Have had my head down writing, and when I haven't been writing I've been talking about writing, first at the Ravenshoe writer's group and yesterday with our own NQ romance writers. Yesterday we gathered at a member's home in Mareeba and had a great time, with most of our group practising pitches to agents or editors in preparation for this year's conference in Sydney. Helene Young, who successfully pitched her book Border Watch at a conference two years ago, was on hand to give great pointers.
In the afternoon, I showed my collage PowerPoint and then everyone had a leisurely time flicking through magazines and tearing out pictures to make their own collages. I love watching people get excited when they begin to feel the potential of using visual images to prompt and please their writing muses. The combination of visual stimulus plus music on headphones (instrumental music without words) works for me every time, and yet, crazily, I don't always use it. That's a good reason to talk to others about it every now and again, because it can remind me about good habits I've let slip.
Today, however, I'm giving myself permission to spend most of the day in the garden. You've no idea how naughty it feels when my manuscript beckons, but being naughty is always fun, isn't it? And this particular naughtiness is also rewarding. Besides, I have to go back to the city at the end of the week and I know I'll regret it if I haven't done some of the "outside" things I longed to do.
Oh, and for those of you who know my guinea fowls' history, I should report that they are now incredibly independent and, like any teenagers, they take off to visit our neighbours and show no gratitude for the expense and loving hand rearing we gave them when they were babies. They don't even sleep in their beautiful pen anymore, but roost in a nearby tree -- but so cute, all in a row. Every afternoon they come down to the house hoping for grain (which they get) and they hang around and admire themselves in our French doors and then bathe in our dust. That's guinea love for you.