Sunday, December 4, 2011

My writing course is done!

I sent off my final assignment this morning. It was an interesting experience. Finding the time to go through the modules, do the activities and then the assignment each week was the first challenge. During the last five weeks we have had a couple of large proofreading jobs, been to Melbourne for a couple of days and I have worked lots of extra days at the library.

The course was pretty intense with a lot to get through in five weeks. I received great feedback from my tutor and did learn where my strengths lie.

I now have lots of bits of paper with notes written all over them to sort out and I have started rewriting one of my stories which I think has the potential to be a good one. I did give it to a number of small friends to read and they gave great feedback! I also have the outline for a 'Women's fiction' story which came out of one of the assignments we had to do.

This course led me all over the place and honed in on two potential stories which I now will spend time writing, rewriting and rewriting again!

I have immersed myself in Children's and Young Adult books and have loved Looking for Allibrandi, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, lots of lovely picture books, The Famous Five and The Magic Faraway Tree. I have a list of grownup books to start reading when I finish The Famous Five series.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Decisions have been made and acted upon!

I overcame a huge challenge today. I have started a 'writing for children' course and sent off my first assignment today! During the last few months of procrastination I have been reevaluating what to do with myself and have made some decisions.

I love working at our local library and learning how it all works and have decided to enrol at CIT and do a Certificate in Library Studies. Most of the course is available online with some workshops in Canberra.  Scary but exciting!

We have a new children's room in our library and I have been doing storytelling sessions with the preschoolers and having a ball. This led me to dragging out a couple of stories I had written and enrolling in a five week online course. Each Sunday I have to produce an assignment and week one is done!

I love these online courses. It means I can work from home at my own pace and not have to travel to classes. Support is available and there is the opportunity to talk with classmates all around the world.

Proof-right is still up and running but as Janine and I have had more work with our casual jobs recently we have not got out and done the marketing we were hoping to do.  For me this will change as I settle in to the routine of work and study.

I have also started going swimming and cutting back on all the crap I eat and drink! I have been swimming at indoor pools in Canberra but tomorrow I brave the cold water of our local pool and see how I go.

Wow I am impressed with that list!  What I have to do now is get on with it. My challenge is to keep all these activities up.
  • With the study I will have no choice - assignments are expected.
  • Proof-right needs to be marketed so that we can do the jobs we want to do and earn some money to pay for all my classes!
  • Get fit stuff - well, I will have more time for the first two points if I swim in town. I will save three hours in travelling each time I swim and money if I cut down the coffees, glasses of wine and chocolate.
I will keep you all informed how I go!

I have been reading Enid Blyton's Famous Five series and loving them!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spring in the country

It is so lovely driving around at the moment as the paddocks are bursting with lambs and calves and their mums.

It always brings a smile to my face when I see the calves and lambs running around playing together and as they grow bigger they move further away from their mums but always make sure they aren't too far away.

I have just finished reading Red Dust and Blue Skies by Fleur McDonald.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A special treat

Last Monday Lorraine and I went in to Canberra and had a most luxurious day. We had been given gift vouchers for a massage and facial and oh what a treat!

The massage was wonderful and the facial was heavenly. After our two hours of bliss we went downstairs to lunch. There was a motel across the road and we did consider booking in for a nap!

We don't often allow ourselves these luxuries but the effect of those few hours has lasted the week. I feel much more relaxed and have handled a busy, tiring week much better than usual.

It is too easy to get caught up in all the things we do in our lives and not take the time to smell the roses. It need not be a day out but just a few minutes sitting in the sun, wandering around the garden, reading a good book for a while - a break in the routine.

Lorraine and I have promised each other we will do this again in six months time and I can't wait!

I am working my way through Harriet Evans' books. I am having a break from murder and mayhem and back where I am most comfortable - family/friends sagas! I will get back to other genres but for now I need my 'women's literature'.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Family Heirloom

Last Friday I picked up a gorgeous bangle I had made from a number of rings which belonged to my husband's mother, grandmother and aunt. I had inherited these items and while they were beautiful they didn't fit me or my girls and were put in my jewellery box, never to be seen again.

We have a number of talented jewellers and craftspeople in our town and after chatting with William of William Verdon Manufacturing Jewellers, I decided to bite the bullet and have a bangle made.

Too often we leave these beautiful items locked away and they don't come out again until someone else inherits them.

It's like the email that often does the rounds where we leave all our gorgeous bits 'for best' or a 'special occasion'. Not anymore! I will wear my pearls to work and will wear this bangle every day. We need to enjoy what we have worked hard to acquire all the time and not just on special occasions.

Do you wear all your 'good bits' or are they locked away for a special occasion?

I have just finished reading Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson.  I HAD to finish it before I went to sleep!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Letters or emails?

Our eldest daughter has moved 100 kilometres away to university. We often communicate by email and she has told me how formal my emails are.
I wrote her a letter last week (on paper and with a pen) and found my language was more natural. I wonder if it is a generational thing. I came to computers and email through work whereas my kids have always used computers socially. I do write chatty emails to family and friends but I realise now they are more formal than a handwritten letter. I love buying pretty notepads and envelopes and have quite a collection. It is time to start writing letters again.

A bit old fashioned you say? Yes, but I get a thrill when a handwritten envelope is amongst the pile of bills I have picked up from the post office.

What will happen in years to come when no-one writes on paper and everything is done electronically. Do we still write love letters or is a quick email or text the way to go? I don’t think printing out and keeping a pile of emails is the same as tying up your love letters in their envelopes with a ribbon and hiding them in the bottom drawer for your family to find after you have gone.

There is also such an expectation now to respond immediately to emails. What pressure it places on people to send off something quickly rather than to sit down and think about the reply.

Writing a letter of complaint must be more satisfying if you actually write the letter and put it in the post box. It must be harder to fob off an actual piece of paper than an electronically sent email. I would hope the recipient of such a letter would think twice about throwing a handwritten letter in the bin and actually read it. 

Would Bridget Jones have been so taken with that awful Daniel if he had not started sending her saucy emails? Meg Ryan would have met Tom Hanks anyway!

I wonder how we will correspond in a hundred years. For now I am going back to my pen and paper and maybe I will write a love letter to my husband. Or will I send him a quick email?

Goal for the week:
  • Write a letter to a friend
I have just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I had heard so much about this book and loved it. The joy of letters!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What is your favourite book at the moment?

I am trying to read different authors and broaden my reading experience. At this point in my life I am a huge fan of ‘chick lit’. My favourites are the Irish and Australian authors who write fabulous family/friend sagas. I love these books because we all have or wish we had friendships like those portrayed. This probably also explains why the tv show ‘Winners and Losers’ is my favourite at the moment.
I now work in a library and am often surprised by the choices our members make. Mystery and thrillers are very popular so that is where I am going to start changing my reading habits. Instead of following the lives of the characters I will start following how their deaths are investigated!

Goal for this week:
·         Read a mystery/thriller

I have just finished reading Sharp Shooter by Marianne Delacourt. Being a Perth girl I loved all the Perth references and locations.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I want to be a proper crafty woman!

My craft skills leave a lot to be desired and my sewing skills extend to sewing on buttons and hemming. There are two balls of wool in my ‘craft’ basket - one has knitting needles sticking out and the other a crochet hook! The one with the crochet hook does have a chain attached but I can’t figure out how to crochet the second line.

I do love a craft stall and buying the beautiful work others create. On my first visit to our local show I was entranced by the skill of the local lace makers. What these women were creating was exquisite.
Another of my ‘crafty’ loves is pretty stationery. I have all sorts around the house. A couple of years ago a friend with similar yearnings and I created some pretty covered notebooks and sold them at the local markets.
They were quite successful but she left town and they sit in the cupboard gathering dust. I have given some away as gifts and they were warmly received so maybe it is time to resurrect the idea. This is part of my stop procrastinating year. We are halfway through the year but that is of no consequence if I now get on with it. I will set myself a goal on this blog that I will have a Christmas stall at the markets and sell some notebooks – after I have created some more!
Now if I can just figure out how to knit a square and add a second row to my crochet chain I could sell those creations too.
Goals for the week:
·        Cover at least one notebook
I have just finished reading The Perfect Man by Sheila O’Flanagan. It took me a while to get through this one but I am glad I got to the happy ending.

Friday, June 10, 2011


The blog has been created, the bio written and it is time to start posting. I have a whole pile of stories to put on but can’t make up my mind where to start.
I also want to put photos with each post. The stock photo websites have thousands of photos and I can’t decide on which ones to use. It’s time to learn how to use the camera and put my own photos on the computer.
The blog has been active for a couple of weeks and there is still no post or photos!
This is typical of my life at the moment. I am at crossroads in many areas and need to get on with it. Our life is changing as our daughters grow up and become more independent. One has moved out to uni and the other is doing her own thing more and more and doesn’t need us around as much. We are struggling with the nearly empty nest syndrome. For the first time in a lot of years we are home alone more and finding our empty house lonely when the kids aren’t home.
We have planned some projects and one for me is to do some writing. The story on my blog is finished and the purpose of this one is to put down my thoughts and ideas as we enter a new era in our lives and hopefully the empty blog space waiting for my words will inspire me to get on with it.
Proof-right has been up and running for a couple of years now and we have done some projects but haven’t spent the time we need to turn this into a more part-time than casual business. The reason for starting the proofreading business was to work from home but I need to be disciplined and spend more time on it.
My office is set up and the time has come to go to work every day.
Goals for this week:
·         Write another blog post and take photo
·         Do some work on the new Proof-right website/write a blog post

I have just finished reading The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez. It is a fabulous story of strong, courageous women living in a difficult place.
p.s. - my daughter took the photo but I figured out how to save it and insert it into the blog post!