Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year


Happy New Year my darlings. May you all have an incredible journey through 2014 filled with love, inspiration, fun, laughter, a few challenges and the wherewithall to meet them.

Monday, 30 December 2013

30th December and sausages are sizzling everywhere

I think I was doing this a year ago...


...and I was doing it again today. This time for the Coast Guard. The Bunnings BBQ has become a favourite fundraiser with many organisations and it has certainly be a good public relations enterprise for the organisation. It is usually Helen O's fault that I end up turning hundreds of sausages into a gastronomic delight(she knows how to inveigle my help so she does). We had people coming up from the lake today because there were no BBQs available with the usual summer influx of an extra 20,000 people but they knew there would be sausages at Bunnings. I think I have assisted at (thinking music) six BBQ fundraisers in the last 12 months. Funny how things stay in our lives in odd ways. When I gave up hospitality I thought I would never cook again and as an income generating activity, I haven't, however as a feed the masses volunteer activity I have done more cooking and organising than I ever thought I would and in some bizarre circumstances too. The past two years have seen even this wind down to simply doing the occasional fundraiser for various organisations as I let those strings loosen from the weave of my life. In the future I hope that the only cooking I do is in character development. Oh what a good idea for a story, righto I am off to write. ;)

Sunday, 29 December 2013

9.43 29th of December



what happens on the 29th after all the toys are unwrapped, all the left overs eaten and the temperature starts to soar again (not that it has)? The great clean up. Later in the year will be clean up Australia day but there is always a big clean up after the Christmas get together. Plenty of good community minded souls go and pick up rubbish on the beach or make sure they are recycling all their wrapping paper and tinsel. In about a month the kindergartens and primary schools will welcome shiny things for their art classes and there are always craft groups around who would probably appreciate an influx of things for their projects.

My ho ho dooda pic for today is about cleaning up.


In the wee small hours of today at 1.58am I submitted a story to an anthology. The deadline is 31st December and I wanted to get it done. I spent a lot of time fixing spelling errors and tightening the structure until I was as happy as I can be with a short story. It was almost 14,000 words long (upper maximum is 15k). I can see if being a much bigger story at some point but for now a short it is. So after that I couldn't sleep and did all sorts of things to induce some snooze until finally I resorted to a natural herbal sleep inducer and zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Some time this morning I woke, staggered to the smallest room, staggered back, swigged a glass of water and fell asleep again and did not get out of bed until 2pm. I missed an entire gorgeous day but I did beat the deadline. No idea if it will be acceptable, I have to wait and see now.

So I have to be up early tomorrow for a Bunnings BBQ to raise money for the coast guard. I had best get to bed shortly or I will not hear the alarm.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Snowflakes

Writing exercise #1 Everyone has heard that no two snowflakes are the same. No two people are the same either. What is it that makes you different from the people around you?

Snowflakes are complex and individually fragile and yet together they can form one of the most awesomely powerful forces in nature, Their individuality is not in dispute, each one having a unique and exquisite pattern as distinct as human fingerprints. However like fingerprints, there are basic types and groups of snowflakes that denote the style on which their individuality is patterned. Just like humans, snowflakes are influenced by both their environment and their inherent nature. A stellar dendrite cannot be a sectored plate or a needle and a rimed crystal cannot be a hollow column even if it wanted to be In snowflake terms, I am a droplet of condensation in a rain cloud not sure what sort of snowflake I want to be. Everything is potential, nothing is certain. Do I want to be part of an avalanche on a a mountainside or a spatial dendrite clumped together with so many other snowflakes? Do I want to fall softly on some child's nose in the eerie hush of the first fall of winter and joyfully melt in the child's laughter? Maybe I could be a piece of soft hail collecting rime on my crystal edges and spin in the storms turbulence never knowing where I am going? Like snowflakes, my hidden beauty is hidden from casual view. My complexity is only something hinted at and my power is held in check just waiting for the catalyst that will turn my fragility to an awesome world changing force. I float here in the clouds of potential and watch other droplets choose and change, clump together and move out on the winds. I watch as they take shape and become magnificent, beautiful, strange and complex and I am filled with awe and wonder. I feel the temperature change and my crystal growth begins. What will I be? Where will I land? I am excited and frightened, poised on the edge and hardly ready to take the leap into the great unknown but here I go.

thank you to snowflake.com for the use of the picture http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/

Saturday what a day...

I woke up this morning feeling seedy. I ate way too many sugary floury things in the past week and now my body is rebelling against me. I need to drink plenty of water to flush my system and give my major organs a rest from processing all that processed crap I put in my mouth because it tasted so yum. I really need to respect my body more.
I intend going swimming in the new year, it is time to get back in the water.(jaws theme in my head now).

okay so it is several days since the great gift giving affair and my pic today is a reminder of our consumer driven society.


it still needs some shading and details but the idea is there.


off to do some edit and polish of my Goddess so I can send her off.

be kind to yourself.

Friday, 27 December 2013

post boxing day chaos

I have been lazing around in my pyjamas for two days reading novels which I was given as gifts. I must say these novels are doing a great deal of good for me. As I read each one I am more and more convinced of the genre I DON'T wish to write in. In three novels by the same author I found possibly five paragraphs which really captured my attention and made me want to keep reading only to be thrown back into blah blah blah



the aftermath of the Chrextravaganza.



Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house...

...not a creature was stirring except three electronic mouses and three keyboards on three computers in two rooms. However there were not five gold rings, two turtle doves or a partridge in the pear tree. There was one piebald lark trying to brain itself on the kitchen window, several magpies in the gum trees, two lads a playing one mum a typing and a lot of artistic license in changing the lyrics. I was trying to reword 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire' to something a little more hot weather, Australian and the BBQ references just didn't work for me. So here is my pic for the day, a little angel dancing.



Keep safe and be happy tomorrow, may you find something spiritual or profound about the day and you be surrounded by people who love and care for you. Don't forget to drink some plain water in the middle of all that food indulgence.


Merry everything.


Christmas Eve

it is 1.41am and the Garbage truck has just completed a very noisy circuit of the court. I also completed a circuit of the court dropping in Christmas cards and striped peppermint canes. Number two came for a walk with me and I felt quite pleased that the dogs all remained quiescent so no one was woken while I pottered around the street feeling like a Christmas fairy.


A Christmas Eve elf self portrait with red nose.


I shall bring in the empty bins and go to bed now. Goodnight.

how did I jump the 23rd?

I didn't completely miss it because I was working on the gallery button and doing lots of Christmas style art work of friends and family. I will start my Christmas eve post in a minute.




Sunday, 22 December 2013

The train in rain stays mainly in the

I put the youngest on the train this morning in fact it should be just pulling out of the station as I type this. Youngest is off to spend Christmas New Year with her cosplay friends in Melbourne. Youngest is a bit more adventurous than her big brothers were at the same age and of course Christmas as a focal day isn't the kind of big deal in our house as it is in others. I like the whole Christmas pageantry, the carols, the decorations, the seasonal food specialities, the presents if I get some and the push for people to catch up and say hello to each other when they have not spent much time together for the other 364 days of the year. I like the spirit of the thing. The attempt at peace and kindness, tolerance and understanding. I like that humankind has had some sort of mid December or mod winter or mid that time of year celebration since people sat around in caves with the snow piled high and ventured out to drag in some evergreen to freshen the place up. Those pine air fresheners have had a longer commercial history than most other products known to humankind.

So my hoho doo da sketch for today is about kindness.


Now on to edit and edit some more before sending my story out into the big wide world.

I have a temporary Gallery of some of my art from this year and a little bit of it from previous years. I set up a Gallery button to take anyone interested right to it. My computer guru is looking into a more fancy gallery set up but for now I will have this to host my pictures on. It is very exciting. Take a look if you like, there are a lot more pics to come and when it is all fancy I shall have doors to go through for different purposes.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Saturday and summer rain


What a wonderful day it is today. The birds are chittering and chirping and the rain falls softly. I doubt the temperature strayed far from the mid teens and I am very comfortable. I took a day off today in terms of writing. I read a book instead. I was having an interesting discussion about speed reading and someone asked me if I skip great passages in a thing I read because I read so fast. I suppose in the technique of speed reading it is expected the person doing so will skim over words and skip over whole paragraphs of descriptive prose but I don't do that. I simply read very fast. With a technical tome I learned to read the chapter outlines first then the opening and concluding paragraphs and only read fully, those chapters with information pertinent to an assignment. This is a good technique when there is so much reading expected in a tertiary learning environment. In my fiction reading I simply read fast because I have been reading for so long and have done such a large volume of reading. I don't need to skip, I don't want to skip and I have no intention of skipping.

Friday, 20 December 2013

too hot yesterday

forty degrees is okay if we can build up to it.

Luke turned 18 and we had guests for tea and lots of heat with little warning so I did as little as possible online.

Here are my two Christmas themed sketches for yesterday and today.


May your days be merry and bright

It was wonderful having the number one son come to visit for Baby son's birthday, now all my boys are adults and it feels right and good. Baby girl in two years. :)


It is 18degrees right now after yesterdays forty it feels positively chilly but I am not complaining. There is rain on the way. I won fifth place in the Ho! Ho! Ho! The 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest on Susanna Hill's blog and you can read my entry a few days ago. I get to choose from a marvelous selection of prizes.

Last night I had an awesome email about my art and four of my beta readers have come back to me with all sorts of messy bits in my latest WIP to fix. Spelling mistakes mostly and I need to make a bought brought poster to remind me to use the correct word.

The cicadas were singing yesterday because ti was warm enough to bring them out, I bet they are snug and hiding today.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

An early announcement and I will reblog later: Start the year off Write


http://www.shannonabercrombie.com/start-the-year-off-write-2/the-challenge/

21 DAYS, 21 WRITING EXERCISES TO START THE YEAR OFF WRITE
For 21 days, beginning on January 5th, a talented array of authors and illustrators will be sharing insights into their writing practices and providing a writing prompt/exercise to complete.
Each day you(me, the participant) complete the given exercise, you earn an entry to win one of the grand prizes.
What are the grand prizes you ask? So far, there are four AGENT critiques, two EDITOR critiques, and proofreading services from a COPY EDITOR up for grabs.”
Who is this Challenge for?
EVERYONE. This challenge is for picture book writers, middle grade writers and young adult writers. Everyone is welcome to participate and it’s FREE.
When does the Challenge begin?
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Ideally, you will complete one exercise per day; however, comments eligible for the grand prize drawings will remain open until midnight on January 31st.
Who will be guest blogging?
The talent participating in this challenge runs deep, my friends. You’ll find debut authors, a National Book Award winner, NY Times Best Sellers, educators, illustrators, poets and three surprise bloggers along the way. Click HERE for a complete list.
What are the Grand Prizes?
Editor critiques, agent critiques, proofreading services from a copy editor, and one super secret grand prize. Click HERE for more information.
What do you have to do to participate?

Tweet, Facebook, blog or if you’re not tech-savvy, sing from the mountaintops that you are participating in the challenge. There is no registration required. You just have to follow!
Display the awesome Start The Year Off Write badge – compliments of the uber-talented Maple Lam on your social media sites.
Join the Facebook Group START THE YEAR OFF WRITE or sign up to receive updates via email (in sidebar). THIS IS REQUIRED.
Comment, comment, comment. You must comment on each exercise you complete in order to earn an entry towards the grand prizes. THIS IS REQUIRED.
If you complete every exercise during the 21-day challenge, you will be eligible for the SUPER SECRET GRAND PRIZE.

Bonus: If you blog about this challenge before January 5th, you can earn an extra entry for the drawing. Contact me for details!
IMPORTANT NOTES
Please do not share your exercises with me, the author who provided the exercise or anyone else. These exercises are for your eyes only.
By commenting, you are verifying that you completed the provided exercise. This is an honor system.

18 12 13 the EVE of tomorrow


The Nativity Play



Today looks to be another lovely day. The temperature is said to peak around 27 later in the afternoon and it is a glorious blue sky outside. Tomorrow on the other hand has been forecast as 40 degrees. Well that will be a hot day for Luke to turn 18 and suddenly turn into a fully fledged adult. Let's see how that turns out but meanwhile today I want to finish this short story so I can edit.

Plan for today
1 work on the story
2 write a roster of events for next year
3 take a look at my PB ideas
4 do some exercise
5 make a cake



I finished the story and sent it off to my best Betas
I am putting up the roster for the new year
I took a look at some PB ideas but need to really make some decisions tomorrow and I read some wonderful tips on how to revise thanks to the wonderful people in the kid lit world
I am cooking the cake right now as I type it is rising
I have not done any exercise which is silly but I will before I go to bed.

A really good day all things considered.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Tuesday


a woolemi pine with decorative Australian flora and fauna.


Today I bid fare well to two lovely ladies heading back to Melbourne after a very pleasant visit. Read some delightful commentary on my short story entry in the 3rd annual Holiday competition which has 14 finalists (of which I am one) from 118 entries. It has been a lovely day weather wise, not too hot, not too cold. A baby bear kind of day, just right. I had another visitor and several phone calls all of a positive nature and I wrote another 3000ish words on my novella.

I think I should have an early night tonight because quite frankly I am a wee bit weary and should take advantage of the opportunity to do the wise thing.


Monday, 16 December 2013

Monday Monday can't stop that day



and a smiling Koala to start the day off right.

I slept in today after being up until 2am reading more than one hundred flash fiction pieces in a competition to write a holiday story. I really like the children's literature world I am diving into. People are so kind and supportive and the stories are lovely. I would recommend reading them all on Susanna Hill's blog http://susannahill.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/ho-ho-ho-3rd-annual-holiday-writing.html

I hope some of these stories end up in a Christmas/Holiday anthology for next year.

It is already Tuesday and I am heading to bed in a few minutes. My Goddess story is at 8000plus words and I am liking where it is going. Mirrors is still under review. I managed to get most of the paperwork for the school done without strangling anything. I had such a bizarre day. I need to get back to Goldilocks soon and finish the first full draft. I ran out and put the bins on the curb and fixed the toilet cistern and ironed some wet clothing I pulled off the line as it started to rain. I think the whole day needs to be tucked into a 'look at it all later' corner. I bought a tin today with the words for thankyou in many languages and I am going to make it my gratitude tin and every time I think of something I am grateful for I will put some coins in it and then when it is full I will find something really lovely to do with it to 'pay it forward'. There are so many wonderful people in my life who fill me with love and kindness, who support and encourage me and who make my world a wonderful place. I am supremely fortunate to live here in this country in this time and to have finally reached a point in my maturation to realise how fortunate I am.

On that night I bid you a fond goodnight and hope if you are reading this that your life is full of love and gentle things. xoxo




Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sunday again,relaxing with friends.


I like this little lizard. http://www.sharkbay.org/Thornydevilfactsheet.aspx that is the address for a good site for kids to find out more about The thorny dragon or thorny devil (Moloch horridus)which is also called other names. Wikipedia has a good page too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorny_dragon I am enjoying rediscovering our amazing flora and fauna for this sketching challenge and adding a Holiday flare to them. I can't imagine being able to catch a thorny dragon nor adding a bell to it's tail. Speaking of dragons,I am looking forward to seeing the desolation of Smaug in the coming weeks and trying to avoid any mention of it by the doomsayers. I wonder sometimes why people expect entertainment to also be academic literature?
I have seen a lot of reviews, scathing reviews of books and films over the last year and it puzzles me. Why were they going to the movie in the first place? Why did they buy the book? Were they working for the united nations and looking for a way to change the world or were they wanting a bit of escapism and entertainment? I know why I went to see the Hobbit. Firstly because New Zealand is beautiful and Peter Jackson's work is visually delicious, secondly because the actors are gorgeous, thirdly because I have a huge crush on the character of Thorin, fourthly due to the entertainment value of a bunch of oddballs setting off on a seemingly impossible quest, fifthly because I wish we still had eagles that are big(that bit always makes me cry because I remember eagles that were much bigger than the ones we have now but people shot them), sixthly because the music is sumptuous and sends tingles down my spine and finally because I get to step away from all the day to day concerns of my life for three hours and follow an epic journey of the imagination.
In the past few years, or even the decade I have read the Twilight saga and seen the movies. I read all the harry potters and own copies of all the movies as well as all the books. I had five copies of the first book because we all read at different rates and no one was willing to wait for anyone else to finish. I read the twilights to my daughter as her bedtime story for weeks and she loved the books. I read and purchased several Dan Brown's and those fifty shades as well as more than a thousand other books and videos including all the George RR Martin winter is coming(Maybe it is George's fault we are having climate change?). I estimate that during my lifetime I have read fifteen thousand novels which works out to be one novel per day per week for forty years. I could read fluently by four years of age and my favorite memory of primary school was being able to sit in the library corner and read because I always finished the work well ahead of any other child and my reward was to read. I can usually read a novel in a night and know it takes eight hours of reading out loud to get through a Narnia or Harry Potter. So I am under estimating my number of books because my tally only included books I read for myself and does not include text books for the many many many courses I studied, nor does it take into consideration the hundreds if not thousands of children's books I read to, well, children.
I don't like poor writing. I don't like that poor writing is published and there are no gatekeepers halting the flood of substandard prose. I am saddened that the new generations are being encouraged to feast only on graphic novels and not encouraged to feast their brains on beautiful words that will fire the imagination and encourage thinking.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

more cool weather



Today for my ho ho doo da( Holiday doodle a day) I have poor Santa, much more appropriately dressed for the usual Australian heat and benefitting from Mrs. Santa's health regime, trying to find his way into the house. It is wonderful to see more and more solar panels on rooftops. If only there were also rooftop gardens and more trees.

I am finding great benefit in doing these drawings each day. The doing soothes and calms me and I find myself moving into my day with a smile on my face. Much as I dream of having the artistic skills of some of the brilliant children's illustrators I so admire, I am finding pleasure in my own skill and style and enjoying my little personal gallery.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Friday the thirteenth (scary mood music)



Today. 8am school band rehearsal. Home for porridge with Izzy and the twins (Paula and Adele) and left poor Bryan back at school on the last day for students before summer. Tonight is band dinner and showcase and then WAVE for pizza with the lads as a final gathering. It is a cool day for Australia pre summer. I am off to buy a present for Brenden today. I thought it was a perfect gift for number one son. I shall return to warble my thoughts in text later today.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Ho! Ho! Ho! The 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest

The school Concert

This was the first time Dad had ever come to the end of year concert.
Annie peered between the shoulders of the two children in front of her in the choir.
The teacher had lined them up so they could all clearly see their parents in the audience.
Annie was so excited her skin felt too small to fit inside. Dad was finally going to hear her sing.
The teacher began to play the introduction on the old piano and everyone stood up straight ready to sing their best.
Annie had the solo and had practiced for weeks. She was going to sing her best for her Dad.
A movement at the back of the hall caught Annie’s eye and she saw the Dads whispering to each other and begin to stand up.
Annie felt her throat tighten as she watched her Dad stand up too.
Soon only the mothers were left in the hall with little babies and high school kids.
Annie couldn’t sing. Tears slid down her face.
She knew he had to go. Christmas was fire season in Australia.
All the Dads and some of the Mums had to leave. They fought bravely to save homes, farms and live stock.
Annie wished just once it could be cold and snowy at Christmas, like it was on the Christmas cards.
Then her Dad could hear her sing in the school concert.
The other children kept singing and soon it would be Annie’s turn but she just wanted to run off the stage and hide.
She closed her eyes and tried to hide behind the boy in front so the Mums couldn’t see her cry.
“False alarm” someone whispered loudly at the back of the hall and all the Dads and a few Mums came tiptoeing back into the hall.
Annie’s heart swelled with joy as she watched her Dad sit back down.
She lifted her voice to the stars above and sang like an angel.




The PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) community has many connections one of whom is Susanna Hill, who is running the Third Annual Holiday Writing Contest. Writers are challenged to write a children's story about a holiday mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster. The story must be 350 words or less (not including the title), and must be posted and linked to her blog post by 11:59pm ET on Friday. Finalists will be posted on the blog the following week and winners will have a choice of some fabulous prizes donated by more amazing people in the world of children's literature. The preceding story is my entry in the competition.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

11 12 13




Cicadas for Christmas




if it ever gets hot enough for cicadas that is. It has certainly been a cool wet start to December here in Warrnambool.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

the tenth



As Aussie Christmas themes go, a surf life saver and a red and yellow flag pretty much encapsulates it all. I am going to do a GIRL life saver in a minute so don't get your togs in a knot, or your cozzies or your mankini, not even your bathers and board shorts. I will put up a girl very soon.

here are the women...



Now I have my Goddess at over 3000 words and I am learning so many things about writing that I had to type up some schedules to keep up with the things I am doing. Off to the other work tomorrow and then drop my paper work in at the hospital and back home to type and type and type. I do love creating.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Ninth of December

Happy birthday Grigor, older than me for a short while but I will catch up.



It is the time of year here in Australia when children have their concerts and communities gather in the park or on the green, down by a lake or river and sing Christmas carols by candlelight. It is a lovely way for a community to get together in the usually balmy summer evenings and share music and laughter. Often the candles are superfluous due to the long lingering twilight after the sunset however they do add a certain ambiance to the atmosphere. The new plastic flameless candles certainly flicker in regimented ways and wont cause bushfires or burn curious fingertips. Still it can't be carols y candlelight with out at least a token candle.

Let us sing something joyful now.

Yesterday was a huge push to get my room organised and i am very pleased with the progress. I over flowed the washing machine this morning so the laundry and toilet both had the floors mopped after dropping the girl at school and doing two loads of washing and two loads of dishes. I made my bed and gathered all the socks for pairing, organised paperwork for non writing purposes and made phone calls. Still avoiding putting in my paperwork for surgery and managed to do my daily drawing for my blog. I am doing a post SkaDaMo challenge to continue a daily drawing on a Christmas or Holiday theme. I am trying to keep mine very Australian in content. The new challenge is called Ho Ho Doo Da(Doo = doodle Da = Day) I had some feedback from a beta and she was appalled at the 'lack of editing' of most of the stories in two of the anthologies I have work in. I have given her my latest version of Mirrors to pick apart. I dread sending anything else out into the world that would not meet her inspection. My librarian friend also has a copy and she will be tough on me too. I think tough is good now. Not so long ago I would have been too fragile for a tough critique. Okay so have I written much today? Not yet but the day is young.

five hours later and I have hardly written a word but I did come up with a good line "many great writers had to be forged in the fires of hell" and I feel it might go places. I have been discovering small press and writers beware. I have looked at self publishing options and talked with people about their experiences, I have read two romances today one that annoyed the daylights out of me because the preliminary blurb felt like a synopsis instead and almost turned me off reading it and the second one had an opening chapter that felt like a fifteen year old hysterical facebook post so I went no further. A productive day in terms of learning but not in terms of writing. Still it is only 7.38 and I may yet find the push to move my goddess forward. wc at 10pm 1500+

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sunday a day of rest (for some)

I stayed in bed until 11.20am. Oh my goodness what a sleep in and very unusual because staying in bed that long usually causes me physical discomfort in the extreme but due to the lengthy noncycle ride last night I suspect it eased something in my structural integrity so I was able to sleep long and pain free for once. I am seeing much more of my bedroom floor(goodbye floordrobe) now that I am organising the space as my writing space. I just measured up the book shelf for my resource materials and it fits just perfectly in the designated space so I can take folders out of bags and have them ready to hand when I need them. This might be the first time in my life that my room will be totally organised. woo hoo. Today I did my eighth Aussie Christmas image for the sketched out challenge (HO HO Doo Da) and I am quite enjoying myself.


These images are appealing to my sense of rightness in the world. I have been tired of seeing northern hemisphere images at Christmas every year with snow and animals we never see here. Snow men, snow flakes and snow covered trees are things we see in winter but only in a very limited portion of Australia. My preferred Aussie images are the gorgeous red flowering native plants that bloom in December or the light displays on houses, hot sunny days, people at the beach, cricket and family and get-togethers. That is what the time of year is about. Getting in touch with each other when all through the year we make electronic notes that don't really feel the same. Typing HUG or LIKE is nothing like a real hug and a real word out of a real mouth. The middle of December has been a time for humans to celebrate and get together for thousands of years no matter what the trendy religion of the time is. I love that people are kinder, more generous, closer and want to give gifts of appreciation to each other. I also love Christmas songs. They are always cheerful and there are no dark malicious lyrics in them. There is no sex, drugs, violence and drive by shootings in Christmas Carols. Give me Christmas carols all year please.

I am struggling with the plot of a short story and my head is in overdrive working on reasons for the characters doing the things they do so I haven't much brain left over for everything else and I think my face to face (F2F) friends are becoming used to that. I am glad to know they love me enough to tolerate my eccentricities.

Time to write and work my head around the international tax file number application. I joined several motivation groups online so that will help keep me on track. Having the chat and interaction in sprints was a wonderful way of motivating myself with the support of others and I miss it. I am reorganising my room to have a permanent writing space and feeling very positive about it. I have never been so organised at home in my life, except when I had seven foster kids at once, now that was a logistics challenge if ever there was one. I am writing around 2500 words a day but not counting specifics. I think I write approximately 600 words at a time if I allow myself to edit as I go. The sprints gave me permission not to edit which is probably why I could get the 800 to 1000 words in 30 minute sprints. I have signed up for some revision groups for PB manuscripts and will play with that Idea for 12 months. I do love children's books but I suspect I will settle into relationship fiction in the long term. I have written and sent several short flash fiction pieces off to anthologies since nano and enjoy them for the challenge of getting a good story out in the world in a short space of time. I had some wonderful feedback from two readers of anthologies I am already in. One said my story stands like a beacon amongst dross and another said 'I only found one mistake in yours but the others are riddled with them' and I take that as high praise. She came through her schooling when grammar was an integral part of the curriculum and she went on to become a highly efficient copy editor and secretary in her years in the newspaper industry before proof reading became redundant as a practice. I refuse to give up my s for american z and entered a discussion on that very push by of course americans who demand everyone else fall in line with their spelling practices. I shall also refuse to delete 'u' where it is an automatic spelling choice. Off my soapbox again I have more vacuuming to do.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

One week into Summer and the weather can't read a calender


It really is a beautiful day outside but not warm enough to swim unless you are dedicated and have a 4cm thick wet suit. The water off the coast here in Warrnambool comes direct from the antarctic and still contains melting ice blocks except after a week of 40oC and then it is delightful for cooling sunburned skin. I love a sunburnt country(thank you Dorothea McKellar)...but not sunburnt skin. I loved swimming as a child. I swam in the Acheron(not that Acheron) and the Taggerty river and went to Eildon Weir, well swimming happened in Frazer National Park and not in the pondage of course and we loved the dark swift water of the Golburn near Alexandra. It seemed so still on the surface but under that still surface it ran deep and dark and swift. Swimming at the Alexandra swimming pool was interesting. It was always cold. We had our swimming lessons at the beginning of summer and could earn our little certificates. Dolphins and Porpoises in the tiny pool and the much more advanced lessons and challenges in the big pool. I went for my bronze medallion in primary school and I swam my 25 laps fully clothed and shed my clothes and shoes in the deep end then dove down deep from a stationary position to retrieve them all. I did the CPR and the 25 laps using four different strokes and tread water for half an hour and watched eagerly as the other students received their medallions and congratulations and I did not. Why? Because no one thought I could do it and no medallion was ordered for me. At a guess my parents should have paid for it and didn't, I will never really know. Someone felt sorry for me and handed me a sew on patch as a consolation prize which did not console but I thank the woman from this distance. I earned that medallion. Funny about consolation prizes. It reminds me of the time we had a fancy dress ball but I told that story before. Or the time when...no I am dwelling on too many consolation prizes and I am thinking with my new career as writer I can change those consolation prizes into gold medallion firsts. The wonder of the written word is I can take a story and rewrite it. It has been done so many times in history that I can do it too. Change the past one sentence at a time.
A bit like touching up a perfectly good image to make it glossy and unrealistic but you don't know that until it is pointed out and shown beside the original. Think Charlie Chaplin coming third in a Charlie Chaplin look a like contest. I had a story rejected for publication once because it was "Unrealistic". I laughed uproariously because it was a factual story not fiction and the only unreal parts were the names but it didn't fit with their idea of what a story should be like for that genre.
I am enjoying learning more of the art of writing.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Joining Challenges

I joined a new challenge today to keep me sketching. http://sketchedout.wordpress.com/tag/hohododa/ the Ho HO Doodle Day Sketched out challenge. Better five days late than not at all and oddly enough Iw as already doing a sketch a day on this theme.


It has a very Christmas feel to it and I ma very happy to share because I love being an Australian and I want much more Australian themed Christmas images. I know Christmas is not about decorations nor are any other mid December celebrations but I like decorations and I have never lived anywhere in the snow. It is always hot here in December so here are my first few ideas day one to five.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The art of not

.Today started very early with two nightmares. One in my sleep and one awake.


Later in the morning I called my 'boss' and asked her to give me a lift because the car had swallowed a human and his legs were sticking out under the bonnet [think cars that ate Paris] and they had still not mastered the glitch in the wiring s I was still without a car. The first class contained Lego(TM) and the second was studying advertising. The teenagers knew every single logo without fail even though each logo was partially obscured. They recognised them from mere slivers of the overall. Advertising is a powerful tool.
I caught a taxi home - is this seeming like a stream of consciousness blurb to you? - probably because it is. The double nightmares knocked my socks off and I wasn't even wearing them.

This evening I went to our Rostrum end of year breakup and had a lovely evening reading limericks and playing celebrity guessing games then using de Bono's six thinking hats to discuss the pros and cons of the internet. It was a pleasant end to an odd day.


Did I mention I like public speaking? A lot of people think I am weird but I do enjoy public speaking probably because it is story telling. I love story telling.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

It's begining to look a lot like December


Today's sketch is a car or part of a car. There are a lot of lines on a car, have you noticed? My car is in puzzling the autoelectricians who have had it since Friday. So long as they are having fun and I don't have to sell my first born to pay for it.



December. I have done a lot of interesting things today. I donated to Nano and put up some decorations. I am going out for dinner in about an hour and I have started my Keepsakes story. I negotiated to have a cover made for a story and gave a story away, I had a rejection and an acceptance in the same day.I practiced twitting (I KNOW IT'S TWEET BUT IT FEELS LIKE TWIT) and offered to host a story on my blog. I did not go to work for reasons that will become obvious later on in the song and I threw things out. yes folks I threw things out. All in all a very interesting day and productive.



Okay, teeth, shoes, cardigan and dinner. Off I go.


Dinner was lovely and the company was good. My host showed me how to watermark my art work so I am going to dedicate a day to watermarking all my sketches. I also was shown some tricks on the photo manipulation program I have so I will toy with some art work in the next week or so to learn how to use it. I am quite excited by it all really. I was offered some wonderful artistic support today and all sorts of assistance with making my writing dreams reality. I feel very loved, supported and cared for right now.

Monday, 2 December 2013

tweaking those first drafts



I'm a winner and just because PiBoIdMo is over does not mean the ideas stopped. I had a weird one this morning and I am dragging out a bit of paper to work on it shortly. It had to do with ninja Echidna and camouflage wombat. Crazy right? However I am grinning and I want to play with the idea.




and I still have to work on watermarking. Lots of good feedback coming from my beta readers and I appreciate the suggestions and impressions. I like that word "Brilliant" and the other word "Enthralling", lovely words for me to hear. Thank you hug hug


Okay off the computer and down to the dining table to nut out some character sheets.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Now the hard work begins.




so I finished November challenges and started my December ones, wiping off the daily tallies from the window and setting new goals. I put all my sketches in a folder for SkaDaMo from one to thirty so I can best look back and see what I achieved and then I put 30 copies of the picture book ideas templates and the ideas in another folder with a cover for PiBoIdMo. My plan is to continue sketching every morning and to work on the manuscript and story boards for some of the ideas in prepapration for RYS and 12 X 12 next year.



I am continuing with one of the manuscripts and have already had feedback on the other which I sent out to seven people. I have continuity problems and location problems but nothing that cannot be fixed. I need to draw up a time line and family tree and do some really deep character backgrounds.

So lots of work over December coming up and I feel I am ready. Need more water and exercise. Both are essential.