players but I wasn’t out there getting hot and sweaty, I wasn’t stretching myself to reach the ball.

From the first project
Enter the first 365 day photo project. Looking back it was a bit of a leap into the unknown. There really weren’t any rules beyond posting one photo each day on Facebook. And therein lay one of the surprises – I suddenly had an audience, people looked at my photos, ‘liked’ and commented on them. It was an incredibly interesting to get feedback. It gave me confidence that I was producing something of value, something which people looked forward to seeing each day.

From the second project

Writing the travel blog was the next venture. Sharing my thoughts and feelings about situations as well as what I was seeing was a quite different experience. I was required to be more present and with this came a greater risk of how people would respond. But I was 15,000 kilometres away from most of my audience and this distance gave me courage. I took the responsibility of ‘reporting’ seriously but also wanted to be authentic and real. The blog really helped me discover my voice in a way that the photography hadn’t. I do have lots of ideas for series with the photos which I hope will take them from being memories to something else.

Pursuing my own ideas
So along with my move into having an audience I also realised one other boundary had been crossed. I was no longer in the terrain of recipes or patterns. I wasn’t following directions to produce a jumper or a quilt. It was all becoming a lot more free form. I was doing what I wanted - taking photos of things that caught my interest and writing about the things that mattered to me. This process is more about discovery. I dream up ideas, explore them a little - sometimes they get discarded, sometimes they need a bit more time to ‘bake’ and sometimes I know instantly that I will follow one through. I love this business of sorting ideas, it keeps me thinking and engaged. The challenge then becomes to deliver on them. 

And I have saved the best til last, one action has been fulfilled – I got onto my uni course! I am so thrilled. I can’t wait to meet all the other budding writers and talk about our experiences, share tips and give each other feedback and support on our new journeys.

Friday, 6 June 2014

The great distractions

Gallery hopping
In Paris I didn’t have any external structure to my days. I was okay for the first few weeks as I typed away to update my blog, but then I began to flounder. If I could spend my time doing what I wanted, then what did I want to do - a very good question? Looking for inspiration I spent many hours reading, wandering around galleries, walking the streets looking for interesting photos and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Slowly I began to relax into a rhythm of filling my well of creativity.

The gas bottle series
After visiting the tourist spots of Morocco I arrived in Essaouira, a small fishing village with a bustling port. Suddenly I stopped, I had more time and felt less pressure to rush around and see everything, maybe because there wasn’t so much to see – just lots of sea! I walked for hours on the sand and the ideas started to flow. I began taking more series photos – donkeys, shuttered shops and gas bottles. Each morning I would sit at a cafĂ© and note down ideas, developing them a bit more each day until I had a rough sketch of a couple of characters and a bit of a story trajectory.

Port safari
Back in Melbourne it is quite a different challenge altogether, there are a lot more distractions. On my pilgramage I had worked out that the things which stifled my creative efforts before were too much work, television and wine. These were often causally linked – too much work led to too much TV or too much debriefing with friends over a glass or two of wine. I rarely found the time and energy to be creative after work or after a working week. In reality I didn’t prioritise my creativity and I didn’t guard my time and energy well enough.

The real world
And on my return I once again found myself falling back into the same traps. My most pressing need is to find a regular job, because well… let’s be honest I need the money. I had nodded sagely and said nothing when friends had said “…looking for a job is a full-time job…” Now I understand the truth of this. Looking for a job doesn’t just soak up hours; it also takes emotional energy – to convince yourself that this next job looks really interesting and that you stand a good chance and then to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going when it doesn’t work out quite as you hoped.

Local markets
Then I had a breakthrough, a brain wave of inspiration - hereafter known as the quadrant solution. I discovered that my job search efforts were swamping all my other intentions. I had all this time but I still couldn’t get around to finishing my blog or sorting my photos. So I decided to divide my to do list up into four sections – all on the same page so I could keep track of it – under the headings of work, flat, creative and social. My idea was to make sure that each week I got to tick off at least one thing in each box. So far it’s working very well - I got the last blog finished, my writing course application submitted and this blog started all under the new regime, so I think I’m going to keep going as it certainly feels like it’s working!

After the pop up bar
The television is no longer a great distraction either, it is gone. I am now living ‘tv free’. So what does it feel like? I have done it before, a long time ago. Then, I cracked after nine months because I wanted to watch the tennis. And I guess most of last year qualifies too as I rarely saw a tv and if I did it was usually in French – which of course turns it into language practice rather than just hanging out being brain dead. Now, my quiet evenings at home are spent curled on the couch with a book. I have been back and forth to the library many times, returning my books before they are due back because I’ve actually finished them. And as for the wine, well you can't drink in Melbourne's bars if you don't have a decent income. So whilst I'm not on the wagon, it's a pretty close call.

Monday, 2 June 2014

My starting points

Walking and thinking
I went to a talk by Irvine Welsh (author of Trainspotting and other things) last Monday night and was struck by one comment in particular. He remarked that if you haven’t grown up in a family which is creative then it can take a long time to own your creativity. This made me reflect on my own experience. I know how to cook, sew and knit because my mother taught me. When I was a teenager I enjoyed choosing recipes, shopping for ingredients, spending all afternoon in the kitchen, with the radio turned up loud, cooking up a storm. Equally I loved skimming through patterns, gazing at the colors and patterns of fabrics and reaching out to feel the texture of wool. It was a riot of possibilities. I made jumpers and dresses for me, clothes for my sisters’ Barbie dolls, fabric boxes to sell to the neighbours and bread, casseroles and desserts for my family. I remember being entranced in Home Economics class learning how to make fried rice including turning out a perfectly moulded mound onto a plate and garnishing it with a curled top of spring onions. If Instagram had existed then, a shot of this dish would certainly have made it onto my wall. I also flirted with patchwork, Florentine embroidery and friendship bracelets.

Color and movement

Creativity has always been a part of my life, although from time to time I do lose track of it, but then it sneaks back in again. I remember being asked by a colleague what I was passionate about and after some thought, answering “color and patterns”. Clearly I hadn’t paid enough attention to the context as he looked at me with some surprise. It was a bit of a clue to the fact that I wasn’t quite on the same page as everyone else there! 

Performance art with nieces

As an adult I had a long patch of knitting. When I was studying I would knit blankets for relief from having to think with my head all day. It kept my hands busy and I could see something real resulting from my work. I then moved onto baby knits as my sisters and close friends starting having families. This was followed by a picture framing phase where I covered nearly every wall in my then flat with my multi-colored efforts. It was an attempt to cheer up the cream rental walls. Most recently it has been the morning pages exercises (stream of consciousness writing by hand for three pages), the 365 day photography projects and the blog. So looking back over all these endeavours perhaps it is time to own that I am in fact quite creative.

Winter playground series
Recognising this is not too much of a shock, it is fairly clear. The bigger, more intimidating challenge is to work out what to do with it - is it just a hobby, an extra-curricula activity, something to do when I’m not busy, or is it something else? Once upon a time I had dreamed of going to fashion design college, but didn’t get much further than making a few inquiries. I stood on the sidelines as a friend pursued his photography course. I was always rather jealous when I met people who had seriously committed to studying and practising their art. I thought that after my year away that I was looking for a better balance in my regular life between work and creativity. Now I’m not so sure...

Walking and talking
I have recently been blue sky talking about my future with various friends and family. This ideal life involves having the freedom to write books and travel. I think perhaps what I’m now looking for is a way to transition to a creative life as a profession, not something I have dared dream of before. I realise it will take a while, years probably, but I like the idea of having a goal to stretch for and an interesting journey to go on to get there. I’ve taken what I think is a useful first step and put in an application to do a uni course on writing and editing. Fingers and toes are crossed that I will get in!