Plotting and Planning…


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random pieces of jigsaw puzzleThis is what my brain feels like at the moment! Torn is submitted so rather than stop and worry what everyone thinks of it, it’s time to get back to Shattered. It will be good to be back to writing fresh words instead of rewriting and editing. I’ve got maybe a third of it written but have come to a full stop.

Soon it’s time for NaNoWriMo, the writers’ Olympics, where writers from all around the world try to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It is too soon for comfort at the moment. I am trying to sort out where some of these pieces go, get an idea of the bigger picture of the story. I see some of the picture pieces but others are still face down.

I’ll be looking under every rock and stone, searching for that piece which will draw it all together for you, dear reader. But for now, I’m hoping my dream tonight will guide me. Good night to you, sleep tight.

Moody Monday


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Book shaped word cloudWhat is your mood this Monday? Me? I’m quietly optimistic. This afternoon I spoke to my friend in hospital. She said she is feeling better and I was glad to hear that she sounds more like herself too. This weekend I’ve got her okay to visit. Roll on the weekend. I’m feeling very protective of my friends at the moment. I don’t want to lose any more and she gave me a real scare. They kept her in Intensive Care for so long.

My submissions of Torn are coming together nicely. I so love these characters and I love all the twists and turns that happen on the way through the book. I entered it in a writing competition some time ago and got some great feedback. One of the judges said that it was a cracker of a story but that my writing didn’t live up to the story. So, I was determined that I wouldn’t bring the story down to my writing but I would lift my writing to the story. It’s taken some time but I’m quietly optimistic.

There are some other changes happening in my life which I’m not at liberty to talk about. Then I’m hoping that I will soon be taking in a little more editing work. Not enough to interfere with my writing but enough to keep my hand in.

So, nothing earthshattering but that’s the way I like it for the moment. Chipping away at things and getting there little bit at a time.

Everyday bravery


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2013-06-16_968Out of the most aromatic of manures come the sweetest smelling roses. So, let’s hear it for the everyday heroes. Those who quietly and without fuss face up to their challenges with courage and tenacity.

I’m constantly humbled by the stories I hear of bravery. Whenever I feel that I’m facing difficulties, there’s always an inspirational story of someone whose intestinal fortitude puts me to shame and I don’t have to look far.

It’s an Aussie thing to barrack for the underdog but I don’t think we have exclusive rights to it. There are people who at times find themselves so far down that they’d need a shovel to get any deeper. Don’t you love to see them get on with the job of living their best life and turning that manure into roses?

Every individual has his or her own challenges, limitations and capabilities. No two people are the same, even within the one family or within a set of twins, triplets etcetera! Understanding where each character sits in this spectrum puts depth onto the page and empathy into our hearts.

Don’t you want to see someone who struggles so valiantly succeed? That’s what I like to read about and what I love to write about. The bonus is that if we learning from other’s experiences we can sometimes save ourselves repeating their mistakes.

Struggling and a big thank you


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Time Clock
I hope you will forgive me. I’m struggling to keep up with everything, working at my day job and giving value for my wages, getting my submissions in, blogging plus being a wife and sister and friend and dealing all those things we all have to deal with every day. So is the life of a writer.

At the same time I’m loving revisiting Liam and Mary in Torn. I so love this story and I hope everyone else loves it too. Submission time is coming up fast so it’s polish, polish, polish time.

You may have noticed that my beautiful friends Elsa and Letitia have very generously gifted me with some beautiful covers for Torn and Shattered. I think they are just beautiful and I want to say a big thank you to the girls. Hang Le is a great cover artist and I’m in love with my covers. I’d also love to hear what you think.

And last, but not by any means least, shouting out to Sylvia who is finally out of Intensive Care but still in pain after major surgery. Love you my gorgeous friend and wishing I could take some of that for you. Can’t wait for you to bounce back and get on top of that pain.

Mary’s short story: Whale Watching…



whale familyMy friend Mary Church is a reader from way back. She doesn’t tell everyone that she has also dabbled with writing, children’s book, fanfic and little bits and pieces here and there. She sent this one to me after a whalewatching trip out. I loved it and with her permission I’m posting it here for you to enjoy too. Please help me encourage her to write more.

Whale Watching…

Mum, Mum, are we going watching today?
Yes we are little one.
When Mum?
Just as soon as you have eaten your breakfast.  We have to leave early to catch the boat.
We’re going to the boat?
Yes we are.  Now hurry up!!

Are we there yet Mum?
When can I see the boat?
If you look very carefully you will see it in the distance.
Is it that small white thing on top of the water?
That’s it.
What are those things on the boat, Mum?
Those are people.
What are they doing?
They are watching us.
We don’t know for certain.  They just come out on the water and watch us.
They look funny.
Yes they do.
Are we going somewhere else now?
I thought we might swim out into the bay further and sun ourselves for a little while.
O, yes please Mum!  I love sunning.

Thank You Thursday


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Happy lazy dog English Bulldog on a leather armchair sofa

Well, my little pity party is officially over for now but there are lots of people I want to thank for their support over the last little while. There are too many to mention everybody’s names but if you were one who gave me a hug and/or some encouraging words this is for you.

Thanks to Simone McKinnon who was for years a wonderful wise woman, fantastic friend, marvellous mentor, my sounding board, my walking and swimming buddy who dragged me out into the sunshine literally and figuratively. I wish you could have seen your book published. I will never forget you.

Thanks to my family who rallied around and took on the jobs that threatened to overwhelm us. It was good to see you all even though it was a sad occasion, you made it a fitting tribute to our mother, the heart of our family.

To my writing family, thanks for a wonderful conference. I was able to immerse myself and forget my woes for three days. They say that friends are the family you choose for yourself. Well, your kind words, encouragement and hugs warmed my heart and got me through my darkest hours with at least a little of my sanity intact.

To my employers who have been so supportive, sent such lovely flowers and gave me the time I needed. I owe you.

Special mention to Sylvia. I will be holding my breath while I wait for the news on Monday that you are safely through your surgery.

To my special friends Mary and Cass, I hope I can be as good for others as you are to me.

And last but never least, my dear husband and his other girl (the small dark exotic in her winter coat) thanks for everything. It’s really great to be home.

AWOL again


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Wild seal on the beach, Cannibal Bay, New ZealandWell, what a topsy turvy month this has been! A month of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Feeling a tinsy bit manic actually, there seems little solid ground between the two just now. Would howling like this guy above help do you think?

After just over one day at home I was off to the RWA Conference in Melbourne. It was an excellent writers conference over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I’ve been a member for 9 years and try not to miss a conference. It’s great meeting up with long time friends and new ones too. Our organisation is stuffed full of generous, wonderful writers. Everywhere I went they were especially lovely, plenty of hugs and sympathy along with so much to learn and to keep my mind off myself and on learning what I need to know to be a better writer and get this new career on the road.

My pitching went well too. (That’s a 5 minute opportunity to try to get a publishing professional interested in my book).  I got three requests from three pitches (translates to they wanted to read some of my writing) which was very encouraging and had me on a high. Torn is the book of my heart. It’s been a long time in the writing and I’m hoping the agents and editor like it too. The ultimate goal being that it gets published and everyone gets a chance to read it too!

The downer came again at the end of the conference when I learned that one of my close writer friends passed away on Saturday. Damned cancer. Two lines is not enough to communicate what I’m feeling but I think it will have to wait a little longer. She was a very special person and I’m only one of the myriad who will miss her very much.

So, I’m back at work, busy getting my submissions ready to send and tired. Emotionally and physically exhausted. How do you go on? Yes, I’ve lost four of the most important people in my life over the last four months. But I know there are others out there who have lost more.

This is why I started writing Torn. I wanted to understand how you could not only survive but thrive after going through the heaviest of losses. Maybe my lesson is “be careful what you wish for”!

And to finish off with a new high – How do you like my new banner? Isn’t it great! “New Horizons”. I don’t remember naming this series but I’m assured that I did! Sometimes I surprise myself. So, what New Horizon are you looking forward to? What kind of stormy sea do you have to navigate to get there and how will you ensure you thrive when you get there?