Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a different kind of week...

So where have I been and why so quiet?

Well... I've been having a rather self indulgent week in the "big smoke" -- Townsville. Getting Mother Of the Bride outift altered and trying to buy shoes to match. I was told that to get my size I would need to order 30 pairs!!!

So may be shoe searching at the Gold Coast when I'm down there soon for my annual writing retreat (can't wait!).

As a result of that little episode, however, I went to the podiatrist and then had to have Xrays etc, so have been getting things done that I've been putting off. Writing wise, I've experimented with writing in waiting rooms and in coffee shops in between these other tasks -- just jotting outlines for future scenes by hand (with Blake Synder's Save the Cat as my guide). I've been surprised by how much I've squeezed in that way, so week doesn't feel totally wasted.
Tomorrow night I have to present an award at the Townsville City Council Arts awards... a bit swanky...
Then home on Saturday.
 Our friend here in helping us to design a chook pen and vegie garden combined, so that's been fun too.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Great writing advice...

If you're a writer, you should probably check out this interview with Michael Hauge on the Romance Writer's of Australia blog. I attended one of his workshops a couple of years ago and experienced so many light bulb moments.
Something I loved in today's interview was this snippet of good advice:
Don’t dwell on what the characters (or you) are feeling about what you’re writing, don’t get caught up in words to describe that. Think of what we would see if we were in that situation, and what would convey the feeling, or create the emotion that you want to create.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Yesterday was the anniversary of the bombing of Darwin during WW2, which happened when my husband was just nine days old.

I often think about my poor mother-in-law at that time. She’d already had several miscarriages (Elliot was her only child) and her husband was away with the Air Force, flying bombing raids against the Japanese over PNG and Indonesia. And on top of that, people in Queensland were absolutely terrified of this new threat on their very shores.

In fact, there was a strong belief at the time that the government had a policy called the Brisbane Line. All the north of Australia beyond Brisbane would be abandoned to the invading armies.

My mother-in-law was above this line, living in Bundaberg on the Queensland coast, and in the last weeks before she gave birth, she was evacuated inland to Murgon. So much stress on top of the normal stress of giving birth for the first time.

It’s easy to forget how brave every day Australians had to be – even those who were far away from the warfront.

I love these two photos of Elliot taken with his parents during the war years. He was three years old when his dad finally came home for good.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A nice surprise...

A big thanks to Cataromance for giving Bridesmaid Says: 'I do!' a Reviewers'  Choice award for Best Harlequin Romance (shared with Donna Alward).

Had an interesting discussion with readers last week when they were airing their preferences for Zoe and Kent from this story, or Bella and Damon from Runaway Bride.

One story was definitely sweeter,  so I guess, it's all a matter of tatse.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Trying again...

I've been having a lot of trouble with blogger. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to post. Have been away too -- busy with National Year of reading in both Cairns and Twonsville. So much I wanted to tell you about.

Monday, February 06, 2012


Today I decided not to bother with the handwriting...  (yes, I'm not great at keeping new habits)... and the writing has been a real struggle. So I guess I'll be getting out paper and pen again. It's worth a try if you're feeling blocked or jaded or in need of a change of chair...

Taking a break... I had a lovely phone conversation this afternoon with my aunt in Sydney who's been very ill but is feeling a bit better at the moment. Gosh, it was lovely to hear her voice sounding strong and happy.

 And now I'm going to give some thought to my speech for next week when I'll be talking in Townsville at the Thuringowa Library for National Year of Reading. 

If anyone feels like sharing why reading is an important part of your life, I'd love to hear...

Sunday, February 05, 2012

When the cat's away...

OK... what's a woman to do when her husband's been taken off by their sons for a little trout fishing in New Zealand?
If she's a romance author, she gets in a little extra research. No, stop it. Not that sort...
I'm talking about viewing... DVDs and TV shows that are a tad too girly for couples viewing.
Would you believe I am only just now catching up on Sex and the City? I've watched all of Season One and am happily settling into Season Two, with my eye on those other series lined up in the Video shop.
I've also watched Rachel Getting Married, When Harry Met Sally and The Blind Side.

Of course, I'm reading too. I've just finished Anne Gracie's gorgeous Bride By Mistake (Check out this lovely review on Barnes and Noble by Eloisa James).

You probably think this sounds like I'm slacking off -- but I'm writing too. I'm a couple of thousand words into my next M&B -- trying a new technique, writing by hand first -- mainly because a change is as good as a holiday. But I do think there's something rather liberating about writing by hand. I feel freer to experiment and make little notes to myself. This may become my new MO. The crucial ingredient is a really smooth flowing pen that makes writing a breeze.
I can blame this new direction on the power cuts we had on Saturday. Almost a year to the day after Cyclone Yasi, a big low went through FNQ. It turned into Cyclone Jasmine just as soon as it hit water and it certainly felt like a cyclone while it was here, hence candles and handwriting... I felt very Jane Austen. (well... almost).

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I'm b-a-a-ack...

Sorry for my silence. I've been deep in the deadline cave. But now the single title book is in, the editor at Penguin really likes it and I have a release date... September 2012.

All we have to do is think up a title... I'll keep you posted...

Meanwhile, in the real world...
Two little people in our family have started kindy.
Someone else in our family has an important date she needs to keep reminding us about...

Elliot is off to New Zealand with our two sons who are taking him trout fishing to celebrate a significant birthday.

And I must update my website and start my next Mills and Boon.
Just as well I love my job. :)