Thursday, November 27, 2008

What personality type is your blog?

Another little gem from Trish Morey...

Have you had you blog's personality analysed?

Check it out here to find out which personality type your blog represents on the Myers-Briggs range.

How does it work?

For a long period of time, we have been training our system to recognize texts that characterize the different types. The system, typealyzer, can now by itself find features that distinguishes one type from another. When all features, words and sentences, are combined typealyzer is able to guess which type its is most likely to be written by using statistical analysis.

This is me, apparently...

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

I think it kinda fits -- certainly fits what I was blogging about last week about the link between writing fiction and acting!!

So... what type is your blog?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends!!! I have always thought this tradition is one of the very finest I've heard of in any country -- to encourage an entire nation to stop and reflect and give thanks.

And isn't this Norman Rockwell painting just so evocative and nostalgic and feel good and gorgeous?? I give thanks for works of art that lift my spirits.

I'm eternally giving thanks for great books. At the moment I'm nearly at the end of Susan Wiggs's Home Before Dark . I'm slowly catching up on Susan's backlist. Love her work!

I'm also on a deadline for my last book for this year. At the moment, I'm thinking I'll be grateful for next week, when I'm finished and I can lift my head up for a moment and start thinking about Christmas. But then, when I'm not writing, I soon start to get twitchy!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

the morning side of the hill...

There is something very special about Townsville at this time of the year. We’ve felt it particularly, coming back after spending so much time on the Tablelands. You start to sense the approach of Christmas in totally different ways from the traditional stories and scenes on cards.
To start with, you’re woken at 5.30 by very bright light – the bright mornings we North Queenslanders, immediately associate with summer holidays and Christmas. Outside it is very hot and muggy – even at this early hour – so walkers try to be home before six-thirty. (I took this pohoto at six o'clock this morning. See why we don’t need daylight saving?)
But I think the most spectacular thing – the thing that really sets NQ apart at this time of the year – is the number of flowering trees. For us, Christmas is heralded by poinciana trees and frangipani in glowing colour, as well as cassias and a host of other brilliant blooms.
I first came to appreciate this when I saw an exhibition of artwork by Brett Whiteley inspired by one of his visits to Far North Queensland. We see scenes like this painting on the left every time we travel between Townsville and the Tablelands. Funny how it sometimes takes an outsider to open our eyes to the beauty in our own backyards.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pink Heart blog

I am so bad with dates. I forgot to tell you that my post about research for Blind Date with the Boss went up at the Pink Heart Society on Wednesday.

It's still there if you'd like to read it all about teambuilding workshops and Myers-Briggs personality descriptions and how to dance...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Perfect timing

My next cover has just appeared on -- and surprise, surprise... it just happens to be an outback romance.:)
Her Cattleman Boss will be released in UK and America in March 2009. More details, including an excerpt on my website.
Oh, gosh, Kate and Noah look just a tiny bit like Nicole and Hugh, dontcha reckon?

Monday, November 17, 2008


Baz Luhrmann’s movie AUSTRALIA has its premiere in Sydney tonight and as someone who’s been writing romances set in the Australian Outback for the past ten years, I’m straining at the bit to get to the nearest cinema to see it.
Actually, I think the whole country must be holding its collective breath. We feel as if our nation will be on show for all the world to see and (hopefully) admire.
As a local journalist, John Andersen, wrote on the weekend: " There can be no half measure. Call something Australia and it has to be gigantic. It has to have a heart as big as Phar Lap’s. It has to be a million times bigger than Texas. It has to have the blood of Burke and Wills, Kennedy and Leichhardt thumping through its veins, and just like the Australia we all know, it has to be as beautiful as a bay horse galloping across a Mitchell grass plain and as tender as the pink sky of a Kimberley dawn."

Well, it seems Oprah Winfrey was impressed enough to devote an entire show to the movie and Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman were her special guests. To quote Oprah: "Congratulations (Baz Luhrmann) on your imagination, your vision, your creativity, your direction. Our hearts are all swelling because, my God, it's just the film we needed to see. I have not been this excited about a movie since I don't know when."
“It's the best movie I've seen in a long, long, long, long time. It is epic, it is magic, it is a spectacle and the scenery is so gorgeous you can barely stand it. Australia is going to make you jump on a plane and go Down Under."
So, that’s why we’re a tad excited and hopeful about this movie. If you remember, I visited Bowen last year when some of the Darwin scenes were being filmed and I saw part of the set, so I’ve been quietly looking forward to this movie for a long time. I love the Outback. I love romance. I love World War 2 settings (I have a half written novel set then still waiting to be finished.) This movie is definitely my cup of tea. So fingers crossed.
Good luck, Baz, Nicole and Jack!!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

writers and actors...

I've always found it interesting to see how many authors have either been actors or had a strong interest in acting. I know Harlequin Romance author Natatsha Oakley has been a professional actor and Liz Fielding was a serious amateur player. I can't make that claim, but when I was at school I loved acting and I wasEliza Doolittle once in a production of Pygmalion. Later, when I was teaching, I really loved taking the drama sections of the English course.
I don't think it's so surprising. The big thing writers and actors have in common is getting inside their characters' skin, inside their heads.
I remember when my daughter Emma was twelve she played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and for the whole week that the production was on, she became Dorothy at home. She was truly a different personality for that entire week -- and I don't think she was actually aware of it.

I feel a little like that about my current veterinary heroine. At the moment when anything to do with injured animals comes up, I'm on full alert. So when Presents writer friend Trish Morey shared a photo of a galah with a broken wing, currently being cared for by her mum, I was fascinated.

Doesn't this guy have character? And aren't vets clever? Mind you, I know I have to concentrate on my heroine's love life rather than her working life, but I'll go any route that helps her to become real for me.

Meanwhile, Elliot's excited -- he's been up at Tarzali watering our baby trees and he thinks we have a tree kangaroo on the block. They're in the area, but we haven't had one visit yet (that we've known about anyway). Mind you, at the moment he's only surmising from droppings he's found. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008


One of the best things about being back in the city is eating out. We always make sure we visit our favourite Thai restuarant. Anything else is a real bonus. So when I saw this, my attention was immediately caught!


This is pretty neat. It takes less than a minute. Work this out as you read.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to go out to eat. (more than once but less than 10)
2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5
4. Multiply it by 50
5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1758...If you haven't, add 1757.
6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born. You should have a three digit number .

The first digit of this was your original number. ( I. e., How many times you want to go out to restaurants in a week.) The next two numbers are YOUR AGE !


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Lucky Sunday

My lucky day... right in front of my apartment... the PNG Rugby League team... warming up for tonight's test match against Australia.
Anyone want to come over for a cuppa on the veranda?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Back in the city...

We came back to the city on Wednesday, with considerable reluctance, but also with produce!!!! Peaches (yes, from a tree we'd planted), tomatoes and fennel from our veggie patch, as well as bags of basil and parsley. Ooh, we did feel pleased with ourselves.

Within an hour of being back in the city, a fellow tried to commit suicide by leaping off the top of our apartment block. He smashed windows in the lift well and there were police sirens blaring and police everywhere, and fortunately they prevented him from jumping. But what a contrast from our peaceful idyll at Tarzali.

Not that it's all bad here by any means. Lovely to see family. Our son linked up his laptop to the TV so we could watch Barack Obama's history making acceptance speech on YouTube, because we missed it during the drive down. And this weekend there's the Sydney Travelling Film Festival in Townsville. I have a lot of writing to do, but I do hope to get to see a couple of these fabulous films, especially the Italian film, My Brother Is An Only Child. Isn't that an intriguing title?

Did anyone watch Taggart last night? I loved the tension/conflict between Robbie Ross and his wife. It gave me inspiration for developing more conflict in the second half of this story I'm trying to fix up.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My Melbourne Cup Day hat

OK, in America everyone is voting for a president today, but Down Under we're doing something much more important. It's Melbourne Cup Day!
Even though the Melbourne Cup is held in (you guessed it) Melbourne, the rest of Australia takes a huge interest in it. We don't have a public holiday as they do in Victoria, but in classrooms and offices all over the country everyone stops to hear THE BIG RACE. Something like half a billion dollars are bet on this one race. Which is kind of horrifying, but there you go. It's such a deep seated tradition in OZ nothing's going to change it, not even a global recession.

I'm not a better, but I am in a sweep with some friends. And my horses (drawn out of my friend's mum's heirloom beaded evening bag) are Profound Beauty and Newport. And I've chosen my seriously glamorous hat!
Which horse are you backing?

Point of view…

All writers know the advantages of point of view, of getting deep into a character’s thoughts and showing that world through his or her eyes. It can be fun sometimes to try writing the same scene from two different points of view to see which way is more effective.
What’s amused and fascinated me is that our veranda at Tarzali has provided me with interesting and practical examples of point of view, because each and every guest who’s sat here has looked at our view with different eyes and has offered a unique perspective.
A geologist friend looked out at the folded mountains and gentle valleys and told me all about how the landscape was made millions of years ago.
Another friend with a Fine Arts degree showed me how our view was a classic “stacked landscape” and how an artist would divide it into sections to get the right perspective.
A conservationist friend talked about the slip erosion on a neighbour’s property. A friend brought up in Ireland encouraged me to grow roses and pansies and daffodils on the slope immediately in front of the house (whereas we prefer to grow mostly Australian native plants.)
Someone else was more fascinated by the birdlife than the landscape. The reactions are as numerous and varied as the people who express them.
It’s been a timely reminder for me that our characters are shaped by their past experiences and their professions and their goals.
They will never all look at the same view with the same reaction!