Is it really Monday again? Did I really not put up a single blog post in a week? I guess that's two yeses.
I'm such a slacker! (That's me in the picture!)
Lately I've had that overwhelmed and underachieving feeling. I get it every now and then and I can't quite shake it off. Sadly it doesn't spur me on to do more it just kind of immobilises me.
Little things and good intentions slip by unattended to, unfulfilled. Opportunities are squandered.
It is very annoying.
Maybe it is because the sun is finally out, after an insanely wet winter, but I feel like I started shaking that off again over the weekend. I made a few plans for myself. Plans that don't require me to work in with others and that I can quietly look forward to.
I'm a planner by nature, but I'm married to the man least likely to make a plan. His grave stone could read "Here he lies, he didn't plan to die."
Don't get me wrong I like to be spontaneous but I also like some structure. A girlfriend and I say we like "organised spontaneity". I'm happy to go off on a whim but damned if I don't want to take the bus schedule, some snacks, bandaid, some ibuprofen and a jacket just in case.
Putting a few plans in place both for my work life, my writing and my home life help.
Meanwhile I'm plugging away at Book 2 in the Upper Crust Series and deciding which book to write for NaNoWriMo in November. It will either be Book 3 in the series or the sequel to Mr Right and Other Mongrels (if you have an opnion, do let me know).
This song is very much the soundtrack in my mind at least for Book 2 in the series. So it's today's Musical Monday offering. And it really is a beautiful song.
It's Monday and frankly I am exhausted. That's not a great way to start the week but I am tired for a good reason. I spent from Thursday to Sunday at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference. I really love the conference. I find it overwhelming, exhilarating, exhausting and inspiring.
Musical Monday today is an old school choice. The conference has a great after party where we dance the night away and so for all those writing queens and goddesses I have chosen this classic.
I'm launching Building Attraction this Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
That's exciting news isn't it? Well I think so- hence the big print.
Did you know that also happens to be a very big day in the Australian calendar - Melbourne Cup Day. If you don't know it's a very famous horse race - it's Australia's version of the Kentucky Derby. People have long, lunches, bet on the fillies and possibly have a champagne or two.
As you can see from the cover here is a horse or two in Building Attraction.
Here's the book blurb:
Hers has been a life of too many responsibilities and his has been a life of too few. Could the thing that initially repelled them from each other finally be the ultimate source of attraction?
Holly Adams has two jobs in the city, two petulant teenage sisters to support, a farm with a big mortgage and a terrible secret that propels her forward. Brad Winchester has a reputation for being a spoilt playboy who has abandoned his family business but he also has a secret that has finally brought him home.
When they are forced to together at work (Holly works at the cut-throat PR Consultancy that handles his family’s account Winchester Homes – They don’t build homes, they build dreams”) a series of misunderstandings has them at odds.
Still while working together they learn they have more in common than either might have imagined – common friends, family loyalty and dreams of something different. When life keeps pushing them in each other’s paths they must decide whether this is an attraction that might be worth building on after all.
Would you like to win a copy of Building Attraction and a prize?
There are two ways to win:
1. If you're a regular follower of my blog, my Facebook author page or on twitter this one isn't to hard (Hint: pretend it is my horse)... Guess what I named the horse in the novel? That's it. What is Holly's horse called? Tell me in the comments
section and which prize you would like with your e-book - a tote or a mug!
2. Choose your own name for the horse and I'll choose one at random. Tell me in the comments section and which prize you would like with your e-book - a tote or a mug!
Simple....leave a comment here on the BLOG...the prizes are an e-book and a mug or an e-book and a tote - you choose your prize.
Good luck and I hope you back a winner.
As many of my regular readers know I went to Los Angeles earlier this year to do a research trip for the sequel to
Mr Right and Other Mongrels.
I am thinking of writing the sequel for NaNoWriMo in November. If I do I'll be drawing on these images to inspire me. when I travelled, although I have been to the US before, I tried to look through the eyes of the main character Allegra and see what she might see or be interested in. It was a fun way to travel.
She would a stranger in a strange land and as normal as anyone's home is to them, it's always a little bit odd to the outsider, so often we notice the differences and not the similarities. cars on the opposite side of the road, different names for the same things and people's accents all delight and fascinate us.
I'm not sure if I will write this story now or begin it in January?
What I need for it is a working title.
Question - what would you name the sequel to Mr Right and Other Mongrels?
Today I'm pondering the nature of beauty. Maybe it's that walk I took down by Manly beach this morning. Or maybe it's that the leaves are off the trees in my yard and there is a stark gothic beauty in their current form.
Maybe it's some recent conversations with young women and their lack of belief in their own all-too-evident beauty. (I stand by my belief that 29 is too young for Botox ladies!)
To reflect my mood here are a few rather lovely pictures from my recent travels
I thought I'd start a new trend on this blog called photo Friday. I'll try and get a photo up that relates to my novels or my writing life (Be warned you may see lots of coffee cups). Yes I know it's Saturday in Sydney but it's still Fridya in lots of places and I did take these on a Friday so I'm going to pretend it counts.
Yesterday afternoon I happened to be at the becah with my daughter and her friends. Thsi becah feautures in Mr Right and Other Mongrels briefly. Allegra often takes her rmorning un around to this beach. She's certainly not alone. This is a very popular pathway to ride, walk or run.
The beach is also a popular spot to snorkel and scuba dive and yesterday the water was warm and crystal clear and there loads of international tourists making the most of it, and a few locals.
Anyway my walk down to the becah had me thinking about hidden treasures tuked away in some of our favourite spots and how we assosciate certain images with certain places and often miss the other aspects of a suburb or town or setting.
So here are a couple of other images from the same spot. I'm not the world's best photographer and I was blanacing towels, shoes, snacks, picnic blankets, a bowl of watermelon and bottles of water as I took these.
Isn't this banner pretty?
I woke up this morning and a writer I know via facebook and the internet had sent it to me. She very kindly made me this as a present!
Wasn't that lovely? Thanks Hayley.
It made my day.
That and reaching #3 in the free Kindle store yesterday - have made for a couple of lovely writerly days...and heck right now it's only just past 9am...who knows
It's summer in Sydney. I love summer. I'm not really designed for summer what with the red hair and the pale skin and the freckles but I love it anyway.
I love the smell of the ocean, walking along the sand,the sound of waves crashing onto the shore. I love the sounds the birds and the insects make. The cicada song is like a lullaby to me.
What I realised is this love of warmer climates is reflected in both the novels I released this year. Allegra in Mr Right and Other Mongrels lives at Manly Beach and her life revolves around the beach quite a bit.
In Hearts Afire Cassie and Jack find themselves on a North Queensland tropical island also getting some sand between their toes.
There is something so freeing about sunshine and summer, I think it reveals a different side to people and ceratainly I think it does for the characters in both these books.
Here are some of my favourite beachy photos from this year on the blog...just to warm up those of you in cooler climes.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend Pam Cook's book launch of her just released novel Black Wattle Lake. Te launch was held at the NSW Writer's Centre which funnily enough is where I first met Pam.
Pam and I have been in the same writing group for what I'm assured is eight years. That seems impossible to me but I am reliable sources confrm that is the case.
So for eight years I've been with Pam on her journey to publication so I was very, very happy to help her celebrate yesterday.
Theer were lots of other wonderful people at the launch who I also happen to like so it was a wonderful day. Lots of members of our writing group were there and it was wonderful to catch up with them. It was also lovely to see the delightful Vanessa Radnidge Pam's publisher at Hachette Livre who I had the pleasure of meeting back in 2008 when I did the QWC/Manuscript Development course.
Below are some snapshots from the day...I took lots of photos and I know manymany more will be over on Pam's site.
Favel, myself and Edwina at breakfast.
I'm feeling very lucky this weekend because I have a couple of lovely writerly events on.
That doesn't happen that often really and cerainly in the midst of this scrorching Sydney heat-wave and the madness that is December it's a lovely treat.
This morning I had the great pleasure of meeting up with Edwina Shaw, author of Thrill Seekers and Favel Parrett, author of Past the Shallows. They were both up for awards at last night's NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Sadly neither of them took home the gong but what an honour to be nominated!
I met both women when I did the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program a few years back. Favel is now published with Hachette. Although I'm not, I really recommend any Australian writers out there to apply for the program because it really is an excellent opportunity..I was lucky I also got lots of lovely friends out of it.
It was lovely to catch-up with both Edwina and Favel and hear about their next projects and what they're working on. (We did also cover other important topics such as being pale and redheaded, high heels at formal functions and what clothing writers wear (or not) when writing, finding an agent and what happens at a pitch.)
Tomorrow I get to back this up with the lovely Pam Cook's bok launch for Blackwattle Lake which she is holding at the NSW Writer's Centre. It will be a great opportunity to celebrate her publication - also as a result of the QWC/Hachette Development Program.
For me it will also be a wonderful chance to see members of my writing group The Writers' Dozen, who no longer attend with regularity as well as those gorgeous regulars who have keptt me writing and kept me moitiavted on my own writing journey.