Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our time in the country is nearly over...

We’re packing up to go back to the city today. We’ve stayed on longer than we intended, while Elliot finished his faithful restoration of two sets of windows and shutters that we’d bought in a demolition yard in Townsville. He’s done an absolutely fabulous job and they’re going to look just stunning in our extensions here.

These shutters above will close in one end of our veranda and will be part of our new dining room. Another set (shutters painted off white and with gold and green glass) will close in the weather end of our new veranda.

He’s restored all the windows and doors we’ll be using – a huge effort, but not only has his work saved us buckets of money, but the results going to look lovely and in keeping with the “cottagey” look that we wanted.

These past six weeks are the longest span of time we’ve spent here and it’s been just wonderful. We’ve made lots of new friends and caught up with old ones who have moved up here and our social life has rocked! And then, of course, there’s the sheer beauty of this place and all the animals and birds and insects and trees that we’ll miss.

But I’m quite looking forward to seeing Townsville family and friends and of course, there’s all the excitement of getting ready for Christmas. I haven’t sent out Christmas cards yet! And I can’t wait to unpack our tree and ornaments.

My book is two-thirds done and I’m happy with it – I like my characters and the tone. My editor suggested a pregnancy in the outback story – and honestly, that is completely my cup of tea, so I’m having a ball, especially now that I can write at my customary pace of about a thousand words a day, five days a week – with plenty of room for real life as well.

It’s been raining during the past week – very lucky for the latest lot of trees and shrubs we’ve planted. By contrast they’re having terrible bushfires in Tasmania. I’m worried about 2paw, who lives down there. I hope she’s OK.

On the reading front, I’m reading Georgette Heyer’s “Frederica”. I bought it at a second hand stall at the Mareeba markets and this is only the second GH I’ve read. I know, I know, how can I hold my head up and call myself a romance writer when I haven’t read Georgette Heyer?

My author mates have been telling me for years I must read her. They’re appalled that I haven’t and jealous too, because I still have all that reading pleasure ahead of me. I’m certainly loving Frederica and I’m learning a lot about writing romance from her too. So perhaps this is the right time for me to read her. I’m ripe for a brand new source of inspiration! I plan to push on and read all her books. And I look forward to a great leap forward in my own writing!


Anonymous said...

Dear Barbara, thank you for your kind thoughts!! The Labradors and I are fine, we live in the north of the island and though we've been smothered in smoke we've been fire free. The fires are just burning a swathe down the East Coast though - towns and reserves, rare plant sanctuaries and National Parks too. Thankfully no people have died and we have lots of volunteers to look after the wild life. It is very worrying to have such devastating fires so early in the season, it's usually February, but we are a tough lot down here and pull together in the face of adversity!!! I have loved reading you adventures at the cottage!! It all looks wonderful. Oh Georgette Heyer!! I have a little Georgette Heyer decline when I'm not feeling well: I take to my bed and I really need a maid with a soothing cool cloth and a tisane!!! You are so lucky you have all her books to read now!!!

Fiona Harper said...

Barbara, that window is gorgeous! And I have to confess to not having read any Heyer yet either - I can practically hear the Romance police staging a dawn raid...

Barbara Hannay said...

2paw, I'm so pleased that you and the Labs are safe. The fires have been just terrible. They remind me of the similar but different devastation caused up here by Cyclone Larry earlier this year.

We have wildlife volunteers too. I met a fascinating couple just last week. The woman has writtena PhD on tree kangaroos and they have three liviing at their house.

We were planning a trip to Tassie in February, but may leave it till later in the year. I'm sure you're all very tough, but take care.

Barbara Hannay said...

Hi Fiona,
So lovely to have you drop by. And wonderful to know that I'm not the only romance author on the planet who hasn't read GH!
I must say I think regancy authors have an extra job to do to make appealing heroes out of men who have money and status merely because of their bithright.
Rich heroes don't necessarily do it for me, but I'm finding that GH can walk a very delicate balance between writing a charcter who is a snob and a dandy and a truly noble and swoon-worthy man. V clever!!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Oh, Barb, you lucky duck. You have Devil's Cub to look forward to! And those windows are just beautiful.

Barbara Hannay said...

Hi Bron,
Thanks for dropping by. I read on your blog that you have a book to finish. All the best. Hope it goes well!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

All done, Barb, at least until revisions arrive. Which is why I'm indulging myself by flitting around all my favourite authors' blogs!

Looking forward to seeing you in March, which will he here before we blink.

Happy Christmas to you and Elliot.