Monday, June 27, 2011

It's school holidays...

and I have all my grandchildren here... so will probably not be here very on blogger often...
This is a pic of Lilly hero-worshipping big boy cousin, Tom. Or perhaps she's just in love with his iphone.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Catch up...

I was sequestered away in a rainforest cabin on the weekend while E had a boys' weekend at Tarzali, (this mostly involves complicated barbecuing of expensive meats). Of course, I was supposed to be writing madly -- and I made fairly good progress, but it was verra cold and dark in the rainforest.  At least I had my dressing gown and slippers.
And I went for a lovely, revitalising walk around the beautiful Lake Eacham. I could not get internet and mobile reception, so I was a tiny bit lonely, but I had a companion in the form of a rifle bird. The brochure said I could put fruit on my veranda railing for the birds, so I shared my apples with them. Mostly with this guy.
This one particular bird -- a Victoria's rifle bird, was very daring and got quite bossy after a while. He'd come and tap on my window where he could see my fruit bowl, letting me know he wanted more, and he'd put his wings up and look quite ferocious when he wanted to frighten other birds away from the food.

As far as my writing's concerned I found when I sat down to write this story (telling myself that I had to hurry) I hit a brick wall. Why? Because I didn't really know my characters and I'd been busy and hadn't had the usual thinking, dreaming musing time leading into writing this book.

So I decided to take another tack with it -- I've been outlining. As soon as I gave myself permission not to write the story, but outline instead, I relaxed and started writing madly. (Which I found rather interesting) So I now have eleven scenes outlined with snippets of dilaogue and little details about my characters' pasts etc. What I think I've actually been doing is "dreaming" on paper. Visualising the unfolding of my story but recording it as well, so that I at least have words on the page.

It's true that no two books ever emerge by the same process (even though we think we have a set routine). We have to keep adjusting our processes to meet the circumstances and context in which we're writing. I'm really glad I have this outline down now and I'm underway with writing the actual story as next week I'll have all five grandchildren here (plus their mothers, thank heavens) and then the other family members will arrive for a Christmas in July style gathering. Should be crowded (14) and fun!

But I'll need my writing outline to get me back on track when it's all over. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


As we're all aware, the publishing world is in the midst of huge change at the moment. I still don't have an ereader, but I'm sure I'll get one in the not too distant future and I can't get on a plane these days without seeing several people using them.

It's very sad to see favourite bookshops closing, but at the same time, I think the news is nearly all good for writers and readers. Books that were only available in rare secondhand stores before are now getting a new lease of life as ebooks.

This morning, I just discovered that my very first book, Outback Wife and Mother (back then, I was in the foetal position for days when they gave me that title -:) first published in 1999, is available as a NookBook.

It's actually rather exciting...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Can you tell an author's sex?

In an interview at the Royal Geographic Society this week, VS Naipaul (winner of a Nobel Prize for literature) provoked fury by suggesting that women writers are 'sentimental' and 'unequal to me'. He also claimed that 'I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not.'

Can you? To prove a possible point  this quiz was created. Why not try it?
I got 7 out of 10, so I'm not up to Naipaul's standard. The quiz includes a passage of writing by Naipaul as well as an excerpt from a Harlequin novel.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Meet Lucia and Sparkles...

Our newest members of the family were christened by Lilly (long distance). I did try -- really -- to give them ham and bacon type names, but as soon as Lilly came up with Lucia and Sparkles, the new names stuck. No option.

This is Sparkles doing a Babe impersonation. On friend's advice we put the hose in their pen to give them mud, which they promptly wallowed in.

And this is Lucia (the fatter one) asleep in the hay.

I can't believe I'm in love with pigs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Never cease to wonder...

What's more beautiful than morning dew on a perfect spider's web?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

One daughter's artistry...

Newly engaged daughter, Vicki, (see how smoothly I slipped that exciting news in?) visited us overnight, as she's up this way for her work. It was especially lovely as she woke up here on her birthday morning, yet she'll be home in Brisbane with Matt tonight.
While she was here, she took a wander with her iphone and snapped a few pics. Above is a jug of tree daisies, a gorgeous plant from my mum's garden that I've managed to grow here.

Next is the newest addition to our "farm". Two gorgeous little pigs, which I know I must think of as future dinner, but at the moment I can't resist feeding them granny smith apples.
Our view -- always so peaceful.

And the last touch of autumn. It's been a lovely, family orientated week, as last weekend we were in Brisbane for my mum's 85th birthday. Grandkids, Tom and Lucy, played us a concert on piano and cello as they've just completed their music exams and still had their pieces up to scratch. So clever! Matt cooked us amazing meals.
But now I have a book to write by the end of July!!!
Head down, fingers on keyboard...ready, set, go!